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37 minutes ago, baytraller said:

Thanks Peter!  Perhaps we should start a sticky of "good deals spotted" on this board? Would be helpful I think, given the current Azamara pricing. 

 

Hope you and Trish are both well. 

 

Phil 

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10 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I did a tour that included a view from the top, but going through it on a ship was incredible. Highly recommended. Unfortunately Azamara ships, even though small by cruise ship standards aren't small enough. Do a tour on a boat that takes you through if you can't take a cruise.  A very different perspective. The ruins at Corinth are wonderful too. 

 

Phil 

DBDAF90C-31C9-4CE8-BA03-6F6204E3F336.jpeg

Great photo, Phil. Looks an amazing experience. We agree about the Corinth ruins, and the museum on the site is one of the best archeology museums we’ve ever seen 

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Given the extensive uk sale now announced I’m glad I did not fall for the sales push last week. 

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On 12/8/2019 at 4:35 PM, excitedofharpenden said:

I love the Greek Islands and to be honest can go back again and again. I went through the Corinth on Windstar. Amazing!

 

Phil 

I went also with Windstar Phil through the Corinth Phil. You are right. It was amazing. They had a barbecue on board during the crosding.

Ivi 

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6 hours ago, uktog said:

Given the extensive uk sale now announced I’m glad I did not fall for the sales push last week. 

The one I booked with the 12% onboard booking discount is very little different by the time the $300 OBC is taken into account.

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One I was looking at is £600 less but its still on the high side, we will see

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

One I was looking at is £600 less but its still on the high side, we will see

 

I will also be waiting, the prices on the cruises I am watching are still very high.

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On 12/10/2019 at 3:04 PM, Bloodaxe said:

 

I will also be waiting, the prices on the cruises I am watching are still very high.

 

I think they are starting to look at 2021 a little more now.  

 

My Oceanview for Japan late April 2021 just had an over $2,000 price drop (verandas didn't move).  In my mind, I was comfortable with the idea that I would be on Oceania for that cruise during a similar time period.  It's weird.  I started to look at specifics of the cruise and I started seeing real advantages of the Azamara 15 day itinerary over the Oceania 10 day itinerary.  My question to Oceania would be, why are you going south from Tokyo in Japan at that time of year when the peak cherry blossom season is north?  Azamara goes north first and then heads south, so you get the peak even though the cruise begins four days later while the O cruise leaves you totally out of peak.  

 

It was the $2K price drop that made me think.  That's real money.  I hope I'm okay in an Ocean view for 15 nights.  Of course, I can hope for an upgrade bid for veranda. 😉  Still not so happy with all of the price games, but it may work out. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

 

I think they are starting to look at 2021 a little more now.  

 

My Oceanview for Japan late April 2021 just had an over $2,000 price drop (verandas didn't move).  In my mind, I was comfortable with the idea that I would be on Oceania for that cruise during a similar time period.  It's weird.  I started to look at specifics of the cruise and I started seeing real advantages of the Azamara 15 day itinerary over the Oceania 10 day itinerary.  My question to Oceania would be, why are you going south from Tokyo in Japan at that time of year when the peak cherry blossom season is north?  Azamara goes north first and then heads south, so you get the peak even though the cruise begins four days later while the O cruise leaves you totally out of peak.  

 

It was the $2K price drop that made me think.  That's real money.  I hope I'm okay in an Ocean view for 15 nights.  Of course, I can hope for an upgrade bid for veranda. 😉  Still not so happy with all of the price games, but it may work out. 

 

 

Thank you for choosing Azamara, Hub! You won't be disappointed. DH&I sailed around Japan this Fall (heading north from Tokyo.) Every port was fascinating...though I envy you getting to see the cherry blossoms!

Prior to my trip I found a good read in the local library "Cherry Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan's Blossoms" by Naoko Abe. I learned quite a bit about Japan's history, and it's relationships with the outside world, while learning about the cherries.

 

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Just now, BBMacLaird said:

Thank you for choosing Azamara, Hub! You won't be disappointed. DH&I sailed around Japan this Fall (heading north from Tokyo.) Every port was fascinating...though I envy you getting to see the cherry blossoms!

Prior to my trip I found a good read in the local library "Cherry Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan's Blossoms" by Naoko Abe. I learned quite a bit about Japan's history, and it's relationships with the outside world, while learning about the cherries.

 

 

No need to thank me Bonnie.  I was just waiting for Azamara to come through and you guys did on the pricing.  Even if we hadn't eventually chosen to do this itinerary with Azamara, I tell everyone that our southeast Asia cruise on the Quest was the best vacation I've ever had.  I was just a bit bummed out (like others here) on the initial setting of the 2021 prices.  I know very little about Hokodate or Aomori, but the Pursuit hits those in prime cherry blossom season.  Because of my job (tax season in the US - pre 4/15), those two northern Japan ports, which I thought little about, are now pretty important.  In any case, I'll hope for an upgrade bid when the time comes, but I will always be happy when price works in some way for Azamara.  

 

It might have been interesting to try Oceania, but maybe for us, it's not worth any risk on a destination immersion cruise. We don't cruise as much as so many of the Azamara regulars, but hope it can be our cruise line of choice when it comes to these destination cruises.  We are perfectly fine with Celebrity on the others and even like the RCI Oasis class when traveling with our 20 something kids.  

 

That book sounds like an interesting read.  In the meantime, I'll get back to my normal port research, Youtube videos.  😎 

 

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Well, before this thread peters out completely I want to say that it has been very informative reading the energetic dialogue.   We booked the 2021 7 night Journey’s Western Med cruise that became a chartered with an 11 night itinerary of nearly all repeated ports for us.  That cruise was not for us.  Based on the various comments about the pricing circus Azamara has been performing, we took some of the advice on this thread and looked at Oceania as a replacement.  Found a 12 night one that traveled from Barcelona to Istanbul and we realized we could finally get to see Istanbul from the comfort and security (if there is such a thing any longer) of a cruise ship.  The bundled airfare and included wi-fi also caught our attention.  Per night costs were reasonable, but then we saw there were 1250 passengers. 

 

We were not willing to go back to larger ships after our October 2019 cruise in Southeast Asia on Quest.  Then someone on this thread mentioned a good deal on an 11 night round trip out of Athens that had an overnight in Istanbul on Azamara Pursuit.  Sounded perfect and we were able to move all of the incentives from the on board booking of the defunct cruise plus the so-called 40% off special fare.  We get to stay on the smaller Azamara ship; we get to see Istanbul and several other new ports; we get to return to Ephesus (where I am guessing the Azamazing event will be held); and we get to spend about the same for the longer cruise compared to the original booking in the exact same verandah cabin.  Done deal!  Now all we need to do is wait almost two years, but that’s how far in advance we booked the 2019 Quest cruise.  So, I send many thanks to all who contributed to this thread.

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I like Azamara and Oceania. I have sailed multiple times on both lines and also on several other cruise lines.  Several years ago on Az cruise, I was talking to guests who asked if we had ever sailed on O yet.  At the time, my answer was no. They said that if I liked Az, I should try O.  They said it was like Az with better food.  Decided to try O and liked it. Last summer we chose Az mainly for dates. We had a good time. However, the food was not as good as O.  After we got home, we booked a future cruise on O. 

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20 hours ago, Redtravel said:

I like Azamara and Oceania. I have sailed multiple times on both lines and also on several other cruise lines.  Several years ago on Az cruise, I was talking to guests who asked if we had ever sailed on O yet.  At the time, my answer was no. They said that if I liked Az, I should try O.  They said it was like Az with better food.  Decided to try O and liked it. Last summer we chose Az mainly for dates. We had a good time. However, the food was not as good as O.  After we got home, we booked a future cruise on O. 

 

I got the same advice on my Azamara cruise that the two are similar and that most Azamara customers would be comfortable on Oceania.  My brother, who hasn't been on Azamara, loves Oceania.  

 

We don't "cruise for food", but we did like Azamara's dining, for the most part.  Here's what really stood out for us on Azamara.  Prime C, Chef's Table, and those special event brunches or lunches in the main dining room (which can be incredibly good).  We weren't crazy about Aqualina and we'll take a hard pass on it next time around.  If we want to travel for food though, it probably wouldn't be on a cruise.  We do consider the Chef's Tables to be a fun night out and an event in and of themselves.  Azamara does a really nice job with these (not a fan of the Indonesian Rice Table one though).  I would do one on every Azamara cruise, but they don't have them on Oceania's R class.  

 

I don't think any of the differences between Azamara and Oceania would be deal makers or deal breakers as much as itinerary or price would be.  

 

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Everyone has their own criteria for picking a vacation. We love traveling. Az does a nice cruise. We picked it last summer for the itinerary. We were disappointed with the food.  It used to be better. Oceania has really great food. My favorite cruise line is Windstar. It

 Is more expensive and is worth it.  Everything except wifi is excellent.  

 

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7 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Everyone has their own criteria for picking a vacation. We love traveling. Az does a nice cruise. We picked it last summer for the itinerary. We were disappointed with the food.  It used to be better. Oceania has really great food. My favorite cruise line is Windstar. It

 Is more expensive and is worth it.  Everything except wifi is excellent.  

 

 

I started looking at Windstar and the prices I was looking at were really not much more than the other two.  The cabins look beautiful (was looking at Star Breeze).  My only concern is that I'd be bored at night, but I can get past that.  I also would think it would be great on a warm weather cruise where you swim right off the ship with those platforms.  That seems kind of cool.  I wouldn't book A or O for one of those cruises to relax (Greek Isles or Caribbean, which I could do on Celebrity), but would do on Windstar.

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12 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Everyone has their own criteria for picking a vacation. We love traveling. Az does a nice cruise. We picked it last summer for the itinerary. We were disappointed with the food.  It used to be better. Oceania has really great food. My favorite cruise line is Windstar. It

 Is more expensive and is worth it.  Everything except wifi is excellent.  

 

Frankly, I've found Windstar to be much less expensive than an Azamara suite. 

 

Food on Azamara is at least as good as Windstar and Azamara's specialty restaurants are better than Candles, with much wider choice of starters and desserts, and, unlike the motor yachts, in Azamara specialties you're not dining on cramped tables in the buffet in inclement weather. 

 

But Windstar offers the same kind of warm, personal attention that Azamara does and Regent does not, and that's my number one criterion.  Perhaps the typical Regent cruiser has the I-don't-want-to-fraternize-with-the-help attitude that has sometimes been expressed here and Regent responds accordingly.

 

I do have to say after-dinner entertainment on Windstar is lacking, and the 1492 music at sailaway is an eye-rolling affectation.

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9 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

I started looking at Windstar and the prices I was looking at were really not much more than the other two.  The cabins look beautiful (was looking at Star Breeze).  My only concern is that I'd be bored at night, but I can get past that.  I also would think it would be great on a warm weather cruise where you swim right off the ship with those platforms.  That seems kind of cool.  I wouldn't book A or O for one of those cruises to relax (Greek Isles or Caribbean, which I could do on Celebrity), but would do on Windstar.

I love Windstar.  It isn’t for everyone. With 300 or less passengers, it is a very special.  It reminds me of the European riverboats. Not bored at night. Dinner in Aamphora is excellent.  Menus often include local food. The James Beard dishes are fabulous. Candles can vary. If you like meat, it has a great filet. Prefer Candles on the sailing ships.  It can be really nice eating outside. If it rains, they serve in the veranda. It is the buffet area at breakfast and lunch. At dinner, there is no buffet. Windsurf also has Stella Bistro and does an outdoor Under The Stars buffet dinner on the aft pool area. Both are by reservation. While it doesn’t have big entertaining shows like the mass market lines, it does have some really fun entertainment.  Local entertainment has been very special.  I have enjoyed local vocal groups, watched dancers, heard fado,  wine tastings, etc.  after dinner, there is always the duo playing in Compass Rose.  On Windsurf, the band is excellent. Each cruise has a crew show and a bbq evening.  In warm weather, the bbq is outside.  It is a blast.  The bbq always includes local food.  It is a fun night.  On some cruises, there is a local complimentary experience for everyone.  Although it doesn’t always happen at night, it’s sort of like Azamara’s amazing evening.  In the Caribbean, each cruise has a beach party. I will be packing soon for 14 nights on the Star Legend.  Windstar offers unlimited same day laundry service pressed and on hangers. On 14+ nights, laundry is free. Shorter cruises, it costs $8pp per day.  They do laundry everyday.  No excluded days.  When I pack to go home, my clothes are clean.  They do charge extra for alcoholic beverages, excursions, WiFi, gratuities ,and spa treatments. Those extras can be high. The quality of service is excellent. No request is too much. I do enjoy Azamara and Oceania. I love Windstar.
 

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I had the best food I have ever had on a cruise ship on Star Breeze in the main dining room. In fact it beat a lot of land restaurants. I was less impressed with the space around the ship.

 

The loungers were left stacked up at the back of the sun deck the whole cruise, under the funnels that thrummed the whole time. The Yacht Club went from freezing cold at the start to too hot and in spite of asking it never was the right temperature. There were various events for groups on the ship at the time and this made many of the nice rooms out of bounds unless you gatecrashed.  

 

Overall I just didn't feel it was professionally run and didn't feel connected to the ship and crew like I always have on Azamara. However, Id like to give them another chance on the new stretched ships. Breeze is going through that at the moment and the changes to the staterooms, engines (cutting down the noise) etc will be interesting to see. 

 

Phil 

DA18B10B-6D9F-4A11-90EE-9DDD53685534.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Redtravel said:

I love Windstar.  It isn’t for everyone.

Am I correct that there are no verandah cabins on Windstar?

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1 hour ago, NC&KY said:

Am I correct that there are no verandah cabins on Windstar?

You are correct. These are old ships but large suites. I think they were previously Seabourn ships. I did not have the feeling a balcony was necessary. 

Edited by travelberlin

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Most cabins are Oceanview. The sailing ships do not have verandas. The motor ships are all big suites. There are some French balconies and there are some bigger suites with balconies.

The first time that I went on Windstar, we sailed on Windsurf. We had regular cabin 180’.   We had a porthole. The arrangement of the cabin was a great use of space. I thought that I would miss the balcony. I did not miss it. It is so easy to get outside. Never a problem finding a chair or chaise.  The motor ships were purchased from Seabourn. Ships are beautiful. All cabins are huge.  This year, the motor yachts are being refurbished and expanded to hold 310 guests instead of 210.  

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