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Mura

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Everything posted by Mura

  1. I'm glad I'm not alone! The day Howard gets out of our apartment on time will set a new record! Mura
  2. 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
  3. My goodness, Pinot. I've heard of overly casual but I think the two men you referenced do take the cake! Mura
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.)
  11. 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 ...
  12. 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 ...
  13. 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 ...
  14. In the days when Howard was still employed most of my ironing was his shirts -- even the permanent press ones, which most of his were. But now that we are both retired, our clothing rarely needs ironing. And we pretty much dress casually the vast majority of the time. My mother, on the other hand, ironed her sheets ... when we were young she had a mangle, which made that a lot easier. Later on she just ironed them the usual way ... I think you can gather that I never did! Mura
  15. Winter's Gate -- I wasn't speaking about YOU. This was a general comment. Sorry if I offended you because that was not my intention. Mura
  16. Yes, I've had good luck with the do-it-yourself laundry as well as the "send out 3 bags during your cruise". Ours came back neatly folded (with the latter) and we had no complaints. But I'm not denying other complaints that their laundry was just stuffed in the bag willy nilly. Whenever we've used the "free" service we've been in an OC ... so perhaps they are more careful with laundry being returned to the higher suites? I have no idea, but that is certainly possible. Before they initiated this "3 bag" policy we always did our own laundry. Even with that, there are certain items that I prefer to do myself, free or not. I also do not remember dryer sheets or spray bottles, but you can certainly iron your clothing. Even *I* have done that ... and it's years since I ironed at home! Mura
  17. Mura

    Tonic Water

    I wasn't objecting, just puzzled! I was ABOUT to hit the submit button when I saw that you had posted something, so I looked at your comment first and was astonished to see my comment already there! Big Brother is watching, I guess!
  18. Mura

    Tonic Water

    How did you answer my post before I submitted it????????????? I do think you'll have better choices of gin on board as opposed to bourbon. (I'm talking about the top suite 6 bottles, not what is available at the bars.)
  19. Mura

    Tonic Water

    We tend to go for seltzer more than tonic but I'm pretty sure I've seen tonic in our mini-fridges. I don't recall seeing diet drinks of any persuasion there ... which is NOT to say you cannot request them. I would agree that you are better off bringing on the gin and bourbon yourselves rather than buying on board. UNLESS you are in a top suite that gets the 6 bottle set-up per cruise. In that case you can have them brought to your cabin. (You can get 6 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of booze OR a mixture to your choice.) I don't recall what gin and bourbon were available on that list at the moment ... I always took the Grey Goose Vodka.
  20. I originally booked the April 2019 TA from NY to Southampton as a single. Not being interested in the beverage package, I didn't opt for it. BUT ... in looking at the original invoice i received in June 2018 they gave me $800 OBC (as opposed to $400pp) AND the full Spa credit for a suite. (I had booked a PH on Marina.) It looks like I hadn't requested the tours. Don't know if that would still apply! My first reaction in looking at your question about taking the house beverage package as a single would that use up your entire oLife benefits was that no, they wouldn't ... but upon thinking about it, I think that is a question for a TA or Oceania itself. People booking as singles pay a lot more than couples do (on a PP basis). Some of these questions should be directed not here, but to a TA or Oceania itself. I am still surprised in looking at my original invoices (before I added a friend) that they were giving me the full OBC as if I were a couple. Then again, I am gold status which COULD have been a factor. In the end I had to cancel so who knows what I would have really received in the end. Mura
  21. As I have frequently said, if it's all bad or all good ... I ignore it. I prefer a balanced critique. We are long time fans of Oceania but we know it is NOT perfect. Nothing is. Mura
  22. I responded earlier in this thread that our first Renaissance cruise was Lisbon-Barcelona in October and our weather was great. OTOH -- and I'm not trying to compare these areas -- when we did a riverboat cruise, Amsterdam to Basel in November 2003 -- lots of people were complaining about how "cold" it was. We'd been in those areas at that time of year before so we weren't surprised. But Germany/Netherlands, etc., in November is very different -- usually -- from the Med! Mura
  23. Phillygirl, I still suggest that you start a new thread that at least gives the beginning and ending ports. Then in your first post you can give the ports involves. I'm not sure that people following this itinerary will necessary respond to your initial title which is the cruise name. Some will, I am sure ... But I think you will get a better response if people see up front the itinerary. Yes, the original title certainly tells people what area of the world you'll be in ... But I think many could need more specific info. From what I have read in general there are many who have visited these ports. Hope this helps, Mura
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