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About ShopperfiendTO

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, Azamara
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    All over!

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  1. Is it for certain that the images are from the actual ship that is on the market? The image of the gift store isn't something I remember on any of O's R ships (it is much bigger than it is on O's R ships that I have been on - been on all of O's R ships except for Sirena). There's also this which matches the sofa and cushions: https://www.princess.com/html/global/popups/metas/pa/pa_interior.html
  2. Also factor in that if you don't have the drinks package and go a la carte and use the OBC option to pay for the drink that there is an additional 18% gratuity added to the price of the a la carte drink. So the $9 dollar drink is really going to be a $9 + $1.62 = $10.62 use of your OBC and the $15 drink is going to be a $15 + $2.70 = $17.20 use of your OBC. In other words, if you usually have two glasses of wine with your meals (and that you will actually be on the ship for lunch for most of the cruise) and you are fine with the wine-by-the-glass options, the drinks package probably works out better for you than the OBC. As previous posters have noted, upgrading opens up the hard liquor options and availability at all times that the bars are open, not just wine and beer during lunch and dinner. The possible drawback of the drinks package option is that sometimes people have commented (complained) that it sometimes took a while to get the second (or third, etc.) pour. Also note that you still need to hand your room card to the sommelier after every meal even though both of you know that you are on the package.
  3. I'm a bit confused about the OP's scenario and why the travelling group notified O that they are cancelling the cruise. Assuming there is no insurance in place to cover the cancellation, I'm not clear on why someone would bother cancelling a cruise a day before sailing anyway (other than perhaps courtesy I suppose)? Isn't it a 100% penalty (no refund, no FCC, nothing) so what is the point of telling the cruise line that you're cancelling so close in? Or does the cruise line require you to be at the terminal ready to board when it officially cancels for the cruise line to be on the hook for the cancellation? In other words, if OP just booked the plane tickets and went home a day before embarkation without telling the cruise line that they were cancelling their cruise, wouldn't they have been then eligible for the 100% refund option? Feel for the OP though because basically it's become a game of chicken between the cruise line and passengers and the game of chicken centres around passengers gambling on their health.
  4. Unless I'm misunderstanding, it looks like it's 75% FCC when you cancel for any reason.
  5. If I understand this correctly, then it is totally poor behaviour by the insurance company and really nothing to do with Oceania. OP cancelled the cruise for a reason irrelevant to COVID-19. If that reason is covered by the insurance policy, which OP is certain it is, then the insurer should pay out regardless of what O does. Put another way, if everything is hunky dory and that sailing proceeded, OP gets paid out. Why should this change just because O cancelled the cruise? Unless there is something that addresses this in the policy, I don't see why OP should be put through the shenanigans. It is up to the insurer to pay out and take the loss (if the sailing went on) or seek reimbursement if it otherwise can find a way. Based on my understanding of what has happened, I am sympathetic to OP but I don't think that the anger should be placed on O in this instance.
  6. Thanks for providing the actual experience. One-way last-minute international fares are generally quite expensive!
  7. I know this doesn't really apply to this thread since I think everyone probably had air included, but does anyone know what O would have done if you had arranged your own air for the ATW or segment but ended up debarking in Rio instead of the itinerary's debarkation port? Would O have covered the air from Rio back home or would you still have to make your own way home? Is this a general cruise line practice or is does this vary by line (e.g., HAL vs. O vs. Az)?
  8. Latest update is here: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/coronavirus-statement
  9. Thanks for the link. Would you know the CDC source for the ban simply based on passport origin (Azamara screening protocol #2)?
  10. Can you provide the source for this? I am unable to find it. I am also unable to find the CDC source for implementing screening protocol #2 as well. Thanks for any assistance.
  11. Not sure if it matters anyhow because it seems that winning the prize is not tied to the winning (selected) name anyway.
  12. Is this true? Does this extend to world cruises as well? For example, you have never sailed O before and a world cruise is the first cruise you book. I know you get pre-paid gratuities for a world cruise, but do you get Gold level perks as well (i.e., a second set of tips in lieu for passing silver plus Gold level O Club OBCs) when you get on board the world cruise?!?
  13. You're actually travelling near the middle of November into the end of November. Weather-wise, it will likely be fine in the Athens area until you pass the toe of the boot (Italy), but a bit touch-and-go as you head further north and west, higher chance of rain. You definitely should consider bringing layers and raincoats. Obviously sunset comes sooner in the early evening as well. Crowd-wise, it will be quiet. We were on a cruise that stopped in early November and the quaint towns (Eze, Monaco, Saint Paul de Vence) were very quiet. The larger cities (Marseille, Florence, Barcelona) were fine. As it looks like you're from the Northeast, the weather should be easy for you to handle 😎
  14. We were on an R-ship this past summer. IMHO there have not been improvements in the GDR, but we don't think the quality has dropped very much if at all. There is definitely less variety in the GDR menu for both lunch and for dinner, but the eliminated items seem to be the "middle-of-the-road" options so the reduction isn't really that bad. There are definitely repeaters almost every day, for example lobster bisque (which was very nice even without the brandy :)), jumbo prawns and caesar saled, but as someone mentioned, I think it allows you to save it for another day. We didn't feel that the changes in the dinner menu materially affected our enjoyment of the cruise and was similar to our past cruises. However, we weren't a big fan of the lunch menus when the GDR was open (it was closed for a couple of our port days, but wasn't too bad for us as we weren't planning to return to the ship early those days anyway). Lunch is the GDR seemed to be a set menu for the entire cruise with "daily specials" along the right column. The specials were pretty close to what we would have chosen for as our lunch entree for our past cruises so it was a small disappointment but nothing to raise an alarm about. Also, if we're being nit-picky, I feel the pastries, in particular the flaky pastries like the chocolate croissants, are not as flaky as they were. They were good but they weren't fantastic like on our last cruise. The cakes and tartines are still very good though. We enjoyed our meals on this cruise as much as we did our last couple of O cruises. Yes there were changes but they did not materially affect our experience.
  15. When we were on board recently, there were lots of announcements to please complete the survey and where you could go to get help if you were having problems accessing it, so it wasn't like a thing that they were trying to keep secret. There was also a contest for a random draw of I think $100 OBC to be applied on the current cruise so it seems that they were trying to induce submissions. I didn't really notice any fewer questions being asked. We completed it on our tablets without issue. I think it might be more helpful for O for ease of reading the comments as well because let's be honest, not everyone writes as legibly as they probably think they do. I think the only real flaw of using this system is that we are unable to provide comments on the last night and disembarkation experience if something substantial happened that warranted a comment, but I suppose that this is a small and usually uneventful gap and one can send a separate email on that if one feels the need to tell O about it.
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