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Upgrade bid experiences

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On 3/23/2019 at 9:10 AM, uktog said:

Would it not be better to wait until the outcome of bids are known before posting and adding to the spreadsheet. Otherwise it is going to be difficult to tie up bids with outcomes. 

 

Whilst this spreadsheet may have potential to be useful it’s currently still in the category of potential confusion. 

 

Far cleaner if people wait and tell us what they bid and whether it was successful (plus their loyalty level)

 

That said you also need a disclaimer past bids will not guarantee future success!  I have a b2b coming up (won’t be bidding) but I know one is booked more solidly than the other. So I would expect successful bids to be at a far higher level on that one. There are so many variables that might come into play, we are only going to have a historical snapshot. That’s not surprising and will be why the process has been constructed this way by the cruise line. 

 

Nice to see you have changed your view on the bidding process. Sorry you weren't successful maybe next time!

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Belfastman said:

Nice to see you have changed your view on the bidding process. Sorry you weren't successful maybe next time!

Actually my view hasn’t changed. This was a test to see if I could convince myself otherwise. 

Edited by uktog

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Just an update. I have been cruising for the last 3 weeks. ... not on Azamara. Not spending much time on the internet during that time.  Before I left my TA told me that I should get the Upgrade bidding email 60 days before my sailing.  So I figured that it would be waiting when I reconnected.  WRong!! No upgrade email.  I did get the email from azamara with the online checkin instructions.  Still wondering why I have not gotten the Upgrade email and how many other people have not gotten any notice of the bidding procedure.  Obviously, Azamara has my email address.  Maybe Azamara plays favorites?

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3 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Just an update. I have been cruising for the last 3 weeks. ... not on Azamara. Not spending much time on the internet during that time.  Before I left my TA told me that I should get the Upgrade bidding email 60 days before my sailing.  So I figured that it would be waiting when I reconnected.  WRong!! No upgrade email.  I did get the email from azamara with the online checkin instructions.  Still wondering why I have not gotten the Upgrade email and how many other people have not gotten any notice of the bidding procedure.  Obviously, Azamara has my email address.  Maybe Azamara plays favorites?

Google Azamara Upgrade Program and you can go directly to the AZ page where you fill in your last name and booking number to determine if you are eligible to upgrade.  Good Luck!

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19 hours ago, Ithikan said:

Google Azamara Upgrade Program and you can go directly to the AZ page where you fill in your last name and booking number to determine if you are eligible to upgrade.  Good Luck!

 

22 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Just an update. I have been cruising for the last 3 weeks. ... not on Azamara. Not spending much time on the internet during that time.  Before I left my TA told me that I should get the Upgrade bidding email 60 days before my sailing.  So I figured that it would be waiting when I reconnected.  WRong!! No upgrade email.  I did get the email from azamara with the online checkin instructions.  Still wondering why I have not gotten the Upgrade email and how many other people have not gotten any notice of the bidding procedure.  Obviously, Azamara has my email address.  Maybe Azamara plays favorites?

 

I didn’t get the email either and when my bid was successful, it was my TA who received the email.  It could be the same for you perhaps?

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Not thrilled with the new selective email arrangement.  It gives me a bad feeling about the upcoming cruise. Loyalty doesn’t seem to be important. Starting to wonder about the actual cruise experience.  

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3 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Not thrilled with the new selective email arrangement.  It gives me a bad feeling about the upcoming cruise. Loyalty doesn’t seem to be important. Starting to wonder about the actual cruise experience.  

 

I know the feeling.  Our first Azamara cruise is coming up in a few weeks.  We have a few additional itineraries that we are holding, to perhaps book whilst on board.  

If the "on-board" experience does not live up to the "hype", there are still the other lines that we have enjoyed.  They always seem to be eager enough to accept our "travel funds".

 

NRayH

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On 4/3/2019 at 4:52 AM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I was assured by Bonnie, and others on this thread, that cruises bought onboard using LCV discounts etc still counted as ‘full fare or general marketplace promotions’ and would NOT disqualify anyone from making an upgrade bid. I will be very disappointed of this proves not to be the case.

 

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We booked onboard, we’re LCV members, did receive special pricing,(BOGO) and  we were offered to bid for an upgrade. 

Arlene 

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3 hours ago, Living.the.life said:

We booked onboard, we’re LCV members, did receive special pricing,(BOGO) and  we were offered to bid for an upgrade. 

Arlene 

Thanks for the information. Actually in the end the same applied to me, but we didn’t get the offer at 90 days,  it was more like 80 & when I used the online ‘am I eligible’ form at and after 90 days before, it kept telling me my booking wasn’t eligible - that was why I was concerned.

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6 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Thanks for the information. Actually in the end the same applied to me, but we didn’t get the offer at 90 days,  it was more like 80 & when I used the online ‘am I eligible’ form at and after 90 days before, it kept telling me my booking wasn’t eligible - that was why I was concerned.

I was able to retrieve the original upgrade offer email and found my offer, original bid and opportunity to change the bid. I’ll post here if my bid accepted. 

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Second fail.  Bid £200 each for 14 night 28 May for a suite in line with previous upgrade costs of $398 for 2. To be honest I’m not even sure the bid was even in the system. I initially bid at the outset but then my card got cancelled due to fraud. I contacted LCV and was advised to cancel

and rebid using the new card. I did that then got a gobbledygook email. Sent it to LCV they said it’s because you cancelled. I reminded them that it was on their advice I cancelled. They then confirmed they had a live bid but the system always showed it as cancelled and now I’ve not even had a you were unsuccessful email so I have serious doubts my bid was there. 

 

Last cruise I met successful bidders. If they are to be believed they only bid £400 more than us however they were discoverer level whereas we are platinum. So the loyalty multiplier is minuscule. 

 

This is has been a useful experience and test. It confirms my suspicions cash not loyalty counts nowadays. There was also value in booking early as upgrades requests were previously prioritised based on receipt. So all in all another reason there is no value in booking less than a few.months ahead and loyalty no longer matters in this scheme regardless of the spin put on it. Any reference to it should be removed from loyalty benefits and the in room TVs that still tell me about the $398 upgrade. 

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3 hours ago, uktog said:

Last cruise I met successful bidders. If they are to be believed they only bid £400 more than us however they were discoverer level whereas we are platinum. So the loyalty multiplier is minuscule. 

Does this mean that passengers are freely discussing their upgrade bid experiences onboard - including prices?  I realize HGC's spreadsheet is out there for all to see, with numbers, but I recall that "price paid" conversations were, happily, rare once we sailed.  In the past when I heard of an upgrade I knew it went to someone who had committed to the sailing (with deposit!) quite early, or, had been a frequent cruiser with "loyalty" demonstrated consistently via their checkbook.  

Is it possible that most upgrades were, in the past, going to a relatively few longtime-loyal pax and Azamara moved to the bid system to encourage new cruisers?  I find the entire process disheartening.  This 'mini-competition with a price tag' prior to ever boarding is not conducive to happy trip-planning, IMO.

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4 hours ago, uktog said:

Second fail.  Bid £200 each for 14 night 28 May for a suite in line with previous upgrade costs of $398 for 2. To be honest I’m not even sure the bid was even in the system. I initially bid at the outset but then my card got cancelled due to fraud. I contacted LCV and was advised to cancel

and rebid using the new card. I did that then got a gobbledygook email. Sent it to LCV they said it’s because you cancelled. I reminded them that it was on their advice I cancelled. They then confirmed they had a live bid but the system always showed it as cancelled and now I’ve not even had a you were unsuccessful email so I have serious doubts my bid was there. 

 

Last cruise I met successful bidders. If they are to be believed they only bid £400 more than us however they were discoverer level whereas we are platinum. So the loyalty multiplier is minuscule. 

 

This is has been a useful experience and test. It confirms my suspicions cash not loyalty counts nowadays. There was also value in booking early as upgrades requests were previously prioritised based on receipt. So all in all another reason there is no value in booking less than a few.months ahead and loyalty no longer matters in this scheme regardless of the spin put on it. Any reference to it should be removed from loyalty benefits and the in room TVs that still tell me about the $398 upgrade. 

Loyalty is only a factor when there are two or more bids equal.

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The obvious outcome is money matters, not loyalty or early booking.  It suggests that Azamara is in the same class as Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. It is sad to see.  Not happy with the precruise experience. Every request has been forgotten. 

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Certainly on the last cruise some guests were very keen to boast of their upgrades. Not something that I’d seen on the old system but these guests were also sadly quite negative about their cruising experience (invalid criticism  in our view). 

We always new money talked to some extent but the spin talked about s loyalty multiplier. To date it seems to be minuscule if even In existence and the system for communication still has issues. 

I would add on this current cruise there were a significant number of suites available all disappeared overnight. If upgrades were processed then it worked against many as most guests still did not have their emails etc. 

Anyway what’s done is done. Lets just all learn from how it’s working on the ground. 

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14 hours ago, Ithikan said:

Does this mean that passengers are freely discussing their upgrade bid experiences onboard - including prices?  I realize HGC's spreadsheet is out there for all to see, with numbers, but I recall that "price paid" conversations were, happily, rare once we sailed.  In the past when I heard of an upgrade I knew it went to someone who had committed to the sailing (with deposit!) quite early, or, had been a frequent cruiser with "loyalty" demonstrated consistently via their checkbook.  

Is it possible that most upgrades were, in the past, going to a relatively few longtime-loyal pax and Azamara moved to the bid system to encourage new cruisers?  I find the entire process disheartening.  This 'mini-competition with a price tag' prior to ever boarding is not conducive to happy trip-planning, IMO.

 

There are certainly some cruisers who are not discussing their upgrade experience including price paid. Nor will they be participating in the spreadsheet. One reason, apart from appropriate behaviour, is that it seems that one’s “worthiness” might (will?) be called into question. 

 

In other posts, it has been suggested that now some are not truly appreciating their suites, I wonder if those under the old method, who regularly received them through upgrades, started to take them for granted.

 

i was never certain as to how upgrade decisions were made in the prior system, and several comments about this issue have suggested to me, at least, that there was certainly a significant level of subjectivity. How many criteria were actually being considered?

 

There are those whom I will call “loyalty absolutists”. Their argument seems to be that LCV Level should trump all other considerations. I can think of other criteria  that should apply; for example, celebrating a honeymoon, recognizing milestone birthdays and anniversaries, completing a rigorous medical protocol, and having already been successful in garnering an upgrade, The only legitimate way to recognize these, in my view, is to allow some kind of bidding process.

 

On the other hand, I agree that early commitment to a particular itinerary should be rewarded. Unfortunately present pricing policies may be making that commitment less attractive. As well, loyalty level should also be a consideration.

 

Tbe problem, is the lack of transparency around the algorithms being used. That should be rectified.

 

I do find it disheartening that occasionally some resentment seems to be expressed towards those who are successful. I hope that more transparency can eliminate that.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, nordski said:

 

There are certainly some cruisers who are not discussing their upgrade experience including price paid. Nor will they be participating in the spreadsheet. One reason, apart from appropriate behaviour, is that it seems that one’s “worthiness” might (will?) be called into question. 

 

In other posts, it has been suggested that now some are not truly appreciating their suites, I wonder if those under the old method, who regularly received them through upgrades, started to take them for granted.

 

i was never certain as to how upgrade decisions were made in the prior system, and several comments about this issue have suggested to me, at least, that there was certainly a significant level of subjectivity. How many criteria were actually being considered?

 

There are those whom I will call “loyalty absolutists”. Their argument seems to be that LCV Level should trump all other considerations. I can think of other criteria  that should apply; for example, celebrating a honeymoon, recognizing milestone birthdays and anniversaries, completing a rigorous medical protocol, and having already been successful in garnering an upgrade, The only legitimate way to recognize these, in my view, is to allow some kind of bidding process.

 

On the other hand, I agree that early commitment to a particular itinerary should be rewarded. Unfortunately present pricing policies may be making that commitment less attractive. As well, loyalty level should also be a consideration.

 

Tbe problem, is the lack of transparency around the algorithms being used. That should be rectified.

 

I do find it disheartening that occasionally some resentment seems to be expressed towards those who are successful. I hope that more transparency can eliminate that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a newbie who won a bid, I do feel the resentment.  I purposely chose to increase our bid on this occasion for two reasons.  It’s the first year of the new system and I figured there would be more chance of success and it is a very, very special occasion for us health wise.  

 

I will also say that if this new system comes up in conversation on our cruise, I will say we won our bid and if that is seen as boasting so be it.  

 

In terms of booking in advance, I had already decided to book our next cruise on board if we enjoy it so that we would benefit from early booking discounts, etc.  However, with the last minute deals I now doubt we will do this.  We are interested in the South Africa itineraries for 2020/21 and as there are so many of them are wondering if it may pay to wait.

Edited by Werangels

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Posted (edited)

 Nordski is correct it’s the lack of transparency that’s the issue. There were always reasons upgrades were given that were nothing to do with loyalty and I expect that to continue. 

I always book a category I wanted and whilst upgrades happened on about 20% of cruises on the old system once we passed to the top tier they were never expected. 

What disappoints is that in emails to us personally and comments made elsewhere we were assured the system was functioning perfectly and that levels of loyalty still paid a key part in the algorithm. The absence of the rejection email, the gobbledegook other emails and hearing that £400 (if that’s true) trounced two levels of loyalty makes me believe otherwise. 

Anyway I won’t be bidding for our next cruises and will also book late for 2020 given how much extra we paid for these two still enjoyable cruises. They are extremely enjoyable just not value in our calculations 

Edited by uktog

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17 hours ago, uktog said:

 Nordski is correct it’s the lack of transparency that’s the issue. There were always reasons upgrades were given that were nothing to do with loyalty and I expect that to continue. 

I always book a category I wanted and whilst upgrades happened on about 20% of cruises on the old system once we passed to the top tier they were never expected. 

What disappoints is that in emails to us personally and comments made elsewhere we were assured the system was functioning perfectly and that levels of loyalty still paid a key part in the algorithm. The absence of the rejection email, the gobbledegook other emails and hearing that £400 (if that’s true) trounced two levels of loyalty makes me believe otherwise. 

Anyway I won’t be bidding for our next cruises and will also book late for 2020 given how much extra we paid for these two still enjoyable cruises. They are extremely enjoyable just not value in our calculations 

This again confirms my suspicion that the algorithm only comes into play when the TOP bids are equal. In other words whoever bids the most is successful and if two or more bid that figure then the multiplier ( or simply who is the top loyalty bidder) is applied.

In this scenario Azamara collect the most cash available.

I asked Bonnie in a thread if this was how the system worked but didn’t get a response!

If this is true then loyalty means virtually nothing in the process.

I may be wrong but if no one who knows for sure clarifies the process then based upon results such as above it remains a possibility  

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Still receiving emails promoting the new upgrade program trying to encourage bids with only about one week to departure.

Our balcony grade is showing sold out on the Azamara site, not interested in blind bidding anyway, we booked for the location and grade we are happy with. 

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1 minute ago, Bloodaxe said:

Still receiving emails promoting the new upgrade program trying to encourage bids with only about one week to departure.

Our balcony grade is showing sold out on the Azamara site, not interested in blind bidding anyway, we booked for the location and grade we are happy with. 

We did bid for a Verandah on our cruise departing in 4 weeks. There are still verandah cabins available and we’re still waiting to hear if our bid is accepted - or not!

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Still left out. Called Azamara, requesting the upgrade email and confirming that it be sent to me.  Also, asked for real luggage tags. Got some attitude and was told that if they sent me tags, it would take too long to be mailed out. Got them in less than a week.  They have my email address.  Still have not received the upgrade email from either my TA or Azamara.  Makes you really wonder how many people have been left out or are still hoping for a $398 upgrade. When Azamara changed its name to Azamara CLUB,  they became more expensive, more inclusive and more exclusive.  Not sure what or why is happening.  It just feels like loyalty is not valued.  As a discoverer plus, I do not feel included in the CLUB.  Anyone else feel that loyalty is not worth much?  

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