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About edgee

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    U.S. East Coast
  • Interests
    travel, family
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, Crystal, Celebrity, HAL

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383 profile views
  1. Exactly, I have schlepped my GE card all over the world along with my passport. Only place I've ever found it to be of any use(other than as a backup ID) is in Canada when going through immigration to board a ship.
  2. Other O class ship Marina has two regular whirlpools in the front spa area instead of the thalassotherapy pool.
  3. Since we only eat dinner early with tables for two, we find the Concierge Class advantageous for the ability to book specialty restaurants a couple of weeks ahead of most others on the ship. Access to the spa pools in front of the ship area are very nice if you enjoy them, but if cruise is a cold weather or very port intensive cruise, this is less important. The free bags of laundry may be helpful for some, but the 3 day turnaround is too long for us. We pack rather light and find that ship's laundry machines meet our needs. Concierge lounge is of minimal value IMHO, although some enjoy access to newspapers, coffee and very light (and mostly inadequate) snacks. We never use room service, so option of a more complete menu has no value to us. As Lyn and others have stated, value depends on your cruising habits and preferences.
  4. Waterside on Crystal is excellent in terms of variety of menu and quality of service MOST of the time. However, it is far from flawless. We are not super frequent Crystal cruisers, but have eaten in Waterside about 25 evenings since conversion to open seating and on occasion have had very slow and inattentive service and main courses that have been substandard from our point of view. We have cruised Oceania nine times and it has excellent GDR service and quality most of the time but we have on occasion encountered hiccups in service quality, although food quality has consistently been excellent from our POV. In terms of specialty restaurant quality and service we prefer Oceania although Crystal does a fine job also.
  5. If you arrive MIA at 11, you can go directly to the ship. Likely you will not arrive until noon, given needed time to collect any checked luggage and transport to the port. We always arrive in Miami a day ahead of time and show up at the port around 11:45. Once you are on the ship you can have lunch and relax pending availability of your cabin. If you are in a Veranda non Concierge class cabin you may have to wait a couple of hours before your cabin is ready.
  6. David is terrific. Appreciate very much his presentations about charitable work he does around the world.
  7. Generally agree with your analysis. Couple of points I would add: Re: Pricing of shore excursions. Having to buy more than I want in order to get 25% off on Oceania does not work for us and regular pricing is really very high. Also on HAL, their larger ships have very good entertainment options with Billboard on Board piano duos, Lincoln Center classical music, BBC earth film showings and House of Blues music venue. Food, condition of ship less crowding and generally luxurious ambience are big winners for Oceania.
  8. Agree with your point but four years after my wife was seriously ill from a nearly deadly infection coming from a scratch on her back (you never know)...your comment about a "private jet" brings a smile to my face now that everything is fine. The evacuating jet was far from a luxurious private jet. It was very tight in there with just me in an uncomfortable seat made of two thin cushions, two pilots and an EMT with my wife on a cot between us. No bathroom or sink...I could not stand up. Fortunately our evacuation was from Long Island to Washington DC...a short flight and we were treated very well. Although our flight was short, the evac team told me that they use the same jet to evacuate folks from South America back to the U.S. They have to land for bathroom and refueling stops along the way.
  9. I do not disagree with your point but when my wife became seriously ill in the U.S. while visiting family in another state, MedJet Assist made multiple calls to medical staff at the hospital treating her before they approved the transfer to a hospital near our home. Likely they were just gathering medical information to be sure she was stable enough to fly home. Just want to clarify that they do involve local doctors from the evacuating hospital in the process. In our case we had to deal with a treating doctor who was a real jerk and refused to acknowledge the seriousness of my wife's illness..this held up the transfer until other doctors intervened and gave Medjet accurate information.
  10. No...According to Ramsey website his cruise on the N.S. is the following week.. March 22.
  11. Sadly, HAL seems committed to smoking in casinos as both of their newer ships allow smoking...configuration of their "middle age" Vista Class ships is such that too much casino smoke drifted into entertainment venues...thus they ended casino smoking on those ships only. To your point about eating in specialty restaurants every night to "escape" main dining room food or service...problem is that cruise ship specialty restaurants tend to have a rigid menu so, even if good, lack of variety would be a problem for some. We have encountered this issue when we dined frequently in specialty restaurants on both HAL and Princess. On Oceania and actually also on Celebrity there are multiple specialty restaurants...so not a problem. As discussed, Oceania is a different animal in that we find service and quality in all dining venues to be generally good to excellent.
  12. We have sampled HAL again (twice) after a 10 year hiatus, but only returned to give it a try because of their new no smoking policy in the casino which only applies to their 5 Vista Class ships. Pretty much agree with you regarding food except we found Pinnacle Grill to be a step below any of the Oceania specialty restaurants. We did enjoy the Billboard on Board piano performances each evening as well as the classical Lincoln Center music concerts. Also liked their Explorations (Barista) Café and BBC nature movie program. So, entertainment wise there is more to do and ship tours are identical to Oceania at a lower price. But, with HAL you are experiencing a modern mainstream cruise line with ever declining quality as the green eye shades continue to lower the quality of the product and the public continues to accept these changes. A whole different world than Oceania quality-wise.
  13. I do not disagree, as I have had trouble reaching food items on Crystal's buffet and I appreciate the neatness of the staff serve areas of Terrace. However, IMHO the attitude of some frequent Oceania cruisers who tout Terrace's non self serve system as a major factor in having a more sanitary ship is a little over the top. Indeed there are a number of self serve venues on Oceania such as self serve coffee machines and such self serve food areas in Baristas, Concierge and Executive Lounges and, again, CDC records generally do not indicate that Oceania ships are more sanitary than those of other cruise lines.
  14. Geo Blue sounds great but is not available to residents of all states, unfortunately.
  15. NORO seems to happen just as often on Oceania ships with all the "precautions" in their non self serve buffet than it does on cruise lines with full self service buffets such as Crystal. Out of 40+ cruises on a number of cruise lines the only NORO we experienced was on Oceania Marina.
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