Azamara Pursuit offers several dining options, some included and some for a fee. Regardless of where you dine, menus offer a solid variety, and dietary restrictions are easily accommodated. (Those who have specific dietary needs should inform the cruise line in writing 80 days ahead of their sailings and confirm with the restaurant manager once onboard.) We saw one passenger with a food intolerance ordering dinner from a menu the night before to ensure the meal was specially prepared.
Menus in Azamara Pursuit's main dining room and buffet restaurants are designed with a global experience in mind; some options reflect the foods eaten in the destinations visited.
Passengers who wish to dine at a number of the specialty restaurants can purchase dining packages. Packages save a bit of money, and there's enough variety among the packages to get exactly what you want -- several even include the Chef's Table.
A number of dining events are hosted throughout each cruise, including a beautiful brunch spread on the pool deck that typically includes local food items accompanied by jazzy tunes from the onboard band -- on days when the ship arrives late in port.
Discoveries Restaurant (Deck 5)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D) The main dining restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner daily and lunch on sea days. Tables are available for anywhere from two to eight people, and seating is open, meaning passengers can dine when and with whom they wish when the restaurant is open. (Reservations are not accepted.)
The restaurant, located at the back of the ship on Deck 5, is decorated in beiges and whites, and it features a center section that is raised about a step higher than the rest of the space. While there are plenty of tables, there isn't a lot of space between them, especially those around the windows. It makes for a more collegial environment, as you'll be drawn into conversations with people sitting nearby. But if you're looking for a quiet, private meal, you might want to look elsewhere onboard.
Menu selections at Discoveries are vast for all meals, which is a bonus for people who have special dietary needs or are simply finicky about their food. All menus clearly identify which dishes are gluten-free, healthy choices, vegetarian or vegan. Some dishes are even labeled "vegan option," meaning the chef can prepare the dishes for vegans upon request.
At breakfast, dishes include lighter fare like fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt, or fennel and citrus Mediterranean salad. Hot dishes like eggs prepared just about any way you could imagine, pancakes, waffles and French toast are also served. There's always an egg dish of the day, as well. Coffee and tea are served, along with fruit juices. The menu also has several Asian dishes, including congee and omurice, a fried rice and chicken omelet. Fans of shakshuka, a traditional Arab egg dish, won't be disappointed.
Dinner is a multicourse affair, with appetizers like baked Brie and poached pear, or seared tuna with wasabi mayonnaise. That's followed by a soup or salad course, with selections including pumpkin bisque or frisee salad. Entrees might include roasted duck breast served with polenta or horseradish-crusted salmon. Finally, dessert might be a cheese plate or gelato.
A number of "always available" options are on the menu each night, including escargot, shrimp cocktail, steak, chicken breast and salmon. You'll also find a chef's recommendation as well as a "world cuisine selection," designed to bring the flavors of the ports you're visiting onboard.
Included wines are designed to pair with the menu, and they change each night. If you aren't a fan of the red, white or rose offered, you can choose from a menu of other included options. Or, you can upgrade to a premium wine, for a fee.
Windows Cafe (Deck 9) Meals: B, L, D Azamara Pursuit's buffet restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet itself is fairly small but adequate for the number of passengers onboard. If you drew a line down the middle of the buffet, you'd find options are the same on the port and starboard sides. There's plenty of seating, both indoors and outdoors, and wait staff regularly circulate to make sure you have drinks.
For breakfast, Windows Cafe serves cold options such as cereal, yogurt, cheese, muesli and fruit, along with hot selections such as eggs, waffles, bacon, sausage and grilled mushrooms. An egg station serves up dishes a la minute. There is also a complimentary smoothie station at the bar.
Lunch might include soup, salads and sandwiches made to order. There's always a sandwich of the day, and you can opt to get any sandwich hot-pressed. Hot options for lunch might include fish, pasta or chicken, and there's a carving station. You'll also find a large selection of desserts -- including a rotating variety of hard ice creams and sorbets.
Dinner is themed every night, with options like Mexican, Indian or Italian. Additionally, when chefs purchase fresh ingredients in port, they set up stations to serve up items like salads made with feta cheese from Greece or pasta highlighting mushrooms from Italy. Daily options might include pasta, salad, sushi or stir-fry, along with a carving station. And as with lunch, dinner offers a huge variety of desserts. A chocolate buffet is typically held one night of each cruise.
The Patio (Deck 9) Meals: L, D Located just outside Windows Cafe, The Patio is a casual alfresco grill open for lunch and dinner. During the day, it features a great buffet salad bar and hot options like burgers, kebabs, chicken wings, sandwiches and fries. At night, tablecloths are added to the tables and options like steaks, salmon and ribs are available. One afternoon per cruise, an Officers' Barbecue is held, where the ship's officers serve guests a tasty lunch, including a traditional pig roast.
Swirl and Top (Deck 9) Meals: Snacks Not so much a venue as a quick spot to grab soft serve, Swirl and Top is actually two self-service ice cream machines offering a variety of flavors, though the flavors change regularly and instead of receiving chocolate or vanilla, you might find yourself with only banana or strawberry. It also has a small buffet of toppings, including fruit, chocolate, candies and sauces.
Mosaic Cafe (Deck 5) Meals: Snacks Mosaic Cafe offers an array of grab-and-go treats, sandwiches and sweets. In the morning, it's pastries and muffins, while lunchtime brings mini-sandwiches and tapas. You'll also find coffee-friendly options like biscotti and cookies. This is the spot to order your morning latte or an afternoon cup of tea.
Room Service Meals: 24/7 Room service is offered 24 hours a day, at no additional charge. Breakfast can be ordered via door hanger, left on your doorknob the night before. It's a great option for passengers who want to ease into their day with a hearty breakfast in their rooms. A good variety of hot and cold options are available, and they rival what you'd find in the main dining room or buffet.
Lunch and dinner options include soups, salads and sandwiches as well as heartier options like strip steak or salmon. You also can order off the Discoveries Restaurant menu when the main dining room is open for dinner.
A card left on your door by 11 a.m. also indicates if you would like an afternoon tea service in your stateroom -- including hot water, a variety of tea bags, two types of sandwiches and scones with cream and jam -- or a selection of "savories." On our voyage, we received deviled eggs, curried chicken and tempura shrimp for two.
Pricing was accurate at time of review but may have changed since.
Aqualina Restaurant (Deck 10); \$30 per person Meals: D Aqualina Restaurant serves a four-course Italian dinner, with traditional offerings like minestrone soup, lobster ravioli and veal scaloppini. The restaurant is light and bright, with stark white tablecloths and natural lighting. For an additional 10 to 15 minutes of patience, we had the option of two souffles for dessert.
Prime C (Deck 10); \$30 per person Meals: D The ship's steakhouse offers up plenty of quality beef, but it's also got a large number of seafood options. Starters include cold-smoked salmon, tuna tartare and beef carpaccio. Choose from main courses like New York strip, filet mignon, veal or Cajun-spiced swordfish. Side dishes include steak fries, spatzle and steamed vegetables. While the menu is meat heavy, there are enough options to keep vegetarians happy.
Chef's Table (Deck 10); \$95 Meals: D For something special, try the Chef's Table, a five-course meal paired with premium wines. Held multiple nights in one of the specialty restaurants, the Chef's Table is hosted by a senior officer or special guest. The menu changes from night to night and involve themes, like French or Italian. Dinner is limited to 12 passengers, and reservations are required.