We chose this as we have happily cruised with Azamara several times, and also it was a no fly cruise.
We had expected the ship to be pristine, but, while clean, it was clearly a tired old lady.
The crew were clearly still in the work up phase, as generally it was not such a slick operation overall.
The cabin staff and restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful, and the service was generally good.
Unfortunately the management of the ships air conditioning system was sadly deficient, as 90% of the time, the main public rooms, i.e. The Cabaret, the Living Room, Windows, Discoveries and the Den were kept far too cold, given the age profile of guests, although the Den did warm up later in the cruise, and despite many complaints, this situation never improved, thus blankets were required most of the time for comfort. At no time did I see a staff member querying why so many guests asked for blankets.
The food was definitely not up to the standard of other Azamara cruises, either in Discoveries or Windows, the latter not improved by the difficulty in self serving under the low glass hygiene screens. (Are these lower than the other two boats?)
At no time did I see a cloakroom attendant in any of the public washrooms, unlike other Azamara cruises, and in at least two of the men's washrooms, at least one of the basin soap dispensers was empty throughout the whole cruise.
An improvement on all three ships in the Windows restaurant would be to fit baffles in front of the sliding doors thus inhibiting the gale of cold air which howls through the cafeteria every time they, frequently, open.
The cruise destinations were somewhat disappointing, in that we only seemed to see two steep sided fjiords, and one port, Haugesund(?), appeared to have been selected primarily to allow two Azamara ships to be in the same port simultaneously, as there was no attractive scenery on the way in, nor little of interest in the port to attract the casual visitor, yet there was a huge water area to allow one ship, the Journey, to circle the other’s mooring. Were I a cynic, I might have thought that this was perhaps a publicity stunt, such that photos of the event could appear in future publicity brochures.
The in-room television offerings were very poor, with no proper program guide, no on-demand film offerings, and the films that were shown, and repeated, were very old, and it was not even possible to check your on-board account on the TV. This was a new ship to Azamara for goodness sake, and provision of such facilities is not rocket science.
Sadly, overall, we were quite disappointed in this cruise, and got the impression that Azamara was cutting back, and we did not take kindly to being 'guinea-pig' guests, while still paying the full price, and given the competition at this level, will be looking closely at competitor companies, who offer larger cabins, more modern cabin facilities, and a temperate climate in the public areas.
The cabins, bathrooms and balconies are too small for real comfort, and the room television facilities were rubbish.