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I don’t think we need to know it until they announce a resumption of cruising so for me I don’t see it as slow or a problem 

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7 minutes ago, uktog said:

I don’t think we need to know it until they announce a resumption of cruising so for me I don’t see it as slow or a problem 

You have a good point. I guess I am just super anxious to get the show on the road, whatever that show may be.

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58 minutes ago, Travels with Lisa said:

You have a good point. I guess I am just super anxious to get the show on the road, whatever that show may be.

... and however long that road is - so long as it leads us onto an Azamara gangway!

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2 hours ago, Travels with Lisa said:

Is it only me or does it seem that Azamara is dragging it's feet on announcing what their vaccination policy will be?

 

Liz

I agree, and believe they are behind the curve in many aspects of cruise resumption.

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39 minutes ago, hamrag said:

I agree, and believe they are behind the curve in many aspects of cruise resumption.

Why?  What are the many aspects?

Not everyone wants to rush to offer round UK trips?  Sometimes there are huge benefits not being an early adopter. Of course we’d all love them back but if they feel the experience they’d offer to guests isn’t in line with how they want to operate (give you an example only leaving the ship on herded excursions) it makes sense they wait. 
The CEO also was clear in her video that the experience has to be in line with what they want guests to enjoy  and to start guests had to be able to travel to the vessel and not face quarantine- so currently UK and Europe is off limits and no clear end date in sight. I’m sure once international travel opens you will hear a lot from Azamara. 
So, yes it won’t surprise you I’m defending Azamara, but I think you’re being a little harsh. 
However maybe one of your many examples might convince me otherwise 

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I’m not surprised they aren’t jumping into starting up.  With Sycamores recent purchase they should not be under the financial pressure that many of the larger lines are and the cash burn for 3 ships sitting with minimum staffing is nothing compared to the cash being burned every month by the lines with 10+ ships.  
 

I would not be surprised to see another extension of suspension of cruising allowing them to see how the cruises in June on other lines go.  Looking at the July and August itineraries It would not surprise me if changes and shortening to the length of the cruises isn’t being looked at also.

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Also several cruises are to the Black Sea where as well as the pandemic there is increasing political concern. Our previously booked cruises have been cancelled by Azamara and we wonder if September will sail. Many concerns about the number of cases in the area. 

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

Why?  What are the many aspects?

Not everyone wants to rush to offer round UK trips?  Sometimes there are huge benefits not being an early adopter. Of course we’d all love them back but if they feel the experience they’d offer to guests isn’t in line with how they want to operate (give you an example only leaving the ship on herded excursions) it makes sense they wait. 
The CEO also was clear in her video that the experience has to be in line with what they want guests to enjoy  and to start guests had to be able to travel to the vessel and not face quarantine- so currently UK and Europe is off limits and no clear end date in sight. I’m sure once international travel opens you will hear a lot from Azamara. 
So, yes it won’t surprise you I’m defending Azamara, but I think you’re being a little harsh. 
However maybe one of your many examples might convince me otherwise 

I totally agree with you. Rushing to set out start up plans when the pandemic and effects are still evolving makes no sense to me. We are all keen to get back on the ships, but it has to be done properly and with current data. 

 

Phil 

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

Why?  What are the many aspects?....

 

Put simply, they had an opportunity (with their ships currently based in Glasgow) to get one of them up and running around parts of the UK. With some foresight, they'd have realised there was much to trial and learn from by doing such....and that would provide valuable learning going forward to (hopefully) a fuller resumption. 

 

Whilst the UK is currently off limits, as you correctly state, current expectation is that for the main parts of the UK cruising can recommence from May 17th....one month away! With the smaller ships, some attractive ports may have been available that other lines couldn't countenance. You refer to 'herded excursions' so that too would be an opportunity to structure those differently. 

 

Because the CEO is clear in what she wants guests to experience again displays an over cautious outlook at best, and more likely a lack of foresight again. To use your own words in reverse...Axamara could have accrued huge benefits in being an early adopter.

 

What you, anyone else on this thread, or me thinks makes sense or otherwise to us does not alter the fact Azamara are behind the curve and have failed to take an opportunity to get things going again in a 'sheltered environment' with UK citizens on board.....with a clear vaccination policy. 

 

The potential to market their product to a population who are probably largely unaware of their offering appears to have been lost, as I think they have missed the boat.

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Is the Glasgow lay-up actually part of Azamara's problem at this point (since Scotland is staying more tightly locked down than England)?  Granted that there are probably too many round-UK-for-UK-guests-only cruises in the offing.  But there are other opportunities:  e.g., Azamara could consider basing one ship in Iceland for the summer season – but they have to get it there, and how can they get crew into Scotland to do so?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Is the Glasgow lay-up actually part of Azamara's problem at this point (since Scotland is staying more tightly locked down than England)?  Granted that there are probably too many round-UK-for-UK-guests-only cruises in the offing.  But there are other opportunities:  e.g., Azamara could consider basing one ship in Iceland for the summer season – but they have to get it there, and how can they get crew into Scotland to do so?

The roadmap for Scotland is not so far apart from England, and will ultimately align closely. Glasgow is only approximately 500 miles by sea from Southampton, where most of the UK sailings cruiselines will base themselves, and sailing there would not be an issue.

 

But, as you suggest Azamara are much too late as saturation is likely. If Iceland were a possibility, and I have no knowledge in that regard, getting crew to Scotland should be no different from most anywhere else with a period of quarantine no more than 10 days or so.

 

What is needed is an Executive Leadership with the foresight to consider such options, rather than sit back and do nothing. MSC in Europe are leading the way, and already planning to sail in other Northern European areas in addition to the UK sailings.

 

Iceland is an excellent suggestion, we once did a cruise there from Southampton including Belfast and Stornoway on the way there. Iceland has at least four ports available to midsize ships, maybe more for the smaller Azamara vessels. A unique itinerary would be repeat sailings around Iceland on a weekly basis, including a couple of days at sea...or even up to Greenland, if feasible.

 

This is an example of the kind of thinking that Azamara ought to employ! 

Edited by hamrag
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The profitability  of running a reduced capacity trial cruise using a monster MSC vessel is very different to a smaller boutique ship. 

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7 minutes ago, uktog said:

The profitability  of running a reduced capacity trial cruise using a monster MSC vessel is very different to a smaller boutique ship. 

Your previous argument seemed to focus largely on the cruise experience, but now appears to have morphed into one of profitability....and you exhibit disdain for the MSC product.

 

I can assure you categorically that the Yacht Club experience on MSC is streets ahead of Azamara, at broadly similar price points, and is a delightful quiet enclave within what are indeed large ships.

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Reference to profitability was merely a factual example of why start up in smaller vessels is not so straightforward as a large ship. The term monster refers to size (I believe the Virtuosa has capacity of 6300). Unsure how Hamrag equates that statement to an exhibition of disdain. 

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I have no real knowledge of how the profitability plays out, especially if reduced capacity would be reflected in reduced hotel staff – but in support of that idea note that NCLH is starting up only with NCL megaships and is leaving Oceania and Regent completely on ice.  People on the Oceania forum think reputation may also play into the equation:  a successful Oceania sailing wouldn't affect the NCLH bottom line much, but an unsuccessful one would damage Oceania's reputation greatly.  That could also be in play here, as there is already question how the 'new' Azamara will compare to the established product.  They may want to wait [and they have the financial capability to do so] until they are sure they can AzAmaze us again. 😀

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Azamara is a destination focused line and has a multinational cruiser profile and so is very reliant on the airways and ports to widely reopen.  Yes, in the meantime they could put together some “seacation” itineraries to showcase their product to a new audience and UK Azamara cruisers happy to return to sea.

However, I suspect this audience would not be sufficient to sustain a 3 to 4 month program like the mass cruise lines are offering.  Ideally, you would want to seamlessly move from “seacations” to a more normal resumption coinciding with the airways and ports reopening.  Until there is more certainty in these prerequisites, I can see why Azamara have yet to show their hand.

 

Regards
 

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Viking now have 6 "England's Scenic Shores"  starting in May.  3 additional sailings added because the first 3 sold out so quickly. These only available to UK cruisers.  They also have several Iceland's Natural Beauty starting in July.  Strangely I cannot find these cruises on the UK website so perhaps only available to those from the US.  One of our US Viking cruise friends has booked, and I think they are extremely popular.   They also have Bermuda cruises, again probably only for those from the US.

Videos from Vikings owner explaining the protocols onboard, including a laboratory onboard for daily testing of both crew and passengers, have been very reassuring.  As ever Viking seem to be ahead of the game.  With their lovely new uncrowded ships they are in a very good position to restart especially as the first cruises will sail with only 500 passengers apparently.

Still love Azamara and have B2B booked for April 2022 but I do really think they have missed the ball this time, especially with 3 ships in Scotland.

 

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1 minute ago, Mrs Miggins said:

Viking now have 6 "England's Scenic Shores"  starting in May.  3 additional sailings added because the first 3 sold out so quickly. These only available to UK cruisers.  They also have several Iceland's Natural Beauty starting in July.  Strangely I cannot find these cruises on the UK website so perhaps only available to those from the US.  One of our US Viking cruise friends has booked, and I think they are extremely popular.   They also have Bermuda cruises, again probably only for those from the US.

Videos from Vikings owner explaining the protocols onboard, including a laboratory onboard for daily testing of both crew and passengers, have been very reassuring.  As ever Viking seem to be ahead of the game.  With their lovely new uncrowded ships they are in a very good position to restart especially as the first cruises will sail with only 500 passengers apparently.

Still love Azamara and have B2B booked for April 2022 but I do really think they have missed the ball this time, especially with 3 ships in Scotland.

 

I think Viking were hugely helped being slightly larger vessels having the sq footage onboard to set up their onboard laboratory testing capacity.  I’m not sure smaller vessels had that kind of “slack” in their space. 
Time will tell whether the first shall be last and the last shall be first at judgement day,  to paraphrase the good book.  

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28 minutes ago, uktog said:

I think Viking were hugely helped being slightly larger vessels having the sq footage onboard to set up their onboard laboratory testing capacity.  I’m not sure smaller vessels had that kind of “slack” in their space. 
Time will tell whether the first shall be last and the last shall be first at judgement day,  to paraphrase the good book.  

Time will indeed tell, but I would like to bet that Viking will continue to survive and expand.  They just need to introduce some Azamara style itineraries and then would be practically perfect.

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21 minutes ago, royallondon said:

We really enjoy Oceania, but they too have yet to show their hand.  If we add Regent into the mix, I can’t imagine that all 3 lines management are asleep at the helm and missing a trick without sound reason.  

 

That's a fair point, but both Oceania and Regent are owned by NCLH who are trying hard to resume in the next few months. Their strategy is to get some of the Norwegian ships cruising, and to then apply their learning experiences to Oceania and Regent. 

 

Azamara no longer have the might of RCI behind them, and are at risk of being left behind...unlike Viking, who have seen the opportunity to resume in UK waters.

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2 hours ago, royallondon said:

Azamara is a destination focused line and has a multinational cruiser profile and so is very reliant on the airways and ports to widely reopen.  Yes, in the meantime they could put together some “seacation” itineraries to showcase their product to a new audience and UK Azamara cruisers happy to return to sea.

However, I suspect this audience would not be sufficient to sustain a 3 to 4 month program like the mass cruise lines are offering.  Ideally, you would want to seamlessly move from “seacations” to a more normal resumption coinciding with the airways and ports reopening.  Until there is more certainty in these prerequisites, I can see why Azamara have yet to show their hand.

 

Regards
 

Absolutely spot on. Restart is a hugely complex issue. Even more so than the shut down which became more of a mercy dash. 
 

I trust the personnel on the ships at the moment, the likes of Heike, Elizabeth and their whole team to get things right before the off. 
 

Phil 

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Don’t think Azamara or their new owners are missing out on anything, it’s really up to them if they want to join the throngs offerings Seacations. Long term when normal cruises return there will be many customers willing to book especially if they retain the more interesting itineraries.

On a practical note there are plenty of reasons for Azamara not to rush into the fray, currently two of the ships are in cold layup one of which requires a mandatory dry dock before it can carry passengers. The other in warm layup is providing power to the other two, it was said last year that ships in cold layup would take up to two months to be recommissioned. The ships being used by other lines have all, accept the new Viking ship, been sailing around during the lockdown so are ready to go.

From a personal point of view if I want to take a cruise around our fair shores I have plenty of options most of which provide a perfectly satisfactory cruise experience, so I’m not missing Azamara offering another option. That said I actually have no interest in taking one at the moment quite happy to sit 2021 out and hope 2022 brings an element of normality.

 

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7 hours ago, Mrs Miggins said:

Viking now have 6 "England's Scenic Shores"  starting in May.  3 additional sailings added because the first 3 sold out so quickly. These only available to UK cruisers.  They also have several Iceland's Natural Beauty starting in July.  Strangely I cannot find these cruises on the UK website so perhaps only available to those from the US.  One of our US Viking cruise friends has booked, and I think they are extremely popular.   They also have Bermuda cruises, again probably only for those from the US.

Videos from Vikings owner explaining the protocols onboard, including a laboratory onboard for daily testing of both crew and passengers, have been very reassuring.  As ever Viking seem to be ahead of the game.  With their lovely new uncrowded ships they are in a very good position to restart especially as the first cruises will sail with only 500 passengers apparently.

Still love Azamara and have B2B booked for April 2022 but I do really think they have missed the ball this time, especially with 3 ships in Scotland.

 

I looked at Viking’s Iceland cruises since I’m not sure our Azamara August one will happen, and they are sold out. Maybe that’s why they’re not showing up on the UK website?

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