This was our first cruise with Azamara. A short, three day cruise followed with a post cruise package on the Orient Express. (I have not been able to positively verify, but believe this is the first season for a collaboration between the two. It was also the very first of these limited offerings)
We arrived in Venice the day before and spent the night at the Hotel Antichi Figure. This is a lovely little gem situated on the Grand Canal directly across from St Lucia train station. We cannot say enough good things about this small hotel, from communications prior to our arrival to the lovely alfresco breakfast looking out at the activity on the canal.
Embarkation was among the fastest and most efficient we have experienced. Heading up to the pool deck while we waited for the "all clear" for staterooms, we opted to lunch at the Patio where we found a wide assortment of cooked to order items are available daily. In addition to some of the best burgers we have had at sea, they also offer beef, lamb and chicken brochettes, in addition to a salad bar and other options.
We were in a forward cabin with full views out the bow of the ship, including anchoring lines and activity. Departures are fine and interesting to watch, but if you are wanting to sleep in I would NOT recommend this location. The noise of the anchor and lines cannot be ignored. The stateroom itself is well appointed and there was ample storage available. The bathroom on the other hand was extremely cramped with only a few small shelves for toiletries. The shower is extremely small with a shower curtain that is constantly clinging to you. The biggest issue was with the door to the bathroom...which is not only narrow, but physically restricted so that you cannot open it all the way. We would not recommend this cabin at all, and find it shocking that this is considered a premium veranda stateroom.