If you ever have a chance to sail on Azamara, take it!!! It was wonderful.
The embarkation/debarkation was smooth, fast and painless. The fact that this is a small ship with approximately 700 passengers helps with this process. We drove down from northern California so unable to advise on any air arrangements.
The staff and crew are very helpful and friendly. They always greeted you with a smile and was ready to help you with anything you needed. We were assigned outside cabin 6037 but the window was obstructed with a life boat and there was no sitting area so when we went to guest relations to see if anything else was available they were extremely helpful and offered us outside cabin 4037, which was perfect. The cabin had plenty of storage space, fresh fruit daily, robes and slippers to use, mini frig. with free soda and waters, 2 hair dryers (1 in bathroom and 1 at desk area) and of course a safe.
Captain Johannes Tysse is by far the best captain we have ever sailed with. He was so approachable and what a sense of humor. We looked forward to his noon talks and having him talk at the special gatherings. The cruise director, Eric De Gray, is the most talented cruise director we have encountered. He sings, dances, skates and has some great grandfather jokes. He and Captain Tysse worked so well together they could have their own stand up comedy routine. We were fortunate to have lunch with Chief Officer Korona and he to was wonderful and easy to talk to.
We loved that there was no early or late sittings for dinner. Discoveries Restaurant served dinner from 5:45 to 9:30 each evening. You checked in and let them know if you wanted to sit with a group or dine alone. The wait was never very long and the food was excellent. If you didn't feel like the dinning room you could eat at Windows Cafe, which had great buffet's. There were also 2 specialty restaurants, Aqualina and Prime C. Reservations were needed and the people we met that ate there thought they were very good. We were very impressed with the variety at the Pool Grill. There was the usual hamburgers and hot dogs but also sausage, lamb, port, taco's, chili, onion rings, chicken wings, french fries, salad, etc. There were 2 wonderful poolside dinners which offered anything you could possibly want. There was never a shortage of food.
The ship also offered free special red or white wine at lunch and dinner and soda was always free. We have to mention the Mosaic Cafe that was open all day that had specialty coffee's, hot chocolate and finger sandwiches, cookies and other goodies.
There was quite a variety of tours to take but we only did one. We took the very long trip to the Copper Canyon out of Topolobampo. We left the ship in the dark and returned in the dark. This was a 17.5 hour trip. Traveled by bus and train and then took the tram (extra cost) over a portion of the canyon. Upon our return to the ship (about 11:pm) we were greeted by cruise officers, staff and Eric. The Windows Cafe was open for those who were hungry and in our cabin was a large tray of chocolate covered strawberries and other goodies with "Welcome Back" written in chocolate.
We stayed on the ship in Mazatlan (been there many times) and walked through town in the rest of the ports. Found them to be clean and friendly. Would love to visit La Paz and Loreto again.
We don't have anything negative to say about the ship. There were enough activities to keep you occupied and we found it to be very clean and well kept. Sometimes it was difficult to find seating in the Windows Cafe and the Cabaret Lounge but you can have that problem on the larger ships too. The entertainment was good, the staff was great (french activity manager Helena was always having a good time).
We look forward to sailing with Azamara again. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!
Large window, plenty of closet and drawer space. Quiet location and one deck up were shops and Mosaic Cafe.