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Mura

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Everything posted by Mura

  1. I imagine they do but we hadn't thought to request assistance (and we were boarding, not connecting with another flight). We just didn't anticipate SUCH a very long walk as we encountered. Fortunately we had enough time and didn't have to rush.
  2. Our last time at LHR was in July 2016. W e were departing from the "new" terminal for our flight home. Terminal 5. My diary says we had a long walk to the train to the gates, and then another long walk to the gate itself. We were both using canes. No help was offered ... We've had many long hikes in large airports, of course, but this one seemed to be the worst. Mura
  3. I''m wondering if most people here do *not* need this message ... Maybe I'm giving everyone too much credit? It does seem logical that you get back what you give. I've seen lots of complaints -- make that comments -- on other threads about people who complain but never say thank you, who are quick to criticize, etc. It's so easy to say thank you ... or just smile. I do wonder why more people don't do so. (Then again, I've seen people entering through a door just ahead of me, and they know I'm right behind them, but they let it slam in my face. I don't expect anyone to hold a door for me if I'm a distance away, but if I'm right there????) Don't get me started about how other pedestrians treated me when I was walking slowly with a cane. They'd jump in front of me just to get ahead. It didn't seem to occur to them that in doing so they could have easily knocked me down. They didn't intend to, I'm sure ... but they didn't think about the consequences of their actions. However, as a result ... when I'm now following who is moving slower than I would like, I just slow down myself. Mura
  4. Ditto for the recommendations on Barcelona. We always plan on 3 days there pre- or post-cruise. It was my mother's favorite European city and I now understand why. Just be alert to pickpockets, but these days that can be true of any city, whether big or not. Clo, we haven't done Rio to B.A. but from what I have read here I think you are right about smaller ports. The "circumnavigation" from B.A. to Santiago tends to be one port, then one sea day. But even there, mostly smaller ports. I remember one that at the time we were there (20 years ago) the population of the port "city" was all of 100 people. Mura
  5. We've been on all of the ships over the years and have never experienced a crew that was unhappy (or rude, dismissive, fill in the blank). We have always been satisfied. Sure, sometimes more than others. Our experience on Sirena is nearly three years old so that wouldn't be relevant to someone looking to sail now! As Lyn says, the crew changes over regularly. Mura
  6. I cannot recall EVER being asked my loyalty status on Oceania ... or on any other line either. I DO recall being asked on Renaissance how much we had paid for the cruise ... but Ren was famous for having any different number of fee schedules for the same cabin level. Not that we ever answered that question ... Mura
  7. If you pay the deviation fee and have the added cost of a hotel that YOU have booked, virtually always that's still less expensive than paying Oceania's hotel costs (which are per person and not per room).
  8. Our first Renaissance cruise was October 5-20 (Lisbon to Barcelona) and we then drove up through France to Switzerland for another couple of weeks. Weather was lovely ... November could be a different story. Mura
  9. In the past we pretty much did DIY tours (with groups we formed on our roll call) with only occasional ship's tours but when oLife came into play we did start using a number of the "free" tours ... which were quite good. We didn't have complaints, and most of them were NOT too large. Of course, more people than on an 8 person privately booked tour, but not over crowded. When we were in Amsterdam a couple of years ago we did the ship's "Beer Tour" in Bruges, which was fabulous. If you like beer ... but they didn't only take us to the beer museum! As the price differential goes up between oLife and cruise only, we're more apt to take the latter ... of course, since we're not booking anything these days due to DH's vision problems our opinion doesn't much matter. For people who want the security of a ship's tour, while pricey O's are generally quite good. For those who prefer smaller groups, they will continue booking privately, I'm sure. Mura
  10. And lots of people (at Waves) ask for a surf&surf ... or the alternative. It's true that the sandwich is not enormous (the hamburgers are much larger) BUT a little goes a long way for me. Especially when followed with a smoothie ... Mura
  11. Mura

    Desserts

    Thank you so much for the lovely comments! They are much appreciated! Here's hoping we DO meet on a cruise some day soon. Mura
  12. This news IS distressing. We've been on Insignia multiple times but not recently ... never had such a problem on ANY of the ships (and we've been on all of them). I sure wouldn't be happy to see colored water coming out of the tap ... Mura
  13. It's not at all as if the only way to get extra reservations is if you have a butler. Sure, he makes it easy! The important consideration is just how many of the passengers are desperate to get extra reservations. On some sailings lots of them do ... but on others, the average passenger can be like us: NOT interested in extra reservations (at least most of the time). Mura
  14. Mura

    Desserts

    We very much enjoyed our last cruise (May 2018) but -- we were in an Oceania Suite. While we don't feel that there is "status" on the ships -- in terms of how people are treated -- I can't deny that those of us in suites get better care than others. The butlers are certainly very helpful! Our cruise was more than a year ago and we did NOT notice a decline in food. That doesn't mean I ignore comments to the contrary since then! Unfortunately, given DH's condition I don't know that I'll be traveling soon ... although I would really like to. It's not that I won't travel alone, it's that I'm concerned about leaving HIM alone! Mura
  15. Ah so! That COULD explain it!!! 🙂
  16. Mura

    Desserts

    Lyn, I agree that there is no excuse for this kind of thing to happen. Even when they were new, there really wasn't an excuse ... it's not like TPTB coming from Renaissance didn't have SOME idea of how to run a cruise ship ... I'll grant that there may have been some reasons why they needed to bring on ill-prepared crew, but we were never informed if that was the case ... or why IF it was the case. (Not that the brass typically informs passengers of such details.) But even so, ignoring all that ... the service we had on the second leg of that cruise, while not up to snuff, really wasn't that horrible. And it only lasted for a couple of days. I guess the holdovers took them in hand and quickly informed them what they should be doing. But when a long time cruiser posts here that they aren't returning to Oceania because of a disastrous cruise (after many successful ones), and management ignores his complaints ... that is NOT a good sign. And I just saw such a post today ... Mura
  17. Mura

    Desserts

    But I don't think that is anything new ... Our first cruise on Oceania was a B2B in Jan-Feb 2004: LA to Costa Rica to Miami (the second leg going through the Canal). There was a big crew changeover in Costa Rica and the drop in service was immediately obvious ... BUT ... they did learn quickly. Unfortunately, our favorite server (who seemed to be about 8 feet tall) left the ship at that time ... he had been wonderful with my mother who was in the early stages of Alzheimer's, although she hadn't yet been diagnosed. But when she couldn't remember the names for "coffee" and "tea", he just served her what she'd always requested. With her, the one syllable words disappeared but three and four syllable words never did ... Mura
  18. If that's true, it must be a new system. We've never been on a cruise shorter than 10 days (usually 12-18, sometimes longer) and have only enjoyed that gala buffet on two or three out of 17 cruises. I'm not complaining if they HAVE changed policy! But we have not experienced it. Mura
  19. Actually, I do think that Privee is a good suggestion for Clo given that La Reserve really doesn't sound like it's worth the expense! (I've lived with a tightward for many years and some of that has rubbed off.) But at least in Privee you are paying for the room -- which at $250 isn't that much compared to the per person price on some of the La Reserve offerings. And you can order what you want, as long as it is from Toscana or Polo. Plus if you find people to join you, that per person price goes down. Yes, you DO have to pay for the wines in Privee whereas they are included in La Reserve ... But in Privee you can choose your wines whereas in La Reserve, the ship chooses for you. If you want to try the wine pairing meals, of course that is another issue. But I do think (and I'm not alone, it is clear) that you would be paying full price for eating half the food if you really find that La Reserve has too much for you. Those of us who've partaken of these meals know that although there are lots of courses, they are spaced out well and plates are NOT full. Why not just book La Reserve, eat what you want from each plate, and leave it at that? But if you want to try La Reserve anyway, you really will need to book BEFORE you board, not after. They do book up early. Passengers: 1250 Reserve capacity: 24 Reserve Offerings Per Sailing: Not many! Having said that ... when Oceania erred in losing our one reservation and was able to replace our dinner with another, clearly there was room -- this was perhaps a week in advance. PLUS, one of the people at our table was a single traveler so we did have an empty chair ... You never know. But I'd never "assume" that I could just walk by while on board and get two reservations at La Reserve for the next offering.
  20. Does the OP have experience with sea days? I ask because it took us several cruises to make us realize that we DO. Before that we really wanted a new port every day. Or at least a port every day ... I also ask because many post here about not liking sea days whereas others like them! I wasn't sure we'd like a TA but by the time we did we'd done a Buenos Aires-Santiago cruise that had a port, then a sea day, then a port ... you get the drift. So we knew we'd enjoy the TA. Also, even on a port intensive Med cruise you may find you are at a port where you really don't want to go on shore ... which would give you an opportunity to enjoy the ship (although there will be fewer activities than there would be on a real sea day). Not an easy question to answer to everyone's satisfaction, that's for sure! Mura
  21. You might do better by doing a search here for your topic -- there are several threads (at least) with the same title. I haven't gone on Azamara myself so I won't say anything since if I did it would not be valid. From my readings of comments, though, it appears that Azamara fans really like the friendly relations with the officers. You don't see that so much on Oceania, although it's not something I would seek out so for ME is not important. Food seems to be better on O on average. There are those who prefer the "free" drinks on Azamara whereas you pay on Oceania, whether you have a drink package or just buy by the glass. And there are those who seem to like both lines equally. I'm sure you'll enjoy your cruise. The Caribbean cruise on Riviera certainly should give you a taste of what Oceania is like. As far as we are concerned, we have always found the crew -- from officers down to the lowliest crew -- are as friendly as WE want! I'm sure others with experience on both lines will chime in. Mura
  22. I don't hate HAL, mostly because I've never sailed on HAL. (I do have friends who have and loved it, but again those cruises were some years ago.) Speaking of the ages of passengers ... my sampling is as small as they come BUT when we were in Venice at the end of our cruise in May 2018 we were on the people mover returning to the port. Several HAL passengers who were boarding were in the same car we were. Mind you, I'm talking about 4-5 people. Yes, they were MUCH younger than O passengers! And as we were walking through the port to the ship (we were docked further down than the HAL vessel) we saw many other HAL passengers arriving. All were much younger than we were. And they seemed very excited to be taking the cruise. I hope they enjoyed it. And I don't doubt that they did. I am not making any value judgments about passenger ages and backgrounds, however. It was just something I noticed. Mura
  23. As to booking Cuisine Bourgeoise, I was able to book that online last year. HOWEVER ... They changed the date which for us was not a problem since we were on a B2B. But then they lost our reservation! So we ended up with another go at the Connoisseur menu. Again, no problem for us since it's our favorite and we only paid for the Bourgeoise menu. But we HAD wanted to try Bourgeoise since we haven't experienced it before. Mura
  24. We haven't been unhappy with food on Oceania -- then again, our last cruise was May 2018. Yes, of course, there have always been the occasional dish that disappointed! But in general we were very happy with the food. It has always been superior to the cruises we took on other lines -- even Queens Grill on the QE2 -- but I have to admit there haven't been that many, and not in recent years. (After all the last QE2 cruise was in 2004.) I do wish I hadn't had to cancel the April 2019 cruise (NY-Southampton) since I'd have a more recent experience to relate! Mura
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