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Azamara making worst COVID 19 cancellation policies


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Azamara customers, both pending and future, should know that Azamara has released an edict stipulating that booked cruises  before July 2020 will have non-refundability, non transferability and the requirement that another cruise must be chosen on Azamara and not other RC family ships. Most of Azamara's competitors, including its sister companies, RC and Celebrity, are offering refunds. Indeed, some are even with offering additional incentives on future cruises. Azamara is supposed to be the luxury cruise line of the RC fleet. Luxury usually connotes higher quality of customer caring and a more flexible posture than lower ranked cruise lines. When Princess offers refunds and Azamara does not, that deserves to be screamed from the rafters on social media outlets, warning others that Azamara is completely out of step with almost every other cruise line on its policies regarding COVID-19. In 2021, Azamara is offering primarily single country intensive cruises and most of the 2020 itineraries will not be repeated. This leaves those who paid for one of this year's Azamara itineraries with virtually nothing of interest on Azamara in 2021 if they do not want single country intensive cruises. And Azamara will not even let you transfer to a cruise on any of its sister lines that do not have the limiting single country intensive itineraries. If you check the website Cruise Critic.com, you will see that almost all other cruiselines, including Azamara's sister lines, are offering refunds. Indeed, as mentioned, some are offering refunds plus incentive reductions on a future cruise. That puts Azamaras response to the COVID 19 among the worst in the industry. Everybody should know that and keep it mind before ever booking Azamara in the future. Is is an important insight into the core philosophy of the Azamara company - and it is not a flattering view.

Azamara remains way out of the norm among competitors, most of whom are giving refunds and even reductions on future cruises, while Azamara is imposing only future credits and with horrendous restrictions. Azamara should pay a high public relations price for being so out of the norm among cruise companies. My cruise is scheduled to leave Singapore April 11.

 
Thomas Freddo
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TFFREDDO : stated "Azamara has released an edict stipulating that booked cruises  before July 2020 will have non-refundability, non transferability and the requirement that another cruise must be chosen on Azamara and not other RC family ships."

 

I agree Azamara could have and should have done must better than they have done so far. Communication is appalling! Other cruise lines have done much better, including Celebrity, with the cancellation of Dubai to Athens due to start on 1 April. Azamara's similar itinerary, Dubai to Athens on 28 March appears to still be happening.

 

However at this stage cruises between now and 31 July are not a total loss with a FCC.

https://www.azamara.com/en-au/cruise-with-confidence?icid=aza_brnd_b_int_vb_oth_aza_confidence_hp_hero_3062020_

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They are not a total loss, except that they are forcing you to take a cruise before the end of 2021 to places you may not want to go and mostly to cruises around a single country. If they are not going back to where you wanted to go and are, instead, offering places or types of cruises of no interest to you,  I don't think its unreasonable to consider that pretty close to a total loss. Even their sister lines (RC and Celebrity) are offering refunds, some even including an incentive of 10+ percent on a future cruise. If you review the responses to this crisis by all cruise lines on Cruisecritic.com you will realize just how out of step Azamara is compared to other cruiselines in their cancellation policies. People considering Azamara in the future should keep these deeply flawed and greedy decisions in mind before ever booking with them.

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I do agree with the point made about the 2021 itineraries.   We are booked on a B2B French Intensive and Islands of the Western Med, the latter which is a very unique itinerary and the reason we booked.   It also ends in Rome.   I've looked over the 2021 cruises and there is not much that interests me so with a FCC we'd be choosing something just to not lose the $$.

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Just be aware that, according to data on Cruisecritic.com, Azamara's cancellation policy decision regarding COVID-19 is among the worst in the industry. They are even an outlier regarding their own parent company (RC) and sister cruiselines (Celebrity). If you are forced to take a cruise of a type or to a place you really do not want, its not really much better than just losing your money.

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I read the cruise critic article posted here
 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5151/

 

and I don’t see any cruise lines offering full refunds in place of FCCs. 
 

I have not parsed it carefully but it seems Azamara’s policy is very comparable to others’ policies— for example it seems almost identical to Celebrity’s.
 

What am I missing/where are you seeing these better policies?

Edited by Doh15
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Read below and you should be angry.

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5016/

From the website Cruise Critic.com, the updates say……….
 
Even Azamara's sister company Celebrity is doing refunds. They have posted that all booked passengers on Celebrity Millennium will receive refunds, plus 25 percent future cruise credits, as well as refunds of any excursions and onboard packages. Those with air travel and hotel booked through Flights by Celebrity will be refunded automatically; people with independent air arrangements will receive up to $300 per person reimbursement for any airline flight change fees incurred.
 
Costa is offering passengers are eligible for full refunds, or they can choose alternative sailing dates before the end of 2020 with $50 onboard credits.
 
Chrystal has posted that all guests scheduled to embark the Crystal Serenity on the above dates will receive a 100 percent refund of the cruise fare paid along with $500 per person for air consideration. As a gesture of goodwill, guests will also receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) of 25 percent of the base cruise fare paid. The FCC can be used on any of Crystal’s experiences including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition for voyages commencing on or before December 31, 2021. Port charges will be refunded to the original form of payment made.
 
Cunard is offering refunds
 
Holland America has posted all passengers on affected sailings will receive a full refund, a 25 to 50 percent future cruise credit (depending on the departure date) and reimbursement of cancellation fees.
 
Norwegian has posted that all Norwegian Spirit sailings from December 21, 2020 through March 12, 2021, scheduled to operate in Asia have also been canceled. All cruisers booked on these sailings will receive a full refund, along with a future cruise credit worth 10 percent towards their next cruise. Norwegian will also cover up to $300 per person for any air change fees. You can submit your receipts at www.ncl.com/case-submission.
 
Oceania has posted Oceania has canceled all cruises in Asia through June 2020. All passengers booked on canceled sailings will receive a full refund along with a future cruise credit, valid for any 2020 sailing, equal to 25 percent of the cruise fare paid.
 
Even the parent company Royal Caribbean has canceled 10 China and Hong Kong sailings on Spectrum of the Seas through March 21. Passengers on canceled cruises will receive full refunds.
 
Star Cruises, which is Asia-based,  has suspended the operation of SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius. All cruises have been canceled until further notice. Booked passengers have the option to change their cruise date or cancel with a full refund.
 
That puts Azamara way out of the norm among competitors, most of which are giving refunds and even reductions on future cruises, while Azamara is imposing only future credits and with horrendous restrictions. Azamara should pay a high public relations price for being so out of the norm among cruise companies.
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Nothing in the link you posted supports what you posted as far as general policies for refunds for cruises that haven’t been canceled. 
 

I think you are either comparing things that aren’t comparable— like what happens when a cruise has been canceled vs when it hasn’t— or else just making things up. 

I am not trying to say Azamara has covered itself in glory— there’s plenty to complain about, including whether they should be canceling more cruises— but if you think they should generally give refunds for cruises that haven’t been canceled then I don’t see any evidence that they are treating customers worse than other lines. 

 

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Everything I just posted to you represents direct quotes from the Cruise critic citation from today at 945AM. How you can conclude that all of these cruise lines offering refunds, some with incentives on future cruises is the same as what Azamara is offering is beyond bewildering. I can only assume you an apologist sent by Azamara to try to make their egregious behavior seem ok.

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Your information is incorrect.  Azamara’s policy is identical to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity...if you choose to cancel and do so up to 48 hours prior to your sailing date, you get a future cruise credit.  Any refunds are a result of the cruise line canceling a voyage or if a guest is denied boarding for health reasons.  So far Azamara has not cancelled anything.  When and if they do, those guests will receive a refund.

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The point is that quality, responsible cruiselines, like all of those noted in the cruise critic citation, have cancelled almost everything in Asia. Azamara is putting profits over its customers' health risk by forcing them to even consider travelling to Singapore, which has been as hard hit as Hong Kong.

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Regent and Seabourn are providing FCC to those who wish to cancel.

 

In my view, customers are being well looked after by cruise lines offering 100% FCC. Travel insurance isn’t covering us and without the lines coming to the party as an act of goodwill, then we’d all be losing considerable money. I would imagine if they all offered 100% cash refunds, much of the industry would be wiped out.

 

While slow out of the blocks, Azamara has come to the party and given us financial security over our current bookings. We’ll gladly use the credit next year on Azamara, for both a very enjoyable cruise once again with Azamara, and also in the knowledge that it helps Az and its staff survive. These are unprecedented times for the tourism industry and cruise lines are looking after us better, I think (but may be wrong), than the air and hotel sectors.

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Azamara is part of RCCL and is following its policy as is Celebrity. If you cancel a cruise that starts anytime up to 31 July 2020 you get full FCC to be used on a cruise starting anytime up to 31 December 2021.

They have just cancelled 17 March Quest cruise and are giving 100% refund PLUS 25% FCC. They are refunding all flights, hotels & transfers booked through Azamara/choice air and refunding anything spent on shire excursions, packages etc.

 

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6 hours ago, TFFREDDO said:

Everything I just posted to you represents direct quotes from the Cruise critic citation from today at 945AM. How you can conclude that all of these cruise lines offering refunds, some with incentives on future cruises is the same as what Azamara is offering is beyond bewildering. I can only assume you an apologist sent by Azamara to try to make their egregious behavior seem ok.

As said above you are not comparing like with like. The Celebrity case you quote is for a cruise cancelled by Celebrity. Azamara are giving exactly the same for the 17 March Quest cruise they just cancelled. 

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12 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

As said above you are not comparing like with like. The Celebrity case you quote is for a cruise cancelled by Celebrity. Azamara are giving exactly the same for the 17 March Quest cruise they just cancelled. 

I fully agree. Not sure TFFREDDO is even affected by the cancellation policies. He does not say he has an AZ cruise booked or that he wants to cancel or is negatively affected by AZ policy, only claiming falsely that AZ cancellation policy is Terrible compared to others. I do agree AZ should be cancelling cruises sooner with at 30 days notice but when they do cancel a cruise the refund policy seems to be similar to other lines.

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25 minutes ago, Jimmycruiser said:

I fully agree. Not sure TFFREDDO is even affected by the cancellation policies. He does not say he has an AZ cruise booked or that he wants to cancel or is negatively affected by AZ policy, only claiming falsely that AZ cancellation policy is Terrible compared to others. I do agree AZ should be cancelling cruises sooner with at 30 days notice but when they do cancel a cruise the refund policy seems to be similar to other lines.

 

Jimmy, obviously the OP is a bit confused but he does say in the last sentence of his first diatribe that his cruise is scheduled to leave Singapore on April 11.  That would be the Journey - Singapore to Dubai.  He does have skin in the game.  I think the gist of the OPs argument is that other lines have cancelled their Asian cruises in that time frame and he feels Azamara should cancel his and award him a full cash refund and additional FCC.  

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On 3/9/2020 at 10:25 PM, TFFREDDO said:

Everything I just posted to you represents direct quotes from the Cruise critic citation from today at 945AM. How you can conclude that all of these cruise lines offering refunds, some with incentives on future cruises is the same as what Azamara is offering is beyond bewildering. I can only assume you an apologist sent by Azamara to try to make their egregious behavior seem ok.

 

Celebrity offered a refund to those on a cruise that was canceled mid-cruise. They are not offering refunds to passengers who call and cancel.

 

Apples and oranges.

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The problem with a future cruise credit is that the prices are much higher than my current cruise and we only have until end 2021.  There will be a lot of people with skin in the game to book a future cruise so prices will stay high and I will end up paying the cost of 2 cruises so they win, I lose.  Not Azamara fault, we are all victims of the inaction and future inaction of people who want to put their head in the sand concerning this pandemic. 

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My cancelled cruise was due to leave on the 17th (5 days). If it was a Princess cruise I would be choosing 100% refund and 100% cruise credit.  Instead, Azamara offered a 25% cruise credit with my refund.  I was under the impression Azamara did better than the 'other' mass-market lines.

 

This pdf shows the table of refunds due for certain cruise dates.  

 

https://www.princess.com/news/pdfs/voluntary-60-day-pause-of-global-ship-operations.pdf

 

 

 

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