We wanted to try Azamara Club Cruises. Which is interesting in itself, because until not that long ago, we had never *heard* of Azamara. We thought it would be something approaching the level of Crystal (whom we have sailed in the past and greatly enjoyed, pre-all inclusive). We love the small ship format, we were specifically interested in this particular itinerary (which included Mexico's Copper Canyon)...and, as Celebrity loyalists, we wanted to see what our status would bring us on Azamara.
The Canyon was the big draw for us in the beginning. We have done the Mexican Riviera to death, but this itinerary offered the lovely small ports of the Sea of Cortez - and the Copper Canyon. Party-hearty survivors of Puerto Vallarta need not have signed up for this cruise.
Embarkation in San Pedro was a breeze. The Azamara Quest was the only ship in port that day. We had forgotten the convenience of a smaller ship; the check-in lines were minimal, to say the least. Our key cards identified us as "Discoverer" - top-of-the-line status on this line, but that was to change (more below).
Location: Port side, adjacent to the forward elevators and stairwells on Deck 6.View: These staterooms overlook the ship's tenders. Our window had a view of the smaller crew's launch boat and actually gave us a view outside - an advantage over the other obstructed cabins at this level.Contents: two twin beds pushed together into one. Two nightstands with built-in lamps. A desk and stool (no chairs, sofas or love seats). Closet space at the other end of the room. Life vests are on the top shelf of the closet. A cabinet near the door holds a small flat-screen TV, the room safe and a mini-fridge.Bathroom: As small as I've seen on cruise ships. This, of course, could be due to the compressed size of the room since the tenders take up the rest of the normal usable space. A large person would not be happy with the shower, which gives you very little space to bend over or turn around. We received shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, body lotion, bar soap, and a jar containing cotton balls and swabs. There is just enough space to stow your bathroom gear.Stewards: Service was average. The room was kept up well, but there was dust on sills and mirror frames that had not been cleaned in a while.Noise: Occasional passenger noise from the elevators nearby. That was not as much of a problem as being right above a set of doors on Deck 5 leading out to the passenger walk and deck chairs underneath the tenders. The slamming of doors makes a lot of noise, especially on windy days and evenings, and when stewards set up cushions and towels on the chairs at sunrise and remove them at sunset. Light sleepers will find this noise to be a huge distraction and very annoying.