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Azamara vs Oceania

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4 hours ago, stevenr597 said:

Azamara does have it, thought probably much less than other cruise lines such as NCL, Cunard,  and MCS. I believe that Azamara has made a step in that direction with the Veranda Plus Category.

As I mentioned the only cruise line that has a minimum of  class perks or benefits is Carnival.  If you are an elite member they usually reward you with a pin.

Some people will be bothered by it, others will pay no notice and just concentrate on having a great time. 

We have been cruising for well over 20 years, and it has never bothered us in the past.

 

The introduction of a V Plus category has absolutely nothing to do with a class system. Trust me. It doesn't. What I'm talking about is areas of the ship that are roped off to others, which doesn't happen on Azamara.. V Plus is the same cabin with the same space, both inside and out. You get a couple of extra perks including a bar set up in your room, but that's it. You can stay in one of the big suites and once you are out of your cabin then nobody would know.  Unless of course you make it your business to let others know. 

 

Phil 

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31 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

I will wager that there are very few persons who would view "a pin and thermos" as a separate passage class on a cruise ship.  Maybe only one person. 

 

You are confusing perqs (short for perquisites) and minor loyalty gifts with separate passage classes having sealed-off areas of the ship.  Big difference.  Getting a few bottles of liquor or the services of a butler does not constitute a separate passage class. 

 

[Neither does a conversation or two during the cruise with a senior officer you may have sailed with often, for that matter.]

Did not confuse them at all. 

In fact I did mentioned that the the range of "perks" can vary from Cunard which has completely separate classes with different areas to dine, and restricted areas of the ship, to Carnival which is totally one class except that they may give return passengers a small gift.

Princess has moved in the area of separate dining areas in one dining room, and Celebrity has moved in the direction of a completely different dining area and menu (Blu).  

For all practical purposes Azamara is one class, except that certain Veranda Cabins, and the Suites may get some additional perks. 

Can be very confusing.

Hope that helps.
 

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4 hours ago, hiccups said:

I'm puzzled by the comments that no class system exists on Azamara.  It absolutely does!  If you're lucky enough not to experience it, well, great.  That doesn't mean it's not there for others. 

What you describe isn't a class system. It's recognition of a regular cruiser by crew and there are many regular cruisers on Azamara. The staff who  work on the ship spend many months away from family and friends and it is truly a pleasure for them to see a guest who is familiar. 

 

I think it has more to do with one's own perception. What's the phrase?  You can't be made to feel inferior without your own consent. 

 

Phil 

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53 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

I will wager that there are very few persons who would view "a pin and thermos" as a separate passage class on a cruise ship.  Maybe only one person. 

 

You are confusing perqs (short for perquisites) and minor loyalty gifts with separate passage classes having sealed-off areas of the ship.  Big difference.  Getting a few bottles of liquor or the services of a butler does not constitute a separate passage class. 

 

[Neither does a conversation or two during the cruise with a senior officer you may have sailed with often, for that matter.]

Totally agree!

 

Phil 

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18 minutes ago, stevenr597 said:

Did not confuse them at all. 

In fact I did mentioned that the the range of "perks" can vary from Cunard which has completely separate classes with different areas to dine, and restricted areas of the ship, to Carnival which is totally one class except that they may give return passengers a small gift.

No, it doesn't help.  Your bolded sentence above confuses perqs with separate classes within the same sentence.  Perqs do NOT constitute separate classes. Got it?  Again:  Perqs do not constitute separate classes.  They are distinct and different things.  See my, uktog's, and Phil's posts above.  Separate classes mean separate sections, closed off to others, on the ship, not a bottle of rum in your stateroom or "a pin and a thermos."

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4 hours ago, hiccups said:


As I said, that's great for you.  We've maybe three times had an interaction with staff that's gone beyond hello/how are you, and that was on our initiative (that's in 21 nights on Azamara, and never with a senior staff member).  Now, on our first cruise I was contacted after the mid-cruise survey because we had some problems, but I'd consider that a different type of interaction.  I think Azamara excels in rectifying issues brought up in the mid-cruise surveys, so for that, I give them excellent customer service marks.

I don't expect that staff members ignore passengers they've met previously, and I said that in another post.  But when they consistently place their focus on those passengers, then that creates a class system.  For example, when Phil mentioned in another thread the captain brought him strawberries, that begs the question if the captain spoke to every other passenger in Mosaic to see if they'd had strawberries.  Maybe he did, and if so, kudos to him.  If he didn't, then he's established two levels of service for guests.  

We'll happily sail on a "segregated" ship as long as it goes where we want at price we want to pay.  We aren't bothered that other people like to pay for exclusivity.  We like Azamara for Europe, and mass market for the Caribbean.  It's nice we all have choices.

 

Thanks Hiccups for explaining your rationale.  We are actually rather shy and British which generally doesn’t bode well for conversation!  Maybe, right time, right place; who knows?  As far as placing their focus; that is good business sense surely?  Look after the people who give you business?  If you perceive that as class, I’m not sure we are speaking the same language?

 

My context to this is we visit a Greek island every summer.  We eat in the same tavernas each summer.  We are normal people.  We don’t earn a fortune.  We are not famous.  We are not royalty.  Our money is worth the same as any celebrity or member of any royal family.  The tavernas we eat in regularly host celebrities, close family of royalty; both Greek and British, famous chefs, politicians, etc.  There is a ‘pecking order’ in terms of who gets the choice waterside tables, etc and we do; every time.  Not just because we visit every year and spend.... also because we are nice...  we are polite, friendly, we talk to the staff, we are interested in them and their lives.  They treat us like friends.  We get free champagne.  We get free coffee.  We get free desserts.  We get free limoncello, sambucca.  We get shown around the organic garden.  We get free lifts.  You get the picture!  They like serving us because we are nice - shucks!

 

I don’t really understand why you would expect the Captain to ask every person sat in Mosaic if they had strawberries.  That would be so false and visibly so to everyone there.  It is part and parcel of being on/paying for a small ship experience and having a number of voyages under your belt surely?  

 

Apologies if my Greek taverna references above are perceived as bragging.  Purely an illustration of how mega bucks versus no bucks can play out!

 

We fly out tomorrow and cannot wait.

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2 minutes ago, Werangels said:

 

Thanks Hiccups for explaining your rationale.  We are actually rather shy and British which generally doesn’t bode well for conversation!  Maybe, right time, right place; who knows?  As far as placing their focus; that is good business sense surely?  Look after the people who give you business?  If you perceive that as class, I’m not sure we are speaking the same language?

 

My context to this is we visit a Greek island every summer.  We eat in the same tavernas each summer.  We are normal people.  We don’t earn a fortune.  We are not famous.  We are not royalty.  Our money is worth the same as any celebrity or member of any royal family.  The tavernas we eat in regularly host celebrities, close family of royalty; both Greek and British, famous chefs, politicians, etc.  There is a ‘pecking order’ in terms of who gets the choice waterside tables, etc and we do; every time.  Not just because we visit every year and spend.... also because we are nice...  we are polite, friendly, we talk to the staff, we are interested in them and their lives.  They treat us like friends.  We get free champagne.  We get free coffee.  We get free desserts.  We get free limoncello, sambucca.  We get shown around the organic garden.  We get free lifts.  You get the picture!  They like serving us because we are nice - shucks!

 

I don’t really understand why you would expect the Captain to ask every person sat in Mosaic if they had strawberries.  That would be so false and visibly so to everyone there.  It is part and parcel of being on/paying for a small ship experience and having a number of voyages under your belt surely?  

 

Apologies if my Greek taverna references above are perceived as bragging.  Purely an illustration of how mega bucks versus no bucks can play out!

 

We fly out tomorrow and cannot wait.

What a wonderful, insightful posting!

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3 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

What a wonderful, insightful posting!

 

Blushing ☺️

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52 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

No, it doesn't help.  Your bolded sentence above confuses perqs with separate classes within the same sentence.  Perqs do NOT constitute separate classes. Got it?  Again:  Perqs do not constitute separate classes.  They are distinct and different things.

 

I can see how first or second timers who lack familiarity with the crew or don’t have the inside track to the Captain or Hotel Director perceive the special treatment, attention and perks some regulars receive as a class system. 

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3 minutes ago, florisdekort said:

 

I can see how first or second timers who lack familiarity with the crew or don’t have the inside track to the Captain or Hotel Director perceive the special treatment, attention and perks some regulars receive as a class system. 

But perception is exactly what it is and it’s certainly not a class system.  I can go to my local shop or bar where they know me and they engage in friendly conversation.  Does the person behind me think I’m of a different class because of that?

 

Phil

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16 minutes ago, florisdekort said:

 

I can see how first or second timers who lack familiarity with the crew or don’t have the inside track to the Captain or Hotel Director perceive the special treatment, attention and perks some regulars receive as a class system. 

 

I am a first timer and can only think you didn’t read my post above? Not that it’s vompulspry (spillcheck).  I’m leaving the misspelling - what an absolutely fabulous miss-spell; sounds like something the Baron would say in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

 

Anyway, back to the seriousness of perceived class systems and perks ...... if I could swear it would have 8 letters and start with B..... 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Werangels said:

 

I am a first timer and can only think you didn’t read my post above?

 

I read your post and applaud your attitude but the fact that you are a first timer doesn’t mean every other first timer will perceive things the way you do. 

 

I remember going to a Zenith (Discoverer Plus - can’t remember) lunch in Aqualina once. The couple in line in front of me was denied access in the politest possible way but still walked away loudly commenting “clearly we’re not important enough”.  Perk? Class system? Perception? Reality? I don’t know. 

Edited by florisdekort

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1 minute ago, florisdekort said:

 

I read your post and applaud your attitude but the fact that you are a first timer doesn’t mean every other first timer will perceive things the way you do. 

 

I remember going to a Zenith lunch in Aqualina once. The couple in line in front of me was denied access in the politest possible way but still walked away loudly commenting “clearly we’re not important enough”. 

 

You are correct.  We are all different.  I am hopelessly naive and positive - what a truly awful way to go through life 😉 ! 

 

We would likely walk away saying the same thing about having been refused access whilst impersonating them in a ‘Welsh/Scouse/Lancs’ accent and ‘pishing’ ourselves at the same time.   The conversation between ourselves would probably go along the lines of ‘how dare they; do they not know who we are’ 😂...... however, we would also be deeply embarrassed that we had effectively tried to gatecrash a private party.  Was Zenith a private party?  Invitation only? 

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

But perception is exactly what it is and it’s certainly not a class system.  I can go to my local shop or bar where they know me and they engage in friendly conversation.  Does the person behind me think I’m of a different class because of that?

 

Phil


We aren't talking about your local shop or bar--we're talking about Azamara.  You and others perceive a class system to be based on a ship having limited areas.  I don't.  We do not care if someone has access to areas we don't, and we personally have never seen it as a class system--people are paying for, and receiving, extras.  We had the choice to pay for those things, too.  Someone said here that Azamara doesn't have a class system because you can buy a pass to the spa deck, or pay for specialty restaurants.  Well, you can also pay to have a suite on other lines and have access to a private lounge or special dining room.  I don't see the difference except it would cost less on Azamara.

Clearly we have different perceptions of class systems.  Neither is wrong--perhaps it's cultural.

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2 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

But perception is exactly what it is and it’s certainly not a class system.  I can go to my local shop or bar where they know me and they engage in friendly conversation.  Does the person behind me think I’m of a different class because of that?

 

Phil

 

It's hard to believe that anyone really cares about this.  It seems more like a Cruise Critic fiction.  Most people don't go on cruises to socialize with the employees and senior officers.  

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3 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

No, it doesn't help.  Your bolded sentence above confuses perqs with separate classes within the same sentence.  Perqs do NOT constitute separate classes. Got it?  Again:  Perqs do not constitute separate classes.  They are distinct and different things.  See my, uktog's, and Phil's posts above.  Separate classes mean separate sections, closed off to others, on the ship, not a bottle of rum in your stateroom or "a pin and a thermos."

That is your definition.  Remember the discussion started in respect to the question of whether certain individuals will find it easier to get a table for two in one of the alternative restaurants on Oceania, and that was an example of how Oceania had classes and Azamara didn''t.

 

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17 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

 

It's hard to believe that anyone really cares about this.  It seems more like a Cruise Critic fiction.  Most people don't go on cruises to socialize with the employees and senior officers.  

I think this Oct this will be your first cruise with AZ.  Some of us posting have done between 20 and 50 cruises. Yes, we do go on to talk to the crew who have become old friends.  As far as SR officers go many of us have had dinners with them more than once. So i can not agree with the above statement.  These crew members become friends over years of cruising. One of  the reasons small ships are fun.

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38 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

 

It's hard to believe that anyone really cares about this.  It seems more like a Cruise Critic fiction.  Most people don't go on cruises to socialize with the employees and senior officers.  

Obviously, some do. I do not understand the significance of it, but to some people meeting the Captain and Officers and dining with them seems to provide them with a feeling of importance.

We book many suites and turn down those offers. Our time together and seeing the world is most important to us. To each his own 😉

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hiccups said:


We aren't talking about your local shop or bar--we're talking about Azamara.  You and others perceive a class system to be based on a ship having limited areas.  I don't.  We do not care if someone has access to areas we don't, and we personally have never seen it as a class system--people are paying for, and receiving, extras.  We had the choice to pay for those things, too.  Someone said here that Azamara doesn't have a class system because you can buy a pass to the spa deck, or pay for specialty restaurants.  Well, you can also pay to have a suite on other lines and have access to a private lounge or special dining room.  I don't see the difference except it would cost less on Azamara.

Clearly we have different perceptions of class systems.  Neither is wrong--perhaps it's cultural.

 

This is interesting.

 

When I sail on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and I choose a suite, then I expect that I have purchased a status that is unavailable to other cruisers. That status may include a separate place to dine, a separate place to lounge, and a separate central area from which to watch shows. Individually they each may have value and cumulatively they have an important impact upon my cruise experience.

 

I can think of little I can do on Azamara that provides that same segregation. There simply aren’t the areas where you can be in a “bubble” with like-minded and equally affluent passengers. Certainly I can choose to pay for “extras” on Azamara, but the final effect wouldn’t rise to the same level of seriously impacting my on board experience.

 

As you point out you have made a “choice” not to pay for the “suite experience” and it doesn’t bother you if others do so. But I think others may not be able to make that choice. Hence I would say the choice is partially driven by social class in our   broader society.

 

But if I understand your deeper point, it is that while you have an option to pay for a suite, you don’t have control over interaction with the officers, an interaction that truly reflects the “class divisions” on board. You may be correct, but I would argue that those interactions are more random than most people think. In my view they are not solely dependent on the stateroom you chose nor on your level of loyalty. 

 

It is my sense that that relationships formed are more a matter of personal preference of particular staff members and cruisers, rather than the cruiser being a member of a particular group or “class”.

 

Despite our loyalty level, outside of the food staff, most only see us as a familiar face. And there is one Captain in particular who is downright uncomfortable in our presence.

 

As some have already posted, we love the friendliness of the Azamara staff and we hope all cruisers are treated in a like manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by nordski

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54 minutes ago, ellbon said:

I think this Oct this will be your first cruise with AZ.  Some of us posting have done between 20 and 50 cruises. Yes, we do go on to talk to the crew who have become old friends.  As far as SR officers go many of us have had dinners with them more than once. So i can not agree with the above statement.  These crew members become friends over years of cruising. One of  the reasons small ships are fun.

 

Do you think most others really care if you have dinner with senior officers?  I don't think they do and don't consider a part of a class system.  I do think it would be if these past cruisers would still be allowed to upgrade to a suite for $400 for a cabin, but now that's open to everyone.  That was definitely a perk, but I hope you do enjoy your dinners with the captain, hotel director, and cruise director.  

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1 hour ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Do you think most others really care if you have dinner with senior officers?  I don't think they do and don't consider a part of a class system.  I do think it would be if these past cruisers would still be allowed to upgrade to a suite for $400 for a cabin, but now that's open to everyone.  That was definitely a perk, but I hope you do enjoy your dinners with the captain, hotel director, and cruise director.  

As far as I know that upgrade was always open to everyone.  And that was never about class  but about  getting a bigger cabin or better location. 

 

 Hmm.. only been at the captains table twice ..the CD once when I invited him and he should  of cancel as he was unwell during the cruise.  Like other guests I do get invited to tables.. fun nights but not a big deal.Not a perk but dinner.

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4 minutes ago, ellbon said:

As far as I know that upgrade was always open to everyone.  And that was never about class  but about  getting a bigger cabin or better location. 

 

 

No, it was only in March of this year that everyone was able to bid on upgrades--previously only LCV members had the option to apply, and it was not a bidding system.  Many LCV members were upset to lose that option--there was quite a long thread on it.

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1 hour ago, hiccups said:

 

No, it was only in March of this year that everyone was able to bid on upgrades--previously only LCV members had the option to apply, and it was not a bidding system.  Many LCV members were upset to lose that option--there was quite a long thread on it.

I must if skipped that thread as I was cruising.  Never realize it was a LCV perk  as I never upgrade. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Do you think most others really care if you have dinner with senior officers?  I don't think they do and don't consider a part of a class system.  I do think it would be if these past cruisers would still be allowed to upgrade to a suite for $400 for a cabin, but now that's open to everyone.  That was definitely a perk, but I hope you do enjoy your dinners with the captain, hotel director, and cruise director.  

That wasn't the point ellbon was making. It was an example in response to your post that most people don't go on Azamara to socialise with the crew as one of the reasons to return and I would agree with ellbon. If you go to one of the LCV functions THE biggest reason for returning guests coming back is the crew. You can't tell me that none interact with them. 

 

It is not what some people want to do. We are all different, but when you go on your first Azamara cruise then judge. The friendliness and social nature of the crew is (for me at least) a big part of the experience and why such a nice atmosphere pervades around the ship. 

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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Posted (edited)

Totally agree with you, Phil that it is that friendliness that sets the atmosphere onboard. It’s the feeling of being ‘at home’ which we felt from the first few days of our first cruise which brings us back time after time. Yes we love other things like the great food & service, but it’s that feeling that makes such a difference.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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