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  #1  
Old April 12th, 2011, 01:41 PM
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Zouave Zouave is offline
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Thumbs up Why I cruise with Azamara

All - my humble opinion for what it is worth.

Background - I am a retired Army Officer - my DW is a former female paratrooper (tougher than woodpecker lips). We are used to getting what is advertised and understand great leadership from poor management. We decided to give Azamara a shot as we like Princess R-class ships and the itinearies they offered.

We sailed last summer on the Quest. Had a mini-suite. We had spent a number of days in Greece seeing the ancient sights and were pretty tired when we arrived at the port in Athens to board. The boarding process we saw was seamless and respectful. Once on board our butler, Ayup, was right behind us as we entered the cabin. What a super butler. Ayup truly embodied what was advertised by Azamara. A former Turkish soldier, we hit it off like brothers in arms. He was everywhere when we were on the ship! Examples:

Second day on board Ayup was spotted in his full butler attire kneeling down in our closet. What was he doing? Shining our shoes!

Fourth day – Ayup spots us up on deck nine near the pool socializing w/ other Cruise Critic friends. It is afternoon tea time. Ayup brings out hors d'ouvres for all 10 people. No one asked – he just figured he would add something to the party.

Sixth day – All ship officers come up to serve barbeque lunch to passengers. From the Captain on down to the engineering staff to the Cruise Director – all were serving passenger on deck nine. This shows commitment to the passenger but move over respect to the crew. This is something all Army Officers do on holidays – we serve the troops who serve the nation.

Sixth day (con’t) – My DW who loves fresh fish, hears that the =Head Chef bought out the morning catch at the Santorini fish market. Ayup hears the same. As she nears the barbecue, Ayup steps in, helps her find a fine sea bass and tells her to have a seat – “I’ll find you in a couple of minutes!” Sure enough, Ayup shows up with a huge tray with the fish and all the trimmings she likes. He then boned the fish for her right in front of her eyes (all the time in his butler’s uniform). My DW was smiling for two days.

Ninth day – We decided a month before the cruise to go to a local nightclub in Istanbul during the well planned overnight stay in the city. We mentioned this to Ayup, who said, “I know this club well…here, take my card and present it to the manager when you arrive.” He had inscribed a short note on the card in Turkish and said we would have a wonderful time. When we arrived we presented the card to the manager who said, “Ayup! Well…follow me!” We were seated in the best table in the club and as the night went on, a waiter showed up at our table with a bottle of Champaign (complements of Ayup!) and at about midnight a non-stranger appeared at our table to check on us – Ayup in street clothes! We later found out he coordinated our return transportation for us. A Butler indeed!

Day Ten – debarkation. The final statement of what Azamara does for passengers was when we left the ship. As we walked off the ship, we spotted the Cruise Director and the Hotel Manager at the bottom of the gangway – there just to say thank you and wish us a safe return home.

Why am I sailing again on Azamara in August? An entire cruise line’s attitude, a ship who’s crew was spot on in their jobs, ship’s officers who practiced leadership on a regular basis, and a super former Turkish Army tank driver (now butler extraordinaire) who exemplified the term “sergeant” – “to serve.”

Zouave

(p.s. I tried to attach a picture of Ayup but it was too large for the server)
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  #2  
Old April 12th, 2011, 02:34 PM
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Zoave - that is a lovely tribute to Azamara's wonderful crew and officers and I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Our butler Ivan actually repaired my broken Birkenstock sandal for me (without me asking him) and it is now better than it was when new. He also arranged for me to have the Truffled Mushroom soup from Prime C as a starter in the Discoveries MDR whenever I wanted it - which was nearly every night - love that soup!

The efforts made by the crew on our behalf is what makes Azamara different - and that can even make me forgive the sometimes "less than efficient but always pleasant" Admin Dept at Headquarters!
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  #3  
Old April 12th, 2011, 03:09 PM
tommui987 tommui987 is online now
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Default Service on Azamara

The tribute to Ayub reminds me of Dimitry on our March cruise on the Quest.

We were about to disembark on the fourth deck - almost reached the gangway - when he dashed down the stairs from our seventh deck cabin with my wife's camera in hand!

We have only traveled on the Quest twice, but have always found that the service and dedication of its staff was five-stars!!!
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  #4  
Old April 12th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Ayup is a treasure I do agree - but then we have found all the Azamara butlers are. We have recently enjoyed being looked after Pravin who is another who has to be added to the list of "greats". They are trained in Anticpative Service and that is indeed what they do
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  #5  
Old April 12th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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Hi Zouave !

Thanks for your inspiring post. We thought the Crew on Journey were by far, the best we ever met. They were incredibly happy and eager to please. The Crew's attitude, dedication, and desire to insure you have a wonderful Cruise, are amongst the many highlights of the Azamara experience.
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  #6  
Old April 13th, 2011, 08:26 AM
fla742 fla742 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave View Post
All - my humble opinion for what it is worth.

Background - I am a retired Army Officer - my DW is a former female paratrooper (tougher than woodpecker lips). We are used to getting what is advertised and understand great leadership from poor management. We decided to give Azamara a shot as we like Princess R-class ships and the itinearies they offered.

We sailed last summer on the Quest. Had a mini-suite. We had spent a number of days in Greece seeing the ancient sights and were pretty tired when we arrived at the port in Athens to board. The boarding process we saw was seamless and respectful. Once on board our butler, Ayup, was right behind us as we entered the cabin. What a super butler. Ayup truly embodied what was advertised by Azamara. A former Turkish soldier, we hit it off like brothers in arms. He was everywhere when we were on the ship! Examples:

Second day on board Ayup was spotted in his full butler attire kneeling down in our closet. What was he doing? Shining our shoes!

Fourth day – Ayup spots us up on deck nine near the pool socializing w/ other Cruise Critic friends. It is afternoon tea time. Ayup brings out hors d'ouvres for all 10 people. No one asked – he just figured he would add something to the party.

Sixth day – All ship officers come up to serve barbeque lunch to passengers. From the Captain on down to the engineering staff to the Cruise Director – all were serving passenger on deck nine. This shows commitment to the passenger but move over respect to the crew. This is something all Army Officers do on holidays – we serve the troops who serve the nation.

Sixth day (con’t) – My DW who loves fresh fish, hears that the =Head Chef bought out the morning catch at the Santorini fish market. Ayup hears the same. As she nears the barbecue, Ayup steps in, helps her find a fine sea bass and tells her to have a seat – “I’ll find you in a couple of minutes!” Sure enough, Ayup shows up with a huge tray with the fish and all the trimmings she likes. He then boned the fish for her right in front of her eyes (all the time in his butler’s uniform). My DW was smiling for two days.

Ninth day – We decided a month before the cruise to go to a local nightclub in Istanbul during the well planned overnight stay in the city. We mentioned this to Ayup, who said, “I know this club well…here, take my card and present it to the manager when you arrive.” He had inscribed a short note on the card in Turkish and said we would have a wonderful time. When we arrived we presented the card to the manager who said, “Ayup! Well…follow me!” We were seated in the best table in the club and as the night went on, a waiter showed up at our table with a bottle of Champaign (complements of Ayup!) and at about midnight a non-stranger appeared at our table to check on us – Ayup in street clothes! We later found out he coordinated our return transportation for us. A Butler indeed!

Day Ten – debarkation. The final statement of what Azamara does for passengers was when we left the ship. As we walked off the ship, we spotted the Cruise Director and the Hotel Manager at the bottom of the gangway – there just to say thank you and wish us a safe return home.

Why am I sailing again on Azamara in August? An entire cruise line’s attitude, a ship who’s crew was spot on in their jobs, ship’s officers who practiced leadership on a regular basis, and a super former Turkish Army tank driver (now butler extraordinaire) who exemplified the term “sergeant” – “to serve.”

Zouave

(p.s. I tried to attach a picture of Ayup but it was too large for the server)
Having never cruised with Azamara previously, I'm wondering what kind of "service" those of us who are not in a suite are going to get?
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  #7  
Old April 13th, 2011, 08:58 AM
cardonacasa cardonacasa is offline
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We stayed in a Veranda on our Azamara cruise, and found the staff very charming and accomodating. And most of the time, they don't know where your room is! So I don't think you would find inferior service on an interior room!
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  #8  
Old April 13th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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AlanS17 AlanS17 is offline
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Now THAT is service! Is that typical of Azamara? Stories like this get me very excited for my upcoming Azamara cruise! Being my first cruise, though, I have no idea what to expect in terms of service since I don't have a "base line".

It brings up some interesting questions, though. I'm staying in an ocean view cabin so I will be assigned a cabin steward rather than a butler. So where do a cabin steward's duties end that a butler's duties would continue? What would be an inappropriate expectation of a cabin steward as opposed to a butler? And do the cabin stewards on Azamara have expanded responsibilities over other cruise lines?
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Old April 13th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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maryann ns maryann ns is offline
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We didn't get service like that, but we did not look for or need it either. Our cabin steward and attendant were always around and asking how we were doing and if we needed anything. We didn't.

The staff throughout the ship are welcoming and anxious to serve. And they do it with a smile.
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  #10  
Old April 13th, 2011, 10:22 AM
shoesonfire shoesonfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanS17 View Post
Now THAT is service! Is that typical of Azamara? Stories like this get me very excited for my upcoming Azamara cruise! Being my first cruise, though, I have no idea what to expect in terms of service since I don't have a "base line".

It brings up some interesting questions, though. I'm staying in an ocean view cabin so I will be assigned a cabin steward rather than a butler. So where do a cabin steward's duties end that a butler's duties would continue? What would be an inappropriate expectation of a cabin steward as opposed to a butler? And do the cabin stewards on Azamara have expanded responsibilities over other cruise lines?
Having been on 2 Azamara ships, Quest & Journey, both times in a veranda, I can only speak for the 2 stewards responsible for our cabin not for butlers or their duties. The steward on the Quest was very attentive, always visible, always smiling, he and his assistant kept our cabin spotless and answered our 2 phone call requests immediately. In addition, when we went to dinner and left a white ball cap in our cabin that had a very visible pasta sauce stain from earlier in the day, we returned to find he had cleaned it spotlessly without our asking. His name was Jimmy Rodriquez. On the Journey, our steward Aldo and his assistant Joseph also kept our cabin very clean and orderly in a timely manner, however, was not always visible (until near the end of the cruise) and we never were ever to reach him directly by phone if we required assistance. Just pointing out the differences, however, both gave us the good service we expected, one was just went over and above what was expected. Yes, other staff/crew members don't know what type of cabin you're in, but probably there are passengers who may be well-known or represent a specific business type category that could be singled out for even more attentive service. It doesn't matter! Azamara gives you good service, good cuisine, and most of all good value no matter who you are.
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  #11  
Old April 13th, 2011, 03:24 PM
Grandma Gilly Grandma Gilly is offline
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One day we came back to our cabin and found that Ayup had tidied up all of our computer and phone cables and tied them with elastic bands! What a great guy.
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  #12  
Old April 13th, 2011, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandma Gilly View Post
One day we came back to our cabin and found that Ayup had tidied up all of our computer and phone cables and tied them with elastic bands! What a great guy.
I vote a pay raise for Ayup!

Zouave
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  #13  
Old April 14th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave View Post
I vote a pay raise for Ayup!

Zouave
I vote the Ayup gets assigned to cabin 4015.
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