We have cruised with Azamara before and were very pleased. This time we noticed a significant denigration with the quality of the food offered. There were always items at each meal that were acceptable. If we were cruising on a mass volume RCCL ship the food would have been considered good. However, we were on Royal Caribbean's luxury line, Azamara which competes with Oceania. A few examples included watered down orange juice from concentrate, waffles and pancakes pre-made in the Windows Cafe, New York Strip that was thin and tasteless. The "always" available chicken breast was rubbery, like the ones at the supermarket that have up to 10% solution. The frozen yogurt near the pool was excellent. The fish, other than the farm raised Salmon, had fancy names(Red Snapper, Chilean Sea Bass, Florida Grouper), but did not taste or resemble those varieties.
We reserved a guaranteed "Oceanview" stateroom. When we opened the door to the cabin for the first time the room was dark like an "inside" cabin. We soon discovered that on the other side of the big picture window was a large lifeboat that completely blocked the ocean view. When I spoke with the customer service desk they offered an upgrade for $1000 more, explaining that some of their oceanview rooms had an obscured view. No part of the pre-booking description from Azamara for an Oceanview cabin warned that we might receive a room with an obscured view.
Eric the cruise director was excellent. The bar staff was excellent. The ship should have spent a lot more time in dry dock. Even weeks after the refurbishment there was missing trim in the cabins and glued fascia panels falling off the desks in the cabin. The new mattresses were excellent.
Next time I want a luxury cruise it will be on Oceania or Viking Ocean. Azamara's per diems are eqivalent to those lines but well below the other's quality.
Azamara did not tell it's passengers that there was an excellent beach just a short stroll away from the port. The beach access is not easy to find if unfamiliar with the area.
Excellent beaches but cool water.
Small beach very close to the port.
Not worth the walk off the ship.
The transfer from San Jose airport to the boarding of the ship took five hours.