We booked this crossing as we were headed back to the States after a long holiday in Europe and the departure and arrival ports fit our plans. This was our 35th cruise and our 5th time on Azamara.
The best part of the trip were the people we met on board. We had many fun evenings over drinks in the Living Room before dinner and dancing after dinner.
We booked a large suite and were very happy there enjoying the vast amount of space and amenities. We had continental breakfast each day in the suite and spend a good part of the day working on our hobbies there. Suite service was impeccable.
Staying in the suite gave us unlimited access to the specialty restaurants so we dined in one of the other almost every night. Excellent food there, although we did get a bit tired of the menus. We took advantage of the special Indonesian Rice Table and loved that spicy food. Lunch each day in the buffet or on the Patio was quite good with lots of quality to choose from. Our one time in the Discoveries main dining room was not a success.
Good service on board and the staff try very hard. Often there was a problem with a server unable to understand us and a number of requests or orders got mixed up. I think the problem is too many staff have limited English language skills, and this creates problems. There was also too much upsell such as in the spa/salon and in the specialty restaurants where the wine servers tried to talk us out of the wines we bought and tried to sell us a more expensive selection. That was truly annoying.
There was a lack of quality activities on board. Just about everything going on was down market or a sales pitch, so after many sea days, I got bored. AZ is not the right line for those who crave high brow activities on sea days; they just don't happen.
Most of the entertainment was mediocre cruise ship fare. The exceptions were the White Night (great fun) and a guest comedian who was quite clever. We walked out of many shows and avoided the rock band who were just not very good.
I went to the fitness center everyday and it was OK. They need to buy another recumbent bike as the 2 are often in use and I had to wait my turn.
My biggest disappointment is the demise of the black jack tables with human dealers. They currently have ugly machines where one can play black jack or roulette,, and these will eventually be removed along with the slot machines. These big machines were so unpopular that they created a negative buzz and as a result the whole casino area was empty day and night. On a long crossing this was deadly dull. Playing black jack is one of my favorite activities on board a ship, so I am not sure I will return to AZ with the demise of the casinos.
Overall this was a mass market experience was a few perks like free gratuities and free cheap wine. If we had not met so many nice people and had not had such a comfortable suite, I would have been unhappy.
And as I wrote, as the casinos to away, I will probably go away as well.
The big owners suite is very large in size, a true one-bedroom apartment with a huge verandah. Great for spreading out and working on your hobbies. Perfect for dining in on a big table or outside. Totally separate sleeping area.