Review: Azamara Quest
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
Azamara Quest Visit
103 people found this review helpful
Azamara Club Cruises began life in 2007 but re-branded themselves in April 2010. Operating 2 ships the Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey they have firmly established themselves as part of the premium cruise market. Already they have a repeat passenger rate of 32%. Both ships recently went through a major refurbishment part of which was to change the colour of the hull to a very dark blue which contrasts well with the white superstructure and funnel.
Today I was visiting the Azamara Quest berthed at Southampton waiting to board her passengers for a cruise calling at various ports on the way to Lisbon. Boarding was very efficient and within minutes of arriving at City Terminal we were through security and on board. On boarding our first stop was the ‘Looking Glass’ on deck 10 which gives views through ceiling to floor windows to the front and sides of the ship. This area has a small dance floor and is set up for a trio to play and entertain whilst you relax on one of the leather settees enjoying a pre or post dinner drink that can be obtained from the bar at the back of this area. There are binoculars on stands to enhance the great views you already get from being so high up in the ship or to spot that occasional dolphin, whale or other sea life.
This deck also houses the ‘Drawing Room’ reminiscent of a drawing room in a large country house. Adorned with wood panelling and bookcases, accompanied by leather chairs and settees this is the place to come and read or just have that after lunch snooze. The rear of this deck features the two speciality restaurants, ‘Prime C’ and ‘Aqualina’. Although the same size they have their own individual personalities. Prime C, the ships steak house is set in a wood panelled area with seating upholstered in gold and browns encompassed in dark wood frames giving it a cosy exclusive club feel. Add to this the views from the large picture windows and you have a great restaurant for that special celebration. Aqualina is the opposite in decor, very light and airy with white framed chairs upholstered in light blue and silver. This is the place to go for seafood and like Prime C has excellent views out of the large picture windows both at the side and stern of the ship. Each restaurant has its own bar area and the tables in each look resplendent with their crisp white table cloths accompanied by shining cutlery and sparkling glasses. Both carry a supplement unless you are one of the lucky passengers to be occupying a suite.
Dropping down one deck and directly below Prime C and Aqualina is ‘Windows Cafe’ the buffet area which unlike the buffet area of some ships has tables laid out with cutlery wrapped in proper linen napkins and glasses already laid ready for the diners. The food here was well presented and offered an excellent choice especially as it should be borne in mind that this is by today’s standards a small ship thus catering for a small number of passengers. The large joint of Beef waiting to be carved looked especially inviting. It is worth noting that you can also dine al fresco as Windows Cafe has a large open area at the very back of the ship which will afford you beautiful views of where ever you are. Moving forward takes you to the pool area. A central pool with two Jacuzzi’s surrounded by comfortable looking sun loungers. The loungers are set in pairs with tables in between thus avoiding that sardine feeling when sun bathing. At one end of this area is the Pool Bar for a refreshing drink in the sun whilst at the other is the Pool Grill for that snack in between meals. Forward of this area is the Spa area where the gym, hair salon, acupuncture, thalassotherapy pool can be found. Also in this area is Connections which is fitted out with PC’s so that you can remain in touch with those at home by email or browse the internet.
Decks 8, 7 and 6 are mainly given to the 7 different cabin grades. Starting with the lowest grade, an inside no view at 158 sq. ft. followed by an outside view at 170 sq. ft. and then on up to the various balcony cabins and suites. All have light coloured furnishings complemented by dark wood. Even the lowest grade includes as standard, a fruit basket, flowers, bathrobes and slippers, tote bag, use of umbrella and binoculars, shoe shine service, flat screen TV, air conditioning, safe and for the ladies that all important hand held hair dryer. Whilst on board I had the opportunity to visit one of the special cabins for disabled passengers. The cabin, 6054, was well spaced with plenty of room for an electric wheelchair. The doors to the cabin and the bathroom were electronically operated by the push of a button. The bathroom was a wet room, again with lots of room for a wheel chair. The balcony was equally big.
Deck 5 houses the ‘The Cabaret’ lounge which is where all the main shows are performed. It has a variety of seating from individual ‘tub’ chairs to high stools at small pinnacle tables. There is a large bar at the rear. In front of the stage is a dance floor with a beautiful inlaid circular pattern. Moving towards the rear of the ship you pass through the casino, photo shop and pass the Quest Shop until arriving at Discoveries Lounge. This lounge with its ornate fireplace is modelled on the interior of a country mansion. Having its own bar it also forms the entrance to Discoveries Restaurant which is the main dining venue on the ship. Discoveries have open seating and with a dress code of smart casual every night dining should be an absolute pleasure.
We had lunch in Aqualina and what an excellent lunch it was too. As a starter I chose Grilled Artichokes and Potato Stack, followed by Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Kansas Beef Rib Eye Steak and my favourite Crème Brule to finish. This was all washed down by a very crisp Chilean Riesling.
Like its sister Azamara Journey Azamara Quest is in pristine condition. No salt stained windows or dulled brass here. Azamara really do offer a premium experience. Gratuities and beverages are included in the price and this includes beers, spirits, wines, water etc. You only pay if you want a premium brand. Azamara sail to some of the most exotic locations in the world and don’t just dock at 7am and sail again at 5pm. They spend evenings and days in a port so that you the passenger can experience the real flavour of your destination. They also feature ‘AzAmazing’ evenings that are complementary on shore events. When you see what is included, it is then you realise what good value for money Azamara are.
103 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.
Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Azamara