Jump to content

Azamara destinations


ak1004
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone.

 

We sailed on Azamara in March 2019 and liked it, and would like to consider it for another cruise.

 

I hear all the time that one of Azamara highlights is the destinations. Could someone give some examples how Azamara destinations are different from lines like Oceania or Crystal? We are mostly interested in Europe, Pacific and South America.

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not typical of the regular Azamara cruiser who posts to Cruise Critic forums and will never be a regular, but I have now chosen Azamara for two "destination" cruises and it relates to itineraries.  I look at ports and days and even times in ports.  

 

Sometimes, an Oceania cruise may appear to be similar, but maybe it really isn't.  We actually chose our next destination cruise, which is Japan, to be with Oceania and not Azamara.  The price was less on Oceania and they are known to have better food.  It seemed like a no brainer until I really took a second look at the comparable itineraries.  It's late April itineraries on both lines, meaning you're still in cherry blossom season in Japan.  Oceania's cruise , as it turns out, avoids cherry blossom season as it goes from Tokyo south back to Tokyo and cherry blossom season is done in Tokyo in mid April.  I don't believe it is any accident that Azamara does a Circle and hits northern ports during peak cherry blossom in bloom season and then hits the southern ports later even in Wisteria season.  The O cruise even misses that as it ends earlier.  Maybe this is a freak thing and just "random" but I don't think so.  I do believe that Azamara put some though into all of this.  Even more, when I looked at port times for Kobe/Kyoto, the Azamara times lent itself more for us getting a full day of touring in Kyoto done and staying at a hotel in Gion.  I find a lot of value in all of this, but it did take a price drop in our Azamara booking for me to lock this one for Azamara.  Hey, everything counts.  We did our first Azamara cruise a couple of months ago in southeast Asia and loved the port lecturer, times in port, and get the whole destination immersion thing.  Our cruise certainly wasn't perfect on Azamara and there probably are things Oceania (and definitely Crystal) do better, but I'm sold on the destination thing.  

 

Each cruise and each itinerary still needs to stand on its own with us.  So many lines and ships have a time and a place for us, but I'd bet we'll do more destination cruises with Azamara after Japan.  

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoyed this post.

 

You have described why we continue to cruise with Azamara. The ports visited, and the time spent in each, provide opportunities that may be missing on the offerings of other cruise lines.Even in popular ports, such as St.Petersburg, how many itineraries offer a 3 day experience?

 

And as some ports become increasingly crowded in the Med for example, a trend that shows no signs of lessening, it is a real attraction to visit those destinations that are less frequented. 

 

The goal of "Destination Immersion" keeps us coming back and is of higher significance than some of the issues that may seem vexing.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We normally are Regent passengers.  However, we selected Azamara for a cruise to Cuba last year because they had many more port days in Cuba than Regents.  We have also booked a Black Seas cruise with Azamara and the ports are the main reason, there are six ports in the Black Sea.  Azamara is also a very nice cruise ship to go on, for our second cruise with Azamara we have gotten a club continent cabin and will get a liquor package.  We are still partial to Regent, but the itinerary is the first thing we look at.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

  I don't believe it is any accident that Azamara does a Circle and hits northern ports during peak cherry blossom in bloom season and then hits the southern ports later even in Wisteria season.  

 

Wisteria Season, who knew??

I appreciate your thought processes re. cruise line selection, Hub. 

For ak1004, I would suggest taking a look at the Maiden Ports page on the Azamara website - for me, it provides for some lovely  daydream opportunities.  (Always assuming the website is functioning and you're able to click through to the various itineraries.)

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, mj_holiday said:

We normally are Regent passengers.  However, we selected Azamara for a cruise to Cuba last year because they had many more port days in Cuba than Regents.  We have also booked a Black Seas cruise with Azamara and the ports are the main reason, there are six ports in the Black Sea.  Azamara is also a very nice cruise ship to go on, for our second cruise with Azamara we have gotten a club continent cabin and will get a liquor package.  We are still partial to Regent, but the itinerary is the first thing we look at.

 

Thank you @mj_holiday

I was actually looking at Black Sea cruise - amazing itinerary, but the prices are insane! While typical 12-14 nights cruise starts around $3-4k CAN for inside cabin, the Black sea starts at $9k CAN, and the second one over $10k CAD. And I see now that most categories are sold out. Any insights why it is so expensive - basically 3 times more expensive than typical Med cruise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Ithikan said:

 

Wisteria Season, who knew??

I appreciate your thought processes re. cruise line selection, Hub. 

For ak1004, I would suggest taking a look at the Maiden Ports page on the Azamara website - for me, it provides for some lovely  daydream opportunities.  (Always assuming the website is functioning and you're able to click through to the various itineraries.)

 

Thank you @IthikanVery interesting indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Ithikan said:

 

Wisteria Season, who knew??

I appreciate your thought processes re. cruise line selection, Hub. 

For ak1004, I would suggest taking a look at the Maiden Ports page on the Azamara website - for me, it provides for some lovely  daydream opportunities.  (Always assuming the website is functioning and you're able to click through to the various itineraries.)

 

Someone on the CC Ports of Call boards for Asia knew and pointed it out.  I looked at it further and there are amazing wisteria tunnels in an obscure port, Kitakyushu,  that Azamara is hitting on its 2021 itineraries.  

 

I thought I saw better pricing on Black Sea itineraries in (June 26) 2021, as low as $6K per person.  A good TA will get $1200 + or more OBC on that, but probably not much of a discount.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The June 26 Black Sea starts at $8.5K CAD including taxes (around $6.3k USD) for inside cabin. Even with OBC, it is still more than double than an average European cruise on Azamara. Still trying to understand the reason for such insane prices. 

 

image.thumb.png.b408dc27b3af8f4c0a1df8faf1f1287b.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s an unusual itinerary that cruise lines are only just returning to, we did it in 2010 and loved it.  Many have been hoping for a long time it would return. It’s all about supply and demand. This is a special destination it’s not valid to compare its prices to the Med where there’s lots of competition. It’s a bit like comparing Japan intensive with standard Vietnam offered by many. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, uktog said:

It’s an unusual itinerary that cruise lines are only just returning to, we did it in 2010 and loved it.  Many have been hoping for a long time it would return. It’s all about supply and demand. This is a special destination it’s not valid to compare its prices to the Med where there’s lots of competition. It’s a bit like comparing Japan intensive with standard Vietnam offered by many. 

 

Yes, it's a very nice itinerary, I agree. But $11k CAD for veranda (which is the minimum most people would consider) is still crazy.

 

Our friends did this region (West Ukraine and Georgia) on a land tour. Semi private group (15 people), 5 star hotels, all meals and transportation, private tours in small groups, 15 nights, for around $5k CAD. Yes, less than half of Azamara price, including excursions.

 

But you are right, if people are willing to pay those prices, why wouldn't Azamara charge them? Supply and demand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Land tours have their own issues.  You don't have much freedom and are doing tours with 35 people.  If I felt comfortable doing a DIY, that's where you can do some serious savings.  The language barriers in Black Sea countries and Japan get back to that being problematic.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

Land tours have their own issues.  You don't have much freedom and are doing tours with 35 people.  If I felt comfortable doing a DIY, that's where you can do some serious savings.  The language barriers in Black Sea countries and Japan get back to that being problematic.  

 

Agree 100%, but not in this case. As I mentioned, the tour our friends did was in a small group of 15 people. And in this region, you could book a private car with private guide and still pay less than Azamara price, with much better accommodation and much better food.

 

And I don't remember that Azamara excursions had groups much smaller than 35 people. And freedom is even more an issue on a cruise (it's not like you can set your own itinerary).

 

And if you insist on a cruise in this area, you could go with something like this Viking Black Sea cruise for about half price compared to Azamara (and basically everything included - meals, all drinks, excursions etc.) Not exactly the same itinerary, but has some very nice ports including Odessa and Kiev.

 

I understand that some people might want this very specific itinerary (Sochi etc.) but the price seems soooo much disconnected from reality.

Edited by ak1004
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, ak1004 said:

 

 

And I don't remember that Azamara excursions had groups much smaller than 35 people. And freedom is even more an issue on a cruise (it's not like you can set your own itinerary).

 

And if you insist on a cruise in this area, you could go with something like this Viking Black Sea cruise for about half price compared to Azamara (and basically everything included - meals, all drinks, excursions etc.) Not exactly the same itinerary, but has some very nice ports including Odessa and Kiev.

 

I understand that some people might want this very specific itinerary (Sochi etc.) but the price seems soooo much disconnected from reality.

 

I agree with you too.  I wouldn't even consider the Azamara Black Sea because I don't like the Turkey stops.  We've been to Istanbul and Ephysus.  Odessa sounds great.  

 

I don't do cruise line excursions and stay away from any excursions with more than 6 people.  Just about all of our excursion are private (just the two of us) or with another couple.  

 

As far as prices being separated from reality, they have some crazy prices and they also have people who love their product who keep prices up.  There's not much the rest of us can do about that, but book the alternatives.  I lucked out on my cruise.  I booked it onboard for the savings and OBC, hoping the price would drop and it did.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And here is Crystal Black Sea Cruise with very similar itinerary that is actually cheaper than Azamara!! And as we know, Crystal is all inclusive (and is in a different category).

I would love to try Azamara again, but so far what I see is either itineraries similar to Oceania at similar prices (and I would overall prefer O, especially if it's O class ship), or if it's a more unique itinerary, the prices are completely crazy, in many cases more expensive than Crystal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
On 1/1/2020 at 7:30 AM, hubofhockey said:

It's late April itineraries on both lines, meaning you're still in cherry blossom season in Japan.  Oceania's cruise , as it turns out, avoids cherry blossom season as it goes from Tokyo south back to Tokyo and cherry blossom season is done in Tokyo in mid April.  I don't believe it is any accident that Azamara does a Circle and hits northern ports during peak cherry blossom in bloom season and then hits the southern ports later even in Wisteria season.  The O cruise even misses that as it ends earlier.  Maybe this is a freak thing and just "random" but I don't think so.  I do believe that Azamara put some though into all of this.  Even more, when I looked at port times for Kobe/Kyoto, the Azamara times lent itself more for us getting a full day of touring in Kyoto done and staying at a hotel in Gion.  I find a lot of value in all of this, but it did take a price drop in our Azamara booking for me to lock this one for Azamara 

Hub of Hockey, just wanted to thank you for this detailed bit of information, which has been rattling around my brain since you posted—We have decided that this trip is too special to pass up , and have decided to book! It is largely due to your enthusiasm that we tuned in to it and became convinced, so we are grateful! 

Debbie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, debcip said:

Hub of Hockey, just wanted to thank you for this detailed bit of information, which has been rattling around my brain since you posted—We have decided that this trip is too special to pass up , and have decided to book! It is largely due to your enthusiasm that we tuned in to it and became convinced, so we are grateful! 

Debbie

 

You're welcome Debbie.  You're feeling the way I am in "too special to pass up".  We even took an oceanview cabin for the first time in over 30 years because we loved this itinerary so much, doing it on Azamara will be special as well.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...