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harkinmr

No Azamara For Me

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2 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I’d be interested in comparisons between numbers of UK cruisers cancelling cruises and numbers of US cruisers doing so, given that if we cancel we lose our total deposit (£500 per couple). 

 

Obviously we have to be much more careful when selecting our cruises and make sure that we are insured if we have to cancel.

I did have to cancel a back to back last year for a reason the insurance did not cover. Luckily we had booked it while on board ship so only lost 500 pounds, otherwise it would have been 1000.

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18 hours ago, nordski said:


A number of years ago Oceania charged no or very low fees. Consequently, some of its reservations were gamed by a “gentleman” and some  fellow schemers.

 

They would buy up a whole group of staterooms including OV’s and Verandas and then dump the Verandas at final payment. Lest the ship sail with a lot of empty Verandas, those staterooms were then sold off or opened up for upgrades at significantly lower prices.


The “gentleman” and his cohorts would then swoop in to pick up the Verandas and pocket the savings.

 

Others will correct me if I have misconstrued the details of this plan. I also imagine that the skill of computers in now constantly monitoring the dynamics of stateroom reservations would immediately spot this manoeuvre.

 

But perhaps that is why Azamara traditionally has tried to protect its reservation commitments, and that Hubofhockey and now others have suggested a reasonable path in applying to Azamara to use the fees for another cruise itinerary.

 

I have heard the same story.  It was even more nefarious than your details show:  they would each reserve several cheap cabins so that an entire category would be 'sold out' – then if they were offered a free upgrade they would take ONE and cancel the rest; if no upgrade, they would cancel them all.  BTW the end result was that all of them got lifetime bans from Oceania.

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5 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

I have heard the same story.  It was even more nefarious than your details show:  they would each reserve several cheap cabins so that an entire category would be 'sold out' – then if they were offered a free upgrade they would take ONE and cancel the rest; if no upgrade, they would cancel them all.  BTW the end result was that all of them got lifetime bans from Oceania.


Thanks for adding that information.

 

I encountered this scheme when the lead perpetrator posted on the Oceania forum looking for sympathy and for support to challenge the treatment the group had received from Oceania.

 

Oddly, none was forthcoming. 😄

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This thread fascinates me on several levels:

 

1. How is it the so many people can find CC and post for the first time to tell about their negative experiences but can’t find it to ask questions to avoid having the negative experience in the first place?

 

2. Why are there so many people that don’t believe a contract should be honored?  And specifically think a company is mean and evil for following their contract. 
 

3. Why is it that people think it’s ok to book cabins/suites they have no intention of keeping and see no problem that it keeps fellow cruisers from having access to that cabin and potentially hurts the cruise lines ability to book without discounting late in the game. 
 

4. Why do people post something they know at the offset is going to pull negative replies then are upset when they get negative replies?

 

5. Most importantly, why am I chiming in on a thread that I have no vested interest in and possibly stirring the pot further. Shame on me. But I know the answer. I’m in Phoenix after going to the Open yesterday and have 4 hours before I leave for the airport and I’m trying to avoid doing something productive like going for a walk and getting my 10000 steps in.   But I honestly do wonder about the above questions 

Brian

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While I am sympathetic to anyone who loses $300 only because of a mistake, I do think it's tough to expect sympathy after that original post.  You have to remember that many of these people think of Azamara as a very special cruise line that provides something very personal in their favorite vacations.

 

This line:  I read Cruise Critic reviews of every line and I do note that about 33% of the Azamara reviews are negative for any number of reasons, including customer service overall.  Not an acceptable percentage Azamara!

 

If you have read every review of every line and conclude that Azamara has an unacceptable percentage of bad reviews, what in the world are you doing booking two cruise with them?  Please explain.  Of course, Azamara has a sterling reputation and has an incredibly loyal following, so I don't buy that 33%.  

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On 1/30/2020 at 8:08 AM, harkinmr said:

We always make reservations for two booking dates as we are not sure of my husband's vacation awards until late in the year.


The irony here is that you’re asking for sympathy because a business enforced a policy that exists to discourage the very behavior you routinely practice.

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We just booked our first Azamara cruise. The travel agent carefully reviewed the cancellation policy prior to us putting down the deposit. I believe it may be more common to find cancellation fees on smaller cruise ships. They just don’t have as many cabins to have locked up by people who aren’t sure they are going to actually take the cruise. You find this policy with river cruise lines all the time. 

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1 hour ago, Poulsbo Cruisers said:

We just booked our first Azamara cruise. The travel agent carefully reviewed the cancellation policy prior to us putting down the deposit. I believe it may be more common to find cancellation fees on smaller cruise ships. They just don’t have as many cabins to have locked up by people who aren’t sure they are going to actually take the cruise. You find this policy with river cruise lines all the time. 

 

Enjoy your cruise! 😊

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Having done it, Azamara was very willing to apply my deposits for two cruises I cancelled to a new third cruise.  This was made easier because I was still going to cruise on Azamara and I asked nicely.

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35 minutes ago, PirateWife said:

Having done it, Azamara was very willing to apply my deposits for two cruises I cancelled to a new third cruise.  This was made easier because I was still going to cruise on Azamara and I asked nicely.

 

I'm glad that worked, because that's what I would do.  

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Azamara is not the only cruise line that has a penalty for cancelling, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity do the same thing.   It's clearly stated when you make a reservation too. 

 

It's like people that buy a non refundable airline ticket, then complain when they can't get a refund.  No sympathy from me. 

 

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Good luck getting your deposit back.  You’re previous experiences booking on RCL cruise lines included refundable deposits. It was that way for years.  Usually once you book a cruise, you will take it.  Booking on a ship always was tempting. Having a good time, you’ll book a future cruise.  Get home, find that your dates conflict, change or cancel without a problem. It was an easy way to get you to book.  On Azamara, it isn’t always a good idea to book when dates could be a problem. Azamara charging you $300 service fee is absurd. When you booked, you should have been warned about the non refundable deposits.  Recently some of the other RCL lines have offered a choice of either refundable or non refundable deposits. If you opt for the non refundable deposit, you are betting that you will take that cruise. Azamara doesn’t offer a choice. They used to refund in full.  Sadly, you learned the expensive way not to book with a no refundable deposit.  You probably will never book Azamara again. Azamara has changed.  Not sure if it is better or worse. The customer service could improve.   If they let you change dates gratis, you might sail with them.  
Before you book another cruise, ask about the service fees and whether or not a booking can be changed or canceled without a fee. Times are changing. Many cruise lines are trying to cut down on people booking with the intention of changing their minds. There are many cruise/vacation options open to you.  With the corona virus scare, there are sure to be lots of people choosing to not cruise.  
In the past week, I have seen several very tempting deals.  I am not booking future cruises until the corona virus passes.  I have 2 future cruises booked.....March and June.  Thinking about whether to fly and sail. 

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36 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

Good luck getting your deposit back.  You’re previous experiences booking on RCL cruise lines included refundable deposits. It was that way for years.  Usually once you book a cruise, you will take it.  Booking on a ship always was tempting. Having a good time, you’ll book a future cruise.  Get home, find that your dates conflict, change or cancel without a problem. It was an easy way to get you to book.  On Azamara, it isn’t always a good idea to book when dates could be a problem. Azamara charging you $300 service fee is absurd. When you booked, you should have been warned about the non refundable deposits.  Recently some of the other RCL lines have offered a choice of either refundable or non refundable deposits. If you opt for the non refundable deposit, you are betting that you will take that cruise. Azamara doesn’t offer a choice. They used to refund in full.  Sadly, you learned the expensive way not to book with a no refundable deposit.  You probably will never book Azamara again. Azamara has changed.  Not sure if it is better or worse. The customer service could improve.   If they let you change dates gratis, you might sail with them.  
 


We booked on board on our most recent cruise.  We were told that we could change the cruise once, without penalty, and keep the book-on-board perks.  I assumed this was the new policy to go along with the partially-refundable deposit?

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Be careful if you try to book a future cruise on Azamara while sailing on a sister line like RCL or Celebrity.  Agents on those ships are not always up to daye on changes.     When You are on any RCL brand cruise, you can log into the cruise line website without being charged. Be safe and look at the website before putting down a deposit. It will save you entering into a unfortunate situation.  

While I like totally refundable deposits, I can understand the cruise line getting booked up with bogus bookings that are later canceled.  

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2 hours ago, lisiamc said:


We booked on board on our most recent cruise.  We were told that we could change the cruise once, without penalty, and keep the book-on-board perks.  I assumed this was the new policy to go along with the partially-refundable deposit?

Not a new policy; been that way in the US anyway 

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27 minutes ago, laurieb said:

Not a new policy; been that way in the US anyway 

Agree and the same applies in Canada. Have  booked onboard, cancelled and changed to another cruise without penalty.

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3 hours ago, lisiamc said:


We booked on board on our most recent cruise.  We were told that we could change the cruise once, without penalty, and keep the book-on-board perks.  I assumed this was the new policy to go along with the partially-refundable deposit?


And I should have specified, we were told that we could change the cruise once without paying the $150/person admin fee/penalty/whatever they’re calling it.  That seems fair to me.

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