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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. FloridaTravelers, I don't know that we can blame the networks for avoiding this issue. Unless you are watching the three networks non-stop, you wouldn't know if they are ONLY focused on the Mueller report -- which is very important, whatever side of the issue you are on. My husband was listening (probably on the radio) to I don't know which station which did mention this. European networks are reporting, and as has been said the Viking thread is most illuminating. I think I won't take Viking's Northern Lights cruise at this time of year, however ... Mura
  2. In trying to find more information about this, I found an article about a 12 year old German boy who ran up a 13,000 EUR bill on his phone (watching videos while his parents weren't watching) on a SHORT cruise. Good thing it wasn't a long one ... The bill came from the cell company, not the ship. I can hear the father's screech now when he opened the bill ... Mura
  3. As a pet lover myself, I also send my sympathies at the lost of Barney. But it sounds like he was treated as well as he could be while you were away, which must be a comfort. Mura
  4. We tend not to go these functions anymore, but I'm rather sure it's either the second day of the cruise or the first sea day. If there are no sea days, then probably on the second day. The top staff is pretty busy when leaving port the first night. I'm now morphing to a topic of Meet & Greets ... When I've set up M&Gs I usually go to the concierge to find the best time and venue. They tell ME, I don't tell THEM. Lately, though, we were on port intensive cruises and so I started having the M&Gs on the boarding day, around 6pm. Or more specifically, right after the end of the boat drill. This gives us time to meet, have a drink or two, and go to dinner at a reasonable hour. This was done precisely because people who'd set up private tours wanted an opportunity to meet the others on their tour. This has worked out very well for my groups, but when we had groups of 100+ people on previous cruises, then it was better to plan on a second or third night of the cruise per the concierge's suggestion. Almost always that was in Horizons at cocktail hour. On Marina in November 2017 and Riviera in May 2018, they suggested the Sanctuary on Deck 14 forward portside (just forward of the Sun Deck.) This is excellent for smaller groups, I found -- we were about 35 as I recall -- because people really had to stand up and circulate! When in Horizons I find people send to find a seat at a table for four and not move much! It can depend on the group, of course. Mura
  5. Which is something we all do. I was just wondering if it was a time consideration ... since we found our visit to Wadi Rum such a highlight. Others don't need to be guided by OUR choice, of course. Mura
  6. Why without Wadi Rum? If it's a time consideration, I understand. We did Israel for 2 weeks with my husband's Israeli cousin who is also a tour guide, so we had time to do things. We left her in Eilat and did a two night tour with a local group. The first stop was petra/wadi rum (with a hotel stay there overnight) and the next was a shift to Mt. Sinai, again with a hotel stay nearby. As much as we loved Petra, Wadi Rum was also wonderful. We were just us and our guide was a retired major from the Jordanian Air Force. We spent about a half a day in the Wadi Rum. He prepared us lunch over a fire which was delicious. This was a real highlight. As I said at the outset, if time is limited, then I can see doing only Petra which also requires a fair amount of time. We were lucky to have two days there. Mura
  7. I think that perhaps the people complaining about too many announcements (especially from Dottie but maybe not especially) are hearing them in the public areas. Like you, we have to open the door when we are in the room and so miss most of them. If we are "out and about" we pretty much ignore announcements ... And if we are "out and about" we probably aren't on board anyway. Dottie was our CD on Regatta in August 2012 for the Black Sea cruise. Our arrival in Istanbul was delayed because a Carnival ship refused to leave when it was supposed to. Eventually we got to our dock. I was impressed with Dottie in particular at that time because when we left the ship and specifically asked about the problem, she was very careful not to say much. Other than what we already knew. While I would have loved hearing "scuttlebutt", I admired her professional demeanor. Mura
  8. As someone who personalizes name tags for Meet & Greets -- and I'm not sure at all that my name tags are the same size as those that crew use. But it's been my experience that there is a limit to what I can put on the name tag. For example, I like to have the name in as large type as I can, but when people have "long" names it can be a problem. I also like to say their city of origin and their CC handle if I have it. I can't always do that depending on the info and space available. So if Oceania has increased the font for crew names, it may be difficult to include countries of origin. And they have to standardize them, I'm sure. So it may mean defaulting to no country of origin. Just a guess. Mura
  9. We stayed at a nice apartment-hotel but I won't recommend it since we stayed there in January 2002 ... Try googling accommodations in Santiago, or Trip Advisor. There are plenty of sites although of course you won't have a personal recommendation from someone who has actually stayed there. I think it's already been mentioned to check the port information board here as well. Mura
  10. You will get better results if you post this to your Roll Call. It's not likely that many of your fellow passengers will see it on this general list. Good luck! Mura
  11. Understood. Just because we like the specialties on boarding day (NEVER on departure day) doesn't mean we expect everyone to agree! It wasn't until that 2011 Marina cruise that we realized that eating in a specialty on departure day could be so convenient -- FOR US. We certainly don't plan on racing from the muster to a restaurant. Mura
  12. Perhaps she thinks she's keeping it brief when she isn't. I agree that reminders of sales, availability of water and the like can get very old very quickly. Dotties is one of our favorite CDs, and we generally don't give a hoot as to who the CD is on a cruise since we rarely use their services. Mura
  13. Actually, we love dining in the specialties on boarding night. And it's often easy to be given a reservation there at the last minute. I've said this before but I know SOMEONE at least hasn't seen it. On our first Marina cruise back in 2011 we'd tried to book a table for 6 in Jacques on departure night, but we asked our butler upon boarding and he couldn't get the table because I didn't have the other booking numbers. (I knew you need them to book online but didn't think we'd need them when booking on board.) Anyway, we all said, fine, we'll just go to the GDR. When we got there and the maitre d' saw a table for six, he asked if we wanted to go to Jacques. SURE!! So off we went. That night it was on the early side and the restaurant was pretty empty. We had the benefit of a great view from our table of the chefs working ... Ever since we've aimed to book a table in a specialty on boarding night, whether just for us or with others. Then again, we don't fly in on departure day. If we did, I wouldn't want a specialty restaurant that night either. We'd probably go to Terrace. But after spending a few days in the departure city, it's not a big deal to transfer to the ship. Mura P.S. As to Paul's question as to WHY the question was posted, maybe the OP does just want to know when it's easier to get a reservation? If so, there have been many threads on this question. OTOH, lots of people recommend early or late times as a way to be more sure of getting a reservation ... we usually are in a high enough room that we don't have a problem getting a 7:30 reservation (which is what WE prefer) so this hasn't been a problem for us. And of course we are happy to share.
  14. I was about to comment that perhaps it wasn't Dottie but corporate requirements because when we sailed with Dottie on Regatta way back in 2012 and we never noticed those frequent announcements. I guess the question is why corporate thinks so many announcements (especially when they are repeating information readily available in Currents) are of value. Mura
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