The flight with Thomas Cook the transfer to ship were both excellent - on board within 15 minutes.
The ship being new was quite impressive but not a WOW compared with say RCCL. The cabins were clean, spacious with plenty of hanging space.
The entertainment was good and suited the mainly British passengers. The Gym was good but parts of it were unusable when classes were conducted. The Retreat (£20 per day) was not worth the money as the pool area was often unusable when at sea, so, for the money you basically got a more comfortable sunbed and more space.
The entertainment staff and production show were excellent worthy of mention was Benne the Cruise Director.
The ship had an odd layout - not enough internal seating area on sea days - for example you had to be seated to be served a coffee in Costa Coffee yet seats were taken by passengers reading who were unable to find alternative seating. Lots of steps on the deck area which may give difficulties for disabled passengers. To get to deck 6 dining you had to go up to deck 7 and then down again at the other end of the ship.
As for food well, the main dining areas for evening meals were good but could be improved on. The soups, for example, were often uneatable, bread seemed to be rationed and was not freshly baked and crusty.
The pay restaurants, The Glass House, Sindhu and 17 were all excellent. If anything 17, the flagship restaurant, was rushed when we visited (3 Courses served in less than 1 hour)
The on deck Pizza parlour was really good for fast food, the burger joint was not as good as the burgers were often served from the bain marie (certainly not flame grilled). One day there was an on deck lunch barbeque - the gas barby was rolled out but never lit. Resulting in steamed hot dogs and burgers.
Brodies pub was excellent but serving staff were a little thin on the ground after midnight. Drinks were reasonably priced (£2.90 a pint of lager) But £4.60 a rum and coke when other mixer drinks (Gin /tonic) were less than £4.
The main food disappointment was the Verona, Venezia self serve areas.
They were badly designed with poorly presented food. Breakfast was typical Full English with cereals and fruit ( 3 types of melon and pineapple pieces ) same every day for 14 days very limited choice. Lunches comprised of yesterdays leftovers in a sauce and labelled lamb casserole, chicken king etc or perhaps a pie or pasty. The pasta was one congealed lump that looked as though it had been prepared hours earlier. No fresh carved meats no freshly prepared dishes, very little salad choice. If you wanted a cold drink at lunch then it was water only unless you went to the bar and paid. The tea/coffee facilities were also poor with tiny cartons of milk, sugar satchets, all in the same area as the hot water and coffee with people blocking the area while they waited for the tea bag to infuse open the milk carton add sugar dispose of the used items etc.
Would I cruise with Azura again only if they improved the food, I don't like this trend where you have to use the pay restaurants to get good food and service.