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Posts posted by Mura

  1. +1


    If you use the butler more than most of us do, then an extra tip is in order!   To be more specific, on some of our longer cruises when in a suite --I'm talking 14-21 days -- we might have dined in the suite 2-3 times.  Our tip reflected that.  If you think you might use en suite dining most nights ... that is a calculation to make.


    On departure night, we always have dinner in our stateroom. Usually we will dine en suite once or twice when we had a long day touring.  You have to decide for yourself, but it's a nice option on busy days.


    As and has been said -- you don't pay extra for the ensuite service.




  2. I used to be one who hated the bathrooms in the veranda cabins on the "R" ships ... that is why we "upgraded" ourselves to PH.  But when we were in a B1 on Nautica three years ago (maybe two), the bathrooms really didn't bother me.


    Sure, I prefer the big suites.  But we don't always want to pay that much ... and on that cruise we'd taken a downsell which paid for a cruise on another "R" ship a couple of months later in a VS....


    I would not like to see the "R" ships disappear ...OTOH they are getting older, aren't they?!



  3. On 9/14/2020 at 2:40 PM, ldubs said:


    Good info.  On the larger ships is it difficult to book the specialty restnts once on board?  

    Tried to see if you had an answer yet and didn't find one, so ...


    It's probably easier on the two larger ships than on the "R" ships, but it all depends on the passengers.  On some cruises you have a majority of people who want extra reservations.  On others, there are more people like us who don't find a need to be in a specialty restaurant most nights.  If you are in a suite you can always order from a specialty restaurant and dine in your room.


    It probably also depends on how long a cruise you are on.  If it's a 7 day cruise, more passengers will want their reservations ... but if you're on a 21 day cruise, it usually becomes less important.


    However, it is rarely impossible to get an extra reservation -- in our experience.



  4. I think I agree with Paul regarding treating Privee somewhat as a Chinese banquet where there are lots of dishes available for the participants.  Mostly I agree with his point about people liking meats cooked to a different degree.  As to beef, I like mine rare, my husband likes medium well.  It's always difficult when I make a roast as to which one of us will be pleased.


    It's not that I'm saying "what a lousy idea" because I am not.  Nor did Paul.  I can see where there will be groups (as Pinot said) who love the idea, and others who wouldn't be so happy with it.


    And lest anyone think I'm opposed to a Chinese banquet -- far from it.  For many years we organized trips to NYC's Chinatown where that was exactly what we did.


    Then again, neither do I think this is worth a battle ...





  5. For me, the PH is definitely worth it -- I like the larger space.  But plenty of others here will disagree with me.  Perhaps it's best to stay with the A1 and try to look at a PH when you are onboard.  As to the drink package, it doesn't sound like you will be using it enough to upgrade.  Then again, I speak as someone who prefers to "pay as we go" as far as drinks are concerned.  Again, there are plenty here who prefer the package.


    Hope your cruise sails in May!



  6. 3 hours ago, Cliff-FLL said:

    Our first Oceania cruise was a trans-Atlantic on Regatta and it was the cruise from h*ll.  The seas were so rough that even die-hard cruisers were holed-up in their staterooms.  Restaurants and other venues were a bit short-handed because the so many of the staff were sick.  Every horizontal surface had seasick bags and the handrails in the corridors were the only thing that kept some people on their feet.  I'd been on ships before but never on one pitching and rolling the way this one did.  Fortunately, we didn't experience any seasickness and, on the upside, all of the dining rooms were surprisingly empty on many evenings.  It wasn't like that for the entire cruise, but for enough days that it's as if it were yesterday.  


    Sorry you had such a difficult experience,  We've  done several TAs on the "R" ships and never had such a problem.


    I'm not doubting that you DID. Weather is weather ... When we did a Costa Rica-Miami cruise in O's early days (Feb 2004) most days were smooth but I remember that the captain took us OUT to sea when going to Aruba.  We had to cancel the stop in the San Blas Islands the day earlier (which was one which I really had wanted to do) and then the sail to Aruba was SO difficult.  Our cabin stewardess was sick as well but she still had to work.  These couple of days were far worse than any TA we did on an "R" ship.


    There is no predicting what you will find.  That cruise was far more difficult than any TA I can recall on an "R" ship.  You never know.




  7. This is an Oceania board and so it's not surprising that most of us prefer Oceania.  (I don't lump myself in that category since we ourselves haven't sailed on  Celebrity, but our TA has always been a fan of  Celebrity as well as Oceania.)


    Even though I say that most of us here prefer O, Ken the Cruiser is certainly not alone in preferring Celebrity.  No one line is going to please everybody.



  8. And the one big drawback for many (not us) is the entertainment.  Smaller ships have a harder time getting the talent!  We don't often go to the shows but some have been excellent (we are both musicians ourselves), most are okay to good, and occasionally -- very occasionally -- we walked out.


    I didn't notice if anyone mentioned the Terrace Cafe in answering your question about the Grand Dining Room.  The food there is excellent -- you will find many of the same dishes as are on the GDR's menu for that evening -- and it is more casual.  It is far more spacious on Marina/Riviera than it is on the smaller "R" ships but you can get meat and fish grilled to your preference.  If you've had a long day touring, it can be a great option. 



  9. The ship in my experience DOES wait for your late Oceania fight but as had been said -- it depends.  When we did the Panama Canal the first time (leaving from Costa Rica) there were flights coming in from the frigid Northeast that were delayed because of weather, and the ship left before they arrived.  That was because we would have lost our Canal slot.  I never learned just when they caught up to the ship. It definitely will depend on when and where the next port is.  If you are on a transatlantic the next port might be 6 days away ...


    A high school acquaintance who happened to be on a Dover-Southampton cruise with us in 2006 (Iceland, etc.) didn't catch the ship until we were in Oslo, and they were VERY unhappy because they had O flights and got no help at all (according to them) in terms of getting flights out.  In their case they were flying from Santa Ana, CA (John Wayne) to Dover.


    Of course, both of these stories would suggest that passengers should consider flying in to the departure port at least a day early .... whether you do your own air arrangement OR take a deviation ....


    Consider your departure port and the ship's departure port, as well as the NEXT port on the itinerary.  If you have a Caribbean itinerary departing from Miami it's quite different from flying from NY to Dubai!  Or from California to Europe.  In our case we generally choose to go in a few days early and leave a few days later so that we can visit the departure and arrival ports on our own.  Not everyone has the luxury of time to do this, of course.



  10. On 8/31/2020 at 9:47 PM, the more ports the better said:

    THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!  You guys are great, this is why I love CC, and especially our O board.

    We decided to cancel the Marina and sail on the Seabourn Quest.  We typically sail on O but we’ve been on Quest and she is great too.  Either Feb 3 for 21 days with five days, twice daily, landings, or Feb 24 for 24 days including the five Antarctica days plus three landings in South Georgia.  Leaning toward Feb 3 to play it safe as March is late for Antarctica and weather may start impacting the landings although, I understand that South Georgia is Amazing.


    While we haven't done Antarctica, we did do the Galapagos back in 1989 on a 12 passenger motor cruiser .  The on-shore visits were the highlight of the trip.  On one shore visit Howard was snorkeling with penguins and I had a relationship with a young seal.  She was sniffing at my toes and when she got too close I jumped back and so did she ...



  11. I don't think we've ever been in an adjoining cabin -- just because I never checked to see if we were -- but the only noise I ever heard on any of the ships was perhaps a toilet flushing.  We could live with that!


  12. We did Israel privately in November 2006,  Fortunately, DH's cousin is a licensed tour guide and she took us around the country for 2 weeks.


    We were on a cruise a couple of year ago that overnighted in Haifa  It was very clear to me that we'd had a much better vision of the country driving around with Yafa than we could have had on a cruise.  For example, if you are porting in Haifa it's a bit of a trek to Jerusalem.  Yes, you will no doubt overnight there.  But it was so much easier to book our own itinerary.  And we stayed in the Haifa vicinity for three days as I recall.


    I often say that if you think you won't be able to come  back to an area on your own, a cruise visit is a substitute. I'm thinking primarily of European ports (like Le Havre) where they say you're going to Paris or Berlin, but it's a 4 hour drive to get there. If you don't anticipate being able to do a longer term visit to major cities, then a cruise is a substitute -- especially if you have an overnight.  But how much you will see even in a city like Lisbon with one day is far less than you could see if you were there longer.





  13. On 7/24/2020 at 12:53 PM, Petoonya said:

    The stress of living with someone who thinks hydrocortisone ointment is toothpaste is worse than money down on cruises. I'm really thrilled he can remember the cruises. When the time comes and he still does, and the cruises do actually go out perchance, I want to have our cabin chosen in advance and see the big smile on his face.

    This kind of stuff takes a lot of my stress away for today ❤️

    Been there so I do have an idea of what you are going through.  As I said a few minutes ago, he probably will enjoy the cruise.  He clearly loves them.  And if his condition declines to the point where he wouldn't enjoy the cruise when the time comes, then you will know what to do,  Hugs to you both.

  14. On 7/24/2020 at 12:25 PM, Petoonya said:

    Not husband. He has Alzheimers, but constantly asks about the cruises he wants to take. He has the invoices on his dresser! It's one of the few things he remembers well. It's worth the risk to me at the moment.


    Petoonya, on our Regatta Black Sea cruise in 2012 we were a group of 16 who regularly did private tours organized by one of our members.  One of those members was a lovely woman who had fairly advanced Alzheimers.  My mother was suffering from the same disease at the time and in my opinion was that this woman was not really up to the cruise BUT ... everyone in our group rallied around and helped her.  No doubt the cruise had been booked while she was better able to deal with it, but she as NOT unhappy.  We were there for her.


    We took my mother on a cruise 10 years earlier before she had been diagnosed, but she was showing signs, and she also met people -- on her own!  -- who took care of her.  She loved the cruise, and I think the lady I mentioned up above did as well.





  15. I don't usually object to digressions on a list but isn't this Oceania?  Which doesn't have Blue Bayou?  And I don't recall ever seeing a Monte Cristo on a menu but I certainly could be wrong on that score since I don't tend to look for them.


    But when someone quotes another ship's recipe and then responders don't delete the recipe ... my fingers get tired scrolling down ...


    What I'm really asking is if you are responding to such a message -- whether it is pertinent to Oceania or another line -- please delete extraneous information.  As a pretty good home cook myself I'm happy to recipes here, even if they aren't Oceania's ... I just don't appreciate their being repeated unnecessarily.


    Call me cranky tonight ...



  16. We were in a VS on Insignia back in June 2006 on an Iceland cruise and don't recall a problem with using the veranda, but given the cool weather (and the port intensive cruise) we probably did NOT try to use it.  We've been Visas on Marina several times and again did not perceive the wind problems others mention. My memory could well be faulty!


    Yes, you have to be careful to turn all lights off (and make sure the curtains are closed) because these suites are forward.  The only time we had a problem in this respect was on Marina when the housekeeping staff didn't quite close the curtains in the living room.  We received a call asking us to turn off the deck lights but they were not on. ( I often have said that you need a Ph.D. in light switches when in a suite on Marina/Riviera.)


    As to the departure port, there was one -- ONLY one -- cruise a couple of years ago (maybe three) where at the last minute the port was changed from Manhattan to Brooklyn.  Not everyone got the message in a timely fashion ... But that was only one time as far as I know.


    Others have told you that you can get a credit (not a great one recently) if you opt out of the "free" air.  It depends on the route.  Being in NYC we usually book our own air, but on a few occasions we have used O's air.  These days we prefer biz class which is prohibitively more expensive on O that doing it on your own.  On one or two cruises O offered PE at a reasonable price which we did use.  Not that such would be pertinent to a Bermuda cruise from NY!





  17. We prefer the OCs.  There is more room in general, and we happen to love the aft OCs.  We have NOT been in a Deck 12 OC although I was invited to a cocktail party in one once upon a time.  I found the suite lovely (of course) but preferred the aft suites because of the much larger veranda.  Not everyone agrees with me, which is fine, since I'm always happy to have less competition for the suite I want ... So the different with the aft suites is a larger veranda but the second bathroom is smaller.


    I don't have much use for the media room other than to store extra luggage, purchases, etc.  I would prefer a TV in the living room but they aren't going to change for me!


    The PH on the O ships is comfortable but I dislike the dining arrangement there.  You do have a spacious walk-in closet.  Since the O ships came on the scene we've only been in one PH.  Our other cruises were in VS or OC.  I wouldn't refuse a PH, however, for the cruise of my dreams.  I don't think I'd go back to the lower level cabins these days -- I like the extra space and do love the liquor set-up when we qualify.  So I don't sound like a total snob, when we downsized to a B1 on an "R" ship a few year ago, after having objected to the bathroom in particular for many years, we were quite comfortable.


    If the difference in price seriously impacts you, I'd stay with a lower price.  If you are comfortable splurging, even if only once, then go for the higher suite.  This does have its drawbacks ... On our first Marina cruise, we'd accepted a transfer from an "R" ship Alaska cruise in a PH to a Marina Med cruise in a VS.  The price for the VS was the same as our original PH, and they threw in another $250 in  cruise credits.  And we'd already had $1200 for booking the Alaska cruise.


    We found it impossible to go back ...

  18. Ditto to what Lyn said.  We usually book our own air but on a few occasions over the many years we used O's air.  Since we virtually always go in early and stay late, we'd take the deviation.  On a few of those flights -- not by any means all of them -- premium economy was available but I wouldn't assume it would be.  Best to check with your TA or O when that question comes up.


    If you want biz air, you're best off booking it on your own.  O's fares were always far more than we could find on our own.



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