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Sail Date: October 2017
Great trip with friends sightseeing parts of the world that we hadn't considered before, especially the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Although a small sample, the various visits gave a good appreciation of Arab culture and Middle East ... Read More
Great trip with friends sightseeing parts of the world that we hadn't considered before, especially the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Although a small sample, the various visits gave a good appreciation of Arab culture and Middle East politics. The smaller ship certainly allows for docking without using tenders saving time to visit the wonders of Luxor and Petra, which were incredible. Comparing and contrasting the wonders of the old world(Luxor and Petra) to those of the new world(Dubai) are just one of the reasons to take this cruise. Dining options are varied with upscale Prime and Aqualina restaurants top notch. Crew are well trained and extremely capable and versatile. Entertainment and lectures were very well done especially cruise director Eric de Gray, who not only is an extremely capable director but also an amazing performer. Lecturer John and his passion for the universe drew me to his daily lectures while at sea. Excursions were well organized except for some confusion regarding the hop on hop off bus in Dubai with length(1 day or 2 day), where to embark, outdated maps available on the ship. Otherwise the bus provided a good overview of Dubai. A trip I would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Itinerary and reputation. The itinerary took us to Athens, Agios Nicoleos, Suez Canal, Safaga(Luxor), Aqaba(Petra), Salalah, Mucat and Dubai. The specialty restaurants were very good (Aquafina & Prime C), the others were just OK. ... Read More
Itinerary and reputation. The itinerary took us to Athens, Agios Nicoleos, Suez Canal, Safaga(Luxor), Aqaba(Petra), Salalah, Mucat and Dubai. The specialty restaurants were very good (Aquafina & Prime C), the others were just OK. Visibility in the theatre was quite limited as there is no grading in the seating...a lot is missed if you aren't in the front row! Mosaic Cafe has good coffee...including Nespresso but there is a charge for Nespresso..coffee is better here than other venues. Sometimes we received conflicting info on what to do/not do when ashore...do your research! The Living Room is a good place to hangout. It's quiet most of the time and you get a good view there. The Azamazing event was held in Wadi Rum in Jordan. It would have been nicer if the event was held earlier in order to appreciate the sunset. The sound and lighting for the event could be improved a lot since where we were sitting, you could hardly hear anything being said. The lighting was focused behind the dancers, it was difficult to see the dancing in the dark. It would be nice to include some snacks in order to taste some local flavours...all we had was some local bread! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We ended up with a restricted view cabin on 6. ( i dont know why) restricted view is an understatement if i could open the window i could touch the life boat that was our obstruction. A very small cabin really poor, having been on 20 plus ... Read More
We ended up with a restricted view cabin on 6. ( i dont know why) restricted view is an understatement if i could open the window i could touch the life boat that was our obstruction. A very small cabin really poor, having been on 20 plus cruise ships on various cruise lines, using inside ,sea view and veranda state rooms its the worst. Not a patch on sister line celebrity cruises as accommodation goes ,otherwise fine. The food wasnt as varied as i had hoped but pretty good, after complaining about cold plates on one occassion at dinner i am pleased to say this didn't happen again. Although we didn't go on any trips ( having dont them before) i thought they were very expensive compaired to booking independantly. I noted on what appeared to be safari? That passangers , mainly pretty elderly were cramped (6) into these small jeep type vehicles some people appeared to have difficulty getting in and out , i thought at the time they were not really suitable for elderly folk. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our fifth cruise with Azamara and our third on the same route. We chose the route twice before as one or other of us had had knee surgery and this repositioning cruise includes many relaxing sea days. The itinerary includes the ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Azamara and our third on the same route. We chose the route twice before as one or other of us had had knee surgery and this repositioning cruise includes many relaxing sea days. The itinerary includes the option to visit both Luxor and Petra. On the previous cruises we weren’t fit enough to take these strenuous tours, but this time we intended to, and did, ‘tick off’ both these bucket list destinations. We had stayed in Athens twice before, so decided to look for a hotel in Piraeus and we found a great one. The Phidias Piraeus is a small boutique hotel very well located close to the Zea Marina, which has an interesting range of boats from luxury cruisers to small fishing boats. The road around the Marina has many restaurants and bars, so is an ideal place to find dinner. The hotel itself was great. The receptionist could not have been more helpful. Our room was small but very tastefully decorated in a modern style and the bathroom was nice - everything was very clean. Breakfast was great, too. They took us to the port the next morning at 12 on their free shuttle, along with about 12 other Azamara passengers who were staying there. As usual embarkation was quick and easy and well before 1:00 we were on board sipping a glass of bubbly. We went straight to the speciality restaurants reservation table in Windows(buffet) to buy a 3 meal dining package for the speciality restaurants and make our bookings, then had lunch in the Patio. By 2:00 we were in our verandah stateroom (7021) unpacking. Our steward, Luis, was happy to get us some metal coat hangers to supplement the ones provided. The cabin was very comfortable, with lots of storage space. We had asked for a queen bed configuration, and bed was huge and extremely comfortable. The balcony was small but had a table and two chairs - big enough for us to sit out there. We ate most dinners in Discoveries (MDR) and overall the food was excellent. We had some main courses that were outstanding - lamb chops, surf and turf, filet mignon, lobster with scallops and shrimp risotto. Azamara generally does soups well too - favourites include red pepper soup and Thai seafood soup. There were two or three misses though - garlic soup that tasted of rubber, veal chops that were tough and Thai beef curry that tasted like stewed beef, but these were very much the exception. We usually shared tables at dinner, often with the same group of people who all went to the Discoveries bar at about the same time (7:30) and had many lovely sociable meals. We ate twice in Prime C and once in Aqualina and these were all outstanding meals. We mostly had lunch at the Patio (my husband thinks the Azamara special burger is unbeatable) and breakfast in Windows. Although we were happy with the included drinks, we felt that the quality of the wine was lower than on our last cruise, a year before. After dinner, we often went to the Cabaret Lounge to watch some or all of the show. Mostly these were song and dance shows by the ship’s group of entertainers, including the talented Eric De Gray, the Cruise Director. During our 16 nights aboard there were two guest artists - a comedian and a cellist, but we didn’t see either of them. On a few nights we ended the evening dancing to disco in the Living Room, with the DJ Marcio. On this cruise there was a good crowd up there most nights. The Azamazing Evening was, unusually, a little underwhelming! It was in Wadi Rum, which is a beautiful setting, but the entertainment was folk dancing, which was very repetitive. It was men in white robes (plus a boy) waving swords and dancing. There was wine to drink but the only food was flat bread made by a couple of women sitting at the base of the stage. As we were sitting near the back we didn’t even get to try it! It also became quite cold once the sun set, as the sky was clear. We enjoyed the sea days, as we love sitting on a sun bed on deck 11. That means that I can’t comment on the lectures, art classes or bridge lessons - we didn’t get to any of them. From Aqaba to Muscat the ship was subject to high security - there was a team of security guards onboard and all outdoor areas had to be kept dark between dusk and dawn. We had to close our curtains at dusk and not use our verandah light. Deck 9 was only accessible after dark by ‘smoker’s corner’ - but the added bonus was that the view of the starry sky was wonderful with no light pollution! As always with Azamara the service was generally excellent. Senior Officers were very evident - we spoke to the captain a couple of times, and the Hotel Director, Heike, was everywhere - directing people to buses in port, welcoming us back to the ship. The other thing that always impresses is with Azamara is the general friendliness onboard - crew and passengers alike, and this cruise was no exception. Ports:- Crete - Agios Nikolas - we went on the little blue land train. We took the 70 minute tour for €13, which went up into the hills to a view point over Elounda and Spinalonga as well as back over Agios Nikolas, then had a walk around this pretty little town. Egypt - Safaga - we took a 2 day private tour with Your Egypt Tours which included Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, a sunset felucca ride on the Nile, an overnight stay at the 5 star Steigenberger Hotel on the banks of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Colossi of Memnon - all for $160. We also had some optional charged extras - the Light & Sound Show after dark at Karnak Temple and visits to King Tutankhamen’s and King Seti’s tomb. I loved the Light & Sound Show, but my husband found it boring. The two extra tombs were well worth the extra charge, especially Seti’s tomb - the paintings there were amazing, so fresh and vibrant. Jordan - Aqaba - we went on the ship’s excursion to Petra. A very hard day, but also well worth it. We walked for 5/6 miles on uneven ground - not so bad on the way there as it’s downhill, but hard work coming back uphill. You can pay to go in a carriage, but we didn’t fancy it, they went pretty fast and the passengers looked as if they were being thrown around a lot. The walk through the Siq is interesting as the rocks are amazing colours, then you get your first glimpse of the Treasury - the iconic building that you see in every bit of information about Petra. It’s amazing, but there is so much more to Petra - lots more carved buildings and even an amphitheatre. Oman - Salalah - we didn’t get off the ship as it was very hot (88) and the port was 25km from the town. Oman - Muscat - we took the ship’s free shuttle to The Muttrah Souq, which is huge. The main path is where all the souvenir stalls are, but it’s more interesting on the side and outer paths where there are stalls and shops selling goods designed for locals, such as shops selling abayas (Arab black dresses). We spent a couple of hours wandering around the Souq and the surrounding area. UAE - Dubai - took the ship’s free shuttle to the Dubai Mall. Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you Host Grandma Cruising for the very thorough cruise review! We really appreciate it when any Guest takes the time to write about us. Of course, we also very much appreciate the moderating you do on the Azamara Club Cruises' forum here on Cruise Critic.
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted a change from cruising on larger ships and visiting the same ports that can accommodate the larger vessels. Our back to back cruise on the Quest visited new ports and offered a more relaxed, high quality and less hurried ship ... Read More
We wanted a change from cruising on larger ships and visiting the same ports that can accommodate the larger vessels. Our back to back cruise on the Quest visited new ports and offered a more relaxed, high quality and less hurried ship board experience. The staff are without exception the most friendly and efficient we’ve come across. The captain and staff are very visible throughout the ship and invariably stop and ask you how things are going. The dining venues are less crowded than on larger ships and we found the food quality and service to be excellent. Entertainment in the main lounge was really good and a good seat could always be found in this smaller, more intimate cabaret style lounge. Our V1 cabin on deck 8 had plenty of storage. The bathrooms are small, but perfectly adequate. The balcony housed a table and 2 chairs, virtually filling the space. There is very little marketing of extras being pushed at you, quite a refreshing change from our last large ship cruise. Drinks are included, and the house wines at lunch and dinner were of good standard and with a good choice, varying daily. Specially coffees are also included in the fare, and the Mosaic cafe was a favourite stop off for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Smaller ship so thought more organised but that did not prove yo be the case Cabin was good but bathroom miniscule. I am only 5ft and small for me! Some staff offhanded and one even rude. Cabin attendant excellent kept room ... Read More
Smaller ship so thought more organised but that did not prove yo be the case Cabin was good but bathroom miniscule. I am only 5ft and small for me! Some staff offhanded and one even rude. Cabin attendant excellent kept room spotless Food on some occasions very poor Even specialty restaurant which we paid a 66.00 supplement for left a lot to be desired. We had an entre and main with coffee! A lot of the people we met were what made the trip for us Would probably not sail with them again unless it was super cheap and the destination was one we could not get elsewhere We did not get any on board credits or perks so not worth what we paid Ports of call ok, only did one excursion so not in a position to comment Overall it does not rate as a top class experience for us Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
After reading reviews, and hearing from friends about Azamara, we booked a Mediterranean cruise. Beautiful ship, the food was great, everyone, including the captain, was happy and friendly. Our room and bathroom was small, but adequate, ... Read More
After reading reviews, and hearing from friends about Azamara, we booked a Mediterranean cruise. Beautiful ship, the food was great, everyone, including the captain, was happy and friendly. Our room and bathroom was small, but adequate, clean, and beautiful. The staff were, without fail, obviously well-trained, friendly, nice, and helpful. We loved the thought that went into the design of the ship that there were all of these perfect public spaces to appeal to every taste and desire. Our previous cruises were on big ships. We really enjoyed this smaller ship. We never had that "cattle call" feeling we have had on the larger ships. I am also fond of good organization so I really appreciated how everything was obviously thought through and organized. We did not do any tours so I cannot rate them. We would give the boat 5-stars if internet were included, which we expected from a luxury cruise company, but it is not. If one has not sailed with them like 24-times, it is expensive, and yet, even as retired passengers, we absolutely needed it. It felt like a sly way to add to the price of our cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We particularly wanted to revist Ephesus, Chania and Rhodes. We prebooked a small group 4wd safari with Chania Adventures and then found we were the only passengers. Nassos was a entertaining and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We particularly wanted to revist Ephesus, Chania and Rhodes. We prebooked a small group 4wd safari with Chania Adventures and then found we were the only passengers. Nassos was a entertaining and instructive driver/guide and made our day extremely enjoyable even if we failed his quizz on the life and habits of bees. In Ephesus we had a private tour by Ephesus Port Tours which was well organised with a particulary charming guide. The food on Azamara was very good and we enjoyed the MDR on 6 evenings and had an excellent meal in PrimeC on the other day. Found the Ultimate Drink package to be good value at $21.95 per day . The Azamazing evening in Chania was a triumph of organising skill by the shore excursion team. Captain Magnus made a point of being very visible around the ship and kept all guests informed on weather and sea conditions Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you 1901Phil for the cruise review. We are so glad you enjoyed your Azamara cruise!
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I were looking for something special to do for our 40th Anniversary. We cruise annually to the Caribbean but wanted something more special - so we looked at a European Cruise. We originally were looking on either celebrity, ... Read More
My wife and I were looking for something special to do for our 40th Anniversary. We cruise annually to the Caribbean but wanted something more special - so we looked at a European Cruise. We originally were looking on either celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean or Holland America but because we had a very limited window when we could travel, we expanded the search and found this cruise. We were first attracted by the itinerary but then became intrigued with the idea of cruising on a small ship. In addition, because this was a Tuesday - Tuesday cruise, we decided to spend the previous Thursday thru Monday in Paris, fly to Athens monday night, pick up the cruise Tuesday and after the cruise was over, stayed in Athens for 3 more days. The initial cost of the cruise was higher than we are used to paying but after factoring in all that is included, beverages, gratuities etc - it wasn't quite so bad. Embarkation - We had a taxi take us to the port the afternoon of the cruise and was on the ship with a drink in hand in about 15-20 minutes. Smoothest embarkation ever. Because this was our first small ship, we decided to explore the ship before our cabin was ready. Truthfully, it felt more like a boutique hotel than a cruise ship. Just 4 elevators on board - 2 fore and 2 aft but never had to wait! Our cabin was nice. The bed and pillows were the best we have had at sea. Unfortunately, the bathroom was the worst - that said we did not let it ruin our trip. I said the little things all add up and they truly do. On larger ships, when you eat at a buffet, you get your food, take it to your table and then go back for water, tea or juice. Not here! Here you get your food, go to your table and a server comes around and asks you what you would like to drink. Soft drinks, wine, rail drinks - all included. Maybe even better yet, the soft drinks are served in real glasses - not the plastic kiddie cups on other ships. The food on the ship was excellent, although we only ate in the main dining room once. The first night was a seafood buffet which was excellent. Alaskan crab legs on the buffet - not only that, the shells were already sliced open so all you had to do was take the meat out. Again a little thing that felt special. Overall the food at the breakfast buffet was very good. The variety was more than enough that i could not imagine anyone not finding something they would enjoy. We were in a different port every day so most days we ate lunch off the ship. A couple of days we came back and ate at The Patio. Again, the little things - you actually place your order with someone at the counter and go to your seat. They then bring you the food and drink when the food is ready. They also served dinner here as well and one night had grilled filet mignon on the menu. We ate twice in Prime C and once in Aqualina. Prime C was a good meal both times. Although you better like meat because if someone in the party doesn't, there is very little to choose from. Aqualina was a very good meal as well. Overall I believe the meals in the specialty restaurants were well worth the money. We bought a package which was $70 per person for 3 meals. Not unreasonable at all. Service at both was excellent. The one night we ate dinner in the main dining room, the service and food were both very good. However, one of the reasons we decided to eat 3 times in the specialty restaurants was that we didn't feel there was a great selection or variety in the main dining room. The White Night party was so much fun. The food was excellent and it was fun to see the two charcoal kettle grills being loaded up over and over again with good sized lobster tails! The band played and between the great music, great food and a beautiful evening - it was a fantastic event! The Az-amazing evening was in Crete and at first we were a little concerned as the entertainment was a pianist. My wife and I love music as much as the next person but we are not big on classical music and incorrectly assumed that was what he was going to play. WRONG! First, let me say getting to and from the venue could not have been smoother. They had to have at least 15 or 16 full sized motor coaches but all was well organized with no issues or confusion. The venue was gorgeous. Outdoors and on the water. They passed wine and champagne as well as plenty of hors d'oeuvres. THe pianist played a variety of tunes and the dancers toward the end were very entertaining as well. It was fun watching the artist Corrine Fallone work her magic and paint a piece during the concert. I wish we could have purchased it but someone else got it before we could decide. The fireworks at the end capped off a perfect evening. Excursions - normally we only use private excursions when we cruise as we do not like large group tours. Azamara told me they limit their tours to no more than 20 - 25 people. We decided that we would use Azamara tours everywhere except for Santorini. The Azamara tours, like everything else - were top notch, well organized and extremely informative. I am very happy we took them and would not hesitate to do so again. In Santorini, we went with a private driver because none of the ship's excursions covered all we wanted to do. Besides it was our anniversary and we figured we would splurge a bit. Overall, I believe I have been spoiled by all of the little things I mentioned and many more that i haven't. My wife and I have a 10 night Caribbean cruise in January with Holland America and an Alaska Cruise with Princess in July - I am definitely looking forward to them but I will very much miss all of the little things that Azamara does to make your time with them feel special. We HIGHLY recommend you consider Azamara if you are looking for that something special the big ships can't and don't give you. I know when we plan our cruise(s) for 2019, we will look to see what Azamara has first! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because of wanting to try something different; we have sailed exclusively on Royal Caribbean and had heard great things about Azamara, For the itinerary we had been to Italy and loved it so much, but wanted to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of wanting to try something different; we have sailed exclusively on Royal Caribbean and had heard great things about Azamara, For the itinerary we had been to Italy and loved it so much, but wanted to spend more time there. This cruise started in Venice and ended in Rome, with many ports in between that we had not visited. It did not disappoint! The ship is beautiful, and holds approximately 700 passengers; a nice change from the larger ships we have sailed on with Royal. The crew were so warm and welcoming, and always going out of their way to help. It is so nice to be able to cruise right up to the city centers in many cases due to the smaller size of the ship! The onboard port expert was interesting and knowledgeable and gave great background to the ports we visited. While there are not a lot of activities available to occupy your free time when cruising, it was a refreshing change! Most of the sailing was done after dinner, so your time in port was much longer, and that was really nice. To see the ports in the evening was special. We took advantage of room service for breakfast and really enjoyed the expanded breakfast menu! The food was always hot, and quality excellent. Dinners were so good in the Windows Café that we ate most of them there! It was a nice buffet, and there were different themes every night; just the right size without being overwhelming. Always freshly prepared. To have beer and wine included in the price was nice; I don't usually drink a glass of with dinner every night but found myself indulging since it was included. The choices they had were pretty good. We did choose to purchase a 3 table tour of the specialty restaurants Prime C and Aqualina; enjoyed them both, with Prime C being our favorite. As far as excursions go, we did book a few ship excursions, but the majority were booked with fellow cruisers that we met right here on Cruise Critic! When we ended the cruise in Rome we stayed for 2 days after to get in a bit more sight seeing; we used a tour company called "All around Italy" and highly recommend them! Fabrizio is the owner and his younger brother Valentino took us on private tours of Rome by night, and the following day to Tivoli and visiting the former summer residence of the pope. Simply beautiful and amazing. We adore Italy and can't wait to explore more. We will return to Azamara again someday soon, and find another corner of the world to explore! Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you vaquera63 for submitting a cruise review on your Quest sailing. We appreciate all feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
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