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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we had never heard of Azamara. When booking we thought was quite expensive but as I can only travel during school holidays and this cruise fitted in with that. Embarkation was very smooth and quick, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we had never heard of Azamara. When booking we thought was quite expensive but as I can only travel during school holidays and this cruise fitted in with that. Embarkation was very smooth and quick, but had to wait 2 hrs for our cabin to be ready. The cabin 8021 inside stateroom was pleasantly spacious with a queen size bed and plenty of storage couch and 42" TV. All the crew and staff were always friendly. The dining was superb with plenty of options. We chose to go on azamara excursions and felt we were looked after very well even though they are a bit more expensive i definitely think it was worth it. The one time in banckok we did our own thing we were overcharged for taxi and boat trip etc and did not feel safe so for AsiaI would recommend sticking to ship tours. Entertainment could have been better. Went to a couple of shows which were good but others like opera we are not into. There was the living room for late night entertainment but not much on here. The DJ played the same playlist every night and it got quite boring. They need to up their game here and make it a more fun place to be. Much better fun to be had down at the smoking area where people tended to gather and get their drinks served here instead. Overall we enjoyed this trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 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: April 2009
This was our first time on a middle size ship, but we have previously cruised very happily on Celebrity Summit and Millennium, and expected, and got, the same quality of cruise. The Holy Land seemed to provide port visits which were a ... Read More
This was our first time on a middle size ship, but we have previously cruised very happily on Celebrity Summit and Millennium, and expected, and got, the same quality of cruise. The Holy Land seemed to provide port visits which were a little different from those we had always experienced in the Med, and, despite some apprehension as an attack on the Gaza strip had occurred only a couple of weeks before our cruise, and we felt there might be too obvious a police presence in some areas, we need not have been concerned as ashore throughout Israel and Palestine we felt quite safe. Azamara Quest was excellent in every respect. We believe that the total experience was in no small part due to the excellent sociability and attitude to his staff of the Swedish Captain, whose name I have now forgotten regrettably. The crew were not only courteous and affable towards the guests but towards each other. There seemed to be a family-like atmosphere amongst them. Because of some little difficulty in getting a Dollar card to work in the ATM, essential for payment of our account onboard, I did make a bit of a nuisance of myself with over-frequent visits to the Customer Services desk, but they all treated me with politeness and patience. The accommodation was very good, and the stateroom a little larger than we had felt it would be. As we had a veranda we were initially surprised to see that it had a sturdy wooden eating-height table and two wooden dining chairs, rather than the loungers we had expected; in the event we had several meals in-room and this configuration was of course much more sensible for that purpose. Certainly it would not have been in any way possible to eat a full meal on the very very small occasional table provided in the stateroom itself, and the seating there would have made balancing plates rather a problem! As we enjoyed excellent weather for the whole of the cruise we had no problem, but if the weather had been unpleasant it would have been a different story, as whenever there is a very early start for a shore excursion we order in breakfast and would not have had space even for that in the cabin. The cleanliness and quality of the whole ship was outstanding, and, in particular, the public restrooms, this being only 2 weeks past the start of the Swine flu outbreak so all due care was being taken. The dining room service and choices were first class, but not quite up to Millennium standard perhaps; however that is a personal observation, and depended on one's menu choice to some extent. The speciality restaurants were on a par with the dining room, but not really particularly outstanding, although the service and location made the venue very worthwhile. One of the most noteworthy culinary events was the remarkable breakfast in the Windows Cafe; excellent combinations, very fresh soft fruits and the service impeccable. A big plus was the lack of pushy bar waiters around the decks - something to be deplored on the larger ships. As this was a port-intensive cruise the lack of entertainment onboard was not as noticeable as that we experienced in September on Journey. We would like to have had more boutiques to pass the time after dinner perhaps, or indeed some lectures as well as the really good enrichment lectures on the next day's location. The ethnic belly dancer and Turkish musicians were brilliant and a couple of the other shows were all right, but unfortunately the pianist in the Cova Lounge was offering music well beyond his somewhat limited range, and this made one less place to while away the between-times for us. One further thing which should be mentioned is the brilliant disembarkation and shore excursion filtering. We never had to wait. Everything was clearly indicated and the wait for taxis controlled with precision, not what we had experienced with another cruise line at the same port only last year, where utter chaos reigned! OK it was a much larger ship, but the control was just not evident then. The shore excursions: Loads of choices. We had an excellent time in Israel with Patra Travel, whose Jewish guide was so knowledgeable, not only on Judaism but in-depth information on Christian and Moslem sites. We visited the day before the Pope was to visit all the same sites, and although the Holy places were absolutely packed with tourists he and his Palestinian guide (they had to change at the Wall) never hassled or harried us and answered all questions fully. However sadly the same could not be said for our foray into Egypt, where we were to take a 10 hour tour to the Pyramids, Sphinx, Cairo market, and so on. We did all this at great speed (and the road from Alexandria is dreadfully bumpy and potholed), and although the young guide was very knowledgeable we were after all there to see the sights, as well as have the history lesson, and we arrived after 2 1/2 hours driving to be allowed only 10 minutes at the Pyramids, and this to include a rest stop! We had presumed that seeing the Pyramids would include at least a short look inside, but that wasn't possible in the time allowed. We then had to rejoin the coach whilst it stopped in a line of moving traffic! Onward to the market at Cairo (not the tour's fault it was a Friday and therefore many places were closed for religious reasons), but here again we were required to jump out of the coach and given 15 minutes to find our way through the little winding alleys and back, and certainly no real time to actually buy anything. Lunch on a Felucca on the Nile was included. Stupidly we had assumed that this would be moving a little way down the Nile, but it appeared to be moored on a long line and whilst the boat moved it didn't go anywhere. Still it was an experience and we got some good photos from it. On to a quite interesting Mosque and adjacent Museum, and the traditional visit to a Celebrity "safe shopping experience" where we saw Papyrus made - very very briefly - and were of course then exposed to the other items that outlet offered. All good quality probably, but we always feel a little trapped by these specially chosen outlets. (Incidentally felt the same way for the 2nd time in the same carpet manufactory in Istanbul we visited with Celebrity last year where the door was locked when we were inside!!). Back to Alexandria at breakneck speed (we touched 90km in the rush hour dash) and arrived 2 1/2 hrs early. Complained to Shore Excursions but of course heard nothing yet. If asked immediately following our return from Quest if we would go on that ship again, the answer would have been a resounding yes, but unfortunately we followed this up with a September cruise on Journey, which was a considerable disappointment. I shall bore everyone with that review shortly. Cheating here actually, as there isn't a slot for Paphos which is what we mainly went to see. Were sent on the wrong tour to Paphos and spent too long in a coach going around scrubland, with distant views of Paphosa. Did however visit a splendid small cathedral and the tombs of the Kings. Unfortunately the visit which we had expected to Paphos town never materialised, being given 30 minutes nearby at the harbour (too far to walk into the town and back in that time) whilst many of the rest of the coachload viewed the mosiacs. We regret not going to the mosiacs now having seen them on t.v. but had wrongly assumed we would have been able to go to the town when the choice had to be made. Read Less
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