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Azamara cruise line sold


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16 hours 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

Although we have never sailed with Azamara yet, but had booked/cancelled a few in the past, will our current loyalty point count associated with our identical Le Club Voyage and Captains Club account numbers be recognized if one day we do decide to cruise with the new Azamara after the deal is done OR would we have had to sail at least one time with Azamara in order for that to have occurred? Right now when I log into my Azamara account, it does reflect the same loyalty points as when I log into my Celebrity account.

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Why is everyone canceling their cruises? With Travel Insurance risk of default is covered?

The PE firm will want to increase the value of Azamara and as such should be expected to continue and perhaps even enhance the Azamara experience. 

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20 minutes ago, Empehi said:

Why is everyone canceling their cruises? With Travel Insurance risk of default is covered?

The PE firm will want to increase the value of Azamara and as such should be expected to continue and perhaps even enhance the Azamara experience. 

No most if not all travel insurance does knot cover default/bankruptcy.  And for sure don’t take the cruise insurance as fir sure they can’t cover your losses when they have run out of money. 

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54 minutes ago, Empehi said:

Why is everyone canceling their cruises? With Travel Insurance risk of default is covered?

The PE firm will want to increase the value of Azamara and as such should be expected to continue and perhaps even enhance the Azamara experience. 

If only either one of those were true.

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2 hours ago, Mackdogmolly said:

I am wondering about access to ChoiceAir? Was that only a RC option or will that follow?

Betsey

I am guessing that will go away as that is a RCI tie in.

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5 hours ago, upwarduk said:

I just hope they don’t take them away, as at 5 per night, they were the most points that we ever earned on a cruise. They were earned on a TA in 2016.

It is clear that on the future, we will not be able to accumulate points in Celebrity for Azamara. The question is what happens to the points that were accumulated in the past under both? Will they be honored in both lines?

Ivi

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3 hours ago, Empehi said:

Why is everyone canceling their cruises? With Travel Insurance risk of default is covered?

The PE firm will want to increase the value of Azamara and as such should be expected to continue and perhaps even enhance the Azamara experience. 

Maybe not all travel insurance covers it but, I agree, many do.  I book all of my trips on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa which has a trip cancellation protection.  I just now rechecked and it says a covered loss includes: "Financial insolvency of the travel agency,  tour operator or travel supplier whose service you booked." I pay $95 per year for the card and it covers up to $10,000 per trip.  (No, I do not mean to advertise for these people!)

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The company I worked for (22 years), before I retired, was bought by an investment company, who had no experience in our industry. They ran the company into the ground. They thought they knew what to do, but turns out that they were wrong. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with Azamara   

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Having worked for a company that was bought out several times, including by a company like Sycamore which later organized an initial public offering of the company, I know that things can work out quite well in the end. I have a delightful 24 night Azamara cruise (B2b) in September that I have been really looking forward to. I hope that all this covid stuff is resolved enough by then so the cruise will go forward. If it goes, I will be on it! This can be an anxious time for the people who work at Azamara, so I send my best wishes for a smooth transition to them.

   

Edited by avw
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2 hours ago, travelberlin said:

It is clear that on the future, we will not be able to accumulate points in Celebrity for Azamara. The question is what happens to the points that were accumulated in the past under both? Will they be honored in both lines?

Ivi

I think I can probably guess pretty accurately the answer there in terms of Celebrity reciprocity already earned and that is most definitely yes. If you are Elite, Elite Plus, Zenith or whatever with Celebrity then you will continue to be the same status with them going forward (albeit Always Included on Celebrity somewhat dilutes the benefits anyway). What we don't know is what our benefits will be with the new Azamara. Time will tell, but to be honest and as I said previously, to me they weren't that great anyway since Azamara changed the program and promised us the wonder of free nights that aren't really that free. Many of the current offers gave equivalent or more to Azamara Circle anyway  (I'm thinking of the free WiFi often attached).

 

Phil 

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You are probably right, but very disappointing, as I now wouldn’t want to book flights unless I was damn sure my cruise was going to sail (referring to ChoiceAir likely not being an option?

Edited by Mackdogmolly
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7 hours ago, Empehi said:

Why is everyone canceling their cruises? With Travel Insurance risk of default is covered?

The PE firm will want to increase the value of Azamara and as such should be expected to continue and perhaps even enhance the Azamara experience. 

It's not a question of you losing your money.  It's a question of not getting the quality of cruise that many of us have come to expect.   Who says the PE firm wants to increase value? 

More likely RCL is forced to manage it's cash flow during the pandemic so it's taking the opportunity to focus on where the future revenue is highest, in the mega size ships like Oasis.

Being taken over by a company with no previous experience is a crapshoot for the customer.  We'll still get the cruises we booked, but with no upside and big potential for down. 

The best outcome is probably that the PE firm holds the company until cruising restarts and then flips it to a real cruiseline and changes little just to make a quick buck.

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20 hours ago, jerkymom said:

Our cruise was supposed to sail on January on 1/30/21 and I made final payment with Costco travel in September 2020.  It also was cancelled by Azamara in September 2020.  

 

We were advised that if we requested a future cruise credit, that it would always be a future cruise credit.  So we chose to lift and shift the fully paid for cruise to January 2022, never expecting the huge 25 percent cancellation fee for cancelling a year in advance.  

Perhaps @Azamara Teammay have some explanation of this apparent overcharge?

 

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The Azamara free nights benefit only required 50% of points to be earned on Azamara.  Going forward, 100% of new points will have to be Azamara.  This could make it possible to enhance the benefit so that once you qualify it really is worth taking.  [Of course we don't know whether the new Azamara loyalty program will carry over points earned on Celebrity, nor whether the benefit levels will require the same numbers.  If they only count Azamara cruises and keep the same point thresholds, a lot of people will drop down a level – so I don't think they will do that, but some adjustment is possible.]

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The only reason private equity buys a company is because they believe they can grow revenue, grow profit and then divest at a multiple of 3x or more ideally after 3 to 5 years. The most interesting question to me is who would buy Azamara in 2025? 

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55 minutes ago, florisdekort said:

The only reason private equity buys a company is because they believe they can grow revenue, grow profit and then divest at a multiple of 3x or more ideally after 3 to 5 years. The most interesting question to me is who would buy Azamara in 2025? 

Windstar?  Or – CCL could slot it between HAL and Seabourn.

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The price that was paid for the 3 Azamara ships is very low.  Maybe the new owners will cut them up, fix them up, or sell them off.  They might actually sail them?   They weren’t sold to a cruise line.  I am amazed at people who are worried about their points.  I am discoverer plus...or was discoverer plus. Those points were for loyalty to what?  A sold line.  I expect that my points are worthless.  

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9 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I think I can probably guess pretty accurately the answer there in terms of Celebrity reciprocity already earned and that is most definitely yes. If you are Elite, Elite Plus, Zenith or whatever with Celebrity then you will continue to be the same status with them going forward (albeit Always Included on Celebrity somewhat dilutes the benefits anyway). What we don't know is what our benefits will be with the new Azamara. Time will tell, but to be honest and as I said previously, to me they weren't that great anyway since Azamara changed the program and promised us the wonder of free nights that aren't really that free. Many of the current offers gave equivalent or more to Azamara Circle anyway  (I'm thinking of the free WiFi often attached).

 

Phil 

It looks like we will maintain the status with Azamara. This means if we are discover or discoverer plus, we will continue to be that. Now we will less able to accumulate points unless they change something there. But you are absolutely right, status does not mean much now. Hopefully, Azamara under the new ownership, will be able to make the loyalty program, attractive again.

Ivi

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2 hours ago, Redtravel said:

The price that was paid for the 3 Azamara ships is very low.  Maybe the new owners will cut them up, fix them up, or sell them off.  They might actually sail them?   They weren’t sold to a cruise line.  I am amazed at people who are worried about their points.  I am discoverer plus...or was discoverer plus. Those points were for loyalty to what?  A sold line.  I expect that my points are worthless.  

Some of us are giving Azamara under the new ownership, the benefit of the doubt. No one knows yet for sure what will happen. Others prefer to cancel their cruises. I prefer to ask about possible changes instead of thinking Azamara is already death and nothing else matters.

Ivi

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7 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

The Azamara free nights benefit only required 50% of points to be earned on Azamara.  Going forward, 100% of new points will have to be Azamara.  This could make it possible to enhance the benefit so that once you qualify it really is worth taking.  [Of course we don't know whether the new Azamara loyalty program will carry over points earned on Celebrity, nor whether the benefit levels will require the same numbers.  If they only count Azamara cruises and keep the same point thresholds, a lot of people will drop down a level – so I don't think they will do that, but some adjustment is possible.]

Azamara Circle have already confirmed there will be no changes to the loyalty levels going forward though other than being separated from Celebrity which I read into meant I could no longer take a celebrity cruise to bump up my Azamara level. No one is going to drop a level so let’s snuff that panic out now. 
I had an email from Sandra on another non change of ownership issue and she raised this matter - her words were “everything will stay the same apart from being tied with Celebrity, nothing with your loyalty status will change”. 

Edited by uktog
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1 minute ago, uktog said:

Azamara Circle have already confirmed there will be no changes to the loyalty levels going forward though other than being separated from Celebrity which I read into meant I could no longer take a celebrity cruise to bump up my Azamara level. No one is going to drop a level so let’s snuff that panic out now. 

I hope you're right.  That would be the easiest thing for them to do, and cause the least amount of pushback from loyalty members.  I also suspect that additions to the point total until the cut-over date will also count [e.g. for those doing the Celebrity 'Power Up' activities]

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23 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I hope you're right.  That would be the easiest thing for them to do, and cause the least amount of pushback from loyalty members.  I also suspect that additions to the point total until the cut-over date will also count [e.g. for those doing the Celebrity 'Power Up' activities]

I believe the Loyalty Ambassador will have it right! 

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If in 3-4 months time, all the senior ship’s personnel (Captain’s, Hotel Director’s and CD’s) are still with Azamara, this would give us the reassurance and confidence we would need to book a new Azamara cruise for 2022.


Loyalty benefits for us would pale into significance if the normal Azamara on board experience is diluted in any way.

 

Regards 

 

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