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pinotlover

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Posts posted by pinotlover

  1. 7 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

    We were generally pleased with the food on the Vista (our first O cruise).  If food were our only criteria, for choosing a cruise, both Explora Journeys and O would be at the top of our list.  But one reason we have cruised on 18 different lines (#19 coming up) is because we look at many factors (including variety).

     

    Hank

    Absolutely!
     

    I love Pinot Noir. That doesn’t mean I always want to drink PN. Sometimes I want a CdP, or a Brunello, or a Rioja, or a cab. Additionally, some PN, are excellent, some okay, and some poor. Just because I generally love PN doesn’t mean I feel obligated to pronounce every PN as being excellent in some faux cheerleader mode. 
     

    I’m leading a group to Tuscany in September for two weeks of museums and wineries. Part of our adventure is going to be the various great Tuscan food. It’s not going to be Americanized Tuscan or NoNo Tuscan, but Tuscan with all the local herbs and spices. Then my DW and I are off to Bologna for their food for three days! We won’t feel compelled to eat at a Subway or Burger King the entire trip! Afterwards, we may not eat Tuscan for awhile!

     

    We’re going to Germany for the Christmas Markets in December. Looking forward to some great authentic German, not the stuff pushed off here in the States as German.

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  2. 46 minutes ago, iowananny said:

    Pinot, this has nothing to do with the topic but have you ever tried Carlise Pinot Noir.  The best I've ever had.  When I see your name I just wonder.  It comes from Sonoma Co.

    I know their Martaella PN well. Actually they are better known for their Syrah and Zin than their PN, they typically do a good job with their PN.

  3. I also challenge your assessment of the Baby Boomers. Oldest BBers were born in 1946 so at most 78 years old. Though part of the problem, I’ve been on several O cruises where being less than 80 puts one into the minority. We’re talking considerably older than BBers leading the pack of NoNos.

  4. 6 minutes ago, iowananny said:

    So many complaints about the food onboard.  I really think those in charge on O are trying to create restaurants that just don't appeal to Baby Boomers, who are their main customers but they're going to get too old to travel or worse yet they're going to die.  They have to look to the future.  Not 20- or 30-year-olds but 50- or 60-year-olds who are their next customers.

     

    A food cart in Mexico City just received a Michelan Star.  You don't get a table yet alone a tablecloth but the food tastes good.  Not just good but Michelan Star good.  I've eaten at food carts in Mexico City, and I will have to say if you find a good one you will walk away very happy.

     

    So many want the old school specialty dinners with a huge steak or several orders of escarole.  If that's what makes you happy then I think O should still make it available to you.  But I'm happy that there are now choices in what we eat.  When I go on a two week cruise I don't want a three course meal every night.  Sometimes I want something a little bit lighter and a pizza or a nice meal at Ember fills the bill.  My days of coming home gaining 10 pounds are over.

     

     

    Do you believe the NoNos are able to control the ingredients at those Mexican food carts? If the NoNos were able to, how popular would they be? How many of the items on those food carts would the NoNos currently touch? 

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  5. 4 hours ago, Redtravel said:
    The big bonus following a reno is that all cabins were available for all guests as they checked in.  No crowding in the buffet with guests waiting to get into cabins. Wish that they did that on every cruise. What a pleasure to go directly to your cabin.  

    I agree with you 100%, but am afraid we’d be in the vast minority. Other lines already do this, but boarding isn’t until 2-4 pm, a time when they have all the rooms turned around and ready. That means all those flocking to the ship at 10:00-12:00 looking for that lunch would be disappointed. I just have a peaceful lunch ashore and wait there until after the cabins are ready. 

  6. 7 hours ago, stevesol6718 said:

    Riviera just changed the port from Tokyo to Yokohama on next March/April cruises.  Now we are way over an hour from Tokyo and have to take a taxi or a train to Tokyo.  Saving on port fees?

    Fly into Haneda not Narita. Haneda is relatively close to the Yokohama port. We took a taxi from the ship to the Yokohama Shinkansen station. Relatively inexpensive and from there, Japan is at your bequest. 

  7. 2 hours ago, mauibabes said:

    IMHO, the posts about inconsistency are one persons perceptions. The only OPINION that matters is MINE and DW’s. I FIND THAT THERE ARE SOME MEALS I really like and order with regularity. I do not have a need to try every possible item or option on or off the menus, I order what I like. 
    I am guessing we have eaten over 1,000 meals on Oceania over the last 15 years and I have NEVER had a bad meal. That said, did a steak arrive under or over cooked, yes. Was a particular dish made too salty for me, yes. Did my Dover Sole have bones, yes. Did my GDR dinner for a table of 6-8 take 2+ hours, yes. Did the 2 Top next to us in Polo or Toscana or Jacques or Red Ginger finish and leave the restaurant before we and our friends had received our entrees, yes. 
    Does this mean the food was inconsistent or substandard or bad, NOT in my opinion and again, it’s MINE and DW’s opinions that are the only ones that matter.

    First timer/ Newby, CC reader, CC poster, etc, just try it, you might like it 😇👍❤️. I can assure you we are looking forward to our next cruise on Riviera so we can enjoy “The Finest Cuisine at Sea”. We are not Foodies or gourmet eaters, nor do we frequent Michelin Star Restaurants but we do enjoy our dining on Oceania and that is all that matters. 
    Enjoy,

    Mauibabes

    A thousand meals and never a bad one ! 
     

    Can I get a lottery number from you or a pick on the the Preakness? 😂

  8. 17 hours ago, chloemonkey said:

    I have done this several times before but am now drawing a BLANK!  How can I print a copy of ALL of the Shore Excursions offered for a voyage?

    Thanks,....and yes...I will probably feel very silly when I am reminded.....but hubby and I like to read them "old" school style...

    Remember the pdf is not the Bible or the 10 Commandments. It is not written in Stone. It is only valid as of the day it was sent. Shore tours may be added to, or subtracted from, those early editions. If you’re into ship tours, I’d recommend requesting a new pdf around cruise final payment date if your old one is over 60-90 days old.

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  9. I find the term “ inconsistent “ to much better describe the situation. I had an excellent meal, some ok meals, and a poor meal on my last cruise as is typically the case. 
     

    People here often rant about subjectivity. Rare are the issues subjective. If a steak or fish fillet is grotesquely overcooked, then it’s overcooked. If it’s properly cooked, it’s properly ( as ordered) cooked. Not much subjectivity in that unless one loves well done or beyond food. I you get a grisly steak and I get a great one, it’s not subjective, it’s inconsistent! It’s called inconsistency in either the kitchen, wait staff, or both. 

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  10. One of the things butlers do:

     

    On our last cruise, the lady next door died of a heart attack on day 5 or 6. Starting the next day, while still attending to passengers ice and water needs, the butler had the pack every thing up of what was supposed to be a 51 day cruise by the couple.

     

    Not only did everything have to be packed, but a complete inventory made of what went into each suitcase. Likewise, security had to be called and the safe opened. Everything therein was inventoried and signed off by him and security. Those items, in the safe, were combined with valuable items such as cameras, iPads, and other items to valuable to go into a suitcase.

     

    The room stewards were only available a short amount of time to assist him, as they had other duties on a full ship in their areas. This was a tedious time consuming task. She was one of 5 that I know of that left the ship unexpectedly to not return. No clue who performed those functions for the other passengers.

     

    Sometimes, even when they try, our simple concerns aren’t at the top of their bucket list.

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  11. 16 minutes ago, lorimay said:

    You are not alone with this experience. Our butler on the Marina was also useless. We don't ask a lot, but were very clear on the first day that we wanted sparkling water available (we don't drink alcohol) and ice at all times. By day 3, our ice bucket was never refilled daily and there was no more sparkling water. We asked the room attendant and she said that was the butler's job. He did get us a couple of extra dinner reservations, but we never even saw him most of the time. Never came to our cabin to check on us. We saw him once while we were dining in Red Ginger - it looked like he was picking up a meal for someone else - and he avoided eye contact and didn't even stop to say hello. This is one of the reasons why we have never bothered to pay for a PH again. 

    The phone system has an easy paging system for one’s butler. I use it whenever I need him. In your case, I would have paged him concerning your needs. A nasty comment on the mid cruise survey would have likely corrected the issue also if continued.

     

    We’ve only had one poor butler. Strange thing is we’d had him once before and he’d performed wonderfully. One never knows.

     

    A question, to which I’ve never contemplated or inquired, are the ships likewise carbonating and producing their own sparkling water? In the dining venues , I often see sparkling water poured from a jar similar to the still water. Other times it comes from a commercial retail bottle. I always assumed it was done by guests requests or possibly the shortage of ship generated sparkling. The two tastes very differently. Anyone know for sure?

  12. I believe Gary gave a very good list of some of the possibilities. Actually they’ll attempt to achieve most any requests one has. There in lies the important part: requests. A lot of people are pure, or nearly so, DIYers. They’d rather sit on hold, and then talk to a perhaps untrained phone rep than use their TA. Except for a few perks, they never use their TA. We allow our TA to take care of any issues that might arise and never do the 1-800-thingy. There are a lot of things one’s TA can do if requested.

     

    Same goes with the butler. Some people refuse to use any services they can provide, others might do so minimally. I’ve seen some that prefer to stand in the Specialty reservations line because they prefer to DIY as opposed to asking the butler. I’m not saying our butler is always capable of getting that extra reservation when and where we want it, but a no from him is typically 85% accurate and the wait in line isn’t typically worth success the other 15%. 
     

    Long story short: It is what you make it. Mostly your choice. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask, don’t receive. Personal choice. Happy cruising.

     

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  13. 8 minutes ago, Robjame said:

    My question is, will there be an increase in the number of “Sommeliers” at meal time?
    Those who have been on the house beverage package before know the difficulty, sometimes, in locating someone to bring a drink as the servers can’t do this. Now all guests will have the package and we all know how people love taking advantage of free things.

    On my recent cruise I didn’t notice any increase in staffing of the wine stewards. What I do believe is, as they get to know the individual drinkers, they increase the size of the pour so to not have to come around as often. Those 4-5 Oz pours became 6-7 Oz ones.

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  14. 18 minutes ago, QuestionEverything said:

    A good morning pinotlover.

    Thank you for your post.

    You have cruised much. Do you have thoughts on why passengers are the last to know?

    This is very disturbing.

    Oceania, especially the CD, would rather not listen to 1-3 days of complaining . Except in the rare case of some very localized weather, all the decisions are made in Miami. Miami makes a decision and the ship’s crew bears the brunt.

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  15. In all my experiences with Oceania, except TC and Waves obviously, we have always been escorted to our table from the hostess station; seated, hand our napkins placed; and handed a menu. Always! There was never a wait to get a menu. If Clo experienced anything other than this procedure, it was definitely out of the norms. We never received a menu from our waiter.

     

    How long we might have to wait to place an order can vary significantly, but never having a menu.

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  16. One small comment. All the above comments have been about the TA, as in the Travel Agency. Nothing has yet be said about the other TA, or Travel Agent. Not all Travel Agents working for an OCC Travel Agency are Oceania specialists. 
     

    If only perks matter, I suppose getting a quote will suffice. However, if one wants a bit more from their Travel Agent, it takes more exploration than just identifying an OCC.

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  17. I believe the TC is obviously best for you. 
     

    We’re never into the 39 minute Applebee’s meal. We don’t require 2 tops. Different strokes for different folks. Many of our memorable meals on Oceania have been wonderfully pace meals with new diverse passengers. Something many disdain. 

  18. 21 minutes ago, osandomir said:

    Even if the ingredients are similar the presentation and the final product is different when it’s plated and served to you from the kitchen. I believe that this is what matters when we choose to eat in the restaurant.

    I agree wholeheartedly. The only question is how the majority of Oceania cruisers, on any given cruise, differentiates this! 

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  19. 23 minutes ago, BioInfoLib said:

    Hi @pinotlover - I think you may have been asking me those questions as I am the one who mentioned the duck salad.


    Wow - your experience with it on the Riviera sounds very disappointing! I’d be asking my server for a menu and pointing out what was missing and asking for the salad to be replaced. Very disappointing that a dish so different than what it should be was allowed to leave the kitchen.

     

    When is say “spicy”, I usually do mean heat. But when I say “spices”, I mean those flavorful, aromatic add-ins that can make a dish complex, layered, and region specific. They don’t have to have heat. That steamed ginger cake in Red Ginger was amazing - the ginger (and who knows what else) in the cake matched so well with the cardamom in the ice cream - definitely spices but not hot!

     

    And while I don’t think fish sauce is spicy, I do think it is pungent! And the Thai beef salad I make would be nothing without it. I’ve never thought of fish sauce as sweet - that’s the wording from the Vista menu and that was a bit surprising to me. I’m not a duck girl but at least on two nights on the Vista in December that salad was amazing. It is very disappointing that it was such a poor substitute on the Riviera.

    Forgive me if my post was aggressive. We have almost always loved the dish. Just saying that Miami has a rule that the Specialty dish be served 7/365 regardless of ingredient availability. We even had a restaurant chef apologize a Specialty course because Miami dictated it be served regardless. 
     

    I can love a wonderfully flavorful dish that excites the taste glands while not calling it “ spicy “. Spice does not have to indicate heat, but it is often described independently of sweetness. While I can love properly prepared key lime pie and its wonderful flavors, I don’t call it spicy. Is a beautiful crème brûlée spicy? Do NoNos get to vote?

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