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ShopperfiendTO

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Posts posted by ShopperfiendTO


  1. 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.


  2. On 6/26/2020 at 7:33 PM, EasyGoingGuy said:

    I was going on that same cruise. Some friends and us flew to Lima in the week before.  BEFORE we left we we weighed the pros and cons and made a calculated decision to go. One of the cons was that the cruise could be canceled. While we were there no new information showed up that we didn't know when we left.  When the cruise was canceled, that Friday the 13th, we booked a flight that next Monday, the day the airport closed (happily getting out).  Trying not to be mean or cruel, but from where I sit, it seems that those folks made a really poor choice to travel, one of them was even "immune compromised".  I feel for them, but if the Marina had sailed on schedule, wouldn't they be out the entire cost of the cruise with no future credit?  They came within 2 days of that.

     

    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.


  3.  

    On 4/23/2020 at 11:09 PM, Pirokp2 said:

    I would be interested to know more about this, and more info on aon, as Rallydave mentioned.  I read about cruisecare today on the Azamara website, and for me it would fit my situation perfectly as I have a father in memory care.  The cancel for any reason and get 100% future cruise credit is really appealing to me.    I hope I read it right, and it truly is cancel for any reason, up until 48 hours before sailing??

     

    Unless I'm misunderstanding, it looks like it's 75% FCC when you cancel for any reason.


  4. 3 hours ago, Pster55 said:

    No.....at the time we submitted our claim to our Travel Insurer we had NOT cancelled our cruise for either a FCC or refund, and Oceania had not cancelled the cruise either. Oceania cancelled the cruise TWO DAYS after we mailed our claim to the Travel Insurer via registered mail. We were fearful that if we elected a refund from Oceania prior to submitting our insurance claim, or even afterwards (which we have to do by April 15th) the Travel Insurer would balk at paying our claim until much later, if at all - which is exactly what they appear to be doing becasue they refused subrogation. Insurers always want to be the "last to pay" so their delays in procesing claims has had the effect of forcing us to have to tell Oceania we wanted a refund. Our claim to the Travel Insurer was health related and had nothing to do with COVID-19. We finally told Oceania today we wanted a refund. Pretty sure the Insurer will now put our claim on hold. Our health related claim is a slam dunk. I will never buy travel insurance again...it's a scam. I think everyone is going to hear a lot of stories like this in the year ahead. 

     

    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.  


  5. 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)?


  6. On 2/7/2020 at 10:06 AM, PhotoSail said:

    Just got this from my TA a little while ago.:

     

    IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION FOR GUESTS
    TRAVELING WITH OCEANIA CRUISES
     
    Dear Valued Guests and Travel Advisors,
     
    We wish to bring you an important update on our upcoming sailings to Asia that have been affected by the recent travel restrictions impacting mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
     
    Nautica – March 4, 2020
    Nautica – March 18, 2020
    Nautica – April 13, 2020
    Insignia – May 9, 2020
    Insignia – May 24, 2020

     
    At this time, itinerary revisions are currently underway but are taking longer than anticipated due to additional travel restrictions and port closures around the region. Our port operations team is working to secure ports and berthing arrangements as quickly as possible. As soon as we have revised itineraries confirmed, we will communicate them to you along with very attractive goodwill compensation.
     
    I would also like to present you with the most up to date restrictions that all guests need to be aware of.
    Policies currently in place include:
    ·         Guests who have traveled from, visited, or transited through airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 30 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of our vessels. The standard incubation period recognized by the World Health Organization and United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this virus is 14 days.
    ·         Guests who are denied boarding will be issued a refund when they provide proof of travel.
     
    ·         For all guests, we will continue standard pre-boarding health reporting and evaluation. Any guests who appear symptomatic are subject to pre-boarding medical evaluations including but not limited to, temperature checks as deemed necessary.
     
    ·         Any guest who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening at our onboard Medical Center and may be subject to potential quarantine and disembarkation.
     
    ·         We have implemented additional cleaning and disinfection protocols on board all voyages. These protocols will be enforced in addition to our already rigorous sanitization standards in place.
     
    ·         Our crew members who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau within 30 days will not be allowed on board our ships.
     
    ·         Singapore and the Philippines are not currently allowing Chinese nationals to disembark at their ports. Guests with a Chinese passport who are traveling on voyages that disembark in one of these regions will not be allowed on board our ships. If additional port restrictions are put into place, we may have to modify this policy as needed.
    ·         Guests who are denied boarding due to this will be issued a refund.
     
    The above measures will remain in effect until further notice and are subject to change at any time as we evaluate the situation and continue to consult with local health authorities, as well as the World Health Organization at www.WHO.int and United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.CDC.gov.  
     
    On behalf of the entire team at Oceania Cruises, I thank you for your understanding and patience with this fluid and rapidly evolving situation.
     
    We look forward to sharing revised itinerary details with you shortly.
     
    Warmest regards,
     
    Carlos Ortega
    Vice President, Guest Services
    Oceania Cruises
     
     
     
    Please note this email does not accept replies.
    This email was sent by: Oceania Cruises
    7665 Corporate Center Drive. Miami, FL, 33126. USA

    Latest update is here: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/coronavirus-statement

     

     


  7. 6 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

     

    NCL is using the same passport rule for all of their cruise lines (NCL, Oceania and Regent).  So at this point the CCL cruise lines are the odd-man out [and they are the ones with passengers quarantined on their ships!].  I'm glad that passenger safety is more important to Azamara.

     

    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.


  8. 19 hours ago, ORV said:

    It looks like the 30 day cruise will be 9 & 10 credits. I think there is 8 going into it. You should be Silver when you step on board. 

     

    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?!?


  9. 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 😎


  10. 7 hours ago, JVNYC said:

    Has there been any improvements since the new menus rolled out last year? Are things still being repeated every few days?  I know many have not been thrilled with the reduction of menu choices in the GDR and Terrace and others not happy with the quality of food.  Many have said the GDR and Terrace are not the Oceania they knew.

     

    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.


  11. 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.


  12. 15 hours ago, Paulchili said:

    While the Nautica can dock at the English Embarkment (and ours did in 2006) there is no guarantee that you will dock there as well.

    It depends on number of smaller ships that may be in port that day (Seabourn, Silversea, etc)

    I think you’ll soon regret your decision to get your own visas - it’s a protracted and complicated process. Better to book your tours with a private agency who will get your visas and you can arrange with them to spend as much time at the Hermitage as you want.

    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.


  13. 8 hours ago, Maya_C said:

    Would you please tell me where the Nautica docked in St. Petersburg. Was it close to downtown (walking distance to the Hermitage), where only smaller ships can dock, or was it farther from the center, where the larger ships dock. Thank you.

     

    6 hours ago, LHT28 said:

    they do not seem to show the  schedule for the  English Embankment or Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment

    so if you are  not on the main port maybe you will be  at one of the closer docks

     

    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.


  14. On 5/8/2019 at 7:58 PM, HilsTas said:

    Oceania Shuttles List

    ==================================================================Write Review

    Does Oceania Cruises provide free shuttle service? Free shuttle buses are offered when:

     

     

    • The ship is docked a long walk from the main thoroughfare
    • Taxis and or public transportation are not easily accessible from the port. .
    • The port is industrial and not pedestrian-friendly.
    • The decision on whether free buses will be offered will be based on the port used and will be made closer to or during the sailing

    Once on board, a list of ports that will offer a complimentary shuttle into town will be provided.

     

    Airlie Beach (Aust.) .....Tender, then $5AUD pp each way shuttle

    Akaroa NZ ................... Tender

    Alesund ........................ Dock at town so no shuttle

    Alexandria .................... Shuttle to city square

    Amalfi .......................... No need for shuttle

    Antigua...........................dock in town ..no shuttle

    Antofagasta ................. Free shuttle to town

    Antwerp ....................... Dock in town - no shuttle needed ... Aug 2017

    Aqaba ........................... Shuttle

    Bangkok ....................... Free shuttle to town

    Bar Harbour ................. Dock at town so no shuttle

    Barcelona .................... Free shuttle to town (worldTrade Centre)

    Basseterre, St. Kitts ..... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Belfast .......................... Free shuttle to town (near City Hall)

    Bermuda (Hamilton)....... dock in town ..no shuttle

    Bilbao ............................Free shuttle to town

    Bordeaux (city) ............ Dock at town so no shuttle

    Bordeaux (Le Verdon) .... shore excursion required

    Brisbane (Aus) ............. Free shuttle to town

    Broome (Australia)........ Free shuttle to town

    Bruges (Zeebruge) ......... free shuttle to port gates and free shuttle to Knokke (*not* Blenkenberge)... Aug 2019 (R ship)

    Buenos Aires ................. Free shuttle to town

    Cadiz ........................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Cairns Aus ................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Callao (Lima) ............... Free shuttle to town

    Capetown..................NO shuttle - walk or  cab. (E berth, Terminal, Duncan Rd  Jan 2019

    Casablanca .............. Free shuttle to town

    Castries, St Lucia ...... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Civitavecchia(for Rome).. Free shuttle to Civitavecchia

    Cobh..................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Colombo, .............. Free from ship to Port Gate 1. (local taxis available there) Jan 2019

    Concarneau .............. Dock at town so no shuttle

    Copenhagen .............. Free shuttle to town – however reports of it being difficult see post 301

    Coquimbo ................ Free shuttle to town

    Corfu ......................... Free shuttle to town

    Corner Brook ............ Dock at town so no shuttle

    Dar es Salaam...........Free shuttle from pier to Hyatt Regency in City Center.   Long walk from ship to exit gate.  There are several gates which may be confusing. Very busy working port  (Jan 2019)

    Darwin Aus ............... Free shuttle to town

    Dubai .........................Free shuttle from the port to the Dubai Mall

    Dublin ...................... Free shuttle to town (kildare St/Merrion Square) ... Aug 2017

    Dubrovnick .............. Free shuttle to town

    Dunedin NZ .............. Free shuttle to town

    East London, SA ........... Free shuttle from pier to the Hemingsway Mall (Jan 2019)

    Edinburgh (Leith) .......No shuttle - Closest port to town but still a distance to city centre 

    Eden Aus ................... Tender then shuttle but only short walk

    Esmeraldas ............. shuttle to  Playa de las Palmas (docked / itinerary said tender) Mar 2019

    Exmouth (Aus) ........... Free shuttle to town

    Flam Norway............... No shuttle needed - dock in town July 2018

    Gdansk........................ Free shuttle to just outside of Old Town... Aug 2019 (R ship, docked at Westerplatte)

    Geiranger ................... No shuttle needed - Dock at town 

    Gisbourne NZ ............ Free shuttle to town but short walk

    Gothenburg ................ Shuttle to City Hall

    Greenock ................ ..No shuttle needed - Dock at town  (15-20 minute walk to train to Glasgow)

    Haifa ......................... no shuttle on Sat but there was one on Sunday

    Halifax ................. ....No shuttle needed - Dock at town 

    Halifax pier 31  shuttle  to Pier 22 pavillion  April 2019

    Hamburg ................. Shuttle provided by Port to City Hall ....Aug 2017
    Harvest Caye........... ferry to mainland *not* operating for independents when there Mar 2019

    Havana, Cuba ............ Dock in city. walk off on main street.... April 2017.

    Helsinki ................... Free shuttle to town/ Shuttle from Westport to terminal near Market Square and no shuttle if docked near where SkyWheel Helsinki is located (close to Skatuddens terminal)... Aug 2019 (R ship)

    Hobart (aus) ............ Dock at town so no shuttle ... Sep 2017

    Holyhead ................ Free shuttle to town (really to end of dock) ... Aug 2017

    Invergordon ............. Dock at town so no shuttle .... August 2017

    Klaipeda .................. Dock at town so no shuttle ... Aug 2019 (R ship)

    Koper ...................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Kotor ....................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Kristiansand ............ Walking distance to town ...(South coast Norway)  August 2017

    Kristiansund.............No shuttle - dock in town (West coast of Norway) July 2018

    La Coruna ............... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Langkawi.................Free shuttle  from pier to Cenang Duty free Mall Jan 2019

    La Rochelle ............. Free shuttle to town

    Le Havre (for Paris) .... Free shuttle to town (Le Havre) .... August 2017

    Le Verdon ................. Free shuttle to town (Soulacsur Mer)

    Lerwick .................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Lima - .......................Free shuttle to Marriott at Larcomar (Miraflores neighborhood) Mar 2019

    Lisbon .................... Free shuttle to town (or dock in town)

    Liverpool ............... Dock at town so no shuttle ... August 2017

    Livorno ................... Free shuttle to town

    Male, Maldives.........tender port.... guides waiting + pick up tours there. Walk in town Jan 2019

    Mahe, Seychelles........no shuttle . Jan 2019

    Manta Ecuador ...... shuttle to main square (longish walk); will drop you at port gate Mar 2109

    Maputo, ...................Free shuttle from pier to City Center (feima market) Jan 2019

    Marseille ............... Free shuttle to town (fort Saint John)
    Miami .................... Free shuttle to Bayside Marketplace (*not* as an embarkation day)  Mar 2019 

    Monte Carlo ............. Dock at town so no shuttle

    Murmansk ................ Need to book a tour either O or private for visa

    Muscat ..................... Free shuttle to the Souk

    Nassau, Bahamas ..........dock in town

    New York .................. no shuttle (Manhattan cruise terminal) Mar 2019

    Newcastle .................. Free shuttle to nearest metro station (limited timing)

    Nosy be, Madagascar...Free shuttle  (tender port) from pier to Town Center Market Jan 2019

    Oporto ........................ Free shuttle to town

    Oslo ............................. Dock in town so no shuttle .... Aug 2017

    Palma de Mallorca........ Free shuttle to town (cathedral)

    Paris - see Le Havre

    Phuket, Thailand........no shuttle Jan 2019

    Picton NZ .................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Pisco ......................... Free shuttle to town

    Port Elizabeth,  South Africa....Free shuttle from pier to the Boardwalk jan 2019

    Port Klang................... Shuttle to Bukit Tinggi Mall. Break from 11:45 - 1:30.  Jan 19

    Portofini ................... No need for shuttle
    Puerto Limon........... no shuttle, tours by the local taxis & shops on the pier, walk to town Mar 2019

    Portland ................... Free shuttle to town

    Praislin, Seychelles....no shuttle
    Praislin, .............. .......no shuttle . Jan 2019
    Roatan ...................... no shuttle, Oceania docks in Coxen Hole, many port shops etc Mar 2019

    Roatan  can also dock at Mahogany Bay resort port

    Rhodes ....................... Dock in town so no shuttle

    Richards Bay............... Free shuttle from pier to Boardwalk Mall.  (Jan 2019)

    Rio .............................. Free shuttle to town

    Rome ........................(see Civitavecchia)

    Safaga,Egypt .............. a shuttle to downtown

    Saint John NB ........... Dock at town so no shuttle

    Salalah, Oman ............ shuttle to the Souk

    Salaverry............. shuttle to Trujillo/or shuttle to port gate - private tours. Tours in Trujillo  Mar 2019
    Santo Tomas, ...... - no shuttle, tours in the terminal,  walk into town Mar 2019

    Santos ......................... Free shuttle to town

    Skagan Denmark............free shuttle to town July 2018

    Singapore.......................no shuttle Jan 2019

    Sorrento ...................... Free shuttle to town

    Split ............................. Dock at town so no shuttle

    Stavanger ....................dock in town July 2018

    Stockholm ...................Free shuttle to town (near Gamla Stan)... August 2019 (R ship, docked at Värtahamnen)

    St Barts ..................... tender to town..no shuttle

    St. Lucia ................... Castries: Dock at town so no shuttle.

    Pointe Seraphine: .....walking distance (500 metres) or harbour water taxi to main area town.

    St Malo ...................... Dock at town so no shuttle

    St Jean De Luz .......... Dock at town so no shuttle

    St Petersburg .............. Need to book a tour - either O or private for visa

    Sydney N.S. ................. Dock at town so no shuttle

    Sydney Aus ................. Free shuttle to Darling Harbour centre

    Tallinn ........................ Free shuttle to gates of old lower town (main road outside city wall)... August 2019 (R ship)

    Valencia ..................... Free shuttle to town

    Valletta ..................... Dock below town. Take an elevator up for €1-€2 . Free to go back.

    Venice ....................... Free shuttle to town

    Warnemunde............ walk to town or train (short walk from port) to Rostock July 2018

    Zanzibar................... Free shuttle from pier to Kelele Square (Jan 2019)

    Zeebruge (for Bruges).... Shuttle to port gates or free shuttle to Knokke (not Blankenberge)... Aug 2019 (R ship)


  15. 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, our experience regarding the food quality on our last 3 O cruises (all on R ships; we've been all of the R ships except Sirena) were mediocre, then excellent, and the last one was good/very good. 

     

    There was a decent length of time that passed between the mediocre experience and the excellent experience because, like you, we value the cuisine quality on our cruises and didn't feel going on a cruise then was a good value for us, so it was a great surprise that when we eventually took another O cruise that the cuisine for that cruise was excellent.  However, the one after that was "just" good/very good, so it has slipped somewhat again and here we are now giving O another go.  If this cruise falls below very good, we will probably look at other cruise lines.  We don't need 7 options, but we need the 5 options to be actual options and not 2 real options surrounded by 3 pseudo options, with the accompanying quality of course.

     

    IMHO, the *quality* of the food should should not depend on which ship (O class or R class) one is on; obviously I can understand that the variety and choices are greater on the O ship and they should be, but the quality of a menu item should be close across the line; a chop in Polo should be close not matter which R or O ship one is on.

     

    I also am alarmed that the GDR has been closed on more days than not.  Previously, our experience was that it was closed only at ports where most passengers were expected to be on full day excursions (for example, for Civitavacchia, Livorno and any of the ports for Berlin) as coming back for lunch would be too time-consuming.


  16. 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.


  17. 11 hours ago, tassocat said:

    My wife and I are traveling on Azamara in November on Pursuit where one of the ports is "Motril/Granada" Spain.  The ship docks in Motril, but Granada is a little over 1 hour by car away.  We have asked Azamara, but they have not given a definitive answer.  Do they provide shuttle buses to Granada?  If so, what is the setup.  Do they run on a schedule basis?  Or do you sign up for a specific departure and return time?  Is there a cost or is it complimentary?

     

    Since the description of the port goes into great detail about the must see Granada, it seems like they should at least get you to the city in description.

     

    Thanks for any insight.

    TassoCat

     

    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 offering a free shuttle to the old town, which I understand Azamara does.

     

    I would not expect Azamara to be offering a free shuttle from Motril to Granada, like they (reasonably) would not from Santos to Sao Paolo or from Greenock to Glasgow.

     

    One hour away is a reasonable distance to feature the ideal city for the port; sometimes there is a stop at Malaga and they put (Granada) in brackets which while technically possible is a bit of a stretch, like for one of the German ports and listing Berlin.


  18. 1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

    What part of my sq footage is wrong?

     

     

    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?


  19. 10 hours ago, Bloodaxe said:

     

     

    The previous days wines are not readily available, you do have to ask and they will try to accommodate you.

     

    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.


  20. On 5/23/2019 at 5:29 AM, Lottie A said:

    If someone is offered a "tip" upfront then it's not a tip. It's a bribe. 

    I have seen this done on Oceania and Silversea for extra speciality dining reservations at a particular time, but thankfully I have never seen it on Azamara. 

     

    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).


  21. On 5/3/2019 at 12:04 AM, EasyGoingGuy said:

    Here's possibly a tough one... Puerto Chacabuco, Chile, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Del Este, Uruguay. An odd collection of ports. Thanks for any help.

     

    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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