A big disappointment

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Review Details

Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
Cruise Ship:
Azamara Quest
Middle East

Review Profile

December, 2019
Times cruised before:

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
The main dining room for dinner, and the main buffet "cafe" for breakfast and lunch. I didn't use any of the extra cost dining experiences. Considering the price of this upmarket cruise, the food was no more than average, in variety , presentation or taste.
Stephen Millett and the rest of the onboard singers and dancers were enjoyable. Rachel, one of the singer/dancers was especially noteworthy in that she had a really bad shoulder injury, which needed hospital treatment once we reached our destination, but she performed in every show, just adapting the dance moves to shield her injured shoulder from movement. What a trouper.
Shore Excursions:
Due to a lack of accurate information, some women on the excursion to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi arrived in clothing not quite acceptably modest, and had to either miss the world famous mosque, or pay $50 to buy a suitable outfit. The guide didn't tell them they could have hired one for next to nothing. Favourite excursion : Sir Bani Yas.
My "second" room attendant, Atish, was very good. The main one, Derrik, was excellent except for his habit of knocking and entering simultaneously, with embarrassing consequences. Buffet staff Sundeep and Rowena were very attentive and conscientious without being over-familiar or "cloying."
Childrens Activities:
Not applicable
Onboard Activities:
There were not very many onboard activities, as most days were port days. My favourites were the quizzes and the scavenger hunt. I didn't take part in any others, so I can't comment about how well they were run.
I put in the first half of this review that I had an ocean view cabin, but I now remember it was a balcony one. I'd have liked tea & coffee making facilities, as are available on many cruises, but I had to go to the "cafe" each time I wanted a hot drink. Apart from this, the facilities and cabin were as I'd have expected.
This cruise was primarily to see an eclipse of the sun, and I chose this trip specifically for that experience. (I’d already visited almost every port we went to, from Dubai to Mumbai)

My understanding of the word “eclipse” is that it is “total”, unless otherwise described as “partial” or “annular”. Unfortunately, the Azamara people took it to mean “partial” or “annular” unless described as “total”.  We only saw a 90% covering of the sun, making virtually no difference in the amount of mid-morning sunlight that hit the ship. A total eclipse did occur, but we were about 100 miles outside the area from where we’d have been able to see this spectacular phenomenon. As we were sailing non-stop from the mouth of the Persian Gulf to Mumbai, it would not have taken us much out of our way to have followed a route that would have shown us what we all went to see. 

I also had a few smaller criticisms:

Being an Azamara cruise, it was expensive, but there were a lot of corners cut, I thought,. For example, the Christmas crackers on the dining tables on Christmas Day, and the prizes for activities during the cruise, were of very low quality and value. Also I was really annoyed to find I was receiving “junk” phone calls! The spa etc. decided this was necessary in addition to the wasteful glossy full-colour flyers that came almost every day.

There didn’t seem to be much of an ethic of avoiding single-use plastics on board, which I consider to be bad.

Some of the information needed to go ashore and visit mosques was not very accurate, especially regarding just how much women needed to cover up before entering the mosques on our excursions.  This led to big problems for many women.

Not Azamara's best cruise, I think
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