Kudos for Azamara

This item appears on page 28 of the July 2012 issue.
This is subscriber only post.
Get one year of online-only access — only $15!
Below is a sample of the article.
Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

If you would like to read an issue from the archives that is free to nonsubscribers click here.

A friend and I were on the Azamara Quest during the fire at sea that occurred the evening of March 30, 2012.

The ship had left Hong Kong on March 26 for a 17-night sailing to Singapore, with calls in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. We were heading through the Sulu Sea to Sandakan, Sabah, East Malaysia, when, hundreds of miles off the coast of Borneo, a fire broke out in the engine room. It was contained there and extinguished after a few hours.

Five crew members suffered smoke inhalation and one was severely injured. Passengers assembled at their muster stations.

The ship had only minimal electricity in the days after the incident, with no working air-conditioning or cooking facility. We went without working toilets for about six hours the first night, but they were operable after that, and the lights did work.

The first night, we slept in our cabins, as they were still cool, but on the second night most of the passengers and crew slept on deck, as it was quite warm below.

With no refrigeration, they took all the meat they had on board and grilled it, having a picnic on deck; the next evening we had another picnic.

The crew managed to get one of the four engines running, and we headed for Sandakan at about five knots, arriving the night of April 1.

I have taken 25 to 30 cruises, and I have never had better service or consideration than what was shown by Azamara Club Cruises (Miami, FL; 877-999-9553).

Over the PA system, the Captain, Leif Karlsson, did a wonderful job of keeping passengers informed and giving assurance that all necessary steps were being taken. All of the ship’s personnel were upbeat and helpful.

After two nights at hotels in Sandakan, all passengers were flown by Azamara to Singapore (some via Brunei), where our group stayed at the Conrad Hilton until flying home on April 13.

Originally paying $9,998, my friend and I had gotten a balcony cabin and air tickets, Dallas-Hong Kong and Singapore-Dallas, and $200 in shipboard credit.

Azamara provided each passenger a full refund for the voyage (I was sent a check) in addition to a voucher for nearly 100% of that same cruise fare (I was mailed two cruise certificates for us to use).

For each night spent at the hotel in Singapore, each guest was also provided $150 for meals and any other incidentals. Guests who chose to go to any other location (ex., a number were scheduled to visit Bali) got up to $300 per couple per night to cover lodging (receipts required) plus the $150 each per diem up through April 12.

I do not think that you could find a more fair arrangement.

After all of the negative publicity received in the last few years about incidents on cruise lines, it’s refreshing to see a line handle an emergency situation in such an efficient and outstanding manner.

DAVID WILLIAMS
Dallas, TX

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

A friend and I were on the Azamara Quest during the fire at sea that occurred the evening of March 30, 2012.

The ship had left Hong Kong on March 26 for a 17-night sailing to Singapore, with calls in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. We were heading through the Sulu Sea to Sandakan, Sabah, East Malaysia, when, hundreds of miles off the coast of Borneo, a fire broke out in the engine room. It was contained there and extinguished after a few hours.

Five crew members suffered smoke inhalation and one was severely injured. Passengers assembled at their muster stations.

The ship had only minimal electricity in the days after the incident, with no working air-conditioning or cooking facility. We went without working toilets for about six hours the first night, but they were operable after that, and the lights did work.

The first night, we slept in our cabins, as they were still cool, but on the second night most of the passengers and crew slept on deck, as it was quite warm below.

With no refrigeration, they took all the meat they had on board and grilled it, having a picnic on deck; the next evening we had another picnic.

The crew managed to get one of the four engines running, and we headed for Sandakan at about five knots, arriving the night of April 1.

I have taken 25 to 30 cruises, and I have never had better service or consideration than what was shown by Azamara Club Cruises (Miami, FL; 877-999-9553).

Over the PA system, the Captain, Leif Karlsson, did a wonderful job of keeping passengers informed and giving assurance that all necessary steps were being taken. All of the ship’s personnel were upbeat and helpful.

After two nights at hotels in Sandakan, all passengers were flown by Azamara to Singapore (some via Brunei), where our group stayed at the Conrad Hilton until flying home on April 13.

Originally paying $9,998, my friend and I had gotten a balcony cabin and air tickets, Dallas-Hong Kong and Singapore-Dallas, and $200 in shipboard credit.

Azamara provided each passenger a full refund for the voyage (I was sent a check) in addition to a voucher for nearly 100% of that same cruise fare (I was mailed two cruise certificates for us to use).

For each night spent at the hotel in Singapore, each guest was also provided $150 for meals and any other incidentals. Guests who chose to go to any other location (ex., a number were scheduled to visit Bali) got up to $300 per couple per night to cover lodging (receipts required) plus the $150 each per diem up through April 12.

I do not think that you could find a more fair arrangement.

After all of the negative publicity received in the last few years about incidents on cruise lines, it’s refreshing to see a line handle an emergency situation in such an efficient and outstanding manner.

DAVID WILLIAMS
Dallas, TX