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BBMacLaird

Pursuit's unexpected 27-day cruise to remember!

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Thanks for posting the link, Bonnie. I’ve been following the Pursuit cruise on Cruise Critic as I know 4 people who were onboard. All of them, and many others, have posted in similar terms, as have others onboard. It’s great to hear how hard Captain Carl & his crew worked to make sure everyone had a great time that was as stress free as was possible, given the uncertainty present for much of the latter part of the cruise.

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Tony who was the cruise director and is absolutely wonderful was also on the ship that was attacked by pirates.  Maybe he is just bad luck.

 

Just kidding of course.  Tony and especially when Tony is on board w his wife is one of the best cruise directors in the business.  I am sure that he did his best and succeeded in making the Pursuit's extended voyage as good an experience as it could be.

 

If possible, please pass this message to him.

 

DON

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Posted (edited)

Let me start by saying that Captain Carl is absolutely amazing and that every Azamara crew I’ve sailed with has been outstanding. The onboard teams are what sets Azamara apart and why we keep returning. 
 

That said, when South American countries suddenly closed their ports, many ships got “trapped” and ended up making the long journey to either California or Florida. Some, like Pursuit, fortunate that nobody on board got sick but others less lucky. Zaandam’s horror journey comes to mind. And as I type this I still have friends trapped on a ship floating near Montevideo, confined to their cabins for the 11th day and counting, desperate for help and desperate to get home. 
 

My point is - now is not the time to use a story like this for marketing purposes. Pursuit could easily have been Zaandam. 

Edited by florisdekort

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I agree Floris, I thought this and some of the posts by managers on Facebook to be tasteless.  I have no issue with guests posting their experiences here but this dreadful situation is not an appropriate marketing subject.  And it was as you say luck that played a big part.
At a time when we have deaths amongst our cruising family, much more sensitivity is needed.  

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I am sorry for everyone who is ill or has died, and especially sorry for their bereaved families.  Unfortunately, people die every day, often in incredibly sad circumstances, usually totally unrelated to Coronavirus, people I know and love among them.  We took all the recommended precautions on our trip home, we are self-quarantining for 14 days, and staying home except for absolute necessities after that.  We are being as responsible as possible.  But I can’t refuse to be thankful that we returned unscathed (as far as we can tell yet) or refuse to be joyful about the friends we made and the experiences we had.  A large part of that gratitude and joy is to Azamara’s credit.  At a time when cruise lines are currently getting the blame for so many things, I’m pleased to give Azamara the full credit they deserve, and loudly.

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Bonnie

Thank you for the post. It was nice to read something positive during theses difficult days. 
Brian

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That the crew behaved fantastically to look after everyone (as they always do) is not disputed, but there's another time for Azamara to roll out the PR, especially when there are other cruise ships still out there in trouble. Not to mention Azamara's parent company with their newest ship with a lot of the crew currently testing positive for Covid-19.  And that hasn't even sailed with guests on it yet. 

 

Insensitive. Azamara don't seem to be able to get the communication right at the moment. 

 

Phil 

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Oh and Floris, I should have said I hope your friends are able to get home and safe soon. I guess it's the Greg Mortimer. Awful. I have friends just back from Maasdam. No Covid-19 onboard, but it was such a trial for them to get home to the UK. 

 

Phil 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Oh and Floris, I should have said I hope your friends are able to get home and safe soon. I guess it's the Greg Mortimer. Awful. I have friends just back from Maasdam. No Covid-19 onboard, but it was such a trial for them to get home to the UK. 

 

Phil 


Thank you Phil. Yes it is. They’ve had a wonderful cruise until passengers started getting sick. Uruguay is refusing to let them disembark; they’ve been floating offshore Montevideo for about 10 days now with everyone confined to their cabins. Apparently the Staff Captain, Chief Engineer and First Officer are all sick so it’s getting pretty dire on board. 

Edited by florisdekort

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18 minutes ago, florisdekort said:


Thank you Phil. Yes it is. They’ve had a wonderful cruise until passengers started getting sick. Uruguay is refusing to let them disembark; they’ve been floating offshore Montevideo for about 10 days now with everyone confined to their cabins. Apparently the Staff Captain, Chief Engineer and First Officer are all sick so it’s getting pretty dire on board. 


That’s terrible!  I hope they can resolve the situation soon.

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That other ships are still having difficulty doesn't detract from the efforts of the crew of the Pursuit to end its cruise safely and ensure the passengers' return to their home countries. I was looking forward to sailing on Pursuit next month (which probably won't happen), and I was impressed by this story. And that Azamara tells it matters not to me.

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I understand that there is deep concern about a number of ships facing extremely serious challenges and even mortality. I can’t imagine how worried one would be if you had personal friends/family on board.
 

At the same time, I had been following the progress of Pursuit on Twitter, and had a great sense of relief when they finally reached Miami. That the ship’s staff and passengers seemingly remained in good spirits was a tribute to them given the unknowables they faced. And kudos to the officers at Miami who had to change ports and itineraries on the fly while provisioning the ship.


Was it wrong to feel happy that the cruise ended on a positive note? And I appreciated hearing from those who were on board.

 

And yet, I can still empathize with those whose cruise may end in much worse circumstances, and those who are on shore awaiting the return of those on board. As I did for Pursuit, I hope for the best possible ending to their travails.

 

This may well be a long season of sadness, relief, happiness and even despair. Let’s enjoy one story that ended well.

 

 

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A nice article in The Telegraph on 4/8/20.

Here's the bit about our Pursuit:

 

Transiting the Panama Canal is a bucket-list moment for many cruisers, but when passengers boarded the Azamara Pursuit in Buenos Aires on March 2, little did they know they would soon be navigating the famous locks on an unscheduled repatriation voyage. 

With its 21-day South American itinerary adjusted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ship headed to Chile to disembark, but was refused entry on arrival and subsequently diverted to Miami via the Panama Canal, adding an additional 18 straight sea days and 8,000 nautical miles to the sailing.

With the ship infection-free and its 684 guests enjoying the distractions of a cruise that was operating as normally as possible while the world gradually closed down, Captain Carl Smith, his officers and crew worked tirelessly and in good humour. 

While at anchor off Valparaiso, they formed a human chain to get provisions onboard ‘The Happy Boat’, as guests had unofficially christened it, and disinfected the goods immediately.

On arrival in Miami, Azamara then chartered an American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER to fly around 250 European passengers and crew to London Heathrow. 

“After 18 days at sea, booking flights and then cancelling them because Chile wouldn’t let us disembark and then not being able to book anything from Miami it was a rollercoaster,” said passenger from Bath. 

 

“While I would have done almost anything to stay on board for another month, Azamara has emerged from this situation with shed loads of brownie points, and I cannot wait to cruise with them again.”   

Panama Canal
A Panama Canal transit has been an unexpected treat for some passengers CREDIT: GETTY

 

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I was on the March 2 Pursuit voyage. My glasses aren't rose colored, they are very clear! Our story should be told. I will be sailing with Azamara again.

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There are actually quite a few ships that came through the past month with no Coronavirus on board, and who delivered a great experience to their passengers in very unusual circumstances - many more than the unfortunate ones that have been publicised. I am more than happy to celebrate the good experiences, and look forward to future cruises.  Good news deserves an airing too.  Thank you Bonnie.
 

 

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Were there in this cruise, passengers from Brasil, Argentina or other South American countries? How did they return to their country?

Ivi

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17 hours ago, travelberlin said:

Were there in this cruise, passengers from Brasil, Argentina or other South American countries? How did they return to their country?

Ivi

Chilean citizens were allowed to disembark in Valparaiso. I don’t know specifically about other South American countries, but based on the announcements it sounded like Azamara was arranging flights to get international passengers home. 

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I believe there were two Chilean passengers and four Chilean crew members who were picked up by a "pilot" type boat off the coast of Valparaiso.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your answers. When I was at the Pursuit at the beginning of December, there were many nationals from Brazil and Argentina. This is why I am wondering what happened to them if there were also some on this cruise. They usually do not participate from Cruise Critic. Maybe Bonnie can help us to find out.

Ivi

Edited by travelberlin

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