We travelled last year with Azamara and greatly enjoyed the smaller ship feel, comfort and convenience. This cruise, from Cairns to Singapore offered us the chance to see some things on our ‘to do’ list, especially Komodo and Borobudur. Embarkation in Cairns was efficient and since Quest and Journey are almost identical, it was very easy to settle in. We enjoyed a quick look at Thursday Island which is otherwise quite difficult to visit.
Our only real disappointment in the whole trip was the docking location in Darwin. Instead of being at the cruise ship dock, we were more than 30 minutes away, each way, by the provided shuttle bus, at the spectacularly unscenic and inconvenient bulk container terminal. We had 3 things planned for Darwin but saw only one of them because of the docking location. Do visit the RFDS where you get not only the RFDS story but also an amazing virtual reality experience of the bombing of Darwin. The Azamazing Darryl Braithwaite concert was great but also meant 12 buses doing a one hour trip and the inevitable waiting.
Food was excellent again in terms of variety and freshness. We mostly used the Windows buffet for breakfast and lunch because we could choose salads and fruit. Dinner was mostly in Discoveries but we did have 2 meals in Prime C and one in Aqualina.
We had remarkably flat seas and hot weather for the whole 2 weeks and everything was well-organised. The staff continue to be gems and a very important part of the Azamara experience.
The docking location in Singapore, at Harbourfront, is far better than the main cruise terminal. It’s very close to an MRT station, a very large shopping centre ( Vivocity) and Sentosa Island.
On Thursday Island and Komodo we did the ship excursions because they were tender ports and it was easier. On Thursday Island it was hot and the fort is at the top of a hill so it’s quite a long way to walk. The cemetery is even further and I don’t think you would have seen both in the time if walking.
On Komodo you were not allowed to leave the ship if you did not have a shore excursion ticket or proof of another tour. A safety issue.
In Bali we booked a car and driver through Tours by Locals. Ketut Arwan was great and very happy to meet our needs. Highly recommended
Same thing, same company for Borobudur with excellent guide, Gregorius Gagat and a very skillfull driver too. It was a long trip on crowded hilly roads and we were so pleased not to be on one of the ship’s 6 buses.
In both cases the car and driver option was as cheap or cheaper than the ship bus shore excursions.
We were prepared for the small bathroom after last year and found it didn’t worry us at all. Again, lots of storage so the room isn’t cluttered. Dustin and Kokok were fantastic and very reliably filled our ice bucket twice a day. Our balcony provided some great views.
Gold class up on the train. Excellent, fun and comfortable. Nice nibbles and wine and not crowded. We only wanted a short time in Kuranda. Sky rail down but unfortunately had to wait nearly an hour for the bus back to Cairns.View All 26 Skyrail Tour Reviews
Ship excursion. Comfortable mini bus with a fun local. Tour of the town, time at the Hill Fort and then a drive to the cemetery which was a very good reflection of the multicultural heritage of the island. Would not have been possible to do this in the time by walking.
Amazing virtual reality experience of the Darwin bombing. Good understanding of the growth and expansion of the RFDSView All undefined undefined Reviews
Ship shore excursion. In a group of about 20 with a guide and assistants front and back to keep the group together. Saw 8 dragons which was great. Guide Paul was knowledgeable and had very good English.
Friendly, flexible and proud of his heritage, Ketut was great company and an excellent driver. We saw the Monkey Forest, the rice paddies and a lovely old Hindu temple and drank civet coffee. No shopping, which was exactly what we wanted. Lovely day. Car and driver was so comfortable and a great way to spend a day in Bali.View All undefined undefined Reviews