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Mura

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Posts posted by Mura


  1. Well ... sometimes the problem can be that if you ask for "spice" they aren't sure exactly what you mean.

     

    When I first moved to NYC in the early '70s we discovered a wonderful Szechuan restaurant on the Bowery (which is part of Chinatown for those of you do don't know NYC).  The first dinner there we ordered "Ants Climbing Tree" which is basically a minced pork with noodles, and is usually quite spicy.  We were all spice lovers and that dish just about burned us out that night.

     

    But we kept coming back because it was so good.

     

    On a later visit the owner told us that in their experience many people would ask for spicy food, and then complain that it was too spicy.  How are they to know what you like?  Do you LOOK like people who like spicy food?

     

    Once he knew us, he knew what we liked.

     

    It must be harder for waiters and staff on a cruise ship since you don't often have returning passengers, at least not after the cruise has ended.

     

    Mura

     

     


  2. It remains strange to me that some of us had combo shampoos, etc., and others did not.  They really should be the same on all ships ... depending on cabin category, maybe.

     

    It never occurred to me to complain about the lack of "mono" shampoos and the like when we got our ship review comments.  It should have!  My bad.  I wonder if it is too late ...

     

    OR perhaps those of you were were sailing later than we were benefited from other passengers who DID complain!

     

    Mura

     


  3. OP appears to think that there are limits.  Well, there are ... BUT everyone is guaranteed at least one reservation in each restaurant on board.  And as many have said, you can get extras depending on demand.

     

    When we first started cruising on Renaissance there were only two restaurants (which is the case on Oceania's "R" ships as well) so we tried them.  We weren't super enthused.  ON subsequent sailings we wouldn't even book one -- we liked the GDR that much.  On Ren they would call us, almost begging us to make a reservations.

     

    That hasn't happened on Oceania but the restaurants are pretty much the same.

     

    For myself, I'd advise any newbie to book each one at least once (depending on our cabin designation because higher cabins, especially on longer cruises, have the option for more reservations per restaurant).  At least you know.  It's not like you can only go to one or two.  Don't feel you need to "save" a reservation for the restaurant you don't feel like trying because that won't work ... not to say you can't get a second reservation in a fave but depending on demand -- you might well be able to.

     


  4. 43 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

     

    There were no combo products on Insignia...just the separate shampoos and conditioners.

    I'm not doubting you!  Just wondering why it seems to differ ship to ship.  You were on board Insignia months after we were on Riviera.

     

    Could it be that they want to switch over to the combo products and it's easier to get "rid" of the non-combo products on the smaller ships?  I'm just wondering ...

     

    I wouldn't be if you had said that you had the same situation!  But clearly you did not.

     

    Is it cheaper for O to use the combo products?  That's the only reason I could think of where they want to switch over.

     

    Mura

     


  5. We like the soaps as well.  I tend to prefer the smaller green ones for showering since the big white ones tend to fall out of my hands!  But I'll use the white ones if the greenies aren't available!

     

    However, I'm surprised that Go-Bucks had the separate shampoo/conditioners on Insignia when we were on "O" ships that did NOT before their cruise.  And we were in top suites.  (I'm not saying that top suites should have better choices than others!)

     

    Perhaps because they were on 6 month cruises???  But that would be very difficult for cabin attendants, I would think, since while a very large percentage of passengers on world cruise 2019 were doing the whole itinerary, many were not.

     

    I find this puzzling.  Not that I object that the ATWT people got the separate shampoos and conditions we prefer!  Good for them.  I would like Oceania to go back to the original products ... not that they are listening to me!  Nor should they, I guess.

     


  6. 7 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

     

    Actually, it's not...they provide shampoo, conditioner and lotion. They tell you to use the shampoo as body wash! I refuse to do that...just as I don't use body wash to shampoo my hair with. So I brought my own body wash with me, then used their shampoo and conditioner for their true purposes. To each his own. 

    We're with you!  We also don't like the combo of shampoo and conditioner.

     

    On our last but one cruise on Marina (Nov '17 I think) we got our cabin attendant to bring us all the "pure" shampoo bottles she had.  I think there were all of four.  We may have gotten one or two more on Riviera in May 2018.

     

    We also would never use body wash for shampoo or vice versa.

     

    We have liked the products that use, but NOT the combo-products.  Wish they would go back to the real products they used to provide.

     

    Mura

     

     


  7. Different strokes for different folks.  We always seek out a specialty on the first night.

     

    Now, we might do that if we flew in to the departure port on the day of departure.  In that case we'd probably be too tired.  But since we always come in a few days early, we're fine with a specialty on Night #1 ... and we've found it's easier to get a reservation that night.

     

     


  8. I understand about people who are averse to spicy dishes and find RG too spicy ... whereas I love it the spicier the better which is why we tend not to dine at RG.  The first time there I asked for them to really spice it up and it wasn't spicy at all.  But on another time the dish was hot enough even for me.

     

    But I would say that if a dish doesn't have that little red flag by it, it certainly should be safe for those people who prefer blander food.

     

    Mura


  9. Top price for the included excursions is $199.

     

    Have never tried to share a different benefit with DH.  But I'm quite sure that you cannot share the drink package, so I have to assume you can't share the excursions either.  However, it could go either way.  It's not so difficult to divide your number of excursions in half, for example, as it is to say "no sharing of drinks".

     

    Others are sure to give you a better answer than mine.

     

    Mura

     

     


  10. 9 hours ago, NoWhiners said:

     

    Hi Mura

     

    I have found that I am very dependent on your posts. Always helpful, never snarky. We will be on Insignia in November and will be using the laundry room. Can you give a hint as to what the the best times to use the laundry might be?  DH loves to do laundry, and usually does it during dinner. Would this be practical on Insignia? Is this the best time? We are first time O cruises,  but many cruises in the past.

     

    Thanks for any advice

    ML 

     

     

    Thanks so much for the kind comments!  Normally I would be reluctant to answer your question HERE but since what I'm going to say has already been said here on various threads AND since relatively few passengers know about CC this is what we have found:

     

    Sea days are obviously not a good time.   We have found that starting the laundry around cocktail time works well.  We are finished by the time we go into dinner (which is usually around 7:30 or 8:00).  Also, should you be on board on port days that's another good time since most passengers will be off the ship.  I suppose early in the morning (I forget the opening hours but I'm guessing around 8 or 9am) could also be good.

     

    Also, if you don't stay in the laundry room while the work is being done (which is true of us) keep good track of the time so that you return a few minutes before the wash or dry is finished.  It seems obvious but too many people neglect this part.

     

    Good luck!

     

    Mura

     


  11. All of the ships are pretty much the same.  On all of our cruises they have been at 9:30.  On the "R" ships the stage is rather small so it's hard to have a production show, although they do try!  We tend to go to the "solo" performers shows, but not exclusively.  Usually we enjoy them well enough.  But not always.

     

    Bear in mind that we are classical music oriented and so not all of the shows appeal to us, but that doesn't mean they don't appeal to most other passengers.

     

    One of the shows we enjoyed the most was in Norway some years ago.  They had a Polish musician who played just about every wind or brass instrument you can think of, and he gave a wonderful show.  They actually invited him back for a repeat performance -- this hadn't been planned.

     

    On another cruise (actually we saw this performer on two cruises) there was a wonderful Greek pianist.  He had a great show of solo piano music but he also did an enrichment program where he discussed a non-profit he has established to bring classical music to people who've never encountered it before.  If you see this guy on a cruise please don't miss his show.  It was wonderful.

     

    Mura

     


  12. Very interesting comments!  Thank you, even though I know I'll never take a 6 month cruise ...

     

    I used to knit -- with the advent of the computer I tend to be there more than in front of the TV knitting.  Plus I used to have a lot of singing jobs where I could knit between numbers ... and I no longer have those.

     

    BUT when I was an avid knitter I was always buying yarn wherever I went.  I still have some wonderful unusual yarns that I suppose I'll never knit up, but I enjoy looking at them.  If I WERE to be on a 6 month cruise, no doubt I'd buy yarn again ... and probably do a lot of knitting again!

     

    Mura


  13. I went so far as to check out the Viator tour listed in post #10.  It does look like a reasonable alternative, at least to me.  I went so far as to see if space was available and at that time that appeared to be the case.  I don't know if the times would work out for the ship's itinerary, I didn't go that far!

     

    For the record, we have done a few Viator tours and were never unhappy with them.

     

    Mura


  14. On our first Marina cruise -- October 2011 -- I tried to get a table for six in Jacques but since I didn't have the other couples' booking numbers our butler couldn't get a reservation.

     

    So we went to the GDR ... where we were asked if we'd like to go to Jacques.

     

    So we did ...


  15. Clo,

     

    We always know the time when we will be getting up.  If we have tour that day (whether ship's or private) we know when we have to be off the ship and plan accordingly.  On those days we have breakfast in the room.

     

    And if we are not leaving the ship right away, or it is a sea day, we plan on getting up in time to make it to the GDR for breakfast ... and some more lamb chops!

     

    Mura


  16. We like going to a specialty on the first night because it's usually easy to get a reservation.  Or maybe I should say easiER.

     

    As I have often said, we aren't people who want specialty reservations all that often but we have found that the first night is good.  Probably the same can be said of the last night -- we aren't the only ones who prefer to dine in our cabin on the last night so that we can concentrate on our packing to go home.

     

    Mura


  17. I agree about the Hypogeum.  And it's easy to book online.  Just get a cab to take you there.  In our case another couple had booked a private tour and when we realized we'd independently booked the Hypogeum at the same time they invited us to join them.  So the car took us there, then transferred us to the Mdina for a visit on our own.  Returned to the port area for the rest of the afternoon and walked back to the ship.

     

    I see Frances beat me to it!


  18. Carlsbadguy found Polo to be inferior to Toscana whereas we have always found the opposite!

     

    Not that either is our be-all-and-end-all.  On the "O" ships Jacques is our favorite.

     

    Please don't tell me how awful Jacques is!  (This is a general comment, not specifically to Carlsbadguy).  Not everyone likes all of the restaurants.  We aren't very fond of Red Ginger and we know that many passengers are.

     

    Mura

     

    P.S.  I should add that we are among those who are able to dine from the restaurants in our room and we have taken to always doing so on "pack-up night".  It's much easier to have dinner be served in our room and this gives us more time to pack.  But I am guessing that many suite passengers do the same, which could be a reason for "open spaces" in the restaurants on the last night.

     

     

     


  19. Was this one of the exclusive tours?  If so I could understand the limitation.  But NOT for a regular tour.

     

    Have you looked into joining private tours at your roll call?  I'm aware that since oLife came into play that fewer people look for private tours (usually 6-8 people but sometimes more) ... but even so we haven't had a problem getting people to join us on private tours.

     

    Not having any idea what you wanted to do and where, it's impossible to make further suggestions.

     

    Mura

     

     


  20. 3 minutes ago, clo said:

    We actually did an escorted land tour of Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia.  We'd done a few over the years and that may be our last one.  Not enough free time.  Cruising is looking much better.

    Okay, Clo, back to YOUR comment!

     

    We did a self-drive of Yugoslavia when it was Yugoslavia back in the summer of 1977.  That's when we spent time in Dubrovnik and Split, having driven down from Pula as far as Dubrovnik.  It was a wonderful trip.  Back then we could rent a room in a private home on the Adriatic for $10/night which included breakfast ...

     

    Mura


  21. We do too, Denise.  I mean we love the aft cabin with a wrap around!

    Just now, clo said:

     

     

     

     

    But I can be torn between the view going IN and the view going OUT.  Unfortunately we can't book a Vista on one end and the OC on the other ...

     

    Now CC has interpolated Clo's comment with our conversation ... nbot sure how this will work out when I hit submit!

     


  22. I agree that if you are using a group tour with a blanket visa it won't matter where you are docked.

     

    In our case so many years ago, where those groups didn't yet exist -- there were some tour agencies, yes, but they required YOU to get a visa back then -- we missed our guide on the first day because we had a last minute change of where we were docking and she didn't get my message in time.  It worked out for us because crew members gave us a lift to the Hermitage.  But we were very lucky.

     

    Our guide did show up at our dock about 10 minutes after we'd left ...

     

    Mura

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