I sailed on one of the very first Azamara cruise when the line was spun off of the Celebrity line. I also sailed this itinerary on Holland America. When the itinerary appeared on this Azamara cruise I decided to "rediscover" small ship cruising traveling an itinerary I truly enjoyed.
The itinerary was excellent. People need not be afraid of traveling to the tourist ports in Mexico. Security was present everywhere without being intrusive. Officers with guns make some people nervous, I found them to be a comfort because even petty crime was unlikely to occur with a officer nearby.
Everyone in the ports was friendly and accomodating. There was some "begging' going on but it was primarily in the form of "I am a student. Would you be willing to help me by buying such and such." They were very courteous and with a "n"o they moved on without trouble or acrimony.
The Quest was immaculate and kept that way throughout the cruise. The Senior Officers were amazing. They were everywhere speaking with quests, being approachable, watching shows, interacting wherever they could. As an example, upon returning from the 17 hour excursion to the Copper Canyon on Valentine's Day, the Captain was on the pier and greeted everyone upon their return and personally handed every lady a rose!
There were two lecturers. One was outstanding and the other was good. The shows were varied and generally excellent.
There is a free (including detergent) self service laundromat. In addition there were three laundry specials offered during the cruise which involved a set price for a bag of laundry done by the crew.
The buffet was outstanding! We never had to wait or justle for a table. The food was excellent! It ranged from hot dishes to cold dishes with a surprisingly wide variety. It is doubtful that you would not find something that you would enjoy. These comments were true of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The dining room was not so much bad as it was terribly disappointing. When i sailed on the Quest last time, the Captain informed me that they had 150% of the budget for food per person as compared to other cruise lines. That ratio has obviously changed. The menus were static with two Chef features every night. The food was rather ordinary and we never had a Wow! meal. However, in all honesty we found the food better and the atmosphere better in the buffet area so we ate more often in that locale. The other problem in the dining room was that if you were willing to sit with other at a table service would not begin until they filled the table - 5 minutes, 10 minutes and we waited at leaast 20 minutes one night. We did not find that acceptable. The service in the dining room was iffy.
The cabins are small. In fact they are the smallest cabins I have ever been in since my first days of sailing with Royal Caribbean. The bathroom was even smaller. There is no way for an average sized person to sit straight on the commode. There is no way for an average size person stand in the shower without having a part of your body clinging to the plastic shower curtain. This was my 40th cruise and the worst sized cabin of the lot.
We stay at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside. It was across the street from the cruise terminal. Shuttles were provided to the airport, cruise terminal, zoo and Balboa park. There is a Claim Jumpers Restaurant and Ruth Chris Restaurant on site.
We took the shuttle us to town and walked the malecon. Then we walked up to the old town and visited the cathedral. It was a very quiet charming town.
We stopped at a number of places going to Copala. There were brick makers; we stopped at a tile maker; and, at a local bakery. It was very informative and interesting.View All 4 Copala Walking Tour Reviews
We visited the mission and then went on a arts and culture tour visiting several galleries and a local brewery. The artwork is fantastic. The overall tour was excellent.View All 26 San Jose del Cabo Reviews