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24 Azamara Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

This was our first non mega ship cruise. We usually go on the new ships the smallest was the Disney Dream .Having sailed around Cuba so many times and seeing the lights in the distance. This was our chance to visit. To compare is not ... Read More
This was our first non mega ship cruise. We usually go on the new ships the smallest was the Disney Dream .Having sailed around Cuba so many times and seeing the lights in the distance. This was our chance to visit. To compare is not easy. I think it’s where you are in life and what your looking for. If you want a nice peaceful cruise with a crew who really is happy to take care of you.If you like tea in the afternoon and cocktails before dinner they have it. Cocktails and a vey good piano player with fellow cruisers is quite nice. They had a show one night and it was really good. They sang and danced their hearts out. The costumes were also notable. The Cabins... We had a balcony room and it was the usual. The bathroom was fine and we are not small people and the shower was not an issue. They are all small, on this ship they are very clean.. When they do you room the bathroom gets sanitized when they do your room AM and PM. I liked that and there were no issues.The rooms have quite bit of storage built ins and a closet. Food. We never ate sit down. We liked the Buffet and liked sitting in the back outside.They still have great service and white table cloths The food was good and lots of choices.Everything is nicely displayed.and they have servers to help you. Once again everything is about keeping things clean and you happy. I hate people who Double dip ect this was not happening. You could have as much as you wanted with your clean plate. ..Poolside eating.. They have a nice menu of the usual plus salad, nachos ect . You order they bring it to you.It’s very good and very nice to be taken care of. They also have Steak ect at night and the tables are all done up. Room Service. Added treat Everything is so good and great portions. They have both Gelato and ice cream machines and non sugared is a plus.The ship is quiet and attracts the older cruiser who appreciates good service, and good food. The crew loves them and the feeling is mutual Some people we spoke to had been on more than 5 cruises. It was nice to relax and just enjoy ourselves To be taken care of in the style that seems to be forgotten Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and an opportunity to try Azamara. We were very satisfied with everything aboard ship. As suite passengers we had free access to the premium dining venues. Prime C was excellent and would have been ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and an opportunity to try Azamara. We were very satisfied with everything aboard ship. As suite passengers we had free access to the premium dining venues. Prime C was excellent and would have been worth the upcharge non-suite passengers paid. The other venue was hit or miss. Cabin and dining service were everything one could ask for. Entertainment we felt was a strong point. We've experienced the 'shows' on larger ships and been underwhelmed. Azamara's individual performers (esp. singers) were excellent. We enjoyed the White Night. It's a nice extra. The Azamazing (sp?) evening concert was much appreciated by the Ozzies on board but most of us North Americans didn't know the band. I took the 'behind the scenes' tour of the ship and heartily recommend it to anyone interested in what the crew does to make our trip pleasurable. We used private tours arranged by RCCL for Bali and Semarang as one of us uses a wheelchair. We cannot say enough about their efforts and those of the on-board staff to accommodate our needs. Tours: Bali and Komodo Island were fascinating and highlights of the itinerary. Semarang and Surabaya, not so much. Thursday island really isn't worth a stop but Darwin has much to offer. Cairns and Singapore were great start and end points. We've already booked our next cruise on Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am retired in Thailand with a lovely young wife, I have been cruising for over 50 yrs, and done maybe 40 plus cruises, and around 10 with Azamara, we currently have three booked Azamara is at the top of our comfort zone money wise, we ... Read More
I am retired in Thailand with a lovely young wife, I have been cruising for over 50 yrs, and done maybe 40 plus cruises, and around 10 with Azamara, we currently have three booked Azamara is at the top of our comfort zone money wise, we do not like crowds, we do not stay up and party all the time, often when in port we stay on the ship, we prefer not to be harassed by children, and the passenger profile, is generally professional and restrained, you do not get pushed out of the way in the buffet We like the pretty well all inclusive policy We do not do many shore excursions The food bearing in mind what is being paid is excellent, with very wide choice and good included wine choice The cabins are a little small but adequate, exceptionally well looked after, and the stewards will do anything possible to make your stay as comfortable as possible We love the white nights, are not so sure about the Amazing evenings but there is no cost The most exceptional thing about the ship is the staff, they are the very top, and go out of their way to help In October we are doing Hongkong to Singapore, then back to back the Myanmar trip that we have done before, in March next year we do Sydney to Singapore on the Journey Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We just completed two back-to-back cruises, the Chilean Fjords and Carnival in Rio, from San Antonio to Buenos Aires. We are an aged couple, in our seventies (and lots of similar cruisers on both journeys) and my wife has a mobility ... Read More
We just completed two back-to-back cruises, the Chilean Fjords and Carnival in Rio, from San Antonio to Buenos Aires. We are an aged couple, in our seventies (and lots of similar cruisers on both journeys) and my wife has a mobility problem (not many similar couples on the second journey). We’re veteran cruisers and we’ve been on the Azamara Quest six times. But this was the first time on the Pursuit. First some words on the itinerary. The Chilean fjords are spectacular, and especially El Brujo glacier – better, I find, than equivalent sights in New Zealand or Alaska but we’ve not done Norway yet. The Carnival in Rio (where the ship had a double overnight during the carnival season) is a singular event: the Sambadrome parade experience fantastic, so full of colour, unique sights, amazing floats and costumes, interesting bodies, much excitement and pleasure. Both journeys were troubled by bad weather – wind, rain, storms – that even led to port cancellations but the captain Carl Smith and Azamara compensated with other ports (unlike our recent experience on Oceania which cancelled two ports and offered nothing else). This is a crucial difference between the two similar cruise brands. The Pursuit is much like the Quest, not surprising of course because they both originated as “R” ships, commissioned for Renaissance, a line that went bankrupt after 9/11. (In fact we were on an “R” ship a week before the company’s demise.) The Pursuit is stylish and tasteful – I relish the marvelous ceiling (an original from Renaissance days) in the Drawing Room (really the library) and the Dali replicas and art work scattered about. The ship is well-maintained, clean and the staff work hard to keep public areas organized and pleasing. The Pursuit is small, under 800 passengers (and it wasn’t full for the second journey). We used a mobile wheelchair to navigate the ship. Distances are short. Elevators (two banks) work well, rarely delayed or overcrowded as on the bigger ships. But people in a similar situation ought to realize there are difficulties. Corridors are narrow and can occasionally be blocked by cleaning equipment. The joints between segments of the ship result in a number of raised metal ridges in the corridors that don’t like a transport chair. The doors to the outside are not automatic (unlike on say the newer Oceania Riviera) and the surface is raised – getting in and out requires effort and produces bumps. Likewise getting off or on the ship is a chore: the gangway is never an easy travel and can be steep or long. That said, staff are very helpful and always assisted when available and necessary. I should add that other passengers were also ready to help, and understanding. We had two different staterooms on the trip. On the first leg, that was a restricted ocean-view cabin – we looked out on a lifeboat. The cabin was small, dark, well-organized, with a tiny but adequate bathroom. Space was tight, in the room, on the toilet, in the shower – bed was big though. The second journey we had an accessible ocean-view: much larger, spacious bathroom, more light, a full view, nicely furnished, the same comfortable bed. Clearly the second room was far superior, and especially for anyone with mobility difficulties. Wi-Fi in both rooms was excellent. We had unlimited packages. I found the service much better than on Oceania Riviera or various Princess ships. Indeed the Pursuit had the best and fastest internet I’ve enjoyed on any cruise (including my previous trips on the Quest). One of the cardinal virtues of the Azamara experience is the ambience of their cruise ships, the Quest and for us now the Pursuit. Staff are polite, pleasant, helpful, and efficient. There's very little upselling, little promotion, the bane of the mega-ships, and what there is generally tasteful and avoidable. Captain Smith was always engaging in his assorted announcements. Ryszard Gusmann (hotel director) and German Castro (guest relations manager) were especially helpful – both of these individuals we knew from the Quest. Tony Markey (cruise director) was congenial in person and on the tv, though I did tire of his daily update of events already listed in the newsletter. (In fact if you stay in your stateroom announcements are usually not intrusive, unless you tune in to the local tv channel). Housekeeping staff were conscientious and efficient and obliging. One shore excursion individual, rushing to do her job, nonetheless took the time to explain patiently and carefully how we could find the transport we needed to reach the Sambadrome. Waiters in the restaurant were attentive (by contrast on Oceania Riviera you could go dry – no wine – waiting for the wine tyrant to resolve your plight). In fact service in all of the restaurants was superb. Only once did I come across an angry soul, and he was unhappy with Azamara, not its passengers: even he served me well. In short the Pursuit, like the Quest, is a friendly and gracious place where the staff at all levels seek to make the passengers comfortable and happy. Personally I find Azamara excels here, better than Crystal Symphony where service is also superb. Enrichment and entertainment (with a few significant exceptions) is not impressive however, and certainly not by comparison with Holland America (great lecturers) and Princess (usually quality production shows). I attended a first few lectures of the speakers but found the topics uninteresting and so too their presentations. I was particularly struck by the absence of a series of lectures on the past and present of carnival (though one was announced in the newsletter but never delivered!), since that was the theme of the second journey. We missed the various singers because, well, we’ve been too often bored by second-rate talent before. There was an excellent performance by a troupe of folkloric dancers of Chilean styles on the first journey: I’ve always found Azamara does bring first-rate local talent, authentic and engaging, on its voyages. We made the mistake of going to one comedy-magician show, Phil and Philippa Cass: found it awful, banal and vulgar - though, to be fair, the audience appeared to enjoy the performance. Standout acts we did enjoy were Nestor Santurino, guitar master, and dancers Dima & Sasha on the first journey, and the superb Tango Cervila on the second, as good tango as I’ve seen on the streets, cafes, and stages of Buenos Aires. The AzAmazing evenings, both in Montevideo, both the same carnival theme and the same performers but different venues, these were as usual amazing indeed, a captivating display of talent, full of imagination and colour and song, drums, and dance – plus the whole exercise of transferring and organizing the mass excursion of passengers was so well-done. We missed the white night parties (always lively), however, because these are no longer suitable for a couple like us – we can’t dance any more so why bother? – but we did secure some of the justly famous crepes offered at that event. Which brings me to the question of food. The cuisine on the Pursuit was as varied and excellent (with a few exceptions) as on the Quest. Only the Windows café, the evening themed buffets, I thought less appealing: the Quest offered fabulous seafood dishes, prepared as requested, and such didn’t exist on the Pursuit. Nor did I find the buffet offerings very enticing, though certainly varied and popular with other guests. I was especially struck by the extent of the menu and the quality of the offerings of the main dining room: tasty escargot and most appetizers, delicious soups (seafood, pea, gaspacho, etc.), a fine caesar salad, tasty steaks and seafood, a very good cheesecake (unusual in cruise fare). Fish dishes were not always so great, taste too mild, but still decent. I did miss the lack of pasta on the menu though. The Patio had fine burgers and dogs for lunch and good steaks for supper. Prime C, the specialty steakhouse, offered a superb ribeye (indeed all the steak dishes were very good) and a super swordfish steak. Aqualina, the other speciality restaurant, I found less compelling – the dover sole on offer was no match to that available on Oceania Riviera's French restaurant. And there’s no equivalent to Oceania's or Crystal's fabulous speciality Asian restaurants. But there was so much good food available (including through room service which was especially appealing for breakfast) that any gourmet – or glutton – could find the requisite quality and abundance. Always we were served wine we liked, either sparkling or Chilean, as part of the standard package: indeed the Chilean cabernet sauvignon on offer was exceptionally fine. Finally as to shore excursions. They are much too expensive, compared to Princess or Holland America, and lack the variety of those cruise lines. One scheduled excursion we booked on the Falklands was cancelled because weather cancelled the port. Another, viewing sea lions off Punta del Este, was too short and the playful beasts too far away. By contrast the excursion to the Sambadrome, if super-expensive (we booked the box seats), was worthwhile. First of all, it was very well-organized, and under chaotic conditions. The tour staff Azamara used were especially solicitous to the needs of clients, and in particular looked after my wife and I – they ensured she had an excellent view of that extraordinary parade of colour and excitement. So the price was exorbitant but the experience was one of those life memorable events cruise lines like to hype. Still, overall, Azamara needs to look again at its offers and pricing which can’t compare to what, say, other cruise lines supply, never mind non-cruise commercial tour vendors. Still, altogether another wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We returned at the end of last month after a brilliant two weeks on Azamara Pursuit. We chose this trip as we had always wanted to visit the Chilean Fiords and it was on our favourite cruise line. We found that overall the food was an ... Read More
We returned at the end of last month after a brilliant two weeks on Azamara Pursuit. We chose this trip as we had always wanted to visit the Chilean Fiords and it was on our favourite cruise line. We found that overall the food was an improvement on previous cruises and compliment the chefs. It was always hot and well presented as well as delicious. Sometimes the portions were over generous but we coped. Our cabin was a balcony on deck seven which we prefer and it was kept spotless by Louis and his assistant. They were unobtrusive but there whenever you needed anything. The entertainment was as usual fairly low key but a great improvement on our last Azamara voyage. However you do not choose this line if you want non stop activities. The Azamazing evening in Montevideo was a real highlight and very well organised giving us a flavour of carnival. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, we were not able to call at the Falklands which was a great disappointment especially to the British many of whom had booked this in order to visit this port. That is life and the Captain took the right decision judging by the storm that hit Buenos Aires a few days later. Other ports were as expected though again weather conditions curtailed some excursions. One issue was the high price of excursions especially at the substituted port of Puerto Madryn. Sea days we a delight -sailing through the Fiords ten the Beagle Channel. Glaciers and volcanos were everywhere. The best thing about Azamara is the staff from the Captain down. We often met Captain Carl around the ship and found him very likeable and efficient. It is hard to single anyone out as the service is really excellent but other staff that deserve a mention are Lee, the assistant Cruise Director and Tony, his boss. They were both lovely people and a credit to the company. We cannot wait to see them in Plymouth next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were ... Read More
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were shown to the embarkation point, which was a stairway up to the ship. When I asked where the ramp was, I was told that it was being used to load the luggage. So, 4 small employees -- probably Filipino, since they made up a huge proportion of the staff -- carried me in my wheelchair up the stairs. This is okay in places like India, where I have no expectations around accessibility, but very surprising on an American-owned ship, docked in Europe. Especially since they have a whole section on their website about accesssibility. Cleanliness: Lipstick on the champagne flutes in our suite. Lipstick on the glasses in the lounge they call the Living Room. When our first glass of wine arrived it was covered in lipstick and fingerprints. I went to the bar to get another glass and the surly bartender proceeded to pour my wine from the dirty glass into a cleaner glass. We left. Suite: Was a nice size and the accessible bathroom was pretty good -- could have used more shelves, and the toilet was surprisingly low for a wheelchair-accessible room. Bed was comfy and the balcony was a good size. Service: very mixed. Staff in the living room were not very competent. They never got the orders right and had to be sent back to get the proper beverages. Staff in the main dining room were good. Staff in the 2 specialty restaurants were very good. So a bit surprised at how the service levels varied. Butler for our suite was outstanding. but the stewards were very junior. The overall look of the ship was nice. The ship is too small for rough weather. There were hurricane-force winds which meant our first two ports were cancelled -- we spent two nights in Civitavecchia. Cannot imagine doing a transatlantic crossing on such a small ship. We ended up going to Nice instead of Monte Carlo, which was actually better for us, since Nice is flat. Palma de Mallorca was fantastic, and we loved going back to Valencia. Our two nights in Livorno meant that we could do a nice visit to Lucca, and spend one beautiful sunny day exploring Livorno. The "Azamazing evening" was quite simply, dreadful entertainment. Food and wines: We are foodies and we enjoy good wine. The food in all the restaurants was okay, but we did not like the fact that the menus in the two specialty restaurants never changed -- so it got boring quickly. The wines included in the fare were the cheapest wines they could get. We do not drink a lot of cocktails or mixed drinks, but the drinks menu skewed heavily to liquor and not wine. The wines on the "for purchase" menu were extremely over-priced, and were mostly American. Inexplicable considering we were in Europe. Corkage fees are only $10, so once we got into some ports, we headed straight to a liquor store to buy good wine to take on board. I think the owners have really cheaped out on entertainment. They had an appalling 3-person trio in one of the lounges. They had a decent pianist in another place, and there was a good jazz quartet at the Saturday brunch. They had one person for the "enrichment" lectures who seemed really out of her depth. And they don't appear to invest in staff training. We would rank this number 3 of the cruises we have done. Cunard 1, Oceania 2, and Azamara a distant 3. I realize the staff are fairly new and not all of them are fully trained, but this is a cruise line who seem to want to compete with Oceania, and they do not. The staff in the Living Room seem to hate their jobs and there was a surprising amount of surly Russian staff who seemed to hate the guests and each other. Inexplicable, since it's a nice looking room. When I filled out their online questionnaire, I told them that I could not figure out who their target market was, but it was clearly not us. Did we hear back from them? Crickets... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We wanted to go to Cuba, and chose the Cuba Intensive sailing. For us, 2-days in Havana would have been ideal. Cienfuegos was nice enough but not much to see; Santiago was horrible. The Cubans we saw tended to swarm us looking for ... Read More
We wanted to go to Cuba, and chose the Cuba Intensive sailing. For us, 2-days in Havana would have been ideal. Cienfuegos was nice enough but not much to see; Santiago was horrible. The Cubans we saw tended to swarm us looking for money, and we found it quite unpleasant. We were scammed by several taxi drivers. Air quality is poor and the poverty is ever present. Not Azamara’s failure by any means but I question why ships are going to Santiago at all, or why they’d spend more than a day or two in Havana. We found Cuba very overrated. The Quest seemed like an older ship and we saw ongoing maintenance like painting railings and other areas. We received a note that they planned to paint our state room during the trip and we’d have to store all personal belongings. This was not ok for such a small cabin and such a pricy vacation so we called to ‘opt out’. Is this common? If so, customers should be offered something in return for the inconvenience. We found the food options plentiful and good; we didn’t feel the need to try the 2 upscale restaurants. The staff was unfailingly nice. We never felt crowded, even on sailing days. There are plentiful common areas in which to relax. We enjoyed 4-5 nights of the onboard entertainment which was just right. Overall, this tone of the ship compared favorably to the other 2 cruises I’ve done on Regent and Royal Carribean: it was low key, fun, and our fellow passengers were generally friendly. My only complaint about Azamara is that it’s not all-inclusive - they have several packages they try to up sell, and it was annoying. I prefer Regent in that respect, which includes everything and isn’t constantly trying to sell you upgrades. Regent also includes excursions which Azamara does not - and they were expensive. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We are a retired couple in our early 70's. Both of us have mobility issues. We traveled with our adult daughter and her boyfriend. This is our 10th cruise, 1st on Azamara. We selected it because of the itinerary. I can't say ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our early 70's. Both of us have mobility issues. We traveled with our adult daughter and her boyfriend. This is our 10th cruise, 1st on Azamara. We selected it because of the itinerary. I can't say I've always wanted to visit Cuba, but the opportunity presented itself and we thought, Let's go while we are able and permitted. We really liked the smaller ship experience. Our cabin was near the aft elevator, easy to get to the main dining room, Mosaic coffee bar, and the buffet/Patio. I liked that you didn't have to walk so far to the front of the ship also. The cabin was a Club Verandah class. Space was adequate for 2. The shower was the tiniest I've ever seen. We didn't use our verandah much because of the air pollution in Cuba. One thing I didn't like--the gray wallpaper made the cabin gloomy and depressing. I hope they change to a more cheery color scheme when they next refurbish. Food ranged from typical cruise fare (buffet) to outstanding in the main restaurant. I only ordered from the "always available" options twice, for French Onion soup and Crème Brulee. Easter Monday brunch in the dining room was beautiful They really went all out with the ice carvings, decorations, and baked goods. Beverage service was spotty in all venues--sometimes someone would take your order before you even sat down and other times you had to wait, and wait, and wait. This was especially true of coffee at dinner. We prefer our coffee with dessert, but it seems the waiters usually bring it after dessert. Asking didn't help. The only entertainment we attended was the Azamazing Evening. It was truly spectacular. The destinations speaker, Dr. Ellen, was very interesting. She covered topics from Cuban history to present day/future Cuba. Since it was Passover, there was a Rabbi on board, who led two casual discussion groups. Although we are Catholic, we attended the first but had a conflict with the second. There was also a priest who said Mass for Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, plus on the sea days. We found the fitness center was one of the best maintained of any cruise ships we've sailed. The machines all worked, and they had enough treadmills, exercycles, etc. so you never had to wait. The crew was fantastic. Everyone we encountered was very cheerful, relaxed, and eager to please. Ports and shore excursions: This cruise was not a good fit for us. We visited 4 ports, Key West, Florida, Havana (3 days), Cienfuegos, and an overnight in Santiago de Cuba for the Azamazing Evening. As I mentioned at the beginning, both of us have mobility issues. My husband has had both hips replaced and I am recovering from knee replacement surgery last summer, In both Cienfuegos and Santiago, there were NO mild shore excursions offered. In Havana, only 2, Easy Panoramic Havana and Classic Cars, which could easily replicate each other. Which left us with Moderate Excursions, most of which were more strenuous than the tour booklet description. Key West: Hop On/Hop Off Trolley and Butterfly Conservancy We would normally do a hop on/hop off tour on our own, but actually saved money with the included Butterfly Conservancy. We enjoyed the stop to see the butterflies and the tour of the city which followed. Havana Day 1: Best of Havana A very disappointing tour, more strenuous than described, mediocre tour guide. Hemingway's home was closed due to a holiday (not sure what). Since it was Good Friday, we had the vegetarian option for lunch--rice and salad. Fusterlandia was fascinating and Revolution Square was a good place to see all the classic cars. The bus made a stop back at the ship for those who didn't want to see the flea market. Our daughter said they had a better selection of souvenirs at the terminal. Havana Day 2: Easy Panoramic Havana Bus tour with photo stops. I enjoyed Fusterlandia more this time around. Revolution Square seems to be obligatory. We also visited the old forts on the other side of the Bay and saw relics of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Great tour guide. Havana Day 3: We stayed on the ship Cienfuegos: Colonial Trinidad Should have been marked strenous. Even those with greater mobility had trouble with the cobblestones. Lunch at Ma Dolores restaurant was very good. Visit to the potters' workshop was a highlight. Santiago de Cuba: El Cobre Rated moderate and it actually was. The Church of Our Lady of Charity was beautiful. The steel drum band was very good, but we bought their CD/DVD and haven't been able to get it to work. BEWARE. Lunch at the Tropicana was great. San Juan Hill was the hardest part of the trip. All in all, we met the worst and the best of Cuban society. Lots of beggars/panhandlers in the streets and squares. But the tour guides and others involved in the tourist industry were very pleasant and eager to show off their charming county. Would we go again? Not to Cuba, it's a once in a lifetime experience. But we would happily sail Azamara again if the itinerary appealed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We’re experienced cruisers, an older couple, one of us has a mobility problem. This was the second of two cruises we took this winter, the first was a Princess cruise to Hawaii that was very successful. By contrast the Azamara cruise was ... Read More
We’re experienced cruisers, an older couple, one of us has a mobility problem. This was the second of two cruises we took this winter, the first was a Princess cruise to Hawaii that was very successful. By contrast the Azamara cruise was less exciting though still very good. We had done two cruises on the Quest last year covering much of the same territory, tho with the addition of the Sea of Cortez. We repeated because we wanted to stay close to North America – and Azamara offers a gourmet experience, important to us. Unfortunately we came down with vicious colds and coughs. No fault of the cruise. Since the temperature was so hot we avoided visiting nearly all the possible ports, barring the Azamara evening in Cabo San Lucas and a short trip in Huatulco. Which meant we stayed on the ship, in itself a pleasant fate. We had an accessible oceanview cabin. It was large, comfortable, and very quiet, indeed a congenial place to spend much of the day. The cabin, on the fourth floor, was especially convenient, with easy access to the elevators and from there to the front and rear of the ship. The Quest is a small ship, so you rarely have a sense of being crowded, unlike on the Star Princess where battling for elevator space was a daily occurrence. Exceptions: when a special event like the white night party or a folkloric show which pulled in so many people, and the pool side bar-b-ques where there were long lines of hungry passengers. We’d expected the food on the Quest to be very good: it had been on five previous trips. And, yes, much of it was tasty. But somehow not as pleasing as before, certainly not at the level of the Crystal (a line we have always enjoyed). The dining room offered a variety of dishes, including the standard salmon and steak, every night. Yet nothing was memorable this time. The nightly wines, included in the fare, were ok but not as good as on the Star Princess (where of course you had to pay). On sea days it also offered lunches, including once a tasty Spanish burger that pleased and, even more, a dim sum feast. (We didn’t try the brunch.) The Patio had excellent burgers and in the evening good steak, though its ribs ho-hum. Prime C, the specialty restaurant, as before, had very good steak (and some really fine desserts) but we found it noisy: try to get a table in the back away from the front where there is a large table that attracts people enjoying themselves with gusto, and thus much noise of course. The various pool side bar-b-ques were abundant and tasty – but, again, the ribs this time were not spectacular. The signature crepes, however, were as good as ever. The Windows Café, the buffet, in the evening served a themed dinner, seafood, Greek, American, etc. The paella prepared individually by a chef for the Spanish evening, was simply superb, one of the best I’ve had anywhere. But the pad thai similarly prepared was mediocre. And the Turkish night offered nothing of interest to us – or most others, it seemed, given the paucity of passengers. Room service breakfast was excellent, the many restricted but still varied, with much to choose from and delivered on time and as requested. We did go to the Windows Café for many lunches: what appealed were the various salads and salad makings as well as the sandwiches and sandwich makings, as well as the soups. The cheeses on the cruise were limited but decent – one difference with the Crystal where the cheeses superb. The Quest looks good, despite its twenty years. It has a classic look yes, especially notable in the Discoveries dining room, the baroque staircase on the 4th-5th floor, and the drawing room. It has an excellent viewing space at the front, the Living Room where in addition you can enjoy drinks and at meal times various tapas. Recently the ship has added replicas of Dalí sculptures, a marvellous touch, and these enhance the overall look of the public areas. Likewise dropping Park West Gallery and replacing them with an individual artist was a wise move: he did an excellent rendition to the night of the dead, the theme of the Azamazing evening, producing it on site. The upgraded stateroom was great, despite the curious bump around the bathroom, presumably to ensure that the water ran off into the drain, not the room. One of the outstanding features of the Azamara Quest is the staff. Captain José, Hotel Director Philip, the entertainment master Russ, the security chief Silvano, all these officers are fine people, friendly, congenial, helpful. And that applies to the rest of the staff. All of the people were ready to help, to offer assistance, to ensure that our needs were met, our concerns satisfied. The Quest is a very friendly ship where the staff goes out of its way to look after passengers. We didn’t do much of the enrichment (tho the lectures we attended were decent) and almost none of the entertainment (excepting Russ’ singular performance, really an enjoyable show). We did go to the Azamazing evening in Cabo (the third time!) and it is certainly singular, full of colour, music, and charm – plus excellent margaritas. I should add that the logistics of this evening, moving all the passengers back and forward without mishap, the professional skill demonstrated, is itself amazing. The folkloric show when in Cartagena was also superb, again full of harmony and dance, a mix of Caribbean and Spanish and Hispanic styles. In the end, then, a fine cruise. Pity our health didn’t allow us to enjoy more. But, in the end, the fact the cruise offered us such great service, some fine spaces, and so much peace made it all worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My husband & I & our adult son have just returned from our, carefully researched and happily anticipated cruise around Indonesia. Our son has, well controlled & monitored, Bi Polar Disorder. Our staterooms were comfortable. ... Read More
My husband & I & our adult son have just returned from our, carefully researched and happily anticipated cruise around Indonesia. Our son has, well controlled & monitored, Bi Polar Disorder. Our staterooms were comfortable. The food was good quality in both the buffet & main dining room. the 'Brunch was a standout. Service there was very good. We also ate in Prime specialty restaurant & it was excellent. The public spaces were pleasant & cabin attendants very good. All of these aspects validate the value of a cruise. These things, however, pale into insignificance if our priority of emotional well being is not met. The Hotel Manager, on this Azamara Journey, comprehensively failed to give this to us. To facilitate making his job easy, he sacrificed our holiday to maintain the status quo for the ' regular ' Client Base & the staff. The surreal atmosphere, once in board this ship, was one of ' team staff ' & ' team cruiser ' all working together for the elusive Superior Azamara Brand. Our son was involved in an incident of indiscretion one evening for which he apologized & expressed his great regret. After enjoying just 4 beers, he was refused service at the ' pool bar ', ( because he had had too much to drink the afternoon before ) After that , he had made a firm conviction not to drink too much. We were with him & he was happy & not inebriated. Because he was refused service, on this occasion, he became bewildered and with disappointment he kicked a bucket of ice being moved, on the ground, into the back of the bar, unintentionally slightly bruising the leg of the bar staff member who was moving it. No passages were in jeopardy of having their cruise spoiled & staff were not in danger. He was ' Tried & judged ' by the Hotel Manager. Regardless of our resounding reassurance of " no chance of re occurrence ". Heavy handed punishment was inflicted on my son ( accompanied by a strongly implied threat of being evicted from the ship if the punitive conditions were not adhered to. ) I was an after hours manager for 30 years at a large private hospital, dealing with some extremely difficult situations, so I was astounded by the Hotel Managers lack of intelligent empathy that resulted in the discrimination that destroyed our holiday... for all of us....... ( in support of my son, who was summoned to the Managers office, I was forced to miss my highlight excursion to Borobudur, our main reason for going to this part of the world ) So........ take care, & be warned, fellow cruisers, if you choose to sail on the good ship Azamara Journey, never make a single mistake & play your part in the ' team effort ' game.......because you will not be afforded a second chance to redeem yourself........... So disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The Quest is a beautiful small ship. This was the second of our b2b. The food everywhere is excellent. The standard drink package is perfectly good for us. The wines were very nice, so we neither needed to order anything special nor a ... Read More
The Quest is a beautiful small ship. This was the second of our b2b. The food everywhere is excellent. The standard drink package is perfectly good for us. The wines were very nice, so we neither needed to order anything special nor a bottle of wine. We had an Ocean Suite all the way forward 6002. Loved the veranda even though it seemed awkwardly laid out. I still have no idea why there is a Butler. Ours, Eyup, was really a very nice man and always asked if we needed anything. He brought tea and set it up for us unless we asked him not to. The suit was nice but was a little worn. The breakfast in discoveries was always wonderful. There were brunches on Sundays, I didn’t really have any feelings about it. The food was excellent no matter which venu. The bartenders were great as well. The Casino was woefully under used. The 2 shops on board didn’t have much variety, and whomever is the vendor should look into that. There were activities going on all the time Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The ship is lovely and the stateroom staff was great. (Thank you Malik!) Entertainment was good and the food great. No need to pay extra for specialty dining.Food in the "regular" dining room was great. Shore excursion staff ... Read More
The ship is lovely and the stateroom staff was great. (Thank you Malik!) Entertainment was good and the food great. No need to pay extra for specialty dining.Food in the "regular" dining room was great. Shore excursion staff was not helpful at all. I do have mobility problems but have been able to do shore excursions on other cruises. When we asked for more information regarding the ports and the excursions we got the runaround. If you have any type of mobility issues I recommend using an outside tour company. We used ItalyTours EU to go to Florence (thank you Mary). Many of the ports offer hop on hop off buses. Palamos didn't have much to offer. When we went into town we found out that the shops didn't open until 5:00pm. It would have been helpful if the ship's staff let us know that nothing was opened before we left the ship. I wish that Azamara would provide walking tour info at each port and have it available a day or two before, not the morning of. It's not like it is a surprise that we will be going there. Regarding the guest lecturer- Chuck was great but most of his lectures took place AFTER the port! I would have like to learn about Corsica before we went not after! Medical was very helpful when my husband got sick. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
As Mobility Challenged people we booked this cruise because we had a very positive experience on the Journey a couple of years ago. How things have changed!! We booked a pre-cruise stay and Azamara put us in the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome ... Read More
As Mobility Challenged people we booked this cruise because we had a very positive experience on the Journey a couple of years ago. How things have changed!! We booked a pre-cruise stay and Azamara put us in the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome (see review on Trip Advisor). Why this hotel was selected is a mystery since it is far from either historic Rome or the Vatican and is in an "iffy" neighborhood. Most disturbing to us was the fact there was NO accessibility. Marble steps to the elevator and breakfast room and then steps in the breakfast room. While the Azamara rep at the hotel tried her best to accommodate, there was little she could do other than allow us to get a head start in the walk to the bus taking us to the port—the bus could not get to the front of the hotel and required a walk of 1.5 blocks away!! The rep advised the Azamara Rep on the bus that we would need wheelchairs when we arrived at the port and they were there. Things were looking up, UNTIL, we left check-in and saw that the way on to the ship was STAIRS-NO RAMP—the stairs being the equivalent of 2 stories! Azamara's solution was that we would be CARRIED up the stairs. No way would we suffer such indignity and our personal safety was also of concern. On the ship, sensitivity and assistance to the mobility impaired was OUTSTANDING in the dining room and the AzAmazing Evening and NON-EXITANT for the most part .in the Buffet and (if you followed the Quest instructions) Disembarkation. The post-cruise hotel in Venice (The Saturina) is located in the upscale boutique area. It is an old hotel but unlike the hotel staff in Rome, the Saturina staff were wonderful in dealing with mobility challenged guests and made us feel comfortable and valued. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The advantages of going on a small cruise ship is its easy to get on and off without a huge crowd. Checkin was easy so was disembarking and finding your luggage. The crew as usual was great, helpful visible, the ship was spotless, ... Read More
The advantages of going on a small cruise ship is its easy to get on and off without a huge crowd. Checkin was easy so was disembarking and finding your luggage. The crew as usual was great, helpful visible, the ship was spotless, service was impeccable as always. This was an unusual cruise with 3 large groups totaling over 200, all American and young. This changed the vibe of the cruise, in my opinion for the better. Lots of people in their 20-30s range and a few kids. It was easy to get a lounger around the pool, which I couldn't say of many other ships, free sorbet was offered as you sat there in the afternoons. Movies in the evening was nice with blankets if you got cold. The itinerary was great, the islands were amazing all different and worth seeing. Turkey was wonderful, the economy was hurting because most of the cruises were avoiding the country. That reduced the crowds considerably. We were the only ship in port and we got some amazing bargains in the bazar. They sell genuine fakes. Which was funny to see. But they were honest. The quality was excellent and at a fraction of the price compared to the duty free at the airport. The Amazing evening was a wonderful local Greek pianist playing in the local town square in Crete with Greek dancers and a fireworks display in the bay over the ship. Wonderful evening that the locals could enjoy too. My cabin was a handicapped mini suite. Which was nice with the larger bathroom and free bar if you like to drink. Wasted on me as I don't. The only drawback was the lack of storage in the bathroom. Barely anywhere to put your toothbrush as it is designed to be able to get a wheelchair in under the sink. The only other drawback is the front door. The usual deadbolt was deactivated. So there was no way to keep the cabin attendants or butler out unless you had the do not disturb sign out. Also the automatic door opener was right next to the bathroom light switch. So in the middle on the night if you went to the bathroom and turned on the light you could open the door by accident and not be able to close it. So I left the bathroom light on all the time with the door closed to save any embarrassment. My only other comment would be the menus are now including vegetarian as well vegan and gluten free food at every location. Great if you want it but it now restricts us boring meat and potatoes kind of people. So I only ate at the main dining room once when it was prime rib night. Which was fabulous. Also they are trying to make all the deserts healthy by reducing the sugar and fat content. But somethings are just not meant to be healthy and going on holiday for a week I just splurge and go on a diet when I get home. Any food allergies they really go out of their way to help, just order a day in advance in the main dining room. Amazing they will do that for you. It was my first time in a mini suite, it was nice but for the money I would rather get a cheaper cabin and go on two cruises. You aren't in the room so much so it doesn't matter that much. I have another two cruises booked next year on Azamara so that says what I think of them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have cruised well over 30 times and this was one of the best experiences ever! It started with Captain Carl Smith. He was so wonderful and full of personality. The crew was exceptional and what's best of all, no samm annoying ... Read More
We have cruised well over 30 times and this was one of the best experiences ever! It started with Captain Carl Smith. He was so wonderful and full of personality. The crew was exceptional and what's best of all, no samm annoying fee's for every liquid beverage. That's right! Drinks and gratuities were not billed separately. The shows, crew and size of the ship was perfect for us! The selection of ports of calls was a perfect pick. Embarkation was the quickest we have ever seen. No long lines getting on and off of the vessel. The food was of great quality and offered a variety of local dishes which is a great way to live local. Rather you are a first time traveler ( we sailed with a couple who enjoyed their first) or a seasoned professional ( as we like to think we are) Azamara is a great choice. Bill and Gladys Mercurio Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We took a back-to-back cruise on the Quest in Central America, the Pacific Coast and Sea of Cortez, from 26 January to 21 February: embarked Puerto Caldera in Costa Rica, exited San Diego. We are an older couple, my wife has mobility ... Read More
We took a back-to-back cruise on the Quest in Central America, the Pacific Coast and Sea of Cortez, from 26 January to 21 February: embarked Puerto Caldera in Costa Rica, exited San Diego. We are an older couple, my wife has mobility difficulties, and long-time cruisers. In both voyages we had an accessible stateroom: first a continental suite, second an ocean view. We had an extended trip on the Quest in Southeast Asia two years before, enjoyed the experience, and decided to travel on Azamara again. That was a good decision. We had just come off a large ship, the Regal Princess in the Caribbean: good but not great. The Quest was a real pleasure, not the least because of its smaller size. Everything was nearer, so easy to get around. Our first stateroom, the continental suite, was excellent: spacious, very attractive, and extremely comfortable. The second stateroom, the ocean view, was also comfortable, if neither so spacious or attractive – but certainly decent. The washrooms in both staterooms were very good. Housekeeping fine in both staterooms. The food on the Quest was generally very good. We ate regularly at the steakhouse Prime C where the meat was excellent, the ambience congenial. The rib steak was particularly delicious. We were not so taken with the other specialty restaurant Aqualina because the menu offered little we relish, but still the two meals we had there were ok. We did not eat often in the main dining room because, especially on the second voyage, the place was crowded and noisy. We did go to supper a number of times to the Windows Café, and the Sunset Bar outside: very pleasant and again fine food. I particularly liked some of the theme evenings at the buffet. Likewise the grill at the Patio and the various BBQs, always delicious and the latter very plentiful. Room service was fast and efficient, especially in the mornings. Yes, there were a few misses – once a seafood jambalaya where the seafood was largely missing, for instance. But these were exceptions: you can eat very well on the Quest. One of the cardinal virtues of the Quest is the staff, always friendly and helpful. The captain Jose was congenial and talkative and often present, as were his senior officers, especially the always gracious Philip, the hotel manager. The rest of the staff were superb, offering a level of service superior to that of any ship I have been on, including the Crystal Symphony (my favourite, where the service is also excellent). Time and again crew members assisted us, important when you have to handle a wheelchair. Special note: the embarkation process at Puerto Caldera and the debarkation at San Diego was exceptionally well-managed. The highlights of the cruise? First the Azamara special evenings, both at Cabo San Lucas, amazing performances of Mexican song and dance, in the desert, around the theme of the day of the dead, made all the more enjoyable with margaritas and assorted delicacies. Second the shows mounted on the pool deck, shows featuring local performers – marvellous. Third, the happy, lively white nights, party and dance on the pool deck. Fourth, on the second voyage (Sea of Cortez) the excursion via the train El Chepe to Copper Canyon, a striking natural formation in northern Mexico. Any negatives? Well, the lack of an in-room dvd player, the uninteresting regular entertainment, also lectures that didn’t appeal, the expense of some excursions (but the ones taken were well-designed). Minor problems really, given the overall quality of the cruise experience. In all Azamara cruises is excellent value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were attracted by the fact that the ship takes only ca 700 passengers and can navigate into rivers and ports that the larger vessels cannot reach. The most outstanding aspect of this cruise was undoubtedly the crew who could not do ... Read More
We were attracted by the fact that the ship takes only ca 700 passengers and can navigate into rivers and ports that the larger vessels cannot reach. The most outstanding aspect of this cruise was undoubtedly the crew who could not do enough for us. Dining was very good and the speciality restaurants excellent. The drinks package was very good and the wines well chosen with a choice of two different whites & reds (and I think rose) offered every day. I had travelled around Asia in the past on business but not been to Vietnam which my partner and I enjoyed the most, especially, the Azamazing evening in HCMC (Saigon). We also enjoyed the other destinations (Singapore, Bangkok & Hong Kong). Entertainment was directed by the irrepressible Eric and the last night show was hilarious. The hotel in Singapore (Pan Pacific) booked by Azamara was superb but the post cruise hotel also booked by Azamara in Hong Kong was awful. We stayed two hours and moved to The Langham (Excellent). I have complained to Azamara but without any satisfaction and very tardy responses to emails. In fact, both the pre and post cruise support lets this outstanding cruise company down, badly. Mr Pimental, please take note. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first with Azamara, a repo from New Orleans to Miami. Part of our promotion was a overnite in NO with a dinner cruise on the Natchez Queen which was lovely. We stayed at the Doubletree Inn in the French Quarter -- good ... Read More
This was our first with Azamara, a repo from New Orleans to Miami. Part of our promotion was a overnite in NO with a dinner cruise on the Natchez Queen which was lovely. We stayed at the Doubletree Inn in the French Quarter -- good location, clean room. We had a handicapped accessible room due to DH use of a scooter which was on the 7th floor. First morning there -- a power failure (30 sec.) caused ALL elevators to stop working and we were stuck in our room for 5 hours. Why the designers of this hotel had all elevators on one system was extremely poor planning not to mention dangerous for safety reasons. After complimentary room service --- manager was finally able to get us on one of the service elevators so we could catch our Gray Line tour --- only for the elevator to quit between the second and first floor !! As the manager was with us --- staff on the other side of the door were finally able to get us out --- really funny when we talked about it later but not at that moment. The Big Easy is "OK" -- we really didn't get too see very much -- would have liked to see a plantation or two and more of the country. Bourbon Street is just a dark, dirty,narrow alley IMO. Didn't impress us at all. The Quest is a lovely ship -- the smallest we have cruised on to date. The service is OUTSTANDING. You couldn't ask for a more happy and accommodating crew !! Our Club Continental suite was wonderful -- so much more room than the original V 2 balcony I had booked. Actually was able to look into one and I have never seen such a small, cramped room and balcony. Of course, the CC came with a much higher price tag but we would have been very uncomfortable in the first one not to mention no space for DH's scooter ! Only drawback to Suite 8063 were the loud noises during the night from the deck above (Windows Cafe) from rolling carts and furniture. Islands: Were "ok" --- poor planning on Azamara's Itinerary Dept. to schedule Jamaica and St. Bart on Sundays when everything is closed -- not even a mini mart to grab a snack or two. Would choose the Quest again but i will look for better prices in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara ... Read More
We sailed in September-October on a four week cruise Montreal-New Orleans on the Azamara Quest, under charter by a consortium of Australian travel agents.. As far as I am aware, there was no advertising of this charter on the Azamara website, which was a pity because I am sure many Americans would have appreciated the opportunity to sail down their east coast. The major benefit would have been more rooms sold at full price, instead of the generous last-minute deals, which no doubt necessitated the charter company's cost-cutting. However, if Azamara was prepared to have its brand undermined because of what was clearly a poor relationship between it and the charter company, then that is the product presented to we first-time passengers, and the experience on which I comment. The rooms on the Quest are small and we had to walk sideways between the end of the bed and wall-mounted TV. The upright chair and coffee table were too heavy for regular movement ... but to use one, the other had to be repositioned. The curved sofa was only comfortable for one person to sit; its shape and size did not fit its corner placement, and the best place to watch the TV was from the bed. The designer of these ill-chosen pieces only needed to spend one night to know how unsuitable they are. The bathroom was minute and had no extraction. For a relatively small ship, 700 passengers, I found it impersonal. Middle management was invisible and obviously has no role in engaging with the customer ... except for the marketing people who, in a few ports, invited travel agents into the main guest lounge and spruiked their product. Blinds were lowered, a microphone and AV presentation used. How dismissive of we passengers using the lounge, when two empty restaurants were available to them to conduct business. The cruise director daily produced a long list of activities, most of which were “unhosted”. This was my first cruise where Bridge was not arranged; on ships of only 300 passengers, there can be a hardcore group of 30-40, especially on seas days. In poor or cool weather when the outer decks could not be used, the main dining room and cafeteria were over-crowded and noisy and, over a month, with too few daily changes, the a la carte menus became ordinary. The food was generally okay, but the superior meals were in the two speciality restaurants at an extra $60 a head. Standard alcohol was included, but a number of the wines were not acceptable. To overcome its aging ships, Azamara promotes its Land Discoveries as setting it apart from its competitors. Most of the 20 or so ports and shore excursions on our cruise were tremendous, but attention to detail by the ship’s staff was missing, e.g. presumably to keep down the cost of coaches timeframes were tight, and we were too often moved at a fast pace by guides (who were often half the age of most passengers, but we all kept up); guides unnecessarily cut short some tours; aging coaches; dubious drivers (one who drove with only one fist on the wheel!) who often didn’t know the route; dirty windows which have spoiled photographs. The ship’s New York berth, altered from Manhattan to a remote wharf in New Jersey with a poor shuttle service, was a disaster, and totally spoiled what most would have regarded as the major port of the cruise. Presumably this was cost cutting, and was an absolute disgrace. I have noticed reference in a previous review of Azamara’s “dysfunctional” website, and dirty windows; comments I completely endorse. Having been told Azamara is viewed as a 5-star ship ... I don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We toughtly enjoyed it!!! Azamara Journey cruise ship is beautiful! Emberkation was brilliant. Disemberkation was good enough. Lounges are very comfortable. The food is excellent vlwith lots of choises. The free drinks ... Read More
We toughtly enjoyed it!!! Azamara Journey cruise ship is beautiful! Emberkation was brilliant. Disemberkation was good enough. Lounges are very comfortable. The food is excellent vlwith lots of choises. The free drinks is more than great. The longer stays on port were nice but in comparison with the private tours offered by local guides in ports Azamara offers a little more expensive. Publik room very comfortable and nice. Staff is super friendly. Staff is very courteous and ready to help at any time. Service is professional. Definitely see you again! Thank u to all! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We boarded the Quest in Istanbul, after a problem with the berthing location, which had been changed from Sarayburnu to Karakoy before we arrived, and Azamara had not informed us. We found the berth after a wild taxi ride, reimbursed by ... Read More
We boarded the Quest in Istanbul, after a problem with the berthing location, which had been changed from Sarayburnu to Karakoy before we arrived, and Azamara had not informed us. We found the berth after a wild taxi ride, reimbursed by Azamara. Our boarding was flawless and hospitable, but we were surprised at the security measures taken ; more than at an airport! Our cabin, port side, Level 6, was fine, with verandah, and was for disabled; however, the automatic door opener did not work and we were told later that a new part would be delivered within 22 days. We were very impressed with the dining in the Discovery Restaurant; the food, the variety, the service, the organization were at least as good as any restaurant in our area in Marin, CA. The Windows Cafe , which is buffet style , we used for breakfast and lunch was also very impressive. A wide variety of foods with nothing missing and attentive service, even to the point of assisting with carrying your choices to your table. Nanunga, one of the few women waiters, was in both Discovery and Windows and impressed us with her good natured assistance. Entertainment was OK, but not outstanding. WiFi was a rip-off. Visham at Client Relations was very helpful and patient, and Yasemine at Concierge, too, was very helpful. The Land Discoveries were a mixed bag. Part of the problem was that the descriptions of the arduousness of the various Land excursions were not always accurate. For example, the description for Santorini vastly under-reported the number of steps required on the tour, particularly if one was to take the cable elevator back, which most people do; that part alone had over 100 steps! Ephesus, on the other hand, had an over-stated difficulty, as my traveling companions reported, so I missed out on what was a nice tour. Disembarking went very smoothly . In summary, we really enjoyed our first cruise and liked the personal, caring touch of the Azamara Quest. We'll do it again!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We completed our back to back cruise on the Azamara Quest from the 5th July to the 20th July'14. Many of you asked us to let you know our thoughts. Basically if you are fit and able to walk and push open extremely difficult doors and ... Read More
We completed our back to back cruise on the Azamara Quest from the 5th July to the 20th July'14. Many of you asked us to let you know our thoughts. Basically if you are fit and able to walk and push open extremely difficult doors and you want a smaller ship then Azamara is probably OK for you. As for us, although we enjoyed the cruise, met some very nice people we will not be going back as the Quest is not a wheelchair friendly ship. We list below our for and against comments. FOR. Smaller ship. 30,277 tons. So called 4 star.  777 passengers. 358 cabins.  Most cruises are of short duration, i.e. 7 to 8 days.  Standard cabin considered very small. We were is a Suite for the first 7 days and then an Accessible cabin for the following 8 days.  The suite had a bath with a shower, not very convenient for a disabled person. Good size. The Accessible cabin was approx. the same size as the suite but with a large wet room bathroom, no steps at all including the balcony. This balcony was larger than the suite balcony. Suite had an extra wardrobe. Both lacked drawers. Sun beds are the best we have ever experienced, being 4" foam with pillows Attachment shows the booze list, with complimentary drinks. Many considered this a con as they were not considered complementary as the cost is included in the cruise cost. Many were unhappy that a Cognac was not included even though there were 4 whiskies, whisky sour, Bourbon and Manhattan available. The Azamara still have a Brunch whereas Celebrity have stopped it as too much food was wasted. The Brunch was very enjoyable. TV map showing location of the ship was very poor. Laundry available with ironing room. Not sure if being in a suite or because of our membership as Discoverer Plus provided ironed shirts etc with our complimentary laundry. I had a total of 11 shirts nicely ironed to bring home. Balcony windows cleaned each week, whereas they were never cleaned on our 29 day cruise on the Eclipse in April. The Voice from the bridge, Captain Jose Vilarinho, The Hotel Director Richard, Russ the Cruise Director and all the staff made us very welcome and were very approachable. The complimentary wines which were available all day long changed most days. The quality in our opinion compared with the classic drinks package wines on the Celebrity ships. AGAINST. Impossible to use wheelchair on the ship, as the doors were too difficult to open and the stainless steel expansion plates in the carpets were too thick. This required turning the chair round and negotiate the bump in reverse. The only automatic doors were from the Windows café to the outside eating area, unlike the Solstice ships which have automatic doors everywhere. Experienced many sloping floors. When boarding at Venice we were asked to climb 32 steps. We refused and 4 men had to carry my wife in her wheelchair. They had to stop for a rest half way holding up many other people. Of our 15 day cruise 8 included a tenders to go ashore. We were aware of this, but as one had to negotiate 9 steel steps to get to the tender platform, which was very difficult for my wife and caused a great deal of discomfort, we in fact only went on a total of 3 tenders.  One of these was for the Azamazing evening at Hvar. This required a wheelchair, a pusher, a tender, a bus ride, a further pusher and put into a seat where we had difficulty in seeing the show. The return to the ship was even more hair razing requiring my wife to walk over uneven ground and bundled into a bus. Yes we enjoyed the show with Ana Rucner performing on the Cello. She was very talented but we did not see any wine and canapés as advertised. In our second cruise we were informed we would get the same Ana Rucner again but this time in Kotor, Montenegro. Of the 50 or so on a back to back more than 50 % cancelled as they did not want to see her twice. We were also informed that if we did not cancel we would be charged US $100 each. If only we had been informed of this we would have taken the second Azamazing evening as it would not have required a tender and the problems that went with it. Very few waitresses mainly fellows No formal nights, took 3 light weight jackets but they were not required Food was good except when one has a piece of clear plastic in ones soup. The complimentary suite dinner in the Aqualina restaurant was excellent. We did not try the Chef's table at US $95 each as we considered the cost of the back to back cruise on top of our 29 day Eclipse cruise in April was about to break the bank. Hope you find this useful, please note, this has been sent to nearly 20 of our cruising friends.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We are a retired couple who cruise every couple of years or so. We enjoy good food, good service, and the company of other like-minded people, and we won't put up with second-best. We chose Azamara after I'd by chance seen ... Read More
We are a retired couple who cruise every couple of years or so. We enjoy good food, good service, and the company of other like-minded people, and we won't put up with second-best. We chose Azamara after I'd by chance seen Journey at Greenwich in the summer. Subsequent reads of Cruise Critic reviews persuaded me that Azamara would be a good choice for us; we particularly liked the no-tipping policy, open dining and dress code. We chose this positioning cruise as my wife isn't very good at walking any distance, and a cruise with lots of sea days suited us down to the ground, with the potential of plenty of winter sun. We booked through Iglu rather than directly with Azamara, and it was Iglu who arranged all the flights, transfers and hotels. In view of the long return flight from Mumbai, I enquired about upgrades and learned that if we chose to leave the ship a bit earlier [23.00 the night before, instead of 8.30] we could fly overnight Premium Economy with Virgin for £100 each. As this meant we arrived back at Heathrow at 7.30 in the morning, giving us a clear day for onward travel, I chose this option. I later upgraded the BA scheduled flight to Athens on the BA website to Club Europe for £90 each. Before the cruise I completed Azamara's on-line check in and booked a tour in Mumbai at half price. On arriving at Terminal 5, having checked in on-line, it was a simple matter to drop our bags at the dedicated Club World check-in, and taking advantage of the increased baggage allowance I just retained a small bag with travel documents and valuables. We were advised of a 50 minute flight delay, and having swiftly passed through security we were directed to the Club World lounge - Well I wouldn't have cared if the flight had been delayed by 50 hours! There was a superb array of complimentary food, drinks and papers, and plenty of seating. Once the flight was called, my wife was speedily wheeled to the aircraft and we were soon installed in comfortable seats. Once we had taken off the champagne arrived, and continued throughout the flight, while the in-flight meal was excellent. On arrival in Athens [nearly on time due to following winds] we were swiftly off the plane and the baggage arrived in the baggage hall within 10 minutes. Customs/Immigration seemed virtually non-existent and once in the arrivals hall we soon spotted a driver with our name on a board. Seizing our trolley he led us to his gleaming yellow Mercedes taxi, and in half an hour or so we were at the Athens Gate Hotel. He told us that our 11.00 pick up in the morning would now be an hour earlier as the centre of Athens was to affected by a demonstration at midday. That put paid to my plans of doing a tour of Athens in an open top bus. I'd packed an overnight bag so our other three cases stayed in the hotel luggage room overnight. Our hotel room was very good; quite large with a good bathroom, and it was quiet with a very comfortable bed. We had dinner in the rooftop restaurant with views across to the Acropolis. We were in reception by 9.45 on embarkation morning; A driver arrived shortly after and after conferring with the receptionist came to us and said he'd got us down for 11.00, and he'd already got someone else for 10.00. Half an hour later he was still there, and I saw him talking on his mobile, and shortly after he told us that as his 10.00 pick-up still hadn't shown up, he'd take us instead, so off we went in another lovely shiny Merc. We arrived at Piraeus abot 10 minutes before embarkation was due to commence. Our luggage soon was taken and we found ourselves with about 40 others. I noted a dedicated Suite desk, and about 12 other check-in points. Once embarkation procedures commenced, we were through check-in very swiftly where we were given a letter to say that staterooms would be available at 2.00, and having confirmed a dining time for Discoveries, we proceeded aboard where we were given a welcoming glass of bubbles. I think we had glass in hand within 15 minutes of the check-ins opening. First impressions count, so we give Azamara full marks for the efficiency of embarkation and the welcome on board. We did a quick tour of the ship; very easy as it's compact and well laid out, and we liked what we saw. We lunched in the Windows Cafe where we were impressed by the food, the service and the inclusive wine. Our fellow passengers seemed to be mainly Brits, and we soon got talking; we were amused to note the calm on Journey, compared to the continual Tannoy announcements on the adjacent Costa ship! I had time to consider the drinks packages on offer, and selected the Classic package at about £18.75/head/day, on the basis that a couple of pre-lunch Pimms, a couple of pre-dinner Martini's a couple of nightcaps plus the odd beer during the day should bring us out on the right side - However, it's difficult to work out as none of the bars list the prices of standard drinks and spirits. Now that Azamara are going all-inclusive it won't be a problem in the future. Staterooms were actually ready soon after 1.00 so we quickly unpacked, finding plenty of hanging and drawer space. Others have commented on the smallness of the bathroom and shower - Well I'm 6'3" and 16st, but had no problems with the shower at all while the bathroom and shower is probably the same size as a good sized caravan wash-room. We had a balcony with a nice table and couple of chairs. The bed was made up as a double and was large and very comfortable. Safety drill was held that afternoon; no faffing about with life belts, but following the post-Concordia amendments to SOLAS, was much more directed to getting passengers to their muster stations and explaining what would happen in the event of an evacuation. Soon it was time for a pre-dinner aperitif so we headed up to the Looking Glass for the first Dry Martini. I remarked to my wife, "That's a big Martini", but it was very nice so we had another, which leads to me to a confession; after the second one we were so squiffy that we skipped dinner & went straight to bed! [I found out the following day that not only is it export strength gin, but each Martini contains at least 3 measures!] So thanks Victor for getting me p****d on day one! Day two was a port call at Rhodes where I got off on my own and did a Red Bus tour [I found out a while ago that this is the best & cheapest way of having a look at a port of call.] It was easy to get off and on the ship, and the ship was within very easy reach of the town. Thereafter we were into long spell of sea days, relaxing in the sun and being pampered. We had a quick walk round the souk in Muscat, but stayed on board in Fujairah. As we had taken this cruise to benefit from sea days we soon got into the daily rhythm of ship board life, so I'll comment in detail on the ship itself: Shipboard life: Azamara treat you as responsible adults who want to enjoy a good holiday. They pamper you, but leave you alone. So one announcement from the Captain and Cruise Director at midday, otherwise no Tannoy, except in case of incidents. No in-your face selling as on some ships. Stateroom: We had a verandah cabin on the port side of deck 7 [on the old POSH principle, but with modern air conditioning I'd choose starboard in future when east-bound to get more sun]. The room itself was a few yards away from the forward lifts and stairs, and was beautifully quiet, and we felt no motion whatever, but the seas were flat calm. The cabin steward,Ronald, looked after us beautifully - He was unobtrusive, but the room was always immaculate. TV we found to be uninteresting. Room Service: We used to order early morning tea every day, but found that one got a jug of hot water with teabags, but the jugs were the same ones that were used in the dining room for coffee, so the tea always tasted of coffee. On day three we had a comment card in the cabin so I noted this problem, and much to my surprise at dinner that night we were approached by a young lady who said she had noted my comment and in future we would get china teapots. The following morning we got the coffee pots again, and the dear girl happened to be in Discoveries again that night, so I told her what had happened. Immediate action was taken! - Not only that, but instead of having to order each evening she set up a standing order for tea in pots, croissants and orange juice for 8.00 every morning. This would be a typical Azamara reaction to problems - someone would do something about it! Well done Azamara. Another good thing was that Room service would ring you a few minutes in advance to say that service was on it's way - no embarrassing moments! Pool area and Pool Grill, Deck 9: We only had 500 or so passengers so finding a sun bed wasn't a problem, and oh boy, weren't those sunbed's comfortable! There were also lots of sunbeds on the Sun Deck on deck 10. Service at or from the pool bar was first class. The pool itself isn't that big, but when it's hot and sunny it's ideal as a place to cool down, and there are 2 nice hot tubs as well. There was an endless supply of towels.On hot afternoons the stewards would come round with face towels, cold drinks,cooling sprays and even little slices of cucumber to put on your eyes! The Pool grill served mainly burgers. Now I'm not keen on burgers, and I won't touch a Big Mac with a barge pole.........But an Azamara Burger; oh wow! Proper minced steak - absolutely delicious, and brought to your table by an attentive steward. Windows Cafe Deck 9: A good selection of food all day long. The lovely thing about it is that the tables are laid, and the waiters will take your tray and take it to your table for you. They also get your tea and coffee for you. [A very favourable comparison with Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, where the Lido is definitely 'Self Service']. Then of course there's the inclusive wine at lunch and dinner which just keeps appearing, so has to be drunk. We had breakfast in there most mornings, lunch every day and the odd evening meal if we liked the look of the speciality of the day. The food was always very good and well presented. Good ice creams too, especially the cherry brandy flavour! The open deck area at the back is a lovely place to eat, and was superb at sundown with a drink or cup of tea to hand. Discoveries Restaurant Deck 5: What a delightful room. We loved the open dining, which meant that you met someone different every evening. There was an excellent choice on the menus, and when the food arrived it always looked as though it had been freshly cooked just for one-self. They would happily take orders for additional or alternative vegetables. There were some lovely menu ideas, such as a delightful chilled mango gazpacho. The fish dishes were particularly good. The only disappointment was a Porterhouse steak ordered medium rare which arrive very well cooked, which I reluctantly sent back very soon to be replaced by the most enormous Tee Bone, straight off the grill [I suspect destined for Prime C]. A good butcher in England would have charged £15 for it! The level of service was impeccable - [Bear in mind that there's a no tipping policy, and anyway you are on a different table every night, so these guys haven't got their eye on the last night.] We never had to wait for a table - may be one would on a full ship. Equally we never felt the need to use Aqualina or Prime C. And another lovely feature - No Basked Alaska parade! Mosaic Cafe Deck 5: A nice relaxing place for a late night coffee after the show, or a spot of afternoon tea. However we had 15 days of glorious weather so tended not to use the 'inside' facilities during the day. Bars: I have already mentioned the Pool and Windows bars. Discoveries, Deck 5: A good bar in which to convene before dinner. Superb service. One of the stewards, Ernesto, within 3 days knew who we were, what we drank, and even remembered all the details of our charge card so we didn't have to use it to get a drink. That's an example of typical Azamara service. During the day I might say to Dale the Jamaican barman who worked the Pool bar by day and Discoveries in the evening, "Dale, I'd like a Jamaican Rum Punch tonight - your choice; make what you like" and as I arrived in the bar the drink would appear! Looking Glass Deck 9: In the eyes of the ship. A good late night place where the DJ would set up after the evening show with variable results - It seems he was told what themes were to be used on each night, so the 80's night didn't go down well, but Abba night and 50's and 60's night went down a storm - couples in there sixties on the dance floor who in their heads were teenagers again. Perhaps Azamara need to give their DJ more flexibility? Casino bar Deck 5: We have absolutely no interest in casinos or gambling, so this was just a place we walked past on the way to dinner. It wasn't very busy - Could this space be better used? Library Deck 10: A good selection of books which I made good use of, and it works on the honesty principle - help yourself and return it when finished. Cabaret Lounge and Entertainment: The ship's troupe of singers and dancers and musicians were first class and put on some excellent shows. Other entertainers were variable, but that of course depends on individual taste. We particularly enjoyed the magician, and wouldn't of been the only ones who thought, "How the **** did he do that?" The pianist in the Mosaic Cafe and harpist in Discoveries Bar were both extremely good - I understand that Jaqueline Dolan, the harpist has been on board since 2005! There was also a very good duo who performed in various parts of the ship. The passenger talent show was surprisingly good! However, If you are expecting ballroom dancing and gentlemen hosts, forget it! Things we didn't do: Gym and Spa not used save for a couple of hair-dos for madame. Lectures - I'm afraid we were too lazy to go. Computer room - only used once to check-in for return flight. I don't go on holiday to sit in front of a PC! However, there was a full programme of things to do ranging from quizes to chef's demonstrations. Security: We were in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia - known piracy areas. Additional Security Guards boarded at Port Said, and we had an external blackout at night for a week. We were approached by 3 suspicious skiffs, so all passengers moved to the inside of the ship in a pre-rehearsed drill for 30 minutes or so. We always felt safe and not inconvenienced. Special events: On Thanksgiving Day [for the non-American readers, that's a quaint Colonial Festival] there was a Jazz Brunch in Discoveries Restaurant, which consisted of the most amazing buffet with all manner of delights from sea food to an enormous joint of beef. On the last night, in Mumbai, all the tables and chairs were put out on the pool deck for an Asian buffet, which was superbly done. The musicians played during a most wonderful evening. We left the ship late that evening when a prearranged car took us to the airport. Having loaded the luggage into the car we then had to unload it 100 yard later for a Customs check - The single Customs officer in the Customs Hall by the ship was asleep! I was assured that the Indians would do the same in the morning with those on transfer coaches. Mumbai at night is well,'interesting'. Half the taxis have no lights at all, traffic lights are totally ignored, and everybody just races about blowing their horns like mad. Fortunately at the airport we had an Iglu representative who met us and got us through to the departure lounge. Nevertheless we had to queue in the heat for half an hour to get past a single security man just to get into the terminal building. Then they changed the departure gate without telling anyone.........But we made the flight and had Premium Economy virtually to ourselves. But no Virgin lounge, and the food and drink isn't a patch on BA. So our final thoughts on Azamara: A lovely compact ship. Superb crew from Captain down. Everybody seems to be happy in their work and take a pride in what they are doing. Always a welcome from the crew, and they make a point of remembering who you are. Very good food. Azamara react to problems and deal with them. Would we go again? You bet, probably Piraeus-Dubai 2013. See you on board! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We sailed on The Azamara Quest in October 09 and it was one of the best cruises we had been on. We didn't chose Azamara for the itinerary but to try out a new concept in cruising and we were wonderfully surprised at the difference ... Read More
We sailed on The Azamara Quest in October 09 and it was one of the best cruises we had been on. We didn't chose Azamara for the itinerary but to try out a new concept in cruising and we were wonderfully surprised at the difference from the bigger ships. We have sailed with Celebrity numerous times but this cruise was second to none. Right from the outset, at Rome airport, the service was impeccable. Due to my brother-in-law's disability we were met and driven to the port in a private car. When we arrived at the ship we were greeted by friendly and helpful staff who went out of their way to assist us in every detail. The only downside was that the ship did not really cater for wheelchairs as it was quite old but we managed to get about with the aid of the friendly staff. My husband was quite upset that he was not able to use the hydrotherapy pool on a daily basis. He appreciated that the ship was much smaller than most but the pool was hardly ever used anyway. Also it was very expensive. The two speciality restaurants were second to none and the ambiance was delightful. The main restaurant served very good food and our waiter Aldwin (who was excellent in every way, so good in fact, that we chose to sit at his table every night)got the kitchen to make dishes which were not on the menu. In fact on a couple of occasions our brother in law wasn't feeling too well and they sent his meal down into the cabin. Every night's dining was a pleasure. The buffet served a wide assortment of dishes and the food was well cooked and presented. Captain Karlsson was a gentleman in every respect and all his staff were excellent. Everyone took time out to see that your every need was met. The Entertainment's Director was amazing - funny - friendly and very talented. The shows were good and very varied and the chap in the piano bar was good. We cannot praise the staff enough - from the Captain to the cabin boys which is why we have booked another cruise in June. Again we did not select The Quest for the itinerary but to meet up with all the staff again (hopefully they will not have changed too much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
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