Plenty more join Larry’s Club

//Plenty more join Larry’s Club

Azamara Club Cruises CEO Larry Pimentel had more than the 2012 Olympics on his mind when he was in London this week. Glowing with pride at the way in which the two-ship line has performed since he took charge in summer 2009, he was looking forward to a dramatic increase in the number of passengers from the UK.
Although most of the passengers on the boutique ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest are from the US, about 15 per cent are Brits. Larry expects that proportion to double within the next two years, with many of them joining cruises for the first time.
He says they are attracted by the up-market, country-club atmosphere on board the ships, which are almost identical in design to Oceania’s Insignia, Nautica and Regatta, and P&O’s Adonia, which will join the UK brand’s fleet in May.
Larry, a cruise industry veteran who has run Cunard, Seabourn and SeaDream, introduced a number of changes to differentiate Azamara from its rivals. He slowed down itineraries and brought in a number of overnight stays in port, adding something he calls “night tourism.”
“What’s the point of visiting somewhere like San Tropez and leaving at six in the evening?” he says. If you haven’t been in San Tropez at two in the morning, you haven’t been in San Tropez.”
Although he acknowledges that the ships’ standard cabins and bathrooms “are not the biggest in the business,” he brought in butler service for passengers in the top 42 luxury suites, and they have been scoring 300 out of 300 in customer satisfaction surveys.
Both ships will be in Europe this summer. Journey will sail Mediterranean itineraries from April to June and return in September and October after voyages to the Baltic and fjords. Quest’s cruises to Croatia and to the Greek islands are proving particularly popular.
They are also available for private charter – one will hosting a grand wedding party for 400 people on a voyage from Monte Carlo to Rome. I wonder if Larry could persuade the British Olympic squad to take over a ship for a post-Olympics celebration.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:11+00:00 28 January 2011|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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