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9 Nice to Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

the sliver sea company did a great job for our cruise. the suite on deck 9 was very roomy.linens and towels were terrific. our butler could not have been nicer. whenever we asked for something the answer was always- no problem . we liked ... Read More
the sliver sea company did a great job for our cruise. the suite on deck 9 was very roomy.linens and towels were terrific. our butler could not have been nicer. whenever we asked for something the answer was always- no problem . we liked the food best in the main dining room. we didnt like la terraza-. the grill had a clever concept where you cook your meal on a sizzling platter- i was fun. la dam was definitely worth the extra expense. it is very small and the food was outstanding. we went on two excursions with the cruise- one to gasson -in st trpez and then one excursion in alghero. both were good and reasonably priced. we did other excursions by doing my own research. we brought our luggage to the pier at 12:30 and were actually able to get our id . we then went on our tour and by the time we returned to the ship at 6:30 w were able to get into our room. being able to at least drop the luggage off was great. we were pleasantly surprised at how easy the embarkation and disembarkation were compared to a bigger ship. after this cruise we could never go back to a large ship. if you are gluten free be aware that the servers can help with the menu. there were a lot of options. if you like gf bakery items at breakfast the only have bead which was usually stale and also decent mini muffings. we did order gf french toast and pancakes which were almost inedible- the ship should carry gf pancake mix- we also tried the pizza- the kitchen did a decent job but i dont think they are skilled at cooking that even though the crust comes pre made- over all i think they tried to accommodate us but they could carry some packaged schar items. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
A wonderful experience in every aspect. Le Ponant is a beautiful yacht with thirty-two cabins and ideal for the itinerary with so much stunning scenery. Comfortable cabins, with good bathroom and shower, hairdryer. Friendly ... Read More
A wonderful experience in every aspect. Le Ponant is a beautiful yacht with thirty-two cabins and ideal for the itinerary with so much stunning scenery. Comfortable cabins, with good bathroom and shower, hairdryer. Friendly Captain and Crew readily available to interact with passengers. Excellent food and waiters, with formal dining and dining on deck being our preferred option. Ports of call beautiful and unique with zodiacs at our disposal. Opportunities to swim off the back of the yacht as well as opportunities at most ports of call with sections of beach set aside with Ponant beach umbrellas set up by the wonderful crew. At Calvi, we were served champagne and oysters on the beach. Excursions optional but so interesting. Embarkation and disembarkation was effortless. We have traveled quite extensively and this experience is the most memorable and fun we have undertaken and we would do it all again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Silver Muse Silversea Luxury Cruise - May 2017 Launched in April 2017 the newly built  Silver Muse Silversea Luxury Cruise ship. Silver Muse Silversea Luxury Cruise. Accommodating up to 596 passengers and 411 crew in the cruising ... Read More
Silver Muse Silversea Luxury Cruise - May 2017 Launched in April 2017 the newly built  Silver Muse Silversea Luxury Cruise ship. Silver Muse Silversea Luxury Cruise. Accommodating up to 596 passengers and 411 crew in the cruising world this is definitely classed as a small ship. The Silver Muse exterior design is in line with the rest of the Silversea fleet with its gleaming white structure and distinctive logo on the funnel. We cruised on its Inaugural Venetian Sailing from Villefrance to Athens in May 2017. Embarkation as always with Silversea was smooth and once at reception there are butlers and other staff to escort you to the suite. Veranda Suites  They have three types of Veranda Suite the only difference is the location on the ship. If you’re a good sailor & don't mind walking the the entry level suites (Classic) are good & better value for an identical product. If you want to be near the elevator, mid-ship or higher up then this will make the suite cost slight higher. Large, bright with a modern fresh design and colour scheme throughout. Rooms have several areas with entrance corridor leading immediately to a good sized bathroom. With toilet, bath and separate walk-in shower and one large sink. Lots of storage space is available below the sink unit and in the shelving units to the upper left and right side above the sink. (The only thing I cannot understand, they had plenty of room to install two sinks which, when traveling as a couple makes a huge difference). Towels are replaced twice daily and you have the choice of Bulgari and Ferragamo products. After the bathroom is a walk-in wardrobe, not large enough to call a dressing room but provides plenty of hanging, draw and shoe space. The safe is also in this area which is an excellent size, easy to operate and the little light inside is very handy. The bedroom area is next which was set up as a large king size, lovely soft white cotton sheets and plenty of pillows make for a very comfortable nights sleep. Bedside tables with lamp, telephone and clock/alarm, the bedroom TV is set in to the mirror. Next, the lounge area with large sofa and chair together with a good size table. A long fitted unit with a further chair and plenty of surface space plus a selection of large draws for storage. They have not fitted upper cupboards which I think has made the room feel larger. The TV is fitted in the mirror. The main issue here is that on a sunny day/evening you cannot see the picture also, the noise of next doors TV can be heard so if there was someone hard of hearing next door it may be a problem. The balcony is very spacious with two chairs with a foot stool each, very comfortable. Butler service is standard on Silversea, they provide your in-room drinks, water and other products. Also, making sure you have restaurant reservation,  basically anything else you may need during the voyage. Silver Suites  The Silver Suites located on the upper decks 9/10/11 and offer the space equivalent to two Veranda Suites and feel very roomy. Large, bright and with a modern fresh design and colour scheme through. The rooms have several areas with an entrance hallway which leads to the dining area and lounge. Lounge & dining area has a sofa with two chairs and a good size coffee table. Between the two patio doors is another unit holding a Nespresso machine, water and glasses and underneath a fridge. Opposite this is a chair & desk holding a Bose sound system, alarm clock and telephone. Finally, there is a dining table & chairs which accommodate four people. This area is large and airy with two patio doors leading on to the balcony. The bedroom area is reach through sliding doors offering a large king size bed. Soft white cotton sheets and plenty of pillows make for a very comfortable nights sleep. Bedside tables with lamp, telephone and clock/alarm, a large bedroom TV is set on the wall. One problem was the sliding doors, we had to borrow rubber door stoppers for the evening as when the ship was moving they vibrated, some attention here would be worthwhile. Moving into the next space leads to the bathroom and wardrobe/dressing room. Wardrobe/Dressing room is an excellent size but poorly designed and does not have any draws for storage. This is a complete design failure which we believe they are working on. If they do a complete redesign of this space it could be excellent. The safe is also in this area and is much smaller than the safe in the veranda suite and not really fit for purpose. As part of the redesign they should tackle this issue as well. An very spacious bathroom with superb large spa bath, large separate walk in shower and two sinks. Lots of storage space is available below the sink unit and in the shelving units to the upper left and right side above the sink. Towels are replaced twice daily and you have the usual choice of Bulgari and Ferragamo products. The toilet is in a separate adjoining room also housing a sink. The balcony is very large with two sun beds, very comfortable. They could add a small table and two chairs for outdoor sitting/dining/drinks which would enhance the experience. Butler service is standard on Silversea, they provide you in-room drinks, water and other products. Also, making sure you have restaurant reservations or basically anything else you may need during the voyage. The Silver Suite offers an enhanced range if in-room dining options and includes unlimited WiFi, laundry and dry cleaning. Eating & Drinking The choice of dining and drinking venues on the Muse are extensive and cater for most tastes. It was nice not to see the usual cruise ship main dining room but more intimate, themed venues offering a diverse range of food. Some have stated that they didn’t like the requirement to book for each evening as it loses the spontaneity of meeting people and dining with them. I would recommend making your bookings in advance on MySilversea.com (or get your agent to do it), for your desired restaurant. If your sociable and generally meet people then make your reservation for 4 people and you can change it when onboard. We found booking ahead avoided the time required to do this when you should be enjoying the ship and the Maitre’D were very flexible once on board. Atlantide (Formal) This restaurant has a really warm and elegant feel with comfortable chairs. Due to the design of the room it never felt busy or overcrowded. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here with different menus for lunch and evening. The menu had a excellent choice with a range of starters, six fish and six meat options for mains, a range of desserts and a cheese menu. If you are cruising for 7-14 days then this menu would be perfect. However, the menu does not change and cruises over 14 days Silversea should consider a special of the day to avoid repetition. The food quality was superb, beautifully presented and delicious in flavour, we did not have any complaints. Service was attentive but not overbearing and on the majority of evenings well paced. The sommelier was on hand and wine glasses were rarely left empty. We felt this could be considered the “main dining room” due to the more traditional nature of the menu. On future cruises we would dine here most evenings adding the other restaurant in occasionally for a little variety. Prior to dinner the Atlantide Bar was a nice intimate space to enjoy a drink. Cushions on the sofas would help with comfort but otherwise a very pleasant area. IndoChine (Informal) The dining room has a more modern feel with clean lines and surfaces, cool colours and intimate lighting. There is a small bar and seating area where you can have a drink prior to dinner, they also offer a quirky cocktail choice which are fun to try. This restaurant is only open in the evenings only. A mixture of Indian, Thai and Far Eastern dishes. We found the food delicious, well flavoured, watch out for the chillies as they do make some dishes hot. The portions are very generous and the presentation superb, a treat for the senses. One issue was the menu remains the same, after 2-3 visits we were repeating what we had on previous visits. It would be excellent if they had maybe two menus which they rotate each week just to allow for variety. Service from waiters and sommeliers was up to the usual high standard. La Terrazza (Informal) Bright and vibrant having large windows surrounding the sides & rear of the dining room. The superb Italian restaurant by Silversea offers buffet breakfast and lunch, in the evening an a la carte menu. It is well known for freshly made pasta and other great Italian classic dishes. The food is robust in flavour and uses really tasty Italian produce. Some of my favourite dishes were the risotto, pasta with veal ragu and osso bucco, always delicious. At peak times it was a little noisy and the tables are quite close together which some people may find troublesome. If however, you like that busy restaurant vibe then this will work for you. It has a large outside dining area which is superb for those warmer destinations. Service from the waiters and sommeliers was up to the usual high standard. La Dame (Formal) - $60 per person cover charge. The Relais and Chateau accredited restaurant, beautifully designed with tables set around a large glassed wine cellar. Dark woods and plush seating and superb lighting add to the rich warm atmosphere. With just a small number of tables this is a really intimate dining room. The menu is rich in content and calories with foils gras and lovely rich causes. It has a good choice of dishes and these are beautifully presented in a grand style. Service was impeccable, formal and yet a friendly relaxed atmosphere. The food in Atlantide was so good that we did not feel the $60 per head supplement represented good value. However, for intimate special celebration or event it is worth it just for the experience. Kaiseki (Informal) - $60 per person cover charge (evening only). Japanese restaurant, quite a small venue but nicely laid out. It offers both regular seating and stools where you can watch the chefs working. It is quite a unique experience and well worth a try for either lunch or dinner. Lunch offers a selection of sushi and sashimi freshly prepared by the chefs in the central work station. The food is extremely delicious and no limit to the number of pieces you want to order. Its an excellent option for the fish lover and with no cover charge at lunch time is a great option. Dinner carries a cover charge of $60 per person. In the evening the menu focuses on teppanyaki again cooked by the chefs in front of you. It is a real event and for something a little different so worth a try. It is well worth a try and makes for a very entertaining and delicious evening. Silver Note (Informal) The theme of this restaurant hints back to the days when dinner dances were poplar and it really was a pleasure to dine and enjoy superb music. The service was as always very friendly and efficient and the menu showcases some uniquely presented food (you’ll have to try to know what I mean). Superb restaurant, small and intimate with an extremely creative menu offering some delicious dishes. Added to this the nightly singer and pianist who start to perform at 9pm makes this a unique and special venue. The live music continues until midnight so this is a place to sit, eat and relax for the whole evening and highly recommended. There is a bar with stools and quite often people would wander in to sit, have a drink and listen to the music. Overall this is a little jewel of a place on the Silver Muse. The Grill (Casual) This is the pool side dining area which offers lunch and dinner menus, they also service drinks throughout the day from the bar. Lunch menu was varied and offered a superb range of hot and cold options. The salads and burgers were delicious. It is also possible to order a freshly baked pizza from the pizzeria on the above outside deck (best ever I would say). Dinner, The Grill converts to a casual outdoor dining venue with the Silversea favourite of lava stone cooking. The 400 degree stone is brought to your place setting and you cook your own choice of meat or fish. It is a unique experience and on a warm evening a great way to dine casually. Spaccanapoli (Casual) Located on the outside deck above The Grill. It is a traditional pizzeria offering casual dining, the pizzas are absolutely delicious. Freshly cooked to order, piping hot and ouzing with Italian flavour. Its a real winner and a must to visit whilst on board. Dolce Vita - Bar & Lounge, a very large area at one end is the reception and shore excursion desk. It has the feel of a large airline lounge and although very smart and stylish lacks any warmth or atmosphere. We thought Silversea would have learned from the issues with the bar on Silver Spirit which is also a little soulless. It is a shame they did not consider the merits of the bar layout on the Whisper and Shadow which have fabulous grand bar with seating in a smaller separate bar lounge. We understand after talking to Silversea staff that they plan to separate half the area and create an intimate bar space. I think this is essential to avoid Dolce Vita spending most of its time pretty empty and lacking atmosphere - watch this space. Panorama Lounge A good size lounge with plenty of seating, dance floor and bar and a large outdoor area. The dance floor is strangely located in front of the bar and away from the band/DJ. The seating could do with being a little more comfortable, I think the designers went for look rather than customer comfort. Apart from those two issues it was a nice room and the ships entertainment staff created some great events. It is popular for pre-post dinner drinks with love entertainment. Through the day time you can have a hot or cold drink in the indoor or outside areas. Arts Cafe We rather liked it in here, it was a casual lounge offer a range of hot and cold drinks throughout the day. It also has an ever changing choice of food throughout the day with some superb cakes in afternoon tea. It really is a great spot to stop and have a chat, read or just relax inside or outside. Tors Observation Lounge Another beautiful lounge for a peaceful and relaxing read or jus enjoy the view. The lounge has a bar and lots of comfortable seating, I loved this area. Venetian Lounge Where the shows are presented and is visually a very attractive look and feel. It does however have an issue, the rise from front to back is so shallow that if you are further back than row one your view is obstructed by the person in front of you. I do not know whether this is on purpose or an error but it is frustrating when you cannot see the performers. Otherwise, the sound system is superb with excellent clarity and volume. The shows we saw were excellent and the six performers were very talented. Offering group shows but also their own individual shows which added variety. Gym A large gym located near the spa with a wide range of exercise equipment. I found it a really nice space to work out. It also has a separate room for the special classes which take place. If they just get the TV and radio working on all the machines it would be perfect. The Spa by Silversea Silversea work with Elemis and offer a wide range of treatments. Alongside the regular treatments they also have a medical cosmetic treatment specialist on board for this who may wish to leave looking younger. It is a well laid out spa clean, fresh and warm decor and certainly a lovely place to enjoy and pamper yourself. It also has a relaxation room and an outdoor spa pool with views to the rear of the ship. Connoisseur’s Corner Located next to Arts Cafe, this is the cigar room, I did not use as I do not smoke but it looks very grand and comfortable. Casino - It is of a good size with the usual array of slot machines and tables for those who like to have a quick flutter (or more). Pool Deck & Jacuzzi Area Silver Muse has a wonderfully large pool desk with sun beds available on two levels. Even on a busy voyage we did not find it difficult to locate beds also they are no to close together. The swimming pool is excellent and allows for proper lengths. The pool deck also have comfortable chairs and sofas at one end where you can relax. At the other end is located The Grill and Bar with its table extending down the covered sides of the deck. It is a wonderful outdoor space, comfortable and expansive and very well designed and laid out. INFORMATION: DRESS CODE - Some confusion surrounds this subject as the arrangements on Silver Muse differ from other Silversea ships. It is actually pretty straightforward. Dress based on the restaurant you have booked which each have there own dress code. It does seem rather strange if you are in Dolce Vita lounge in a dark suit and tie and someone else is dressed in chinos and a shirt. We soon got use to just accepting that those dressed casualty were dining a The Grill. What you lose is the formal night, everyone dressed up together atmosphere which we do like. However, to be honest we soon got use to this system and it worked very well for us. GETTING AROUND THE SHIP - Although larger than other Silversea ships the Muse is still in todays cruise market small. There are plenty of deck plans in key areas and after a couple of days it was easy to find you way around. RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS - A move away from the traditional model of a main dining room where no booking is needed. I would always suggest you book your dining venues on mysilversea.com as soon as the bookings open 90 days prior. If you are a couple who like to meet people and invite for dinner then book a table for 4, you can change around when on board. We booked each restaurant on a rotation basis before we boarded and changed them around when we were on board quite easily. We now know the ship so will book accordingly. TENDERS/PORTS - We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation, the tender services were excellent and the new tenders are very nice indeed. Those less able bodied may find the steps to reach the tender challenging but crew are available to help. CONCLUSION The Silver Muse is a superb addition to the Silversea fleet. It is well laid out and offers spacious accommodation in large, well designed suites. The choice of dining venues really enhances a voyage as each one offers a different experience in food, decor and ambiance. The range of bars also allows for more choice and variety of experiences. The outdoor areas for sitting, sunbathing or dining a numerous and beautifully laid out. Silver Muse is a must do ship to try offering truly Five Star Luxury all inclusive cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It has been a year since I took this cruise and I still have wonderful memories. We stopped at different ports each day and had lovely activities in small towns by the Riviera , The cabin on the ship was very roomy and kept very clean. ... Read More
It has been a year since I took this cruise and I still have wonderful memories. We stopped at different ports each day and had lovely activities in small towns by the Riviera , The cabin on the ship was very roomy and kept very clean. We had a sliding glass door onto a balcony with a table and two chairs. The food on the ship was very good and the chef and waiters were very attentive to special needs diets. The group guide was fantastic and spoke excellent English. We were on the ship 7 days and in Nice and Florence for days with tours and activities each day before and after the ship. One of the highlights, for me, was having lunch with an Italian family in their home.. I have very lovely memories of this trip and would recommend it. I definitely would go on another Grand Circle Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are not "experienced" cruisers but we have been on Celebrity twice and Oceania once. So our comparison will only be relevant to those lines. We are now convinced that we will, in the future, look to book again on Azamara ... Read More
We are not "experienced" cruisers but we have been on Celebrity twice and Oceania once. So our comparison will only be relevant to those lines. We are now convinced that we will, in the future, look to book again on Azamara as we found the whole experience with them outstanding. The personalized, friendly service that can only be found on a small ship was evident with each and every member of the staff. The cabins were adequate (a face lift coming this year). Entertainment was twice nightly which was excellent for those of us who like to eat later. Dining in the specialty restaurants was a very nice experience (especially Aqualina). White Night was a real treat with a spectacular buffet, entertainment and just FUN. The port intensive cruise was just what we were looking for (with just one day at sea). We found the other passengers friendly and found it to be more "lively" than previous cruises. We traveled with two other couples. One couple had never cruised before and the other couple had never been to Europe previously. They both were thrilled with their experience with Azamara. As was I. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have just completed a month on Azamara Quest, Nice to Athens via Istanbul and the Black Sea. Having been on Azamara Journey previously we knew what was offered and the itinerary appealed. Once again the genuine friendly and helpful ... Read More
We have just completed a month on Azamara Quest, Nice to Athens via Istanbul and the Black Sea. Having been on Azamara Journey previously we knew what was offered and the itinerary appealed. Once again the genuine friendly and helpful staff and crew was a major component of our relaxing, enjoyable cruise which was as we expected and hoped it would be. In choosing a cruise, you need to know what you want from your experience and match it with what the cruise company and ship offers. Azamara, appeals to us is largely for what it doesn’t offer, as much as what it does! If glitz, glamour, parties, climbing walls, water slides, formal nights with tuxedoes and evening gowns, big screen poolside movies, culinary courses and discos etc are for you Azamara isn’t! The ship is small with only 700 passengers meaning it can visit ports and places the big ships can't. Yes the bathrooms, particularly the shower alcove, are small and some of the decor “dated” but so what. The casino is small, bingo is there if you want it (we didn’t) as is a spa, IT facility, small gym and jogging/walking track, library, specialty shops and the like but all generally small, understated and available and not crowded or “in your face”. The two specialty restaurants offer great food and outstanding service. The Windows buffet offers better choices, service and quality than we have experienced on other (bigger) ships. Tea, coffee, wine and other drinks are offered and brought to your table unlike some others where you have to stand in line and serve yourself (HAL take note!) Our main dining room experiences were, while somewhat rushed, good without being outstanding. I’m not sure why Azamara has joined and bothers with Park West to provide art auctions. Same old, same old and very little to interest. The three I attended each attracted less than ten people and not one bid was forthcoming in any of them. There are the usual comments about “Land Discoveries” excursions being over priced (they are) and very limited options in some ports but usually you can find something of interest and generally were worthwhile. Now having been disappointed twice, a word of caution here though. If in the description of a supposed wild life tour says something like “While we expect to see some wild life this cannot be guaranteed” generally means that you won’t! Our Danube Delta wild life tour was a case in point. Despite it being touted as being home for hundreds of species of birds we had to be content with our guide wetting himself about seeing two swans about 300m away from the boat and a flight of seven pelicans equally distant. A wonderful and innovative concept, the Azamara Amazing evenings provided can be special, our 1001 column cistern chamber orchestra concert in Istanbul was, very good such as The Three Tenors concert in Livorno or chancy – rain forcing the outdoor floodlit concert at Ephesus to be moved into an uninspiring hall (not quite the same as a 2000 year old Odeon amphitheatre). We don't necessarily look for or expect much from the entertainment component of a cruise. As such we know that Azamara does not look to (and in fact hasn't the facilities) to match what is offered on larger cruise ships. That being said, having experienced the flamboyance of the multi talented Eric de Gray as cruise director on the Azamara Journey this was an area which was a little below par on the Quest. Overall we knew what we were looking for and Azamara delivered (again). A major negative Azamara has no control over. During our month on board the Quest we got to know our waiters, drink stewards, food servers, tender staff and particularly our room stewards firstly as people and then as friends who were doing their absolute best to ensure that we as guests had a wonderful time. They couldn’t do enough for us and it angered and saddened us to see how some of the passengers treated them; rude, demanding, arrogant, loud and never a “please” or” thank you”. These were usually the same people who put their feet on chairs and tables in the Mosaic Cafe, walked past the hand sanitisers in the eating places without using them, when on tour didn’t listen to directions, asked the most stupid questions and arrived back at the bus past the appointed meeting time. Oh well, perhaps next time they might take a cruise that offers parties, climbing walls, water slides.........   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Where do I start? This is our second Quest sailing and we are in the age range 51-52 ;) We booked through a TA having first noticed the deal on the Azamara site. Off I went to our favourite chilled out TA, thank you Karole Saint-Brice et ... Read More
Where do I start? This is our second Quest sailing and we are in the age range 51-52 ;) We booked through a TA having first noticed the deal on the Azamara site. Off I went to our favourite chilled out TA, thank you Karole Saint-Brice et al, brilliant as usual, you sorted it out for us. Big thanks also go to Azamara because what happened made us feel like we had won a fabulous prize, we are still buzzing. We flew from Gatwick using the Azamara provided package for the cruise, good flights on BA and an easy transfer at Nice airport. This was only the second time we had done this, as we usually book flights separately. Embarkation was a bit of a mess, the security was not ready and only one Azamara Lady was helping to get luggage tags on cases. More staff eventually arrived to help and as soon as Nice security got themselves in gear things went quickly and smoothly. Once on board it was just as if everything that bothered us drifted away and that is how it remained. Relaxed enjoyment, great company, lovely efficient crew. The food is as good as you want it to be, we are not big eaters, not into rigid formality, we eat when we are hungry and that is what Azamara is all about it lets you, be you. Everything is down to what you want to do, when and how you want to do it. Stay on board, wonder ashore and back, ashore again later on, it's up to you. The buzzy bit. The upgrade fairy visited us not once, but twice. Then we also got a present from Azamara Krystal of $100 OBC on top of the OBC we had already been given. We got our cabin decorated for DHs birthday and a card. For our 30th wedding anniversary we booked Prime C and had a cake and singing. To add to the Azamara buzzy bit, a very special buzzy person was Mike, one of our new cruise mates, who had arranged a card that he got all our new friends to sign and we had our own party on the evening of the White Night Party. It all worked wonderfully and all the staff helped when asked. Little nod to Josie the lovely entertainment manager who danced with my DH when I ran out of energy and did whatever she could to make things special. The Azamazing evening 'A night at the museum' was an experience NOT to miss and we had a wonderful time, once again it was relaxed. Getting there was easy and ordered, our deck was first off. The museum was not really ready, no nibbles or drinks, no matter, that was not why we were there. A private visit to a magnificent place, over looking the sea. Marvellous Monaco, viewed from the roof terrace as the sun set and the lights of Monte Carlo started twinkling. Playing with baby sharks, wondering how the stilt creatures stayed up without falling over or how the ballet dancers in the big bubbles stayed conscious! Listening to the mixture of classic and rock played on electric violins and on the natural history floor traditional harpists. It was all like being in a surealist painting or a live art installation were you became part of the vision. You could leave at anytime the shuttles (public transport buses) ran back and forward all evening. Ports - great, all of them! We only did one ship excursion to Florence and Pisa. Our guide was instantly approachable and made little jokes that she laughed at which made us all smile, not the jokes but her enjoyment of them. Florence, fantastic everyone must go. A sad thing happened there that still affects us in different ways, Azamara was not there to protect us. We were sat feeding some breakfast buns to the pidgeons when a very thin raggidy woman approached asking for money, this is a problem along with illegal street sellers in Florence. When we said sorry but no we had no change (we had no change less than a 50euro note), she took the bag of pastries from me, we thought she was going to feed the birds, she stuffed one in her mouth and ate the rest as she wondered off. We just sat there stunned and saddened, the sun still shone brightly but life went a little bit darker. The one problem with this excursion was, Pisa! Two couples decided to be late back to the meeting point in Florence which was the start of the problem, we were now running 30 minutes late, at least. Off we went to Pisa, the traffic was bad, an accident held us up too (nobody hurt). When we got there we were told the walk was about half a mile, half a mile my ..... as Jim Royal would say! It was at least a mile maybe more and being late it became a route march. When we got to the Field of Miracles we had precisely 35 minutes and reducing to see the three monuments. No going up the tower or visiting and marvelling inside the other monuments. You need tickets to get in (no time to get tickets) even if you did have a ticket,no time to run up and down the 296/294 steps of the leaning tower, so we only had time for a photo call, buy some Pisa tat and a toilet break. Those with walking problems or people who tire easily should be warned about the walk to and from the field of dreams at Pisa. Perhaps Azamara should also have arranged tickets for the monuments ahead of time, if possible. The warnings about being late returners to meeting points was clearly explained at the talk we all attended, before we boarded the buses for the excursion, "if you are late back to the meeting point, you make your own way to the ship", perhaps this should have been actioned! Especially when you consider we all had Galaxy tablets provided to make sure we did get back and could contact the Guide. Everyone else was there at least 10 minutes before time so as not to inconvenience others. Regardless of the blips, it was a great adventure and we shared it with lots of lovely fellow cruise mates. It also gave us some much needed exercise. Other reviews talk in detail about the ports of call and describe the detail much better than I would. They were all super, easy, relaxing, beautiful and worth the effort. Cabin. 8012. No problems and although it was connecting there was no noise. Our room stewards (amazing both of them) kindly brought us another comfy-ish chair as these cabins only have one. The supplied toiletries are good, I found out they work better with the water that the stuff I usually use. We are Explorer level so we happily had enough internet minutes to not run out, even with the very slow access. We also got and used, the free bag of laundry, excellent! You know I am going to have to say it, when we got home, we missed our new group of friends. We missed the ship, it's crew, it's passengers, Mosaic coffee, the coleslaw salad (sad but it was my favourite food), the looking glass lounge, the craic in the smoking zone. Fortunately all emails got collected and our ringleader (Mike) sent pictures out in several group emails, once he and his very nice, patient wife got home. In our group there were 14 different nationalities which further enhanced the Azamara experience. Oh dear! I need to book another Azamara cruise, probably on Quest, right now!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My husband and I are not cruise people but were looking for a special trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We certainly found it on our cruise to the Mediterranean on the Riviera! I enjoyed reading Cruise Critic reviews in the months ... Read More
My husband and I are not cruise people but were looking for a special trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We certainly found it on our cruise to the Mediterranean on the Riviera! I enjoyed reading Cruise Critic reviews in the months before our trip and found some of them very helpful. I hope to 'return the favor' to someone else as they plan their trip. As is true in any travel experience, we had some glitches but many more perfect moments. First, the ship is lovely, the food was always good and occasionally exquisite and the service was excellent. The specialty restaurants were beautiful and the food, especially at the Red Ginger, was wonderful. We took advantage of room service breakfasts on several days and really loved the convenience and quality of the product but also enjoyed Waves and the Grand DR. We went on the cruise as part of a Food and Wine tour so had the added advantage of several fun and informative onboard activities. We didn't go on any of the excursions offered through Food and Wine because we'd never been to the Mediterranean and didn't want to limit our experience to wineries. Overall, I found it very easy to plan excursions independently and found lots of suggestions on the Roll Call. Our trip to Pompeii was incredible, especially because of the efforts of our guide - Gaetano Manfredi. The Amalfi Coast is as lovely as one hears but must be seen to be believed! We stayed for an extra 2 days in Rome at the end of the cruise and wished we'd had more time. The glitches I mentioned earlier were all involving port changes. We were to sail from Nice but got notice enroute that embarkation had been changed to Marseille. The Oceania staff was fairly organized at the airport but they boarded already exhausted people on marginal buses ,without food or drink, and sent us on a 2 1/2 hr bus ride! There were 2 other port changes during the trip, the worst of which left us in Monaco on a Sunday - the town is essentially closed! Would we cruise again? Absolutely! And probably with Oceania :)   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Having intended to book a Seabourn cruise, I was offered an alternative option on the Azamara Quest by the cruise agent, so went with it. Well what a great surprise this ship turned out to be. Fot whatever reason ( not really sure why) but ... Read More
Having intended to book a Seabourn cruise, I was offered an alternative option on the Azamara Quest by the cruise agent, so went with it. Well what a great surprise this ship turned out to be. Fot whatever reason ( not really sure why) but we had been updated to a suite with a butler, good start. Even without the upgrade we really enjoyed our cruise along the south of France and Italy, the ports of call were beautiful, what was nice about this cruise is that you had plenty of time in port so no rushing about to get back on board. The staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The all inclusive drinks package is great. I have to say that we were not pushed to buy any upgrade drinks packages, or made to stand for photos that we did not want. The food in the main dining room was of a great standard. The speciality restaurants were good especially Aqualinia. Prime C was good but felt the service was way over the top. The ship itself is lovely, good quality sun beds, nice traditional decor throughout. The age on board was a good mix and the night club was often busy. I have to admit that we did not got to any of the shows inside, but we did enjoy the white night on deck and a local tennor sang whilst we were in Italy. Every one enjoyed the azamazing evening in Monte Carlo. Free shuttle buses were provided in ports that required it. Only problem was breakfast in the main dining room, it took ages and then we did get our food some of what we ordered was missing. The windows cafe provided a buffet service which although not huge was adequate. Overall this cruise is fab if like us you are fed up of the hustle and bustle of the bigger ships. Well done Azamara we will defiantly be sailing again with you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013

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