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Upgrade bid experiences

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3 hours ago, Redtravel said:

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?  

 

It seems that many long time Azamara cruisers are feeling just the same.

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On 6/2/2019 at 10:42 AM, 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. 

Exactly my experience and the thoughts I have too. The LCV upgrade potential is no longer a benefit for me because I won't pay the price and more importantly won't bid on a cabin location I have no control over. I'm glad that I have a cabin in a location I am always happy with. 

 

Phil 

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Agree.  As much as it would be nice to have extra space, giving up a good midship location isn’t worth risking. We also need a walk-in shower due to a disability. Came to the same conclusion on my last Celebrity cruise. We had a hump cabin which we booked way in advance.  Azamara could find that bidding may turn people off and that fewer guests bid. I prefer offering you an upgrade either as you embark or going back to the $398 upgrade process.  Getting guests to be loyal should have some good value. I have watched Azamara downgrade LCV benefits. As discoverer plus, I used to get similar benefits to Captains Club...240 WiFi minutes, 2 free bags laundry pp per cruise, etc.  a free laundry room isn’t a real incentive. Those free bags of laundry were excellent.  Sadly on my upcoming cruise, I get 1 bag per cabin instead of the previous 4.  It means that I have to pack more clothes, pay to send out laundry, or wait to get a washing machine. Getting a washer can involve a long wait. Not my idea of a upscale cruise. On one Azamara cruise, I remember seeing a line outside the  laundry room door.  My WiFi minutes are also cut down to 120. 

 

One cruise line that I often sail on has you request an upgrade on embarkation. They put your request on a list which stops in late afternoon. Just don’t unpack and wait until late afternoon to be told of a possible upgrade. Cabin upgrades are only offered to past guests and are free. Suite upgrades are $500 per suite. You are told the cabin # and can opt in or out.  The more times you have sailed on that line, the better your chance to get an upgrade. It is really a great way to handle the upgrades. Nobody is left out if they don’t get an email. 

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Yes and it should be one bag per guest not one per suite. On Celebrity (though I don’t really want to go back there but could do) it’s unlimited free laundry and WiFi and premium drinks at my loyalty level. 

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Ok, I realise this is an Upgrade thread not a loyalty thread so will keep this brief. In a competitive world where loyalty is highly prized  by most businesses, it seems odd to me that  LCV is not treating its biggest spenders better. Maybe introduce free upgrade vouchers for those customers who reach a certain level of spending per year? This allows for better recognition of the big spenders, and allows for those who are loyal, but with smaller budgets, or less free time, to still climb the loyalty tiers at their own pace. I would be very worried if I were Azamara,  that loyal cruisers and big spenders are on CC talking about going elsewhere!

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I thought I would provide you my experience. I received an email today...forwarded to me from my TA saying I could take advantage of an upgrade. Cruise is T/P on Quest August 7. I don't believe this cruise has sold very well...all categories are available on the AZ website except inside. We are booked in a balcony and all categories above that level were listed as available. For a Club Continent Suite a range of 0 to $

1500.00 was given. I moved the tab and discovered that  a bid of $800.00 pp was considered "weak", $870 "fair" and $1250.00 "strong. 

 

So a $498.00 upgrade for a cabin (which I did receive once) has now turned into a$2500.00 fee if I wanted to  "bid strong" for an upgrade...a $2002.00 increase....and no guarantee that it would be accepted. And no idea where the cabin would be located. 

 

So ' No Thank You". And note that this is 2 months out from sailing...and it seems the email was received far earlier than other's have received the "chance" to bid...I suppose because the cruise is not selling.  LuAnn

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, LuAnn said:

I thought I would provide you my experience. I received an email today...forwarded to me from my TA saying I could take advantage of an upgrade. Cruise is T/P on Quest August 7. I don't believe this cruise has sold very well...all categories are available on the AZ website except inside. We are booked in a balcony and all categories above that level were listed as available. For a Club Continent Suite a range of 0 to $

1500.00 was given. I moved the tab and discovered that  a bid of $800.00 pp was considered "weak", $870 "fair" and $1250.00 "strong. 

 

So a $498.00 upgrade for a cabin (which I did receive once) has now turned into a$2500.00 fee if I wanted to  "bid strong" for an upgrade...a $2002.00 increase....and no guarantee that it would be accepted. And no idea where the cabin would be located. 

 

So ' No Thank You". And note that this is 2 months out from sailing...and it seems the email was received far earlier than other's have received the "chance" to bid...I suppose because the cruise is not selling.  LuAnn

I'd say those "weak, fair, strong" assessments are just a crass way to induce us to bid higher to fatten Azamara's wallet.  Cheap, tawdry scheme, if you ask me.  Very disappointing they're stooping so low with fares now so high.

Edited by marinaro44

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2 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

I'd say those "weak, fair, strong" assessments are just a crass way to induce us to bid higher to fatten Azamara's wallet.  Cheap, tawdry scheme, if you ask me.  Very disappointing they're stooping so low with fares now so high.

 

Totally agree, still receiving promotional emails for extras only days before departure.

That never used to happen, all it does is make me less likely to purchase anything.

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I think people are getting too hung up about 'weak' or 'strong' bids - I bid what was described as a weak bid for a suite and was successful on a cruise where there were only three or four suites available. My bid was actually what would have been paid for an upgrade under the old system.

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2 hours ago, Belfastman said:

I think people are getting too hung up about 'weak' or 'strong' bids - I bid what was described as a weak bid for a suite and was successful on a cruise where there were only three or four suites available. My bid was actually what would have been paid for an upgrade under the old system.

 

I agree.

 

in our case we treat the decision much like considering the beverage and wifi packages, or more broadly the Essentials, Enjoyment, or Indulgences Packages. 

 

In other words, what it is worth to us knowing that we don’t get to choose the stateroom.

 

Considering that lack of choice, we made a weak bid and would have been happy with either a successful or failing result.

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8 hours ago, nordski said:

 

I agree.

 

in our case we treat the decision much like considering the beverage and wifi packages, or more broadly the Essentials, Enjoyment, or Indulgences Packages. 

 

In other words, what it is worth to us knowing that we don’t get to choose the stateroom.

 

Considering that lack of choice, we made a weak bid and would have been happy with either a successful or failing result.

 

Was your bid accepted? LuAnn

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13 hours ago, LuAnn said:

 

Was your bid accepted? LuAnn

 

I have been determined not to share information about the amount bid and its success or failure, but your question is a fair one based upon what I posted.

 

Our weak bid for a Club Continent Suite was accepted. 

 

Despite one minor factor, the existence of a bathtub which challenges our lack of flexibility, we have been extremely happy with the stateroom. This satisfaction has easily justified to us the amount we bid. 

 

Were others on the cruise more deserving based solely upon loyalty level? No question. But, selfishly, this suite has been a factor in making this one of the most enjoyable Azamara cruises we have experienced.

 

We also appreciate that, by defining our parameters, we have some control over the upgrade process. We never had that sense under the old system which we considered even more opaque than the one currently in use. In fact, our only offer under the previous programme became a rather stressful experience.

 

Further to defining those parameters. Next year we celebrate a milestone anniversary. Since it is my wife who especially enjoys the suite, I have a choice to be more aggressive in bidding to attempt to attain a surprise gift that she will really value.

 

The only disadvantage to the suite that I can think of is that the gold sea pass, and some of the perks that go with it, has encouraged me to think I’m rather more special than I am. However, a return home and contact with the kids and grandkids will quickly cure me of that attitude. 😄

 

But I will reiterate that, as I have posted before, the use of algorithms in this new programme should allow more transparency to the process.

Also, as I understand it, solo cruisers have to bid as if there are two people are in the stateroom.

 

That seems to be unfair.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, nordski said:

 

I have been determined not to share information about the amount bid and its success or failure, but your question is a fair one based upon what I posted.

 

Our weak bid for a Club Continent Suite was accepted. 

 

Despite one minor factor, the existence of a bathtub which challenges our lack of flexibility, we have been extremely happy with the stateroom. This satisfaction has easily justified to us the amount we bid. 

 

Were others on the cruise more deserving based solely upon loyalty level? No question. But, selfishly, this suite has been a factor in making this one of the most enjoyable Azamara cruises we have experienced.

 

We also appreciate that, by defining our parameters, we have some control over the upgrade process. We never had that sense under the old system which we considered even more opaque than the one currently in use. In fact, our only offer under the previous programme became a rather stressful experience.

 

Further to defining those parameters. Next year we celebrate a milestone anniversary. Since it is my wife who especially enjoys the suite, I have a choice to be more aggressive in bidding to attempt to attain a surprise gift that she will really value.

 

The only disadvantage to the suite that I can think of is that the gold sea pass, and some of the perks that go with it, has encouraged me to think I’m rather more special than I am. However, a return home and contact with the kids and grandkids will quickly cure me of that attitude. 😄

 

But I will reiterate that, as I have posted before, the use of algorithms in this new programme should allow more transparency to the process.

Also, as I understand it, solo cruisers have to bid as if there are two people are in the stateroom.

 

That seems to be unfair.

 

 

I know you said you didn’t want to post information about your bid, but that information added to the spreadsheet could help others. If you would be willing, it would be really helpful to know the following: Date you made the bid, cruise date, cruise length, your loyalty level, the minimum bid and your bid. The rest I know from your posts. If it would help you could email me at hostgrandmacruising@cruisecritic.com. I would then add the information to the spreadsheet where it is anonymous.

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I have been led to believe the algorithm has not been working correctly on every cruise. The program itself certainly did not work on 28 May cruise where emails advising a bid was unsatisfactory was not sent. 

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Can’t remember whether we got an email about upgrade applications under the old system - I seem to think that I always just assumed that if I’d heard nothing by 2/3 days before the cruise, I wasn’t going to get upgraded. At that point I printed my luggage labels.  Could be that I’m misremembering things, though.

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You get emails in the new system if it’s working properly 

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19 minutes ago, uktog said:

You get emails in the new system if it’s working properly 

If you’re booked through a TA, do they get the emails?

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16 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

If you’re booked through a TA, do they get the emails?

 

‘My travel agent got the emails, not me.

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17 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

If you’re booked through a TA, do they get the emails?

I’ve no idea mine were direct bookings so an agent can’t be blamed 

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3 hours ago, nordski said:

The only disadvantage to the suite that I can think of is that the gold sea pass, and some of the perks that go with it, has encouraged me to think I’m rather more special than I am. However, a return home and contact with the kids and grandkids will quickly cure me of that attitude. 😄

 

Happy for your happiness, Mr. and Mrs. nordski.  We cannot bid now, due to our TA of choice, and only lucked into a suite one time under the old upgrade process - but we loved it!  May I ask, what do you mean by "gold sea pass?"

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7 hours ago, nordski said:

But I will reiterate that, as I have posted before, the use of algorithms in this new programme should allow more transparency to the process.

There is no transparency until the mysterious "boost" allegedly given to LCV members is quantified...by LCV level.

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10 hours ago, Ithikan said:

Happy for your happiness, Mr. and Mrs. nordski.  We cannot bid now, due to our TA of choice, and only lucked into a suite one time under the old upgrade process - but we loved it!  May I ask, what do you mean by "gold sea pass?"

 

Apologies for causing confusion with the incorrect term.

 

it is a gold key card.

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Somebody on our recent cruise, two categories lower than us, bid $80 more than we did and were successful for a CC suite; we were unsuccessful.

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1 hour ago, islington said:

Somebody on our recent cruise, two categories lower than us, bid $80 more than we did and were successful for a CC suite; we were unsuccessful.

Guess you need several decimal places to measure the alleged "boost."

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