WorldLee's Reviews

First hand and objective
Review of:

Azamara Quest Club Cruise review

Luxury level

5 out of 7 stars

Satisfaction

with level of service

Itinerary

Overall experience

score out of 10
9/10

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
  • Personalised service
  • Access to a free self service laundry
  • Zero pressure to buy extras

What we didn't like so much

  • Small shower
  • 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

Summary

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
Gratuities included
Port shuttle included in every port
Concierge service
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.

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Our experience:

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.

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