Tag Archives: Asia

Welcome to Azamara Club Cruises

This week Azamara Cruises issued a press release with very exciting news. They are changing their name to Azamara Club Cruises and introducing a series of branding attributes that will help it define itself better and target themselves appropriately.

If you haven’t heard of Azamara before, it’s because they’re not a very large cruise line. It only has 2 ships, Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey. They are not new ships or large ships. They both carry just under 700 passengers. Azamara is owned by Royal Caribbean , but you won’t find rock climbing walls, zip lines, or neighborhoods on board. Instead, you will find a more sophisticated environment, stressing the service, food, and the destinations themselves. Instead of competing with the likes of Royal Caribbean and Carnival, they are on par with Oceania.

The line’s rebranding focuses on 4 aspects:

  • Customer service: Including English trained butlers for suite guests.
  • Food and wine: With expanded wine selection from boutique wineries not widely available. Wines are included with lunch and dinner
  • Wellness and vigor: Azamara will continue to provide standard spa services, but will also have acupuncture, yoga, Pilates, and other immersion programs available.
  • Destination immersion: Perhaps the most important of all, Azamara ships will visit 140 ports in 50 different countries in 2010. That gives passengers an amazing range of vacations.

These are all things they’ve always done very well. Their intention is to now take them to a different, exceptional, level.

To me, what makes Azamara different, is the focus on the destinations it will visit. My biggest problem with cruises is that they don’t really allow you to explore a destinations, just merely get a glance. This is fine for a Caribbean cruise, where islands are small and the focus is usually on the beach. It’s not so when you’re visiting far away lands with enough history and attractions to last a week’s visit or more. Here Azamara will also be different. They will schedule overnight stays in several ports, like Istanbul, Sorrento, St. Petersburg, Bangkok, Singapore, etc.

They will provide exciting shore excursions not usually available through most cruise lines. Some of the ones mentioned include driving a Ferrari in Civitavecchia (the port for Rome), an evening gondola serenade in Venice, an Imperial Russian Court evening in St. Petersburg, etc. They will also feature 2-day packages that will allow passengers to go from Hiroshima to Osaka on a bullet train, visit the Taj Mahal, overnight tours in Israel, etc.

The line also offers a few things that are usually extras: bottled water, specialty coffees and teas, gratuities included in the cruise fare, destination-oriented entertainment and enrichment programs, self service laundry, etc.

All this, of course, comes at a price. Don’t expect to pay the same for a Norwegian cruise than for an Azamara Club sailing. They’ve always had terrific offers, with free air (like this one for Caribbean sailings through March), and 2 for 1 cruise fare on selected sailings. That may change as they adjust their pricing to the new offerings. In fact, prices are already going up.

If you’re interested in exploring what Azamara has to offer, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you.

Regards,

Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
www.kctravel.jurni.net
info@kctravel.jurni.net
305-792-0618
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171

Oceania Turns Five

When you think of cruises, Oceania is probably not the first cruise line that comes to mind. If you’re not a cruise fanatic, you may have not even heard about it. It only has 3 ships (and 2 currently on order), each of which carries only 684 passengers (compared that to the 2850 Celebrity’s Solstice carries). The ships are not new, but they are superbly maintained.Oceania's Regatta They are called Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica.

Oceania caters to a mature audience, and considers itself an upper-premium cruise line, with gourmet cuisine, excellent service, luxury accomodations, and great value. It sails to more than 180 ports across the world, and prides itself in visiting ports that most cruise lines don’t touch. Some of them are St. Barts, Antigua, Dominica, Kyoto, Darwin, Komodo, Ko Samui, Mikonos, Sorrento, Tallin, etc.

I saw the Regatta a couple of years ago on a ship inspection, and these are some of the pictures I took:

 

Pool Area

RegattaBalcony StateroomRegattaFor their 5th Anniversary, Oceania has just announced a terrific promotion with savings of up to 72% and prices as low as $1249 per passenger. Also, single cruisers, who usually pay twice the passenger rate, only pay a 25% premium.

RestaurantFor 2009 sailings included in the promotion, passengers receive  $2000 off a reduced rate and free airfare from over 20 airports on certain categories. For some of next Winter’s sailings, the promotion includes up to $1500 off reduced prices, free airfare from major airports, $500 shipboard credit, and free gratuities.

The list of sailings that apply are (if you can’t see the list clearly, click on it and it will take you to our website):

 

Oceania 2009 Sale

 

Oceania 2010 Sale

If you’re interested in learning more about Oceania Cruises and this promotion, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help you plan your next cruise!

 

Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
www.kctravel.jurni.net
info@kctravel.jurni.net
305-792-0618
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171