When we awoke the day after our wet but wonderful trek around Da Nang and Hoi An, we were hopeful that the seas had calmed and we would be greeted by bright morning sunshine. I pulled open the black-out curtains to reveal a gloomy grey canvas that stretched endlessly in every direction. While the seas weren’t quite as rough as the previous evening, there was still a very perceptible rhythmic roll from bow to stern. We would later learn that the weather system we had been passing through was the result of a typhoon that had blasted parts of Vietnam.
This was the first time since we had arrived in South East Asia (a week ago) that we had actually been able to sleep in. It was 8:30 by the time I left the stateroom to fetch our morning coffee and water. Kim was still feeling quite groggy from the sea sickness tablets she managed to get from Customer Relations the night before so she was still in bed when I got back. We decided to skip going for breakfast at Windows Cafe in favour of the featured Jazz Brunch that was being served later in the morning at the Discoveries dining lounge.
The Jazz Brunch is just one of several featured meals that is served on the Azamara Journey during a cruise. It comprises a full hot and cold gourmet style buffet with individual stations for omelettes, waffles, carved meats, peel and eat shrimp, sushi, grilled fish and specialty desserts. A full Jazz Band is stationed near the middle of the room and provides a melodic acoustic background to further enhance the already sensuous dining experience. This was by far my favourite daytime dining event on the cruise.
Most of the rest of the day was spent by the pool recuperating from our last few days of hectic activity in Vietnam. We met up with Karen and Geoff for dinner at the Aqualina specialty restaurant which features Mediterranean style cuisine. It is beside the Prime C Steakhouse on Deck 10, and is distinguished by a much lighter and more elegant decor than the dark wood-panelled mahogany exhibited in the Prime C.
Aqualina offers a traditional Italian dinner served in 4 courses: antipasti, zuppa & insalata, secondi and dolci. I had a hard time choosing between the carpaccio of beef and the tuna tartar for my antipasti. I decided on the carpaccio and it was melt in your mouth delicious. For my second course I opted for the rich and meaty lobster bisque. My entrée was the lobster tail with pasta and I finished with the dessert sampler platter. Needless to say, I enjoyed every morsel.
While on the topic of dining, in our research prior to the cruise, we had read quite a few reviews that raved about the food, both quality and variety, on the Azamara ships. We were not disappointed. I have already described a few of the dining venues on the Journey in previous blogs for this cruise including Windows Cafe, Discoveries Dining Lounge and Prime C Steakhouse. As well as these restaurants, Journey also features Aquafina Restaurant and the Patio (the poolside grill) not to mention the Mosaic Cafe and Tapas in the Living Room.
Regardless of which venue you choose there is a consistent level of service, quality and variety at each one. At the served venues we rarely had to wait for our drink orders once we were seated. There was always a basket of fresh, warm bread that was brought to the table after the drinks were ordered. Each menu had meat, fish, pasta and vegetarian options. Other than the Captain’s Table (featured in another blog), each of the sit down dinner venues (Discoveries, Prime C and Aqualina) offer a full four course meal with several options for each course. While Prime C specializes in steaks and chops, and Aqualina offers a distinctly Mediterranean fare, Discoveries typically has a different regionally themed menu every night. While we didn't have a chance to try it, there was also a newly added Caviar and Champagne Bar available each evening located in the Living Room.
For the self service and take-away venues there is always a standard food offering with some different (usually regionally themed) options which change every day. The buffet at Windows Cafe features lots of choices for salad, a variety of meats, chicken and fish, pastas and a variety of rice dishes, along with a full selection of treats on their dessert table. The poolside Patio offers grill style snacks and lunch during the day including hamburgers, hot dogs, brochettes, chicken wings, french fries and onion rings. I tried the burgers a couple of times and they were deliciously thick and juicy. The Patio is also where the frozen yogourt bar, Swirl and Top, is located.
The Tapas in the Livingroom was a daily stop for us after the 4:00pm daily trivia. There were always 4 new hot and 4 new cold tapas dishes offered every day. And prior to the tapas being set out in the later afternoon, there were always sandwiches and pastries available if you became hungry after lunch.
The Mosaic Cafe was my daily morning trek for specialty coffee and pastries, but it is open throughout the day with changing tapas style finger foods available on the trolley beside the bar. Liqueur based coffee drinks are offered at a price later in the day.
Finally, throughout the day, poolside wait staff come by offering long and colourful kabobs full of fresh, ripe, juicy and cool tropical fruit.
Enough about food. After our wonderful meal in the Aqualina, we headed to the Cabaret Lounge for the nightly show, tonight featured a musical love story called Cafe del Amor performed by the Azamara singers and dancers.
Adventures in South East Asia - Hong Kong Part 1 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Hong Kong Part 2 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Hong Kong Part 3 & Onboard Azamara Day 1 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 2 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 3 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 4 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 5 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 7 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 8 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 9 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 10 - click here
Adventures in South East Asia - Onboard Azamara Day 11 - click here
Sharing Our Travel Dreams
Sharing our personal experiences onboard and on the road, along with tips and insight for creating memorable vacations.