We have sailed on many cruises, and Azamara was a new one for us. The Quest looks just like the smaller ships on the Oceana line and except for a few differences they are exactly the same. But only in the ships appearances.
We were on the prior segment and wanted to continue to see new ports in this part fo the world.
1 No embarking as we sailed on the prior segment, we stayed onboard and enjoyed the pool area.
2. Our cabin in the Continental Suite area was large but oddly decorated. The carpet was beige and black and always looked dirty. The large desk and counter above low drawers was a fake marble that also just looked dirty although that was the design. The bathroom was ok but had a tub with the shower in the tub. Now this was supposed to be a suite but a cheap shower curtain that didn't close all the way was really odd. Large balcony but rust stains everywhere. The cabin staff never brought in the seat cushions so they are always wet. More air-conditioning issues and chronic sewer smells in the corridor.
3. Dining - Main room was the best with OK meals but nothing special. The specialty dining was Italian or Steak house themed. Both rooms looked nice but the menus never changes. Both rooms had sushi as a special appetizer. Really!! The Italian had only one pasta dish and the Steak house had mediocre meals. Don't get the soufflés unless you like scrambled eggs for dessert. Our experience in the Italian venue: I asked for the pasta as an appetizer and got a well overcooked glop of pasta, could not eat it. While having dessert an 1 1/2 hrs. later the chef came over, apologized for the bad pasta and offered to make it again for me! During dessert!!!!!! And Azamara charges people for this lousy food and service.
We had these issues on the first segment and nothing changed. Not even the menus.
4. The shore excursions were abysmal. Inexperienced guides, small 20 seat buses, some with minimal air conditioning. No headsets for walking tours and all guides talked to the air in front of them and unless you were right next to the guides you heard nothing. And so overpriced too. We saw other cruise ship folks getting on big buses and headsets too.
After the 1st segment we cancelled all the pre-booked tours me made. Others did the same thing. We then did our own thing for a fraction of the cost and enjoyed the ports on our own.
We do this in many places but gave Azamara a chance to see what they offered and they are worse them most.
5. Entertainment - As usual, like so many other ships the in-house productions were amateurish and high school productions are better. They did hire a few individual entertainers who were great but thats rare. The band only played at night, not at the pool area. Oh and Azamara has one night they take you to a special show in one of the towns.
They transported at least 600 people in mini vans to an indigenous tribe location for a show.
It look almost 2 hrs. each way to get everyone to and from the venue for a 40 minute show and unless you were outside the canopy area you saw nothing. Why couldn't they bring the 15 performers to the ship? A waste of an evening.
6. Staff - Amazing and great and wonderful. They made the cruise bearable. All except our butler. I don't know what he actually does but he constantly asked what he can do for us and we said "thank you we are fine". He served tea at 4:00 pm each day and he thinks that is something special. Even when we put the "do not disturb" sign on the door he called us on the phone asking if we wanted tea. This went on for both segments and during the second segment we just had to tell him to stop bothering us.
7. Public spaces are nice but so dated. Upholstery is warn and faded.
9. Disembarking was delayed and absolutely no organization. No matter what numbers were to be called first, there was a huge crowd pushing and shoving. The shore side folks acted like it was their first day on the job and had no clue.
Nothing luxury about the ship. Although the staff did try to keep shorts out of the main dining room, jeans, flip flops, and pullover shirts were plentiful. So many folks in shorts and tee shirts just went to the buffet off the pool area. Some nights it was packed and of course no one told anyone about the dress code in the casino.
We met some great folks, enjoyed the crew and saw some amazing things in Central America and Mexico. But no way will we ever sail Azamara.