My Azamara Quest
A few weeks ago I was asked if I could attend a trip to view, experience and learn some more about Azamara and it’s ship, The Quest.
Naturally I was very excited, as much as what I know about Azamara from brochures, customer feedback and learning programmes there is never a substitute for experiencing a ship first hand. She met all my expectations and then went on to exceed them.
Azamara are big on service, presentation and attention to detail but what I feel they are most proud of is their itineraries and how long they stay in port allowing the customer to experience the best the regions visited have to offer. For more on this visit #azalocal #lovetravel #tastelocal
I met the ship in Monaco and what a sight from the hills Monaco is. We flew into Nice and did the 30 min transfer to the Port. The Quest was out to sea doing regular tender journeys and we had arrived about 2 hours before embarkation, in Monaco/ Monte Carlo and having 2 hours to kill was not a problem (the only issue being there is nowhere to leave your luggage). As you can see from my photos the Formula 1 track and stands had started to be erected and the local boys where out in their £100,000+ cars going round and round, there were literally hundreds of them doing the circuit and with the Yachts behind me, super cars in front and clear blue skies above this was a stunning introduction to the port.
My first impression of Azamara was, wow, this (Atrium) is so small and gleaming. My previous ship experiences have been on 100,000-150,000 tonne super ships. Azamara has two ships, The Quest and The Journey, they are identical to each other. They are 30,000 tonnes in weight and hold 694 passengers, there are 9 passenger decks with a ship length of 180 metres and width of 84 metres, it soon came apparent that although a small ship the length, width and decks divided by 694 passengers meant it was never crowded, never busy anywhere, no queues, in fact it felt like a very nice, well run Boutique hotel.
As an agent on a trip it is important for us to get around the ship, take plenty of photos and see what there is on offer. I was amazed how quick I got round the ship but looking back at all my photos I was even more amazed how much the ship has to offer.
My next blog will specifically be about Azamara, what it has to offer on board and on shore, but for now will continue with my trip.
I was joining the cruise half way through it’s itinerary and our first night onboard was Azamara’s ‘White night’, an evening where a buffet BBQ on the pool deck is laid out, singing and dancing can be enjoyed and of course drinks flowing through-out the night. With White night you are encouraged to wear something, or everything white and again, as per the photos you can see it is quite effective and impressive looking. The Buffet is top notch, everything well laid out, plenty of chefs and waiters on hand, my favourite food this evening had to be the barbequed Lobster, it was truly delicious and there was ample of it, they kept cooking the Lobster even after everyone had eaten, just incase anyone wanted more, I obliged.
The evening got a little chilly so I went to the casino bar for a nice quiet drink, it had been a long day travelling. For a bit more lively entertainment the Living Room was a good option, big, spacious and all your good ole favourite sing-a-long tunes.
The following morning and we woke in the port of Livorno. After breakfast and it was decision time, Pisa or Florence. Pisais 30 minutes away, Florence 60-90 minutes away.
We chose Pisa. Azamara had an excursion laid on for this but we decided to do it ourselves. The port taxis were charging a fortune and seemed to be making the price up, as we walked away the price got lower and lower until we could not hear them. a second option was to walk into Livorno and go to the main square where we could pick up the number 1 bus to Livorno train station, get a train to Pisa and then a 20 minute walk to the leaning tower of Pisa. We stumbled across an unplanned third option, a random man in t he square asking if we wanted a taxi. After discussing how many of us there were, where we were going and how long we wanted to be there a deal was met, 15 euros per person and a drop off and pick up right outside the Tower. As I suspected it was not a taxi, just some guy looking to make some extra cash on a sunday afternoon.
Everyone has seen the photos of Pisa but to actually see it in person it really is an amazing sight and amazing how far it leans.
Back to the ship and the pool deck, a bit of sun bathing a dip in the hot tub and a self service Ice Cream topped with M&Ms.
This evening we went on Azamara’s ‘Azamazing’ evening excursion. Azamara lay on an Azamazing evening ,complimentary, on every cruise. This experience will performed by locals, it will have a local traditional theme and is exclusive to Azamara only, no one else can purchase tickets or entrance to the experience. Our night in Livorno was to see the Three Tenors and what a show it was. Equally impressive was the organisation of Azamara to get 600+ passengers to the Opera House. Transportation was approx 13 buses all numbered, with a little numbered sticker given out based on the deck your cabin was on you would be called to disembark and board the bus, transferred to a parking drop off point in Livorno and then a guide with the relevant numbered sign leading the short walk to the Opera House. Leaving the Opera house was the same, your number called out and off you went, this was very efficient and avoided any standing around queues and crowds.
The following day we went on an Excursion to Lucca, the most beautiful traditional, ancient city you could wish to visit. Lucca has grown over the years but is known for its renaissance walls circling the old town with all its churches, Cathedral, buildings, amphitheatre and cobbled stones. This place is a photographers dream.
This evening was the last of the 3 night trip I was fortunate to be invited on. For the 2nd consecutive night I dined in the Prime C restaurant, I have attached a menu to my photos. The choice was fantastic, choosing was harder. Did you know if you can’t decide what to have then order two choices from the menu, I did on the desserts!!
I had a noodle main the first night and roasted pork the second night and in line with everything I had experienced onboard it was a delicious experience, the pork almost melted in the mouth and even the vegetables tasted delicious, i need to get my kids on board.
As for kids, well I saw 2.
To view my photos of the whole trip please click here.
If you have any questions then please ask.
Thanks for reading.