Seemingly exorbitant shore excursion pricing

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

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
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:02 AM.
#1
2,316 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
My wife and I are traveling with another couple on Quest's December trans-Atlantic from Malaga to Rio. Shore excursions have just been posted for ports in Brazil, including Rio. For disembarkation day, I booked the eight-hour bus tour of Rio with churrascaria lunch that ends at the airport. The price listed on-line is $389. Thinking that to be the full price of the excursion, I booked it for my wife and me and expected the 50% off price to be half that, or $389 for two. Surprise!! The confirmation came back charging me $778 for two. I called Azamara and the young lady answering said that $389 is in fact the 50% off price, making the full price $778.

Can this really be? Azamara's transfer to the airport is $27. Bill Leiber, does Azamara really think an eight-hour bus tour plus lunch should cost an additional $751?
#2
Toronto, Canada
6,483 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
I totally agree that there is something wrong with Azamara shore excursion contacts in brazil. When we went earlier this year it was the same thing. As a result we didnt take a single Azamara excursion but did take the very reasonable transfer to the airport.
#3
Kansas City
1,298 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Emdee
I totally agree that there is something wrong with Azamara shore excursion contacts in brazil. When we went earlier this year it was the same thing. As a result we didnt take a single Azamara excursion but did take the very reasonable transfer to the airport.
Yikes, we are headed to Brazil and then Antarctica...bracing for lots of $$...hoping that AZ keeps it reasonable!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Celebrity Zenith - Mexico - 2005
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2008
NCL Dawn - Caribbean - 2010
NCL Dawn - Canada/New England - 2010
Celebrity Solstice - Caribbean - 2011
Royal NOS - Med - 2011
Crown Princess - Caribbean - 2012
Celebrity Millennium - Caribbean - 2012
Azamara Quest - Antarctica - 2013
Azamara Quest - Brazil - 2013
Celebrity Reflection - Caribbean - 2014
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal - 2014
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2014
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2015
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2015
Emerald Princess - Caribbean - 2016
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2016
Regal Princess - Caribbean - 2017
#4
shasta, ca
1,642 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hello Marinaro44, Emdee and Deise17311 -

I believe that there are programming issues with this specific voyage. I just went online at Pacific time at 9:15 AM and the PDF brochure cover page stated "No Brochure Content."

Please give me some time so that the shore department can review the programming situation and pricing accuracy of the tours that are offered.

I'm sorry for this confusion and I'll be back to you as soon as I have response.

Stand-by & best regards,

Bill Leiber
________________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC
#5
Yorkshire England
290 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Thank you Bill,

Concerns about the price of the tours have also been raised on the Malaga to Rio roll call.
I will await developments before booking any tours Azamara or Private,

Regards, Eric
#6
2,316 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Bill Leiber
Hello Marinaro44, Emdee and Deise17311 -

I believe that there are programming issues with this specific voyage. I just went online at Pacific time at 9:15 AM and the PDF brochure cover page stated "No Brochure Content."

Please give me some time so that the shore department can review the programming situation and pricing accuracy of the tours that are offered.

I'm sorry for this confusion and I'll be back to you as soon as I have response.

Stand-by & best regards,

Bill Leiber
________________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC
Excursions are listed for the Brazil ports but not for the island ports, so the complete brochure is not yet available. What we need is to have the pricing checked on the excursions posted for the Brazil ports. If the prices posted are in fact the 50% discounted prices, there will be a lot of private tours booked.
#7
Hartford, CT
1,387 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We were on the Journey in S.A. in Jan/Feb and found the tours very expensive even at the 50% discount in Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina. Check out the Ports section of CC for some tips. We did our own except the last day in B.A!!! We didn't want to spend the day at the airport. This tour of B.A. and then to a ranch and on to the airport was reasonable compared to the rest of the tours on the cruise!!! The 50% discount tours in Europe are a lot less than S.A!!! We are on the Quest in Oct/Nov and plan to book the ship's tours.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Azamara: Journey 2008, Quest 2008, Journey 2009, Quest 2011 Oct/Nov b2b, Journey 2012 Jan/Feb b2b, Quest 2012 Oct, Journey 2013 May, Quest 2013 June, Quest 2013 Oct/Nov b2b, Quest 2014 Feb/Mar, Quest Sept 2016, Quest Dec 2016, Quest March 2017, UPCOMING: Journey Nov/Dec b2b 2017
Celebrity: Meridian 1994, Mercury 2002, Infinity 2007, Constellation 2007, Infinity 2014 Aug, Solstice 2015 Dec, Silhouette 2017 April
Crown: Jewel 1994, Dynasty 1994
Cunard: Countess 1987
Gate 1: Amadeus Classic 2011
HAL: Veendam 1998
Michelangelo 1970
NCL: Majesty 2001, Sky 2001, Dream 2002, Majesty 2003, Sun 2010, Star 2015 June
Ocean Breeze 1996
Princess: Island 2004, Sun 2004, Grand 2005
Regency: Regent Sea 1995
Regent Seven Seas: Mariner Dec 2014, Mariner May 2015
RCCL: Song of America 1993, Nordic Empress 2003, Jewel of the Seas 2005, Voyager of the Seas 2006
Uniworld: River Embassador 2006
#8
538 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I also was on the Journey this past winter, disembarking in Rio. I believe that the all day tour, dropping you off at the airport was more like $250 per person at the 50% off rate. Which I thought was still high. If you waited to book it while on board, it would cost $1000 for a couple ! We know people who took it ( met them later at the airport) and said it was a good tour with a fabulous buffet lunch. We chose to hire a private guide with a large group of us off of the roll call board. That was more like $100 per person, with about 15 of us but we had to pay for our own lunch and entrance fees to everything, so we may have saved only about $50-70.
I hope that Bill is correct , though, and the prices are adjusted some.
#9
483 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I just tried to look at the Brazil shore excursions for the Malaga to Rio sailing and it appears that they are no longer on-line. Let's hope AZ is reviewing the pricing....
#10
273 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I am on the Dec. Quest cruise to Rio from Malta. Azamara just posted the tours for Gibralter, most of them are double the price of Celebrity for the same tours. Is this why they arer giving a 50% discount? These tours are named the same for the same amount of time and the descriptions are the same word for word.
I will give one example " Fortress Gibraltar" Azamara $90.00 Celebrity $52.00

I know I have probably offended many Azamara regulars, but I would like a explanation for this.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
shaq
#11
2,316 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by shaq
I am on the Dec. Quest cruise to Rio from Malta. Azamara just posted the tours for Gibralter, most of them are double the price of Celebrity for the same tours. Is this why they arer giving a 50% discount? These tours are named the same for the same amount of time and the descriptions are the same word for word.
I will give one example " Fortress Gibraltar" Azamara $90.00 Celebrity $52.00

I know I have probably offended many Azamara regulars, but I would like a explanation for this.
I think we'd ALL like an explanation.

But please don't fly to Malta to board Quest. She leaves from Malaga.
#12
Kansas City
1,298 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by marinaro44
I think we'd ALL like an explanation.

But please don't fly to Malta to board Quest. She leaves from Malaga.
For the Antarctica cruise, wonderful Robin had found us some great priced private tours...I think this is the way to go if pricing is so high...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Celebrity Zenith - Mexico - 2005
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2008
NCL Dawn - Caribbean - 2010
NCL Dawn - Canada/New England - 2010
Celebrity Solstice - Caribbean - 2011
Royal NOS - Med - 2011
Crown Princess - Caribbean - 2012
Celebrity Millennium - Caribbean - 2012
Azamara Quest - Antarctica - 2013
Azamara Quest - Brazil - 2013
Celebrity Reflection - Caribbean - 2014
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal - 2014
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2014
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2015
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2015
Emerald Princess - Caribbean - 2016
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean - 2016
Regal Princess - Caribbean - 2017
#13
5,349 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Oh dear....I was going to book my excursions through Azamara for our trip...now I'm beginning to wonder. I was also told the PDF rates were discounted 50%....I was thinking it would be half the cost of what I read on their excursion brochure. I'm totally confused on all of this.
I have a friend who was just on Oceniana and I know she did some land tours and shared them with 2 other people...very reasonable for what they did in Taorminia compared to Azamara. In searching cruises in the past I've read so many times how the ship's excursions can sometimes be double as opposed to doing it on your own What to do....I'm pondering. I was also told by an Azamara rep if you do book, you have to cancel within 48 hours of embarkation. That said, it gives you little time to do a lot of research for a reliable personal tour...we're doing this cruise for the ports but certainly do not wish to spend more than we necessarily have to.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
09-01-2012 Azamara Journey French & Italian Riviera
09-03-2013 Celebrity Silhouette Eastern Med & Greek Isles
09-20-2014 Azamara Journey Tuscany & Amalfi Coast
09-27-2014 Azamara Journey Sicily & Malta
06-21-2015 Celebrity Summit Bermuda
10-04-2015 Celebrity Summit New England/Canada
05-09-2016 Celebrity Equinox France Italy Film cruise
09-25-2016 Celebrity Infinity Pacific Coastal Vancouver to San Francisco
12-01-16 Azamara Quest Costa Rica, Canal and ABC Islands










#14
Tucson, AZ
2,713 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
the prices for the tours on our itineraries are very reasonable for the most part. We've always shared tours with roll call friends on past cruises but have booked 2 through Azamara this time around. The private cars and vans are very high...
I think your rollcall is as small as ours; hard to share excursions if no one is interested. It seems like you need at least 8 people to share a private tour to make them reasonably priced
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Laurie
Zenith 02/01
Century 01/02
Century 02/02
Tahitian Princess 01/03
Century 01/04
Tahitian Princess 01/05
Tahitian Princess 01/08
Eclipse 12/10
Azamara Journey 9/12
Azamara Journey 3/17
Azamara Quest 5/29/17
Azamara Quest 6/9/17
Azamara Quest 6/12/17
#15
Tucson, AZ
2,713 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by shaq
I am on the Dec. Quest cruise to Rio from Malta. Azamara just posted the tours for Gibralter, most of them are double the price of Celebrity for the same tours. Is this why they arer giving a 50% discount? These tours are named the same for the same amount of time and the descriptions are the same word for word.
I will give one example " Fortress Gibraltar" Azamara $90.00 Celebrity $52.00

I know I have probably offended many Azamara regulars, but I would like a explanation for this.
I would bet that the tour group size with Azamara is much smaller than with Celebrity
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Laurie
Zenith 02/01
Century 01/02
Century 02/02
Tahitian Princess 01/03
Century 01/04
Tahitian Princess 01/05
Tahitian Princess 01/08
Eclipse 12/10
Azamara Journey 9/12
Azamara Journey 3/17
Azamara Quest 5/29/17
Azamara Quest 6/9/17
Azamara Quest 6/12/17
#16
Boca Raton, FL
18,782 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by laurieb
I would bet that the tour group size with Azamara is much smaller than with Celebrity
Hi Laurieb,

I would think so as well. From what we've heard from past guests... Azamara's tour groups are generally smaller than the larger lines. Makes sense, as each ship carries about 690 Guests.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Please follow me on Twitter @HostAndy



#17
2,316 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Host Andy
Hi Laurieb,

I would think so as well. From what we've heard from past guests... Azamara's tour groups are generally smaller than the larger lines. Makes sense, as each ship carries about 690 Guests.
If you book 45-50 of those 690 on an excursion, the bus is just as full as if it's 45-50 out of 3000.
#18
Edinburgh
9,860 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by marinaro44
If you book 45-50 of those 690 on an excursion, the bus is just as full as if it's 45-50 out of 3000.
But speaking from experience in that situation Azamara send out two buses. They do not run their land discoveries in the same way as Celebrity run their shore excursions
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
467 days onboard Celebrity and Azamara 2000-2017 and 153 more days booked
#19
Harpenden, UK
13,067 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by uktog
But speaking from experience in that situation Azamara send out two buses. They do not run their land discoveries in the same way as Celebrity run their shore excursions
That has been my experience of the Azamara excursions too. The buses have not been as full.

Phil
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere......."
#20
2,316 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by uktog
But speaking from experience in that situation Azamara send out two buses. They do not run their land discoveries in the same way as Celebrity run their shore excursions
Not my experience, but perhaps my memory is faulty. Maybe Bill Lieber can give us ACC policy. 50% prices, as listed, are out of line, and we will go on our own as a result.