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AllisonJames

Just off Journey with mixed feelings

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Thank you all for your comments.  In addition, I neglected to mention three other specifics pre-cruise that left us feeling “played” by AZ HQ long before we embarked: 1) we booked nearly two years in advance and initially this cruise was to sail up the Thames and disembark in Greenwich, also overnighting there. Big disappointment that it was changed to Southampton. No knock on Southampton, but we’ve now disembarked AZ there on 3 completely different itineraries and we’d like something different. 2) Immediately following booking, we applied for the LCV upgrade and thought we’d have a decent chance due to how early we booked and the fact that The Open cruise attracts a high percentage of first-timers so our status might have helped — well, we all know what happened with that. 3) This Cruise was so expensive initially we had to use our LCV free nights to bring the cost down (and it was still expensive even doing that) and of course there were price reductions after final payment date.  So we are repeat guests who feel AZ took advantage of us!

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Even though DH and I are not golfers I have looked into this cruise due to its itinerary.  But, the cost is much greater than my highest budget.  Your thoughts have me re-thinking it even more.  I appreciate your helpful comments and review OP.  I am going to continue my search for a British Isles cruise that meets my expectations and wallet.

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16 minutes ago, Walt fan said:

Even though DH and I are not golfers I have looked into this cruise due to its itinerary.  But, the cost is much greater than my highest budget.  Your thoughts have me re-thinking it even more.  I appreciate your helpful comments and review OP.  I am going to continue my search for a British Isles cruise that meets my expectations and wallet.


When we did the British Open tour in 2017, Celebrity was doing a very similar itinerary--the  ship was at several of the same ports we were.  Oceania also offers a British Isles tour--it would be more expensive than Celebrity, but possibly less than Azamara, and would also be a smaller ship compared to mass market cruise lines.

 

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Thank you hiccups.  Oceania bombards me with their catalogs all the time.  Their pricing seems so confusing, but maybe its just me. But their ships look lovely and I like the size.  I have read many, many reviews about Celebrity and I am just not sold.  Far too many cons outweigh the pros on my list.  Thank you again for the info.  I will delve into Oceania's catalogs when I get the next one. 

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32 minutes ago, Walt fan said:

Thank you hiccups.  Oceania bombards me with their catalogs all the time.  Their pricing seems so confusing, but maybe its just me. But their ships look lovely and I like the size.  I have read many, many reviews about Celebrity and I am just not sold.  Far too many cons outweigh the pros on my list.  Thank you again for the info.  I will delve into Oceania's catalogs when I get the next one. 


Oceania's pricing can seem confusing!  They have a "cruise only" price, then an "O Life price with air" and then if you ask, you can also get an "O life price without air."    Bottom line cruise price is cruise only, but we've booked with included air because that made the most sense for us.  You have to weigh out whether the options included with O Life are worth it to you.

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The Azamazing evening sounds quite wonderful. 

 

on our first Azamara cruise we did the evening in the theatre in Livorno which was very good and as it was end October we were greeted back to the ship and ugh got chocolate and optional rum. On that cruise the included and ultimate wines were excellent, the cruise kept to the schedule with late nights in port and overall was excellent. 

 

Our recent cruise had a poor (in our opinion perhaps others loved it) azamazing evening in Corfu. In hindsight we would have stayed and had dinner in Corfu. The white wines were terrible, and the entertainment was quite samey. Unfortunately also they changed ports in advance of sailing which led to too many mediocre stops and some which were due to be 10 pm stops were changed to 8pm. 

 

The pricing strategy and lack of trust on stops means we are far more inclined to go back to land holidays. 

Edited by Pavovsky

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Waltfan — thanks for your comments.  We are finding lots of cruise options for that part of the world and will most likely try either Crystal or Seabourn next.  I actually like Oceania’s price model with he O Choice because what we’ve spent for airfare to Europe during the summer has been ridiculous, so we might try Oceania sometime but we’re really interested to make the leap into the true “luxury” category and I’m seeIng plenty of choices in that category comparable to what we’ve spent on AZ.  Yes, deals can be had on AZ but we’ve never had the flexibility to take advantage of them, so if I’m booking way ahead as we like to do, I’m going for luxury level now.  We did not like Celebrity (we go on the larger ships when we cruise with our kids) as we did a sold-out holiday cruise that had some issues and also very full of very ostentatious, demanding, “show-off” type of people and the obvious class system on the ship “oh you only have the basic beverage package” “oh sorry, you don’t have a concierge suite” etc. After that experience we went back to Princess and NCL with our family and appreciated their value even more.  Also, I highly recommend Viking Ocean and they’ve brought so many new ships on last few years that the choices of itineraries are really expanding — not luxury level but overall very good experience, not too many people and the ships are gorgeous with quite a few features not found on AZ.

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