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Salf777

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  1. I am amazed at how rude people are getting in this thread. People are just expressing their opinions that’s what this board is for, and others are telling them leave the board, that they are silly or pathetic for enjoying being paid a little attention to by staff or crew. If you like Oceania great, if you like Azamara great but don’t disparage someone else for liking a different cruise line, really. There are people on here trying to be all highbrow talking about all their sailings on “luxury and high end” ships yet they jump all over someone who doesn’t like the same line as them. This is supposed to be a place where people share their experience good or bad so others can read and get information. What’s happen here is just sad and rude
  2. Well said! I think you hit the nail on the head from both points of view. Heck for many years we sailed on RCL in a balcony stateroom and saw the suite guests areas but it never bothered us. It’s life there is separation everywhere you go based on paying more. If people can afford it and want to pay it more power to them. However, I wouldn’t let it effect my vacation because someone else can go somewhere I can’t. As long as I feel I am receiving a good value for what I paid I am happy. Heck if Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos were on the same ship I wouldn’t expect them to stay in the same class as me and frankly it wouldn’t bother me one bit. Let everyone enjoy what they want and just enjoy yourself. Now I will say that I agree with the thought that these areas makes some PEOPLE arrogant and act like jerks! Yes that’s annoying but that’s not the ships fault, I’m sure these people are idiots everywhere they go. Some are just rude and arrogant but I would venture to say they are that way everywhere in their life. And you know what they are probably miserable. im on a vacation I worked hard for, I’m going to enjoy myself and not worry about what the other guy is getting that I’m not.
  3. So I have seen many discussions in many threads and don’t understand why people get so offended by suites and higher paying customers get more. I know I will receive a lot of nasty responses for this. Hotels have suites and have concierge level floors, planes have first class cabins for passengers who pay more, Disney has private guides with special access, concert venues have suites and boxes with special treatment a car has more bells and whistles if you order it that way and pay for it. We prefer bing in a suite when we cruise and feel the perks are worth the extra costs and I always say that people who cruise in the least expensive cabins are getting basically the same cruise we are for much less money. We can all eat in same restaurants and travel to the same places and see the same shows. On a ship I prefer to pay more to be in a nicer room with more perks, but when I stay in a hotel I don’t like to spend the extra on a concierge level but I don’t begrudge the people who choose to do so. It’s my choice to do so and the extras factor into my decision. If you buy an apartment a better view or higher floor and a better building will cost more. Yes the ships that have “roped off areas” can be a bit tacky, but for example on NCL they have The Haven which is a separate section of the ship that gives the small ship experience on a big ship with all the toys. It’s much more expensive but if someone wants to pay for it that’s up to them. so bring on the comments about how horrible it is but please know this, we take fewer trips in a manner we enjoy and yes I’ll say it, we like to feel special. So we make sacrifices to do this. We don’t have the luxury of traveling all the time so when we do what’s wrong with taking advantage of whatever we can to make our vacations special?
  4. Well Coke lite and Diet Coke that wasn’t really the point, it was a reference to the service and attitude and for me I can taste a difference between the two. I have a preference and if it’s available why shouldn’t I have it?
  5. Well I guess that’s the beauty of this board it shows us no line is perfect and we all have different experiences even on the same sailings. I’m sure people who were on my sailing loved it. Good open communication so we all get to do read others experience and decide for ourselves. There really is no right and wrong.
  6. So I just returned from my first Oceania cruise after sailing Azamara and loving Azamara. Now I was told a comparison of an Azamara cruise in Europe to an Oceania is not an apples to apples comparison and I get that. We were so excited to try Oceania because of all the good things we heard. Well from boarding to disembarkation it was a mess. We sailed the Oceania Riviera the ship itself is beautiful first the good. Oceania has about the most comfortable beds and linens you will find in my opinion. Hands down the best we have ever slept in. The food on Oceania is also amazing even down to the Waves out on the deck. You order a surf and turf sandwich and you get filet and lobster sliced so thin in a beautiful sandwich! Jacques is a French restaurant that will compete with any of the best in a major city. The olive oil and balsamic tasting at the Italian restaurant is a nice touch. Red Ginger is excellent as well. sadly that’s where it ends. Ask a restaurant to add 2 people to your table you have reserved for 2 and make it a 4! REQUEST DENIED! yes that’s what they will tell you. Ask for a diet coke at pool side and was brought a coke light. I politely said I prefer Diet Coke and the waitress says we don’t have it. I had about 10 cans in my room and I walked over to the nearest bar and asked for and was immediately given a Diet Coke. That was the general attitude of just about the entire staff. We actually were eating at Red Ginger and the Miso Sea Bass was amazing. My wife has a dietary restriction and we explain to the waitress that we were eating in the main dining room the next evening and would it be possible to get a piece of their sea bass in the MDR. She says hold on and comes back and says the chef says it’s ok this is what you tell them when you go in. Great thank you. So my wife had to fill out a menu every morning due to her dietary requirements and writes this down. Later in the day we get a message REQUEST DENIED! So we go and explain that we spoke with someone at Red Ginger who told us what to do. No apologies or explanations that we were mis informed just NO! Their solution was we had to eat in Red Ginger again. Look I understand why they wouldn’t move food from one restaurant to another but we asked. Even so a simple explanation like “we apologize you were given wrong information and we don’t move food, how can we assist you in your dinner plans” would have been fine. It’s the attitude, even when the desk called the chef when we were standing there we heard the conversation and let’s just say it was rude. We talked to 2 people upon embarking asking to speak with the F&B or restaurant manager regarding my wife’s dietary issues which are very easy actually. Told go to Privee where they are taking reservations for all the specialty restaurants and ask again for a manager. Told he’s busy can’t speak with us will call us. After the 4th evening and having this Red Ginger issue I mention something to the concierge. They next day I get a call from the manager and he says I didn’t get any message. “Well you got all the food you wanted so what’s the problem?” Again that’s the attitude of the staff. I could site multiple more examples. I thought maybe we were being difficult but in speaking to other passengers they all felt the same. As a matter of fact we spoke with 3 couples who were regulars on Oceania and had canceled future sailings on Oceania while onboard because service was so bad, lifts were slow, and everyone was told the same thing, we have trouble on these 7 day sailings because a lot of passengers stay onboard and they are too busy”. one last story, upon embarking we went to our room and my wife went to unpack and the drawers in the closet were filthy. Called housekeeping and she came and cleaned them and told us. Go have lunch they are wet inside and have to dry out?? Couldn’t she dry the drawers out? We did as soon as she left. One other bright spot. A hostess named Ana in Jacques walked by and I asked her what we were trying to get accomplished. She picked up a tablet and sent an email she saw us the next morning at breakfast and Viola she got done in 5 minutes what a discussion with reception, restaurant reservations, and the concierge couldn’t accomplish! Ok so the last day ship docks in Miami, our butler didn’t bring our breakfast and the I asked him what terminal are we docked so I can call our ride. He says “A”, I confirm “A” as in Apple or E because he had an accent. He says “A”! So I don’t have any faith in anyone by this time and I call the front and as guessed we are at terminal “E”. Just everything was wrong. Now I will say a penthouse on this Oceania sailing was very reasonable. We had sailed Norwegian in The Haven and loved it but we wanted to try this “luxury “ line. Norwegian was just about 100% more expensive than Oceania so it was a very good bargain. Yes maybe we didn’t do everything right by notifying them 2 weeks in advance of dietary requirements, we didn’t go directly to our concierge, whom we didn’t even know existed, she never sent a note, made a call, or anything to let us know she was there. Even on RCL the concierge sends suite guests a personal email weeks before the trip asking if we had any special requirements or was there anything he could do for us. Azamara almost anticipates your needs and doesn’t know the word “denied “
  7. you expressed what I was trying to say much better. You hit the nail on the head, it’s an unhappy ship. That translates to the entire experience. Virtually none of the staff will look you in the eye much less smile at you. I did say that “O” was on par or less than main stream lines IN THE CARIBBEAN. We like to sail in December and live in south Florida. A comparable sized suite in the Haven on NCL is really 75% more than Oceania on this 7 day Caribbean sailing. Really I looked. Celebrity is about the same so I was saying that for the quality of food and beauty of the ship O is a very reasonable choice to sail from Miami in December. You are correct elsewhere it’s much more than mainstream. We had a sailing booked in April of next year on deposit on O that was significantly more expensive. After the first day on this sailing we canceled that future cruise on O. But I will say for a Caribbean sailing in December it’s about the best value around. I wish Azamara came here more
  8. We will be back in August for a Baltic Sailing. After now sailing on Oceania it’s only Azamara for me going forward. we were told prior to going on this sailing that Oceania in the Caribbean is not a great experience but ours was a comedy of errors. According to what I have experienced the Haven on NCL is a far superior experience than Oceania and Azamara is above them all. Just a few things. Our balcony was held together with a dirty towel (we were in a penthouse suite), asked to speak to food & beverage or restaurant manager at reception was told to go to Privee and ask there. Both told us he would contact us. After speaking with the concierge on the 4th night the restaurant manager called us on the second to last night. “Apparently there was a miscommunication and no one told him, ok we got the food issue straightened out on the 4th day ok so what’s the problem “ that was his attitude. Had a nice meal in Red Ginger. Asked the waitress if it would be possible to have a piece of their Sea Bass sent to the dining room one night so we could eat in main dining and the sea bass was a perfect food for my wife’s allergy. She went and spoke to the chef and came back and said sure just when you sit in the dining room tell them. My wife had to fill out a form each day picking out her food (that’s a whole other story) so she writes down the sea bass from Red Ginger. We get a phone message the next day that says “your request has been denied” no kidding that’s what they said. So I walk down and explain we had it okayed at Red Ginger. He made a call and said “denied”. So we had to eat at Red Ginger again. Not only unhelpful but rude. We had better help with special diets on both RCL and NCL. Told one person at boarding and the whole ship knew, no prefiilling menus etc. the average age of guests was older and a lot of scooters and canes and wheel chairs. Well by the pool you have older people looking for chairs as there was none and the staff is standing around just watching them! Not going over to help. We were late to the white night on Azamara and there was no table to sit at. We looked around for about a minute and three guys appeared with a table and chairs, set us up and even went and got my wife’s food for her. They anticipate how they could help boarding was a nightmare. Just everything was a project to get the simplest thing. Even down to the last day they leave a beautiful letter on our bed welcoming us to the Oceania Club and accept these luggage tags and pin. Nice gesture but there was no pin. Not that I wanted it but no attention to detail. Then finally about 5 minutes before I was going to disembark I asked our butler what terminal the ship was docked in so I could advise our ride. He tells me terminal A. Naturally we were in terminal E, but by this time I didn’t expect a proper answer so I double checked and gave our ride the proper info. in my opinion if this Oceania sailing is known to be less than a luxury experience, which is what the staff tells you because it’s only a 7 day cruise all the restaurants are full this is the excuse they use for being rude, this really damages the brand. To me this was a mass market line sailing, in no way near a luxury brand. Three couples we spoke to on board also were first time Oceania cruisers and had other sailings booked with Oceania and cancelled the future sailings while on board based on this experience. I will say that after all these complaints I have laid out the sailing is cheap. Seriously I priced Oceania out against the mass lines and you can sail Oceania for less than the mass lines. I think it hurts Oceania’s brand but I am glad they offer it.
  9. We sailed in Azamara Pursuit in Europe and it was amazing. Everything was easy and the staff couldn’t do enough for you. My wife has a food allergy issue we boarded mentioned it to one person and it was handled everywhere we ate. we are currently on Oceania Riviera in the Caribbean (I know it’s not the same comparison) but boarding was a nightmare, lines everywhere. We asked about my wife’s food allergy and were sent all over the ship, asked to speak to food and beverage manager was told he was busy and would call us never did! Finally he 4th day we were speaking with a hostess in Jacques and she immediately took care of what no one else could or wanted to. Always a wait at the lifts people who are very loyal Oceania cruisers are saying this is the worst they have experienced. Specialty restaurants are full, luckily we made our reservations a long time ago, but they are not helpful at all. Asked to make a 2 person reservation a 4 and were told no. It seems they can’t handle this sailing. now the food on Oceania is far better than any you will find on any ship. I didn’t have a good meal in Polo, the steak house but that was my fault I ordered wrong. Jacques was just amazing! The grill, which is their version of the buffet go order as many lobster tails as you wish, they wil keep feeding you. The crowd here is much older and that tends to slow things down at the lines so expect a wait. It’s a different feeling between the two. Azamara seems very friendly and they anticipate your needs. Oceania for example, I asked the cabin attendant for an extra hand lotion, that’s what I received 1 small bottle, when we asked for extra amenities on Azamara, they loaded up our bathroom. oceania WiFi is free a very nice perk. I can’t understand how any better line charges for WiFi I find it insulting. Oceania though if you want a glass of wine with dinner your paying for it. we didn’t do the cooking and art classes on board but they looked fun and crowded. one thing I will say also about Oceania is we did an excursion. Even though it was a large group we were broken up into smaller groups and very comfortable manageable size. We did an excursion on Azamara and were put on a public ferry with hundreds of others. the 2 are definitely different and like many said it’s what’s important to you. For me it’s Azamara all the way, more laid back and service seems far superior. Food is very good but Oceania takes the cake on food quality
  10. So I found business class air on Choice Air. I called and the tickets are refundable up until the date I make the final payment for my cruise. For that matter they didn’t even bill me and just added the tickets to my cruise reservations. They told me I can continue to look on their website and others. Should I find something on their site and want to change routes etc no charge or fee up until the final payment of the cruise. I was pleasantly surprised as the rate was significantly lower than I have found by looking at all the travel sites like Expedia, google flights, etc. I am talking a big discount. I even went directly to the airlines and tried to price it there and still couldn’t come close to the price. I called my travel agent and asked if this was legit and she said she has had very good experiences with Choice Air. There is a $200 cancellation fee that I believe is applicable if I cancel the full reservation and don’t do anything with them I need to get clarification on that. However the rates are about $1000 per ticket cheaper than anywhere else I have found honestly! I was so skeptical that I immediately went to the airlines website and entered in my confirmation numbers and they let me pick my business class seats on 3 of the 4 segments already. I don’t know if it’s because the trip isn’t until August 2020 and I booked early or what but I couldn’t be happier with the prices. I have also been told these routes are generally more expensive as I’m flying MIAMI to Stockholm (British Airways Club World) and than return Amsterdam to Miami (United Polaris Business Class). All seems legit but still a feeling like if it sounds to good to be true! I usually do all my air with AMX and get some type of deal but even they could get close. Anyone see any holes here something I’m missing or did I just happen to get a good deal for once! LOL
  11. thank you all All good points Im just going to call them. Good point on the cancellation insurance I have to look into that as well
  12. This might be late but we were in the Azamara Pursuit and booked the August Baltic sailing on the Quest. We were so impressed with Azamara we booked onboard. We were frequent RCL cruisers and a few years ago we had some poor experiences and have been sailing NCL Haven. We felt Azamara is a whole different feel. Upscale but not pretentious, friendly and super helpful staff. Perhaps more experienced deluxe/luxury cruisers can weigh in and our view may be a little short sighted coming from a more mainstream cruise line. However, we have found that NCL Haven was exceptional, in our opinion, and the Azamara experience was far better. Also, we have kind of had our share of the large ships so that can be a factor. Anyway I’m rambling. We just loved Azamara but our travel agent is a big Oceania fan. After much of my questioning her on the board I have concluded that each has their own positives and each its own fan base which can be very firm in defending their choice. We are planning a big trip in 2021 and I have been trying to figure out Azamara vs Oceania by asking questions here. The itinerary is basically the same on both for what we are looking at best I can figure is it’s personal preference. We are doing Oceania in December to try it out and get a feel for both. As I read this I realize that it did nothing to answer your question so I apologize for that but wanted to basically say Azamara is a great choice if you go that way in my op
  13. Hi I always book my own flight for our cruises when we travel overseas as I always seem to get a "deal" with American Express or using some other cards miles. However, I find things getting more difficult with all these new miles transfer programs etc.? I was just playing with a reservation I have for an August 2020 sailing on Azamara A Choice Air option was there so I clicked and was surprised. The fares are extremely reasonable we are looking at business class They say refundable with fee So I always try and book a refundable flight because I have an elderly father and I need refundable in case there is an issue with his health and I have to cancel. The fares on Choice air seem very cheap to be refundable, almost to good to be true but it seems to be letting me book it. Has anyone used this and is it truly refundable? How has anyone experience been with them? Thank in advance
  14. WOW! Thank you all so much! Were going to try them all We are in a PH category and it says we can make reservations 75 days in advance. I have seen some topics about getting on at midnight exactly to get reservations, is that necessary to wait up the night before? Do the fill up so quickly?
  15. Edited this to say Riviera Thanks for catching my error!
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