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john honegger

Age: 63

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Azamara Club Cruises

Ship: Azamara Quest

Sailing Date: 2010-02-22

Itinerary: Ancient Empires Cruise

Azamara Quest Oct. 2009 Ancient Empires Cruise. Great ship, great service, great food, and wonderful fellow cruisers. Mostly couples from North America with average of 55-75 yrs old. This is an all English speaking ship. The crew from the Captain down to the kitchen group were always smiling and seemed very happy. With less than 700 passengers, the crew knows you in a few days. Everything was easy on this ship because of her size. No long waits for the elevator and short strolls to your next destination. Everything we desired was on this ship.
They really excelled at customer service aboard this vessel.

The food was a step up in general in all areas, except the breakfast buffet. Although very good and not crowded, by my standards some of the worst coffee I have drank. This was not true in the main dinning room or the specialty restaurants. Here the coffee was very good. The specialty dinning was exceptional with a fish & seafood choice or steak house that served much more than steak. Very eloquent, great service,and a wonderful dessert selection. ( the optional dinning is available at least 2 times during the voyage at no charge for each cabin) Do not miss this experience.

Housekeeping in the staterooms was the best of any cruise we have had to date. 10+ with big comfortable bath towels made for adults. Not the skimpy little ones on most cruises that a large man could not wrap around himself. Great robes, ice in the bucket everyday, fresh fruit daily, and all of this while you are gone. Our cabin attendant never once bothered us while in the room and seemed to know our personal schedule. Even the days at sea if we used the room for a short nap or to enjoy the veranda, the room was made up after we would leave for another activity.

Did not use many or try to seek them out. They were always printed in our daily notice, so you knew the night before the activity, time, and place. However enjoyed the digital camera workshop, on " How to take better pictures" this was free of course and well attended.

Okay, here is my one negative: The bars, disco, and areas that served alcohol were empty. Except for a small reception area outside of the main dinning room ( people had a drink here while waiting for their other couples to arrive for dinner ) because of open seating. Why? Azamara has high drink prices $8-11 with an automatic 18% gratuity. Wine list is okay but lower price wines were limited and all had an 18% corkage fee. Really my bar bill was less than 1/2 of a normal 14 day cruise because of this. We did enjoy a cocktail at all the shows and had wine every night at dinner.

If you truly want to see the ports of interest, take a private tour. We learned and saw much more than our fellow passengers in Istanbul and Kusadasi with private tours . We also used the ship tours which are good. However it is still a group (30-40) people at group pace with a set itinerary. Cairo was a very long day with a 6 hour round trip bus ride. Used the ship's tour, okay, but if we end up in Egypt again, will use a private tour.

11 ports in 14 days. You are busy and that's they way we like it. Lots of ruins ( the best ), castles, and churches.I will not bore you with a port by port description. This was the best ocean cruise I have taken. The most interesting sights, picture taking time,shopping, and food by far. Turkey was an absolute delight, with soooo much to do, that 2 days just scratched the surface in Istanbul. Guides are very knowledgeable and the English is quite good. Bottomline take this trip! You will love it, as each destination is different and very interesting. Some of the ports you enter are beautiful and only accommodate small ships. Many would be jealous like (NICE). Our overall experience was a 9.5 or better. Had it not rained all day while in Sorrento, this trip would be a 10. We met some really nice people who enhanced this trip for us.

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