– 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)
This is a story of how a cruise line not only can correct it errors, but use the experience to create a “WOW” moment. Even I, the critical one, am impressed!
A few months ago I was not very happy with Oceania Cruises. I have clients from two countries on the opposite ends of the world booked on the same cruise this December: Oceania Nautica from Capetown, South Africa to Singapore. Each client has different requirements for visas (and Africa’s nations are notorious for having confusing visa requirements). Each client is very well traveled and, alas, their travel agent (that would be me) is also very well experienced and is quite familiar with dealing with African visas.
Now the rub: As is often the case, the cruise line obtains blanket transit visas in many countries, so the guests are either not required to obtain an individual visa or each visa is obtained seamlessly upon arrival (sometimes at an additional cost, sometimes not). We all posed a simple question: For which countries must the guests (of two different nationalities) obtain their own visas and which ones will Oceania make arrangements for.
Oceania not only didn’t have a clue, it made a right mess of it. I need not get into the details, other than to say, after it frustrated and then angered the guests and myself, it realized that there actually was a legitimate question in there and that guests from quite a few countries actually had the same questions. Eventually Oceania advised it would obtain most every visa (at an additional cost – fair enough) for any guest desiring it and breaking out that cost by country.
It was, alas, the right answer, though a bit late.
Fast Forward: I have another client interested in booking a similar cruise for December 2011. While I was prepared for the same ordeal, I found the experience to be almost embarrassingly efficient. I made the booking and within a couple of hours I received a telephone call from Oceania, followed by an email, advising me of the various visas there were required for my clients along with an offer to add the visas to the booking or offering to allow the guests to obtain the visas on their own.
It was, contrary to the prior ordeal which lasted for quite a few weeks, a model of Oceania Cruises’ attention to improving customer satisfaction, doing its job better, and efficiency. On ordeal of just a few weeks earlier transformed into a downright pleasure.