– 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)
It appears that rough seas are continuing for Ritz Carlton’s Evrima, albeit at least now she is finally sailing.
It is painfully obvious that Ritz Carlton is aware of the situation as the expected celebratory photos and press releases haven’t been forthcoming.
The Points Guy has published an article, that while trying to be kind, points out a number of significant issues identified by some onboard guests. There are also a few comments on the Ritz Carlton’s Yacht Facebook page as well.
According to reports, construction – painfully – still continues; apparently with work until 2:00 AM the night before the inaugural cruise. That, to be sure, isn’t that unusual in and of itself, but read on!
A number of the top suites have not yet been completed – causing at least one guest to be involuntarily downgraded from a top-category View Suite to a standard balcony suite. (Options to rebook, take a refund, have the price adjusted, etc. were given).
Some of the pools are not operating, the in-suite telephone system isn’t working, the in-suite climate control system is malfunctioning, some public bathroom locks are trapping guests inside, the wine list hasn’t been completed and the Destinations department doesn’t have a handle on the various ports.
Add to that the staff not being able to deliver a Ritz Carlton level of service, not only because they are confronted with the aforementioned problems, but not being given the chance to have a few training sailings, and it is quite troublesome. One suite “concierge” was apparently absent for the first few days of the cruise.
In addition, while the overall comments about the cuisine are good, one guest reported that she and her boyfriend dined at the S.E.A. specialty restaurant at a whopping cost of $695 and complained of “very small portions”; leaving them still hungry.
While there are compliments about the ship and the staff – and I am certain they are well-earned – after three years of delays and multiple shipyards, construction managers, etc., I have to wonder how deep the problems actually run and if the correction of this plethora of disappointments can be remedied in the near future. (And remember, Ritz Carlton has abandoned this type of ship as its future plans are for an entirely different, and larger, pair of ships.)
I know that some of my clients were disappointed by my recommendation that they let Ritz Carlton sail its ship for at least a year before even considering booking a cruise. Sometimes distasteful advice is more valuable than merely saying, “yes”. At this point, I do not know what the future holds for Evrima, but with so many options out there and more coming, you really need to ask yourself if your love of the Ritz Carlton hotels and brand name is worth also being applied to this ship.
I will continue to follow the ship, keep my fingers crossed that things get better, and – as always – work to give you the best advice.