Friendly amateurs lacking some LAB basics
While the crew are all so friendly and wanting to help, there was a lack of overall awareness of what a good / great liveaboard normally provides, including a real structure. Cabins where the water is not turned off overnight and the smell of diesel all pervasive; air con on without having to repeatedly ask; clean water to rinse your dive gear; someone serving drinks and snacks after every day; your bathroom bins emptied every day; dry towels after diving; not repeating dive sites too often; not avoiding great dive sites just for a bit of swell; knowing the opening times for the guides / spotters for key sites so you actually get to dive them; food beyond what you might get at a cheap, local cafe (not lots of rice and stews); a proper white-board plan for when you will dive and eat each day; food kept warm in the kitchen till you arrive at the dining table, not placed on the table to go cold; bathrooms cleaned more than once a week; etc. This was not consistently provided on the Azalea despite the best intentions of the local crew.
Completely missing out on even getting in the water for the dugong due to poor planning was a real disappointment. Whilst the owner used weather and others as the excuse, I would rather have tried 3 times and not seen them than not tried at all. And then having a technical issue with the boat that was not made completely transparent until pushed, which meant we lost a whole day of diving as our 4 hour journey took 18 hours, was the icing on an already home-made, rather basic and simple cake.
That said, the hostess and dive guides were lovely (although a little more training in identifying the marine life both above and below - hand signals - water would have been great; the new year's eve party was a lot of fun; and there was plenty of food even if at a very simple level.
As the only LAB that overnights at Apo reef, and this not being an easy day trip, I would say do take this trip but the prices should be lowered as well as your expectations.