Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Lines "A - O" > Azamara Club Cruises
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?



 
Notices

Azamara Club Cruises
Find Your Azamara Club Cruises Roll Call

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old March 21st, 2012, 02:55 AM
Bill Leiber Bill Leiber is offline
Chief Blogging Officer
Azamara Club Cruises
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: shasta, ca
Posts: 1,642
Default

Hello to the Journey's August 9 Travelers -

Thank you very much for your patience while our itinerary and shore excursion team is still reformulating the itinerary and developing new 'land discoveries' as a result of the unexpected tidal change in Bordeaux. As was explained to me, it's important to remember that this port is a "tidal" port which means that our vessel can only enter AND exit the port of Bordeaux based on the times provided to us by the local pilots.

BACKGROUND
As a result, this new time frame created a domino effect not only on the port prior to Bordeaux - Belle Ile, but also down-line after Bordeaux:
Belle Ile - Our originally scheduled stop in Bell Ile had to be cancelled as a result of the new Bordeaux departure timing change related to the tidal conditions of the Garonne river.

Bordeaux -
With respect to Bordeaux, in the first issue of our 2012 Destination Guide (US/Canada) no specific port times were indicated other than "PM" under "Arrive" and "Depart" and that it would offer an "overnight" stay because we were awaiting the tidal times from the pilots.
We will now arrive into Bordeaux at 03:15 AM on Sunday, August 12 due to the tides since we lost more than half a day that was set aside for Belle Ile. Departure from Bordeaux will be on August 13 at 03:30 PM. That offers you the entire DAY AND NIGHT in Bordeaux on August 12th ..PLUS until 03:30 PM on Monday - almost two full days.

Saint-Jean-De-Luz, France -
The port times in St. Jean de Luz actually provide more time than the original iteration ...around 29 hours rather than 20. However, rather than arrive at 04:00 PM, Tuesday, August 14, as originally scheduled, the vessel will now arrive at 08:00 AM. The sailing time the next day (Wednesday, August 15) was originally scheduled for 02:00 PM is now at 01:30 PM.

Pasajes (for San Sebastian, Spain) -
San Sebastian does not have a port and Pasajes is the closest port to San Sebastian at a distance of only 4 miles/6 km! It was originally scheduled as a evening call from Wednesday, August 15 at 05:30 PM until the next morning, Thursday, August 16 at 02:00 am. The intent of that original schedule offered an evening opportunity for you to visit the charming Old Town of San Sebastian and sample some of what are generally known as the best tapas bars in all of Spain.
With the new revised times of arriving Wednesday, August 15 at 04:30 PM and not departing until the next morning, Thursday, August 16 at 04:00 PM, you will still have the opportunity to sample the Tapas Bars of Old San Sebastian that evening, but also the next morning, to visit the very attractive and popular city of San Sebastian. We are hopeful that you will enjoy this popular town.

Bilbao
We have reached out to the Guggenheim Museum and we will be offering an early morning exclusive opening of the Guggenheim Museum beginning at 7:30AM on the morning of the August 17. Their normal opening hour is 10:00 AM. Because of limited staffing and opening hours, the museum will not be able to accommodate independent visitors for this early opening and thus guests wishing to see the inside of the museum are highly encouraged to take part on our organized tour.

Also, since the Journey departs Pasajes at 04:30PM on the August 16 and arrives in Bilbao at 11:30PM that same night, we will also offer an evening "overland" program that takes a select group of guests to Guetaria, Zumaia, and a pintxos (Spanish tapas) dinner experience at a two star Michelin restaurant in Azurmendi - all located along the way between Pasajes and Bilbao. The program will also take the guests by the Guggenheim in the evening so that they have an opportunity to view the beautiful architectural wonder of the museum before returning to the ship in Bilbao.

Both of the above programs are being finalized and will not be shown in our Land Discoveries programs section of our website. They should be posted there within the next 10 days; however, as soon as I have the confirmed operating details I will share them with all you on this thread.

Final Thoughts
I have shared your specific personal opinions about some of the port with our itinerary planner, who believes that this fascinating voyage offers some of the very best ports that can be visited in this part of the world:
 Commencing with a full day in the charming and idyllic St. Peter Port followed by a relaxing day at sea.
 Almost two full days and a night in amazing Bordeaux where, due to the small size of our vessel, the Azamara Journey will be berthing only minutes from the very heart of this attractive city.
 St. Jean de Luz has always received rave reviews from our guests in the past and also offers easy access to magnificent Bayonne and the famous resort town of Biarritz.
 And of course, Pasajes for San Sebastian and Bilbao have been addressed above.
 Although the time in Porto has been reduced, there are excursions that offer highlights of this most interesting city in northern Portugal.
 The voyage concludes with a noon arrival and full overnight in wonderful Lisbon.

We understand your disappointment about the impact that the unexpected tidal conditions on the originally published itinerary. Now, some of you find yourselves in a distressing position of having to reassess your initial positive expectations about your Azamara vacation rather than fast-forwarding yourselves into the voyage experience.

It's always a very difficult experience when the need arises to make an itinerary change, for whatever reason, for both our guests and ourselves. Nevertheless, it's one of the inescapable risks of the cruise product which explains why the industry is always sure to clearly state that itineraries are subject to change.

I think from a few of the comments expressed here and on Facebook, that perhaps we've lost some of your confidence about our integrity to continue to deliver the onboard experience that has been so highly rated by many of you and others who have had the opportunity to already vacation with us. It is within this context, "Ithikan," that "I assure you that we have not "shaved the itinerary to save money and have reneged on the promise of [our] advertisements." Further, there is no need to cause a "stir" on Facebook to get our attention. Our relationship with our current and future guest is our most important asset.

Please go directly to the Cruise Critic Azamara Forum to continue this discussion and any others that might arise because it's open and honest. We just want to be as good as we can be and that's why I spend time on Cruise Critic and the internet's cruise message boards.

Travelers need to book what they believe to be the best for them. I'm hopeful that many of you will find this revised itinerary acceptable and if so, we are grateful for your support.

Respectfully,

Bill Leiber
_____________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)
Reply With Quote

  #22  
Old March 21st, 2012, 08:06 PM
Ithikan Ithikan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 139
Default

Mr. Leiber,

I am indeed happy to see the results of your conversations with Azamara's itinerary planner. But first, I must thank Cruise Critic for this forum, where I've learned so much about bore tides (see the Univ. of Bordeaux document ~great photos!~ Large Amplitude Undular Tidal Bore Propagation in the Garonne River, France). Whew. The article uses words like 'tsunami' and is quite interesting. Glad the knowledgable ACC captains are the best!

So thank you for that. But you need to know that it wasn't I who began the facebook conversations; I count on CC's forums for information and do my own research. Which brings me to one last question.

Azamara is advertizing a remarkably similar voyage to this one, departing Southampton Aug. 16, 2013. And guess what's on the itinerary? Belle Isle, from noon to 8 p.m. followed by a noon docking the next day in Bordeaux. Hope the tide tables were consulted... This cruise also offers 10 hrs in Bilbao, but it's early days. Plenty of time to flip flop, especially since that pesky word "Isles" has been eliminated from the copy.

Thank you for the effort you've put forth to address my cocerns.

Teri
Reply With Quote

  #23  
Old March 22nd, 2012, 03:21 PM
Louise P's Avatar
Louise P Louise P is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 939
Default

Our group of 10 are very disappointed in your itinerary changes. Perhaps you should consider the suggestion by East Side Guy #9. The ship could charter busses to get us to Bilbao by 5 PM for the last tour. It certainly is better that a 7:30AM tour the next day.
We actually booked this cruise for the opportunity to go to the Guggenheim (part of the tours name). We would not object to leaving Bordeaux out, or cutting the time there.
__________________


Cruise Countdown Tickers

Cruise Countdown Tickers
Reply With Quote

  #24  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 03:52 AM
piscean piscean is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 465
Default What Domino Effect?

Dear Bill
This posting is from my husband who does not normally participate in CC.

The rational is flawed. What domino effect?

If the ship is leaving the 'Tidal difficult' Bordeaux at 15.30 instead of 23.00 it is leaving 7.5 hours early and there should be no effect on later timings.
In that a port visit (Belle Isle) has been lost the shore hours are part regained in Bordeaux by earlier arrival and the earlier departure allows for the earlier arrival with more shore hours in St. Jean. Thereafter there is no excuse for any other significant changes to the itinerary booked and paid for.

You have not given any rational necessity for the further changes. Extending Pasajes may be good but not at the expense of strangling the timings for Bilbao where you now require a ridiculous small hours call and breakfast to visit the museum at all. I put up with that in backpacking days but, now retired, cruising should be comfortable. The only other alternative is to visit the city and have to return just when the shops open!

Why shorten the Porto visit? The moons timings have been forecast for centuries and, where river pilots may be idiosyncratic, tidal heights are now available at the touch of a button.

Had it not been for a booked extension in Portugal I would be cancelling.
Reply With Quote

  #25  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 04:10 AM
piscean piscean is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 465
Default In support of Ithikan

Dear Bill

Both Ithikan and I are past passengers and were looking forward to the original itinery and the onboard experience that is Azamara.

I don't 'do' facebook but am active on CC and it appears to me that Azamara encourage passengers to participate in facebook.

The handling of this itinerary has severely disappointed my anticipation of a return to Azamara.

Carol
Reply With Quote

  #26  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:32 PM
RZ06 RZ06 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 31
Default

I also feel that that explanation not really explains or compensate the change.
I' really considering to change to another cruise, may be to celebrity. That would be 1st cruise with Azamara, but for such high rate I expected to have the value that we pay for.
Reply With Quote

  #27  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 03:51 PM
captfred captfred is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chicago,Il.
Posts: 166
Angry

Has anyone noticed the excursion for the early morning tour of the Guggenheim for $115.00. Ridiculous. We were all ready to book this cruise, but because of the itinerary fiasco we are not. Azamara surely missed the boat on this one.
Reply With Quote

  #28  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 04:25 PM
RZ06 RZ06 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 31
Default 4 hour tour for $115 ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by captfred View Post
Has anyone noticed the excursion for the early morning tour of the Guggenheim for $115.00. Ridiculous. We were all ready to book this cruise, but because of the itinerary fiasco we are not. Azamara surely missed the boat on this one.
WOW, and $115 is already 50% off from the regular price. Is that a joke?
Reply With Quote

  #29  
Old March 24th, 2012, 01:32 PM
kit23 kit23 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 149
Default Changes

I also suggested omitting Bordeaux and leaving the rest of the cruise intact. Perhaps you could find a port near Normandy and really make this cruise terrific. Karen
Reply With Quote

  #30  
Old March 24th, 2012, 01:52 PM
EastSideGuy EastSideGuy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 82
Default Bilbao Suggestion - Part 2

If the rationale for the high price of the Guggenheim tour ($115 at 50% off) is that the museum will be open exclusively for us, then I would think that Azamara may want to eat some of the cost of this to make up for this schedule change - obviously there are still a lot of unhappy people on here.

Also, someone else liked the idea of the bus transfer from San Sebastian to Bilbao (just over one hour). Why not offer this as an option (especially complimentary) for those who do not want to sail, so they can increase time in Bilbao? We are planning to do this regardless. This might also go a long way toward smoothing over some ruffled feathers, and getting passengers back on track about cruise anticipation.

Last edited by EastSideGuy; March 24th, 2012 at 01:53 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #31  
Old March 24th, 2012, 03:50 PM
Bill Leiber Bill Leiber is offline
Chief Blogging Officer
Azamara Club Cruises
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: shasta, ca
Posts: 1,642
Default

Hello everyone -

I've been reading your new comments and suggestions over the last few days. Once I've reviewed them internally, I will let you know the final outcome.

Please stand-by and thank you for your continued patience.

Sincerely,

Bill Leiber
_____________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)
Reply With Quote

  #32  
Old March 24th, 2012, 04:05 PM
Ithikan Ithikan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 139
Default

Bill,
Regarding the extended tour time in Pasajes and in light of the fact that it's 4 miles from San Sebastian, will free shuttles be provided?

I am also wondering about your mention of an overland experience for a select few. The new, $115 early AM visit to the Guggenheim is up and open for bookings, but not this. Will this shore excursion be cancelled if there are an insufficient number of the select?

Thank you for your time and attention,

Teri
Reply With Quote

  #33  
Old March 24th, 2012, 04:19 PM
Fairfield Nana Fairfield Nana is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 260
Default

Hang in there Bill--you're doing a fine job!
Reply With Quote

  #34  
Old March 24th, 2012, 05:54 PM
Louise P's Avatar
Louise P Louise P is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 939
Default

Our group would like the overland excursion to the Guggenheim, but not at 7:30 AM.
EestSideGuy, are you forming a group? If so we would like to join you. We are 10.
__________________


Cruise Countdown Tickers

Cruise Countdown Tickers
Reply With Quote

  #35  
Old March 25th, 2012, 05:41 AM
piscean piscean is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 465
Default Another Option

Bill
The problem with the revised itinerary being Bordeax and its tides another option could be,as suggested, dropping Bordeaux and maybe visiting La Rochelle or even St Nazaire at the head of the Loire Valley.
La Rochelle is a beautiful medieval town and although the Bordeaux wine tours are distant(100 miles) there are tours of Cognac and the island of Isle De Re is only 30 minutes away.
Then the following ports could revert to the original timetable?
Carol
Reply With Quote

  #36  
Old March 25th, 2012, 02:03 PM
Ithikan Ithikan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscean View Post
Bill
The problem with the revised itinerary being Bordeax and its tides another option could be,as suggested, dropping Bordeaux and maybe visiting La Rochelle or even St Nazaire at the head of the Loire Valley.
La Rochelle is a beautiful medieval town and although the Bordeaux wine tours are distant(100 miles) there are tours of Cognac and the island of Isle De Re is only 30 minutes away.
Then the following ports could revert to the original timetable?
Carol
What a good idea!
Not until reading this - and the other, solid suggestions for dealing with our mangled itinerary - did I realize how disappointed and flat I've been feeling about this cruise. La Rochelle! St. Nazaire!

I so much want to return to excited anticipation and planning. The Azamara onboard experience suits us perfectly, it is superlative and has never been an issue. However, I would not have booked this cruise in Feb. had I known Belle Isle would be dropped, Bilbao greatly reduced, and Porto transformed from a rich, full-day experience to an abbrieviated afternoon.

Corporate has drastically reduced our time in port, for whatever reasons. Looking more closely at what we have left, I now wonder what is the San Sebastian festival which, per ACC shore excursion page, will close most shops and draw lots of visitors during Aug. 15 and 16? Bill, can you help with this question?

Teri
Reply With Quote

  #37  
Old March 25th, 2012, 02:51 PM
RZ06 RZ06 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 31
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithikan View Post
What a good idea!
Not until reading this - and the other, solid suggestions for dealing with our mangled itinerary - did I realize how disappointed and flat I've been feeling about this cruise. La Rochelle! St. Nazaire!

I so much want to return to excited anticipation and planning. The Azamara onboard experience suits us perfectly, it is superlative and has never been an issue. However, I would not have booked this cruise in Feb. had I known Belle Isle would be dropped, Bilbao greatly reduced, and Porto transformed from a rich, full-day experience to an abbrieviated afternoon.

Corporate has drastically reduced our time in port, for whatever reasons. Looking more closely at what we have left, I now wonder what is the San Sebastian festival which, per ACC shore excursion page, will close most shops and draw lots of visitors during Aug. 15 and 16? Bill, can you help with this question?

Teri
Bill - Will it help if we all sign a letter to Azamara Corporate with the suggestion above of La Rochelle and St. Nazaire?
Reply With Quote

  #38  
Old March 26th, 2012, 06:40 PM
Ithikan Ithikan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 139
Default

I may have answered my question: the ship calls at San Sebastian during their annual Semana Grande/ Aste Nagusia party, which involves a fireworks competition over the bay every night for a week.
Reply With Quote

  #39  
Old March 27th, 2012, 01:38 AM
Ocean Hills Ocean Hills is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 62
Default Fireworks

We attended the annual fireworks competition in Canada and it was spectacular.
Reply With Quote

  #40  
Old March 27th, 2012, 09:52 PM
Bill Leiber Bill Leiber is offline
Chief Blogging Officer
Azamara Club Cruises
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: shasta, ca
Posts: 1,642
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithikan View Post
What a good idea!
Not until reading this - and the other, solid suggestions for dealing with our mangled itinerary - did I realize how disappointed and flat I've been feeling about this cruise. La Rochelle! St. Nazaire!

I so much want to return to excited anticipation and planning. The Azamara onboard experience suits us perfectly, it is superlative and has never been an issue. However, I would not have booked this cruise in Feb. had I known Belle Isle would be dropped, Bilbao greatly reduced, and Porto transformed from a rich, full-day experience to an abbrieviated afternoon.

Corporate has drastically reduced our time in port, for whatever reasons. Looking more closely at what we have left, I now wonder what is the San Sebastian festival which, per ACC shore excursion page, will close most shops and draw lots of visitors during Aug. 15 and 16? Bill, can you help with this question?

Teri
Hello to the Journey's August 9 Followers -

This past Sunday, when I read Teri's sincere comment that, "I so much want to return to excited anticipation and planning. The Azamara onboard experience suits us perfectly, it is superlative and has never been an issue," those thoughts clearly confirmed to me your loyalty and passion to our exceptional onboard experience that many of you have expressed. At the same time, I recognized the names of some frequent CruiseCritic posters who I respect and have helped in the past as we both learned more about the Azamara experience and operation. I've often said, our most important resource is the quality of our customers’ relationships.

So it seems to me, we're united by a sincere desire to reassess the revised itinerary so that Azamara can hopefully welcome you onboard this coming August as you had originally planned. I'm suggesting for those of you who are disappointed about the impact of 'tides of Bordeaux' on the published itinerary, that we can find a way, perhaps, to begin focusing on how our revised itinerary composition might soothe the discord of disappointment that still remains in your initial "Journey imagination" because its pleasant expectations were forced to suddenly change.

I think it's important to address your two issues and to set them aside before we move forward with your other issues:

#1) THE TIDES OF BORDEAUX:
Several of you have expressed your skepticism about how the unexpected tidal flow change in Bordeaux could have actually had such a far-reaching impact on the original itinerary, i.e., the "domino effect." I have shared your opinions with our itinerary planner and I'll let you know his response; however, before I do, it's important for me to clearly state for other readers of this thread that I have no intention of starting the precedent of introducing "itinerary rationale" discussions on Azamara's Cruise Critic forum.

One of the "givens" or core operating principles in the cruise itinerary planning process, is the crucial role of the itinerary planner plays in creating a successful operation. This person receives the port of call suggestions into their unique knowledge base and previous experiences and is then tasked with assimilating them into yearly deployments for each of the company's vessels. Following a tedious review process with port officials and our captains, the itinerary planner then has the formidable responsibility to make the final decision before seeking executive approval. When it's accepted - it's a "given" and becomes the "frame" or the "starting point" upon which the Azamara experience it crafted.
Consequently, when our itinerary planner assimilated the new tide information; created an alternate itinerary recommendation and then sought approval for implementation from our executive team, it was done so without any doubt of its accuracy. I've shared your opinions with him and he mentioned "the tides change every 12 hours so if we get a new time to sail INTO Bordeaux, this also means a new time getting out of BDX [Bordeaux]." Tide change notices are issued by the port pilots and there is simply "no other reason" than this to explain the change. "They may not buy it - it is a matter of tides, speed and distances."

Let me reiterate that one of the inescapable risks of the cruise product which explains why the industry is always sure to clearly state that itineraries are subject to change.

#2) BORDEAUX VS. LA ROCHELLE AND/OR ST. NAZAIRE:
After reading a few of your comments, it seems to me that Bordeaux has a serious misperception problem about being perhaps boring and one dimensional. I noticed that a few of you were excited with the idea of trading Bordeaux with La Rochelle or St. Nazaire. Simply stated, it would not be a wise business decision to drop "Bordeaux" from the itinerary line-up. As you have already pointed out, this voyage's title is "Bordeaux Wine & The Guggenheim" and to suddenly make such a drastic change by deleting Bordeaux would be extremely harmful to our future bookings. Interestingly, in spite of our current itinerary issue discussion, we're pleased to find that our booking level for this voyage is on track to meet its revenue target. With the exception of Belle Ile, the ports that featured today were all part of the original itinerary, albeit with modifications to port times. We believe that "Bordeaux" and "The Guggenheim" are both important "draws" and must be continued.

[OUTSTANDING ISSUES:
A. Request for an overland tour from Pasajes/San Sebastian to Bilboa for the Guggenheim:
"Louise P" and "EastSideGuy#9," I have discussed your suggestion that we consider creating an afternoon overland motor coach tour from San Sebastian on Thursday, August 16 to Bilbao with an opportunity to reach the Guggenheim and participate in their last 5:00pm in lieu of participating in our private opening of the Museum on Friday morning, August 17 which includes such an early morning departure. Although your option provides you with more time in Bilboa, our itinerary planner believes spending time in the old quarter of San Sebastian is worthwhile. My only concern about this option is that it seems to me to be a very "rushed" experience exacerbated by having to meet the 5:00pm deadline for the last Guggenheim tour, especially with the risk associated with unforeseen highway conditions along the way. We recommend that you arrange your own private Land Discoveries tour through our Group Shore Excursion Department by calling 1-877-999-9553. If you decide to do so, please let me know through this thread, so that I can alert the department to expect your call.

B. Azamara's Bilbao and The Guggenheim Museum Tour:
We are offering an exclusive, private opening and viewing to tour the Guggenheim Museum beginning at 7:30AM on the morning of Friday, August 17. You'll have 1.5 hours to tour the museum without crowds since our departure time from Bilbao is at Noon. This excursion is available for booking on our website. Several of you have commented that the $115 per person cost seems excessive, but remember there is an extra premium for the early opening. There's no question that the start-time is early, but the private tour ambiance along with the time for rest and relaxation as you leisurely sail to Porto makes it worthy to reconsider.

C. Azamara's Night Tours - From Pasajes/San Sebastian to Bilboa (Under development):
Shortly details and costs for an overland tour from Pasajes to Bilbao tour will be available. The experience will include a visit to Getaria, one of the most beautiful towns on the Basque coast and home-town of the navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano and the designer Cristóbal Balenciaga; a stop at the Aldamar Palace in Getariaan old residence and a tour of the avant-garde Balenciaga museum; a special dinner experience in Azurmendi which a two star Michelin restaurant located just outside of Bilbao and then a drive-by of the Guggenheim Museum so that the Guests get a look at this fascinating architectural wonder at night.

OUTSTANDNG QUESTIONS
A. When the Journey arrives into San Sebastian on August 16 at 10:30PM will guests still have the opportunity to view the spectacular week-long fireworks competition over the bay during the annual Semana Grande/ Aste Nagusia party? (We are checking the firework schedule with the operator, and will advise once details are available.)
B. During our time in Pasajes will we be providing free shuttles since the distance from the vessel is 4 miles? (Will verify with the operator that shuttles are required. If so, they will be provided.)
C. I know that shore excursions are subject to cancellation if participation does not meet the minimum required. Will the same hold true for the Guggenheim Museum? (Since we are paying for this private opening the tour will operate regardless of number of guests.)
D. San Sebastian Festival, August 15 & 16, is the biggest event in San Sebastian with open air concerts, Basque sport events, daily fireworks and partying - destination immersion at its finest!

CLOSING CONSIDERATIONS
At the outset, I stated that I sensed that you're united by your confidence and trust that Azamara will deliver an onboard experience that will exceed your expectations, however, because of the itinerary manipulation you are concerned about the risk that it might not happen.

I can relate to your thinking when it comes to change. Someone once said to me, "you can't have a better tomorrow if you're thinking about yesterday all the time." I respectfully suggest that the same is true about evaluating our itinerary revisions. Forget the old sequence and determine if you can imagine yourself in a slightly different order but the constant is still being surrounded by Azamara's exceptional officers, staff and crew. You're not going to miss anything because every port is a highlight!

It's time to focus on the experiences the new itinerary delivers as told to me by Claudius Docekal, our itinerary expert whose expertise is to highlight the best an area offers:
 Full day in the charming and idyllic St. Peter Port followed by a relaxing day at sea.
 Almost two full days and a night in amazing Bordeaux where, due to the small size of our vessel, the Azamara Journey will docked there in the middle of town. It's a close second to Paris. You'll be there at the peak time of the year for the vineyards of the region. If you're not a wine aficionado, venture southwest to the town of Arcachon, on the Atlantic coast, famous for its oysters and is known as the tapas capital of Spain.
 St. Jean de Luz has always received rave reviews from our guests in the past and also offers easy access to magnificent Bayonne and the famous resort town of Biarritz.
 Yes, you can travel overland from Pasajes to Bilbao in about 75 minutes or so on August 16 when we sail from there at 4:00PM. But why miss all that San Sebastian has to offer when the ship is in Bilbao on the next stop and we have the Guggenheim opened early for an exclusive viewing?

Image yourself immersed in the experience. Get out there and see the grapes hanging on the vines in St. Emilion outside of Bordeaux and take a drink of our complementary wine and relax and enjoy the experience. If you're not buying off with what I've tried to describe, then we'll understand your decision to do what's best for you.

I'm hopeful that this knowledge of what to expect has restored your confidence so that you can again begin to heighten your level of anticipation for this fabulous voyage on the Azamara Journey.

In the meantime, I'll be checking in again with answers to the outstanding questionsmentioned above.

Respectfully,

Bill Leiber
_____________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Ad Sponsored By


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:55 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.