My wife and I have cruised the Panama Canal before but it has always been on a Pan Max ship. Cruise the canal on a small ship like the Azamara Journey and it is a whole different experience. First you are not fighting 3000 other passengers to get a view or take a photo. Second to go from one end of the ship to the other is a matter of seconds not minutes so if something is happening on the port or starboard side or the prow or aft end you wont miss a thing. However, that is a perk of all small ships.
The Journey is one of the finest of the small ships. The crew from the Captain down is one big happy family and when you are a guest of that family you are treated as family.
The ship had just come out of dry-dock where almost the entire ship was refitted in one-way or another. The cabins and the public areas received new carpet and furniture. The cabin bathrooms were remodeled. What was the Looking Glass Lounge remodeled into the Living Room with a Tapas and Wine tasting bar. The Windows Veranda now with a new look and name the Sunset Veranda. The Pool Grill is now The Patio with a larger lunch menu and the evening menu is new. It took two or three days to adjust to the new names but we managed.