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uktog

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Posts posted by uktog

  1. 7 hours ago, Sidney68 said:

    I am sorry to say that the service has deteriorated significantly. I have tried to give leeway to accommodate the change in passenger numbers but it is so dramatic I need highlight. Lunchtime in emporium I waited 15 mins to get a glass  of water - in the end I had the go up to the maitre D and ask if there was any service down our end of the restaurant? In the end he himself had to serve us. Empty plates were not removed and the whole experience resembled a very bad all inclusive buffet concept. Tonight, the restaurant still managed a good level of service but go into Explorer lounge and Journey’s lounge before and after dinner oh dear, what a change. We ordered drinks in a nearly empty explorer lounge before dinner and had to chase after 15 mins as our drinks hadn’t arrived, I don’t think they had clean glasses… In journeys lounge they were more interested in collecting dirty glasses from the previous show than taking new drinks orders. How things change! I really am trying so hard to not find fault but the change is so dramatic it is hard not to . 

     

    As reported by other posters previously the evening entertainment needs work. The two singers have great voices but hearing similar songs night after night is repetitive! Overlay that on a two week cycle so that we are now on repeat of our first week and boy I am ready to scream! 

    Not good. Hope it picks up. I must admit I didn’t like the singers at all in November and was hoping for an improvement as we have realised our next 14 night cruise is 2x7 cruises (it was sold as a 14). I will be climbing the wall if it’s the same very average two in September. Only two singers is never going to work. They need to wise up on that one! 

  2. 9 hours ago, English Tim said:

    What I particularly noticed today was the lack of consideration for other people, by getting the best vantage point and not worrying whether you are blocking someone else’s view, but there is so much space on the ship that is easy to go and find somewhere else to be.

     

    The dealbreaker for me could be the brand of champagne when they advertise well-known brands and then deliver whatever they consider okay?

    Packing a ship with ill mannered free loaders is what would put me off booking beyond our current commitments.
     

    I can’t get excited about whether they serve brand x or y alcohol. I bet in blind tasting many cannot tell the difference so I won’t let label snobbery influence my decision. In all our bookings I cannot see the brand of champagne mentioned, I always take marketing blurb with a pinch of salt anyway, switches of brands happen on all lines from time to time. 

  3. 1 hour ago, carfla7 said:

    Thanks for all these comments. The provision of a shuttle was a major plus for us. It just made visiting a port so much easier. Cost cutting I guess - but ill-advised if they want to maintain the “luxury” feel.

    Or more active local taxi unions?

  4. I understood in Tenerife the local taxi union had objected to the provision of shuttles. This is becoming more prevalent in ports since the pandemic as taxi drivers try and regain their markets. 
     

    Azamara always links in with the port authority for the provision of shuttles where permitted. Sometimes this connection is more visible than others. Even if the port appears to be providing the shuttle its cost is wrapped up in the port fees. 

  5. 9 minutes ago, blag said:

    In my case, I selected a no-cost option (add-on) direct with Azamara.

    I booked the cruise whilst on board, transferred it to my TA. I subsequently booked the no-cost option myself, independently, and Azamara confirmed it (at zero cost) in their invoice, which was presented to me by my TA.

    I fail to see how this was not 'set up by the guest'. 

     

    You don’t have a packaged bundle which is what I was referring to. These can’t be booked onboard and an onboard booking can’t be transferred into a bundle. A bundle usually has flights, cruise, possibly some hotels, transfers or even one excursion arranged by the agent. 

  6. 15 minutes ago, blag said:

    But, what happens if Azamara have included something (and is reneging, as in my case) but the TA has not specifically included these?

    In the case of excursions and other add-ons I have dealt direct with Azamara, either in person whilst onboard, or via the Azamara online interface. In fact, AFAIK this seems to be the conventional protocol. 

     @DavyWavey70 may be contending with with a similar situation. 

    It’s a bundled package @Riocca explained before, the rules relating to them are different. By creating a package holiday whilst it gives restrictions it also has other advantages. All no cost  inclusions are via the packaged product and aren’t set up by the guest. 
    There are a couple of large UK internet based agencies who create packaged bundles and attract guests with what looks like a fantastic deal but my previous experience with one is they come unstuck if adjustments are needed 

    Whatever has happened here, accusing people of lying without giving all the specifics is uncalled for and the only person who can resolve this is the travel agent 

     

    Mistakes do not equal lies 

    • Like 4
  7. 8 minutes ago, DavyWavey70 said:

    Yes it’s all in the confirmation.

     

    Sorry, my wording was sloppy. It was the Azamara agent that’s been lying to me, not my TA. 

    And to repeat the agent may have made a mistake, accusing someone of lying implies a deliberate act to deceive you - I suspect your evidence on that claim would not stack up. Why would they deliberately be trying to deceive customers given how precise and demanding UK consumer legislation is?

    I fully recognise a mistake may have been made, perhaps just as you have done, wording has been sloppy.  Things may not be correct on the IT record - but that is not deceit.  

    The only mistake from what you have told us that I can see is that the Azamara agent spoke to you - you should have been told to route your call through your travel agent.  That is what you should be doing now and there are well established routes for UK agents, particularly those who do bundled packages as you have bought, to escalate items to Azamara.

    • Like 4
    • Thanks 1
  8. I would also add that July/August can be really tricky wind conditions even on a nice day.  Azamaras docking position in Leith has a big advantage for guests re accessibility however it’s one of the trickiest entries for Captains through a tidal lock so only two chances a day and not an option if the wind gets up.  Between The Open and the Tattoo in July/August several cruises have had issues over the years (I also remember one in 2015 getting stuck in the port for an extra two days). 
    In many ways now we have the tram network extension Vikings tender spot coming into Newhaven is better because it’s more reliable. 
    If your overnight has a risk of being ex Rosyth I would look at hotel options though they will be crazy priced. If you can accept basic just as a spot to sleep look for something like the Ibis at the Gyle. It’s on the tram line (opposite end to Leith) so getting back to the hotel will be relatively easy and if you want to head back to the ship from the hotel next morning it’s a five minute walk to the train station for the route heading back to Inverkeithing (for Rosyth). 

    • Like 1
  9. I have upgraded my package via my agent no problem. What was your agents reason for declining to do it?

    Im not defending the agent who has upset you but people make mistakes- they and the company are not dishonest they just make mistakes. 
    I hope you can put this issue behind you - it will get resolved- before you board otherwise you’re going to not enjoy your cruise. 

    • Like 3
  10. 1 minute ago, MVPinBoynton said:

    I just saw this thread and checked what our June 19 cruise is doing.  It is being done both on ship or off ship in Kotor.  With it being a tender port, we were surprised they were having an off ship AzAmazing evening.  It will be interesting to see how they do it. 

    Azamara often docks in Kotor. They might be moving to dock once another vessel leaves in the evening if they are tendering in the day. 
    But my guess if the website is showing both it’s in transition to being an on ship event- but anything is possible! 

  11. 33 minutes ago, duquephart said:

     

    Limited experience/small sample size but I have noted tip lines turning up on hand held devices in places they were previously absent - Scandanavia, the Baltic & Iceland come to mind. I do not believe this phenomena is due to the locals suddenly changing their habits.

    Unfortunately companies are using US based software to handle transactions and from what I understand from someone in the trade it’s impossible to disable that part. 
     

    To infer as another poster did that failure to hand over $5 when passing a bag over at embarkation will lead to it going missing is an insult to the port staff. The poster is actually inferring that those in that role in the port here are cheats and thieves and not the hardworking people they are. 

    • Like 3
  12. I found the level of customer service far far higher in Japan recently than on my trip immediately prior to the US. No tipping brings about a very different culture. 
    It’s very easy to bring gifts they love. It’s not about going out shopping once there. It’s not about you making yourself feel “good” by sharing your money or buying them what you think they need. It’s about saying thank you not about paying yhrm off. 
    We have a rather naughty traditional sweet - tablet. Going to Japan I wrapped individual bars in nice paper (tartan actually but it could be anything) with a matching thank you tag. The recipients were all delighted and no offence was caused. 
    On our extension in Europe (where unlike the US there are generous minimum wage regulations) I may follow the $10 a day suggestion provided I see evidence of someone doing more than just the basics of their job. 

  13. 4 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

    She's been the CEO for how many days now?  She's the CEO, not a Wizard who can wave a magic wand!  Give her a break!

    That’s as maybe however it’s not the best way of giving out a message when the CEO is actively giving a very different picture. Why was this old canned text (we’ve seen it before) not prefaced by “we are committed to holding as many off ship as possible but for your cruise we have not been able to secure an appropriate venue.”
    Everyone is watching what she’s saying and hearing a possible new better time ahead but it seems like others in the organisation are ploughing on with their old ways regardless. 
    Dondra has a lot of back office heads she needs to bang together! 

    • Like 4
  14. 1 minute ago, excitedofharpenden said:

    I totally agree. It just goes too far. Like one is trying to prove one's superior knowledge. And that chart is completely irrelevant as far as Azamara's market position goes. 

     

    Phil 

    Agree to be clear I’m only talking about adding a generic premium mixer to the package not a number of alternatives. As I say that wheel is clever marketing- just like the clever marketing Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich did to buy into the US whisky market when other better options were around 

    • Like 2
  15. 22 minutes ago, Riocca said:

    This is clearly a Travel Agent package and will be subject to their terms and condition, obviously we can’t know which agent although I could guess. I know that at least one agent who if any changes are made by the customer to any aspect of the booking the booking is automatically cancelled. Biggest error in this is that the Azamara agent actually talked about the cruise aspect of the booking with the customer, they used to refuse point blank to talk about any TA bookings referring the customer back to their agent, I know it used to annoy people but there was a good reason for it.

    I’m sure many on here are aware of my opinion of U.K. travel agents following some of their antics during the pandemic. However I see advertisements almost daily for cruise packages that are clearly holidays packaged by the agency but made to look like a cruise line package.

    It’s simple in the U.K. if you book anything with a travel agent then you must only contact them regarding any aspect of that booking as they under U.K. legislation are the ones responsible for that booking.

    And within the Travel Agency in this case it’s not the operative you deal with but the team that manages the product creation of the “package bundles” you need to escalate to 

    • Like 1
  16. 6 minutes ago, laurieb said:

    Never occurred to me that a different tonic water would make a difference. Thanks for sharing!

    That wheel picture is a clever marketing ploy by Fever Tree do you carry lots of random bottles home from the shop.  Flavoured tonics do work if you’re very particular about tastes or if you’re working with a craft gin - Azamara is not!  It’s certainly useful to know the combinations for at home drinking but to be fair on ship they could probably only stock a premium generic tonic. 

    For the last two years I’ve been giving feedback to Azamara to add the premium mixers to the Ultimate package as they have done for the waters but never had an acknowledgment of the comment (indeed one hotel director who I know claims he is a g and t drinker was very dismissive of the suggestion so I doubt it went any higher!). I will try again. 

  17. 45 minutes ago, DavyWavey70 said:

    They really have been trying. Like I said, we are 2 months in now and I’m still no closer to getting things sorted.

    Your travel agent has a business manager at Azamara UK and should be escalating things to them. It will confuse things if you are also calling in as different call centre agents will be doing things to your booking and that’s probably where issues are arising. 
    It’s not ideal and there are certainly IT issues which the new CEO fully acknowledges but as it looks like you aren’t sailing for a few months I’d back off Azamara and keep checking in with your travel agent. Under UK agency rules that’s the correct route. 

    • Like 5
  18. I’d like to see a role that was akin to the original information officer which focussed on facts and had a route in to informed sources of information so could clarify issues quickly. His route for information was often direct to the ships captain. 

    Whilst a blogging officer was nice this role was only plugged in to marketing and couldn’t answer many questions (I’m not meaning questions about individual bookings more questions like clarification of port information, details on specific shorex etc). The other problem was some of the blogs they were directed to post came direct from marketing and were factually inaccurate (I still wince at the garbage spun about Edinburgh). As a result the blogging officer could come over as ill informed. 

     

    So I would certainly welcome a conduit if Cruise Critic is still a key part of their communication strategy (maybe it’s not, maybe it’s Facebook twitter and instagram who knows) but please can it be a fully plugged in information officer. 

  19. We use Touchnote when we are away using our own  photos to make the cards.  They get printed and posted in your own country so arrive in a few days. Unless the recipient is a stamp collector it’s the simplest thing to do 

    • Like 1
  20. 12 minutes ago, cruisemasti said:

    Sailing first time on Azamara.  Have few questions.  Do they provide transportation on the cruise ports from the pier?  Is it free?  

    If the port authorities permit it and the town is not in immediate walking distance Azamara provides shuttles free of charge

    There is lots of additional information that might help you in the thread Tips for Azamara Newbies 

    • Like 1
  21. 1 hour ago, Cjohns16 said:

    Is there a 2024 Azamara cruise app? If I start on my Android smartphone the old app, it tells me to update the app but in Google play  there isn't an update?

     

    To be more precise,  one which works before I join the Azamara cruise.

    Nope there’s not one 

    • Thanks 1
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