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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Three ports in Cuba, three days in Havana. . .all were enticing! Our first cruise on Azamara, a little pricey, but we were determined to make the trip. As others have said, we, too, were led to believe that you needed to participate in the ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba, three days in Havana. . .all were enticing! Our first cruise on Azamara, a little pricey, but we were determined to make the trip. As others have said, we, too, were led to believe that you needed to participate in the high-priced Azamara excursions every day in order to comply with both U.S. and Cuban rules for U.S. visitors. Not true. Although we did three tours because we wanted to, on other days we sought to comply with the people-to-people commitment on our own. Basically, the Cubans care about what you bring into Cuba, but generally not what you do while there. U.S. government cares what you are doing while in Cuba, but were really lax when we returned with no one even asking what we had to declare. Go figure. A couple of months before the trip, the number of days in Havana was reduced to 2 days--disappointing--but apparently beyond control of Azamara. Same for need to be tendered, not docked, into Santiago de Cuba. Tendering took 20 minutes from ship to dock, and was well handled by the crew. For us, Labadee, Haiti--the private resort owned by Azamara's owner, Royal Caribbean--was wasted on us. Azamara passengers appear to average age 72, and I cannot imagine they took advantage of all the outdoor activities offered--again at high prices--or even just lie on the beach for a full day. There was even a charge for a nature walk around the resort. Really?! Lunch BBQ was great--avoid the food set out in the sun--but saddened by watching the under-nourished and water-denied dogs wandering about. Come on, Royal Caribbean. . .even if these animals are owned by locals, put out food & water, and perhaps have them spayed. Since this ship is the original, but refurbished, R6 (now-defunct Renaissance Cruises), we felt very comfortable having traveled on the R1. The Club Veranda Stateroom was very nice. A few minor negatives: smallish bathroom, poor quality of TV set image, magnifying bathroom mirror was fine if passenger is over 5'7". Large comfortable bed, ample storage space, a zillion hangers in a lighted closet, incredible steward service, free self-service laundry (on level 7). Public areas were comfortable and always clean. Discoveries dining room (main) is large and can be noisy--come early or late to avoid this. Service is wonderful, and the food is good quality. Because of size, however, the occasional buffet there can get a little chaotic. The more casual dining option, Windows Cafe, is always buffet, but better passenger flow. Food is tasty but some items can be more cafeteria-like. Once we saw the additional cost for the two specialty restaurants, we decided to stick with the dining that was included in fare. We're used to not being charged extra on Oceania and Celebrity. Oh, Internet was also extra--not so on Celebrity, Viking, or Oceania. Having been on small cruise ships, we do not expect Broadway shows or big entertainment events. The few singers were very good, although music selections were a little dated. The Azamara Orchestra is really a 4-man band. . .and they were excellent. The 24-year old leader plays piano and delivers witty repartee. The White Nights was much more to our liking with music and dancing from the 70s. Think most of the 600+ passengers turned out for this on-deck activity. There was one enrichment speaker for the whole trip: four presentations in ten days. He knew the material, but his delivery was deadly. I was not the only one who nodded off to sleep while the professor droned on. We will price Azamara voyages in future, but we might find better value for the same trip on Azamara's sister Celebrity ships. Yes, they are larger, but not one of the "Leviathan of the Seas" class ships! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my fourth cruise with Azamara and the third on the Quest. I love Azamara because the ships are small, no children allowed and we are treated like one of the family. There is little music played on deck - thank goodness. Staff ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise with Azamara and the third on the Quest. I love Azamara because the ships are small, no children allowed and we are treated like one of the family. There is little music played on deck - thank goodness. Staff quickly get to know you and you get a welcome when you return. Boarding is well organised and painless. We had to wait a long time for our luggage to arrive and we started sailaway before we finally got ours. First night was busy as always and we all followed the usual hygiene rules of being served rather than self service for 24 hours. The strict rules about sanitizing work and we have never been unwell on this ship. Although there are over 600 passengers on board it is possible to find peace and quiet for much of the time and I have a number of photographs that make it look like a solo trip! The pool area was good as always, the pool clean. For some reason on our last sea day they decided to do maintenance and were pressure washing the decks at 10.30 in the morning when people were wanting to sit on the sunbeds. After complaints from a number of passengers they replaced everything and left. The Azamazing evening was brilliant. There were no delays getting to the venue and seating was comfortable and well laid out. As always there were those who felt they had to stand up in front of other people to get the best photographs and this selfish act is very irritating. It would be helpful if the host were to ask people to remain seated to take photos. White Night was lovely and we were lucky with the weather as there had been some storms around. We chose to sit up on Deck 10 as we have always found that once again people will go and stand across the front of the stage area totally blocking the view for anyone sitting down. We did speak to the cruise director about this and he admitted it was a problem but did not say anything on the night. In the past there has been a display of somekind but this time there was only dancing and singing from the guests and crew. We eat in Windows because we like the self service. As a vegetarian I would like to see more choice in the main course. Most nights there are vegetables, rice and potatoes but something a little more interesting would be good. One night there was a pasty and I asked what was in it. The person behind the counter had no idea and had to go and ask. On a couple of occassions they were rather grumpy and there was an atmosphere. Something we have not experienced before. The waiter service in Windows was on the whole very poor. In the past it had always been pretty good. However there appeared to be a number of new staff who were clueless. On two occasions we were actually ignored when signalled that we would like some water. They have a habit of looking at you and turning away. Several times we had to wait for a good ten minutes before anyone asked if we wanted water or wine. Likewise with coffee in the mornings. At times there were no waiters to be seen, others a huddle of them down by the coffee machine. They have a habit of walking around but not doing and definitely not seeing. The manager spent most of his time staring at his computer and when he did wander round did not appear to do anything. This is so different to what it used to be like and very disappointing. Waiters in the Living Room and Caberet and Mosaic were good as were the ones on pool deck. We were on deck 8 in a balcony room. It was clean and comfortable. Our two stewards were attentive and cheerful. We had a problem with the aircon switch not working and this was promptly repaired with two very smiley guys. the excursions were good, small groups in very good coaches with knowledgeable guides all of whom had a sense of humour. Disembarking each time was well organised and quick. In Koh Samui the sea was turbulent and the authorities could not use their tenders but Capt Jose was not phased and the ships tenders were lowered and expertly crewed and we were taken safely ashore. It was a great cruise as always and my only real criticism is the staff in Windows. They are the one thing that stood out in the whole of the trip. I have booked to go to Alaska next June on the Quest and do so hope that by then some serious staff training will have taken place. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Found a deal on the transatlantic cruise and boarded in Barcelona. Boarding was easy and quick. Our suitcases were at the door before we were! Due to approaching we weather we skipped Gibraltar and Madeira and went to Santa Cruz de ... Read More
Found a deal on the transatlantic cruise and boarded in Barcelona. Boarding was easy and quick. Our suitcases were at the door before we were! Due to approaching we weather we skipped Gibraltar and Madeira and went to Santa Cruz de Tenerife instead - a worthwhile visit. We got credit for the skipped port charges. Kudos to Captain Antonio for outrunning the storm, we had a a couple of days of rolling seas but overall it was as smooth crossing. The food was fabulous (as usual) and the speciality restaurants did not disappoint. The wines offered were all very good except for the whites which were to heavy on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. But when asked, there was always an alternative. Despite this being a transatlantic cruise the entertainment was the best we had ever had on Azamara. The shore excursion in Tenerife was wonderful as was the behind the scenes tour on the ship. The White Night was also fabulous. The service overall was slightly below par, probably due to new staff not quite embracing the Azamara spirit. There were a few familiar faces to welcome us back. Trivia is a big thing and one of the hosts was not up to par as he could not pronounce words properly. That led to some angry outbursts. The senior staff is all great, visible and accessible. Looking forward to going back next March. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as our wine shop was sponsoring the trip for customers. We had 46 people in our group. We were in Cabin 8052 which was right next to the elevators and stair well midship. We had our doubts as to the possible noise ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our wine shop was sponsoring the trip for customers. We had 46 people in our group. We were in Cabin 8052 which was right next to the elevators and stair well midship. We had our doubts as to the possible noise level for the location, but it was never a problem, we had no noise at all from the elevator and stairwell traffic. The room itself was very good with lots of storage and plenty of room to move about without any problems. The only issue is if you are not agile the tub presents a problem as it is a high step into the tub. Once in tub area to shower your head is practically touching the ceiling, I am 5'8" and clearance was about 1 inch, so if you are over 6' you will have to scrunch down. Otherwise the bathroom size is good. The Club Continent Suite comes with a stash of free liquor, Bombay Gin, Sotli Vodka, Rum, and Johnny Walker Red. The balcony was a bit tight but not an issue. I suggest that when you board, if you have a Club Continent Suite or higher the specialty dining is free, you book the specialty restaurants for every day you are on board, then cancel the day(s) you do not use on those schedule days, otherwise you are on a wait list the whole trip. The food is not spectacular on board, but very good. The surprise restaurant is the The Patio, poolside. Order a bone in sirloin steak that was as good as the steak house specialty restaurant Prime C. The menu at The Patio is very good. The best food of the entire cruise occurred on White Night when the food is superb everything from lobster, pork, steak, frog legs, calamari, etc. is available. Tons of desserts, too. Entertainment on board is good, nothing to write home about. The singers, magicians, and band are fine, good way to spend an hour relaxing on board. For dancing and drinking the Living Room is the place to be where they have a DJ and combo for entertainment. My favorite location was the Spirits bar in the Den which seems to be the gathering place on the ship most nights, cocktail lounge atmosphere with piano player. The bartenders were exceptional at the Spirits bar, but I learned they are not permanently assigned but rotated through the ship. The bartenders we had were Alex and Vlad, Alex was assigned to work the Mosaic Coffee bar and Vlad the pool bar on the next cruise, too bad as they are truly good at the bar. We booked three tours on board. We were very disappointed with 2 tours and loved the 3rd tour. This is hard to judge for future cruises as they rarely return to the same ports, but keep moving across the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. So it just could have been the locations we chose to see. Look into Viatour or local tour companies in port. Staff was friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. One nice feature is fewer passengers so embarkation and disembarkation at ports is never crowded, easy on and easy off was nice instead of waiting in long lines. The ship is small so navigating decks and going to bow to stern takes no time at all in getting around the ship. Would I do Azamara again, yes, now that I "know my way around and the tricks" The ship does not attract the younger crowd, families with children, or serious partiers so the atmosphere is laid back for people in the 50's and over age croup Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had previously travelled with Celebrity and Cunard on 2500 to 2800 size ships. This is a quarter of those. The food was good but no better than the larger ships that don't claim to be luxury at the same level. Service was excellent ... Read More
We had previously travelled with Celebrity and Cunard on 2500 to 2800 size ships. This is a quarter of those. The food was good but no better than the larger ships that don't claim to be luxury at the same level. Service was excellent with very friendly and helpful staff. Most drinks are included and it was nice to have wine with a choice at each meal included. The smaller ship meant that we met friends more easily whilst around the ship. The entertainment was much more limited than for the larger ships due to space and budget. It was more personal but also a bit more amateur. The 'Amazing' evening ashore when Azamara put on a an evening event for all the travellers was brilliant and free. There was also a 'white Knight' barbecue evening on the higher deck which was superb with excellent food. So, the cruise was very good and different from the larger ships. Would we travel again? Probably only if the itinerary fitted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We are a retired couple in our early 70's. Both of us have mobility issues. We traveled with our adult daughter and her boyfriend. This is our 10th cruise, 1st on Azamara. We selected it because of the itinerary. I can't say ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our early 70's. Both of us have mobility issues. We traveled with our adult daughter and her boyfriend. This is our 10th cruise, 1st on Azamara. We selected it because of the itinerary. I can't say I've always wanted to visit Cuba, but the opportunity presented itself and we thought, Let's go while we are able and permitted. We really liked the smaller ship experience. Our cabin was near the aft elevator, easy to get to the main dining room, Mosaic coffee bar, and the buffet/Patio. I liked that you didn't have to walk so far to the front of the ship also. The cabin was a Club Verandah class. Space was adequate for 2. The shower was the tiniest I've ever seen. We didn't use our verandah much because of the air pollution in Cuba. One thing I didn't like--the gray wallpaper made the cabin gloomy and depressing. I hope they change to a more cheery color scheme when they next refurbish. Food ranged from typical cruise fare (buffet) to outstanding in the main restaurant. I only ordered from the "always available" options twice, for French Onion soup and Crème Brulee. Easter Monday brunch in the dining room was beautiful They really went all out with the ice carvings, decorations, and baked goods. Beverage service was spotty in all venues--sometimes someone would take your order before you even sat down and other times you had to wait, and wait, and wait. This was especially true of coffee at dinner. We prefer our coffee with dessert, but it seems the waiters usually bring it after dessert. Asking didn't help. The only entertainment we attended was the Azamazing Evening. It was truly spectacular. The destinations speaker, Dr. Ellen, was very interesting. She covered topics from Cuban history to present day/future Cuba. Since it was Passover, there was a Rabbi on board, who led two casual discussion groups. Although we are Catholic, we attended the first but had a conflict with the second. There was also a priest who said Mass for Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, plus on the sea days. We found the fitness center was one of the best maintained of any cruise ships we've sailed. The machines all worked, and they had enough treadmills, exercycles, etc. so you never had to wait. The crew was fantastic. Everyone we encountered was very cheerful, relaxed, and eager to please. Ports and shore excursions: This cruise was not a good fit for us. We visited 4 ports, Key West, Florida, Havana (3 days), Cienfuegos, and an overnight in Santiago de Cuba for the Azamazing Evening. As I mentioned at the beginning, both of us have mobility issues. My husband has had both hips replaced and I am recovering from knee replacement surgery last summer, In both Cienfuegos and Santiago, there were NO mild shore excursions offered. In Havana, only 2, Easy Panoramic Havana and Classic Cars, which could easily replicate each other. Which left us with Moderate Excursions, most of which were more strenuous than the tour booklet description. Key West: Hop On/Hop Off Trolley and Butterfly Conservancy We would normally do a hop on/hop off tour on our own, but actually saved money with the included Butterfly Conservancy. We enjoyed the stop to see the butterflies and the tour of the city which followed. Havana Day 1: Best of Havana A very disappointing tour, more strenuous than described, mediocre tour guide. Hemingway's home was closed due to a holiday (not sure what). Since it was Good Friday, we had the vegetarian option for lunch--rice and salad. Fusterlandia was fascinating and Revolution Square was a good place to see all the classic cars. The bus made a stop back at the ship for those who didn't want to see the flea market. Our daughter said they had a better selection of souvenirs at the terminal. Havana Day 2: Easy Panoramic Havana Bus tour with photo stops. I enjoyed Fusterlandia more this time around. Revolution Square seems to be obligatory. We also visited the old forts on the other side of the Bay and saw relics of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Great tour guide. Havana Day 3: We stayed on the ship Cienfuegos: Colonial Trinidad Should have been marked strenous. Even those with greater mobility had trouble with the cobblestones. Lunch at Ma Dolores restaurant was very good. Visit to the potters' workshop was a highlight. Santiago de Cuba: El Cobre Rated moderate and it actually was. The Church of Our Lady of Charity was beautiful. The steel drum band was very good, but we bought their CD/DVD and haven't been able to get it to work. BEWARE. Lunch at the Tropicana was great. San Juan Hill was the hardest part of the trip. All in all, we met the worst and the best of Cuban society. Lots of beggars/panhandlers in the streets and squares. But the tour guides and others involved in the tourist industry were very pleasant and eager to show off their charming county. Would we go again? Not to Cuba, it's a once in a lifetime experience. But we would happily sail Azamara again if the itinerary appealed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this trip because of the itinerary, which scheduled 3 nights in Havana, and also visited Cienfuegos and Santiago. The ship is fine, not much to do. The food at the buffet (I did not eat at the dining room) was OK, not great, ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the itinerary, which scheduled 3 nights in Havana, and also visited Cienfuegos and Santiago. The ship is fine, not much to do. The food at the buffet (I did not eat at the dining room) was OK, not great, soups were awful, desserts limited. Because of my booking date, I was able to do excursions on my own, although one is really on the honor system and it is possible to book private excursions. My problem with the ship excursions is that, because of the newest regulations, they emphasize "people to people" activities to the detriment of typical sightseeing. For example, the ship excursions I joined included time consuming visits to "private artists" and galleries, as well as some cultural dance demonstrations that were interesting, but took time from visiting tourist spots. I hired a private guide using the private agency "Customizing Cuba Tours" to visit Matanzas and Cardenas, two cities with personal ties. My guide, Hamlet, was OUTSTANDING. His agency was very professional throughout the booking process, and everything worked like a clock. The interaction in a private excursion is far more powerful than any other contrived "people to people" contact. I also hired Hamlet to drive me around Havana to visit some of my childhood haunts, and again it was a most rewarding experience, thanks to Hamlet's professionalism. I highly recommend "Customizing Cuba Tours". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Travell with alan had low single supplement and i had never been to Cuba. entertainment could be better they use cruise director for half of the shows. great coffee stations and good coffee always available. morning smoothie bar was ... Read More
Travell with alan had low single supplement and i had never been to Cuba. entertainment could be better they use cruise director for half of the shows. great coffee stations and good coffee always available. morning smoothie bar was very good. any beef dish i had was excellent. specialty restaurants not worth the cost. Azamara night was a waste of 3.5 hours. disco only had rock and roll and there was no place to cabernet dance after 6PM. no bridge director on board. the ship is well laid out and with the small size it was easy to navigate around. As always activities conflicted. to many non hosted events, they publish solo get together and then there is no one to coordinate it. No one should have unroasted events. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Just recently sailed on the Azamara Quest from San Diego to Miami through the Panama Canal. We have previously cruised on Oceania and Princess several times, Viking once and we are elite level on Celebrity. The pros for Azamara Quest were ... Read More
Just recently sailed on the Azamara Quest from San Diego to Miami through the Panama Canal. We have previously cruised on Oceania and Princess several times, Viking once and we are elite level on Celebrity. The pros for Azamara Quest were the White Night and Azamazing Evening in Cabo San Lucas. The wait staff in the restaurants and bars were excellent. The crew was very friendly and approachable. The food in the specialty restaurants was very good. The buffet had various ethic food nights. I thought that for a ship this size that the entertainment was very good. The cons, we had a verandah cabin on deck 8 and in the middle of the ship, lots of vibration especially at night. My wife got seasick one day and this was the first time this happened after 18 cruises. The bathroom. Is very small and the shower is too small for most humans. Disembarkation was at least 2 hours late getting off the ship due to congestion in the Miami harbor according to the captain. Read Less
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