We're experienced cruisers and have taken many trips with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and others, as well as several smaller ship cruises on other lines, and we prefer cruises that are not all-inclusive. Wanting to explore RC's luxury experience, we booked with Azamara for the first time. We knew the Journey was old and we were expecting less opportunities for entertainment and dining, so no surprises there. However, RC's top line ship does not measure up to its billing. The public furnishings are clean, but not luxurious.
General feeling of ship was outdated. Our suite had several maintenance issues, including heat and a/c not working, toilet not flushing, major rain leak through the sliding doors; so there were maintenance workers in our suite nearly every day. Furniture in our room was stained and dirty in appearance--staff told us the cloth fabric cannot be cleaned, ick! Only one small shelf in bathroom, and no place to put our luggage, as the recent renovations lowered the bed, so luggage stood against a wall in the room. Food in specialty restaurants was for the most part bland, we found no real reason to choose that over main dining room. On the positive side, for dining everywhere, food was always served hot, and the food and atmosphere in the Patio Grill were very nice. The crew were very friendly and wanted to give us a good experience, and our suite experience regarding service was excellent.
All in all, we will go back to Celebrity which we feel is really a higher-end experience than Azamara.