On 24th April my partner and I embarked on a 14 day repositioning cruise from Mumbai to Cairo on Azamara Quest. This was our second cruise on "Quest". Azamara has become our favourite cruise line for several reasons - the overall ambience and professional and genuinely happy crew - nothing is too much trouble. The complimentary inclusions of water, soft drinks, and wine at lunch and dinner. The top class entertainment. The excellent & well priced shore excursions.
Last year we were on the ship in Nagasaki, Japan when the Tsunami hit and we new how professionally Azamara and the Quest crew operated in an emergency. So despite the ship having endured an engine fire causing the cancellation of the cruise from Singapore to Mumbai we had no hesitation in joining the cruise. On boarding the ship we were welcomed with open arms (and champagne) by a crew eager to resume normal duties after 3 weeks of maintenance. Due to some cancellations the ship was only half full and we immediately upgraded to a suite at minimal additional cost. This entitled us to the services of a butler - a charming young Mauritian who attended to our every need. We enjoyed breakfast served on our lovely balcony every morning, afternoon tea and evening cocktails from our complimentary bar and a selection of horsd'ouvres. We struggled to find room to enjoy the complimentary fine dining in the specialty restaurants (usually $25p.p.) Aqualina and Prime C. The entertainment was first class led by Russ Thomas Grieve one of the most talented Cruise Directors it has been our pleasure to meet. Russ often teamed up with the Hotel Directo Ryszard Gusmann & Executve Chef Fabio D'Agosta to demonstrate their culinary talents too!
One of the joys of a repositioning cruise are the number of sea days enabling us to enjoy the ships many facilties. We started every day with the complimentary Qui Gong classes (a static form of Tai Chi) followed by a relaxing session in the Thalassotherapy spa private area(complimentary for suite guests).
As members of Azamaras loyalty program"Le Club Voyage" we were also invited to a number of cocktail parties where we were greeted with genuine warmth each time by Captain Leif Karlsson and his senior officers.
The ports of call on a repositioning cruise are not always very exciting. We were disappointed that Muscat was cancelled before the cruise and Fujairah substituted As we were staying in Egypt for 8 days to visit all the highlights we did not take the option to visit Luxor from the port of Safaga. Sharm El Sheik is only worth visiting for its luxury resorts and Red Sea diving options which we did not take. The highlight for us was Aqaba enabling us to visit Wadi Rum and Petra
Passengers are welcomed on board Azamara Quest as family. Every effort is made to accommodate individual needs. There were approximately 80 Australian & New Zealand passengers on board. We were amazed that the ship had organised a special Anzac Day Dawn service for us - complete in every detail - a most moving experience.
Safety was the highest priority at all times - traversing the Gulf of Aden we had been drilled in emergency procedures in case of pirate attack. Ths drill had to be put into action once - but there was no panic due to the professionalism of all the crew. A few days before we were due to dock in Sokhna there was another incident in Cairo and the guest relations staff were very helpful in contacting our hotel to ensure our safety.
Azamara Quest will undergo a major refit in November and we look forward to booking another cruise next year.
Azamara - Absolutely Fabulous!