This was our first cruise on Azamara. Now we are spoiled! Yes, it is more expensive upfront, but what you get is unsurpassed. Tips, features wines, soda, specialty coffee and teas, snacks, ice cream, even fresh squeezed juices: all included. Even with only 640 passengers, there were 3 lecturers on board the ship: a naturalist, a geologist, and an expert in geo-political of Western Europe. The captain was everywhere with the passengers, but when he told us that he was stopping for some fresh fish as we entered the North Sea from Norway, we really didn't believe him -- until the ship stopped and a fisherman pulled up along side.
While we had several sea days, we were so busy learning that we had no time for trivia. Even hearing the cruise director's experience fighting pirates was amazing and interesting.
The physical condition of the ship, although older, was spotless and very well maintained inside and out.
Great location for both vertical and lengthwise movement on the ship.