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Orlando Ashford Named Executive Chairman of Azamara


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5 hours ago, ECCruise said:

I don't think you need to worry. 

Azamara has already positioned itself on price, inclusions and service.  They have been doing itinerary focused cruises since their inception almost 14 years ago. They have, at present, committed to providing the same basic product.  There is a quite large (for a small, 3 ship cruise line) base of very loyal customers.  Yes, there have been changes over the years (where hasn't there been?) but they provide, for us, an excellent product.  

However, the key point is do they lower price and drop the inclusions (kind of the EU small ship model) or do they stay with the higher price points and same or more inclusions and try and compete in the Oceania or above price range. 

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We do like smaller  ships for the types of ports they van enter  . However ,we need to balance ports wirth ship amenities  & HAL still has what we   like in a cruise line  . We  can compare  as we have sailed on RCCL ,Celebrity , Carnival ,Princess  ships  .To this day we prefer HAL as long as we can get the itinerary we want to sail  .It is highly unlikely we would sail either Oceania ,Azamara   or Viking  . For River cruises in Europe we prefer Avalon Waterways  for cabin size ,amenities  & shore excursions  .Next will be the Mississippi River

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We are booked on Azamara for July 2022.  DH is a golfer and they were offering a 13 night British Isles sailing that includes golf in several ports and attendance at the 150th British Open, in conjunction with Perry Golf.  Did a similar cruise on Celebrity a few years ago and DH wanted to do it again.  Azamara was the only one offering the cruise and excursions we wanted.  We choose cruises by itinerary and are 5 star on HAL for that reason, but they don't offer this cruise.  As long as the food is decent and the rooms comfortable we are happy.  Hope Ashford doesn't screw it up.

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1 hour ago, nocl said:

However, the key point is do they lower price and drop the inclusions (kind of the EU small ship model) or do they stay with the higher price points and same or more inclusions and try and compete in the Oceania or above price range. 

Frankly, I don't see them dropping the inclusions and lowering the price.  The 3 ships sold out virtually every sailing using the current model (and pretty high pricing).

They are already competing directly with Oceania although we think we get more bang for the $$ with Azamara (drinks/grats vs paying on O) which is why although we sail both, we more likely are to be found on an Azamara ship.

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I was a 4 star die-hard HAL cruiser until I tried an Azamara cruise last fall.  One of my clients suggested that we try it and we did - we fell in love with everything about it.  The small ship, the destination-oriented tendencies of the line, the people who were on our cruise, the late port nights, the entertainment staff that you actually got to know without really trying & tiring yourselves out from attending everything, the local shows or entrainment brought on board, the shuttles in each port unless you ere right in town, the interesting daily lectures or 'know-how-to' classes offered on sea days, the delicious food with the anytime dining (loved that), the staff at the front desk, the cabins, the 'no-casino', the specialty restaurants and the themed around-the-world buffet dinners upstairs - never before this had we skipped the dining room on purpose for supper!  I could go on and on but truly it was amazing.  Oh - and the chocolate buffet!

 

We did have two more HAL trips booked last spring that of course were cancelled and then when they sold the small ships, I knew that we would probably only be sailing with Azamara in the future.

 

But note one thing - I'm still on this board.  After spending at least the last 15 years on the HAL board I would greatly miss all the people that post on this board!  I'll still hang out here too!  😀

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21 hours ago, kangforpres said:

Did he take the 48oz Tomahawk steak with him? Has anyone ever ordered that on a HAL ship, or know of someone who did?

 

So Azamara bought by hedge fund $ and run by Orlando Ashford. Will all 3 ships collide with each other on the open seas?

 

-P.

 

HAL - (2 lb.) 'Tomahawk Steak'.jpg

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On 1/27/2021 at 4:54 PM, USN59-79 said:

I have good feelings about him.  When we Westerdam passengers were stuck in Cambodia last year, he flew there and took charge of the situation.  There was good communication and I feel he did a good job in getting us home in a timely manner.

 

Edited by Indianadaytripper
I believe Orlando does a good job in that instance. But the WC suffered under his leadership
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21 hours ago, Lynda S said:

But note one thing - I'm still on this board.  After spending at least the last 15 years on the HAL board I would greatly miss all the people that post on this board!  I'll still hang out here too!  😀

 

Time to clue to play Sister Sledge's "We Are Family"!  Different perspectives, different experiences, sometimes disagreeing with what we read,  but, there is a common bond.  We love to cruise; we love the sea; we have loved our Holland America Line experiences.  WE ARE FAMILY!  

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1 minute ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

While Orlando made some mistakes, I think he grew into the position, and will be a benefit to Azamara.  We purchased a FFC on our last Celebrity cruise, so definitely on our radar.

Was your FCC for Azamara or RCI lines?  Royal or Celebrity FCC won’t work on Azamara after the sale.

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

Was your FCC for Azamara or RCI lines?  Royal or Celebrity FCC won’t work on Azamara after the sale.

 

It is an Open Passage with Azamara.  The Celebrity Next Cruise employees didn't seem to want to do it, and were unfamiliar with the process, but I persisted.  I can only afford reposition cruises, but with a growing fleet under new management, I am optimistic.

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13 hours ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

While Orlando made some mistakes, I think he grew into the position,

 

An interesting comment to me.  What evidence can you provide that such "growth" happened?  

 

What I did experience was a changeover of some Executive Vice-Presidents who reported to him--I suppose--that did start to make an improvement in the HAL cruise experience, in my opinion.  The most obvious--based on my most recent HAL cruises in 2019 and 2020-- was the gentleman who was in charge of Food and Beverage.  An Assistant Main Dining Room Manager on the Eurodam with whom I spoke agreed that "changes in the menu and preparations had been made".  And, they were beneficial changes.  At least, for my palate.  

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