Azamara Quest will win you over in two ways. The first is the down-to-earth friendliness of its passengers and crew. The second is the ship's -- and the entire cruise line's -- focus on destinations. From longer stays and overnights in ports to unique shore excursions and a lack of sea days, Azamara targets passengers for whom the destination -- not the ship -- is the major focus of their local or overseas holiday.
The compact deck plan makes it easy to get around, and while some aspects of Azamara Quest like the accommodation, are not up to modern standards, the ship transcends its hardware limitations with obliging crew, modern decor and a sociable vibe. Add an impressive choice of drinking and dining options for such a small ship, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included in the fare, and a free evening shoreside event, called an AzAmazing Evening, on nearly every cruise, and there are hits aplenty onboard and onshore.
One of the most appealing things about Azamara Quest is its size and intimacy. With just over 700 passengers and only 9 decks to navigate, it is compact and stylish.
As you move around Quest, you'll quickly notice how well the ship is laid out and how easy it is to get around. The sun deck and large outdoor lounge area on Deck 11 is the highest point on the ship and has great 180 degree views.
Deck 10 is home to the Living Room with its comfortable lounge and bar area that doubles as a venue for live music and presentations. It's also a great spot to read during the day. There's an adjacent wine-tasting bar offering for-a-fee tasting events with the ships sommeliers. Moving aft on this deck, you'll find the ship's library in the Drawing Room and Prime C and Aqualina, Azamara Quest's two specialty restaurants.
The pool deck, spa area and Windows Cafe are located on Deck 9. For a light bite on a sunny day, The Patio dishes up burgers, kebabs, hot dogs and soft serve yoghurts. The Sunset Bar is located on the aft end of this deck and comes with wraparound ocean views.
Deck 5 houses the bulk of the public areas including the theatre, bars and shops, Mosaic Cafe and the ships main dining room, Discoveries Restaurant. On this deck, you'll also find The Den with comfortable seating and Spirits, the adjoining piano bar with its large lounge area.
Deck 4 houses guest relations, the concierge desk and the medical centre.
Azamara Quest's cabins are smaller than the industry standard for a luxury ship (especially the bathrooms) but the décor is elegant and appealing, with clean lines and comfortable furniture. There's a wide range of cabins at different price points, ranging from compact insides to large suites. All have a neutral colour palette with shades of cream, grey and beige, and textured wall coverings that make the rooms look light and modern.
Tip: Luxury travellers will want to book a suite to get the space they're used to and a more workable bathroom.
The best and most sought-after cabins on Azamara Quest are the Club Spa Suites which are new additions to the ship. These are newly built and come with a Roman bath that has lovely ocean views. The cabins' location on Deck 9 is also handy to all of the ship's dining and entertainment options.
If you can't afford to splurge on a Club Spa Suite (or book too late to get one as there are only a couple available), the best cabins overall are found on Deck 7 as there are cabins above and below this deck to insulate you from potentially noisy public areas.
Cabins on Deck 4 aren't convenient for reaching popular areas on the ship like Windows and the Living Room, and can be noisy as they're close to guest relations and the medical centre. Some cabins on Deck 6 have a view that's obstructed by the ship's lifeboats. The cabins on Deck 7 outside the busy guest laundry should also be avoided.
Food onboard is wonderful, with diverse menus that have an international flair and can accommodate a range of tastes and dietary needs. The Windows Cafe offers simple yet tasty fare, with themed dinners every night, freshly squeezed juice at breakfast, and a changing selection of multiple flavours of gelato for lunch and dinner.
The excellent Chef's Table and Italian restaurant are both worth the extra charge, and The Patio offers a classy take on casual poolside dining. You're not going to find caviar and foie gras on Azamara Quest, but you should feel pleased and sated after meals.
Azamara no longer requires proof of vaccination for sailings starting and ending in the United States or sailings starting and ending in Europe. All other sailings require proof of vaccination and boosters until further notice.
Azamara does not require a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding unless this is required by local country regulations. However, the line highly recommends that guests take a COVID-19 test prior to starting their travels.
For those countries that still require guests to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding, guests should follow the official requirements at each destination on the ship's itinerary. Cruise Critic's guide to COVID testing also provides helpful information.
Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations
Passengers onboard are an international mix. The majority of travellers are retirees, aged in their 60s to 80s with a smattering of younger cruisers. We saw several families with children on our summer cruise who were making the best of what was on offer. However, overall, Azamara Quest isn't well suited to those travelling with kids.
Passengers are well off, well-travelled and interested in exploring the ports (whether that be touring, shopping, hitting the beach or eating). We also found the ship to be extremely friendly, with passengers striking up conversations everywhere. It makes for a convivial atmosphere onboard. Unhosted LGBTQ+ gatherings are available daily. Accessible cabins are available, but these have limited functionality compared to similar cabins on newer ships.
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