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This was our second Azamara cruise, the first being on the Quest in Nov. 2007. We enjoy the small size & ambiance of this ship (former Renaissance ship). Amenities include fresh fruit daily, flowers, slippers (to keep), binoculars & umbrella to use, large zip tote to keep & flat-screen TV. Butler is a glorified room attendant. Small clock provided on bed stand. Staff ratio 1:2.
Embarkation was excellent; however, rooms were not ready upon boarding, so we went to lunch buffet on deck until 2 pm. We were upgraded SEVERAL categories as we had been past passengers which was a wonderful surprise to cabin 7042 w/veranda. We ate room service breakfast on the veranda several times when doing an early shore excursion. Room service was always early so we were never late for the excursion. Cabin was adequate in size; however, bathrooms on this ship are small (especially shower). Nice large size bottles of Elemis shampoo, conditioner, & lotion to last the entire 2 weeks. Soap was in bar form. Shower controls were 2 dials--one for temperature which could be left alone & not adjusted for each use & the other for water flow.
Dining--same maitre-D as on the Quest in Open seating main dining room. Service was much improved over the Quest. Very little wait time. Dress code is always "Resort Casual". Men never need a jacket or tie. The ship is small enough that even though it was open seating, we frequently ate with the same couples just by accident. Specialty dining is excellent with NO additional charge for one dinner in each restaurant. Azamara has a previous passengers Captain's cocktail party & the Captain took time to come around to each passenger & chat about anything you desired. In fact, the Captain was very accessible the entire cruise, as he was available for a Q&A session, judged a dancing contest, & even ate in the lunch buffet with passengers.
Public rooms--Fitness center was large for the size of the ship & open by 7 am every morning. The Looking Glass lounge on deck 10 forward was also used for dance classes, a lecture on the harp, a session with the comedian showing tricks of the trade & occasionally for events that were moved inside due to inclement weather. Computer internet access was 24 hours daily. Shore excursion desk open extensive hours as well. Staff very knowledgable & we were usually accompanied by someone from the staff on all excursions. The entertainment staff was multi-talented as the Cruise Director, Sue, was from England, but could sing. She had been in many broadway-type shows (musicals) & was also a good comedian. There is a laundromat which is clean & complimentary detergent, steamer, laundry baskets & irons, so there is no need to pack for more than a week.
In summary, for a laid-back & leisurely cruise where the staff does not push anything on you (photos, drinks, excursions, etc.), Azamara is superb. Portable hair dryer also provided in room. Clocks are also posted in several public areas. There are multiple choices of itineraries which include ports that larger ships can't enter (some require use of the tenders but this is handled well with little or no wait). We are awaiting an itinerary with them that we find interesting so we can book with them again.