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uktog

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About uktog

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  1. Oh no, please not thinner robes, I would absolutely hate that, the thicker robes as something that sets Azamara apart from the less premium brands. We have no issue using the door hook - the used towels we are reusing we put on the rail, the ones we are not we fold and leave on the floor as the attendants asked us to so.
  2. Back of the bathroom door thats where we always move them to
  3. It was done on a westbound Transatlantic- an extra hour was added at noon but people moaned it was confusing when making arrangements and made it too long until dinner. I quite liked it.
  4. Good question - There are many ways you will find out 1. Waiters often remind you of an upcoming time change the evening before at dinner 2. The cruise director usually repeats this at the end of the show 3. The Insider on your bed at turndown will have the time change in it on the front page - although sometimes the cards mentioned in the previous post are still used they are not always so they can reduce the recycling load 4. The stateroom attendant usually changes the bedside clock (if you have one) 5. The TVs have been left on with a message of the change - even if the TV has gone off to sleep and you only have the screensaver showing you will know that is a time change and can check it out as they do not leave your TV on in other situations Wherever they can they try and do a time change where there is a sea day the next day to avoid missed excursion issues (it is not always possible but where it is that is the approach). They once on a transatlantic tried to do the time change during the day, I have not seen that experiment repeated, we enjoyed it but I know it wasn't entirely popular.
  5. uktog

    Knit & Stitch

    I have just realised spell checker made it sound like a very cool event - it should say unhosted Bonnie is right go with a project, most people did
  6. Excellent, look forward to experiencing the results in due course (don't worry I don't expect it to be immediate!)
  7. We have found at this time of the year we needed a warmer top later in the evening. To be honest most folks just put on a non white jacket at that stage if they felt the chill
  8. uktog

    Knit & Stitch

    Its on sea days sometimes unheated, e.g. no staff involved. They had some small embroidery kits on Pursuit, none on Journey. If I go I go with my own knitting
  9. Just a follow up, it happens a lot of the time. You usually lose time elsewhere as a result though some guests are happy as they always want to shop. Actually tour desk personnel usually defend the guide saying others probably wanted to shop, which while possibly correct doesn’t negate the fact others wanted the advertised experience and may have lost time at the part that interested them. This year we had a guide who went rogue, took us on a different route home with an additional stop. Upshot was we were 45 minutes late back, the bus had problems navigating the route and we could see the original route returning the same way enabled both sides of the bus to see the spectacular sea views. We saw the rock face all trip as a result. It was clear the operators were following up with a call where were we and the guide proudly told us she’d lied to her boss. Fed back, the usual reaction no one else has said anything. I think you don’t get feedback as there is no drive for continuous progress, feedback is seen as being wanting a refund. Now there are times when a refund might be valid but coming from work where gathering and listening and reacting to feedback (positive and negative) every day is at the heart of how we operate, it’s disappointing that land discoveries doesn’t have this culture as the product needs improvement and just in time feedback is one way. One thing that would help, sometimes you send out tour escorts (my own view is it should be every time, not every bus but every tour). The escorts are always lovely but we’ve found they have no idea what trip they are going on, they should have a briefing itinerary sheet and be given guidance on how to handle deviations both on the trip and on their return. One bridge tutor was excellent at this and saved a trip for us one time. I am not not sure what happens with the tablet surveys, we did highlight that some devices were automatically defaulting to 5 stars so feedback was flawed. It was interesting our rogue alternative route lady was very unhappy about the tablet being used and was keen to tell us what to score. She was not alone, i think the tablets are a good idea if they record accurately, feedback is acted on immediately with guests contacted for follow up if appropriate and the providers should be briefing all their agents that this will happen and not to challenge it either overtly or otherwise. So much of whats not right could be fixed by an eye for detail, basic training of front line staff and simple things but the culture has to be right. Independent operators are also sales driven but they typically have a far better service culture and that’s why guests often prefer them. I am sorry that the positives of the original article got lost, which is an opportunity missed for Azamara. But maybe it’s the wake up call that’s so desperately needed?
  10. I think when absolute basics are missing and advertised ingredients are not delivered then we are not being hypercritical. There are indeed some good offerings, the problem is it is SO inconsistent and if it is your only shot at a place how much of a risk are you prepared to take? For us, the risk of poor delivery has increased at the same time that our appetite for risk is decreasing as we know we will not be able to return to some places again for a long time. We have also had bad private trips including one from someone in South America who was highly rated on these boards. However, the chances of having a poorer quality excursion is greater on the ships tours based on the experiences we have. We also find the feedback process highly unsatisfactory and the way land discoveries staff react very inappropriate as was highlighted in the article. We will still occasionally do ships tours where it might not be possible to set up a reliable alternative. In our coming three cruises over 32 nights we have 5 excursions booked with none on the first leg
  11. Trouble is the one way air fares are at a high point just now
  12. uktog

    Alarm Clocks

    Correct I had awful trouble with my iPhone on the transatlantic. Thats why I am fingers crossed that Journey have not thrown out their clocks in the last six weeks
  13. Very fair points - they are also trying to screw margins by exceeding their usual "normal max of 25. None of our excursions had less than a number that exceeded the desirable max - our cook school had more than the number of cook stations and bus tours were well over 25. Our friends were on a walking tour in Calvi which had 39 and one guide, we realised we maybe had a better deal on our bus load of 29 that day albeit with a guide who just waved to the hilltop village and said you go up that path there. So much for the guided walk through the town. Trouble was we all got lost! It was a pretty village but I doubt saw the best.
  14. That looks like a very fair and balanced review. Maybe now Azamara will wake up to the Shore Excursions issues in it as it detracts from the good news stories - all the issues and responses are ones we have had on several different cruises but nothing has changed to date.
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