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Everything posted by Rhett789

  1. Well, we made it home from this Istanbul to Dubai cruise. I also was told that there were 450 passengers, and then over 20 left in Cyprus. Needless to say the service wax excellent and the crew was wonderful. We enjoyed the ease of attending shows, high tea, etc with so few people. We enjoyed the cruise even though it was not what we purchased. Other than the itinerary changes our biggest complaint was over the air booking. We certainly learned a lesson to NEVER let the cruise line book your flights. We paid $9400 over the O Life price (that included economy air fare). Oceania apparently booked the cheapest flights imaginable. Initially when Oceania offered to let passengers cancel and transfer for FCC, we were told that our business class upgrade would be our penalty. I checked with the airline and they had no record that tickets were purchased for us. I called back Oceania and they insisted they were purchased, they could not under any circumstance (even with an added charge) be transferred to other flights. I tried to find out if we could still use the flights if we cancelled out on the cruise. No one could answer this question. No calls back. Then you all know that Oceania rescinded the offer to transfer to FFC. So we decided to go. There are direct flights from Washington DC to Istanbul, as well as home from Dubai, but they booked flights with layovers in them. The flight from DC was delayed for 3 hours due to a mechanical, so we missed the flight in Munich to Turkey. We spent almost 2 hours trying to get a flight to Turkey (no help from Oceania). We had to take an economy flight to get there that day. We got in late of course and there was no one to pick us up at the airport in Istanbul. I called several times and was told someone would come, but they didn't. I called again and was told just take a taxi. I had to fight to get reimbursed for this, and they did credit us back. But I was told that they did not have knowledge as to which flight we were on. (They booked the flights.) I told Oceania that I felt we were due a refund for at least the difference between economy and business class. They told us to file a claim with the airline. I asked how much the ticket cost so we would have an amount to claim. We were told their "contract" pricing was privileged and they would not tell us. Then going home, when I tried to check in in Dubai, I was told my flight was cancelled. It took nearly 45 minutes to straighten that out, and we didn't get seats together. We then had to go to Frankfurt with a 7 hour layover. Again we had the worst seats; the last row in business with families with children. NEVER let the cruise line book your flights. Other than all this, we enjoyed what we did, we enjoyed the relaxation on the trip, the entertainment was very good, the food was as good as it always was on Oceania. You could eat in the specialty restaurants whenever you wanted. (Some were closed some days, but that was not an issue.) The staff was wonderful. But, the bottom line, we will NEVER sail with Oceania, Norwegian, or Regent again. NEVER. And as far as any extras for the itinerary change we were told on board that we would not even get "one free drink." And they certainly kept their word on that one!
  2. I am implying nothing, just stating my experiences and comparing them to this Oceania cruise.
  3. I can compare Oceania to other cruise lines and I conclude I will not ever use Oceania again. We were fully booked and paid for a cruise on Royal Carrib. that was going to stop in Cuba. When the government forbid this, RC changed the ports. They said we could go on the revised cruise or take a full refund. They had the legal right to alter the itinerary, but since the main reason for the cruise was removed (going to Cuba) they did the right thing and gave everyone's money back. We were on another RC cruise and because of weather we lost a day. They gave everyone a hefty on board cruise credit to make up for it. We were on Celebrity in the middle of a cruise and it was cut short because of the pandemic. They sent us home first class on Emerites and we had not even bought the air tickets through Celebrity. And they refunded the cost of the entire trip, except for the excursions we had already taken, and paid us cash for any remaining on board credits -- even the free promotional ones. And didn't charge for any of the expensive wines we had purchased on the cruise. Now, given all this, which are the better cruise companies? One that advertises the "finest cuisine" on the sea and then that changes their offers without notice? That appears to care only for their bottom line? Or the other two I mentioned? The Oceania cruise is entitled Holy Land and the Arabian Jewels. They are not going to the ports for which the cruise is titled. Seems like if they are not going to provide what they advertised they should at least give their customers the option of transferring everything purchased through them to another cruise. Or refund it all.
  4. We are booked on Lufthansa going home. I called them and spoke with someone for nearly an hour trying to figure out our options. I had the record locator and they found the listing but they just could not tell me anything. They said my travel agent should call their travel advisory office. We shall see. I don't like the uncertainty of all this.
  5. One more thing to add on the November 29th Oceania cruise from Istanbul: The uncertainty still remains that if, even once the cruise starts, they decide not to sail through the Red Sea, where will they go, and how do they get everyone to Dubai? Or get everyone home? Given Oceania's track record so far, will they even rearrange travel to get us home? Or say it was upper management that made the decision, say "I'm sorry" and leave us on our own somewhere in the Med? Unfortunately I don't have a lot of confidence in them right now.
  6. To clarify things about the Oceania cruise on November 29th: I spoke with Oceania three different times to different people and was told we had until November 10th to request a future cruise credit (FCC) and that we had to apply it to a cruise that sailed by December 31, 2025. I was told the same thing by all three Oceania reps on different days. I spoke with my travel agent on Oct 23 and said that I would select a future cruise and let her know in a day or so. I had to make the change through the travel agent. I thought I had a few days, but they rescinded the offer on October 24th; I was told this by my travel agent. And it was without any notice given to the travel agent. I assume that other people that accepted the credit, got it by the fact that availability started showing up for rooms that were full before. We didn't jump on this immediately because I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not receive any credit for my upgraded airfare, which I DID purchase through Oceania. I tried with the airline, and others to see if, even with a change fee, I could get an airline credit and not loose all the $9400+. I could not get an answer from the airline (they did not know they told me) and was told no by Oceania but I could pursue it with the airline. They said that they purchased nonrefundable tickets so too bad. It was a penalty I was told. That was over $9400. So I am thinking, I lose nearly $10,000 on this cruise when you add the visas that I bought (because Oceania sent emails requesting them), and if I book another cruise that I have to buy air tickets again for a lot of money, it could conceivably cost us close to $20,000 to forgo this cruise and take another one. That's a lot of money to waste. This was supposed to be a once in a lifetime luxury vacation and it is turning into a nightmare. And as someone pointed out, how do you plan when everything is a changing target? Given what is going on in the Red Sea, and how close we get to some countries, etc. in my opinion (and it is only in MY opinion) that the cruise ship will not sail through the Red Sea, and probably has tentatively decided that, but they don't know where they will go.) There are a lot of cruise ships scrambling for ports to replace the Middle Eastern ports, so I am sure it is a mess. At lot can still change in a month, for the better or for the worse. I was told by Oceania that upper management made the decision to rescind the offer and there was nothing they would say other than "I'm sorry." If I had to venture a guess, Oceania was facing a half empty ship (again just MY opinion) and wanted to stop that by cancelling the offer. In my opinion none of this is fair to its longstanding customers. Somebody has to loose and Oceania is trying to minimize their loss. Lesson learned: 1. Don't by air fare upgrades through the cruise company. Buy your own airfare and make sure it is changeable for a little more money. I used to think you were protected when you purchased through the cruise company, apparently no so. 2. Do you think we will ever sail on Oceania again????? Not me.
  7. I just confirmed with Oceania that they have rescinded their offer to apply anything to future cruises. We were told we had until November 10th, but without notice, they just rescinded. I asked the person I spoke with if it was fair after I was told by Oceania several times that we had until November 10 to cancel, and she refused to answer. What an awful cruise line.
  8. I agree that Oceania is not being fair to their customers. We booked first class air fare through Oceania and although they will let us move the basic cruise fare to a future cruise, they say the first class air fare they booked is a penalty for moving the cruise. We were on a Celebrity cruise that was cancelled in the middle due to the pandemic, and they arranged for us to fly home first class and we didn't even buy the air tickets through them -- and we didn't even have first class tickets. We were on a Royal Caribbean cruise and it was cut short by a day due to weather and they added a hefty onboard credit. For the price of Oceania and how they advertise themselves it seems they should be a little more accommodating. Their excuse, and it will be with a lot of insurance companies, is they say it is a time of war and therefore not covered. Oceania also sent us links to get the visas, which cost money, and they will not reimburse that either now that they are not going to those places (Saudi Arabia, Egypt). Last time we sail on Oceania -- other than for the re-booked cruise. Our travel agent said she is afraid that if things escalate and the ship chooses not to pass through the Suez canal -- or cannot, then we may be stuck on our own, space available from wherever, to get home. And it most likely won't be from Dubai. But if it is any consolation, our complaints are minor compared to what the poor people over there are going through right now.
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