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Royal Caribbean Selling Azamara Brand


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On 1/19/2021 at 10:45 AM, terrydtx said:

Good Riddance, they were sucking cash from the other brands to stay afloat.  They were never able to compete with Oceania and Viking Ocean. 

 

Actually I disagree with your assessment that they would even have to compete with either of these lines.

 

While the closets competition is probably O, Az is vastly different cruiser demographic/type, and quite different in ship experience.  

 

In terms of luxury and overall experience, O does take the lead over Az. But, O's passenger demographic is skewed so much older and less mobile, in comparison to Az. I find the passengers on Az are much younger and limber and therefore, make for much more adventurous ship mates! This is particularly important when it comes to booking independent tours, and just general touring. O's strenuous tours are hardly strenuous at all.

 

To me Az is is a niche cruiseline that is somewhere between X, O, and he uber luxury lines. I find it is a great blend of luxury, but it attracts cruisers who are well travelled and adventurous. These travelers are down to earth and totally unpretentious. I love this line, and hope it doesn't change. 

 

While Az doesn't have all the luxurious amenities that O has, I find it is perfect for a line that is focused on the port experience, rather than a total luxurious ship board experience. During my time on O. I wanted for nothing and didn't do anything for myself, as everything I could have wanted was gotten for me by one of the crew. From the pre-set tables in the "buffet", to sitting in any of the public spaces, no matter how out of the way they were, or even in my cabin. There was always a crew member or butler ready to get anything I wanted. Whereas on Az, this was hardly the case. 

 

But where Az is leaps and bounds ahead of so many other cruise lines is with its' port experience: the longer port stays, the other of the way ports, less sea days, and the Amazing evenings. Each and everyone of these makes Az a cruiser's dream, if you are healthy and mobile. You are never without adventure and something to do. 

 

Which brings me back to the passenger demographic, which I find is vastly different between O and Az. Az are more down to earth, relaxing, well travelled,  and less pretentious passengers. They are much more relaxed and friendly; easy to talk with and have fun with. Whereas, while O's passengers overall were nice, I find them to definitely be pretentious, less graceful to the crew, and much more well-heeled. There was not the overt friendliness that I find on Az. My statements are not strict interpretations, but rather generalities, as of course there are kindred spirits on board all ships. But I just found O a little more frosty. But I do love both lines, but Az is my favorite by far. 

 

I will continue to look to Az (as long as things stay the sameish!), as my go-to cruiseline. From there it is either O or X. Depends on what we are looking for. The only issue I have noticed with X in the last few years is that it has been reducing the length of a lot of its cruises to 7-9, rather than the 14-16 day cruises it used to have. I understand this is because a lot of Americans do not get a lot of vacation time, but it is much more expensive to do two b2b cruises than one long cruise.  Hence the Az and O being more popular for us. 

 

Anyhow, this is all just mho. People may agree or disagree with what I have written, and you are free to do so as these are my perceptions. Love to hear your perceptions.

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@Sabbycat I agree with your assessment of Azamara, and I'm quite happy that it now has owners that want to own it and are willing to invest what it takes to let it prosper.  I have sailed both Oceania and Viking Ocean and much prefer Azamara because of its destination-focused itineraries and the warmth of the crew and staff. 

 

While no one ever mentions them in this context, I feel that the closest cruise lines to Azamara are Windstar (with their ex-Seabourn luxury yachts now stretched to 312 pax) and Noble Caledonia (with the first-generation Renaissance luxury yachts at around 100 pax) – thanks to Covid we haven't had a chance to sail either one yet but we have three Noble cruises booked this year and next.  Classic ships never become obsolete!

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