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What to change in the "new" Azamara?


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12 hours ago, jelayne said:

Phil, I agree with you they are a premium line.  However they advise that they are a “small luxury cruise line” which sets  at least in my mind, higher expectations.

 

Celebrity does the same thing now under Royal Caribbean calling themselves luxury when they're not.  I agree a better liquor quality be included since the cost difference to the cruise line is minimal.  It goes back to offering a higher perceived value to the cruiser at a low out of pocket cost to the cruise line.

 

I believe it goes back to Royal Caribbean's double/double program dictate of a few years ago where the three lines under RCG had to increase profits by doubling revenue and reducing costs. That's when you saw the beginning of a lot of little cut backs that added to the bottom line.

 

Now that Azamara is out from under their umbrella, perhaps it's time to revisit how to make Azamara a more premium line again by building value. The foundation is already there.

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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I believe that to get around the Jones Act, and be able to sail just in the Hawaiian Islands (only US ports), NCL has one ship “flagged” in the United States.

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3 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

American crew. That's the only way they can do it. 

 

Phil 

That and the hull was laid in the US (but the ship was completed elsewhere) and it needed a Congressional dispensation or somesuch.

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In the past, sailings around Hawaii have taken a day trip to Fanny Island which is a foreign port.

 

For changes to Azamara that I would like the new owners to consider:

  • The liquor packages and what is included to begin with and with a club continent room are all very confusing to me.  You have to go through some kind of logic diagram to determine if you can have this drink in this place or if you will be buying it separately.  If you have this and that then someone can bring you drinks or a bottle of wine with a room service dinner.
  • A redesign of the web page would be another thing.  It has taken me a while to be able to find things I am looking for.  This could include a page for making reservations for specialty restaurants, rather than having to rush on board on embarkation to get the reservations you want.
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2 hours ago, Rabo said:

I believe that to get around the Jones Act, and be able to sail just in the Hawaiian Islands (only US ports), NCL has one ship “flagged” in the United States.

That's right and with US labour laws she has a mainly US crew to get round the vagaries of the act. 

 

Phil 

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For a multitude of reasons, the Hawai'i sailings are a non starter. The majors would love to have a waiver of the PVSA (not Jones Act). Isn't gonna happen.

 

A restructure of the liquor offerings seems to have a good bit of support.  Maybe a way to upgrade from the included to the Premium that included some better wines instead of having to go to the Ultimate to get them.  

 

After sailing Oceania with the shower door refit, I actually liked the current shower curtains better.  And I hate the current shower curtains. 

 

Like the general idea of being able to book Specialty in advance, but if it is like the Oceania system (by cabin class) most have to wait to book until they board anyhow.  And then with suites having unlimited, how would that work in advance?

 

Hopefully Sycamore will be ready to start to roll out changes as soon as the deal closes.

 

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3 hours ago, ECCruise said:

After sailing Oceania with the shower door refit, I actually liked the current shower curtains better.  And I hate the current shower curtains.

Dislike the idea of glass doors in a small shower.  Don't mind the shower curtain at all.  Not a big deal.

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8 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

American crew. That's the only way they can do it. 

 

Phil 

The NCL Ship Pride of America is the only cruise ship in the world that is flagged in America. It can stop in any American port at any time. All the other cruise ships (with foreign flags) must have a stop in a foreign country after two stops in the U.S. So cruises that start in the U.S. (California or Washington), then make a second stop in the U.S. (Hawaii or Alaska), must make the next stop in a foreign country. If they are doing consecutive trips to Hawaii or Alaska, they'll stop in Canada or Mexico. Also, since PoA is American flagged, they have American staff and are subject to American labor laws. The staff on other ships are not subject to American labor laws. PoA keeps going around Hawaii all year.

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39 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

Dislike the idea of glass doors in a small shower.  Don't mind the shower curtain at all.  Not a big deal.

I really thought it would be an advantage, but was wrong.  The shower, like you said, is small.  And you spend most of your time in there banging into the doors instead of a curtain, which gives.

Would obviously prefer a bigger shower, but that's not happening in an R Class non-suite, non accessible,  cabin.

Edited by ECCruise
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9 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I think the Jones Act would preclude that one. A pity. 

 

Phil 

 

Typical mistake.  The Jones act has nothing to do w ships carrying passengers.  The relevant act is the Passenger Vessel Services Act also known as PVSA.

 

DON

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Personally I do not care about wine packages, shower size or much of anything inside the ship.  I get onto ships because they take me to interesting places.  That is why I was doing most of my cruising on Azamara.  In other words, the ship is just a big bus.  Recently the itineraries offered by Azamara have become boring.  Looked at how they messed up their effort to break into the AK market where they visited exactly the same ports as every other ship that does AK. 

 

Come up with itineraries that the oversized megaships are not doing that take advantage of the small size of the R ships and I will be back.  Otherwise - forget it.

 

DON

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33 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

Typical mistake.  The Jones act has nothing to do w ships carrying passengers.  The relevant act is the Passenger Vessel Services Act also known as PVSA.

 

DON

Don,

According to RCL, The Jones Act and the Passenger Services Act are the same thing.

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/jones-act

Jerry

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I would be first in line to take a cruise that would go to smaller, less known Greek Islands. They could choose either Santorini or Mykonos and then fill the cruise with the stops that the mega shops don't go to. I found only two itineraries that go to Paros. I looked up the island and it looks charming. Why isn't it in steady rotation? Let's take advantage of the smaller size of the ships and do something unique.

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Agree with all the previous suggestions — especially better wine, I’m not expecting  bottles that retail for $35-50 to be included but it would be nice if AZ would at least upgrade to bottles in the $12-15 range as there are plenty of much better options at that price point. $6 Darjeeling Horse Chardonnay is ridiculous for the cost of the cruise. Also, I liked the previous upgrade system better where we paid $395 and had a chance and got to decide if we wanted to stateroom offered — we actually scored an upgrade once that way.

 

Here’s one I don’t think has been suggested: can we please have ability to make advance online reservations for speciality restaurants and chef’s table? We hate rushing onboard and getting in line to do that — and you never know about availability so it makes it difficult to plan other things such as later shore excursions on the night if Chef’sTable, etc.

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16 minutes ago, MNgardens said:

I would be first in line to take a cruise that would go to smaller, less known Greek Islands. They could choose either Santorini or Mykonos and then fill the cruise with the stops that the mega shops don't go to. I found only two itineraries that go to Paros. I looked up the island and it looks charming. Why isn't it in steady rotation? Let's take advantage of the smaller size of the ships and do something unique.


Agree about the smaller Greek Islands.

 

We weren’t on a cruise but visited Paros and it was, indeed, charming.

 

Others, like Naxos are also attractive, although they might not be quite as geared for tourists as are Mykonos and Santorini.

 

We don’t see that as a drawback.

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39 minutes ago, Rabo said:

Don,

According to RCL, The Jones Act and the Passenger Services Act are the same thing.

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/jones-act

Jerry

According to RCG [note new name for corporate group], Celebrity is a luxury cruise line.  So there's a lot they don't know...

 

Here's what the US Government thinks about it:

The Jones Act & The Passenger Vessel Services Act

 

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2 minutes ago, Jim in OR said:

If they could solve the issues with the tight galley, I’d like to see the library converted to a French specialty restaurant. 

 

For us, if they upped their game in MDR offerings that would alleviate the need to go specialty. We thought Az was a premium experience in most aspects, but the MDR in truth is no better than most of the mass cruiselines. We mitigated that problem by taking the 3 night specialty dining package on each of our 7 night cruises. By doing so, we only had MDR on 3 nights each cruise and the other night was the superb White Night.

 

Az are competing with Oceania in the premium segment of the market, but almost everything I read gives Oceania the edge on dining by some distance. The new ownership is an opportunity to try and close that gap.

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1 minute ago, Tom47 said:

I would keep the library.  It's a quiet place to read.

Agree, two specialties plus a grill venue are more than enough extra venues over and above the main dining room and the buffet (albeit probably more "served" in the new normal) are more than enough dining venues at night.  A library/quiet place is very much needed 

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46 minutes ago, Rabo said:

Don,

According to RCL, The Jones Act and the Passenger Services Act are the same thing.

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/jones-act

Jerry

 

I would think that the US Government would know a bit more about the differences between the Jones Act and the PVSA - https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-23?language=en_US.

 

"What is The Jones Act and The Passenger Vessel Services Act?

The Jones Act, 46 U.S.C § 55102, provides that the transportation of merchandise between U.S. points is reserved for U.S. - built, owned, and documented vessels pursuant to section 55102, a vessel may not provide any protection of the U.S. shipping industry by ensuring that only U.S. built, owned and documented vessels are allowed to transport merchandise between coastwise points within the U.S.

See the Customs Bulletin Weekly, (Vol.51) General Notices: "Notice of Proposed Modification and Revocation" of headquarters ruling letters relating to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's ("CBP") application of The Jones Act to the transportation of certain merchandise and vessel equipment that are transported between coastwise points.

The Passenger Vessel Services Act, (PVSA), 46 U.S.C. § 55103 (b), places the same restrictions on the coastwise movement of people. It is this act that prohibits commercial vessels such as cruise ships from allowing passengers to board at one U.S. port and debark at another U.S. port.

The applicable CBP regulation regarding penalties for violating the PVSA is found in 19 CFR § 4.80, which provides that "[t]he penalty imposed for the unlawful transportation of passengers between coastwise points is $300.00 for each passenger landed on or before November 2, 2015 and $778.00 for each passenger so transported and landed after November 2, 2015 (46 U.S.C. 55103, as adjusted by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015). See Federal Register."

 

DON

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2 minutes ago, uktog said:

Agree, two specialties plus a grill venue are more than enough extra venues over and above the main dining room and the buffet (albeit probably more "served" in the new normal) are more than enough dining venues at night.  A library/quiet place is very much needed 

Perhaps the added variety could be accomplished by varying the specialty restaurant menus?  Could Aqualina become a French restaurant on alternate nights?

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