Being at the Monaco Grand Prix has been on my bucket list since I started watching Formula 1, way back 2003. Aside from the sport, I’ve been wanting to see the beauty of Monte Carlo. My husband and I have been in and out Europe but hadn’t got the chance to visit Monaco and the French Riviera until last year. We just passed our 10th Wedding anniversary so we decided to do a couple’s trip – we haven’t done one since we had our first kid. We were lucky in that my in-laws were kind enough to fly in from South Africa to hang out and spend time with the kids. I know… they are the best!!! We went away for 2 weeks, kinda too long but we were so at peace knowing that the kids are in good hands and thanks to advance technology, we got to Skype with them everytime we got WIFI signal. We are beyond thankful.
You know the famous saying of Mark Twain, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Fortunately, I made my passion for travel into something that I can do for a living. I started my home-based travel agency last year and one of “the perks of the job” was to go onboard an Azamara Cruise for free… a choice of any destination I wanted. Pretty neat huh?!? So many options but one stuck out of the catalog was the 5 day F1 Monaco Grand Prix Voyage.
We flew to Nice, France a few days before our cruise to enjoy the city and it’s neighboring towns. We arrived in time for the Cannes Film Festival which by the way was such an amazing experience. I owe you a write up on that one 🙂 Anyway, we were so excited and looking forward to the cruise since it was our 1st time with Azamara and the F1 Monaco race is one of the best there is. The Grand Prix is held on the narrow winding streets of Monaco, and as everyone says, it’s one of the most demanding tracks in Formula 1. It is also a gathering of the rich and famous; most of whom watch from their super yachts. Also, many 5-star luxury all-inclusive cruise lines join the party. The Azamara Club Cruises travels the region during the season and we were one of the lucky sailors.
Our Voyage Itinerary was as follow:
|WED 25-MAY||Nice, France||Embark||11:00 pm|
|THU 26-MAY||Florence/ Pisa (Livorno), Italy||Tendered||9:00 am||9:00 pm|
|FRI 27-MAY||Saint-Tropez, France||Tendered||9:00 am||10:00 pm|
|SAT 28-MAY||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Tendered||7:00 am|
|SUN 29-MAY||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||Tendered||3:00 am|
|MON 30-MAY||Nice, France||Debark||6:00 am|
Boarding was seamless; when we arrived at the port, we were greeted with some snacks and bubbly. It was very organized and the crew were so friendly and accommodating. It was a breeze and since we arrived early, we got time to tour and get familiarize with the ship.
The Azamara Quest is small and can carry 1120 people including staff; this gives it a cozier and relaxing atmosphere with a bit of that feeling of exclusivity. You can expect a more personalized and intimate service from the crew. Every stateroom offers full butler and concierge service. To me, that is a luxury.
Amazing… We were stuffed every day and we love the food. Discoveries dining room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s open seating and you can choose to dine alone or join others in a larger table (which is neat if you want to meet new people). We liked having dinner at Discoveries since it had a cozy ambiance and menu had tons of options. Well… except for one night when we pre-ordered a customized dinner meal and were seated on the top deck by the balcony. For our breakfast, we like the Window Cafe since it’s on the top deck which gives a great city views while at the port. And it offers buffet dining the whole day long.
I didn’t take many pictures of the food as I normally do but I’ve got few and it was definitely an experience of culinary delights from the destinations with a good selection of wines to pair with every mouth-watering dish:) They truly incorporated the flavors of each destination into the menus.
There are 2 specialty dining restaurants in case you wanted to have a more unique culinary experience.
I think they are playing it classy, safe and appropriate for the guests. There are bars, lounges, shows, a casino and they have this “white night party” (which by the way you can’t miss). It was just perfect!!!
White Night Party was so much fun. Definitely, one of the most memorable nights we had on board the ship:) It started early at night so one can still see the beautiful view of Saint-Tropez as the sun sets.
The F1 MonacoGrand Prix Voyage started in Nice where it sails to Livorno (near Florence), then onward to Saint-Tropez, Cannes before arriving in Monte Carlo for the F1 race and returning back to Nice. We thought this is a perfect route as we wanted to see the region and to experience the F1 Monaco race.
Livorno is an Italian port city on the west coast of Tuscany. It’s known for its seafood, Renaissance-era fortifications and modern harbor with a cruise ship port. Florence is about 45 minutes but since we’ve been there; we decided to check out another nearby town called Lucca. It is famous for its renaissance walls, its cobbled streets, beautiful piazzas and promenades which make it a perfect destination for a day trip:)
Saint Tropez, France I was so excited to visit this little town of the French Riviera. Home of the rich and famous, jet-setters, models and celebrities, Saint Tropez is a very charming little town:) We love it and I will be writing more about this place.
Our favorite pastime:) #beachbumming
Are you planning to go on a cruise? Try Azamara … we had a fantastic time!!! Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details, firstname.lastname@example.org