ABOARD AZAMARA QUEST, DAY ELEVEN – It is our next to last day at sea, and the captain has plotted us a new course. As he explained it, storm swells have caused havoc up and down the Atlantic, and affected a number of cruise ships in the region, including Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, which was buffeted by both high winds and waves. To skirt those issues, we will be returning to Miami via the Old Bahamas Channel, which should provide a smoother ride.
The captain also pointed out this voyage had set a record for him in the number of bow lines broken. In yesterday’s post we talked about the two lines that snapped in St. Maarten. Altogether, a total of six lines were actually torn loose at that port.
While we were more fortunate than Explorer, there was still considerable motion during the night and into mid-morning. So much so we decided to forego the “Abba Dance Night” in Looking Glass for an extra dose of Dramamine, as did others. Too bad – Abba always gets the party going.
Last night, after a spectacular sunset as we departed St. Thomas, the crew staged a “Fond Farewell” for the passengers, where individuals representing all the various departments introduce themselves and their country of origin. The level of service and attention has been topnotch throughout our voyage, a sentiment echoed by many of the guests we spoke with.
This afternoon I joined a group touring the bridge, which occupies the front of deck 8. Alongside the computers, screens, GPS guidance systems and all the other assorted technology that keeps us safe and on course, the old school paper charts still play a prominent role, as our guide explained. Someday it will no doubt be all electronic, but that day isn’t here yet on Azamara, which is actually strangely comforting.
After 11 days at sea, we are starting to run short of clean clothes in a few areas. No problem! There is a self-serve laundry on deck 7. The machines may have coin slots, but your money is no good here. They’re free to use, first come, first serve. We spoke with one couple who took a 43-day cruise on Princess but it didn’t qualify them for free laundry on board. It’s the little things, right?
Speaking of little things, while our stateroom’s veranda is a big snug, the oversize table is a welcome touch. It’s sturdier than most we’ve experienced and perfect for room service or use as a desk for authoring this blog while the sea breeze blows through your hair. And if you thinking of taking Azamara, definitely opt to spend extra for the veranda. Totally worth it.
Because this is cruising on a smaller scale, don’t expect a flashy, Las Vegas-style casino. It features the expected assortment of slot machines, blackjack and roulette, all the usual suspects in terms of how to lose your money. I even tried my luck on the free bingo game. Lost again.
With the next two days at sea, there is a full slate of activities on tap, including gelato by the pool, a Greek buffet, tango lessons, a lecture on the rum trade, a jewelry fashion show and late night, 50s and 60s dance music. Only one day to go, so I’ve got to get busy trying everything so I can relax.
March 12, 2013