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Everything posted by Mura

  1. Maybe you were lucky? The ones I received I'd liken more to appetizer sizes than dinner portions (per course). That's not a problem because if they picked an ingredient I don't care for, it's not so embarrassing to leave a nearly full plate ... I know more will be coming.
  2. While traffic was definitely reduced on the Roll Calls for our last two cruises (Nov '17, May '18) we did have sufficient traffic and we were able to set up several private tours on each cruise. Since we had opted for oLife tours on those cruises, we weren't trying to book private tours in each port. I realize the participation on a Roll Call can vary widely depending on itinerary. Both of these were Med cruises (Rome-Barcelona, Monte Carlo-Rome-Venice). As Lyn says, when you can't find a Roll Call, just go ahead and start one! Many people, especially newbies, I think, aren't sure just how to do so. It's not difficult. And sometimes you end up with two different Roll Calls being set up ... That is easily fixed as well.
  3. We enjoy both class of ships but also definitely prefer a PH to the veranda. The one thing where we may differ with some -- I think some because I've seen posts saying much the same thing -- is that I actually prefer the PH on the "R" ships to the PH on the "O" ships. The reason is that I don't like the placement of the dining table at the foot of the bed on the "O" ships. The larger suites, which definitely are larger!, are much more comfortable for dining in the suite. But cost is cost and I'd never suggest spending more than you can easily afford. I'll also say that we took a downsell from a PH to a B2 on Nautica a couple of years ago, and I expected to suffer (despite the vast refund we received which paid for our next cruise). I had remembered being very unhappy with the tiny bathroom in the veranda suites on the "R" ships when we first started out on Renaissance and then Oceania. But we were pleasantly surprised. Despite the fact that most of our cruises in the prior 2-3 years had been in top suites, we found the B2 (which ended up being a B1) just fine. Mura We have been lured to the VS and OC on the "O" ships -- once spoiled as we were, it's hard to go back!
  4. Ho9w does one define "huge" portions? We've done La Reserve on Marina and Riviera, and I'd never say the portions were "huge". Although by the time you've waded through multiple courses, you are still very full!
  5. I don't disagree, Clo, but tours that I have arranged (or joined when someone else did the organizing) have rarely been more than 8 people. I don't consider that number "a group thing". I don't refuse to go off on our own, but I also like the smaller private tours. I also agree with Frances that with only one or maybe two exceptions, our ship's tours under oLife have been very good. It often depends on just where you are. Are you in a huge city? Or maybe a small village? When we want to go OUT of town (as we did, for example, in Halifax) it's easier with a small group since I don't want to bother with renting a car.
  6. Even if your favorite butler is on your cruise, you don't know that your cabin will be one that he is assigned to. A big matter of luck, I think. That being said, we've never been unhappy with any butler who has served us. I DO understand that when you have a favorite you want him to be "yours" again. Mura
  7. I also have never seen a magician on Oceania over many cruises. There was one on a QE2 cruise back on 2004 that was wonderful ... and I don't care for magicians either! Sorry you had a sorry experience there. For the record, we don't go to the shows all that often ... we're classical musician people so a typical "show" doesn't necessarily attract us. Sometimes we go in and plant ourselves in the back so that if we want to leave, we can. We usually do not, however. I remember a story about Victor Borge when a grande dame was slowly marching down the aisle to her very front seat (I think at Carnegie Hall in NYC) after the performance had started. He played one note per step, and she gradually increased her pace until she rushed into her seat. I wouldn't want that to happen to us if we were noticeably LEAVING a performance ...
  8. I've never tried to bring on an OPEN bottle. Closed bottles have done well whether in carry-on or checked luggage. I agree that with an open bottle in a carry-on is safest, assuming it's well "packaged".
  9. I was just checking train schedules. It's 107 miles from Monte Carlo to Marseille. The travel times that I saw posted were from 3 hours 36 minutes to 3 hours 46 minutes. So if you can get your tickets, it's certainly do-able. The train ride from Nice to Marseille appears to be about an hour shorter. On the one hand I can see why O would limit their transfers to people who are arriving in Nice on that day, but on the other hand I think they should do something for people who are already there. When we had our Monte Carlo departure last year we arrived a few days in advance. With sufficient notice we probably would have been able to book a train -- unless suddenly several hundred people are looking for the few empty seats remaining (?) -- but we'd have been much happier if O had accommodated us under the circumstances. Had we known, we'd have flown to Marseille! (But in our case, the ship was there when we were ...)
  10. Mura


    Oceania will be offering passengers lots of offers to get them to switch cruises (we did this once), take an upsell (we did this a couple of time) and even take a downsell (which we also did once). That downsell was too, too tempting since the huge refund we received paid for our next cruise in a VS. (Our downsell was from a PH to a B2 which ended up being a B1.) They will do whatever they have to do to make sure that you get your guaranteed cabin. Mura P.S. Upon thinking about it they might also try to coerce you into taking a different cruise. When we did that (back in October 2011) we had been booked in a PH on Regatta for an Alaska cruise. To get us to give up that PH they offered upgrading us to a VS at no extra cost on a Med cruise. We ended up on Marina which we'd been wanting to try anyway. They increased our already hefty OBC to $1250 and gave us some other perks. We took a hit when we had to change our flight reservations, but it wasn't too bad since instead of flying from NY to Seattle we flew instead to L.A. and visited family. That turned out to be fortuitous since my mother (who had long been ill with Alzheimers) died a few weeks after we were there.
  11. Query: are passengers who are now boarding in Marseille rather than Monte Carlo also being provided transport to the ship? I'm assuming that people who booked their own air will be flying to Nice or Monte Carlo and might have difficulty in arranging transport to Marseille. I also wonder what is happening to the passengers who are using O's air. Given the difficulty of arranging different flights at such late notice would be more difficult than just hiring some buses. Clearly O is getting the departing guests to Monte Carlo, so I would assume that it would do so for the reverse problem. Should I assume? A year and a half ago we flew to Nice for our Monte Carlo departure and wouldn't have been very happy if we had needed to get ourselves to Marseille ... although since we came in three days early we certainly would have had the time to make arrangements. It does sound like O had valid reasons (bad weather) for changing the port, but ....
  12. Don't recall ever seeing them on the menu ... just because he has published recipes doesn't mean all of them will be found on Oceania! They do have nice crepes suzettes in Jacques on Marina and Riviera, though ... not exactly potato pancakes ...
  13. When we've been a suite that provides the 6 bottles gratis, yes, we've been able to bring the bottle back to the cabin rather than have them store it for us. I also remember one evening some years ago when we'd purchased a bottle but the wait staff never collected it at the end of the meal. We waited a while to see if someone would come around and when no one did, we took it back to our room. It was already labeled with our room number so had we taken it back to a restaurant later (I don't recall if we did but we probably did so), then they'd know the corkage fee had already been paid. I would think that you will be able to take the bottle back to your room if that is what you wish. When the wine steward opens your bottle, why not tell him or her that's what you want to do?
  14. If you've lasted this long, I would say yes. Like with me and DH ... total opposites, other than both being musicians (which is how we met). End of topic before we get slammed for hijacking the thread! Mura
  15. Back to the OP's question ... maybe separate tables? 😊 Just kidding!
  16. Clo, should we ever sail together we might be the perfect match since I am your opposite! 😄
  17. They do hold back a fair number of tables because not everyone books online. (Perhaps not surprising given the age demographic on most cruises?) You CAN see about extra reservations on boarding day. There is a specific desk but I can't guide you there since we've never used the service. On other days I believe (Lyn and others will know!) there is someone in Terrace who takes reservations. (AHA, I see Lyn answered before I finished this!) It's often easy to get a reservation for dinner in a specialty on boarding day since many people are tired from traveling if they arrive at the destination on boarding day. That may also be true for the final night since many people are packing for the return home. PH and above can order from GDR or the specialties for service in the room. When we're tired from a long tour or it's the final night, that's what we do. Mura
  18. The room service menu as far as I remember is the same for everybody. There are several big books on the desk in your room, and one of them has the room service menu. As Flatbush said, concierge passengers have more choices for breakfast in the room. I remember one early cruise -- this might have been on Renaissance -- I became extremely ill. I didn't eat for more than a day. When I finally had an appetite I ordered fairly late in the evening from room service and there were plenty of choices. When we use room service for lunch I like the club sandwiches. Mura
  19. I've always booked La Reserve online in advance of the cruise. It's a small space (3 tables for eight) and there are only a few meals offered on a cruise. Generally I'm quite sure that it is fully booked before you board. You can find the menus at the website. The usual advice about the specialty restaurants is that booking asap is advisable if you want "medium" times. We usually try for a 7:30 time. If you are in a PH I don't think you'll have a problem getting a time you want. We're usually in a PH or higher and even when in a PH we never had a problem getting the time we wanted. We do usually share -- sometimes with people we've met on the roll call, sometimes with people Oceania assigns to the table. I agree that there won't be a problem bringing on a case of wine! Mura
  20. Smoothies have been available at Waves for years, and more recently became available in the GDR for breakfast. I never tried them in the GDR because there were so many ingredients that they didn't sound appealing to me. I love the smoothies in Waves. We've never had breakfast in Waves so I don't know if they are available there for breakfast. But it would seem that if you want smoothies at breakfast time, you can find them.
  21. Then again if really concerned you CAN bring your own stock on board ... I am not unaware of the difficulty in carrying a certain amount of such items on board, especially if you are flying into a departure port. But I have brought moderate amounts of wine and booze with us when flying to Europe from NY. (Usually maybe 3 bottles or wine and 1 of vodka.) Let's say that you have made a request to Oceania -- more than in the time frame suggested by Flatbush Flyer -- and they say no. Then consider importing your own stock. Not difficult for a 7-14 day cruise, but possibly more difficult for longer cruises!
  22. I don't know about the bitter lemon but it's been stated often here that you can request your non-alcoholic beverage of choice. You DO need to let the ship know well in advance. (I'm not sure how far in advance "well" is.) If they can accommodate you, they will. It does depend on where the ship will be and the availability of your beverage. And sure, you can sit in the bar and order whatever you want. It may be easier to so in Horizons, which even on the "R" ships is a large area. The smaller bars have less space so maybe that would be a problem. But even in Martinis you can take your "free" drink to an area outside of the immediate bar area. You can also request your bitter lemon to be delivered to your stateroom and placed in the mini-fridge.
  23. Snert. But I can understand ... I drink, DH doesn't. Well, he likes his orange juice without ice. So we tend not to go the bars unless someone asks us to join them. I don't bother with the drink package since there's no way I'd spend enough on a daily basis to justify the cost. So we bring some on with us at boarding time (for my use in the cabin), and if I run out of bottles of wine to take to a restaurant, then I buy from the list. These days we usually have enough OBC that it's not painful to pay the cost.
  24. Back to transfers from Livorno to Firenze ... We haven't done that! Precisely because shortly before our cruise that had a Livorno stop we spent several days in Florence on our own. We also had booked private tours to the Academia and Uffizi, but on separate days. We also did two guided tours there that included entrance to the two museums, but since we'd booked our own entrances to the museums (which included guides and no-wait in lines) we left early. Every time I've looked at the ship transfers to a destination we've figured too much time was on the road and not enough at the destination. Plus, if we wanted to do something extra we wouldn't be able to. So in these cases we do book private guides, usually with other participants -- but not necessarily. And if the ride to the destination will be 2 hours or more, we just do NOT do it. We stick closer. When we docked in Livorno we joined a private tour (6 people) that went to Pisa and Lucca and it made for a wonderful day. Trying to see Florence in a short day (in our minds) is wasted time. If you think you'll never go back, then it's worth considering. Mura
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