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Captain Johannes to Viking Venus??


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So our favorite Captain just posted on Facebook a link to the press release announcing the float out of the new Viking Venus with the comment “and they need experienced officers...” One of the responding posters inquired if that’s his new ship, to which he replied “ you never know...” 
 

Hmmmm, may need to try Viking in the future....

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11 hours ago, Bloodaxe said:

Been  considering Viking for the future, that would make it even more likely.

 

If our (one) Viking Ocean cruise is typical, there is much less interaction with Captain and 'stripes' than on Azamara.  Also:  ship is lovely, food and service are great; itineraries are blah but you'll know that when you book; but be aware that the 'included' excursions are uninteresting – we ended up not taking any of them and that really affected our evaluation of the value proposition.

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17 hours ago, CA Oceanfront said:

So our favorite Captain just posted on Facebook a link to the press release announcing the float out of the new Viking Venus with the comment “and they need experienced officers...” One of the responding posters inquired if that’s his new ship, to which he replied “ you never know...” 
 

Hmmmm, may need to try Viking in the future....

Nope

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We tried Viking last year after a number of wonderful cruises with Azamara. Viking Orion is a beautiful ship, with great service and a lot to recommend it. However missed the warmth and engagement of officers and crew, even on Christmas Day no sign of officers. Also we found very subdued atmosphere not to our taste, although would cruise Viking again if the itinerary suited. Did here that they were very prompt with refunds due to pandemic.

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About eighteen months ago I had a long chat with Johannes about Viking Cruises. He shared an interesting perspective. Johannes knows Torstein Hagen well, and has been approached to join Viking many times. Each approach was turned down, primarily I believe because of loyalty to Larry Pimentel.

What may turn out to be a myth was that Johannes had real concerns about Viking's funding and debts, stating that Chinese investors were bank rolling the company in a major way.

He was also critical about the build quality of the ships. He felt they were built to tight budget with a lot corners cut, glossy on the outside but with little substance behind the scenes.

This led to a conversation about ship building, were I asked if Johannes was commissioning new builds where would he place his orders and in order of preference he choose Meyer Werft, Chantiers de l'Atlanique, Turku in Finland and finally Fincantieri.

It was an interesting conversation, and all I does watch this space 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, norn iron said:

About eighteen months ago I had a long chat with Johannes about Viking Cruises. He shared an interesting perspective. Johannes knows Torstein Hagen well, and has been approached to join Viking many times. Each approach was turned down, primarily I believe because of loyalty to Larry Pimentel.

What may turn out to be a myth was that Johannes had real concerns about Viking's funding and debts, stating that Chinese investors were bank rolling the company in a major way.

He was also critical about the build quality of the ships. He felt they were built to tight budget with a lot corners cut, glossy on the outside but with little substance behind the scenes.

This led to a conversation about ship building, were I asked if Johannes was commissioning new builds where would he place his orders and in order of preference he choose Meyer Werft, Chantiers de l'Atlanique, Turku in Finland and finally Fincantieri.

It was an interesting conversation, and all I does watch this space 

 

 

 


Out of interest, did Johannes pass comment on the R type vessels?

 

Regards

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All things considered I think it would be premature to rule out any outcome when we return to normality. With Larry gone and the bean counters having their way with Azamara, who knows what Azamara is in a year from now. As long as Larry is not replaced "properly" I tend to get more worried

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30 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I am almost always optimistic, but I am beginning to worry that the Azamara expansion Larry worked so hard for has actually happened – it's just named 'Silversea.'

Oh, we sincerely hope not!
We have cruised twice with Silversea. The first cruise was amazing ( the food, the service and, really, everything).

The second cruise... well, not so much ....very poor food and a different attitude from the Officers.. though the crew and service were still wonderful.

We haven't dared to try Silversea since then as we discovered Azamara, which "ticks all our boxes" , and so there was no looking back.

Edited by workingtocruise-59
typo
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5 minutes ago, workingtocruise-59 said:

Oh, we sincerely hope not!
We have cruised twice with Silversea. The first cruise was amazing ( the food, the service and, really, everything).

The second cruise... well, not so much ....very poor food and a different attitude from the Officers.. though the crew and service were still wonderful.

We haven't dared to try Silversea since then as we discovered Azamara, which "ticks all our boxes" , and so there was no looking back.

 

I agree completely [haven't tried Silversea, but the formality doesn't appeal] – but I'm thinking from the RCL corporate approach.  Celebrity is moving into Azamara price and luxury territory with the suites Retreat/Luminae.  Silversea was luxury but as you say seems to be moving downmarket a bit.  Meanwhile corporate wants to shrink the fleet as they come out of the shutdown and have lots of new ships in the pipeline – and Silversea is getting a slew (Origin 2020, Dawn 2021, and 2 ships in the new Evolution Class in 2022 and 2023).  That's as many berths as Azamara has right there.  So I don't see any expansion for Azamara, and I'm beginning to worry that it may be squeezed out entirely.

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40 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I am almost always optimistic, but I am beginning to worry that the Azamara expansion Larry worked so hard for has actually happened – it's just named 'Silversea.'


The Azamara ships don’t fit the environmental criteria going forward and it would cost a fortune to make the adjustments so, I’m not sure there will be a happy ending.

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12 hours ago, Werangels said:

 


The Azamara ships don’t fit the environmental criteria going forward and it would cost a fortune to make the adjustments so, I’m not sure there will be a happy ending.

 

They will probably keep Azamara going until the useful lives of the ships are exhausted, but it doesn't appear that they will choose the path that Oceania went down with new builds.  For the next ten years though, there is no reason for Royal Caribbean to cut this brand loose.  The ships are profitable and there is plenty of time to figure out how to build a bridge between Celebrity and Silversea.

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13 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

I agree completely [haven't tried Silversea, but the formality doesn't appeal] – but I'm thinking from the RCL corporate approach.  Celebrity is moving into Azamara price and luxury territory with the suites Retreat/Luminae.  Silversea was luxury but as you say seems to be moving downmarket a bit.  Meanwhile corporate wants to shrink the fleet as they come out of the shutdown and have lots of new ships in the pipeline – and Silversea is getting a slew (Origin 2020, Dawn 2021, and 2 ships in the new Evolution Class in 2022 and 2023).  That's as many berths as Azamara has right there.  So I don't see any expansion for Azamara, and I'm beginning to worry that it may be squeezed out entirely.

2 months ago based on public information (financial statements), Larry stepping down, a host of layoffs which support customer experience and the most important red flag: how they were treating their most loyal customers, I predicted the end of Azamara. No one agreed with me then because so many loved Azamara they could not contemplate such an event. I see how businesses are being built and I see them destroyed. RCL is in survival mode and thus investment for the future has been layed off as well. Azamara hardly invested in their ships as they put that money towards its customer experience. Even when I suggested that that the Loyalty Ambassador was layed off, I was corrected by the CBO that in fact it was a temporary furlough. (Sad she has suffered the same fate) Nothing wrong with optimism. I love optimism. Please read the writing on the wall and accept that RCL is much bigger than any of our individual loyalties and Unfortunately even bigger than all of our collective loyalties. We are as disposable as their employees. 

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1 hour ago, hubofhockey said:

 

They will probably keep Azamara going until the useful lives of the ships are exhausted, but it doesn't appear that they will choose the path that Oceania went down with new builds.  For the next ten years though, there is no reason for Royal Caribbean to cut this brand loose.  The ships are profitable and there is plenty of time to figure out how to build a bridge between Celebrity and Silversea.

In normal times, I agree. We are on a compressed timeline. RCL will announce the retirement of the ships and we as Azamara customers will lose our FCC’s but be directed back down the ladder to Celebrity. No ships - no cruise line.

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3 hours ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

In normal times, I agree. We are on a compressed timeline. RCL will announce the retirement of the ships and we as Azamara customers will lose our FCC’s but be directed back down the ladder to Celebrity. No ships - no cruise line.

 

Those Azamara ships are still very profitable.  I can see them rolling the brand into Celebrity, but not retiring profitable ships until they are ready to go.  I think some Azamara passengers may gravitate toward Silversea, but the difference in formality doesn't wash well for many.  We have a Silversea cruise on the new Origin in the Galapagos, but that is far from formal and probably once in a lifetime on Silversea.

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3 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Those Azamara ships are still very profitable.  I can see them rolling the brand into Celebrity, but not retiring profitable ships until they are ready to go.  I think some Azamara passengers may gravitate toward Silversea, but the difference in formality doesn't wash well for many.  We have a Silversea cruise on the new Origin in the Galapagos, but that is far from formal and probably once in a lifetime on Silversea.

Interested to see the numbers that show what you are claiming. Where are these available?

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15 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Those Azamara ships are still very profitable.  I can see them rolling the brand into Celebrity, but not retiring profitable ships until they are ready to go.  I think some Azamara passengers may gravitate toward Silversea, but the difference in formality doesn't wash well for many.  We have a Silversea cruise on the new Origin in the Galapagos, but that is far from formal and probably once in a lifetime on Silversea.

 

Can't see them coming together with Celebrity, they are not at all comparable, that's why Azamara was establish in the beginning.

Our first Journey cruise was booked on Celebrity but when we sailed it was with Azamara.

Since then it has been almost always Azamara but I am not at all sure about the future of the line or my own cruising future.

 

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4 hours ago, MakingUpForLostTime said:

Interested to see the numbers that show what you are claiming. Where are these available?

 

Pimental said something to that effect when they decided to purchase the third ship.  I am going on that and nothing else.

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1 hour ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Pimental said something to that effect when they decided to purchase the third ship.  I am going on that and nothing else.

Spent a bundle to refurbish Quest and Journey and to buy and refurbish Pursuit.  But a persistent hater doesn't let reality ruin a good rant.

 

P.S.:  It's Pimentel.

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13 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

They will probably keep Azamara going until the useful lives of the ships are exhausted, but it doesn't appear that they will choose the path that Oceania went down with new builds.  For the next ten years though, there is no reason for Royal Caribbean to cut this brand loose.  The ships are profitable and there is plenty of time to figure out how to build a bridge between Celebrity and Silversea.

 

I hope you are right, as I know do many others! ☺️

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12 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

Spent a bundle to refurbish Quest and Journey and to buy and refurbish Pursuit.  But a persistent hater doesn't let reality ruin a good rant.

 

P.S.:  It's Pimentel.

 

I don't know why anyone would hate a cruise line.  What I do see on Cruise Critic too often is people criticizing certain cruise lines to make them feel better about their new favorite cruise line.  

 

However, to his point, major events that rock the travel industry often have devastating effects on some businesses.  We have to look no further than the time and place of the original owner of the Azamara ships.  This is a bit different since Royal Caribbean owns these ships and not some start up.  I don't think that it's unrealistic to run Azamara the same but under Celebrity leadership.  

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