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Everything posted by critterchick

  1. We were in the last aft N2 starboard side on Quest in 2017. Apart from those high heels that another poster mentioned, we heard little noise from above. We had a midships portside on Journey years ago and that drove me mad - it was right under the big comfy chairs on the pool deck and it seemed like somebody was moving it around all the time. Plus on a few nights we could hear activity around the pool. I suppose we should have thrown on some clothes and gone to join the party, lol.
  2. And they still are. I was able to look at the pricing for that itinerary, which has been on our bucket list for a few years. Balconies are going for upwards of $7000pp, suites start at $9199. That will be our strategy as well. We still have 2 cruises booked as placemarkers (we had 4 but just cancelled two as final payment was looming) so I may move one of them, but I think I will bid them farewell also. We’re thinking we will book a trip to Europe and see if an appealing cruise pops up for a good price some times 2-3 months out. Having said that, we are currently winging our way to Tokyo to join Quest on Saturday and I’m glad that I booked this cruise as soon as I received the first email. It sold like hot cakes and the few remaining insides and OVs are going for more than what we paid for our Sunset Verandah (which I guess we’ll never book again since they’ve changed that designations.
  3. I received one of those emails as well, and I had booked the cruise almost two years earlier. It was a bit of a jolt, lol.
  4. Just FYI, we had the furthest aft Club Continent suite starboard side and there really wasn't that much noise. One crewmember seemed to be wearing heels and we could hear her (him?) most mornings, and there were some chairs being dragged into position in the mornings, but that was about it. It wouldn't be my first choice of a suite, but for a couple of hundred dollars/Euros/pounds, I wouldn't complain, either.
  5. Well, I received a prompt reply telling me that we can indeed depart early, but that it will need to be arranged through guest services once we are onboard. No mention of any fee to do so. I suspect that, because we are not departing in an earlier port, it's a simpler matter. At least I hope so! Thanks for everybody's input.
  6. It may be more popular because it's better publicized, as somebody already said. What gets me is how it's touted as an improvement over the old system - it is for Azamara, but it isn't for your passengers. Anyway you cut it, it's likely to cost more to get an upgrade. I'm reminded of the emails we received when our disembarkation port for our upcoming Asia cruise was changed from downtown Tokyo, which would have been amazing, to Yokohama, which will be inconvenent. The "spin" was that we are now departing from and returning to the same port. I really wish that Azamara wouldn't insult our intelligence that way. Who parks at the pier in Yokohama (virtually nobody, would be my guess)??? I would be surprised if TAs have to opt in to the program - what's not to like about it, since commission is paid on the upgrade? I'm one and have received no notifcation, by the way. We have four Azamara cruises booked and will likely cancel all four. Although we love the crew and have always enjoyed the port-intensive itineraries, the last few years have brought nothing but a downgrade to the product (ridiculous [IMO] changes to many cabins, removing the casinos, changes to the entertainment, a mix of passable and dreadful house wines, etc.), while prices have skyrocketed. If Azamara truly want to be considered a 6-star line, they need to act like one. The upgrade program isn't a big deal to us either way, just another sign that Azamara don't value repeat customers anymore than their sister line Royal Caribbean (and, increasingly, Celebrity). All three lines are chasing the younger cruisers. I guess we'll take our ancient selves and our money somewhere else. Aloha.
  7. How could I forget? Since it's June, Canada Place may have figured out the process, having had since early May to torture people. Good to know - thanks again.
  8. I'm glad you were able to find an alternate sailing. Have fun! I believe that every RCI ship except for Majesty and Empress has Izumi now (I know Oasis does). I think Majesty and Empress have it at dinner in the Windjammer, for a fee.
  9. If you purchase the package in advance, you don't pay the additional 18% gratuity that they are now charging for specialty restaurants. So I would buy it now. Odds are decent that you can get a discount on additional nights if the specialties are slow.
  10. Thank you. I am the agent, and mentioned it in the email I just sent.
  11. Azamara should know better. After her last drydock, Journey took an entire cruise to be finished (and the laundry facilities, the highlight of every Azamara cruise, were shut for several more cruises). We were on Quest prior to her last drydock (the schedule was changed well after we had booked our air; otherwise we would have cancelled) and three weeks or so out, they shortened our sailing by three days because they knew they would need more time after what happened to Journey (and they compensated us handsomely, but we did miss Vietnam). They learned, but I guess they forgot. It's all very well and good that they are offering compensation, but that's rather like saying Viking did a great job in offering full refunds to the Sky passengers when they shouldn't have been in those waters in the first place.
  12. You are able to upgrade, but if Azamara follow Royal Caribbean's model, you will pay double the price you bid.
  13. You are also Discoverer Plus on Azamara because they share status with Celebrity (and you get credit for the cruises you take on each line). You are also Diamond on Royal Caribbean because of your elite Plus status on Celebrity. I would call customer service before your cruise to make sure that your accounts are all linked up. As for booking, your original question, you will get 7% off any cruise you book onboard by virtue of being Discoverer Plus. The Royal Caribbean booking agent may not be aware of that discount, so make sure that you press the point and ask them to contact somebody shoreside to get it applied. A friend of mine went through that while booking Celebrity on an RCI ship, so I think it applies as long as you're "onboard" a ship in that family, not just Azamara. If you book over a year in advance, you get an early booking onboard credit, and if you are B2B you get more (I think that applies whether you book onboard or not, though).
  14. I did a search and couldn't find an answer, so here goes: We are on Azamara Quest at the end of the month. We originally were to dock in Tokyo proper but "due to port congestion" are now departing from and arriving back to Yokohama. We stay overnight in Yokohama on May 11 and depart the ship on May 12. We have decided that schlepping to Tokyo, returning to sleep and schlepping back to go home the next day is a waste of our precious time in the area, so plan to redeem some hotel points to stay in Tokyo on May 11 and have more time to explore/less time on a bus or train (not to mention a place to keep our bags until we need to depart for the airport in the afternoon). Do I need to arrange our early departure prior to the cruise or can I just work it out with Guest Services once we are onboard?
  15. No. I wouldn't subject them, the crew or me to them. One is almost 17 and prone to motion sickness. The other is a big hairy beast who doesn't respond well to stress.
  16. What is the price difference, if any? I don't think they actually make a reservation for you. I've always changed the date and time without any issue and there's never been a record of a reservation in the system (my sample size is 5, but on Radiance and Vision class ships only). What I would do is go to one of the specialty restaurants when you board and ask them to check for you. They should be able to see all of restaurants at any one of them.
  17. I've never had a problem getting the dates and times I want to dine with the package. If you have access to the Concierge (by staying in a full suite or being Diamond or above), it helps to email him or her in advance to make a reservation on the first night or two. And don't worry about the date and time you are "assigned" when you purchase the package in advance - that can also be changed. I think if there is no sea day, you don't get a lunch on the package (you're in port on embarkation day, after all, and the specialty restaurants generally aren't open for lunch unless I missed the memo😉). But I've never been on a three night cruise without at least one day to maximize onboard revenue.
  18. If TSA has needed to look into my bag, they ask whose it is and then say, "I need to look inside," or words to that effect. They have not asked permission (and what good would it do to say no?). It's usually the compliant corkscrew that I put in an outside pocket to remove for screening and then forget about once I get there.
  19. I would either get a new suitcase or try to smash the lock to make it inoperable. There’s no telling what TSA will do if they decide to search your bag, and you really don’t want spend your vacation trying to guess what code works! We lock our bags on the same theory as Globaliser - that the thief doesn’t want to be slowed down and will move on to the next bag. One of our checked bags had a TSA note in it on Saturday - we are trading crystal blocks with another passenger on our upcoming cruise, and I thought that it might trigger something, which it did (I had enough weight in my carryon that I didn’t want to add another 2 pounds to it). So I packed it close to the surface so digging wouldn’t be required and they didn’t mess anything up. And they relocked it, even.
  20. I thought you meant to toss the inexpensive undies after each wearing! We bring the vaporwear collection along (socks and undies that are on their last legs and not suitable for donating to charity) and dispose of it at the end of the trip. On a recent Royal Caribbean cruise, we asked our stateroom attendant if they had any kind of donation program for worn out clothing and he said yes. He gave us a bag for clothing items that we wouldn’t wear any more but still had life in them and said that somebody onboard would decide what was wearable and what wasn’t, and donate the good items to charity. We have travelled up to 28 days with two carryon bags and a knapsack each. We’ve used the Scrubba bag but I decided that it was easier to put my laundry items in the sink, let them soak for a bit while I nap or do something else, then toss them in the shower and rinse them out after I’ve finished doing my thing. I use the provided shampoo. Roll them in a towel and hang them to dry. We have a travel clothesline that I think was made for camping - you can tuck corners of the items into the twists on the line (we don’t do that since it creates a bunch wrinkle and there’s no wind inside to blow the stuff away). If we can’t find a good place to string it up, then we improvise. It can get a little cluttered in the bathroom, but overall has workout out just fine. WIth such a limited wardrobe, I bring along a bunch of scarves and shawls to vary the color scheme. If I had more fashion sense I’d be bored silly with my choice, but I don’t, so it’s all good!
  21. Could OP not upgrade to the balcony without cancelling and rebooking or would that also be considered a cancel and rebook situation in the UK? In the US it would be allowed without penalty, except that we may lose perks such as the Early Booking OBC if the change is made within a year of sailing. But OBC for booking onboard would remain intact (with the caveat that I haven’t made any changes to a booking since last summer and things may have changed).
  22. Should we take this to mean that one can upgrade without losing certain benefits? I should think that any booking made prior to October 18 is still subject to the T&Cs in effect at the time of booking. Changing them after the fact would be at best dirty pool and at worst illegal. (I did notice that OP said they “recently” made the booking and assumed that it was after the date the T&Cs changed).
  23. There was no private beach for suites and Pinnacle on our January 26 cruise. They have the bungalows, but they might not be what you were expecting. They're at the far end of the beach, spaced about 8-10 feet apart (if that). I think that RCI has set up these areas temporarily so they can sell them, perhaps at a reduced price since they aren't yet as advertised. The cabanas were $310 for the day on the day we were there. But there were no overwater ones that I could see from outside.
  24. On our first Azamara cruise (on Journey) I had to leave the MDR because of vibrations - we were seated all the way aft and hauling aft down to Aruba from Miami. But I think there was also some kind of cross beam swell that day. I have since noticed the vibration, but it hasn't bothered me. So perhaps it's a combination of the two that turn me green.
  25. We were there last week, too. I always loved walking the trails to be away from all of the hubbub of the main area. There were speakers set up to blast music up to the bungalows, so really no peace and quiet at all. The bungalow attendant told me that RCI are "thinking" of reopening the end of the island once construction is complete, but until then it's not the nicest place to be. And the cat that we always brought treats to is no more. We looked for him and found his grave. 😪
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