My Mom (85 years old, mobile, but walks w/ a cane) wanted to cruise this port intensive area for us to enjoy each others company. We had visited most of the ports before, and decided we would do minimal walking and enjoy the "cuisine tours". We have been traveling together ( including 11 cruises) for 45 years. Our last cruise was in 2006. My mother has become more feeble and we chose not to do the "long" days of touring.
Upon arrival in Barcelona we were met by the Azamara folks and whisked to the pier. As we checked in Mom was offered a wheelchair for the walk on to the Quest. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We had chosen our stateroom upon the recommendation of our TA - and it was perfect - close to the elevators and a beautiful balcony w/ a full sized table. We enjoyed breakfast out there most mornings. Our days were leisurely, consisting of room service on the balcony in the morning - then either a shuttle trip into town or a mild tour. We returned for lunch and then she rested while I basked in the Med sun - we were blessed with beautiful weather! We would meet up again for Tea (w/ delightful pastries & scones) and then back to the room to get ready for dinner and play a few hands of canasta.
Our stateroom was very convenient to elevators - lots of closet space - shower was small but worked fine for us - even Mom! Beds were comfortable and we LOVE having the balcony. The Elemis products in the bath were very nice - but would have like to have had some shower gel along with the bar soap. Attendants always had our cabin clean and pleassant - found this was true all over the ship -constab=nt maintenance and cleaning kept it looking beautiful.
We enjoyed several shows and found the cast to be very talented. The highlight for us was Nicola Loud, a virtuoso violinist, who also performed on our last night. She had an amazing repertoire and I loved her "fiddle" music. It brought back wonderful memories of my grandfather's playing in the Ozark mountains in the 1950's.
Meals were excellent - we ate dinner in the main dining room, and discovered Marco, who pampered my Mom and was truly delightful - he made our meals enjoyable and flirted outrageously w/ Mom - she loved it!!! We had dinner in each of the specialty restaurants. Prime C was very good - I had lamb, Mom had fish - both well prepared - but the desserts were outstanding - Mom had 2 - banana cheesecake and little sugared doughnuts w/ assorted sauces. But I'll admit - we both preferred Aqualina - The Starter Seafood Platter (on ice w/ oysters, mussels, shrimp & lobster was unbelievable) was followed (on my part) by Foie Gras w/ Apricots (also superb) and Mom & I both had Lobster Thermidor as an entree - SUBLIME!! We finished off with souffles - Mom had grand marnier - I had chocolate - we then rolled from the restaurant to collapse in our cabin!! The grill by the pool had fabulous lamb kebabs & onion rings and also had a cold soup every day! We ate 2 mornings in the buffet and discovered great things there also - like banana fritters and some sort of poached pears that were to die for. Also WONDERFUL ice cream - as you see food is a priority for us - and god forbid we should miss a meal!!!!
We only did 3 tours - all through Azamara. In Civitivechia we went to Casale Buonoparte and had wine, olive oil, bruschetta and other tidbits after driving through the countryside. In Sorrento we did the Michelin restaurant tour to the Quattro Passi - once again, wine, nibblies - lots of fun!! In Koper we did a mild walking tour and finished with wine and cheese!
Over all -we had a great time. Only one day of rough weather - our sea day around the boot of Italy -high winds and rain - but it ended up being a good day - I beat Mom at canasta and she owes me dinner! The boards had not been very favorable towards Ravenna - but we took the shuttle in to town (on a Sunday)and found many stores open and great coffee places in the main square - it was a beautiful place!
I highly recommend Azamara to anyone - of any age - Mom had her first trip to the hot tub and did quite well!! The high point for Mom was the kindness and caring shown towards her by our cruise director, John. John, thank you!!! Mom is already talking about the next cruise - and her health willing - I will cruise with her as long as she is able - but it will definitely be on Azamara!!