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What to change in the "new" Azamara?


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8 hours ago, Bloodaxe said:

 

Many years ago Azamara called at the Greek Island of Chois, they closed off the road and we docked right in the center of the town, not seen that on a itinerary since.

On the same cruise we also called at some less frequented ports in Turkey.

 

If the "new" Azamara wants a unique port to offer, I would strongly recommend a call in Chios.

 

Bloodaxe, we too go back a long way with Azamara.😃  So perhaps we were on the same Athens to Rome 14 night Black Sea cruise on June 14, 2009.  Chios was a 9 hour call between Istanbul and Kusadasi. And we had an incredible time.  Because Chios is so small, it felt like we were visiting people going about their daily lives rather than waiting for the next mega cruise ship to arrive. There was a great deal of work being done on historical restoration. A highlight of our time ashore was visiting Pyrgi, a Medieval village best known for its black-and-white decorated houses. Local people seemed happy to see us and we were greeted with smiles. This island isn't set up mass tourism.

 

Silversea, Regent, and Star Clipper are the only cruise lines scheduled to call there right now.

 

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Ours was a Ancient Empires cruise in October of 2008 but we also visited the village of Pyrgi.

I fully agree with all your comments, at the  risk of being accused of repeating myself they were the best days of Azamara.

 

Edited by Bloodaxe
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10 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I'm sure they will continue the local food provisioning where possible. It's a nice touch and keeps a good rapport with the local economy. I remember that Sanary Sur Mare was delighted to see Journey because they bought a lot of fish. I also remember going out with the chef to the local Chania market to shop, with the same result. 

 

Going out to purchase some local food for the evening for the chef to cook with is quite a bit different to buying wines. There is no way of knowing the quality of the wine bought. You could end up with bottles that nobody likes. Not to mention the storage and provisioning issues. Aside from the fact that there is no limit to how much wine you can bring on (within reason and having regard to its storage) so if you really want some local wine then nothing to stop you buying what you really like yourself. 

 

Phil 

 

This is not from an Azamara cruise but it gives you an idea of what cruise lines can do if they use smaller ships and give the captain a bit of flexibility.  Azamara used to do that.  We will see if they go back to doing it. 

 

A bunch of years ago, we did the Voyage of the Vikings on HAL's Maasdam which I believe held about 1200 passengers.  We were at one of the ports in  Greenland which was a tender port.  Coming back to the ship, there were several crew members with some very large containers of very fresh caught fish.  We asked them what the fish was for and they said that it was for our dinner for the next night.  This is the type of thing that the new Azamara could do to keep their passenger base.  It is something that the oversized monstrosities that most of the cruise lines are now sailing couldn't do in a million years.  

 

I would like to continue cruising on Azamara but they have to do staff that will want me to come back.

 

DON

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2 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I'd certainly like them to continue the theme of removing the casino on Journey and replacing it with The Den as per the other ships as I missed this area a lot last cruise. Along with the relocation of Shorex and LCV desks. Hopefully ship four will do this too. 

 

Phil 

We used the Den a lot on our last Azamara cruise on Quest.  I loved it.  Not keen on the casinos on any ships to be honest.  

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2 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

This is not from an Azamara cruise but it gives you an idea of what cruise lines can do if they use smaller ships and give the captain a bit of flexibility.  Azamara used to do that.  We will see if they go back to doing it. 

 

A bunch of years ago, we did the Voyage of the Vikings on HAL's Maasdam which I believe held about 1200 passengers.  We were at one of the ports in  Greenland which was a tender port.  Coming back to the ship, there were several crew members with some very large containers of very fresh caught fish.  We asked them what the fish was for and they said that it was for our dinner for the next night.  This is the type of thing that the new Azamara could do to keep their passenger base.  It is something that the oversized monstrosities that most of the cruise lines are now sailing couldn't do in a million years.  

 

I would like to continue cruising on Azamara but they have to do staff that will want me to come back.

 

DON

Azamara have done exactly that in the past, fishing from the ship on a Norway cruise and serving it up in the dining room

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My comment about sourcing wine locally was based on Azamara's response to the demands for FeverTree tonic:  'it isn't available globally.'  That told me RCG was handling that aspect of the provisioning.  I know they have often purchased fresh food locally [they fished for cod on our Norway cruise, and bought lovely fresh raspberries from a local farmer].  I think they should be able to obtain French wine cheaply from a reputable French supplier [not a corner wine store], Italian, Spanish, etc. and have a skid delivered to the dock.  [Full disclosure:  I have no experience provisioning a cruise ship.  But in my career in a NYS agency I was well aware that we could get supplies locally at better prices than the 'state contract' that we were forced to use.  There were policy reasons behind those rules – preventing fraud – but if you are freed from that sort of mega-corporation issue and trust your people then you can get more for less.]

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On 2/22/2021 at 7:42 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

That was very difficult with RCG Miami-based provisioning, but should be easier now for an independent Azamara.  Each border-crossing day should involve wine deliveries from the host country.

Let’s hope!

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When it comes to provisioning it could be a double edged sword.  The flexibility to get more local wines, cheeses, seafood is a plus but the lose of the economies of scale provided by RCG on on staples may  increase the overall operating cost.

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16 hours ago, docruth said:

I’m wondering what the options are for passengers already booked on future AZ cruises

 

I’d personally like the option as to whether I’d like to keep my booking with the new owner, or cancel 

 

I’m ready to give the new owners a chance, but I don’t want to cruise outside the RCL family now

 

Just have to wait and see.

If it were me then I would not cancel purely based upon the ownership of Azamara. Unless of course there is a material change in the product. It's been made clear by the new owners that the things that make Azamara special will remain, including the crew. So I would have no reason to cancel.

 

As it happens I have no Azamara cruises booked at all at the moment which is very unusual. That's driven more by the present uncertainty I have for cruising in general, not the plans with Sycamore. When I'm ready I'll be back and the fact that RCG will no longer be in control?  I've mixed feelings. Sad that it's coming to an end, but for some time now I've felt Azamara to be the poor child of that group. Maybe this change will enable them to spread their wings a little. Time will tell. 

 

Phil 

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Things I would like would be 

1: Return of harpist.

It just gave a bit of class to wherever they played.

I equally realise that this will not happen.

 

2: Return of proper cheese board/trolley in Speciality diing venues.

To pretend thar the standard cheeses are "artisan" is more than a breach of the Trades Description act .

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24 minutes ago, procter said:

Things I would like would be 

1: Return of harpist.

It just gave a bit of class to wherever they played.

I equally realise that this will not happen.

 

2: Return of proper cheese board/trolley in Speciality diing venues.

To pretend thar the standard cheeses are "artisan" is more than a breach of the Trades Description act .

On Journey, they were offering a 'proper" cheese trolley as you call it in September 2019.  The choices of french cheeses was wonderful and was certainly artisan.  They did not have it in November 2019 once they got to the Caribbean - hardly surprising.  

I think the problem with harpists is they need musicians who can support other venues and events and harpists cannot.  Harpists are I think from a previous era and whilst nice, arent the game changers for the current typical Azamara cruiser. 

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43 minutes ago, uktog said:

On Journey, they were offering a 'proper" cheese trolley as you call it in September 2019.  The choices of french cheeses was wonderful and was certainly artisan.  They did not have it in November 2019 once they got to the Caribbean - hardly surprising.  

I think the problem with harpists is they need musicians who can support other venues and events and harpists cannot.  Harpists are I think from a previous era and whilst nice, arent the game changers for the current typical Azamara cruiser. 


In one of his presentations, CD Eric discussed the debate surrounding the harpists who required a separate cabin on board when there were perceived needs to add other staff members.

 

In our experience, Mary was exceptional in her role as harpist but others less so,

 

Perhaps, like the dancers, she could join the crew for specific voyages. 

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On 2/22/2021 at 8:19 PM, ECCruise said:

Back in the early days of Azamara's birth (probably when it was part of =X=) they had planned to turn the library into a bar.

That proposal, thankfully, was deep sixed.

I don't think we need a 3rd Specialty on a ~700 pax ship.

You know ECCruise?  I hope we get to meet on a future cruise. Some people on this board I never agree with, some I do occasionally and others mostly always. You are one of the latter and you say it how it is. 

 

The library is used for a number of functions other than a reading room. I've been to religious services there, vow renewal ceremonies and they also use it for the special Best of the Best meals each cruise amongst other things. Not least Cruise Critic gatherings if the numbers aren't huge.  I often walk past with a "Special Function" sign outside and the room can be curtain divided In two. Definitely leave the library as is.  

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden
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My husband and I wish they would go back to doing in person port talks rather than the recorded sessions so that people can ask questions. We’d also like a return to an early and late evening show. Many times we miss the show because we’re still at dinner.

 

Diana

Edited by wjfan417
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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

You know ECCruise?  I hope we get to meet on a future cruise. Some people on this board I never agree with, some I do occasionally and others mostly always. You are one of the latter and you say it how it is. 

 

The library is used for a number of functions other than a reading room. I've been to religious services there, vow renewal ceremonies and they also use it for the special Best of the Best meals each cruise amongst other things. Not least Cruise Critic gatherings if the numbers aren't huge.  I often walk past with a "Special Function" sign outside and the room can be curtain divided In two. Definitely leave the library as is.  

 

Phil 

What is the Best of the Best meal?

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

The library is used for a number of functions other than a reading room.

 

Phil 

I'd add to your list that the library has been the place where a certain concert pianist (with whom we're both acquainted) frequently spent an hour playing in the morning.  Anyone who happened to wander into the library enjoyed delightful classical music played by a professional. (He was a passenger, not a guest entertainer.)

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3 minutes ago, tgg said:

I'd add to your list that the library has been the place where a certain concert pianist (with whom we're both acquainted) frequently spent an hour playing in the morning.  Anyone who happened to wander into the library enjoyed delightful classical music played by a professional. (He was a passenger, not a guest entertainer.)

Yes indeed!  Every time I hear certain pieces of music I think of sea day morning recitals🎹

 

Phil 

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OK, I will do a summary of comments in a while. Just letting the thread spin for a while. Be aware if you wander too far off topic, then the thread might look hijacked,- digress only SO far.

I would like to suggest another improvement. Let's face it, most things we want here are improvements, not necessarily changes, so to speak. What do you think of when I say Ship WIFI?  My first thought is a very slow and often unusable WIFI which certainly would be a huge problem if I needed it for work. Sometimes OK and sometimes NOT. Unreliable. 
I urge Azamara to upgrade all ships to another standard regarding WIFI ASAP. It is feasable. The cost is bearable. Make it a goal to do it in the next dry dock for all ships.

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Phil mentioned Eric.   Oct 2019 we did 2 cruises, b2b on Journey.  On the 1st, Liz sang  along with Eric during his show.  On the second, in the M&M, he recognized her as the lady who joined him in song.  He said, "I have something special planned for you tonight."    Liz is 4'10"  to Eric's(self described) 5'16".  At one point she felt like she was going to fall- the stool had. no handles, and grabbed for something to hold onto.   It was Eric's knee.  He took her hand away "This is not that kind of show, dear."  I didn't  get a picture that night, but see last pic.

PA200286.JPG

PA200287.JPG

Azamara Azamazing evening 10-21-190001.jpg

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On 2/24/2021 at 9:28 AM, excitedofharpenden said:

You know ECCruise?  I hope we get to meet on a future cruise. Some people on this board I never agree with, some I do occasionally and others mostly always. You are one of the latter and you say it how it is. 

 

The library is used for a number of functions other than a reading room. I've been to religious services there, vow renewal ceremonies and they also use it for the special Best of the Best meals each cruise amongst other things. Not least Cruise Critic gatherings if the numbers aren't huge.  I often walk past with a "Special Function" sign outside and the room can be curtain divided In two. Definitely leave the library as is.  

 

Phil 

Thanks for the kind words, Phil.

Yes, hopefully some time in the future we get to meet and share stories on an Azamara sailing!

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14 hours ago, Tom47 said:

Phil mentioned Eric.   Oct 2019 we did 2 cruises, b2b on Journey.  On the 1st, Liz sang  along with Eric during his show.  On the second, in the M&M, he recognized her as the lady who joined him in song.  He said, "I have something special planned for you tonight."    Liz is 4'10"  to Eric's(self described) 5'16".  At one point she felt like she was going to fall- the stool had. no handles, and grabbed for something to hold onto.   It was Eric's knee.  He took her hand away "This is not that kind of show, dear."  I didn't  get a picture that night, but see last pic.

PA200286.JPG

PA200287.JPG

Azamara Azamazing evening 10-21-190001.jpg

•Pic to show contrast.  Three people came to Liz after the show and told her that they enjoyed her performance.  Song was "Surrey with  Fringe on Top"

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On 2/22/2021 at 12:44 PM, marinaro44 said:

Dislike the idea of glass doors in a small shower.  Don't mind the shower curtain at all.  Not a big deal.

While showering, I love to be wrapped around by dirty slimy soapy plastic substance.  Simply, divine!

Edited by kirtihk
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1 minute ago, kirtihk said:

While showering, I love to be wrapped around by dirty slimy soapy plastic substance.  Simply, devine!

I've never experienced anything like what you so smarmily describe. If it's such an issue for you, simply cruise another line.  I won't be at all disappointed.

 

And it's "divine," or were you referring to a former Packer head coach.

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