Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About UDSpud

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    travel, bridge, sports
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. UDSpud

    Reviews of Oceania

    To those who have problems and post (like this thread). Please note, in your post here, if you included your issues on the mid-cruise and ( along with a follow-up) on the end of cruise survey comments. I have had strong indications that they are read and some acted upon immediately. I do think it is possible that Oceania has not gotten its fair share of attention ( especially $ attention) from Norwegian Cruise Lines , Inc. ( the corporate parent ) This is only my opinion.
  2. UDSpud

    3 strikes and your out

    Over the longer term, the charter issue may be self resolving. Here is why I feel this may be the case. To me it appears that most of the new ships launched recently, and scheduled to be built, appear to be the very large types. This, I describe as over 2,000 passengers. With this the ratio of new staterooms on new ships will shift even more toward large ships. As the aging of America continues, I feel the demand for smaller, quieter and small port usable with a dock could increase faster than available staterooms. Viking Ocean appears to be placing a very large bet on this assumption. Another note on charters - In the last 6 months to two yeas ago, there was a discussion on CC about a charter booking of a cruise on Crystal. The rumor was the a large, and possibly prestige, car manufacturer was rewarding excellent dealers/salesmen. Crystal possibly took the opportunity to "sell" their cruise line to a ship full of high income individuals and couples. A related side discussion, concerned a lady who was said to have all ready booked one particular stateroom on that ship for the entire year. The conjecture was what was to happen to her for that charter cruise. I never heard the resolution and what was true or was not true. So much for my 2 to 5 cents worth.
  3. UDSpud

    3 strikes and your out

    Dear Hawaiidan I have enjoyed your CC posts on the Oceania board for quite a while. I am disappointed that Oceania appears to have treated you so poorly. If it suits you, please advise a to what other cruise line CC board I can read your comments on in the coming days. Calm seas, great sunsets and memorable travel adventures to you in the future.
  4. UDSpud

    Tipping on ocean cruise

    A tipping issue I would like advice from other cruisers about is as follows - If you give an additional gratuity to an individual crew member for excellent service and/or good nature, are they required by the cruise line or ship to share with others of their group (IE servers in the buffet, room stewards or other groups)? If the answer is no, is their pressure from others in their work group to share? Note: I always in leaving a tip for our cabin attendant suggest that they share with their assistant. I have also found that early tipping to crew members, that have proven to be worth an extra gratuity, is appreciated and often results in more of the same for the rest of the cruise. Remember they may use that early extra on some port time off the ship activity. One final note - a "did you enjoy your cruise" may be a subtle request for a gratuity, but often is a hoped for mention in your end of cruise comments survey which can result in promotions and/or future contracts.
  5. UDSpud

    Convince me

    As one who has cruised many cruise lines and different ships within a cruise line, I have another "evaluation" tip to add regarding continuing or changing cruise lines and/or ships. This is my additional list beyond those usually mentioned on CC: 1. How do they react to problems they created or caused ? 2. How do they react to problems I caused ? 3. (and for me especially) How do they react when I ask if I can do something out of the norm ? 4. How do they react to problems neither of us caused (weather, port changes etc) ?
  6. Why the "Warning". This is the explanation for this thread, embarrassing to me though it may be (Obviously the embarrassment extends from "A to Z" - as in Azamara as opposed to Asamara in my spelling). When I saw the CC news report recently on the Pursuit ( I all ready knew Azamara had two "R" ships ), I knew that some Oceania CC board comments have concerned the "R" ships.The smaller bathrooms, small showers and shower curtains quickly came to mind. So, I thought some might be thinking of "jumping ship" from Oceania "R" ships to Azamara may not know that Azamara has "R" ships. I forgot that CC users are smart and would read CC about Azamara before switching. As for the humor part, perhaps I can attribute this failure to a lot of Oceania entertainment (or maybe just genetics). I was going to say more about the Azamara spelling, but then I noted the squiggle line under Azamara in this reply. Sorry to waste your time when I could have said something political.
  7. I just noticed, on Cruise Critic News, that Asamara has just added another ship. It just happens to be the 8th and final "original" "R" ship. They, like Oceania with the Sirena, have decided to purchase and redo an "R" ship. It is my understanding that their entire fleet is made up of "R" model ships. So if you have major problems with the Oceania "R" ship design basics, as many have stated on CC, then you at need to consider Asamara with care. I will note the Asamara has made changes (no casino comes to mind). I think the following is correct as of now. Oceania - 4 original "R" ships Asamara - 3 original "R" ships Princess - 1 original "R" ship
  8. UDSpud

    Tipping on ocean cruise

    Time for a different thought. I once met a buffet food server, young and Russian, on another cruise line who had been very kind and efficient, although shy and probably on her first cruise. I, in turn, tried to smile and use her first name. On the last full day, I tried to give her the plain white envelope with a $10.00 US inside. Being new, she opened it immediately. To my surprise, she looked, said "this is too much" and literally tried to push the bill back to me. I said it was well deserved and probably too little and pushed it back. I later did the right thing and mentioned her by name in my end of cruise comments and noted why she was a good employee. Since I was on a back-to-back, I noted that she was promoted first to a "take the food to the table" waitress and later to a waiter assistant in the Italian specialty restaurant.
  9. UDSpud

    Oceania NEXT

    Why do all four ships have to be so similar? Let try two without casino's. Let try two with old style but new furnishings. Lets try two that emphasize overnight port stops (yes the fares will be higher, but fuel costs may be less). Lets try an older name entertainer for which there would be reserved seats and a fee. I would pay, like a shore excursion, to hear some singers from the past. Petula Clark would be an example. Carole King, Carly Simon and others come to mind. How about a specialty restaurant that features Southern and New Orleans food, or other US regional food. Lets think outside the ship (box).
  10. UDSpud

    Marina music

    We recently returned from a 25 day Marina cruise. Despite frequent CC complaints about the entertainment, I found the Marina Production Company to be of consistently high quality. ( I also saw "Wicked" in London for 33 Lbs per ticket. Better, but not by that much.) Thanks to Amanda, Kacey, Robbie and Travis - Elana and Mason - Samantha, Michael, Bethany-Jayne, James, Casey and Attila. All very good performers and even better individual people. Anyone sailing on the Marina soon can draw their own conclusions.
  11. UDSpud

    Oceania --> Viking Ocean?

    We will be trying our second Viking cruise in order to give them a second chance. Our first turned out to be their first post hurricane cruise, out of and back to San Juan PR, and was less than full and probably (hopefully) not offering as much as normal. This one will be 14 days New York to Miami mainly through the southern Caribbean in October 2018.. I found the staterooms (veranda's) about the same size as the Oceania "O" (1250 passenger) ships and both very good for our needs. On our only Viking cruise, I found the on the ship activities lacking (unless you really like to sit and listen to lectures). Their daily newsletter usually listed just two or three things to do on board in the AM. Best feature was a thermal pool in the spa area which I regarded as fairly large. I encourage you to read the Oceania boards. My personal feeling about Oceania is headed by the quality of both passengers and crew. A lot of Viking passengers on our one cruise talked about Viking river experiences. Viking schedules will continue to improve in variety as they add more ships.
  12. UDSpud

    Amenity change on Nov 1, 2019

    Thanks to Paulchili, post # 202 for catching my math/or typing amount error. I checked the website after comparing the two brochures mailed to me. The brochure with the 11/2/2019 and after (enhancement?) data (If I remember properly) did not mention the custom air waiver, but the website did (hence post #201) I advise using the website and compare to future mailings and emails. Note the website uses the "all from the prior level plus the current level" approach so get could be hard to check specific amenities. Sorry for any confusion, I probably should have waited another week before attempting this.
  13. UDSpud

    Amenity change on Nov 1, 2019

    To my post # 200 today - I just went to the /oceaniaclub reference. It offered two lists "before 11/1/2019" and "after 11/1/2019" (So per these tables only, I assume, if you embark on 11/1/2019 neither table applies.) However the new brochure I referenced said the new rewards enhancements applies to cruises embarking "on of after 11/1/2019". The new after 11/1/2019 DOES note the custom air fee waiver from gold up still will be there. Please check this for yourself.
  14. UDSpud

    Amenity change on Nov 1, 2019

    I received two days ago a 2108-2019 voyages brochure entitled "Enticing Discoveries" in the mail from Oceania. Page 9 of this page labeled "Oceania Club" - "Your World of Rewards has (to the best of my knowledge) the first written example of "Oceania Club Membership Rewards" changes that I (me personally and direct from Oceania) have seen. I compared it to a similar "Oceania Club Membership rewards table in an earlier mailing of "2019-2020 Collection" which, to the best of my knowledge ( we are Silver level now) had current in effect rewards. At the bottom of the Gold colored table box it said "Please note the latest enhancements to Oceana Club Membership Privileges will go into effect on voyages embarking on or after November 1, 2019" My comparison showed at least the following: 1. Decreases in benefits Prior then after 10/31/2019 then Increase<decrease> shipboard credits Bronze $ 200 $ 100 <$100> Silver 400 250 <150> Gold 500 400 <100> Platinum 600 500 <150> Diamond 1000 750 <250> President's 1000 1000 0 2 Complementary Custom air waiver Now gone value was 350 0 <350> 3. Prepaid Gratuities - unchanged 4. Several other items not discussed or like internet service - unclear "See OceaniaCruises.com/oceaniaclub for details" Sorry if any of this turns out to be wrong, but I tried to compare the newest table to a prior recent table
  15. UDSpud

    New Ships When?

    To Mura - post 38 Cost effective? Crystal thought so and has already done this. This is why I started the tread "will Oceania pull a Crystal". Remember that Oceania thought buying and repairing the Sirena was cost effective. A traveling sales representative at our AAA store for a multi-line cruise presentation show told me she had heard that a roughly 1,000 passenger ship (Viking size) was being considered for Oceania. If ports like Venice start limiting, or even closing out the large ships, the popularity of the less than 2,000, or even 1,500 passenger ship may grow.