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Everything posted by Mura

  1. You won't be assigned a time or table for meals. If you want to dine alone you can; if you want company, you can have it. In booking specialty reservations I would suggest that you put down "sharing". If you don't know anyone from your roll call that you think you might want to join (and I use the word "know" rather loosely) they will put you at a table with others. If in roll call discussions you find some people you'd like to have join you, you can all book a table together. In the Grand Dining Room you will tell the maitre d' if you want to share or not. Again, they will put people together -- generally as they arrive since they don't want people sitting at an empty table for very long! The do sometimes have gatherings for people traveling solo. I haven't been traveling by myself so I haven't been aware of how common these are. Mura
  2. We rarely go to the bars (because DH doesn't drink, maybe a glass of wine at dinner but that's it). So I can't talk to the prices. Wripro probably has it right from what I have read here at CC in the past. Don't be reluctant to ask your cabin steward(ess) for missing items! That's why there are there. I myself never have used the magnifying mirror so I don't notice if it's there or not! I would notice a missing hair dryer, however ... Mura
  3. Jim was kind enough to send me info a few years ago about his invites, but we ended up cancelling the pertinent cruise as I recall so I haven't used Vistaprint myself. Oceania has always sent out invitations to M&Gs that I set up, except as Lyn said it's not possible if you do it on embarkation day -- which has been the case with mine on the last 3-4 cruises. When you have a port intensive cruise, it seemed best to do the M&G right after the boat drill. People could still get together for a drink and then go to dinner. Otherwise I met with the concierge to schedule a time and place. This was usually on a sea day (not conflicting with the Captain's Party) and in Horizons. I would just meet with the concierge upon boarding and give him my list. Invitations were always delivered without a hitch. While initially O didn't provide nibbles, for a number of years now they have. Peanuts, chips, etc. The comment about management not liking people to use the M&G for soliciting people for private tours, I've never seen anything like that happening. If you are on a Roll Call -- and that's where people find out about the M&G -- you already have your private tours setup. There's no need to seek out additional passengers. They do NOT like to see people forking over money to pay for the tours, however, at these functions! That didn't stop the person on our Black Sea cruise in 2012 who did collect money there! She encountered no problems at all from staff. Mura
  4. Exactly! I agree with Lyn and Paul. Nothing wrong in being a newbie anyway ... we all were once!! Most Oceania passengers are repeaters, that's all. If you are familiar with other lines, it won't take you long to figure out the differences. (Say, like the liquor policy!) Welcome to Oceania. Mura
  5. We have found that some people manning the desk are more aware than others. One can say one thing and another may say something else. On our recent Riviera cruise we recognized a gentleman from past cruises going back about 10 years (and this was our first time on Riviera) and he was the one that gave us the best information every time. Also remember (this has probably been said before but dinner is burning so I'm not taking the time to go back to prior posts) that there is a difference between refundable and non-refundable OBC. On leaving Riviera in May there was a glitch with our refundable OBC. DH had notified the desk several times that we wanted a cash refund (or refund to our credit card, we didn't care) of our refundable OBC. We had a lot due to us so we took some in cash which was dispensed as tips and the balance was to come back to us. As we were leaving the ship they called us back to say that we had refundable OBC. The check arrived soon (or the credit card refund) so we didn't worry ... but they had been notified more than once. In the end, no problem! We aren't complaining because of the glitch ... we appreciated the extra notices. Better too many than too few! Mura
  6. Exactly!!!!!!!!!!! That's why we love this suite ...
  7. As I've said, for US we like the larger veranda on the aft OCs. The somewhat smaller interior space doesn't bother us. We don't need a second full bathroom since we are rarely showering, etc., simultaneously. The smaller powder room works for guests we invite in for cocktails or whatever. It IS nice to have a second bathroom in case anyone is having ... er... intestinal difficulties. Not everyone will agree! We get that. Mura
  8. Very possibly! I probably was thinking of the second bath in the VS. Thanks for pointing that out. I wouldn't want to mislead people! I confess I didn't remember it as being THAT small ... but a picture is worth a 1,000 words ... Mura
  9. It's hard to believe that an Oceania rep told you that the second bathrooms in the aft OCs have a shower. In thinking about it, they are rather spacious. Not being on board at the moment I can't go in and look to confirm my opinion (!) but I've been in 11083 three times and 11080 once ... in thinking about it I think a shower COULD fit in the space, but it wouldn't be a large one. So that may be why they eliminated it. The Vistas have two full bathrooms as well on the O ships. As I've said more than once, I prefer the aft OCs to the Deck 12 OCs just because of the larger deck. Yes, you lose some interior space but it's still a spacious area. I haven't stayed in a Deck 12 OC but did attend a cocktail party in one ... Mura
  10. The Deck 11 half bath has NO shower. Just the commode and sink. Mura
  11. Trying not to be confrontational here! I haven't sailed on Crystal so I make no comparisons, since I cannot. But I haven't found either crew or fellow passengers on Oceania to be unfriendly. As to the enrichment programs, I admit that a fair number of times on Oceania they haven't been what I would have liked. On some cruises they were, on others they were adequate but no more than that. Many Crystal passengers have stated that on that line these programs are preferable. So I don't argue that point. But we all have to choose the line we prefer. For us, Oceania is still #1. Mura
  12. I'm not at all sure that you are right, Orchestrapal. Even when we've been in a top suite (a VS or OC, not an OS) we've been placed at tables we didn't want. For example, we don't want to dine alone but fairly often we've had to -- there weren't others in line at the time who wanted to share, and they have always made it clear they don't want to start a larger table with only two people if others aren't wanting to share as well. Sure, they know who we are. They know our suite number. But that doesn't mean we get extra service when waiting for a table. Just MY perception. Mura
  13. Not having traveled with ANY children, I think the answer to all of your questions is no. Surely someone will correct me if so. If you have a TA, these questions might be directed to that person. OR to Oceania itself. I know that I've never seen a high chair in the dining areas, nor have I seen changing table in the public restrooms. As to the availability of cribs -- I have no idea, but I'd suspect NOT. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but as you know Oceania has never catered to infants being on board. They are no longer banned (as they once were, at least on Renaissance and I think they were on early Oceania) -- I just would think cribs are not stocked on board as a matter of course. I may well be wrong! Mura
  14. 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.
  15. 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.)
  16. 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.)
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. I'll be patient, Paul ............
  25. I'll buy it, Paul. Can I have an autographed copy?
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