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Everything posted by Mura

  1. My impression from the alert was that people most at risk are those of Chinese extractions, or former Chinese residents/citizens. Am I wrong? It wouldn't be the first time! We were there in May 2008 on a Viking riverboat cruise --strictly U.S. citizens in our group -- and we certainly had no problems then. But that's 10 years ago and things have changed. Mura
  2. I agree that emphasizing your medical condition and need should give you extra consideration. Do you have a TA? That person could certainly assist you if so. I read through all the earlier answers and saw where people suggested trying to book on board, but I didn't see anyone mentioning that they don't completely sell out with online bookings. They hold back a certain number (I have no idea of what the percentage is) for people who don't book online. My guess is that most passengers don't, but I certainly could be wrong with that assumption. Older passengers (who seem to be in the majority on Oceania) often are not computer savvy. Younger passengers, of course, are. But just because you can't book online for the time you need does NOT mean you won't be able to get a table once you board. And if you are willing to share, even easier. Don't assume because you couldn't get your time when booking online that you will NOT be able to get it. Good luck. Mura
  3. This question keeps on repeating. That's not a criticism of the OP. If you don't see the answer or can't manage with the search function (as I could not for a very long time), you are welcome to ask. As you have seen -- the answers are different from different people! We usually are in a PH, and sometimes above. But we took a downsell in July 2016 on Nautica to a B2 and didn't miss the concierge benefits (or the PH butler) at all. In the A/B/C cabins we consider that it's not at all feasible to have breakfast in the room, so that concierge benefit isn't of much use -- at least to us. We have very occasionally used the Concierge or Executive Lounges, but again ... but very occasionally. When we did go in there it was to talk to the Concierge about setting up a Meet & Greet -- which most people won't be doing! If we missed lunch and got back late, we'd go into the lounge to see what food we could scrounge up before dinner. Personally, I wouldn't pay extra for these features either. We WILL pay extra for a higher suite so as to have breakfast/dinner in the room comfortably ... but that's us! Manyu people don't consider that extra cost worth it as many who book the B/C cabins don't consider the concierge benefits worth it. It's something YOU have to decide for yourself, and it can be very difficult to make that decision before you've sailed in the particular cabin. Hope I haven't further confused you ... Mura
  4. I agree with Lou. Whenever we have been on an "R" ship -- and this goes back to Renaissance days -- we met in a large room (GDR, e.g.) and then filed out to the lifeboats for what often was a LONG wait until everyone was in place. On the "O" ships, we have skipped this step. I think the rule is a drill every 14 days so when you're on longer cruises you can indeed have more than one drill. Repetition doesn't hurt when you are talking about possible emergencies. Back in 2009 we boarded Regatta very late for a TA (I'd had to get my passport issued on an emergency replacement basis in Miami and so we were very late getting to the ship). There was another couple who'd been delayed by bad weather from Boston. I just refused to go to the boat drill since we were exhausted, had just gotten on board, and had been through many drills before. This was permitted. (I don't know if the Boston couple refused as well!) I don't think it would be permitted today, however! Mura
  5. Okay, my news about Sirena is 2 years ago (October 2016) but she looked beautiful then. Per the complaint about lower level cabins I have to admit we were in a Vista -- thanks to the downsell we'd accepted a few months earlier on Nautica. The thing is ... lots of people seem to be judging the "R" ships due to their age. I'm not saying at all that ALL critical comments are because of this but there are those who want newer looking, larger ships. And it has seemed to me that much of the criticism comes from that mindset ... which doesn't mean these people are wrong. They are looking for something else. We have traveled more on the "O" ships since they came on line than the "R" ships, but we've been on all of the "R" ships and had no disappointments. Oceania has always maintained the ships beautifully. I personally am not fond of the "improvements" with NEXT, but that's my personal choice. Certainly the OP's husband should be comforted with the information that the ships have regularly been updated and are in good condition. Mura
  6. I have never been concerned about drydock before or after a scheduled cruise but based on recent posts, I think I would be in the future! It does sound strange for a 5 day gap for a drydock but if the planned repairs are truly minor, perhaps it makes sense. This also gives you time for a 5 day in-between land trip, which is nice. When we did our Riviera Monte Carlo to Rome to Barcelona cruise (a 15 day B2B) this past May we arrived early and spent two days in Nice. Then had a private transfer from Nice to the port with tours in Eze and Monte Carlo before arriving at the port. I wouldn't have minded having a few more days! Thanks for the nice words, Denise! Mura
  7. The phone staff isn't always as up on details as they should be! In the good old days it wasn't unusual to have the boat drill after departure. I think the Princess fire a few years ago changed that. For a number of years now the drill is always around 5:15-5:30, in our experience more usually 5:15. On several recent cruises I arranged Meet & Greets for right after, and even people who had 6:30 dinner reservations were able to make an appearance. If your cruise is port intensive (especially if there are no sea days at all), it seems best to do it on the first day. This is especially true when people have set up private tours and would like to meet the others on their tour in advance. Mura
  8. We did an Iceland cruise in June 2006, and several Norway cruises as well. Sometimes we DIY, sometimes get a guide. On our first Oceania Norway trip (Lyn was on that one, too) another member in our group booked tours in every port and we had excellent guides everywhere. Prices were good as well - but this was in 2010 and the story might not be the same today. Scandinavia has ALWAYS been expensive. Even in 1975!
  9. Obviously. But for me, I prefer to have a printed version that I can READ.
  10. This is one case where I think the print version is best, if only for the port agent information -- which can be very important! If you could only access it on the TV then you have to somehow manage to print it out for yourself. Having menus, etc., available is a wonderful convenience ... but I'm not so sure about Currents. Mura
  11. I'm curious -- how do you overpress a jacket? Is it like too much starch???? DH's few jackets don't want pressing so it never occurred to me that "over" pressing could be a problem. Mura
  12. I had a similar experience once upon a time, but with a very different outcome. As I recall this was on Renaissance, so it was probably our last cruise with them in May 2001. DH wasn't feeling well -- somehow he'd been overeating! -- and so I went to dinner alone. I was seated with a group at a table for 8, the only singleton. BUT this group was comprised of couples, perhaps there was one other single, and we had a wonderful time. But it's pretty clear that if a single person is seated with a group where everyone else already knows each other ... it's not a good plan! Mura
  13. I find it hard to imagine that a family group (or any group) could be seated with someone traveling alone and just ignore them! I'm on the shy side myself, but I would certainly make an effort to welcome that person. Congratulations for getting up and leaving and uncongenial group -- why suffer a whole dinner being ignored! But how the staff could leave you alone at a large table is equally bad. In those circumstances, I'd dine alone in the buffet myself! Far pleasanter company. Mura
  14. I was planning on going solo, then invited a friend to join me, then decided I had to cancel because of DH's vision problems. But I understand VERY well not wanting to be a single person dining with a family group! But most of the tables on O are 4-6. Even with a six person group you could be isolated if they all know each other, but with a group of four I wouldn't think so. How about telling the maitre d' setting up the table that you'd prefer to be with one or two couples? If they can't satisfy your request, you'll be dining solo -- which doesn't appear to bother you at all! Me, I'd rather be with a few other people. A couple of years ago we were asking to share, and we were in line in back of a Swiss lady who was traveling alone. So we asked her if she wanted to join us. She did and we had a lovely meal together. That's happened with us more often than not. I figured if I were traveling alone it would happen with me as well, because I don't really want to dine all by myself. I can do that in my room if that's what I prefer. Mura
  15. I assume your comment is in reaction to mine ... which is not at all what I meant. And I believe you know that.
  16. I agree that the Library appears much the same -- which I appreciate because I'm not fond of the lighter colors around the ship. I admit that I liked it the way it was! When we bought our apartment in 1980 I was pleased with the cherry wood cabinets ... but today I'd probably go for white or beige. Even so, I liked the dark wood around the ship as it was before. If the collection hasn't been updated I'm a bit surprised. There were always the classics that stayed on board forever, but also newer books. Mura
  17. In NYC the government keeps on quashing proposals that would require us to bring our own bags to the market. I forget whether it's the City of State that does that, I suspect the State. Under those circumstances we do not a couple of canvas bags to use in transporting our purchases but we also ask for paper bags inside plastic which are easier to carry, even when we are using our shopping cart. We aren't permitted (legally) to dispose of garbage in plastic bags by law, but most of our residents seem to ignore that ... I assume that will continue to be the case as long as plastic bags are provided at the marketplace. Mura
  18. I recall a post about a family dining in Jacques with a very cranky toddler who upset a number of other diners. At the same time, I believe also in Jacques there was a complaint about a very drunken gentleman who kept on drinking ... and who also disturbed a number of other diners. (When I say "at the same time" I mean I believe I saw the posts around the same time. I'm not trying to say that both of these circumstances happened at the same time.) Mura
  19. I find it curious that the grandparents are experienced Oceania cruisers but still think it's a good idea to bring a young child on an Oceania cruise! I'm not sure it will be so much fun for Mom and Dad...
  20. I can't say that I've ever seen a gentleman denied access because his shirt didn't have a collar. Trying to think what DH wears to dinners but I'm sure that most of his shirts don't have collars ... I could be wrong. I've never been sure, though, if the ban on t-shirts is what I could call "undershirts". I have plenty of well designed t-shirts that I think should pass muster. I just never pushed the issue. Mura
  21. As someone who loves their smoothies, I can't imagine trying to drink one without a straw. I have no objection to bringing my own with me -- I'm just pretty sure that I'd get on the ship and then realize I'd forgotten them. OTOH, I hate those photos of the dead sea creatures whose stomachs are filled with plastic. So I'll just have to remember them!
  22. I think it's a DEFINITE that you get a better chance when you pay the deposit right away ...
  23. Kate, we used that "free" laundry on a November 2017 cruise on Marina and a May 2018 cruise on Riviera. The laundry always came back folded more neatly than I could have! Never jammed into the bag as you describe. Having said that, I'm one of those people who is happy to "do it myself". I'd like to think that they wouldn't distinguish between cabin level in terms of how they "fold" the laundry. We were in a suite on each trip ... Mura
  24. If structural changes were being contemplated, I would think the accessible cabins would be brought in line with current requirements. When I last checked on an accessible cabin on a "R" ship (Regatta, I think) the problem for my BIL was the tubs. And the step up into the bathroom (I'm assuming that's the case) can also be a problem for people needing accessible rooms. That wouldn't be cheap, although it might be a good investment! I also am guessing that Lyn is right -- converting more rooms to being "accessible" could be very difficult. Mura
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