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Upgrade bid experiences

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1 hour ago, marinaro44 said:

As I understand the upgrade scheme, LCV level is not a factor in deciding who gets upgrades.

I thought that LCV grade comes into play if two competing bids are equal.

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Straight copy & paste from the UK website in relation to the upgrade programme:

 

Le Club Voyage members will enjoy priority status based on LCV tier level.

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6 minutes ago, hamrag said:

Straight copy & paste from the UK website in relation to the upgrade programme:

 

Le Club Voyage members will enjoy priority status based on LCV tier level.

I think the poster was making the point that they have not seen any evidence of it actually being applied - quite a few folks are now doubting it is - theres no evidence either way in reality

Edited by uktog

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4 hours ago, hamrag said:

Straight copy & paste from the UK website in relation to the upgrade programme:

 

Le Club Voyage members will enjoy priority status based on LCV tier level.

It was made clear that the so-called "priority" was nothing more than a tie-breaker in case two or more people bid the same amount.  So, if bidding for an Owner's suite where the bidding range is from $4000 to $8000, if two people both bid, say, $5640, the higher level LCV member would win.  What are the odds of getting two identical bids within a range of many hundreds or several thousands of dollars?  Some priority.

 

Don't believe everything you read, hamrag.  It was originally stated here and on the web site that LCV members would get a "boost."  Then we learned the so-called "boost" was just the tie-breaker.

 

My understanding is that Azamara is looking into a way to factor LCV level into the scheme.  I have to say I'm not optimistic given the recent influx of RCI and Celebrity executives into Azamara management.

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8 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

It was made clear that the so-called "priority" was nothing more than a tie-breaker in case two or more people bid the same amount.....

 

First, to say I have not yet cruised Azamara and am hugely anticipating excellent B2B cruises on Nov 30th and Dec 7th.....so I have no axe to grind with anyone or their opinion in relation to the Az product!

 

But, to be fair to Az that complies with the 'letter of the law'.....some may argue that is true, but does not reflect the 'spirit of the law'. 😉

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And the odds of an explorer, an adventurer and a discoverer bidding the same...... so loyalty is so unlikely to come into play.

 

Hamrag, I think the issue is what was promised given what this scheme replaced and what was delivered.

Edited by uktog

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13 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

It was made clear that the so-called "priority" was nothing more than a tie-breaker in case two or more people bid the same amount.  So, if bidding for an Owner's suite where the bidding range is from $4000 to $8000, if two people both bid, say, $5640, the higher level LCV member would win.  What are the odds of getting two identical bids within a range of many hundreds or several thousands of dollars?  Some priority.

 

Don't believe everything you read, hamrag.  It was originally stated here and on the web site that LCV members would get a "boost."  Then we learned the so-called "boost" was just the tie-breaker.

 

My understanding is that Azamara is looking into a way to factor LCV level into the scheme.  I have to say I'm not optimistic given the recent influx of RCI and Celebrity executives into Azamara management.


I was not aware that RCI and X execs had a recent influx into Azamara management.  That can’t be good.

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I haven't read all of the posts, but we have not had any luck with the bidding system.  We are Discoverer Plus and when they had the old system of the $398 upgrade, we had booked several cruises way in advance and booked a balcony and were successful in getting the $398 upgrade to a continent suite.   Last year we booked a cruise for this August and booked a balcony again.  We booked the cruise 18 months in advance and felt we would have another good chance of the $398 upgrade.  We then learned months after that of the change and now the typical Royal Caribbean influence was the bidding system and LCV level would get you a "boost" but no one has EVER explained what kind of "boost" and when we asked the future booking agent onboard, he claimed it really is a "boost" but he had been sworn to secrecy as to how it works.    We receive emails from Azamara, but never got the invite to bid - I had also called upon finding out about the new bidding system and asked if those who had booked a cruise when the old $398 system was in place would be "grandfathered" in, and was told "no",  and we would have to bid.  We never received an invitation to bid, and I had to send several messages to LCV contacts and they finally sent me a link to place a bid.  We placed what they determined to be a "low" bid, and never got an upgrade.  To make matters even worse, we had friends who had booked an aft facing balcony just a few doors down from our cabin and cancelled about a month before sailing.  I called my travel agent and she called Azamara, and I also called Azamara myself to ask if we could switch to the aft cabin for what the difference was when we initially booked (approx. several hundred dollars a person) and was told "no", that we would have to pay what the price difference was at that time and it was an additional $7,000 per person just to switch from a standard balcony to an aft facing one.  I thought they were surely joking or had made a mistake, but after calling two more times we were told the same thing and needless to say we did not switch cabins.  We got an email from Azamara about 24 hours before sailing saying "sorry your bid was not accepted".   We had dinner one night with a couple who were top tier level and they had bid also but did not say what category cabin they were in before they placed a bid, and said their bid was not accepted either.  So, since the bidding system has started, I haven't known of anyone who has gotten an upgrade, regardless of their LCV status.  It seems the Royal Caribbean execs want MONEY instead of keeping loyal guests and could care less about the loyalty or LCV status and the whole "boost" thing is a joke.  Especially since no one will tell you how it works or if it really is such a thing.  We used to like to book way in advance to try to secure the $398 upgrade, but on our particular cruise we watched the price go from what we paid initially, to way up,  and finally right before sailing the price was lowered to what we paid when we booked 18 months in advance and the Inside cabins dropped drastically  to less than $100 a day and half of the people that we met were cruising with Azamara for the first time because they took advantage of the last minute price drop.  Now since the $398 offer doesn't exist any longer, and prices go up and down, if you are flexible and can travel on short notice, it doesn't give guests any incentive to book early any more, and doesn't give guests any reason to be loyal to Azamara if your LCV status really doesn't mean anything.

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Just to say that there are quite a few people who have obtained upgrades using the new system, including us - we got one from Oceanview to Verandah on our last cruise in s July.

If you look at the spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pEoojQ5-EPmD4cI3gw1dVcYfYTXfZePdDXxU09l0H3M you’ll see the range of reported successful and unsuccessful bids.

If you can’t access this, let me know and I’ll post the link to a PDF version.

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On 10/25/2019 at 6:33 PM, uktog said:

I think the poster was making the point that they have not seen any evidence of it actually being applied - quite a few folks are now doubting it is - theres no evidence either way in reality

Yes, and I also wonder if, when the LCV Members in the same tier apply and are considered, does it come down to actual points, cruises or what for the winning bid?  It's a floored system of upgrading.

 

We're disappointed. No longer will we be booking in advance. I understand this is a business to be run but Azamara have dished out a bitter pill.  Our current upcoming cruise is being sold at half (yes I'm not joking) the price we paid for it by booking early.

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I see on the upgrade form if you hover over the  question mark by the bid slider it now says "the actual upgrade price may vary depending on your original fare and upgrade availability"  This is the first time I have seen any reference to original fare.  And the email address is showing as Plusgrade who are a company who provide upgrading solutions for the travel industry i.e. its outsourced and not an LCV managed event

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Interesting.

Also interesting that the size of the minimum bid seems to alter over time. For my forthcoming cruise the minimum when I first got the email was £200pp, then it went down to £160pp and today it’s down to £155pp (upgrade from OV to Verandah)

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2 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Interesting.

Also interesting that the size of the minimum bid seems to alter over time. For my forthcoming cruise the minimum when I first got the email was £200pp, then it went down to £160pp and today it’s down to £155pp (upgrade from OV to Verandah)

Yes same here so now there is an additional conundrum on when to bid.  There is no mention anywhere of loyalty level so I think that as we thought is not a factor going forward

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14 hours ago, uktog said:

I see on the upgrade form if you hover over the  question mark by the bid slider it now says "the actual upgrade price may vary depending on your original fare and upgrade availability"  This is the first time I have seen any reference to original fare.  And the email address is showing as Plusgrade who are a company who provide upgrading solutions for the travel industry i.e. its outsourced and not an LCV managed event

You will know by now that we are Az newbies, but I noticed exactly that showing from the outset when we were able to bid (chose not to). From memory that was just over a month ago.

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On 10/26/2019 at 11:10 AM, aussie travel bird said:

We're disappointed. No longer will we be booking in advance. I understand this is a business to be run but Azamara have dished out a bitter pill.  Our current upcoming cruise is being sold at half (yes I'm not joking) the price we paid for it by booking early.

That has to hurt, aussie travel bird.  You book early, you watch prices go up, and then plummet.

I am watching an itinerary for 2021, and note that just overnight the price for a suite went up by $1,000.  Not veranda, just suite.  Since it is over 12 months out, I expect the price for all staterooms to continue to creep up until - Wham! - they are magically halved, just months or weeks before sail date.

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We booked our 2022 South America cruise when we were onboard in August.  At that point the 2022 cruises were just coming out.  No more than three weeks after we got home, our same CC suite had gone up $2500 each passenger.  Also over the last two months, all of the highest suites have been reserved, so no chance of upgrade for us.  I'm glad we booked when we did and will keep watching the fare fluctuation until final payment in case the fare drops again.  This subtle, or not so subtle, increase and decrease of fares ultimately requires passengers to spend much more time than they should checking on fares.

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On 10/29/2019 at 8:16 AM, hamrag said:

You will know by now that we are Az newbies, but I noticed exactly that showing from the outset when we were able to bid (chose not to). From memory that was just over a month ago.

 

The same when we made our upgrade bid.  I think that was about 3 months ago now.

Edited by tring

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Hello! Has Azamara (or plusgrade.com) removed the “weak/strong” ratings on bids? I checked on my link to an existing bid (sailing December 8, 2019) and I couldn’t see any indication of the sliding scale. Thanks for any and all insights. 

Edited by Harrietq

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1 hour ago, Harrietq said:

Hello! Has Azamara (or plusgrade.com) removed the “weak/strong” ratings on bids? I checked on my link to an existing bid (sailing December 8, 2019) and I couldn’t see any indication of the sliding scale. Thanks for any and all insights. 

It still shows when I click through on my last invitation to bid - it’s above the little half circle/fan to the right of the bidding bar. Maybe it just doesn’t show after you’ve made your bid.

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17 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

It still shows when I click through on my last invitation to bid - it’s above the little half circle/fan to the right of the bidding bar. Maybe it just doesn’t show after you’ve made your bid.

It does 

Probably a change showing for later sailings 

Edited by uktog

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39 minutes ago, uktog said:

It does 

Probably a change showing for later sailings 

It appears on non-mobile sites. I checked my PC and it was there. On my phone, the sliding scale offered no information about bid strength. Thanks for your replies!

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