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About Epicureangirl

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Travel, cooking, wine appreciation, home design/decor/architecture, gardening, investing, dahlias!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Often sailing HAL, but excited to be trying Azamara soon!
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South East Asia (Hoi An Vietnam has my heart)

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  1. Hi Nigel, I would have been on the same sailing as you and agree 100%. They were still selling that cruise up until the last minute and telling me NO changes to the itinerary, even when I heard that some ports were closing to ships. When they cancelled on us there were no travel restrictions or pandemic announced, though there was complete chaos for the sailing preceding ours. The only ones who may have been taken care of properly IMO, were those who also booked their air and pre/post bookings directly through Azamara. As for the rest of us ... all I heard was crickets.
  2. Thanks for your post. I'm glad that you came away with positive feelings for how Azamara handled themselves during this difficult time. I was supposed to be on the March 17th sailing, so am one of the affected who feels the ball was dropped. I can see that it was chaos that week. Still, it is not too late for Azamara to try and do better for those on the March sailings (and beyond). I wish Azamara would take back the reigns on the bookings made through travel agencies and try and take care of us. Azamara communicated one type of compensation to us by email, yet another to the travel agency. We now have to go between both to get it sorted what we will actually see back and when. I now know all the hold music and recordings for Expedia, Westjet, British Airways and Costco as I try to salvage some of the land and air portions of that trip. I'm exhausted and in need of a cruise to recuperate!
  3. Not sure why you are quoting me on this. I don't think my quote in any way was saying that my compensation takes precedence over staff losing their income. My comment had nothing to do with the plight of how the staff may be impacted, and I have no information on how the cruise lines will be compensating (or not compensating) their staff. This is strictly on what other companies are doing for their customers. If the customers are not well looked after and do not book future cruises, there will be no jobs in the future. And no, getting back what I paid for the cruise portion is not enough IMO. Not when your sail date is that close. People sailing this week already had air and hotel and tours and kennels booked etc. etc. - bags were literally starting to be packed. If you want to talk about me getting back all that I had paid, I would also be getting another $5,000 for Air & Hotel. That 25% cruise credit, if I were able to use it, does not come to $5,000. It was not a $20,000 cruise (at least not for my cabin).
  4. We were scheduled for an Azamara cruise (owned by RCI) for the 17th out of Dubai. The cruise has been cancelled by Azamara but we already have our air booked and pre and post hotel bookings -- all non refundable. We tried to look at paying the change fee for our flights to go somewhere else, but the prices have gone up 300% so we can't really afford almost $11,000 for 3 persons to rebook. So ultimately we're going to Dubai this weekend, and then heading to Mauritius. Our flights route through Heathrow. These are not countries currently on the WHO 'list', so my biggest risk should be on the plane and passing through the airports. We're pretty much tied to the school schedule for our trips at the moment and already have plans for the Summer, so are going ahead and hope we made the right decision.
  5. You are so right. I was on that sailing to. Right now I am envying the choices been given by Princess cruise lines. 100% cruise credit PLUS 100% refund for our sail date. MUCH MUCH better offer. They have a nice tidy table of what you can choose as compensation depending on our cruise date: https://www.princess.com/news/pdfs/voluntary-60-day-pause-of-global-ship-operations.pdf
  6. Gary, I sure hope Azamara can do better for you -- Princess is doing much, much more for their passengers. Check the amounts for each sailing date their passengers are being compensated. https://www.princess.com/news/pdfs/voluntary-60-day-pause-of-global-ship-operations.pdf
  7. Looks like Princess has done much better than Azamara... I'm quite choked ... sailing Princess for my date I would have a 100% cruise credit in addition to my 100% refund. Not feeling the 'wow'. https://www.princess.com/news/pdfs/voluntary-60-day-pause-of-global-ship-operations.pdf
  8. Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. Azamara cancelled, is giving 100% refund and a 25% future cruise credit for my sail date. If I were sailing with Princess, I could still get a 100% refund but they would also give me 100% future cruise credit. For clarification, this is not a situation where I voluntarily cancelled and accepted a 100% cruise credit. I was on a sailing date where Azamara cancelled the cruise and gave us 25% cruise credit and a refund.
  9. My cancelled cruise was due to leave on the 17th (5 days). If it was a Princess cruise I would be choosing 100% refund and 100% cruise credit. Instead, Azamara offered a 25% cruise credit with my refund. I was under the impression Azamara did better than the 'other' mass-market lines. This pdf shows the table of refunds due for certain cruise dates. https://www.princess.com/news/pdfs/voluntary-60-day-pause-of-global-ship-operations.pdf
  10. You better go see what Princess is offering their cruisers. I hope Azamara will do better. Offering a 25% cruise credit for the cancellation on the 17th is absolutely not enough https://www.princess.com/news/pdfs/voluntary-60-day-pause-of-global-ship-operations.pdf
  11. I totally agree with you, I hate the dispensers. The ones they make for hotels (that I have used so far) ensure sure you get the smallest amount of product per pump. Even when those pump dispensers are filled with Elemis, it still felt a bit down-market to me on my latest HAL cruise, while pump-pump-pumping to get enough body gel. Maybe I need to see what La Gomera is using to become a convert. Apparently this discussion about the bottles of toiletries is quite divisive, I was pretty much attacked on the other forum by some guy for my love of the small bottles. I am environmentally friendly in many other ways, but I still do like the small bottles IF they contain high-end products. Yes, they should be made of a recyclable plastic, and definitely recycled, but I'm not sure that happens in the cruise industry. I was hoping to find out what Azamara was using for products and dispensers first-hand, but sadly our cruise that leaves this week has been cancelled. Instead, I will get to find out what products they're using in the hotels in the Emirates -- I'm guessing they're great!
  12. Gary, I know you mention that for you cancelling your 3/28 cruise, you will get a cruise credit good through 2021. But do you know if the cruise credit you get for Azamara cancelling the 3/17 cruise, has an expiry date? I sure am hoping it doesn't expire in 2021 -- it is as good as nothing to me if it is. Thanks, Michelle
  13. Yes, I would have been wowed too, and I would have felt well cared for and valued as a customer. I would have loved to hear the captain say that and believe it. It would definitely make me want to come back despite that issue. I certainly hope they can and will do better than the 25% cruise credit but I would be stunned if they did. I am getting used to being disappointed! It even ticks me off a bit that if you didn't book your air through Azamara, to get the (was it up to $500?) back per person, you must change your flights and provide proof of the amount, then I assume they will pay what the change-fee portion was? And then for people who decide to proceed with the flight that is days away, there is no compensation whatsoever. As I said, I did look at changing the flights but it was going to be $10,500 for the 3 of us for the new fares, l plus the $275 change fee per ticket. Yes, I know this is in Canadian dollars, but it is still a lot to me! With the cancellation, people are suffering financial impacts now, that a cruise-credit (to be possibly used in the future) will not help with. Yes, we will get our cruise-cost back, but at the end of the day I would lose 5k in the other things I have paid for. I just can't bring myself to lose out on my air and hotel so am going to cobble a vacation together, which may end up being at least the cost of the cruise -- yet I will not get 4 new countries to discover. Instead of enjoying relaxed dining and drinking without opening my wallet on board, I will be constantly paying through the nose to get decent food in a very expensive city. I looked at trying to hop to some other cities on our itinerary, but is just too expensive given we would be booking last minute flight prices for 3 people (with the exception of Abu Dhabi which is a long drive). I also don't want to spend much time in multiple airports and checking in and out of hotels. This itinerary was perfect for a cruise, but madness for land-travel. May be a case of 'first world problems', but there seem to be a lot of them all at once to deal with. Does anyone know if the cruise credit has an expiry date? If it expires in 2021 I might not be able to use it. I'm not sure about others, but I have my trips planned out for a bit and the upcoming Azamara itineraries don't fit with what I want to do. If I want to book another cruise I'll have to start saving again anyhow, because my cruise reimbursement will have to pay for salvaging this mess.
  14. Thank you -- and I agree 100% with you too. I am not a loyal Azamara cruiser, instead we have a been mostly sailing HAL and were looking to upgrade our experience, hoping to find a different cruise line to become 'our' line. It does take a lot of time and money to gain status with a cruise line, and is hard to move on and start from the bottom (without any perks!). Still, we have decades of cruising years ahead of us, so now is the time to make the move. We also considered Oceania, but, chose to try Azamara for this great itinerary and my expectations of the friendly onboard experience. We were SO looking forward to this cruise (weren't we all?!) and I spent a lot of time on these forums pouring over all the details and opinions before booking. In no way is Azamara to blame for needing to cancel, but it is wholly in their control to make it right with the passengers who have booked with them. I would like to be wowed by how they handle this situation so that I undoubtedly book again with them again (and again, and again...).
  15. I don't mean to come across as ungrateful or petty (and this is not directed at you Bonnie other than to collect one more question), but I am not overly impressed by the cruise credit being offered at this late date given that I am due to fly out in a few days. If this belongs on a different thread, forgive me, but I see Bonnie is taking questions and would like to add mine. My question to put forward is why a 25% cruise credit was deemed appropriate for the cancellation of the March 17th sailing? I believe I read that Regent affected passengers were offered 25-50% cruise credit based on their sailing date -- I assume the closer to sailing date the more they received. I recognize this is not the same company, but those just about to sail have more financial impacts than those with dates farther away. I think most of us expected/hoped to go this week, and had our hotel and excursions booked already. I just want to put it out there, that for those of us who received official notice today of the March 17th cancellation we are 7 days away from our sail date yet only a few days away from our planned flights to Dubai. I'm not sure about others (so I will use myself as example), but I did call the airline to see about paying a change fee for my tickets Vancouver-Dubai and my flight has tripled in price since I booked. $3500 per person x 3 persons for my family to return home early (or only go as far as LHR) is just not do-able. It is spring break and my flight is 4 days away... I'm not sure there is a more expensive time for me to try and buy airfare. I can't afford to change my flight given that cost. So now I have 11 more expensive nights somewhere because I can't afford to get home any sooner. Staying is going to cost me dearly, but will be less than changing my flights. And since I will be taking my flight, I will not qualify for that change fee $ from Azamara either. The cruise lines are not the only ones hemorrhaging money because of this cancellation. Thanks for your help during this stressful time.
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