Cruise lines have long mastered the upscale all-inclusive vacation concept. Where else can travelers experience world class cuisine, visit multiple ports of call yet be assured of deluxe accommodations, and enjoy formal on-board soirees?
Still, Azamara Club Cruises offers an interesting approach to cruise travel that merges the glamour of a traditional sea passage with the flexibility, new opportunities, and value that many vacationers seek. In November 2016, Premier Guide Miami was invited for a private tour of the newly reimagined Azamara Quest in Port Miami.
To start with, Azamara Club Cruises embrace smaller ships and a more intimate crew-passenger relationship. Smaller ships (around 700 passengers) allow the cruise line to visit ports where mega ships cannot. If you appreciate ports-of-call off the traditional cruise line radar, then Azamara should pique your interest for that alone. Quaint seaside towns in France and the Iberian Peninsula for example are visited.
True to cruise line heritage of course, pampering passengers is a must. There’s no concern here as the crew to passenger ratio is a whopping 2:1. Drop your fork at dinner and you will probably see multiple crew members spring into action. You will want for nothing which is what an all inclusive vacation is all about.
We mentioned new opportunities earlier so let’s talk about that. Whereas many cruise lines visit ports and mandate that their passengers return so that the ship can travel to its next destination, Azamara allows its passengers flexibility to remain in a port of call. Simply stated, if you like where you are, you can stay there. So long as the ship returns back to your port on its return journey (which is typical), feel free to take an extended leave.
Conceptually, this is called “Destination Immersion”. It’s a wonky term for saying, “stay where you like.” The signature programming is focused on the line’s unique Destination Immersion offerings such as: AzAmazing Evenings, Cruise Global Eat Local, Overnight Adventures, Private Journeys, among others.
Value is second nature on an Azamara cruise. Let’s be frank here. Cruises can be complete aristocratic extravaganzas and there’s nothing wrong with that per se. If formal dances, black tie cocktail parties are your men, then so be it, but that’s not what Azamara is about.
Dress codes are lax. There aren’t tuxedo and evening gown events. However, what’s given up in over the top elegance is made up for in bang for the buck. That’s part of its allure and why it attracts multiple repeat customers.
We recommend Azamara without reservation at all. It’s not your typical cruise line but that is certainly its allure.
To book your next voyage, visit www.AzamaraClubCruises.com for more information.
P.S. After the tour, we were invited to nosh at the beautiful Aqualina restaurant onboard Azamara Quest. Thank you to the entire Az crew for the invitation. And special thanks to Maria for being a gracious hostess and guide.