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Everything posted by Mura

  1. That is worth checking out. From what I have read here on CC recently I don't think so ... but I didn't make note of the dates of the cruises that were referenced. Everyone I read seemed to be saying that the situation was as I remembered. (As I said, our cruise was in 2015.) Good luck! Mura
  2. I already had decided to stop!
  3. No, I did NOT make your case.
  4. People new to the line often call themselves newbies when asking questions of those of us who have been around longer. The term is not a perjorative.
  5. That's a bit different, I think. 00A BYOB place doesn't have a liquor license, which saves them a lot of money. A cruiseline (or restaurant) pays a lot for a liquor license. I don't think it's that much different in NJ than it is in NY. And I DO think that Jim was probably referring to a "proper" restaurant with a liquor license. Mura
  6. We did the 6 day pre-cruise trip prior to boarding with Kuoda Travel in May 2015. They included a city tour in Lima on the we boarded and drove us up to the ship. We were astounded at the long lines waiting to board the ship in the heat which we were delighted to avoid. For the record Kouda Travel was wonderful and has been highly recommended by others here (not necessarily in this thread!). You might try contacting them to see if they would do the city tour for you on the day you board. Their customer service email is travel@kuodatravel.com. If your are using another agency you should ask them if they can do a city tour on boarding day. Good luck! I have to say we loved our pre-cruise visit (also 6 days as I recall). It was spectacular. Mura
  7. No, of course not. But there HAVE been times when I did so on O. This was strictly with O-provided (or purchased on board) wines. Let's say we opened our own bottle in our room -- well, that's where it would stay. But if we had taken an O-provided bottle to dinner, not finished it and returned it to the room ... still did not finish it, so we took it back. This is more likely to happen with DH's white wine because he will have no more than one glass at a time. My red wine is consumed more quickly ... I'm the only one drinking the wine most of the time, and I try NOT to finish it all at once! We've done that on occasion. But I think that is somewhat different from going to a restaurant with a partially-consumed bottle! As you know, in NYC many restaurants allow you to bring your own beer/wine because they don't have true liquor licenses. And in that case, I can see bringing a corked but already opened bottle. I don't think they'd mind ... But we've never tried it! OTOH, a couple of times we were in price-y NY restaurants that cheerfully filled up my Montrachet with water ... Mura
  8. It's too bad it didn't occur to you just to ask your butler if you could take one of those bottles to a restaurant. The worst case would have been you'd have had to pay the corkage fee which would have been a lot less than the cost of a bottle from the wine list. But of course, you would NOT have had to pay the corkage fee ... as you now know. Have a good cruise in October. Mura
  9. Paul, on several occasions our butler has insisted on escorting us to the restaurant. If we were planning on bringing a bottle of wine to dinner (whether one supplied by Oceania or by us), he would carry it. I've never seen them bringing glasses of wine, whether for us or someone else, though. There were also a couple of times when we'd meant to bring a bottle of wine to dinner but forgot -- and so he went back to our suite and brought the wine to us in the restaurant. Your point about their usually being business during dinner hours is well taken! Perhaps it's a question of how much they are doing in terms of serving dinner to other passengers in their suites, etc. It's not as if we have asked them to do this ... Can't say I really liked the escorting business, but it isn't unusual for them to do so. Mura
  10. Given the various answers, my suggestion is to ask Oceania staff -- your butler would be ideal. Personally, I would think that it's okay to take your glass of wine from the liquor set-up in the suite, but I'm guessing. And my personal opinion isn't worth very much. Your butler's is. Mura
  11. Not quite true. When you take one of those bottles of wine to a restaurant there is no corkage fee charged. There is a label on the bottle that clearly indicates that it is part of the complimentary set-up. They will also hold an unfinished bottle for later use if that is what you wish. Mura
  12. Appreciate your opinion, Drreena. I haven't been on NCL in quite some time (just one cruise in recent memory, and one back in 1974 when they were a different line, or at least had different ownership). But our 2010 cruise on NCL was pleasant enough -- we were in a higher suite, otherwise I might not have said so. But it didn't compare to our experiences on O. But that's MY opinion. You are entitled to yours, of course! And I'm not saying for the right price and the right cruise we wouldn't try NCL again. We were going to (with our beloved TA) a couple of years ago but had to cancel at the last moment when my husband needed surgery. At least we had insurance! Mura
  13. For those of us who choose NOT to get a drink package (because it isn't cost effective for us) and tend to do more private tours than ship's tours, we're fine with not being all-inclusive. On the rare occasion when we go to a bar we aren't ordering a $24 Bailey's on the rocks, so that doesn't matter to us either! There are still many people who do prefer to "pay as you go". Mura
  14. Paul beat me to it. It doesn't sound like this was an intentional violation, but a violation it was. I'm surprised nothing was said since the staff can tell from the glass whether you're bring your glass of wine from a bar (which is okay) or from your room (which is not). The corkage indeed is paid for a full bottle that is opened at the table. Mura
  15. We were in the Baltic with Renaissance way back in May 2001. We did Stockholm pretty much on our own because while the ship did stay overnight, we added on 3 days before joining Danish friends at their home. I agree that doing a wonderful museum like the Vasa is far better on your own. I always prefer to take as much time as I want at a museum and guided tours generally don't seem to give you that time. On that cruise we were still new to cruising and had done Helsinki on a ship's tour. Ship's tour prices were reasonable back then! But we did realize after the fact that we could have done everything we did on the ship's tour on our own with the city bus. I'm not sure if it was a HOHO bus back then, but it probably was. Again, we took the easy way out in Talinn and did a ship's tour, but walked back to the ship ... which showed us that we could very easily have done it on our own. We had a private guide in SP with our own visas -- this was before Red October and these other groups came into existence. We had a wonderful guide and she charged all of $60/day. She didn't have a car -- we took taxis or the metro, which was fine with us. She asked me at one point if she was undercharging, my answer was extreme waffling because she was. When I last checked with her, she'd figured that out ... Don't ask me for her name anyone because I think she's stopped guiding. This was back in 2001 after all. She was still a student then but clearly no longer is. She only spoke four languages in addition to Russian and English ... Mura
  16. I was curious as to the status of this roll call so I tried to set it up the old way ... was told I couldn't. So ... not sure why but OP, I suggest you contact either Oceania or CC to see what the problem is. I did scroll through more than one page of the Roll Calls that have been set up so far and didn't see yours. It's hard to believe once hasn't been set up yet since you are pretty close to your sail date. OTOH, if no one has been interested in setting one up yet, maybe the passengers on your cruise don't know about CC! Good luck! Mura
  17. Parking prices in NYC are horrendous, and midtown is worse. I was horrified at the prices when I first arrived in NYC in the spring of 1970. I was comparing them to hourly parking prices in Beverly Hills at the time. There was no comparison. It hasn't gotten better! There was a time -- years ago -- when I used long term parking at JFK for a relatively short trip (7-14 days, I don't recall), and that worked out very well. I could even uses my EasyPass to pay the fee when leaving. But I haven't used long term parking anywhere in NYC for many years because those prices increased tremendously as well. When flying out of Newark I found it advantageous to use the parking lots around the airport. Parking there for up to 14 days could cost less than cab fare to and from Brooklyn. They also give free shuttle service to and from the airport (of course you should tip the driver). So that was one reason why we tried to fly out of Newark rather than JFK. OTOH, cab fire to JFK for us is cheaper than to Newark. Living here, we always have taken a cab to the NYC pier because we live close enough (in Brooklyn Heights) that trying to park at the port was never a consideration. But for someone living in the area who has a 7-10 day cruise, it might well be worth it. Let's not judge ... Mura
  18. Seems to me that real oenophiles like Pinot and Flatbush will bring on wines they are sure about. No need to open in the room in advance to be sure. People like me and probably most passengers who do like good wine but don't want to spend upwards of $100/bottle will bring on a few bottles of our own. We don't mind paying the corkage if used in the dining rooms. Sometimes we've been in a top suite that gives us 6 bottles -- and I do agree that while the wines are drinkable they certainly are not spectacular. But you CAN take them to a dining room without having to pay the corkage fee. I also don't want to bring a lot of bottles on, so I usually bring on a few and probably one bottle of spirits for use in the room. (I'm generally talking about cruises 14-21 days in length, not longer ones.) If I want something along the way, I don't mind buying it. But it sounds like the OP really doesn't want to bother. S/he will probably be happy enough with the onboard choices. Perhaps OP will read what you all have said and decide to bring more on board ... it just doesn't seem likely it from what I have read here. But reading here does not give us absolute illumination as to what people like or want! Mura
  19. This message has been at the main board for some weeks now. I don't know what the problem is but: "Please go old school in location your Roll Call by browsing the specific Roll Call forum." If you don't see that a Roll Call has been already set up, it would appear that you could do so there. You just can't use the "Roll Call Tool" right now. Mura
  20. No, they don't care if you bring on port or vodka or bourbon ... as long as you imbibe in your room.
  21. When we were in Sydney 10 years ago we took the special backstage tour -- twice as long as the regular tour but the downside is that it started around 6am. OTOH, we ended up having breakfast in the cast cafeteria at the end. Afterwards we walked through the botanic gardens very close by, but the heavens opened so we left early. Mura
  22. I saw this too late, not that I could have helped. I don't know of ANY wine shops by the port ... mostly east side. They probably would deliver to the ship, but ... I bring my own when I'm boarding in NYC! NYC does have a few wine shops ... Mura
  23. That's the way we got to the Vasa as well. We were docked far out of town as I recall -- overnighted in Stockholm and then we stayed a few more days on our own. A very special city but easy to do on your own. And the Vasa is not to be missed. We were there in 2001 on Renaissance. Across the street from the Vasa was a very enjoyable handicraft museum as well. Mura
  24. In fact, when we left Riviera in May they practically chased us to make sure we knew we had refundable OBC (as we checked out). We'd already told Reception twice to refund it to the credit card, which they did ... but it appeared not everyone was aware. Mura
  25. Re the Auckland Maritime Museum ... We were there just about exactly 10 years ago. We weren't planning on visiting the museum but at the last minute (on our last morning) we changed our minds and visited. It was a short walk from our hotel, and also very close to where Nautica was going to dock. We were glad we did. I agree, it's one of the best maritime museums we have seen, and we have seen a number. I worked for many years at a maritime law firm and always felt it was my "professional duty" to visit these museums when I could! Mura
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