We were unsure whether we were going to like the size of Azura as she is the biggest ship we have sampled. The flight by Thomas Cook (premium) was ok but not as good as Thomson First Choice. The transfer to the ship, straight off the plane, down the steps and onto coaches was as good as usual.
On arrival at Bridgetown the check-in routine was fairly quick and then the exciting moment came when we stepped on board. Azura's atrium was bright and airy - no it doesn't have the wow factor of Oceana but we still approved. Up to our suite, dropped the hand luggage and back to the atrium to book the select dining options, Seventeen and Sindhu. We knew if we didn't book at the beginning of the cruise we wouldn't get a table.
Azura is large but she offers lots of facilities, bars, theatre, show lounge, restaurants etc. It took a few days to find our way around but we managed. We loved our suite and the fact that as one of the perks we could have breakfast in Seventeen which was fantastic. We also had an evening meal in Seventeen which was amazing. We went to Sindhu but didn't like that as much. Our cabin steward and our butler were both so hardworking and helpful.
We were in the Peninsular Restaurant on a table for 8, 2nd sitting and had a lot of laughs with fantastic tablemates. The service from our two waiters was excellent as was the majority of the food. The Beef Wellington was so tender and flavourful. The wine waiter had a lot of tables to cope with but he served us well. We like the new house wine, chosen by Olly Smith, much better than the previous American house wine. Many evenings we were among the last to leave the restaurant, the men loved the Stilton that was offered and had to have a little something with it!
We liked the fact that we could choose to see a performance of the show at 7.15pm before we dined, which meant we could do something else afterwards. We liked the Headliners and the comedian Jeff Stevenson was excellent. My husband went to the Yachting talks by Alex Alley and enjoyed them. We don't tend to use the loungers round the pool, and use our balcony instead.
Two things we didn't like - the library is far too small with unnecessary space taken up by a bookshop. On a world cruise the library would be useless. The other thing that annoyed my husband was that he couldn't walk round the whole of the ship on the Promenade deck but all in all these are probably minor moans!
We have already pre-registered to go on Azura again, to the Mediterranean this time in 2012 so we must have enjoyed ourselves.