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Flatbush Flyer

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About Flatbush Flyer

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Point Richmond CA
  • Interests
    Travel, Food, Wine, Sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Pacific Ocean

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  1. Your "first" night is someone else's "next" night (particularly on Insignia during the "world cruise" months). And, the GDR menu repeat pattern on all O ships is longer than those of most other cruise lines. What may change on the first day of a "new"' segment are waitstaff placements, which can sometimes cause a bit of isolated confusion. Also, as aforementioned, the first (and last) night of a cruise segment may find you more flexibility in getting desired times/tables in the specialty restaurants. My suggestion is to try to pre-select your initial reservations at your Plan A times (as it is for many folks, including us, that would be sea days at 7pm+\-) and use first/last days for extra reservations.
  2. We're yacht sailors. So, cabin size for us is relative. Here's the Riviera head pic I forgot to upload on my earlier post (tub/shower on right and shower on left but not completely visible). Note as well than some basic B3 balcony cabins have extended balconies (see additional pic).
  3. Huh? Riviera, custom built for Oceania (along with Marina), was first launched in 2011. And even the smallest veranda cabins have great bathrooms with both doored showers AND separate bathtubs (see pic). While the La Reserve wine pairing dinner cited above has an extra charge of under $100, few people need to pay it since it can be purchased pre-cruise with onboard credit ( which all but a very few individuals have in hand either from O or their travel agent). Of course, they always sell out. The Renaissance ships you refer to number four and are all recently/currently going through the Oceania NEXT total interior remodels (even Sirena, which was the former Ocean Princess - albeit with a $40 million upgrade upon its acquisition only several years ago. BTW, two new Allura class ships are due in 2022 and 2025, each about the same size as Riviera but with larger passenger accommodations (dropping the passenger load from 1200 to 1100) while still maintaining the largest food related space per passenger of any cruise line.
  4. Let's let OP decide after trying each line recommended. BTW, here's tonight's LaReserve dinner menu on Oceania Riviera: *Perlita Caviar d’Aquitaine with Cream of Sea Urchin Moët & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon, Epernay, France *Hoisin Sautéed Duck Foie Gras with Pecan and Cucumber Salad over Riesling Infused Watermelon Dönnhoff Tonschiefer Trocken QBA Riesling, Nahe, Germany Culatello Gran Riserva and Smoked Ricotta Tricorne Ravioli with Pumpkin Velouté Valdamor Barrica Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain *Butter Poached Brittany Blue Lobster, Vegetable Nage and Beetroot Cress Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley, California *Seared Kobe Beef, Valrhona Sauce, Franck’s Mashed Potatoes and Edamame Beans* Rocca Sveva Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva DOCG, Veneto, Italy Roasted Vacherin Mont d’Or with Grape and Truffle Salad Delas Frères Marquise de la Tourette Hermitage, Rhône, France Berry Consommé with Lime-Ginger Mascarpone Ice Cream and Sesame Crisp Inniskillin Pearl Vidal Icewine Niagara, Ontario, Canada Amarena Cherries
  5. The only scheduled "difference" (possibly affecting food) involves the "farewell from the crew" event in the show lounge on the night before the last full cruise day. If you want to experience that participatory activity, you'd have to plan dining times to accommodate it. BTW, scheduling specialty restaurants on the first/last evenings usually provides better flexibility for non-sharing reservations.
  6. Want to try a shortie on Oceania from L.A.? December 7, 2019 - seven days along coastal California from L.A. to L.A.
  7. Don't shoot the messenger. There's a reason why Bon Appetit singled out Oceania (for its consistent high quality food and service) in deciding to curate its cooking school. Same goes for Wine Spectator (sponsoring O's La Reserve). BTW, Dom Perignon now sponsors a dinner at La Reserve as well. I'm assuming you're not a food critic for any major cosmopolitan newspaper. That said, you may want to do a literature search (beyond Cruise Critic) to see which cruise line(s) are always cited by professionals for their outstanding food.
  8. Keep looking. Oceania has a Panama Canal - SF to NY starting July 5.
  9. Tell that to the classical string quartet that plays often throughout the day in varying locations on every Oceania ship. In addition, the evening shows often feature classical soloists (or the occasional jazz or local folk artists. The small show band is extremely versatile and does forays into jazz now and then. As for OP's food quest: Oceania is all about food (from a la minute cooking and al fresco dining in the casual Terrace Café to the special evenings in LaReserve, which are inspired/curated by Jacques Pepin and Wine Spectator Magazine). Unlike mass market lines, all Oceania dining venues have the same high quality ingredients/preparation with the difference for specialty restaurants (no extra charge) being more focused menus in an intimate setting. BTW OP: Oceania has no problem with you bringing your own wine onboard for in-cabin consumption or at dinner ($25 corkage). We're currently working through a case we recently carted aboard Riviera.
  10. And that is why folks need to learn how to constantly search for "value." In the greater scheme of things, I'd value most Intercontinentals in cosmopolitan cities at an average $350+\- per night, which is a bargain for a great property. For an ICH night with a $1000 "high" room cost (ICH is used for many events that can easily quadruple the price), we'd just use points. Or, w/o points, I'd look at something unique like the Blue Moon in Miami Beach (which is a Marriott Autograph Collection property).
  11. I'd be very suspicious of a local tour operator who does not know how to determine which of multiple docking locations any particular ship (on any particular day) will be using. All s/he would need to do is call the local port authority (or check its arrivals schedule on their website - if available).
  12. You've basically answered your own question with a qualifier (i.e., "mainstream") that suggests you already know that, for an uncrowded pool deck available to all passengers, you really need to consider premium/luxury lines.
  13. "Super expensive" is a relative term. For a randomly selected date (mid-October 2019), OP could get 2 standard rooms (ask for a rollaway or convertible sofa) for the AAA rate of $170/room at the Intercontinental.
  14. Your best bet in terms of quality, location and value for a great property is the Intercontinental Miami. Uber or taxi to the port from the Intercontinental is relatively inexpensive.
  15. If food quality matters to OP, there's only one choice- Oceania.
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