1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Azamara
  4. Azamara Cruise Reviews

14 Azamara Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it was next on our bucket list. We really wanted to know Japan, not just from Tokyo, but from the aspect of the people in the smaller towns and ports. We have also had great experiences with the Intensive ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was next on our bucket list. We really wanted to know Japan, not just from Tokyo, but from the aspect of the people in the smaller towns and ports. We have also had great experiences with the Intensive cruise on Azamara in the past. We hold Azamara to a very high standard based on past sailings. This cruise met and exceeded our expectations. The high points are as follows 1. The food in Discoveries has greatly improved with Azamaras new policy of giving the executive chefs free reign. Chef Colin and his crew executed imaginative menus. The food and service in prime C and Aquafina was as expected....flawless and delicious! 2. White night was a blast! The captain delayed it twice due to weather concerns. He was right and the weather was perfect. Again, freedom to act. 3. The azamazing evening in Busan combined unusual and imaginative Korean traditional music and dance with a truly amazing performance by the Korean university Tae Kwan Do team. 4.Shore excursions were executed flawlessly. My Daised and Kyoto were 2 of the many highlights. 5. The visibility of the officers of the ship makes the Quest different from all other cruise lines. They are always there to give a helping hand or just to talk. A perfect example was clearing Korean customs. I could go on but I think you all get the message. Go for the adventure. If you expect shows and glitz and the other trapping of superficiality, choose another cruise line. If you really want to have great food, great service and immersion into culture, this is your ship! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Inside stateroom, 4038 - the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you ... Read More
Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Inside stateroom, 4038 - the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you get used to. The room is in the middle of deck 4 next to a service door for restricted access to somewhere. It's a lot in use but didn't disturbed us. We pointed a couple of technical issues with the stateroom to the stateroom attendant and to guest relations and it was fixed in a properly timeframe. Our stateroom attendant, Francisco and his assistant: Julius (or Julian) did a great job keeping our stateroom in order, they were very fast. DINING / drinks / Bars: This week we really enjoyed the food in the buffet with a smaller but better selection of dishes than on the bigger ships. Here you get quality over quantity, something I feel is much better and less food goes to waste ( I think ). Also to get almost 90% new dishes every night is so much better than having a big selection that never change. When it comes to serving wine in the Buffett there is still potential for improvements. This week we also bought the Ultimate Beverage package again and when we order wine by the glass from the wine list usually the problems start. This is based on some nights and some lunches this week and you feel that as soon as you like to order wine that is not the one of the day, you see they get a little “oh, now I have to go and get that bottle” attitude. Some of the times they do not have the wine you ask for and bring you another one that substitutes it and that is ok, but please let us know before you start serving it to us, so we might be able to see if you have another we might prefer. There should also be a system maybe when you have ordered a wine from the wine list they can serve it in another wine glass (they did once) so other waiters know that you are not drinking the wine of the day and can ask what are you having and do you like some more. A couple of nights another waiter pass by and see your half empty glass and starts to pour the wine of the day and then mix it with a different one. It is not so nice to drink your Merlot and then they fill it up with Cabernet Sauvignon so we have to sent it back. This always happens specially if you drink a rose wine or a sparkling wine or Champagne for lunch/dinner from the wine list. However we still have to give them credit for always looking after you and you do never sit long with an empty glass. Azamazing evening Buffett and White Night Outdoor dining were great again as expected ENTERTAINMENT / ENRICHMENT / ART PROGRAM After beeing on board for two weeks, we have seen the shows and you can find it in our other reviews, this cruise Azamara has brought on board “A night at the Opera”... Believe me, this was a hit, incredible Italian talent for just one show... this was like the Azamazing Evening elevated and on board. Talking with Sam, one of the Art experts on board, we learned about the Azamara Art program and to us it sounded great, the approach to work with some emerging artists and some well established names and bringing them onboard to work while traveling and being also available to talk with the guests is a great way to connect. No art auctions but a small Art gallery where they exhibit these pieces and change it during the voyages. The price range is accesible for what I could think is the Azamara client. We had the chance to meet and see Gary Smith during the first two weeks and his work is really great. We also learned about other artists that Azamara has had onboard and the Art channel on the TV is another great way to enrich your art knowledge / curiosity. They also offer some lectures (if times allows it) about different artists. We put our eyes on some pieces and The only reason we did not buy the ones we liked is that we are moving into our new home (apartment) and we still have to figure out the use of the space in the walls we have. The enrichment lectures: For us traveling is not just about monuments or famous places but about culture, people, history, food, Art, etc. Is about learning about the places we visit and understanding the people and it’s cultural expressions. We attended some of the enrichment lectures and we are very happy we did. There is an historian on board for the next voyages, sorry I don’t remember his name or how long will he on board. It’s not the typical lecture that will tell you what to go and see but that will teach you about the history of the places, and this will make you understand the place. I highly recommend you to attend the lectures. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is excellent. Kudos to all the senior officers specially, Hotel Director Ryszard; F&B manager Elizabeth for making us feel at home and they are always visible around the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Azamara Pursuit - Italy Intensive, second leg of a Back to back to back. Hi there, we are Jorge & Stian (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 21st cruise; third with Azamara. This is the second leg of a B2B2B. ... Read More
Azamara Pursuit - Italy Intensive, second leg of a Back to back to back. Hi there, we are Jorge & Stian (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 21st cruise; third with Azamara. This is the second leg of a B2B2B. This second week we had an Ocean View stateroom in deck 4, cabin 4000 Back to back process : very easy... This was so easy that you feel it’s just like another day of the cruise CABIN: Ocean View stateroom, 4000. Coming from the Continent Suite you feel the space is much less, specially in the bathroom... the room still does the job, practical, enough storage space (for us), tiny shower but you get used to. The room is totally at the front of deck 4 so noise and vibration could be an issue for some people. We are early morning and early sleepers so it doesn’t bother us that much...  Our stateroom attendant, Paulo did a good job keeping our stateroom in order but we noticed this time that it could take longer time for them to make up the stateroom, again for us this was not an issue but understand that for some this could be a “thing”... this time due to space constraints we never ordered breakfast or room service DINING: This week we just have dined in Discoveries and the buffett aka Windows Cafe, quality of food and service has been again really on point, good variation of the menus. Azamazing evening Buffett and White Night Outdoor dining were great again as expected BARS: For this week we decided to just go with the complimentary drinks and wines and it worked well for us this week during the experiment, The included red and white wines change daily (2 whites, 2 reds) but the rose and the sparkling ones do not. Quality of the wines was good but if you have special preferences for the kind of wine you like it may be not in the daily rotation Regarding the drinks and cocktails you can easily go through the week with the complimentary drinks and cocktails but again if you like certain liqueurs, cognacs, whiskeys and/or bourbons and high end brands for vodka and Gin; these are not included in the complimentary menu. After our experiment we can see that for cruises of seven to 10 days the price/ value of the ultimate package is well worthy if you like to have the option to choose the wines you like or to have a couple of cocktails or drinks at night with high end brands, cognacs, etc. ENTERTAINMENT: We still love the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows and the signature singers are so good... the guest entertainers: White Sand Trio and the pianist are really great for evenings of music in the Den or in the Living room. This week we attended the Amanda’s Show: Epics... I just loved her more. Not just she is an amazing cruise director but an incredible singer; it is just lovely and you get to know about her career but also about her as an artist and a person... with beautiful songs I am not going to spoil but make yourself a favor and go and see this show... Super Amanda. Azamazing Evening in Livorno... just an incredible concert in a beautiful Opera Theater. Standing ovation to the performers White Evening party: This time we stayed longer and enjoyed the Party and the music...All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is excellent. We had a little issue during this cruise that we complained about and it got quickly addressed by Senior Management (Thanks to the Marketing manager) and this shows that Azamara takes us as guests very seriously and go out of their way to make us feel at home. Kudos to all the senior officers specially, Hotel Director Ryszard; F&B manager Elizabeth for making us feel at home and they are always visible around the ship. More detailed information in the semi live review on the CC boards: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2656591-azamara-pursuit-semi-live-review-b2b2b-france-and-italy-intensive/ Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked ... Read More
Hi there, we are Jorge (40) & Stian (42) (a.K.a the arctic husbands) from Norway, this will be our 20th cruise; second with Azamara. This is the first leg of a B2B2B. This first week we had a Club Ocean Suite stateroom. We booked these cruises to celebrate our 10th years marriage anniversary and because after meny RCCL and Celebrity we wanted to experience Azamara again and the ports of call in the meditterannean where the big Ships cannot go PRE-CRUISE: Barcelona... One night stay in the Eurostar’s Grand Marina, next to the port where Azamara starts... so the check out, walk to the ship was a decisive factor... we have been several times in Barcelona and sightseeing was not something we needed this time around. The Hotel is OK, nice but dated rooms, a reception staff that smiles but doesn’t do their job, the best of the stay is the small restaurant offering a Gourmet dinner experience and this was a highlight of the trip... the food and the wine pairings were PERFECT... do we recommend this hotel... yes for a stay next to the port. EMBARKATION: very easy... just five minutes and then we were on board. SHIP: Pursuit is a beautiful ship. The newest of their kind... elegant, sophisticated and the color palette makes you feel happy. CABIN: for this first leg of the back to back we upgraded (at last minute) to a Club continental suite, we got 8039, perfect location and the only suite I have ever said OMG WAO when opening the door... the colours, the decoration, the style and the light. No noise problems, at least for us. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Internett: 235 minutes per guest, which is OK but slowly but after all you´re on holiday and IT works for reading emails if you ned it. Butler service: our butler Roy has been outstanding, amazing level of service when we have requested our breakfast in the suite, our tea service in the afternoon. I will post a picture of the letter in the stateroom with all of the suite perks you can get DINING: This week we just have ate dinner in Aqualina or Prime C, given that is included in the suite perks. Once we had dinner in the buffet (before the Azamazing evening) and once with the White party buffet that was AMAZING. Aqualina and Prime C quality of food and service has been really on point. Room service: we had breakfast in the rom almost everyday and it was very very very nice to have the extra space the suite provides and the balcony breakfast when it was not so cold in the early hours. BARS: For this first week we decided to buy the ultimate drinking package and it worked well for us this week. We got to try most of the included wines when having dinner, and some of the premium drinks we enjoy when on a cruise. For the second week, we decided not to buy it so we can compare the experience.... Our favorite place for drinks so far is The Den... it is just a very nice place, with some piano music on the evenings and the best bartenders and waiters. ENTERTAINMENT: This week we attended all the Signature Singers shows (3 shows) and they were good. These guys can sing and dance and keep you entertained for the 45 minutes signing along. We loved the intimacy of the cabaret lounge shows, if you´re expecting but productions shows, this is not the case and it works for Azamara. Azamazing Evening in Marseilles, Palais du Pharo. Was very entertaining, a kind of cabaret show with very french music, dancers and two great vocalists. White Evening party: we are not party people so we didn´t stay long after the White Evening Buffett ended but the party looked nice and people was enjoying themselves. All the staff makes a great effort for this event and you should not miss it. SERVICE: In general the service level around the ship is very good. Of course there are some that are just good and there are some people that just go above and beyond. SHORE EXCURSIONS & Ports of call: * Port Vendres: small, charming village, we just walked around and then found a hiking path that takes you to the other small town Collioure (or something like it). The Wall in the green areas around the Coast line is just very very very nice and easy with some amazing views. Breathtaking * Sanary Sur Mer: Beautiful town, the marina, the restaurants and cafes, it was very beautiful. We just walked around and enjoyed perplekse watching here and there. * Marseille: a vibrant city, we walked around, did some shopping and visited the Cathedral. It was great to be docked just in the center of town (or very very close) * St. Tropez: we took and organized excursion from Azamara and loved every minute; we visited Gassin and Ramatuelle and the Bertaud Bellieu wineyard for wine tasting. The guide we had has to be the most amazing guy we ever had AS a guide. We actually think we got a lecture on wine making, all about the process and the technology and traditional methods. The wine was so good we bought three bottles to take with us to the ship and enjoy in the stateroom. Also the small towns Gassins and Ramatuelle were beautiful and we got to learn about the history of the places. In Ramatuelle we enjoyed some free time that we used eating cheese and hams with a cold bottle of Rose wine from a local wine yard. It was an amazing day. The port of St. Tropez by itself, was not as expected, it was crowded and just a marina with amazing yachts, the best was the local artists selling their paintings around the marina. Beautiful paints and interesting people. * Cannes: we have been in Cannes several times so we decided to go for the Excursion of the ship to Grasse with a perfume factory visit and to St. Paul de Vence. And again we got a great guide, the visit to the perfume factory: Fragonard; this was very enriching and we could resist and bought two new Eau de Colognes with shower gels... Then we visited St. Paul de Vence and OMG this small hilltop village is just amazing, it breathes art from everywhere. The local artist and small galleries in the very narrow streets, the views from the wall of the town, the small restaurants... once again we learned about the local history with our guide and in the free time we just walked around and decided to have a very French lunch, we found a little place where they make sandwiches, so we bought a baguette with local produced cheese and ham, and sat on the wall and had our small French sandwich picnic there... just beautiful. * Monaco: Last minute changes out of Azamara control, The port authorities closed the port in Monaco so we got diverted to Nice... for the last night and day of this first cruise. We will explore a little bit of Nice today. NEXT CRUISE OFFICE: So far they have made a good job and we booked a cruise for 2021, Western Africa sailing from Cape Town to Lisboa. The benefits of booking on board make sense for us coming from the Nordic market. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed for 14 days from Sydney to Auckland. There was a lot of confusion about which port we would depart from Sydney. Was very confusing up until almost the last minute as the original plan seemed to have been the Overseas Cruise ... Read More
We sailed for 14 days from Sydney to Auckland. There was a lot of confusion about which port we would depart from Sydney. Was very confusing up until almost the last minute as the original plan seemed to have been the Overseas Cruise Terminal - located near Circular Quay at the Rocks. Instead we left from White Bay Cruise Terminal. (Apparently they've had alot of confusion as we later learned that Azamara sent a representative to the OCT to redirect guests.) While many chose to be unhappy about it - the silver lining we found was that this allowed us to sail UNDER the Sydney Harbour Bridge - which made for some cool pics and videos. The ship itself seemed to be in good shape. I was surprised to hear that it is scheduled for dry dock in Singapore in a couple of months. Public areas, furniture, and cabins appeared to be in good shape - with nothing standing out as needing updates. We have sailed with Azamara a few times - but always on the Journey. Last time was in 2015. The Quest - as previously reported by others - is the same layout. Since our last sailing, they introduced the Living Room concept on deck 10 - replacing the Looking Glass. We really liked it. On bad weather sea days, it was packed. Service was great throughout the cruise. From bars to restaurants to cabin staff - they did a great job as they have in the past. We had one issue that we weren't initially happy with how they handled it - but then they reconsidered (without our asking) and contacted us to resolve in our favor. To make a long story short, we purchased the Ultimate Bundle - which was really worth it. Includes internet, spa credit, excursions credit, drinks package, laundry, etc. We expected that we would get the $40 credit per person for our status that we would have gotten if we bought just the internet package. They said that applied only to purchases of internet packages and not if it was purchased as part of a bundle. Sounds ridiculous and they finally understood why a guest would be confused between a package and a bundle. As I said, they eventually got it and gave us an onboard credit - which was what we requested. Food was good but not great. Discoveries (main dining room) had a pretty good menu with rotating selections. Always love that they consistently offer shrimp cocktail and french onion soup! Windows cafe was good for breakfast and lunch. We only tried it for one night for dinner and it was just ok. We are not buffet people - so we are probably biased anyway! The Living Room had a nice supply of sandwiches, tea (scones & cakes), and tapas throughout the day. Our bundle included the Ultimate Drink package. They had a nice offering but honestly didn't need it as most of the included wines they poured were acceptable. It's also nice that since our last sailing they have added prosecco to the complimentary list - as it was awkward to not have any bubbles on that list. (Although I should note that I take small offense to them calling it complimentary since we paid for an all inclusive cruise. They should said "included" or something instead." The White Night deck party was alot of fun. Lots of people remembered to pack their whites - so it really turned out to be a nice night. They brought a local band onboard who played fun jazz - followed of course by the ship's entertainers who did a great job leading dances, etc. Our fellow guests were mainly retired folks with a spattering of working age folks (40-60) from all over. Alot of Europeans (especially Scots & Brits), some Americans, and surprisingly alot of Kiwis and Australians (guess its easy to get to or from the ship!). We met lots of folks and enjoyed most. 14 days is a long time with some people - including those who jump in line or ignore that you are next for the bus and take the last 2 seats ahead of you ... Thankfully these folks were the exception and not the rule. Most of our fellow guests were classy and realized that common courtesy was the best way to go. As I frequently remind people who have to be "first" for everything - the cruise lines know what they are doing and never seem to run out of what people want! They take care of everyone! We had a balcony cabin on the eighth deck forward. Even with a few days of high seas, we did ok being forward. Tasman crossings can always be a bit rough they said. They were right! As described as naseum in other reviews, the bathroom (shower in particular) are laughably small. 14 days is a long cruise for us - but we found the size of the cabin to be adequate, including plenty of storage. Ok - now the areas where Azamara could improve ... 1. they seem to have started nickel and diming for some things... charging for movies on the TV ($12 or something) seems a little much ... and charging for a bridge tour or behind the scenes tour .... Seems rather Royal Caribbean, instead of Azamara ... 2. When the Living Room was packed, it sometimes took awhile to get served ... once they saw you needed something, they were helpful. More a matter of not enough servers instead of the staff being lazy 3. Entertainment was the same as on small ships... They could learn from the larger ships and try to make this a bit better 4. Prime C was just ok ... seems like they could improve quality of beef ... (Aqualina was excellent). 5. Excursions were pricey. Disappointed a few were cancelled due to lack of interest. Overall - super happy with this cruise. Kudos to Azamara for having some of the friendliest crew and definitely the most engaging officers at sea. We sail with Seabourn, Oceania, and SilverSea regularly and think Azamara is just as enjoyable and a much better value! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of time nothing of note here .We had more tenders than was on itinerary which was disappointing. Training some of the staff to steer the tenders when passengers were on board was a bit worrying. The food on board was excellent in the Discoveries restaurant and lunch times in Windows. The entertainment on board was a bit disappointing and not up to the Quests. The decor in all the public rooms was tasteful and relaxing. The ship has been refurbished new carpets etc. The waiters in the restaurants were attentive and friendly. The living room was a comfortable relaxing place to be with attentive waiters and various snacks during the day. We had a balcony bedroom which had a table and chairs on the balcony. The bathroom was small and the only complaint from most travellers was the shower curtain clinging to their bodies when showering. We did not take any of the shore excursions as we felt they were very expensive and we could make our own arrangements. We had a group of Greek dancers onboard during an evening buffet who were excellent. The Azamazing evening was in Dubrovnik and Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment a rock Cellist Ana Rucnar, we had the central square cordoned off and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Taken back to the ship by local boats which was interesting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are a couple in our 50's and booked this cruise because we wanted to see the Baltics/ Northern Europe and we wanted to try a better quality small ship cruise after getting very tired of the mega ships. We were very happy with our ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50's and booked this cruise because we wanted to see the Baltics/ Northern Europe and we wanted to try a better quality small ship cruise after getting very tired of the mega ships. We were very happy with our choice. The small ship experience is so much better for us. Embarkation and debarkation were totally hassle free. In addition we really enjoyed the excellent quality of the food. Azamara upgraded us from a veranda to a suite and we loved the larger room. We ate in the specialty restaurants most of the time and they were excellent, we ordered breakfast in our room several times and loved that. We ate lunches at the patio grill almost everyday, loved the Greek lamb burgers and hot fresh French fries! The staff is exceptional! So friendly and welcoming. The ship never felt crowded even though it was full. It was so nice that all your needs are included in your fare, the included wines were good and certain ones that we really liked the waiters were happy to get for us on days they were serving different selections. We mainly drink wine so cannot speak about the other alcohol options. The ports we visited were great. St Petersburg was one of the highlights. We took the ships 2 day tour and had a wonderful time and saw so much, it really is a small group of around 20 people, we used the 3rd day to relax after the huge crowds in the museums, etc.. Other ports we used the Azamara provided shuttle (again included) and toured on our own. We did not attend the Azamazing evening since we had been out on a tour for 10 hours that day. I heard it was very nice. The entertainment in the evening was not great every night (but some great performances) but that didn't bother us, one night we saw Tony Arias who was terrific!! So funny and a great singer, loved him! Another night was an ABBA night and we loved that! Our cruise director was Alicia Hill and she's wonderful, she had a great standing room only show. Our next trip is probably South America in 2020 and we most certainly will come back to Azamara. Thank you Azamara for such an outstanding trip! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the ... Read More
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the coast. Embarkation was a little longer then we have previously experienced as there were torrential rain in Bali and I think everyone wanted just to get onboard and stay dry. It was great to see familiar faces as we boarded handing us a glass of champagne Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise so I must start out by saying that I have no point of comparison. We had been hesitant to go on a cruise but were advised to stick to small luxury ships and the Azamara Quest is in this category. We just loved ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I must start out by saying that I have no point of comparison. We had been hesitant to go on a cruise but were advised to stick to small luxury ships and the Azamara Quest is in this category. We just loved this cruise. Everything worked like clockwork and the staff were fabulous. Our cabin was small but this is the standard size for this ship and it worked. The bed was really comfortable and there was plenty of storage room, wardrobe space and cupboards and drawers in the room to stow all our gear with room to spare. We dined at both Prime C and Acquilina twice. They were great with superb food. We also enjoyed the BBQ events on the ship - the staff did a fantastic job. We also enjoyed the White Night evening. To give you an example of the attention to detail on this ship, as we sailed into Venice at 11am and a lot of us were out on deck to watch the spectacle, the staff were ready with bellinis and mini pizzas. This crew and ship have thought of everything. This is just one small example of the level of service and planning that goes into making the cruise such an enjoyable experience. We stuck with the standard alcohol offerings that were included with our fare and they were adequate for our needs. Each day there were 2 red wine, 2 white wines, 1 sparkling wine and one 1 rose wine on offer together with standard beers and spirits. The average age on the ship was quoted at 55 to 57 (and we fit right into that category), however, I would have put it at slightly older for our cruise. There were a few children on board, but not many. This is more a couples cruise. There was a good mix of Americans, Brits, Australians and Canadians onboard - being the main audience for this cruise. All in all, a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
As this was our 10th Azamara, we were looking at returning to the Quest with great enthusiasm. Our on board experiences again did not disappoint. Other reviews talk about the white nights, Azamazing evening and the like so I don’t see ... Read More
As this was our 10th Azamara, we were looking at returning to the Quest with great enthusiasm. Our on board experiences again did not disappoint. Other reviews talk about the white nights, Azamazing evening and the like so I don’t see the need to revisit them in this review other than say that the signature events are exciting, anticipated and very much enjoyed. The advantages of the size and ambience of the R Class ships, Quest (and Journey) to us outweigh any negatives. To step aboard and see familiar faces amongst guests, staff and crew and to be remembered by name makes a comfortable, pleasant and enjoyable experience. The refit wasn’t a new experience for us as we’d been fortunate to have had 32 days on board straight out of dry dock last year. The Quest is a ship not only well loved but also well maintained and extremely clean. Firstly, what a great itinerary, even with the unplanned change from Cartagena to the touristy Cozumel. Due to storm activity in the Caribbean we concur that safety of the vessel, staff, crew and guests is of top priority and the change of itinerary and subsequent fine under the Jones act was Azamara’s decision. The Panama Canal was on our bucket list and the day’s transit experience didn’t disappoint. The history of the Canal is like nothing else. We loved the variety of the ports on this itinerary and without hesitation would re visit if the price were right. If it’s not on your bucket list it needs to be. The addition of the biking program is welcome by us wanting something different, hopefully (positive feedback here) the lengthy insurance form that needs completion prior to the activity is stored on board and can be reused again for future bike activities on future cruises. The ones we did were extremely well organised, fun and very enjoyable. Bike were easily to manage. Well done to those staff involved. The benefits on the self-service laundry continues to be an undervalued addition to your cruise price. The machine are smart, efficient and leave no one guessing to how long the washing needs to be ‘in’. Due to this upgrade in technology I believe that the laundry ‘protocol’ or behavior has improved to an acceptable standard and I met some lovely interesting people there, who then became ‘friends’ around the ship. Regulars will know what I mean. We met old friends and made new ones of all ages, nationalities and demographics. Over the years, we have seen some stubble and not so stubble changes on board, but on the whole we continue to be pleased with the product, service and quality of the food provided. This cruise also bought some variation and welcome additions to foods previously offered both in the buffet and Discoveries. I don’t agree with other negative review about the food as I believe it to be of high standard, tasty and surely inviting. We did mention in our mid cruise feedback form, and it was addressed immediately, that whilst acknowledging service was generally very good we did notice some delays in service in Discoveries. It wasn’t a deal breaker and we would happily return there each night if we weren’t dining in a delightfully exotic buffet or one of the specialty restaurants. The Discoveries staff do an amazing job and the attitude, flexibility and enthusiasm that they display needs to be commended. Shows where of usual standards with some enjoyable guest entertainers, sea days provided general 'something to suit everyone' experiences. Guest lecturer was popular and informative. Those activities, along with progressive trivial was the usual fun 'tongue in cheek' laugh at those more serious about it than our team. You could clearly do as little as wished or be quite active. As always under the competent helm of the Captain, senior officers, experienced staff and crew the service was impeccable and the attention to detail outstanding. We do not have a problem with the size of the staterooms or bathrooms as we know that they just ‘come with’ the design of the R Class ship which we love. We however appreciate that it would be a considerable challenge for some. As Azamara moves towards the future with the release of the 2019 itineraries, I’m pleased to say we have committed to another four for the next 12 months and must soon start thinking about 2019. The downside is that they all involve long haul flights but we are excited to be introducing other ‘newbies’ to our favourite brand and are prepared to ‘share the love’ when they step aboard with us next cruise. Until then we wish all Azamara staff, especially those on the Quest (and Journey) smooth sea and fair winds. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could visit India Maldives and Sri Lanka. Going by Azamara was great as we love sailing with this company. Also we figured we would more likely become sick travelling by sea than on land. Mumbai was a great eye opener for what was to come in India did a ship excursion to the dalla-wallahs ,train ride then onto the laundry dhobi ghats. great place to watch 22 million people. Goa own arranged shore excursion not as busy and more beaches and relaxed. Coochin organised tour with fellow cruise critics excellent sailing on the Backwaters of Alappuzha. Great Azamazing evening with the ship. lots of different activities other than drinking and eating. Had our palms read, a sketch of our faces an hand tattoo which is just starting to fade now.(2 weeks later). Next stop Maldives - What a picturesque spot snorkelled off a back of a catamaran with another couple from cruise critic very in expensive $65 US each for 6 hours sailing and snorkelling with lunch included.Remember to keep on applying sunscreen. Will come back again Sri Lanka - What a wonderful place and private tour with 7 couples from Cruise Critic TUK TUK SAFARI- Is an excellent and well run company with happy and great drivers and tour guide. It was the little things like having cold water, beer, coconut juice (fresh) peanuts cold wash towels, taking us to get fresh mango juice and many more things. We will definitely visit this place again and do a night tour with TUK TUK SAFARI. Chennai was a nightmare to get off the ship but once we sat and waited an hour on the bus and got to our hotel it was easy to adapt to the mad crazy drivers. really enjoyed visiting Manmallapuram - very unique and wonder in stone. A must see. Azamara Journey is an easy to get around but although there is only 600 passengers we found that by the end of 2 weeks we had not seen some passengers until the last day. We love this size ship. Our services onboard was excellent and nothing was too much to ask for from the crew. This was the first trip with Azamara that they allowed Bridge tours and engine room tours which was an eye-opener. Cooking demonstrations was great, dinning in all restaurants were of high quality food and waiters always willing to please you although their gratuities have already been paid for before we get on-board they were just great always smiling. we did a lot of reading and when I had finished my book we visited the ships library and borrowed another 2 from there. the captain and senior officers are always mingling with the passengers and taking questions when needed. The only disappointments is the repeat of shows from previous cruises which we choice sometime to miss. Enjoyed the Indian Buffet on pool deck and always the white night. Brunch is also a pleaser in Discovery. We love the whole Azamara Experience and feel like family oncer onboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It’s been two weeks so it’s time I write this review! A little background first so you have a point of reference on where this is coming from. I (Todd) just turned the big five-oh and Troy (husband) is in his late 40’s. Our cruise ... Read More
It’s been two weeks so it’s time I write this review! A little background first so you have a point of reference on where this is coming from. I (Todd) just turned the big five-oh and Troy (husband) is in his late 40’s. Our cruise history is mostly Neptune suites on HAL up until around 2006 and then Sky and Celebrity suites on Celebrity for the past 10 years with two Windstar thrown in there. On land trips we stay in Waldorf’s, St. Regis’ and Four Seasons. We enjoy a refined, hip, lively atmosphere and while we don’t consider ourselves foodies, anyone listening to us talk about food certainly would……or maybe that’s gluttons……oh well, fine line haha. I haven’t written reviews on our last few cruises and promised I would this time so here goes but be warned that it turned out a lot longer than I expected. I’ll start by saying we had an amazing cruise. I wish I could give 4.5 stars as there were some things that didn’t fit our cruising style or that we thought could be improved but I rounded up since Azamara, the officers and the crew really seemed to care and were just all around good people. I never had the feeling that they were out to get you for all your $$ or argue silly points of policy/procedure. All of the officers were very visible and it was great to see the captain interacting and being dad with his family who were onboard. Embarkation was quick and easy, no lines and onboard in a few minutes. The had a desk set up to the right of check in for specialty restaurants and we were able to book those before boarding and was nice to get that out of the way. We lucked out and received the $398 upgrade to the Club Continent Suite (#8046) and we really loved that! The room was very comfortable in size and while I thought I would miss the loveseat and bank of drawers across from the bed, the chair and a half did fine and we had more than enough storage. The new décor is very relaxing and the bed and linens were not what I would call “luxury”, but were very nice. The bathroom was also a nice surprise since I thought by the photos that our toiletries would be flying around due to the lack of space on each side of the sink and open shelving. That was not the case and it all worked out great. Towels were thick and the toiletries provided were About Rose and very nice. We did have a tub and being 6ft I had to bend over to rinse my hair but we have that same thing in the suites on Celebrity and it wasn’t the end of the world. Our butler and stewards did a great job of making the room up twice a day and keeping the fridge stocked with mostly Diet Cokes. Being under the lounge area on the pool deck we really didn’t hear all that much noise. The only times I remember are when they were setting up and breaking down for the White Nights BBQ. Our only complaint would be the limited selection on the TV. Just a few shows and movies were run over and over and the pay selection was very limited. The ship itself is beautiful! They did a great job on the refit and it has a nice relaxed elegance. If I had to give two small, very petty comments it would be to lose any and all dark green marble and switch out what looks like builder grade tile around the pool. A nice mosaic like on Oceania, Celebrity or the new Regent Explorer gives big bang for little buck. I know, I know, silly and petty but it did cross my mind. A place I didn’t think we’d use but ended up several times was the lounge area by the pool. We found ourselves curling up on the large chaise lounges and reading/sleeping for what felt like hours. Pure relaxation! We appreciated the size of the ship when we were able to dock so close to the center of town in Copenhagen and St. Petersburg while other ships docked at the main port. Now to the food. It was mostly good, sometimes great and every now and then….well not so great. First the buffet - We ate all of our breakfasts in the buffet and one of our gripes was that the buffet didn’t open until 7:30am. That seemed a little late, especially when pulling in to port at 8:00am. We managed to survive haha but that is something I would adjust. Yes we could have ordered room service but we like to sleep all we can, mill around and eat when we’re ready. Breakfast items on the buffet were your standard variety and we didn’t notice any higher quality than we found on Celebrity. I will note that we thought the waffles were horrible being undercooked and flavorless. We did enjoy the nice table settings and the fact that a server always rushed over when you sat down to take your beverage order. The buffet is very compact but had everything you would need and everyone was polite and civilized, even when it seemed crowded with people crisscrossing and going every which way. One of the benefits of this size ship is that the crew do get to know you and the omelette……um….master?....well the guy in charge of omelette orders knew us by day 2 and my egg beater, no oil, ham & cheddar omelette and Troy’s sausage omelette order were always started the moment he saw us. We didn’t have any lunches in the buffet but we did have many dinners, being drawn in by the ethnic themes. Most were very good and our only two comments would be that more spice is needed for the dishes that should be spicy and we wish they used chicken breast instead of the dark meat pieces you find at a mall food court restaurant. Things like vindaloo should have some kick but it was more like a mild tika masala. With the exception of some of the warm cobblers and bread puddings and the gelato, the desserts on the buffet were like what we’ve found on all of our cruises, bland tasteless and with a weird consistency. Definitely room for improvement with the desserts. All in all though it was a good buffet experience with lots of variety. We only ate in the MDR twice and both times were good. The breads were the same as what we received on HAL and Celebrity and we did enjoy the trio of XXX provided. The food choices were a step above Celebrity MDR but equal to what we found in Blu and Luminae on Celebrity. Portions were on the small side and I had to order more lamb chops as only 2 small loin chops were provided. I will note that they were cooked a perfect medium rare and had great flavor and of course there was no problem ordering an additional serving. Service was always spot on and we never felt rushed or forgotten. The first night out we ate at Prime C and the views, service and the food were all magnificent. For apps we had the chicken lollipops and crab cakes, both great. Then we enjoyed the pumpkin soup and warm water lobster salad, also great. Troy loved his Pheasant and my filet was cooked perfectly. The steak sauce choices were a nice addition and I had a wonderful Gorgonzola sauce. Little donuts with caramel, chocolate and vanilla dipping sauces and a bowl of gelato were a great way to end the meal. No complaints here! At some point we also ate at Aqualina and with the exception of the dessert we did enjoy that meal as well. The Carpaccio and gnocchi appetizer, my duck and Troy’s Dover Sole were all wonderful. We had the soufflés for dessert but they were undercooked and not so wonderful. Entertainment and atmosphere, hmmmm how do I cover this? Well I think this is where we thought Azamara fell short and didn’t fit with our cruising style. Like I mentioned before we like a refined, hip, lively atmosphere which to us is enhanced by some background music. The Azamara Quest is a very silent ship. So much so that we often felt like we had to whisper or be told to shush. There was a constant “I just wheeled mum in from the garden and she’s having a rest” feel to the public rooms. Some background music would have really helped. And I’m not talking about thump thump club music, but some classical or jazz in the atrium/Mosaic area, some funky chill in the casino or high energy in the gym. I mean who doesn’t have music in a gym? And again, not asking for high volume or thump thump, just something…..ANYTHING! They did have a performer in the Living Room performing folk and 60’s/70’s but it certainly wasn’t the elegant, upbeat, we’re on vacation, feel we were looking for. We love to gamble and the casino was so quiet that it had no energy and we just ended up walking through each night. We’re not production show people so we never went to those but did go to the Glen Miller tribute which unfortunately was played off key many times. The band tried hard and I hate to ever knock someone giving it their all but unfortunately that’s the way it was. After a while we found ourselves bored in the evening (remember there’s not much on the television either) and I ended up doing a lot more reading than I ever thought I would. I realize that some will disagree as to whether this is a negative and may choose Azamara for these aspects and that’s great. I certainly don’t feel any cruise line should tailor everything to just us but it did affect our enjoyment of the actual cruise experience and wanted to let potential cruises know what to expect and our take. The ports were amazing! I won’t go in to detail but will say that the times in port were perfect and getting on and off was a breeze. We did our own thing in each port using Tripadvisor to find tours and Rick Steve’s Baltic Ports book for information on the ports themselves. In St. Petersburg we used SPB Tours and had a great group of 12 wonderful people to share the experience with. That was definitely one of the highlights! So where do we stand? Not sure actually :-0 We were bored in the evenings and didn’t think the food was above what we get being in a suite on Celebrity BUT loved the size and finish of the ship, the crew and the itinerary. But that pool tile…..HAHA just kidding. Seriously though we’re still thinking about trying another premium/luxury line like but find the itineraries on Azamara to be the best with the most overnights. Maybe the few things that we find to be a negative are just the compromises we’ll have to make. And trust me, it does not escape me that if this is the problem I have in life then I don’t have any problems and am truly grateful. I hope this helps and please feel free to contact me with any questions at tadiebold@msn.com. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first Azamara cruise and we liked it so much, we've already booked our next one. We were fortunate to be the first passengers after the refit in Singapore and we found a beautifully appointed ship with comfortable places ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and we liked it so much, we've already booked our next one. We were fortunate to be the first passengers after the refit in Singapore and we found a beautifully appointed ship with comfortable places to relax, have a drink, meet friends, eat a wonderful dinner, or have a quiet moment. What we loved about the size of the ship is there are no lines like you get on the standard cruises - no long wait to embark, no hunting for a table at breakfast or lunch, no lines to go off on a shore excursion, no lines at any of the dining venues, and always a comfy lounger by the pool! Everything was elegant, civilized, amazingly clean, comfortable and relaxed. Nothing was snobby and I was happy to see people had left the ball caps and cut offs as well as the ball gowns at home. We met people from all over the world and everyone was warm and friendly. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the service. Every single person, from the cabin attendants to the Captain were friendly, helpful and available to all the guests and we each were made to feel like family. We filled out a survey on the third day about how things were going. I mentioned that the entertainment in the Living Room during the cocktail and tapas hours was too loud for conversation. I received calls from the cruise director, the head of hotel services and from guest relations. The music was immediately toned down (and the number of people in the bar increased) and I was thanked several times for speaking up. Everyone made an effort to know our names, and after the first few days, knew what we liked to drink and where we liked to sit. We chose to add the "Like" package to our cruise and would definitely do it again. This program came out after we had booked our shore excursions which meant we had to cancel some before the cruise to use the $400 credit for excursions booked on-board. I stressed about this, for no reason it turns out, because there was room available on all the excursions we had cancelled. I was very pleased with the unlimited wi-fi and posted lots of pictures for family and friends to follow. As well, we were happy with the included liquor package upgrade and were able to choose everything we usually drink at home. We also added a dining package and ate at Aqualina two nights and Prime C one. Next time we'll switch it up. Both are excellent although I felt the lighting in Aqualina could be dimmed a little for more atmosphere. We spent a few days in Singapore before the start of the cruise which let us recover from the very long plane ride from home and explore this very interesting (and ridiculously clean) city. We easily mastered the metro and saw the Botanical Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, rode the Singapore Flyer, took a bumboat ride and a trishaw tour. We also became somewhat acclimated to the high heat and humidity that we would experience wherever we stopped on the cruise. I would recommend a visit here for anyone passing through this way. Only one shore excursion took us to the dreaded 'craft sale' but it did have a western bathroom which was a redeeming factor. We saw a lot, learned even more and have so many memories. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
OVERVIEW:Both cruises were excellent, and we would have no hesitation in recommending this line to anyone considering a keenly priced alternative to some of the 6 star ships, or for anyone on a higher cabin grade/cost on 3-5 star lines... ... Read More
OVERVIEW:Both cruises were excellent, and we would have no hesitation in recommending this line to anyone considering a keenly priced alternative to some of the 6 star ships, or for anyone on a higher cabin grade/cost on 3-5 star lines... With all the inclusions offerred (wine, gratuities, port shuttles, coffee and soft drinks) plus the fact that cabins are well appointed, laid out for max use of space, plenty of storage and well soundproofed, that excursions were fairly priced around the $80-150 mark, its a VERY good deal. Cuisine was well above average, with the finest ingredients, varied international menus and probably the best breakfasts we have seen at sea. A high standard of cuisine overall with some reservations as to SOME items - see details in section below.Add to this the excellent and friendly staff, bridge, engine and galley tours, smart casual attire and you have a product that offers a lot more value for money than we have found anywhere else. On top of this, the pretty well intelligent, professional and laid back passenger profile (UK, US, Canada, Aussies with some Euro pax), with age of pax around 38-55 means mid-agers will love it also for the lack of kids, no overdone formality or familiarity for that matter - just a friendly mix. It's a goodie !In a nutshell, for the rapid reader, here are our observations of the pros and cons, for more detail please read on after...! PROS + CONS:PROS: Company integrity and fair treatment after changes to itinerary; Overnight stays in port: pricing spot-on and included generous offerings of good wine and sodas; Staff, top service; well appointed cabins with quality toiletries and accessories, variety of entertainment, reasonably priced and well chosen excursions, shuttle buses. High degree of safety and security is a company priority. In the 'pirate-zone' special measures with costly diversions were made to protect the ship. Most of our small shipboard concerns and enquiries were acted upon and fixed almost immediately.CONS: Website a bit flaky; Some matters required referal to head office and the subsequent delay in reply from Miami meant some issues that should have been handled on board could not; Food quality superb though expertise in preparation was at times below the high standards elewhere; No AV "in" available on the LCD TV in the cabin to reveiw fotos/videos, lack of movie playing times in the onboard daily news; deck cleaning often in very late evening which made them slippery at times.ABOUT US: We are a well travelled, 50's same-sex couple of 29 years, who have a enjoyed a good few cruises, hotels, itineraries , destinations and voyages on 5 continents under our well-travelled belts. After 30 years in the travel industry and semi-retired, we now travel on FULL fares and costs are an important consideration. We chose our first trip on Azamara because prices were comparable to a one-way business class fare (very $$$ ex Australia to Europe). On reesearching, Azamara was also chosen because the cabin facilities and grade were above average, the published fares were almost all-inclusive - with fare inclusive of gratuities, complimenatry wine at meals, and soft drinks offered throughout on an itinerary with port overnights. In short - the Singapore-Dubai and Dubai Athens b2b cruises on AZAMARA ticked our boxes for a leisurely trip to Athens.Many of the other current reviews on sectors of the Azamara 2011 Asia cruises reflect the current layout, facilities and staff/service on the Quest very well, so won't repeat here, rather would like to truly review the excellent, good and 'almost good' of our Azamara experience....OUR CONCERNS BEFORE SAILING:Firstly, it was to be a long trip - all in all over 3 1/2 weeks on board for the 2 cruises. Secondly we had sailed Crystal as a premium product before, as well as cruising on 'value' lines such as NCL, so were prepared to experience, something in the middle with Azamara. Thirdly, as a same-sex couple, one of us a smoker and with this length of time at sea plus Azamara's tight smoking policy, there were some reservations as to smoking and acceptance of our discreet but alternative lifestyle. We need not have worried on any account...AZAMARA CRUISES THE COMPANY (PLEASE READ ALL !) :Having been in Management with airline, hotel and group & Consular travel services companies for over 30 years, the first consideration for a traveller should always be the company with whom you are making a transaction. Azamara was an unknown to us and when we first booked with our agent, we found the response from RCI agency in Sydney to be below par in coming back with some of the info we needed.Assuming this to be the fault of our agent, I tried myself to call. In short, it took a lot of time, yielded poor responses, often lacking in knowledge , and most especially - in the all important matter of showing empathy with your client. Turning to the website was not much better and the fact that the layout and user access to important matters was somtimes a bit "hit and miss" did not add to our initial impression.**(IF the resident Cruise Critic blogger for Azamara Club Cruises happens to read this review, I would be most grateful for a private message so that I may discuss further this review on a professional level...)**That said, our ACTUAL experience was that Azamara Cruises are an extremely fair and customer conscious corporation:-We were advised in a timely manner, nearly 80 days before sailing that due to security concerns with the Mideast situation, our port call was being substituted from Alexandria to Santorini. The company not only advised early (unlike our upcoming Oceania cruise with about 17 days notice of changes), but Azamara also offered a very generous onboard credit to each guest as a goodwill gesture. Apologies were again given onboard. This is putting the customer first - well done Azamara !The company also suffered misfortune with bad fuel being supplied in Mumbai, but prudent fuelling and navigation planning ensured we were not "running low" and despite having to dock elsewhere this did not affect schedule. In fact the planning was such that the poor fuel was carried on board all the way to Athens for eco-friendly defuelling there - I am sure at great cost, but with full respect for the environment. The ship also faced the breakdown of our escort-ship from Dubai through the 'pirate-zone' off the horn of Africa. Consequently, Azamara went to great expense in loading our security team aboard in Dubai and then to dock again at Muscat to load their armaments. Again at great cost, but with schedule unaffected as the Captain kept full speed on for a week to meet schedules. The concern for safety. security and sticking to schedule could not receive high enough acclaim. Truly professional.THE SHIP. PASSENGERS, CABIN : The Quest was the first trip for us aboard any of the R Class ships. Quest was well apointed, nicely maintained and well laid out. She rode well and provided a feel of a good upscale hotel at sea with warm and traditional "club" decor. We prefer the more intimate and low key voyages offered on such ships. However if passengers, crew or services are 'off the mark'on such ships it can make for a stressed experience. Not so on board the Quest - it was a wonderful balance on all sides. Great fellow passengers, most of a semi-professional background, middle aged, well travelled and of a pleasant and entertaining nature. Passengers mingled well , without over-familiarity and the atmosphere was indeed that of the members at a friendly club. The cruise encompassed many "at sea" days - 9 in fact between Dubai and Suez but with a varied and diverse program on board, there was rarely any time that could not have been filled should you have wished. On board program covered everything from cuisine to dance - enrichment lectures - ships tours to galley, bridge and engine control room - games - spa, gym and excellent fitness instruction. A well rounded programmed indeed. even with nearly a month at sea, we did not grow weary of our journey and were sad to leave the vessel in Athens, (with still so much that we could have done !). Our cabin - 1B Veranda - was about 10% smaller than that on Crystal but well planned in layout. It offered great space and storage and despite reading of the 'shower curtain' issue, this was NOT an issue, the curtain is well designed, locked at one end and does not "flap out and cling" from the well designed shower stall. Storage again is plentiful in the bathroom. cabin service was almost immediate with several fellow passwengers remarking on the fact that the magical 'clean-team' would literally tidy up as one left the room. Cleaning was done thoroughly, all valet services efficiently and with a smile, a professional team here.SMOKING AND OUR 'ALTERNATIVE' LIFESTYLE :As a smoker, I was initially upset on boarding to having been 'relegated' to one upstairs zone to smoke, and not being able to do so on my cabin veranda. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. As I and my (non-smoking) partner discovered the benefit of a single smoking area on the ship - In effect an outdoor, weather protected veranda on the pool deck. Here, we mingled with others (who were also, more often than not, one smoker with a non-smoking partner !). The result was a group on board that met socially as they stopped by "for a fix" whilst not inflicting their bad habits on other passenegrs. The area actually became a social venue and many friendships have developed as a result of the friendly gathering that eventuated. On the issue of our lifetyle, the ship provided a discreet meeting time each day for people of same-sex orientation and again, friends were made on board. Crew and all staff were most accepting and kind in their dealings with us. Well done Azamara ... Good policy = good outcome for all. ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent for a small ship. The shows were well chosen and varied each night. Many guest artists joined at each port giving refreshment to the evening programme. In paricular, we should mention :Johnathan Johnston, an outstanding Flautist (and certainly a virtuoso on the flute) performed to standing ovations on the 12 day Dubai-Athens leg. Even the non-classical were blown away by this incredibly talented guy. The resident Raconteur/Pianist Donald (Jim) Badger was witty, incisive and brilliant in this difficult position on any ship. Filling a lounge or cabaret with a polished and varied act nearly every day. With a lot of B2B cruisers this is not easy, but his repertoire and humourin parrying with the audience in a playful manner made him a true gem of the offering.Azamara's keen eye for the small touches such as ; - CD of crickets chirping playing on pool deck area at night ! - A special memorial service for servicemen on Australia's ANZAC Day which was held on deck at dawn by the Captain and Senior Crew for Australian, New Zealand and other guests. - A Special "Gala" day for the British Royal wedding, with live coverage and catering.Kudos to all for a well selected and varied line up. 99 % well above average and very often just brilliant.CUISINE:Serving staff were faultless, bordering on brilliant. Nothing but the highest praise for their efficient, friendly and courteous service. all done without familiarity or cheesiness. These guys were well chosen, love their work and it shows. In all venues and without individual exception they were superb.The only SMALL downside for us was some small matters regarding cuisine. To set the scene - we are NOT "foodies" , nor do we eat out in 5 star restaurants weekly back home. We are of the old-school, 'eat what is provided for you' upbringing and certainly are not menu-snobs or wannabe Chefs... We also understand catering to 100's or 1000's of guests in varied restaurants over the course of a day and at sea is never easy.What WAS provided on Quest was excellent choices. International meant just that, asian, indian, greek, itlaian, mexican, french, spanish etc. Three included dining areas and two speciality restaurants were available each day as was room service from the in-room or restaurant menu of the day. This, by the way was very well done, offering a fast and friendly delivery of hot food and most importantly, all the condiments - never had to ask for sauce or spices, they were on the tray along with generous cutlery settings. Important when you have had the experience of having to ring again for the missing items !! Azamara had room service completely and efficiently taken care of - bravo ! Service, Variety and choice were never an issue.The ingredients, provisions meats and variety of fruits and vegetables was of the very best quality. The company has spent a lot of time and money here and it should show...However, although all ingredients were of excellent quality, esp. the never-ending lobster and steaks, both well cooked and presented, the Executive Chef for the main restaurants on AZ QUEST was, to our mind, lacking in his supervision and preparation of SOME dishes. I honestly believe that the preparation is more under par than admitted to... leading to a few dishes and menu items going out to tables that shouldnt have - I will not nit-pick , but for example (soggy batter on prawns, steak 'surf and turf' served but lobster forgotten (!) in Specialty restaurant, in particular we disliked the soups, often they were over-salted or over-sweetened with poor stock bases, and some weird menu items like chocolate or strawberry soup in the savoury part of the menu, that really have no place on any menu. A good stock/soup chef and deletion of some over-fancy bizarre cuisine ideas on some of the main Discoveries restaurant menus. Buffet overall was well above average and on many occassions superior to the food received in main restaurants of other ships.That said we ate and drank very well (The complimentary wines at lunch 11.30-2.30 and dinner from 18.00-21.30 , free flowing by the way, are all bottled vintages from around the world - very good too!). So please don't regard this as an indictment on the beautiful food and quality ingredients offered. We ate well - Azamara could just lift the supervision in preparation at times.We have expressed this to Quest's Hotel Director, Ryszard onboard and understand that they will review. IMPORTANT: To be fair, this is our only real issue, and on this voyage, there may have been some kitchen complications or absent staff. But, with the rest of the ship scoring near-perfect in our book, this, to US, if fixed, would put Azamara up close there with other 6 * ships on nearly every front.THE SUM UP As two value conscious travellers, in our early 50s, we are experienced of over 100 destinations over 30 years and look keenly at quality/price/value for our trips. We travel from 3-5 star on land/sea/air and can state that that this is a very, very good product which has come a long way since their initial poor start (we understand from early CC reviews in 2007). We travelled on Azamara's regular published fares and while this review may seem too glowing it is not, it's exactly the way we saw things. We review through our other compared experiences for price quality and value. All in all we would have no hesitation in recommending Azamara Quest, we will put this company on our preferred shopping list for future itineraries. ALL of our close shipmates concurred and are also very likely to choose Azamara again. So, go for it - its a good sail and these people delivered well ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click