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17 Day Oceania vs 15 B2B Azamara


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2 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

After July 1, expect O to announce added itineraries for replacement of recently cancelled early 2022 cruises on Nautica and Regatta.

I agree with you that upcoming Regatta itineraries will likely soon be cancelled, but just wanted to check. 

I don't think the official announcement has yet been made ??

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2 minutes ago, Tranquility Base said:

I agree with you that upcoming Regatta itineraries will likely soon be cancelled, but just wanted to check. 

I don't think the official announcement has yet been made ??

It may take some time since job 1 may have to be dealing with the Insignia ATW segments involving OZ/NZ. Regatta also heads down under for the first quarter of the year. So, there’s more than one ship involved in figuring out an attractive Plan B.

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Thank you all. I usually use Insure my trip.com and make sure we are covered for pre-existing, as well as try to find companies that allow you to pay more to them as you pay more to the cruise line as well as airfare - what are PEC waivers? I have not found cruise lines’ Insurance to be the best bet in the past - do you find that Oceania is?
 

We are meeting tomorrow with friends to discuss options after talking with travel agent. Thanks for the tip on the Riviera - it is indeed the ship for the 17 day we are looking at. 
 

Shout out to Bodega Bay!  Just finished a reserve Pinot and pizza event at one of the wineries down the road. So nice to be able to finally do this again! Cheers!

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Pre-existing Conditions to be covered, third party insurers often require the purchase of the insurance be purchased within 14 days of the deposit.  I know the O insurance price can be beaten but the flexibility of paying for the insurance with the FP appeals to me versus paying the third party 12-24 months prior to sailing. Our age and medical issues are of a concern for us.  
After reading all this input from others, we will definitely check out some suggested options. Thanks to all contributors.

Gerry

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1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

Thank you all. I usually use Insure my trip.com and make sure we are covered for pre-existing, as well as try to find companies that allow you to pay more to them as you pay more to the cruise line as well as airfare - what are PEC waivers? I have not found cruise lines’ Insurance to be the best bet in the past - do you find that Oceania is?
 

We are meeting tomorrow with friends to discuss options after talking with travel agent. Thanks for the tip on the Riviera - it is indeed the ship for the 17 day we are looking at. 
 

Shout out to Bodega Bay!  Just finished a reserve Pinot and pizza event at one of the wineries down the road. So nice to be able to finally do this again! Cheers!

I know the feeling. Spent a long weekend earlier this month up in Albion. Driving up there was like a Twilight Zone episode - everything vaguely familiar. Also spent some time at Martin Ray winery in Santa Rosa for an event the previous Saturday to this weekend.  Nice to get back into the swing of things.

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1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

Thank you all. I usually use Insure my trip.com 

I use them also. One benefit is that if you cancel your cruise you can transfer insurance to another cruise.

Since I have found them I never use any cruise lines insurance.

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11 hours ago, Redtravel said:

A regular cabin on Marina or Riviera is huge with lots of space. Bathrooms are gorgeous and very spacious.  On other cruise lines, they would be suites.  They are larger than suites on R ships.

That's not true.  Penthouse suites on the R ships are 322 square feet, while verandah cabins on Marina or Riviera are 282 square feet, 40 square feet smaller than the smallest R ship suite. 

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2 hours ago, TrulyBlonde said:

I use them also. One benefit is that if you cancel your cruise you can transfer insurance to another cruise.

Since I have found them I never use any cruise lines insurance.

That works really well. We have done this. 
it didn’t work well with Covid because you had to have something booked within the year but at that point it was an uncontrollable situation. I will be sure to connect with them again. 
 

love Albion. Been a long while. 

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We've sailed on O's Marina twice (2017, 2018), O's Nautica once (2019), and Azamara's Journey twice (2009, 2018).   We loved the spacious bathrooms on the Marina, but we have no problem with the R ship bathrooms (except for doing some hand washing).    The larger O ships also have the Culinary Center for cooking classes and the Artist's Loft, which I have not seen mentioned.

 

Since we were most recently on Nautica and Journey about 9 months apart and in the same cabin on both, I can offer some comparisons (but who really knows what the post-Covid world brings?)"

Nautica: We found the crew to be personable and helpful, service was very good all around, and the entertainment on this particular cruise was really good.  We also had no trouble getting extra specialty dining reservations.  

Journey: Surprisingly, we actually had very poor, slow service and overcooked food in Az's MDR the first night, and it took 2 days for the F&B manager to get back to DH which was rather disappointing, but then they were very apologetic and responsive.  Our White Night was a bit of a bust - inside due to weather, and the post dining venue was crowded and loud.   There was more office interaction on AZ and the Az crew was wonderful, especially after I tripped and broke a bone while on onboard. 

So, we like both, and once onboard, enjoy where we are and what we are doing, rather than make comparisons.   

 

We've met friendly, outgoing active passengers on both lines.  In fact, a couple we met on Nautica are joining us on a cruise on Azamara's Onward. 

 

As for missed ports - we missed one on our 1st Journey cruise in 2009, and another port was arranged - turned out quite well.   We missed one on our 1st Marina cruise and another was substituted as well, so no problem there either.

 

All that being said, I also vote for itinerary- Croatia for me - did a land trip there, loved it, have never been to Kotor and would love to do that sail in.   But we also spent a week in Malta and found it quite fascinating.  

 

It's been mentioned above that you could put deposits on both and decide after July 1 when the O price increase goes into effect and wait for the announcement of itineraries for Nautica and Regatta.

 

We just put a deposit on Azamara Onward, and are about to do the same for O's Nautica.

So a couple of things.

1.  Somewhere online I saw the Nautica itinerary for their upcoming Holy Land cruise.  Sorry, I don't know if it was on CruiseCritic or somewhere else ( I get so much travel related email) so you might try an online search.  It's possible those itineraries might have been leaked.

2. Once you pay a deposit on Azamara, you are subject to a $75 pp cancellation fee for each cruise leg.  AFAIK, that isn't the case for Oceania.  

 

Good luck deciding.   And have a great cruise, whichever you take.  

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On 6/26/2021 at 5:09 PM, PhD-iva said:

Sorry for my assumption; of course Spain has more islands than just the Canaries.

We loved Palma de Mallorca, and Valletta is NOT to be missed! I want to go back! Take a tour that includes the ancient city of Mdina. Wow! Very memorable!

 

+1

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Thank you for this further comparison. 
 

the Az B2B is sailing Onward. The  feedback you shared with Journey was similar to what I heard from a travel agent regarding MDR, but many others are extremely happy with it. 
 

when your White Nights was moved inside, which venue was it relocated to? 
 

Croatia venue seems to be winning out and cabin decision and location is the area of discussion. I started thinking about making a deposit on both as suggested, however I am thinking that if I moved the trip to a new Nautica itinerary, then wouldn’t I be subjected to whatever new pricing that they put into place, which would include the Increase?
 

 

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Correct, the new Nautica itineraries will already have the price increases built in because we won’t see them for weeks. A routine price increase is done quarterly and does not cover ALL sailings like this one will. No one knows how much or when the next round of increases will be applied or when the next Sale is released. O has had a regular promotional Sale release schedule in addition to promotions for sailings that have more availability than they would like.  
 

I just jumped on a future Nautica sailing for late 2022 and will have 7 days to make my deposit.  If you don’t have an O deposit in play yet, book it by the 30th and see what things look like after the July 1 date and whether there really is a 4th of July Sale. The last Memorial Day Sale did not take place because there was so little inventory available.
Decisions and strategies for cruising.  
Good luck.

Bonnie and Gerry

 

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Posted (edited)

As you can see in my signature, I only have sailed on Oceania and Azamara, and since the 2011 debut of the first “O” ship, only have booked the fabulous Riviera and Marina (spouse loves the two extra specialty restaurants and bigger bathrooms) when taking Oceania cruises. We have met many interesting fellow passengers and delighted in many trivia contests with them on our team or against them!

 

However, our three Azamara cruises all have had fabulous port-intensive unusual itineraries, and the falloff in food quality was more than compensated for by these unique itineraries (plus our enjoyment of the White Nights deck party and Azamazing evening entertainment.)

 

Our first Azamara cruise only came about because we had to cancel an Oceania cruise when our only daughter chose to marry in late September so an early September Oceania cruise was inconceivable. So looking for October pickings to recuperate from all the planning we ended up cruising Barcelona to Rome with four stops in Sicily, Valletta and even Salerno (so we easily visited Paestum for the day.) 

 

And our most recent Azamara cruise RT Amsterdam with all Norwegian ports from an overnight in Bergen all the way to Nordkapp without any stops in “Putinland” (which political traveler husband has added to his no-travel list) was incredible, as fellow cruiser and fabulous tour organizer Host Jazzbeau can attest. 
 

I too have no idea what the effects of new ownership will have on Azamara but because I only began cruising in 2008, I still am very itinerary-driven.

 

Hopefully you will enjoy either cruise so basically IMO you are balancing a superior shipboard experience with a better itinerary. Whatever you decide to do, I know you will enjoy your cruise!

Edited by CintiPam
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Vineyard View said:

Thank you for this further comparison. 
 

the Az B2B is sailing Onward. The  feedback you shared with Journey was similar to what I heard from a travel agent regarding MDR, but many others are extremely happy with it. 
 

when your White Nights was moved inside, which venue was it relocated to? 
 

Croatia venue seems to be winning out and cabin decision and location is the area of discussion. I started thinking about making a deposit on both as suggested, however I am thinking that if I moved the trip to a new Nautica itinerary, then wouldn’t I be subjected to whatever new pricing that they put into place, which would include the Increase?
 

 

White Nights buffet was moved inside to Windows and was not that crowded.   I think there must have been people who went to the MDR.     Then the activity was in the theater.   The officers were making crepe suzettes at the bar in the back but the entire venue was packed when we arrived, so we couldn't find seats, couldn't really move around and it was extremely loud.   The CD was new and I don't think she is still with Az ( I could be wrong.  I don't recall her name, but she wasn't our cup of tea, so to speak).  We aren't big party people so we left after 20 minutes or so.    

 

I am not quite sure about price protection on Oceania , but you might be correct.  As far as deposits go, there is no initial penalty to cancel an Oceania cruise, but for Azamara there is a fee of $75 pp per cruise.  I know because I just deposited on our Onward B2B cruises and am making the deposit on our Nautica cruise by end of week.

 

Good luck with your decision.   

Edited by the mice
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