Ever wonder why Azamara's Crew are always smiling ?

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#1
Boca Raton, FL
18,843 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Hi Everyone,

Bert VanMiddendorp, director of Hotel Operations at Azamara, reported this from Azamara Quest, which visited Manila earlier today.

As most of us are aware, the ship's Crew work incredibly hard to offer us an outstanding Cruise. They will always have my admiration. The following is a wonderful gesture of appreciation from Mr VanMiddendorp, Azamara's Management team, and Quest's Officers. Azamara went above and beyond for their Crew and their families. Well done !!!

Here is Bert's comments & photo :
======================

Azamara Quest visited for the first time Manila. Our ship could not handle 500 + family members visiting our Filipino crew. We served them lunch in the passenger terminal with live music and split the families in small groups for a tour of the ship.

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#2
Atlanta, GA
249 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
What a great idea, and what happy faces. It must have been a great time all around.
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Robert and Marcy from Atlanta, GA

#3
Edinburgh
11,412 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
How lovely. It's the little things they do that make all the difference. I heard that when they arrive onboard after travelling to the ship they are allowed a free call home to tell their families they are safely onboard. Other lines do not do that - what a simple thoughtful gesture
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536 days onboard Celebrity and Azamara 2000-2017 and 102 more days booked plus one river cruise
#4
Harpenden, UK
14,797 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
That's great Andy! I know talking to many of the Filipino crew on Quest earlier this month they were really looking forward to the stop in Manila because they were all being given priority for time off the ship there. It's really nice of Azamara to arrange this event for them too.

Phil
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#5
Nova Scotia Canada
4,867 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
We had occasion to talk with several crew members about various things and formed the conclusion that the crew are well looked after and generally happy. We heard about their great food and staff parties. We saw a group going ashore with the bicycles provided for them.

For sure a happy crew makes for a happy ship.
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#6
UK
2,588 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I happen to know of a certain Cruise Director who spent $150 of his own money on buying phone cards for some of his crew who had run out of money before their pay day.......so they could "phone home".

He's a very nice guy!
#7
Worcestershire
194 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
This is something so great to see. It really doesn't matter how big (or small) the Company is, 'look after your staff' and the rest follows. Relatively easy with a small Company with only a few dozen employees but much harder with hundreds.

Well done Azamara, and keep it going. If you get much bigger make sure you don't lose this basic because it's the most important part of your product - happy crew, happy ship............

Keep it up, we're happy to be joining the very happy numbers of Az guests -just over 3 weeks to wait.
#8
Harpenden, UK
14,797 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by maryann ns

For sure a happy crew makes for a happy ship.
And a happy set of passengers too because of it Maryann. I will remember some of Captain Karlsson's words in his final midday announcement in which he thanked all of the guests for being so kind and respectful to the crew and how it made such a difference to them. Nice way for it to be worked around the other way. Without doubt the happiest ship I have ever been on.

Phil
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#10
Orangeville Ontario
1,918 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
As early as last November, a server onboard the Quest told us how much he was looking forward to visiting Manila and seeing his family.

Congratulations to ACC for helping to make the eagerly anticipated reunion as smooth and meaningful as possible. As others have pointed out, no doubt this helps to boost morale and thus explain the positive interactions with cruisers.
#11
Plano, TX
248 Posts
Joined May 2008
What goes around comes around

We were on Singapore to Hong Kong on the Quest in February, and were amazed at the consistently high level of service, and the positive, confident attitude of everyone, from the captain to the most junior crew. It is a happy ship, and that's something that cannot be faked. We have done 36 cruises, and this was one of the very best!

Very sorry to hear about the fire today, but if any captain and crew can handle it well, this one can.
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#12
NW Indiana USA
170 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Although I have rarely come across an unpleasant crew member on any of the cruiselines, there is definitely something special about the crew on Azamara. You honestly feel a special bond, like with a good friend or long lost cousin as soon as you step on board. We even asked some crew members why they were so happy all the time, and they credited the great way they were treated from the Administration on down. Kuddos to Mr. Pimentel and everyone associated with Azamara on developing such a warm, friendly, and "family-like" atmosphere. While the fire is a tragedy in itself and we pray for the stricken crew members, we know that everyone will be well taken care of, in the tradition of the Azamara brand.
#14
Ontario
45 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
This just fills my heart with joy and makes me pleased that we have booked our first Azamara cruise - I suspect it will be one of many.

I salute Azamara for such a wonderful gesture.
#15
South Padre Island, Texas
3,576 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I was on an early AZ Quest cruise. My bartender from Bali was expecting his wife to give birth to their firstborn so he was calling home every night. AZ changed the rules on late night calls (No pax calls at that time) to charge the crew more. He had moved from =X= to AZ for more money, and they cut a big perk off.
He was still a good bartender, but you could see disappointment in his eyes the rest of the cruise.
One of the reasons I haven't even looked at AZ for a cruise since.
#16
La Jolla, California
680 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Sounds like cutting your nose off, despite...

This does not sound like anything the Azamara I know would do.On our recent Quest 3/26/12 cruise (yes, the one with the fire) almost half the crew was from the Philippines. In Manilla each crew member was allowed to invite 5 people to tour the ship and participate in an all day event in a party tent Azamara installed on the pier. The morning we were about to dock we ran into a pool butler who was floating on air because that day was his daughter's 2nd birthday and he was going to surprise her. When Azamara heard about this they gave him an overnight leave so he could have the maximum time with his loved ones. We are great friends with Sudi, who trains and recruits in Bali for Azamara. His people love working on Azamara.

Maybe you should reconsider.
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#17
Edinburgh
11,412 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We are in contact with many of the crew and thy tell us the way Azamara treat their crew is by far the best of the RCI group. They also say the Captains and Senior Officers all really get to know them and remember all about their families, pets etc and always ask after them.

One Captain realised how stressful it is for families when crew leave home to come on board so he got head office agreement for what has become policy now on the line that when the employee comes on board they have a free 5 min call home within the first 48 hours of arriving. He said the cost to the company for that was minimal but the positive impact huge.

They are all online to their families a lot and they must have better phone access as I have not seen the lines of crew in port at telephone kiosks as I see when I am on X ships.
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536 days onboard Celebrity and Azamara 2000-2017 and 102 more days booked plus one river cruise
#18
UK
2,588 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I know of a crew member who's wife gave birth to premature twin boys while we were on Quest last year. He was so very worried about them and within 24 hours Azamara had arranged flights home for him free of charge and 2 weeks leave. Thankfully we heard mother and babies did very well.

That's why Azamara crew are always smiling......they know the company cares about them and their families.
#19
Asheville
17,437 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Lottie A
I know of a crew member who's wife gave birth to premature twin boys while we were on Quest last year. He was so very worried about them and within 24 hours Azamara had arranged flights home for him free of charge and 2 weeks leave. Thankfully we heard mother and babies did very well.

That's why Azamara crew are always smiling......they know the company cares about them and their families.
I love this story thanks for sharing it...
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Robin
#20
shasta, ca
1,642 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Taxguy77
I was on an early AZ Quest cruise. My bartender from Bali was expecting his wife to give birth to their firstborn so he was calling home every night. AZ changed the rules on late night calls (No pax calls at that time) to charge the crew more. He had moved from =X= to AZ for more money, and they cut a big perk off.
He was still a good bartender, but you could see disappointment in his eyes the rest of the cruise.
One of the reasons I haven't even looked at AZ for a cruise since.
Hello Taxguy77 -

I suspect that your conversation with the bar tender you've reported from "an early AZ Quest cruise," might have occurred when "Azamara Cruises" was a subsidiary of Celebrity Cruises.

Actually, my role as the CBO is to seek inaccurate information that remains on message boards because of the fact that the Azamara brand has been evolving at an accelerated rate and its product deliverables have dramatically changed. First in 2007 as “Azamara Cruises,” a subsidiary of Celebrity Cruises and then in 2009 it began its transformation into “Azamara Club Cruises,” a free-standing entity of Royal Caribbean Cruises led by Larry Pimentel. Finally, in April 2010 it introduced more inclusive onboard amenities, a commitment to exceptional service and more immersive itineraries along with a tariff increase.

Unfortunately, each product iteration leaves a historically inaccurate residue on the message boards of past reviews and opinions, creating “false starting points” for new readers when deciding whether or not to vacation with Azamara. Perhaps, after reading the glowing testimonials in response to your unexpected post, you'll understand my reason for concluding that the "fact" which you shared was outdated.

I hope you'll reconsider vacationing again with Azamara Club Cruises so that we can welcome you onboard!

Regards,

Bill Leiber
_____________________
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)