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Everything posted by TFree

  1. We are experienced American cruisers, but have never cruised into or out of Southampton. I will supply details below, to the extent helpful in responding, but our questions are: (1) what time should be able to walk off the ship with luggage; and (2) what time should be book a private car transfer pick-up to head to St. Pancras station to catch the Eurostar to Paris. We are 4 travelers, all Americans, disembarking Oceania Marina in Southampton on Sunday, September 22, 2024. Our booking shows arrival at Southampton at 6:00 am, and on the Oceania website, if you were booking another cabin, it says "Disembark 8 am." There are 3 other ships in port that day, including one doing an overnight and departing the next day (Queen Anne, Seven Seas Splendor and Sun Princess, the one departing the next day). We are booking a private car transfer to St. Pancras station and then taking the Eurostar to Paris, where we will continue our adventure for a few more days. Our plan is to disembark, carrying our own luggage, as early as possible, 8 am if that is the first opportunity, or earlier if the ship has been cleared. Never having been to Southampton, we don't know what to expect by way of customs. We are inclined to schedule a car transfer pickup at 8:30 am, but I don't know if that is realistic. Any help would be appreciated. Tom & Judy
  2. The search function could be your friend here. This has been discussed in multiple threads. The quick summary: many people have been unhappy about the switch. Others (probably a minority) like Ember. Tom & Judy
  3. The window has always been 30 days. There was a report that it is being shortened to 14 days, but I have not seen proof of this. We booked a cruise onboard the Vista on November 17. I don't see anything on the invoice issued onboard that states what the deadline is. However, on November 26, we received an email confirming the payment of the deposit. The text of the email includes this wording: "Attached please find your deposit confirmation for the future sailing you have selected onboard. You have made this new booking direct with Oceania Cruises. Please note that you have 30 days from the end of this current cruise to assign your new reservation to your preferred travel agent or agency." We have already transferred our booking to a TA, so regardless whether the deadline has been shortened, we are covered. If somebody has seen written documentation that the transfer period has been shortened to 14 days, I think we would all benefit from seeing that. Tom & Judy
  4. When we were on board Vista two weeks ago, we booked a new cruise departing September 10, 2024. The final payment date shown on the invoice is April 13, 2024, which is 150 days before the departure of the cruise. Tom & Judy
  5. Correct in all respects. I inquired of an agent we had used last year (although we ultimately had to cancel that cruise). He came very highly recommended from a very frequent Celebrity cruiser. I am sure that this is not the kind of travel agent who will spend hours on the phone with you going over cruises and options. But if you come to him with an already booked cruise (as here) or when you are ready to book a cruise, he offers benefits that will be hard to beat. So I am almost positive we will go with him again, and thus render moot the 30 days vs. 14 days issue (we booked on November 17, so we are good either way. Tom & Judy
  6. @EJL2023: just to give more context, we booked not only for ourselves, but for two other couples who are friends of ours, all of us going on the cruise. While we had a TA on the cruise that ended last week, we left her off this reservation, and we are not likely to use her again, since her agency apparently will not, as a matter of policy, add any meaningful benefits for a booking. So we are exploring a couple of agents we know of, and the other couples are also exploring. We will share what we learn, and see what we all want to do. This is one of those situations where the prohibition on naming TAs on Cruise Critic is irritating, even if it is understandable. Tom & Judy
  7. @schmerl: I have. (1) we were told onboard when we booked that we have 30 days; and (2) I was told on the phone today that we have 30 days. It is just unsettling when I can't find a written answer to this pretty basic question is the booking invoice, in the passenger contract, in the Terms & Conditions, or anywhere else on the website, in a time of rapidly changing rules. Tom & Judy
  8. "Oceania" is not really helpful as a source of this information. Does that mean a phone conversation? If so, apply however many grains of salt you wish. Is it in some official announcement document we can verify? I booked a cruise onboard on November 17. So presumably we have 30 days to transfer to a TA. Unless Oceania really has changed the policy effective December 1, and it intends to apply this change retroactively. So, I would be interested in tracking down the actual source of this information. Tom & Judy
  9. We were told onboard Vista that they are combinable. Tom & Judy
  10. I looked at six or eight cruises yesterday online, and then I looked at the same cruises again today. I see either no difference or a negligible difference on those cruises. Most of them are on the sale. My only conclusion is that either they posted the sale prices yesterday without announcing them, or this sale is a big nothing burger. I am going to ask at the future cruise desk on Vista. Tom & Judy
  11. It does. Currently on Vista with the basic (non-upgraded) Star Link WiFi. We have also made WiFi voice calls on board (using WhatsApp or FaceTime voice calls for people who have those features, and at least one plain old WiFi call on a Samsung phone). And we tested a Zoom video call the other day. It worked pretty well, with just a little glitchiness at times. Tom & Judy
  12. I agree that you should price it out and decide. We had the same issue with our Panama Canal cruise leaving next week. Initially, it looked like about a wash to us. The up charge was $798, but we figured (A) we would get free wine and beer; & (B) we would get a second Wi-Fi login to use as part of simplyMORE. Then, when Oceania decided to start extending the second Wi-Fi login to all cabins, whether booked through OLife or through simplyMORE, the deal no longer looked attractive to us, so we stayed with all OLife. Tom & Judy
  13. Did you use a travel agent? I discovered a few years back that some travel agents do not participate in the move up program. I did not understand it at the time, and I don’t understand it now. But if you have a travel agent, you might check with them. Tom & Judy
  14. We tried an Oceania cruise (on Marina) in October, 2021 and liked it quite a bit (with a hiccup or two, this was early post-pandemic). We take our second Oceania cruise in a couple of weeks (on Vista, Panama Canal). We thought the specialty restaurants were outstanding (you get one "free" reservation in each included with the cruise). We were less impressed with the main dining room, but in fairness our recent Celebrity cruises were in the Retreat, so maybe comparing the main dining room to Luminae is not a fair comparison. A lot of Oceania cruisers are unhappy with the switch to SimplyMore (more inclusive with no cruise-only option). Tom & Judy
  15. Just as a point of information, we are on the following Panama Canal cruise (November 3-19). Seeing your post caused me to take a look at the booklet. Ours says (p. 19): ". . . suggested gratuity of $18.00 per guest, per day" will be added. There is a footnote, but it refers to NZ and AU bookings. So whatever is different for your Panama Canal cruise, it is for your cruise only. If you find the answer please report back. Tom & Judy
  16. Jim: How interesting. My parents met while both were working at Gimbel's in Milwaukee. This would have been in the 1930's. Everybody from that generation is gone, but I assume this must have been where it was, and Google suggests that it is. I will have to check it out next time I am in Milwaukee. Tom & Judy
  17. Jim – sorry, I was actually referring to the “not your bag“ handle wrap. I am just going to order some brightly colored ones if I can’t find that specific one. Tom & Judy
  18. Jim: these are great. I see others in bright colors on Amazon, but not these specifically. Do you recall where you got them? Tom & Judy
  19. As the planner in the family, I was laughing out loud reading this. I don't get these questions from my wife, she is happy to work with me in planning. But when our kids were younger, they would drive me nuts with holiday travel. We would set up flights around Thanksgiving or spring break, and then a week or so before hand they would ask if we can change the flights. "That is a holiday weekend, are you crazy?" Tom & Judy
  20. Robin: Since I have no way to contact you directly, I will just say "thank you" here. We also take Collette land tours (through their partnership with Marriott Vacation Club), and we increasingly have gravitated toward the small group tours. So it is good to hear of one as to which you had a positive reaction. Tom & Judy
  21. We are on the following (November 3) Panama Canal cruise. The part that surprises me about what you were told is the suggestion that Vista will use the new locks. I looked up Vista's dimensions, and it clearly is of a size where it would fit in the old (Panamax) locks as opposed to the new (NeoPanamax) locks. That being so, it would surprise me if Vista would be using the new locks. I am wondering if anybody else has information on this subject. Tom & Judy
  22. https://www.nclhltd.com/investors/shareholder-benefits 100 shares. I am not sure, but I assume that you could provide proof after final payment, and still receive the onboard credit. Tom & Judy
  23. @edgee: we did the same on our upcoming Panama Canal cruise, after concluding it was about even for us WITH BOTH the extra WiFi login and the included wine and beer. Once it became pretty clear that we will get the 2nd login anyway, it was no longer an even deal for us. Our TA was able to get it switched back to OLife. Tom & Judy
  24. We were on a B2B cruise last year, and I asked a different question: can I carry over some of my large onboard credit from the first cruise to the second cruise. I was assured by others on these boards that the answer to that question was no. I did not think about the option you are suggesting. What if I just used all of my OBC to buy promo chips, and kept some of them for the second cruise? I don’t see how that would not work. I think the reason it never occurred to me was that we had already maxed out the amount of 10% bonus Pre-cruise casino purchases that we could make. If we had just used remaining OBC to buy chips to use in the casino, I assume we would then get regular chips? Maybe not. I assume someone will answer that part of the question. Tom & Judy
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