Azamara Club Cruises’ luxury ship Azamara Quest is currently saiing her first ex-Dublin itinerary to Hamburg via Belfast, Glasgow, Invergordon and Edinburgh. ITTN’s News & Features Editor Neil Steedman continues his daily reports from onboard.
I fell asleep early last night in Glasgow (and so, I am reliably informed, missed a great show in ‘Voices’ featuring the Quest Singers & Dancers), then woke up in Invergordon, from where I headed ashore to visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle (of which more tomorrow).
Yesterday was a day at sea and therefore a day to relax. Unfortunately the weather was not so warm and the mist not too far distant, meaning the pool area was quiet and indoor areas busy. However, there were still a number of places to relax, if not in my stateroom then the Drawing Room is a delightful, quiet place to read and the Mosaic Café provides tasty tidbits, while shopaholics can browse and buy in Indulgences and the Quest Shop.
For those who prefer to stay busy there is a wide range of events on offer daily, from lectures and dancing lessons to bingo and LGBT get-togethers, all communicated well to guests through the Azamara TV channels and daily newsletters and flyers delivered to staterooms.
These are all printed in the office of Russ Grieve, Cruise Director, who had a seven-year run in the Broadway musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ and joined the Azamara Quest in May 2010. “I grew up in California and spent several years as a singer on cruise ships until I was 25,” he told me. Then a series of stage productions beckoned, along with being a voice actor and jingle singer – most recently he recorded the voice of ‘Hal the Computer’ for Cher in her one-woman show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
“I returned to cruise ships in 2009, working with Seabourn Cruise Lines for nine months and then joined the Quest three years ago. I love it here and I really love the family atmosphere onboard. I am in charge of all the entertainment and work four months on, between 10 and 13 hours a day, seven days a week, but then I have two months off. The ship is my home, but my car is in Las Vegas!”
Would he be tempted to return to Broadway? “Perhaps, if a ‘smash hit certainty’ came along, but otherwise I would like to finish my career doing what I am doing and seeing the world.”