Jump to content

Azamara cruise line sold


Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, uktog said:

OK lets look at it another way.

What the partners have seen is the strength of the onboard experience, the skills of the onboard management teams and the loyal customer base.  They recognise the brand was being held back by the ships and the level of investment by the parent company

So buy and also build new ships for them = a longer term investment in the equity portfolio

I do think you paid over the odds for friendly staff and good food. The casinos were removed and the den Den is sold as something special when in reality it’s just an area where people meet. It’s a risk for the new owner’s  because cruising is several months  off and idle ships still cost money even if they are docked or anchored off shore.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, partiamo said:

As I read the announcement in Cruise Industry News,

 

Royal Caribbean Group today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in consumer, retail and distribution investments, in an all-cash carve-out transaction for $201 million,

 

Sycamore Partners will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property.

 

So, 3 ships for $201 million equates to $67 million per ship.  These ships all date from 1999 to 2000, so not youngsters.  Ships like these headed for scrap probably are not worth more than $15 million.  So, it appears Sycamore is in this to improve the brand.  However, it appears they will need to set up a whole new back office.  If they hire the right people to run this line they could make a go of it.

 

As everyone says, we will see.

Also consider if Sycamore decides to keep the valuable assets  and discard the liabilities in a reorganization then all deposits and prepaid cruises are at risk. The 201 million price would include all debts owing which would be those funds paid by customers. Write those off and you get 67m per ship. If I had any money sitting with Azamara I would claim it from RCL now while they still have ownership and you can get it back. Too risky and you don’t want to hear ‘I told you so’

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Maryann221 said:

So sad. We were really looking forward to our first cruise with Azamara. Then Covid came, and we rescheduled, now this. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to sail a luxury cruise at this rate.

I don’t see that this should change things, especially not in the immediate term, so go ahead with your cruise!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have the crossing in Nov booked, only $550 deposit, will stay fast for now, final is due in July. I worry that cruising power air might not work, it's MUCH lower than thru airlines, for now. Don't want to book the air until final time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Grandma Cruising said:

I don’t see that this should change things, especially not in the immediate term, so go ahead with your cruise!

I'm not as confident as you.  If the purchase had been by another cruise line or a organization with a expertise in hospitality or travel I might feel better.   If Sycamore's intent is to operate it as a cruise line.   A lot of investment will be needed to operate  without the infrastructure of RCG. That opens the door to cuts in the experience and higher prices.  If Sycamore's intent is to keep the assets and  and rid them selves of the liabilities then that is another ballgame.   I'm thinking either game isn't one that we want to play. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So disappointed because I just don’t see how this can work...a company with a very diverse retail portfolio and no hotel or cruise experience? I agree that AZ has been a “niche” cruise line that hasn’t seemed to find a larger base — most people we talked to about our AZ experiences and had never heard of it. We came to AZ because of Perry Golf and have one future Perry Golf cruise booked...wonder what will happen with the Perry Golf relationship...have to confess at this point I’d prefer they form a relationship with a luxury line such as SS or SB. We felt the cost-cutting on AZ was leading to a declining price/value ratio (the low quality of the included wines for example such as Chardonnay that retails for less than $7 a bottle) but we stayed for Perry Golf, friendly guests and crew and low-key atmosphere. Can’t see improvements in that regard as I think the great crew will go elsewhere as will the guests!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The deal will close sometime in Q1.  Hopefully by then, there will be some clarity around when cruising will start and more information around how sycamore's plans.   Expect to see a promotion to try to get the passenger bookings up, once the deal is closed.  Interestingly, the current promotion ends at the end of Q1.   They will want to show that the new service is as good if not better than under RCL.  

 

They will have to have something in regards to a loyalty program. 

 

I have a cruise for April 2022, with a $500 deposit.  Will see how the next few months go.   It is too bad though, that you will not be able to use points earned on Azamara at Celebrity.  

 

I am not a legal person, but wonder if there is a way to get your deposit back because there is a change of ownership.  

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess we can all be experts right now. There certainly seem to be a lot of armchair experts out there who have probably, like most of us, spent too long in lockdown. 

 

It will all work through. Whatever will be will be. It's sad to see those with little knowledge of why Azamara is important to many of us or those who have had an axe to grind in the past (I know who you are) tell us where it all went wrong. You are definitely wasted.  You should be running a cruise line!

 

Phil 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We were booked on the Pursuit for a cruise in September out of Civitavecchia. We canceled about a month ago as we felt things would still not be back to what is considered normal. Even somewhat normal. That was a lot of money to invest with so much doubt. Now I’m glad we made this decision. 

I have had enough experience dealing with investment companies like the one that purchased Azamara and in most cases it’s never good. They’re in it to make a positive return on their investment and will do whatever it takes to reach that goal. 
 

As I stated on the X board, this move does not surprise me. RCG never really supported this line like they did RCI, X and eventually Silverseas. No new builds were ever ordered and the current fleet was getting up there in age. 
 

We are taking a wait and see attitude right now with zero cruises on the books. More than likely we will look back to Celebrity. After over twenty-five previous cruises on RCI they no longer interest us. We don’t like their deposit policy on suites and they are usually higher than X when adding on board expenses such as internet, gratuities, etc. 

 

I sincerely hope that Azamara does well with their new owners. They would be smart to bring Larry back on in some role to help. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was pretty bummed when I saw this news.  I was to take my first ever Azamara cruise last December but of course that was canceled.  I did move it to this November though before it was canceled so didn't use FCC.  However, I have paid over $2000 toward it.

 

If I didn't have such a great room at a good price, I think I would cancel.  But for now I will just wait and see and hope for the best.  I will reevaluate when final payment is due and decide.  I do assume that part of the purchase is that not only does Sycamore get the assets - but they also get the liabilities - which means they would have to return my money to me should I cancel.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, LisaAtlCruiser said:

I was pretty bummed when I saw this news.  I was to take my first ever Azamara cruise last December but of course that was canceled.  I did move it to this November though before it was canceled so didn't use FCC.  However, I have paid over $2000 toward it.

 

If I didn't have such a great room at a good price, I think I would cancel.  But for now I will just wait and see and hope for the best.  I will reevaluate when final payment is due and decide.  I do assume that part of the purchase is that not only does Sycamore get the assets - but they also get the liabilities - which means they would have to return my money to me should I cancel.

That’s what I would assume, you have a contract with Azamara.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear what everyone is saying, from both sides of the argument, but for me the one thing that has kept me going re cruising, has been experiencing Azamara as it was!

The fantastic crew, the Officers and Captains who interact with passengers so well,    so much more than any other cruise line I’ve been on! That is what they need to keep, no other RCI ship had that intimacy, that is what I am looking for, I hope Azamara can keep that unique quality, if not then we will reconsider our cruising options.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Phil for posting the email.

It seems some received it while others (me included) did not.

Found out initially via Lee Hetherington on Facebook.

 

Hope retention of current crew and other staff bode well for the future!

 

Trish

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have 2 cruises booked on the Journey that we shifted from 2020 to late 2021 and mid 2022. Not at all sure what we'll do now as we weren't convinced that they would go so the uncertainty is even greater, We'll likely hold on til final payment in July and make a final decision then.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad.
Glad to have cruised b2b on the Journey last January & February.

This sale to an equity firm like Sycamore does not bode well for the future of the brand, but then neither did its future course with RCL... sigh.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, tgg said:

I wonder how future cruise credits are handled.  Are they simply liabilities on the books?

Hi tgg!

 

Future cruise credits will be honored under the new ownership structure.

 

- Azamara Team

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

The first thing they have to do is separate the two computer systems – or Azamara won't have anything at all.  And given the way it operates, my suspicion is that the whole RCG system is written in COBOL.  So Baby Boomers will be in demand again, because they're the only ones who still remember it!

Tried to be positive but, unfortunately at least in the beginning the old software will probably be included in the sale and the same horrid IT will be there until new software is developed which I am pretty sure is not in the new!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Cruizer Bill said:

What happens to our Loyalty Program? 

Hi Cruizer Bill!

 

Guests’ status with Azamara loyalty programs will not change; however, there will no longer be reciprocity with Celebrity Cruises’ Captains Club program. We can assure you that Azamara Circle members will continue to experience attractive and exclusive benefits and privileges under the new ownership structure.

 

- Azamara Team

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just thought of one really positive implication of Azamara no longer being under RCG's purchasing mandates:  they have no excuse now for serving Royal Club tonic!!!  Since it's clear that @Azamara Team is reading this thread, repeat after me:  "FeverTree"

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Azamara Team said:

Hi Cruizer Bill!

 

Guests’ status with Azamara loyalty programs will not change; however, there will no longer be reciprocity with Celebrity Cruises’ Captains Club program. We can assure you that Azamara Circle members will continue to experience attractive and exclusive benefits and privileges under the new ownership structure.

 

- Azamara Team

If we cancel after the ownership changes, will we still be liable for the $150/pp fee which Azamara levied?  After all, we would be cancelling because it was not the cruise we thought we had put the deposit on due to the sale.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, TeaBag said:

If we cancel after the ownership changes, will we still be liable for the $150/pp fee which Azamara levied?  After all, we would be cancelling because it was not the cruise we thought we had put the deposit on due to the sale.

According to my paperwork the Azamara charge for cancellation is $75 pp not $150pp.  I expect we will have to pay that when/if we cancell.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Just thought of one really positive implication of Azamara no longer being under RCG's purchasing mandates:  they have no excuse now for serving Royal Club tonic!!!  Since it's clear that @Azamara Team is reading this thread, repeat after me:  "FeverTree"

Host Jazzbeau, you beat me to it. Great minds think alike.

I have my email drafted for Sycamore Partners 😜

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, norn iron said:

Host Jazzbeau, you beat me to it. Great minds think alike.

I have my email drafted for Sycamore Partners 😜

 

If we ever meet on board, I'll share a Silent Pool and FeverTree with you!  [Although I'll probably have to bring the Silent Pool, because that it be expecting a lot of any cruise line to carry such a niche Gin.]

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good to hear, Jelayne. The company we deal with just says $150 nonrefundable because of the yacht sized ships but does not specify whether it is pp or for two.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, TeaBag said:

If we cancel after the ownership changes, will we still be liable for the $150/pp fee which Azamara levied?  After all, we would be cancelling because it was not the cruise we thought we had put the deposit on due to the sale.

I'm not sure if the sale is enough per se to constitute a major change under UK law, but for North American customers I'm pretty sure it does not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company - Celebrate Your Freedom
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...