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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. First, let me say I agree, but then reality sits in. Has putting the three walker symbol beside shore tours even slowed down the number of people that can’t walk 50 yards from signing up and then expecting to be facilitated? Do any of the warnings about cobblestone streets and uneven pathways, and warnings about not being for those with mobility issues have much of an effect? As some believe they should be facilitated on every tour, they likewise believe the same for every dish served. The current situation is a culmination of all the “ can you put the spices on the side, I want that dish without the spices?” Have you ever tasted the disgusting sweet salsa sauce served because of all the people not wanting any spicy period? It would be a great start if Oceania would put out two different salsas. One for the NoNos and another for the rest of us. We only get the NoNo version.
  2. Simply put “ I have a great Travel Agent and know how and when to use her. Problem solved!
  3. Separate question. Did your butler do the setup on the balcony; or as for we did he set up in the cabin and we took our food out as we ssw fit?
  4. Not sure for a PH if the butler will do a balcony setup. He set ours up on the indoor table and we carried outside as we desired. Talk to your butler.
  5. You underestimate the number of NoNos aboard that demand bland. No salt, no pepper, no garlic, no onions, no peppers , no oregano, no basil, no herbs or green things at all, no spices, NoNo! Just go ashore any where in Japan and have the miso soup. Then have it aboard ship. Miso has flavor, why not on the ship? NoNos demand bland. What great steak house have you been to that prepares your main course with zero seasoning, just a cooked piece of meat?
  6. We did a private tour. Our guide knew exactly where we’d be. No issues, wonderful day, great tour, great lunch of fresh oysters 5 ways which is a local specialty.
  7. On the Riviera, in Waves, they offer pizza from the oven by the slice at lunch. These are made with a couple of selections. At dinner, one can order whole pizza from a different menu or place a specialty order. All of this different from the horrid things served in the Terrace.
  8. A great pizza is built by : 1. The crust; 2. Quality of the sauce; 3. Quality of the ingredients. While O does fine with the crust normally, they fall miserably with the sauce. Made to satisfy the NoNos , it’s bland and uninspiring. Totally omitting many of the herbs and spices normally found with quality pizzas leaves that grocery store effect mentioned above. Clo, as the name of a tv series implies “ Curb your enthusiasm “. The pizzas are OK, but nothing to get excited about.
  9. Our Tea infused sea bass in Red Ginger was likewise great. I also ordered the other sea bass dish as it claimed to be tempura. What an insult to the term ‘tempura “. It was thick greasy dough , much like American Captain D’s or Long John Silvers, and had zero seasoning with a very bland dipping sauce. A bland fish and chips masquerading as tempura. Making it equally insulting was we were in Japan where tempura is done so wonderfully. So for us the Red Ginger was 50/50. Great meal and a very poor one.
  10. Hank; Food being Bland and boring was an issue on our cruise also. Expect for the cheerleaders to assault you claiming every meal is excellent and every bite succulent, because as you know tastes are subjective! 🙄
  11. Marketing by someone wanting to sell blue jeans! Reminds me of the recent marketing gimmick of trying to sell dress joga pants, or if the dress sweat suits of old! Marketing by someone with something to sell.
  12. Consider looking at the very first thread on this Forum entitled “ Oceania Free Shuttles”.
  13. Did it ever, during the duration of the entire cruise, come to the OP’s mind to query their room attendant? 🙄
  14. We booked Singapore-Sidney, then Sidney-Papette on Riviera. Mostly new ports for us with just a few repeats, but hey, I can always revisit Bora Bora with out being bored! Been to Singapore once and needed much more time than a day tour allowed. We’ll fly into Singapore several days early pre cruise and finally do Singapore right!
  15. Public transport, such as subways and buses, are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to use. Some of our private tours were a combo of those methods along with cabs. Most do NOT take credit cards, including some of the cabs. Money conversions are mandatory. No the ticket machines won’t take US dollars.
  16. Guess this horse has been beaten to near death. As a former Army officer, “being at the appointed place of duty at the appointed time “ is firmly ingrained so we show up on time. However, it all suffers from “ Hurry Up and Wait”. People getting there at 6:40 to have a very short line versus those at 6:30 standing in a longer line aren’t really late. If everyone shows up at 6:30 or before, seating will not happen any quicker. It would just create a larger mob at 6:30. However, just like Boardamania, some enjoy lines as social time.
  17. One will often find a goodly portion of those reading in the library with their eyes closed and mouth open. 😇
  18. I can understand your position fully. Do likewise find the people with 1:00 and later boarding times that show up at 11:00 , or before, as being equally rude?
  19. To further answer questions not yet addressed, neither the Red Ginger nor the Tuscan Grill have bars. Additionally those venues are only open for dinner or other special events such as wine tastings. I would never take a 25 year old on an Oceania cruise. You might find the very rare exception that may enjoy it, but very rare are the key words.
  20. To enter Japan there is a process that everyone must go through, transit or visitation. One will fill out the paperwork, have fingerprints taken of the index finger of both hands, and be photographed. Fact is, not only did we go through the process upon entering at Haneda, but we had to do it totally again upon re entering Japan after Korea. Additionally, all ship passengers had to depart the ship , in that first port, and go through immigrations again whether they planned on touring that day or not. This was announced multiple times over the intercom and as reported, the ship’s captain came on and called out those by name that hadn’t done so, and ordered them to reception. The ship couldn’t depart until everyone had yet again cleared immigration. For those with tours that day, they had to go through the process before loading up. Hope that explains it.
  21. I’ll give a short review of our cruise. Precruise - the Tokyo Hilton is definitely nice. The precruise package was part of a sale we jumped on. Glad I didn’t pay Oceania for it. Regent was doing both a parallel cruise and precruise with us. They got the morning tours, and we the identical afternoon tours starting at around 1:30 or 2:00. Little time to actually sightsee and mostly a panoramic tour. Then off to Boardamania. Cruise - Overall a good cruise. We only had a couple ports clipped an hour, so we got to see what we came to see. That alone made it a good cruise. It was a 12 day cruise and we only had one sea day, so we stayed busy. Tours - predominantly private tours with a few Oceania tours mixed in. The best O tour was Osaka and Nara on the second full day in Kobe. As I earlier stated, we took the bullet train back to Kyoto, post cruise, to explore that town for another 2.5 days. Wonderful mix of private tours with substantial savings. Food- I hesitate to go there as there was a tremendous amount of grumblings. The NoNo have won the day. The chorus we heard in most of the eating venues from staff was “ We now allow our passengers to season their food to their taste.” Translated means no to very low salt and no seasoning on anything. The NoNos were ecstatic, the rest of us not. Mash potatoes, green beans, sauces, meats, etc without any seasoning is bland, but the NoNos were happy. We learned to salt our own foods. Funny story, nothing would often come out of the salt shaker and people learned to unscrew the top of the shakers and add at will. One had to watch for rice in the salt shakers! 😂. Funny story, one of the Diamonds on this cruise one night asked for garlic, oregano, and thyme to season his dish. He told the waiter “ if we can season to our own tastes, I want to add the seasonings that should be in the dish!” He got none of the above. So after self seasoning, as typical we had an excellent meal, some OK meals, and one very poor meal. The latter meal is an issue is a Miami corporate policy driven issue that even the chefs don’t like, but Miami rules. On the no salt/seasoning issue, one of the waiters in the PG said, a benefit for O now is that they don’t have to individually do low salt or no salt menus for a portion of the cruisers, every one gets it. The daily meals of exceptional local Japanese or Korean cuisine was so tremendous, the dinner food quality aboard ship was mostly an afterthought for us. Entertainment - Poor choreography probably placed the ship’s team below average. One of the outside entertainment was Steve Stephens who was flat out spectacular. Dr. Holden, who was the lecturer was poor. The CD , which was a 35 year Brit, was quite good. A think Chris was his name but can’t remember. New to Oceania. WiFi - worked pretty well except in S.Korean waters, but don’t believe that was Oceania’s fault. As I earlier stated, just over 52% were O repeaters. GoNext represented about 226 of the roughly 1100 passengers aboard. The vast majority of that segment trended younger (35-55). A significant portion of the Repeaters trended a lot older than normal. We had 6 emergency evacuations, by ambulance, that I know of, with only one returning same day to the ship. Most left on a gurney, including our elderly neighbor. Our single sea day had our butler and room attendant packing all their clothes and personal items the day after they left the ship. Forgot to ask our butler how all that was handled afterwards. I believe overall we had a very good cruise. Since food aboard ship was nothing exceptional, I would probably recommend the HAL, or other , circumnavigation of Japan so to see more. Just remember lots of walking! Final note, we visited Kanazawa after Kyoto for 2.5 days. Tremendous food city , especially fresh fish from its fish market, and easy to reach by bullet train. We took the express train to Tokyo and then the monorail to Haneda for our late afternoon flight home. Kanazawa was lovely and we got a private tour out into the mountains one day and far away from the numerous Japanese concrete jungles.
  22. Just a word of caution on this. Because of the tides, the exit on Deck 4 was not available for use for our disembarkation in Yokohama last week. So when WestEast talks about exiting with your bags, it meant walking down the gang plank with all your luggage. For those with mobility issues that’s not a good plan. In that case, you do the leave your luggage outside your room at 10:00 and exit , when your color and number is called and find your luggage being offloaded in the terminal. As an independent traveler ( no Oceania transfer) that meant an actual 7:45-7:50 exit from the ship.
  23. Purely a matter of schematics. ORV states he has rarely stood in line more than two minutes. Let me otherwise explain the math to you. Oceania typically does about 60 people , or 30 couples, at that 6:30 seating. In ORV’s case that would be 120 seconds for thirty couples or about 4 seconds each per couple. For most of us arriving timely, we aren’t processed in 4 seconds. It takes a bit for entering our room number and waiting for staff to seat the early arrivals and rotate back to pick up the next wave. The process is clean and efficient, but for those of us arriving promptly at 6:30, it’s not a two minute drill. Those arriving at 6:35 or 6:40 may well be seated nearly the same time as those of us arriving promptly. As a case in point for those starving souls sharing tables. Depending upon actual activity for the night, your table mates may well have arrived on time (6:30), but not seated for another 5-10 minutes. One’s decision to arrive early May or may not get tone faster service depending upon seatings for that evening.
  24. Bingo!! Kinda hard for people to claim you’re late at 6:40 when you still have to stand in line to get in. Being a part of a party of eight at a private home is one thing, while being two in a group of 50+ is another. I unfortunately witnessed Boardamania again on my last cruise. I’ll allow others to enjoy the pleasantries of lines. I will add however that one should show up by 6:40, otherwise they’ll be in line behind those with 7:00 reservations that show up early!😂
  25. No necessarily. Going from Horizons to our cabin, we often stroll across the outside walkway on deck 14 and down the aft stairs to our cabin. We are often amazed at the starving souls lined up by 6:15 at the Specialties. The purpose of being so early is what? A two top or sharing is predetermined. The doors open at 6:30. One can arrive at 6:40 and still stand in line. It’s like mini Boardamania . While we do always attempt to arrive at the specified time, it typically means standing in line, especially for the 6:30 dining time. While we have never been hungry, at any time, on an Oceania cruise, all those lining up so early must have different experiences.
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