As Journey was newly out of dry dock, there were some minor snagging issues with unfinished work but nothing to spoil the cruise. In the stateroom these were quickly rectified once pointed out.
Caldera is not really geared for passengers on cruise ships so initially it looked a bit disorganised at the port, but in fact we were on board in 40 minutes with nothing lost.
As this was a first time on Azamara (normally sail Celebrity) I cannot say how much improvement has been done to the ship but she looked splendid and the crew are helpful and friendly from the Master down.
Dining is excellent, all open seating and no formal nights. Tried the extra cost Chefs table - superb, Aqualina - Italian (ish) very good and Prime C - Steakhouse also very good. Actually the food is so good in the Discovery that on another occasion probably would not bother with the Speciality restaurants, although Chefs table could tempt me again!
Aramara is inclusive of drinks and tips which was great and it in no way affected the service. Bar staff were great, attentive and generous with the measures. Serving staff and stateroom attendants excellent.
As a small ship the entertainment team is limited but the Cruise Director, Eric was a great host and performer, he's always happy to chat to guests (as is Capt. Magnus and Staff Capt. Dario) the 6 singers and dancers were good and worked very hard. 7 piece orchestra were fantastic, their 2 special jazz gigs were outstanding. Solo guitarist Simon is terrific and cabaret pianist Ed also very good. Guest entertainers - all 4 very enjoyable. As the ship has no theatre only a cabaret lounge it must be quite difficult to perform so close to your audience but all seemed to make the most of it.
The Azamazing evening up in the hills in Mexico was an adventure! 600 people transported by mini vans up unmade roads is quite an achievement. We loved the evening with traditional dance and music served up with canapés and Teqilla cocktails but seeing the stage was a challenge. As seating was all on the level those nor in the front 4 to 5 rows probably didn't see much not helped by people getting up and standing to take photos. I can understand why but under the circumstances rather selfish.
White night, an on deck bbq evening was huge fun culminating in a huge conga around the ship. (Wish we'd know about it in advance so we could have taken approximate clothing, most guests made the effort to dress all in white).
Aramara make a lot about the destinations and whilst all ports were fine we were disappointed by a couple tours. Poor inaccurate information resulted in one being unsuited to us and other guests, much more strenuous and we cancelled another.
Overall a great cruise, probably spoils us for other lines.
This is a new cabin, previous a crew one (the Cruise director's) they have cut a new hole in the side fof a balcony and after they had fitted the missing light, wired in the fridge and finished installing the shelves it was fine. Not the largest on the high seas, particularly the shower / WC which does seem small compared to those on Celebrity. This is presumably a reflection of both the age of the ship and it's overall size.
The bed was really comfy and the furniture on the balcony much better quality than we normal.