Azamara Quest Cruise Review by Carl from Pahrump: To England I Simply Azmazing
Carl from Pahrump
Member Since 2009
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To England I Simply Azmazing
As a back-to-back cruiser, check-in was a non-event. We got our new key cards the day before this cruise started.
People started showing up at 10am for the Noon boarding. That resulted in a self-inflected jam-up when they started boarding around 11:30am. By 1:30pm you could just walked onto the ship to register.
The itinerary was split between 2 large cities and 3 small historic towns. We were supposed to go to another small town (Faaborg, Denmark), but a strike on the Kiel Canal prevented the ship from getting there.
We always had Br & Lu in the Buffet on the 9th Deck. It operated like a dining room with waiters to get your tea, coffee, Cappuccino, Energy Drink, Smoothie, etc. You can order omelets from your table, if you wished. We loved the fresh and crispy Waffles.
Outside the Buffet they have the menus for Dn in the Dining Rm and Buffet. The Buffet always has a theme Dn like Thai, Moroccan, Scandinavian, French (wonderful Escargot over puff More pastry), Greek, German, etc. They have Lobster in the Dining Rm pretty often and it is Awesome! You can special request a dish for the next day. They have complimentary Red & White Wine, some draft & bottle beer, and some mixed drinks at Lu & Dn (actually 24x7).
You can get coffee, tea, and small sandwiches from the Coffee Bar on Deck 5 from 7am till late. Coffee & tea are always available at the Buffet on Deck 9.
At most Ports the ship took on some fresh provisions.
The Broadway highlights show toward the end of the cruise was really good - especially the ending with a hilarious version of "Motion of the Ocean" from Hairspray, with the Cruise Director as the cross-dressing Mama! Voices, a musical using only human sounds for the singing and instruments, was very original and entertaining (and only on Quest for now). The 2 evening concerts by Izabella Zerbrowska, a Polish violinist, were Beautiful!
The WiFi worked very slowly on the ship. I could never get Yahoo Mail to let me attach pictures.
We used the Sauna, Thalassotherapy Hot Pool, and Rainforest Showers in the Spa on a daily basis. They were never very busy. You can get complimentary Gatorade in the exercise room.
The Azamazing Evening was held outside Oslo at the Bygdø Royal Manor (59°54'26.6"N 10°41'11.5"E). The museum showcases how people lived in Norway from 1000AD till 1700AD. There were lots of intricate log houses and dirt roofs. All the old houses were one-room - so they built a separate "house" for each activity like sleeping, cooking, eating, etc. They also had a Stave Church made all of wood.
We had traditional Norwegian Lefse Bread (a soft, sweet bread) and modern fish and cheese snacks, followed by folk dancing & singing to traditional fiddle music.
The weather was Amazing. We had Sun and mild temps, calm seas, and no rain on Port days.
Hamburg, Germany - we docked at the HafenCity Cruise Center (53°32'19"N 9°59'47"E). The ship provided a free shuttle bus to the City Hall plaza in the center of Hamburg, close to the walk around Binnenalster Lake and the Botanical Garden.
Copenhagen, Denmark - we docked in front of St Alban's Church and Citadel Fortress @ (55 41 24.9 12 36 0.5E), near the city center, very close to the famous Little Mermaid statue.
Oslo, Norway - we docked in front of the Akershus Fortress @ (59°54'24"N 10°44'6"E) near the city center.
Zeebrugge, Belgium - we docked @ the small cruise pier (51 20 40.8N 3 11 45.3E) located deep within a very large commercial port. The ship provided a free shuttle bus to Blankengerge where you could go to the historic town of Bruges by train (14 minute ride), or walk on the beach/sand dunes.
Honfleur, France - we docked at a small port (49 25 42.8N 0 14 17.0E) by a massive lumber factory. The ship provided a free shuttle bus into historic Honfleur, that dropped you off close to the Naturospace (49 25 28.1N 0 13 57.1E) oceanside park.
St. Peter Port, Channel Islands, Guernsey - the tender port is @ (49 27 26.2N 2 31 49.2E). St Peter's Port was wall-to-wall with large hanging baskets, flower boxes, flowerbeds, and wild flowers - everywhere! The Cliff Walk starts at (49 26 47.8N 2 31 49.8E) and runs to Fermain Beach (49 26 11.7N 2 32 4.7E) - about 2 miles from the tender port. We found some good Beach Glass in town at (49 27 1.7N 2 32 5.9E).
South Hampton - we disembarked at the City Cruise Terminal (50 53 57.6N 1 24 51W). We got a tour from International Friends (http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_cruise_shuttles.htm) that picked us up at the Port and took us to our hotel (Holiday Inn Express Victoria (51°29'23.3"N 0° 8'13.6"W), 106-110 Belgrave Rd) in London. We enjoyed the transfer/tour, and the hotel was close to Buckingham Palace, Restaurants, and Op Shops.
We saw 80 bird species on the 9n cruise, and 19 additional bird species in London at St James Park (mostly ducks and geese). Less
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