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Azamara vs Oceania

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If there is a thread discussing this, please direct me, if not...opinions please.  I am one of those poor souls struggling with the new Cruise Critic.

 

We've sailed O, but never Azamara.  Does one have an advantage over the other?  (Marina and Riviera aside)

 

Ricki

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saw  this video  pretty much looks like  a good overview of Azamara

just depends on what you are looking for in a cruise

 

 

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Thank you, for this advice!

 

I will check out the video, and it's a good point that drinks and gratuities are included.

 

Ricki

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1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

Azamara has drinks and tips included but not specialty dining which Oceania does. 

Unless you're in a suite where specialty dining is included. 

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I won't specifically comment in detail, since I've only done one Oceania cruise a few years ago and only one Azamara, somewhat more recently.  But these two lines are direct competitors, so comparing them is a useful exercise.  This is quite different than the thread comparing Celebrity with Oceania on this board.  In case you don't know, Azamara is the upscale offering of Celebrity. Personally I preferred Azamara, but it depends on what you're looking for.

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I cruise on both Oceania and Azamara.  The big difference, for me, is the way each responds to difficult situations.  Azamara goes the extra mile to make things right. 

 

On an Azamara cruise, we had flown in a day early but my luggage had been sent to the wrong city. It still had not arrived the next day when we left the hotel and headed for the port.  After learning about the situation, Azamara sent someone to the airport to straighten things out and pick up the missing bag.  We had gotten conflicting information about where the bag was.  The Azamara person spoke the local language and cut through the confusion.  Azamara cared, and I was grateful. 

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4 hours ago, tgg said:

I cruise on both Oceania and Azamara.  The big difference, for me, is the way each responds to difficult situations.  Azamara goes the extra mile to make things right. 

 

On an Azamara cruise, we had flown in a day early but my luggage had been sent to the wrong city. It still had not arrived the next day when we left the hotel and headed for the port.  After learning about the situation, Azamara sent someone to the airport to straighten things out and pick up the missing bag.  We had gotten conflicting information about where the bag was.  The Azamara person spoke the local language and cut through the confusion.  Azamara cared, and I was grateful. 

 

when your luggage  went missing for your Oceania cruise  did they not help you to find  it  or retrieve it for you ??

Just curious

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19 hours ago, ricki said:

If there is a thread discussing this, please direct me, if not...opinions please.  I am one of those poor souls struggling with the new Cruise Critic.

 

We've sailed O, but never Azamara.  Does one have an advantage over the other?  (Marina and Riviera aside)

 

Ricki

 

I think this has been discussed a few times before.

 

As has been mentioned Azamara standard fare includes drinks and gratuities but no specialty restaurants . Like Oceania "R" ships, there are only 2 specialty restaurant on Azamara, whereas the "O" shps have a selection of 4 specialty restaurants.

 

Unless it has changed, "tea time" at Oceania is heads and shoulders above  Azamara.

Some would also say the captains on Azamara are always amazingly friendly and approachable, to the point that quality alone set it apart from other cruise lines.  One would need to experience that to appreciate it. On every cruise, Azamara offers a free Azamazing evening, which is an on-shore event which could be in the form of a great party and entertainment for all passengers, another unique feature of Azamara.  All Azamara ships are the "R" class ships whereas Oceania has the 4 "R" ships and the 2 newer (and some would say "better" and bigger) .

 

If you were to compare Azamara vs Oceania, you might as well add Viking to the list, as Viking (or rather Viking Ocean, as they also have Viking River cruises) attracts almost the same market sector of cruise customers. In other words,  discuss Azamara vs Oceania vs Viking Ocean.

 

For Viking, the fare includes alcohol/drinks with meals, gratuities (in the UK and some other countries), specialty restaurants (alas only 2) and excursions. If we are correct, generally, all of its ships are newer than most of the ships offered by Oceania. Viking Ocean ships also include an indoor pool and separate men/women saunas, no charge to use.

 

Edited by Gnoelj

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26 minutes ago, Gnoelj said:

 

I think this has been discussed a few times before.

 

As has been mentioned Azamara standard fare includes drinks.....

Is it not only with meals or is it anytime?

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57 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Is it not only with meals or is it anytime?

 

On Azamara drinks are available any time all included (not "free", you paid for it as part of your fare). The super top shelf brands are extra. 

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1 hour ago, DavidTheWonderer said:

 

On Azamara drinks are available any time all included (not "free", you paid for it as part of your fare). The super top shelf brands are extra. 

Thank you.

A good reason for us to avoid Azamara (just like Regent) - why pay for something you don’t use.

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3 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Thank you.

A good reason for us to avoid Azamara (just like Regent) - why pay for something you don’t use.

 

Regent (formerly Radisson) used to provide wine with dinner and generous setups in the cabins.  They charged for all other alcoholic beverages, even a beer with lunch.  When they went all-inclusive, according to the then CEO, the overall alcohol consumption on the ships didn't change appreciably.  However, the social ambience changed a lot, for the better in my opinion.  Now the bars and lounges were much more full of people to meet and converse with.

 

I think this is relevant to the Oceania / Azamara debate.  Many posters have commented that with the exception of the one happy hour a day, Oceania tends to be sort of dead: beautiful lounges with hardly any people: folks tend to stay in and perhaps entertain others in their cabins.  Azamara is quite different in that regard, with much more night life.

 

For me, then, this is one reason why I like Regent, Seabourn, and Azamara.  If such things are not important to you, then your decision may well be different.

 

I also understand the argument about paying for something you don't use.  And one cannot put a dollar amount on intangibles like social ambience.  However, at the end of the day when comparing two cruises on two different lines, one thing that counts is the all-in bottom line. Often, depending on the exact cruise, your use of specialty restaurants, etc. the bottom line difference in costs between Azamara and Oceania is negligible.  Or at least it was the last time a did such a comparison, which was admittedly a few years ago.

Edited by DavidTheWonderer

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This, of course, varies from person to person. Those that like to socialize at the bar will indeed find inclusive lines to their liking better than Oceania. We socialize at dinners, trivia, on shared tours booked through CC roll calls and other venues.

We have met a lot of very nice people through these venues and have kept in touch with some of them. In other words, we have no trouble socializing on Oceania without included alcohol.

That said, I agree that this distinction is important to point out when comparing cruise lines as it is important to many.

Edited by Paulchili

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5 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Thank you.

A good reason for us to avoid Azamara (just like Regent) - why pay for something you don’t use.

Do you not think you're paying for the included  coffees and sodas and bottled waters on Oceania?

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5 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Thank you.

A good reason for us to avoid Azamara (just like Regent) - why pay for something you don’t use.

Sorry, Paul. I just realized my misunderstanding. You probably use the other beverages while you don't drink alcohol.

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

Sorry, Paul. I just realized my misunderstanding. You probably use the other beverages while you don't drink alcohol.

No problem Henry - that is what I meant  🙂

Edited by Paulchili

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3 hours ago, wripro said:

Do you not think you're paying for the included  coffees and sodas and bottled waters on Oceania?

some people  make use of the  included coffees, sodas & bottled water   quite different if you do not  use the included alcohol that is on some lines

 

If people need alcohol to be social   well  what can I say :classic_sad:

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Thank you, everyone, for your responses and opinions. I appreciate that you took the  time to respond.

 

Ricki

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On 11/5/2018 at 3:51 AM, DavidTheWonderer said:

 

On Azamara drinks are available any time all included (not "free", you paid for it as part of your fare). The super top shelf brands are extra. 

Not just the "super top shelf" brands.  I had to upgrade to get Barcardi Gold Rum instead of the included Barcardi Silver.  They cost exactly the same at home.

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19 hours ago, LHT28 said:

some people  make use of the  included coffees, sodas & bottled water   quite different if you do not  use the included alcohol that is on some lines

 

If people need alcohol to be social   well  what can I say :classic_sad:

You can say....pass the wine please!

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This may not be of concern to everyone- however we are in WA state which has just increased cruise insurance rates quite a bit.  One reason we prefer Oceania is we can get a lower "base fare" (we don't do O-life) and not need to insure for as much as a similar but higher base price on Azamara.  As you say- you are paying for the alcohol whether you use it or not.  If we decide to purchase a alcohol package on Oceania, we aren't concerned with insuring it as we're already on board!  Not wanting to start a debate about insurance, just saying that for us that extra cost can add up. (because of our age and situation, we insure for pre-existing conditions, cancel for any reason as well as the standard "other stuff.")

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15 hours ago, holomuku said:

This may not be of concern to everyone- however we are in WA state which has just increased cruise insurance rates quite a bit.  One reason we prefer Oceania is we can get a lower "base fare" (we don't do O-life) and not need to insure for as much as a similar but higher base price on Azamara.  As you say- you are paying for the alcohol whether you use it or not.  If we decide to purchase a alcohol package on Oceania, we aren't concerned with insuring it as we're already on board!  Not wanting to start a debate about insurance, just saying that for us that extra cost can add up. (because of our age and situation, we insure for pre-existing conditions, cancel for any reason as well as the standard "other stuff.")

It's the cancel for any reason that is driving up the cost of your insurance, not the small amount extra insuring drinks would be.

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It really depends on where you are (what state) and other factors.  Our cancel for any reason upped the total insurance cost on Oceania by $100.00 (for both).  That is still far less than it would have been to completely cover a cruise that is 2X the cost of Oceania.  Again, everyone's situation is different.

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