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Before visiting this recently refurbed vessel, cruising was just one of many long-lingering entries on our writer Adam’s bucket list. He’d always flirted with the idea of seeing the world while waltzing with the open sea. But now he feels that the time for flirting is over. He’s ready for commitment. His experience of Azamara Quest has promoted his thoughts on cruising from being a mere possibility to a priority, and here he explains why.

Before visiting this recently refurbed vessel, cruising was just one of many long-lingering entries on our writer Adam’s bucket list. He’d always flirted with the idea of seeing the world while waltzing with the open sea. But now he feels that the time for flirting is over. He’s ready for commitment. His experience of Azamara Quest has promoted his thoughts on cruising from being a mere possibility to a priority, and here he explains why.

This July I was lucky enough to be invited on a tour of the ship as she docked in Liverpool during her tour of the British Isles. As I passed the city’s famous Royal Liver Building and she crept into view, despite knowing that I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I couldn’t help but get excited. I met my colleague Liz in the cruise terminal and together we embarked. Following our guide, we took an elevator to deck 10, where we reached the living room. As we were welcomed with a selection of pastries, teas and coffees, we were given ample time to check out our plush surroundings.

After a quick introductory speech by Azamara’s UK MD, it was time to tour the ship. It was everything you’d expect from a five star cruise liner. It boasted sleek, stylish and immaculate interior design, a broad selection of fine dining restaurants with mouth-watering menus and a well turned out friendly staff working hard to meet their guests’ every need. As impressive as all of the above was, it wasn’t surprising, nor was it what charmed me the most. It was the moments in which my expectations were exceeded that really sold the cruise to me – and those moments were numerous.

The first things that captured my imagination were the interactive tables dotted around the ship, which not only enable you to look up details of your itinerary and browse other cruises, but also have a function allowing you to send e-postcards to your loved ones back at home. Another feature that really appealed to my inner adventurer was the fact that Azamara spend more time in port than other luxury cruise lines, meaning that you’ll have more time to explore the world. As we were shown around the ship, its guests, most of whom were American, were out exploring Liverpool, excited to see the city that brought them The Beatles.

And it’s The Beatles who bring us to another string in Azamara’s bow that sold their cruises to me. Included on all cruise itineraries that are seven days or longer is something known as an AzAmazing Evening. Each bespoke event offers guests the chance to experience an authentic taste of local culture, and there just so happened to be one taking place in Liverpool that evening. Guests were treated to an evening at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral to enjoy two sets of music. First there was a classical performance from an instrumental quartet with opera singers, followed by a lively performance from The Cavern Club Beatles.

Upon returning to the ship, guests were all personally welcomed back by their captain before enjoying a firework show from the top deck. While being guided around the ship, we were stopped by enthusiastic guests on more than one occasion, who were only too eager to tell us how much they loved cruising with Azamara – a ringing endorsement and a good indicator of just how satisfied guests are with their service. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the majority of people who cruise with Azamara return time and time again.

This day in Liverpool aboard Azamara Quest provided me with a tantalising sneak peek of what cruising has to offer. Now, my only difficulty is narrowing down which itinerary I find most appealing, so I can finally set sail on my first cruising venture. And something tells me that it won’t be my last.

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