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Everything posted by Mura

  1. * Yes, soda and water is free and replaced. This is for all cabin categories. When you leave the ship for a shore visit you will find bottles of water available. (Note: lately they seem to be switching from plastic bottled water so the system may be somewhat different now since we haven't cruised this year but water will be available to take off the ship.) * I haven't traveled in an "F" category but I'm sure you get the same cabin attendant service as higher categories receive! * We were on Marina in 2015 and docked at Cozumel. We had a private tour and I don't recall any problem in reaching them. My notes from that cruise indicate that there were two ports: one a short walk, one a short taxi ride. We didn't need to take a taxi but I don't have a record of where we actually docked. Where you dock might be dependent on whether you are on an "O" ship or an "R" ship. I THINK that the Cuba itineraries were on "R" ships but I'm not positive since we weren't looking into those itineraries. * YES, you can share tables in the GDR. Also, in the specialty restaurants. In the GDR, just tell the maitre d' you'd like to share. It can depend on who is there when! We usually like to share -- it's a great way to meet other passengers -- but sometimes when we showed up there was no one else who wanted to share, so we ended up at a table for two. But usually there is no problem. * We tend to go in for dinner around 7:30 or 8:00. If we were to go in earlier (or later) it might be different. * I see that I was beaten to my answer before I finished! * For specialty restaurants, if you are in an "F" cabin you will be last in line to make reservations before boarding. So the odds are you will have better luck in asking for a "sharing" table than if you try to get a two-top. It sounds like you want to share so that shouldn't be a problem. On our last cruise on Riviera we showed up in Toscana with a sharing table. We signed in for dinner in back of two couples, and we ended up sharing with them. They were two British couples and we are U.S. It was one of our nicest evenings. On one or two occasions we were sharing with people with whom we weren't totally compatible but on the other hand we had pleasant dinners. Most of our "sharing" dinners have been delightful. Some have been spectacular! Every once in a while people report problems with people when you are sharing with strangers, but that has not been our experience. Another suggestion: find your Roll Call and see if there is someone there you'd like to ask to join you for dinner. We've had some lovely dinners that way as well. This works particularly well if you have joined private tours with others on the Roll Call. Don't worry, you'll find people to join for dinner! Mura
  2. I realized that you weren't saying you COULDN'T find an ATM, and that you didn't want to waste time looking for one! You were very clear in your message. What I meant in turn is that I've never have to search one out! That's all. I'm not trying to convert you to my way of getting funds on a trip ... but perhaps newbies would like to see differing opinions. And note that I did say it could well be different on a 6 month cruise! In fact I expect that it would be. When I use an ATM it's to get significant cash -- perhaps $200? That means we'll be using that currency for a while. I wouldn't be going to an ATM each and every day to get cash I'll only use once unless I had to. (Say, for example, my private guide wants currency -- their own currency and not U.S. dollars -- and doesn't take credit cards.) I've not run into that myself because when they've wanted cash it was either pristine greenbacks or credit cards were okay. But they won't always be ... depending on where you are. Are we on the same wavelength now? That's all.
  3. I've not experienced problems in easily finding an ATM even in not so large places. BUT a cruise like the ATW is more likely to encounter ports where it indeed could be difficult. I wouldn't be likely to search out an ATM where the currency is one of the usual ones (like euros or pounds) and we're only in port for one day. I never find have a "wealth" of euros or pounds since we use them so often on trips. I have a little bank of foreign currencies at home, but no, no yuans, yen or the like!
  4. Sounds good. Please pass the Tanqueray ...
  5. Then I guess I'm still a delicate flower because there's no way I could have done that! 🤭 Perhaps because unbeknownst to me I also had arthritic knees????? Mura
  6. If you are interested in receiving an upsell (even if you're not sure if you'll want to accept) AND if you booked with a TA, it helps to let your TA know you would be receptive if any offers come along. In O's very early days we received an offer to go from a PH to an OS on Regatta but we had told our TA that we'd be interested. One did come up very close to boarding time. We accepted that one because I really wanted to be in an OS at least once. Since that was the cruise where I tore my meniscus the day before boarding and was using a wheelchair and/or crutches on that cruise, it was perfect timing. I was able to get around the OS in the wheelchair which I could NOT have done in a PH. Mura
  7. That was probably a first, Lyn! 🤩 And thank you, Denise, as well! I didn't see your comment until I made mine to Lyn ... Mura
  8. We've never taken the package but from everything I have read the gratuity is included. If you want to tip above and beyond that, it's up to you. Mura
  9. While I haven't been on a super-long cruise like the ATW (we did 24 days once) I've never had a problem finding an ATM. My bank doesn't charge us for using ATMs and it also doesn't charge for currency conversion. That being said, I'm sure on the ATW there will be some places where ATMs could be hard to find. It's not like every port is a large city. We prefer to use local currency -- unless we're some place that prefers good old greenbacks. When we did the Black Sea cruise in 2012 most of the guides wanted U.S. dollars. Mura
  10. Mura

    Forgot Meds

    PERFECT!! And now she doesn't have to worry. Mura
  11. Mura

    Forgot Meds

    The State Department has a program where you can register your travel plans in case of any emergency. They can also send you alerts if problems should develop in an area where you will be traveling. This is the Smart Travel Enrollment Program. https://step.state.gov/step/ So they probably could help with a problem like this BUT ... as long as Jan's friend will be on board a ship, I do think the doctor is the best person to consult. Mura
  12. Thanks. I was rather surprised to think that the "R" ships would have to go far out. We certainly found it extremely convenient to leave the ship and find our driver right in front! That IS one argument for sailing on an "R" ship, even if you prefer an "O" ship. Always assuming Bermuda is one of your ports, of course! 😀
  13. Mura

    Forgot Meds

    As I am thinking about it, probably when Howard learned his lesson about carrying prescriptions it was on an independent trip, not a cruise. In that case the particular med was a super-strength headache remedy and he hadn't brought any with him ... we rarely use it. But in this case he did need it. With other regularly taken meds, he NEVER forgets ... nor have I. But I can understand that in the last minute rush in packing one could forget meds that will be necessary. I once walked out of our apartment without my camera which was waiting by the door downstairs, but due to circumstances I had to leave from the upstairs floor and totally forget that I didn't have my camera. I only had to wait 6 days on a TA to be able to buy one in our first port ... It does seem to me that talking to the cruise medical staff could solve the problem ... although ... how abstruse are the meds in question? The doctor could give a 'scrip, I'm sure, but probably wouldn't have the med on hand. Our experience in Europe has been that pharmacists did accept our U.S. prescriptions. Mura
  14. Has this changed? Or are you maybe on one of the "O" ships? When we were on Sirena in October 2017 we did dock downtown. Is that no longer possible even on the "R" ships? If so, I absolutely agree with you! Mura
  15. From what I just read elsewhere (well, not right now but a day or two ago) this delay for private tours is not Oceania's fault ... it's the goverment's changing the rules. When I first read the post I wondered why the government would feel a need to delay those on independent tours to this extent. When we were in St. P. on Renaissance we had our own visas and just left when we wanted. When we were in Russian ports in 2012 on the black sea cruise we had no such limitation. If I were in to conspiracy theories I MIGHT think that Oceania had encouraged this change ... but somehow I really cannot believe that! The cruise line knows that they cannot place ALL of their passengers on ship's tours. Mura
  16. I think the answer is no. Since we never buy the package I'm not positive, but I believe I'd read here that Oceania is different from other lines that DO require both people to take the liquor package.
  17. Mura

    Forgot Meds

    This is why Howard has learned to carry prescriptions for any med that he might need while traveling. He learned the hard way!
  18. I believe that is $60 pp per day, also once it starts you can't stop it. If you're on a shorter cruise that doesn't seem to be a problem, but sometimes it can be if you are on a long one. Mura
  19. Back to OP's first comment, we've been to Bergen several times -- which yes, is well worth a visit -- but is not really close to the fjords that OP wants to see. To see those I think you really need a cruise that goes further north. Oslo and Bergen (and also Kristiansand as well as Krisansund) are wonderful ports. But they aren't that close to fjords. They might be close enough if you are on a land trip ... but on a cruise visit of one day, nope. Having said that, this is still a lovely itinerary. Mura
  20. I have yet to see a negative review about Joe Bananas here. I heard about them from a CC friend and booked two tours with them in November 2017 and May 2018. Both were wonderful. I wouldn't hesitate to book them again. Mura
  21. But do we assume the third person would want to take the tour? Maybe compare price differentials. By sharing a room the third person is saving a lot of money -- no longer having to pay a single supplement. I'm guessing that even the lowest category room would cost more as a single than sharing a larger room with a couple does. (I won't get into the discomfort that might be involved for everyone with three people in a room designed for two!) And I'm wondering if the three people can't pass around the tickets. I hear that people have done that when they had to cancel a tour after the refund period, so why couldn't the threesome do the same? Does it really hurt O if the two people using ship's tour tickets are not always the same two people? I'm asking -- NOT advocating! If Oceania WOULD object, then I wouldn't try it. Perhaps the third person can take into account the cost of the room as a triple (as opposed to a single with a single supplement) and then calculate what just paying for those tours would cost? I'm just trying to think of ways to calculate real costs. Mura
  22. As I referenced in my post I was well aware how the thread started and of course SOME discussion would be had of the merits (or lack thereof) of Princess cruises. What I was trying to get at in my comment was that suddenly there was a very detailed discussion of various ships, restaurants and the like. I myself have been guilty at times of digressing from the subject matter of a thread -- as have most of us, I think. It can happen quite easily. But it really did feel like we were now a Princess board, not an Oceania board.
  23. When we've been in PH category we've never had a trouble getting the reservation we wanted -- usually sharing: sometimes with strangers, sometimes pre-arranged with others on our Roll Call. Usually at 7:30 or 8:00. I've never tried to be at the head of the line when bookings open. It's easier if you are in a higher suite but I haven't found that it mattered in getting what we wanted. If you are insistent on a particular time or only want a two-top, then it could be more difficult. All of that said, as the cabin categories descend, I can see where there would be problems ... in which case it would be a good plan to try to book asap. Mura
  24. Has this thread turned into Princess from Oceania? I CAN see how it migrated given the topic title ... Mura
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