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What on earth is happening with Azamara?


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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, gnld said:

Anybody hear if Azamara will require all passengers (as well as crew) to be vaccinated?

 

This was mentioned on another thread a few days ago, and no one really knows as the silence emanating from Az is somewhat deafening. Grandma C posted the latest quarterly bulletin (linked below), just issued recently, and incredibly the subject of start-up is not mentioned at any level....other than a vague sentence including 'lots of planning is going on behind the scenes'

https://www.azamara.co.uk/loyalty-newsletter-april?utm_source=et_consumer_globalcirc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=strat_globalcirc_042221_circ_eml_newsletter&ecid=em_23352695&rid=322855150&emsc=GBR_PG_DISC_MM_YESBKFUTURE&emct=E&lnkid=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.azamara.com%2Faprnewsletter%3Futm_source%3Det_consumer_globalcirc%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dstrat_globalcirc_042221_circ_eml_newsletter

 

Most other lines have a clear strategy for their start-up plans, but Az appear to be way behind the curve right now.

Edited by hamrag
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, GlobalMethod said:

This is all true. Greece is prioritizing vaccinations on some of the islands and results on some are good. One must be checking the numbers for each island if they want an island holiday. Most cruises, however, are departing from the Attica region (Piraeus/Athens) and I've been reporting that the conditions are presently poor and could easily get worse.

I'm due on an Apex transatlantic in October that is due to leave from Barcelona, but which I'm pretty certain won't be the case. Our roll call are speculating that with Apex planning short Greece and Israel cruises that might change to Athens. That doesn't fill me with great confidence either at present. I see Apex is heading to Cyprus just now. What a mess it all is. 

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden
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4 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I'm due on an Apex transatlantic in October that is due to leave from Barcelona, but which I'm pretty certain won't be the case. Our roll call are speculating that with Apex planning short Greece and Israel cruises that might change to Athens. That doesn't fill me with great confidence either at present. I see Apex is heading to Cyprus just now. What a mess it all is. 

 

Phil 

That’s why holding back is an excellent strategy

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I'm due on an Apex transatlantic in October that is due to leave from Barcelona, but which I'm pretty certain won't be the case. Our roll call are speculating that with Apex planning short Greece and Israel cruises that might change to Athens. That doesn't fill me with great confidence either at present. I see Apex is heading to Cyprus just now. What a mess it all is. 

 

Looking at and reading my tea leaves ...😬 ... I would say October should be good to go ... we are thinking about a cruise out of Athens in November ... we still need our 2nd jab and that won't come until mid-June ... good luck!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, uktog said:

That’s why holding back is an excellent strategy

Exactly right.  The constant ranting about this has it exactly backwards, not surprisingly.  With so much uncertainty swirling about the pandemic, staying cool while carefully monitoring the situation is the smartest approach a cruise line can take.

Edited by marinaro44
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My thought for what it’s worth is that countries that have fought hard to get on top of this horrible virus will be reluctant to open up foreign travel until everyone is in a similar situation. This is going to make it very difficult for all cruise lines and tour operators to plan for the immediate future, single country cruises for residents of that country have limited appeal and by the number of offers I’m getting daily those in the U.K. must be near saturation.

 

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1 minute ago, marinaro44 said:

Exactly right.  The constant ranting about this has it exactly backwards, not surprisingly.  With so much uncertainty swirling about the pandemic, staying cool while carefully monitoring the situation is the smartest approach a cruise line can take.

That also goes for the individual cruiser ...

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1 hour ago, GlobalMethod said:

Looking at and reading my tea leaves ...😬 ... I would say October should be good to go ... we are thinking about a cruise out of Athens in November ... we still need our 2nd jab and that won't come until mid-June ... good luck!

Good luck to you too. I’ll have my 2nd jab towards the end of May.  I wish I could get enthusiastic about October, but the unknown protocols and lots of sea days on the ship has me very unsure at this moment. 

 

Phil

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@GlobalMethod As someone living in Greece, how would you say things are going there? Is there good compliance with wearing masks, staying distanced, etc? Will a large % of the population be willing to get vaccinated?

 

I am trying to think through risk issues like how easily a variant could entrench in the local populations and either cause a shut down or increase risk to a traveler. I haven't yet read if the variant in India is effectively covered by the vaccine. It is just a matter of time until it spreads through the world and what is going on in India scares the socks off me.

 

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If you are a cruise line that intends sailing you say so and publicise it widely. If you do not intend saling, in the short term, you say nothing. That way you can more easily update your strategy.  Whether it would be a good approach for Azamara to start mass sailing at any time soon, I doubt it. Not at the price point and product they seek to offer.

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For context we have taken 94 cruises with 18 different cruise lines, only 15 of our cruises have been with Azamara. We enjoy the Azamara difference and it suits our cruise requirements but we definitely are not Azamites.

Since the start of the pandemic we have been busy shuffling forward cruise bookings with 3 different cruise lines, despite what others have said out of the 3 Azamara, to date, have been the easiest to deal with.

Of the 3 cruise lines Azamara and a river cruise line we have not previously sailed with are yet to announce a restart, the other has recently announced U.K. only sailings. Does it worry me that two of the three have chosen to wait, no! Doi think either are “behind the curve”? Of course not. 
We are going to come out of this pandemic slowly and the cautious wait and see approach is fine by us, it’s exactly what we are doing.

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20 minutes ago, Riocca said:

For context we have taken 94 cruises with 18 different cruise lines, only 15 of our cruises have been with Azamara. We enjoy the Azamara difference and it suits our cruise requirements but we definitely are not Azamites.

Of the 3 cruise lines Azamara and a river cruise line we have not previously sailed with are yet to announce a restart, the other has recently announced U.K. only sailings. Does it worry me that two of the three have chosen to wait, no! Doi think either are “behind the curve”? Of course not. 
We are going to come out of this pandemic slowly and the cautious wait and see approach is fine by us, it’s exactly what we are doing.

Wow, I would love to chat with you on a cruise and find out what you liked and didn't like on your various sailings.

We have yet to sail with AZ and we sure hope our Apr 26 booking will materialize.

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3 hours ago, MNgardens said:

@GlobalMethod As someone living in Greece, how would you say things are going there? Is there good compliance with wearing masks, staying distanced, etc? Will a large % of the population be willing to get vaccinated?

 

I am trying to think through risk issues like how easily a variant could entrench in the local populations and either cause a shut down or increase risk to a traveler. I haven't yet read if the variant in India is effectively covered by the vaccine. It is just a matter of time until it spreads through the world and what is going on in India scares the socks off me.

 

I wrote the following yesterday in another thread;

 

"For these cruises out of the Attica, Greece region, which includes Athens and the  Piraeus cruise port (12 minute metro ride to central Athens), my biggest concern is the overall health situation in this area.

 

The present C19 spike in Attica is quite significant as the ICUs are at 105% capacity. This means if you hurt yourself seriously or get seriously ill, it would be presently difficult to get proper care, but not impossible.

 

This would not be so bad for properly vaccinated individuals but I read intensively on the C19 issue in India yesterday. As you probably are aware, you can not get a hospital room in most big cities in India, no matter how ill or hurt you are, or how much you are willing to pay.

 

India really was doing everything they could and had a decent comparative infection rate. However, they opened up their entire economy and then have been just pummeled by a new C19 wave.

 

This is exactly how Greece plans to open their economy for the 'tourist' season.

 

This is what has me worried. Hopefully, an increased number of C19 vaccinations will improve the overall situation but those are moving slowly. The government is trying to speed them up.

 

If you are catching a cruise in the Attica area just be careful and you should be fine."

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5 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Good luck to you too. I’ll have my 2nd jab towards the end of May.  I wish I could get enthusiastic about October, but the unknown protocols and lots of sea days on the ship has me very unsure at this moment. 

 

Phil

Thank you and good luck with your 2nd jab! ... 🙂 ... I'm of the opinion that being on a cruise ship in the "new cruising" is one of the safest places to be, when you are vaccinated. Statistically, most C19 infections are coming from, and this is in all cultures, from 'community spread' ... this means from family, friends & neighbors ... not from travel, cruising, or sea days! We are trying to pick a cruise with a lot of sea days! ... 🙂 ... 

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5 hours ago, mrbluesea said:

If you are a cruise line that intends sailing you say so and publicise it widely. If you do not intend sailing, in the short term, you say nothing. That way you can more easily update your strategy....

 

In most businesses that type of approach is referred to as 'winging it'.

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52 minutes ago, hamrag said:

 

In most businesses that type of approach is referred to as 'winging it'.

I think your approach to this is bordering on naive.

 

Many years ago I was new to the board of directors of a business, and having a conversation with the CEO one morning he expressed to me how much he respected the wisdom of one board member, who only only spoke when necessary, but when he spoke it was impactful and meaningful.

In this current crisis Azamara are playing the the same game as that board member. 

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3 minutes ago, norn iron said:

....Many years ago I was new to the board of directors of a business, and having a conversation with the CEO one morning he expressed to me how much he respected the wisdom of one board member, who only only spoke when necessary, but when he spoke it was impactful and meaningful.

In this current crisis Azamara are playing the the same game as that board member. 

 

I understand your point, and personally have appreciated the strength such people bring to a board or any other type of committee situation. That said, I would say it is somewhat disingenuous to compare the example of one board member, and the important impact such has on overall board function, to the board itself which ought to have a clear strategy which is appropriately communicated.

 

Az seem to have decided to play that game, and only time will tell if it was the correct move.

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2 hours ago, norn iron said:

I think your approach to this is bordering on naive.

 

Many years ago I was new to the board of directors of a business, and having a conversation with the CEO one morning he expressed to me how much he respected the wisdom of one board member, who only only spoke when necessary, but when he spoke it was impactful and meaningful.

In this current crisis Azamara are playing the the same game as that board member. 

I worked with someone with the same approach. He always said, “No one ever learned anything while they were talking.”

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9 hours ago, norn iron said:

Many years ago I was new to the board of directors of a business, and having a conversation with the CEO one morning he expressed to me how much he respected the wisdom of one board member, who only only spoke when necessary, but when he spoke it was impactful and meaningful.

In this current crisis Azamara are playing the the same game as that board member. 

 

7 hours ago, Jim in OR said:

I worked with someone with the same approach. He always said, “No one ever learned anything while they were talking.”

 

So true, and that's precisely why we are learning nothing from Az....because they have been talking in relation to restarting, here are the words they have uttered on the subject in their April loyalty newsletter:

We look forward to having you and our crew onboard soon, and lots of planning is going on behind the scenes to make that a reality.

 

And here is the link to the newsletter, in full, in case you missed it:

https://www.azamara.co.uk/loyalty-newsletter-april?utm_source=et_consumer_globalcirc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=strat_globalcirc_042221_circ_eml_newsletter&ecid=em_23352695&rid=322855150&emsc=GBR_PG_DISC_MM_YESBKFUTURE&emct=E&lnkid=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.azamara.com%2Faprnewsletter%3Futm_source%3Det_consumer_globalcirc%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dstrat_globalcirc_042221_circ_eml_newsletter

 

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12 hours ago, GlobalMethod said:

I wrote the following yesterday in another thread;

 

"For these cruises out of the Attica, Greece region, which includes Athens and the  Piraeus cruise port (12 minute metro ride to central Athens), my biggest concern is the overall health situation in this area.

 

The present C19 spike in Attica is quite significant as the ICUs are at 105% capacity. This means if you hurt yourself seriously or get seriously ill, it would be presently difficult to get proper care, but not impossible.

 

This would not be so bad for properly vaccinated individuals but I read intensively on the C19 issue in India yesterday. As you probably are aware, you can not get a hospital room in most big cities in India, no matter how ill or hurt you are, or how much you are willing to pay.

 

India really was doing everything they could and had a decent comparative infection rate. However, they opened up their entire economy and then have been just pummeled by a new C19 wave.

 

This is exactly how Greece plans to open their economy for the 'tourist' season.

 

This is what has me worried. Hopefully, an increased number of C19 vaccinations will improve the overall situation but those are moving slowly. The government is trying to speed them up.

 

If you are catching a cruise in the Attica area just be careful and you should be fine."

Is the situation the same in all parts of the Greek mainland? I ask because we like to go to the Peloponnese, flying into Kalamata. When we were there last September we were told that there had been very few cases there - do you know of that’s still the case?

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Posted (edited)

So based on the quotes from Norn Iron and Jim I think we can agree to conclude Azamara does indeed have a strategy - in fact two connected strategies, a business strategy that feeds into a communications strategy the latter being low key, yes plan to be back and when we believe we can safely deliver that for guests and more importantly crew we will say.  As bystanders here, we might not quite understand or agree with that strategy but we can do nothing to influence it.  
It’s all being played out against a nightmare scenario.  The vessels planning to paddle round the UK now have no access to crew from the Philippines or India. Imagine the hours of effort devoted to managing that.  
This debate has run its course for now, time to freeze the thread until significant new information emerges.  

Edited by uktog
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47 minutes ago, Grandma Cruising said:

Is the situation the same in all parts of the Greek mainland? I ask because we like to go to the Peloponnese, flying into Kalamata. When we were there last September we were told that there had been very few cases there - do you know of that’s still the case?

The more isolated parts of Greece have a much less infection rate than the busy areas ... Unfortunately, since we also love the Peloponnese area, it is considered a hot spot ...

 

https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/335436/greece-overnight-curfew-implemented-in-kranidi-peloponnese-region-april-21-update-16

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10 hours ago, hamrag said:

 

I understand your point, and personally have appreciated the strength such people bring to a board or any other type of committee situation. That said, I would say it is somewhat disingenuous to compare the example of one board member, and the important impact such has on overall board function, to the board itself which ought to have a clear strategy which is appropriately communicated.

 

Az seem to have decided to play that game, and only time will tell if it was the correct move.

 

Many years ago as a wee un growing up I wanted the must have accessory, a chopper bike.

I remember my mothers words, "just because all the kids at school have a chopper doesn't mean you have to have one" 

Just because other cruise have announced sail dates and impending cruises doesn't mean Azamara have to. They will do it when they deem the time is right.

Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you're waiting.

 

Ps I never got the chopper

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, norn iron said:

 

Many years ago as a wee un growing up I wanted the must have accessory, a chopper bike.

I remember my mothers words, "just because all the kids at school have a chopper doesn't mean you have to have one" 

Just because other cruise have announced sail dates and impending cruises doesn't mean Azamara have to. They will do it when they deem the time is right.

Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you're waiting.

 

Ps I never got the chopper

 

 

 

 

 

So true, replace chopper with Sindy doll here, eventually when my little sister was old enough for one and I was old enough to no longer to want one, we got one to share 😂

Edited by uktog
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