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uktog

Tales from the Journey Transatlantic 5 November 2019

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There are still sellers but yesterday there was a police car moving around all the time so there was a lot of packing up and unpacking going on!  It wasn’t really a problem as they never hassled us. I read the authorities were looking to license the traders but were struggling to find a scheme that was workable. 
More annoying was the slow picture takers from certain nations taking for ever to capture their posing and pouting young lady taking lots of different angles then running in to repeat the exercise as selfies. The security guys were moving them on at the dragon which was good. 

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So we are finally onboard and settled after the worst embarkation ever. 

Early this morning we started to hear despite no notification from Azamara that we might not be embarking at World Trade Centre however we were hearing so many different options we thought let’s play safe go to WTC as surely Azamara will have someone there. BIG MISTAKE. No one there. 


We managed to stop our cases heading off into a Crystal vessel that was embarking there but were left abandoned by our taxi driver. No one knew anything. Unfortunately we hadn’t travelled light so we are there with three large cases two carry ons etc etc. 
 

Eventually we found someone from Intercruises who advised there was a blonde lady the other side of the terminal who knew. So somehow we haul our stuff over.  And there we found a minibus hiding with Azamara signage. Sorry, that and other clear signs should have been outside at WTC. 
 

Eventually we set off for Dock E where Azamara was, inter cruise having indicated to others it was B on the other side. Arrive...and the porter refuses to take our luggage from the drop off point over to check in as was happening for taxis and the bus driver refuses to unload it. Eventually we manhandled everything ourselves. You could not make up how stressful it was. 
 

Once onboard it was lines everywhere - 8 minutes to drop off hand luggage, 20 minutes plus to make dinner reservations. Staff were clearly harassed and struggling. 
 

But then we found great bar servers remembering our preferences and a stateroom attendant we’ve enjoyed before. DH is unpacked my case is still missing but we’ve begun to relax and know things can only get better. 
 

But this embarkation was far from Azamara at its best 
 

 

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You're one of the most frequent cruisers on Azamara.  But I'm wondering how newcomers are going to believe all the hype about Azamara when their cruise starts this way? 

 

I'm hoping things get better for you from here on. There's nowhere to go but up. Very sad.

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20 minutes ago, uktog said:

So we are finally onboard and settled after the worst embarkation ever.......

 

All of that is truly shocking....hope it is rapidly onwards and upwards from here, and that your luggage arrives safely.

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For the future - Do people think that checking the marine traffic map before heading to port is a good idea or do these snafus happen infrequently?

 

Here is a link - https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-12.0/centery:25.0/zoom:4

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Wishing you a wonderful voyage. I’m very much looking forward to your posts. I hope the embarkation becomes a distant memory things get better! I join the ship in Miami with my husband. Happy cruising. 

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

So we are finally onboard and settled after the worst embarkation ever. 

Early this morning we started to hear despite no notification from Azamara that we might not be embarking at World Trade Centre however we were hearing so many different options we thought let’s play safe go to WTC as surely Azamara will have someone there. BIG MISTAKE. No one there. 


We managed to stop our cases heading off into a Crystal vessel that was embarking there but were left abandoned by our taxi driver. No one knew anything. Unfortunately we hadn’t travelled light so we are there with three large cases two carry ons etc etc. 
 

Eventually we found someone from Intercruises who advised there was a blonde lady the other side of the terminal who knew. So somehow we haul our stuff over.  And there we found a minibus hiding with Azamara signage. Sorry, that and other clear signs should have been outside at WTC. 
 

Eventually we set off for Dock E where Azamara was, inter cruise having indicated to others it was B on the other side. Arrive...and the porter refuses to take our luggage from the drop off point over to check in as was happening for taxis and the bus driver refuses to unload it. Eventually we manhandled everything ourselves. You could not make up how stressful it was. 
 

Once onboard it was lines everywhere - 8 minutes to drop off hand luggage, 20 minutes plus to make dinner reservations. Staff were clearly harassed and struggling. 
 

But then we found great bar servers remembering our preferences and a stateroom attendant we’ve enjoyed before. DH is unpacked my case is still missing but we’ve begun to relax and know things can only get better. 
 

But this embarkation was far from Azamara at its best 
 

 

You need the Marine Traffic app!

 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, MNgardens said:

For the future - Do people think that checking the marine traffic map before heading to port is a good idea or do these snafus happen infrequently?

 

Here is a link - https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-12.0/centery:25.0/zoom:4

I always check so I know which pier the ship is at to tell the taxi driver. Athens fur example is a big port. This kind of thing has never happened to me on any of my cruises. 

 

Phil 

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9 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

You need the Marine Traffic app!

 

Phil 

 

Should not be up to the customer to check that themselves, Azamara should have made sure people were informed or at least had better systems in place at the port.

Edited by Bloodaxe

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33 minutes ago, Bloodaxe said:

 

Should not be up to the customer to check that themselves, Azamara should have made sure people were informed or at least had better systems in place at the port.

I don't disagree.  I just do it for my own assurance and suggested it here as a help to others.  The Marine Traffic app is freely available and can be very useful. 

 

Phil 

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Does anyone know how long it takes for stockholder credit and AmEx platinum credit to hit the shipboard account? It is not there yet as of boarding time at least. Thanks.

 

Had some difficult boarding as we went to the WTC but the porter pointed out the Azamara minibus, after that it was rather straightforward. Minibus driver was very surly.

 

John R.

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8 hours ago, Bloodaxe said:

 

Should not be up to the customer to check that themselves, Azamara should have made sure people were informed or at least had better systems in place at the port.

I totally agree!! It’s just too much to expect one to keep track of

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Once onboard and after the initial "chaos" had subsided we have settled in well.

 

Forgot to say we had done the online checkin and uploaded our photos and this resulted in such a quick boarding.  All the systems recognised us. I did not need to show my credit card but I was asked did I want to still use the card ending xxxx.  This would have been an opportunity to change it had I wanted (I remember someone asking this).

 

They are now using the new IT system, not the app.What it means is you connect to the wifi on your device, it offers you packages, you select the one you want and it immediately applies the discount you are due, you select buy and off you go.  The laundry voucher is also now loaded to your shipboard account.  Will be interesting to see how this works out.  What is not great at the moment only one voucher has been issued per room for a 16 night cruise.  I will in due course be following up on that.  UPDATE Just been out of the room and found a correction card on the door, we do indeed have two bags. So someone issued the wrong letter yesterday 

 

Cruise critic gathering clashed with sail away at 1800 - some got invites, some did not but in addition to being in the Insider Eric did announce as he was running through the days events after muster that it was on and where which was helpful.

 

Last nights dinner was very good, the MDR was extremely busy so we switched up to Prime C which was very quiet and excellent as always.  It doesn't matter how many cruises you do you always discover something on the menu you have never tried before.  For me last night it was the donuts......how have I overlooked them all these years.  I think I feared they'd be heavy but they were not.  DH enjoyed a new special on the menu - a Malibu souffle which he said was very good.  They had a special salad with goats cheese and swordfish (not cajun style) but none of our group tried them    We did not make the show - it was a variety showcase of what is coming etc.  Must try better tonight!

 

We were warned of "movement" in the night, we are to have 2 metre swell and some gusty winds onto the bow until late this afternoon.  It has moved a bit out I would not call it rough.  We are relatively midships it may have been rockier elsewhere.  

 

Its a breezy but sunny day, I will post later if it is sit out day or not.

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14 hours ago, PSULion said:

Does anyone know how long it takes for stockholder credit and AmEx platinum credit to hit the shipboard account? It is not there yet as of boarding time at least. Thanks.

 

Had some difficult boarding as we went to the WTC but the porter pointed out the Azamara minibus, after that it was rather straightforward. Minibus driver was very surly.

 

John R.

My credits were all on last night John so check with Guest Relations

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14 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I don't disagree.  I just do it for my own assurance and suggested it here as a help to others.  The Marine Traffic app is freely available and can be very useful. 

 

Phil 

You are right, the mistake we made was saw the ship was not in WTC on Marine Traffic but went there because for some reason got it in our heads the check in might be there.  I do feel some attempt should've been made  to contact guests especially as Pursuit had not been at WTC the day before so they probably knew at least 24 hours before embarkation we were having a change. I think we had the same driver as John he clearly was annoyed at having to transport us and had no intention of helping lift the luggage etc which was hard for some but others helped.   Its also been disappointing no one onboard has even mentioned that we were not where we expected to be,  I think a thanks for all being with us even if we had hidden away from where you expected to find us would have been nice.

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Don’t believe the Pursuit was where the Crystal Ship was as Crystal overnighted in Barcelona11/4-11/5.    We checked on the internet before we left the hotel and saw where the Journey was.   The cab driver double checked with his dispatch and was told the Journey was at “E”.   This was an ordinary black and yellow cab.  Before you crossed the bridge to the piers, there was a digital sign showing where your ship was sitting.

We checked in around 11:30, very early as our boarding documents wanted us to wait until 13:30.   There was no line and our check in went smoothly.   The cab did stop at the porters so our checked luggage was immediately taken.  We were allowed to board shortly after twelve and our suite was available.   Disabled passengers boarded directly after us.    We had dinner at the Aqualina and our dishes were excellent.   Hubby had the swordfish and I had the pasta of the day.   The scallops served as an appetizer were better than excellent.

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2 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Don’t believe the Pursuit was where the Crystal Ship was as Crystal overnighted in Barcelona11/4-11/5.    We checked on the internet before we left the hotel and saw where the Journey was.   The cab driver double checked with his dispatch and was told the Journey was at “E”.   This was an ordinary black and yellow cab.  Before you crossed the bridge to the piers, there was a digital sign showing where your ship was sitting.

We checked in around 11:30, very early as our boarding documents wanted us to wait until 13:30.   There was no line and our check in went smoothly.   The cab did stop at the porters so our checked luggage was immediately taken.  We were allowed to board shortly after twelve and our suite was available.   Disabled passengers boarded directly after us.    We had dinner at the Aqualina and our dishes were excellent.   Hubby had the swordfish and I had the pasta of the day.   The scallops served as an appetizer were better than excellent.

I think if we had a more amenable cab driver it would have helped but he just dumped us and legged it.  Yes Pursuit was at the same berth as us the day before.  Anyway we have settled down, found our cases. got unpacked and all is well!

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So our first sea day getting in some practice for the long run of sea days coming later in the cruise. It can be summed up by the song “we’re busy doing nothing”. It’s what we like about sea days. 
 

I have attached the daily to give anyone interested a sense of what goes on. I went to the watercolour class enjoyable but very  oversubscribed so as it’s first come first served I may not get to them all. They had to turn about 10 away. I will go back next time and fingers crossed for a seat. 
 

The ship offered the first of its brunches a Jazz Brunch that was a smart move as many were sleeping late and others body clocks had them up very early so all bases were well covered. As ever the food was beautiful. I think the sushi is even better than September to my tastes. Just a few pictures for those wondering was brunch up to the usual standards- it was in our view- indeed some dishes even better. 

We had Captain Gs toast tonight- great humour he really has good interactions with the officers. It was strange many seats were empty but then I met some people who were complaining they did not know about something but then said they never read the Insider. Maybe they came from constant announcements cruise lines. 
 

The show was a very talented UK pianist Mark Able whom we have not seen before.   We thought he played an excellent mix everything from Tchaikovsky to Coldplay with Joplin and Beatles along the way. 
 

For those wondering the seas calmed to smooth about 10am and the wind dropped. Many of us enjoyed a pleasant time on deck listening to Starlight Express lunch time set - great as usual. It was high teens, sunny and we needed sunscreen. Maybe if you are from Florida or Arizona it’s cool but the Canadians Brits and Northern States guests are in shorts and t shirts!  

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And what a sunrise greets us this morning in Malaga after another smooth night sailing 

 

 

39CCCA52-4AC7-4B4E-AB1F-E24F7063A7D4.jpeg

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3 hours ago, uktog said:

So our first sea day getting in some practice for the long run of sea days coming later in the cruise. It can be summed up by the song “we’re busy doing nothing”. It’s what we like about sea days..... 

 

Exactly that for us also! We have done two T/A's both East to West so different time of year.

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Who is Barbara doing the instruction on the Bridge. A new first Mate. I didn’t know that they evaluated hands on the Bridge. 😂😂🤪🤪🤪

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