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Everything posted by sunlover12

  1. Yes, there is a big difference in self-serve laundry between the R and O ships. I’ll be on Nautica in September, also in a PH and will make use of the complimentary laundry bags. The 1 self serve laundry room on the R ships is small and crowded every time I’ve gone in there so now I don’t use it. It’s not how I want to spend my vacation. The good news is that the last couple of cruises the laundry has come back quicker than 3 days. As I recall, I handed it in in the morning and got it back in the evening the next day.
  2. We always sail in a PH - the primary reason being more space. Concierge veranda staterooms are too small for our comfort level. We make limited use of the butler. Usually one morning per cruise we’ll have breakfast in the cabin and we’ll order the canapés a couple of times but that’s it. We’re sailing on Vista for the first time next year and we’ll be in a PH.
  3. Venezuela when Hugo Chavez was President. Nigeria in the 90’s when it was a military dictatorship. 2 countries that tourists don’t go to. Both were career moves. Challenging years with some positives as well but it did help me to develop a thick skin.
  4. Going on a ship's tour doesn't mean you're averse to risk or lack creativity. I've been on many ship tours and most of them are quite good. There is a misconception that you'll always be in a big packed bus with 40 people. Not true at all. I've been on some private tours that were a waste of time and money. I don't have an obsessive fear of missing the ship. I've lived in a Third World country in West Africa and I've also lived in a foreign country in South America that was (and still is) on very unfriendly relations with the US. So I know all about risk in foreign places. I go on ship's tours because I don't always want to spend time doing research on private tours. Sometimes we will but in many ports we will take the ship's tours and we're glad we did.
  5. On what airline? If you're not on a US airline, you are subject to a much stricter baggage policy. I will be traveling on Swiss this year. Carry-ons cannot exceed 8 kg (18 lbs) and it cannot exceed 55 cm (22 inches). If you're only traveling on United, American, Delta, etc with no connecting flights within Europe you won't have an issue. I have traveled on Swiss before and, yes, at the gate they are monitoring the luggage that people are bringing onto the plane.
  6. That’s fine if you’re traveling within the US or on a US carrier. If you are traveling out of the country on a non-US airline you will be subject to a strict carryon policy. You’re allowed one carry on bag that cannot exceed 8kg, 2 bags not to exceed 8kg each if you’re in First Class. Even someone with efficient packing skills who packs light will have a very challenging time not checking a bag.
  7. @sofa.kingI wouldn’t be concerned what others think or if you will fit in. You know your kids better than anyone. Find an itinerary that the kids will enjoy and go for it. I have 2 grandchildren that are similar ages as your 2 children. They are 12 and 10. They went on a 7-day Norwegian cruise last year with their parents. They weren’t all that interested in the kids club as they found it rather boring. They are well behaved and loved the fancy restaurants on the ship and the fun excursions they went on. Yes, Oceania skews older but they have some great and fun itineraries that all ages can enjoy.
  8. The price doesn’t “change all the time.” The cruise I will be on in September I booked last June and the price has stayed the same. It’s never been included in any of the sales either. I’m neither foolish nor rich but if I see an itinerary that I like at a reasonable price I will book it regardless of a sale.
  9. Interesting. I was told that we could not reserve a specific table in GDR. You get what you get when you walk up to check in. Maybe Vista is different from the other ships.
  10. I haven't seen that and I've been on 8 O cruises. You inventory everything in your bag as shown on the price list above and pay accordingly based on the item. If you're in a Concierge Veranda and above, you'll get a certain number (I think it's 3) of complimentary laundry bags up to 20 items per bag.
  11. It's not much fun checking emails when you're on vacation far from home but I wholeheartedly recommend it. I was on a cruise 2 months ago and checked my email (which I do daily). I got an email from my credit card company asking me if I had made 3 specific purchases. I didn't. It was fraud. Thank goodness they are experts at detecting fraudulent online purchases. The card was never out of my possession. It was locked in the safe in the cabin. I spent the next 60 minutes on my cell phone from the Gulf of Mexico calling my bank where they immediately canceled the card and then I had to give the cruise line a different card number. I also had to go online to the Uber app, change the card on our reservation picking us up at the port. It was a big hassle. Spending time doing this while on our cruise was not fun! Not to mention the stress it caused. We always travel with at least 3 cards, usually more than that, because fraud is a big problem. Check your emails and texts regularly because you never know when bad stuff like this is going to happen. Thieves don't care if you're on vacation. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Hank's posts about the Vista. We'll be on her for the first time next year.
  12. Agreed. I like the hair dryer provided in the cabin and I'm fairly picky about it. My hair dryer from home would take up to too much valuable space in my luggage.
  13. An 11:30 flight should be fine. I agree with Harters that handling her own luggage off the ship is recommended. Don't bother booking a private transfer or Oceania transfer because there will be plenty of taxis at the port. We didn't have to wait for one. We were also on Sirena. We flew United out of Barcelona and they don't open the check-in counter until 3 hours before departure. The Barcelona airport is large and busy. It took us probably 20 minutes to get through security and another 10 minutes for immigration but it shouldn't be a problem making the 11:30 flight. Enjoy your cruise.
  14. I haven't been on any of the cruise lines you've mentioned so I can't comment on them. The only other cruise line I've been on other than Oceania is Royal Caribbean. On their very large Oasis class ships, an app is extremely useful and I was glad to have it. With 17 decks, many restaurants and many activities, it's good to have that app. Oceania's ships are a much different experience from Royal Caribbean. They are smaller so I personally have never felt the need for an app while I've been onboard. All of the information that I have needed to know is on the TV in the cabin and in the daily Currents. Enjoy your upcoming cruise. Looking forward to hearing about it.
  15. There is no dress code so shorts would be okay. With that said, most men will wear pants and a collared shirt. I was on Harmony a month ago and we ate dinner in CK for 4 nights. My experience was that I saw a couple of men in shorts but that was all. For breakfast and lunch, it's more casual.
  16. That is hard to say because of weather. I was on a Nautica cruise last August and we were supposed to tender in Amalfi/Positano and ended up tendering quite a bit further away. We were on an Oceania excursion and if we had tendered where we scheduled to it would have been a 30-minute drive instead of 90 minutes that it ended up being. Weather and sea conditions are going to dictate it. I don't know when the last tender is going to be but I would allow plenty of time.
  17. Very true. I have a UA flight booked with a connecting flight on a partner airline, Swiss. Swiss' carry-on bag policy is that it cannot exceed 8 kg. This is something that you need to do your homework on and plan ahead because no one wants to find this out when they're at the gate.
  18. The vast majority of passengers on my August cruise were American. The reason why this particular cruise attracted so many younger people was that it was 7 days. A short cruise attracts a younger crowd, a long cruise will attract an older crowd. It was also port intensive with no sea days which, IMO, will skew to the younger side.
  19. Entertainment is more low key than what you may be used to but there is a show in the lounge every night starting at 9:30. When the show is over the ship will be quiet at 10:30 especially if the next day is an early port day. There are a couple of sea days on this itinerary so the Horizons bar at 10:30 could be livelier on those nights with the band playing. My opinion is that you will not feel out of place as a 49-year old. I was on a 7-day Med cruise last year on Nautica and I'd estimate late 40's the average age on that cruise. Many people who were in the prime of their careers. I'm in my late 60's and definitely felt like one of the older folks onboard. You won't feel out of place as a solo either. Enjoy your cruise no matter which one you choose.
  20. Oceania for me too. It's a premium line with casual dress and atmosphere. Specialty dining is no extra charge. The food in all the restaurants is very good. No extra charge for sodas and specialty coffee. Beer and wine included with lunch and dinner. No nickel and diming. Their largest ships are 1200 passengers so it never feels crowded. The smaller ships can go to so many more ports than the big ships. Oceania has some very interesting itineraries. I've been on Royal's Oasis class ships and are now pretty much done with those for a variety of reasons. Enjoy your future cruising no matter which line you choose.
  21. @Sthrngary I agree when you say "Timing seems to be everything". Absolutely. I am booked on Nautica, Boston to Montreal, September 25. The same cruise is also sailing 3+ weeks later. The price difference is significant in some of the cabin categories. The later cruise is included in the New Year's Sale and the earlier one is not. We would rather pay more and have a much better chance of seeing the fall colors and enjoy what is likely to be more pleasant weather. The fall colors will be gone on the later cruise. It looks like a lot of people feel the same way because the earlier cruise is showing waitlisted in many cabin categories and the later cruise has availability in every category. Regarding air, we always choose the credit and book our own air. Over the years, I know that we have definitely saved a significant amount of money doing this but everyone should do their own math and decide what's best for them.
  22. Choosing a good travel agent can be a benefit. I've done it both ways. When we first started cruising we would book directly with Oceania. We have now found a very good TA. She is not only very responsive but she has also saved us $ in the form of pre-paid gratuities. I wouldn't get complimentary PPG if I booked directly with O. I agree with Hank when he says that you're just one customer with the cruise line when you book directly with them. Regarding the sales, I've said this before and I'll say it again. They are quite limited. None of the Oceania cruises I have sailed on have been included in any of the sales. Sure it's a way to save $ but you have to be quite flexible regarding which cruises and when you're willing to book.
  23. I know that my least favorite is the Oasis class. Too big, too many people, crowded elevators, and too much risk for getting sick. I just got off Harmony on Sunday and got very sick. Same thing happened a year ago on Wonder. Perfectly healthy when I embarked and very sick when I got off. I confined myself to my cabin on the last day. I am still battling whatever nasty virus was on that ship. This was my 15th cruise (various cruise lines) overall and never got sick on the other 13 which were smaller ships. Entertainment is good on the Oasis class ships however I am port driven and the big ships are quite limited on where they can go. I'm looking at Radiance now. A smaller ship and the itineraries are much more interesting. I know this is an unpopular opinion but I will not go on Oasis class again. No interest in the new Icon either.
  24. I’m on Harmony now. It has felt very crowded but it’s because the weather has not been good. Cool, very rainy and windy. It’s sunny and warm today, finally, so people will start spreading out. We haven’t been to WJ. The line was so long just to get in. MTD (with reservations) line was long the first night. It was crazy. We like Park Cafe for lunch and it was fairly quiet fortunately.
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