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uktog

Azamazing Evening Journey November and December

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Bonnie,

With respect to the "senior manager" this is a  massive cop out!

I do not believe that within the whole RCI organisation? there is not anybody with entertainment agency contacts that could not have fixed this within a week of phone calls.

1: Establish which ports are time feasible i.e. make an evening departure

2: Contact agencies to see what venues are available.

3: Contact appropriate acts in conjunction with above.

4: Hire coaches for above.

I dare say I could do it if tasked 

 

There is a REAL disconnect between shore and sea.

I remember the blurb for Newcastle visit

"Enjoy Newcastle nightlife" when ship leaves at 6.pm..

Who actually proof reads these things.

We have a Cape town voyage in owners suite but I fear this may well be our last if these LAZY mistakes continue to be made and we certainly will not be booking until last minute in future

 

 

17 voyages and not happy.

Sorry Bonnie but this excuse does not cut it!!!. 

Compensation is not the answer.

When I had cause to complain re Azamara not booking  a return flight I took the time to write personally to both the Chief Legal Counsel and Larry Pimental bit did not even get an acknowledgement of letters!!

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I just now saw the postings informing us rather unofficially that there would be no Azamazing night.  I did not book this cruise due to a cancellation of a Cuba cruise, I booked it because of the timeframe / quality past experience with Azamara.  I fully expected the promised evening.  After just getting off a very disappointing Oceania cruise, it now appears Azamara won’t be meeting expectations either.  I guess it’s time to move back to my old standbys- Celebrity, Princess and Holland

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I apologize for not providing more clarity yesterday. 

The Azamara team has been working hard to coordinate another event since the US government advised travel to Cuba would no longer be permitted. As you can imagine, everyone is disappointed to not be able to offer the AzAmazing Evening that was originally planned in Cuba.  

Typically planning these types of events starts more than a year out to be able to secure a venue that can accommodate 600+ guests as well as entertainment.

Our goal now is to provide a Caribbean-themed evening on all three sailings, similar to the cultural experience you’d expect from an AzAmazing Evening. The details of the event are being confirmed; however, rest assured, you will still have an enjoyable evening of entertainment in addition to a White Night Party on your upcoming sailing. More information will be shared with everyone soon!

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I am disappointed to find out that my first Azamara cruise will not be all that AzAmazing.

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Just my opinion, but on my 2 Azamara cruises, I sailed the first for the itinerary and not for the Azamazing Evening and the second for the same, as well as the onboard experience that we had enjoyed on our first cruise. The Azamazing Evening  was definitely a plus, but not a deal breaker. In the case of the Panama cruise, when Cuba was eliminated, I would have immediately bailed, Azamazing Evening or not, just due to a now less than interesting itinerary. Agree that Azamara should have been more transparent, but certainly not the absolute selling point for me.

Betsey

Edited by Mackdogmolly
Adding content

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Thank you for the update Bonnie. 

 

To to be honest and we said it on an earlier post we are not interested in an onboard event- does not even remotely compare with the experience of going ashore at night, being at a venue with something special about its architecture or location and enjoying something properly staged. Azamara onboard cannot properly stage that and the sight lines to watch events onboard are poor and if it’s outdoors the sound and lighting effects are minimal. 

 

The  response you’ve been given reconfirms our interpretation it was a decision made some time ago but not communicated widely (although as highlighted on August 16 call centre agents had been told by then and we wish we had believed that information rather than waiting for the response here, although for Azamara that would have meant our 2 cruises being cancelled - stuck now bought the extra flights needed to fit in so no going back). 

 

Betsey makes fair points but we have experienced over 20 evening and every one has been something we really looked forward to and enjoyed accepting  some more than others but the fun of going off ship is something that really makes an Azamara cruise for us. The evenings were why we booked these two cruises with Azamara rather than a competitor who incidentally has a far better and fairer priced Land Discoveries programme. 

 

We feel let down yet again by changes. Second time in six months this big change has happened after final payout. We would also suggest as and when Azamara decides to communicate the position with guests they don’t try and pretend the onboard substitution is on a par with an Azamazing evening- it’s not! 

Edited by uktog

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Our last cruise [Caribbean) with Azamara the Azamazing evening was in St. Martin.   It took place on the pier, no buses.   A Reggae band from Jamaica was presented for our enjoyment.   Unfortunately, we didn’t care for the music and zoom reboarded the ship.  Perhaps they can recruit a steel drum band and do something similar on a pier.   The evening did not make or break our cruise experience.

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On past sailings I’ve experienced 2 Azamazing evenings in the Caribbean, one on the ship and one on the pier right next to the ship.   These were fun evenings but no different than what any other cruise line tends to do: hire some local musicians and dancers & have food and drinks out.  Nice but not Azamazing.  Reads like these sailings are heading in this direction as well...

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The point is that whether you value Azamazing Evenings or not, Azamara did not communicate the changes prior to final payment even though they knew many months before. Although marketing makes a big deal about providing the Azamazing experience and for us it helps separate Azamara from other premium cruise lines, obviously management does not value it the same or they would have handled communications much better.

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On 8/30/2019 at 10:25 PM, BBMacLaird said:

I’ve just just received this response from a very senior manager...

 

”Hi Bonnie,

AEEs [AzAmazing Evenings] typically take over a year or more to plan logistically.  With the removal of Cuba in June, we had to adjust these itineraries, including the AEEs unfortunately.  We’re currently working on an entertaining alternative option for these sailings.  Please respond and let them know more details will be shared with all booked guests affected as soon as possible.”

This is very disappointing Bonnie.   As my fellow CC counterparts have expressed, AzAmazing Evenings are one of the primary perks of Azamara cruises.    Although a price reduction is most likely out of the question, some other form  of compensation would be appreciated.    Free Internet for example?

Rich

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I hope that's not the trend for our October 4, 2019 12-night Philippines and China Voyage from Hong Kong as well.  On our roll call for that departure one guest has posted a copy of an email from an Azamara contact to say there isn't an Amazing Evening shore side for this cruise. 

 

Bonnie however has advised otherwise and that it will be held in Manila, however there's still noting in posted in the shore excursions for this event. It will be interesting to see what transpires. I really, really hope that Bonnie is correct as we too value the cultural experience that is advertised and offered on cruises other that Transatlantic and those short of 7 nights.

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We are on the November 30th sailing from San Juan. I'm hoping for evening dockside entertainment at the port in Barbados. It would be GREAT if bars could be set up off the ship so we could enjoy our beverage package during the party. I wouldn't mind having a large steel drum band perform. Being next to the ship is a convenience for all. I understand the frustrations many have voiced. We plan to enjoy the cruise regardless.

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Onboard I am being told it has to be an activity onboard. Sounds like it’s a second deck party with local performers. Such a shame but I am getting the feeling there is no way back from that decision or any other sweetener coming 

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I don’t  believe there is much choice for the “A” evening in the Caribbean since Cuban ports are closed.   There are not many or any opera houses or concerts halls.   The best many destinations have to offer is an old fort,  casino or a beach.   Guess that explains the pier side events and having to fly a reggae group from Jamaica to St. Martian for our evening.   The evenings must be better in all other areas of the world.

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31 minutes ago, Covepointcruiser said:

I don’t  believe there is much choice for the “A” evening in the Caribbean since Cuban ports are closed.   There are not many or any opera houses or concerts halls.   The best many destinations have to offer is an old fort,  casino or a beach.   Guess that explains the pier side events and having to fly a reggae group from Jamaica to St. Martian for our evening.   The evenings must be better in all other areas of the world.

We had one at the Barbados Concorde Experience.  Tour of the plane and exhibits followed by island music and dance.  Nice.  Another was held on the pier where a magician was flown in.  Not so nice.

Edited by marinaro44

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7 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

.... Another was held on the pier where a magician was flown in.  Not so nice.

 

Please, no!! Azamazing it is not, and we would rather remain in cabin than attend such.

 

We have concluded that, for our first Az cruises, this particular experience which is so much marketed as their USP will be AWOL....sadly!

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9 minutes ago, hamrag said:

 

Please, no!! Azamazing it is not, and we would rather remain in cabin than attend such.

 

We have concluded that, for our first Az cruises, this particular experience which is so much marketed as their USP will be AWOL....sadly!

 

Azamazing evenings vary so much in location and content, it’s a bit of a lottery so you have to chose what interests you. Its not a deal breaker for us but appears to be very important for others and if Azamara are going to big it up and promote it, it really does need to be top notch. However what is on offer locally may not be very much to chose from! 

We have only attended 3 out of 9, all purely for the unique experience. The Hemisphere  in Valencia, the Martime museum in Amsterdam and the dance/ballet show in Havana. All three in our opinion were well worth it. Opinions always vary and I have heard ‘fabulous’ and ‘not worth it’ comments about the same evening! 

 

As uktog pointed out on another post...same location but different entertainment and the results were disappointing.

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It can definitely depend on your taste too. We went to one in Ravenna in an amazing old theatre - beautiful setting. It was billed as Classic Jazz, but in fact was very modern jazz. It was not to our taste at all, but other loved it.

Also I’ve heard totally different reports about the evening in St Marten featuring a Jamaican Reggae band. Again some loved it and others hated it. I think we would have loved it.

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We invited another couple who are Viking loyalists to come with us on their first cruise with Azamara on the Journey on November 30. We told them about the A Evening event and they were excited to enjoy this. It's a bit embarassing for us if this is canceled. It would seem a giant corporation like RCCL could pull together 1 special evening given they had 5 months notice. They still have plenty of time to do so!

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12 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

It can definitely depend on your taste too. We went to one in Ravenna in an amazing old theatre - beautiful setting. It was billed as Classic Jazz, but in fact was very modern jazz. It was not to our taste at all, but other loved it.

Also I’ve heard totally different reports about the evening in St Marten featuring a Jamaican Reggae band. Again some loved it and others hated it. I think we would have loved it.

 

This may be a difference in our two countries.  In the US, 'classic jazz' would probably mean Bebop.  In the UK, you might have assumed they meant 'trad jazz,' which we call 'Dixieland.'

 

As to the AzAmazing Evening location:  we were scheduled to have one in Panama City with folkloric dancing at a very scenic outdoor location in the old town – but thunderstorms forced it onto the ship.  They held it in the theater and paid the musicians to do two shows so there would be room for everybody.  Given the heat and humidity on an exhausting shore excursion, we were very happy to be able to sit up close in an air conditioned space to enjoy the show.

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6 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

This may be a difference in our two countries.  In the US, 'classic jazz' would probably mean Bebop.  In the UK, you might have assumed they meant 'trad jazz,' which we call 'Dixieland.'

 

As to the AzAmazing Evening location:  we were scheduled to have one in Panama City with folkloric dancing at a very scenic outdoor location in the old town – but thunderstorms forced it onto the ship.  They held it in the theater and paid the musicians to do two shows so there would be room for everybody.  Given the heat and humidity on an exhausting shore excursion, we were very happy to be able to sit up close in an air conditioned space to enjoy the show.

Yes, we did expect ‘trad’ jazz!

Exactly the same thing happened to us in Panama City! I wonder how often they have that evening in the old town.

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23 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Yes, we did expect ‘trad’ jazz!

Exactly the same thing happened to us in Panama City! I wonder how often they have that evening in the old town.

 

Grandma. That one in Panama was the same one!  You, me and Jazzbeau were all on the Costa Rica intensive together! I didnt go to that Azamazing evening either, even though it was on the ship! 

What a great cruise that was. Captains Carls last before he moved to Pursuit and what a great CC group and roll call we had.

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27 minutes ago, combine said:

 

Grandma. That one in Panama was the same one!  You, me and Jazzbeau were all on the Costa Rica intensive together! I didnt go to that Azamazing evening either, even though it was on the ship! 

What a great cruise that was. Captains Carls last before he moved to Pursuit and what a great CC group and roll call we had.

You’re right - I’d forgotten that was the same cruise. Yes, it was a great cruise and a great CC roll call co-ordinated by Host Jazzbeau.

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Welcome back from holidays Bonnie!  It's been a month since we were told that "More information will be shared with everyone soon!"  It's only 60 more days until we sail, have there been any updates?  Thanks!

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