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Flatbush Flyer

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Everything posted by Flatbush Flyer

  1. Most importantly, the difference between premium and luxury lines is NOT the quality of food and service. Rather, as is the case of Oceania and sister line Regent, it is the degree of “included” vs a la carte amenities. In any case, while there certainly is lobster available daily (even at the poolside Waves), that’s not what sets O’s culinary excellence apart from all other cruise lines. Here’s a random lunch menu from our current cruise ARN-LIS-NYC:
  2. As regards TA transfer, what you are doing is what most savvy folks do, at least until they are comfortable with a particular agency and agent. Even then, having a backup is the smart thing to do. What some posters here on CC seem to forget is that their trusted agent today can be gone tomorrow (quit, retire, ill or worse). Note as well that I am not suggesting any kind of bidding activity among TAs. Rather, it is often the case that a particular travel agency or its consortium is currently in a better position with OCAPP et al. incentive funds to do more for your deal. And if you do multiple cruises annually, each agent you trust may still get plenty of your business.
  3. Hopefully, you liked the ones closer to the $199 cap for allowable O Life tours (that effectively doubles the perk value. And remember that O Life tours count toward the minimum number required on your cruise for YWYW discount on paid tours.
  4. Remember too that you have 30 days from the deposit date to transfer to a TA for their added perks. Some of them will have access to O’s OCAPP funds (directly or via a TA consortium) which will pay your gratuities (if you don’t have high enough O Club status to always get them provided). They may also do commission sharing as refundable SBC or a rebate (at anywhere from 5-10%+\- of the commissionable fare). Needless to say, depending on your itinerary/cabin class, that can be a “chunk of change” in your pocket.
  5. As far as $ goes, you got the price drop and the $100 SBC per cabin (which is usually per segment booked). If you want to make doubly sure, request an updated invoice that will show the book onboard credit on page one and the $100 SBC under “amenities.”
  6. Usually not working on a changeover day unless you ask Guest Services to contact him/her.
  7. IMO: So wrong! In fact, it makes zero sense since it’s an onboard discount -not an after cruise discount. At the recent opening for 2024 booking, I called O the day before and gave the O rep I often use for initial bookings the details of a new booking. I also asked for the onboard booking discount since we were getting on Insignia about a couple of weeks later. No problem. One week later, I transferred the cruise to a TA. I have done this before -at least twice. Call back and talk to someone else (Sadly, like TAs, great O Reps are not “created equal.” You could also have the O Club ambassador on your upcoming cruise handle it if it’s within that 30 days since you made the initial deposit. But, if there is any problem such that s/he needs to do a rebook, you could lose your cabin pick or worst still, be subject to the 7/1 price increase. (Worst case scenario).
  8. Not all SBC appears on your account. O Life and O Club non-refundable SBC will appear. TA provided and gifted SBC does not. I’m thinking purchased SBC is treated like a gift (albeit to yourself).
  9. Call Oceania and tell the phone rep you want the “book onboard” discount/perks on the newly booked cruise since you’ll be embarking on an upcoming O cruise within 30 days. You then have 30 days from your date of deposit to transfer the booking to your preferred TA (or to another one you may choose to use) for their added perks.
  10. Normally the Cart will let you book one individual tour per person on the same day. We always do a mock booking to double check our own spreadsheet math and the only main thing the Cart will not let you do is book two tours for any person on the same day. So, if you want a morning and evening tour on any one day, you’ve got to call O to do it. Same thing goes for cancelling tours and opting to pay for them only with your CC and not your aI issued SBC. But the Cart often does glitch and it really is always best to call O and purchase tours with their phone rep (it also helps to have a regular O phone rep for cruise bookings that cannot be done as a “book onboard” (even though in each case we always then transfer bookings to our TA)). That good O phone rep is more important than ever with so many port changes/tour cancellations currently happening. Also, remember that the web tours list and the O accounting system lists don’t always jive (different departments). Literally, “one hand does not know what the other is doing.” FWIW: Get a copy of the current ShoreExcursions PDF for planning and get a copy of the PrePurchased Shore Excursions PDF when you make your phone call tours purchase. This math doc is absolutely essential once onboard for reference when O Life tours may be cancelled and you want to double check if the correct next eligible booked tour replaces it. Onboard changes to your tours account are done manually and destination services folks can sometimes make errors. On our current last two segments of the ATW cruise, we’ve had all sorts of itinerary/tour changes and a recent onboard account printout showed a couple of errors easily pointed out thanks to the pre-purchased tours PDF. Of course, you could also contact your TA to straighten it out. But, in real practice, that could take time/effort/uncertainty of “multiple players” easily avoidable by having the PDF and spending 5 minutes at the Destination Services desk.
  11. Those cruises that currently do not sell out may have more to do with Covid issues than with fare prices. In general, those who want to cruise on O (and are not letting Covid concerns stop them) will still book after the price increase (which has always happened regularly on O).
  12. Do you realize that prices are going up on July 1?
  13. Sorry for your issue. Get bizclass seats and you won’t have “pitch” problems. FWIW: air tix are always best done as DIY. Take the O air credit (even if you have the O Club free deviation perk).
  14. Doing laundry on a vacation? We keep it to a minimum with 10 day wardrobe. However, it is the aforementioned “excursion gear” for serious outdoor activities that will always make a “carry-on only” not work.
  15. SFO as a major Pacific hub for United and their customer service et al. (Including their VISA card) are primary reasons they get most of our business. Using ITA Matrix for the initial search and UA web for refinement (even knowing about the algorithms), I still usually book over the phone based on UA phone rep search (which can uncover partner connection sale prices) and my friendly request to waive the booking fee.
  16. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Not remembering that OP didn’t use a TA (and thus relied solely on O is an easy mistake. At least, now s/he knows how to figure the air credit on the website if the next cruise is also DIY.
  17. Just to be clear: you actually got nothing more than what anyone else would get from O. Hopefully, you used a good TA who then paid your gratuities and/or shared commissions.
  18. FWIW: it’s pretty clear when you check the O website and are given a choice of air/no air on page two and a price drop appears if you pick the latter. O Life page one minus o life w/o air page two equals the air credit.
  19. Incomplete info. All sorts of ways to explain that (e.g., booking $199 tours for O Life pretty much doubles 4 excursions each). $1200 pp price drop could be price drop 30 days pre-Cruise sale and/or in combo with 10% off O Club sale.. ETC ETC ETC.
  20. If you pick the right cruise line, its sodas and bottled water (as well as things like internet and specialty restaurants and even items like airfare or an air credit at no extra charge). Those same lines often also include added perks such as SBC, tours or booze. When shopping for a cruise, do not rely solely on cabin cost. Do the bottom line math on all of your required and optionally desired extras. You may be pleasantly surprised at the true cost of partially or fully inclusive cruises.
  21. Sadly- there are some really bad Travel Agencies and Agents. And even when you find one, they may not be around forever. That said, you may want to do a search here on CC. I have (on several occasions) posted detailed instructions on how best to find a good TA who specializes in cruising. One thing for sure: It usually takes time and effort! But, it can be rewarding both in level of service/problem solving and added perks like commission sharing.
  22. Sure- if you’re going on a <1 week boat ride. Long itineraries (e.g., 3-5+ weeks), particularly to locations where you’ll add “gear” (snorkeling, hiking...) don’t work well for just a “carry-on.” Have you flown since the beginning of this spring? Many airlines have started to more strictly enforce the carry-on “bag box” limits as well as require the last passengers to board to check their carry-on bags. And don’t forget that most international carriers have more restrictive size/weight carry-on limits than do US domestic carriers.
  23. Perhaps you’re missing the main points of extra dayS (Particularly if you’re talking about intercontinental flights with a connection). At a minimum, see my post #47. If your flight is cancelled, the next flight with available seats may be the next day or even two days later.The luggage issue is also a major concern (reuniting can easily take at least a day).
  24. And let’s not forget that “catch the next plane” ain’t gonna happen for most folks since any empty seats will go to the FFs and top $ fare payers from your cancelled flight.
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