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Silver Seas and Azamara under one roof...


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On 12/11/2020 at 8:10 AM, Nachosdelux said:

Expect consolidation between the 2 brands, no way the market can sustain both.

Ridiculous!  The two brands are too different in both experience and price point; RCG isn't going to risk losing business by combining two very different products.

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I have been pessimistic about Azarama's future for exactly these reasons, but this video was extremely hopeful to me.  Clearly RCG sees Silversea and Azamara inhabiting two completely separate market segments.  And given the difference in ship size between Celebrity and Azamara, it is easier now to hope that they see an equally big difference between Azamara and Celebrity – maybe even they see Azamara as the place for Celebrity's older clientele to migrate to.  [And we have booked an Azamara cruise for 2022, so I really hope so!!!]

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On 12/4/2020 at 7:48 AM, Rotterdam said:

It's too bad that SILVERSEA didnt remain a separate entity.  I was looking forward to sailing on their ships.  Now that RCCL has taken over I suspect the  usual cost  & staff cuts will take place.  The overall  quality of the product is the primary loser.


As a passenger on SS since ‘08, I can say quite opposite has happened since RCCL purchased their initial two-thirds stake.  After enduring years of cutbacks as a private company since the financial crises, the product has been the primary winner since RCCL became the owner.  New and upgraded ships, improved food and beverage offerings, along with the always excellent service proposition has kept us loyal.  
 

Now, with that said, we are none to thrilled about their new inclusion of an excursion in every port, aka Regent, that starts in April ‘22 in order to raise fares higher (along with included air) than pre-pandemic and encourage travel agents to book them more often.  Needless to say, I believe we’ll see a cruise only fare option introduced sometime in ‘21 once SS sees poor new bookings under the new policy and comes to their senses.

Edited by Stumblefoot
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4 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I have been pessimistic about Azarama's future for exactly these reasons, but this video was extremely hopeful to me.  Clearly RCG sees Silversea and Azamara inhabiting two completely separate market segments. 

Which is what I've been saying all along, but some still think a consolidation of the two will happen. There is no logic in this. 

 

Phil 

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2 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Which is what I've been saying all along, but some still think a consolidation of the two will happen. There is no logic in this. 

 

Phil 

 

Be careful what you wish for....given the extremely concerning rapid mutation here in the UK, there is no way of knowing where the virus goes from here. Will the vaccine have the same efficacy, or any, as the virus mutates. The truth is no-one, and I mean no-one, knows.

 

Consolidation v's survival of Azamara....which would you choose?

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18 minutes ago, hamrag said:

 

Be careful what you wish for....given the extremely concerning rapid mutation here in the UK, there is no way of knowing where the virus goes from here. Will the vaccine have the same efficacy, or any, as the virus mutates. The truth is no-one, and I mean no-one, knows.

 

Consolidation v's survival of Azamara....which would you choose?

With respect, that's not the subject being discussed, but if you were to ask me then I'd say neither is at all attractive.

 

Phil 

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I agree, I see no logic in Azamara and Silversea being rolled together, however with the recent surge in COVID numbers in the USA and Europe and the new mutated strain spreading up to 75% faster there are bigger questions to consider. Currently it’s hard to see a return to cruising as we know it happening any time soon, however big the company how long can they survive without income?

We’ve already seen a number of smaller cruise lines go under, both RCG and Carnival Corp have disposed of ships at knockdown prices many ending up being beached for scrap. I’ve no idea what the future will hold for all the cruise lines other than knowing times must be incredibly hard at the moment with little prospect of things improving any time soon.

For those in the U.K. there’s a programme on Channel 4 this evening at 7pm. Luxury Cruises: From Boom to Bust? It hopefully will be an interesting factual look at the situation, a friend of ours was interviewed for the programme but haven’t had the chance to ask her what she was asked.

 

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A bigger challenge for Azamara in my view are the ships.  The R class ships are getting up there in age.  It's relatively easy investing in guest areas to keep them fresh and appealing. 

 

Below the guest areas in the lower decks are the marine systems found on all ships.  Power generation, propulsion, water treatment, waste recycling, holding tanks, sea chests, seals and drains, etc.  

 

As ships get older the mandatory dry dock changes to every 2 1/2 years.  Mandatory maintenance required by international maritime conventions increase.  As regions around the world create new requirements such as connecting to shore power while in port or reduced emissions targets it becomes more difficult for older ships to keep up.  

 

We see other RCG brands aggressively adding new ships.  Celebrity just introduced a new class, Royal Caribbean International and SilverSea both have a new class of ships booked with shipyards, in process with some are already under construction.  The pandemic may delay them but they are contracted with shipyards and in the process of being built.   

 

What about Azamara?  Where are the Azamara new ships or new class of ship that will carry the line forward?

 

As the R class ships pass their 20th birthday they bring a lot of baggage with them simply due to their maritime age despite updated, modern decor in guest areas.  

 

The fact that the RCG isn't investing in future plans for Azamara while they are for their other brands is somewhat concerning.

 

Edited by twangster
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12 minutes ago, twangster said:

A bigger challenge for Azamara in my view are the ships.  The R class ships are getting up there in age...

 

...The fact that the RCG isn't investing in future plans for Azamara while they are for their other brands is somewhat concerning.

 

 

I'd go as far as to say it could be somewhat ominous.

Edited by hamrag
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twangster, we've been here with the "R ships are old" thing before and it's been done to death. RCG obviously felt that they are still worth the investment if they bought one and put it into service with Azamara as recently as 2018. 

 

A well maintained ship is not old when it gets to 20 years and my own view is that they fit Azamara very well and I'm glad they have them.  I've become rather feed up of these ships being written off. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but once again it doesn't really have much relevance to what is being discussed on this thread. 

 

Phil 

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51 minutes ago, hamrag said:

 

I'd go as far as to say it could be somewhat ominous.

Really?  You don't mind if i don't take any notice of you?  It seems like you are here on this board to write Azamara off and stick it to those who are fond of them. It's ok though. You too are entitled to your opinion. I get it. I honestly do. 

 

Phil 

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17 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

  And given the difference in ship size between Celebrity and Azamara, it is easier now to hope that they see an equally big difference between Azamara and Celebrity – maybe even they see Azamara as the place for Celebrity's older clientele to migrate to.  [And we have booked an Azamara cruise for 2022, so I really hope so!!!]

We have booked for 2022 also and I sure hope it sails.  I am really looking forward to trying Azamara.

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17 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Really?  You don't mind if i don't take any notice of you?  It seems like you are here on this board to write Azamara off and stick it to those who are fond of them. It's ok though. You too are entitled to your opinion. I get it. I honestly do. 

 

Phil 

 

I really don't mind in the slightest, thanks. Having cruised with around 15 different cruiselines, I fully recognise that each cruise line forum has its' cheerleaders....and most of them get somewhat miffed with critical discussion....I get it. 

 

Thankfully the rest of us understand the true meaning, and purpose, of cruisecritic.

Edited by hamrag
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1 hour ago, hamrag said:

 

I really don't mind in the slightest, thanks. Having cruised with around 15 different cruiselines, I fully recognise that each cruise line forum has its' cheerleaders....and most of them get somewhat miffed with critical discussion....I get it. 

 

Thankfully the rest of us understand the true meaning, and purpose, of cruisecritic.

I am very happy to be called an Azamara Cheerleader!  I love the brand and think it holds a unique niche among all the other cruise lines.  I don't feel the need to cruise on so many different cruise lines; perhaps you're still looking for the right fit.  Those of us who are cheerleaders - and yes every line has them, even Carnival- like what Azamara offers; not to say that we don't discuss issues that we're not happy with when we feel it's necessary. 

I don't believe the purpose of cruise Critic is to give people a place to put down any particular cruise line or those that like to cruise on any particular line.  I do believe that Cruise Critic's purpose is to give cruisers a place to learn and ask questions, not criticize and nitpick.

Edited by laurieb
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1 hour ago, laurieb said:

....Those of us who are cheerleaders - and yes every line has them, even Carnival- like what Azamara offers; not to say that we don't discuss issues that we're not happy with when we feel it's necessary.... 

 

I believe you have unwittingly admitted that it's only all about how and what 'we feel is necessary'! That's clearly evident on some of the Azamara threads, and such appear to assume the right to be judge and jury on matters that impose on their comfort zones. This is clearly one of those threads that seems to have hit a few nerves.

 

For the record, we also like what Azamara offers....just as we enjoy a number of lines but, principally and within reason, it's about itinerary for us! 😉

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9 hours ago, laurieb said:

I am very happy to be called an Azamara Cheerleader!  I love the brand and think it holds a unique niche among all the other cruise lines.  I don't feel the need to cruise on so many different cruise lines; perhaps you're still looking for the right fit.  Those of us who are cheerleaders - and yes every line has them, even Carnival- like what Azamara offers; not to say that we don't discuss issues that we're not happy with when we feel it's necessary. 

I don't believe the purpose of cruise Critic is to give people a place to put down any particular cruise line or those that like to cruise on any particular line.  I do believe that Cruise Critic's purpose is to give cruisers a place to learn and ask questions, not criticize and nitpick.

I actually don't particularly like the cheerleader moniker. It implies a blind bias. I'd like to think that I'm balanced here and have and will criticise Azamara when necessary. But I'll freely admit that I very much enjoy Azamara and the number of cruises I've done on them bears this out. 

 

The issue is the drive by experts, some of whom seem to have an axe to grind. Thankfully they come and go, but do like to stir things up along the way. 

 

Phil 

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Let’s leave this debate today the shortest day of the year. 
May we return to it on the longest day of the year for an interim review 

Thereafter we can reflect annually on the longest day of the year to see who’s views came to pass. 
 

 

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On 12/20/2020 at 11:56 AM, excitedofharpenden said:

twangster, we've been here with the "R ships are old" thing before and it's been done to death. RCG obviously felt that they are still worth the investment if they bought one and put it into service with Azamara as recently as 2018. 

 

A well maintained ship is not old when it gets to 20 years and my own view is that they fit Azamara very well and I'm glad they have them.  I've become rather feed up of these ships being written off. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but once again it doesn't really have much relevance to what is being discussed on this thread. 

 

Phil 

 

RCG won't merge Azamara with SS because of these ships.  The nature of 20 year old ships is relevant in that Royal has a strategic plan for SS and it's all about new builds not spending millions on 20 year old platforms to try to make them luxury ships.  

 

The level of effort to rebuild R class ships to reduce passenger count and increase crew count to the typical luxury ratios used by SS would be massive.  

 

If the long term strategic plan was to merge Azamara and SS they wouldn't have started construction of Evolution class.  

 

The RCG is not going to downgrade SS simply to find a way to make 20 year old ships work in the same fleet.  

Edited by twangster
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On 12/20/2020 at 12:03 PM, Riocca said:

 

For those in the U.K. there’s a programme on Channel 4 this evening at 7pm. Luxury Cruises: From Boom to Bust? It hopefully will be an interesting factual look at the situation, a friend of ours was interviewed for the programme but haven’t had the chance to ask her what she was asked.

 

Thanks for the heads up John. I watched the programme and it was good and I felt realistic and not to sensational. And I nice aerial shot of the sisters too!

 

Phil 

8410F3E0-04A2-4F9F-AC48-1CAAFDED393B.png

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22 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Thanks for the heads up John. I watched the programme and it was good and I felt realistic and not to sensational. And I nice aerial shot of the sisters too!

 

Phil 

8410F3E0-04A2-4F9F-AC48-1CAAFDED393B.png

Raised some interesting questions, felt they we a bit too focused on the mega ships but was pleased to see the shot of the sisters.

Conclusion was positive in that the big three should survive the storm and return to profitability in 2022/3 however that did seem to hang on the success of the vaccine.

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Thank you for being an attentive host Jazzbeau.  I must be blind or stupid because I didn't notice this, but then, I have yet to sail with Azamara.  Would someone speed up the clock please?  I cannot wait to sail on this cruise line and I am so pleased with all the wonderful comments people are making about it.

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4 hours ago, TeaBag said:

Thank you for being an attentive host Jazzbeau.  I must be blind or stupid because I didn't notice this, but then, I have yet to sail with Azamara.  Would someone speed up the clock please?  I cannot wait to sail on this cruise line and I am so pleased with all the wonderful comments people are making about it.

Teabag, I can't speed up the clock, but can wish you a great cruise. You'll find much good advice to tide you over from many here who like me are passionate about Azamara. It's always disappointing when they are written off by some who have limited knowledge of the product. So just be aware was the point being made. 

 

Phil 

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8 hours ago, TeaBag said:

Thank you for being an attentive host Jazzbeau.  I must be blind or stupid because I didn't notice this, but then, I have yet to sail with Azamara.  Would someone speed up the clock please?  I cannot wait to sail on this cruise line and I am so pleased with all the wonderful comments people are making about it.

 

TeaBag,  I'd like to suggest you don't overbuild your expectations.  I say that because I found my Azamara cruise to be a different culture than you've probably experienced  among both staff and passengers.  My experience wound up being the best cruise I've ever sailed across many lines over the decades.  I found the Azamara "specialness" build as the cruise progressed. It was wonderful experiencing the new wow each time it happened.

 

My first  Azamara wow was in Edinburgh where the Hotel Director, Ryszard, actually came down the ships boarding ladder carrying cups of coffee to passengers waiting in the small terminal. He then visited with us. On his return trip up the steep ladder he transported an elderly passenger's carryon for them.  And it just kept getting better from there!

 

Circumstances prevented us from sailing Azamara for three years. I was looking forward to getting back on board when the virus hit. We do have two booked AZ cruises that I too wish the clock would speed up.

 

I hope you let the Azamara wow envelop you bit by bit and that you will continue enjoying that "specialness" in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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