Live Voyage Review: Azamara Quest, South America 2013 – Part 5
Good day, friends!
Azamara Quest is steaming towards Devil’s Island, French Guiana with two exquisite days at sea, having left Brazil and the Amazon River behind last night. In fact, today we crossed the equator with a delightfully kitschy King Neptune ceremony where the captain navigated the vessel across the hemispheric divide three times to initiate newbies – myself included – into the maritime equator-crossing club.
I wish I had photos of my own to share with you of the festivities, but alas my camera sensor (and not just my lens) had fogged up beyond recognition in the tropical humidity before acclimating in time. Thankfully, my dad’s sealed point-and-shoot was at the ready for a few quick grabs, including images of our jovial captain getting in on the fun.
Out last bit of touring yesterday was just spectacular as we sailed on the famous Amazon River and trekked through the jungle on the river banks. Rather than drone on about how incredible the experience was in words, I’d really rather let the edited wealth of photos (plus a few captions) tell the story better. But first, let’s tour the beautiful Azamara Quest a bit more…
The Drawing Room
My favorite venue onboard and, in fact, the one I’m writing in currently is the Drawing Room, a stately library with a tropical coffered ceiling. Complete with a faux fireplace and overhead mural depictions of palms and birds, the overall effect is one of a quiet Victorian-era safari lodge.
It’s here that a handful of specialty Connoisseur Dinners are hosted during each cruise and a single grand table is set just below the raised ceiling. For $70, a preselected tasting menu is presented by the executive chef and paired with exquisite wines.
Another fantastic space onboard the ship is Mosaic Cafe, flanking the two-story grand atrium just off from guest relations. This area gives off a distinctive ocean liner vibe with its dark-paneled accents, wrought-iron railings, fluted columns and dental crown moulding.
Enjoying a complimentary cappuccino or espresso as the bright daylight shines through the side windows immediately takes you back in time. Service here is extremely friendly as elsewhere on the ship but could be a little more prompt at taking drink orders from guests.
There is a smattering of stores onboard including The Quest Shop and Indulgences plus a Swarovski display just off from guest relations. While they’re nothing to write home about, they service the ship well with a handful of logo items, jewelry and clothing plus necessary toiletries for sale.
“Sidewalk” sales are common on sea days with watches – from Fossil to Tag Heuer – and such on display in the passageway to entice purchases. Continuing forward, the tasteful photo gallery is situated to display portraits taken during your cruise with preprints ready to buy.
Club & Casino Luxe
On the port – read left – side of the ship from the photo gallery are Club Luxe and Casino Luxe. Only about half the space is dedicated to a few table games and slot machines while the rest is a recently expanded and richly themed lounge space for trivia games during the day and soft guitar music at night. A handsome saloon-style bar bridges the lounge and casino spaces nicely.
Belem, Brazil and the Amazon River
And without further ado, I give you Belem, Brazil and the Amazon River. I must just briefly add that we actually anchored about an hour bus ride away from our expected port because the current water depth in Belem was not enough to accommodate Quest’s draft – by about one and a half meters. And as our captain so amusingly put it, this relocation to a different anchorage was best for us to avoid receiving unwanted attention from CNN.