As the editor of P&O Cruises’ in-cabin magazine Pacific (as well as Cruise Passenger of course), I recently commissioned a feature on the theme of “How To Do Nothing On A Cruise Ship”. A sea day on this cruise is the perfect opportunity for me to practise what we preach. I could now leave this page blank while I do nothing at all … however, first I had the opportunity to meet Scott Daniels, the hotel director, and he filled me in on a few details about what the boutique Azamara Club Cruises is all about.
Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest are twin sisters in all but the artworks hanging on the walls; both are Renaissance-class ships built in 2000, refurbished in 2007.
Azamara Club Cruises was established a year ago, and many of the recent changes implemented were as a result of feedback from passengers; for example, as passengers loathed being ‘nickelled and dimed’ all the time, gratuities are now included in the fare; wines at lunch and dinner are also included in the fare, as are soft drinks and coffees all day; and if you pay more to cruise in the Suite Class, extras such as access to the spa, a bottle of vodka and scotch and some free ironing are also included.
Longer stays in port and more overnight stays are a major point of difference for this boutique cruise line, which is positioned between premium and luxury. In fact, we’ve dubbed it ‘Luxury Lite’ (see the latest edition of Cruise Passenger for Jo Hall’s feature about Azamara Quest).
CEO Larry Pimentel has hinted there will be a third Azamara Club Cruises ship; apparently he doesn’t want to be the head of a two-ship cruise line!
Now on to Doing Nothing. As a fulltime worker I never have time to sunbathe, and as a converted Australian I usually shy away from exposure to the sun – however, offered the chance to lie on a private deck, totally naked under the Mediterranean sun, how could I resist? And purely in the name of research I managed to spend a whole afternoon sleeping, snoozing, reading and listening to the comforting thrum of the ship’s engines and the constant churning of the wash. Delicious …