Greek Isles and Holy Land Cruise
7 of 8 people found this review informative
|Reviewed By: Shillan, Leeds on 10th Nov 2011|
|Cruise Line: Azamara Club Cruises||Times cruised before: 10+|
|Cruise Ship: Azamara Quest||Sailed: October, 2011|
|Destination: Mediterranean||Age: 65+|
|Cabin: Outside||Occasion: Birthday|
Azamara Quest - 11night Greek Isles & Holy Land Cruise 26th October to 6 November 2011. The Azamara Club Cruises belong to the same group of ships as Celebrity X and Royal Caribbean. The only reason I booked this cruise with Azamara was because out of the 5 ships that were sailing to the Holy Land during the week ended 29 October, (it was my birthday on the 26th and my wife's on the 28th), it was the only one that had accommodation left that was not an inside cabin. After I had booked the cruise on the 30th September with the Liverpool Cruise Club, who I was using for the first time, and found to be excellent, I read the brochure they had sent me, and found that unlike the Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, the cruise fee includes flights, transfers, free tips, free wine with all meals, soft drinks, water, a free bottle of Champagne on arrival, fresh fruit every day,(EVEN IF YOU ARE IN AN INSIDE CABIN), and there was even 100s of bottles of water on display when you were leaving the ship on going ashore, which were of course free. Also, if you had not booked trips, there was free shuttle buses at every port. (the shuttle bus to Antalya in Turkey took us 10 miles each way). The staff on the ship, (this was our 20th cruise), went out of there way to make sure you had an easy time, e.g. as soon as you sat down in the self service restaurant on the 9th deck, they asked you if you wanted tea, coffee, hot chocolate, iced water, etc, and by the time you had got your self service meal, it was immediately sereved to you. They would even carry your food for you if you wanted them to do so. The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was superb. All the luxuries we had received on bigger ships in the past, were there for breakfast, the burger bar at lunchtime served the best turkey burgers I have ever tasted, eight choices of ice cream at lunchtime. In the main restaurant on the 5th Deck, there were 8 main courses, YES 8 main courses to choose from, (including the best Prime Rib beef I have ever tasted, which was massive, and I managed to eat the lot!!!! Because we had travelled on both Celebrity X and Royal Caribbean before, (we did not tell them they must have checked on their computer), we were invited to 4 cocktail parties and one wine & cheese parties in 11 nights. Someone mentioned it was my wife's birthday on the 28th, andjust as we were about to leave the dinner table, the waiter asked where we were going as there was a birthday cake about to be served!! We asked them if it could be taken to our room as we were about to go to the theatre. It was no problem. We also had a free laundry bag and 2 and a half free internet, so I was able to catch up with the e-mails sent to my home. No wonder other passengers on this ship said they would not cruise with any other cruise company. We did not go on any excursions withe ship, as like all other companies, they have put up their prices. So we now always join up with other passengers a do "our own thing". Although because of rockets being fired by Hamas into Israel on the 26th October we were unable to stop in Ashdod, the Captain to us Haifa in Israel for 3 days instead of 1 days, which was not a great inconvenience as Ashdod and Haifa are not a great distance apart, we were still able to get the train to Tel Aviv, and then a bus to Jaffa without much trouble. The Berlitz Cruising book gives this ship 4 stars, but you speak to a large majority of the passengers on this cruise, and they will say the Azamara Quest d4eserves a 5 star rating. I realise this review will mean it will be harder to obtain a booking on future cruises with this ship, but you did ask for me to be honest!
Malcolm Shillan, 45 High Ash Crescent, Leeds, LS17 8RH
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