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Everything posted by Mura

  1. People do seem to continue to ignore the fact that not all tables are gone with online reservations. They hold back a certain number for those people who will board who do NOT have internet capability or who are not members of CC ... which is most people, I think. Yes, booking online if you are closer to departure time (i.e. not in a top suite) bookings for your preferred time slot can be gone. But that does not mean that ALL are gone. As has been said, go to the places that have been suggested upon boarding to see what is available. That's what the non-internet passengers do, after all.
  2. Our experience has been similar and different ... we usually prefer to share but it hasn't been unusual for us to end up at a two-top. They told us this is because they don't want to start a larger table when only two people are there. I certainly have never had Pinot's experience of waiting a while and then they clear the table. (I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it hasn't happened to US.)
  3. Sometimes the Grand Dining Room is open on embarkation day but only for guests who are continuing from the previous cruise. (We were on a back-to-back on Riviera last May and were invited to have lunch in the GDR on boarding day for the second leg.)
  4. As I have suggested elsewhere, IF you want to share tables at dinner -- bring the bottle and share it. That's what we do, even with total strangers. I guess we've always been lucky in that our dinner companions were very happy to share. I was on a cruise many years ago where I met a high school classmate who had been delayed in boarding because of flight problems. They actually caught the ship a couple of days after departure. It turned out that she and her husband were both recovering alcoholics and so they didn't appreciate the ship's gift of a bottle of champagne. You would have thought that the ship would have exchanged the alcohol for something else, but they wouldn't! Bear in mind this happened 12 years ago and I doubt this would have happened today. Mura
  5. In case it isn't clear, no they don't swipe your card. They have it on record from when you boarded. You just sign a chit. There are people to object to signing, but we aren't among them! For the amount you say you drink, why would you pay $60/day per person???? (Okay, if you've taken the oLife package then it's only $20/day pp additional.) I say this as someone who wouldn't consider the package. There are reasons why that work for us. People who like the package have their equally valid reasons! Some object to signing and that's enough for them, but it seems that many seem to drink more often during the day than we do. By that I mean people can very likely drink MORE on vacation than they would at home. So if you want beer or wine with lunch, a drink around the pool, a cocktail before dinner, wine WITH dinner and maybe an after-dinner drink ... then yes, the package is certainly worth it! If I have a vodka on the rocks in our room before dinner and a glass or two of wine with dinner (but not with wine or during the day), then it isn't. My husband doesn't drink, so no package for him. Because we don't go to the bars, no package for me! I usually have a bottle of vodka for a pre-dinner cocktail (which I either bring on board or if we should be in a top suite Oceania will provide it for me). *I* will buy wine by the bottle for dinners rather than be limited to the per-glass choices available on the package. Or I may have brought some nicer wine that I bought on land for a lot less than Oceania's prices. For us we just don't buy enough drinks to justify the cost of a package. And we wouldn't take the oLife package under any circumstances because it's limited to drinks with a meal. If we want to have a drink outside of hours (I admit I can't remember when that happened!), it wouldn't be of value. I also say you need to decide what it is worth to you. Per drink costs on Oceania are rather high for a smaller drink. But if you only have a beer or a couple of glasses of wine for dinner, I'd say no, it isn't worth the package. (Unless you are one who objects to signing a chit!) Mura
  6. As many of said, the jacket isn't required at all. Sorry if I seemed to indicate that it is. I'm frequently reminded of the couple we dined with a few years ago, on the first night of the cruise. The husband was wearing a suit and tie and asked us about the dress code -- he couldn't help noticing that he was just about the only man there so attired. I explained the policy to him. The next night we saw him in Polo -- no tie, no jacket.
  7. Personally, I NEVER wore a jacket to Captain's table (!) ... although Howard usually did. And no, we never could anticipate an invitation. Over 17 cruises we had maybe 3 invites to a captain's table, and none recently. Howard does tend to bring a jacket (not a sport's jacket, a leather jacket that he picked up on sale in Mallorca MANY years ago) just in case. If we're in La Reserve he will wear it. If we're in a specialty, he probably won't. It's gotten so old now anyway that he probably won't be doing so in the future. But anyway, I didn't mean to suggest that gents should bring along a jacket in case they are invited to a captain's table! If they want to bring one, that's fine. And if they don't, they will manage as you have! Mura
  8. We always have breakfast and maybe lunch in the GDR on sea days, and also on port days if we aren't going to arrive early. If a tour day and we arrive early, breakfast in the room. (When we downsized to a B1 a couple of years ago we were quite happy with service in Terrace on tour days.) Dress requirements in the GDR for breakfast and lunch are reduced. And while leisurely, the meal is lovely. As to lunch, I will express a reservation in that we were unimpressed with the "new menus" in GDR on Riviera last May (2018). Not that we couldn't find something we wanted to eat (!), we just found far fewer choices. It may have changed by now, but from what I have read here ... I don't think so. Terrace is always a good alternative, as is Waves -- for lunch. Let me be clear. If it's a port day and we have to leave early, we order into our suite for breakfast. If it's a sea day, we go to the GDR. (My mother introduced us to the GDR breakfast and while I often disagreed with her, we came to think she was right on target. A lovely leisurely breakfast. Emphasize leisurely!) But then there are the lovely lamb chops and smoked salmon and kippers and ... all sorts of things! If you like omelets I suggest you specify whether you want them "soft" (as I do). Otherwise they will be cooked a bit more. If we come back from a tour too late for lunch in either GDR (most likely since it closes at 1:30) or Terrace (which closes at 2), then we go to Waves. No complaints there. And if we are even later than that, there is room service. It's hard to starve on an Oceania ship. Besides, you have had all those meals before ... You won't "starve" until the next meal appears ... Mura
  9. Except ... on our last few cruises (going back 2-3 years) I haven't even seen a captain's table in the dining room. It's not that we weren't invited (no, we weren't, but we have been invited several times in earlier years) ... it may depend on the captain in question. Some of them were elegant hosts (when we were invited) but on occasion other captains really didn't want to deal with passengers. (Not that I blame them!) There also used to be special dinners with a few long-term passengers hosted by lower officers. We always enjoyed them as well. We were invited to such dinners when we had 5 and 10 cruises. But now that Oceania has been around for 15 years, and there are MANY passengers with many cruises under their belts, I can understand that it isn't necessarily practical to host all of us at private dinners! We haven't been invited to one of those in several years, although we did enjoy a dinner with the General Manager on our Rio cruise back in 2013 ... But our wonderful TA helped out with that, I have to admit. I would agree that IF invited to a captain's dinner, or some other special "private" dinner with an officer, a jacket would be in order ... The hostess always greeted us in an evening gown (no, not a FORMAL gown, just a dressy one) ... you wouldn't want to show up attired in a t-shirt and jeans, that's for sure... Mura
  10. There's another option, which may not appeal to me since you don't want to drink the champagne yourselves! We typically don't drink the bottle ourselves -- we like champagne but more as an aperitif. So we will take it in to dinner, share a table with another couple and share it with them. Not much good to you if YOU aren't going to sample it (!) but it's an option. Mura
  11. I'll be patient, Paul ............
  12. I'll buy it, Paul. Can I have an autographed copy?
  13. That used to be the case. Then they told us it wasn't! But more recently I've seem some posts here that say you can. If you had a butler you could ask HIM to handle it for you .... Without the butler, perhaps ask your cabin steward(ess) if you can make the change.
  14. Mary, I think you should have thanked Lyn -- not me! But I found her example illuminating, too! Mura
  15. Exactly the same situation arises in airports when people who aren't eligible to board yet block the way for those that ARE. Ken, if we'd encountered any of the internet problems you discussed I'd have been upset as well. But we just didn't. I had thought that there was an automatic log-off after a certain period of inactivity as well ... But I don't disagree that when people are told they have unlimited "free" internet, they think they should just leave the computer on 24/7. I heard a gentleman in the internet cafe say just that a while back. The internet guy advised him NOT to do so, but I don't doubt that he did. Mura
  16. That's true. I'm not sending photos home (I do that after I AM home), I don't chat, etc. I'm keeping track of email (which is mostly stuff I delete without reading), writing home when I need to, going to a website if I must. Sometimes I go to CC to make a comment about the cruise ... as I recall I did when we were on our Lima-NYC cruise in 2015 and had an outbreak of Noro. I wanted to warn people about the problem. I think, Lyn, that you were on the cruise that left shortly thereafter from Montreal which had a recurrence of the problem. Am I wrong on that score? Anyway, I'm not trying to run a business from a cruise ship ... I know that some people need to keep in contact with their business. But we never have had to ... Mura
  17. Just a comment about the complaints about internet service on Riviera on this cruise. Actually, we were originally booked on the first leg for this cruise and then the TA but switched to a May cruise (Monte Carlo to Rome to Barcelona). On that cruise I had no complaints about the internet. I know it's not going to be as good as it is at home! But it was fast enough for me. I do tend to go online to download email, then go offline to prepare answers, go back online to send the answers. I don't know if that's a factor. I wonder why what worked adequately for me in May would have been unsatisfactory in November. The itinerary? Maybe. Mura
  18. Mura

    Bus Etiquette

    Agreed, that doesn't just apply to bus passengers. Too many on the ship don't bother with basic sanitation. Mura
  19. Mura

    Bus Etiquette

    True enough! But we have been pretty lucky in that these things have rarely happened. Very occasionally on ship's tours and almost never on private tours. I do remember one private tour I set up in Central America where we were all unhappy. One of the couples totally blew up (and I have to say that I understand why they did but I won't go into the details now since they were rather lengthy). I was just glad that they didn't blame ME as the person who arranged the tour. But if people feel entitled or are just totally selfish, it's hard to know that before hand! Mura
  20. Given the limited number of people permitted each day, it's not surprising that an Alhambra tour fills up so fast. On our first Renaissance cruise we were able to book the ship's Alhambra tour on board but they warned us that there weren't many spots available so we did so asap. Ten years later we did the Alhambra with Spain Direct. Since you have to use the official guide at the site, it really doesn't matter if you use a ship's tour or a private guide (other than that the private guide is cheaper, of course). Mura
  21. Mura

    Bus Etiquette

    Some people are unbelievable!! "WE will decide when we come back and YOU will wait for us!" Really???? Good for the guide! Mura
  22. As others have indicated, if you have the blue book you really don't need the emailed summary. I tend to take both with me (the emailed version on my laptop), but I wouldn't worry about not receiving the emailed version. (Which has never happened to us, although occasionally we've had to request delivery of the blue book.) Once or twice I didn't realize that the bulky envelope was the blue book and I disposed of it without looking ... my bad! Mura
  23. Mura

    Bus Etiquette

    I agree that in general I think people who hold up a whole group should be left behind. I can accept 5-10 minutes (assuming peope aren't consistently late at each stop) -- there can be traffic, you can get lost. Plenty of reasons for being a little late. But consistently late? No. And late by half an hour? Especially no. I do think that leaving the transgressors behind is fair. Bearing in mind that we often don't have our passports with us ... Passports may not be necessary, of course. There have been lots of complaints also about people who can't keep up. I really haven't seen that as a rule -- occasionally, yes. One exception is a ship's tour we had in Malta last November where the guide zoomed through a walking tour of an old Arab town (a walk we personally thought wasn't worth the time, but that's another story). Our group was largely older and a majority could NOT keep up with his pace. He kept on trying to hurry them up, but it just wasn't possible, Still, we saw everything we were supposed to see. This particular tour wasn't supposed to be a "walking tour" but with the itinerary, it pretty much was! We didn't expect as much walking as was on this tour and I'm sure we weren't alone. (It did not show three little men in the description, maybe not even two.) I'm not denying that there are people who sign up for tours that are beyond their capabilities. If they do so repeatedly, yes, they should be discouraged. But that may NOT be easy to do! Mura
  24. I have to agree ... it's never been the case on Oceania you couldn't bring hard liquor on board, and I assume they same holds for beer. WHERE you can drink it may be another question for lamkingofall. Perhaps that is what (s)he is remembering. Mura
  25. Well, for US ... we left Viking riverboats because of unhappiness with the product a number of years (after two wonderful cruises with them, one in Europe, one in China). So I'm not inclined to switch to their ocean shups, especially since we remain happy with the Oceania product. Besides, I don't like the glitz of the photos I've seen of the Viking ships. It didn't help that on one of their first two ships first sailing (maybe the second), they also had severe problems! There were many posts here at CC at the time. I'm not saying that was a typical situation! We probably won't be traveling much in the future because DH has decided he's done with travels, and while I'd like to do so I'm not sure how much I will do on my own after my upcoming Marina cruise in April 2019. His reason for abandoning travel is his vision problems, and if the time comes when I cannot leave him alone, then I will have to abandon travels as well. But unless I am as unhappy with Marina in April as others have been with various ships here to date, I won't switch. Actually, I doubt I'd switch anyway! Mura
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