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Lucille Pucciarelli
Lucille Pucciarelli

Azamara Journey and Quest

by Lucille Pucciarelli last updated on 11/02/2009 Disclaimer

With a little over two years in business, Azamara is already making headlines in the travel industry. For anyone who loves a small, intimate, elegant ship, Azamara's Journey or Quest is for you. Azamara is Celebrity Cruises' spin-off. When they purchased two of the former Renaissance Cruises' ships, initially the ships were going to be part of the Celebrity fleet. However, it was tremendous foresight to create a different cruise line, one that bridges the gap between the premium and luxury market and defines a new category, the deluxe cruising experience. With just 694 guests, Azamara is VERY high on service, and a wonderful alternate to the mega ships. Azamara has some very interesting and unique itineraries in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia, ranging from 7-21 days. One important note is that cabins aboard Azamara are small, and I strongly suggest you consider a balcony as they are larger. Onboard, the service is excellent, from butlers (no cabin stewards) who love to deliver you full breakfast, tea, and even dinner to your balcony. This wait staff puts most other cruises to shame. This is the most cohesive crew I've seen. Tea is served either on your balcony or in Michael's Club, accompanied by a harpist. Entertainment is low key, and given the restrictions of the show lounge, is usually a jazz or other type of a cappella group, a la Manhattan Transfer style. A casino, lectures, trivia games, and reading round out the day time activities. The deck chairs onboard are Balinese beds, and very comfortable. Dining is single seating, anytime dining in the main restaurant, Discoveries, or upstairs in Breeza, the "buffet", which is small, elegant and unlike any other buffets you may have sampled. Tables upstairs are clothed at dinner, and you can dine outside under the stars for a truly romantic evening, whilst a flamenco guitarist plays. There are two specialty restaurants, Prime C and Aqualina, for which you should make reservations. Azamara usually allows you to dine without a fee, but even if they charge $20, it's well worth it. Best of all, there are no formal evenings. Every night is country club casual, which makes packing very simple and easy. I highly recommend Azamara Cruises to couples and singles looking for an intimate and quiet alternative in cruising.

This review appears on Cruising.