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A bicycling excursion has returned!

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Back in March several people noted the bicycle excursions had disappeared from the Azamara shore excursions brochures, and Bonnie posted that Azamara had donated its bicycles to a children's shelter.  I saw last week that a "Bike it Like a Local" excursion had re-appeared in Valencia for our October Pursuit cruise.  I don't know if Azamara has added them back to all cruises , but I was very happy to see it listed again.

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Oddly enough, one of my most unpleasant Dubrovnik experiences involved an Azamara guest and her bike - she literally steamrolled through crowds once she got off the tender. Literally drove it down the dock, careened off my ankle from behind and looked like a hot knife through butter as she plowed through tourists and locals ahead.

 

I always wondered how that aspect of Azamara excursions was doing - the hiatus may have been tied to my observation, pain:) or for other reasons. 

 

One bad apple shouldn't spoil it for the bunch, 'tho. Hope that instructions, courtesy prevail.

 

 

 

 

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Azamara doesn't have bicycles onboard anymore, so what happened to you won't happen again.  Azamara must be contracting with a local company to provide the bikes (and I assume the guide).

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20 hours ago, hiccups said:

Back in March several people noted the bicycle excursions had disappeared from the Azamara shore excursions brochures, and Bonnie posted that Azamara had donated its bicycles to a children's shelter.  I saw last week that a "Bike it Like a Local" excursion had re-appeared in Valencia for our October Pursuit cruise.  I don't know if Azamara has added them back to all cruises , but I was very happy to see it listed again.

Hi hiccups, no not added to all cruises just yet. As I stated on an earlier thread, our Tour Department is contracting with third parties to offer bicycle tours. These tours will be rolled out port by port as we sign them up. 

P.s. we are glad you’re happy they are returning. We aim to please.

 

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20 minutes ago, BBMacLaird said:

P.s. we are glad you’re happy they are returning. We aim to please.

 

I must let you know, Bonnie, that this decision does not please us.  We have 2 cruises booked with you for this summer, and have had 3 bicycle excursions cancelled by Azamara.  Now, there is the return of a cycling tour out of Sorrento for Naples, and we are not allowed to participate.

We are older than 65.  We bike every day.  Mark is just now leaving for his morning, 10 mile ride.  We swim, bodyboard, and I surf.  During the week between our cruises, we will be bicycling around Italy's Piedmont.

I'm certain you will point to your local vendors as the reason for the age restriction, and if so, it will be the first time we will have encountered that particular age discrimination - outside of Azamara itself, of course.  I am, once again, disappointed before  even boarding Pursuit.

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2 hours ago, Ithikan said:

I must let you know, Bonnie, that this decision does not please us.  We have 2 cruises booked with you for this summer, and have had 3 bicycle excursions cancelled by Azamara.  Now, there is the return of a cycling tour out of Sorrento for Naples, and we are not allowed to participate.

We are older than 65.  We bike every day.  Mark is just now leaving for his morning, 10 mile ride.  We swim, bodyboard, and I surf.  During the week between our cruises, we will be bicycling around Italy's Piedmont.

I'm certain you will point to your local vendors as the reason for the age restriction, and if so, it will be the first time we will have encountered that particular age discrimination - outside of Azamara itself, of course.  I am, once again, disappointed before  even boarding Pursuit.

Hi Ithikan,

if you’ll provide your booking number, I can ask our Tour Department to request an exception for you and your DH. Please let me know the ports and dates of bicycle tours you’re interested in.

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Thank you very much, Bonnie!

Our booking number is 5625446; the excursion is July 16, Naples By Bike With Pizza Tasting.  If you can pull this off we would be so pleased, and would happily purchase this for our final day of vacation!

If it doesn't happen, we appreciate your effort and the work you do on CC.

Teri

Edited by Ithikan
added date

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We have been welcomed back to Azamara's bicycle excursions - Thank You, Bonnie!!

Just received a call from Steve S of Miami, whose email ended up in my spam (what?!?) but who followed up with a phone call.  Happily, the Naples bike tour group will permit us to cycle with them via a signature on their release form.  AND, we are now also signed up for Dubrovnik's Konavle Valley bike excursion - whoop whoop!

Tondakea, I promise to avoid all pedestrians.  Which will be easy, I believe, as the tour group is to be transported to Gruda before we bike.

Really, really looking forward to this voyage!

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I’m glad our land team was able to work it out with the tour operator! Yay!

I hope you’ll find this thread in October and post some pictures. Your Naples and Dubrovnik by bike tours sound fun.

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No bike tours if you are over 65-really!  My husband will be over 65 for our Singapore to Dubai cruise April 2020. There were definitely a few bike excursions we were interested in signing up for.  Like Teri, we are super active bikers, skiers etc. We've taken 10 cycling trips with Backroads. I hope this will not be a problem for us!

Julie

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31 minutes ago, yogagal47 said:

No bike tours if you are over 65-really!  My husband will be over 65 for our Singapore to Dubai cruise April 2020. There were definitely a few bike excursions we were interested in signing up for.  Like Teri, we are super active bikers, skiers etc. We've taken 10 cycling trips with Backroads. I hope this will not be a problem for us!

Julie

Hoping you both will be 'allowed' to participate next year!  It seems the bike excursions are slowly making their way back onboard, minus the Azamara folding bicycles : )  Judging from your Backroads background, you should be welcomed IMO.  

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Just went to the Azamara site and can no longer find any cycling excursions for this cruise   😞

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I was wondering which ports could offer cycle tours on your particular cruise... what did Azamara have listed, before the bike purge?  A quick internet search shows some well-reviewed vendors for Kochi - early AM, 7 to 10, which is probably wise for temperature and traffic.

Plenty of time for AZ to get something in place, this sounds like an interesting cruise.

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I am pretty sure that there was a cycling tour for Kuala Lumpur and for Sri Lanka-maybe Columbo  Not sure

We were originally signed up for Sydney to Singapore but after a fantastic month this past February where we did Vietnam/Cambodia Biking followed by a week on a Mekong River cruise then time on our own in Thailand, we decided to switch. We are flying to Singapore then spending 5 days or so at one of the Thailand Beach areas-probably Krabi. Then back for a few days in Singapore pre-cruise. 

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On 5/21/2019 at 4:41 PM, Ithikan said:

We have been welcomed back to Azamara's bicycle excursions - Thank You, Bonnie!!

Just received a call from Steve S of Miami, whose email ended up in my spam (what?!?) but who followed up with a phone call.  Happily, the Naples bike tour group will permit us to cycle with them via a signature on their release form.  AND, we are now also signed up for Dubrovnik's Konavle Valley bike excursion - whoop whoop!

Tondakea, I promise to avoid all pedestrians.  Which will be easy, I believe, as the tour group is to be transported to Gruda before we bike.

Really, really looking forward to this voyage!

 

 

Im glad you got that to work!  I was told last year that it was an insurance problem!  Since I worked with several Europeans that thought nothing of a 30 mile short ride and I knew others that were fit at 80, I expressed concern that an age marker was not a reasonable separator!   My Dad is 94 and in the gym 3 times a week.  I think he could still do some of the bike trips whereas I wouldn’t make it 3 blocks!   He is however, slowing down a bit, or so he says! 

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On 5/21/2019 at 10:50 PM, BBMacLaird said:

I’m glad our land team was able to work it out with the tour operator! Yay!

I hope you’ll find this thread in October and post some pictures. Your Naples and Dubrovnik by bike tours sound fun.

Well, we are on Pursuit now and, yep, the Dubrovnik bicycle tour was cancelled 48 hours prior.

We were offered no explanation as to why, but were offered a 5% discount if we wished to book an alternative tour.  We opted for Ston Oysters, received our tix, and were charged full price.  A call to Kristen at Shore Excursions fixed that (verbally, I haven’t verified with Guest Services).

So, today I asked Kristen - who was the Azamara staff member accompanying this excursion - why the cycling trip had been cancelled again.  Not enough participants, I asked?  She chided me, saying I’d asked a question and just let her respond.  She went on to say that Azamara has no bicycles onboard, they are solely available through port providers.  (Which is interesting, because I actually saw several bikes below during our June 19 Pursuit cruise!)  I replied yes, I’d seen the FB photo of Ryzard donating Azamara folding bikes in Africa.  “No.  That’s wrong.  We don’t go to Africa,” she said.

The story goes on, but to summarize, Kristen stated that my cruise critic info was flat wrong; this person, “Bonnie” is a TA and knows nothing,” there is no such employee as a Chief Blogging Officer.

I admit I’m confused now about Bonnie’s position in respect to RCI and Azamara; I feel undervalued and more than a bit embarrassed; and I want nothing more to do with bicycle excursions on this ship.

So, Bonnie, I have no photos to post.  Sorry.

 

Teri

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2 hours ago, Ithikan said:

Well, we are on Pursuit now and, yep, the Dubrovnik bicycle tour was cancelled 48 hours prior.

We were offered no explanation as to why, but were offered a 5% discount if we wished to book an alternative tour.  We opted for Ston Oysters, received our tix, and were charged full price.  A call to Kristen at Shore Excursions fixed that (verbally, I haven’t verified with Guest Services).

So, today I asked Kristen - who was the Azamara staff member accompanying this excursion - why the cycling trip had been cancelled again.  Not enough participants, I asked?  She chided me, saying I’d asked a question and just let her respond.  She went on to say that Azamara has no bicycles onboard, they are solely available through port providers.  (Which is interesting, because I actually saw several bikes below during our June 19 Pursuit cruise!)  I replied yes, I’d seen the FB photo of Ryzard donating Azamara folding bikes in Africa.  “No.  That’s wrong.  We don’t go to Africa,” she said.

The story goes on, but to summarize, Kristen stated that my cruise critic info was flat wrong; this person, “Bonnie” is a TA and knows nothing,” there is no such employee as a Chief Blogging Officer.

I admit I’m confused now about Bonnie’s position in respect to RCI and Azamara; I feel undervalued and more than a bit embarrassed; and I want nothing more to do with bicycle excursions on this ship.

So, Bonnie, I have no photos to post.  Sorry.

 

Teri


Just... wow.  I'm sorry you were treated that way.

My upcoming cruise still has a bicycling excursion listed, but I had also booked it on our Azamara cruise last year at the same port and it was cancelled two days prior.  I wasn't offered any discount for another tour, and the only other tour that I was interested in was full.  I firmly but politely said that I would appreciate it if they could check again to see if one more person could be added to the tour, since my plans changed because of their cancellation, not because I dithered around to book an excursion.  They made an exception and I was able to take the excursion.

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Hi ithikan, I am stunned and very sorry you were talked to in such a manner. And I’m sorry your bicycle tour was canceled. I know how much you were looking forward to it. 

As for this employee denying my existence, well, let me reassure you I am here; I am as my signature says “authorized and compensated” and I do my best to bring trusted information to this forum. There is no reason for you to feel embarrassed about anything. It should be the employee making amends to you. Please accept apologies at least from me.

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19 hours ago, Ithikan said:

Well, we are on Pursuit now and, yep, the Dubrovnik bicycle tour was cancelled 48 hours prior.

We were offered no explanation as to why, but were offered a 5% discount if we wished to book an alternative tour.  We opted for Ston Oysters, received our tix, and were charged full price.  A call to Kristen at Shore Excursions fixed that (verbally, I haven’t verified with Guest Services).

So, today I asked Kristen - who was the Azamara staff member accompanying this excursion - why the cycling trip had been cancelled again.  Not enough participants, I asked?  She chided me, saying I’d asked a question and just let her respond.  She went on to say that Azamara has no bicycles onboard, they are solely available through port providers.  (Which is interesting, because I actually saw several bikes below during our June 19 Pursuit cruise!)  I replied yes, I’d seen the FB photo of Ryzard donating Azamara folding bikes in Africa.  “No.  That’s wrong.  We don’t go to Africa,” she said.

The story goes on, but to summarize, Kristen stated that my cruise critic info was flat wrong; this person, “Bonnie” is a TA and knows nothing,” there is no such employee as a Chief Blogging Officer.

I admit I’m confused now about Bonnie’s position in respect to RCI and Azamara; I feel undervalued and more than a bit embarrassed; and I want nothing more to do with bicycle excursions on this ship.

So, Bonnie, I have no photos to post.  Sorry.

 

Teri

Wow that’s just terrible though sadly not unique in that team.  Interesting Werangles had issues on Pursuit as well in terms of similar staff knowledge re Bonnie. Perhaps some shipwide education of front facing staff is needed.

My DH was as I posted previously pretty upset to lose the excursions by bike.  We see some listed on upcoming cruises but they won’t then open for him to book.  Are they now age limited to 65?

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Thank you Bonnie, your apology was entirely unnecessary and is very much appreciated by Mark and I.

 

 Of course you are an invaluable member of the Azamara team, and prove your worth on this forum on a nearly daily basis!  I confess to having been completely caught off guard when you were tarred, with a sneer, as nothing more than a travel agent by the shore excursion rep.  And yes, uktog, some staff training on the topic is an excellent idea and overdue.

 

Re. Bicycle tours and age limits - I’ve no clue.  I’m sincere when I say I’ve no interest in venturing down that road again.  It has been a stew of misinformation, missed cues, finger-pointing, disappointment, and I’m done.

 

On a happier note, today we enjoyed one of the best ship excursions ever:  Village of Tici & Olive Oil Tradition, out of Kotor.  We were, I think, just 18 guests and the tour was everything promised, + more.  Half of us agreed we’ll need to go home and throw out our over-heated, first-press, virgin olive oil from Costco - the price of being properly educated by experts who are passionate about their product.

 

Lovely afternoon in Montenegro, time to unwind with a book in the Living Room.

 

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1 hour ago, Ithikan said:

Thank you Bonnie, your apology was entirely unnecessary and is very much appreciated by Mark and I.

 

 Of course you are an invaluable member of the Azamara team, and prove your worth on this forum on a nearly daily basis!  I confess to having been completely caught off guard when you were tarred, with a sneer, as nothing more than a travel agent by the shore excursion rep.  And yes, uktog, some staff training on the topic is an excellent idea and overdue.

 

Re. Bicycle tours and age limits - I’ve no clue.  I’m sincere when I say I’ve no interest in venturing down that road again.  It has been a stew of misinformation, missed cues, finger-pointing, disappointment, and I’m done.

 

On a happier note, today we enjoyed one of the best ship excursions ever:  Village of Tici & Olive Oil Tradition, out of Kotor.  We were, I think, just 18 guests and the tour was everything promised, + more.  Half of us agreed we’ll need to go home and throw out our over-heated, first-press, virgin olive oil from Costco - the price of being properly educated by experts who are passionate about their product.

 

Lovely afternoon in Montenegro, time to unwind with a book in the Living Room.

 

That sounds a lovely day out. Silly thing is when they get excursions right it’s very right but still far too high a percentage are sub premium standard. 

 

Likewise a few staff in the Land Discoveries team are excellent others appalling you wonder are you on the same cruise line as the fabulous service givers elsewhere. I totally get why you feel as you did. Last winter we too were left to feel like  silly school children when in fact we were correct. So we applied a new tactic last cruise booked virtually no ships excursions and had a happier time. For future we will concentrate on the smaller more unique experiences. 

 

In the light of your post DH has also decided he is no longer going to risk cycle trips through the ship.  It’s too complicated when cancellations happen as I will have set up an alternative activity for me and resetting everything is hassle. 

 

Thankx 

 

 

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My wife and I have taken several of the bike excursions, the most recent was “Elba by Bike”. This was offered by Azamara but through a local company, but we have also done others with the Azamara bikes.

If you know Elba, the tour we did last year was quite strenuous, several had to drop out.

On that cruise, our Naples by bike tour was cancelled.  I’m glad to see the bike tours are back on the rotation.

As to the 65 age limit, I will be just turning 65 by our next cruise.  I was planning on doing one or more bike tours.  My wife and I are avid cyclists. I teach indoor spin classes.

If those who are requesting an age wavier can post how that went, it would be greatly appreciated. ( Okay..now I’m feeling old- I need a wavier and my wife won’t)

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Good for you for staying active! We have done more than 10 Backroads Cycling trips. They would never restrict anyone because of age. The Tour staff onboard the cruise ship can do a bit of advance work in determining what level of fitness is required for participation. We did a cycling excursion on Corfu years ago off the old Radisson Diamond. It was great fun but the bikes were older models-no speeds as I recall-and there were some hills/climbs. Fortunately the excursion was described in such a way as to limit the interest by most of the passengers on the cruise.  To Azamara's credit-when we had an itinerary change last minute in the Caribbean due to storms, a passenger went to the staff(one of the Quest's officers I believe) and requested a cycling excursion on the island of St. Croix. They did a great job of finding a local tour operator wh took our fairly fit group on a nice ride around the island. 

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[This is from Miami HQ...]

 

Hello from the Azamara team in Miami!  Thank you for the input from the Cruise Critic community, your involvement and feedback is always appreciated.  Firstly, we apologize for any confusion or miscommunication that was provided onboard, this thread and the feedback from the ship have both been reviewed and are being addressed onboard for coaching and development purposes.  

 

As Bonnie has noted in previous posts, we have removed the Cruise Global; Bike Local program, and have removed the folding bikes.  We can also confirm that the bikes on Azamara Pursuit were donated in Cape Verde, by our Hotel Director Ryszard and team; Bonnie shared a great photo of this with the Cruise Critic community. We're in the process of reintroducing bike tours which will be offered with 3rd party operators in locations that bikes are available.  We look forward to hosting our guests on these new bike tours as they become available.  

 

Thanks for the healthy discussion and feedback, we look forward to seeing you onboard again soon

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