Many others have made comment on just about every aspect of this ship and crew that echo my sentiments so I really just want to reinforce those aspects which I feel set this ship apart from the several other cruises we have done with Princess, Cunard, RCL etc.
The crew, without exception were genuinely friendly without being obtrusive and any request was met with a "can do" attitude and a real desire to help. The ship's officers, including the Captain, were always around interested in taking meals with the passengers and listening to points of view that no doubt assist them in determining passenger attitudes and what may need attention now in the future.
I felt the standard of meals in all dining areas as well as the wonderful theme buffets put on from time to time were exceptional and certainly a notch up from what we have experienced on all previous cruises. If it is turkey on the carving board, it is a whole turkey and not just rolled turkey meat that one usually sees on most other ships. We felt the main dining room was so good and the meals varied that there was no real need to visit the fee paying ($15 per head cover charge)restaurants although we did go to Aqualina's for one meal and that was very good.
Enjoyed the shows and the enrichment programs and were never bored for something to do on board as well as the variety of fellow passengers from so many countries added an extra dimension in many varied discussions about travel, life experiences etc.
Love the easy boarding and disembarking procedures that run like clockwork and little or no waiting to get on and off the ship at any time during ports of call etc. The extras provided like free shuttle buses, free water, beach towels and of course the wine with meals, half price beers, great coffees, suntan lotions, mossie repellant, cold/hot towels at the dockside, and the list goes on, to make this one cruise where you feel you are getting value for money and not be "nickeled and dimed" every minute of the day. Having the gratuities paid as part of the overall fare must make for a happier ship and a further reason why this ship is better than most. No art auctions - what bliss.
The New Year's Eve party aboard the ship in Ho Chi Minh City was a really great night and the ship and crew went out of their way to put on a bloody good show with food, drinks, entertainment and decorations that could not have been more appropriate for the night. Even the great firework show over the river ahead of the ship was fantastic.
Overall we loved the "smaller ship" experience, the visit to ports being often more than one day, the itinerary was interesting and we would sail again with Azamara without hesitation.