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Has Azamara forgot to tell us about an important imminent itinerary change??

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I represent a group of friends consisting of 22 regular and new Azamara cruisers embarking on a cruise and an itinerary of a lifetime with the Quest inaugural voyage from Mumbai to Cape Town on 28th December.  We same group are feeling confused, mystified and unhappy with Azamara Head Office Communications or lack of them.

 

This week (Wednesday) four of us (2 couples) received notification from Azamara (one couple directly  by email and one couple by way of their travel agent) about a significant change to our itinerary. The other 18 (admittedly some singles and some couples) have had zero communications from Azamara about the change.  The removal of Mombasa, Kenya (overnight) due to security and safety concerns, whilst disappointing and inconvenient (with visas, yellow fever immunization and some with private tours booked) is understandable, unavoidable but accepted.   

 

What isn't acceptable is the fact that this has been poorly communicated or should I rather say non - communicated to some. Even the website is lacking, with no prominent notification and with Mombasa excursions still showing for the new replacement port. Yes they've check with their Travel Agents as applicable, no information has been received. The roll call has some mention of notifications, but what happens to those people who haven't received communications, aren't on social media groups with their friends or on this forum?  I have to tell you they are feeling that their loyalty to Azamara counts for little.  Surely something further should be done re the communications as time is running out rapidly to make final preparations for this change of itinerary and arrange for cancellation of private activities in Mombasa.

 

On behalf of our group, I volunteered to start this topic and in closing to think we'll be in India in two short weeks and all the frustrations will probably be forgotten I can't sign off this post without one of my favourite sayings from the move The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Quotes. “Everything will be alright in the end so if it is not alright it is not the end.” “The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.” “Remember you are everything, or you are nothing".

 

Come on Azamara time to step up and get people informed.

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4 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

Would you tell us what the replacement port is, as Azamara has not?

Sure, hope you can read this - this is the letter I got in Australia - which differs to my friends in the USA (same information on itinerary) but different format - like you the others got nothing.QS 12.28.19.pdf

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My husband and I are on this cruise. We were informed of the itinerary change by our TA yesterday.  We are doing an extensive safari (3 weeks) in Kenya and Tanzania after the cruise and this has caused a few complications for our Visas.  Also when I Googled security issues in Mombasa there was nothing obvious wrong there.

 

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2 hours ago, aussie travel bird said:

Sure, hope you can read this - this is the letter I got in Australia - which differs to my friends in the USA (same information on itinerary) but different format - like you the others got nothing.QS 12.28.19.pdf

Thanks.

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25 minutes ago, pandg1966 said:

My husband and I are on this cruise. We were informed of the itinerary change by our TA yesterday.  We are doing an extensive safari (3 weeks) in Kenya and Tanzania after the cruise and this has caused a few complications for our Visas.  Also when I Googled security issues in Mombasa there was nothing obvious wrong there.

 

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

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We also are on this cruise but I think that the reason for the change is not easily found on Google but if you refine your search to recent killings in Kenya for December you will find eleven people were killed on a bus there on Dec 6, 2019 in Northeast Kenya. After the volcano in New Zealand involving  a RCL ship I am sure the main office wants to avoid another problem. I am sure the extra time in Tanzania will be fine.

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Why some guests get notifications and others do not is a puzzle to me.  It seems odd that I learn of changes by reading posts on cruisecritic.  Before and after my most recent cruise, I tried contacting...email, phone, and through my excellent TA....regarding details that were important to me. Never got anything more than an email saying that Azamara received my email. It’s been 6 months without any response.  While my Azamara cruises were good, the lack of customer service and info does not sit well.  When we were discussing future vacations for 2020, we did not include Azamara. 

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19 hours ago, aussie travel bird said:

This week (Wednesday) four of us (2 couples) received notification from Azamara (one couple directly  by email and one couple by way of their travel agent) about a significant change to our itinerary.

Received our notice today from our TA.  It was sent to him yesterday (Thursday), not Wednesday as stated above.  Have not yet received a credit to our OBC for our two Mombasa excursions, so we've had to put two excursions booked this morning on our credit card.

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This letter re visas has just gone out to guests/TAs of Azamara Quest 12/28/19.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

December 13, 2019

 

Dear Azamara Guest, 

 

We’re reaching out to provide you with some additional information regarding your 24-Night Indian Ocean Adventure Voyage scheduled to depart on December 28, 2019 on Azamara Quest®.  

 

We’re excited to have you onboard soon and strive to bring you a journey filled with exceptional experiences you will remember forever. Unfortunately, it’s come to our attention that the recent changes that were made to the itinerary did not meet your expectations. Please understand that we fully stand behind the decision of our shore-side teams to avoid Mombasa, Kenya at this time in the interest of your safety and that of everyone onboard. Nothing is more important to us at Azamara.

 

That said, we’d like to share some information to help alleviate any concerns you may have prior to your voyage.

 

Mombasa, Kenya: Guests that pre-purchased a visa for Kenya, we’d like to offer you a full refund for your visa, as long as valid proof of the visa purchase is shown. Please send receipts to our Post Cruise team at Azamaraguestrelations@Azamara.com for review and disbursement. Your refund will be processed after the end of your voyage.

 

Tanzania: Guests that have pre-purchased a single-entry visa or transit visa for Zanzibar, Tanzania will have a valid entry for all scheduled ports in Tanzania – no additional visas need to be obtained. For those who don’t have a visa, our crew will be able to assist you with obtaining the necessary visa upon arrival which can be charged to your onboard account.

 

Thank you for your kind understanding and we apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-855-AZAMARA. 

 

Kindly,

AZAMARA

 

 

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2 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

December 13, 2019

 

Dear Azamara Guest, 

 

We’re reaching out to provide you with some additional information regarding your 24-Night Indian Ocean Adventure Voyage scheduled to depart on December 28, 2019 on Azamara Quest®. 

Finally got this email today, 14 December - our first communication from Azamara regarding the re-route.  I don't mind bypassing Kenya if the professional advice recommends such, however I'm not overly impressed by their communication process.  And FYI, no refund yet for our Mombassa tour - I'm not concerned by that because (I assume) we can sort that out on board - it still shows against the date (10 Jan) on our schedule planner, even though we're now in a different country that day.

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10 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

This letter re visas has just gone out to guests/TAs of Azamara Quest 12/28/19.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

December 13, 2019

 

Dear Azamara Guest, 

 

We’re reaching out to provide you with some additional information regarding your 24-Night Indian Ocean Adventure Voyage scheduled to depart on December 28, 2019 on Azamara Quest®.  

 

We’re excited to have you onboard soon and strive to bring you a journey filled with exceptional experiences you will remember forever. Unfortunately, it’s come to our attention that the recent changes that were made to the itinerary did not meet your expectations. Please understand that we fully stand behind the decision of our shore-side teams to avoid Mombasa, Kenya at this time in the interest of your safety and that of everyone onboard. Nothing is more important to us at Azamara.

 

That said, we’d like to share some information to help alleviate any concerns you may have prior to your voyage.

 

Mombasa, Kenya: Guests that pre-purchased a visa for Kenya, we’d like to offer you a full refund for your visa, as long as valid proof of the visa purchase is shown. Please send receipts to our Post Cruise team at Azamaraguestrelations@Azamara.com for review and disbursement. Your refund will be processed after the end of your voyage.

 

Tanzania: Guests that have pre-purchased a single-entry visa or transit visa for Zanzibar, Tanzania will have a valid entry for all scheduled ports in Tanzania – no additional visas need to be obtained. For those who don’t have a visa, our crew will be able to assist you with obtaining the necessary visa upon arrival which can be charged to your onboard account.

 

Thank you for your kind understanding and we apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-855-AZAMARA. 

 

Kindly,

AZAMARA

 

 

We just received this letter, but not the one prior to this that explained  about the reason for the change and the new port added in Tanzania.    So I agree that the communication from Azamara is abysmal.  It's a real shame that one has to get the real information from the Cruise Critic boards first, before  hearing anything from Azamara--(if one ever does hear anything from Azamara!)

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Thank you Bonnie for your assistance in representing us to Azamara.  It is much appreciated.  Thank you to Azamara for the offer of reimbursement of our Kenyan Visa's, though those who are still doing their Masa Mara - Kenya overnight Safari from Dar Es Salaam will of course still need them.  

 

Is it possible to find out when the Shore Excursions will be updated as I'm sure people are keen to have plans (or ideas at least) before they shortly commence their travels?  I'll pop this message over on the roll call too.  

 

Many thanks 

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How does anyone equate this change to the sudden volcanic eruption in New Zealand??

Surely one is due to natural causes while the other involves continued criminal activity.

If you don’t agree that there is a danger then you can travel there from a previous port and rejoin the cruise at a later port.

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1 hour ago, Covepointcruiser said:

How does anyone equate this change to the sudden volcanic eruption in New Zealand??

Surely one is due to natural causes while the other involves continued criminal activity.

If you don’t agree that there is a danger then you can travel there from a previous port and rejoin the cruise at a later port.

No, not related I would say. I believe the reasons we’ve been given.

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