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About Mura

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    Brooklyn, New York USA
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    music, photography, travel
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  1. The thing is -- I think -- that you never know what will come up or what it will cost. We had a wonderful upsell to an OS on Regatta back in 2005. It happened at a very convenient time for us because I blew out my meniscus the day before boarding. That OS was a blessing when I could hardly walk. Then 2-3 years ago (I think) we had a fabulous downsell from a PH to a B2 on Nautica which paid for the VS we had booked on Sirena a couple of months later. Since then I hear that these downsells really are non-existent ... or if they are existent, hard to come by. It's not uncommon for people to ask the question you did ... but there are no real answers. It depends on the cruise, on the demand, etc. You may luck out... or you may not. It's not possible to say "you will get this if you are patient". But good luck! It sounds like you are happy with what you have whether you get an upsell or not... which is a good thing! Miracles DO happen! Sometimes ... 👍 Mura
  2. On my opera list today I saw that many concert venues in Italy are closing, at least temporarily. La Scala (Milan) has, but La Fenice (Venice) has not. At least for now. (This was earlier today so I don't know if these facts are still pertinent!) There are increasing cases in Italy and the government is suggesting that people not go "out" or congregate with large groups. Mura P.S. I just saw this update from the NY Times posted about an hour ago: Italy Battles to Contain Europe’s First Major Outbreak of Coronavirus The country announced nearly 150 cases, many in the densely populated region around Milan, as officials closed schools and canceled Venice’s carnival celebrations.
  3. We didn't have that experience in Buenos Aires (we were boarding the ship there, not leaving) but we had a similar experience leaving Rio in 2013. Looking back I think that maybe the suggestion of booking a day room at a hotel would have been better. We did a full-day tour, which was excellent. But they actually got us to the airport early ... around 4pm as I recall, and our flight wasn't supposed to leave until 10:40 but there were lots of flight delays so we left later than that. We had to stand for several hours at the entrance to the airport before they would let us go up to our gate. No place to sit was a trial for many of us! And then when we got up to the gate, real food was not available. Mostly sandwiches and the like. Thinking back on it, I guess we were lucky because lots of people had their flights cancelled at the last minute. Oceania was working hard to book them on other flights. So at least OUR flight left as scheduled, albeit somewhat late. Rio isn't Buenos Aires but our experiences seemed quite similar.
  4. I thought I WAS talking about Marina/Riviera ... maybe I wasn't clear.
  5. You could add fewer options for "entertainment" -- I don't mean theatrical entertainment but rather you don't have things like La Reserve or Privee, the cooking classes, the handicraft area -- I'm blanking on the real name since I've not taken advantage of its offerings myself. Perhaps more lecturers? I'm not sure about that ... it hasn't seemed to me that there are fewer on the smaller ships but I suppose it is possible.
  6. We were in Buenos Aires in January 2002, so perhaps a different world. We also had the benefit of having met up on line with a resident there who did show us around, although much of our time we were on our own. But he made suggestions when he wasn't with us. (I met him on an opera list, not CC.) We loved our time there. I remember that my father was there in 1938 on a tour with Toscanini's NBC Symphony and he never stopped talking about how much he loved the city. In 2002 I could see why he felt that way. We never felt any danger in walking around THEN. But as for the original question (!), it sounds like booking a tour would be a good way to enjoy the day. Even if we'd used an agency back then I wouldn't feel that I could recommend them today! We did use a number of taxi cabs, including getting to the ship from our hotel. The driver did have "fun" trying to find where the ship was docked, but we got there in plenty of time. Mura
  7. Question. In this discussion of what brands people prefer, are we talking about what is available on the package or what is available if you are buying the drink? I am aware that certain premium brands are NOT available on the package, but I thought that most brands available on the ship are. Am I wrong? Since we have never gotten a package, when I order Wild Turkey by the glass I don't have a problem getting it ... I"m not into premium scotches (since I don't like ANY scotch) so I'm not sure where bourbon lovers would place W-T but I happen to like it. Just curious.
  8. That is what I was going to suggest, Lyn. But I can understand if they would rather go to a bar. Maybe they can talk to TPTB on the ship, explaining that the ship doesn't have their favorite tipple. Would it be okay to bring their glass to another venue? Most likely the answer would be no ... but it couldn't hurt to ask. At least they wouldn't be trying to cheat the system! For us, since we do NOT go to the bars (unless someone else invites us! -- okay, that's mainly because rarely drinks alcohol -- I'm happy to bring on my own vodka or bourbon and drink in our cabin. And might such a request (especially if they aren't the only ones to make the request) induce O to "up" the quality of the provided liquors? Just asking ... I suppose I'm in dreamland to make such a request!
  9. Ditto! People really should not assume that just because they have oLife they are the only ones who get "free" airfare. ANY passenger can get the "free" airfare if they opt for it. OR they can get a credit against the basic fare. In early days it was very advantageous to do your own in that the credits for doing your own air were far better then they are today. Back then, it was often true that the air credit was of a greater value than what we paid for our own booking. That's no longer true! But it doesn't mean that taking the credit is valueless. especially if you want to book a higher class air fare. Many of us opt out, but that has nothing to do with oLife. We have done oLife (usually taking the tours) but almost always have bought our own air -- mainly because we prefer biz air and doing so through Oceania is far more expensive than doing it on your own. Flying from an east coast gateway to Europe, as we do, can make O's biz (or at least PE) air worthwhile because it's business class over the ocean. But if you are going further on to another airport -- say LHR to Rome -- then you are in economy over land. We did use O's PE air a few years ago (JFK-CPH/LRH-JFK) because we weren't flying overland and the price was right. And the seats on SAS/LRH were fine. Mura
  10. When Jan posts such a detailed response, in italics, I take that as a quote from what she has seen officially. Don't question her information. As many of us have said so far, she does know what she is talking about! Mura
  11. I agree. We took Renaissance cruises in October 1999, February 2000 and May 2001, and were booked for a cruise in January 2002. We always felt that Ren had expanded too fast. They were scheduled to meet with their bankers two days or so after 9/11 to restructure their loans. Obviously that didn't work out!
  12. The same for us. I just checked my diary to make sure. The ending point of the first itinerary in May 2018 was Civitavecchia. We did not have to leave the ship (and I didn't note needing to get new cards but I also do not remembering having to do so). We had intended to walk out to the Fortress to finally see it but my notes say that when I saw the length of the walk I changed my mind. So we did stay on the ship. I had thought that I remembered walking to the ship on one of our visits there but I must have been wrong! Mura
  13. I'm just trying to look at both sides. I also have renewed early just to be safe ... but we were stuck with this 6 month rule when DH's passport expired 5 months before we wanted to book a last minute cruise. At least we hadn't booked yet! But we *were* disappointed. That was the only time we were stuck with this. Don't think I support the 6 month rule because I don't. I think that in normal circumstances an expiration date should be an expiration date! I also had a passport stolen as we were about to leave Prague. Fortunately I realized the problem in time to get to the Embassy (or was it the Consulate?) and get my passport replaced in time to leave for Paris the next day. But until that passport expired I had problems with computer systems accepting it ... something about that number that shows at the bottom of your passport. It did NOT on my new one. (And you don't want to know what the Israeli's did with it when we returned to Israel from Jordan!) It was never such a problem that we were delayed in travel ... but it did cause some anxious moments. With today's passports, that problem does not exist. At least, it hasn't for us.
  14. Absolutely, I did! I hoped the smiley faces would convey that ... I saw your first response before some of the others, and I figured it was a joke so didn't respond. Then when I saw more of the thread, I thought I should! People who pour their own wine are far less offensive than chair hogs, no????? Mura
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