– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
Since its launch Azamara Cruise Line has been neither fish nor fowl. It is a wonderful product, but has been stuck in sort of abyss between Celebrity (its premium brand “owner”) and Oceania (an ultra-premium competitor operating virtually identical ships but with a much stronger brand identity).
With limited marketing on top of that, I unfortunately have heard “What is Azamara?” much more than “Great Itineraries. Great Price.” Royal Caribbean (owner of Celebrity and, therefore, Azamara) has, obviously, also heard the same things and had decided to shake things up a bit.
Although not officially announced yet (now it is!), the word is that Larry Pimental, the former head of SeaDream Yacht Club, is going to be taking over the reigns (or, better, finally someone will specifically be taking them!) and will report directly to Royal Caribbean, while Celebrity will merely be providing the operational support. He is now the President and CEO of Azamara Cruises.
While there is no question that operating a 648 passenger upscale ship is far different from the 100 passenger luxury SeaDream Yachts, Pimental also brings his experience as the head of Seabourn (when it was in its infancy) and the decision to bring in the ill-matched 748 passenger Seabourn Sun onboard. As a result, there can be no question that Pimental “gets” the differences and understand how the product needs to be differentiated from both the luxury market and the 2,000 – 3,000 passenger cruise ship market.
I have listened to Pimental’s energetic approach and almost gospel-like enthusiasm for SeaDream (before the financial problems of its owner caused a relationship-ending riff), so I have no question that he has some sort of vision and will be working hard to make it happen. My concern, though, is how he will meld with a cruise behemoth when he has spent so many of the last years working in a boutique setting.
I am looking forward to
the formal announcement and hearing what the vision is.
Goldring Travel LLC
12177 Business Park Drive, Suite 6
Truckee, California 96161
US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)
UK: 020 8133 3450
AUS: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530-562-9232