Together with her sibling, Azamara Journey, the launch of Quest into the market created an intriguing new category in the cruise industry, called “luxury lite”. An elegant, boutique sized ship she has many unusual features including a French country mansion decor, and port intensive itineraries with unusual and longer days in port including overnight stays.
Who Should Go?
Things You Might Not Know
Quest once belonged to the now defunct Renaissance fleet and cruised under the name of R7 for five years after her debut on the cruising scene. The dress code is alway smart casual with no formal nights.
Quest has four basic types of accommodation to choose from; interior, ocean view, veranda and suites. All are very elegantly appointed, and come with standard amenities including flat screen televisions, a refrigerator and mini bar, a hand held hairdryer, European bedding with a duvet, bathrobes and slippers, fresh flowers, welcome fruit on embarkation, and complimentary use of an umbrella and binoculars.
Quest’s interior staterooms, a throwback to her days as a premium cruise ship, are reasonably spacious at 14.7 square metres, and have a simple colour scheme of dark wood, biscuit coloured carpets, and blue furnishings. Club ocean view staterooms are slightly larger at 15.8 square metres and have a picture window, and a similar decor with a splash of gold. Both categories come with at least two nights guaranteed in the specialty dining venues.
Veranda staterooms come in two types, Club Veranda and Club Deluxe. The first category is spacious at 16.3 square metres with a private veranda and a sitting area, and decor as described above. Club Deluxe staterooms are similarly sized but have a slightly different decor featuring more red, and additional perks including turndown treats.
There are three categories of suite, Club Continent at 24.7 square metres, Club Ocean at 40.9 to 46.5 square metres, and the Club World Owners Suite at 52 square metres. Suites have a lavish decor, and additional perks including complimentary seating at the alternative restaurants throughout the cruise, and one bottle of vodka and scotch for in-suite use.
Facilities and Entertainment
In spite of being boutique in size, this ship has plenty to keep you amused on sea days and is on par with other ships in her size and class. She has a spacious sun deck with a good sized pool and two jacuzzi spas, a well-equipped fitness centre, a small but full-service AquaSpa, a beauty salon, and an internet centre. Activities include art auctions, enrichment lectures, and classes to help you learn PowerPoint or improve your skills in digital photography.
For nightly entertainment, there is a casino and a show room where the Azamara Cabaret or guest performers perform nightly. Discoveries Lounge, adjacent to the main dining room, is one of three venues to enjoy a cocktail or nightcap, with the other two being the Martini Bar and the Looking Glass.
The two primary venues include a decent sized main dining room, Discoveries, which operates on an open seating basis, and Windows Café, which is a casual, part al fresco buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and doubles up as an outdoor bar in the evenings. The European-style Mosaic Café serves quality coffees and snacks throughout the day.
The two alternatives, which are by reservation only and incur a modest surcharge of US $15 a head including wine, are Prime C and Aqualina. From its decor to its expansive menu, Prime C is a classic steakhouse, with lots of dark wood, soft leather chairs and warm lighting. In contrast, Aqualina boasts a decor with accents o silver, cream and blue, and offers American cuisine with Mediterranean flair. As part of its “luxury lite” tag, items including specialty coffees, soft drinks, bottled water, and wine at dinner are included in the fare, and there is 24-hour room service.
The Low Down
After a hasty launch, Azamara underwent an ambitious overhaul last year to reinvent itself. And If you are looking for a refined cruising experience without the hefty price tag of an all-inclusive ship, it is one well worth putting at the top of your list to consider.