Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

Azamara Pursuit Entertainment & Activities

Shore Excursions

Like its fleetmates, Azamara Pursuit spends much of its time in the ports it visits. As such, shore excursions are an important part of the cruise experience. The line prides itself on creating excursions that engage passengers in local experiences. A variety of half-day and full-day tours are offered, and they run the gamut from coach or easy walking tours to more strenuous adventures. (The level of activity for each excursion, which you can book ahead of your sailing, is identified on the company's website pre-cruise or in documentation onboard.) Excursions are not included in your cruise fare, and have a fairly wide range when it comes to pricing.

Each passenger can enjoy an included AzAmazing Evening event, the cruise line's signature shore excursion offering, created to be a special and exclusive activity just for Azamara passengers. Events vary widely depending on the port visited but might include activities like a private concert at Ephesus in Turkey or a market visit followed by a bawdy cabaret in France.

Azamara Pursuit provides a shuttle for passengers to use, free of charge, to get from the port into the city center and back. Additionally, it provides a concierge to help with creating and booking private experiences.

Daytime and Evening Entertainment

The main show lounge onboard is the Cabaret Lounge. While this space was barely touched during the refurbishment, it's well-maintained and features an intricate wood-inlaid dance floor. There's also a stage that hosts the ship's shows, such as "Four on the Floor," a lively blend of music from artists such as the Beatles, ABBA and Coldplay.

The venue also has a movie screen for films, often related to the destinations the ship is visiting, which are shown during the day. Lectures and gathering ahead of shore tours also takes place in the Cabaret Lounge.

During the day, Azamara Pursuit is light on activities, as most passengers are in port. On sea days, you can expect trivia sessions, often hosted at The Den, poolside music, and Ping-Pong or shuffleboard competitions with the activity staff.

Azamara's premier event is its White Night Party, a poolside barbecue held once per cruise. Passengers get into it, dressing in white (you'll stand out if you don't) and enjoying a beautiful outdoor buffet, with fresh seafood, grilled meats and incredible desserts. As the evening goes on, the event turns into a real party, with live music and lots of dancing.

Azamara Pursuit doesn't have a casino.

Enrichment

Most sailings on Azamara Pursuit include a guest lecturer, who will give a few talks. Longer cruises might host more than one lecturer.

Azamara Pursuit Bars and Lounges

Azamara Pursuit has a wide variety of bars, and there's never a problem finding something that's open regardless of time of day. Bars run the spectrum, from quiet to lively. And though the ship sails port-intensive itineraries, several lounges are open well into the night.

While a short list of standard spirits, wine, beer and soft drinks are included in your cruise fare, many of the creative cocktails on offer at the ship's bars aren't covered. If you're someone who likes to try new drinks or enjoys premium wines, Azamara offers several beverage packages.

Cabaret Bar (Deck 5): The Cabaret Bar serves passengers when activities take place in the Cabaret Lounge.

Spirits (Deck 5): The large bar located in the middle of The Den, Spirits serves up drinks throughout the day and into the evening. It's located at the center of the ship and is the hot spot for hanging out, especially close to dinner. You'll find seating at the polished marble bar, or you can grab drinks in the more intimate table-and-chair setup. There's even an imitation fireplace here, guaranteed to make you feel cozy.

Mosaic Cafe (Deck 5): For coffee or tea anytime, head to the Mosaic Cafe, which will provide your caffeine fix in a comfortable setting. The venue feels spacious because of its proximity to the ship's beautiful open atrium. People grab coffee here and linger because it's just a great space for a chat. Mosaic Cafe is open from early morning to late at night.

Discoveries Bar (Deck 5): Located adjacent to Discoveries Restaurant, Discoveries Bar is a nice spot for grabbing a predinner drink. It's open only around dinnertime, as it feels like less of a destination and more of a convenience.

Pool Bar (Deck 9): The Pool Bar is open from late morning until late evening, offering up drinks poolside.

Living Room (Deck 10): Open the latest of all the bars on Azamara Pursuit, the Living Room is an elegant space with a dance floor that gets moving after dinner and the evening shows. A DJ plays hit music each night, with themes like Michael Jackson or the '70s.

Prime C Bar (Deck 10): Prime C Bar is located at the entrance to Azamara Pursuit's steakhouse. The bar is surprisingly lively around dinnertime, with bartenders serving up trendy cocktails and glasses of wine. Patrons tend to stand in group conversation while awaiting their tables. It's open only during dinner hours.

Azamara Pursuit Outside Recreation

Deck 9 is the ship's main outdoor hot spot. A good-sized pool serves as the centerpiece; it's flanked by two hot tubs. There's also a stage, where live music is played. Plenty of mesh lounge chairs are available, and a couple of small seating areas with couches and tables invite conversation.

Pool towels and fleece blankets are available for use by the pool, which is a nice treat when it gets chilly. There's a small smoking section on the port (left) side of the ship.

Decks 10 and 11 are home to sun decks, where passengers can soak up the sun in lounge chairs or covered sunbeds. You'll find a Ping-Pong table on Deck 10 and a shuffleboard court on Deck 11.

Azamara Pursuit Services

Most of Azamara Pursuit's services are found on Decks 4 and 5. Deck 4 has the ship's guest relations desk, concierge and medical center. On Deck 5, you'll find the photo gallery and a variety of shops selling necessities as well as jewelry, clothes and souvenirs. This is also where the ship's shore excursions desk and future cruise center are located.

A card room and internet cafe are located on Deck 10. You must purchase an internet package to use the Wi-Fi onboard Azamara Pursuit (unless you're sailing in a high-end suite). Package prices vary widely based on length of sailing, but it's a better bargain to purchase for the full cruise rather than by the day.

The Drawing Room, also on Deck 10, has a great collection of fiction and nonfiction books to borrow while onboard. Likewise, The Den, on Deck 5, features a number of travel books for you to peruse while you're sailing.

A self-service launderette is located on Deck 7. Here, you can do laundry or iron clothing for free, though you'll be fighting for the clothes iron the closer you get to dinnertime.

Azamara Pursuit Spa & Fitness

The ship's main spa complex is The Sanctum, located on Deck 9. The spa is adequately sized for the number of passengers onboard. Treatments include body wraps, facials, massages, scrubs and body sculpting. Prices are generally higher than what you might pay on land, but there's a nice variety of packages that bundle several treatments together. Spa treatment rooms are relaxing and quiet.

The spa also offers acupuncture. An adjacent salon offers manicures, pedicures, haircuts, styling and treatments, and men's grooming services. An 18 percent gratuity is added to all spa and salon services.

Off the spa, at the front of the ship, is the Sanctum Terrace, a private deck that includes a bubbling saltwater bath and lounge chairs. Passengers can buy one-day or full-cruise passes to the terrace, which offers a quiet retreat. Access is an included perk for suite passengers.

The men's and women's changing areas were left mostly untouched during Pursuit's refurbishment. The changing rooms feature marble tiles, honey-colored wood lockers and marble sinks. They also have large steam rooms, which are complimentary for all passengers.

Azamara Pursuit features a good-sized fitness center, with cardiovascular equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical trainers, weight machines and dumbbells. A number of fitness classes are included in the cost of your cruise. (Think yoga, spinning and Pilates.) Sign-up is required for fitness classes. A jogging track is located on Deck 10; 14.5 laps make up a mile.

Azamara Pursuit For Kids

Azamara Pursuit doesn't target kids or families, though you'll find a few on summer and holiday cruises. Kids must be at least 6 months to sail -- 12 months for transatlantic sailings. The ship has no kids clubs or programming, so children who are comfortable in an adult environment are best-suited for sailing with Azamara. If a sailing has a particularly large contingent of kids onboard, the staff might arrange for a group activity, but it's not part of the ship's regular programming.

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