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  1. Interesting thread. On our one and only Crystal cruise (have the 2nd one booked), there was only 500 odd passengers onboard yet we were told that Crystal never upgrades. The amount they wanted you to pay for an upgrade was incredible. I remember being disappointed that fee paying passengers were in lower rated cabins than lecturers, TAs on amazing deals etc.
  2. I can’t carry a jacket with the way we travel so I just borrowed one off the Maître D! Forgot it was BTO the 2nd time when we ate at Prego, I was asked to return to my cabin but a fellow passenger told them not to be ridiculous (turned out to be Dr Wolfe wife) and they just hid me in the corner haha.
  3. Hi looking at 2 different Japan itineraries in August. One is with Hal and the other Azamara but the itinerary is more important to us. Also with the Russian stops on the Hal itinerary would an Australian need visas? Is it similar to St Petersburg where a tour would provide the visa? appreciate any thoughts
  4. My comments about Christine were that I was surprised how much she performs when she is not under contract and yet we only heard Amanda (who was the standout entertainer of both cruises) once. My comments about old fashioned music was aimed at the Trio. I am in my mid 40s and my parents are too young for most of their set. I watched several of their performances and often the only time people danced was when they finally did something from the 80s. Likewise .the disco dance floor was usually packed when we finally received music post 1970. The excuse of missing containers was used by Celebrity only 2 weeks before this sailing so it sounds like RCL might have an issue with its suppliers, but this is not my problem. I paid for a beverage package to have a wider choice and more than 4 of the beers were missing, the sav Blanc, Chianti and Pinot were all missing. As previously said I was served standard pouring of wine rather than what I ordered and saw standard spirits used rather than those advertised on the menu. The bar manager agreed they were allowed to go ashore and pick up some local brews but chose not to because didn’t think there was anything interesting. Azamara is the only line not to include dessert wines (even basic lines like msc and ncl do). Heneiken and Carlsberg are not premium - again Celebrity had multiple craft beers, HAl new ships have Belgian and Dutch craft beers. Ncl has craft beers. As I said I gave the cruise 5 stars but I am not a loyalist like many are on these threads so I know minor criticisms are taken hard.
  5. We enjoyed our first Azamara experience. Fellow passengers were a lot of fun and easy to meet. Agree wholeheartedly about the crew, very friendly and hard working. In 28 days never really spoke to Ryzard, found him to be quite shy although very visible. I maintain that the drinks packages are poor value with no dessert wines, uninspiring beers and real supply problems. Not sure why they were not willing to go ashore and source some local alternatives. It took them a long time to open equivalent wines from their bottle only offerings to make up for their supply problems. Of the 28 days we were onboard I would say we had some problem with drinks on 27 of them which just cheapened the experience. My other minor gripe was the music, just way too old- it felt like everything was from the 50s and I don’t understand why the CD wife who was not an employee or contractor was allowed to perform and perform so frequently?. I have posted my review and gave the cruise 5 stars despite this annoyance as we did have such a good time.
  6. We did have some problems on Viking (more to do with we kept being ignored we guessed it was due to us being quite a bit younger than the average age but once addressed with management no further problems). Some of the best drinks service I have ever had has been on NCL, I think when the drinks packages are simple the service is better (both carnival and ncl really only have one package). Our recent experience on Celebrity was poor and again the different packages caused problems. Also here only myself has upgraded as my wife is not a big drinker so I think that adds some confusion. Having said all that our experience on Seabourn was dreadful and there was no packages at all. Crystal was phenomenal. i agree one should not have to find their own solutions but I would rather do that and have a good time than continually banging my head up against a wall. As I said dealing with sommeliers (not enough of them) as opposed to food waiters (particularly junior ones) has lead to vast improvements.
  7. All those drinks are available on this cruise. scotch and certain wines the problems. I highly recommend others get to know the head waiters and the sommeliers. It was recommended I ask for a sommelier as soon as I am seated and this definitely works better. Some of the head waiters also were happy for us to request them. They are now opening some bottles that are normally only sold by the bottle. Not sure why this wasn’t done earlier and unfortunately you have to get to this stage. Also recommend telling guest services who does a great job as the feedback definitely gets back to those people. Dont presume that waiters and bar servers will get you what they want because those working behind the bars won’t know who requested the drinks and this is when they try and get away with alternatives, ask for people you know and the service is so much better. I think if you like Viking you will like Azamara. Based on one cruise on each we find Azamara more lively and fellow passengers more friendly and interactive. Ship is not as modern, specialty restaurants not included but service is very good.
  8. Requested a meeting but then had another with bar manager so have delayed. No question there is supply problems. Spoke to a sommelier and a couple of the restaurant managers and there has been improvements on getting the right wines but you must request to speak to certain people. If you rely on waiters mistakes continue. still enjoying the cruise and really like Azamara, just discussing the drink package specifically
  9. Can confirm no Nespresso, no Highland Pk, no Balvenie, no MacAllan (so half the scotches available). No boddington, no Pilsner Urquell, no Moretti in beers (might be more). In wine almost impossible to get Wairu River sac Blanc (replaced with a horrible California wine). The Chianti has been replaced (I like it but not sure if better than original). One night was refused baileys as told the bar was closing and the bottle belonged to a different bar!? Today at lunch, wrong wine brought 3 times. Dining room on last 2 occasions 20 and 40 minute waits for a glass of ultimate wine. Only 3 sommelier on whole ship
  10. Yes but I have ultimate package and they are using Tanqueray instead of Tanqueray 10 or Hendricks. I was also just saying that Viking and Azamara has the same Gins as premium/ultimate choices where the other poster seemed to suggest there was better than Hendricks on Azamara which is not the case on this ship.
  11. We will have to agree to disagree. While the atmosphere in the bars far exceeds that if Viking, when it comes to the package I have had the opposite experience. On Viking all premium wines were open and available in the dining room, here I wait between 20 and 40 minutes to get a glass (and it is rarely the one I want). No dessert wines included (this was possible on Viking). There is no MacAllan on this ship at all! 2 others also missing ... so I hope you consider Glensidich to be premium? no difference in what gins are included - Hendricks the best in both cases but on here they seem to want to use the basic Tanqueary unless you put your foot down. I concede Vodka choices are better although Viking makes a far superior Bloody Mary. Beers much better on Viking although not great, at least there was an IPA, Pilsner etc. some of the Norwegian beers were very good. There is no way Heineken, Coors, Carlburg etc should be considered “premium”. I much prefer the atmosphere of Azamara to Viking (ship in general is inferior) but on drinks package our experience was generally better on Viking.
  12. It is very inconsistent what spirit is used in cocktails. I have watched most of my selections being made, the bartenders seem unsure. Saw JD used when recipe called for Bourbon, cheapest Gin used when called for Hendricks etc etc . Even non alcohol ingredients often wrong, today blueberry instead of blackberry. Cherry liquor used instead of blackberry but not even told about it. Different rim brand used yesterday. It is a complete lottery. 3 of the 6 scotches missing. No Pilsner, no pale ale etc. no dessert wines even the cheap ones (half the price of champagne) which makes no sense at all. As I said originally lots to like about Azamara but having just sailed Crystal the bar experience is WAY behind. Also just sailed Celebrity,MSC and NCl all had better drinks included. Viking upcharge package also much more included...
  13. Thank you Bonnie, I had already requested the head of guest relations forward my mid cruise survey to head office so was surprised that did not elicit any response onboard. I have just requested a meeting with the HD, they offered to organise it this evening which is kind but we would prefer it to occur in the cold light of day. Thanks again
  14. Thanks for the feedback, just passed the bar manager in the hallway who quickly had to answer his phone and walked away. This is not the behaviour of a premium product. If there is no follow up tomorrow on change over day I will leave feedback with the HD.
  15. By the way does anyone have an email for customer relations? I asked guest relations to send a complaint to head office but don’t know whether they truly did.
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