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  1. Our next two cruises are on the R ships (not Sirena) due to itinerary and already sad to miss favs Jacques and Red Ginger! However, we will definitely be monitoring cuisine quality and identifying this rumour about Jacques on our mid-cruise and final cruise feedback that if they remove Jacques it will DEFINITELY be a deciding factor for future cruises. Hopefully, they will hear the O loyalists!
  2. Disappointing news as we loved Jacques. I wonder if this is an indication that O will be moving away from Jacques Pepin as Executive Culinary Director starting with the new ships?
  3. Dover sole is better in Jacques than in Toscana.
  4. We did a circumnavigation of British Isles with Oceania this summer and loved it! Had two days in Dublin so enough to see everything and wish we had two days in Edinburgh as much to see. Invergordon was a great stop and loved the Scottish Highlands. Locals in Scotland and Ireland had great sense of humour. Surprised how much we enjoyed Cobh and Portland (and close-by Weymouth). Revisited London prior to cruise for three days and again, great city for first-timers or repeaters like us. Weather was cool and moist as expected but overall a great cruise.
  5. Thanks I will look at Blurb and do not use Lightroom. Any feedback on Shutterfly?
  6. Always used Apple's iPhoto built-in photo service for our Cruise photo books and was very pleased with template choices that allowed me to include lots of narrative. Now that Apple discontinued this built-in service (Sept 2018), I wonder if anyone has recommendations that will deliver same quality?
  7. FYI today's post on CC News page: 'Live From Oceania Insignia: Why A Western Caribbean Cruise Can Be A Perfect Spa Vacation' contains info re upcoming spa change - excerpt: "Oceania has changes planned for its spa; Aquamer Spa & Vitality Center, which appears first on Riviera on December 5, will be the name of its new brand. While the outside contractor is One Spa World – known to veteran cruisers as the new name for behemoth spa company Steiner – we’re told that Aquamer will not be the same as that company’s other cruise ship outposts. The change in provider means that Oceania will have more control over the treatments, and offer more options than just massages and facials. We’ve heard good ideas such as wellness shore excursions and spa treatments that are themed to different destinations where the ship is. (We would have loved to see a Mayan treatment here in Belize and Mexico, for example.) Men’s wellness services are going to be added. Prices, which are sky high in the current Canyon Ranch spa – 50-minute massages start at \$155 – might be lowered in some cases. While we’re sad about the loss of luscious Canyon Ranch products, we like the idea of more spa treatment diversity. One promise we’re going to hold Oceania to: We were told that upsells and product pushing would not be allowed in new Aquamer. We hope so; as delightful as our Canyon Ranch practitioner was, she was heavy on both. Who needs that, when you’re emerging from a relaxing treatment?"
  8. We are on the Oceania Feb 3-17 cruise and believe we have the identical ports of call for the Australia to New Zealand segment for you. We do have a Roll Call and I also scan your January Roll Call as always good information. Roll Call: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2624526-february-3-2020-sydney-to-auckland-outrageous-outback/
  9. In preparation for our upcoming February cruise, we've got our visas for New Zealand (and Australia) online and are now wondering when we enter New Zealand onboard our cruise ship, will there be a face-to-face meeting on our first port of entry (Dunedin) before we can go ashore? We arrive in Australia by airport so the normal airport processes take place. On past cruises mostly in Europe, the cruise line has our passports and announces when the ship and passengers are cleared to go ashore. Thanks for info!
  10. Have booked YWC many times on past cruises. Our upcoming cruise has a minimum of 6 excursions for the 25% off. My question is, if we book 6 excursions at the same time and receive the 25% then, a few days later decide on 1 more, will the 7th count in the 25% off?
  11. We had Dottie on our 2017 Holiday Mexican Riviera cruise onboard Sirena and did find her far too chatty on her long announcements that we dreaded when we heard her voice! That said, we met her around the ship and she was very courteous and friendly. However, would not want to cruise with her again -- Miami staff need to inform her to tone down her amount of infomercials and lengthy announcements. Best CD's to date: Ray Carr and Leslie John - perhaps they can give her some advice! Worst to date was on our British Isle cruise in August: John Clelford. Crossing fingers we don't have either Dottie or John on our Feb cruise! O no longer states the CD in the Cruise Vacation Guide so we'll have to wait.
  12. Thank you so much for the beautiful photos and comments - very helpful.
  13. We are considering a shore excursion from the Napier port that includes a drive up to Te Mata Peak for the stunning views. Have read the ascent to the Peak can cause problems for people with vertigo or, that get migraines on elevation changes. Has anyone experience any health problems driving to the Peak?
  14. Our ship docked here on August 12th - we took the ship's Blarney Castle tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. Had no plans on kissing the stone but blew it a kiss; the area around Blarney Castle is lovely and we were surprised on how pretty it was, after our walk around the castle and grounds we went to the Blarney Mills which is a quality shop of woollens, linens etc. (much better than Powerscourt). After our shopping, we had a complimentary Irish Coffee sitting outside on their terrace. Once back at Cobh, we walked about the quaint town with beautiful Cathedral with lots of history as last port for the Titanic. Ship was docked within minutes from Cobh so relaxing end of day touring and the train station is literally across from where the ship docked.
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