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Host Grandma Cruising

Upgrade bid experiences

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17 hours ago, dabear said:

How long did mommajo22 or Host wait before increasing initial bid? My understanding is that you don't hear anything for at least 30 days after initial bid. Our cruise is in October and we bid last week.

We didn’t increase our bid, but you can increase at any time. 

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3 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

If promotions included OBC, will they take that away if we are successful on a bid?

No I don’t think they do, if you go into the programme link there is Q and A paragraph, which I’m fairly sure you don’t lose any promotions that you already have.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the heads up on the OBC.  I'd hate to think that I would be making a bid that would ultimately cost me $1300 in OBC that I would be giving up.  The $400 refundable amount I view as real cash.    

 

Also, thank you for setting up that spreadsheet.  It's great information for those bidding on upgrades.  

Edited by hubofhockey

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received email re the upgrade for cruise on pursuit in november. Min bid from inside to Balcony was £990 per person with strong bid at £2470pp !!  the lowest possible bid would make  my total cruise only price £200 more pp than someone booking new now - no brainer No bid made. its another kick in the head for loyal customers.

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We are booked on the August 13th cruise on the Journey.  Since we booked the cruise six weeks ago we have kept receiving invitations to bid on an upgrade.  Last time I checked the ship was entirely booked.  Today I received another invitation to upgrade.  This is my first experience with this system.  Is it automated?  All I know is that the amount they required of a minimum bid to upgrade our suite was not worth it.

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offer an amount that is acceptable to you for an upgrade.

Many of us have not received the emails and offer n the ships are not full. 

We have done similar cruises twice with Azamara and the views from a balcony sipping 

a drink or in the early morning enjoying in breakfast are fantastic.

The system is new to Azamara and appears to have teething troubles

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Upgrade programm for our TA. From inside to balcony $1260 pp minimum. At this moment you can book a balcony cheaper than an inside....

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Ship  Azamara Journey

Sail Date  Oct 10, 2019

Club Continent Suite
The Club Continents suites are our smaller suites, yet spacious and comfortable. A wonderful and refined home away from home.
 

From $200 USD pp

 

I did not bid.  This was 1 of 2 offers for 2 b2b cruises.  I did not bid because we have the same mid ship balcony cabin for both cruises. We are discoverer plus.

Stateroom  Club Veranda Stateroom

Booking ID 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Tom47 said:

Ship  Azamara Journey

Sail Date  Oct 10, 2019

Club Continent Suite
The Club Continents suites are our smaller suites, yet spacious and comfortable. A wonderful and refined home away from home.
 

From $200 USD pp

 

I did not bid.  This was 1 of 2 offers for 2 b2b cruises.  I did not bid because we have the same mid ship balcony cabin for both cruises. We are discoverer plus.

Stateroom  Club Veranda Stateroom

Booking ID 

 

Although Tom47 did not bid, I have added the offer to the spreadsheet as I thought it was useful.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pEoojQ5-EPmD4cI3gw1dVcYfYTXfZePdDXxU09l0H3M

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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2 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Thanks, now added that one as well.

You're Welcome.  I studied the spreadsheet and notice that there is a date received.  Milne was July 18 for both cruises.  We book mid ship cabins because of motion sickness.  The person who wanted an accessible cabin upgrade and did not get one gives me pause.  Is it possible to specify a mid ship only upgrade?  If I receive other than a mid ship upgrade cabin, can I keep my original cabin?

Thanks again for all your work.

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4 minutes ago, Tom47 said:

You're Welcome.  I studied the spreadsheet and notice that there is a date received.  Milne was July 18 for both cruises.  We book mid ship cabins because of motion sickness.  The person who wanted an accessible cabin upgrade and did not get one gives me pause.  Is it possible to specify a mid ship only upgrade?  If I receive other than a mid ship upgrade cabin, can I keep my original cabin?

Thanks again for all your work.

No it isn’t possible to specify a cabin location when you bid for an upgrade. Neither is it possible to decline it if the location is not where you want it to be. You don’t get to keep your original cabin. 

 

This is is one of the main problems with this new bidding scheme. If your cabin location is that important to you then I wouldn’t take the risk. 

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20 minutes ago, Lottie A said:

No it isn’t possible to specify a cabin location when you bid for an upgrade. Neither is it possible to decline it if the location is not where you want it to be. You don’t get to keep your original cabin. 

 

This is is one of the main problems with this new bidding scheme. If your cabin location is that important to you then I wouldn’t take the risk. 

 

Why is this a problem?  It's actually more fair to those who pay to choose cabins and these bids are often deeply discounted.  

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Of course it’s a problem if you have a need for a particular location as does tom47 or an accessible cabin as has happened recently. It does not matter how much you bid...you still have no control over where the cabin you are awarded is located and for some people that is a huge problem. 

 

Also some of the late bids counted as “strong” are actually more than the cost of booking that same cabin originally! Which is why I will always choose a cabin grade and location I am happy with. 

 

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Why is this a problem?  It's actually more fair to those who pay to choose cabins and these bids are often deeply discounted.  

No bids are deeply discounted but here is a real live example of why some find the process unfair based on data shared to me by another cruiser on a cruise I was on - I have rounded the figures for ease

 

Our booking for two in a verandah made two years out (and at that time no access to price drops)   £9000 min bid of £300 for upgrade rejected.  So total cost of cruise albeit in a location I was happy with £9000 balcony

Later booker  verandah for 2 £6500 bid £700 for upgrade accepted so suite price £7200.......

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Posted (edited)

I think the unfairness here is not in the upgrade bidding process but in the fact that holiday companies, including cruise lines such as Azamara, reduce prices as they get near sale dates. Unfortunately sales are a fact of life, but in the past the best prices have tended to be well ahead of the cruise, often when it was first sold, so those who booked early did well. That is certainly no longer the case for Azamara. The new upgrade systems just adds to this.

 

Under the old upgrade system you could refuse an upgrade if you did not like the cabin you were offered. That seems to me to be reasonable.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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13 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I think the unfairness here is not in the upgrade bidding process but in the fact that holiday companies, including cruise lines such as Azamara, reduce prices as they get near sale dates. Unfortunately sales are a fact of life, but in the past the best prices have tended to be well ahead of the cruise, often when it was first sold, so those who booked early did well. That is certainly no longer the case for Azamara. The new upgrade systems just adds to this.

 

Under the old upgrade system you could refuse an upgrade if you did not like the cabin you were offered. That seems to me to be reasonable.

You’ve missed the other key fact, the old system recognised as part of its decision making the earlier you applied for the upgrade the higher up the list you were within your loyalty category.  So earlier bookers would feel less distressed about price drops because they still had a consolation of being ahead of the later deal seekers re the upgrades. 

So three fundamental flaws 

1. No opportunity to say no

2. No obvious recognition of past cruisers loyalty

3. No recognition of early bookers

Add to that an IT system that’s not fully functioning and on which the process depends and agencies opting out of the system 

I suspect though no one cares.  They are baiting some although whether these become repeaters to make up for those who became disenchanted time will tell 

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  1. Your opportunity to say no is before you bid.  You should always assume that they are auctioning off unsold or least popular cabins which they couldn't sell.  
  2. Don't past cruisers already get better deals, including free nights, other perks, and better pricing?  
  3. Early bookers get choice of cabin.  With respect to North Americans, often that early booking is risk free, meaning they can cancel all the way up to final payment with minimal penalties.  At the same time, they can take advantage of every subsequent special that comes up along the way.  This may be different for those living outside US/Canada, but those bookers have other protections.

I don't know what is fair and what is not, but I can assume that cruise lines act in their own interest and are doing this to grow their customer base and raise revenue.  A system where cruisers with the most points could just book a lower priced cabin and then offer $398 more to get upgraded to a cabin worth twice as much certainly seems less fair.  Many here believe that is more "fair".  Fairness doesn't seem easy to define.  

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In response to Hubofhockey 

re point 1 it’s not the popularity of the room in the case of moving up to a suite it’s the fundamental is it a walk in shower or a bath tub. If the upgrade system allowed some differentiation so you could bid on one or both types of club continental that would be fair. 

Re point 2 compared to other cruise lines past cruisers get pretty poor perks the upgrade was the only good one. Free nights are pretty meaningless in many cases - I was looking at a cruise recently and because you can’t book at the advertised price with current benefits but have to use a rate equivalent to rack rate it was going to be cheaper to lose the three free nights and book at the currently advertised rates

3. As a non US booker there are no meaningful additional protections for guests who pay by credit card so sorry we have all the disadvantages of booking earlier and now no advantages. 

 

We never ever booked expecting an upgrade maybe a few did but not us. The room we booked was one we’d be happy in. Sometimes we booked suites straight off other times balconies. In all the loyalty PR particularly a few years ago when other perks were reduced Azamara made SO much about the upgrade programme as being their USP loyalty benefit - times have changed. 

 

The new system could easily be tweaked. Stop the spin about loyalty playing a part would be the first thing. OK it’s another lost benefit but then everyone knows where they stand. Then include a process where people are emailed if they are successful and you have 48 hours to say if you do NOT want the room allocated eg silence is assumed to be acceptance. That way those who are concerned about their room type don’t waste money on a room that won’t work for them. I did suggest this to Azamara LCV at the time of the change but it was dismissed as their take is the system is working. 

As I say time will tell I’m not convinced 

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

In response to Hubofhockey 

re point 1 it’s not the popularity of the room in the case of moving up to a suite it’s the fundamental is it a walk in shower or a bath tub. If the upgrade system allowed some differentiation so you could bid on one or both types of club continental that would be fair. 

Re point 2 compared to other cruise lines past cruisers get pretty poor perks the upgrade was the only good one. Free nights are pretty meaningless in many cases - I was looking at a cruise recently and because you can’t book at the advertised price with current benefits but have to use a rate equivalent to rack rate it was going to be cheaper to lose the three free nights and book at the currently advertised rates

3. As a non US booker there are no meaningful additional protections for guests who pay by credit card so sorry we have all the disadvantages of booking earlier and now no advantages. 

 

We never ever booked expecting an upgrade maybe a few did but not us. The room we booked was one we’d be happy in. Sometimes we booked suites straight off other times balconies. In all the loyalty PR particularly a few years ago when other perks were reduced Azamara made SO much about the upgrade programme as being their USP loyalty benefit - times have changed. 

 

The new system could easily be tweaked. Stop the spin about loyalty playing a part would be the first thing. OK it’s another lost benefit but then everyone knows where they stand. Then include a process where people are emailed if they are successful and you have 48 hours to say if you do NOT want the room allocated eg silence is assumed to be acceptance. That way those who are concerned about their room type don’t waste money on a room that won’t work for them. I did suggest this to Azamara LCV at the time of the change but it was dismissed as their take is the system is working. 

As I say time will tell I’m not convinced 

Plus 1

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If it's mainly the option to take or reject a winning bid, then maybe they will tweak it upon suggestion.  That seems reasonable.  I thought the larger objection was that newer passengers or passengers with high volume travel agents were getting the opportunities.  

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