I was invited to attend the Azamara Quest inaugural cruise and I have to say that it changed my perceptions of cruising. My previous experiences have been mostly positive, but there were always some things I didn't enjoy that took away from the experience - long lines, excessive amounts of average food, and no sense of community among the passengers. Sailing on the smaller and more intimate Quest provided me with everything I love about cruising but delivered in a more upscale, intimate and personal way. Even though this was only a two-night cruise to nowhere, I fell in love with the ship and its crew and am already looking into booking a South American cruise over the holidays on the other Azamara ship Journey.
The highlight of my experience was the food. It was AMAZING. I'm a big foodie and it was great to see freshness and quality (placed over quantity), outstanding menu options, and wonderful presentation at all meals. Of particular note was my dinner last night in the specialty restaurant and steakhouse Prime C. Everything was outstanding from the appetizers to the entrees and the sides. I ordered the lobster bisque it was probably the best I've ever had, and I order it a lot. I'd say my Prime C dinner was better than anything I've had in Miami recently...including a recent dinner at Prime 112 in South Beach.
There were also some unexpected food surprises including fresh smoothies for breakfast and a fantastic coffee bar with wonderful (and strong) espresso called Mosaic. Lunch was served buffet-style but included wonderful choices like grilled trout and a selection of cheeses. The wine selections pared with the meals were also thoughtful and exceptional.