My dad and I had the privilege to sail on Azamara Club Cruises and the Azamara Quest for the first time a year ago in Brazil and instantly fell in love with the brand. Now returning once more, it’s like we’ve come home. That’s how immediately comfortable veteran cruisers feel onboard.
True, there are no bells and whistles on the Azamara Quest to talk about, no thrilling watersides nor fireworks at sea. Instead, Azamara is a pleasant return to basics done exceptionally well. In many ways the formula is most akin to river cruising where the focus is more off-board than on. Azamara is unwaveringly destination-centric, and passengers love that.
Even so, the onboard experience is exceptional. With a capacity of only 700 passengers, the ship as you guessed it is small, which translates to superior service that is both attentive and friendly. It also means it’s incredibly easy to access any ship venue without walking a mile down endless corridors.
Azamara dining is superb, and most drinks are now included – a delightful new feature that doesn’t have you reaching for your key card every time you order a libation. In fact, dining is so good at every restaurant, that it’s often hard to decide where to go. The main restaurant, two specialty restaurants, buffet and poolside grill all offer wide selections of wonderful fare.
Live music is available throughout the ship including a fantastic orchestra. As such, the jazz brunch onboard is certainly a highlight, for both the piano playing and colossal shrimp. Show productions are very good given the smaller cabaret theater and feature a talented company, although the band outshines the current singers, at least from what we heard at their first main performance.
The cabaret is home to productions and variety acts onboard. Classical instrumentalists, comedians or ventriloquists play on other evenings. A pair of great violinists – Laszlo & Claudia – played a beautiful set that concluded with an ace medley of tunes from The Phantom of the Opera just last night. Bravo!
Ask around and it’s not uncommon to meet fellow passengers who have come from luxury lines like Seabourn. It’s safe to say they appreciate Azamara’s luxuries without the luxury costs. I for one appreciate luxuries without the need to dress formally. Accommodations are comfortable, food is delicious, entertainment is tops, and destinations are exotic. What more can you ask for? I’m home.
For more information about Azamara Club Cruises, visit the cruise line’s website here.
Have you sailed on Azamara Club Cruises or would you like to? Please feel free to share your opinion or ask a question in the “Leave a Reply” section below…
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: JASON LEPPERT