|Azamara Quest, one of the two Azamara Club Cruises' ships that will undergo significant upgrades in early 2016. All photography unless noted is the property of © Azamara Club Cruises. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
Last week, Azamara Club Cruises announced major upgrades to both of its ships: Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey for the 2016 season and the timing couldn't be more perfect because I'll be sailing with them in spring of next year!
|Oia, Santorini, Greece, at sunset. Photo: Karol M / WikiMedia.org.|
But before we talk about upgrades to the ships and my upcoming voyage, let me first introduce you to Azamara in case you've never heard of them before. A division of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises doesn't strive to build the biggest and most flamboyant ships afloat that become destinations in and of themselves, it's destination immersion that's at the heart of all of their voyages, their hallmark of connecting guests with foreign cultures at every port of call. These ships sail upon the waters of exploration and discovery from northern Europe and the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and South America; and even to the far reaches of Australia and New Zealand. Because of their smaller size, 30,277 GRT (gross registered tonnage) and accommodating up to 686 passengers, the Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey can sail into ports that are mostly inaccessible by the mega liners ensuring maximum time in port and allowing for evening tours, late departures and even overnight stays.
Azamara's latest mission is to upgrade their ships from bow to stern with new entertainment, dining venues, public gathering spaces, spa expansion and 21st-century technology to further enhance the guest experience on board. Plus all of the staterooms will be updated with new décor, televisions and even the bathrooms will be completely renovated. But don't take my word for it, in the words of Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises:
“We are best known for our Land Discoveries programs which have enabled us to boast an unprecedented number of repeat guest bookings as well as strong back-to-back voyage reservations. As we continue to evolve our destination immersive offerings, we also want to ensure our onboard experience is modernized to meet guests’ every need. We can’t wait for our ships to come out of dry dock as these major upgrades are going to have an instant impact on our guests’ experience. Each corner of the ships will have a new look and feel, setting a brighter, more contemporary ambiance, while the new venues will bring guests fresh experiences. We’re also investing in new onboard innovations and have paid close attention to the smallest of details. We really are redefining our onboard experience in every way.”
|The new Pan Asian restaurant will offer a blend of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai cuisine amidst sumptuous al fresco dining setting at sea.|
|The Spa will be expanded as well. Seen here is the new onboard salon.|
|Staterooms will undergo total makeovers from floor to ceiling!|
|Even the bathrooms will receive AzAmazing makeovers!|
Because of our shared cultural-immersion philosophies, I am extremely excited to experience the Azamara product especially their extremely popular "Insider Access" and "AzAmazing Evening" programs! The former is an optional excursion to private farms and homes to discover the rich heritage and traditions with families who call your holiday destination home. The latter promises nothing short of "azamazing" as the company coins and you'll savor every moment with experiences like these: spending a private evening on a hillside in Tuscany; red-carpet treatment at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg; enjoying a Venetian concert at the legendary Teatro La Fenice; listening to the symphonic resonance of an orchestral performance at the Odean, a second-century amphitheatre in Ephesus; kindling the sparks of imagination with myths, legends and poems set to musical accompaniment at Cyprus’ Paphos Castle—among countless others. The list for these unforgettable evenings is endless and the best part is that they're already included in the price of your voyage save transatlantic crossings and cruises less than seven nights.
|If Ephesus, Turkey, is a stop on your itinerary, chances are that your AzAmazing Experience will be an unforgettable evening concert at the Odean. Photo: KMarcher / WikiMedia.org.|
My AzAmazing Voyage
|The Azamara Quest sails into new horizons full of the promise of destination immersion whatever port she may call upon.|
While my journey is top secret for now, I can say that Greece and Italy will be among the ports of call I will visit on my AzAmazing experience with Azamara Club Cruises. And like I said at the beginning, just in time for their AzAmazing Makeovers as well. There will be lots more coming about my voyage in future posts and when I am cruising, I'll be sharing articles and pics on Azamara.com. I hope you'll follow along.