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Everything posted by Mura

  1. I was about to comment that perhaps it wasn't Dottie but corporate requirements because when we sailed with Dottie on Regatta way back in 2012 and we never noticed those frequent announcements. I guess the question is why corporate thinks so many announcements (especially when they are repeating information readily available in Currents) are of value. Mura
  2. For us, we prefer to do a specialty restaurant on a sea day (or at least on a day when we aren't touring). Our preferred time is 7:30. We often ask to share. Sometimes that means we ask someone else to join us, or we left O pair us up. Mura
  3. I'm guessing the reference was to La Reserve and Privee, which of course are NOT on the "R" ships. Mura
  4. Just what do you mean by "the female singer was pitchy"? I'm guessing you meant she sang "off-pitch", which would drive me (as a singer myself) crazy. The few times we've been in Horizons when there was a singer/band, I was impressed with their performances (not necessarily on Riviera, I mean on all the ships) -- and I'm a classical singer. Enjoyed your review! Mura
  5. Further to what Lyn said, whether you can get additional reservations can depend on how many of the other passengers also want additional reservations! On most cruises you CAN get them, but not necessarily at the times you want or the table size you want. Be flexible and it can happen. There is a place on board to ask about extras. They do NOT sell out the entire cruise just with online reservations because so many of the passengers don't realize that with a computer you can do so. We happen to like the GDR just as well as specialties, but I've known some to avoid the GDR at all costs. What floats your boat? There are more options in terms of courses in the GDR and the menu changes daily whereas the specialty restaurants have set menus. Mura
  6. I just loved this photo. It reminded me of one I took at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club in August 1987 of a stork reading a board that said something like "Birds in the Park". Not that it is anything like the beautiful photo above. Took me a long time to find such an old one ...now I have to see if I can upload it! Looks like it worked ... Mura
  7. I hope it does (because we are very loyal fans) BUT I hope you don't come with too many expectations. Sometimes that will guarantee disappointment. I get the feeling that you know that already. We haven't been on any Viking Ocean cruises although we've done three of their river boat cruises. The last one was disappointing and so we haven't returned. From what I have read, we probably WOULD enjoy a Viking Ocean cruise. My cousin has taken two Viking Ocean cruises so clearly she and her husband were very happy with the product. They've never sailed on Oceania although they did do at least one Azamara cruise (which they also enjoyed). Mura
  8. LOL. Somehow I missed those raisin scones with jam and clotted cream ... We just don't go to tea often enough! Mura
  9. As I said, NOT for the first time! Mura
  10. Seems like Lyn and I had the same idea at the same time! That's not the first time... OTOH, at dinner time they just bring around tea bags. Do they have loose tea on board? That could mean bringing along some of your own tea leaves as well ... but they wouldn't take up much room! Mura
  11. Even so, it couldn't hurt to ask the staff at Horizons if it's possible. Or even higher-ups. If I were to order tea at tea time (!) I'd definitely want infused or freshly brewed tea. I'd know better than to expect freshly brewed for one person! But it shouldn't be so hard to use an infuser ... especially if you bring one along! How about that? Mura
  12. As to tea ... I'm not a tea drinker myself but I regularly make it for hubby. I always make it as instructed: heat the pot, then add hot water to the tea leaves and steep. I was looking a while ago online about making tea and discovered that some tea leaves like lower temperatures than absolutely boiling. Who knew? I sure didn't. By the way, when we were in Sochi in 2012 with Regatta on the Black Sea cruise, I bought some black tea. This is some of the best tea I've ever had. Highly recommended for anyone who might be in Russian territory in the future. A hearty tea but not bitter. Unfortunately I ran out long ago ... If you want brewed tea (or infused tea), how about making a request? They might accommodate you if possible. Admittedly, if only one person wants it out of all the other passengers, they might say no. But it never hurts to ask. If they can accommodate special diets, why couldn't they accommodate someone's tea preference? Better not answer that ... Mura
  13. Besides, if it doesn't fit the crew will store it for you until you need to leave the ship. I have a 28" suitcase and I'm pretty sure that it fit underneath the bed. Certainly a 26" would ... You shouldn't have a problem. If you want to keep the suitcase "in house" in case it doesn't fit underneath the bed, I think Paul's suggestion is right on! Mura
  14. That's exactly why I didn't answer earlier -- it's hard to give information without knowing what you are looking for. The suggestion about telling us what cruise you're on, what ship you're on, duration of the cruise, your accommodations ... all those would be helpful for us to help you. Also using the search function might get you SOME answers. We don't even know your itinerary ... other than Bermuda! Good luck, we're here to help but parameters are helpful. Mura
  15. We were in 9001 on our first Marina cruise back in October '11. We'd been booked for an August Alaska cruise on Riviera but O made us an offer we couldn't refuse to switch. Same fare (which was about 1/2 of the Marina fare) plus extra OBC -- and we'd already had $1200 OBC because when we booked the Alaska cruise they were desperate for passengers. It did cost us something to change our air reservations, but that didn't bother us at all! Some people (I believe) have asked Oceania to kick in an adjustment on personal air fare but it never occurred to us to ask. We did love the suite! One thing to consider: if lights are on (even if it's just because the curtains aren't absolutely closed) the Bridge will ask you to turn them off. We ran around trying to find a light switch for the veranda lights and never did. Then it dawned on us that when the cabin stewards had done the turn-down, they didn't QUITE close the curtains. Problem solved. Yes, 9001 is close to the concierge suite but we rarely used it. Pretty much if we missed lunch, we'd go in and look for sandwiches or cookies! Others use it a lot more than we did. Mura
  16. The Darwin signs did give a clue about location, no question about it. But at some of the earlier ports we really didn't have a clue -- at least just in looking at the photos. I don't remember if you always specified where you were but I think you did not ... If you did, that's MY bad! Anyway, thanks again for all your work. We could be on the ship with you! Mura
  17. Ditto! I've often wondered just where you were when I saw the photos ... I'm not sure I need to see more tugs alongside Insignia, but that's probably just me. We all are enjoying your photos despite any slightly negative comments! Mura
  18. We have been in 9001 and 10001 on Marina. We didn't see a difference in the inside parts, although one person -- I'm not sure which suite he was in -- complained about some pillars in the living room that he found difficult. I never noticed anything like that. I don't know the specific answer to your question regarding veranda size but if you look at the deck plans, it appears from the visuals that Deck 12 has the largest verandas. I might opt for Deck 12 if sailing again in a VS but I'm not sure I want to be that high on, say, a TA! On Deck 8, there are two lower-level cabins in between the two Vistas, which may explain why there is a side rather than front entrance to the suites. Decks 9 and 10 don't have those "inbetween" suites. There aren't VS accommodations on Deck 11 because of the bridge. In looking again at the deck plan, I'm not sure that the Deck 12 verandas are really larger -- there are no inbetween cabins but there does appear to be an inbetween hallway. Maybe Jim&Stan will weigh in here. Or ask Oceania or your TA for details. As I recall there is a big spread in square footage between the Vistas (like between 1200 and 1500 sf, something like that, don't quote me.) Most people complain about winds being so high under sail that you can't use the deck so it may not matter what size they are. I have to say we never noticed, BUT we didn't spend much time out there when underway either. OTOH, the views going into port are fantastic. And it's fun to see the crew working at those times. It's a while since we've been on a VS so I'm not sure about the equipment in the exercise room. I remember two big units, one was probably a bike but I don't recall the other. (And these things may change regularly as well.) Sorry I can't be more helpful! But these suites are very comfortable, EVEN if you can't use the veranda while sailing! The downside: a very long walk to the restaurants ... my husband usually takes after dinner walks around the deck, but when we were so far forward he didn't bother! Mura
  19. It does -- or did. It's located behind the bedroom. From the outset I heard rumors (?) that the exercise room was going to be removed, but the last time we were in one (which is a while ago now), it was still there. Mura
  20. We've been in two Vistas on Marina which is as close to Riviera as you can get. They are a wonderful space. A very large bathroom with a comfortable guest bathroom as well. Large living room and a good sized veranda. My memory is probably playing games with the aft OCs since we've been in them more often AND more recently. No media room in the Vistas as there are in the OCs which for me is a plus. Mura
  21. When we were in Nairobi in August 1987 we had dinner one night at a restaurant called "The Carnivore". It was well named. They brought around huge hunks of various meats on swords and hacked them off. If you were still hungry you could have more ... I remember not being able to dine on zebra although I did try something exotic. Unfortunately my diary doesn't specify. (It didn't help that I was feeling very unwell that night!) I might try crocodile, but I could never bring myself to sample the kangaroo any more than I could eat koala ... Just saw a funny bit in my diary while I was searching out our experience at The Carnivore. Apparently when arriving in Tanzania we had to convert a required amount of money into their local currency. We paid together and when we looked at the receipt we saw that it was made out to "Mr. and Mrs. Two Persons". That's a new one! Or at least it was at the time.... Mura
  22. +1, Lyn. There are some things that I prefer to do myself. The QE2 had 12 washers and dryers in their free laundry room many years ago and I think there are some who would have called that ship "luxury".
  23. I always plan on a full load. Not an OVER-full load. Just a reasonably sized road. You won't find me doing two pair of socks because it's free. Mura
  24. Many people seem to think (primarily newbies I would assume) that things change from ship to ship. On a bigger line that can be true, but the "R" ships are pretty much the same as are the "O" ships -- in terms of rooms and service, at least. As to boarding times, the vast majority of our cruises (no matter on which ship we were sailing) have had boarding for suites at 11am and for lower level cabins at 1pm. But it can also depend on when the ship actually arrives as well as when it is scheduled to depart. Most of our cruises have left port at 6pm, but some have left at 10 or 11pm. Likewise, the ship usually arrives early in the morning so that departing passengers can be off by 9am, allowing the room stewards to turn the ship around in just a few hours. So it's really not possible for us to give you an absolute answer to a question like that "when is boarding on Insignia in NYC". Probably suites at 11, lower level cabins at 1 ... but that isn't a promise by any means! Mura
  25. We did our cruise nearly 20 years ago but for the transfer from Valpo to our Santiago hotel we actually used the public bus. This was at the suggestion of our guide in Valparaiso. The cost then was all of $5pp. It was a very comfortable bus and we watching "Home Alone" (albeit in Spanish) on the TV monitor. The trip ended at a public bus station in Santiago and from there we took a cab to our hotel. I don't recall the fare but it was a short ride and our driver was honest. (Honesty may have been more prevalent in 2002, but maybe not!) It's an option. I don't know if I would do this today given that it's no longer so easy for us to handle our luggage with such a transfer. Mura
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