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How much more will be added to the price of a cruise if we get these perks that many of us don't find acceptable anyway?

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On 10/20/2019 at 1:40 AM, excitedofharpenden said:

The autonomy Azamara had for a number of years was very apparent and as far as this cruiser is concerned, much appreciated. It has changed. In my view they need to keep Lisa Lutoff-Perlo of Celebrity Cruises well away from Azamara.  She is a menace to that brand. 

 

Phil 

 

Two responses:

1. yes, I've shared this thread with management. 

2. The president of Celebrity Cruises has nothing to do with Azamara's decision making; we are separate brands. But that said, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a wonderful asset to our corporate RCI family and an inspiration to all of us; she is a tireless advocate of women in the industry. Recently she won the 2019 CLIA Lifetime Achievement Award

Lastly, and I know many of you don't support this strong opinion of mine...I find it unseemly, even unethical, for anonymous posters to troll individuals by name and title. Social media is cruel, and anonymous posters can be unnecessarily cruel. 

 

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3 minutes ago, BBMacLaird said:

 

Two responses:

1. yes, I've shared this thread with management. 

2. The president of Celebrity Cruises has nothing to do with Azamara's decision making; we are separate brands. But that said, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a wonderful asset to our corporate RCI family and an inspiration to all of us; she is a tireless advocate of women in the industry. Recently she won the 2019 CLIA Lifetime Achievement Award

Lastly, and I know many of you don't support this strong opinion of mine...I find it unseemly, even unethical, for anonymous posters to troll individuals by name and title. Social media is cruel, and anonymous posters can be unnecessarily cruel. 

 

Bonnie, the same thing has been said on the Celebrity board many times. 

 

Phil 

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40 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Bonnie, the same thing has been said on the Celebrity board many times. 

 

Phil 

 

I don't read the Celebrity board. But if I did, I'd defend her there too. She is a role-model for many of us.

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I'm sorry that I've touched a nerve. I'm only telling it as I see it. I've cruised on Celebrity for 16 years or so and in my view she has spoiled it. And I'm not alone in that feeling. I'm glad to hear she has no input on Azamara and I hope that continues. 

 

Phil 

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 11:08 PM, BBMacLaird said:
Thank you for calling this out to us. There was a glitch in the survey but I am happy to share that it has been fixed. Feel free to go into this link to share your feedback as the link is live. Thank you.
 

Thank you, Bonnie. Will do.

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I also wish they would have given opportunities to give written impact as ticking off boxes does not give true impact.

My money can be spent on other lines but I choose this one because of the relaxed non judgmental passengers as I did travel on another top 5* line and did not enjoy the feeling from the mix as many viewed what you were wearing and your cabin status. Too much of that already in the world today.

My opinion.

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Will fire Az if a class system is implemented, as we fired Celebrity.

 

LLP is a menace to any cruise customer - it is revenue 100%, customer is 0.

 

Cunard has a 2 tier set up - but it is very muted and not noticeable like the offense called Celebrity. Cunard remains (thankfully) about being a ship experience, not a floating, fake hotel. 

 

Oceania has no class system other than a private lounge for the higher priced cabins. It is just that the product does not live up to the marketing and the cost - check out the CC reviews if you are thinking of purchasing Oceania - they are not good and not consistent - note the comments of long time Oceania patrons on their last cruises...... Since the new Aug 2018 menu, the food quality, choice, quality, # of offerings has substantially declined as well as the staffing levels. Oceania also has the most arrogant and anti-customer management team on land and on ship. We and our 25 member travel group will not patronize them any further.

 

Our travel group has no cruises booked for the first time in 15 years - thinking more of land tours. Cruising is not providing us a consistent experience providing value for money.

 

We have done AZ but now our red flags are up on the AZ line - no bookings until we see stability in AZ and no class system.

 

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12 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

 

Two responses:

1. yes, I've shared this thread with management. 

2. The president of Celebrity Cruises has nothing to do with Azamara's decision making; we are separate brands. But that said, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a wonderful asset to our corporate RCI family and an inspiration to all of us; she is a tireless advocate of women in the industry. Recently she won the 2019 CLIA Lifetime Achievement Award

Lastly, and I know many of you don't support this strong opinion of mine...I find it unseemly, even unethical, for anonymous posters to troll individuals by name and title. Social media is cruel, and anonymous posters can be unnecessarily cruel. 

 


Great post - thanks for sharing your feelings! I agree with your sentiments regarding Lisa. I’ve met her twice and she seems a strong leader that has somehow managed to remain humble. I also agree with your comments on online naming and shaming, it happens too easily. 
 

For what it’s worth, contrary to most on Cruise Critic I’m a big fan of the changes at Celebrity under Lisa’s leadership. Edge is an amazing ship and we’ll definitely be back. And we love Suite Class. 
 

That said - Azamara should NOT go in the same direction. I agree with everyone on here who has commented that Azamara’s current vibe is very special and a tier / class system would not do it any good. Different lines, different strategies. Let’s keep it that way.

 

Floris 

 

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1 hour ago, florisdekort said:


Great post - thanks for sharing your feelings! I agree with your sentiments regarding Lisa. I’ve met her twice and she seems a strong leader that has somehow managed to remain humble. I also agree with your comments on online naming and shaming, it happens too easily. 
 

For what it’s worth, contrary to most on Cruise Critic I’m a big fan of the changes at Celebrity under Lisa’s leadership. Edge is an amazing ship and we’ll definitely be back. And we love Suite Class. 
 

That said - Azamara should NOT go in the same direction. I agree with everyone on here who has commented that Azamara’s current vibe is very special and a tier / class system would not do it any good. Different lines, different strategies. Let’s keep it that way.

 

Floris 

 

Floris, I am very careful not to name and shame individuals on here as I also don't think it fair, but LLP is the CEO of Celebrity Cruises and therefore, being at the top of the tree, I am commenting on her vision and direction for the company she manages, not her personally. Bonnie seems to think I am making it personal. I'm not. And I stand by my comments as someone very fond of Azamara. I hope she keeps her ideas away. 

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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1 minute ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Floris, I am very careful not to name and shame individuals on here as I also don't think it fair, but LLP is the CEO of Celebrity Cruises and therefore, being at the top of the tree, I am commenting on her vision and direction for the company she manages, not her personally. Bonnie seems to think I am making it personal. I'm not. And I stand by my comments as someone very fond of Azamara. I hope she keeps her ideas away. 

 

Phil 


Apologies Phil, I didn’t write the above targeting you.  I have great respect for you and your always very balanced posts.  I was thinking of the almost continuous Lisa bashing on the X forum.  

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My take - as we would say “if you fly like the crows be ready to be shot like the crows”. 

Google it if you don’t know what it means. 

It’s not personal it’s a consequence of the CEO role.  

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It was clear to me that Phil’s criticism was aimed at the direction the CEO is taking Celebrity and not personal, have to agree that Celebrity is no longer for us but if more people like the changes then I’m sure our custom will not be missed. Not the first time management of a cruise line have a vision that doesn’t include our requirements, so we just move on.

My bigger concern is that Azamara follows this corporate direction, having just left Quest it’s obvious that the bean counters are busy behind the scenes, nothing tangible that you can put your finger on but some things are not as they were, lots of small things can lead to bigger problems.

Yes there could be improvements made to the suite package but these should remain within the suite. We met a number of passengers new to Azamara, but usually with experience of Celebrity, and all were full of praise for the onboard experience and most had already booked another cruise onboard so the ship experience is obviously delivering.

However I worry about the future direction, Azamara in our opinion provide a first class cruise experience and they should concentrate on this, due to having lots of OBC we took some Azamara shore excursions which were overpriced and of poor quality. In fact the biggest complaint of people we talked to was the poor quality of some of the tours, ok we were on unfamiliar territory in Taiwan and the Philippines but when we commented on the poor tours it was obvious that the Shorex staff had little knowledge of the tours being offered. Personally I would love for Azamara to drop this current Land Experience thing, as I’m sure most Azamara passengers can do a better job of researching and finding local tours, and just keep delivering the onboard experience.

 

Edited by Riocca

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In the last several years we have been on three cruise lines, Oceania, Regent, and Azamara.  We did not find a class system on any of the ships except where it involves the Captain's Dinners.  It used to be that if you were a long time cruiser of a line or you were celebrating a major birthday or anniversary then you would be invited.  Now it is how pricey a suite you have selected.  Azamara has added an additional criterion -- if you are willing to fork over $95 a person then you can eat with a senior officer.  

 

As far as other selective amenities, the Oceania lounges for concierge and suite classes were not much as all unless you needed a business center or wanted to make some esoteric land reservation.  Regent has special amenities for its top suites, such as a cocktail party set up, but it doesn't make those of us in lower suites feel any less valued.  What we appreciate on Regent more than anything else is that when you have paid your final payment you know what your cruise will cost.  That is not to say that we did not like our AZ experience.  

 

After not using the line for a number of years, we tried it again last summer in a CC suite.  We had an outstanding experience.  The crew, with a special shout out to the captain, was the best we have ever had.  We have booked another AZ cruise in 2022, because we do like the product as it is currently configured.  Our only real complaint, as others have mentioned, as that if one is in a suite and is at a high LCV level, the amenities are not additive, and only the suite amenities apply.

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1 hour ago, Ladys Mom said:

Azamara has added an additional criterion -- if you are willing to fork over $95 a person then you can eat with a senior officer.

 

Hi LadysMom, must say I am confused by the statement that we charge to dine with a senior officer. We don’t!  Maybe you're equating the Chef's Tables as a 'dine with an officer' experience? There is a $95 charge for the Chef's Table and there usually is an officer at the table, but that is not the point of the Chef's Table. It is meant to be a group dinner sharing a particular food and wine together. I wouldn't say the officer at the table is the highlight of the dinner.

Perhaps others are of the same opinion as you though? ...in which case we need to communicate the expectation of the Chef's Table better.  https://www.azamara.com/booked-guests/onboard-packages/chefs-table

 

Also, I don't believe the invitations to the Captain's Table in Discoveries is based on cabin selection. I know LCV members are always included and by far most don't sail exclusively in suites. 

 

Let me know if you have questions. And thank you for your loyalty and love of Azamara. We really appreciate it.

 

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I’d also add that there are tables hosted by officers in Discoveries quite often. We’ve been invited twice - once we were in an Oceanview cabin and once in a Verandah. We’ve now done 8 cruises with Azamara so we’re not really ‘frequent fliers’ either.

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1 hour ago, BBMacLaird said:

 

Hi LadysMom, must say I am confused by the statement that we charge to dine with a senior officer. We don’t!  Maybe you're equating the Chef's Tables as a 'dine with an officer' experience? There is a $95 charge for the Chef's Table and there usually is an officer at the table, but that is not the point of the Chef's Table. It is meant to be a group dinner sharing a particular food and wine together. I wouldn't say the officer at the table is the highlight of the dinner.

Perhaps others are of the same opinion as you though? ...in which case we need to communicate the expectation of the Chef's Table better.  https://www.azamara.com/booked-guests/onboard-packages/chefs-table

 

Also, I don't believe the invitations to the Captain's Table in Discoveries is based on cabin selection. I know LCV members are always included and by far most don't sail exclusively in suites. 

 

Let me know if you have questions. And thank you for your loyalty and love of Azamara. We really appreciate it.

 

I beg to differ.  The true "Captain's Dinner" was in the library, I believe, and was only for the upper two suite categories.  I don't know anything about the Captain's Dinner in Discoveries, but many people I spoke with equated the Chef's Table with an accessible senior officers' dinner.  You might want to make that clearer in the future.  Also, to make it special you might want to have the Chef's Table in the library, because each night when we went by people eating at the Chef's Table they looked none too comfortable sitting at high tops.

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12 minutes ago, Ladys Mom said:

I beg to differ.  The true "Captain's Dinner" was in the library, I believe, and was only for the upper two suite categories.  I don't know anything about the Captain's Dinner in Discoveries, but many people I spoke with equated the Chef's Table with an accessible senior officers' dinner.  You might want to make that clearer in the future.  Also, to make it special you might want to have the Chef's Table in the library, because each night when we went by people eating at the Chef's Table they looked none too comfortable sitting at high tops.

Now I think I understand the confusion! The dinner in the Library is our 'Best of the Best' event and yes, it is for the top category suite guests. It is hosted typically by the Captain, the Cruise Director and one other senior officer. 

When I think of Captain's Dinners in general I tend to think of the dinner invitations to dine with the Captain, and usually one other officer, at the big round table in the middle of the Discoveries Restaurant. I haven't been invited in a few years (and when I was I suspect it was due to a last minute cancellation 😋) so I am unfamiliar with how regularly they occur lately. But I'd expect at least once per 7-days, maybe more?

I will pass along the thoughts that the Chef's Table was perceived as a chance to dine with an officer...for a fee! I too would find that offensive, so I don't blame you if that's how you perceived it. Thank you so much Ladysmom for the feedback ❤️

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I noticed last cruise when dining in Prime C the Chefs tables were only hosted once and that was by the Art Manager.  Our own chefs table experiences in November/December were not hosted either so I think to avoid disappointment I would drop all references to hosting.

I have not been at a Best of the Best where the Cruise Director is present - the line up I have seen is usually Captain, Hotel Director and Chief Engineer.  

They have been testing what they call Mass Hosting in the Main Dining Room - the whole middle section is used with each table hosted.  Allows a lot more guests to be entertained by officers of several ranks

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20 minutes ago, uktog said:

I noticed last cruise when dining in Prime C the Chefs tables were only hosted once and that was by the Art Manager.  Our own chefs table experiences in November/December were not hosted either so I think to avoid disappointment I would drop all references to hosting.

I have not been at a Best of the Best where the Cruise Director is present - the line up I have seen is usually Captain, Hotel Director and Chief Engineer.  

They have been testing what they call Mass Hosting in the Main Dining Room - the whole middle section is used with each table hosted.  Allows a lot more guests to be entertained by officers of several ranks


We were invited to one of the Mass Hosting dinners on our last cruise and enjoyed it very much, both our host and our fellow diners.  I think they’re fun, and we would participate again if invited.

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

I noticed last cruise when dining in Prime C the Chefs tables were only hosted once and that was by the Art Manager.  Our own chefs table experiences in November/December were not hosted either so I think to avoid disappointment I would drop all references to hosting.

I have not been at a Best of the Best where the Cruise Director is present - the line up I have seen is usually Captain, Hotel Director and Chief Engineer.  

They have been testing what they call Mass Hosting in the Main Dining Room - the whole middle section is used with each table hosted.  Allows a lot more guests to be entertained by officers of several ranks

You’re right! I meant to type Hotel Director, not Cruise Director, at the Best of he Best dinner. 

The Mass Hosting is new to me...hope to be included on a future cruise 🙂

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10 hours ago, Ladys Mom said:

I beg to differ.  The true "Captain's Dinner" was in the library, I believe, and was only for the upper two suite categories.  I don't know anything about the Captain's Dinner in Discoveries, but many people I spoke with equated the Chef's Table with an accessible senior officers' dinner.  You might want to make that clearer in the future.  Also, to make it special you might want to have the Chef's Table in the library, because each night when we went by people eating at the Chef's Table they looked none too comfortable sitting at high tops.

This does not reflect reality, I'm sorry to say.  The captain hosts a dinner in Discoveries on nearly every cruise, as do other senior officers like hotel director and chief engineer.  Invitees are a mix of long-time and newer guests to Azamara, from all stateroom categories.

 

The dinner in the library is for the ten large, corner suites.  It is a perq for those who have spent a rather large amount of money to be in those suites.  It is the only "outside the suite" perq for these guests and I, for one, do not begrudge them this.

 

Saying the Chef's Table guests "looked none too comfortable" is a rather sweeping generalization based, apparently, on no research.  Those Tables are invariably booked up early and get excellent feedback from attendees.  As Bonnie wrote, the hosting officer is not the primary attraction, the food and wine is.

 

I have to say you've given a very distorted and rather negatively-biased picture of three offerings--officer-hosted dinners, Chef's Tables, and the Best of the Best dinner for top suite guests--that Azamara does very well and that are very well-received.

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4 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

You’re right! I meant to type Hotel Director, not Cruise Director, at the Best of he Best dinner. 

The Mass Hosting is new to me...hope to be included on a future cruise 🙂

BOB is usually hosted by captain, staff captain, chief engineer, and hotel director.  At a recent one on Journey, LCV hostess replaced staff captain when staff captain was taking Journey out of port.  I have heard of cruise director attending when one of the usual four officers had conflicting responsibilities to attend to.

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8 hours ago, uktog said:

I noticed last cruise when dining in Prime C the Chefs tables were only hosted once and that was by the Art Manager.  Our own chefs table experiences in November/December were not hosted either so I think to avoid disappointment I would drop all references to hosting.

I have not been at a Best of the Best where the Cruise Director is present - the line up I have seen is usually Captain, Hotel Director and Chief Engineer.  

They have been testing what they call Mass Hosting in the Main Dining Room - the whole middle section is used with each table hosted.  Allows a lot more guests to be entertained by officers of several ranks

Mass hosting is not new - the first time we were invited to dine with an officer was at a mass hosting and this was 4/5 years ago.  As you describe, all the middle tables were hosted by officers, with a special menu, and we all got a very nice souvenir copy of the menu to keep.
 

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1 hour ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Mass hosting is not new - the first time we were invited to dine with an officer was at a mass hosting and this was 4/5 years ago.  As you describe, all the middle tables were hosted by officers, with a special menu, and we all got a very nice souvenir copy of the menu to keep.
 

Sorry, I was not clear in my post, what is new is that the mass hosting is involving more junior but equally interesting officers e.g. second officers from the bridge, onboard revenue manager, financial controller etc.

Edited by uktog

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