When first we sailed on the Azamara Quest from Azamara Club Cruises, the line was not yet offering its signature AzAmazing Evenings. Now every sailing, save for transatlantic ones, features one of these complimentary nighttime shore excursions (as seen in the header image above) that highlights the very twilight benefits of Azamara’s late night and overnight stays in port. The off-board event and onboard entertainment are both AzAmazing.
The cabaret lounge onboard the Azamara Quest seats hundreds instead of thousands and is no voluminous multi-deck theatre. Instead, the single level room is more akin to intimate lounges found on classic cruise ships. In short, the focus of the entertainment onboard is on talent over spectacle.
The fantastic live orchestra blows the roof off, the dancers bring abundant energy and the singers mostly impress when they don’t hold their voices back. Performances often break free of the limited stage area and spill out onto the dance floor where the audience encircles the production for truly unique perspectives. You can’t help but feel as though you are a part of the action.
Shows creatively embrace the limited space. Voices, as an exclusive showcase of a cappella sounds, for instance, was first pitched to Royal Caribbean International. The line deemed the show too intimate and passed. Azamara dutifully picked it up, and here it fits perfectly. Otherwise, shows feature the whole ensemble of 4 singers, 4 dancers and live band playing a wide range of songs from Broadway to Top 40. On Azamara, even the talented cruise director gets in on the act and sings during the final show.
For a small ship, the diverse repertoire is impressive, and it doesn’t stop there. The party heads to the pool deck on White Night where everyone wears white, and the musical company heats up the stage even when the air is chilly. The A/V geek in me appreciates the never-before-seen use of the ship satellite enclosures as projection screens to showcase imagery from past AzAmazing Evenings – themselves quite the entertainment spectacle as you’ll see.
An AzAmazing Evening
The AzAmazing Evening of our cruise was hosted at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico right along the coastline. When we arrived at the outdoor venue, colorfully lit palm trees backed the quiet stage, and banquet tables sat across the grassy grounds. Talented artisans sold a fine selection of local souvenirs in the corner, and petit fours, coffee and hot chocolate set at our tables filled our never-empty stomachs.
Opening with a traditional mariachi band, the initial entertainment was fun but tame. Our jovial captain – the ‘voice from the bridge,’ as he called himself over the ship’s PA during the day – shared some amusing anecdotes and jokes, and then historical natives took to the stage. Tribal drumming and rhythmic dancing followed. The intricacies of the costumes and body paint alone were enough to keep your attention.
But soon, things heated up. Acrobatics energized the scene, and no sooner than our hearts began to race did fire enter the picture. Even in the second row, you could feel the heat from the flaming staffs and chains. Scorching trails raced above the stage, ever dangerously close to the performers, and then darkness. A moment of silence is called seconds before the big surprise…
Boom! You could feel the thunderous launch of the mortars as fireworks of increasing size lit up the night sky. It was like Disneyland if the display was a quarter of the usual distance away. Umbrellas of light soon enveloped your field of vision. It was indeed nothing short of AzAmazing! (Only video can truly capture the experience, and that we will share in the coming days. Stay tuned!)
For more information on AzAmazing Evenings, visit Azamara Club Cruises‘ website here.
Have you experienced an AzAmazing Evening? We’d love to know what you thought of your experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” section below…
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: JASON LEPPERT