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Tips for Azamara Newbies


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10 hours ago, islandwoman said:

What does Azamara offer passengers if they make an itinerary change?  I guess that the cruise documents say that the Captain has the right to change the itinerary, but I'm wondering about their usual procedures.  I'm thinking of a major itinerary change, not just a skipped port due to unexpected weather or some such thing.  I ask because we're booked on 4 back to back cruises from Japan to Europe for which we've put down non-refundable deposits.  I'm concerned that the coronavirus might force Azamara to make major changes to its itineraries.  Final payment date will likely arrive before we know whether itinerary changes will be necessary. 

The following is what I have gathered through the Azamara posts on Cruise Critic, as I’ve never been in this position myself. I’m sure others who have been in this position will post their actual experiences. Bonnie may also post an official Azamara response.

 

It seems to depend how major the change is. If it’s just a missed port or two, then Azamara often gives OBC, but if it’s a major itinerary change then they may offer a future cruise credit or the chance to move the booking to a different cruise, or occasionally (if the cruise is drastically different) a refund. If the change means your travel plans, such as flights, have to change then if you’ve booked air and/or hotels through them, they’ll change it for you. If you booked independently they usually seem to provide compensation.

 

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We have missed planned ports usually due to adverse weather. The captain has health and safety as his priority. In the new port travel arrangements were made to get passengers into town centres, shore excursions were amended and everyone was happy. The current health situation is very unusual and changing daily and hopefully will be resolved rapidly. 

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We have just returned from a cruise on Journey from Tahiti to Auckland.  Azamara denied boarding to passengers who had travelled to Auckland via Hong Kong (not sure about other destinations).  I'm hoping they managed to contact all their guests before they left home. 

Out of interest, we were unable to visit Rarotonga because the seas were too rough to use the tenders.  They did, however, manage to get someone ashore who needed medical assistance.  They also managed to get two entertainers onboard but the transfer looked pretty hairy!

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Hello,

 

I finally read the whole 33 pages of tips. My mother and I will be taking our first Azamara trip in June going to the Baltic on Quest for 10 days. Thank you everyone for all the helpful information in here.

Regarding changes in itinerary, this has happened to me three times on different ships. The first time we could not go to an island in the Caribbean because of bad weather so we simply had another sea day with Royal Caribbean. The next time it happened, it was with Oceania. We were supposed to visit Egypt but because of civil unrest they changed the itinerary skipping Egypt completely and giving us instead more days in Israel. 

The other time this happened it was a slight change of plans with Royal Caribbean while visiting Cuba because they made a mistake with the reservation or something, so they just changed it and informed us about it.

I guess it depends on the reason why they don't take you where they say they would. We were not given compensation in any of these trips because they took us to other places instead. Some people were upset, but I figured it made sense that they put our safety first, or in one case they simply made a mistake.

Thank you for the tips everyone!

Sofia

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On 8/25/2018 at 11:38 PM, laurieb said:

There are hair dryers in the desk drawer but they don’t work well on long or thick hair. Bring your own if you have a lot of hair to dry

 

 

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Shore  excursion question for Azamara veterans.

 

Until now we’ve only taken cruises on larger mass market ships, NCL, RCCL etc.  We learned quickly to avoid shore excursions through the cruise line because they were usually in big crowded buses which made us feel like cattle.  Instead we either explored on our own, hired private guides or booked small local tours.

 

Azamara claims to be different.  Is that true?

 

We’re seriously considering a couple ship sponsored excursions including the Kangaroo and Koala tour in Melbourne.  How many people do they typically take on tours like this?  If it’s only  20 people or so, we’re interested.  But if it’s a large 60 passenger bus we’ll pass.

 

Thanks for your advice.

 

  Bob

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They used to say they kept groups to under 25, but nowadays people say it tends to be more, and certainly that was our experience in Norway. However they don’t pack the buses full, there are usually empty seats so plenty of room. If tours are popular you may find that there are several buses all doing the same tour, but each bus will have their own guide.

I have to say that mostly we prefer to book independent tours. They are usually cheaper and at least as good. If we have plenty of OBC we will book ships excursions, and also if it’s somewhere we really want to go and the time to do it is short. At least that way we guarantee the ship won’t go without us.

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1 hour ago, RBPatt said:

Shore  excursion question for Azamara veterans.

 

Until now we’ve only taken cruises on larger mass market ships, NCL, RCCL etc.  We learned quickly to avoid shore excursions through the cruise line because they were usually in big crowded buses which made us feel like cattle.  Instead we either explored on our own, hired private guides or booked small local tours.

 

Azamara claims to be different.  Is that true?

 

We’re seriously considering a couple ship sponsored excursions including the Kangaroo and Koala tour in Melbourne.  How many people do they typically take on tours like this?  If it’s only  20 people or so, we’re interested.  But if it’s a large 60 passenger bus we’ll pass.

 

Thanks for your advice.

 

  Bob

We have done lots of Azamara shore excursions.  Part of our decision has been how much OBC we have.  And, we have had a lot.  There have been a few clinkers, particularly to places Azamara had not gone before, but over all we have been very pleased with them.  I don't think Azamara's numbering system goes up to 60.  On average we have been in groups of 20 on one bus.  There may be other buses going to the same place but they try to stagger arrivals and departures.

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1 hour ago, PirateWife said:

We have done lots of Azamara shore excursions.  Part of our decision has been how much OBC we have. 

 PirateWife,

 

Thanks for the quick reply and your advice.  We booked through Costco of all places.  They have several private events and tours for their customers but we have no OBC. I don't mind paying extra for the tours as long as they're not cattle calls.  And we like small ones because everyone gets to know each other (20 is a nice size).

 

I saw the Azamara videos that say their tours are small, but I had to check.

 

  Bob

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, PirateWife said:

We have done lots of Azamara shore excursions.  Part of our decision has been how much OBC we have.  And, we have had a lot.  There have been a few clinkers, particularly to places Azamara had not gone before, but over all we have been very pleased with them.  I don't think Azamara's numbering system goes up to 60.  On average we have been in groups of 20 on one bus.  There may be other buses going to the same place but they try to stagger arrivals and departures.


We are Azamara Newbies this year, going on the Monaco Grand Prix Cruise. Lots of the tips on this board have been very useful and thanks for them. We have done about 20 cruises on other lines but I have to say that the excursions available for our cruise seem incredibly expensive. We have booked the GP trip itself but for the other ports we’ll do our own thing and we’re really looking forward to the whole cruise.

 

Any other tips which might persuade us that paying for the cruise line excursions would be worthwhile?

 

Paul

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35 minutes ago, Wichenford Wolf said:

Any other tips which might persuade us that paying for the cruise line excursions would be worthwhile?

 

If your cruise includes stops in Rome, Florence or Naples I highly recommend Share a Shore Excursion.  They take between 6-8 people in Mercedes Sprinter vans and are usually very flexible about the itinerary.  We booked with them in each port a few years ago and enjoyed every one of them.  I know this has nothing to do with the cruise line tours, but thought I'd mention it anyway.

 

  Bob

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1 hour ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

They used to say they kept groups to under 25, but nowadays people say it tends to be more, and certainly that was our experience in Norway.

 

Thanks Grandma, 

 

That's very helpful. I'll check Trip Advisor before I make a decision.

 

  Bob

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On 11/27/2019 at 7:34 AM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

All the Experience More packages ( Essentials, Enjoyment and Indulgence) are a per stateroom price and are good value if you’re doing a longish cruise (14 days +)

We are booked 5/4/2020 cruise on the Pursuit. We booked the indulgence package and after doing the math, felt it was a great deal for us. My only question is if we can use the spa credit for the Thalassotherapy pool?

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3 hours ago, ltcTN said:

We are booked 5/4/2020 cruise on the Pursuit. We booked the indulgence package and after doing the math, felt it was a great deal for us. My only question is if we can use the spa credit for the Thalassotherapy pool?

Sorry, I don’t know, but other more frequent cruisers may have an answer for you.

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3 hours ago, ltcTN said:

We are booked 5/4/2020 cruise on the Pursuit. We booked the indulgence package and after doing the math, felt it was a great deal for us. My only question is if we can use the spa credit for the Thalassotherapy pool?

Yes you can use your Spa credit for the T pool. Enjoy!

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Posted (edited)

In another topic (Can you explain Azamara’s included drinks policy’ Bonnie (Azamara’s Chief Blogging Officer) has just confirmed  that “the  complimentary wine is now available with Room Service meal delivery”, which is great news. I’ve added that information to the ‘Tips’ spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15Deg-GaeZYLml8NN3PVwoh_jUkQ8QmYUe1wxnVAlODE

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising
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  • 3 months later...

This is a fabulous thread! Thank you all for the information.

 

We have booked our first Azamara cruise. It is a six-night Monaco Grand Prix cruise on the Journey next May. Since it is a shorter cruise, it looks like there might not be the same activities on board. Can anyone confirm there will be no Meet and Mingle nor an Azamazing Evening? What about a White Night? Any additional information about shorter cruises? 

 

Thanks for your help,

Jeanne

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, scrapcreator said:

This is a fabulous thread! Thank you all for the information.

 

We have booked our first Azamara cruise. It is a six-night Monaco Grand Prix cruise on the Journey next May. Since it is a shorter cruise, it looks like there might not be the same activities on board. Can anyone confirm there will be no Meet and Mingle nor an Azamazing Evening? What about a White Night? Any additional information about shorter cruises? 

 

Thanks for your help,

Jeanne

One of our  Azamara cruises was 8 nights.   There were all of  the above.

Edited by Tom47
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1 minute ago, Tom47 said:

One of our  Azamara cruises was 8 nights.   There were all of  the above.

Not sure about the Azamazing Evening. That might just be for cruises of 7 days or more. But all of the rest!

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Posted (edited)

Azamazing evenings are only on cruises of 7 or more nights, but you will have a meet & mingle and a White Night. To register for the Meet & Mingle, look for the Meet & Mingle blue bar at the top of this page (If you can’t see it click on the Forums tab first). Click on Meet & Mingle, then select Azamara, then click on Register for an Azamara Party and fill in the requested information. You should get an invitation in your cabin, but can also ask at Guest Relations or look in embarkation day’s ‘Insider’ ( daily programme). It’s often held on embarkation day after the muster drill.

Have a look through the ‘Tips’ spreadsheet here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15Deg-GaeZYLml8NN3PVwoh_jUkQ8QmYUe1wxnVAlODE/edithttps://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15Deg-GaeZYLml8NN3PVwoh_jUkQ8QmYUe1wxnVAlODE/edit


Although the ships are small there are usually plenty of activities, even on port days. Here are a couple of daily programmes - one for a sea day and one for a day in port.A81C2891-C597-4352-BF85-F7973D6F0CF9.thumb.jpeg.fe6be4e9ab4ddac29347b9f108d96391.jpeg

 

040485CF-239A-40C6-9DFB-1896A15F686C.thumb.jpeg.60acf7d233021f61404227458979d557.jpeg

The only thing to add is that all of this was before the pandemic, so there may be changes, but at the moment who knows if things will change onboard Azamara and if so what the changes will be. 

Edited by Grandma Cruising
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With regard to the 4 (as I recall, but it might be 3) bottles of complimentary spirits in a suite, if you ask your butler, he will change them. In this way on each of our cruises we have enjoyed 4 bottles of gin!

Hic! 

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2 hours ago, blag said:

With regard to the 4 (as I recall, but it might be 3) bottles of complimentary spirits in a suite, if you ask your butler, he will change them. In this way on each of our cruises we have enjoyed 4 bottles of gin!

Hic! 

They *are* half bottles though right? And from the pictures I’ve seen, there are 4.

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