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Everything posted by clojacks

  1. In April of this year, we booked the 14 day to Norway next July. We also booked the cruise after as a back to back, but had to take cabins next door to each other as the same cabin wasn't available where we wanted on both cruises. I just checked Azamara's site to see if by any chance the same cabin anywhere in our category was available on each cruise, and it is almost sold out. Not only that, but I believe the prices are about $5000 US more than when we booked?? Has anyone else noticed some crazy price increases?
  2. I probably should have specified "marketing info or other non-marketing, but pertinent emails" as I had received absolutely zero emails from Azamara, even after trying to sign up to receive them multiple times AND having booked a B2B cruise with them that was ultimately transferred to my TA. I would have suspected their email system could handle 1 or 2 more interested customers....
  3. I'm glad that not receiving any updates from the cruise lines about impacts from current events is fine with you. Myself, I would prefer to know that they are keeping their customers informed and that we have value to them.
  4. Is anyone else having issues with not getting ANY marketing info or emails from Azamara? We have 24 days booked as a B2B on the quest next summer and it will be our first cruise since Feb 2020. I have signed up for their materials multiple times, and still don't get any info from them? And yes, I have checked my spam..
  5. If we have the basic package and want to enjoy a favorite upgraded drink with dinner, do we have to pay the price of the drink, or just the difference between a standard price drink and premium price drink?
  6. What I was told by an Azamara representative a couple of days ago, was that we would NOT lose our status earned, whether through Azamara or Celebrity, once the split processes, but that we would just not gain reciprocity points beyond that. I hope she understood that all of my points were earned through Celebrity....I can't say with 100% certainty that it was discussed. The context of my call was that I wanted to book a couple of unlimited WIFI packages for our cruises next summer (2022) because the status that Azamara showed us at online, provided a 50% discount. She said I couldn't do that before boarding, but once we boarded, again, as I said, in summer 2022, we would STILL get our 50% discount earned on Celebrity. I mentioned in another thread, that she also told me that even though Choice Air will "probably" disappear as a relationship, it will most likely be the last thing to separate and probably not until well later in the year.
  7. I spoke with an Azamara customer service rep yesterday after booking a back 2 back for July of 2022 to get some clarification on when/if reciprocity and status from Celebrity would go away. In the conversation, I asked her about Choice Air as well, as we have used it numerous times while sailing Celebrity. In fact, if it is still available in August of this year, which would be the earliest we could book flights for next year for our cruise, I will do so in a minute. She indicated that Azamara "probably" will end their relationship with Choice Air at some time after all the transitions take place, but that it will probably be one of the last things, and that it would probably still be in place well into this summer, or later. Just a personal endorsement for Choice Air...we were in the Middle east last year, going from Dubai to Singapore when the Pandemic was starting to really affect air travel. While in Sri Lanka, we were informed that the ship we were on was turning around and setting sail 4 days back to Dubai, at which time we were to make arrangements to return home ASAP. I actually found out about this, here, on CC before we received an announcement on board, and within minutes, I was in contact with a Choice Air representative from a lounge on the ship and within a half hour had my arrangements rerouted home avoiding all the closed middle east and Asian airports back to Minnesota, through Canada, while others on board took days to have Celebrity rebook for them.
  8. Even though you are talking about a travel agency, the same applies to my point here. This is one reason why I have not, and probably will not sail Viking until the "Full Payment" dating changes. I refuse to pay $20,000 for an item I am not going to receive for, in our case, up to 18 months.
  9. I'm sorry if you felt the questions were bothersome. To be fair, while your question read like you say it does to me, it could easily have been interpreted by someone else as confusing.
  10. You may have misunderstood me....I USE a large agency with 1000% satisfaction....
  11. I should explain that I am in the US and we ALWAYS use, or transfer, our bookings to a "big box" TA we have used for about 15 years with tremendous success and satisfaction. Our TA has a loyalty system that rewards customers with a token amount of OBC, but more importantly, I have communicated with the same representative for the last 8 years or so for every type of cruise, with any line, that we have taken, and he has ALWAYS gotten back to me within hours. I have been able to ask his suggestions when debating 2 different cruises, and he has offered his honest opinion, if he had experience enough to share. In addition, the "sweetener" of additional perks, usually in the way of OBC, but occasionally in the way of other perks, doesn't hurt. But, what has cemented my usage of this particular company is the assistance we received in the throes of the pandemic and its impact on booked cruises, active cruises, and upcoming cruises in the past year. We had refunds on a river cruise within days of bringing the cancellation to their attention, while we, at the same time, were seeing reports from others who had booked directly with the cruise line of it taking weeks and months to track down their entire refund.
  12. I actually just booked today, so after. But my points still show as if nothing has changed....
  13. My wife and I just booked our first Azamara cruise in the form of a Back2Back for next July and August. When I log in to my Azamara account, it shows the same number of points I have in my Captains Club account, which gives me Elite Level perks on Celebrity and shows me as Discovery level on Azamara. We have never sailed Azamara, but I was under the impression that the reciprocity agreement was gone? Is this reciprocity scheduled to disappear or are these perks going to carry with me because we booked while it was still in place on the Azamara website? On Celebrity, we were able to take advantage of a 1 cabin category upgrade, but I notice that that isn't printed on the Azamara Circle sheet of benefits. Also, after we booked our B2B, I discovered that Azamara offers OBC as a perk for booking B2B's? Is this still in place and do I need to request it or is it automatically factored in?
  14. This is what we do almost all the time.
  15. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure the exact location, BUT it was in an Azamara Quest guest review on CC, and I am assuming it was in one of the few Norwegian Fjord reviews, as that is what we are looking at. My wife is doing that part of our research and mentioned it, but I can't confirm the location, or context. If no one is familiar with it, we may have misunderstood the guests review, OR they were referring to a TA offer?? But, they distinctly mentioned contacting/booking with Azamara, so, who knows....
  16. The TA we use is actually offering a 10% of the cruise price OBC, and we would still receive that by transferring the cruise to them after we book with Azamara, but I’m curious if Azamara goes beyond their advertised offers?
  17. Unless we are booking a cruise onboard to take advantage of an offer, we routinely book with our TA. I've "read" that if you book with Azamara directly, you may be able to get them to sweeten the pot a little from what the internet or brochure offers are? Has anyone had that experience?
  18. As I was told this morning, the relationship disappeared in February, so that nice little part is gone. Oh well.
  19. I honestly have tried and tried to narrow a search of this down on CruiseCritics board, but I don't seem to be able to figure out a way to restrict my search to strictly Azamara's board. If anyone has suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. I have to say, CC's search function used to be way more functional. That being said, I have a question.... We are considering a back to back on Azamara in Norway and the British Isles for 2022, and with multiple young grandchildren at home back in the states, we want to be able to maintain contact using Facetime, Google Duo, etc. We prefer to use the ships service, as we will likely use it for other things anyway, as opposed to an international plan for our phone or an international SIM card. How is Azamara's quality for WIFI phone service? Is it capable of Facetime type contacts? I'm a little disappointed to learn of the loss of a relationship between Celebrity and Azamara, as our status with Celebrity would have softened the Internet bill considerably.
  20. I should clarify a couple of things, it appears. This is not a NEW TA, at least not for us. We have been booking with them for 15 years or longer. It is not a little Mom and Pop agency either. They are one of the largest in the country and are affiliated with a larger travel consortium group. So, I would be confident offering that they are "reputable". I don't know if the customer service desk has been advised to use the "not sure" line or not, but my relationship with them as a customer isn't going to cause me to not book with them. It was probably a stupid question for me to initiate....
  21. The big volume TA we use in NH has always based OBC on # of nights, cabin category, etc... and it was always a set amount. Lately we have been researching getting on water again in 2022, and that was where I noticed this particular TA offering 10% based on cruise price for almost all Lines. I found that unusual in my experience. Consequently, it made me question if there was a way they could change it to NROBC. Like you, I believe mine has ALWAYS been refundable WHEN IT CAME FROM THE TA, but "the times they are achanging" so I had to ask. By the way, I did post this in the general questions section as well and got this very detailed informative reply.... ...as well as the true source of the SBC. Firstly, there’s plenty of unscrupulous TAs who make it sound like the cruise line’s perks are theirs. So, after you’ve established what are all the cruise line perks for your chosen itinerary, it’s time to “deal” with the TA in terms of what they can add. IMO, the cleanest/most desirable TA perk is shared commissions resulting in a rebate check or refundable SBC. On average, we’re talking about 5-10% of the COMMISSIONABLE fare. And this is not unusual in longstanding TA/cruiser relationships. However, it should be noted that TAs may also have access to “incentive” funds provided by travel consortiums to which the TA belongs as well as the cruise line itself. This often translates to coverage of gratuities, new cruiser discounts, “quiet” sales, etc - none of which come out of a TA’s pocket. And it is these incentive funds that make identification of your desired cruiseline’s “preferred” TA partners so very important. That said, it is still important not to be blinded by an offer of $$$. There’s something to be said about any particular TA’s ability to quickly and successfully handle any problem that may arise. And now, with the somewhat uncharted Covid territory, gaining exceptions to previously “hardline” cruiseline positions on things like FCC deadlines has taken on a whole new significance. So, do your homework.
  22. Why not ask if I have? I have asked them and they said, "They don't know". I'm sure they would rather we spend it all on things we don't need than them lose a possible return of it from Celebrity? Just speculating here on my part....as I would bet that if it all gets used, and there is accounting tools in place to indicate it was, that thee may be a "reward" to our TA. "Call me naive"
  23. The TA we routinely use has recently been offering OBC in the amount of 10% of your cruise fare, where in the past, it was often $200, $300, etc. This was almost always refundable, but now with the amounts being higher, I'm wondering if fellow CC members have an opinion on whether these higher amounts will still be refundable. We are looking at a couple of cruises where the OBC will be around $1000 pre cruise, and with all the perks available for the category we are looking at, its going to be tough to spend that.
  24. The TA we routinely use has recently been offering OBC in the amount of 10% of your cruise fare, where in the past, it was often $200, $300, etc. This was almost always refundable, but now with the amounts being higher, I'm wondering if fellow CC members have an opinion on whether these higher amounts will still be refundable. We are looking at a couple of cruises where the OBC will be around $1000 pre cruise, and with all the perks available for the category we are looking at, its going to be tough to spend that. I know this is a Celebrity board and not a general question board, but I was just curious if anyone in here had an opinion.
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