Azamara Quest 11/24 - 12/08, 2007
We drove to Miami on the 23 and checked into our hotel......Ran into Marti and Tom at the elevators....The four of us went to the Versailles Restaurant (Cuban) and waited for the others...Finally, all 17 of us were getting acquainted and enjoying the food, service and even the live music.......What a start!!!!!
Wearing our Mardi Gras beads, we embarked..A first.......after over 20+ cruises we were UPGRADED from an oceanview to a balcony..,YEAH!!!..the boarding procedure was smooth except for the fact that we waited (forever) for a wheelchair (my injured foot was acting up and it would have been a very long walk)......We were escorted to the cabin...We dropped off our carryons and headed for Deck 9....Windows (buffet area) for a light lunch....The Adventure begins.....Others have said how very pretty the Quest is and I have to agree. It quietly shouts elegance.from the artwork to the sheen of polished wood everywhere.
I am not going into detail about the entire 14 days...but a couple highlights about our CC gang.....First memory, Fran's look when she saw Ken's whole fish at the restaurant...It was priceless..........Janie's retelling her adventure on the beach with the machoman and his thong. and then there was Francesca....from Spain with a British accent (She and Andrew are from England but now live in Spain)...We surely corrupted her with Southern Speak....... we (including the couple from San Antonio) taught her.............. .Jeet Yet??????? answer: No...Jew??? A precious memory.
The staff and crew couldn't be any nicer......They were friendly, courteous, and willing to do their best to accommodate any and all requests....The Captain even said, "we never say we can't....we will always try.......and if they try and still can't call me at cabin XXXX"
The non-smoking ship was wonderful ... my lungs really appreciated it...especially in the casino.
The cabin was lovely, no garish colors...well laid out.....The bed was a dream..made up with four pillows, two large shams and two small "embroidered" Azamara toss pillows.....The bathroom, though quite small was adequate. It had all the necessities including the shampoos etc., the luxurious towels and wash cloths and the fresh roses. We never used the fridge but the safe was in a handy place.......Our TV screen had our names right on the screen with a message indicator.......nice touch. (didn't like the BBC - TV.....CNN and soccer)
The lounges and marble tables around the pool area were very comfortable...
The Open Seating in the Discoveries, Deck 5, was a plus sometimes and a minus at others...Some of the waiters need further training......some were a delight.....The Maitre'D managed to seat our group together with second table nearby..Our group ranged from four to sixteen so it wasn't easy for him........The food was much too gourmet-ish for my taste....There was a wide variety to choose from.....Each night, Pasta, Chicken, Beef, Fish and Special (Venison, Duck, Veal etc) Desserts were just OK......the cakes were on the dry side...The food in general, is not as good as on the Celebrity Ships (especially the Zenith)...They need to 'un-fancy' it a bit.
Many in our group ate the evening meal on Deck 9 , Breezas (Windows by day)...That was buffet style....with sushi, stir fry and special pastas nightly.....Tables were outside under the stars.....with live music part of the time....
One very nice touch was the service in Windows Buffet......The waiters would get your juice, coffee, tea etc.....They bussed the tables and kept the area spotless.
We ate one time in the Prime C restaurant and the food (and service) were very good...We did not eat in Aqualina but those who did said they preferred Prime C.
Entertainment was good for such a small ship...The magician and the ventriloquist were very good and the pianist drew raves from those in attendance....
We enjoyed visiting all the smaller ports and had no problem getting local taxis to take us around.....The tender service was very good and run efficiently...Especially enjoyed Rico...who stuck his head into each tender and said "Welcome to my Island".....(He was Security for the Azamara Quest)........When we reach Puerto Rico, hubby said to him.."Welcome to MY island"...People seemed to enjoy the Salsa Band and the Free DonQ rum drinks...
Disembarking was a 15........We went to Deck 9 and had breakfast...they started calling luggage tag colors...........When the color before ours was called, we headed for Deck 5...took the elevator and it was empty.....reached Deck 5 just in time to disembark.....off we went. the best ever.
On a Scale from 0 - 10 I rate the Azamara Quest as follows:
Embarkation and Debarkation: 10 Accessibility of places on the Ship: 10 Prices in Gift Shops: 00 way too high!!!!! Photo Shop 00 $24.95 for an embarkation photo where you look awful!! Comfort and service in Cabin: 10 Amenities: flowers, toiletries, fresh fruit, hors d'oeuvres 10 Food in all restaurants: 7 Service in all restaurants 7 Coffee in all restaurants 3 Room Service 10 Entertainment: 6 Casino: 9 Tenders 10 Ports 10 Staff and Crew: 10+
No Photos every time you turned around, no midnight buffets, no presentation of desserts, no trays in buffet area, no crowded elevators, no long lines anywhere. There were: cool cloths when returning to ship, a sweet (sometimes a chocolate dipped strawberry) at bedtime, A long stemmed red rose on the bed (mid-trip) was a nice touch.
Would we recommend to others: Yes, Yes, Yes
Message to ALL Cruise Lines: Build SMALLER ships....There are plenty of us who love them.........