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Cruise Critic Community


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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    World travel, cruising, photography, snorkeling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, Oceania, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Venice, Hong Kong and anywhere in Asia, Galapagos, Middle East, South Pacific

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  1. I haven't read all of the posts, but we have not had any luck with the bidding system. We are Discoverer Plus and when they had the old system of the $398 upgrade, we had booked several cruises way in advance and booked a balcony and were successful in getting the $398 upgrade to a continent suite. Last year we booked a cruise for this August and booked a balcony again. We booked the cruise 18 months in advance and felt we would have another good chance of the $398 upgrade. We then learned months after that of the change and now the typical Royal Caribbean influence was the bidding system and LCV level would get you a "boost" but no one has EVER explained what kind of "boost" and when we asked the future booking agent onboard, he claimed it really is a "boost" but he had been sworn to secrecy as to how it works. We receive emails from Azamara, but never got the invite to bid - I had also called upon finding out about the new bidding system and asked if those who had booked a cruise when the old $398 system was in place would be "grandfathered" in, and was told "no", and we would have to bid. We never received an invitation to bid, and I had to send several messages to LCV contacts and they finally sent me a link to place a bid. We placed what they determined to be a "low" bid, and never got an upgrade. To make matters even worse, we had friends who had booked an aft facing balcony just a few doors down from our cabin and cancelled about a month before sailing. I called my travel agent and she called Azamara, and I also called Azamara myself to ask if we could switch to the aft cabin for what the difference was when we initially booked (approx. several hundred dollars a person) and was told "no", that we would have to pay what the price difference was at that time and it was an additional $7,000 per person just to switch from a standard balcony to an aft facing one. I thought they were surely joking or had made a mistake, but after calling two more times we were told the same thing and needless to say we did not switch cabins. We got an email from Azamara about 24 hours before sailing saying "sorry your bid was not accepted". We had dinner one night with a couple who were top tier level and they had bid also but did not say what category cabin they were in before they placed a bid, and said their bid was not accepted either. So, since the bidding system has started, I haven't known of anyone who has gotten an upgrade, regardless of their LCV status. It seems the Royal Caribbean execs want MONEY instead of keeping loyal guests and could care less about the loyalty or LCV status and the whole "boost" thing is a joke. Especially since no one will tell you how it works or if it really is such a thing. We used to like to book way in advance to try to secure the $398 upgrade, but on our particular cruise we watched the price go from what we paid initially, to way up, and finally right before sailing the price was lowered to what we paid when we booked 18 months in advance and the Inside cabins dropped drastically to less than $100 a day and half of the people that we met were cruising with Azamara for the first time because they took advantage of the last minute price drop. Now since the $398 offer doesn't exist any longer, and prices go up and down, if you are flexible and can travel on short notice, it doesn't give guests any incentive to book early any more, and doesn't give guests any reason to be loyal to Azamara if your LCV status really doesn't mean anything.
  2. Wondering if anyone has recently used Ramses Tours for an overnight tour while in Egypt? Will be using them in a few months and was wondering if someone could give a review of how their recent tour was with them. I have read many posts from people who are booked with them for upcoming excursions, but not from anyone who has actually used them recently. Did you visit everything as planned? Any info will be most appreciated.
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