Azamara Quest 11/12-11/24 · Background Information This is my 21st cruise, but my first cruise under the RCI umbrella. My husband & I (ages 62 &55) have visited many ports in the Caribbean but not the ones on this cruise. That is why we chose this cruise. The other reason is because we are starting a tradition of cruising over Thanksgiving. We cruise with our family as well but not this time.
Travel to Port of Embarkation
We were traveling from Central Florida, so we drove. We used www.unitedparking.com. We found out later that we could have parked at the port for nothing because of my husband's handicap placard. But that is ok, we will know better next time. Once at the port we breezed right through and were in our room by 2pm.
We stayed in a sky suite and it was very nice. We had a stateroom attendant and a butler. We received 2 complimentary dinners in the specialty restaurants. We only booked one at Prime C. My husband wasn't interested in Aqualina.
The ship was very nice and we enjoyed the small size. We have cruised before on small ships (NCL Majesty before she was stretched) and enjoy the fact that you are not part of a herd. Unfortunately this small ship did not handle the swells on the first day at sea and we spent the whole time in the stateroom sick. I was also a little ill on the last sea day.
The dining was not a positive one for us. We are pretty down to basics eaters and all of the added things done to the entrees were not necessarily good in our eyes. Also, my husband doesn't eat seafood, mushrooms, or veal. This limited him to steak & chicken. You can only eat roasted chicken so often. The other options always included one of the items he didn't like. When he ordered a steak medium well it came out medium rare. So, we spent a lot of time in the buffet, which met our basic needs. Our one experience in Prime C was a disappointment to me. I did enjoy the appetizer & soup, but this time I ordered surf & turf with the steak being medium well and got medium rare. Luckily I was so full after the soup & appetizer that just the shrimp part of the surf & turf was enough for me and that was very good. I loved the grill with hamburgers, nachos, & tacos along with the soft serve ice cream. We had room service for breakfast most mornings and I did go to the buffet a few times too. We were happy with that.
I went to bingo a few times which wasn't much. I participated in a few trivia games. We enjoyed the liars club. The 3 shows that I went to were good. The casino was too small. They should have left the lounge area out and put in more tables or slots. The slots were pretty old and not that much fun. Whoever chose them should be canned. The idea of the casino lounge was good, but all they needed was the bar. Move the sports club to another area. The lounge acts were all very enjoyable.
The service was wonderful most of the time. Some of the waiters were still getting their sea legs but I am sure they will master it. Other waiters, especially Santos from Honduras in the main dining room worked like clockwork. We enjoyed him and asked to be seated in his area a few times. Our stateroom was always done wonderfully. Our butler was extremely attentive and helped us whenever we needed him too.
We participated in 5 shore excursions. The only one I didn't like was the Jeep Safari in Samana, Dominican Republic. The roads were bumpy and the stops not that good. There was an armed guard on our tour and the presence of guards on Cayo Levantado was prominent. The other 4: The Grand Turk Experience, Seafari Adventure in St. Barths (which I will put in my all time favorite excursion list), the Historical Plantation Ruins in St. John, & the 3 in 1 island adventure on Virgin Gorda. We toured Dominica, Mayaquez, & Guadeloupe on our own. I have never before received so many free gifts on island stops than I did on this cross. We got t-shirts in Grand Turk, a whale's tail necklace in DR, hats, backpacks, rice & beans, sea salt, pens, local rum, & some other type of drink Gasolina in Mayaguez and the Governor of Puerto Rico came to welcome us and gave our Captain the key to the city, very beautiful plates in St. Barth's, shot glasses in St. John. They really appreciate this cruise line coming to their ports.
Not good. They didn't start disembarkation until after 10am, but once it started we were out very quickly. Unfortunately I always have too many bags and depend on porters and there weren't any. There were 5 other ships in port and they all got there around the same time. We did not dock at the same pier we left at which wasn't a good thing. There we would have been the only ship, but a Crystal Ship was there.
We had a wonderful time and are sure that the Azamara Quest will get better and better. We met a lot of wonderful people from all over the world. We will cherish this experience.