I sailed on the Quest October 23, 2010 out of Barcelona, which was the President's hosted cruise. Larry Pimental and his wife Sandi were both on the cruise and very visible. This cruise was the best one ever!!!!
The amount of guests on board is small and this makes for a more intimate experience. The staff is incredible friendly and helpful. Anything we asked for , they tried to accommodate. The senior officers were always around and we got to know them fairly well. Tony Markey, the cruise director, could not have been more gracious and friendly. Also a great singer. Alexander in activities was also fun to be around. Tony was very visible , helpful and personable. He and Alexander led a walk up to the palace at the port of Monte Carlo and what a beautiful walk it was.
I traveled with my sister in law and her sister. We played bingo the first full day and won the upgrade to the owner's suite; a two room aft suite. Fabulous suite; not he biggest suite on the sea, but great. Butler, Rohan, was wonderful but we did not really know how to use him to full extent.
This suite has marble bathroom with jacuzzi, huge balcony, table for dining; bar area with two bottle of liquor provided plus, of course, mixers.
We are too spoiled now and of course will always want a suite. We had originally been in an oceanview cabin which was very small for three.
This President's cruise offered some extras. We were invited to a "shore event" which was a bus ride to a castle in Tuscany where we had a marvelous Tuscan meal with fantastic wine and then were serenaded by three tenors from the Italian opera. What a wonderful gift to the guests!! Unfortunately, we did not know before the cruise what the special event would be, nor when, so some guests were already booked on the two day tour which could not be canceled; and some had private tours. It would have helped to know ahead of time for these people. We took only one ship sponsored shore excursion. It was a ten hour tour to Florence and Pisa . We saw allot, including the statue of David in the Academia museum, and the guide, Marco, and driver were excellent.
The ship itself is a good size so that you don't get upset if you walk to the wrong side of the ship by mistake.
The food was excellent and there were enough choices to always feel that you could get what you liked. The main dining room had open seating and the buffet was always very good. There was one night of poolside buffet which was a big hit with great seafood. They provided free red or white wine at lunch and dinner, different each night and always very good quality. Someone I met complained that he drank beer and wanted free beer instead and Richard, the food / hotel director, said it was being considered for the future.
Cruise Critic members were given two get togethers in beginning and end of cruise and the officers listened to all the ideas and concerns.
It seemed that there was daily parties of some kind or other with free cocktails.
I have to say that this cruise line treats it's guest extremely well and wants you back. I have not sailed luxury lines like Seaborn or Regent, but now I feel that I don't need to. Azamara provides all the luxury and special attention which I need.