This was our first time on Azamara, and for the most part, we were very pleased. We find we enjoy the smaller, more intimate ships. This is a bit more upscale than some as is evidenced by the teak deck chairs with soft padding, draped with blankets if it was cool, with a beach towel if not. We also had complimentary wine at lunch and dinner (would like them to extend that to a HH time- would be nice to get a complimentary glass when returning from ports)and the wines were mostly good. Azamara does not have ammenities for kids so it was nice to have a (mostly) adult cruise. There were a handful of teen-agers.
The staff was exceedingly friendly and the captain and cruise director were visible, frequently mingling with guests. Eric, the cruise director has a fabulous voice- great entertainer. The other shipboard entertainers started off slow, but as the cruise progressed we found ourselves enjoying them. The 50's-90's theme night was fun. The band they brought on in the Kiel Canal was great for the German theme night, as was the troupe of Russian Folk Dancers.
Food was mostly good. We ate in Prime C one night (party of six) and food was good, service was terrible. We mentioned it to the Dining Room Manager and he offered to have us come back at no charge. We did and it was much better. Selection in Windows was always plentiful- I loved that they has sushi several days. Discoveries was fine, though service was often quite slow.
Rooms are good size (bathrooms are tiny) and we enjoyed room service breakfasts on the veranda on those days when we had an early departure. Room service was always on time and quality was good.
Ports were great- we had never been to any of them so we took full advantage. We did not get off at the Kiel Canal (much more fun on the ship with the band and great German buffet, plus seeing all the charming houses and kids running along side the ship as we sailed was pretty cool)but do go into Berlin, despite the 3 hour bus ride. Worth it!
We loved the opportunity to visit Anne Frank's house and seeing the canals was pretty neat.
Christiana was pretty interesting. Many of us commented that we didn't need as long in Copenhagen. One day would have been fine.
Only didn't get a 5 plus because we didn't have time to do everything we wanted but it is well worth it. Don't miss the Holocaust Memorial and underground museum.
Peterhof and the Church of the Spilled Blood were my two favorites. Catherine's Palace was right up there, too. Going through immigration was a breeze, despite the reminders for patience from the ship personnel.
There were seven ships in port that day and Tallinn is a small town. It's charming but was way too crowded. In fairness, many people who have been there have said it was one of their favorite ports.
We spent an extra day in Stockholm so we could see the Vasa Museum- amazing! We enjoyed Old Town, also. The great thing about this being the last port is that we took the airport tour so got to see the city, and then were dropped off at the airport. Our hotel (Radisson Blu) was located in the airport and was even in the terminal we flew out of the next morning!