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Everything posted by Mura

  1. Well, why shouldn't they? The RTW people are spending a LOT more on their trip than segmenters are. When we had a recent B2B we got a private lunch in the GDR for those of us continuing on to the next cruise. How did that harm new boarders? I've always known that these "private lunches" occurred for people continuing on from one leg to another. That never bothered me! And it has NOT seemed to me that those booking segments are discriminated against. That also may depend on the people we're talking about. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that CBB mentioned about the 2016 venture that there was some resentment among shorter-termers. But that certainly does not have to be the case. From what Bob has said, that is NOT the case this year. If I were taking a segment on an RTW cruise, I wouldn't expect the same treatment that those people who are on the ship for 180 days will get. They are ENTITLED to certain benefits as far as I am concerned. Mura
  2. As to Roll Calls, most passengers don't know about Cruise Critic and so are unaware of Roll Calls. I was booked early on the April 4th TA from NY to Southampton. I had to cancel, but I still get roll call updates. In the early days, there were very few participants. In the past month or two, lots more have joined. Sometimes a Roll Call stays inactive to the end, but usually you do pick up more members as time gets closer. Private tours have been impacted by the oLife "free" tours, of course. So probably there are fewer people looking for private tours. We had no trouble setting them up in November 2017 and May 2018, and I had set up a few on the April TA before I had to cancel. Sometimes it helps to be patient. If you haven't set up private tours yourself before it doesn't hurt to do some research and post your findings on the Roll Call. Everyone has to start some time ... unless you really don't want to do the work. I haven't found it that burdensome to set up private tours. Mura
  3. Its a relatively new program. If you run into problems on the trip, or if you're going into areas that have problems, it helps to have the consulates and embassies know where you are and how to reach you. It's called the STEP Program (Smart Traveler). https://step.state.gov/ It's not all that crucial if you're doing a standard European trip but could be important if you are in more insecure areas. It also helps if you or your travel companion should become ill. Mura
  4. I've done so for ordinary cruises ... if we were ever to take the rtw (which I'm sure we won't because DH doesn't want trips longer than 14 days and that was BEFORE his vision declined so precipitously) I'd be very sure to do so. It could get difficult listing all the countries though! I had some problems when we only had 6-7 countries to deal with. Mura
  5. You can book them prior to boarding. Our TA always has done this for us (but we tell her which ones we want!). The special cruises (I forget the code letters but someone will say) are not possible to use as an oLife benefit. Generally the price limit is $199 or less. We've always been able to book tours that would have cost more than the surcharge on the fair if you opt for oLife.
  6. Back to the comments about the drink package (which we do not take since DH usually takes orange juice, no ice when we're in a bar)... It's hard for me to believe that at $60/day pp the line would deliberately try to limit people's imbibing. That's a good way to lose $60/day. There may be other reasons for limiting staff available to serve, which is something else. Our last cruise was on Riviera in May 2019. The only problem we had with getting drinks was when our butler brought our bottle up to Terrace but we never received it. (Yes, we did get it back later.) There was a communication problem -- we had even asked the wine steward about our bottle but she didn't connect us with with missing bottle. And we've never had a problem ordering a glass of wine in any restaurant. Some delays have occurred, of course. But rarely were we upset. I'm not trying to deny that the described problems occurred. Things happen from ship to ship ... but this has never occurred to us. Mura
  7. I believe that the TA OBC is refundable. Ship OBC is not. But it is true that when you check in you will have some postcards showing any OBC, tours booked, etc., and it will be clearly stated if the OBC is refundable or not. We usually go shopping on board when we have non-refundable OBC. Normally we wouldn't do that ...
  8. I think you missed my point. Yes, most of us here do. But not everyone does. I just think it's not wise to tell everybody else they are going to love it because some of them won't. You aren't wrong for loving it, I'm not wrong for loving it, and those that don't love it aren't wrong either. Enough said.
  9. It probably depends on itinerary. We did Buenos Aires to Santiago on NCL in 2002 (a replacement to the Far East cruise we were to have done on Renaissance but due to the bankruptcy we changed our plans). This is a pretty standard itinerary, I think, whatever the line. But there were a fair number of sea days which at the time we weren't used to! But this cruise taught us to like them. Most of the ports were a two day sail. For us, Cape Horn was a highlight as was Ushuaia, and of course, the Falklands. Many of the ports were quite small. Buenos Aires to Miami would obviously be quite different! Mura
  10. Drreena's comments are the very reason why I make it a point NEVER to say to a new passenger, "you're going to love Oceania." Just because WE do doesn't mean everyone will. This is not intended as a criticism of those who don't appreciate Oceania! But we should be careful about how often we tell newbies they will have a perfect vacation. Not everyone does. Mura
  11. But from what I've heard in the past (from other posts at CC, not from personal experience), rehearsals can take place during the daytime in the Lounge and can be quite loud depending on the performers. I've never heard noise from the dining room that I can recall. Those dinners don't tend to be very raucous! Mura
  12. Seems to me -- maybe I am wrong -- that Oceania used to keep PA announcements pretty rare. I don't disagree that we should all be able to read Currents for information, and also that some people like their hands held. These announcements haven't bothered us on Oceania because we tend not to hear them! That's to our fault or our credit, I'm not sure which, but again, we haven't been bothered by them. Has there been a change in the frequency of announcements? If there has been, do we blame the CDs who are making them or management? An honest question! I have to add that I don't remember complaints about too-frequent announcements in the past, but more recently they have become rather common. Mura
  13. That's just what I was thinking. And you'd probably have to pay her a salary as well ...
  14. We liked her very much too although it's quite a while since we sailed with her. We never thought she spoke too much on the PA system (I've seen that complaint about her a number of times) ... then again we are often in our cabin and miss many of those announcements as a result. But as far as are concerned she's a wonderful CD. Mura
  15. I think we would take the credit and book our own air -- there are consolidators out there that do business air for much less than the airlines and we've had good luck with them. No complaints, anyway. Still, they are not cheap, and with 6 fares the cost does add up, I grant you that. It can be bad enough when you are only one couple. Are you 6 adults? If there are children involved, perhaps they could go in coach while you fly "up front". It does sound like you are all adults in which case that wouldn't work at all! As has been pointed out, PE depends on the airline and from what I have heard (all this is not recently) Delta doesn't have real PE to begin with. Costs go up when you are leaving from a non-gateway city. For us, leaving from NYC makes it easy. Extra stops add cost and time. And yes, with the "restricted business" that O sometimes offers, it's only business air flying over water. Again, that works well for US since we're virtually always flying from NY to/from a major foreign city so we rarely have to deal with a flight over land, and if we do it is a short one. (But only once was it worth it to us to take O's restricted business because even then their fares are huge.) Mura
  16. We didn't find Viking staff to be rigid and snippy but our last river boat cruise with them was in February 2012 and we decided not to go back. The staff was fine, but they were stretched to the limit. Five servers for 150 people at dinner is not adequate. Our first river boat cruise with them was in October 2003 and we thought the staffing was much better than. We definitely didn't have the interminable dinners in 2003 that we had in 2012, and sailings were full -- in fact, both were on the same river boat. Mura
  17. More time would be better (!) but again, I realize now everyone has that kind of time. But Barcelona is such a wonderful place that you could spend two weeks there and not see everything! We've done it three days here, three days there over the years. But certainly rather than kill yourselves trying to get an early morning flight that you're likely to miss anyway, take it easier. Spend another day or two there and THEN go to the airport. Hope it works out for you. Mura
  18. How about spending the night in Barcelona and taking that flight the next day? I know that's easy for me to say -- not everyone has the option of adding a day onto a trip. But even getting to the airport from a Barcelona hotel (with a 3 hour recommended check-in time) wouldn't be easy for a 10:45 flight. Besides, Barcelona is a great city to visit ... assuming you haven't been there before. Personally, even if we were docking at 4am (which has never happened on our cruises ending up there) I wouldn't try for such an early flight. Mura
  19. The main difference is location of the ship. PH1 is midships, PH2 is a little further forward and aft, PH3 is the extreme ends. We haven't found much difference ourselves but if you NEED to be midships, then PH1 is the way to go. Same amenities. We haven't been in aft PHs on the "O" ships but we prefer the aft Oceania Suites. That's because of the huge veranda which is larger than the Deck12 OCs. BUT ... the interior space still suits us. It's much more than what you have in a PH. The increased price does not always suit us, though! We've only been on one PH on an "O" ship and it was fine. For the record we were in 11018 on Marina in 2015. The only thing I don't like about the PH on the "O" ships is the location of your dining area at the foot of the bed. For us, the PH cabisn on the "R" ships are set up better -- although they don't have the walk-in closet which is certainly nice to have, and the bathrooms are larger on the "O" ships. As far as I recall ... it's been a while. Mura
  20. In addition to what Lyn and Paul have said, the specialty restaurants have set menus. The GDR and Terrace do not. While I could manage with several dinners in the specialties, I wouldn't want to be there every night. MAYBE on a 7 day cruise ... but as they also said, it's not likely you'll be able to get a reservation each night ... especially not if lots of your fellow passengers have the same desire as you do. Mura
  21. Interesting. On the "O" ships I've only used the Deck 11 and Deck 10 laundry rooms. And it has been a couple of years since I did so. Always good to relearn what you used to know! Mura
  22. You may want to see more answers than Mike's. Not that I am dismissing his comments, not at all. But you have been very proactive from what you say. We don't know how serious your allergy is, for example. Is the slightest bit of seafood broth (or whatever) going to cause you a problem? Or can you deal with larger amounts? When I was 22 I had a severe allergic reaction after eating -- that time it was a hamburger, but I went to a stage where soundproofing was in process which entailed pyrethrins being sprayed around. Whether it was the food or the pyrethrins, I never knew. When I asked the allergist who'd tested me when I was SIX (!) he said at that time I'd tested positive for hayfever and pyrethrins could have been the problem. Thereafter, the problem recurred every couple of years for about 7 years, but always with different food. One allergist I saw told me that perhaps the problem was triggered by conditions present at the moment. Whatever, after that 7 years (when I have been told allergies can disappear or appear), I never had another problem. One doctor said I was allergic to shellfish but I never had been so I ignored him. We never figured out what the problem really was, and I'm glad that I've not had a recurrence. I'm not saying you are not allergic to seafood! I was trying to ask just how severe is your problem. Mike may be right: if you are aware of a problem, avoid it. Clearly he had a problem with RG. In your place, I would wait to see if further comments show up. And I won't comment again! Just because clearly I cannot be of help to you. Wishing you good luck, however. Just saw that Lyn chimed in just as I was finishing up, but her suggestion sounds good to me as well. Mura
  23. Not me. We've had a few meals in Red Ginger BUT we don't have seafood allergies. I believe the usual advice is to write to Oceania to inform them of your problem. Usually people who have problems -- whether diabetic, non-glutan, whatever -- can put in requests. The ship will give you information about the menus and ingredients so that you can select what is safe for you. Asking us here is probably not much help. You need to go to the ship. if you have a TA, use that person as a negotiator if need be. The ship doesn't want you to have a problem with food they serve you! If you think you might have a problem with seafood allergies with Red Ginger, the same could be true of the other restaurants. So if you have a serious allergy problem, you should alert the ship. Mura
  24. And I agree with Paul! You have to consider your situation and proceed accordingly. Higher cabins DO have more flexibility. Mura
  25. That's better than what I remembered, but I wasn't sure I was quoting you! Let's hope I was and mis-remembered the details. Mura
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