Azamara Quest Cruise Review by flydc
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Australia & New Zealand
- Cabin Type: Club Veranda Stateroom
The ship itself seemed to be in good shape. I was surprised to hear that it is scheduled for dry dock in Singapore in a couple of months. Public areas, furniture, and cabins appeared to be in good shape - with nothing standing out as needing updates. We have sailed with Azamara a few times - but always on the Journey. Last time was in 2015. The Quest - as previously reported by others - is the same layout. Since our last sailing, they introduced the Living Room concept on deck 10 - replacing the Looking Glass. We really liked it. On bad weather sea days, it was packed.
Service was great throughout the cruise. From bars to restaurants to cabin staff - they did a great job as they have in the past. We had one issue that we weren't initially happy with how they handled it - but then they reconsidered (without our asking) and contacted us to resolve in our favor. To make a long story short, we purchased the Ultimate Bundle - which was really worth it. Includes internet, spa credit, excursions credit, drinks package, laundry, etc. We expected that we would get the $40 credit per person for our status that we would have gotten if we bought just the internet package. They said that applied only to purchases of internet packages and not if it was purchased as part of a bundle. Sounds ridiculous and they finally understood why a guest would be confused between a package and a bundle. As I said, they eventually got it and gave us an onboard credit - which was what we requested.
Food was good but not great. Discoveries (main dining room) had a pretty good menu with rotating selections. Always love that they consistently offer shrimp cocktail and french onion soup! Windows cafe was good for breakfast and lunch. We only tried it for one night for dinner and it was just ok. We are not buffet people - so we are probably biased anyway! The Living Room had a nice supply of sandwiches, tea (scones & cakes), and tapas throughout the day.
Our bundle included the Ultimate Drink package. They had a nice offering but honestly didn't need it as most of the included wines they poured were acceptable. It's also nice that since our last sailing they have added prosecco to the complimentary list - as it was awkward to not have any bubbles on that list. (Although I should note that I take small offense to them calling it complimentary since we paid for an all inclusive cruise. They should said "included" or something instead."
The White Night deck party was alot of fun. Lots of people remembered to pack their whites - so it really turned out to be a nice night. They brought a local band onboard who played fun jazz - followed of course by the ship's entertainers who did a great job leading dances, etc.
Our fellow guests were mainly retired folks with a spattering of working age folks (40-60) from all over. Alot of Europeans (especially Scots & Brits), some Americans, and surprisingly alot of Kiwis and Australians (guess its easy to get to or from the ship!). We met lots of folks and enjoyed most. 14 days is a long time with some people - including those who jump in line or ignore that you are next for the bus and take the last 2 seats ahead of you ... Thankfully these folks were the exception and not the rule. Most of our fellow guests were classy and realized that common courtesy was the best way to go. As I frequently remind people who have to be "first" for everything - the cruise lines know what they are doing and never seem to run out of what people want! They take care of everyone!
We had a balcony cabin on the eighth deck forward. Even with a few days of high seas, we did ok being forward. Tasman crossings can always be a bit rough they said. They were right! As described as naseum in other reviews, the bathroom (shower in particular) are laughably small. 14 days is a long cruise for us - but we found the size of the cabin to be adequate, including plenty of storage.
Ok - now the areas where Azamara could improve ...
1. they seem to have started nickel and diming for some things... charging for movies on the TV ($12 or something) seems a little much ... and charging for a bridge tour or behind the scenes tour .... Seems rather Royal Caribbean, instead of Azamara ...
2. When the Living Room was packed, it sometimes took awhile to get served ... once they saw you needed something, they were helpful. More a matter of not enough servers instead of the staff being lazy
3. Entertainment was the same as on small ships... They could learn from the larger ships and try to make this a bit better
4. Prime C was just ok ... seems like they could improve quality of beef ... (Aqualina was excellent).
5. Excursions were pricey. Disappointed a few were cancelled due to lack of interest.
Overall - super happy with this cruise. Kudos to Azamara for having some of the friendliest crew and definitely the most engaging officers at sea. We sail with Seabourn, Oceania, and SilverSea regularly and think Azamara is just as enjoyable and a much better value!
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Forward on deck 8 ... right under the spa. Very quiet. Can hardly hear anything from anchor or other ship's noise. Was a bit windy on bad weather days at sea though. Nice being up front near the stairs - easy access to pool deck as well as the Living Room.
Would stay in this cabin again.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Taieri Gorge RailwayVery enjoyable. Worth it to book via the ship so you are picked up right at the pier on the train. Beautiful vistas and views. Lunch was just ok (included) but they poured lots of beer and wine which was awesome.View All 53 Taieri Gorge Railway Reviews
Museum of Old and New ArtWhat a great museum. Not to be missed! Very interesting art... Good for people with open minds only....View All 6 Museum of Old and New Art Reviews
Winery Tourstopped at three beautiful wineries ... great wines and beautiful places ... one of them had a bit of a long talk/lecture - but was still enjoyable ... particularly of note was the ice cream at one stop!View All 11 Winery Tour Reviews
would have wished the ship had sent an escort with us as our fellow tour guests were late in returning to the bus at each stop - causing us to return late!