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Is there an itinerary change for the Azamara Pursuit 13 August 2019

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1 hour ago, Pavovsky said:

 

Cheers. We have been on both sides (early booked and late deal). Whether we get a good deal or feel we may have overpaid we keep this to ourselves. 

 

Exactly has it should be, my early booking days are probably over but if a late deal comes my way that's my business.

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I too expect to be more of a late booker in future but not a late deal boaster, maybe thats how I should have phrased it earlier.

Now as I can get no sense out of what is happening in Greece now and in 2020 I am certainly planning to abandon the free nights and find a deal on any line nearer the date I hope to travel hopefully with some clarity in what is going on. 

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If you really have your heart set on a given port, fly there.    It may not guarantee you will get there, but you have a better chance than on a cruise.    We have been on eight different cruise lines and it is rare that no port is changed.     We don’t take typical cruises and usually sail off season.   Changes and cancelations happen for operational, safety and weather reasons.   Have had a little of each so we don’t count on any port.

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 I understand perfectly what you’re saying about flying into a port/ island if you really want to get there. I missed Santorini my first 2 times trying due to weather. However, when a cruise line specifically advertises new ports and new islands I don’t find it acceptable to cancel several months in advance.  (It  certainly could not  be weather concerns or political uprisings on Skiathos).  As for operational issues…they should have known this before advertising and selling the cruise.  Typically, operational issues arise day of or several days in advance…not months or weeks in advance. It is not as if this is the first time these islands will see a cruise ship.  For me, I go on a cruise because I want to see many places, unpack one time and not have to make multiple visits to airports to wait in long lines and have delays or flight cancellations.  The flights are long from the U.S.( don’t forget to add more time if you are not flying from a U.S. gateway)  to get to the more exotic locations - so, cruising is a great fit for us.  We plan in advance to get good airfare.  So,  as the others are saying.....there is no longer a benefit of booking in advance.  The late bookers  are getting better cruise fares/ more perks and they are not disappointed with an itinerary change because when they book ( typically after final deposits are due) the change  has already been made.  Will we have a great cruise?  Absolutely!  Will we book a new cruise onboard well over a year in advance?  Absolutely not! 

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We are also in. Non Gateway City.   We allow a day for travel to Europe, especially when we need to rest once we get there.   We cruise to get a taste of a foreign country and then decide if we really want t do a longer visit.   The ports we are hesitant to eat or drink in we won’t visit on a land trip.   We seem to have the worst luck on cruises as we almost never get to all of the original ports so I hope you are not sailing with us!

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For us we will probably no longer  book in advance.  Our June Remembrance 2019 cruise on the Journey had several impactful changes after final payment.  While we had a wonderful time because of the onboard experience it was not the cruise itinerary we booked. Nor was it worthy of the price paid.  Price after final payment was much  lower.  So, we will gamble on the after final payment pricing and itinerary going forward. Know we are forfeiting cabin choice or even the actual cruise but reduced pricing is often that significant after final payment. 

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3 hours ago, SkystheLimit said:

For us we will probably no longer  book in advance.  Our June Remembrance 2019 cruise on the Journey had several impactful changes after final payment.  While we had a wonderful time because of the onboard experience it was not the cruise itinerary we booked. Nor was it worthy of the price paid.  Price after final payment was much  lower.  So, we will gamble on the after final payment pricing and itinerary going forward. Know we are forfeiting cabin choice or even the actual cruise but reduced pricing is often that significant after final payment. 

Totally agree. We were on that cruise as well and never got to the real reason why we left Rouen 12 hours early then crawled across the channel. Even marine officers onboard confirmed 12 hours early means identical tides.

We are now getting daily emails from Azamara encouraging us to book Spring and Summer 2020.  A quick look at availability shows most balcony rooms unsold so it seems many more are following this holding off pattern.

We were going to book a Greek itinerary but the continued absence of any response on the reliability of the published itineraries means we have decided to do something completely different at that time.  It’s disappointing no real reasons for these August changes have been offered - deja vu to May/June I’m afraid. 

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There could be a downwards spiral here, our 2020 Denmark Intensive was changed to a Northern Capitals itinerary due to lack of sales. So the more people hold off booking the more Azamara could tempted to alter itineraries to encourage bookings.

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33 minutes ago, Riocca said:

There could be a downwards spiral here, our 2020 Denmark Intensive was changed to a Northern Capitals itinerary due to lack of sales. So the more people hold off booking the more Azamara could tempted to alter itineraries to encourage bookings.

 

Instead maybe the could decide to set more reasonable prices in the first place to encourage bookings, also pigs might fly.

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Bloodaxe said:

 

Instead maybe the could decide to set more reasonable prices in the first place to encourage bookings, also pigs might fly.

 

 

 

Exactly!  The alterations thus far talked about here are definitely not going to improve bookings either. 

 

Phil 

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Yes the solution 

1.  Set reasonable prices from the outset

2.  Set reliable itineraries at the outset (they used to do this - first 20 Azamara cruises absolutely no changes, other than the understandable weather related and one switching round two ports to get less busy days

3.  If you do make a change be absolutely transparent as to the real reasons why and be responsive to requests for reasons why.

As the meerkats say - simples

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28 minutes ago, uktog said:

Yes the solution 

1.  Set reasonable prices from the outset

2.  Set reliable itineraries at the outset (they used to do this - first 20 Azamara cruises absolutely no changes, other than the understandable weather related and one switching round two ports to get less busy days

3.  If you do make a change be absolutely transparent as to the real reasons why and be responsive to requests for reasons why.

As the meerkats say - simples

Azamara were perfectly clear why they changed the Denmark itinerary: 

While it’s a rare occurrence, once in a blue moon we offer an itinerary that doesn’t generate the interest we expected. Unfortunately, that is the case with your 8th June voyage. We have therefore decided to change the previous itinerary to add time for exploring a few popular cities in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.


Says it all really, totally agree with the comments made on this thread, like any product we have a price we are prepared to pay. However some of the prices we are seeing are well above the level we consider reasonable.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Riocca said:

Azamara were perfectly clear why they changed the Denmark itinerary: 

While it’s a rare occurrence, once in a blue moon we offer an itinerary that doesn’t generate the interest we expected. Unfortunately, that is the case with your 8th June voyage. We have therefore decided to change the previous itinerary to add time for exploring a few popular cities in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.


Says it all really, totally agree with the comments made on this thread, like any product we have a price we are prepared to pay. However some of the prices we are seeing are well above the level we consider reasonable.

 

 

Thats was a good clear reason.  Its the "operational reasons" cloak that is the problem especially when no one onboard knows what the reason was!

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If it's any consolation to those affected by this and other itineraries, we recently sailed on a Seabourn cruise in the Med and found out that two of our ports had been changed only when we picked up the planner on the first day after boarding - one in Italy and one in Albania. Both replacement ports were inferior to the original ports and no reasons other than 'operational' were given. At least if we had some notice - any notice - we could have made alternative plans but my two planned days were worthless and the replacement ports offered nothing of interest.

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I’m now wondering about our cruise May 14, 2020 on Pursuit that appears to not be selling well. I understand that it was only recently put on the schedule what with the change to going to Europe early. But if I look at available cabins, all most the entire ship is showing available with only 1 to a few cabins showing booked in almost all categories.

 

We will definitely hold off on getting our air arrangements until closer in.

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We were looking at the Denmark Intensive but decided to wait to book because it was very pricey and we did not want to have prices drop on us again.  I think Azamara is really over pricing the cruises and scrambling to fill later on but after final payment is made.  It was hard enough when the pricing went up to include alcohol and the Azamazing evening......but, the prices have continued to go up.  We are getting nickeled and dimed ( bidding for upgrades, paying more for cabins that include benefits we already have with loyalty). This is going the direction of the mass market cruise lines.  We still don’t have an answer as to why our Greek Island port was cancelled months in advance and apparently no one at Azamara thinks that it is important. But, if the advance bookings go down, maybe they will rethink the way they do business.  

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We were on the Pursuit in July and enquired as to the cost of a Baltic cruise for next year. The price quoted (including our 7% LCV discount) was, in our opinion, so exorbitant that we just laughed.. We thought an alternative option might be the Black Sea but that was even more expensive! Needless to say we didn't book, and like many here have stated, we will see if the price drops considerably before finally making a decision. We discussed this with a fellow passenger who told us that he too was interested in booking for the Black Sea but not at the quoted price which he too thought was way too much.

Anticipation used to be part of the enjoyment of cruising but sadly this latest pricing strategy prevents this happening.

What a shame that we can no longer plan our future cruises in the knowledge that if we commit ourselves early on whilst on-board we are paying a price that reflects fair value for money and that we are not subsidising late bookings at substantial discounts.

 

 

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The operational reason is the need to be at port to take on fresh water.

 

Another change to the itinerary is that instead of Chania we will be docked in the prime location of Souda with a shuttle bus for ‘our independent traveling guests’ to Chania - this is presented as a ‘bonus’ for passengers. 

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Pavovsky said:

Another change to the itinerary is that instead of Chania we will be docked in the prime location of Souda with a shuttle bus for ‘our independent traveling guests’ to Chania - this is presented as a ‘bonus’ for passengers. 

I've tendered in Chania and docked in Souda on Azamara. Whilst tendering is better I would not worry too much. It's a very short shuttle that Azamara will lay on with frequent departures. 

 

There must be a good reason they aren't tendering in Chania. We docked in Souda once because the Azamazing Evening set for that day was in a different location that required a bus ride, but it must be something else.  

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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Thanks Phil. The ‘good’ reason is that some ports where they expected to dock are now tenders so needed to change others to get fresh water on. 

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It’s a very quick ride between Souda and Chania.

I very much enjoyed an extended stay in Chania, it’s a very pleasant town to simply wander and browse, and eat! (but avoid the waterfront restaurants, head to the back streets instead.)

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4 minutes ago, snowglobe said:

It’s a very quick ride between Souda and Chania.

I very much enjoyed an extended stay in Chania, it’s a very pleasant town to simply wander and browse, and eat! (but avoid the waterfront restaurants, head to the back streets instead.)

Can't beat a Cretan cheese pie!  The maritime museum is worth a visit if you are interested in that kind of thing.  Some amazing ship models that they are still making on site.

 

Phil

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I cannot remember the thread which discussed this but it appears that the Pursuit gym now has a new rowing machine. 

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40 minutes ago, Pavovsky said:

I cannot remember the thread which discussed this but it appears that the Pursuit gym now has a new rowing machine. 

Enjoy your cruise in spite of the itinerary changes!

 

Phil 

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10 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Enjoy your cruise in spite of the itinerary changes!

 

Phil 

And so glad to read about the rowing machine - well done Phil for how you took up the cause on social media when all else seemed to be a dead end to no resolution

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