We are a couple in our early 40s and this was our 11th cruise. Our past cruises have been with Royal Carribean and Celebrity. This was our first time on Azamara Quest. Our cruise left September 24th 2009 from Barcelona and ports of call included Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Split, Ravenna, Koper and overnight in Venice.
The Quest is a beautiful ship - she is small but that made it nice with regards to meeting others. Because it was such a port-intensive cruise, we didn't care if there was much entertainment on board. If you are the type that wants a mega ship with lots of onboard activities, this is not the ship for you. The advantage of a small ship was that she could get into smaller ports and when we did have to tender, the line-ups were minimal.
We had a Sunset Veranda balcony - if I were to do it over, I would have gotten a regular balcony. The Sunset Veranda was an in-hull balcony with only one lounge chair and one chair. If you were sitting you couldn't see the ocean. Not worth the extra money in my opinion. The cabin was of average size but had plenty of room to unpack and store our luggage. The food was spectacular on this cruise - among the best we've experienced. We had heard excellent reports of the food at the specialty restaurant Prime C and thus we went there twice - we were not disappointed.
This is a very nice itinerary - highlights for us were Portfino, Sorrento (Amalfi Coast), Split, and of course, Venice!
In Portofino we did a hike to San Frutuoso Abbey, which while strenuous, gave us spectacular views of the Italian Coastline. We took the ferry back from the Abbey to Portofino before returning to the ship.
In Sorrento we hired a local limo driver to take us on a drive up the Amalfi Coast -wouldn't recommend driving it yourself unless you are used to heavy traffic and hairpin turns. Plus, you will want to look out of the windows! He also was able to take us to a great place for morning coffee and a gorgeous restaurant right on the cliffs for lunch. Since he was local, he was able to give us a lot of information that you might not get on a bus tour.
In Split we walked around Koper for a few hours and then hopped on the local bus for a 30 minute ride along the Adriatic to Piran. Highly recommend going to Piran and the public transportation is clean and inexpensive. I would say that about Slovenia in general. Spotless, with friendly people and cheap beer! Piran has a real Italian Riviera feel to it and is absolutely gorgeous. Not to be missed.
We added three extra days on in Venice and were glad we did - there is so much to see and do that overnight is not enough!
To summarize, we enjoyed both the ship and the itinerary on this voyage and would recommend it.