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ShopperfiendTO

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Everything posted by ShopperfiendTO

  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 probab
  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 t
  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
  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, Fl
  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.
  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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Thanks for posting, really appreciate your observations! That you, as a past experienced cuisine-geared O cruiser, feel the food quality seems to be slipping is disappointing and saddening to hear. We will be on an R class ship (not Sirena though) later this summer and will be able to see for ourselves how the food is compared to the past. I really hope it hasn't sunk that much or low. On the other hand, I have read some cruisers have observed that Sirena's food quailty isn't up to the standards as the other R ships, so perhaps it's isolated to just Sirena? Roughly,
  19. On our O stop at Greenock a couple of years ago, there was no shuttle to Glasgow. You had to take a train. The train station is about a 15-20 minute walk from the port, mostly level, and you could cut through the mall if you wanted to walk by the "main" square in the town which is close to the train station.
  20. Azamara is getting you to the city in the port description - Motril. Many cruise lines advertise the ideal city for the port (e.g., Civitavecchia (Rome)) but it's really the port that they would/should offer a free shuttle for you to get to the city centre of if the ship doesn't dock or anchor right there. For example, for Buenos Aires, the port is industrial and a bit far from the central area of BsAs so there is a free shuttle for you to a convenient starting off point. Also, if you're in Dubrovnik and dock instead of tender directly into the old town, they really should be off
  21. 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?
  22. 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
  23. 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 spec
  24. 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! 🙂
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