Italian Adventure - paradise!: Azamara Quest Cruise Review by PilatesNut

Azamara Quest 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Italian Adventure - paradise!

Sail Date: August 2009
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
We've just returned from cruising Italy (8 ports, 3 overnights) on the Azamara Quest and it was fantastic. We are in our mid-late 40's, and travelling with two daughters (8 yrs and 16 yrs). We were obviously not part of the standard demographic for this particular cruise, but it's the best time we've had yet. Something special happened on this cruise, and passengers and staff gelled in a way you wouldn't dream possible. Passengers were (with a few exceptions) very kind and personable, and the staff seemed genuinely happy to be on board. With other cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Princess), we've always felt the staff were hustling us for tips ... it seemed to be a challenge for them to come up with the biggest sob story of what they'd left behind to come work on the ship. On Azamara, there was none of that - they loved it there! The captain is phenomenal - awesome announcements full of humour and lots of information.

Of special note for the other staff: Eric (magician More extraordinaire, and all-round nice guy), Sam (very talented singer ... his cabaret was great), Lindsay Hamilton (guest artist - unbelieveable singer), Jim Badger (nightly informal cabaret ... an incredibly talented pianist, singer and funny enough to split our sides each and every night), Pinto (waiter in the dining room - very, very sweet man), and countless other staff who remember our names (so I'm embarassed I don't remember theirs) and always greeted us with smiles and conversation. Because the ship is so small (approx. 650 passengers, 400 staff), you see everyone all the time. As the captain said, "we can't hide", so they were out socializing with passengers on their off hours, greeting us in ports, and making us feel completely at home. Our girls had a wonderful time ... of course they did - they were on a ship with a few hundred grandmothers :-)

We highly recommend Azamara, and the Quest in particular. Worth every penny. We'll be back! Less

Published 08/26/09
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 1A

Not a cabin comment, but the fitness centre has a Pilates Reformer - awesome!

Port and Shore Excursions

The old city is so beautiful, although hot. We'd been here before, so we just went straight through the old city and down to the water. Swam off the rocks on the far side of the walls. Beware though - this is a popular area with the younger set and there were plenty of topless girls. Water was clear and beautiful and there was even a shower of sorts with fresh water so we didn't have to schlep through the town covered in salt. Didn't cost a dime! Ice cream is cheap here, and yummy!

Olbia isn't the nicest of cities. We intended to find the resort area and play on the beach, but couldn't find the right bus (we tried to take local transit whenever possible in order to get a more realistic taste of each city) so we ended up hiring a cabbie to take us to a beach and then pick us up afterwards. He took us to Mama's Beach, a massive beach about 7km outside of town in the middle of nowhere .. thank goodness we'd arranged for him to come pick us up or else we would have missed the ship. Free entry to the beach (although you can rent chairs and umbrellas) and pay-showers. It was very busy, but so large that it didn't matter. The only sand we found during the entire trip.

Also stopped at La Spezia and Livorno. In Livorno we trained to Florence - great way to get there - and shopped like maniacs.

Read 194 Sardinia Reviews

Absolutely beautiful. The cable car from the old town down to the beach was extremely hot and crowded, but it only lasted 6-7 minutes. Again, we had to pay for beach chairs, and the water was full of jelly fish so swimming wasn't possible (tough, when it's +34 and you have two kids with you) and the pebble beach was so hot our feet got burned. The town was nice to walk around in .. the greek/roman theatre was a definite must-see. Quite incredible.

Venice is, well, Venice. Our second time here. Great food, lovely to walk around once you get away from St. Mark's square. We had to pay 15 euros each for a shuttle from the cruise dock to Piazza Roma which was NOT worth the money. It's only a 10 minute walk so save your sheckles. If you are a runner, it's a lovely 6k run from the port dock to St. Mark's square and back. Just do it early in the morning before it gets crowded. We loved the cacophany of bells every hour.
Read 1151 Venice Reviews

Compare Prices on Azamara Quest Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruises

Read more Azamara Quest cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Azamara Quest Review >>

Compare Prices on Azamara Quest Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruises

Member Since 2009
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Azamara Quest deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Azamara Quest 84% Loved It

7 Night Tuscany & Rivieras Voyage
See all Azamara Quest Deals >>