This morning at 5:00 am, we received an email from Azamara explaining the new itinerary changes excluding Russia and Ukraine. It has changed as follows. To see, you must click the following link.
The cruise is still priced as expensive as the original Black Sea cruise, which we’d been willing to pay for since this was a long-desired itinerary since we began traveling. This new itinerary doesn’t appeal to us. We’ve already done a cruise to the Greek Islands, thoroughly enjoying it but not interested in repeating that past itinerary. We’d booked the back-to-back to Greece because we wanted to extend the long-awaited Black Sea cruise.
Now, with the Black Sea out of the question due to the war in Ukraine, we aren’t interested in the second leg. Thus, we’ve decided to cancel this cruise and the back-to-back second leg (again the Greek Islands) we’d booked for 21 nights. We have to call Costco Travel to do this, and the only time we can call in is at night due to the time difference. Each time we call, we’ve been on hold for at least an hour.
This morning, there was a message on Costco Travel’s website stating they were recovered today from a phone outage yesterday and waiting times will be longer than usual…what??? Longer than one hour on hold? No thanks. We’ll wait a few days and call. We could cancel online, but we’d lose our deposits.
The only way we can be assured the amounts we paid in full for these two cruises of US $14,923, ZAR 223257 is to call and ask them to contact Azamara, explaining we want to cancel due to the unforeseen itinerary changes and have the funds transferred to our other upcoming cruises starting in November 2022. This can’t be accomplished online.
When booking through a travel agency such as Costco Travel or Vacations-to-Go, the cruise line requires all changes handled through the booking agency, not through the cruise line itself. Otherwise, we’d call Azamara ourselves.
So with these changes, we’re back to May 22 when our time in Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada ends, and we need to decide where we’ll go until the next cruise sails in November, which is a full six months. When we peruse the world map and consider places we’ve been and places we’d like to go, we find issues due to damage done to the economy of many countries due to two years plus of Covid and the remnants of lockdown and isolation.
We’ve already spent over two years in the South Pacific, visited many significant areas in South America, spent plenty of time in Europe, and had a long, painful time in India. And it goes on and on. Please take a look at our world travel map on the top right side of our page. As you can see, we’ve visited many parts of the world.
Sure, we could easily spend the next ten years visiting new places. And we will see new and unusual places. But at this point, we ask ourselves, do we want to go there based on a burning desire or just to go somewhere? With the high prices on fuel with airfare and car rental rates escalating by the hour, where exactly do we want to go?
We aren’t done traveling by any means. There is nowhere in the world we’d like to live permanently right now. But, we have become a bit disillusioned by the outcome of the pandemic and now the war in an area of the world we longed to see. We don’t feel compelled to go anywhere in particular right now. For now, we love cruising, and the more we can do, the better.
So, our focus will be on where we can visit and cruise to fill in some of the blanks in the itinerary we’ve built over the years. Searching and discovering those desirable new places and cruises continues to be exciting and fulfilling. It is from that perspective we continue on our journey. And, of course, we always enjoy our time in South Africa and always will.
Photo from one year ago today, March 18, 2021: