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About hubofhockey

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  1. I hope OP is still reading this thread because it is important. Any southeast Asia cruise provides a great opportunity to see Angkor Wat and it is an amazing experience. There is a third option that the cruise lines push and that is an overnight excursion there. The issues with that is you are rushed, it's expensive, and you will miss some of your cruise. Our option on Azamara would have made us miss two days in Bangkok. That was unacceptable on its face. You also should take into consideration that your dollar goes a long way in Siem Reap. Really nice hotels can be had for $150 per night. Travel, tours and dining are also very cheap. You may even want to do a spa day there. I think 90 minute massages were less than $40. Adding on Siem Reap for a long weekend is very affordable and even the flight are cheap. I'm thinking it's much less expensive than nightly costs on a river cruise and you staying right in Siem Reap and getting a better local feel. I don't think river cruises are a bad option, but I think staying in Siem Reap itself added something. For reference, we stayed at the Grand Venus and used Happy Angkor Tours and loved both experiences. Again, if you have not been to Bangkok, don't sacrifice it by altering your itinerary for Siem Reap. Bangkok is great in its own right. If you think this is a once in a lifetime trip, do the cruise that includes Vietnam and Thailand and find a way to fly to Siem Reap before or after your cruise. I was deciding between staying an extra night in Singapore (where our cruise ended) or taking a long weekend and making the trip to Siem Reap and I feel great about making the decision to get on that 2+ hour flight from Singapore to Siem Reap.
  2. hubofhockey


    I was told this on board. If it's a fallacy, it's a fallacy that Azamara believes in. I certainly don't believe it's true of Azamara regulars who post on CC. How else do you think they justify charging so much more than their main competition for similar itineraries?
  3. hubofhockey


    I get it. I'm only going to look at end price for a veranda and compare it to Oceania's veranda price. Right now, I have Azamara booked as an Oceanview (probably a porthole window) and Oceania booked for a veranda. I'll compare price per day in veranda on each. Right now, it's not even close as Oceania's prices are much better. I asked the future cruise guy onboard about the price differential. He told me that Japan was not a "regular itinerary" for Azamara, especially during cherry blossom season and that the regulars would fill these up and that it may be a recurring itinerary for Oceania, so their prices may be lower. I wanted to get future cruise credits, so I booked the Pursuit cruise, hoping the price would come down. It's been a couple of months and there's been no movement on prices. The A cruise and O cruises are four days apart, but I plan to book air early, so I'm not going to wait too long for Azamara on 2021. I want air early to get a premium economy seat on the one daily direct flight to Tokyo. It's possible Azamara's pricing strategy will work for them. They may lose some regulars to Oceania and other boutique lines, but all they need to do is replace those passengers with newer ones. Azamara's regulars love them. They should love them back. I get it. Me? I look for at each cruise separately and will always compare. I need little reason to take my business elsewhere. I loved my Azamara cruise. They would have had me locked in if their prices were competitive.
  4. hubofhockey


    The future cruise guy told me that the risk if you are not sure is only $75. He said that I could book just me and then add my wife before final payment. That way the risk is only $75. Over the course of a little more than 25 years, I've only cruised 15 or 16 times, but I've been on five lines and have two new ones in my next three. The hardest thing is really learning to understand the ins and outs of each new line. I understand the regulars on Azamara. They are great on these CC forums and very helpful and great to cruise with. I really hoped in the worst way that Azamara would reduce the price or offer double upgrade on the cruise I booked for 2021. My Azamara cruise was my favorite vacation, but so many that I met on the ship told me they go on Oceania and that I would enjoy it and not to think twice about going for the best deal, especially if the prices weren't going to be close.
  5. hubofhockey


    I was on board and booked a 2021 15-day Japan cruise with the hopes the price would come down. I signed up for a ridiculously priced cruise even in an oceanview (no veranda) cabin. My real hope is that they will do double upgrades on that itinerary and I can get a balcony. When I got home, I decided to book a 10-day Japan, same time period, with Oceania in a veranda cabin at a much better price. The cruise is in April of 2021. If Azamara doesn't discount by this April when flights come out, I'll move my cruise by final payment or just get my deposit back (less $75). In my mind right now, I'm on Oceania and ONLY because Azamara's prices for 2021 are insane. I loved my Azamara cruise, but not enough to pay $17K for the lowest level balcony for a 15-day itinerary. I'm good with O's 10 days for $9,800 (tips included, and they already include WIFI and two specialty restaurants) and more days in Tokyo. I do believe that Azamara is hoping to get these fares and won't price down to market until or unless they have to. Even if they are able to get bookings at these ridiculous prices, their victory will be pyrrhic only as they are building up some ill will among their regulars (I am not one of those, but would keep them in my rotation) who will now think twice before their next booking. Celebrity appears to be acting similarly on a lower scale.
  6. hubofhockey


    I think it is a problem when you price those popular destinations at a higher price than what your competition charges. I think Azamara knows it has its core regulars who will pay a premium on itineraries which are new or not repeated. If you can get it, it's great marketing as long as you don't alienate a good portion of that base. Maybe they'll try your competition and maybe they'll take more cruises with your competition. When you play with fire, sometimes you get burned.
  7. If you have spent a number of winters in Thailand, that helps you understand the logistics and the language. For most, cruises are a great way to see this region, especially if time is a factor. However, I would recommend only doing cruises on a small ship which can get into ports right in Saigon or Bangkok. Princess and Celebrity (even their smaller ships) are too big and dock 2 to 3 hours away and both ports are multi-day stops. I would recommend going on a smaller ship and spending a little more (okay, $3K to $5K more, which is doable.
  8. hubofhockey


    If Azamara can get these price increases, they may churn their client base a bit, but they seem to have some pretty loyal passengers who will pay more for their cruises.
  9. This is so easy to do privately on your own and get so much of a better experience. We did an overnight, which is probably not possible if you dock at noon, and it was one the true highlights of an amazing vacation.
  10. You can fly to Siem Reap (where Angkor Wat is) from just about anywhere in southeast Asia. Flights are cheap and quick from anywhere in Vietnam, Bangkok, or Singapore. Our cruise ended in Singapore and our flight was about two hours. Celebrity and Oceania have great itineraries. Azamara is taking a break of at least two years from their great Hong Kong to Singapore (5 days in Vietnam and 4 in Thailand in between).
  11. We chose a Southeast Asia cruise for our first cruise to Asia. I wouldn't do it on Celebrity because they port 2 to 3 hours away from Saigon and Bangkok and both of those ports are overnights. I'd do it on Azamara or Oceania. We used Azamara, but they are taking a two year break from the Hong Kong - Singapore route. That one includes Hong Kong an overnight in Ha Long Bay, Danang (for Hoi An), Saigon (an overnight), Bangkok (two nights), Ko Samui, Thailand, and Singapore. We flew to Siem Reap after the cruise. This was our favorite cruise of them all, even better than our first Med or St Petersburg with Baltic capitals. It was just amazing, especially Vietnam, but really everywhere. I was just blown away at every port. Oh, that one was Azamara Quest and we have Japan booked on Oceania Nautica for April 2021.
  12. They probably think it's no big deal if the itinerary is a couple of years out and maybe they're right. It's the closer they get to 12 months when alternatives get a little more scarce that is the real problem. Also, they should make all deposits fully refundable up to 12 months out. Things happen on the cruisline's side, but also the passenger side.
  13. The Azamara packages are the least flexible at sea. If you like upgraded liquor AND ship sponsored shore excursions, they work. If you're not much of a drinker and like to do ports on your own, there's really nothing and the specialty restaurants packages don't save all that much either.
  14. Is the double upgrade applicable to 2021 itineraries?
  15. The first thing you should do when you get on the ship is to go to Windows on 10 and book your specialty restaurants. Even if they are included, if all reservations are taken, you're out of luck.
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