Azamara is forwarning travel advisors that the move from its existing reservation system to the Versonix Seaware platform will require a “black-out” window of four days for online bookings towards the end of February.
The boutique cruise line has been planning the transition from Espresso, powered by former owner Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), to its own dedicated Seaware Touch system for nearly two years.
As foreshadowed exclusively by LATTE in May last year, Azamara has been developing its own in-house booking platform having severed ties with RCG when it was acquired by Sycamore Partners. That arrangement winds up at the end of this month at the two-year milestone when the contract with RCG concludes.
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Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara had told LATTE at the time, the change of systems was also part of a strategy to also avoid leakage from its own past passengers to RCG’s other brands, such as Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
In an update to travel advisors in North America last week, Azamara said online reservations will not be possible between Thursday 23 February and Sunday 26 February (US time), with transactions only able to be made via Azamara’s contact centre over that period.
“Ensure you put any reservations you are aware of in CruisingPower before February 23. During this transition to a new booking tool, your clients’ reservations will transfer to our system by February 27,” the cruise line said. During the transition, Azamara will also be putting on additional staff in its call centre to assist with reservations to ensure a seamless experience.
The cutover plan to the new website will see be active for all Azamara’s sailings from 11 March and beyond. Travel advsiors with sailings between 27 February and 11 March 2023 that require assistance will be required to contact the call centre.
Client and loyalty data will also migrate from Espresso to Seaware at the cutover date, while sailed booking history will also migrate to Seaware at the end of the transition window.
Azamara Connect’s primary objective is to simplify the overall booking experience, and bring all the tools travel advisors require into one consolidated space, making it easier to do business with Azamara.
In a webinar for travel advisors, Shai Boston, Trade Training Consultant, said Azamara had been beta testing Azamara Connect throughout January ahead of the ‘go live’ date, which will be active from Monday 27 February 2023 (US time).
Seaware Touch will be capable of processing bookings made through third-party websites such as Amadeus, TravTech, TravelPort, Odysseys, Revelex
Among the features and benefits of Azamara Connect will be:
- pre-made packages (Cruise and add-ons in a single all-in price
- air booking integration
- dynamic bundling
- combined voyages
- ability to include add-ons after a cruise sale
- integrated shore excursion reservations
- support for different currencies
- reports and insight
A new global call centre and new phone system, Ring Central, that has a call back feature has also been introduced.