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Thank you AZ

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Simple words... but now we can make our own decisions based on our level of comfort with the situation.

 

We will probably cancel, but we will be back!...

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Posted (edited)

In my view Azamara have been slow at responding and only after other cruiselines had taken the lead. Their communication of the difficulties we all face has been appalling, but sad to say unsurprising given the way Azamara are now run.  Not like it used to be. 

 

We have a Chief Blogging Officer here who has been noticeably absent from discussions and queries on the direct impact of Covid-19, except for giving stock answers from the pages of Royal Caribbean.  

 

In my view a much more appropriate statement than Richard Fain's video to travel partners telling them all would be ok again in time was called for. What about your customers?  It seems travel partners are their true focus.  

 

Azamara had the perfect opportunity to come out of this in a reasonably good way. Instead they have messed it up by dithering.  I'm sorry to be so blunt about it, but it's true. 

 

Thanks Azamara?  Hmmm. Let me think about that one!  

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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Posted (edited)

It's very noticeable how many previously very loyal customers are now being critical of Azamara, with the exception of a few who can see no wrong in them.

Edited by Bloodaxe

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RCL is in a very difficult position.  Their last 8k shows 250M in cash.  This will probably not be organically increasing as I expect bookings for future cruises will be very weak.  They are servicing 8B in long term debt.  The dividend is costing 600M/yr.  This has to go soon.  By keeping customer deposits as FCC and not giving even partial refunds they can conserve some cash.  They will need to go back to the market to meet additional capital requirements and/or hope for some type of bailout.

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

In my view Azamara have been slow at responding and only after other cruiselines had taken the lead. Their communication of the difficulties we all face has been appalling, but sad to say unsurprising given the way Azamara are now run.  Not like it used to be. 

 

We have a Chief Blogging Officer here who has been noticeably absent from discussions and queries on the direct impact of Covid-19, except for giving stock answers from the pages of Royal Caribbean.  

 

In my view a much more appropriate statement than Richard Fain's video to travel partners telling them all would be ok again in time was called for. What about your customers?  It seems travel partners are their true focus.  

 

Azamara had the perfect opportunity to come out of this in a reasonably good way. Instead they have messed it up by dithering.  I'm sorry to be so blunt about it, but it's true. 

 

Thanks Azamara?  Hmmm. Let me think about that one!  

 

Phil 

 

We can agree/disagree about the timeliness of the Azamara response. No doubt its role within RCI was a limiting factor and prevented a more independent policy.

 

I do think it is unfortunate to criticize Bonnie for her role here. If, indeed, Azamara (RCI?) was "dithering", then I don't know what she could have done besides referring people to corporate policies. That is what she did.

 

On a broader note, in this era of mass cruising the only parallel drawn to this occurrence which I have seen commentators make, and that appears plausible to me, are the challenges created after 9/11. And we know some of the impacts that event had on the cruise/travel industry. It could be that the impacts of this pandemic could be longer and deeper.

 

Initially, there were posts on this forum that plausibly suggested that there would be no great disruption. I was hoping that that would be so. As conditions changed, it has been upsetting to read the concerns and worries of passengers who should have been eagerly anticipating their upcoming cruises. I hope the change in cancellation policy largely meets their needs and relieves their anxieties

 

Personally, since we fall into the group that is most at risk,  it is difficult to see how we will back cruising before a viable and effective vaccine is available. Perhaps there are a significant number of Azamara cruisers in the same disappointing position.

We will also reflect carefully upon our travel insurance needs. On the other hand, it's important for us to keep this disappointment in perspective.

 

.But, to reiterate, It's fine to criticize a corporation on their decision-making process. In my view, Richard Fain and his executives should be the focus of those complaints, not the Comms Officer assigned to this forum.

 

 

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2 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

We have a Chief Blogging Officer here who has been noticeably absent from discussions and queries on the direct impact of Covid-19, except for giving stock answers from the pages of Royal Caribbean.  

Phil, I apologize for my silence during this stressful time. I was not/am not privy to the discussions that happen at the highest level, and since this is a situation like none I’ve seen in my 34-years in the industry I couldn’t speculate to answer the multitude of honest heartfelt questions. Rest assured I shared the comments, concerns and angst expressed on this forum with management.

With the new Cruise with Confidence policy there is a path forward and I shall strive to answer questions to the best of my abilities.

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9 hours ago, vana said:

Simple words... but now we can make our own decisions based on our level of comfort with the situation.

We will probably cancel, but we will be back!...

 

Thank you Vana ❤️ 

Your kind words are appreciated.

We hope you’ll be back soon...we will be waiting for you. 

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The delay in communicated created an awful vacuum which was so unhelpful.  There should be a lot of lessons learned by everyone in Azamara who have a communication role.  It was a golden opportunity to retain and enhance goodwill and, due to the delays, they blew it for so many people.  I could not believe that Richard Fain's video was not shared officially on this forum or some other communication issued.  Thats how Azamara used to operate here.

 

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53 minutes ago, BBMacLaird said:

Phil, I apologize for my silence during this stressful time. I was not/am not privy to the discussions that happen at the highest level, and since this is a situation like none I’ve seen in my 34-years in the industry I couldn’t speculate to answer the multitude of honest heartfelt questions. Rest assured I shared the comments, concerns and angst expressed on this forum with management.

With the new Cruise with Confidence policy there is a path forward and I shall strive to answer questions to the best of my abilities.

Bonnie, I appreciate that you are the messenger and have no wish to take shots at you for that.  You are in a difficult position in a fast moving situation. I do however feel that perhaps a statement here to say that you are limited in what you can find out and are doing exactly as you now said you are doing (passing comments to management). Dare I suggest it would have been good to receive something from them. Where have they been?  

 

Communication and decisions from top Azamara executives like Larry Pimentel was regular here (remembering the fire on Quest). I no longer see that.  It's a pity. It could have really helped. 

 

Phil 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, uktog said:

The delay in communicated created an awful vacuum which was so unhelpful.  There should be a lot of lessons learned by everyone in Azamara who have a communication role.  It was a golden opportunity to retain and enhance goodwill and, due to the delays, they blew it for so many people.  I could not believe that Richard Fain's video was not shared officially on this forum or some other communication issued.  Thats how Azamara used to operate here.

 

 

I agree it might have been a good idea.

 

However, who was Fain's intended audience? There was a suggestion that the audience might have been travel professionals.

And how quickly would it have been dismissed here as "corporate boilerplate"?

 

We will certainly agree that Fain should have personally reached out to cruisers who have sailed or propose to sail on RCI ships. He is the responsible spokesman for the corporation.

 

In the long run, there may be larger problems than communications.

 

The Canadian Chief Health Officer has now advised older people, and those with health issues, should not go on cruises.

 

It may take a long time for that advice to be forgotten.

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I think it’s very unfair to ‘have a go’ at Bonnie. She can only tell us what she knows and has done so. She can’t answer questions about future itinerary changes, when decisions haven’t been made, she can’t tell us about cancellation policies until they change. She can feed people’s views up the chain, and is doing so.

 

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Look at Seabourn and Crystal boards and you will see the same complaints about slow and poor communications and confusing refund policies. What is happening is unprecedented and rapidly changing so AZ is no worse or better than many of the other lines at responding. You are judged by the competition.

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I am now concerned about the crew members that Azamara employs.  What kind of screening are they getting?  What countries are they coming from?  What happens to the cruise if one person tests positive while out at sea?  

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