In 2007, Celebrity Cruises tapped Las Vegas-based culinary consultants Blau & Associates to work with the Celebrity and Azamara fleets. Elizabeth Blau and her team are credited with helping transform Las Vegas into the culinary destination that it is today.
My first dining experience aboard Azamara Quest was at Prime C. And what a treat.
Azamara is spending 50 percent to 60 percent more than parent Celebrity Cruises on food cost, according to Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, vice president of hotel operations. The extra spending really shows in Prime C.
Azamara Quest was docked in Barcelona on the night I dined in Prime C, and although many went ashore for dinner, Prime C was buzzing. “We have the best restaurant in town,” joked Food & Beverage Manager Anton Winkler, as he approached a table of staff officers enjoying dinner.
Because Prime C and Aqualina seat only 75 to 80 per night, getting a table at the popular specialty restaurants can pose challenges for those who procrastinate. All guests have priority access to two dinners at the specialty restaurants on each sailing. Suite guests get priority access on one additional night. Other nights are available for dining in either restaurant – or both – on a space-available basis.
During its inception, Azamara charged $20 per person for dining in the specialty restaurants, but the cruise line has since waived any charges, except for a suggested $5 gratuity for your server.
For recommendations on what to order, I asked for help from Roman Georgiev, assistant maitre ‘d in Prime C. Here’s Roman’s suggested menu (and by the way, the menu never changes at the specialty restaurants).
Soup: Three Onion Soup, with gratinated Gruyere cheese and onion tart.
Starter: Crispy Popcorn Rock Shrimp, with a trio of sauces, accompanied by a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay ($10)
Entree: 8-ounce Filet Mignon, with wild mushrooms and truffle steak fries for sides, accompanied by a glass of Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($12)
Dessert: Chocolate Fondue
Wish you were here?
Editor’s note: One particularly nice touch for solo travelers: Dining service is offered at Prime C’s bar.