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Flatbush Flyer

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Everything posted by Flatbush Flyer

  1. And hopefully, those adult, frequent cruisers who watch walk away with more evidence why they should abandon mass market cruise lines in favor of the more value laden Premier industry segment.
  2. Correct. The BoB discount is approx. 5%+\-. The value of BoB is the price drop match guarantee and the cabin-dependent bonus SBC on current or future cruise.
  3. Thankfully, Orv, you are one of the few O regulars who are on top of the whole Oceania discombobulation. Thanks for your eagle eye since you save me a lot of corrective posts.😎
  4. You may have just hit the wrong changeover place/date. We do mostly multi-segment cruises (sometimes three annually) and I can’t remember not having available tours on changeover day.
  5. NEVER book O excursions on their website. As aforementioned, PDF, website and phone rep usually have different info because each resource is a different department and tour info changes throughout the 365 days prior to cruise. The web is particularly glitchy re: tour availability for multi-segment cruises!!! USE THE O PHONE REP.
  6. There are excursions on changeover day. Several days prior to that segment’s disembark, multi-segment cruisers will get a list of available tours.
  7. I recently posted an extensive explanation of the order in which SM tour use various sources of SBC (tour, general and even cash). If you use the search feature here, it’s a good place to start.
  8. Over the past decade we have purchased hundreds of O tours. For the zillionth time: NEVER use the O web cart to buy tours!!! It is extremely glitchy (as confirmed by my O contacts on numerous occasions). In particular, if you are on a multi-segment cruise, there may be tour availability showing on individual segment bookings but not on yours (at least until enough people call O to tell them someone forgot to “turn it on” for the multi-segment cruises). The only value of the O web cart is to compare your search for tours there with the most RECENT “shore excursions” PDF as well as what the O phone rep can confirm is actually available in the accounting system. SELDOM will all three sources agree on what exists and what’s available!!! All that said: someone will now post: “never have had a problem with booking tours on line.” Sure, if you’re doing a single short segment with less than 10 tours once every few years. But, even then, what’s shoeing for availability may be incorrect and you have zero chance of knowing that if you don’t cross check the different listing resources. Moreover, note that, on the web, you can’t book two tours on the same day (even though it’s allowable if there’s a 90 minute buffer between your choices). You have to call to do that. You have to also call to cancel. And ALWAYS make sure to get a copy of the Prepurchased Shore Excursions PDF - the one with all the O Life or SM math. This is the Bible when it comes to straightening out any onboard disagreement about your tour situation (including “wait list,” refunds, et al.).
  9. For future reference: when you first book your O cruise, and regularly thereafter, call O and get the most recent (up-to-date) Shore Excursions PDF (which will be adjusted for extended journeys as well as single segments). On page 1, you’ll find the minimum tour purchase requirements to get the 25% SM deal (formerly YWYW under O Life). And, as I always mention: NEVER use the O web cart to purchase your tours! It’s extremely glitchy - particularly if your cruise is a multi-segment one (I’ve explained this in numerous earlier posts over several years- worth searching for). And always get the prepurchased shore excursions PDF, which has all the math showing for your tour purchases and use of O Life or SM SBC.
  10. Here in the US, O’s (and Regent’s) T&Cs are not as kind. O assumes zero liability for the performance of its contracted services (eg., air, tours, etc). Of course, they’ll do their best to accommodate folks who purchase air and tours from O. But there’s no guarantees on anything related to stuff like missed air connections that keep you from. making your embarkation. BTW: Unless O’s chartered a flight, the ship will not wait for late comers. That said, how good a “deal” you got has zip to do with my point about adequate layover times. A 3 hour layover buffer can quickly be diminished by a 1 hour delay at your point of origin flight. And all sorts of other things can chip away at what remains. Ever been through passport control in major hubs during the summer? On one occasion for us at FRA, the line to get into the passport line was an hour in and of itself (plus twenty minutes to go through the passport control)! And we had already experienced a one hour delay at the start of our flight from SFO. We used the resulting approx one half hour (not the original three!) layover for a bathroom break and the sprint across FRA to the new gate. And what I am describing is not unusual. So despite your “great” deal, I’d still be thinking about altering your flights to add adequate layover time. But, be prepared to live with your decision.
  11. Our basic layover rule for intercontinental connections was minimum of 3 hours for many years. Due to several recent close calls with ultra busy Star Alliance hubs (e.g., FRA) and our equally busy SFO originating flights, we have increased the layover buffer to a minimum of 4 hours (fully expecting at least an hour lost to delayed starts and connection congestion). I suggest you do the same. I also caution you to reconsider using the cruise line for air. If you accept their bulk rate fare, only that ticket seller can make ticket adjustments necessitated by a bad connection situation. So, while you’re on the phone trying to get to Your cruise line’s air department in the middle of the night at home. DIYers are grabbing the last replacement flight seats thanks to gate agents at the connecting airport.
  12. Actually, the only cruises where Country Fair is as close as you’ll get to “guaranteed” is in full Pacific crossings where there are always plenty of sea days. Add to that the ceremony day for crossing the International Date Line and the always fun boatbuilding contest.
  13. One caveat: MANY DS personnel are relatively new and mostly clueless when it comes to “under the hood” of their operations. Thus, I recommend to get on the waitlist precruise and ASAP. It doesn’t negatively impact anything but still can prove that you were (and should be) further in the front of the queue for a tour spot. I had this situation recently on Riviera with one pre-cruise waitlisted tour (for which I had a senior O phone rep email detailing my addition to the wait list months prior). Onboard, a neophyte DS staffer said she had no knowledge of any precruise waitlist but had started one onboard. I showed her my O email and asked nicely to speak immediately with the DS manager (explaining first [also nicely] that I really didn’t want to have to escalate the issue as far as the GM). She left to the back office and several minutes later returned with two tix for the tour.
  14. Well let’s set the record straight. Roma Sparita is ground zero in Roma for Cacio y Pepe (at least, according to Anthony Bourdain), and here’s the ingredients (which is how we make it at home): The dish only calls for the following four ingredients (five if you count the pasta water): spaghetti, a tablespoon of freshly grated black pepper, butter, and 1 3/4 cups of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. And don’t forget the bowl made out of Parmigiano Reggiano (which calling it Parmesan is an insult).
  15. What link? And what’s with bother get the freebie although only one earned it. Either something new or fake news.
  16. If he’s the “socks” guy, I’ll pass. Zero personality.
  17. You’re not answering both parts of OP’s question. Only one of them is near cruise credit number 20. So, that partner is SOL for the comp cruise. That said, they can identify the cruise on which OP will earn CC #20 and inform O Club of the preference. O Club will let them know what the balance due is once the combo platinum and regular cruise fares are figured out.
  18. Trust me on this: Clelford is the absolutely worst CD ever employed by O. He was on some mass market line previously and the bottom-of-the-barrel mentality and attitude shoes through in all that he does. and it wasn’t just one time. We’ve had him at least twice and the badness just blends together. I even went so far as to write management at O (and NCLH) and recommend that they require him and all newly hired CDs to intern for at least part of a contract with Ray Carr. If you are unlucky enough to ever get stuck with Clelford, do be proactive and voice your legitimate concerns with O management (both on and off the ship). He is a monstrous zero and major O embarassment.
  19. I was getting a blank screen on my iPhone using Safari. Also reported it and all is back to normal. I could, ar least, see posts via the Australian website (which is where I saw your post). Kind of reminds me of cable outage where I call my neighbor and am relieved when he has the same issue 😎
  20. Agreed. Don’t forget the backpack. That said, I trust that you’ll agree that the O “messenger bags” provided at each O Club milestone level aren’t exactly top quality gear. The single Velcro fastener on the big flap cover, the shoulder strap et al. are at the low end of the performance spectrum for regular use.
  21. Only the tip of the iceberg. There are other O software glitches - particularly with O invoices - e.g., specifically dealing with any mix of OCAPP $ passed to you via a TA which then conflict with “in lieu” O Club gratuities $ coverage on multisegment cruises. The “good” news is that it all works out before embarkation (usually). But, many TAs and passengers are clueless about O idiosyncrasies. Another glitch involves tour availability on some multi-segment cruises which requires O to be notified of the problem in order to fix it. All that said, I’m ROTFL everytime someone suggests that O should have an app!
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