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Everything posted by ShopperfiendTO

  1. That's an interesting issue you've raised: How will Azamara handle air once the sale is finalized? I assume that ChoiceAir will no longer be an option, so does that mean specific pricing from Az only, instead of the bulk buying power of the RCL group?
  2. Since after this stop you are going to be at sea for a day, you probably don't want to take too risky an excursion that you might miss the ship and have to find your own way to Skagen to catch up to the ship. Have you been to Southampton before? There are nice sites in the city that you can wander around. We were on a British Isles cruise that started and ended in Southampton. At the front end we went to Salisbury (Magna Carta) and Wilton House is nearby, and I suppose Stonehenge as well. They are fairly close to Southampton. At the back end we went to Br
  3. We were on Nautica in the Baltics a couple of years ago. In St. Petersburg, we docked at the English Embankment which is quite near St. Isaac's. At night it was awesome to see the downtown river skyline from the ship. I'm not sure if the O class ships are small enough to dock there. I know that a Celebrity ship was in St. Petersburg with us but was docked further out. The first day there it was a bit of a wait in line to get off the ship because of Russian customs and immigration (despite leaving the ship before 8 a.m.), but the next morning it was a bree
  4. Not sure if it can be called a scam, but a few years ago we were at a tourist site and there was a street performer playing a local instrument. He played a couple of tunes. We enjoyed them and bought the CD he was selling which were recordings of his performances. The CD looked home-made (CD cover clearly printed on a home colour printer), but even at that time, burning CDs was not a challenging operation so we weren't too concerned. We didn't have a CD player with us so we safely packed he CD away for the rest of the cruise. When we got home, we popped the CD into the player a
  5. Were you on a shore excursion when this happened, and if so, was it at a store "sanctioned" by the tour company? We were on a private 2-day shore excursion in St. Petersburg and we made stops at specific stores to shop (and take rest breaks). Our guide said that these stores had authentic/hand-made goods (e.g., nesting dolls, lacquer goods, amber goods and caviar) and the prices certainly reflected that, even when converted to USD. We splurged on caviar and it was packed in a refrigerated bag that kept the caviar cool/cold the whole day, long enough for us to not worry about it
  6. Our cruise in these areas were a few years ago, on an O-class ship, but: Mitilini - This was a tender port to near the town centre. Agios Nikolaos - You don't need a shuttle if it docks right near the town centre. Kusadasi - No shuttle provided. You are docked pretty much in the town centre, but of course the main historical attractions (i.e., Ephesus) are about a half-hour's drive away. We booked a private tour for this port. Hoped to avoid the sales visits (specifically asked not to have these in the request) but ended up going to a leatherware and a carpet shop anyw
  7. 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
  8. 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 probab
  9. 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 t
  10. Unless I'm misunderstanding, it looks like it's 75% FCC when you cancel for any reason.
  11. 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
  12. Thanks for providing the actual experience. One-way last-minute international fares are generally quite expensive!
  13. 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)?
  14. Latest update is here: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/coronavirus-statement
  15. Thanks for the link. Would you know the CDC source for the ban simply based on passport origin (Azamara screening protocol #2)?
  16. 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.
  17. Not sure if it matters anyhow because it seems that winning the prize is not tied to the winning (selected) name anyway.
  18. 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?!?
  19. 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, Fl
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. It is true that there are no guarantees, but it's a good data point to have! Interestingly enough, a Silversea ship was also in port but was docked at the Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment on the other bank of the river. A Celebrity ship was also in port but must have been docked at the outer port. Having said that, we basically had he same tour itinerary as the group from that ship for both days there so I don't think location really matters if you're going on a group tour with a blanket visa.
  23. For this cruise it was at the English Embankment, close to downtown, probably the best location possible for a cruise ship. While the dock is close to downtown, it is still a bit of a walk to the Hermitage though not too bad. That said, to walk to the Hermitage on your own you will need a visa from the Russian government to leave the ship and not sure the cost of a "free-to-roam" visa is worth it if you're visiting by cruise ship for just a few days. You cannot leave the customs/immigration area of the port without a visa of some sort.
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