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Flatbush Flyer

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Everything posted by Flatbush Flyer

  1. I wish folks would use the search feature here on CC. There have been many many threads (quite a few involving my detailed responses) that highly recommend NEVER using the O web cart (originally for O Life and now, seemingly, it’s necessary for SM as well. As for your SM package discount (formerly called Your World Your Way, different itineraries require different minimum number of purchased tours to get the 25% off. If you qualify and the Cart’s bottom line didn’t jive with your own “correct” math, call O and the phone rep will straighten it out. And make sure that you get a copy of the “prepurchased shore excursions PDF with all the math shown for your purchase. This doc is essential to make a point with Destination Services onboard if there’s any disagreement about what is owed you if O cancels your tour(s). You can also have your TA do this all. But, know that many (if not most) TAs are clueless about the idiosyncrasies of O’s excursion policies and practices. And when the “poop hits the fan” regarding your ship’s excursions while you’re onboard, your best resource/advocate is YOU. BTW: Once onboard, if your total tours booked falls below your minimum for the 25% discount due to an O cancelation, you do not lose the discount on the remaining tours. However, the refunded SM tour SBC cannot be used for anything other than replacement tours.
  2. At least (until the recent FDR Sr retirement), the bulk of NCLH’s executives were previously Oceania execs (from FDR to. Bob Binder and on down the line). With FDR senior at the NCLH helm, there was little worry that “his baby” (O) would ever get the short end of the stick. But, that was then and this is now. Moreover, FDR Jr (now heading up O) remains an uncertain as regards his familial devotion to the brand.
  3. It’s not just cruise lines. Try airlines and hotels- lots of glitches. That said, however, the one travel website (and it’s accompanying app) that I have found to be the least problematic and best maintained/updated is United Airlines. Add to that the fact that they actually answer their phones!
  4. Just booked a multi-segment SYD-Bali-SYD (35 days on Riviera) in the newly available 2026 itineraries. It was supposed to be two ATW segments on Vista (based on pre-roll out segment intel). But a now-confirmed disembark in Dubai instead of Mumbai (for a cruise starting in Sydney) put an end to that plan. FWIW, not only do we like the SYD-Bali-SYD itinerary, the fare ((for pretty much the same cruise duration) on Riviera is significantly less. But, the real killer was a bizclass airfare price check (this year’s) of RT SFO-SYD vs the multi-city SFO-SYD/DXB-SFO. That multi-city for a variety of different dates and airlines was as much as twice the SYD-SYD RT. Final decision was easy!
  5. These fold out 3D globes come in varying sizes. Bought ours in a eclectic shop in Miami.
  6. Should you eventually decide to return often to Oceania, the value of certain of the GMs knowing you will become apparent in quite tangible ways. CDs are, perhaps, less influential but knowing who will be onboard can prepare you for their style, which can vary significantly from uniquely entertaining to a bothersome PITA.
  7. The four “inside corners” extended balconies on Marina and Riviera (e.g., 7108) interior cabin size is exactly the same as the regular B cabins (recently changed to Concierge) next to them.
  8. It’s called a “custom” cruise and, though the fare base discount of an “extended journey” (published multi-segment) will often be better than a “custom” cruise’s approx. 5% discount, the extra O Club perks may make it the better deal.
  9. A common occurrence! With the understanding that O’s mantra is “no double dipping,” the technically correct answer is that your multisegment fare cannot be disaggregated for the purpose of a sale on one segment. It’s one of the perceived downsides of booking a published multi-segment cruise. Of course, you could rebook under the right circumstances. But, that would be at the current prices and perks (as well as loss of the base discount you had on the multi-segment cruise you had originally booked). But, that’s seldom a better deal than the cost of an original booking done 1 year +\- prior. All that said, there are other options worth pursuing. One that has worked for me on occasion (depending in part on your TA’s “O connectivity” (e.g., O elite level of the connoisseurs club)) is to ask for all/part of the sale savings as non-refundable SBC (so that no cash changes hands).
  10. Depending on your O Club level (particularly if you’re Platinum or above), how you book those multi-segments (even when booked onboard), affects their discount amount and the O Club perks as well as cruise credits. (And it can affect Roll Over in certain cases). That said the math has to be done by the OCA or by you to figure out which of the available ways is most efficacious. Hopefully you’re considering that in your choices. FWIW, we pretty much only do multi-segment cruises (soon will pass the 500 nights on O mark).
  11. Again, there is no “back to back” phrase in O bookings. They’re either individual segments or multi-segments and the devil is in the detail of what you get (or not) depending on how you book the adjacent segments. Thus, if you have booked separate published adjacent cruises - each with it’s own booking number, your perks/reservations/etc are per segment. Once onboard, you could certainly try to have Roll Over of unrestricted SBC. But, there’s no guarantee until you see it in print.
  12. The more important question is why did you book them separately (even with a multiple segment discount - usually about 5%). If they were advertised as an “extended journey,” the fare discount would be significantly more. The only $ benefit to individual adjacent bookings is multiples of O Club perks (which usually requires that you are at least platinum to see substantial extra SBC).
  13. There really is no such thing as a “back-to-back” cruise in Oceania’s booking language (which does all its bookings by “segment(s).” There are individual cruises (each with it’s own booking number) that may be adjacent to another segment OR their may be multi-segment cruises of different types (with the distinctions being VERY important- particularly when it comes to Oceania supplied perks. Though Simply More may ultimately play out differently than O Life when it comes to carry-over SBC (of whatever type), you will probably want to get your best fare price(s) when initially booking adjacent segments. And, in almost all cases, that means booking them as an “extended or grand journey” (multiple segments marketed as a single cruise with a single booking number) or as a “custom cruise” where you join two segments - still with an individual booking number. Note however, that the O perks with each of these options can vary significantly from the size of the fare discount to what you get from the O Club. All that said, whether allotted O Life tours (or SM tour SBC) or even initial specialty restaurant reservations, they’re all doled out per segment. Now, if this was O Life and you had a single booking number multisegment cruise, regular SBC would carry over to the next segment. But SM tour SBC may be an unknown (though someone here may be able to report a recent experience). What is a good bet, however, is that separate individual booking numbers will be treated as totally separate entities. But, for me, it’s still just a bet.
  14. Interesting that you don’t care for Marseilles. Years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time there at the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime. There’s much culture, history, art (about two dozen museums) (and, of course, bouillabaisse) to be enjoyed in one of France’s most visited cities. But, like so many cruise ports, it may take longer than a half or full day every few years to have that experience “special” to you.
  15. With the understanding that the USD, of course, remains the “coin of the realm” on Oceania ships (including for added gratuities), there certainly are occasions when augmenting $$$ with appropriate local currency makes sense for all concerned. This is especially true for crew mid-contract on a series of reverse segments where they’ll often do internal money exchanges that save them the time and expense of finding exchange outlets in port and paying some exorbitant fee. Savvy cruisers chat with service crew they encounter on a daily basis and can quickly determine when a mix of currencies might be useful/welcomed.
  16. In a premiere American food city like San Francisco, being a waiter/waitress in a restaurant that is popular with both locals and tourists alike (e.g., Scoma’s, The Slanted Door, Perbacco…) and is always packed with patrons makes for a very good living!
  17. Nautica does tend to do sonewhat “longer” cruises Two of those four are 25 days each. What I find interesting is that she disembarks in Mauritius.
  18. Actually, it appears that YOU wanted the last word.😉
  19. ROTFL. What happened to “cultural sensitivity” being a two way street? Twenty percent is not “ridiculous” to most cosmopolitan city residents in the US. And we’ll pay it to foreign wait staff if that’s what we want to do. BTW, our minimum wage in California for even just a fast food worker is $20 USD/hour (about $35 NZD). And regular restaurant workers get at least $16 USD/hour (about $27 NZD) plus any locally mandated health et al. benefits coverage. And, finally, if anything is “ridiculous,” it’s the suggestion that a savvy NZ waiter would have ANY sort of “issue” with an apparently “generous” 17.5%+ tip.
  20. So, a fairly US standard 20% tip on a single $400 NZD meal (>$200 USD for that meal alone) would be $80 NZD, which at a local exchange bureau might conservatively translate to at least $40 USD. I’m pretty sure most wait staff (worldwide - not just NZ) with a bunch of those US $20 bills in hand would find the time and energy to go to the exchange bureau every once in awhile. $$$ 😎 Just checked Travelex. Those two $20 USD bills would net someone “only” $70 NZD (17.5% tip on that $400 NZD tab). Case closed!
  21. You may want to reread your post: “Anyway, the whole experience left us less than happy to return to the US. Not sure we would ever get used to the rudeness in general and the ‘tipping’ culture in particular.”
  22. If you ever decide to do one of Oceania’s “R” ships, where some “larger” folks find many of the cabin showers to be “too small,” here’s a proven strategy for enjoying the shower: 1. Only shower when the ship is underway in rough sea conditions. 2. Get wet and lather up completely with soap. 3. Under running overhead shower, spin around against the shower walls allowing ship motion to agitate you (just like a washing machine). 4. Rinse off thoroughly. 5. Towel dry. BTW: if the seas are extremely rough, you won’t even need to go to the spa for that massage!
  23. So, of all places, you pick Miami, Florida by which to judge an entire country?
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