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14 hours ago, dabear said:

We've been on both A & O and you can't go wrong with either of them. I would compare itineraries & prices however as they can vary quite a bit. O with O life is not always the best deal, especially if you like to select your own air and prefer not to tour with 30+ pax. O has better food but A's also is good. Neither have great entertainment. While alcohol is extra on O, the basic included drinks on A  are pretty poor. Both lines have better service & food over the mass market lines.

Hi, our experience is that if you want your own air fares they take a huge discount off, so you still save money on the fare, when we went to Alaska there were never more than 12 people on our tours, except one special to a bear sanctuary 2 hours away, then it was 100 people on the special catamaran, but not crowded and very well organised. Although O does not include spirits and wine, etc all the soft drinks are from cans, the speciality coffee and teas milkshakes, etc are also included, so if you do not drink much this is a good option, with our onboard credit, we only had a tab at the end of under £50. 

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8 hours ago, uktog said:

My reservation is not the origin of any line it’s do they attract a diverse customer base. Currently Saga has a way to go on that. We like to be with passengers from all around the world and not almost exclusively from one area 

 

I agree!

 

From our selfish viewpoint, it would be unfortunate if the proportion of Brits on Azamara was to decline significantly.

 

One aspect of cruising we enjoy is escaping the North American bubble.

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44 minutes ago, spiritoftravel said:

Hi, our experience is that if you want your own air fares they take a huge discount off, so you still save money on the fare, when we went to Alaska there were never more than 12 people on our tours, except one special to a bear sanctuary 2 hours away, then it was 100 people on the special catamaran, but not crowded and very well organised. Although O does not include spirits and wine, etc all the soft drinks are from cans, the speciality coffee and teas milkshakes, etc are also included, so if you do not drink much this is a good option, with our onboard credit, we only had a tab at the end of under £50. 

 

The price difference in the O cruise I booked between including air and not is $1,100 per person, but that's deceiving.  The cruise I booked begins in Tokyo.  Of course, I would want to spend time there before the cruise, so they get you for an additional $175 per person on a "deviation fee".  That $1,275 is more than I could book a one-stop flight from Boston to Tokyo, but if I'm in the air for 14 hours, no thank you on a one-stop flight.  

 

Alaska is so much different than other cruise vacations.  The only real need for smaller excursions are the whale watching boat rides in Hoonah and I very much doubt O is going to include a sea plane flight in Ketchikan.  There is also no need for smaller ships on Alaska cruises.  It's a different vacation dynamic.

 

We booked O and we're looking forward to it, but you just need to know what you're paying for and what you need to pay for or plan around.  My one workaround will be taking advantage of their 6 bottle BYOB for wine.  O's alcohol prices on the menu and package prices seem to be as expensive at sea (and poor value) as I've seen, especially in comparison to other lines.  The $25 corkage fee, relatively speaking for your own wine, is a bargain.  At the end of the day, for what we wanted, the pricing and length of cruise worked better next time for O, but if they were even close in price, I would have booked Azamara.

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18 minutes ago, nordski said:

 

I agree!

 

From our selfish viewpoint, it would be unfortunate if the proportion of Brits on Azamara was to decline significantly.

 

One aspect of cruising we enjoy is escaping the North American bubble.

And us the UK whirlpool!

Edited by uktog

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Thank you Anne and Phil. I would feel the same way but I have met people who like P and O..price in both cases I know of.  I have met people from many  countries while cruising. 

 

This fall I met people from Spain, AU,England  and Canada.

 

thanks again

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On 11/20/2019 at 12:47 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

Even Celebrity's M-class ships get chartered.  

I think just about every ship on any line is subject to being chartered. We never book more than about 9 months out, thus we have been lucky. Over 40 cruises and never had this happen. 

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14 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

I think just about every ship on any line is subject to being chartered. We never book more than about 9 months out, thus we have been lucky. Over 40 cruises and never had this happen. 


We have had 5 or 6 cruises disrupted by itinerary changes or cancellations due to charters.  Maybe because we love the repositioning cruises, and they are more likely to be affected by charters either side?  
 

I agree that any pretty much any ship and any line can be subject to a charter.  The huge ships rarely get a full charter, but I’m not sure this is an advantage.  I’d rather have to completely re-plan my cruise than be on a ship with half the passengers being a charter group and the other half being randoms like us.  Especially if this is a horrible surprise that we only discover on boarding.  Not to mention that the huge ships are just not my cup of tea anyway.  
 

Sometimes the itinerary changes have even worked in our favour.  But the times when I have had to completely re-plan our cruises, I have done a lot of muttering!

Edited by lisiamc

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5 minutes ago, lisiamc said:


We have had 5 or 6 cruises disrupted by itinerary changes or cancellations due to charters.  Maybe because we love the repositioning cruises, and they are more likely to be affected by charters either side?  
 

I agree that any pretty much any ship and any line can be subject to a charter.  The huge ships rarely get a full charter, but I’m not sure this is an advantage.  I’d rather have to completely re-plan my cruise than be on a ship with half the passengers being a charter group and the other half being randoms like us.  Especially if this is a horrible surprise that we only discover on boarding.  Not to mention that the huge ships are just not my cup of tea anyway.  
 

Sometimes the itinerary changes have even worked in our favour.  But the times when I have had to completely re-plan our cruises, I have done a lot of muttering!

Mega ships are not our thing either. We have now tried 3 and we are still not sold on them. 

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I have had two major cruises cancel to the point I had to revisit cruises and  cancel others to make  my. V2B  cruises work. Another time we switch after guests had their flights from Turkey to Athens to get on ship. In that case we got 500$ I think. I took a chance and flew to Turkey then back to Athens. The 500 paid fir my flight. Others said it did not cover  the changes.

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On 11/22/2019 at 8:21 AM, hubofhockey said:

I'm not crazy about the pricing structure of their drinks packages either.  $30 per day per person and only at lunch and dinner. 

Worse than that hub.  the basic drinks package that is included with O life is $49 pp per day and to get the full everytihng package is an additional $20 pp per day so $69 pp per day.  A significant amount more than your $30

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I am on P&O’s beautiful ship Aurora at the moment. It has just had a refit and is very classy. There are a significant number of French and a Scandinavian passengers onboard and even about 50 Americans. I haven’t heard one person “moaning”, the drinks choice is far superior to Azamara....for example there are about 20 different gins and Fever Tree tonic is their standard pour. There is a comprehensive wine list and Olly Smith’s Glasshouse allows you to try very expensive glasses of wine as they have an enomatic wine system. As for my cabin ...well it’s at least twice the size of an AZ cabin and so is the bathroom. My friend has a Library Suite which is incredible. 
The food is great...went to Sindhu tonight, the Atul Kucher speciality Indian restaurant and had the most wonderful meal in great company. Entertainment is also very good and a breath of fresh air. The Stephen Mulhearn/Jonathan Wilkes show called Astonishing was most definitely just that! 

So I say try different cruise lines. You never know what you will like until you DO try it. 

I have one Azamara cruise booked, another P&O cruise, a SIlversea cruise and we are going to book Fred Olsen and an AMA river cruise next year as well. Variety is the spice of life! 😂




 

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1 hour ago, Lottie A said:

I say try different cruise lines. You never know what you will like until you DO try it. 

I have one Azamara cruise booked, another P&O cruise, a SIlversea cruise and we are going to book Fred Olsen and an AMA river cruise next year as well. Variety is the spice of life! 😂

 

One thing I like about trying different cruise lines is that you get to experience what they offer now, untarnished by memories of what they used to offer.

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23 hours ago, lisiamc said:


We have had 5 or 6 cruises disrupted by itinerary changes or cancellations due to charters.  Maybe because we love the repositioning cruises, and they are more likely to be affected by charters either side?  
 

I agree that any pretty much any ship and any line can be subject to a charter.  The huge ships rarely get a full charter, but I’m not sure this is an advantage.  I’d rather have to completely re-plan my cruise than be on a ship with half the passengers being a charter group and the other half being randoms like us.  Especially if this is a horrible surprise that we only discover on boarding.  Not to mention that the huge ships are just not my cup of tea anyway.  
 

Sometimes the itinerary changes have even worked in our favour.  But the times when I have had to completely re-plan our cruises, I have done a lot of muttering!

We too love repo cruises. Also agree with the not wanting to be on a ship that is 1/2 charted. 

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We were affected June 2018 with the second of our Mediterranean B2B chartered out and were only advised 7 months before, rather two years, so I fully understand the OP frustration. Fortunately we were able to reschedule and changed Azamara ships and Azamara covered all expenses for cancelled flights and offered OBC.


newmexicoNita mentioned repositioning cruises and I have just glanced through the 2020 Brochure and out of approx 85 cruises next year, 58 are what you would class as repositioning ie starting and ending in a different country/continent.

Azamara seem to fill this niche quite well and this is perhaps what  draws us to them as it  does encourage B2Bs. Sadly this is what attracts charters as well! 

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49 minutes ago, combine said:

newmexicoNita mentioned repositioning cruises and I have just glanced through the 2020 Brochure and out of approx 85 cruises next year, 58 are what you would class as repositioning ie starting and ending in a different country/continent.

I believe most people think of repositioning cruises as changing continents, not countries (e.g., Europe to North or South America, Europe to Asia, North America to the Far East).  

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2 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

I believe most people think of repositioning cruises as changing continents, not countries (e.g., Europe to North or South America, Europe to Asia, North America to the Far East).  

 

I agree mainly following the Sun in the Spring and Autumn from cold to warmers climates.

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20 minutes ago, Bloodaxe said:

 

I agree mainly following the Sun in the Spring and Autumn from cold to warmers climates.


I really look forward to those voyages at some time in the future but for now I’ll have to make do that my repositioning cruises are just starting and ending in a different country!😎  

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We have been taking repositioning cruises(real ones moving ships from Europe to Florida or from Japan to Alaska) and have never had one chartered.   The ports visited are sometimes changed due to weather or political unrest.

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1 hour ago, Covepointcruiser said:

We have been taking repositioning cruises(real ones moving ships from Europe to Florida or from Japan to Alaska) and have never had one chartered.   The ports visited are sometimes changed due to weather or political unrest.

 

The repositioners themselves are not usually chartered in my experience, but the ones on either side sometimes are, which can change the dates, or make them difficult to combine as a b2b.

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1 minute ago, Covepointcruiser said:

We have been taking repositioning cruises(real ones moving ships from Europe to Florida or from Japan to Alaska) and have never had one chartered.   The ports visited are sometimes changed due to weather or political unrest.

Well, not chartered but, significantly changed by Azamara a couple of years ago when a TA was moved to several weeks earlier in order to increase profits by starting Cuba cruises sooner.

 

Absolutely nothing was offered to those of us booked on that cruise and in fact Azamara simply left the price alone for a cruise 4 days and 2 ports shorter!!  Not nice or fair at all!!!!

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Our Captain mentioned they will be doing something to the ships to make them so they will be safer to the water and environment.  I can’t remember exactly what he said but he did mention we would notice the change in the price of our cruise ticket.  The cruises I priced for 2021 are outrageously priced.  We only booked a 2020 cruise.  

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But that price is ridiculous. We have booked a 19 night Far East cruise for 2021 in an OV for just a little over that price.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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20 minutes ago, midwestchick said:

Our Captain mentioned they will be doing something to the ships to make them so they will be safer to the water and environment.  I can’t remember exactly what he said but he did mention we would notice the change in the price of our cruise ticket.  The cruises I priced for 2021 are outrageously priced.  We only booked a 2020 cruise.  

Well that's a new marketing strategy!😆

 

Phil 

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