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uktog

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  1. Well all good things must end. Today we left our home away from home. Last night we had a farewell dinner with friends in Aqualina and saw Eric who had just joined. He will now further train Danny who becomes assistant CD. Hopefully that guidance can shape Danny into an Azamara standard CD perhaps more selective with what he says. He’s probably over trying to be everyone’s friend at present and jokes about stealing all the ships towels into your cases wear very thin and don’t reflect Azamara guests Today we used a ships car to take us where we are staying at St Laurent du Val near Nice/Antibes - best way to use OBC. Beautiful large black car and excellent driver. Disembarkation was a breeze and from Mosaic to our hotel beach in 45 minutes. You cannot beat that We really were very pleased with these two cruises. Of course everything wasn’t perfect and we had a couple of more significant dining issues to deal with but everything was handled impeccably. Yes everyone can have an off day and Azamara onboard is no different- we accept perfect cannot happen! We remain very very disappointed our three free nights for reaching 4250 points are worthless we tried every way onboard to find an option where the nights have any value but failed. They really do need to look at the loyalty programme as it’s really weak. The upgrade system is not reflecting loyalty well and to have only one laundry bag per couple for anything less than 14 days is poor in comparison to Celebrity But we would thoroughly recommend these two short cruises of France and Spain intensive (doing the two if time allows but each is very good). Cannot wait to be back on Journey which is luckily for us very soon.
  2. One of the lovely things about Azamara is the little extras they do. Today really was extras day As well as little sorbets being offered poolside as they do every day there were also lovely fruit kebabs being brought round. Then we had the higher tier LCV event on the sunset bar as we sailed from Cannes including caviar blinis And finally a special French cheese buffet pre dinner. They certainly are sending us home very well fed.
  3. uktog

    Port Guides

    They provide maps (not affiliated to stores) at guest relations and a brief port guide. They don’t deliver it to your room rather it’s there to collect at guest relations as needed. But a big benefit is they also bring local port representatives onboard for the morning in each port who answer questions and give further guidance on walking routes etc
  4. If I won bingo (they’ve always had a few games onboard) maybe I could bribe someone to let me stay on
  5. Today we are in beautiful Cannes blessed again by glorious weather we really have been so lucky this trip Later this afternoon we move to Monaco to arrive at 1900 ahead of disembark tomorrow 😞😞. At least everyone has to disembark no annoying b2b reminding us they have another 1/2/3 cruises to go as it’s a charter next (that everyone might be intrigued by but don’t want to be part of). Its a a busy day it’s the curse of a seven night cruise when so much has to be slotted into a short time. Like last cruise they did not do an upper tiers breakfast but are having an event on the sunset bar as we sail along past Nice. Mind straight after that is the exotic cheese buffet at 1730 we have another cocktail party, a dinner in Aqualina and we need to pack. LCV overlaps with the only bingo of the cruise oh well something had to give and I doubt I’ll be lucky enough at the bingo so I will enjoy the time on the sunset Veranda. The disembarkation arrangements in Monaco for those interested for the future are firstly that self disembark can start at 1930 tonight subject to the cooperation with the authorities. That continues until 7 am tomorrow morning when all guests can disembark including those wishing luggage assistance. Given the charter there are no late Disembark options, everyone has to be off by 9 am as the boat has to reposition to Nice to pick up the next group Coach transfers are available at $19.95 each but on the paperwork it says only for those with flights after 1300 - given that the coaches are leaving around 8 am and it is about a 45 minute to ride out the airport many guests with flights between 10 and 12 are still going to risk this transfer but have given the ship different flight time so that their booking could be accepted. We have opted for the more expensive private car transfer which will not leave until 9 am and it’s costing us $195 the reason being we had so much on board credit with no idea how to spend it we thought this might be an easier way to deal with our move to the airport and in fact as we are not staying at the airport it’s good that in fact for that price they are happy to go direct to our hotel which saves us taking the hotel shuttle at the airport that we first thought we would have to do. One observation about this cruise has been the question of groups on board. Last cruise I wrote how well the perry golf with a group of 50 had integrated with passengers and you were really not aware of the group this Cruise experience has been that much different. There is a group 26 quite young people on board I do not know if the travel agents or some other type of organisation but they have insisted on being in speciality restaurants as groups of 26. They have also taken over at the bar three deep in prime C and have been extremely loud so all in all this group has impacted on the ambience and on the service levels in the speciality restaurant where the staff have tried their best in pretty impossible situations particularly as timekeeping did not seem to be something to do. I felt particularly for the bar staff as last night at 2330 when I passed prime c the group were still holding quite a rowdy get together in a bar where the staff normally finish at least an hour earlier. I am saying this just to highlight that a group of 50 can integrate and work around normal ships life and give no issues and a much smaller group can really give the guests and crew headaches oh oh well better go and start the packing
  6. No we have all said today that unlike in May you could not smell it either off or on shore.
  7. Today we went on our final ships tour (tomorrow we will do Cannes on our own) this time to the hilltop villages of Corsica and San Antonino in particular. As you can see it is a pretty village unspoilt but please will people read the tour descriptions - it said strenuous and that it was steep uneven steps to the village. Despite that people using canes went on the trip and had to have help in some cases. Our bus driver was amazing it’s a single track road with passing places. He had to do a lot of reversing with sheer drops on one side. I heard some onboard were renting cars to do the same trip for a fraction of the price. Yes the tour was way over priced but I’m not sure that the car renters would have enjoyed the ride so our advice in Calvi is don’t rent The tour was supposed to take the same route out and back but the guide persuaded us to accept a change. Unfortunately this meant having not had good views going up we also had bad ones going down (and were 45 minutes late back because the coach had trouble navigating one part of the new route) At least I wasn’t on the walking tour of Calvi. 39 people and one guide. Most tours had more than 25 guests do the exception is the rule. . This is very disappointing and it’s hard to differentiate Azamara for lower starred brands in the RC family where tours are concerned. Calvi itself is a lovely place easy to diy if you are fit enough to walk up to the Citadel. It’d also s great place for lunch 2 minutes from the tender stop
  8. No problem for the carnivores there were steaks lovely kebabs lamb etc etc
  9. Agree. Nor from Azamara to Celebrity. I lost deposit
  10. Well what can you say about White Night that’s not been said before. We were blessed with good weather and an abundance of swordfish tuna and oysters (no lobster again but I would rather have fresh fish loaded in Sanary-sur-Mer than frozen lobster). Such fun was had even Captain G and Dario (Staff Captain) made a lovely couple on the dance floor. Not everyone was in white which hopefully reassures anyone worrying about what to wear. The important thing was everyone came and had fun even though some were reserving tables at 4pm. Everyone got a seat no problem so no need for this new habit!
  11. I agree it’s pretty but it’s a bit like the boat ride on a small world at Disney and the shops were not genuine local products but it’s a good see it once place
  12. For the sake of balance but totally agreeing on pricing I need to post that this morning from St Tropez we went on an excellent trip to Grimaud old town up in the hills (so quiet) and to Port Grimaud created for fisher families in the 1960s a little Venice. Loved the windows in the St Francis of Assisi ecumenical Church. I am sure you could pick up a local guide or transportation to do Port Grimaud not sure about getting up the hill to Grimaud. We were lucky to have Jean Jacques who was one of our guides in Aix he certainly fits the bill as an ideal guide. Off to rest now before White Night. The problem is many are back onboard and whereas in the past they started clearing chairs at 1600 and indeed that’s what the daily says it’s 1330 and over half the loungers have been removed from the deck. It’s a tricky one. So far a great day and hopefully the images of this France intensive cruise ( and last week Spain intensive) is encouraging some to consider these two lovely port intensive itineraries
  13. I suspect Iwan did as it’s White Night tonight. Maybe that’s why we had the band and wine on the pier
  14. That’s a shame the lessons haven’t been learned. We too were booked to go on an 8 hour on our own from Marseille which fitted what we planned far better (nice meal and boat trip) but it now appears that was never meant to be offered even though the reason for cancellation (which happened 48 hours plus before sailing) was lack of demand. Theres a massive disconnect between Land Discoveries systems onboard and the Voyage Planner the guest sees. We found this out when we went to book some tours for our November cruises to take account of the onboard discount and what we could see on our voyage planner and wanted to book did not even exist. At first the gentleman was disbelieving saying I must be looking at Celebrity tours and it was only when we asked to see a manager someone started to listen and see there is a problem Supposedly it’s being checked by Miami but it’s a real pain as we’ve wasted a lot of time planning and going to see them and we are still going nowhere!
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