Just off the Quest Christmas and Solar Eclipse cruise from Dubai to Mumbai. It has been over 10 years since I sailed this ship (also on a Holiday sailing) and thought I would share some thoughts on my experience. Overall, an excellent cruise with an amazing crew. Was lucky to win an upgrade to a Club Continent Suite and I absolutely LOVED my cabin 8073. That being said, I was originally assigned an accessible CC room on Deck 6 and I was REALLY unhappy with the condiiton that suite was in, even after steam cleaning upon my request. To the crew's credit they jumped on it right away, but in my opinion the upkeep of that room was neglected for so long that the soft furnishings need to be completely replaced. Also, the big problem was the height of the desk - it is way too high to sit at and be fuctional unless you are in a wheelchair. I had to do some work on this voyage on my laptop, and the desk was not at a height I could work at. Upon my request, guest relations moved me to Deck 8 which I very much appreciated. I also want to say how wonderful the guest relations staff are on this ship. An amazing team of professionals. Another highlight for me was the Le Club Voyage Discoverer's Brunch. Wow - what an incredible job they did on that. I was very impressed. White Night was also really well done and a lot of fun. The Azamazing Evening in Oman was a bad joke, but they tried. I was impressed with their coordination and logistics to get everyone there and back so easily.
As far as food throughout the ship, the dining room was good but a bit inconsistent. Prime C was terrible - and I mean terrible. They could not cook a steak medium rare, and everyone was complaining about this particular restaurant. I went twice thinking I had a bad night the first time, and the second time was far worse. Aqualina in my opinion was absolutely no better than the main dining room. The buffet was very good as was the Patio Grill. I also really liked the tapas available in the Living Room. A shame that room is so under-utilzed. Taking the casino out may or may not have been a good idea. The room looks nice, but nobody wants to be in that lounge as the lighting is so bright in the evenings. Why couldn't Azamara install a dimming switch for the lights? Felt sorry for the piano player. No ambience in that room at night whatsoever. They need to fix this.
Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director were also very good on this sailing. They also went out of their way to be welcoming to passengers who were sailing alone. The shows and entertainment however were not to my liking and I think this cruise line has way too much trivia scheduled. Also, really disappointed there was no music playing poolside or a live band at sailway etc. The other thing that bothered me was that there was not a similar venue to the Martini Bar on Celebrity where you could meet fellow cruisers either before or after dinner with some lively music. Don't get me started on the DJ in the living room and how many times he played the same 8 songs over and over and over. We could call them in order before he played them by Day 5. For that reason alone, I think I'm headed back to Celebrity. In my humble opinion, the Quest is the perfect size ship, and I loved the short walk to my cabin wherever I happened to be, but there just isn't enough entertainment or socializing onthis ship to make me want to go back. I will sail Azamara again if the itinerary is good and the price is right, but I don't think it is any better than Celebrity. In fact, I think Celebrity may be better - at least for my cruise dollar.