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Everything posted by ShopperfiendTO

  1. Definitely the obstructed oceanviews are the smallest cabins on the R ships, at 143 sq. ft. These are the lowest category oceanview cabins though. All of the other oceanview cabins are at least the same size as an inside, and I am guessing going from an obstructed to a small porthole with noticeably more space isn't that much of a price premium?
  2. I think this is the best answer to the question on wine selection. There is a set roster of 2 reds and 2 whites for each day but if you really don't like any of the wines on the roster for that day, they will try to accommodate you but no guarantees and sometimes they do run out of wines mid-cruise (e.g., you really like one type and keep asking for it, they may run out and you will have to settle for something else). And the roster isn't fixed and rotation isn't always evenly spaced out (for example, Red 1 might appear on day 2, 5 & 8, Red 2 might appear on day 2, 6 & 9 and White 1 might appear on day 2, 5 & 9 and White 2 might appear on just day 2 & 7). I think objectively, the included wines are acceptable but nothing great, most in the $10-$20CDN range per bottle for the ones that are sold in Ontario. Frankly there were some really bad wines when we were on but luckily there were more suitable alternatives that we were able to obtain instead. Having said that most were acceptable and as stated above, they will try to accommodate if you really don't like any of the wines on the roster that day.
  3. I would agree with your characterization that up-front "tipping" is more of a bribe than a tip. However, your next sentence doesn't make sense. Of course you won't see this being done on Azamara, because on Azamara you have to pay to gain entry into them, unlike on Oceania and Silversea where the specialties are free and a certain number are included with the cruise, but extra access is more limited. Azamara just makes it more honest in that you don't have to try to grease any palms to get more access to the specialties, but you still have to pay just to eat at a specialty restaurant since none are included in the fare (unless you're in a suite).
  4. There was no shuttle in Punta Del Este when we were there, and to be honest, if there was one, not sure where it would take you anyway? It's more of a walk-about resort town. Yes, it is a bit of a walk (but not hard) from the tender to the beach with the hand sculpture. The thing I remember most from this port are the big seals that were laying underneath the boardwalk! 🙂
  5. I am guessing the question being asked is the total budget for an ATW (e.g., excursions, beverages, souvenirs, meals ashore), not just for the cabin. The good thing is that on most ATWs, I think the tips are included, not just on O?
  6. Thanks for your response. I should clarify that the mainstream legacy airlines (e.g., Air Canada and Air France) seem to have two types of "discount" economy fares, one that includes one piece of checked luggage and one that does not include checked luggage so the same airline has these two types of fare conditions. Which type of economy fare does O book for passengers?
  7. Hi, It's pretty standard now to have to pay extra to check in luggage on a domestic flight. It seems that many airlines have extended this practice to transoceanic flights as well, as many mainstream legacy airlines now have a "barebones" economy non-refundable fare for international flights where in addition to having absolutely no flexibility to change flights even for a fee, you also have to pay extra to check in luggage. For those who have used O's air recently for flights across the ocean, do you know what fare you were booked on and was one piece of checked luggage per passenger included in the air or was that an extra cost to you? This might be a further factor in deciding whether to take the air credit instead. Thanks!
  8. The port, while quite close to the city, is still in a pretty isolated area and it would be disappointing if they did not provide shuttles. On our cruise with Oceania a few years back, a shuttle bus was provided. It stopped near the General San Martin Plaza (a park, near Retiro train station), on the south/east side of the park. Not sure if you consider that to be in the "city centre" but it was convenient enough for us. The bright side is that if shuttles are not provided, taxi fare would be quite inexpensive compared to North America, although you have to be careful/alert somewhat not to be scammed by routing and/or fare charge/change. Try to have smaller bills so that you don't get back large value counterfeit bills as change. Buenos Aires was super interesting, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
  9. There was a healthy taxi stand without much of a wait when we disembarked on the later side of the disembarkation process. Unfortunately for us, we caught a grumpy driver who was hoping for a fare to Heathrow when we just wanted to get to the train station but we chalk this up to our bad luck.
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