Luxury??: Azamara Quest Cruise Review by Tangoguy
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
The checking-in procedure at Singapore was pathetically inefficient and confused. We had done the on-line pre-boarding thing, yet had to wait in the same line as those who had not, making huge long waits, standing in the extreme heat - very difficult for the many elderly and infirm passengers.
Being used to cruising with Royal Caribbean, we expected certain standards. In some respects, these were achieved.
The food was excellent. We particularly appreciated the fresh-squeezed orange juice and excellent pastries at breakfast and the free table wines at lunch and dinner.
The staff were all courteous, helpful, cheery and in all ways satisfactory, especially our cabin cleaning lady, Girlie, all the Guest Relations staff, especially Louise, and in particular, the Cruise Director, John, who was indefatigable and appeared to be doing the work of ten men, with cheerfulness and a positive More attitude at all times. Our only staff criticism would be of the ballroom dance instructors, who were inefficient and spent most class times arguing with each other. The beginner ballroom dancers were confused and the instructors took little trouble to assist them.
Regarding the fitness center - there was nobody in charge for most of the cruise, so that there were no properly organized fitness programs until Dubai.
The entertainment was amateurish and of a consistently low grade, in some cases embarrassing in its low quality.
The huge amount one had to pay for internet service was extortionate. Nowadays, most people need access to the internet on a daily basis and since the ship had wireless access, the huge charges were nothing but a money grab....hardly "luxury".
Pay-per-view movies in the stateroom were very expensive, and the much-advertised free movies had virtually no sound - none at all in most cases - so were unwatchable.
Twice, the toilets blocked up for hours on the entire deck where our stateroom was. Several times, there was no hot water in the morning for our showers.
With respect to the "luxury" designation of this cruise, I am sure that there are unfortunates from some third-world countries who would find travel in "steerage class" of the Titanic luxurious, but people who are accustomed to cruising expect higher standards on any cruise, especially one which is touted by the cruise line as being a "luxury cruise". Less
Cabin review: 1B7035
Cabin was fine.
Port and Shore Excursions
Accommodations were expensive and of modest quality. Most people we encountered smoked cigarettes on the streets, in cafes and most everywhere else except for the subway which had it's own horrors, being filled with rapacious pick pockets.
In our particular case, my friend had her camera lifted from her purse while we were on the subway. BE WARNED, the pick pockets work in teams of three or four. When you are spotted as a tourist they zero in on you and separate you from your travelling companions so that your view of each other is restricted and then they go to work. Don't let anyone help you take your suitcase on board the subway.
While we were stuck in Athens we visited the Acropolis and found the statues defaced. We think Lord Elgin did the right thing by removing the frescos to his estate and then to the British museum. The Acropolis itself was dirty and uncared for. The statues were filthy and the pathways were strewn with cigarette butts and other garbage.
Unfortunately we happened to be in Athens during the riots and the general strike but I don't think that coloured our opinion of the city. Athens is one place I will certainly avoid in future travels.
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