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Azamara Onward replaces library with a bar!


Vagabondvoyager
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On 5/17/2022 at 4:33 AM, boxman52 said:

When RCI sold Azamara it said it was planning to prior to the Covid crisis. It announced that the sale would not effect its results and after the impairment charge of 170M the deal was worth about 30M to RCI. I think these numbers are correct.

That says to me the brand was not generating profits or anything to merit a return on capital employed.

A private equity business has to generate cash to cover debt and pay a return. They also might well have a strategy for profitable sale in the future. They aren't like the owner of Viking "into the business" there is normally a defined end game plan.

There are normally two strategies employed 1) cut costs and asset strip 2) build revenue to increase profits and/or to get ready for sale

If Sycamore are going down the route of 2 with an additional ship and more revenue generating onboard then I think people should be supportive of that. The alternative of 1 is never pleasant

Change is always difficult but what I have read so far in an incredible difficult business environment they are doing their best 

I would suggest a third option which is buy an asset at fire sale prices, hold it for 3-5 years until market conditions improve and sell it.  That’s what I am guessing is the plan. Obviously they will want to simultaneously improve net income to increase the selling price.

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I haven't read this whole thread so apologies if I am repeating information.  I found the 'library' on Onward today after having been on her for a week.  There are books located on the port side of The Den (behind a partition wall).  Some are for exchange that guests have left and some are to be kept onboard.  There are also quite a lot of travel books and food related books (all brand new) on the shelves in The Den.  Still lots of quiet places to sit and read.

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In my opinion, for what it is worth, diversity is important and I feel very sorry when people (other passengers, cruise line directors) decide that we are all the same.  

By way of example, we don't drink alcohol, and I do tire of people thinking most decisions revolve around a need to have a drink.  Also, not everyone goes on a cruise to socialise - I love the peace and quiet of watching the waves and adore being at sea - my work requires me to be constantly surrounded by people and to act gregarious even if don't feel like it; I don't seek that out on holiday.  If I did, I would go on a mass market line, which I purposefully don't. Further along that line, what is wrong with having a place that is quiet and not always filled with people (e.g., a library)?  As someone else said, aren't there enough bars onboard....how many do you need?   
 

By now you may have a picture of me as an old fuddy duddy; in reality I am not at the upper end of cruise age groups by any stretch and I am told that I can be great fun. It's so difficult to find somewhere quiet on cruise ships, can we not eliminate any more?

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2 hours ago, lahore said:

In my opinion, for what it is worth, diversity is important and I feel very sorry when people (other passengers, cruise line directors) decide that we are all the same.  

By way of example, we don't drink alcohol, and I do tire of people thinking most decisions revolve around a need to have a drink.  Also, not everyone goes on a cruise to socialise - I love the peace and quiet of watching the waves and adore being at sea - my work requires me to be constantly surrounded by people and to act gregarious even if don't feel like it; I don't seek that out on holiday.  If I did, I would go on a mass market line, which I purposefully don't. Further along that line, what is wrong with having a place that is quiet and not always filled with people (e.g., a library)?  As someone else said, aren't there enough bars onboard....how many do you need?   
 

By now you may have a picture of me as an old fuddy duddy; in reality I am not at the upper end of cruise age groups by any stretch and I am told that I can be great fun. It's so difficult to find somewhere quiet on cruise ships, can we not eliminate any more?

My feelings exactly!

Kathy

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I think one important factor keeps being overlooked, the Atlas bar is only open from 5pm so during the daytime the room is open and available to those who want a quiet place to read or contemplate. Accepted that the library is in the Living Room but it’s not as though there’s a huge distance between the two rooms.

Evening use of the Drawing room was very limited and it was often closed for private events which can easily be relocated to other areas of the ship.

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My recollection of the library on Quest and the other original Azamara was of the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. I hope the beauty will still be there, even if the books aren’t.

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19 minutes ago, May B said:

My recollection of the library on Quest and the other original Azamara was of the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. I hope the beauty will still be there, even if the books aren’t.

I think Azamara will end up needing to take some time to fine-tune the question of the Atlas bar.  It is available as a place for sitting and relaxing during the day, but with a 70% passenger load, no place is very crowded on the ship right now.  I've dropped into the Atlas bar at several points during this cruise, and found it having from zero to three customers.  The Living Room has been pretty empty on this cruise as well, though not to the extent of the Atlas Bar.

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11 hours ago, May B said:

My recollection of the library on Quest and the other original Azamara was of the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. I hope the beauty will still be there, even if the books aren’t.

According to the article that I read, the library was completely gutted, including the beautiful painting on the ceiling.  Makes me sick.

Kathy

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7 hours ago, Vagabondvoyager said:

According to the article that I read, the library was completely gutted, including the beautiful painting on the ceiling.  Makes me sick.

Kathy

Apparently the ceiling was in very poor condition, paint flaking off etc. it would have been very difficult and very expensive to repair, I would imagine.

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Grandma Cruising said:

Apparently the ceiling was in very poor condition, paint flaking off etc. it would have been very difficult and very expensive to repair, I would imagine.

I remember when Oceania bought Sirena from Princess/Carnival they had to double their refurbishment budget due to lack of basic maintenance on the two R ships & unless Princess have upped their game in the last few years I can only imagine that there are even more unforseen issues with Onward.

Edited by LaCroisiereS'amuse
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3 hours ago, LaCroisiereS'amuse said:

I remember when Oceania bought Sirena from Princess/Carnival they had to double their refurbishment budget due to lack of basic maintenance on the two R ships & unless Princess have upped their game in the last few years I can only imagine that there are even more unforseen issues with Onward.

We found deferred maintenance to be an art form on HAL so I am sure it was equally bad on Princess..

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There is quite a backlog of basic maintenance on Onward but if they spend enough there is no obvious reason why they can't bring it back to the highest standards.

All the public places have had major refreshes and look great. Clearly millions have been spent.

And the Atlas Bar is very elegantly fitted out with no expense spared. Whether or not you wanted a bar there is another matter but I'm sure that, in time, it will work well and be popular.

What impresses me is the price point that delivers a soft and hard product of this standard.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, KirkNC said:

We found deferred maintenance to be an art form on HAL so I am sure it was equally bad on Princess..

Probably worse from our experience, during Onwards maiden we were told the hull had to be opened to replace the ships laundry as it was beyond repair, I know the entire fresh water system was replaced before passenger side refurbishment started. Plenty has been spent to get the unseen bits up to standard and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more done over the next few months.

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4 hours ago, Riocca said:

Probably worse from our experience, during Onwards maiden we were told the hull had to be opened to replace the ships laundry as it was beyond repair, I know the entire fresh water system was replaced before passenger side refurbishment started. Plenty has been spent to get the unseen bits up to standard and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more done over the next few months.

It be interesting if the did a presentation on the refurbishment process.

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9 hours ago, KirkNC said:

It be interesting if the did a presentation on the refurbishment process.

I know there was the intention to do one as they did with Pursuit, will be interesting to see if they actually did.

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5 hours ago, Riocca said:

I know there was the intention to do one as they did with Pursuit, will be interesting to see if they actually did.

We saw the Pursuit video in March.  It was interesting.

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On 5/15/2022 at 2:06 PM, les37b said:

Am I interested in a ship Library? Nope.

 

Do I use bars on cruises. Yup.

 

Each to their own. I know a decision to make changes to a ship area you admire can sour things. A library will never be one of them.


Although the library had begun to be used for more meetings it was otherwise a nice quiet place to sit and read.   There are at least 5 bars without the library being converted although the one in the Caberet is normally only open for shows.  

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On 5/15/2022 at 8:23 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

I too would prefer the library to the added bar (and I'm a retired librarian who still prefers to read things printed on paper), but in cases like this I try to step back and imagine what Azamara was thinking when they made the change.

On the one hand, what I view as their competition (Oceania and Viking) have libraries on their ships.  But on the other hand, they also have trendy bars like this on their ships.

And the next generation of customers is probably more attracted to this bar design than they would have been to the library.

In the final analysis, they probably thought 'once the libraries are gone, like the casinos, nobody will remember they ever existed and the issue will die away.'  And they're probably right.

 I suspect the problem may have been there was not bar area to meet up before going into the restaurants nearby.  If that’s true, then I would expect that it’s hours would be similar to those in the main dining room, which would the defeat the attraction of having another bar in many ways.  

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On 5/17/2022 at 3:51 AM, lisiamc said:

I don’t think I ever have seen a jigsaw puzzle in the library in 15 years of cruising with Azamara. I’ve only seen them in the card room, that I can recall. You can still go into the Atlas bar outside of its operating hours (5pm-midnight) and read in peace and quiet.  There is a new area designated as a library along the side of the Living Room which will soon have more books arriving.
 

There is now a bar in Prime C, outside the MDR, at the pool, in The Den, and in the Living Room. Drinks can also be had at The Mosaic, if that really counts as a bar. The Atlas Bar replaces the never-used bar in Aqualina, so the actual number of bars has not changed. When there was music in the Atlas Bar during bar hours, it was very quiet, and didn’t hinder conversation. I don’t believe there is any danger of emulating Carnival or Princess. 


There used to be a community puzzle in the corner of Mosaic cafe. 

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On 5/21/2022 at 10:18 AM, jcbc522 said:

I haven't read this whole thread so apologies if I am repeating information.  I found the 'library' on Onward today after having been on her for a week.  There are books located on the port side of The Den (behind a partition wall).  Some are for exchange that guests have left and some are to be kept onboard.  There are also quite a lot of travel books and food related books (all brand new) on the shelves in The Den.  Still lots of quiet places to sit and read.


Those were there when the Den appeared.  That area also had future cruises and shore excursions using the space which often made it difficult to get to the books.  

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On 5/23/2022 at 9:12 AM, Riocca said:

I think one important factor keeps being overlooked, the Atlas bar is only open from 5pm so during the daytime the room is open and available to those who want a quiet place to read or contemplate. Accepted that the library is in the Living Room but it’s not as though there’s a huge distance between the two rooms.

Evening use of the Drawing room was very limited and it was often closed for private events which can easily be relocated to other areas of the ship.


 

I’ll be checking out the wing chairs in the Atlas bar then, during the day!  The living room is often noisy from small groups chatting, bridge games, etc.  Not ideal for reading!  
 

for what it is worth, I’m hoping they rearranged the furniture so everyone can get down near the dance floor.  My last cruise with the living room nearly empty I had difficulty even after moving some furniture so that I could avoid the step down. 

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