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Everything posted by Mura

  1. Those of us who wanted private tours booked them and didn't have much of a problem in finding others to join us ... And people who preferred ship's tours took them ... It's a new game in town now. On our two most recent tours I found it harder to find people to share on tours I booked, but it wasn't impossible. But the last tour was in May 2018 so ... Mura
  2. Back to the internet ... we also haven't had a problem with constant drop-outs. I don't know if the fact that we're usually in a suite is a factor or not. I tend to think it is not. But I don't stay online for hours -- I stay online to download mail, go offline to prepare answers and back online to send them. I'm not generally doing more than that online although there are times when I'm researching cabs to pick us up at the end of the cruise or book some local tours last minute. These searches don't take all that long. I've seen the internet service improve over the years ... but no, it doesn't compare to my cable service at home and I don't expect it to do so. If I were one of those passengers who is "working" while on vacation (and I know there are a fair number of people in that position) I'd probably be as unhappy as they are. But it's very rare for me to miss a really important email.
  3. It looks now like we've never going to get to #20 (given that DH doesn't want to travel any more but also fears being home alone because of vision problems which prevents me from going alone) ... but I'm curious! Does anyone know WHY Oceania insists on the "free" cruise being booked 6 months in advance? Is it simply because they are selling rooms and want to have flexibility for assigning you your "free" cabin? So they want advance notice? If that's the case, it makes sense ... I think.
  4. We agree about the comforters. They are wonderful but in most climates we find them far too hot. We usually ask our cabin crew either for extra sheets which we use in place of the comforters -- or sometimes just the duvet covers. Last winter we never used our duvets at home ... Mura
  5. When we were on the NCL GEM during the Iceland volcano disruptions back in 2010 our cruise ended in Venice. They were selling cabins to people on board for the next leg because so many people who were booked for that cruise could not get there. We were supposed to go home from there and considered staying on but DH just stood in line and everything was sold out as he got to the head of the line. Had he realized it, he could have gone to the concierge in effect to "jump the line" since we were in a low-end suite but he didn't and so missed out. For us, the worst case would have been just to take a train some place or maybe rent a car and add a week or so onto our trip -- assuming those options weren't fully booked. As it happened the Venice airport opened the day before we arrived, so we came home as scheduled. In our case we were planning on flying home the day we left the ship which for us is unusual since most of the time we plan on staying for a few days in the ending port. Of course, back then I don't think that Venice itself was affected. It was the airlines. It never occurred to us to wonder if we would be compensated in any way for our troubles ... not that NCL was responsible for volcanoes in Iceland ... but then cruise lines today aren't responsible for Dorian. I see that a number of NCL ships are affected this go-around although Oceania does not appear on the list that Lyn referenced.
  6. Reports are pretty consistent that it's very windy and often unuseable. We have been in two Vistas on Marina and didn't notice that -- but we weren't out on the veranda very much on sea days. Still, there's no view like this one when entering a port ...
  7. I think Ginabab meant the plastic envelope isn't recyclable?
  8. I'm happy to say that I haven't observed these kinds of behaviors in crew OR passengers. And we've always had wonderful service from room attendants -- even when in lower level cabins. I'm reminded of a woman on our 1975 Norwegian coastal cruise (on Bergen Lines which now seems to be Hurtigruten). Back then it was 6 days up from Bergen to North Cape and another 6 days back to Bergen. An Italian group joined us a few days out of Bergen for 3 days. The leader of the group was one of those people who pushes to the head of the line. I should say that back then most passengers were in second class cabins. There weren't many first class cabins and those of us in first class had a separate dining room. It wasn't large, could seat maybe 50 people at most. One day this woman was trying to force her way up to the front and I managed to block her. She was trying to knock over an older woman at the time which irritated me more than a bit. She didn't like me very much but I didn't much care. Mura
  9. This is a constant complaint, even from "cheerleaders". I recently noticed that a neighbor of mine was receiving brochures from O so I asked her if they have sailed with O. Not a bit. They've done some river boat cruises but she gets violently seasick on the ocean and would never consider an ocean voyage. So we guess that O picked up their name/address from river boat cruises, but in two weeks they've received 2 brochures. Which will never result in a booking. We get brochures but not so many as to be offensive. So we don't complain to O. I'm not sure that vastly reducing the advertising they send out would equal salaries for more staff 🙄 -- but it couldn't hurt the bottom line to stop the excess. Mura
  10. I've never brought beer on board with me but I have put wine in my carry-on as well as my checked luggage. But I have special insulated bags that I put them in. Nothing has been broken yet ... not even the first time when I just wrapped a bottle of wine in several articles of clothing. But it's better with the insulated bags! Of course, Lyn does have an excellent point about the way porters can toss luggage around ...
  11. Re laundry detergent: I think the ship would be unhappy to know you brought your own. I sympathize with your dislike of powder detergents, but the ship uses detergent that is supposed to help the environment. I don't think your liquid that you use at home would qualify. It might have been better if you had checked with Oceania prior to the cruise to see if your detergent was acceptable. It's a little late now ... We also haven't tipped for room service -- we don't use it very often but even when I've been prepared to do so, the waiters are out of there so fast I haven't had a chance. We do tip extra for room stewards and butlers who give exemplary service -- and they always have.
  12. I confess that I've never worried about jumping on making reservations the first chance I have ... But I also have to confess that we are usually in a suite, and so we can still book earlier than most other passengers. We've never had a problem getting the dates and times we wanted. As I (and many others) have frequently said availability much can depend on the length of the cruise (the longer the better) and also the desires of other passengers ... I mean: how interested are they in getting as many specialty reservations as possible? If most passengers are like us -- not all that interested in the specialties -- you have better chances. Of course, you can't know what the other passengers are like until you are actually on board ... Mura
  13. I'm glad I'm not alone! The day Howard gets out of our apartment on time will set a new record! Mura
  14. I would allow more time than 15 minutes to actually get there. Sometimes there's a line of people checking in which can hold you up. You wait until they call your number and then you head for the tender or bus. When I have arranged a private tour I ask people to meet me in reception 15 minutes before we're supposed to meet our guide off the ship. The only person who has ever been late is ... my husband. We call him the late Mr. Mager ... Mura
  15. My goodness, Pinot. I've heard of overly casual but I think the two men you referenced do take the cake! Mura
  16. We usually either buy a bottle from the list or bring in our own + corkage. In OUR experience the red wine is left on the table (unless there's just no room, which can happen at a larger table). White wine is usually chilling but near by. I'm one who has no hesitation to refill my glass if no one shows up to do it for me. It's more difficult with whites, of course, because they may be far enough away to be awkward ... But for us that's not much of a problem since I'm the wine drinker and I prefer reds ... Mura
  17. We've been in the Oceania and Vista suites on Marina and Riviera, and an Owner's on Regatta many years ago. For us, yes, it's worth it. I definitely would not prefer a PH to one of the bigger suites on any of the ships! That's not to say that we don't care for PH suites ... we've been in a PH far more often than we've been in one of the top suites. I believe that Jim&Stan is correct about the player piano ... and I can see where they wouldn't want "just anyone" playing one of their pianos. I've seen to many children banging away, and I'm sure there are adults who would do the same. But we do love the extra space. (No, we've never used that second jacuzzi on the veranda ...) Mura
  18. For starters, you can go to other earllier Alaska cruises and see what the tour options are. They don't always change that much. I have done this for other itineraries where tour options weren't yet up for our cruise, but I could see what had happened in the past. Probably not too much in the past! We did Alaska in 1990 on Princess, so it's totally different from the Oceania experience today. But I think that in many ports we did our own thing. We DID do a ships tour (a flight) to Tracey Arm which we enjoyed very much. We were only 6 people, I think. The seaplane doesn't carry many people. (Or at least it did not back then. They are probably still rather small.) Normally I'd suggest you ask you TA but I know that Australians have extra problems! We aren't inclined to take a drink package since DH's preferred tipple is usually orange juice no ice plus a sip of my wine at dinner whereas I will order a bottle and nurse it through a few meals. There's no way the drink package would be worth it to us. You have to figure out if it would really be valuable to you. The basic package gives you drinks at mealtimes period. The "ultimate" package is 24/7. BUT ... if you are wine drinkers it means taking glasses from a short list rather than a bottle. When I buy my wine, I prefer to buy the bottle, which is another reason why we won't take a package. If you are happy with the choices "by the glass", then the package could be worth it to you. You also have the option to buy bottles on shore and bring them on board,then pay a $25 corkage fee to drink them in a restaurant ... but if you want to drink them in your room, no charge. I haven't looked at your two options but for US -- we'd take the 20 day cruise. That does depend on price. You say the B2B would be more expensive. How much more? If you go to your roll call (or roll calls) you might find other passengers who want to do private tours, which could eliminate the question about ship's tours. Generally those are less money for fewer people. Admittedly, since Oceania introduced the oLife tours fewer people go to roll calls to set up private tours. But I had no trouble recruiting people for private tours I set up on our last two cruises (Nov '17 on Marina and May '18 on Riviera). When we did Alaska on Princess in 1990 we were new to the process and weren't on the internet (!) so we had no idea of how to find other passengers who wanted to do private tours. It's a different world today. Good luck! And welcome to a very beautiful part of the world. Mura
  19. Ignoring the weather condition, I'd take it ... and spend a week or so in Spain after the cruise. Spend a few days in Barcelona and then Madrid, for example. Or even a week in Barcelona and doing day trips out of town. When we were there before an Oceania cruise in November '05 (when weather was quite pleasant, but I don't know about January) we spent a day in Girona -- an hour or so train ride from Barcelona. That's not far from Figures and the Dali Museum. There's lots to do in that area, weather you rent a car, hire a driver, or go by train. I also wouldn't fly to Europe for only a week. That's a rule I made for myself many years ago! Mura
  20. As to Personnel reading CC comments, I know that when I was on Marina in November 2017 they definitely did. I had posted a question about the GDR being closed on port days -- not a complaint, just a question. We'd never encountered that before and I was asking if others had. (It's clear that these days this is very common.) It's possible that this has happened for a very long time and we never noticed because on port days we were usually off the ship, and if we came back in time for lunch it would most likely be in Waves. At any rate, the concierge in the Executive Lounge called and asked me to come in "for a talk". I wasn't grilled, nothing like that! But they were informing me WHY this was happening. We weren't surprised on that cruise when we were in Haifa and the GDR was closed because virtually everyone was off the ship. But there were other ports on that cruise where this wasn't the case, and Terrace was impossibly crowded as a result. So, it's not just headquarters that may read our posts, but personnel on the ships as well. Mura
  21. in response to Jim&Stan's comment about a glitch ... But I have to say that I had the same thing happen to me recently. Someone quoted from two posts, one of which was mine, and something was attributed to me that I hadn't said. Not that it happens often but it seems to me that it CAN happen. Mura
  22. I try not to judge the attire of others either BUT ... when people are clearly violating the recommended "rules", I do object. It's easy enough to have casual dress that doesn't have holes in it. (No, I don't go up to the table to complain.) On our last Riviera cruise we were surprised when the people at the table next to us in Polo got up to leave and they were wearing jeans with holes in them. Not more holes than fabric, but still ...not what we expected to see in Polo. Jackets are generally NOT required, so that isn't a problem. Even in the specialties and La Reserve, while many gents do have on jackets, many do not. NOT a problem. I've quoted this story before (but not here, I don't think). We shared a table with another couple on the first night in the GDR a few years ago. The other gentleman had on a suit and tie, and he asked about the dress code ...no doubt because he didn't see many men wearing suits and a tie! So I told him ... We saw him the next night in one of the specialty restaurants and he no longer had that suit and tie ... yes, he was dressed! Just not so formally. I think that night he had a sports jacket and a nice shirt. (Couldn't see his pants since he was seated at the table ... but I assumed he was wearing same.)
  23. It sounds like for your needs and preferences, the "O" ships are for you! Glad you found something you like. We like the "R" ships as well as the "O" ships (although we do like the additional perks on the "O" ships, no question about that) but we also don't have your needs. If you are using a scooter I agree that the "O" ships are better for you. P.S. to Will -- sorry, I hadn't looked at your post sufficiently before I answered Kitty9. We are Renaissance people as well, and moved to Oceania as soon as it began. For us, Oceania is an improvement on Renaissance. (We missed it a lot when we did an NCL cruise in January 2002 as a replacement for the cruise we'd been planning on Ren for that time ... fortunately for us the bankruptcy occurred about a week before full payment was due. Insurance returned our deposit although it took a while.) If you knew the "R" ships from back then you'll recognize them. They have been meticulously maintained by Oceania. And the "O" ships may be a welcome addition to the repertoire. They are larger, of course, but not behemothly so! Mura But I still miss Ren ...
  24. The daily GDR menus should have no effect on when you want to go to a specialty restaurant -- IMO. If there is a "free" cocktail party (like the captain's party) that MIGHT affect your decision. (It wouldn't mine!) That's more because of timing than because of menu offerings. We prefer to book specialties on sea days, but that's us. (I'm sure we're not alone but I wouldn't assume we are in the majority.) It's just that if we've been out and about for most of the day we don't feel like changing to go into a specialty restaurant. The GDR menus aren't as open-ended as they used to be. We were on Riviera in May 2018 when I believe they were new, and we were disappointed at the reduction in choices. From what I have read here, we are not alone. It even sounds as if the limitations are more now than they were then. So I'd go for my specialty reservations when I can get them and not worry about a "special" night in the GDR ... especially if you are only on the ship for 7 days. Mura P.S. We are long time GDR fans -- we rarely use all the specialty reservations that are available to us. We always preferred the varying menus in the GDR to the set menus in the specialties. BUT with this change last year the GDR no longer has the advantage (for us) that it used to have. So we are more likely to go to Terrace on the nights when we don't have a specialty restaurant -- unless we check the GDR menu and see that there is something we want to try. The other option is to order dinner in our suite (which these days we usually have). At least we don't have to get all gussied up for dinner ...
  25. I can't say I ever heard any noise coming from either Lounge. The few times I entered all I heard was people silently reading ...
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