Douglas Newman's Review
Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
It does contain some outdated information, too.
For those who can't find the article (as it's not on the home page any more), you can read it here.
Just to clarify a few things:
This is a "Sneak Preview", as opposed to a review. Ocngypz is quite correct that I have not sailed in the ship. "Sneak Previews" are the articles Cruise Critic assigns for a ship visit or for a "preview" cruise (when the ship is full of press and travel agents, not "real" passengers). In this case it was a ship visit. Since it is a "Sneak Preview" there is no discussion of food quality, service, entertainment and the other things you need to actually go on a cruise to experience.
I have avoided saying that Azamara is not as good as Oceania (or vice versa) as I think that is really a judgment that can be made only if one has cruised on both lines. However, it is very obvious that Azamara is a copy of Oceania - and beyond some redecoration of the ship and the new TVs and mini-bars in the cabins, I haven't found any way in which they're even attempting to be anything more than "as good" as Oceania. It is very obvious that Azamara has one goal and that is to be a perfect clone of Oceania.
Demand for Oceania is so high right now I'm sure Azamara will have no trouble filling its ships at very nice fares but in the long term I'm not sure any cruise line is going to get anywhere just by slavishly copying a competitor, down to the tiniest detail. (If you ask me, going so far as to copy another line's artwork is rather tacky!)
As for outdated information, as far as I know everything was current as of when I wrote the article over a month ago. Obviously with Azamara being such a "work in progress" it is the kind of article that will get outdated very quickly - but I would hope that at some time in the not too distant future Cruise Critic will have the opportunity to send someone to actually sail in the ship and write a "real" review, rather than a "Sneak Preview"... This type of article is not intended to stay there for a very long time as it really is a sort of "stop gap" for a brand-new ship that hasn't had the chance to get a full review yet.