From the moment you step on board Azamara Quest you’ll notice the difference; there’s a genuine sense of warmth among the staff. Combine that with great food, not to mention the small-ship advantage of visiting hideaway ports with overnight stays, and the scene is set for a great cruise.
Indeed, being small makes Azamara Quest easy to get around. The deck plan is intimate, but never crowded. In spite of its size Azamara Quest also has a surprisingly large variety of dining options and bars. However there are things worth knowing, like how the accommodation you choose can change the cruise experience.
Azamara Quest is an R-class cruise ship that was built in France in 2000. It sailed for the ill-fated Renaissance Cruises until 2001, then entered service for various other companies before joining Azamara Club Cruises (as the cruise line was then known) in October 2007.
Azamara Quest is small enough to slip into rarely visited ports, yet big enough to cross vast oceans. It is 180 m. / 593 ft. long with room for 686 guests (double occupancy).
Azamara Quest was refurbished in 2016, although some public areas (like the boutiques) have been updated more recently. The decor is modern and smart, yet it retains a classic elegance.
Food on Azamara Quest
The food on Azamara Quest is delicious. What’s more, there are five restaurants to choose from including a main dining room, a buffet, a poolside grill and two speciality venues. There is also a cafe for light bites.
The Italian-inspired Aqualina has tasty Mediterranean Sea Bass with Sauté of Shrimp, Calamari & Scallop. We rate the Prime C steakhouse as the best restaurant on board. It serves excellent cuisine including Crab & Lobster Cake with Pineapple-Papaya Salsa & Fennel-Aioli as well as a succulent Chateaubriand.
The Discoveries Restaurant is the main dining room. The menu spans the globe with dishes like Thai Tom Kai Gai, Zagreb-style Pork Steak and Baked Cornish Hen. We enjoyed al fresco dining at The Patio; especially the mouthwatering Seared Red Snapper with Saffron Rice, Caper & Lemon Butter Sauce. The Windows Cafe has a casual buffet, with seating indoors or on the aft-facing terrace. It’s a lovely venue, but that said the food was not always impressive. Light bites are available in the popular Mosaic Cafe on deck 5.
Azamara Quest nightlife
The nightlife on Azamara Quest is tailored for small-ship cruising. Unlike larger ships the entertainment experience is intimate, but there are also fewer entertainment options. That said, we really enjoyed the resident pianist who played in Spirits bar each night. He added a great vibe to the place.
There are cast shows in the Cabaret Lounge most evenings. Though on my review voyage these shows were mostly underwhelming, in spite of the talent of some cast members.
A three-piece band and vocalist also perform sets in The Living Room on deck 10. They are great fun and on my voyage were enormously popular! You can request songs or just settle in and enjoy the nightly play-list.
The Azamara Quest nightclub opens late in the evening with a D.J. who plays until the small hours.
Staterooms and suites
The staterooms and suites on Azamara Quest were refurbished in 2016. They are decorated in tones of cream and charcoal, with sparkling chrome highlights.
The cheapest rooms onboard are Interior Staterooms. These do not have a view, but they are nonetheless comfortable. Azamara Quest also has Ocean View Staterooms with a porthole or picture window. However the view from some of these rooms is obstructed by lifeboats.
Most guests stay in Veranda Staterooms. They are modest in size, but have a comfortable bed as well as a good sized veranda. It’s worth noting that the bathrooms in these staterooms have been remodelled, although they retain a shower curtain which is prone to leaking.
You can upgrade the Veranda Stateroom experience by choosing a Veranda Plus option. The room itself is identical, but you get perks like internet, laundry and specialty dining inclusions. There is also priority embarkation and debarkation, not to mention complimentary in-room spirits.
However, luxury cruisers are sure to prefer one of Azamara Quest’s suites. We stayed in a Continent Suite on our Azamara Quest review voyage and loved the big veranda, not to mention the designer bathroom. There are also Spa Suites, Ocean Suites and Owner’s Suites, all of which have separate bedrooms and living areas.
However, perhaps the best thing about staying in a suite is the butler service. The butlers can book restaurants and shore excursions, plan an in-suite party, serve afternoon canapés, or even pack luggage. We think the butler service is a real treat.
Azamara Quest shore excursions
Destination experiences are what make Azamara Cruises truly unique. Indeed, the shore excursions on Azamara Quest are among the best at sea. They are highly curated, often small group, explorations designed to give you a genuine introduction to the local culture.
There are rickshaw rides to local markets, guided tours of religious sites and speedboat jaunts to white-sand beaches, just to name a few. On my review voyage I climbed on board a Land Rover for a trip to the UNESCO listed Rice Terraces of Bali, Indonesia. It was an incredible travel experience made more so by a visit to a small village where an old woman cooked sweet Indonesian treats for us.
Azamara Quest activities
Azamara Quest has more activities than you might expect for a ship of its size. Among the most popular of these is the White Night party; a fantastic meal is served al fresco on the pool deck with live entertainment and later, dancing. The AzAmazing Evening is also not to be missed. This signature event takes guests ashore to experience a night of local culture. We were treated to a spectacular performance at the at Binh Quoi Village in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
There are more typical shipboard activities as well, including lectures from guest speakers, wellness seminars, bridge, trivia, ping pong and darts. Other activities include dance classes, a free Captains Welcome Toast, jewellery making and fashion shows. Also, books can be borrowed from the ornate library.
There are also get-togethers for friends of Bill W and Dorothy, as well as solo cruisers. They are great ways to strike up new friendships. All these activities are posted in The Insider newsletter each day.
Azamara Quest inclusions
An Azamara Quest cruise has more inclusions than comparable cruise lines. Gratuities are included, so too are most meals, as well as wine and non-alcoholic beverages.
Signature events like the AzAmazing Evening and White Night party are also included in the cruise fare.
A free shuttle bus service is also provided between the port and downtown.
In addition, there is a free self-service laundry. Although guests staying in Veranda Plus staterooms and Suites get a free laundry allowance.
It’s worth noting that speciality dining and internet access are not included, unless you stay in a Veranda Plus Stateroom or Suite.
Also, premium beverage packages are available for purchase. These let you enjoy a wider selection of alcoholic drinks.
Azamara Dress code
Azamara Quest has a resort-style dress code – think friendly yet sophisticated.
During the day guests wear shorts, jeans and T-shirts. However, it’s worth remembering that tank tops, baseball caps, bathing suits, shorts, and torn/distressed jeans can’t be worn in any of the restaurants.
In the evening the Azamara Quest dress code is still resort-style, but on my voyage most guest dressed more smartly; usually slacks and a shirt for men, or slacks or a skirt, and a blouse for women.
There are no formal nights on Azamara Quest.
Who sails on Azamara Quest?
Azamara Quest has a loyal following. Indeed, on my review voyage there were lots of return guests.
Most of those guests are aged from 35 to 75-years old. In fact, Azamara Quest is not child-friendly; there are no activities for children.
The majority of guests come from the USA, but there are usually Britons, Canadians and Australians on board as well.
Azamara Quest is gay-friendly.
With overnight stays and outstanding shore excursions, Azamara Quest is ideal for those with a passion to explore. What’s more, this small cruise ship goes places others don’t. Combined with excellent dining and a friendly on board atmosphere, it makes Azamara Quest a great cruise experience.
Thrid party cookies
We use third party software to enhance your user expeience. These may be set by us or by third party providers. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.