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snowglobe

Bonnie - NZ cruises clarifications, can you check into this please?

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Hi snow globe,

I understand the Christchurch tours should be online by late next week!

 

We are looking into the AzAmazing evenings as well as the tours you call out.

 

 

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Thank you, Bonnie.

On a side note, after 5 weeks, my issue of being unable to log into my account has finally been resolved.

Apparently, it was a system issue that was resolved earlier this week - it did require the assistance of a rep though to finally get it right today. 🙂

Edited by snowglobe

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25 minutes ago, snowglobe said:

Thank you, Bonnie.

On a side note, after 5 weeks, my issue of being unable to log into my account has finally been resolved.

Apparently, it was a system issue that was resolved earlier this week - it did require the assistance of a rep though to finally get it right today. 🙂

I’m SO glad ❤️

Thanks for letting me know.

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22 hours ago, snowglobe said:

 

Hi Laurie,

Is this the AzAmazing evening with the Maori choir that you enjoyed in Wellington?

 

”AZAMAZING EVENING - EVENING SYMPHONY AT WELLINGTON CATHEDRAL OF ST PAUL

Spend an evening enveloped in the world’s greatest musical compositions in a truly inspired setting. Travel into the heart of Wellington to visit its strikingly modern cathedral, completed in 1998, and now a proud icon of the city. Arrive to a selection of savory treats, including mini pavlovas, Kikorangi Blue Cheese on gingerbread biscotti, and tri-colored chocolate truffles. Sip a cocktail and soak up the ambiance. You’ll also enjoy the unique privilege of meeting the Orchestra Wellington Musical Director, Marc Taddei, well-known for his intimate engagement with the audience (which you’ll soon experience). Take your seat and marvel as the Orchestra Wellington performs storied works, such as Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’ and Grieg’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’. You’ll also hear iconic New Zealand songs and arias by Verdi and Puccini. Enjoy masterful works amid masterful architecture during this Azamazing Evening at St. Paul’s Cathedral.”

 

Thanks!

 

 

Ours was held in a museum after hours. I believe it was orchestra Wellington but can’t say for certain.  I do remember the director being very outgoing 

Edited by laurieb

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56 minutes ago, laurieb said:

Ours was held in a museum after hours. I believe it was orchestra Wellington but can’t say for certain.  I do remember the director being very outgoing 

 

This one?

 

3049F88D-FE84-461B-A9DB-615E920CED61.jpeg

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1 hour ago, snowglobe said:

 

This one?

 

3049F88D-FE84-461B-A9DB-615E920CED61.jpeg

It was at Te Papa but wasn’t this.  This looks wonderful!  We had a Maori music performance along with orchestra.  

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On 7/25/2019 at 10:08 PM, laurieb said:

It was at Te Papa but wasn’t this.  This looks wonderful!  We had a Maori music performance along with orchestra.  

 

It looks really wonderful as a selling point - it was one of the things, along with the shore excursions,  that make this Azamara cruise stand out from the others in the region for the season.

 

But it’s not what we’re getting.

Edited by snowglobe

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The Cristchurch shore exs have just been posted. Finally.  There are still some issues with the rest of the ports. I mentioned earlier that all excursions, with a few exceptions, seems to be starting 50 minutes after docking time. All Bay of Island excursions starts at 07:20 since arrival time is 06:30. In Picton excursions starts at 07:50. Docking time is 07:00. This is the same for most ports. I suspect this is going to get corrected before the cruise starts, but I also worry that it will get forgotten. I don’t want to go on a wine tour at 07:50. These tours will not sell. Hopefully you can point this to the right people, again, Bonnie.

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Hello Bonnie,

 

It’s now been over two months since this thread was started, and well over a month since several shorex issues were brought to your attention and subsequently passed on by you to the appropriate dept. (thanks). However, several still remain uncorrected.

 

We’re coming very close to our Final Payment dates, esp for the many passengers who booked b2b segments of the Jan-Feb Grand Voyage.

 

Why do we not yet have the AzAmazing Evening schedule confirmed for the Jan. 23rd sailing? For the Jan. 5th sailing, it’s been confirmed for Honolulu and for the Feb. 8th sailing for Wellington (with which we’ve already been let down, as it’s not at all the AzAmazing Evening that is advertised on the Azamara website in conjunction with this specific sailing.) 

 

Can you at least confirm the port of call that it will be held in, as a venue must already have been reserved for this Jan. 23rd sailing by now? I would like to book an evening out in advance in Wellington, initially believing that one of two nights (over two cruises) would be available for this. However, having two b2b AzAmazing Evenings in the same port looks very likely right now, and in line with the overall lazily-thrown-together Azamara shorex offerings in New Zealand for our cruises.

 

I have to say that up to now, the land products integral to the cruising experience for our b2b cruises on this Grand Voyage, especially for all of the New Zealand cruise ports are a major disappointment (except for the very recent addition of Christchurch - where someone actually had to pay attention to details after the Akaroa snafu.)

 

Our “intensive” New Zealand experiences for two cruise segments of this Grand Voyage are falling short, and Azamara is not living up to its reputation here.

Edited by snowglobe
Autocorrect typo ;)

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This was the AzAmazing Evening advertised on the website when we booked: 

172D2062-CE89-4EC5-AF47-7C52E0713CDC.thumb.jpeg.5391c4e6a511517270cfe3d81794fbd7.jpeg

 

Which is what we saw and liked very much when we booked our cruises. Before some website changes in the interim, you would click on the “Book Now” button and our cruise date would be one on offer to make a reservation.

 

This is now what is scheduled for the Feb. 8 sailing:

 

088C9C62-2130-45C9-B069-D8561F8F0DC7.thumb.jpeg.e234d1092c418c51724374eb60e288fc.jpeg

This is no different than what we can get at home (with better seating choices and without lining up to be loaded onto buses.)

 

What should we expect for the January 23rd sailing is what I’d very much like to know. If it’ll be a repeat, I’d swap out one of the Cathedral concert nights for something else on our own, for one of the two nights that we’ll be in Wellington.

 

Part of the same Grand Voyage: It’s like how the Jan 5 sailing needed to know, in order to advance book luau tickets in Honolulu if needed... same dynamics here as well (but without the letdown.)

Edited by snowglobe

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15 hours ago, snowglobe said:

What should we expect for the January 23rd sailing is what I’d very much like to know. If it’ll be a repeat, I’d swap out one of the Cathedral concert nights for something else on our own, for one of the two nights that we’ll be in Wellington.

 

I am hearing the 1/23/20 AzAmazing Evening will be in Wellington, but the venue is different. I'm afraid I don't know any more than that. Awaiting finalization from Tour Team and Marketing. 

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7 hours ago, snowglobe said:

Thank you very much Bonnie - this much of itself is very valuable info!

I'm of the opinion that sufficient energy isn't being made for Azamazing Evenings at present. I'm not sure what's up. The introduction of a new ship has taken their eye off the ball?  Or just a change of priorities in general?  I don't know. 

 

I did a B2B2B on Pursuit over Christmas and New Year. Three very different itineraries. Lima to Buenos Aires, Rio for New Year and Antarctica. They had the same Azamazing Evening in Montevideo for all of them (albeit a couple of venues). They even changed the cruise schedule on the last one to accommodate it.  D- for effort. 

 

Phil 

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Unfortunately, as a first-time Azamara cruiser, I’m seriously disappointed at the general lack of care and effort, and downright laziness, that I’m seeing in the planning of the land products offerings for our cruises. Seriously, how much effort would it take to even notice that a pub crawl scheduled to start at 8:20am is a ridiculous proposition?

 

I had Azamara cruising on my bucket list for a long time *because* of their marketed emphasis on the land experiences. It also had such a great reputation for this in the past. With Azamara now putting emphasis on the Land Voyages, I’m frankly quite puzzled that more corporate attention is not given to the shortcomings of such an integral component of the company’s brand. We pay a premium for the Azamara product, over their direct competitors, exactly because of this branding.

 

I believe that senior management needs to take a good hard look at the department responsible for planning, delivering, and monitoring their cruises’ land product offerings.

If training is the issue - do it! If staffing is the issue - hire more of the right people!

If the third-party contractors don’t deliver to Azamara standards, work to end their contracts and find new ones.

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I feel the need to chime in here, and disagree as much as you want, but 2020 is still several months out.  There are still many tour vendors that haven't even posted available tours for January (not talking about Azamara here but private ones); Can you imagine having to find a venue, transportation and everything else that goes on with planning one of these evenings?  I certainly understand you wanting to know, as do I for our January cruise, BUT there are several months of cruises before ours; I think those should certainly take priority over ours.  I agree that something has fallen out of place in Miami regarding these nights and tours, but is it really that important to know this far ahead?  Is it really going to determine how much fun you have?  I hope the Azamazing Evenings are not the determining factor for the enjoyment of the cruises, for anyone.

Edited by laurieb

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1 hour ago, laurieb said:

I feel the need to chime in here, and disagree as much as you want, but 2020 is still several months out.  There are still many tour vendors that haven't even posted available tours for January (not talking about Azamara here but private ones); Can you imagine having to find a venue, transportation and everything else that goes on with planning one of these evenings?  I certainly understand you wanting to know, as do I for our January cruise, BUT there are several months of cruises before ours; I think those should certainly take priority over ours.  I agree that something has fallen out of place in Miami regarding these nights and tours, but is it really that important to know this far ahead?  Is it really going to determine how much fun you have?  I hope the Azamazing Evenings are not the determining factor for the enjoyment of the cruises, for anyone.

 

AzAmazing Evenings are an important part of the cruises.

Exactly because of the size of the group (we’re talking 600+ here) at least the logistics of the venue (and the port of call) are known upwards to a year in advance. If indeed Azamara waits until the last minute (even 6 months out) to try to secure a venue - that is very poor planning since the sail dates are fixed (with no room to manoeuvre.) 

 

For most cruises, the details of what will be presented are not so needed this far in advance - the exception IMO are for cruises marketed as Grand Voyages, when it is expected that a significant enough number of guests will be booking subsequent b2bs. 

 

Laurieb, wasn’t it important for you to know that your January sailing’s Evening would fall in Honolulu? Although you’re itching to know the details of what it will be, wasn’t it kind of necessary at this point in time to at least know this much? 

 

There are a couple of threads currently on the go that illustrate well why being late with shore excursion offerings hurts Azamara guests and how late planning results in no AzAmazing Evenings at all. 

 

Seriously, it’s not up to us to grin & bear it and “have fun” no matter what they do or don’t deliver on their heavily marketed promise of land product offerings. And if Azamara is still scrambling to put together their land products mere weeks ahead of each upcoming cruise, they definitely have a significant management & operations problem shoreside.

Edited by snowglobe

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54 minutes ago, snowglobe said:

 

AzAmazing Evenings are an important part of the cruises.

Exactly because of the size of the group (we’re talking 600+ here) at least the logistics of the venue (and the port of call) are known upwards to a year in advance. If indeed Azamara waits until the last minute (even 6 months out) to try to secure a venue - that is very poor planning since the sail dates are fixed (with no room to manoeuvre.) 

 

For most cruises, the details of what will be presented are not so needed this far in advance - the exception IMO are for cruises marketed as Grand Voyages, when it is expected that a significant enough numbers will be booking subsequent b2bs. 

I get that 🙂  I believe these are the first Grand Voyages that Azamara has ever done

Laurie, wasn’t it important for you to know that your January sailing’s Evening would fall in Honolulu? Although you’re itching to know the details of what it will be, wasn’t it kind of necessary at this point in time to at least know this much? 

Totally agree that knowing where is important; for me anyway, knowing what it is isn't as much

There are a couple of threads currently on the go that illustrate well why being late with shore excursion offerings hurts Azamara guests and how late planning results in no AzAmazing Evenings at all. 

Yes I have read those

Seriously, it’s not up to us to grin & bear it and “have fun” no matter what they do or don’t deliver on the promise of land product offerings. And if Azamara is still scrambling to put together their land products mere weeks ahead of each upcoming cruise, they definitely have a significant management & operations problem shoreside.

I agree that they need to step up their game.  Just because we don't know what they are doesn't mean that they aren't working on it, which I guess is maybe my point.  Would you rather have something offered that wasn't 100% set in stone?  I've had that happen, where the evening had to be changed because the venue became unavailable.  I do agree that giving some idea Where they plan on it being held would be very helpful.

 

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I appreciate that some people love to plan far in advance but I don’t start thinking about shore excursions until 3 moths before departure. By then everything has posted, all errors have been fixed, and it’s quick and easy to make selections or arrange private tours. 

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2 minutes ago, florisdekort said:

I appreciate that some people love to plan far in advance but I don’t start thinking about shore excursions until 3 moths before departure. By then everything has posted, all errors have been fixed, and it’s quick and easy to make selections or arrange private tours. 

 

It really depends on where you cruise - 3 months out can be too late & not so easy...

Some of our ports of call have a limited number of small suppliers/vendors, and a few excursions have been sold out already for our South Pacific and New Zealand stops.

 

The original purpose of this thread was to highlight some potential problem areas, with a specific set of cruises’ land offerings, while there was still time to bring fixes.

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Hi Bonnie,

 

We’re hitting the 80-day mark for the Jan. 23 sailing from Papeete to Auckland, and we still don’t have the AzAmazing Evening loaded in our Cruise Planner for it (Wellington?).

We’re holding off on making different arrangements for an evening tour in Wellington for one of the two nights that we shall be there on our b2b, and are waiting for these details to make a decision.
 

Although some of the problematic excursions have been removed from the Cruise Planner, no new ones have been loaded (except for the changed port of Christchurch.) This is making for slim pickings when it comes to cruise ship excursions in some of the ports, for both Journey’s Jan. 23 and Feb. 8 2020 sailings - esp for the lesser-cruised ports-of-call, like Gisborne and New Plymouth for example.

 

Thank you for following up on this - it’s much appreciated!

Edited by snowglobe

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Not having undertaken cruise tour excursions before, we have just booked Raratonga Island and Cultural  tour. 
We had a choice of two different times.

The morning, just 1/2 hour after we had docked or afternoon 1.30pm, which we chose.

 

The trip is for four hours and the Journey sails at 5.00pm, a bit close for comfort. but I assume the ship will wait for us as they have arranged the excursion. Is this usually the case.

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13 minutes ago, TRIPWIRETRAVEL said:

Not having undertaken cruise tour excursions before, we have just booked Raratonga Island and Cultural  tour. 
We had a choice of two different times.

The morning, just 1/2 hour after we had docked or afternoon 1.30pm, which we chose.

 

The trip is for four hours and the Journey sails at 5.00pm, a bit close for comfort. but I assume the ship will wait for us as they have arranged the excursion. Is this usually the case.

Yes, if it’s their tour they will wait.

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Regarding missing info for Azamazing Evening for the Jan. 23 Journey voyage - the planner continues to be sparsely populated for land discoveries.  Various tours are on offer from private vendors, and in one case Azamara may have contracted with a vendor but that commitment has not made it onto the pages of the planner. 

I am sharing this response from Cycle Gisborne, by way of celebrating the one month anniversary since I received it on Oct. 2.

 

"All the new tours have been sent to the copywriters for writing, but this takes time as they are writing descriptions for all three ships.  We will follow up and get them online as soon as possible.  We are also going through major system migrations across the company so some things taking longer than others.  It will be online ASAP."

 

Happily, via reading the cc roll calls there are those from the Journey who were able to book a cycle tour for Gisborne.  Just, not as an Azamara land excursion.

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I find it interesting that people from different countries seem to have different info, the Feb 8th sailing we only found out a short while ago it would be Wellington, never a suggestion of anything else, even when we booked about 16 months ago. 

 I look regularly at calendar as some of the timings have changed for when we dock/depart as we have nearly all private tours arranged, much much cheaper than Azamara and seem well organised, just waiting on one confirmation for shuttle to Dunedin railway station and white water rafting and all booked!!

We were going to do the winery and lunch, with ship tour,  until we found out lunch was 10.30/11 am, no thanks, booked a private tour for 4 hours half the price of ship tour. 

Looking forward to being in NZ and visiting Tassie, look forward to meeting you all. xx

 

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