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An Azamara voyage on-board Azamara Quest (Singapore, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore)
25th November – 6th December 2018.
Start of the monsoon season, but the very best time to travel is more likely June/July/August.
I love the ease of cruising. I have fallen in love with it and understand exactly why people do so many repeats. The size of the ship played a big role. Only 690 passengers on the Azamara Quest, and ALL the clichés applied – you unpack once, the food choices are sublime, the on-board amenities were great, we didn’t have to take cash or credit cards everywhere. The crew were truly wonderful. Nothing was impossible.
With Azamara – you have their traditional WHITE NIGHT party where the whole crew are involved and a massive BBQ is served on the main outdoor deck. There’s music, food and drinks flowing freely. All the passengers attended and it was a very fun evening.
The AZAMAZING Event held at the Bangkok stop – this was truly magical from the first moment we arrived to the “Ancient City”. It was closed off to regular tourists, but the AZAMARA guests had access. We were bused out to the location and then saw a wonderful authentic THAI presentation of four different dance styles, followed up by wonderful fireworks display just for us. A fabulous evening for all. Again, the whole ship of passengers attended and the logistics of the event were seamless.
I had pre-booked my excursions and really enjoyed the Grand Palace and Tuk Tuk experience in Bangkok. I had an excursion at every stop and was very impressed with how seamless they all ran. The Azamara excursion team were very approachable and knowledgeable on all the trips on offer. I also enjoyed The Chef Table Dinner. From the moment we sat at the table, to the dessert, this was Azamara at its best. The food and wine pairings were a real treat.
Make sure you book your excursions in advance. You have up to 48 hours prior to arrival at port, by 12 noon, to make changes or cancel at no extra cost.
Double check on the last cruise night to make sure you have the correct bag tags before leaving them out for the crew to collect them.
There are two ATMs on-board. One for Euros and one for USD. The cost for a transaction was USD6.50.
Boarding the Azamara was a seamless process. The sail departure time was 5pm and you could embark from 12.30pm onwards. I taxied from the Swissotel to the Singapore Cruise Terminal. The cost of the Taxi was SGD11.00. It took around 15 minutes to drive from the hotel in the traffic. Upon arrival, you dropped your baggage at a staged area and then proceeded to following the signs to the second level where the check-in area was staged for Azamara. At the same time, a Seaborne Cruise was also processing. However, it was well sign posted and folks with banners for each of the cruise lines were directing passengers to where we needed to be. I waited approximately 10 minutes in line to check-in and the process only took around about 5 minutes. Very efficient. I then kept following the signs and was directed to immigration. Next, I walked to the ships gangway.
The stateroom is 16.3 sqm and the verandah 3.7 sqm. The room was very comfortable and the balcony had quite a large feel to it. There can only be one person in the bathroom at a time as the bathroom and shower area is quite small.
Sanctum Day Spa & Fitness Centre: The gym was fully equipped with cardio and weight machines, with an attendant on duty during opening hours.
The gym hours are 6am to 10pm daily. The gym offered classes that you need to sign up for beforehand, as space is limited. Classes range from spinning to stretch; health assessments and a “Footprint” clinic for personal training (from USD45).
The Spa hours – 8am – 9.30pm. The spa offers a wide range of services from massage, facials, manicure, pedicures, wraps, acupuncture and teeth whitening to name a few. Spa services start at USD40 to USD$265.
Aqualina: Italian USD30 per person
A lovely mixed of salads, pasta and seafood: Smart dress standard.
Prime C: Steakhouse USD30 per person
Excellent steak house…Really really yummy – my favourite meal of the trip. Smart dress standard – this is where I saw more people in dressier outfits.
Coffee shop with eats that correspond with time of day. Like cookies, breakfast bits, lunch, dinner style small sandwiches, quiches etc
Changed the menu to be themed for lunch and dinner daily. Some of the choices were: Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, British, Italian. Lovely wide-open area with seas views on either side. Casual Dress.
Patio: Buffet and/or outdoor grill
You could order burgers, self-serve salads, self-service soft serve “ice cream sundae” bar. This was also where they staged the WHITE NIGHT PARTY. Also, the last day they did another BBQ (different from night before) with various food stations. Casual Dress.
Discoveries: A-La-Carte menu
Complete with attached bar. They change out the menu daily. Reservations required to ensure seating. On the last sea day, there was an amazing champagne brunch buffet and then on the last morning, a breakfast buffet. Smart, casual dress.
The Leaving Room/The Drawing Room
This is a really cool area of the ship where you can have a drink and something to eat. It has an area where there are computers, games and puzzles - and a great view of where you are heading. This is open late in the evening and where many people will go after the shows (or dinner) because you can dance the night away. Casual before 6pm. After 6pm, guests can’t wear swimwear.
There was a show every night at around 9.15pm. Some nights there were two (a repeat). We had plenty of variety, from musicals, to opera and jazz. On the first night there was a funny hypnotist and on another, a quartet of opera singers who performed a 45-minute shortened version of “Carman”. It was never sold out and there was always space available.
The signature event for all passengers, held by Azamara, was well orchestrated. We were assigned numbers for transport and then called by number to board, to go to the event. Dinners were arranged prior to leaving the ship, with earlier times for all passengers. The purpose of the AZAMAZING EVENT is to give the guest a unique and one-off experience. For us, the impressive ANCIENT CITY was our venue. This is normally closed for the evenings, but was opened just for the Azamara event. We arrived and were treated to Thai music and dance, followed up with special fireworks just for us and then we were also able to explore a little. I had a fabulous time and it was a truly memorable experience.
On every Azamara cruise there is a White Party (dress in white. Although I don’t own anything white so I went ‘off-piste’ and wore daring red). This was held on our night in port in Ho Chi Minh City. It is held on Deck 10 and the large patio area is transformed into a dining area with a large buffet/BBQ. All of the officers are helping to serve the food. Tables are set up on the deck with white table clothes and it looks just wonderful with the backdrop of Saigon. Food and drink flowed and following dinner, the crew did a PARADE of FLAGS and the Captain spoke about the crew fondly. There was a dance floor and the band played with the cruise and assistant cruise directors singing and leading the way. We didn’t stop dancing until around 10.30pm.
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