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marinaro44

"Wifi feasibility test" on Quest, December 28

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17 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Apparently I booked the first cruise under a half off second person promo that included free wifi. That's why I got it.  She checked my second cruise and I booked that under a different promo and will have to pay for wifi.  Don't you just love all the "deals"?  Not impressed. 

 

Phil 

 

Phil, I have never met you except online, but I generally like your views and tone. With this one, though, you've lost me. Surely you thought the "deals" were good enough to book at the time? I am not sure how your different booking perks mean that Azamara has done something wrong.

 

I hope you enjoy your second cruise. I will be home working, dreaming of the day I can take back-to-back AZ cruises. 😉

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9 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

Patience please, the ‘test’ is still being evaluated.

The issue, Bonnie, is that some set of Azamara decision-makers thought it appropriate in the first place to treat a 300-point LCV member the same as a 3000-point member in awarding an unlimited internet discount.  That just reinforced the predictable reaction on the part of top tier members here to the decision to toss LCV members over the side when cooking up the new upgrade scheme...and then seeming surprised by that reaction.

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Why is everybody so precious  about wifi? Most ports you go to will have a free wifi Sevice somewhere and really, after 8 cruises with Azamara, their wifi hasn’t improved much anyway.  

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11 minutes ago, DRJVH said:

Why is everybody so precious  about wifi? Most ports you go to will have a free wifi Sevice somewhere and really, after 8 cruises with Azamara, their wifi hasn’t improved much anyway.  

You've missed the point entirely, Doc, I'm sorry to have to say.

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2 minutes ago, marinaro44 said:

You've missed the point entirely, Doc, I'm sorry to have to say.

Only those that have Discoverer plus are complaining. 
all very precious people. 

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1 hour ago, DRJVH said:

Only those that have Discoverer plus are complaining. 

 

Because those and above are the groups impacted the most.

 

1 hour ago, DRJVH said:

all very precious people. 

 

No need for sarcasm.  This comment is totally uncalled for in your context.

 

And you have entirely missed, or choose to ignore, the point.  The concerns here are beyond the wi-fi issue alone.  They just happen to have surfaced in this particular thread.

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2 hours ago, DRJVH said:

Only those that have Discoverer plus are complaining. 
all very precious people. 

One of those Discoverer Plus "very precious people" you scorn is on this cruise with me and has 40+ Azamara cruises and ten more booked in 2020.  This person should be regarded by Azamara as "very precious" indeed...at least as much so as a first-time cruiser in a Spa suite who enjoys free internet in the current "test."

Edited by marinaro44

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2 hours ago, DRJVH said:

Only those that have Discoverer plus are complaining. 
all very precious people. 


No, I'm a lowly Explorer and I'm complaining because this tentative change will reduce our benefit.

You may trust some random unsecured WiFi, but I don't, so that's why it matters.

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2 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

One of those Discoverer Plus "very precious people" you scorn is on this cruise with me and has 40+ Azamara cruises and ten more booked in 2020.  This person should be regarded by Azamara as "very precious" indeed...at least as much so as a first-time cruiser in a Spa suite who enjoys free internet in the current "test."

Well said!  

I dont think anyone is being “precious” they were highlighting anomalies both in terms of this test and also how Azamara treat their most loyal guest in terms of internet rewards compared to both their competitors and other brands within the family.

And the internet is the tip of the iceberg nowadays

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13 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

The issue, Bonnie, is that some set of Azamara decision-makers thought it appropriate in the first place to treat a 300-point LCV member the same as a 3000-point member in awarding an unlimited internet discount.  That just reinforced the predictable reaction on the part of top tier members here to the decision to toss LCV members over the side when cooking up the new upgrade scheme...and then seeming surprised by that reaction.

Yes, you are totally correct. That's the issue. Loyalty seems to come low down the priority list  at present. 

 

On a more positive note it is good to see Azamara providing free access to WhatsApp for crew. Not sure what, if any effect this has on the shipwide wifi bandwidth though. 

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/22261-azamara-adds-free-whatsapp-for-crew.html

 

Phil 

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sorry I am late to the party but just to throw my few cents in.  

When did Veranda Plus become a Suite?  In my opinion Veranda Plus are V cabins with people buying benefits that have no or minimal loyalty.  

Azamara has become so expensive over the years and they are becoming very uncompetitive when it comes down to perks or what we consider luxury items on a cruise: internet, laundry, included wines.  Azamara has far to many schemes and many of them affect the most loyal of customers.  When we booked a B2B cruise in a suite, one was 10 days and the other was 11.  We were on the ship for 21 days but only had 2 bags of laundry for the two of us.Our Discoverer Plus benefit was not combinable with the Suite benefits.  Our internet benefit was not combinable with suite benefits and the wine selection of white wines was the same 6 wines rotated for 21 days.  There was no promotion that was eleigible for suite guests but we could use the book on board/ B2B credit and Discoverer Plus discount.   My sister in law ( just reached discoverer) and a friend (first Azamara cruise) booked and were eleigble for the Experience More package and got unlimited internet, spa credit, tour credit, 2 bags of laundry  and specialty dining.  My sister in laws package was combinable with her loyalty benefits so she also got an additional bag of laundry.    Seriously, why would you need unlimited internet and 90 minutes on top of that.  Meanwhile my internet was not combinable and my laundry was not either and I was in a suite.  It was explained to me that I purchased a suite that came with benefits and they purchased a package.  I was advised that I would be contacted upon my return and LCV was given our return date.  Nothing.  I sent an email weeks later and I got an auto response saying that my issue would be "investigated" and I would hear back within a few days.  Nothing.  I sent another email a few weeks later and finally had someone contact me.  They appologized but said it is what it is and that is when they explained that I could not combine benefits because suite benefits are not combinable with LCV benefits but if you spend a lot less on a cabin and buy benefits, they are combinable with LCV benefits.  Still does not make sense to me.  Does it make sense to anyone or am I just slow on the uptake?  

So - I have booked a Circle Japan cruise on Celebrity for half the price.  My package includes: beverages, unlimited wifi, prepaid gratuities and an OBC.  It also includes and OBC because I booked onboard.  And best yet,  we will EACH get 2 bags of laundry.  

 

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I’ll add a few thoughts as well.

 

My wife and I have cruised mostly on Celebrity with “only” 11 on Azamara.  I have tried to quantify the relative experience on the two lines and, over time, have concluded that the difference in ambiance,(mostly due to the beautiful ships and smaller size) service, etc. is worth 20-25%.  It is becoming almost impossible to find any cruises on Azamara that are less than 50-70% more and, since we book suites, the inclusions are noticeably better on Celebrity.  And the loyalty perks are significantly better.

 

To be honest, unless things change quite a bit, I don’t see much cruising on Azamara in our future.  I am perfectly willing to spend more, but only if I can see the value.  And, sadly, the value just isn’t there unless I can find a true deal (as we did on the Pursuit Antarctica cruise we got off of yesterday).

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An interesting assessment.

 

As for us, as well as the factors you mention we would prioritize itinerary as a key element in our decision making.

 

 

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17 hours ago, nonrev1 said:

.  We were on the ship for 21 days but only had 2 bags of laundry for the two of us.Our Discoverer Plus benefit was not combinable with the Suite benefits.  Our internet benefit was not combinable with suite benefits

 

.  Meanwhile my internet was not combinable and my laundry was not either and I was in a suite.  It was explained to me that I purchased a suite that came with benefits and they purchased a package. 

 

They appologized but said it is what it is and that is when they explained that I could not combine benefits because suite benefits are not combinable with LCV benefits but if you spend a lot less on a cabin and buy benefits, they are combinable with LCV benefits.  Still does not make sense to me.  Does it make sense to anyone or am I just slow on the uptake?  

So - I have booked a Circle Japan cruise on Celebrity for half the price.  My package includes: beverages, unlimited wifi, prepaid gratuities and an OBC.  It also includes and OBC because I booked onboard.  And best yet,  we will EACH get 2 bags of laundry.  

 

I agree is very disappointing that benefits cannot be combined.   Almost as if you're being punished for booking a suite and leaves a bad taste.  We are booked in a suite on a 10 night Azamara cruise and will only receive 1 bag of laundry.  We are also booked on a Celebrity 10 night cruise and will receive 4 bags of laundry.

 

I know they are different cruise lines but as Azamara is supposedly the premium brand you'd think you would not get LCV benefits cut because you booked a suite.

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The laundry benefit is less for everyone, it used to be on a 10 night cruise you got two vouchers, now you have to go 14 nights before you get the second voucher.  And no one has ever given me a satisfactory answer as to why when two guests have paid good money to the cruise line and earned their loyalty they get only one bag between them.  We do not generate half the laundry travelling as a couple.

I have lost count the number of times I have fed this back both to LCV staff onboard and in my end of cruise feedback.  Now that airline restrictions are even more prevalent, this benefit is even more precious.  It is another area where Celebrity is streets ahead.

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It just seems that Miami is trying to reinvent the wheel for the  Azamara loyalty program.   If Celebrity has a richer loyalty program why would they want to make a higher end and much more expensive cruise line (Azamara) have inferior loyalty benefits?  

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I wonder if it’s anything to do with the percentage of ‘returners’ on any Azamara cruise. I know there are also lots of loyal Celebrity cruisers, but they’re spread across a lot of ships. 

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I’m not sure the point you are making but in our experience over 7 cruises last year the number of returners had dropped significantly. Whilst the LCV events were well attended many were with first timers from Celebrity/Royal. On our last three cruises on each one 60-70% of all guests were first time Azamara. Of those we interacted with I’d say 25% planned to book again, 25% were possible but only at the bargain price they’d paid (lucky them) and the rest were “one hit wonders”. We met far fewer loyal guests (say 2-12 cruises). 
It’s healthy (Indeed essential) to have new blood but unhealthy to have as many loyal guests holding off booking for the future. 
Miami needs to look long and hard as to all the reasons why this is happening. 

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1 hour ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I wonder if it’s anything to do with the percentage of ‘returners’ on any Azamara cruise. I know there are also lots of loyal Celebrity cruisers, but they’re spread across a lot of ships. 

If that's the case, then the honest thing to do is say so.  Announcing the new upgrade scheme as if it were a big enhancement, and saying LCV members would be given a meaningful "boost" (as it was announced on Cruise Critic) was simply deceptive on Azamara's part.

 

I understand an effort is being made to see if LCV level can somehow be worked into the algorithm as more than a mere tiebreaker.  The outcome of this, for me, will determine whether loyalty is important to Azamara.  All other benefits (e.g., half laundry bag, few hours of internet, three free nights a Platinum member gets after 750 more points -- about 100 or more paid nights! -- pale in comparison.

Edited by marinaro44

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1 hour ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I wonder if it’s anything to do with the percentage of ‘returners’ on any Azamara cruise. I know there are also lots of loyal Celebrity cruisers, but they’re spread across a lot of ships. 

 

Even some of the long time returnees are now looking elsewhere has they are finding that loyalty counts for very little to Azamara.

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1 hour ago, marinaro44 said:

If that's the case, then the honest thing to do is say so.  Announcing the new upgrade scheme as if it were a big enhancement, and saying LCV members would be given a meaningful "boost" (as it was announced on Cruise Critic) was simply deceptive on Azamara's part.

 

I understand an effort is being made to see if LCV level can somehow be worked into the algorithm as more than a mere tiebreaker.  The outcome of this, for me, will determine whether loyalty is important to Azamara.  All other benefits (e.g., half laundry bag, few hours of internet, three free nights a Platinum member gets after 750 more points -- about 100 or more paid nights! -- pale in comparison.

And the three free nights are a joke as using them means every single cruise we try and book would cost more yet no one in Miami will acknowledge that other than to say “oh I am sure you will find something you will like”

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4 hours ago, uktog said:

I’m not sure the point you are making but in our experience over 7 cruises last year the number of returners had dropped significantly. Whilst the LCV events were well attended many were with first timers from Celebrity/Royal. On our last three cruises on each one 60-70% of all guests were first time Azamara. Of those we interacted with I’d say 25% planned to book again, 25% were possible but only at the bargain price they’d paid (lucky them) and the rest were “one hit wonders”. We met far fewer loyal guests (say 2-12 cruises). 
It’s healthy (Indeed essential) to have new blood but unhealthy to have as many loyal guests holding off booking for the future. 
Miami needs to look long and hard as to all the reasons why this is happening. 

Even at 30-40% returners, if many of them are fairly high level LCV members, that’s a lot of lost revenue on WiFi and laundry sales plus the pressure the extra free WiFi minutes put on the broadband capacity and the extra pressure on the laundry on a ship with a small number of passengers, so smaller systems/capacity etc.

I’m not trying to defend Azamara, just trying to understand the possible reasoning in making LCV benefits lower than Celebrity.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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11 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Even at 30-40% returners, if many of them are fairly high level LCV members, that’s a lot of lost revenue on WiFi and laundry sales plus the pressure the extra free WiFi minutes put on the broadband capacity and the extra pressure on the laundry on a ship with a small number of passengers, so smaller systems/capacity etc.

I’m not trying to defend Azamara, just trying to understand the possible reasoning in making LCV benefits lower than Celebrity.

Celebrity has equally high sometimes higher percentages of returners. On one ship this week (not any special cruise) there are 30 Zenith (top tier guests alone). Azamara it’s 3/4 max.....

I am not sure they enjoy that many extra laundry sales, given the shrinking sizes of their bags even fill a bag is marginal. 
Other cruise lines have addressed their WiFi capacity (if indeed that is an issue). Where there’s a will there’s a way...,,

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The wifi allowances for this cruise on Journey have increased and I have free Internet for the trip. Perhaps Miami have been listening to the discussion here. I'm pleased it seems they have made it right, for the wifi at least. Copy of letter I received is below. 

 

Phil 

 

 

03098231-091F-4DF9-B35F-04A7BF82005C.jpeg

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