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Azamara vs Celebrity


nextariel
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We are currently booked on Celebrity Solstice B2B2B in Australia/ New Zealand/Transpacific in March-April, 2021. I don't think we will be allowed in the countries at that time. Celebrity's 2022 schedule does not allow us to do a Lift and Shift for the same ports without booking 6 cruise. I started looking at the Azamara schedule and it looks like we can do the ports we wanted, but not the Transpacific. We have not sailed on Azamara and wondering if we  could have some input on the differences of sailing between the two lines. We are Elite with Celebrity and typically sail Aqua Class. 

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One caveat, the weather may force the Captain to deviate from the itinerary, should a storm come up in the Tasman Sea (known to be wicked!) This happened to our Azamara cruise (Feb. 2020) so we entirely missed Hobart, Tasmania, as well as the fjord in NZ.

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52 minutes ago, snowglobe said:

One caveat, the weather may force the Captain to deviate from the itinerary, should a storm come up in the Tasman Sea (known to be wicked!) This happened to our Azamara cruise (Feb. 2020) so we entirely missed Hobart, Tasmania, as well as the fjord in NZ.

Happens on Celebrity (did to us) as well so not a differentiator between the two.

 

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This question pops up every so often. Here's a recent thread (that I replied to) that gives some opinions to start you off. I find the differences are quite marked between the two. Even if you discount the itineraries.  

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2755052-celebrity-versus-azamara/?tab=comments#comment-60158335

 

Phil 

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15 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

This question pops up every so often. Here's a recent thread (that I replied to) that gives some opinions to start you off. I find the differences are quite marked between the two. Even if you discount the itineraries.  

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2755052-celebrity-versus-azamara/?tab=comments#comment-60158335

 

Phil 

Thank You

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4 hours ago, uktog said:

Happens on Celebrity (did to us) as well so not a differentiator between the two.

 


I agree, the Tasman Sea doesn’t care who is sailing on her at the time... 😉

I mentioned it because the OP seemed to put an emphasis on the ports-of-call, as being a significant criteria for his choice.

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We are regular Celebrity cruisers and did our first Azamara Cruise about 18 months ago.  There were some things we liked  about Azamara.  We loved the Patio,  ship decor, breakfast on the balcony, the ease Of getting on and off the ship with only 700 passengers the Azamazing evening, the Captain & HD were everywhere making  a point to talk to as many passengers as possible, crew were very committed to providing excellent service.  

 

Things we didn’t like the  MDR had a wait of 15-40 minutes every night, MDR was very noisy and found the food disappointing (comparison to Blu or Luminae), ship was dead.  Included beverages, particularly the wine were dreadful.  
Clearly Azamara has a lot of long time passengers and they were quick to point out where there “regular” seats were particularly at the White Night where 3 times we  were asked by other passengers to please move as this table is where we always sit.  

We would sail Azamara again but only for the right itinerary. 

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3 hours ago, jelayne said:

We are regular Celebrity cruisers and did our first Azamara Cruise about 18 months ago.  There were some things we liked  about Azamara.  We loved the Patio,  ship decor, breakfast on the balcony, the ease Of getting on and off the ship with only 700 passengers the Azamazing evening, the Captain & HD were everywhere making  a point to talk to as many passengers as possible, crew were very committed to providing excellent service.  

 

Things we didn’t like the  MDR had a wait of 15-40 minutes every night, MDR was very noisy and found the food disappointing (comparison to Blu or Luminae), ship was dead.  Included beverages, particularly the wine were dreadful.  
Clearly Azamara has a lot of long time passengers and they were quick to point out where there “regular” seats were particularly at the White Night where 3 times we  were asked by other passengers to please move as this table is where we always sit.  

We would sail Azamara again but only for the right itinerary. 

Wow I’ve never seen nor heard of pax doing that; I’m so sorry that anyone would actually be so dumb as to do that.

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I have seen it at White Night as I have in the Cabaret Lounge, some regulars do get seats reserved from them.  I hope in the new processes they write that that practice is stopped. If you want a certain seat, go early or accept what’s left. 

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12 hours ago, jelayne said:

We are regular Celebrity cruisers and did our first Azamara Cruise about 18 months ago.  There were some things we liked  about Azamara.  We loved the Patio,  ship decor, breakfast on the balcony, the ease Of getting on and off the ship with only 700 passengers the Azamazing evening, the Captain & HD were everywhere making  a point to talk to as many passengers as possible, crew were very committed to providing excellent service.  

 

Things we didn’t like the  MDR had a wait of 15-40 minutes every night, MDR was very noisy and found the food disappointing (comparison to Blu or Luminae), ship was dead.  Included beverages, particularly the wine were dreadful.  
Clearly Azamara has a lot of long time passengers and they were quick to point out where there “regular” seats were particularly at the White Night where 3 times we  were asked by other passengers to please move as this table is where we always sit.  

We would sail Azamara again but only for the right itinerary. 

Very interesting. Thanks for your input.

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12 hours ago, jelayne said:

We are regular Celebrity cruisers and did our first Azamara Cruise about 18 months ago.  There were some things we liked  about Azamara.  We loved the Patio,  ship decor, breakfast on the balcony, the ease Of getting on and off the ship with only 700 passengers the Azamazing evening, the Captain & HD were everywhere making  a point to talk to as many passengers as possible, crew were very committed to providing excellent service.  

 

Things we didn’t like the  MDR had a wait of 15-40 minutes every night, MDR was very noisy and found the food disappointing (comparison to Blu or Luminae), ship was dead.  Included beverages, particularly the wine were dreadful.  
Clearly Azamara has a lot of long time passengers and they were quick to point out where there “regular” seats were particularly at the White Night where 3 times we  were asked by other passengers to please move as this table is where we always sit.  

We would sail Azamara again but only for the right itinerary. 

Another one who has never experienced the White Night issue. I know what my reply would have been. "Not tonight".

 

I don't think it's fair to compare the Azamara MDR with Blu and Luminae which are specialty restaurants. Luminae is very nice (albeit I find the menus limited), but to stay in a suite on Celebrity and be able to use it you pay for it.  

 

I would agree that the MDR can be noisy. Noisier than it used to be, but Azamara's striving to fill the ships at all cost I believe is to blame. For people reading this who are new, I'd avoid the upper tier of the dining room. Sit away from there. I like the tables nearer the entrance in fact or each side. Speak to the Maitre D' and then go and have a drink at the bar and wait for them to call you. I've never had an issue. 

 

Phil 

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My husband  is deaf and his hearing aids pick up every sound in the MDR and sonweest in Aqualina or Prime C every evening so that we can relax and chat. Before the hearing loss he didnt find the MDR a problem but now we look.for ways to accommodate the way hearimgvaids work and have the same problem on dry land. 

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22 minutes ago, manc said:

My husband  is deaf and his hearing aids pick up every sound in the MDR and sonweest in Aqualina or Prime C every evening so that we can relax and chat. Before the hearing loss he didnt find the MDR a problem but now we look.for ways to accommodate the way hearimgvaids work and have the same problem on dry land. 

Good information, as I also wear hearing aids.

 

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4 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Another one who has never experienced the White Night issue. I know what my reply would have been. "Not tonight".

 

I don't think it's fair to compare the Azamara MDR with Blu and Luminae which are specialty restaurants. Luminae is very nice (albeit I find the menus limited), but to stay in a suite on Celebrity and be able to use it you pay for it.  

 

I would agree that the MDR can be noisy. Noisier than it used to be, but Azamara's striving to fill the ships at all cost I believe is to blame. For people reading this who are new, I'd avoid the upper tier of the dining room. Sit away from there. I like the tables nearer the entrance in fact or each side. Speak to the Maitre D' and then go and have a drink at the bar and wait for them to call you. I've never had an issue. 

 

Phil 

Good information. Thanks

 

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17 hours ago, jelayne said:

We are regular Celebrity cruisers and did our first Azamara Cruise about 18 months ago.  There were some things we liked  about Azamara.  We loved the Patio,  ship decor, breakfast on the balcony, the ease Of getting on and off the ship with only 700 passengers the Azamazing evening, the Captain & HD were everywhere making  a point to talk to as many passengers as possible, crew were very committed to providing excellent service.  

 

Things we didn’t like the  MDR had a wait of 15-40 minutes every night, MDR was very noisy and found the food disappointing (comparison to Blu or Luminae), ship was dead.  Included beverages, particularly the wine were dreadful.  
Clearly Azamara has a lot of long time passengers and they were quick to point out where there “regular” seats were particularly at the White Night where 3 times we  were asked by other passengers to please move as this table is where we always sit.  

We would sail Azamara again but only for the right itinerary. 

Perhaps your itinerary or demographics was different?

In all our nights of dining in Discoveries we've never had anything near a 40 minute wait.  Maybe 10 minutes at the most and that was infrequently. Always a two top and frequently the same wait team (had the same waiter/asst 24 nights in Feb/Mar).  Do agree that sometimes Discoveries can be a bit noisy (all dependent on pax) because of the low ceiling.

Never had anyone ask us to move at White Night.  Not at the pool, not at Cabaret.

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5 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

Nor have I..on 46 Azamara cruises.  I'd have told 'em to pound sand.  Never seen it in the Cabaret, either.

To clarify not been asked to move but certainly seen reserved seats several times.  I could name several of the people for whom seats are reserved either at White Night or the Caberet but I do not think that would be correct in a public forum but I am sure you will have cruised with them.  (And conversely you will also have cruised with people who have far more cruises than "the chosen ones" who like the rest of us just turn up and take whatever seats are available)

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Most annoying are the cruise media and bloggers who whilst blagging a free cruise get all the best seats reserved for them by Azamara. We’ve never met anyone who’s been influenced by these freeloaders, be glad when Azamara actually realise this and give them the heave-ho.

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22 minutes ago, Riocca said:

Most annoying are the cruise media and bloggers who whilst blagging a free cruise get all the best seats reserved for them by Azamara. We’ve never met anyone who’s been influenced by these freeloaders, be glad when Azamara actually realise this and give them the heave-ho.

Totally agree.  Never seen anyone "influenced" by these "influencers" except the cruise lines.

Once listened to one, bragging non-stop (on another cruise line).  "Our whole cruise paid for in full.  See this camera?  Paid for by the cruise line.  See this goPro?  Paid for by the cruise line.  See this bottle of wine?  Paid for by the cruise line."

Sickening and the gullible cruise lines lap it up.

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42 minutes ago, Riocca said:

Most annoying are the cruise media and bloggers who whilst blagging a free cruise get all the best seats reserved for them by Azamara. We’ve never met anyone who’s been influenced by these freeloaders, be glad when Azamara actually realise this and give them the heave-ho.

Totally agree

Add the “oh I’m doing a Live from on Facebook”. 

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I'd agree with uktog and Riocca. There are a few of those kind around on Azamara. Thankfully they are in the minority.

 

The thing with Azamara is the crew are so keen to help that you only need a guest who is demanding and for want of a better term, think they are special and the ship will fall over themselves if they can. And sometimes that means just keeping quiet yourself. It can be embarrassing. I've been there!

 

Phil 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Reality hit and our 3 Celebrity Australia/New Zealand/Transpacific cruises in 2021 are now cancelled.  So really looking at Azamara for 2022.

 

Can anyone tell me the comfort of the mattresses. We are now looking at 50 days, so a comfortable mattress a must. 

 

Anyone stay in a handicap suite? That is the only Continental suite left. What are the differences in handicap room versus a regular room? That is the only room we could have on all 3 cruises. 

 

Can anyone explain how the loyalty points work. Are they added to Celebrity or do you start accumulating on Azamara?

 

I know there is Cruise with Confidence program, but what are refund policies?

 

Any help would be appreciated, they are closed for the weekend and vey few rooms left. I would like as much info before they open on Monday. 

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The mattresses are very comfy. As good as Celebrity I'd say. 

 

The handicap suite major difference is the bathroom that has a roll in shower and a lower sink and adjustable mirror and I don't think the storage was as good there. I've stayed in them a couple of times and they are fine. I've never been able to book them specifically, but was assigned them. It's disappointing they are being released so early. My view is they should be held for those really needing them and released closer to sail date. 

 

The points accumulate between Azamara and Celebrity from day one. 

 

Phil 

 

 

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