This was a fairly last minute decision to get away for Christmas/New Years, since we would have no family around this year. One major reason for choosing Azamara was based on our past 9 experiences with them - the exceedingly friendly crew, officers and staff who make it like a home away from home! Everything was as wonderful as we remembered and the festivities onboard exceeded our expectations. The decorations were incredible, the special buffets and brunches spectacular, and the holiday parties great fun! For the most part, we felt the food was even better than on past cruises - couldn't help but wonder if that was because L.P. President/CEO was onboard :) Entertainment also seemed to be up a notch. This was our first post- "reimagined" Azamara cruise and we liked most of the changes that had been made. But, although that happened awhile ago by now, there are still lots of references to the "old" (previous) names of public areas (eg. Looking Glass) and to Pursuits (instead of Insider). It is perhaps my biggest gripe: the lack of attention to details in the written materials. One personal "negative" for me was that I found out the day before departure that I would have to abstain from alcohol for the duration of the cruise. While the wine, etc. flowed generously, it was somewhat challenging to feel I was getting the same "included" value. It would have been nice to have had the choice to spend the equivalent on something else. The fact that 3 of the ports on the itinerary, which we really wanted to go to, were replaced by "lesser" ones was very disappointing, but (mostly) understandable, given the circumstances.
We chose this because of the extra space (equivalent to the size of a balcony, but as extra floor space inside the stateroom). Felt much more spacious. Only drawback, being as far forward as that - there was considerable noise (and lurching) at times when seas were rough and from the anchor/chains being lowered/raised. Surprisingly, very little noise from the Cabaret Lounge below. Regardless, I'd book it again.