We all know that size matters, but here's a ship that really proves it's not what you've got but how you use it.
With the trend towards cruise liners big enough to sleep a small nation, well at least 6,000 people, Azamara Quest is small fry accommodating just 686 guests. However when it comes to visiting tiny little European fishing ports, Azamara's captain says this is the vessel you want to be on.
Azamara Quest is the first ship from Azamara Club Cruises to visit Australia and it's been a long time coming for the eight year old company.
One of the points of difference with this cruise brand is longer stays and more overnight stays at destinations. For the Brisbane stop guests arrived at Portside Wharf at 8am and didn’t have to get back onboard until 6pm. Azamara Quest docked in Brisbane on a 10-day voyage from Cairns to Sydney.
For the technically minded, this ship is 180 metres long and 25 metres wide with nine guest decks. It weighs 30,277 tones and has a cruising speed of 18.5 knots. There are 347 staterooms.
There are a wide variety of dining options including the included restaurant, buffet, cafe and bars, along with two signature restaurants which have a $25 per person cover charge.
|Discoveries, the main dining room on Azamara Quest|
|Aqualina is the ships contemporary Italian restaurant.|
|The front prow position at Prime C Steakhouse which has an extensive wine cellar.|
It wouldn't be a cruise ship without a casino but it's easy to ignore if you wish. Much better to sprint past and enjoy the cabaret lounge where the performers are high end according to a passenger I met on the Mooloolaba foreshore.
|Between them, these two gentlemen, Hotel Director, Philip Herbert
and Captain Carl Smith, will help ensure you have a perfect cruise.
|The pool has its own bar and grill and, of course a jacuzzi or two.|
|The perfect spot to relax post your spa treatment.|
|This secluded day bed on the rear deck can be booked for the evening so you can sleep under the stars.|
|The gym where you work off what you had for dinner.|
Azamara's staterooms come with a little bit more than usual, such as Egyptian cotton bed linen, bathrobes and slippers and 24-hour room service. There's also a shoe shining service. Included extras are alcoholic beverages, coffees, gratuities and a self-service laundry.
If you have a suite you'll also have English butler service, 235 complimentary internet minutes per guest, and afternoon tea in your suite, should you desire.
|Stateroom, Azamara Quest|
|Balcony, Azamara Quest|
Making the destination the star of the show means that Azamara Club encourages guests to experience the destination with behind the scenes shore tours, insider access and small dinner experiences. They also an AzAmazing Evening event for each tour which offers guests a special taste of their destination.
Australia is the third largest market for Azamara Club Cruises and the group promises to send more ships our way in 2017 and 2018. Azamara Quest will be back in 2018 but only after a multi-million dollar facelift. Azamara is a Royal Caribbean brand.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK toured Azamara Quest while the ship was docked at Portside as a guest of Azamara.