We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to Antarctica but didn't want to pay the prices of the expedition ships. Fortunately the ship was small enough to allow us to navigate some of the small passages and appreciate the wonder of icebergs and penguins. We even entered an active volcano.
17 days on board with only 4 ports was a bit too long, but we knew this when we signed up. What we didn't know was how inadequate the weather proofing was in the staterooms. We were freezing inside, even with the heating bumped up high. Not sure if this is still one of the teething problems with a newly acquired ship. We didn't even have the standard issue binoculars in the stateroom - an abomination for a destination such as Antarctica.
Having sailed with Azamara previously, more recently we have become disillusioned by the increasing up-selling. The brand has been cheapened by all the nickel and diming, although base prices have not reduced.
The prices of the shore excursions were obscene, and based on general feedback around the vessel, they weren't even good. The promised strenuous 2 hour trek we went on turned out to be a 1km walk + bus ride. They did listen to our feedback and begrudgingly gave us a small refund.
Although still settling in as a relatively new team (since August 2018), the service staff were friendly and efficient as we have come to expect from Azamara. Some recognised us from before.
We thoroughly enjoyed the talks given by the destination speaker. He was entertaining and knowledgeable and certainly did enrich our time on board.
Azamara cabins are small but it's amazing how much can be fitted in the cupboards. We had 4 large suitcases and a hand luggage case and we could unpack everything and get all cases under the bed. The bathrooms are tiny - I am pretty small and have trouble fitting in the little shower.
We docked really close to the old town, so it was really easy to go ashore and explore. Sadly, it was very wet the day we were there, so we only managed a short walk in the afternoon.
The promised 2 hour strenuous wilderness hike turned out to be a km stroll. The information centre is very close to the dock so we probably wouldve been better to just go there when we arrived.
We had to access the dock by tender, but when we arrived there the information centre was metres away. The staff there were so friendly and gave us maps for a walk to Gypsy Cove. The 14km round trip was well worth is for lovely views, penguin sightings and stretching our legs after 6 days on board.
As we walked the streets in town, gaining an understanding of the impact of the Falklands War (1982) was very interesting