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Azamara vs Oceania

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We have cruised 7 times on Azamara, and 14 times on Oceania.  We have enjoyed all of these cruises, and would cruise with either line again depending on price and itinerary.  We have cruised more with Oceania because they have more ships, and are able to offer more unique itineraries.  We really like the newer O class ships of Oceania, Marina and Riviera.  The cabins and the bathrooms are larger on Marina and Riviera.  The O class ships have 4 specialty restaurants vs. 2 on the R class.  The grill in Terrace Cafe on Marina and Riviera have a larger selection where you can get prepared to order grilled baby lamb chops, shrimp, lobster tails, steak, and fish every night.

We have never missed a port on Oceania.  The worst was not being able to tender to Easter Island on our second day, but this was due to the large swells.  However, we were very happy to have successfully tendered on our first day.

Azamara, on the other hand, has cancelled booked cruises 2X for us because they chose to charter the ship.  This has never happened to us on Oceania.

Oceania does not have a White Nights or Azamazing Evening that we really enjoyed on Azamara.

Azamara does not have a daily High Tea with the string quartet that we look forward to on Oceania especially during sea days.

The specialty restaurants are free on Oceania, and you are guaranteed at least one reservation at each on shorter cruises.  On longer cruises, you get additional reservations.  If you book on-line before the cruise, you can get a table for 2.  On our last cruise (24 days), we only shared a table 2X out of 8 visits, and one of the shared experiences was by choice because we wanted to dine with new friends.  One can get additional specialty restaurant reservations, especially if one is flexible and willing to share a table, by inquiring on the day desired.

Overall, we like the cuisine on Oceania a little better than on Azamara.  On our last cruise, we did not eat dinner once in the MDR.  We ate in the specialty restaurants and the Terrace Cafe where we enjoyed lobster tails, lamb chops, shrimp, fresh fish prepared to order along with made-to-order pasta.  Another huge plus in Oceania's Terrace Cafe besides the high quality, is that all food is served by the staff.  Passengers do not touch serving utensils or the food.

Yes, the officers on Azamara interact with the passengers more than on Oceania, but this is not important to us.

We do not book any ship excursions, choosing to book private or small group excursions organized on our roll calls.

We have found guests on both cruise lines to be friendly and well-traveled, and stay in touch with many that we have met on previous cruises.

We have found the perks of Oceania's loyalty club more generous than Azamara's.  We get free included gratuities, substantial OBC, and are looking forward to booking our free Oceania cruise which can be up to 14 days and includes air.

In closing, both lines are good, but different in some regards.  Different is not necessarily bad.  We will cruise both again depending on itinerary and cost.   

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Thank you for this very good comparison.  We have never sailed O, but because we like to R ships (except the small bathrooms) we have considered O and have found their itineraries and O-Choice fares very appealing and in many cases seem more-competitively priced that AZ.  Right now we are looking at luxury lines, but may sale O in the future.  I have heard consistently for others the opinion that the food is better on O and we are looking for better food and a greater availability of higher-quality beverages (whether included or for purchase).

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2 hours ago, AllisonJames said:

Thank you for this very good comparison.  We have never sailed O, but because we like to R ships (except the small bathrooms) we have considered O and have found their itineraries and O-Choice fares very appealing and in many cases seem more-competitively priced that AZ.  Right now we are looking at luxury lines, but may sale O in the future.  I have heard consistently for others the opinion that the food is better on O and we are looking for better food and a greater availability of higher-quality beverages (whether included or for purchase).

I liked  the O ships. But  i went for tahiti and for being in warm weather before I went to AZ last Dec. What made the cruise was the fact Ed Waters just started on that ship. Else I would of been bored to tears. Shows were just ok. At least the have 4 dancers. Food in specialities is good. At least they have an Asian dinner place.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ellbon said:

I liked  the O ships. But  i went for tahiti and for being in warm weather before I went to AZ last Dec. What made the cruise was the fact Ed Waters just started on that ship. Else I would of been bored to tears. Shows were just ok. At least the have 4 dancers. Food in specialities is good. At least they have an Asian dinner place.

In our opinion any cruise with Ed on board is a better cruise. We just wish that Azamara would book him again.

Edited by workingtocruise-59
typo

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3 minutes ago, workingtocruise-59 said:

In our opinion any cruise with Ed on board is a better cruise. We just wish that Azamara would book him again.

I agree....wish they would. Ed is great. 

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2 hours ago, Lottie A said:

I agree....wish they would. Ed is great. 

will be a little hard now. He  is on an R ship sailing  in AK and was looking forward to AU and NZ for the first time. But he is being honor by getting the new Regent ship in Jan. At least that is how he is looking at it. I am guessing the parent company will not be letting him go soon. When i saw him last Nov he was  offered 3 ships and he picked the one he is on for the new ports. AZ made major mistakes with their music and dancers and it seems only from what i read people are happy on  Pursuit. never read anything on Quest and JR was fair last Cmas n the music front.

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On 8/14/2019 at 2:03 PM, stevenr597 said:

I really do not think that the fact that Azamara is doing away with their Casino's will be a major factor as to whether the ship misses or does not miss a port.

Wondering if the cruise ships have had to cancel their port visits to Hong Kong.

 

I haven't seen any cancellations with respect to Hong Kong.  The airport shutdown would have had an impact for a day or two, but I am not sure ships called on HK those two days.  We embark in HK in mid-October and everything looks good now.  

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Haven't travelled on Azamara. Oceania offers a great experience and look forward to our next sailing. However with O we are running out of interesting sailings. The ones which are interesting are being priced far too high. Seems you need 10k to 12k for a couple in an inside room going forward. We do not nessassaily wish to pay that nor being in a inside. Close in sailings on Azamara (1-6months) are more reasonably priced and interesting. So sure we will visit with Azamara soon enough.

 

I'm sure they are both wonderful products so travel with both!

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On 8/9/2019 at 12:57 AM, Lottie A said:

For me it’s Azamara all the way. I love the cabins on the O ships and certainly the food on Oceania is good but then it’s also good on Azamara. I found the entertainment on O to be boring and most people were in bed by 10 pm in order to get up for their very expensive and early morning tours. The Casino was lively though and if you do want a Casino well then it has to be Oceania. 

 

Although the speciality restaurants on Oceania are “free” you do have to share tables with strangers. You don’t on Azamara. 

 

The main difference for me was the passenger mix. I find it very easy to talk to Azamara passengers who are generally easygoing, interesting and well travelled people with no pretensions. I can’t say that was the same on Oceania! 

 

There was no officer interaction at all on Oceania as opposed to the friendly and interesting chats and dinner invitations I get on Azamara. 

 

So yes, given similar itineraries and pricing, I would choose Azamara every time. You would get a different answer from people if you asked the same question on the Oceania forum though! 😄

Although the speciality restaurants on Oceania are “free” you do have to share tables with strangers. You don’t on Azamara.

 

🌺NOT AT ALL!!! All 4 RESTAURANTS HAVE SEATING FOR 2!! WHEN WE RESERVE OUR TABLES WE ALWAYS HAVE TABLE FOR 2.

Denise😊

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4 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Although the speciality restaurants on Oceania are “free” you do have to share tables with strangers. You don’t on Azamara.

 

🌺NOT AT ALL!!! All 4 RESTAURANTS HAVE SEATING FOR 2!! WHEN WE RESERVE OUR TABLES WE ALWAYS HAVE TABLE FOR 2.

Denise😊

Well, I'm glad to hear that...even if you are "shouting" when you say it! It was certainly not our experience on Marina but it was several years ago, so things may have changed for the better.

 

Despite constantly asking for a table for two in the specialities we were always told there were none available and we were led to a table for eight. On one occasion in Red Ginger there were noticeably several vacant tables for two but we were told these were all "booked". It was only when my partner realised that a "little gift" to the Maitre D would perhaps miraculously help in our quest that we actually did get a table for two at the Jacques Pepin restaurant. I really did not like this. The bribe I mean, not the restaurant! 

We never seemed to have any difficulty in getting a table for two in the MDR. 

 

This was most definitely our experience on Marina and it is one reason I was put off sailing with Oceania. There were other reasons too. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Lottie A said:

Well, I'm glad to hear that...even if you are "shouting" when you say it! It was certainly not our experience on Marina but it was several years ago, so things may have changed for the better.

 

Despite constantly asking for a table for two in the specialities we were always told there were none available and we were led to a table for eight. On one occasion in Red Ginger there were noticeably several vacant tables for two but we were told these were all "booked". It was only when my partner realised that a "little gift" to the Maitre D would perhaps miraculously help in our quest that we actually did get a table for two at the Jacques Pepin restaurant. I really did not like this. The bribe I mean, not the restaurant! 

We never seemed to have any difficulty in getting a table for two in the MDR. 

 

This was most definitely our experience on Marina and it is one reason I was put off sailing with Oceania. There were other reasons too. 

 

 

Unless you are in a suite, you cannot get a table for 2 at any of the Oceania specialty restaurants. The order in which passengers are able to book them, based on stateroom category, prevents it. Another of the numerous reasons we will never sail with them again.

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3 minutes ago, NC&KY said:

Unless you are in a suite, you cannot get a table for 2 at any of the Oceania specialty restaurants. The order in which passengers are able to book them, based on stateroom category, prevents it. Another of the numerous reasons we will never sail with them again.

Same reason the "free" specialties on Regent are unattractive to me.  Stay up until midnight Central US time to make your one allowed pre-cruise reservation to ensure getting a table for two, then after that you invariably have to share.  Slipping a heavy bill to the maitre d' can then get you something.  Low class act, in my opinion.  Have no interest in either Regent or its little sister.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, NC&KY said:

Unless you are in a suite, you cannot get a table for 2 at any of the Oceania specialty restaurants. The order in which passengers are able to book them, based on stateroom category, prevents it. Another of the numerous reasons we will never sail with them again.

We disembarked Marina 2 1/2 weeks ago, and were in an inside cabin.  We only shared a table 2X out of 8 specialty restaurant visits, and one of the shared experiences was by choice because we wanted to dine with new friends.  We had a table for two for our other 6 dinners.

Edited by ruthnlarry

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It really is futile to keep throwing this shared table thing back and fore. I posted my experience on Oceania and others have posted their's. 

 

All I know is that it wouldn't happen on Azamara! Which is just one of the many reasons why I will continue to book cruises with them. 

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3 hours ago, Lottie A said:

It really is futile to keep throwing this shared table thing back and fore. I posted my experience on Oceania and others have posted their's. 

 

All I know is that it wouldn't happen on Azamara! Which is just one of the many reasons why I will continue to book cruises with them. 

It is a matter numbers.  If the cruise line can accommodate one with a separate table they will do it.  If they find that they do not have a sufficient number of smaller tables, than they will ask individuals to share a table.  In addition, those individuals that pay more for the cruise will always have preference.

When we were on Azamara we had a private dinner with the Captain in the Ships Library, as well as several private functions with the Captain and Crew.  We had these "perks" because we were in one of the larger corner suites.

We have decided to try Oceania this time, because their newer ships have more space, especially in respect to cabin size.  I am sure that there will be some things which are nicer than Azamara, and some others in which we would have preferred Azamara. 

 

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1 hour ago, stevenr597 said:



When we were on Azamara we had a private dinner with the Captain in the Ships Library, as well as several private functions with the Captain and Crew.  We had these "perks" because we were in one of the larger corner suites.

 

Not quite sure where this fits in the discussion? I really dislike this showing off, which is all it is. 

 

Phil 

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3 hours ago, stevenr597 said:

It is a matter numbers.  If the cruise line can accommodate one with a separate table they will do it.  If they find that they do not have a sufficient number of smaller tables, than they will ask individuals to share a table.  In addition, those individuals that pay more for the cruise will always have preference.

When we were on Azamara we had a private dinner with the Captain in the Ships Library, as well as several private functions with the Captain and Crew.  We had these "perks" because we were in one of the larger corner suites.

We have decided to try Oceania this time, because their newer ships have more space, especially in respect to cabin size.  I am sure that there will be some things which are nicer than Azamara, and some others in which we would have preferred Azamara. 

 

The 'best of the best' dinner is a published perk of these suites.  Very different from needing to grease the palm of the maitre d' to get something that should be available to everyone.

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25 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

The 'best of the best' dinner is a published perk of these suites.  Very different from needing to grease the palm of the maitre d' to get something that should be available to everyone.

And the new Signature Chef's Table may offer a Best of the Best-like experience to anyone on board, regardless of stateroom category.

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5 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Not quite sure where this fits in the discussion? I really dislike this showing off, which is all it is. 

 

Phil 

Sorry you have such a thin skin Phil.  

To help you better understand was pointing out that in regards to being able to get a table for two at one of the optional restaurants while cruising on Oceania, may depend, at least partially,  on the type of cabin one books, suite as compared to concierge as compared to standard.  

However,  Azamara does the same thing in its own way with added perks depending on the type of cabin or suite that one books.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of my comments and how it fits in with the discussion as to why some individuals have found an easier time getting a smaller table in the dining room. 

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5 hours ago, stevenr597 said:

Sorry you have such a thin skin Phil.  

To help you better understand was pointing out that in regards to being able to get a table for two at one of the optional restaurants while cruising on Oceania, may depend, at least partially,  on the type of cabin one books, suite as compared to concierge as compared to standard.  

However,  Azamara does the same thing in its own way with added perks depending on the type of cabin or suite that one books.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of my comments and how it fits in with the discussion as to why some individuals have found an easier time getting a smaller table in the dining room. 

Well that is a very tenuous link and no, It doesn’t help me understand.  I go on the Celebrity board and it seems like a competition for who stays in the largest suites most often and oh how wonderful suite life is and “we could never go back”.  Thankfully this board doesn’t have the suite braggarts for want of a better term and is much better for it.  

 

Azamara is most definitely not a class system cruiseline.  Everyone gets treated the same and dare I suggest that staying in a very humble cabin may get you invited to a far more private dinner with the Captain than sharing it with 20+ invited guests. 

 

Phil

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I haven't been reading the Celebrity forum lately, but my recollection was that most of the suite-life discussion revolves around complaints that the non-suite experience on Celebrity has been going downhill with cutbacks and the focus on attracting a younger clientele.  Celebrity has turned into two completely different experiences, and in order to have anything like the old, beloved Celebrity you are forced to book a suite.  At which point Azamara's pricing becomes much more competitive.

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2 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Well that is a very tenuous link and no, It doesn’t help me understand.  I go on the Celebrity board and it seems like a competition for who stays in the largest suites most often and oh how wonderful suite life is and “we could never go back”.  Thankfully this board doesn’t have the suite braggarts for want of a better term and is much better for it.  

 

Azamara is most definitely not a class system cruiseline.  Everyone gets treated the same and dare I suggest that staying in a very humble cabin may get you invited to a far more private dinner with the Captain than sharing it with 20+ invited guests. 

 

Phil

 

I agree with Phil and, noting that the other Royal Caribbean brands have created an apparently distinct set of classes on board, I think he is  correct in emphasizing vigilance on this matter lest Azamara moves (is moving?) in this direction.

 

One of the features I like about the "R" ships is that it is rather difficult to create separate physical spaces for those in suites.

 

I can anticipate that if there was a new build, such spaces would be created.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, nordski said:

 

I agree with Phil and, noting that the other Royal Caribbean brands have created an apparently distinct set of classes on board, I think he is  correct in emphasizing vigilance on this matter lest Azamara moves (is moving?) in this direction.

 

One of the features I like about the "R" ships is that it is rather difficult to create separate physical spaces for those in suites.

 

I can anticipate that if there was a new build, such spaces would be created.

 

 

Totally agree 

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32 minutes ago, nordski said:

 

I agree with Phil and, noting that the other Royal Caribbean brands have created an apparently distinct set of classes on board, I think he is  correct in emphasizing vigilance on this matter lest Azamara moves (is moving?) in this direction.

 

One of the features I like about the "R" ships is that it is rather difficult to create separate physical spaces for those in suites.

 

I can anticipate that if there was a new build, such spaces would be created.

 

 

Yep. Agree with you totally. 

 

Phil . 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I haven't been reading the Celebrity forum lately, but my recollection was that most of the suite-life discussion revolves around complaints that the non-suite experience on Celebrity has been going downhill with cutbacks and the focus on attracting a younger clientele.  Celebrity has turned into two completely different experiences, and in order to have anything like the old, beloved Celebrity you are forced to book a suite.  At which point Azamara's pricing becomes much more competitive.

That is why we now have an Azamara booking for next year. Celebrity were pricing a Sky suite on a cruise from Southampton to the Canaries that we have done a number of times at £1200 per night in October next year. While I like Celebrity, there is a limit as to what we will pay.

 

That is also why we have our first MSC cruise in a few weeks.

Edited by Gordoncruickshank

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