Why I’m Loving Azamara Club Cruises and Why You Should Consider Them For Your Next Trip

I recently had the pleasure to attend an intensive luxury travel seminar,  and one of our speakers was our Business Development Manager from Azamara Club Cruises.  It was such a privilege to get to know our sales advocate and to learn straight from the expert!  Today, I’m sharing information with you about Azamara Club Cruises,  and why you should consider a voyage on this premium product.

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It’s possible that you may have heard of Azamara but never sailed on them,  or it’s possible you’ve actually never heard of them.  This is because 99% of Azamara business comes from travel agents (like myself) who recommend it to and book it for their clients.    While Azamara does have some TV spot commercials,  you won’t see the heavy advertising online and on television that you find with more mainstream cruises.  Instead,   Azamara carefully invests in travel agent training and in customer satisfaction to rely on word-of-mouth marketing.

First and foremost,  let’s get down to what makes Azamara stand out.  Azamara’s tagline is “The cruiseline for those who love to travel.”   They want passengers who desire destination immersion!

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A sample port time is often docking at 8am and not leaving again till 10pm –  an entire day and evening in the port, allowing passengers to truly feel relaxed and to explore the city.  Traditional cruiselines often spend only about 63 hours in port on a typical itinerary – Azamara spend an average of 123 hours in port!  So,   if you’re considered a different cruiseline,  add up the time you’ll spend in port.  You’ll often find that Azamara offers the superior value after doing these calculations.

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Almost every voyage also includes one wonderful “AzAmazing Evening” – a port excursion especially designed for their passengers.    Examples of this complimentary evening include: going to the Russian opera,  visiting Liverpool’s majestic Anglican Cathedral,  a nighttime visit and cocktail reception at the Monte Carlo museum, a cello concert in Dubrovnik, and more.   No other cruiseline offers a complimentary, curated event such as this!

All inclusive luxury

Azamara is a premium product for discerning travelers,  but when you think about the “extras” you spend onboard for a regular cruise,  you may be surprised at what a great value you gain from Azamara.   No gratuities onboard,  no extra charges for alcoholic drinks or bottled water,  free transportation to the port cities after docking even if you didn’t purchase an excursion, and so forth.     You don’t get this type of value with the cruiselines who inundate you with advertisements about being the “cheapest”.

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INCLUSIVE AMENITIES FOR ALL GUESTS

  • Complimentary AzAmazing Evenings event (on most voyages)

  • Select standard spirits, international beers and wines

  • Gratuities

  • Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas

  • Self-service laundry

  • Shuttle service to and from port communities, where available (even if you’re not taking an excursion!)

  • Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations

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Club Continent Suite – Azamara Journey 

AND FOR SUITE GUESTS, SO IS THIS…

  • English butler service
  • 235 complimentary Internet minutes, per guest
  • One free bag of laundry service per suite, each seven days
  • Complimentary seating in specialty restaurants
  • Afternoon tea service in-suite
  • Guests in Club World Owner’s and Club Ocean suites may choose a complimentary Insider Access℠ or Nights & Cool Places℠ Land Discoveries® excursion

 

GUESTS IN CLUB SPA SUITES RECEIVE ALL OF THE ABOVE, PLUS…

  • $200 spa credit per suite
  • Nights in Private Places, $395 value (1 night)
  • Daily delivery of healthy snacks each afternoon

 

Destination immersion – how do we put this into action?

  • Late nights/ overnight stays. A vast majority of Azamara’s itineraries have overnight stays in port,  so you can really immerse yourself in the nightlife and culture.  Even if there isn’t an overnight stay,  the ship is often docked for more than 12 hours,  so you have plenty of time to have dinner on shore if you wish.  While many cruise ships are pulling up anchor around 4pm or 6pm,  Azamara may be pulling up anchor at 10pm.   This is a fantastic option for those want to combine cruising with “immersion travel.”
  • Night touring. Fantastic excursion options that take you into the heart of the port’s nightlife – “a showcase of local culture that will dazzle you after dark.”  When sailing in Bangkok, attend an ancient water prayer ceremony on the river,  or in Hongkong admire the stunning views with a cocktail at the One Peking skyscraper.
  • Shore excursions, which Azamara calls “land discoveries” – “We try to have land discoveries which aren’t Googleable,”  my business development manager told me proudly.  ( In Sicily, guests are treated to a stunning opera and fireworks red carpet evening. ) Any excursion that’s marked Insider Access won’t have more than 15 guests, either.

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Small ship cruising

Azamara only has two ships in its fleet, the Azamara Journey and the Azamara Quest.   They carry at maximum 690 passengers, with 497 crewmembers.   Staff onboard Azamara are trained to make every passenger want to return – they have a “can-do” attitude similar to those of the Ritz-Carlton staff,  and passengers will return feeling impressed and looked after.

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Special Events

If you’d love to combine travel, cruising,  and a special event,  look no further than Azamara. Azamara has carefully selected itineraries and activities to coincide with major events such as

  • Festivals
  • Golf tournaments
  • The World Cup in Russia
  • New Years Eve
  • And more!

So you don’t have to waste time trying to figure out how you can take advantage of these global events while on your cruise – Azamara already has it all figured out!  For example,  in June 2018,  take part in Azamara’s 12 Night Baltic and World Cup voyage!  Or visit the Redentore Festival in Venice, Italy.  Watch the Monaco Grand Prix,  or the British Open golf tournament.    It’s all included – and made possible by Azamara’s commitment to overnight and 2-day stops at their ports!  You can take part in these amazing festivals/sporting events and still have time to sightsee!

 

Itineraries

Azamara = sailings departing from the USA just a few months out of the year; they do have just a few voyages every year to the West Indies, Panama (from Miami to California!),  and Mexico.  It’s important to plan ahead as since these American itineraries are limited, cabins will sell out.

Azamara’s most popular journeys are in Europe and in Asia.    Other travel agents sing Azamara’s praises for choosing less-known ports and incredible destinations – for instance,  on a trip to Italy,   the ship will often dock right at the magical island of Capri,  rather than the busy, more distant port of Naples so many other larger mass-market cruiselines will choose.  If you have a specific destination in mind,  just let me know,  and I can send you the best itinerary.

 

Booking tips

  • Azamara Club Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity are all sister companies, and if you are a frequent cruiser with RCCL or Celebrity, Azamara will do its best to recognize your loyalty status.  In fact,  you can even earn points for Celebrity  as the frequent cruiser membership number is the same for both brands.
  • There are no kids’ programs at all on Azamara Club Cruises. While children or young adults are not forbidden,   it’s important to take this into consideration and to make sure that you understand there are no entertainment options for young children onboard.
  • The average age of an Azamara Club Cruise passenger is 45 years old. Younger passengers are becoming more prevalent,  so Azamara is trying to introduce shorter (7 day) voyages to accommodate young professionals’ schedules.

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Azamara does have some great annual promotions (their current promotion is Buy One Get One Half Off) and they also offer the following price policies:

Early Booking: With our NEW Early Booking Benefit, if you book your Azamara voyage 10 months prior to departure, you will receive Onboard Credit to be used against Land Discoveries:

Club World Owners and Club Ocean suites $1,000 per stateroom
Club Spa and Club Continent suites $500 per stateroom
Club Veranda staterooms $400 per stateroom
Club Oceanview and Club Interior staterooms $300 per stateroom

 

 

Price Guaranteed.

We know what you’re thinking. Maybe you’re concerned that if you book too early, you’ll miss out on one of our many special offers. But don’t worry, we don’t want you to miss out on anything, either! So if a lower price is available, Azamara Club Cruises will give you the difference:

  • Up to 10 months prior to departure: Full refund
  • From 10 months until final payment: Onboard Credit (OBC) in the amount of the fare difference.
  • After final payment – No refund or Onboard Credit

 

And,  when you book with a travel agent like myself,  I often have access to special groups or additional promotions that can be combined with the above policies.   I also monitor pricing on my clients’ behalf and make sure that you receive the best value for your vacation dollars.

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So,  are you ready to sign up for an Azamara cruise?   If you don’t want to fly to Europe,  what about this Thanksgiving cruise, below?

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If you’d like to contact me with any questions about Azamara Club Cruises,  I’m happy to help choose the best vacation possible for your needs!