Exceedingly satisfactory cruise, ship, staff, excursions, food and activities, thereby exceeding almost all of our expectations. We had read many good things about Azamara (most of our previous cruises having been with Regent Seven Seas, while those with other lines having been unsatisfactory, so decided to take a chance when we learned of their promotion (almost all inclusive) and the islands to be visited. We will return, despite the few matters that force us to consider not having exceeded all our expectations.
First, reserved directly with Azamara, then transferred to Costco Travel in order to benefit from their incentives (in some cases cash cards, in other cases, such as this one, on board credit). This time, however, something happened when the reservation was transferred and one of Azamara's promotional benefits failed to transfer (open bar), so had to insist with Guest Relations to honor their promotion (which they finally did after two days). We do not know who at fault--Azamara for not making sure the promotion was clearly transferred in full, or Costco for not registering the promotion in full.
Second, contrary to all the other ships we have cruised, the Journey BLOCKS the use of SKYPE, preventing both passengers and crew from communicating with their friends and relatives (as well as business partners and clients, for those who have them). This to us is absolutely uncalled for, detrimental to both Azamara and everyone else, and very very frustrating.
Third, but not a major issue, we did find the bathroom (especially the shower) and the cabin rather small, although tolerable. However, the chairs provided in our veranda were small and very uncomfortable, particularly since the SV cabins have very long verandas. It was not until a few days on board that we by chance learned we could ask for lawn chairs, did so and got them. We think these lawn chairs should be permanently installed in the verandas, or made known of their availability either upon boarding or in the website when giving details of the cabins.
Having mentioned the negatives, we pass to the positives. Everything else about the ship -- all meals in all places, all the entertainments (but especially the harpist, and we would recommend adding a pianist to interchange with the harpist), all drinks included in the open bar (which we would recommend be extended to all cruises), the layout of the ship (with its decorations and furnishings), the places visited, and of course the very friendly and attentively efficient staff, from those taking orders to those giving the orders, from those doing the work to those supervising them.
Tiny shower in a small bathroom. Great balcony but without needed lawnchairs. Bed not as sturdy and level as should be. Unable to place baggage underneath the bed as in other ships, so had to use space in an already very small cabin. TV screen good with good programs, but unable to rotate it for viewing from the sofa. No classical music available. Music heard in public rooms not available in the cabin. Very good interactive menu on the TV. Very good channels on TV, but should add CNN (to accompany FOX and MSNBC). EXCELLENT availability of CNBC, not found in most other ships. Adequate closet space. Sufficient number of drawers. Adequate desk with bunk. Adequate lighting. Adequate bathroom amenities and lighting.