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Azamara refund problems (merged)


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I am glad that during normal business Azamara is now charging a cancellation fee even if it’s a small sum compared to the non refundable deposits UK guests paid. 
I do agree currently there should be more flexibility. 
And yes guests in suites booking up the specialty restaurants then cancelling late is not on but seen too often 

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

I am glad that during normal business Azamara is now charging a cancellation fee even if it’s a small sum compared to the non refundable deposits UK guests paid. 
I do agree currently there should be more flexibility. 

Agree.  There should be a penalty for booking several cruises and then deciding at some later time which one to take.  Makes it difficult for a cruise line to run its business.

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21 hours ago, gnld said:

We have a 2022 cruise booked with Crystal. With their parent, Genting Hong Kong, now in financial straits, I went on the Crystal board and found a thread regarding this. Boy, you should read the comments about Crystal being extremely poor in getting refunds to patrons! "Worst in the industry" one person wrote. Welcome to the club!

 

So here's how it's going to work:  Anyone who gets upset with their former-favorite cruise line but still wants to cruise will switch to another in the same class.  Fed-up Azamara cruisers go to Oceania; meanwhile fed-up Oceania cruisers go to Azamara.  Net-net:  both cruise lines end up with the same number of passengers – but they no longer have to give out any 'loyalty benefits.'  Big win for the cruise lines!

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55 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

So here's how it's going to work:  Anyone who gets upset with their former-favorite cruise line but still wants to cruise will switch to another in the same class.  Fed-up Azamara cruisers go to Oceania; meanwhile fed-up Oceania cruisers go to Azamara.  Net-net:  both cruise lines end up with the same number of passengers – but they no longer have to give out any 'loyalty benefits.'  Big win for the cruise lines!

 

Azamara is not concerned with keeping their customer base.  Keeping deposits for cruises cancelled due to fear of Covid-19 does not inspire loyalty.

 

We will switch to Holland America, on which we also have loyalty benefits.  They have excellent itineraries - and don't impose cancellation fees.

 

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On 9/3/2020 at 9:30 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

So here's how it's going to work:  Anyone who gets upset with their former-favorite cruise line but still wants to cruise will switch to another in the same class.  Fed-up Azamara cruisers go to Oceania; meanwhile fed-up Oceania cruisers go to Azamara.  Net-net:  both cruise lines end up with the same number of passengers – but they no longer have to give out any 'loyalty benefits.'  Big win for the cruise lines!

Seriously, do you really think these loyalty programs keep the majority of repeat customers coming back? Spending thousands of dollars for a token reward? It may be a bit of icing on the cake but it’s not the cake. If this is how the cruise lines think then they have a bigger problem then just the financial impact of a pandemic. I believe you are wrong and minimize and cheapen their product offerings.

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20 minutes ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

Seriously, do you really think these loyalty programs keep the majority of repeat customers coming back? Spending thousands of dollars for a token reward? It may be a bit of icing on the cake but it’s not the cake. If this is how the cruise lines think then they have a bigger problem then just the financial impact of a pandemic. I believe you are wrong and minimize and cheapen their product offerings.

I agree. The “benefits” offered by loyalty rewards can often be bettered by deals offered by some TAs or occasionally by the cruise companies themselves.

I think customers will vote with their feet when they think how shamefully they have been treated by most cruise lines. The strange coincidence that most cruises are not cancelled until after the final payment made stinks. It may be good business sense getting interest free money from your customers and the make them wait months on refunds but in my opinion it will be the undoing of some as customers will be very wary in the future  

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There are many posters on Cruise Critic who obviously do put a lot of stock in their loyalty rewards and think that the cruise line will miss them when they take their business elsewhere.  If that doesn't describe you, that doesn't make it incorrect as a general statement.  My point is that, reading many boards on Cruise Critic, there are people who are threatening to 'vote with their feet' against many cruise lines – and my guess is that the foot traffic will even out.

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On 9/3/2020 at 10:07 AM, uktog said:

I am glad that during normal business Azamara is now charging a cancellation fee even if it’s a small sum compared to the non refundable deposits UK guests paid. 
I do agree currently there should be more flexibility. 
And yes guests in suites booking up the specialty restaurants then cancelling late is not on but seen too often 

It would be better if guests in suites pay a refundable deposit, refundable if they actually turn up to the booking, this may preventing the selfish act of taking up all the slots. 

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9 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

There are many posters on Cruise Critic who obviously do put a lot of stock in their loyalty rewards and think that the cruise line will miss them when they take their business elsewhere.  If that doesn't describe you, that doesn't make it incorrect as a general statement.  My point is that, reading many boards on Cruise Critic, there are people who are threatening to 'vote with their feet' against many cruise lines – and my guess is that the foot traffic will even out.

FYI. After our last Azamara cruise, we moved up to Discoverer Plus. On our next Azamara cruise (slated for July), we get 6 free nights in a Club Continent Suite! We're Silver with Oceania and Gold with Regent; the monetary (and other) perks on both lines are quite nice! 9 more Oceania cruises and we get a free cruise (and we have one booked for April). Staying loyal does have rewards that are beneficial.

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22 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

There are many posters on Cruise Critic who obviously do put a lot of stock in their loyalty rewards and think that the cruise line will miss them when they take their business elsewhere.  If that doesn't describe you, that doesn't make it incorrect as a general statement.  My point is that, reading many boards on Cruise Critic, there are people who are threatening to 'vote with their feet' against many cruise lines – and my guess is that the foot traffic will even out.

Ok. If I were to agree with your theory regardless of how much the customer values the loyalty rewards, then we can also make the assumption that we may be in a period of “its not how well we did” rather “it’s how much worse we were than the competition. If it’s true that voting with our feet is meaningless to the companies and possibly a benefit form a loyalty cost perspective then we as customers have no sense of our value anywhere in this industry because no one cares. I think you are on to something. If they just don’t care then maybe, perhaps a good chunk of non-die hard cruisers just may choose not to cruise. Cruising is nice but remember that cruise lines competition is not just other cruise lines, it’s the entire travel industry. They don’t own us.

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20 hours ago, Norn Iron Man said:

Does loyalty to a company give them the right to treat their customers with contempt???

One would hope loyalty to a cruse company would mean something to the company. But as many of have have seen (me included) it does not, unfortunately. Azamara is not alone in this. Read the threads about other cruise lines and the problems people have in getting refunds especially, FCC docs, etc. It's pervasive and has given the cruise industry a black eye!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Azamara has treated its customers like dirt and idiots. Months ago, it knew full well that the South American cruise in December that we were booked on would not be going ahead and yet it was selling this voyage up until yesterday. It waited till final payments had been made, then cancelled.

 

Getting a full refund from them is being made difficult. It seems they will send you a FCC certificate and you then have to cancel this and request a refund.

 

Quote

 

  • We will initially send you the 125% Future Cruise Credit Certificate. You have until December 31, 2020 to request a refund. We will then deactivate your certificate.
  • You can expect to receive your refund 45 days after you submit your request.

Unquote

 

With Cunard the refund request was done online, on the same day the cruise was cancelled and it was cancelled more than a year in advance of our cruise.

 

It was to have been our first Azamara cruise but we now have no intention of ever sailing with them. We will stick with Cunard and Seabourn.

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All cruises lines have worked in ways which place their customers at the bottom of the pile. I hope Azamara have treated their staff, the remarkable team who care for us on board, with a much higher level of concern. With such an unknown quantity as a worldwide pandemic no cruise line has treated their customers particularly well as so much is unknown, uncertain and unfathomable. The quality of cruising on Azamara is the best and taking a decision not to try it because of these uncertain times is your loss.

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42 minutes ago, manc said:

All cruises lines have worked in ways which place their customers at the bottom of the pile. I hope Azamara have treated their staff, the remarkable team who care for us on board, with a much higher level of concern. With such an unknown quantity as a worldwide pandemic no cruise line has treated their customers particularly well as so much is unknown, uncertain and unfathomable. The quality of cruising on Azamara is the best and taking a decision not to try it because of these uncertain times is your loss.

And picking out Seabourn, they don't seem to have covered themselves in much glory with refunds either. 

 

Phil 

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On 10/7/2020 at 6:35 AM, excitedofharpenden said:

And picking out Seabourn, they don't seem to have covered themselves in much glory with refunds either. 

 

Phil 

You're correct Phil.  We did get our money back from Seabourn, but it took 4 months and a lot of hassle.  Better experience from Cunard, but still slow.

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On 10/7/2020 at 1:51 PM, manc said:

All cruises lines have worked in ways which place their customers at the bottom of the pile. I hope Azamara have treated their staff, the remarkable team who care for us on board, with a much higher level of concern. With such an unknown quantity as a worldwide pandemic no cruise line has treated their customers particularly well as so much is unknown, uncertain and unfathomable. The quality of cruising on Azamara is the best and taking a decision not to try it because of these uncertain times is your loss.

But why would you place any further business with a company that has treated you so badly, no matter how much they try to persuade you that guests are their number one priority? The cruise lines ( many of them) have been found wanting in customer service. I understand it’s difficult for everyone at present but to deliberately sell cruises until the day before cancellation, expect people to pay in full and then wait for refunds, a process they make deliberately difficult, is not in the long term a good business model. People have long memories, and will vote with their feet. I’m not a bank and don’t believe they should be using my money to stay afloat. I will in the future be spending my hard earned cash with a company who has been fair and ethical throughout this pandemic, not with one who chooses to turn on the customer service charm only when it suits them when they want my money. 

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We received our deposit and then the rest of our refund from a cancelled cruise within days so we were fortunate. We have been able to lift and shift 2 others. We have tried to be realistic as no cruise line has been perfect but the situation is new to us all totally unpredictable. We will reassess whether we are able to sail in 2021 or 2022 as time moves on. If cruisers don't co time to book there is no hope that these lines will survive. I agree it is wrong to advertise  cruises until.cancellation is announced but this situation is, hopefully, unique and totally unknown. 

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Just as cruise lines may or may not have done better so too did travel agents who were the root cause of many refund delays regardless of the cruise line. So any future holiday will also include an assessment of how any agency handled matters. Too many have been downright dishonest in my experience. 
There will be many factors that will influence our future leisure plans. For most of us blindly running back to what we had before even if they were happy places or whatever the in phrase is just won’t happen regardless of how much we enjoyed the past. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Azamara cancelled our cruise on October 7 and we were informed we would receive our Future Cruise Credit by November 4, via email.

 

Once we have the FCC Certificate we can request deactivation and refund back to the credit card will take 45 days.

 

Unfortunately we haven't received anything from Azamara. We booked directly with Azamara.

 

Has anyone received their FCC today for cancelled cruises?

 

Many thanks.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/4/2020 at 9:58 PM, longton said:

Azamara cancelled our cruise on October 7 and we were informed we would receive our Future Cruise Credit by November 4, via email.

 

Once we have the FCC Certificate we can request deactivation and refund back to the credit card will take 45 days.

 

Unfortunately we haven't received anything from Azamara. We booked directly with Azamara.

 

Has anyone received their FCC today for cancelled cruises?

 

Many thanks.

 

 

The Future Cruise Credit certificate promised on 4 November arrived today, one month later.

 

I called Azamara twice to ask about the certificate and no-one was able to tell me anything about it.

 

In frustration, I claimed for a full refund on my credit card and received the money within 10 days.

 

I'm happy for two reasons:

 

1. I got a full refund

2. I won't have to put up with lies and incompetence from Azamara ever again.

 

I'll stick with Carnival Cruise Line Cunard and Seabourn for all future cruises.

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1 hour ago, longton said:

In frustration, I claimed for a full refund on my credit card and received the money within 10 days.

Most likely that is a temporary credit from your credit card company pending a response from Azamara.  Most likely Azamara will respond to the credit card company that they paid you the required FCC and tell the credit card company to remove the credit.  This is standard operating procedure for disputes as the merchant, in this case Azamara has 60 days to respond and accept or deny the credit you received.

 

Just the messenger here but, suggest you look at the letter or the on line dispute and you will see it is pending a response while the credit card company investigates the issue.  Would not spend the credit dollars  until you are informed that the credit is permanent as likely it will be reversed and you will have to pay back the credit.  There is a chance Azamara will not respond in time but about 95% sure the credit will be reversed as they did pay you the FCC as you originally expected.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but, these are the facts.   

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Just to provide some balance... We are avid Azamara cruisers and love the line ( granted, the ships are better than Miami or the "online experience")  Having said that, we have had 3 cruises cancelled:  one in April, one in July and one in November. 

       Since we like the line, we opted for the 125% FCC.  We received the credit in a reasonably timely manner.   Did we get it the day they promised?   No.  Did we complain 5 minutes later?  No.  We understand this situation is unique --life and death for the company-- and the money I already paid was not going to make or break me in the next week if I did not get an immediate refund.  Within a few days of the expected time we did get the FCCs ( by email directly and thru our TA) as well as a direct refund to the credit card of taxes and fees ( more than we expected). 

      We have received at least the 125% promised, probably more.  (We have already applied the vouchers to cruises later in 2021.)

       Azamara is not the only line we cruise..  We had an Oceania cruise sked for March 2021.  Our TA rebooked us to 2022 just a week ago, since she and we were concerned that Mar 2021 would be a no-go-- at least for us.   Today Oceania cancelled the Mar 2021 sailing...  glad our TA was on the ball!

       Tonight was the first time I've signed on to this board in many months, and I was sorry to see all the negative comments.   Clearly our experience does not match that of some of the posters...

David

Fort Myers, Fl

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