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Everything posted by sammiedawg

  1. Totally agree. If I don’t care for the cruise ship or hotel I feel like I’m wasting my time.
  2. Carnival Corp has Seabourn for any loyalists who love the brand. Premium and luxury lines have flourished for decades. Their customer base mostly came over from mass market lines like Holland America, Princess, Celebrity. We’ve been on quite a few of these lines. They are more expensive but their overall products are superior. Not many of their customers go back and forth to the mass markets but many alternate the premium and luxury lines. Trying something different is good.
  3. We did the math onboard Prinsendam and didn’t see the value. Pretty much same food and service as other Holland ships. Not even a small bottle of water was added in as complimentary. Even an interstate Days Inn throws in a couple generic bottled waters in the room. . I won’t get into the mechanical and cabin issues. . I did the math for Oceania years ago before my first booking, have not cared since to run the numbers. . I evaluate the overall product for a generic per diem and by far it is our best value and most enjoyable. We’ve been on. One lines. We’ve done family Disney cruises and their per diem is stiff but you are paying for the characters and the entertainment. But if you see your child or grandchild with Minnie it is all worth it. I was irritated at the last minute Disney push for cash tips, even after we paid the daily gratuity pp. I would not sail Disney as solo adults.
  4. We haven’t had difficulty any getting on the first or second tender. You can look at the excursion list and figure when the first ship tours assemble. Just be there early with your group. and definitely tell the CD or shore excursion people in the lounge you would appreciate an early ticket. And a couple times an announcement was made for independents to go straight down to the tender area for an express ride.
  5. I fail to see why a second thread about smoking is worth getting nasty about. Last I knew this is still a public forum and not everyone reads through a double digit number of pages on a topic. Everyone expects to get the latest info if they start a new thread. Not a big deal. And I’ve seen far less pertinent questions posted over and over. Just read past them. From personal experience and comments here, rules are inconsistent on different ships, as is the enforcement of any rules in place.
  6. Everyone will book what they are comfortable with but I’ve read exaggerated comments on this disembarkation for years. Cruise lines make a regular market in Rome, they are in and out all the time. Years ago a cruise line we were on was transferrring to the airport at 5am for 7am flights. It is forty to forty five minutes by car service. This is not NYC or LA. , traffic is kind of rural. If you want to get to the continental US at a decent time look for noonish flights but we have done earlier. We also love booking Rome Cabs for these transfers. They will tell you what time to disembark and how soon you will arrive. We rarely do cruise line transfer buses. Why wait for a bus to fill. it has been our experience that airlines gates in Europe are not assigned and will not open until 60-90 minutes before flight time. So you can get in the line way early but you will mostly sit on the floor and wait. Last time we were there we even got in the tax return line and still had time to kill before the gate opened. I would not disembark the day before in Naples to make the airport as this port is not that bad. We’ve disembarked early from exotics to avoid red eye flights.
  7. It was fall 2017 that we canceled one O life on board and got $100 pp OBC. We casually mentioned to someone we changed our mind on taking the tour and offered them free tickets. They told us to go to the excursion desk for credit. The policy may have changed.
  8. I defer to your knowledge. Class society inspections- is that a reference to insurance companies?
  9. I’m surprised the ship is still in the fleet. The R ship design is as good as it gets. But no anytime dining is a turnoff to us. The Cuban situation has changed itineraries on multiple lines.
  10. Love the space center but you need quite a bit of time to see a fraction of the attractions. See if you can rent a car, then prebook an official tour. But the tour time frames might not line up with your flights. The official tours bus you around the huge complex and offer some narration. Worth the money.
  11. The excursions are built into the O life price. We’ve included O life and the not so free air in some initial bookings but then canceled it a couple times at final payment. We watched roll calls and looked for DIY options but we had the O excursions as backup. We kept the O life excursions once but cherry picked the tours very carefully. We were reasonably satisfied but if you don’t do research on the port you might get a meaningless drive around. Agree with the comments that the Passport discount is still overpriced and we don’t want a guided tour everyday. Any excursions booked individually on Oceania are generally overpriced by a significant amount. But a couple times we booked after hitting roadblocks to see a particular sight or show. If you have O life excursions and change your mind once on board, you can switch to another one or get $100 pp OBC. It was surprisingly flexible. And sometimes Oceania cancels an excursion and will give you generous options.
  12. Please note I have said nothing about reimbursements. Never asked for one and never received one. And upthread I posted I’ve missed multiple ports on multiple cruise lines, all eight or nine lines we’ve sailed.
  13. We are turned off by the formal dress on Cunard. Is there a lower class that would allow country club casual? Not interested in their transatlantic but they have some interesting itineraries. We got interested in Crystal when they relaxed the dress code. For us Oceania remains the best fit. But we enjoy trying new things.
  14. Porters always have blank luggage tags, fill in your name and cabin number. No need to print anything.
  15. As a lay person I draw the conclusion the welding was faulty. But i defer to your nautical expertise. Ever read about the welding on thrill rides breaking down after passing all government inspections?
  16. Years ago Princess had a Huge licensing package for NFL and it was great fun to watch on multiple screens, including poolside and cabins. Regular season games plus playoffs. Not sure if they still have it. Most cruiselines show playoffs and SB. We had great fun two seasons ago watching on Viking. Cannot wait for the new season.
  17. Richard Q, thanks for posting the written letter. I never doubted your story but I notice some loyalists have gone radio silent. Faulty welding on multiple tenders is nothing to minimize.
  18. Watch the fine print on Oceania business class as it may be restricted to gateway cities. We prefer using a consolidator for business class.
  19. We’ve done it when we had O life excursions booked. It was easy to do on line, just look at your booking, shore excursions listed by date. You will get a flurry of emails confirming cancelation, then a rebooking. Just make sure what you want is available. We also canceled an O life excursion while on board, we changed our mind and didn’t want the tour. We did not rebook anything and we were given $100 pp OBC.
  20. Guarantee cabins should be a little less money. Some of the online discounters and even full service TA ‘s have their best prices on guarantee cabins. On occasion we have booked them for more expensive cruises. Don’t expect big upgrades, book what you are satisfied with.
  21. Glad you posted this. The loyalists here are too quick to absolve the carrier of any deficiencies. I actually read about HAL non working tenders on another site. We have missed quite a few ports on multiple cruise lines for rough seas. We’ve also had a couple ports canceled for political turmoil. But we have never been on a ship with non working tenders. We do not sail the old ships of Holland America, been there and done that a couple times.
  22. Size of the ship is less important than space per passenger, food, service and ship comfort. I’ve stayed out of the recent Prinsendam threads but our experience was underwhelming because food, service, weird ship layout , ship comfort and condition were subpar to premium and luxury lines we have sailed. There are a number of cruise lines who will keep smaller ships. I don’t get the handwringing over Prinsendam leaving the fleet. Look around and you will find better. It will be more expensive but you get what you pay for.
  23. Go to the port visitor center and book an independent tour. It is next to where the ships tie up. Everything imaginable can be booked for very reasonable prices. Tours depart continuously. We’ve been there quite a few times and never get tired of touring this beautiful area. For that reason we’ve never done the Lumberjack show. The last time we were there we booked a narrated minibus town tour. It was a two hour tour for about $25. We only waited ten or fifteen minutes before the tour left. We drove past landmarks and eagle nests on the way to an area where wildlife may be seen. The tour stopped at Saxman totem pole park. At the end there was an optional drop off at Creek street and most everyone ended the tour there to explore on their own. The tour included free tickets to Dolly’s house and other creek street attractions. Then it is an easy walk downhill to get back to the ships.
  24. The culinary classes are informative and provide lots of hands on fun. It is more than a cooking demo that some cruise lines and the Oceania R ships provide. The classes are in a fully equipped kitchen with two people sharing a cooking station. We’ve learned something each time but it is not the Culinary school of the world. Wine is included as you eat the courses. The classes we’ve attended have lasted about two hours. We felt it was worth the $69.00 charge as opposed to the cost of an overpriced spa treatment or port excursions. The theme varies but you will know what it is when you sign up. You won’t know the menu. The classes do sell out. We’ve booked on board day 1 but many book pre cruise.
  25. St Bart’s was an unfriendly port stop on the two occasions we were there. We detected some minor hostility to cruise ship passengers. We couldn’t get service at a waterfront eatery, they ignored us. We were told they wanted to ban cruise ships. The best part of St Bart’s is being moored in the gorgeous harbor, it is spectacular. The island itself did not wow us.
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