New Cruise Line, Sort Of

Royal Caribbean has announced the creation of a new upscale cruise line called Azamara, intended to offer amenities and services somewhere between premium lines like Celebrity and luxury lines like Silversea.

Azamara just launched one ship, which had originally been intended to join the company’s Celebrity line, and is expected to launch another in October. The ships are almost identical to the three ships of the Oceania cruise line because all five once belonged to the now-defunct Renaissance cruise line. Not surprisingly, Oceania is expected to be Azamara’s main competitor.

The Miami Herald has all the details. And, of course, Cruise Critic already has an Azamara message board

The board got off to a lively start with complaints that passengers were not informed in advance of the new ship’s restrictive smoking policy (just like Oceania’s). The smokers are particularly vexed that they will not be permitted to smoke on their own balconies, but some of the non-smokers are delighted.

I’ll dive into the topic of smoking on cruise ships when I’m feeling braver. Of course Azamara should fully refund the fare of any smoker who made a reservation in the reasonable expectation that Royal Caribbean’s or Celibrity’s more permissive policies would prevail on the new ship.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about the smoking policies of the various cruise lines, Cruise Critic, of course has it covered.


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