Cruises tend to be colourful affairs. From the sun-soaked Greek Islands to the rooftops of Reykjavik and the neon lights of Las Vegas, there are happy hues to be found at many ports of call.
However, on the pool deck on Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Pursuit, that all changed, as guests prepared to be wowed by the line’s White Night party. And boy, did they take it to heart, decking themselves out in – you guessed it – an array of wonderful white outfits.
A ship reimagined
The Pursuit, which in a previous life was the P&O Adonia, was built in 2001. It has now been revitalised, following a lengthy refurbishment in Belfast. There are 352 cabins on board, with a passenger capacity of up to 774. The interior of the ship is welcoming and cosy, with dark wood, subtle lighting and stunning fresh flowers at every turn.
However, back to the White Night and, despite a slight chill in the air, the lavish poolside buffet – an impressive spread that included the finest food and drink, from bottomless wine and champagne to oysters, lobster tails, steak and more – was enjoyed by all.
The purpose of the party was to celebrate the christening and inaugural voyage of the ship and, from the moment we stepped on board Pursuit, there was excitement in the air.
Our Club Veranda Stateroom, on deck 6, was decorated in neutral tones that felt calming and contemporary. Being a smaller vessel, it’s on the snug – let’s call it cosy – side, but is well planned, and there’s an impressive amount of storage.
The stateroom also houses a flat-screen TV, writing desk and two-seater sofa, plus a table and chairs on the balcony. Toiletries in the bathroom are by Eco Boutique, and you also get robes and slippers.
Other room types include Club Continent suites and Club Ocean suites. But the stars of the show are the two double-sized Club Spa suites, which are similar to those created for sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.
The bathrooms have spacious circular bathtubs positioned next to a window – which provides great views while you relax in comfort. Guests also receive English butler service, complimentary in-room spirits, complimentary seating in the speciality dining restaurants, and many more benefits.
Wellness at sea
Our exploration of the ship also introduces us to the fitness centre, where guests can indulge in yoga and Pilates classes, and take up the services of a wellness consultant – a growing trend in the sector.
Relaxation extends to the Sanctum Spa, too. Inspired by rituals from faraway lands, there’s a hair salon, a terrace with mineral-rich Thalassotherapy pool, nail bar and barber stations, plus a menu of spa treatments.
The pool is flanked by two hot tubs and plenty of sunbeds, while The Patio on deck 9 is the place for al fresco pool grill lunches and candlelit dinners.
Of course, no review would be complete without examining the food and drink on offer. Pursuit has a number of eateries on board, including the main restaurant and bar, Discoveries, which has an open seating policy so you can dine when you like; speciality restaurants Prime C steakhouse and Aqualina Italian restaurant, and the buffet Windows Café, which offers made-to-order breakfasts and a variety of lunch and dinner options.
Open from morning till night, the Mosaic Café is a nice place to grab a coffee and a pastry or biscuit (these change according to the time of day) to take away or enjoy in.
In the name of ‘destination immersion’, bespoke AzAmazing events are complimentary signature experiences on every cruise longer than seven days.
After a morning exploring the pretty port city of Cherbourg, we had a taster of one of these experiences in the form of an authentic French market complete with fresh flowers, delicious macaroons, cheese and wine, followed by a stage performance showcasing classic French songs and typical can-can dancing from the Moulin Rouge.
Who knew so much could be packed into a two-night cruise? With our party clothes packed away and a bunch of French lilies in hand, we set sail on our newly christened ship back to the port of Southampton – and there was just time for a hearty breakfast in Windows to fuel us for the journey home.
But we’re already dreaming of our next cruise on the Azamara Pursuit. When that white party kicks off, we’ll have the perfect outfits to show off our tropical tans.
The seven-night France Intensive Voyage on Azamara Pursuit departs 13 April 2019. Prices start at £1,169pp.