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To get an idea of just how badly things can go wrong just before embarkation, I give you the example of our spent United Airlines flight from Orlando through Newark to Edinburgh, Scotland. Man, what a mess.
It was no fault of Azamara Club Cruises that maintenance issues combined with a rare form of stupidity not often seen in today’s business world, created a delay that caused us to miss sail away.
But as is commonly the mark of excellence for a service organization, Azamara smelled trouble, found it, dealt with it and came up with a plan that would get us to the ship as quickly as possible.
Initially, the people at Azamara thought it was just me who might miss the boat, due to a worsening air situation beyond their control. It was one of those moments when the moon and the stars aligned in a very bad way that could have had a domino effect, cursing other experiences if not the whole cruise as well.
Brilliantly, Azamara saw it happening and made a plan for us to get to the ship, just hours into the delay. Later, as the situation on the ground deteriorated further, Azamara came back with an updated plan.
Good. Appropriate. Well done. The story could have ended there and Azamara would surely have gone beyond their duty.
But wait, there’s more.
This cruise line is fond of using a self-created word, “Azamazing”, to describe much of what they do on a ground-level operational basis. Cute play on words, “Azamazing” could be overused quite easily without trying very hard.
When we finally arrived at Azamara Journey for embarkation, the nearly full motor coach was parked right in front of the ship for easy access and unloading.
“Great, we finally made it. Now we can put this experience behind us and move along,” was the unanimous feeling of the group, simply looking to close that chapter of travel and move along.
But then the Captain, Hotel Manager and Guest Services Manager of the ship came on to the tour bus to welcome us.
It was something I had never seen before in 100+ personal sailings on a number of cruise lines.
This was going to be good.
Chris Owen is a travel writer from Orlando Florida charged with sharing frank, inside information on cruise vacations with travelers. Certified a Master Cruise Counselor by the Cruise Lines International Association, Chris can be found via the popular travel blog, ChrisCruises.net and on the long-running cruise information website, YourCruiseDream.com.