Azamara Quest Club Cruise review
What we really liked
All the extra upfront inclusions
Extended time in ports
Overnight shore excursion options
A courtesy shuttle in each port
Little wait time getting off in port
The quality and variety of meals
Access to a free self service laundry
Zero pressure to buy extras
What we didn't like so much
The entertainment could have been more varied
We had a problem with our toilet when we arrived but it was fixed quickly
Obstructed view means almost a full obstruction by a lifeboat. We upgraded on board.
Going to the bar by the pool was sometimes quicker than waiting to be served
Best suited to those wanting a relaxed 5 star small ship experience with many inclusions:
Basic (alcohol) drinks package included
Bottled water included
Specialty tea and coffees included
Port shuttle included in every port
Complimentary Azamazing evenings
Long days or overnights in port
Option to add overnight excursions
We were paying customers on this cruise. This review has been written for the purpose of helping you decide if this cruise line is right for you.
South Africa 10 Nights Cape Town to Cape Town on Azamara Quest. We chose to cruise with Azamara as we’d been on three (3) cruises in 2019 and were a little annoyed by things we’d experienced with other cruise lines. Expensive drinks/packages for example with a considerable gratuities bill to pay at the end.
Payment of gratuities are not part of the cultural norm for Australians so for some this can take some getting used to. Another example on some of the larger ships was the long waiting times to get on and off combined with short days in some ports. When you only have 1 day, waiting to get off can really cut into what you get to see and experience and the port may also be a distance from the main sights.
As an aside, it’s interesting many cruises departing from Australia now have gratuities added on and included in the initial fare. This works well from Australia, but when cruising outside of Australia we need to be aware most will require gratuities to be paid at the end. When you consider however the accommodation, meals and entertainment included in the initial fare I generally find ocean cruise prices to provide really good value for money. If you see a cruise itinerary you love with a cruise line that operates this way I recommend considering the total overall cost of gratuities, drinks, shore excursions with the value for money initial fare before getting too bothered by the extras. It’s just a mindset change for some of us.
What we found most annoying however, on all of our previous cruises, was the attempt to sell us things we neither wanted or needed. Wine clubs, art exhibitions, drink package upgrades. One sea day we paid $500.00 between us on a spa treatment. We wanted the spa treatment and were happy to pay the “ships” price for it. What we didn’t want were the additional spa products forced upon us when we were leaving. You might suggest we just say no thank you and walk away. We tried, several times. In this instance the staff were so insistent and persistent we only got away by purchasing one of the five products being “prescribed” to us. We would have gone back for more treatments but didn’t to avoid a repeat experience. Overall we enjoyed our cruises with the other cruise lines and will likely cruise with them again. We will simply avoid wine tastings, art auctions and the spa.
But, what if there was another way? I’d heard Azamara Club Cruises did things differently. Smaller ships, only 600-700 people, immersive itineraries with extended days and some overnights in port. The inclusion of a basic drinks package with a range of wines, spirits, beers and cocktails including bottled water, specialty tea and coffees and a soft drink and juice mini bar in your stateroom replenished daily. All Azamara Club Cruise fares also include concierge services, gratuities and a free shuttle to the main town/city centre in every port. When I came across my dream itinerary of South Africa on Azamara Quest I knew we needed to test out cruising the Azamara way.
Our experience from embarkation to disembarkation was seamless. Azamara Quest is a modernised ship. The crew have far less people to look after so the service was more personalised. The ship offers two (2) specialty restaurants in addition to the main dining room, buffet and two (2) cafes providing a wide range of quality meals. Long pants and closed in shoes for men in the main and specialty restaurants were the only formality on the ship. The staterooms were lovely and a good size with the exception of the bathrooms which have very small showers in all accommodation categories without ‘suite’ on the end. Closing the bathroom door to use the whole area as a wet room was the only way around it. There were plenty of deck chairs around the main pool area and never a time we couldn’t find one available but it was quicker at times to go to the bar than wait to be served a drink. However if you are looking for a casino and big Broadway style shows you won’t find these on Azamara Quest. There are nightly shows and music but the entertainment on board is low key and contemporary. The ages ranged from 23 to? with most on board 50+. We loved our time on Azamara Quest and can definitely recommend if relaxed smaller ship cruising with inclusions is of appeal to you. The initial fare will appear more expensive but the inclusions mean it would work out a similar price to a larger ship of a similar standard charging for all the extras.
Need help deciding if an Azamara Club Cruise is right for you?
Book your complimentary cruise planning session today.
These sessions are held over the phone and generally run for 10-15 minutes. You’ll learn more about the options available and how to choose the one that’s right for you.
JOIN TODAY to receive the following benefits: No credit card fees*, exclusive bucket list/ luxury travel package deals, frequent flyer point redemption service, access to over 3000 luxury homes & villa rentals, VIP concierge access, transfers included to/from home and accommodation upgrades, complimentary early check in and check out where available, quarterly colour travel magazines.