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Might Royal Caribbean International sell Azamara in the future?


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With the announcement this week that Celebrity Cruise lines is moving to a more all-inclusive fare similar to Azamara in that alcohol, gratuities (and Wi-Fi) will be included in the cruise fare, I wonder if RC International might be preparing to sell Azamara in the future?  Granted Azamara continues to command a premium cruise fare and their ships are of smaller size than Celebrity, the ships are older and probably more expensive to operate.  I understand the Celebrity product and the Azamara product have distinctly different sailing atmospheres, the thought still lingers in my mind.  Thoughts?

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My own view is that Celebrity going AI will have zero bearing on whether Royal sell Azamara. They are, as you suggest, very different cruise lines. The jury for me is still out on the always included they're adopting (it's definitely not all inclusive).  They are, not for the first time under their current leadership, trying to be something they aren't. 

 

Phil

Edited by excitedofharpenden
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3 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

My own view is that Celebrity going AI will have zero bearing on whether Royal sell Azamara. They are, as you suggest, very different cruise lines. The jury for me is still out on the always included they're adopting (it's definitely not all inclusive).  They are, not for the first time under their current leadership, trying to be something they aren't. 

 

Phil

Agree Phil, out of interest I’ve just priced a Celebrity cruise sailing from Southampton nearest to our Quest cruise from Southampton. The cost for the cheapest Sky suite is over double the price we are paying for a CC suite, they might get new cruisers paying that price but are they going to find the reality doesn’t match the hype?

We won’t be trying the “new” Celebrity but it will be interesting to see how things work out for them.

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What will be interesting to see is whether  Celebrity's competitors e.g. Princess and Holland America move to a more "inclusive" product.  I only hope that Celebrity will be employing more bar staff.  I last cruised with them 2 years ago and along with  the majority of the other 2,000 passengers had a drinks package included as a booking perk.  Getting a drink on board at one of the bars was a complete bun fight.  Never had a problem obtaining a drink on Azamara, so I am in no rush to try the "new" Celebrity.

 

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53 minutes ago, Marmaduke said:

What will be interesting to see is whether  Celebrity's competitors e.g. Princess and Holland America move to a more "inclusive" product.  I only hope that Celebrity will be employing more bar staff.  I last cruised with them 2 years ago and along with  the majority of the other 2,000 passengers had a drinks package included as a booking perk.  Getting a drink on board at one of the bars was a complete bun fight.  Never had a problem obtaining a drink on Azamara, so I am in no rush to try the "new" Celebrity.

 

Totally the same experience for me and it drove me nuts at the bars. Standing around waiting for a drink like a plonker. Modern Luxury it wasn't. In the end I would get on good terms with certain crew from certain bars and that helped, but it shouldn't be like that. I found it much better in Michael's Club, but my loyalty perk for that has just been pulled so that sanctuary has been lost for the foreseeable. 

 

Phil 

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4 hours ago, Marmaduke said:

What will be interesting to see is whether  Celebrity's competitors e.g. Princess and Holland America move to a more "inclusive" product.  I only hope that Celebrity will be employing more bar staff.  I last cruised with them 2 years ago and along with  the majority of the other 2,000 passengers had a drinks package included as a booking perk.  Getting a drink on board at one of the bars was a complete bun fight.  Never had a problem obtaining a drink on Azamara, so I am in no rush to try the "new" Celebrity.

 

 

Ditto this for sure.  What I also found frustrating was the lack of drink menus.  There were some here and there but they were very limited in ideas which I think is strategic.

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5 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Totally the same experience for me and it drove me nuts at the bars. Standing around waiting for a drink like a plonker. Modern Luxury it wasn't. In the end I would get on good terms with certain crew from certain bars and that helped, but it shouldn't be like that. I found it much better in Michael's Club, but my loyalty perk for that has just been pulled so that sanctuary has been lost for the foreseeable. 

 

Phil 

What’s a “plonker?”

Betsey

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Earlier this year we were ready to book our first Azamara cruise on Pursuit from Singapore and they pulled the itinerary.  We were very disappointed so we booked it on Princess.  We are going to be more Celebrity orphans with this new AI, having been loyal to them for 26 years.  I think Azamara will be a good choice for us going forward.

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28 minutes ago, Mackdogmolly said:

What’s a “plonker?”

Betsey

It is UK slang for many things (some rude) but in the context Phil used it means a fool.  A constant line in the UK comedy Only fools and horses was Del Boys line to his younger (dopey) brother - oh Rodney you are such a plonker

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18 minutes ago, uktog said:

It is UK slang for many things (some rude) but in the context Phil used it means a fool.  A constant line in the UK comedy Only fools and horses was Del Boys line to his younger (dopey) brother - oh Rodney you are such a plonker

Now my new favorite term! Time to try on my British son-in-law! JK, I adore him.

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8 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:


Thanks for the new epithet.

 

I was only familiar with the word “plonk”, a term often employed by Horace Rumpole (of the Bailey), who used it to describe his favourite tipple: Chateau Thames Embankment.

Edited by nordski
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On 11/19/2020 at 3:50 PM, nordski said:


Thanks for the new epithet.

 

I was only familiar with the word “plonk”, a term often employed by Horace Rumpole (of the Bailey), who used it to describe his favourite tipple: Chateau Thames Embankment.

Oh, I loved that show!!

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Recall it was only 2-3 years ago that Azamara (i.e., Royal) paid an awful lot to buy the Adonia and refurbish her in Belfast, creating the Pursuit. Doubt they've even reached the break-even point yet!

I agree with other posters that Celebrity and Azamara are very different cruise experiences. Royal has Celebrity as the upper premium line, Azamara as the near-luxury line, and Silversea as the luxury line. A good complement they probably won't tamper with, IMHO.

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The smallest Royal Caribbean ship is ~1600 passengers and the rest are much bigger.   Changing anything inside the ships or the services rendered to the guests can not stop them from being oversized and overrun w way too many people.    

 

DON

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4 hours ago, donaldsc said:

The smallest Royal Caribbean ship is ~1600 passengers and the rest are much bigger.   Changing anything inside the ships or the services rendered to the guests can not stop them from being oversized and overrun w way too many people.    

 

DON

Same is true for Celebrity.  Mass-market cruise line in disguise.

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On 11/19/2020 at 5:24 AM, Riocca said:

Agree Phil, out of interest I’ve just priced a Celebrity cruise sailing from Southampton nearest to our Quest cruise from Southampton. The cost for the cheapest Sky suite is over double the price we are paying for a CC suite, they might get new cruisers paying that price but are they going to find the reality doesn’t match the hype?

We won’t be trying the “new” Celebrity but it will be interesting to see how things work out for them.

It took me so long to realize Azamara is cheaper than Celebrity on certain itineraries as a SOLO cruiser.

Take for example like the 11 days of Spain, France and Italy cruise.

I am ready to jump ship.

Edited by verizon
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1 hour ago, verizon said:

It took me so long to realize Azamara is cheaper than Celebrity on certain itineraries as a SOLO cruiser.

Take for example like the 11 days of Spain, France and Italy cruise.

I am ready to jump ship.

I discovered this 10 years ago thanks to a Celebrity cruiser friend. Added to that (and most importantly) I preferred the product. The solo deals aren't as generous or widespread as they used to be though unfortunately, but nothing stays the same. 

 

Phil 

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On 11/18/2020 at 5:18 PM, pirokp said:

With the addition of Silver Seas to the RCL quiver it seems Azamara (I love Azamara..40 cruises) may become redundant and expensive to operate.  Tough times at Corporate HQ I am sure.  Fingers crossed..But Azamara staff on Silver Seas beautiful ships, not an altogether bad idea.  Must keep Azamara staff==they are the best!  BTW Good-Bye to Phillip Herbert--great person.

 

 

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I don't believe that Celebrity's "Always Included" program is an attempt to be like Azamara.  IMO it's an attempt to force generate revenue by requiring people to pay the not so hidden charge whether they want it or not.  Celebrity will never be able to imitate Azamara as long as Lisa is in charge of the penny pinching.  That was her job at Royal Caribbean and why she was transferred to Celebrity to her do her hatchet job there.  When Azamara attempts the same, I'll move up the line.

 

Remember the double/double program?       https://www.offshore-energy.biz/rcl-beats-the-double-double-target-rewards-all-employees/

 

Cruising to me is about the experience.  Azamara delivers.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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  • 1 month later...
17 minutes ago, pirokp said:

RCCL sells Azamara.  I guess my October post was more than a thought.

 

Yup and I moved up the line temporarily.  I want to see what shakes out once cruising begins again. But Azamara will remain on my radar for future consideration.

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