Cairns to Sydney onboard the Azamara Quest
Heather Bint from our Orewa store was lucky enough to cruise with Azamara in Australia recently. Hear what she had to say about her experience below:
I recently sailed for 10 nights from Cairns to Sydney onboard the Azamara Quest. The services onboard are fantastic and the food was a highlight! There were different dishes in the buffet every night – Greek, Turkish, Indian, Italian, you name it, the variety was great. Yum Cha in the main restaurant one lunch time was both delicious and entertaining, as many passengers had never experienced anything like it before. We treated ourselves to a meal in the speciality restaurant, Prime C one evening and had the most incredible strawberry soufflé for dessert. For only US$25 to book into the restaurant, we’d absolutely recommend you make a booking!
A standard drinks package comes included in your cruise – and it’s anything but standard! With beers, wines (from NZ, Australia, USA, Chile & Argentina), spirits and over 30 delicious cocktails, the menu is very generous. It was a great inclusion, as there was no drinks bill to worry about at the end of the cruise.
Azamara really go the extra mile for their guests. An example of this was when we arrived in Sydney to a 41°C day, they organized a shuttle bus to take everyone the 400m or so to the Capt Cook cruises' pontoon for the transfers (that they paid for!) from White Bay to Circular Quay. Nothing was too much trouble and they always put their guests health and safety first. They’re extremely careful not to shake hands, choosing to bump fists instead as they say the best way to spread disease is through hand to hand contact. There is also no self service in the buffet until the doctor onboard has given the all clear.
On most Azamara cruises, there’s a complimentary AzAmazing evening where you’d wined, dined and entertained at one of the ports. Our AzAmazing evening was held at Fort Scratchly in Newcastle. The evening was fantastic. It started with Captain Carl and a couple of the other senior staff firing the massive cannons. Very cool...and loud! We were treated to a one hour show by a well known jazz musician (who opened the Sydney Olympics), James Morrison and jazz vocalist Olivia Chindamo. After the show there was a massive fireworks show and lit up our ship across the harbour with a giant spot light. Amazing!
What really made this cruise, apart from the food, was the Captain. He had his wife and 3 young kids onboard this cruise and was very 'visible' on the ship whether it was dining in the buffet or taking part in the Future Cruise talk. He was awesome! He was down to earth, friendly, approachable and highly entertaining.
Speaking to guests onboard who regularly travel with Azamara, the reason they love Azamara is because it's easy to get to know people onboard, they spend more time in port, have more overnight stays and night touring – some guests experienced a night tour to the Sydney Opera house! The staff and regular cruisers are so friendly and welcoming to new guests, which made a really lovely atmosphere. I’d recommend this cruise to those wanting to see plenty of destinations, have lots of inclusions and top quality facilities and entertainment.
The Azamara Quest is due for a $25 million refurbishment in April 2016. The photo above shows what the new staterooms will look like post-refurb - stunning!
For more information on Azamara Cruises & your next cruise holiday, contact a Cruiseabout cruise specialist or call 0800 22 11 00.