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Everything posted by BrendaJ

  1. I’m on the Nov. 4 Spain cruise and received an email from Azamara yesterday, which included this info regarding visiting the ports: Going Ashore in Spain Views on independent exploration by international visitors vary by country and by port of call. This remains a very fluid situation and can change on short notice. We strongly recommend you book an Azamara Shore Excursion that operates with the same health protocols we employ onboard for your peace of mind. Shuttle services have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 protocols. In some destinations where either local authorities or current conditions require, you will need to purchase an Azamara tour to go ashore. Both group and private experiences are available. Our shore excursions are available to book on-line by logging into your Voyage Planner or through one of our Destination Insiders who can create a customized Private Journey for you. Our Destination Insiders can craft a personalized excursion just for you that adopts the same protocols for a healthy ashore visit. Guests traveling with unvaccinated children under 12 in their party may only go ashore on a private Azamara shore excursion, exclusive to their traveling party. Our onboard shore excursion team are standing by to assist you in the planning of your private tours.
  2. Thanks, Laurie - I don’t know why I never noticed that on the website before. That is a big load off my mind.
  3. Has this happened to anyone yet? Also, what would happen if you tested positive at debarkation, or at another point during your cruise? Canada certainly will not let us back in the country without a negative PCR test, and I assume no airline would let us board either. It’s certainly a nerve-wracking situation these days, not knowing what the processes might be. Has Azamara outlined anywhere what happens in these circumstances?
  4. Thanks, everyone - that’s a relief!
  5. We are booked for the Quest on November 4 and need to know if Azamara is offering PCR tests onboard. We require a negative PCR test to re-enter Canada. We are going home immediately following the cruise. If Azamara does not provide PCR tests, we will need to get one at one of our port stops, which may be challenging. Does anyone know?
  6. We Lift and Shift-ed our November 2020 cruise to November 2021. Unfortunately, our government is still advising against any travel and particularly cruise ship travel. When our cruise is closer, if the government advisory has still not been lifted, will we have any options? We used Choice Air, and are paid in full. We do not feel comfortable travelling if our government strongly advises against it. Many insurance policies are void if we travel against a government advisory. We can’t Life and Shift again because we have another Azamara cruise booked for that time period next year. I’m hoping our entire payment won’t be forfeited if we feel the need to cancel. Does anyone know what our options might be? I’d ask our travel agent, but he is away for a few weeks.
  7. BrendaJ

    New Survey

    I was hoping they would ask about things on board that would make their ships more appealing (ie. things we might hope to see in a new build). I’ve got lots of ideas for them, as far as cabins and shower curtains go. 😆
  8. Thanks, everyone. I will try this evening and will also send an email.
  9. I’ve been on hold for nearly 2 hours, and I’m starting to lose hope. Would calling Azamara Circle help at all? I wish we could just email them, but I don’t see an email address anywhere. Nothing drives me crazier than hearing “Your call is important to us” over 100 times. Obviously it’s not that important. 😏
  10. I just had an Antarctic Azamara cruise cancelled for next February. Sure, it is disappointing, but better safe than sorry. We were on an Azamara ship in the same part of the world (South America) last year when COVID hit the fan, and Chile was incredibly uncooperative and counterproductive. I honestly would not want to be stuck down there if things took a turn for worst. Azamara treated us amazingly well, dealt with the disrupted cruise extremely fairly, and made sure we were safe, comfortable and pampered for the whole extended voyage. From what I experienced, they also managed refunds and changes quickly and fairly. In comparison, we had a Crystal River cruise booked for this year. It was clearly not going to happen, and we had no desire to make our final payment, knowing they would be cancelling the cruise for sure (which they did). They took their sweet time refunding our substantial deposit, and kept $1,000 as an admin fee (that we can supposedly apply to another Crystal cruise). I have read horror stories of Crystal taking full payment for cruises and not refunding the passengers for over 9 months - I have not heard such complaints about Azamara. Of course we wish we could have gone on our Antarctica cruise, but I feel confident that Azamara will refund the packages and excursions that we booked promptly, and we’ll just try again in 2023.
  11. I think we have to give Azamara credit for cancelling these cruises so early, before many people have arranged tours and air travel. I was going to book my air and some internal flights very soon; I’m very glad I decided to wait, as it would have been one more thing to deal with. Some other cruise lines have been cancelling cruises only after final payment, and then dragging their feet refunding the cruise fare. Some people I know waited over 8 months and only got a refund when they initiated a chargeback on their credit card. I think Azamara is doing the right thing - some places in the world are just too iffy to take a chance in the next few months. I’m sad to be missing out on Antarctica but there will be other opportunities.
  12. Thanks for the heads up. It’s a holiday here in Canada so my agent is taking a well-deserved day off. I’m sure he will be disappointed to learn that yet another one of our cruises (Antarctica) is cancelled. We’ve still got 4 booked but after already having had to cancel 6 trips, I think we will just hold off booking anything else for now.
  13. I understand people’s trepidation when finding out that members of the company leadership team may not have much cruise experience. However, I have never felt that the corporate head office affects the atmosphere and quality of a cruise as much as the onboard officers, staff and crew. Many, if not most, of Azamara’s onboard leadership team is returning, and we all know they are magnificent, and probably the main reason people enjoy their Azamara cruises so much. Let’s just hope that the land-based management listens carefully to what the ship-based management can tell them from experience. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  14. I don’t recall it ever being crowded. Once time, a few people were in there at the same time and it seemed very social. My big problem is also the lack of shade on the Retreat deck. I am hoping that the powers that be have made note and will be providing a few more options for shade on the Beyond.
  15. I personally would prefer to sail with 100% vaccinated passengers and crew. Azamara will require 100% vaccination which is pretty easy for them as they don’t sail much if at all from Florida, and very few children sail with them. I am fully vaccinated. I am not afraid of dying from COVID by catching it from an unvaccinated passenger; what I am afraid of is asymptotically testing positive and being quarantined, having my port visits curtailed and my flight home delayed. Catching enough of the virus to test positive could cost me a lot of time and money. I currently have 5 cruises booked (1 Celebrity/4 Azamara). None visit the U.S so the main concern will be what the foreign ports allow. Frankly, I’d be surprised if Iceland allowed unvaccinated people to visit and I don’t blame them. Ships that allow any unvaccinated passengers to board will face different levels of scrutiny and access to foreign ports. It will probably be much easier for them to just sail with 100% vaccinated passengers, and avoid troublesome states with conflicting rules altogether.
  16. I think there is a very easy solution to the Florida ban. This is I what would put in Celebrity’s rules: Celebrity cruises welcomes all passengers and vaccination is not required. The following rules are in place on board as health precautions: Masks must be worn in all public areas at all times. When eating, masks must be pulled down only to allow food to enter the mouth, and must be put back in place while chewing. Dining and entertainment will be restricted to outdoor venues. Passengers must present themselves to the ship’s medical officer at 5:00 a.m. daily for a COVID test. This test will cost $500 per person per day, payable by the passenger. Any passenger testing positive for COVID will be quarantined in the brig until the next port, where they will debark. Repatriation is at the passenger’s expense. No passengers will be permitted to debark the ship at ports, to protect the health of our destination populations, except in the case of rule #3 and the end of the cruise. Celebrity will provide an orange hat to all passengers, which will include a device sounding an alarm when less than 6 feet of distance is maintained with other passengers and crew. This hat must be worn by all passengers at all times. The above rules apply to all passengers. Children under 12, and passengers volunteering to show proof of full vaccination will be exempt from the above rules and will have full access to all ship venues and ports.
  17. Since we only occasionally sail in suites, I prefer to eat in Luminae and leave the specialty restaurants for when we are not in a suite. I love the food and service in Luminae.
  18. Has anyone heard if they might be upgrading the onboard internet on the ships? Seems like this would be a great time to do it. As Celebrity is now including internet with all of their sailings, I assume all of their ships have been upgraded - the connection was definitely fast and stable on our last Celebrity cruise. On our last Azamara cruise, the connection and speed definitely left something to be desired. If Celebrity can do it, surely Azamara can, although the new ownership may complicate things.
  19. Hello all I have a Crystal river cruise booked for May 2021 and feel like it is very unlikely that we will be able to take that cruise, judging by our COVID-19 numbers and those in Europe. The EU is currently banning Canadians from entering. Final payment was to be January 2021, but I thought I read somewhere that final payments are now just 60 days out? Having read about Genting’s financial issues and past passenger’s issues in receiving refunds for cancelled cruises, I feel like we are best off cancelling now rather than waiting till final payment. We purchased cancellation insurance through Manulife but I suspect we would not be able to make a claim for our deposit and administration fee unless Crystal themselves cancels the cruise, and if they are like other lines, they will probably not cancel until past the final payment date. I would like to avoid making the final payment, even though I know our insurance would cover that, as we booked this cruise in 2019. My insurance claim for a cruise we did in March 2020 was just processed last week. Does anyone have advice on what the best plan of action might be?
  20. I’ve sailed on all of the Azamara ships, and have tried everything from inside cabins to balconies, Aqua Class, Sky and Royal Suites on Celebrity. I’m not a picky eater by any means, and have greatly enjoyed all of my meals on Azamara and on Celebrity, both in the main dining rooms, Aqua Class, Speciality Restaurants and Luminae. Luminae, particularly in the Edge-class ships, is really beautiful. The menu is inventive and unusual, and if you’re a plain meat and potatoes type, you probably won’t enjoy it. The service is very friendly and professional, much like on Azamara. Now that Celebrity has become more inclusive, the prices are getting close to Azamara prices for a non-suite cabin, and, if the itinerary is similar, I think people’s decision will be based on whether or not they enjoy the small-ship atmosphere enough to forgo a wider variety of entertainment and larger, nicer cabins. If I had to chose between a suite on the Edge or Apex, and any cabin on Azamara, I’d probably choose Celebrity because I really enjoy Luminae, and service at the Retreat is as good as service on Azamara. The Retreat gives you a lot more of the small ship atmosphere, in that you socialize with a smaller subset of passengers if you spend time at the Retreat, particularly at the Retreat pool, which is so small, you have no choice but to strike up a conversation. The Retreat Lounge is spacious and elegant on the E-class ships. Suites are still very expensive on Celebrity, and I’d only book one if I got a great deal. We currently have 4 cruises booked with Azamara and 2 with Celebrity over the next two years, and I have no doubt we will enjoy all of them, assuming any of them are a go.
  21. Yup, we just got ours today too, Jerry! I frankly wasn’t in any big hurry for the money - not all of us have the bourbon habit that you have. [emoji851] Sent from my iPad using Forums
  22. I feel very bad for the people who have had their cruises cancelled, have paid in full, and are frustrated in waiting for a refund. I think much of the anxiety I’m seeing here is due to fear that a refund might not appear at all, and many people’s financial status has worsened recently. I have an expected refund from Azamara, but I am taking a different slant on things. During this unprecedented time, the cruse lines are likely short on all manner of resources, are facing the challenges of staff trying to work from home (I used to be in IT and let me tell you, it’s harder to set up securely than it might seem) and have never before had to deal with such a volume of cancellations, refunds, changes, and shortage of cash flow. My wish is that the company continues to survive so that I can continue to enjoy cruises with them. I honestly cannot picture a happy retirement if the cruise industry disappears. I desperately want to experience another wonderful Azamara cruise. I was on the ill-fated March 2 Pursuit, and it solidified my option that Azamara has unparalleled on-board customer service - which reminds me, I need to write a love letter to Captain Carl). My thought is, then, what little things can I do to assist in the survival of the industry that brings me so much pleasure? For me, I am willing to do the following: accept a FCC over a refund, move bookings out if required, and exercise patience in waiting for any refunds/vouchers coming my way. I understand this action plan is not feasible or desirable for many, and I don’t intend to suggest that anyone else’s viewpoints are invalid. Long before COVID-19, I once waited over 2 months for a refund of a flight than an airline cancelled. I think during these exceptional times, a long wait is to be expected. Personally, I can wait for my refund a long, long time as I’m not spending any money hanging around my house - this month, I will have the lowest number of purchases on my credit card ever! 😀 I currently have cruises booked with Celebrity, Azamara and Crystal and I actually just booked a new cruise yesterday (and yes, paid a deposit). I am facing this trying time with the optimism that the industry will recover, and we’ll someday be able to experience the pleasure of cruising with Azamara again.
  23. I agree wholeheartedly! Until this cruise, we had not been on Azamara for quite some time, but the way we were treated during this difficult time was stellar, and I would sail with Captain Carl with confidence anywhere in the world. However, as much as I would like to see more of Chile, I don’t expect I ever will, because they did their best to make a bad situation so much harder. Our next Azamara cruise is this fall and I look forward to another great experience. A heartfelt thank you to Azamara’s officers, staff and crew who worked terribly hard to ensure we stayed healthy, happy and safe. And fat, unfortunately. 🤓
  24. Oh boy, on the Pursuit today, we had quite a colourful Kiss the Fish ceremony. Hard to describe, but it involved kneeling in front of Neptune and his queen, fresh fish (which people kissed or got slapped in the face with - Captain Carl definitely got it bad), being rolled in a gross pile of what looked like bloody animal parts, and then falling into the pool. The pool had to be closed and emptied - it was a mess! A mixture of officers and passengers got the treatment. I declined.
  25. We’ve got lots of supplies aboard Pursuit (bars are hopping at the moment). We hope to see the Eclipse behind us shortly (seeing as she can probably go faster than we can, I’m guessing Eclipse will pass us sometime soon).
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