Azamara Quest Cruise Review by coyboy1971: Azamara Continues to Impress
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Azamara Continues to Impress
Check-in was a breeze at Civitavecchia, with the usual opportunities at check-in to book in the specialty restaurants. If you are at all interested in the "Chef's Table" wine dinners in Prime C, book as soon as possible. We missed out on the French night, but had a wonderful dinner on the Italian night, with 7 courses plus top-end paired wines. The Executive Chef stopped by several times, and the sommelier hosted the evening, which was alot of fun with just 6 guests plus two ship's officers. It's nice to see how these dinners have evolved since our first cruise on Azamara back in 2010. Well worth the $90/pp supplement. Prime C and Aqualina continue to put on a great menu. We only dined in the Discoveries MDR once, but it too, was great.
The Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle was nice, with the Hotel Director and Staff, CD, and Club Voyage director hosting. Plenty of complimentary cocktails and hot, passed hors d'euvre during the event. About 15 people attended and the crew went More out of their way to get to know the CC members.
Capri was skipped due to unsafe tender operations, but we had an extra day and night in Sorrento instead. Capri was just a short ferry-ride away for folks who couldn't miss it, but there is plenty to do and see in Sorrento as well!
There was a champagne brunch hosted by the officers in Aqualina for Explorer level members mid-way through the cruise which was a nice touch. Aqualina is a such a beautiful setting for brunch, and it was very well executed. Russ the CD, even came around to each table with made to order waffles, and the bubbly flowed throughout. Other Explorer recognition we received included a nice bottle of champagne in the room, free laundry (one bag for the room), and 150 minutes of free wi-fi for each of us.
The AzAmazing evening was a beautiful classical concert at Villa Rufolo in Ravella. Would not have missed it for the world! That being said, getting there was a challenge, as all 490 guests who signed-up had to tender ashore, and the coach ride from Amalfi to Ravella left alot to be desired. We spent twice as much time on coaches as at the event, including a 1 1/2 wait for our return coach after the concert ended. As suite guests, we thought being assigned to the last coach in and last coach out wasn't quite up to par with Azamara experience.
There was a White Night party the first night of our stopover in Sorrento. Beautiful evening - upward of 50% of guests dressed in white. The pool deck was nicely decorated, and there was a very well-done Mediterranean buffet...we know the mussels were fresh at the made to order action station, because we saw the crew bringing them on board that morning as we tendered. All of the food was delicious - fresh grilled calamari steaks were my favorite. In addition to shipboard entertainers (the band and singers, piano player) a local tenor came aboard and did several solos of well known Italian Opera - nice touch. The ship's top officers also put on a show by making crepes suzette to order.
We will definitely be sailing on Azamara again...thanks to Captain Smith, Philip, Russ, and most especially to Ravin our truly AzAmazing butler for another great experience. Less
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Cabin review: Azamara Quest Club Continent Suite Eight 8058
Our overall experience was terrific. We were more than satisfied with the size of this "suite" - comparable to a nice-sized hotel room with a combined bedroom/sitting area. The Butler service was on a par with the higher category Club Ocean and Club Owner suites, and there were all the perks of specialty dining, etc.Plenty of storage in the double wardrobe which is set up as 3/4 closet (with lots and lots of good quality wooden hangers) and a shelf/cubby section that includes the electronic safe. The desk/credenza offers a good work-surface and additional small drawers for clothes, as well as holding the mini-bar and DVD player. (The DVD cubby is a good place to stow some of your own electronic devices when not in use.) Note - the desk has only one 110v US style outlet and one 220v EU style outlet, so it is very handy to bring a voltage converter for the other outlet if you carry multiple gizmos.There is a good deal of undersink storage in the bathroom, as well as a very nice corner shelf unit for holding toiletries, etc. Flowers in the bathroom and on the small coffee table were a nice touch.The welcome aboard bottle of sparkling wine on our cruise was a nice Bouvet-Ladubay Signature Brut (not a champagne, but a sparkling wine from the Loire Valley - retails at about $20). That was definitely a step down from two prior cruises in the top level suites, but still nice as it kept showing back up in the ice bucket full, no matter how many times we finished a bottle. The balcony has nice, new, better quality seating than before, but with 3 chairs and a table it's a little tight. No lounge chair for private sunning on the balcony.
Port and Shore Excursions
Described as countryside and winery, it should have been described as "a blood-curdling thrill ride in a large coach on impossibly steep, curvy, and narrow mountain roads." After 2 hours of that, I was ready for the wine tasting. The wine tasting was about 40 minutes of the 4 hour tour.
This was described as wine tasting in the Fortress...wine tasting was about 25% of the experience. I still enjoyed the rest of the tour, Napoleon's house, a church, and the town around the harbor, however it was alot of climbing steps and about 2 1/2 hours in before a bathroom break!
Docked fairly far out at the ferry terminal. A free shuttle to town was provided.
Pompeii Walking Tour
Only 2 hours at Pompeii, not nearly enough time to explore...would be better as a full day tour and skip the "bathroom stop" at the Cameo Factory - just use the facilities provided near the historic forum.
Positano Walking Tour
This was a very nice guided ferry ride from Amalfi over to Positano with alot of free time to enjoy the town. Had lunch and people watched. A perfect day.
We couldn't drink enough!
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