Azamara Adds Third Ship

“We are pleased to expand our portfolio by 50 percent, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world through the acquisition of this sister ship,” President and CEO Larry Pimentel said in a press release. “Our loyal guests and travel partners have asked for this expansion for a long time; we are very pleased to deliver this to them.”

Just like Azamara’s two existing ships, this one was originally built for the now defunct Renaissance Cruises. The last of eight “R” ships for the line, the 30,277-gross-ton, 592-foot ship debuted in 2001 and has bumped around cruise lines including sailing as Princess Cruises Royal Princess from 2007-2011. The ship then moved over to Carnival Corp.’s P&O Cruises, which serves mostly British cruisers.

In 2016, it made the remarkable switch to the Fathom brand, becoming the first U.S.-based cruise ship to visit Cuba in years, before returning to P&O this year.

When it changes over to become Azamara Pursuit, the ship will have its decor refit to match its new sister ships, and the line will roll out itinerary details in October.

Azamara has tried to set itself apart from competing luxury brands like Seabourn and Crystal by focusing on its destinations, especially offering more time in port including overnight stays on most of its itineraries. It also gave both of its existing ships makeovers in the last two years.

“Azamara needed to take our onboard product to the next level,” Pimentel said in 2016. “Cruise ships are like fine hotels, after wear and tear, upgrades need to be made.”

For more on the new ship, go to www.azamara.com/pursuit.

Nine Tips for Your Next Royal Caribbean Cruise

1. Email alerts

Royal Caribbean will send you email alerts on their latest discounted cruises, special fares, and last minute deals. If you are a planner or someone who likes to take off on an impromptu vacation, this is a smart way to save some money.

2. Repositioning cruises

When cruise lines are relocating specific ships to a new port, they will offer deeply discounted travels. You will then have to make accommodations for a return trip (since your ship will not be traveling back to the embarkation port). These types of trips are perfect for staying a few days at the port city prior to returning home.

3. Online check-in

Take advantage of the convenient online check-in services at Royal Caribbean. You can also complete other paperwork such as waivers prior to departure. It will make your standing-in-line-time shorter on embarkation day.

4. Specialty restaurants

Browse through the specialty restaurants on your specific RC ship ahead of time. If you make three reservations, this should qualify you for a ship’s credit in the 30%-40% range. This discount should be available to use at any point throughout your cruise for any item you wish. (As always, read the fine print for specifics.) Also, ask for the children’s discount in specialty restaurants for a flat rate kid’s meal.

5. Group rates

Royal Caribbean honors discounts if you belong to certain groups, such as senior citizens, military, and even residents of some states (Florida). If you use a travel agent, they will be able to quickly check for all types of group rates. You may also be able to receive a cheaper cost for certain shore excursions if you book early and apply your special rates.

View Prices on Cruises on Royal Caribbean

6. Alcohol

This cruise line allows you to bring two bottles of wine (750ml each) per cabin onto the ship only on boarding day. (You are not allowed to bring liquor or beer.) If you buy some delicious spirits at your ports of call, they will be held for you until the end of the cruise. Pinnacle and Diamond Plus passengers get three free drinks each night (soda, water, wine and liquor from a list); and The Diamond Lounge has free drinks from 5PM to 8PM every night.

7. Stand on the bow

If your ship is in the Voyager, Radiance, or Freedom class, you can actually stand on the bow of the ship – just like in the movies! It feels like flying (wind and all).

8. Watch the Aqua Show from above

On the Oasis class of Royal Caribbean ships, you can look down on the Aqua Theatre from deck 14. It’s a neat change of perspective, and you won’t get wet perched way above the show.

View Top 10 Prices Drops on Royal Caribbean Cruises

9. Join the club

After your first cruise with Royal Caribbean you may wish to join the membership club called “Crown & Anchor.” This will allow you to get all the latest news, maximize your discounts, and get access to special events and locations on the ships.

Bon Voyage!

Royal Caribbean Announces a Non-Refundable Program

Royal Caribbean has announced a new Non-Refundable Deposit Program that will be launched fleet-wide on July 1, 2017.

However prior to the full launch on July 1, this new program will be seen on select ships and sailings.  So what is this new program from Royal Caribbean?

Cruisers will have the choice to choose the Non-Refundable Deposit Program when booking a cruise more than six months before sailing. Those that do choose this fare will receive up to $100 in onboard credit. The best part is that the early booking credit is combinable with the existing promotional offer available at time of booking, offering you the ability to stack on additional savings for the best deal out there.

  • Cruises 1-5 nights: $25 on board credit for interior/ocean view, $50 for balcony and suites
  • Cruises 6+ nights: $50 on board credit for interior/ocean view, $100 for balcony and suites

When booking a cruise, the Non-Refundable Deposit fare will default to the Best Rate whenever available, as it will always be priced lower than the Regular Brand Promotion.

In an effort to deter continual or late ship/sail date adjustments, a change fee of $100 per guest will be imposed to all reservations booked under a nonrefundable deposit fare that opts to change either the ship and/or sail date originally selected. Such fees will be incurred, without exception, at time of change.

Multiple adjustments to the ship and/or sail date of a booking will result in the assessment of a $100 per guest change fee for each qualifying change made to the reservation. There is no limit on the number of change fees that can be incurred.

Outside of final payment, when a nonrefundable deposit cancellation occurs, you will receive a Future Cruise Certificate in the amount of the designated cruise deposit, less the $100 per guest change fee. Such Future Cruise Certificates can be applied towards your future Royal Caribbean cruise vacation when reserved within 1 year of the issue date. Thereafter, the Future Cruise Certificate will expire and becomes invalid.

Nonrefundable deposit fares are combinable with promotional onboard credit offers, Crown & Anchor discounts, and NextCruise benefits. Such fares are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, standard group, interline, travel agent, travel agent friends & family, net as well as weekly sales events and shareholder benefits.