Cruise Line: Azamara Club Cruises
Sail Dates: 10/8/13 – 10/16/13
Ship: Azamara Quest
Cruise: 7-Night Treasures Along the French & Italian Coasts
Embarkation Port: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Disembarkation Port: Nice, France
Recently Brooke Cromwell, from our online division; and Lynne Miller, from our River Road location, took a week-long Azamara cruise along the Italian and French Rivieras. This was the first time either of them sailed on Azamara, and it really surpassed their expectations!
Brooke appreciated how attentive the staff was, and that since the Quest is a smaller ship you can pull right up to the dock. “We only had to tender one time, and there was always lots of time in port to really explore the cities!” said Brooke. Lynne also enjoyed Azamara’s longer stays in port, “having two days in Livorno is really great because it gives people a chance to travel more in the Tuscan countryside and also to see Florence.”
Livorno was also the site of the sailing’s AzAmazing Evening event, an exclusive complementary event that is tailored to each specific itinerary. Brooke and Lynne got to see a historic opera house and take in a performance of opera music and modern music from three tenors. “The AzAmazing Evenings really are a highlight” said Lynne. “No matter what your destination is, Azamara works to create a really unique experience. In St. Petersburg the free AzAmazing Evening is attending a performance of the Russian Ballet!”
Both Brooke and Lynne said their favorite destination was Lucca, a walled town near the heart of Tuscany. There they saw many beautiful monuments and enjoyed modern shops, and then attended a wine tasting. “We really enjoyed the wine tasting; we also got to try all different kinds of olive oils… it was delicious!” The food throughout the cruise was another highlight. Both on the ship and off, they enjoyed all the delicious food France, Monaco and Italy had to offer. “We had tons of great seafood, and really enjoyed the Quest’s Mosaic Café, which had complimentary specialty coffee drinks, croissants and pastries” said Brooke.
“The White Night party where everyone dressed in white on the ship was so fun” said Brooke. This outdoor party occurs on every sailing, and the staff gets everyone to relax and dance the night away. “It was great to eat dinner out by the pool; there was even a whole barbequed suckling pig!” said Lynne.
brooke 1In Monte Carlo they visited the world famous aquarium, and viewed the famous yachts of St. Tropez in France. “We did have a port change early on in the itinerary” said Brooke, “but they handled it really well and we were able to get a guide and enjoy the ports as if nothing had changed.” Brooke and Lynne both agreed that the shore excursions exceeded their expectations, and that the walking tours were a great way to explore their destinations. “The walking tours aren’t strenuous at all, but you really get to see a lot and learn so much from the guides. They give you an earphone so you can hear everything they are saying clearly without having to crowd around the guide” said Lynne.
Lynne’s Tips for this Trip
The Azamara Quest and the Azamara Journey are sister ships, so from my experience I can definitely recommend them both as having very comfortable rooms no matter what category you choose. I would say that if having a larger bathroom is important to you, you should consider booking a suite or higher.
I would recommend upgrading to a balcony if you can. It’s a great place to sit and relax and have a leisurely breakfast or enjoy complementary room service.
Brooke’s Tips for this Trip
This itinerary and ones like it are great for working professionals, because they go from mid-week to mid-week to maximize the weekend.
I met a fellow passenger who was using a SIM card in her tablet to access her data plan, which is a good option if you are looking for faster data speeds. We had a little trouble with the internet at one point, and a staff member arranged for us both to get a free phone call home!
Be sure to plan for plenty of time to get through the airport if you are traveling through London, especially to get though security.
I took advantage of the spa’s “Happy Hour” several times! It’s a great way to enjoy the spa without spending much.