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Everything posted by Mura

  1. +1 Paul. You said it better than I could! Mura
  2. I've only sailed on Viking's riverboats and as a result of our February 2012 experience, we've decided not to do so again. So of course we haven't tried their ocean boats. The answers from people who have tried both are SO divergent that I wouldn't be able to credit most of the answers! For example, we have Ronbe who prefers the Viking buffet as compared to Riviera. His/her opinion, of course, but even without sailing on Viking ocean ships I KNOW I would disagree. The buffet restaurants on the two "O" ships are the best I have encountered on the seas. Sure, it's possible if I ventured onto one of their ships I'd change my mind. But I doubt it. That's ONLY a comment about the buffet, nothing else about what he said. We all have our preferences and are entitled to them. But I don't know how people earnestly seeking answers to the question about whether to prefer Oceania or Viking can find them here. At least NOT the posts I have seen. Maybe that's the norm ... people who prefer one over the other will be vocal in their opinions. And until YOU have sailed on the ship, you really don't know if you will agree or not. On another thread, the OP was asking about sailing in the Med in the fall as opposed to the summer. The majority of answers were "go in the fall", but OP decided to play it "safe" and go in the summer ... he/she didn't mind warnings about weather and crowds, but was worried about heavy seas in the fall. And sometimes people seem to want absolute agreement -- such as 100% say "yes" or "no". I doubt that will ever happen. Mura
  3. That was with our second Renaissance cruise in 2000. Athens to Istanbul. We had three days in five star hotels in the embarkation and debarkation ports. We added on a week long private tour to Cappadocia. It was a great trip. There was a fair amount of snow in Turkey, especially around Ankara, but it was lovely in Greece. Mura
  4. I've been there in October and February and it was beautiful both times! But NOT in the summer! When I was a teen by piano teacher, who was the widow of a Greek, spent the summer in Athens and she stressed how terribly hot it had been. This was many MANY years ago! Mura
  5. Athens is another place to avoid in the summer! Seriously, our first Renaissance cruise was in the Med, October 6-20, but that was in 1999. Our memory is of wonderful weather. Comfortable and little, possibly no rain. We've done several trips in the area since then in the fall -- some cruises, some road trips -- and found it an excellent time to travel. As has been said, fewer crowds, cooler weather. Jim's point about tendering when seas are more active is certainly well taken but not all ports require tendering ... I know we didn't have any tender ports on that first Renaissance cruise (for what that's worth, which I suspect is not much). We did the Black Sea cruise on Regatta in August 2012 but that was only because that's the only time of year it was available. The weather was brutal. I'm glad we went since two of our favorite ports were in Crimea ... But as has also been said: there's no predicting the weather. Especially these days! Mura
  6. I don't think I'd appreciate a knock on my door either, but in MY case that isn't what happened. I received a phone call from the concierge (the one in the Executive Lounge on Marina, not the Executive Concierge) asking if I would be willing to meet to discuss the issue. Definitely NOT threatening! I appreciated the opportunity to voice my opinions and to hear what they had to say. Mura
  7. As did I, last November on Marina. I had posted to CC regarding the GDR closing for lunch on some ports of call -- something we'd never experienced before. I was called in to meet with the concierge and the Restaurant Manager. They were pleasant! They were informative. I still disagree with the policy but I'm not running the ship. On that cruise we had an overnight in Haifa, and it was quite clear with virtually everyone off the ship on tours (whether with the ship or private), it didn't make sense to have the GDR open for lunch. I think the Reception guy told us that all of 35 people were on the ship! But there were other days where the result was that Terrace and Waves were overwhelmed because most people did return in time for lunch. Perhaps rather than closing the GDR on those days, they might keep it open but alter the hours to perhaps an hour later. I wasn't alert enough to make the suggestion when we met ... Because my complaint was really by the excessive crowds in the venues that were open on those days, I wish I had. The ship can monitor who will be off the ship if they are on ship's tours ... it's not very feasible for those who are on private tours. I use my real name here and I had said I was on board, and they had NO trouble finding me! Did I feel threatened? Not at all. In fact, I was happy to have the opportunity to present my case to the managers. (I also was on board at the time. I personally doubt that they would pursue you after the fact ... I could be wrong but from Oceania's perspective it's better to talk to someone face-to-face in this kind of situation.) Mura
  8. I don't understand your comment that the food area in Terrace seems smaller on Marina than on the "R" ships. It sure doesn't look that way to me!! Agree that complaints about the lack of cleanliness and even a sewage "aroma" are very justified. We've never encountered that ourselves on any of the ships, but it should never happen. Mura
  9. Welcome aboard! There are always newbies, and they aren't necessarily new to cruising! Look forward to meeting you some time soon! (It may have to be soon since my upcoming cruise is as a solo given that my husband has decided his travel days or over!) Mura
  10. True enough, nothing has changed. But the subject line was also wrong in that it wasn't an update ... it was a question!I hope the OP now understands the situation as it really is. For those of us who have been here for a long time it's difficult seeing the same questions again and again. But I remember being a newbie and not having much success with the search function, so I try to remain calm and not respond intemperately! I guess I also understand the suspicion of newcomers to the "bring your own alcohol on board" program. It's not permitted elsewhere, or at least pretty much, so I can see where they want to be SURE that it's okay! Especially with the "rules" they see indicating a limit on the number of bottles of wine/liquor you can bring on board ... which those of us who've been around a long time really don't mean anything. If I were taking my first Oceania cruise, that would concern me, too. Mura
  11. You aren't permitted to open it in your room and then bring it to a restaurant. Since it wouldn't be exactly fair to charge you the $25 for a glass or two ... Come to think of it, if you were to bring your open bottle to the restaurant, they'd probably charge you the fee. You could then leave any remaining wine (if there is) for them to hold, or take it back to your room. I'm strictly guessing here, however. It might be to difficult to really figure out what is fair and what is not. When we have been in one of the suites that provides a liquor set-up, we've been able to take our bottle of wine to the dining room and were NOT charged the fee. The bottle is clearly marked as being provided by Oceania. In such case we usually took the bottle back to our room when we hadn't finished it (which is just about always). Mura
  12. Renaissance offered such a tour on our first cruise with them in October 1999 ... That was on Regatta (then the R2). Never seen anything like it since, not even on our two other Renaissance cruises! Definitely not on Oceania. Mura
  13. I have frequently brought vodka on board for in room consumption -- on all of the ships. No problem at all. You can bring it with you from home OR buy it at a port of call. Mura
  14. Thanks for the info. Actually, I was thinking that SHOULD the OP be able to find a passenger who could perform the ceremony, they could just find a venue and do it. BUT ... I came to conclude that they wouldn't have a legal document confirming the validity of the marriage, and you confirmed that. I'm glad to hear they are going with the flow and will manage. It would have been nice, but when it can't happen ... you find something else! Mura
  15. As Lyn well knows, this is a common request -- better training for the reps. You WOULD have to pay for a second "membership", I believe -- say you use your laptop and your spouse uses an iPad or some other equipment. Most people, I believe, just take turns. It's easy for me -- DH is computer illiterate so if anyone goes on line, I'm that person. Mura
  16. Better safe than sorry! Actually, if I were on board I wouldn't be unhappy with the changes. But if your parents had their hearts set on Bermuda, disappointment will reign ... Mura
  17. That's why the maitre d' has showed us to a two-top if no one else is around -- a few times we were two couples sitting at a six top and then they cleared the two extra places. But they don't like to do that! Never had the experience of dining in solitary splendor at a large table, though! At least you have plenty of room when that happens ... Mura
  18. Ditto to what GrammieK said. We actually prefer to share but sometimes there aren't other people there when we show up to want to share so we end up at a two-top. We've never had to wait for one under those circumstances as far as I can recall, and we tend to go to dinner around 7:30 or 8:00. It's true your odds are better for getting a table without having to wait if you go earlier, but it's not an absolute rule that you must. Mura
  19. FYI, we were on Sirena in October 2016 heading for Bermuda when a hurricane hit the island. We had some rough seas the day before (but I've been in worse!) but we docked at Bermuda as scheduled. We saw some damage to homes and vegetation that day, but basically everything seemed fine and we had beautiful weather to boot. Not sure what category storm that one was -- probably a low level hurricane given the damage we saw. Mura
  20. This is a long shot, I admit, but how about going to the roll call for your cruise and see if another passenger might be authorized to permit marriages? It's too bad most passengers are NOT on CC, then you'd have a better chance of finding someone. Good luck. Mura
  21. Obviously different answers! My experience was quite a while ago so it may well be that O no longer offers a transport to Firenze. That strengthens my suggestion to check the offered tours at the website as well as checking with your roll call. Mura
  22. As to the Artist Loft, I haven't done it myself but from what I have read here I believe Momnipotent is correct. There is no charge but space is limited and people line up in advance. The "guest artists" change from cruise to cruise so one time you might have a water colorist, another time you could have another specialist. There is a knitting fan who has often posted here (although I haven't seen anything from her recently) who will always seek out other knitters and crocheters to join her ... not necessarily in the Artist Loft. It couldn't hurt (depending on your interest) to post an inquiry at your roll call to see if there are others interested in what YOU are interested in! Also check with Oceania to see who is scheduled (as an "artist") to be on board for your cruise. Mura
  23. It's a while since we've been to Livorno but they did offer a bus shuttle to Firenze. It's "do it yourself" once you get there. My objection to these (which I've never taken) has been with the time allowed. I know others have advocated taking the train from Livorno on your own. When we were there we didn't go into Firenze because we'd spent some days there on our own not long before. We joined a private group taking a tour to Pisa and Lucca which was lovely. I suggest checking the ship's offered tours for your cruise. I'm SURE there will be a bus transport to Firenze but they will have more details than I can give you. Mura
  24. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate. I haven't been on Regatta recently but we've been on her more times than any other ship in the fleet, starting from when she was the R2 with Renaissance. Oceania has always been meticulous in the upkeep of its ships. I personally don't like the planned "improvements" but I certainly wouldn't be afraid to sail on any of the "R" ships because of them. Frank Del Rio is not going to permit his line to "deteriorate". Wifi is available in all cabins as well as public areas. It's often slow (although I haven't found it as slow as others complain, and I'm used to a cable connection at home). Mura
  25. Mura

    dental care?

    Many years ago I needed my first root canal but I was off to spend the summer in Graz, Austria in a music program. My dentist warned me that my tooth could blow up at any time and advised that I get the names of local dentists just in case, which I did. Fortunately my tooth did NOT blow up and I was able to wait until the fall to have the work done. Another time we were summering at a family cottage in Goshen MA when I started having tooth pain. Dentists were available but the problem was temporarily solved with lots of aspirin so I was able to delay seeing a dentist until we returned home a week later. But dental pain on vacation is certainly not something any of us wants to encounter. When we took our first Viking river boat cruise I caught a cold from another passenger which turned into laryngitis. By the time we left the boat in Basel I knew I needed to see a doctor. I was astonished that Viking had no information for me! We were close to a hospital so we went there. Fortunately I spoke German well enough because the staff there did NOT speak English. Mura
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