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  #1  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 07:46 AM
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WELSH WIZARDS WELSH WIZARDS is offline
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Default Azamara dumped our luggage !!

My husband Mike [ aged 70 ] and I [Jennie ..aged 65] recently sailed from Venice around Croatia for one week.
We paid extra to stay on board until 12.15. before disembarking and taking our transfers to the airport.
We had a long, hot walk when we went to catch the bus off the ship to the airport .
About half way a very frustrated lady came and told the Azamara rep with us that a large number of pax were standing in the sun further up and were very fed up.
We had another long hot walk, and when our group joined the second group at the buses I put our two carry on cases in the first bus, which was now almost full.
My husband was told by the Azamara rep to put our two suitcases in the second bus, further up .
While he was doing this my bus started driving off.!
I stopped the bus and explained my husband was at the other bus, and that I was not driving off without him.!
The driver stopped, and I got off.
My husband was also getting off the other bus, having seen I was not on that one.
He asked to take his suitcases off, but the Rep told him there was no time, and it would be no problem as the two buses stopped at the same place, and would be about 5 to 10 mins later, and she would make sure we would have it safely back .
Venice is a small Airport , we unloaded the two carry ons, and waited at the same place our bus had stopped . For half an hour , out in the heat.
I stayed there and my husband had a look around for our cases. He found nothing, so went downstairs to departures and found an Azamara rep there. She was very helpful, made some calls, and went with Michael looking for the luggage.
They eventually found it about an hours time from when we had been dropped off dumped in very remote area on the pavement. She pointed out that we were very lucky the security people had not found it as they would blow it up.! She was very apologetic about what had happened, and that my husband , who has had knee surgery had to walk around everywhere looking for his luggage .
We then had very little time to rush to catch our flights, all very frantic. !
Besides two luggage labels with our mobile numbers on, there were also two separate plastic tags with only our phone numbers in large letters on them, for just such an incident.
The Azamara rep at the airport was very helpful , and did all she could, but the one on the bus, and the driver were not. She knew we did not have our luggage , she knew we would be looking for it, and she did nothing.
This is far removed from the sort of service we are told Azamara will afford to us.
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#4/3 of Welsh people have trouble with fractions. !
............and with sheep. !
Welsh Humour Clip = ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded



Last edited by WELSH WIZARDS; August 23rd, 2011 at 08:05 AM.
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  #2  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:13 AM
Jade13 Jade13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WELSH WIZARDS View Post
My husband Mike [ aged 70 ] and I [Jennie ..aged 65] recently sailed from Venice around Croatia for one week.
We paid extra to stay on board until 12.15.

We had another long hot walk, and when our group joined the second group at the buses I put our two carry on cases in the first bus, which was now almost full.
My husband was told by the Azamara rep to put our two suitcases in the second bus, further up .
While he was doing this my bus started driving off.!

He asked to take his suitcases off, but the Rep told him there was no time, and it would be no problem as the two buses stopped at the same place, and would be about 5 to 10 mins later, and she would make sure we would have it safely back .
.
First, sorry to hear this. This would never have happened to us as we would never ever have accepted any of our luggage not being on the same bus with us. No way. But, my DH is a lot younger than yours and in great shape, and would have loaded all of the luggage himself/together and quickly before anyone else told him to do something else (He recently lectured on a Holland America Line ship regarding Awareness and Safety).

The Azamara Rep was wrong here and made an error and should have insisted that the luggage be unloaded and on the same bus with you. (It's a security issue even with the airlines which require any passengers leaving a plane having their luggage removed as well.)

I did not know that Azamara had a program to pay extra and disembark later (This is something that SilverSea does). What do they charge to stay on-board an extra few hours?

Besides this issue, how was the cruise? I know you are avid celebrity cruisers.

Last edited by Jade13; August 23rd, 2011 at 08:14 AM.
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  #3  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:25 AM
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WELSH WIZARDS WELSH WIZARDS is offline
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Hi jade, thanks for the sympathy.
We paid $25 each, and we able to use almost all the ship, and have a nice lunch.
This was great....it's only after you leave the ship that the service starts to suck.
We also had to change planes in Charles de Gaulle Airport and had a very long gap between flights.
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PAST...27 CRUISES...

CELEBRITY....19...
HOLLAND AMERICA....2...R.C.C.L....2...

AZAMARA...1...M.S.C...1...OCEANIA...1... PRINCESS...1...

#4/3 of Welsh people have trouble with fractions. !
............and with sheep. !
Welsh Humour Clip = ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded


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  #4  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 11:19 AM
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excitedofharpenden excitedofharpenden is offline
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Jennie, doesn't sound fun at all. Hopefully you have let ACC know separately. They do need to know about things like this because it undoes a lot of the hard work they've put in on the ship. Connecting through CDG would not have improved my mood. Did you fly back to Cardiff?

Phil
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  #5  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 11:44 AM
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WELSH WIZARDS WELSH WIZARDS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by excitedofharpenden View Post
Jennie, doesn't sound fun at all. Hopefully you have let ACC know separately. They do need to know about things like this because it undoes a lot of the hard work they've put in on the ship. Connecting through CDG would not have improved my mood. Did you fly back to Cardiff?Phil
Thanks for you input Phil.
Nope....we did not fly to Cardiff, we rarely do.
This was the first time I have ever tried my air arrangements being out of my control. I have always in my past 19 cruises customised them myself. It will be a long time until it happens again too.
We went to Heathrow by car, flew to Charles De Gaulle , had a long wait there, [ a four hour layover,] and then the plane was loaded and unloaded..twice.!! Another hour and a half. [ Not Azamara's fault] .
On the way back from Venice , after the luggage scare, we flew to Charles De Gaulle where we had a 5 hour layover, even with the clock going back we did not get to Heathrow until 10.
After all the problems with the luggage and the standing in the heat in the morning , a drive home to Wales was not what we really wanted.
We tried to book into the Hotel we left the car at , but changed our minds as it was like a zoo with hundreds of shrieking teenage Italians , and very over stretched staff.
It was good to get into bed that night.
I hope you on the other hand have a stress free trip with Azamara in September.
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...NEXT CRUISE...???
PAST...27 CRUISES...

CELEBRITY....19...
HOLLAND AMERICA....2...R.C.C.L....2...

AZAMARA...1...M.S.C...1...OCEANIA...1... PRINCESS...1...

#4/3 of Welsh people have trouble with fractions. !
............and with sheep. !
Welsh Humour Clip = ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded


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  #6  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 02:32 PM
LN50 LN50 is offline
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Oh Dear, It all sounds like a nightmare, and not what anyone would choose to finish a good holiday.

Were you aware of the flight lay-over before the trip? also at what stage and how did you arrange to stay on ship?

Hope you have now recovered.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 05:21 PM
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We were given written information about it in our cabin.
I cannot remember if it was one or two days before we were to disembark. Mike went down to the Guest Relations desk to pay.
We left our luggage out the night before as usual, and had books , etc in our flight bags. We had to go down by 9 and check out, and then just go back upstairs. We had breakfast , sat in the sun until our lunch ,after which we then left the ship.
It was a good idea, we were very glad we did it.....and then our day went down hill from there.
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...NEXT CRUISE...???
PAST...27 CRUISES...

CELEBRITY....19...
HOLLAND AMERICA....2...R.C.C.L....2...

AZAMARA...1...M.S.C...1...OCEANIA...1... PRINCESS...1...

#4/3 of Welsh people have trouble with fractions. !
............and with sheep. !
Welsh Humour Clip = ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded



Last edited by WELSH WIZARDS; August 23rd, 2011 at 05:22 PM.
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  #8  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 05:51 PM
Bill Leiber Bill Leiber is offline
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Hello Welsh Wizards and others –

If only there were a “Harry Potter” who could have sent in a wizard to improve the sub-standard services you and your husband endured upon disembarkation during your transfer to the airport.

I apologize for the stress, frustration and inconvenience that you experienced at the conclusion of you Azamara cruise experience. You mentioned that you expected better service delivery onshore from Azamara and I’m disappointed that the local ground operator and its staff, which we had selected to represent us, fell way below acceptable standards in executing this transfer operation.

As I’ve mentioned often, your feedback is critical for us to achieve our goal of delivering a “seamless” shipboard and shoreside experience. After reading your dilemma it seems that our ground operation team might have made the wrong decision in contracting with this company. They will be dealing with the operator directly to improve the remaining Venice 2011 operations and re-evaluating whether to seek a new operator next year.

I learned that your “late debark” stay is a “pilot” program that is currently under consideration while the operational process is reviewed. I will get back to you with more information if and when it will be offered. I’m curious about your opinion on the value of Azamara offering such a program.

I hope that this snafu has not overshadowed your Azamara vacation and that we can welcome you onboard again sometime soon.

Sincerely,

Bill Leiber
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  #9  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 05:57 PM
islington islington is offline
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Default Late check out.

We took advantage of the offer to stay on board until 12.15 which was perfect. This was a offered several days before to all passengers with afternoon flights. Check in generally opens only two hours before departure at Athens airport so you are left to guard all your luggage until then.
We had a very pleasant, stress free morning on board, had lunch and left the ship at noon. We only had half a minute's walk across to the terminal where an Azamara's representative indicated where to find our luggage She asked us to wait in a seating area for a few minutes until more people were there as the driver didn't have the air conditioning on. No more than five minutes passed until we were called to proceed to the now cool bus which was right out side the terminal.Again, we only waited for the bus to fill and we left arriving at the airport around 1 pm. We were able to go straight to check in, through security and into the departure lounge (where we met some fellow passengers who didn't think they had enough time with the late check out and had been at the airport since 8.30!)












































This was our 4th departure from Athens and was the smoothest and best transfer we have ever had. I asked whether the late check out was something that they were always going to offer and was told that it depended entirely on the Port Authority and some allowed it and others, for security reasons, do not.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 06:02 PM
islington islington is offline
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Oops, sorry, not sure what happened there.

I hope this clarifies the situation a little and that fortunately, we did not all have a bad experience. I am very sorry others did.
Jenni
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  #11  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Thank you Islington, and Mr Leiber for you input.
Jenni ...I am glad you had a better experience than us, maybe it's the ground operations staff only in Venice that are below par.
Mr Leiber..." Chief Blogging Officer* eh...I am impressed.
Thank you also for your input.
Did you not notice I am a wizard.?
But even I could not " magic " our suitcases to appear that day. !
__________________
...NEXT CRUISE...???
PAST...27 CRUISES...

CELEBRITY....19...
HOLLAND AMERICA....2...R.C.C.L....2...

AZAMARA...1...M.S.C...1...OCEANIA...1... PRINCESS...1...

#4/3 of Welsh people have trouble with fractions. !
............and with sheep. !
Welsh Humour Clip = ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded


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  #12  
Old August 24th, 2011, 05:01 AM
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@islington: did you book your own flights or were they part of a package? Wondering about the bus to Athens airport and the cost if you could advise please?
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Old August 24th, 2011, 10:54 AM
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Hi Bill, You asked about the poster's opinions on the late check out program. In case you are collecting and forwarding thoughts on this to Azamara I wanted to let you know how wonderful it would be to have this option.

We will be on our first Azamara cruise in February and if the Port Authority allows it (I realize some will not) this will be extremely attractive. As another poster noted, it gives those with later flights a chance to have their luggage in a safe place and provides some time to relax in what I am sure is gong to be a wonderful environment onboard. It will also remove a few passengers from the rush to disembark allowing those with earlier flights or other arrangements to get underway faster.

I have not seen anything similar to this on any other line we've sailed on - it would give Azamara a nice distinguishing service feature.

The key to success will partly be letting passengers know about the option as early as possible (again, assuming the Port Authority can give that permission early). I'll be looking into private tour options to fill the time before our flight on disembarkation day which I'll need to book in advance. However, we would much prefer to do the late departure from the ship so knowing if its available in advance will make a difference.

Thanks for your interest in the opinions of posters on this and so many other issues Bill!
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Old August 24th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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The late check out option is a great idea. Being herded off the ship like cattle, as most lines do, is not the best way to end an otherwise wonderful cruise experience.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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Hi Bill !

Please add me to the list of past Azamara Guests who hope you continue on with this Pilot program - and eventually make it permanent.

I'm sorry to hear about Welsh Wizards experience... but I'm confident with additional training, this will prove to be another great option for Azamara Guests.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Default Late check out.

Bill - I think this is such a good idea.

We took advantage of the lunch and late check out deal on Quest in July. It made what would have been an intolerable 12 hour wait at Fiumicino airport for our flight home into a much more tolerable - though still far too long - Azamara shoreside please note! - 8 hours.

Please Azamara - continue with this service - it's great.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Default Late Debark Pilot Programme

I learned that your “late debark” stay is a “pilot” program that is currently under consideration while the operational process is reviewed. I will get back to you with more information if and when it will be offered. I’m curious about your opinion on the value of Azamara offering such a program

Sincerely,

Bill Leiber
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(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)[/quote]


Dear Bill,
We were fortunate to have been offered the "Late Debark" opportunity at the end of our July 9th 2011 cruise from Nice-Rome on "Quest". It certainly was an enhancement to the end of the cruise, and a lovely gesture, as our flight to Manchester UK, was not departing from FCO until 17:50. It appeared to go very smoothly, although we are aware of the extra work involved for the staff and adjusted transfer arrangements. We did convey our thanks to Captain Carl Smith and Phillip Herbert, and hope that this may become another feature of Azamara.

Kind Regards

John & Caroline
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  #18  
Old August 24th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Sparkle 123 Sparkle 123 is offline
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Default Late check out

Royal Caribbean (Azamara's parent company) were offering the late check out option on the Voyager of the seas out of Venice in June. I understand they offer this on quite a few of their ships.
Nice to see it has been extended to their other brands.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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I am wondering what time the last passenger should be off the ship WITHOUT late debarkation?

I called Azamara and was told the last shuttle would be at around 10am...
Is this correct in general? From what I am reading here, am I seeing that Azamara wants passengers off at 8:30am?
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Old August 26th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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WELSH WIZARDS WELSH WIZARDS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Leiber View Post
Hello Welsh Wizards –...................
You mentioned that you expected better service delivery onshore from Azamara and I’m disappointed that the local ground operator and its staff, which we had selected to represent us, fell way below acceptable standards in executing this transfer operation. ....................
Sincerely,
Bill Leiber
_______________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)
Hi Bill,
I am hoping you will read this post, and be able to help me getting somewhere.
I have twice contacted the email address given on your Azamara site , and as yet not had a reply, or even an acknowledgement . So I telephoned customer services this morning. After several options I was given the message to note that " if I had contacted them with a issue by email to wait up to 21 days before phoning to give them time to respond." 21 days. ?
Is this so I will lose interest, forget what happened, and go away. ?
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...NEXT CRUISE...???
PAST...27 CRUISES...

CELEBRITY....19...
HOLLAND AMERICA....2...R.C.C.L....2...

AZAMARA...1...M.S.C...1...OCEANIA...1... PRINCESS...1...

#4/3 of Welsh people have trouble with fractions. !
............and with sheep. !
Welsh Humour Clip = ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded


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