Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest originally entered service as R7 for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises. Following the bankruptcy of Renaissance, she was passed around to two other operators before finally being acquired by Azamara in 2007. Originally slated to enter service for Celebrity Cruises , Royal Caribbean decided to spin Azamara Quest and her sister, Azamara Journey, off as the launch ships for Azamara.
Azamara Quest is the kind of intimate, midsize ship you hardly see anymore in the cruise world, carrying just 694 passengers in a cozy, comfortable setting that manages to straddle that fine line between contemporary amenities and old-world elegance.
To that end, you won’t find any big, flashy waterslides or other theme-park-style attractions here, and that’s really the point: On Azamara Quest, cruises are all about relaxing, socializing, and seeing the world. It’s like spending a week or two at your own little floating country club, where you’re always bound to bump into someone you know.
In April 2016, Azamara Quest will undergo a substantial refit similar to the one performed on her sister that extended to nearly every corner of the vessel, adding new decor, a new color palette, and refreshed amenities that will keep this intimate vessel sailing well into her next decade.
The ship’s design is very easy to navigate, with public rooms clustered on decks 5, 9, and 10. On Deck 5 midships, on the upper level of the atrium lobby, a warm, inviting cafe makes an ideal meeting place, serving snacks and specialty coffee and tea 18 hours a day and offering quiet music at various times of day.
Forward on the same deck, the Cabaret Lounge is big enough to seat about half the passengers onboard for small-scale floor shows, guest entertainers, late-night movies, bingo, and other activities. There’s also a casino with a big-screen TV in one corner, tuned to a relevant sports game.
Outside, the pool deck has one small pool and a pair of hot tubs surrounded by super-comfortable wooden deck chairs with plenty of sun and shade options thanks to locations near the pool itself, or under the protective shade of one of the deck overhangs that run along either side of the ship. One deck up, there’s the Looking Glass observation lounge for dancing and cocktails, plus the Drawing Room, a clubby little space for piano music, conversation, and maybe a nice scotch on the rocks.
First debuted aboard Azamara Journey, the Sanctum Spa will be added to Azamara Quest during her forthcoming drydock. Currently, Azamara Quest’s onboard spa offers all the amenities and treatments one might expect from a shipboard spa, including massages, salon services, acupuncture, and more. You can also work out in the gym, which is surprisingly well-equipped for a ship of this size.