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mklions

ESSENTIALS PACKAGE

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Toying with taking out the “Essentials Package” on our 17 day Lisbon to Rio cruise in November.


I’ve read somewhere that it’s best to book on embarkation because the crew benefit from taking the booking?, that sound fine but by booking on embarkation does not give as much time to use up the 300 USD the essentials package provides on a excursions.

 

My wife tends to use the internet quite a lot, so that provides another reason to buy the package, although we get some free minutes by being in a CC suite.

 

Finally the drinks, we both like a wee drink or two, gin and tonic for my wife, beer and wine for myself. Does the essentials package provide with better gins and wine?

 

Thanks in advance for all reply’s 
Mklions.

 

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36 minutes ago, mklions said:

.....drinks, we both like a wee drink or two, gin and tonic for my wife, beer and wine for myself. Does the essentials package provide with better gins and wine?

 

G&T is perfect, but beer and wine in the same glass....!! 🤣

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Book the excursions now then have them refunded and transferred to the $300 once onboard - Land Discoveries know how to do this

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Yes, the Essentials package comes with the premium beverage package. This has a wider range of spirits and beer, but not wine. Here’s a link to the package https://www.azamara.co.uk/booked-guests/onboard-packages/beverage-packages

We’ve had the Essentials package before and found it very good value for money. We won’t buy it this time as we already have full cruise WiFi, because it was part of the promotion when we bought the cruise.

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This week I thought I would explore the options of booking the Azamara Indulgence package for a forthcoming cruise.

I clicked the ‘book online’ on the Az website, filled in the online enquiry form and requested (tick -box) that Azamara ring me to complete the transaction.

I got a reply saying I would be contacted within 24 hours.

The following day I got an email from Azamara requesting I ring them.


It wasn’t what I was expecting, and to date no phone call from Az.

I will try one more time and enter my email as noreply@********.com to see if someone from Az actually contacts me.

 

Not a great CX

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35 minutes ago, Dylandude said:

This week I thought I would explore the options of booking the Azamara Indulgence package for a forthcoming cruise.

I clicked the ‘book online’ on the Az website, filled in the online enquiry form and requested (tick -box) that Azamara ring me to complete the transaction.

I got a reply saying I would be contacted within 24 hours.

The following day I got an email from Azamara requesting I ring them.


It wasn’t what I was expecting, and to date no phone call from Az.

I will try one more time and enter my email as noreply@********.com to see if someone from Az actually contacts me.

 

Not a great CX

 

Lol - that’s what happened to me as well.  I’m not sure why they give us an option to email and then force us to phone anyways.   

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Last time we had it we gave up pre cruise for the reasons given above, booked and paid for excursions online, then bought the package onboard and had them reverse the excursion costs to the package, refunding our onboard account which went part way to the cost of the package

 

May look messy way but its by far the easiest way to process this based on the current way they operate

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If that’s how Az shore team treat customers I will probably skip any upgrades to the packages.

It may put a smile on my face when I disembark $1400 better off.

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We bought it through our travel agent who sorted it out for us. We didn’t get any invoice for what we had paid and our travel agent (who happens to be our daughter) had to ask Azamara for an invoice so we had some proof that we had bought the package.

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52 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

We bought it through our travel agent who sorted it out for us. We didn’t get any invoice for what we had paid and our travel agent (who happens to be our daughter) had to ask Azamara for an invoice so we had some proof that we had bought the package.

Not all travel agents will handle these extras so you are lucky there!

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The big cruise specialist travel agents probably don’t, but small independent travel agents generally will. The franchise company our daughter works for prides itself on tailor making whatever the client wants.

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It would be nice if they had some packages that didn't include booze.  There are five areas they could include but all have an element of drinks:

 

  1. shore excursions
  2. WIFI
  3. drinks
  4. specialty dining
  5. spa

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On 10/19/2019 at 12:21 PM, uktog said:

Not all travel agents will handle these extras so you are lucky there!

A good one will!

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4 hours ago, laurieb said:

A good one will!

Indeed but what an agent does as standard is very much less in the UK that in the US. Most are part of large organisations selling all types of holidays and have little cruise specific knowledge. There are only a few independents these days. 

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

Indeed but what an agent does as standard is very much less in the UK that in the US. Most are part of large organisations selling all types of holidays and have little cruise specific knowledge. There are only a few independents these days. 

Actually there are now a lot of self-employed Travel Agents who are ‘franchised’  to organisations that provide back up, training & systems. They work from home & build up their own clientele. They provide a really good & personal service.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Yes but the largest franchise I know does not provide the level of support re packages which is for me one measure of how tailored their offering is. The service is personal to a point but not proactive like in USA. 
Recently I contacted a different franchise when I was exploring an option, I called three times three different agents each one had appalling knowledge of the products though all knew all about MSC and Royal. 
We are a long long way behind the standards of US agents in the UK ( and yes when sterling is behaving I do use a US agent). 
I appreciate you have an inside track to a good one just as I have inside tracks to excellent experiences in two other industries- that’s what offspring are for!

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Yes, having family able to offer you a service is helpful!

Regarding knowledge, I wonder if Azamara has reached out to the various franchised travel agent groups to offer training sessions? My daughter certainly gets offered plenty of training/information sessions - some online and some at training events organised by the franchise company, but she’s not been offered any about Azamara.

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44 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Yes, having family able to offer you a service is helpful!

Regarding knowledge, I wonder if Azamara has reached out to the various franchised travel agent groups to offer training sessions? My daughter certainly gets offered plenty of training/information sessions - some online and some at training events organised by the franchise company, but she’s not been offered any about Azamara.

They certainly have in the UK.  When we were onboard both in May and September there were groups of agents on for 1-2 nights then changing over always "managed"/supported by an Azamara Business Support Partner.  I suspect in many cases either the opportunities for these events are limited and the agencies are to blame for not disseminating the learning from the individual to the wider franchisees.  I know the agent I work through was completely unaware his colleague was onboard in May, that we had met them or that they had learned anything when we spoke in July.  So its not Azamaras fault, they do try

Edited by uktog

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

They certainly have in the UK.  When we were onboard both in May and September there were groups of agents on for 1-2 nights then changing over always "managed"/supported by an Azamara Business Support Partner.  I suspect in many cases either the opportunities for these events are limited and the agencies are to blame for not disseminating the learning from the individual to the wider franchisees.  I know the agent I work through was completely unaware his colleague was onboard in May, that we had met them or that they had learned anything when we spoke in July.  So its not Azamaras fault, they do try

That’s good to hear.

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On 10/19/2019 at 7:25 AM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Yes, the Essentials package comes with the premium beverage package. This has a wider range of spirits and beer, but not wine. Here’s a link to the package https://www.azamara.co.uk/booked-guests/onboard-packages/beverage-packages

We’ve had the Essentials package before and found it very good value for money. We won’t buy it this time as we already have full cruise WiFi, because it was part of the promotion when we bought the cruise.

I was looking at purchasing the essentials package, but I am shocked to hear it doesn’t get you better wine......can you explain?  Aren’t there better wines available on a premium package?  I thought it would be like upgrading to Celebrity’s premium package which does include better wines?

 

How do you get better wines?  Only by purchasing a bottle?

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4 minutes ago, takemewithyou said:

I was looking at purchasing the essentials package, but I am shocked to hear it doesn’t get you better wine......can you explain?  Aren’t there better wines available on a premium package?  I thought it would be like upgrading to Celebrity’s premium package which does include better wines?

 

How do you get better wines?  Only by purchasing a bottle?

You can get better/alternative wine in 2 ways - if you purchase the Ultimate beverage package ($21.95pp per day) it includes a wide range of wines which you have by the glass. This includes champagne. If you buy the Indulgence Experience More Package ($1399 however long the cruise) it includes the Ultimate beverage package for two.

 

Alternatively, you can buy wine by the bottle and/ or through the wine packages (Wine Lover & Wine Connoisseur). Both of these include a number of bottles at a price https://www.azamara.co.uk/booked-guests/onboard-packages/beverage-packages

 

I’d also say why not try the included wines first - we’ve been on 8 Azamara cruises and never purchased any wine over and above that which is included.

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20 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

It would be nice if they had some packages that didn't include booze.  There are five areas they could include but all have an element of drinks:

 

  1. shore excursions
  2. WIFI
  3. drinks
  4. specialty dining
  5. spa

Maybe they could offer multiple choice, as in picking three of the five, or something similar.  The spa credit doesn’t interest us, but the WiFi, drinks and speciality dining do.

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16 hours ago, lisiamc said:

Maybe they could offer multiple choice, as in picking three of the five, or something similar.  The spa credit doesn’t interest us, but the WiFi, drinks and speciality dining do.


Agree.  One of the nice things about X's perks is being able to choose which are the most valuable to you.  Although now that they've added the upcharge for the drinks package, it's not quite the deal it used to be.

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We have found you don’t necessarily have to spend the spa and excursions credits on the spa or excursions.   We ended up spending ours in the stores on jewelry or whatever.

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