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Everything posted by Mura

  1. Unfortunately, we know of at least one instance where a suitcase ended up far from its home! There was a lot of debate here as to whether that mistake was accidental or not. (I choose to think it was but some others didn't.) Still, we do wait until later to leave unless there's a real reason why we need to leave early. We almost always spend a few days in the ending city but last May in Venice we did. It was a lot harder to find our luggage at 7am than it usually is at 9am! So far we've never lost any luggage ... Mura
  2. Palazzo pants should be fine for dinners. The other meals are indeed casual (jeans, shorts, etc. -- but not short shorts!). Dressy slacks with a nice top work well for me. If you WANT to dress up, there's no rule that says you mustn't! Mura
  3. Sounds like a plan! When you are leaving independently you can leave at any time you want -- whether early, middle or late. With a reserved car, you really don't have a problem. But you can let Hertz know your anticipated departure time when the ship distributes the information sheets -- usually 4-5 days in advance of the end of the cruise. That information will say just when they want all your a$$es off the ship! M
  4. That does make sense, but then why was she cruising in Alaska? Maybe her hubby wanted to do the cruise, we'll never know. Mura
  5. We usually leave at 9am (which is generally when they say everyone should be off the ship). BUT -- we've never done a Tahiti cruise and it could be different there. You will receive notification in plenty of time for you to make up your mind. They send around a paper asking people what their plans are -- leaving on your own, taking a ship transfer to the airport, etc. Since you're staying on for a while, just take the last available time. They DO have to turn the ship around for boarding passengers which is why they want people off early. But it does seem to me (as ignorant as I am about Tahiti cruises) that arriving passengers usually have a long wait time to board ... So in essence ... I don't know! But no one has chimed in yet so I thought I would ...
  6. For the record, we had already paid in full. We got what we needed (or wanted) from our butler when we boarded. I think we ended up dining in the room from the various restaurants when we wanted to. That's a benefit we had that not all cabin levels have, of course. I had no problem booking 3 restaurants (and La Reserve) for the first week. Now that I think of it ... I'd booked La Reserve to the first week but got a call that the evening had been cancelled and they booked us for a dinner during the second week. That was fine with us. BUT... the ship lost our reservation. We didn't realize the problem until our butler heard us say we were going to La Reserve that night and so he took it upon himself to double check because he was sure that we were NOT on the guest list that night. He got it all fixed for us. Fortunately I had brought with me a printout of our invoice that showed our La Reserve booking. Because of the -- er -- problem (I was going to use another word) they replaced our Bourgeois menu with the Connoisseur at no extra charge, so we had no complaints! But many kudos to our butler. Mura Mura
  7. We had a B2B in May on Riviera -- two one week cruises. We were in an OC so got nice presents on each leg (a pair of bath towels with visors and Oceania hats) -- I would have expected just one set, instead we got two. We got the 6 bottles of wine/booze on each leg. And so on. BUT when I tried to book specialty reservations for the second leg, it was never possible to do it. It didn't matter to us since we didn't want that many specialty reservations anyway. But it did seem odd. Mura I nearly forgot -- we also were delayed in receiving the Blue Book. Apparently the problem was because they published the book for each leg separately, and we had to wait until the second one was ready to get the first one.
  8. I'm trying to figure out how anyone could expect Caribbean-type weather in Alaska!!!! Mind boggling.
  9. Very true! I didn't mean to state it that way. But perhaps the lines should be aware that these problems can arise and somehow try to deal with them beforehand. Maybe that isn't possible! People being people. Mura
  10. I seem to recall posts to this effect regarding the first Oceania RTW cruise in 2016. In fact, I think the comments came from CBB who was one of the RTWers ... It's understandable, I think, that people doing the whole trip will bond ...but that doesn't mean shorter-term passengers should be neglected. I'll never be on one of these 6 months cruises so I'm just saying what I THINK I saw before. And this is not to criticize CBB! As I recall she was reporting what she heard/saw on that cruise. Since I know that Paul is a very reasonable passenger (!), his comments about his Crystal experience should let cruise lines be aware that when they have this very long cruise options -- they need to treat shorter-termers as first class passengers as well. They are also paying enough for the privilege! Mura
  11. How many times do we have to ask people who are responding to a post with lots of photos TO DELETE THEM? I don't want to sound cranky, but they take up lots of bandwidth when you are answering, and it's a lot of scrolling down time for those of us who are reading at the list. It really isn't that hard to delete the photos after they have been posted the first time! I'm not the first to ask this ... This is going to be a VERY LONG thread, and it's to everyone's interest not to repeat things that don't need to be repeated! If a reader missed the photos the first time, they can always go back to see them. As I said, I know I sound cranky ... but I AM getting there! I want to read all your posts but I don't want to have to scroll through so many photos when I've already seen them. I know I'm not alone because others have said the same thing before me. We aren't going to be doing a 6 month cruise so I am very interested in what you all have to say ... Mura
  12. I have to say that while I am not allergic to fragrances, I really cannot abide them any more! So I am sensitive to fragrances -- whether it's someone else's perfume or after shave, or laundry soap. We've used the "free" service on the "O" ships several times and I didn't notice any extra aroma. Likewise, when I use the self-service laundry equipment with the O-provided detergent, I haven't noticed "perfumes". It sounds like you may just have been -- er -- "lucky". I know you didn't consider it that way! I wouldn't have either. Mura
  13. Sure. I don't deny that when certain things are important to you, you should go for it. I was speaking more generally. For us, it is NOT that important. That is, we prefer a 7:30-8:00 time and are very happy to share. It's different for those who want an early time or don't care to share. We dine alone at home all the time, so when we are traveling we want to meet new people. Occasionally we've been with others who weren't great "fits", but the vast majority of the time we've enjoyed the people we were paired with. Sometimes we make arrangements with others on the roll call for a meal, but most often we "take our chances". Admittedly, we're usually in a suite and so going online to book at the earliest possible moment has NOT been necessary for us to get what we want. Mura
  14. We were first in Rio in March 1974 and had absolutely no worries going around on our own. The locals were very helpful when we didn't know which way to go. One gentleman went out of his way to walk us a couple of blocks to the zoo. On the local bus (which cost virtually nothing) the passengers were all eager to help us know which stop would take us to a nice restaurant that would have been impossible for them. As I recall our steak dinner in a beautiful (former) home was $40 -- don't recall if that was pp or total, I think total. But things have changed. When we were there five years ago we'd seen enough horror stories that we wouldn't consider it. Instead we booked a guide for full day tours on the two days we were there. With the guide and a private car we had no worries. Mura
  15. I agree. Just because you can't get what you want by booking online does NOT mean you won't get them when you board. You may have to adjust times and whether you want to share, but you will get at least the number of reservations that your cabin level entitles you to.
  16. Mura

    Corkage Fee

    There are a lot of differences ... but given that one ship is 684 passengers and the other is 1250 -- not that many! Rooms tend to be bigger, there are more options on board. Still both are beautiful ships (to me and many others). Some prefer the "R" ships, some the "O" ships -- we are inbetween. You will make up your own mind! Have a great cruise, Mura
  17. We've been in 11083 two or three times on Marina and 11080 on Riviera on our last cruise. Frankly, I've never used the media room so I can't specifically answer your questions. But they do have tons of movies and etc. available to be watched through the TV.
  18. Mura

    Corkage Fee

    We're trying to enlighten you (but understand the questions): only if you bring in your OWN wine (i.e. you brought it on board with you or bought it at one of the port stops) is there a corkage fee when you take it to a public venue. Drink it in your room and there is no corkage fee. If O gives you a bottle of bubbly because you're in concierge or higher, or if O gives you 6 bottles of booze/wine if you're in a top suite, no charge anywhere. Mura
  19. Thanks, Pinot. I'd forgotten about my recommendation! We did enjoy the hotel, and it was a great location.
  20. Pinot, your post led me back to my records. We were at the St. Ermin's Hotel in Westminster back in June 2014. I was thinking it was a more recent cruise than that. But you are certainly right that there was no label of "Marriott" on the hotel, although we booked our stay with Marriott points. No doubt that's why this man didn't realize he was going to a Marriott-affiliated hotel when he accepted O's package. At the time St. Ermin's was relatively new, as I recall. And I don't doubt that he didn't get credit for staying at a Marriott even after paying at least double what it would have cost him to use his membership. I guess he learned his lesson ... Mura
  21. I don't doubt that, Paul! We didn't see him after that first morning but I think you're right. We've always done better by booking our own hotel and transfers. The one exception was on our last Renaissance cruise, and we lucked out there. We booked our own air but happened to be on a flight with many passengers heading to our cruise. There was a bus waiting to transfer everyone to the hotel and we just walked on ... Back then, Ren gave passengers in higher categories (not necessarily the highest, on that cruise we were in what Oceania calls a PH) free hotel stays, so we didn't need to book our own ... and the bus took us to our hotel. Mura
  22. I'll join in. What Flatbush Flyer is saying (I think) is that the Oceania hotel package is vastly overpriced. Yes, it does include a transfer (again, I believe so -- we've never done it through O) and occasionally perhaps a city tour. But you are paying for a hotel per person rather than per room, and the difference between what you would pay if you booked the same hotel on your own is VAST. Check it out yourself. Go to the hotel website and see what the room would cost if you booked it yourself. If you book the hotel on your own, you can easily afford to pay for the equally over-priced O transfer if you wish! We usually just take a cab. Yes, in some locations you are far from the port (or airport) and it can be worth it to pay for the ship's transfer. But most of the time it is not. We stayed at O's London hotel a couple of years ago (a new Marriott at the time in the Big Ben district) but booked it on our own. When we checked in with a few other couples we encountered a couple who'd used the O package. I cannot tell you how upset this gentlemen was when he realized we were in a Marriott (the hotel name didn't show that fact) because he was a platinum member and was paying more than twice what it would have cost if he'd booked it privately. He was equally upset because the hotel staff should have realized that he was a platinum member but did not say anything. Myself, I'm not so sure that they would automatically have known ... but perhaps the computer would have shown that fact upon entry of his name. Mura
  23. Lucky you! (At least regarding the mice.) Since this happened to me -- just parking on the street in Brooklyn Heights -- I've heard a number of stories from others. It does seem more common rural areas, but then in our neighborhood rodents do abound (maybe it was squirrels, maybe rats in my case). My car had been parked while we were away -- a friend moved the car when necessary but it wasn't necessary more than once because of holiday suspensions of the alternate side parking rules. When I returned home and turned on the motor, it worked fine. But when I tried to drive I saw problems, and then took it in to the dealer ... who gave me the bad news. The initial quote was $1900 to repair the problems BUT they didn't know if once they started on the job if they would find worse problems. It seemed better to take the dealer's offer to buy back the car. They were going to sell it at auction -- I hope for parts since they didn't feel it would ever be safe to drive. At least, that's what they told me. Since I no longer REALLY need a car, even though people who grow up in L.A. always seem to think they do, I haven't been impelled to go out and get another one. Especially not in the winter time! Mura
  24. A big difference from living in a community where garage parking is increasingly unavailable -- and ranges around $500/month if you can get it. So we always parked on the street! My parents and sister in L.A. have always had a garage, but here in NYC ... that's hard to come by! I saw a photo from an email friend near Toronto today -- she has a garage but shoveling the sidewalk is a necessity. Her cats like the snow, though ... Mura
  25. I'm going to miss it too ... I'll just stay indoors! Now that I no longer have a car (thanks to the rodents who ate the engine's wiring a couple of years ago) I also don't have to worry about digging out the car ... AccuWeather isn't predicting anything bad here in the next 2-3 days. Weather Channel might have except they stopped sending me emails and I haven't been able to find out how to reactivate them. Mura
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