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Some Special Story You Remember About Azamara


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“They really love what we do, and they’ve said that they want us to continue doing what we do,” New President Carol Cabezas told TPG this week. “They just want to invest to grow it.”

 

The above says it all for our future in cruising with Azamara. We have owners that believe in the brand. It is, indeed, a bright future.

 

So, while we look to the future, let us look back ... what made Azamara special for us.

 

Please try and remember what made Azamara special for you!

 

My Azamara story starts shortly after Azamara opened for business as a cruise company. My wife and I were living in Germany at that time and this new Azamara cruise line sounded pretty good! ... 🙂 ...

 

On the first night of our first cruise with them we were eating in the main dining room and I said to my wife ... "this Assistant Waiter seems pretty good ... he's checking with us for anything we might like specially prepared" ... She said "it seems like he is really interested."

 

The next night, strictly by luck, he was our Assistant Waiter again. We noticed he remembered every idiosyncrasy from the night previous. Things like extra lemon for my wife's water, breadsticks instead of bread, coffee right at the end of the entre instead of after desert was served ... etc. etc. etc. ... 🙂 ... I'm embarrassed to say there were about 10 of them! ... 🙂 ...

 

By the third night he could pretty much serve us without the "Waiter". He remembered everything!

 

I spoke up a little about this excellent service but sort of left it at compliments to his waiter and floor manager.

 

Again just by luck, on our next Azamara cruise we saw this same Assistant Waiter as we were boarding. We asked where he was working and he told us the waiter he was working under on that cruise. We told that waiter we were only at his table because of his Assistant Waiter.

 

Yes. This could have been a year later but he remembered every single one of our 'idiosyncrasy' items!

 

Now I was beyond perplexed at to how such a talented person could not have been promoted. I started speaking to every officer I could about him.

 

As I recall, the biggest point I raised was his incredible memory. I would say "I doubt your captain could match him in memory." That seemed to ring with some officers.

 

We were on different Azamara ships for our 3rd and 4th cruises but on our 5th I found out he had been promoted to "Waiter."

 

Then ... on another cruise we later found out he was promoted to "Specialty Dining."

 

He kept moving up from there ... on a Azamara cruise taken much later we were not surprised to find this former Assistant Waiter was "Head Waiter" for the entire ship. He immediately noticed when we were seated in the MDR and came by to say hello ... then we heard him brief our waiter on all of our idiosyncrasy items ... every single one ... some of which we had forgotten. This was perhaps 10 years after our first cruise.

 

Here is to "Adrian" ... a well deserved "Head Waiter" for any Azamara Cruise ship! ... 🙂 ...

 

 

 

 

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Love it!  Isn't it just amazing how they remember and great that it was recognised and he was up for the promotion? Sometimes you find that the most amazing waiters/bar servers when you ask them are quite happy to stay at their level, but it's wonderful to see when they move up too. 

 

I'd love to know his real name and see if I've come across him. I'm sure I will have.  There are so many amazing crew on the ships. I've been thinking about them a lot over this past year. 

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden
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I am also always amazed at their memory recall  and how they  go the extra to give us special memories and make us feel special. Of course we all remember them so easily but when they see hundreds of guests pass through ,I find that awesome.

 

My memory is quite simple , one that is done day in day out by all the staff but one that I have recalled to several people since then.  I know its their job but that doesn't stop it being any less special! 

 

On a  B2B cruise in 2018 Munna was front of house in the main dining room. We had an easy cabin number 4040 and after about 3 nights as we walked up I cheekily said ‘ and our cabin is? And he replied 4040 and we never had to say our number again!

 

Later that year on another cruise on the second night we were in the buffet for the evening and Munna was now heading up a team  there. He smiled, greeted us and said welcome back as they all do. I regaled  the short story of our previous meeting and he asked where are you this time, I gave him our number and we sat down , ordered our wine ,which arrived promptly  and settled into a lovely relaxing evening. Within a few minutes he came over to us with our choice of wine and said Mr &Mrs **** can I refill your glasses. In that time he had found out what we were drinking and had looked on the computer to find our names. Now I know thats not that hard to do and they do it all the time but to us that was really special. We are really not  buffet people and I told him that ,but we ate about 4 nights at the buffet simply because Munna and his team made us so welcome  and the show cooking and choices are top notch. Its a relaxing evening with lovely views and when in port a real bonus.

 

October 2019 we met up with him again one evening  and he said ‘I thought you were not buffet people! We ended up going 5 out of the 9 nights....and we are not buffet people!!

 I do so hope we meet up with him and all the wonderful crew in the future 🤞

 

Edited by combine
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Another Az team member who has stood out to us and been duly promoted is Elro.

We first encountered him waiting tables in the buffet on Quest around eight years ago.

Every time we saw on subsequent cruises he remembered my idiosyncratic ways.

Then in 2018 we boarded Journey and spotted him in his Butlers attire, when I approached him to compliment his rise through the ranks, I got the same greeting as always, and was he so proud of his promotion. We had a quick chat and he told me he moving to  Pursuit.

Unfortunately when we were last on Pursuit Elro was on leave. 

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I was searching the Buffet Brunch in the MDR when Hotel Director Philip approached me asking if I had a problem. I told him I was Dairy Intolerant and he said he would speak to Chef, to make sure that I would be served appropriate sweets each evening. True to his word, they came each evening thereafter.

Unfortunately, Philip is no longer with Azamara.

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I fully agree with all the above comments about the special crew many who we have seen justifiably  promoted over the years.

This is a different example of how they go above and. beyond.

My Wife broke a heel on her dress sandal,( to be honest I trod on it), I went to guest services to ask if it was possible to borrow some glue to stick it back on.

They said leave it with us, the followed day it was returned has good as new, she still wears them occasionally, unfortunately not on a Cruise at this time.

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13 hours ago, combine said:

Mr &Mrs ****

There is a great video online, produced by Azamara ... just do a search for "Azamara The Movie" ... it gives several examples of crew remembering guest names from actual guests ... and how amazed they were! ... 🙂 ... so great how many crew I recognize from that video!

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I easily found "Azamara the Movie" on youtube. It isn't your typical cruise promo video.

 

It starts with Russ Grieve, the Quest Cruise Director who left for Crystal. Russ personified the guest-oriented Azamara approach to making people feel special. With Russ, it always seemed to come naturally. He is missed. (The video is from 2014)

 

What I liked about the video is the bits that weren't scripted. You get genuine reactions to what makes the Azamara experience special, especially the random person on the street who approached the camera crew and told them she wished she were on Azamara.

 

If you're wondering if Azamara is right for you, this video can help you decide.  For those of us who love Azamara, it's nice to see Carl and Magnus and Ryszard and Ngawhira and others again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's made me think. So what attracted me to Az in the first place?

 

It all started some years ago when we took a Xmas/New year cruise on Saga Rose. We enjoyed it so a couple of years laterwe booked a similar cruise on the pre-Carnival Cunarder ' Caronia'. As this was a real uplift from Saga we then booked to do a Xmas cruise on the Queen Elizabeth, by which time Cunard was firmly in the hands of Carnival.

Suffice it to say I swore 'NEVER again a big ship' and NEVER again on a Carnival operated ship'. I was put off cruising for quite a while!

 

Fast Forward to summer 2012, by which time we had been living in France for 7 years. My brother in law was over from Cape Town and we met up in London, and did a river trip down to Greenwich. As we approached Greenwich I could see what appeared to be quite a large white ship tied up. As we got closer I read the name 'Azamara Journey'. 'Hmm, never heard of them, but it looks like a nice ship.'

 

When I got home I googled Azamara and liked what I saw. Then I looked at the forthcoming cruises and found a repositioning cruise from Athens to Mumbai and the price for a midships deck 7 balcony was so cheap that I booked it there and then!

We had Captain Jason on this first trip with Heiki and Tony as CD. It was fantastic, but if you are reading this you already know about Az.. One passenger told me "if you think Tony's good, wait until you experience Eric."

Well we had to wait a year to do the next repositioning on Journey which was Athens  to Dubai, but once you've experiened Eric's roller skate entry during the 'Abba Show' youv'e seen it all.

In 2014 we did Barcelona to Rio on Journey, this time with the 'Dream Team' of Johannes, Heki & Eric.

Finally in 2105 we did Malaga to Miami again on Journey. We docked in Spain and I wanted to go the Seville, so I asked on this forum if there were any takers for a coach. Well, I filled a 48 seater coach with no trouble! I was a bit worried about what Az would say about 'private enterprise' so I cleared it with Captain Johannes - "No problem" Typical of the man and the wonderful approach that Az have to customer service.

From the second trip onwards, it was as so many of you say, like coming home again. How the staff remember so many faces I don't know!

We absolutely love Az, but haven't been back since Pursuit was added. This I fear is because we now can't afford AZ as the prices have risen steeply over the last few years.

 

We swapped to Sea Dream - I can't compare it with Az because this really is ''small ship". On one TA we were 46 passengers! But the TA's are very good value and we've done 2 trips with them plus one aborted trip when the ship broke down 3 or 4 days after emerging from dry dock [we could have stayed on and extended the trip for a couple of weeks, but had to be back in UK by a certain date.]

 

One day I hope to do Az again and meet up with the many friends that we made - Hello Phil!

Edited by oliveau
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There's a tall, slim waiter in Prime C on Journey...& I smiled at him first night of our last cruise, recognizing him from other cruises. He approached me & said, "Miss Debra, it's good to see you again. I recognized you right away." This young man is very shy (wish I could remember his name!), but he was so kind to approach me in his shy way. It's a moment I sort of cherish, you know? I wish I could communicate that to Azamara. There are lots of employees who shine brightly, but this young fellow sort of glows, quietly.

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15 hours ago, shedridt said:

There's a tall, slim waiter in Prime C on Journey...& I smiled at him first night of our last cruise, recognizing him from other cruises. He approached me & said, "Miss Debra, it's good to see you again. I recognized you right away." This young man is very shy (wish I could remember his name!), but he was so kind to approach me in his shy way. It's a moment I sort of cherish, you know? I wish I could communicate that to Azamara. There are lots of employees who shine brightly, but this young fellow sort of glows, quietly.

You can mention people by name in your post cruise surveys. I’m told it does get back to them

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16 hours ago, shedridt said:

There's a tall, slim waiter in Prime C on Journey...& I smiled at him first night of our last cruise, recognizing him from other cruises. He approached me & said, "Miss Debra, it's good to see you again. I recognized you right away." This young man is very shy (wish I could remember his name!), but he was so kind to approach me in his shy way. It's a moment I sort of cherish, you know? I wish I could communicate that to Azamara. There are lots of employees who shine brightly, but this young fellow sort of glows, quietly.

I think I know who you mean. He was on Journey when I was last on in winter 2020. I can't remember his name either, but if he is same one, East European and has, if you'll excuse, very striking eyes. 

 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, Mackdogmolly said:

You can mention people by name in your post cruise surveys. I’m told it does get back to them

Definitely and if particularly impressed I go to Guest Relations and ask for an attention to detail card and write them up on that and hand it back in. 

 

I had one of those special Azamara moments once. There was a guy who was one of the Pool Butlers and he hustled. And I mean he really worked hard. A young guy from Brazil called Yuri. I did an ATD card on him just saying how good he was. One day I was layed by the pool on a lounger, in port, but my sea day if you know what I mean. All of a sudden there's a guy standing over me. It's Yuri. He says to me "Mr Phil, I'm going to do something now that I am told not to do" and he holds out his hand and shakes mine. You know how it is with the fist bump on Azamara. He was so delighted I'd mentioned him. It goes up on the staff noticeboard for all to see and he felt like a king that day. And all because I wrote a few nice things about him on a piece of paper. Next time I saw him be was a bar server on Pursuit. 

 

I'll always remember Yuri and that moment. Next time I saw him I recounted that story and he said, amazed, you remembered that ?  I said I'll always remember that!

 

Phil 

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On 2/24/2021 at 3:48 PM, excitedofharpenden said:

Definitely and if particularly impressed I go to Guest Relations and ask for an attention to detail card and write them up on that and hand it back in. 

 

I had one of those special Azamara moments once. There was a guy who was one of the Pool Butlers and he hustled. And I mean he really worked hard. A young guy from Brazil called Yuri. I did an ATD card on him just saying how good he was. One day I was layed by the pool on a lounger, in port, but my sea day if you know what I mean. All of a sudden there's a guy standing over me. It's Yuri. He says to me "Mr Phil, I'm going to do something now that I am told not to do" and he holds out his hand and shakes mine. You know how it is with the fist bump on Azamara. He was so delighted I'd mentioned him. It goes up on the staff noticeboard for all to see and he felt like a king that day. And all because I wrote a few nice things about him on a piece of paper. Next time I saw him be was a bar server on Pursuit. 

 

I'll always remember Yuri and that moment. Next time I saw him I recounted that story and he said, amazed, you remembered that ?  I said I'll always remember that!

 

Phil 

Thank you for mentioning the Attention to Detail card! I had no idea about this!

Betsey

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