I just want to make a couple of points in comparison of these two lines as many on board have sailed on both lines.
As a matter of fact just over one month prior I did a 31 day "Around Australia Circumnavigation with New Guinea, Bali, Komodo Island on the Oceania R-Class
1. I am not loyal cruise ship passenger. My priorities are first the itinerary, then the quality of the ship/ line closely behind. Oceania has had my earlier preferred rating. I have sailed on RCL, Holland, Celebrity, Oceania, Norwegian in the past.
I will say my bias is to value, not overall price. I cruise on average on 14-31 day sailings.
2. I am a sophisticated traveller, not a vacationer, I work in/ own/ manage a Real Estate Development company and the other half to a lawyer who travels with me.
3. If you cannot tell the difference between Sea Island Cotton and Egyptian Broadcloth I feel this review is not for you.
Important Differences Between Oceania vs Azamara Quest. R- Class ships.
1. Internet - Oceania is Free - Azamara is punitive and expensive by any standards - Not to Oceania.
2. In - Cabin Entertainment: Oceania has over 100+ Free On Demand movies - Azamara again is outrageous Hotel priced PPV movies - Nod to Oceania
3. Specialty Dining: Oceania has two FREE specialty dining per sailing and are exceptional - Azamara charges a Fee - Nod to Oceania
4. Outside Grill: Oceania has a Surf and Turf Lobster with Filet of Beef on a Ciabata Bun everyday, Azamara with Nachos and burgers - Nod to Oceania.
5. Grand Dining Room: Azamara is slightly better here with more choices, quality of the beef product superior to Oceania and the staff on this sailing was exceptional - Nod to Azamara Quest
6. Upstairs Buffet Dining: Well I will say this, I rarely eat in the buffet as I cannot stand the Herd Mentality and getting run over by a 90 year old grandmother behaving worse than a Brazillian at Disney World. However that being said, I did eat there twice on a 26 day cruises. - Oceania has Lobster everyday - Nod to Oceania
7. Ships are Identical and from the prior Renaissance Cruise Line - Push
8. Entertainment was Better on Oceania, not much however and that too is objective
9. Guest Lecturers: Oceania is far superior
10. Alcohol: Well this is where they Separate. Azamara regular brands for me were just fine, however there were a few Amarula's and Drambuie that padded the bill on Azamara. Oceania is an expensive proposition with various packages. - Nod to Azamara
Wines: The house paid wine on Oceania is garbage, truly, high in acidity, poor quality and way overpriced for the pour and frankly the experience. Stay away from Oceania House Wines - Wines on Azamara were far superior. South African, Californian, Italian, Chilean, all of very good quality. Nod to Azamara
11. Friendliness of Staff: Overall and not on a individual basis, Azamara was much better than Oceania.
12. Shore Excursions: Slight Nod to Oceania, just more of them. Azamara Excursion staff however was exceptional.
13. Country Club or I call it The Blazer Effect: I can count a level of civility on a cruise by the number of blazers worn by men in the dining room. Likewise for stylish dresses on women.
Standards have dropped substantially as more school teachers with puffed up 401K's or I call them the FANG group of senior vacationer. They started cruising at 65 and have 20 cruises under their belt in 5 years. Enough said on that, however I have really begun over the years to discount their reviews as they eat all their meals out at Denny's.
Oh the days when cruising was Glamorous. Long Gone. Today's seniors in plaid shirts and women in Legging abound.
My final Score and I am sure I know I am missing a few and if able to edit I will do so.
A Toss Up - With a slight tilt for to Oceania, because I am not large drinker.
However, based on price, destinations I have no problem recommending both lines.
You literally need an excel spreadsheet to factor in all the Free stuff on Oceania, vs all the included items such as alcohol on Azamara.
Offset that by the outrageous internet pricing on Azamara, I mean really, their pricing is like from the year 2000, and the lack of movies on demand or if they could even place more movies on their own in-house TV channels is simply lazy.
Cheers to All
A good inside cabin, in fact I love it when there are a large number of at sea days where I can sleep in. I am still not retired and part of the working world. I am able to truly relax and unwind on the ship. I find my self up on the front Horizons Deck 10 forward most of the time.
We have been to Cape Town 3x prior.
We were at the largest Private Game Reserve at the Five Star Rattray's Camp in the Mala Mala reserve. Rattray's is absolutely exceptional, This Tala is a waste really in comparison. It did get us off the ship however to the tune of $400 USDView All 7 Tala Game Reserve Reviews
Went to the Penquin Rescue, our own walking tour, a bit sketchy and dangerous in the downtown, not much here