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About Jay23

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Gloucestershire UK
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    Tennis , cat lover

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  1. Our butler brought morning tea at 7.30am each day as we asked him to. He did not knock. We did not have to open the door for him. He just came in and put the tray down and left, just as we asked him to. A couple of times we asked him to bring breakfast as we had early starts. This included disembarkation day. Also we had the afternoon canapés. One day we forgot to put out the order, but we met Mani in the hallway. We did not mention the canapés but he said he had canapés left over and would we like them. So we said yes. This kind of service makes for a relaxing and stress free holiday. Why get up and dressed to go to a public room to get coffee/tea when it can be delivered to your suite by an unobtrusive, charming butler at 7.30am. We prefer to have breakfast in the MDR rather than the Terrace. Not having to think for ourselves is an important part of the holiday for us. This is why Oceania suites us so well. However I perfectly understand why it does not suit everyone........ I think....... J
  2. Just curious. If you could book it six weeks before, why didn't you? There is no time limit for tour booking. J
  3. Bookings are on the half hour from 6.30. J
  4. Pre 5am in the UK?? I have never even thought of doing that and always get the bookings I want.. For this year's August cruise I went on line on the appointed day in June at a civilised hour and booked four tables at the times I wanted. We like to eat at 7.30 so perhaps this isn't such a popular time? There are certainly quite a few tables already occupied when we arrive in the restaurants. J
  5. This is very encouraging Julie. J 😁
  6. No we are not doing an overnighter on this occasion. J
  7. Nautica docked at English Embankment. It is a small docking area and the buses have to park on the road! However it is very conveniently close to many of the public attractions. You could walk to the Hermitage but don't forget you MUST have your own visas if you are going to go out on your own without being part of a tour. J
  8. This query has had over 90 views and no replies so I am assuming that no one has experienced tendering from this embarkation port. I think this must mean tendering has not happened and will not be happening which is what I wanted to know. The little anchor shown for embarking in Monte Carlo is obviously an error!!!!! J
  9. If there is to be no amalgamation of Polo and Toscana on Regatta, I assume there will be no Reg Ginger either. How about Sirena? Are they going to scrap Red Ginger on Sirena and have Polo and Toscana as separate entities on Sirena in the future?? There surely can't be room for all three restaurants. We are sailing on Sirena next year and I am not a fan of Red Ginger but my DH is. J
  10. We have booked a cruise on Sirena from Monte Carlo, for next year, which shows that we will be tendering from that Port. We have sailed from there several times but never by tender. Can anyone tell me how that works for the guests and also how the baggage is transferred. All seems a bit cumbersome to me. J
  11. We have just booked a cruise on Sirena for next August so we will consider your suggestion re The Terrace for dinner. J
  12. Eleven day Baltic Cruise. Aug 24 - Sept 4 I was beginning to wonder if Oceania was the company for us as there were a few naysayers on this Forum. No smoke without fire I thought. Here is what we experienced and I leave it up to you to decide. GENERAL We live only two hours from Southampton. At 2.10pm we checked in at the terminal and were in our PH Stateroom 8049 by 2.45pm The bags were waiting outside the door. No complaints there. The Stewardess introduced herself soon after we arrived and I requested a foam pillow instead of a feather one. (This was on the bed when we returned from dinner) Mani, the Butler, was soon at the door and we were able to ask him to bring morning tea each day. He was charming and professional. Tea came as requested each day. Boat drill was at 4.15 . This took a slightly different form from what we remembered, as we were taken out on deck to our lifeboat after the talk. Previously we were only instructed in the muster station. It seems a good idea to show the guests exactly how the safety drill works. You are not required to take your life jacket. On returning to our stateroom, we phoned Mani and requested tea and cookies. Ten minutes later he was there with the order. Perfect. He also got us a table in the speciality restaurant when we asked him. Oh and replaced the ailing fridge within hours. and brought us lunch one day. And breakfast a couple of days too. DRESS. ( I hesitate to mention this contentious issue!) My husband wore a linen jacket every night for dinner because he likes to and I wore a nice dress or smart trousers and a pretty top. Gentlemen frequently wore a jacket in the speciality restaurants and the ladies always looked good to me. We did see guests going to the Terrace who were not quite so formally attired but we did not eat there in the evening so don’t know what the general look was. FOOD AND DINING SERVICE. Waiters were attentive and the sommelier was prompt, the wine poured before any food was served and glasses topped up frequently. We had an included wine package. I am at a loss to understand the comments about slow and lax service in the GDR that some recent reviewers mentioned. We were always greeted by name and when we asked for a table for two that’s what we got. Sometimes we shared. We do feel, however, that the menu is not as extensive as on previous cruises and did not change as often. (our last cruise was two years ago on the same ship) Only one meal did not meet expectations. It was duck a l’orange. I mentioned it to the restaurant manager. He wrote it down but I did not hear any more about it. All the desserts were delicious. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Three meals in Polo and two in Toscana. Some on our own and some shared. I had shrimps and lamb in Polo and Dover sole in Toscana. The sole is superb. We always enjoyed the company of our companions in fact we sat with the same people on two different occasions quite by accident! In Toscana we requested a special dessert a couple of days before we went. It was Zabaglione. This has to be made and served immediately. That is why it has to be requested. The chef came to see us at our very special forward facing table to make sure we enjoyed his dessert. We did. And we enjoyed the view leaving St Petersburg. TOURS For the first time we took Oceania tours as they were included in our fare. The guides were charming and spoke good English. The tours were well organised and did what we expected. The guests were “well behaved” and always returned to the bus on time. Except once, but that was a genuine mistake by the guest and she was mortified so we forgave her!!!!!!! ENTERTAINMENT… What we went to see we enjoyed. True there are no big presentation shows. The singers were good and they also did duty as Entertainment Officers. I am really not sure what is expected from these shows that guests say they are disappointed with. Last but not least I must mention the CD. Shawn Carter. Excellent. Enthusiastic. Friendly. Kept us informed. Just right. We will be travelling with Oceania again. J `
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