In August 2018, Azamara Club Cruises expanded its two-ship fleet with the addition of Azamara Pursuit. The 702-passenger cruise ship fits nicely into the cruise line's commitment to destination immersion, as its smaller size allows it to get into ports that larger ships can't access.
Fans of Azamara's other two ships, Journey and Quest, will find Pursuit feels familiar. (The layout of all three ships is virtually identical.)
While the ship isn't new -- it has a long history dating to its debut under the defunct Renaissance Cruises -- it has been painstakingly refurbished so that most spaces feel modern and elegant. A neutral color scheme serves as the ship's backdrop, which is punctuated with natural stone surfaces and rich, dark-wood detailing.
Azamara Pursuit is delightfully refined yet comfortable. The heartbeat of the ship is The Den, a large, central space located on Deck 5 that is decorated in dark woods and light carpeting and has numerous bookshelves lined with travel guides. It also includes a large bar, making it a spot passengers can lounge in night or day. This space replaces what had been a casino on other incarnations of the ship.
Other highlights onboard include an enticing pool deck, two specialty restaurants (a steakhouse and an Italian venue), and a spa and large fitness complex. Pursuit includes two spectacular Spa Suites, located adjacent to the spa. These come with large soaking tubs that have unobstructed ocean views.
While we felt slightly more could be done to connect the ports to the shipside experience, given the line's emphasis on destination immersion, the itineraries are what make a cruise on Pursuit worth booking, and the genuine service onboard makes a sailing with Azamara exceptional.
Azamara Pursuit passengers tend to be well-traveled and looking for new destinations to explore. The average age is mid to high 50s, and families are rare, as itineraries are longer and there are no dedicated spaces for children. You'll see more families on summer and holiday cruises.
Expect older couples, with a strong contingent of North American passengers, plus other English-speakers from places like the UK and Australia. English is the language onboard; all announcements are made in English.
Daytime: By day, casualwear is the norm. You'll spend many days in port, so layers and comfortable walking shoes are a must. Poolside, passengers wear bathing suits, shorts, T-shirts and sundresses.
Evening: At night, the dress code is resort casual. Men wear slacks and collared shirts, while women choose dresses, blouses, slacks, capris or skirts. Azamara Pursuit hosts a white party once per cruise, so pack your whites -- you'll fit right in.
Not permitted: Bare feet, tank tops, short pants, ball caps and distressed jeans are not permitted in Discoveries, the main dining room, or any of the specialty restaurants during dinner hours.
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Disappointed with the experience on Azamara Pursuit
Interesting itinerary with much history, culture and scenery in three countries.