>  Cruising   >  Azamara Quest in Australia: Our Azamara Quest review

Azamara Quest is like a classic Italian sports car: beautiful, compact and stylish with the occasional quirk or two due to its age. With just over 700 passengers, sailing on Azamara Quest in Australia is a truly boutique experience with the bonus of more port days on most itineraries. This is the perfect ship for travellers who enjoy exploring the places they’re visiting as much as the cruise experience itself. We enjoyed the longer stays in port, especially spending 72 hours in Sydney to take in New Year’s Eve, on our cruise.

Azamara Quest ship overview

With its small passenger size and less than 10 decks to navigate, Azamara Quest is an easy ship to get around. The ship’s small size also means it can get into smaller harbours. However, ‘small’ doesn’t mean you miss out on all the standard cruise ship experiences with multiple complimentary dining venues, bars, café, lounges and theatres all catered for on Azamara Quest. There are two specialty restaurants and an open-air grill to tempt you.

Some additional features on the ship include a spa area with a pool, a gym with free fitness classes, multiple sun decks, a pool/spa deck with lounges and deck chairs, a large library with a lounge area and last but not least, a free guest laundry with multiple washers and dryers. Given Azamara has a focus on longer itineraries, this is exceptionally handy and can save quite a bit of money as you don’t need to send your clothes to the onboard laundry or attempt to wash every piece of clothing you own in your cabin’s compact bathroom.

Azamara Quest
Azamara Quest

Azamara Quest cabins guide

Azamara Quest’s cabins are compact for a luxury ship, especially the bathrooms, but the clean lines and comfortable furniture make this easy to ignore, even if the latter is beginning to look a little dated. There are a wide range of cabins onboard, with almost two-thirds having balconies, and 10 per cent being suites with a choice of different price points for some extra luxury.

The biggest grumble passengers have about the majority of the cabins onboard Azamara Quest is the small bathroom and, in particular, the compact showers. Not only is the shower small, it also comes with a shower curtain that’s clingier than a toddler heading to daycare for the first time. If a larger bathroom with room to move is important to you, you’ll need to splurge on a suite.

All cabins come with queen beds that can convert to twins, a desk/vanity and a small couch or chair and TV. There aren’t many triple cabins onboard. Our balcony cabin has good storage space, with a generous twin cupboard and under-bed storage for bags and bulky items. Azamara Quest’s balcony cabins have a veranda that’s a good size with furnishings that make for the perfect breakfast or afternoon tea spot. Multiple power points are available there are no Australian three-point plugs.

Club Veranda Stateroom
Club Veranda Stateroom on Azamara Quest

 Azamara Quest dining options

Azamara Quest has multiple dining venues, from the popular Mosaic café for coffee and cake to specialty restaurants with sea views. There’s a total of six dining spots, with four free and two specialty (paid) venues scattered throughout the ship. This main dining room serves breakfast and dinner and lunch on sea days with a menu that changes daily. Our favourite restaurant onboard for lunch was the Patio Grill which was undercover on the pool deck and had linen tablecloths and burgers and kebabs etc made to order. The buffet restaurant on Deck 9 wraps around the aft of the ship. It’s nice sitting outside if the weather isn’t too hot.

The two specialty restaurants, Prime C and Aqualina Italian, both offer standout menu options, with the latter winning our vote for slightly better décor with a light-filled room and attentive service. Specialty chef dinners with wine matching are also available for a fee with a cap of only 12 guests and the choice of an Italian, French or Arabic menu, depending on the night. We booked for the French dinner and it was an amazing experience and definitely worth the spend.  

Azamara Quest Aqualina Resturant
Aqualina Resturant on Azamara Quest

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Azamara Quest bars and drinks

There are five bars on Azamara Quest: Spirits and Discoveries on Deck 5, the Pool Bar and Sunset Bar on Deck 9 and the Living Room on Deck 10 which also hosts wine-tasting events for a fee. The standout on our cruise was the Living Room as it has 180-degree views and live entertainment in the evenings. You’ll find a board games, computer stations and snacks here as well.

Spirits has evening piano entertainment but we didn’t find this particularly inspiring and felt the service was much better upstairs at the Living Room. If the weather is good, the sunset bar is great for afternoon departures as it offers the best views.

Drinks are included on Azamara but the wines were disappointing on our sailing, with multiple complaints from passengers. This was apparently due to supply issues and more palatable wines appeared mid-cruise, including an Australian and New Zealand selection. A list of included cocktails and other beverages is available from reception but wines aren’t shown on this list.

Azamara Quest The Living Room
The Living Room on Azamara Quest

Azamara Quest entertainment

Azamara is generally not known for its onboard entertainment and focusses on excursions and spending more time in port to keep passengers entertained. The onboard bands and singers were entertaining, with one standout guest entertainer who packed out the theatre for all his shows and was a guest favourite. Up to five trivia sessions per day were held in The Living Room and these very popular, with strong attendance at every trivia challenge.

Azamara Quest Library
Azamara Quest’s library

Azamara Quest events

Two standout events happen on most cruises. There’s a complimentary AzAmazing Evening shore excursion that consists of a night of in-port entertainment with drinks and a bite to eat. A typical event will be catered in port at a winery/castle/venue and have local performances by a musician, singers or entertainers. The other event is White Night which is held onboard the ship on the pool deck, with a buffet and on-deck entertainment with dancing, where all of the guests wear white.

Azamara Quest White Night
Azamara Quest White Night

Azamara Quest itineraries

Azamara Quest itineraries tend to be longer and immersive, so passengers can really explore. Having a ship that is smaller and can get to more places helps to make this an extra special experience. When you sail on Azamara Quest in Australia, there are longer stays in popular ports like Sydney. Most local itineraries also include at least one less visited port. On our cruise, we called at two of these – Kangaroo Island and Eden – which were both nice alternatives to the usual cruise ship stops.

Azamara Quest Sydney
Azamara Quest Sydney

We enjoyed our cruise on Azamara Quest, especially the social atmosphere on the ship and the chance to spend longer at the destinations we visited. It was easy to get around and the compact size meant it didn’t take us long to get our bearings and find our way around and feel comfortable onboard the ship. It’s a great choice for cruisers who don’t want to keep reaching into their pocket onboard and who enjoy meeting other travellers.

Disclosure: The writers cruised on Azamara Quest as guests of Azamara Cruises.

Want more great cruise advice? Check out our tips for choosing the perfect cruise, cruising with grandchildren, cruising with tweens and cruising with kids of all ages, solo cruising, the best activities on Ovation of the Seas, doing a Transatlantic cruise with kids, cruising in Australia or Papua New Guinea, Iceland cruise tips, cruising on a megaship, scoring a bargain cruise fare, cruising the Mediterranean, making the most of a cruise ship kids club, luxury cruising with kids, and the Byron Beach Club onboard P&O Cruises. We have also reviewed Disney Wonder, Pacific Adventure, Celebrity Edge, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, Pacific Encounter, Carnival Splendor, Voyager of the Seas, Nieuw Statendam, Viking Helgrim, Pride of America, Coral Expeditions in Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef, Celebrity Solstice, and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.