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Everything posted by Mura

  1. Phillygirl, I still suggest that you start a new thread that at least gives the beginning and ending ports. Then in your first post you can give the ports involves. I'm not sure that people following this itinerary will necessary respond to your initial title which is the cruise name. Some will, I am sure ... But I think you will get a better response if people see up front the itinerary. Yes, the original title certainly tells people what area of the world you'll be in ... But I think many could need more specific info. From what I have read in general there are many who have visited these ports. Hope this helps, Mura
  2. Flatbush, it looks like we had the same idea ...
  3. No, I haven't done this one -- I took a few minutes to look up the itinerary. It seems to me that I have seen many positive comments about this (or similar) itineraries. I'm wondering if you might get a better response if you ask for opinions on the Dubai to Mumbai itinerary. Even if people haven't had the exact same itinerary, if they know the beginning and ending ports they might well be able to chime in to answer your question better than I can! Mura
  4. I wasn't on your cruise but I've been on all of O's "R" ships and found that the choice of time of day was key to getting a machine without having to wait. Usually I would go in at cocktail hour since we tend to eat dinner later. On port days if you stay on BOARD is a good time. Sea days are definitely NOT a good time! Maybe your cruise was unusual or you were just unlucky. Of course, it's much easier on the "O" ships because even though you're talking 1250 passengers vs. 684, there are more laundry rooms whereas the "R" ships only have one. Mura
  5. Once upon a time (probably on Marina but I'm really not sure of the ship) we had a butler who on his own booked us into specialties just about every night of the cruise. We ended up cancelling many of them since we're not as enamored of the specialties as many passengers are ... Once, maybe twice in a restaurant on a cruise suffices for us ... and usually no Red Ginger at all. (That's just us, I'm not trying to tell people who love RG that they are wrong! It's just wrong for us.)
  6. Considering how old they would have been in 1938, you're right! A slight typo ... only a matter of 100 years ... 🙂
  7. Glad I could help! I was trying to remember if PHs get the suite package on the "R" ships that we get on the top 3 suites on the "O" ships. I didn't think so ...but that certainly would make it easier to have the makings available for the butler! Enjoy your in-suite dinners! We always did. I should say that our last cruise we ordered a pork dish from Polo -- we both ordered the same dish and it was so enormous neither one of us could finish. I only wish I could remember exactly what it was ... Mura
  8. I would say that he can! I don't think you need to have the package. When we had a private pre-dinner party on Marina in November 2017 the butler collected all the drinks. They were charged to the other parties, not just to us! If you have the prestige package I wouldn't think there would be a problem. At our party most of us did not have the drink package and he handled it. We've always enjoyed the dinners "en suite" that we've had on the various ships although strangely enough we prefer the PH set-up on the "R" ships to those on the "O" ships. Have a great time! If you want the courses separately, let the butler know. We generally haven't minded having the appetizers and main courses arrive at the same time although we did order desserts separately. On more recent cruises we HAVE asked them to bring the courses separately, especially if we weren't all that hungry when the first course arrived! P.S. Jim & Stan posted while I was finishing up my post and I think his suggestion about the martinis is perfect! We never thought to ask the butler to prepare our cocktails but that's no doubt because I just pour my vodka over ice and DH might have orange juice, no ice ... Mura
  9. As to Athens, we did a private tour with Athens Walking Tours in October 2011 (so I won't quote any prices)! We did the Food Tour which took us to many small places with tastings. I had too many for one group so we were broken up into two. Back then they offered the tour on weekdays at 10am. The meeting places was outside the Panepistimio Metro Station, on Korai street (follow the signs for 'Korai' exit) outside the Starbucks. Look for the orange Athens Walking Tours signs, our guides are holding to recognize them. I don't recall that we had a problem getting there from Piraeus. P.S. I just checked my diary, and although back in 2011 they did not offer the Food Tour on the weekend, I was able to book it for the Saturday we were there with a sufficient number of people. That was 6, and we ended up with 16 which is why they broke us up into two groups. I do highly recommend this tour if you are interested in venturing out on your own. Your roll call can help with finding other participants. Note: I just checked availability and these days the cost is 49EUR for adults (44EUR for students). We paid 39EURpp in 2011 ... But this tour IS still available. We've done Food Tours in a number of foreign cities and this was one of the best. Everyone enjoyed this very much -- even a husband who wasn't enthusiastic about joining but his wife wanted to; he love dit. www.athenswalkingtours.gr AS TO MALLORCA .... When we were there on our own (with a car) in 1972 we discovered the wonderful village of Fornalutx. It may have changed since then ... This remains my favorite stop in Mallorca, however. Since that trip we have met a friend who lives there -- she was even a licensed tour guide when we met her -- and so we've never taken a ship's tour there. And no ship's tour will take you to Fornalutx, that's for sure. But one very popular visit is to Valdemossa where Chopin and George Sand stayed for a time (1938-39). We visited there in 1972 and enjoyed the visit very much. Musical people will enjoy it more than non-musical people perhaps. But when we've been there on cruises, there always seemed to be a tour that included a stop here. It's not a huge place ... at least it wasn't in 1972.
  10. I'm late to the game on this one but I got curious and did a search on Amazon for reuseable straws, and they have a number of them for reasonable prices. I purchased 6 Reusable Bent Glass Drinking Straws, Set of 6 With 2 Cleaning Brushes,Shatter Resistant,BPA Free, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly, 200mm x 10mm (Bent 8'' x10mm, Multi Color) for $10.99. I'm a prime member so no shipping. These look very sturdy but I haven't used them yet. Normally at home I don't really need them but sometimes I want to suck the air out of a freezer bag ... They have a number of options. Usually these are stainless steel or silicone. All are washable. The stainless steel variety do seem to be cheaper ...
  11. I was responding to the last line in your post #11 which said "We will sail with Oceania again, but never on Sirena". That sounded to me like indeed you were refusing to refuse to sail on a particular ship. Forgive me if I thought you were talking about staff and NOT about cost cutting, etc.
  12. Enough people are saying standards are slipping that I won't contest the statement. We didn't find this to be the case on our last cruise but that was in May 2018 (on Riviera) so what we experienced isn't relevant now. BUT I think that to say you'll never sail on a particular ship because you were dissatisfied with the staff is somewhat pointless since personnel change on a regular basis. It's not as if the crew are permanent employees. They have contracts for a certain period (six months?) and then they take leave for a while. The odds of their coming back to the same ship are also somewhat unlikely. Some do, I'm sure. But do most?
  13. As Lyn says, refurbishment cannot create extra space. There is simply no place to put a lounge (whether Concierge OR Executive) on the "R" ships. Just as there is no space for two more restaurants or a culinary space. As to the first question, The Concierge Lounge and the Executive Lounge on the "O" ships are pretty much the same. They were a nice addition with extra space, and many people like them. We find them very occasionally convenient is all. If we mainly use it to talk to the concierge to set up a Meet&Greet or just grab a snack in the late afternoon because we missed lunch ... well, in that case we can just order from room service. And on the "R" ships we just go to the concierge in the reception area. And these days you don't really have to meet with the concierge -- you can email him the information. When we are in suites we have a choice of two newspapers (we take the NY Times and the Wall St. Journal) so we don't need to go to the lounge to read other papers. So for us, it's nice ... but definitely not essential. Mura
  14. I'm usually in the Executive Lounge but both lounges are pretty much the same. HOWEVER ... I don't think you should be disappointed that it doesn't exist on the "R" ships. If you want to go in to read newspapers or go online, that's one thing. (I believe people have said internet connections are better in the lounges.) But the only times we ever used the lounge was if we missed lunch and wanted a snack before dinner. That's us, of course! But it's really not a big deal. A concierge is on duty several hours a day (not all that many) but some are more helpful then others. Unfortunately, the "R" ships being roughly half the size of the "O" ships just don't have the space for such niceties! Mura
  15. No, it's free. My comment was posted more than a year ago ... when you still DID need tokens to operate the machines.
  16. I imagine they do but we hadn't thought to request assistance (and we were boarding, not connecting with another flight). We just didn't anticipate SUCH a very long walk as we encountered. Fortunately we had enough time and didn't have to rush.
  17. Our last time at LHR was in July 2016. W e were departing from the "new" terminal for our flight home. Terminal 5. My diary says we had a long walk to the train to the gates, and then another long walk to the gate itself. We were both using canes. No help was offered ... We've had many long hikes in large airports, of course, but this one seemed to be the worst. Mura
  18. I''m wondering if most people here do *not* need this message ... Maybe I'm giving everyone too much credit? It does seem logical that you get back what you give. I've seen lots of complaints -- make that comments -- on other threads about people who complain but never say thank you, who are quick to criticize, etc. It's so easy to say thank you ... or just smile. I do wonder why more people don't do so. (Then again, I've seen people entering through a door just ahead of me, and they know I'm right behind them, but they let it slam in my face. I don't expect anyone to hold a door for me if I'm a distance away, but if I'm right there????) Don't get me started about how other pedestrians treated me when I was walking slowly with a cane. They'd jump in front of me just to get ahead. It didn't seem to occur to them that in doing so they could have easily knocked me down. They didn't intend to, I'm sure ... but they didn't think about the consequences of their actions. However, as a result ... when I'm now following who is moving slower than I would like, I just slow down myself. Mura
  19. Ditto for the recommendations on Barcelona. We always plan on 3 days there pre- or post-cruise. It was my mother's favorite European city and I now understand why. Just be alert to pickpockets, but these days that can be true of any city, whether big or not. Clo, we haven't done Rio to B.A. but from what I have read here I think you are right about smaller ports. The "circumnavigation" from B.A. to Santiago tends to be one port, then one sea day. But even there, mostly smaller ports. I remember one that at the time we were there (20 years ago) the population of the port "city" was all of 100 people. Mura
  20. We've been on all of the ships over the years and have never experienced a crew that was unhappy (or rude, dismissive, fill in the blank). We have always been satisfied. Sure, sometimes more than others. Our experience on Sirena is nearly three years old so that wouldn't be relevant to someone looking to sail now! As Lyn says, the crew changes over regularly. Mura
  21. I cannot recall EVER being asked my loyalty status on Oceania ... or on any other line either. I DO recall being asked on Renaissance how much we had paid for the cruise ... but Ren was famous for having any different number of fee schedules for the same cabin level. Not that we ever answered that question ... Mura
  22. If you pay the deviation fee and have the added cost of a hotel that YOU have booked, virtually always that's still less expensive than paying Oceania's hotel costs (which are per person and not per room).
  23. Our first Renaissance cruise was October 5-20 (Lisbon to Barcelona) and we then drove up through France to Switzerland for another couple of weeks. Weather was lovely ... November could be a different story. Mura
  24. In the past we pretty much did DIY tours (with groups we formed on our roll call) with only occasional ship's tours but when oLife came into play we did start using a number of the "free" tours ... which were quite good. We didn't have complaints, and most of them were NOT too large. Of course, more people than on an 8 person privately booked tour, but not over crowded. When we were in Amsterdam a couple of years ago we did the ship's "Beer Tour" in Bruges, which was fabulous. If you like beer ... but they didn't only take us to the beer museum! As the price differential goes up between oLife and cruise only, we're more apt to take the latter ... of course, since we're not booking anything these days due to DH's vision problems our opinion doesn't much matter. For people who want the security of a ship's tour, while pricey O's are generally quite good. For those who prefer smaller groups, they will continue booking privately, I'm sure. Mura
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