This was our third cruise with Azamara, chosen mainly for the itinerary. We stayed one night prior to embarkation at the Hilton, Athens. This was part of the package. Arrival in Athens was mid afternoon and about 35°C, so we decided against moving away from the pool area! Transfer to the cruise terminal by coach was fine as was embarkation.
The ship had very recently received new decor whilst in dry dock, which included carpets, soft furnishings and pool furniture I believe. Signs of wear are already apparent.
Our room was very pleasant with comfy bed and new carpet, curtains and bed linen. Bathroom is as before - small ! There is a deep step down and the door barely opens enough to exit without some difficulty. Maintenance was very good.
Dining options are varied. After two visits to the main restaurant , where the food was not particularly exciting and other diners next to us had left food too, we chose to eat mainly in The Patio. Much more to our liking and friendlier atmosphere. The White Night produced a very good spread. Minute steaks, which would put the MDR to shame. Prime C was enjoyable, but not really worth the $25 each supplement. The wine choices were okay and starting with the cruise after ours, there would be a sparkling wine offered too. Also sparkling water would be an option to still. Never mind - we missed that!
Entertainment was very good or on one occasion very poor. Singers and dancers worked hard and were good. Eric the cruise director, who is 5ft. 18ins, in his words, was always impressive. Very versatile. The Captain and Eric claimed to be brothers, but Captain Johannes was possibly about 5ft. 5ins! This banter cropped up often and was funny.
Eric also had a never ending string of funny " Grandad" stories!
We generally received friendly service. The crew work very hard. Two in particular excelled and on the other hand two were memorable for their rudeness.
We did not take any excursions as we are familiar with all but two of the ports.
Not sure we would book with Azamara again, unless it was a suite with a larger bathroom.
Debarkation was a muddle as quite a lot of passengers like us had late flights and Venice airport would not allow passengers in more than 3 hours before their flight! This tested Azamara's relevant crew, but in the end they arranged for us to debark later at midday. Our airport transfer was 13.30, so we had to wait at the cruise terminal until then. It was a long day to make a two hour flight back to Heathrow!