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Everything posted by Mura

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. +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".
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. We did this itinerary but it was in January 2002 on NCL -- we'd been booked on Renaissance for a far east cruise, but when Renaissance went belly-up (and Oceania did not yet exist) we took an offer for an NCL cruise. Because we booked really late we did ship's tours. We were concerned about taking a taxi two hours away and maybe having a flat tire! On that itinerary we generally had a two sail from one port to the other, and didn't want to risk missing the ship. I haven't looked at the Oceania itinerary which may be different. If we were doing this cruise NOW, and with plenty of advance notice, we'd probably opt for private tours ... because that's what we usually do. Since oLife tours came into play we have done them, but only to the limit that they are "free". (And they really are not "free".) But we prefer private tours when possible because (a) they are cheaper and (b) they are smaller groups. As to air fare, we usually do our own. Very occasionally O has a special offer for business or PE, but in general we've found we do much better by booking our own. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ask O what they would charge! I have no opinion about which side of the ship is better. We've never found that really matters much ... others may well disagree! I DO recommend going in a few days early to Buenos Aires and spending another few days on the Santiago end. We spent one day in Valparaiso and then went to Santiago for another 3 days. Time well spent! If you use O's air fare, then you will need to pay the deviation fee. Mura
  11. I readily understand your objections to the treatment of cruise passengers at the Lima port and had I been standing in that long line I'd have been extremely unhappy.too. We had no idea of the situation when we booked our pre-cruise tour (indeed with a local agency but that wasn't deliberate by any means) so it was just as big a surprise to us to see that long line as it was to those poor people who were standing in it. For us it was the luck of the draw. Had we not opted for the city tour before going to the port no doubt we would have been standing there. Someone earlier pointed out (I believe recently) that this is a commercial port which doesn't give much consideration to cruise traffic. If that's the case, then I'm not sure we can blame Oceania for "allowing" their passengers to be treated this way. (Or any other cruise line.) It doesn't sound like cruise ships have much clout in dealing with the port. You know, it's not all that unusual for taxis and the like not to be permitted inside a port. There have been a number of times when we booked a local tour and discovered that some of them have access to the port but others do not. Sometimes it can be a rather long walk just to get out onto the street. I think we can thank current security conditions for that ... or perhaps it was always that way. Mura
  12. A bit off the topic but as I recall when we were driving through Lima on the way to the ship our driver stopped so we could do some wine shopping. We just went to a grocery store that had a large selection of wines. Obviously not wines that would satisfy true oenophiles (and we do have a few here, I know) ... but we were pleased with the few bottles we purchased. The prices were right and they weren't the typical kind of supermarket wines we find in NYC. If you are on a private tour it never hurts to ask the driver if there will be a time for a stop like that to pick up a few bottles of wine -- or hard liquor for that matter. Mura
  13. If I'm remembering correctly I just ordered a double ... Mura
  14. 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
  15. I already had decided to stop!
  16. No, I did NOT make your case.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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