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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. Sorry bud but your math is still fuzzy. However, since it appears that you may be a "concrete thinker," let's stop saying "free" and use the term "complimentary" instead. Using the original $100k example: On Oceania, you can spend LESS than $100k for the required multiple cruises (BTW, my $100k example was for a balcony) whether or not there is a "complimentary" cruise at the end. The cost of the qualifying cruises is the cost of those cruises for everyone. So, the comp cruise is no EXTRA cost to you. period! Also BTW, the complimentary cruise on Oceania can be far more expensive than $20,000 (that was just the Aussie/NZ example I used). It's ANY itinerary for 14 days in the same cabin category as you most often book. With certain itineraries, that could be worth $30k. (Note that you can also pick a longer cruise and higher cabin category as long as you pay the differential). Of course, I expect you to disagree. But, that doesn't change reality: Again, the cost of each cruise is its regular cost. After 20 credits, you are offered an additional cruise at no added cruise cost IF YOU WANT IT. And if you've done 20 credits worth of Oceania cruises, it's a good bet that you will take the comp cruise and then do another 20.
  2. With rare exceptions (perhaps the head wine steward and [depending on the size of the ship] no more than a handful of the most experienced of the wine stewards), the folks serving you wine on a cruise ship have little formal training and/or certification as a legitimate sommelier (e.g., the Court of Master Sommeliers). And what knowledge they may have is generally limited to whatever they are selling.
  3. Aussie wine fan? Since their best stuff seldom leaves the country, where do you shop for wine when you sail out of Sydney?
  4. We work diligently to identify/maintain/modify (as needed) a flexible "short list" of our preferred TAs. Whenever we have a specific booking in mind (including "book onboard"), we "shop it around" using the same basic email message asking "what can you add to the equation?" These TAs are generally in the same ballpark on perks but one may occasionally have added consortium amenities or a cruise line "partner quiet sale" that makes an unbeatable deal. Whatever may be the reason for our choice of a TA for "that" cruise, we almost always let the other TAs know "why" with the caveat that we've made our decision and are not interested in a revisited "competitive" bid). In that way, we avoid that bit of "bidding" unpleasantness while making sure that the TAs know we always remain interested in getting a good deal.
  5. Maryland for crab cakes? Time for you to switch to Dungeness here in NorCal. Speaking of which.... Napa for wine? Next trip, head west and north to Sonoma and Mendocino (nothing quite like a Deep End Mendo Pinot Noir). Given your comments, it sounds like you'll be happier sticking with the mass market lines. Please remind me which one(s) give you repetitive complimentary cruises at regular intervals? Don't worry about Oceania and the other premium/luxury lines. Most of their itineraries will continue to fill soon after they're announced. And their regular customers will continue to cruise multiple trips per year solely because they enjoy them. The loyalty perks are just "icing on the cake."
  6. In this earlier post I mentioned the "Duck and Watermelon Salad" at Red Ginger (on Oceania Riviera, Marina and Toscana). Forgot that I had a picture of the current menu. In any case, if you really enjoy Asian food:
  7. All Oceania ships' libraries have a book exchange section.
  8. Perhaps you mean Regent? If so, that's an excellent cruise line and you may find that any crew "inexperience" refers to no prior service specifically on a luxury line. That said: you may want to consider other premium/luxury lines as well, all of which will give you a more quality laden experience than what you have had before. The challenge is to find the best match for your preferences, needs and means. We're big fans of Regent's sister premium line, Oceania. Small ships, excellent food and service and, IMO, better value than Regent if you prefer the flexibility of choosing what amenities you would prefer to be complimentary (thus lowering your overall expenses).
  9. OP: There are many many posts on CC regarding how to find a good TA (including the several I've posted with very specific instructions). Use the search feature and then do the research work. You will be rewarded.
  10. Not really a "similar" problem. The O web maintenance last night was intentional. The "slow to load" experience you occasionally experience can be any one of several problems including a slow server response at their end. But, it can also be your own wireless network speed (check it with a speed website like speedof.me) or your computer/smart phone. When the problem occurs again: If it's not your own network speed, try loading the O website on both computer and smartphone. If the "slow load" only happens on one device, it may be that you have a lot going on with the slower device. Close other running programs, clear your history/cookies/etc. BTW, if physically possible, hard wire your main computer to the modem.
  11. It just may have been the timing. It definitely was a short span of time for maintenance.
  12. If I really had to pick one dish at one place: Aragosta Fra Diavolo (just like Nona's) at Toscana on Oceania ships (with the exception of Sirena where Toscana and Polo Grill have been combined to make space for Red Ginger [Duck and Watermelon salad- yum!]). Of course, with advanced request, you can get the Aragosta on Sirena too. Even though the GDR and Terrace Café food is of the same quality as the "specialty" restaurants, having these (and other) exceptional dishes always available in an intimate setting (and never at an extra cost) makes for great dining experiences every evening.
  13. My trusted info says that it definitely is maintenance and all will be back to normal soon.
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