Hello Schiffgiganten and Porfifro,
I noticed that your posts were dated from February 2008 and August 2009. It’s been too long - it’s time to consider vacationing with us again this year on a NEW Azamara Club Cruises! So much has happened since then and I want to bring you and other readers up to date.
Azamara Cruises was re-launched in December 2009 with a revised name - “Azamara Club Cruises” - as a “boutique cruise line of distinction” with a newly refined focus, and a series of new attributes designed for “upmarket,” experienced and affluent travelers. Both ships have undergone a $17.5 million revitalization with new European bedding and soft goods, flat screen televisions, new veranda decking and furniture, and wireless internet service in all staterooms and public areas.
The term “CLUB” was added to our name to send a number of messages. It differentiates Azamara from the rest of the industry and the “sameness” of the other cruise lines with identical ships. It serves as the platform that will allow the personalization of our relationships with our guests and over time will create the feeling of belonging and the exclusiveness of a private club. Finally, it communicates the promise of a high standard of service that is expected by an affluent consumer.
In April 2010, our cruise tariff became “MORE INCLUSIVE” and includes gratuities for waiters, bar staff and cabin stewards, complimentary specialty coffees, bottled water, soft drinks, boutique wines at lunch & dinner, free self-service laundry, certified English butler service for suite guests and shuttle service to and from ports, where available. By doing so, this creates a “club-like” atmosphere that can make each guest feel truly special by eliminating their worry about tipping and by reducing the number of times that their onboard account would be charged for “extra” services. Also, because of the different point of views about tipping in international markets, we bring parity to our staff about this important issue.
Finally, we added a new Tagline to our brand - “YOU’LL LOVE WHERE WE TAKE YOU” – to reinforce our destination focus of offering more overnight stays and more time to explore. We call this core element “Destination Immersion.” At 60 percent of the ports that our two vessels visit we stay late into the evening, and overnight in 38 destinations, more than triple of what was offered in the past. Also, in some destinations two-night stays are becoming more common, giving passengers three days of touring along with opportunities for night tourism. Also, “You’ll Love Where We Take You” is a metaphor of the many “places” we can take our guests emotionally – a satisfying experience of feeling welcomed and pampered from the consistent and impeccable service delivered by our staff and the opportunity to experience new, exclusive regionally-inspired cuisine and world-class boutique wines.
Interestingly, based on our guests’ past cruise histories, we’ve learned that they frequently migrate between the luxury and premium/deluxe categories of lines. We’re compared to many quality competitors such as Seabourn Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Crystal Cruises and not only Oceania Cruises. I’ve noticed the prevalent misconception to compare us only to them but it’s understandable since we both share the same hardware.
So March 2011, I would describe to you that Azamara Club Cruises is in a unique, NEW and exclusive product category of its own that delivers a distinctive, one-of-a-kind cruise experience. I consider it to be a “crossover” product that we categorize as “Upmarket” that bridges the gap between the experiences delivered by the premium/deluxe category and by the ultra luxury cruise lines such as Seabourn and Silversea.
Most importantly, many of our past guests consider our value proposition to be the best. Generally our “more-inclusive” fares are lower than the rest of our competitive set – ranging from 6% to 25%. Bottom line, you will receive more for the money you paid.
We look forward to welcoming you back onboard again for your cruise vacation sometime soon.
Chief Blogging Officer*
Azamara Club Cruises
(*CBO is an authorized and compensated representative of ACC)