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Everything posted by Mura

  1. I may well be wrong on this since we've never done an Alaska cruise on O, but I thought I read some years back that HAL, etc., had a lock on Glacier Bay. And that O went to Hubbard instead. (I think it was Hubbard, but I could be wrong on that score as well.) I avoid using GB for Glacier Bay since I discovered that I was reading that as "Great Britain". 😀
  2. I myself would prefer Antigua to St. Kitts (been there twice and once was more than enough) but if they are banning cruise ships, there's not much to be said!
  3. If you aren't happy with the flights and would have preferred business, is it too late to see if you can't book your own air? You would get a credit on the fare for the cruise if you can do so. This is why we prefer to book our own air, especially since these days we want business seats -- extra especially on a long flight. Mura
  4. We're both always happy to help if we can. Mura
  5. I certainly understand some nervousness if this is your first trip to europe and especially if you don't speak the languages. We usually take cabs (sometimes pre-reserved car services) but in both Barcelona and Rome we've never had a problem communicating with drivers. My Italian is still pretty decent although Spanish is much less so, so I wasn't particularly concerned about language difficulties but in general I haven't needed to speak the local language. If you have a car service those drivers (in our experience) speak decent English. I'd forgotten about the benefit of "free" deviation when using their hotels, and that is certainly a factor to consider. As to air fares, check what you could do in premium economy on your own and compare it to your costs through Oceania. Our experience has been that O's PE fares are often advantageous, whereas booking business class through O is NOT. Mura
  6. I'm wondering if O is rethinking the idea of scheduling this TA in early April! Back in 2014 we had beautiful weather most of the time in May ... not exactly sunbathing weather most of the time, but not all that cold! Mura
  7. Never having used O's hotel offers I can't answer your question definitively but I believe all the transfer you mention will be included. However, you are paying a fortune for your accommodations. Virtually all of O's hotel offers are on a per person basis, so usually you are paying at least double for the hotel as compared to what you would pay if you booked the same hotel on your own. If you booked the hotel on your own and paid for your own transfers, you'd still be way ahead. If you don't care how much you pay for the pre- and post-cruise visits, if you prefer the ease of "being taken care of" -- which isn't invalid! -- then by all means use O's hotels. But we never have, even though occasionally we've stayed in the same hotel. Mura
  8. Oh my, thanks, Petoonya! It's just hard to see some of the unpleasantry here that we all encounter at times. Mura
  9. By now they're supposed to be in Ireland so maybe no more snow ... ???
  10. I can sympathize with your antipathy for someone who criticizes a line they've never been on! I think IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE is the best path to take. Mura
  11. Good question! I've never been on board on July 4th and normally I would NOT expect them to do anything special. But if you will be in U.S. waters, then they might. It could also depend on WHERE you will be in the U.S. If in a revolutionary war site, perhaps it's more more likely that something might be done. If it's a port day, Currents might make some suggestions. In the lower 48 most businesses are closed on the holiday. Museums? I just checked the Metropolitan in NYC and they don't mention being closed on that holiday. It may depend on what day of the week July 4th occurs. This year the 4th occurs on a Thursday so I'm guessing that museums and the like will be open. Government facilities will be closed. A good question to google! Mura Hmm. I guess Skagway does NOT qualify as a revolutionary war site!!
  12. No trays. I don't recall sandwiches either! Yes, salads, hot courses, many choices are available. My only "recent" NCL cruise was in 2010 on GEM and I remember liking the buffet offerings on that cruise, but I've found Oceania's far superior. Especially if you are on Marina/Riviera, just because the space is much larger. I haven't found buffet offerings to be repetitive. Once you have your plate you MAY get to your table on your own but the odds are that a server will come along to carry it for you. You won't "help yourself" on Oceania, as a precaution against contamination. But you let the server know what you wish and he/she will put it on the plate for you. Mura
  13. In that case ... the only top suites that I recall mentioning a difference in square footage were the Vistas, but it's been a while since I looked. I'm pretty sure they always give the owner's suites as the one size. I think the aft suites don't have as great a "slant" in as the Vistas do. (Just checked the website and it says the OS has "more" than 2000 sf. That would seem more than sufficient even if one of them is a little smaller than the one below. You have the entire length of the back-end of the ship. I've been in an OS on Regatta but never on Marina/Riviera so I'm going by reports I've found, not personal experience. I'm sure others will chime in. Mura
  14. Very interesting. I always assumed a "free cruise" meant just that! I was aware that they will give you a cabin that corresponds to what you usually have paid for, but not that they charge you for port charges and taxes. Mura
  15. No, they aren't the same size. If you look at the deck plans I think you'll see that some indicate different square footage. At least, when we booked our first cruise on Marina we were in a Vista (thanks to an upgrade as a reward for switching from a different cruise on a different ship) when I looked at them I saw a range of 1200 to 1500 sf. Even 1200 is pretty generous, however! I think the owner's suites are around 2000 and the Oceania's (depending on whether you are on Deck 12 of the Deck 11 aft suites) are around 1000. I'm not sure which suites you're looking at, of course. The two aft Oceania Suites have a smaller interior than the Deck 12 suites, but a larger veranda. Mura
  16. Exactly. The few differences haven't been discernible to me! If you were asking what differences exist between Rivier/Marina and the "R" ships, the answers would be very different. (Personally I don't have a real preference but there are many who do -- in either direction.)
  17. And we did it in May 2014. Not the same itinerary but much of the same stops -- we had two in Newfoundland. We got to Corner Brook which was great, but missed L'Anse aux Meadows which the prior year's cruise had also missed. I remember the weather was warm enough although not necessarily warm. I checked our photos which look like sweaters and light jackets, but I didn't say anything in my diary about the weather there. Mea culpa. But early April ... lesson learned! Mura P.S. My travel companion was to be a childhood friend who's lived all her life in L.A. She would have LOVED the snow!
  18. Beginning to feel not so sorry we had to cancel .... thanks for the pix, Lyn.
  19. Others are more knowledgable than I am about this question, but when we were there in May 2018 Riviera was docked a VERY LONG WALK from the entrance. Then it was then a shortish walk to the peoplemover. On the other end, not a long walk to the vaporetti. When we were coming back we discovered that if we could have gone direct to the ship we could have saved about 10-15 minutes of the walk, but they wouldn't let us do that. We had to go down one long pathway, crossover and then do the same distance in the other direction to the gangway. Now, when we were there the HAL ship was pretty close to the port entrance. We were not. It took us at least 20 minutes to make to the peoplemover ... Based on our experience, I would take advice about "how long it takes" with reservations. Mura
  20. It's 11 years since we did the Viking riverboat experience in China. They put us up in 5* hotels which had immense buffet breakfasts, both western and Chinese. We always headed for the Chinese! They were truly wonderful. So were the hotels ... I was surprised to see (you? someone else?) post that there was an easier way to get up to the Great Wall. We had to walk the whole way back then! We had in our group an older woman who had taken a bad fall boarding our bus at the beginning of the trip which made walking hard for her. So when I saw her climbing up to the Great Wall, I had to at least equal her efforts! That was a great day ... Mura
  21. GLEEFULLY? Oh please! It's true that my mother's grandparents emigrated to the U.S from Norway in the 1870s, but that doesn't make me an apologist for their policies! I was just commenting, basically on what my Danish friend says about HER experience. My first trip to Norway was in 1975 and I wasn't happy to pay the liquor prices, so we didn't. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the experience there. We have returned many times. We just know that if we want to buy a drink (or maybe something else) cost is going to be factored in to our trip expense. Frankly, I'd rather see their taxes up-front than deal with Italy, Spain and Brazil super VAT on cruises in their waters. Normally that doesn't affect us -- if we're going to be sailing there we plan ahead.
  22. That's what I thought, too, Paul. My Danish friend, Sisse, has mentioned the very high taxes they pay but ALSO the great benefits they have. You will pay one way or the other, methinks. Low taxes, higher costs. Perhaps higher taxes, lower costs ... Perhaps Shawnino's comment was more to the point you made about fewer auto accidents due to drivers' drinking too much? Just wondering if that might be what he meant ... Mura
  23. If you are that far north, warmer would be better than Caribbean attire. But if you just aim to dress "nicely", not necessarily "fancy", you'll be fine. Mura
  24. It looks like someone picked up an old thread ... so the first questions have become irrelevant. Viz: No charge for the self-serve. Then you have the three "free" 20 items on concierge and above (with a 3 day wait). I'm not sure what other changes may have come into play since 2017. Mura
  25. We haven't done this on O (it was on NCL back just after Renaissance disappeared). So the ship was bigger -- 1750 passengers. We didn't have rough seas around Cape Horn OR in the Falklands (the captain said it was the best weather he'd ever seen there) but going through the Chilean fjords it WAS rough. You just never know what will hit where. If you are normally subject to mal de mer, then probably this isn't a great room. If you are not ... then go for it. Unfortunately for us, we booked late so had no option of a forward facing cabin. I AM sometimes subject to mal de mer so maybe we wouldn't have taken that room anyway ... I think I would today! Mura
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