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Mura

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About Mura

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Brooklyn, New York USA
  • Interests
    music, photography, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. Regarding activity of Oceania vs. Regent passengers, I have a big sample to quote: one day on one cruise! We were doing a TA (Barcelona-Rio) in November 2013. With one exception we were in the same ports daily with a Regent ship. One day our van taking us out of the port picked up two Regent passengers. They mentioned to us how much more "iively" the Oceania passengers were. As I said, this isn't a significant sampling to answer the question! Plus we couldn't know how many Oceania passengers the Regent people had observed ... It's an impossible question to answer, I think. Each sailing is different. We've been on Oceania cruises where we saw a large number of walkers, etc., and others where we saw none. I admit we do see more these days ... we've been sailing on O since its beginning and for some reason that I cannot fathom we ourselves are about 15 years older than we were on our first cruise ...
  2. Mura

    Noro on Marina

    We were on Marina four years ago when an outbreak occurred. Besides the constant cleaning routine by the crew, I remember that the laundry rooms were closed. I don't recall if the executive and concierge lounges were closed, but we don't use those so it's not surprising that I don't recall. But I'm pretty sure that the specialty restaurants remained open. If the GDR and Terrace remain open, why shouldn't the specialties also remain open? I agree that the passengers are the main problem! Once you see people leaving the loo without bothering to wash their hands it's pretty clear how these things can spread. I always thought my mother was nuts to insist on opening the door with a towel upon leaving a rest room. Now I know better.
  3. Lyn, we haven't tried Crystal but I suspect it's the same as here ... most passengers are not CC participants. I am sure that you will meet plenty of compatible people. The others you can ignore. Or at least TRY to ignore! Mura
  4. Thanks, Clo. I enjoyed these. But I still don't see the Trollfjord ... I have some wonderful Norway photos as well but I will refrain from posting them! (DH is having major surgery tomorrow so my time is limited ...) Have you been to Svalbard? We only had one day there in 2010 but enjoyed it very much. Mura
  5. I doubt anyone but the owner would. On top of this, there are people who truly have allergies to dogs. They would be particularly unhappy, I would think. I'm a dog lover as well, but I don't think they belong in the dining room. I can see an exception for the true service animals that sit at the owner's feet. But only for them. For the record, I've never seen ANY pets on board Oceania ships.
  6. I find this interesting because I believe I recall many years in the past FDR saying no, never to dogs. But that may have been before the U.S. law went into effect regarding service animals. But I agree, it's not a good situation for the dog even if it makes the owner happy. I can understand that some people may really need that animal ... but then is a cruise the right vacation for the person? And I don't think the dog should have been at the table either.
  7. I still treasure our 1976 cruise on Bergen Lines, Hurtigruten's predecessor, on a small ship -- probably really a "boat" -- that took us into the Trollfjord both going up to Northcape from Bergen and back. There was a lovely young German teen on board who loaned me his flash so that I good get a good picture. (Which of course I no longer have since this was pre-computer days.) As I recall, we were always close to the coast. There were very few first class cabins ... most were second/third. First class had a separate dining room, and we were maybe 40 people. Even in the 6 first class cabins, only 2 had bathrooms "en suite" (as I recall). Calling it a suite was a bit of a stretch. We booked very last minute when there was a "just happened" cancellation of one of those suites with the bathroom. But we still had bunk beds! Back then, we didn't mind. (Actually, I still wouldn't mind!) When we hit a big arctic storm -- the captain said it was the worst he'd seen in 25 years of passenger service and most people never arrived at meals for those one or two days -- I actually preferred the bunk beds. We'd go from head on the ceiling, toes on the floor, to the reverse ... It was an interesting trip! Actually, it was called the "mail boat", so I suspect my categorization of the "ship" as a "boat" wasn't very far off ... I knitted my young nice a sweater on that trip ... She was about 8 on that trip and how she's now in her late 40s ... Back to what Clo said: Bergen Lines was minimal transportation up and down the coast. I suspect Hurtigruten may not be much more elaborate. It's still a great trip! And part of OUR fun was staying in tiny ports for 15-30 minutes. DH always managed to find ice cream on his walk ... Everyone would ask him, "Where did you get that?" 😀 Mura
  8. We've been to fjords in Norway, Chile, New Zealand and Alaska (assuming we count Alaska here). Our favorite is also Norway, but none of these areas are to be diminished. They are all fabulous.
  9. Indeed, it WAS many years ago! Glad to hear unsweetened tea is now available. Not that I'm likely to try it out! Mura
  10. We are among those to don't find the package worth it. Firstly, DH doesn't drink ... maybe a sip of my wine at dinner but not much else. So we bring on some wine and vodka for consumption in the room. We tend NOT to go to the bars, unless someone else has invited us to join them. We'd never spend $60/day, let alone $60pp. So for us, pay as you go is clearly what we want to do. For people who want wine or beer at lunch, cocktails before dinner, wine with dinner and maybe a post-dinner drinki... then it does make sense. Just do the calculation for yourself whether it's worth it or not. Note that you do NOT have to have the package every day of your cruise, but once you sign up for it you will have to pay for it til the end. You can start late, but then must continue to the end of the cruise. It can depend on the length of the cruise and WHERE you are cruising as to whether it's worth it as well.
  11. I'm not a big tea drinker but at lunch time on board, at least, I usually ask for iced tea ... or an Arnold Palmer. I loathe sweetened tea and the "straight" iced tea hasn't offended me in Terrace ... There was one meal at MacDonald's (I've been there maybe six times in my life) where I ordered iced tea and couldn't drink it because it was so sweet. Mura
  12. We are fans of breakfast in the GDR on sea days or days where we arrive late in port (that hasn't happened much) OR if we just have decided not to go ashore (also hasn't happened much). We're usually in a PH or maybe even above, so the alternative on tour days is a hot breakfast in the room. When we took a downsell to a B1 in 2016 we went to Terrace for breakfast for the first time in many cruises. We luckily found a table! When we've ordered into the room (from the regular breakfast choices, NOT room service) we specify a time. They are always knocking at the door at the exact time. As to the reduction in menu choices, we were on Riviera when the new menus came into play. Maybe we wouldn't have minded if we weren't long time passengers on O but we were used to dinner changes daily. So there used to be 3-4 salad and soup choices, about 5 main course choices, and so on. This was in addition to the standard "Jacques Pepin favorites", the vegetarian choices, etc. With the "new" menus, we saw much more repetition. So if you saw leg of lamb on the menu on Monday, you might see it again on Wednesday or Thursday. That doesn't mean that you won't find something you want on the dinner menu in the GDR. But you are definitely more limited. We always check the menus in advance anyway to decide whether we want to go the GDR, Terrace or order into our room. We aren't happy with these changes ourselves but our discontent isn't enough to make us bail ship ...
  13. Agree with others. By the way, oLife DOES include the "free" economy air as far as I know. Before oLife came into play, ALL fares included that benefit and if you chose not to take advantage of that benefit, you got a credit. Once upon a time that credit was significant. It no longer is. (In early days we found that the discount was more than what our air fare on our own would cost. Of course, then we weren't insisting on bizair ...) Our experience has been to book our own air which means we don't have to pay extra fly in early or leave late. Again, THAT cost has also increased significantly from early days. If you want business or first class air, then definitely book your own. If you talk to Oceania about upgrading to business from their economy "free" flight, you will be shocked, I think, at the cost. We certainly were! That being said, we have on one or two occasions used their premium economy upgrade -- again, that price has increased. Two (maybe three?) years ago I think that cost was $99, and now it is $199? $299? Those flights -- JFK to CPH/LHR to JFK on BA were very good. No complaints. As Lyn and others have said, do your own research and see what your own air would cost you before deciding about accepting the air benefit. If you don't want to fly economy you probably will not want it. There are big benefits in our minds to adding on a few extra days to your trip so that you can spend time in the departure and ending ports. Flying in on the day of the cruise has its risks. Our first Oceania cruise back in 2004 left from Miami for the Panama Canal, and some people who were delayed by bad weather missed the departure. The captain had a choice of waiting for them to arrive and missing the ship's Canal slot or leaving without them. He left without them. They caught up to the ship later. As to the oLife benefits: we usually take ship credit or the ship's tours. We see no benefit (for us!) with the liquor package. While before oLife came into play we tended to do occasional ship's tours with mostly private tours with people on our Roll Call, since oLife tours came into play we have taken a number of ship's tours. We calculate the cost we would have paid for the tour on our own against the surcharge for oLife vs. cruise only fares. This also depends on the ship's tours that we see that we would want to take to begin with. You are limited to tours that cost $199 or less. So far we've found tours that were to our advantage, but again, costs have increased. My memory could be wrong but I think that when oLife was first announced the surcharge was maybe $300pp. Now it is significantly more than that, depending on the length of the cruise. Also, since oLife has come into existence it is more difficult to find fellow travelers on your Roll Call who want to do private tours. On our last cruise we did find people to join us on the private tours we set up, but it can depend on itinerary. So you need to do your research to decide what you want to do! There is nothing to say that you cannot opt for oLife benefits when booking and change your mind later, as long as you do so before final payment. I think that time limit is 14 days but don't quote me. In these cases, a TA experienced with Oceania can be invaluable. Mura
  14. Thanks for that info. I was only doing a quick check out of curiosity since we weren't on the particular cruise that ended up ending/starting at Marseille rather than Monte Carlo. I doubt we'll ever need this ourselves, but will save your comment just in case. I also was thinking of people who supposedly were not able to take the provided coach.
  15. 😃 You can see how often I've sailed in a "C" ... sorry about that! I think I was momentarily back with Renaissance when a "C" was what an "A" is on Oceania.
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