Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

Everything posted by Mura

  1. This reminds me of a time when I was away from home -- this was way back in the summer of 1989. A trivia game was in progress, and I was sitting near by reading a book. But I kept on coming up with the right answers as asides -- this was not a "contest", just a fun game for all. So they made me join the group ... and after that I had few answers! That's probably why we don't do Trivia on board ... Mura
  2. One of our most special members, and the proof of that is how many people remember him this way. Lots of information, delivered in a helpful manner ... As I said, I miss him. And I know I am not alone in that. Bless his memory. Mura
  3. Pam, you were indeed fortunate to have met Don. We met him fortuitously on a cruise where I was preparing name tags for the M&G and Don and Betsy came to our suite to help us put them together. I think that was in 2013. Prior to that I'd only known him via CC. I dearly wish we'd had more time with both of them ... wonderful people! I still miss his helpful, CALMING posts. Mura
  4. Thanks for the information. I'm not sure how to enable display of my emails on mobile devices. I don't use MINE for that purpose ... maybe that's a factor? Anyway, given the crime, etc., situation, it's understandable why Valpo is no longer used by most (if not all) cruiselines. We were in Valpo nearly 20 years ago so my information is old but we stayed at the Hotel Monterilla in Vina del Mar, rather than staying in Valpo. A lovely smaller hotel. Mura
  5. We liked Valpo also -- had a wonderful guide (not a licensed guide but he was excellent) who had been recommended by a friend from the old Oceania yahoo message board. I'm interested in why the change from Valpo to San Antonio. Feel free to email me with your answer if you have time! Mura
  6. Just because someone who is on another cruise receives an upsell offer doesn't mean there are any available on YOUR cruise. I agree with Lyn that the thing to do is to call either O or your TA and ask if any are available for your cruise. Mura
  7. For me, the better question is "Can Oceania survive all the competition". So far it has thrived and I like to think it will continue to do so. I hope Viking Ocean does well also. I much prefer smaller ships and I want them all to survive. Mura
  8. Our first time on Marina back in October 2011 was also our first experience with Red Ginger. I remember that I ordered a shrimp dish that had one pepper next to it and I asked for extra heat. I guess I got some, but for me it wasn't enough. (Yes, I enjoyed the dish anyway.) Last time we were in Red Ginger I asked for extra heat and they more than complied! I don't know if different policies are in place now or if it was just a difference in chefs. After six or seven years, I can see there would be a difference in chefs AND policies! While RG is our least favorite specialty on the "O" ships (I agree an elegant space) we've never had a bad meal there, even if we like more spice. But you will find us at Jacques many more times than you will find us at RG. We DID have a wonderful dinner in RG with Jan Cruz several years ago -- she and Stu pre-ordered the meal and they did a wonderful job for our group of 8. That's the best meal we've had there. And at a birthday dinner (not one of ours) on Sirena in October 2016 the waiters singing happy birthday had a routine that was so much fun that I didn't mind the singing! Mura
  9. We did Hurtigruten's coastal itinerary in 1975 when it was Bergen Lines. We encountered a storm on the way north that the captain described as the worst he'd seen in 25 years of service. It was incredibly rough -- lying in my bunk I would go from "standing up" to "standing on my head". Very few people made it to meals for a day or so. A few days later we were sunbathing north of the arctic circle. (This was in July so no question of the kind of weather the Viking SKY encountered yesterday.) I agree that if I wanted to do this itinerary at this time of year I'd stick with Hurtigruten. Mura
  10. I'm at the opposite spectrum. We really like spicy food, and so the first ventures at RG (not many, it's true) we asked for extra spice. It was a bit hotter, but not enough. OTOH, on our last visit to RG which would have been either on Marina in Nov '17 or Riviera in May '18 I asked for spicy and really got it! Still, RG is our least favorite specialty. But I agree with most posters, that it's easy to avoid spicy food at RG. They DO know that the average passenger is older and so (they assume, whether rightly or wronger) that most people want milder food. My hubby has cut back on the spice -- and he is the person who introduced me to Szechuan. But I still like the super-spice. He IS older than I am, but I'm no longer one of the "younger set" on the ship ... Mura
  11. I pretty much discount anything that is 100% in one direction (or the other) ... or even 90%. Not everyone will be happy with every cruiseline or ship, that's a given.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  • Create New...