Having sailed with Fred Olsen twice previously we thought we would try 5* luxury as Azamara had reduced the price following the itinerary change.
Flew Turkish Airlines from LHR to Istanbul, good flight there & back, excellent cabin service. Embarkation was a bit hit & miss airport to ship but smooth once onboard. Had late lunch at the Pool Grill & then to cabin 6067 to unpack. Called up to main dining room as the muster point for the safety drill which lasted 1 hour as 500 or 600 people waited for 2 latecomers, ridiculous. The drill was not as detailed as on FO. & could easily been done in 15 minutes. Luckily we had opted for dining at 8.30 pm & so we could unpack & get cleaned up in time for pre dinner G&T.
My wife has a very strong aversion to garlic so we spoke to the Maitre D to arrange garlic free food. No problem, she would be given the next day's menu to choose her meal & it would be cooked garlic free. Dinner that night was good, a pleasant occasion with our 4 dining companions.
Did not go ashore the next day as we were "indisposed". Noticed later in the day that the Pool Grill was getting a deep clean by staff in protective clothing resembling a noddy suit. Uum!
Dinner time arrived & looking forward to a gastronomic treat. Garlic in the wife's food, taken away but next dish garlic again. Despite meeting with Maitre D etc. & Executive Chef Iwan they just could not do it, meal after meal had garlic. I was eating off menu & have to say that the food was mediocre compared to FO, bland, lacking sauces, just plain ordinary to not so good. I had a rib eye, it was cooked just right but was that tough it was inedible, as the Maitre D said "oh dear".
We gave in with the MDR & ate salad in the Windows restaurant. A very disappointing cruise.
Superb ship, fantastic staff but poor food.
I should say that I saw a toilet cleaner washing out the toilet brush cannister in the wash hand basin - do not blame the passengers for norovirus.
Cabin fine, adequate size & kept clean.