Having completed many cruise on Azamara Quest I was eager to experience the newest addition to the brand.
Embarkation was very efficient although we had to first get luggage tags for our bags as Azamara do not send any in advance. It was interesting to note that you do not have to complete a health declaration anymore.
Ship: Overall there was a new feeling to the ship with some differences to it's sister ships. There is now a lovely and well used seating area where the casino used to be which is also home to the future cruises and shore excursions desks. Spirits bar is central in this area as is a piano which provides light entertainment in the evening. Another major change is the removal of the bar on the sunset veranda which allows for extra seating in that area. This is a wonderful improvement which works well.
Cabin: We were in a club continent suite on deck 8. This was a nice light and airy space with a good bathroom which had a large shower.Throughout the cruise it was well maintained by the cabin stewards. There were extra power sockets including a UK style at the desk and a USB socket at each bedside lamp.Although under the Patio noise was not bad except during preparation for the white night although I understand this is a issue for most of the cabins on deck 8.
Food/beverage: Food is generally a high standard and well prepared. The MDR has an expanded menu over that that we experienced recently on Quest and is very good. Windows buffet is good (we only used it for breakfast and lunch) although the lunch menus could be repetitive. Prime C was very good both for service and menu choice whereas Aqualina's menu was not very good and in fact the only main course I had was the dover sole.Another issue in Aqualina was the extra tables which had been added which took away from the previous dining experience. The dover sole which is deboned tableside is now done further from your table if you are sat at a window table and might as well be carried out in the kitchen.
Included wines are a weak point, they are poor quality and a very limited in variety. During this cruise and the one after I reckon only 5 or 6 different reds and whites were used which led to many repeated offerings of the same wines. We upgraded our drinks package where you expand the range of wine on offer by 5 each of red and white (and are better quality).
In general the ship felt crowded on sea days when the weather was not good and seating in the public areas was hard to find. However dealing with the crew and officers was as ever very positive and friendly which was good considering that many were new to Azamara.
Entertainment was very average except for the Azamazing evening in Malta which was excellent. We were taken by bus to the venue where we were treated to local wine and bites while watching some folklore dancing and singing.
Overall I really enjoyed this cruise and although there are some negative points they are well outnumbered by the positives and the general feel of the ship and crew.