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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. Just for general knowledge sake, since you start booking ship tours a year in advance, how often, or how many times during the course of that year, do you request a new tour pdf for each cruise?
  2. The “ whisper “ systems used on my lines are efficient and preferred by most over trying to hear the voice of a talking guide. They have their advantages and disadvantages for both the guides and the tour participants so they get varying use.
  3. I have found ouTA fully competent in this area. All I have to do is send her an email, anything 24 hours a day, of what we want and it’s done. If one prefers to spend time on the phone, or is otherwise bored with nothing else to do, then calling Oceania is the thing for you. Myself, I have golf to play and a yard to mow, all that including cleaning up storm damage from last weekend. Whatever rocks your boat. Some people are far more into DIY than others.
  4. The only question I see is who are the picky eaters: 1. the NoNos; 2. People wanting flavors, herbs, and spices? 🤔
  5. They didn’t on Riveria and hopefully not on Marina. We don’t stay aboard for lunches normally, and on the rare nights we can sit on the outside Terrace at night, we enjoy watching the stars. Last thing we want is a cover hiding the sky! Obviously not a popular position.
  6. So 50ish %. Not uncommon at all. We had a large GoNext group on my last cruise that were all mostly newbies. I think we ran About 50% repeaters.
  7. People have to understand, they don’t always get to choose in these matters. As FF has frequently posted in the past, Oceania has often taken booked b2b and converted them to an Extended Voyage which typically resulted in fewer cruise credits. For several years there was an array of combinations of segments making b2b even difficult to find. That has now changed when it’s in Oceania’s best interest. The decision on whether a cruise is an Extended Voyage, a Grand Voyage, two Extended Voyages b2b, or multiple b2b lies solely with Oceania. One can have their TA attempt to affect that decision, but in the end, O decides.
  8. 😂. You probably never read my rants back pre Covid “ The Terrace is for Teatotallers!” Your experience has been long felt and discussed. Additionally, as you state, it may get worse with SM. I say may because so many O cruisers don’t drink for various reasons. Having free wine or beer won’t change that. Personally, we avoid the TC at dinner. We enjoy being served opposed to serving ourselves. We enjoy the leisurely paced meals in the GDR while typically sharing a table with fellow travelers, and importantly to this thread, except for the rare evening, overall service including beverage service is far better in the GDR. I have experienced far too many instances of poor or no adult beverage service in the TC. I once sat for over a half hour refusing to go through the buffet until I placed my wine order. The waiters kept coming around asking if there was a problem and I’d tell them “ yes, no wine steward “. The restaurant mgr came by and asked what the problem was. He’d assured me he’d take care of it. Ten minutes later he’s back, still no wine steward. He finally got me a glass himself. About two minutes later a wine steward appeared for the only time. Plenty of good food elsewhere on the ship.
  9. While I agree there are a very tiny number of boutique Travel Agency, some which might primarily concentrate on Oceania and Regent, that universe is small. As continually demonstrated on this Forum, many of we cruisers are not solely wed to Oceania. While my TA is a high volume Oceania seller, my of those cruisers likewise sail Azamara and Celebrity. Being a boutique, and not a member of a Consortium, may mean the Agency avoids Consortium fees, but it also means they miss out on the various Consortium deals for many lines that aren’t available to the otherwise small volume Agencies. If one is a dedicated Oceania only cruiser, then the boutique will work very well. If not, a member of a prominent Consortium will work better. That is , of course, except for those that change Agents like they change their underwear.
  10. Nothing unusual about those numbers. I’ve been on O cruises where the percentage has ranged from about 50% to a high of 82% repeaters. Your number is within that normal range. Several factors seem to affect these numbers including season, location of cruise, and very importantly if Oceania ran country or regional specific sales on certain cruises. I was on a cruise back in 18 with a significant number of Germans and Austrians. Found out that Oceania, wanting to attract new blood from that market, had ran very specific sales within that market. The campaign worked and I got to practice my German regularly on that cruise in that combined the two countries equaled the number of Americans aboard.
  11. Oceania doesn’t have glass doors separating the stairwell/elevator area and the hallway corridor. It does have metal partitions that separate the two that are most always open. The only time I’ve ever seen them closed was on my last cruise during Boardamania. The staff had closed and locked off the partitions to keep guest out of the cabin areas until those rooms were called.First time I had seen that done, but not normally there for Boardamania. As far as your exact cabin location, I’d suggest you view the deck plan for your ship which is easily obtainable. It is rare when people complain about noise from the elevator areas. Happens occasionally, but rare.
  12. But I bet it’s not NoNo chili, so forget about it! 😇
  13. Why? Just hit delete and move on. If from O, and they happen to get their back side together, you’ll probably get another request. Otherwise, you wasted no one’s time including your own.
  14. Be careful, you’ll be branded for your negativity!! 😂 Spot on on analysis however! 😇
  15. You will find that many of us wait until 7:15 or later to go the Terrace or the GDR to give those with mobility issues plenty of time to accommodate their needs .
  16. Be advised that the promenade deck is more narrow than you may be accustomed to, and will thus be closed much quicker than on other ships in comparable seas. It can be great on pleasant sea days, but quickly shut down on any signs of inclement weather.
  17. Milt request to do a survey looked suspicious. I deleted immediately and never opened.
  18. I only see a few negative reviews here. Perhaps if food is subjective, then negativity is likewise so. When I give a cruise review and say we had a great cruise; here are 9 things that went very well; and here is one shortcoming, I view that as a positive review. Others pick up on the one shortcoming and call it negative. I relate this to the quagmire in Education with its outrageous grade inflation. GPAs went up while national test scores went down. In 2022 88% of graduates had a 3.0 gpa or above with a median of 3.42. How did a C become a bad grade? Why is near anything lower than straight A’s suddenly looked poorly upon? A “C” is good and good is good. The world isn’t either an A or an F! If someone says something is good not excellent, that’s not intended to be a negative response. It’s OK, it’s acceptable. Not every meal is, or is going to be, excellent and that’s acceptable, especially since most are good. People often read negatively into things that aren’t intended to be negative.
  19. 20/?? Absolutely a few of us would go, but your example testifies how few. On Az it’s nearly the entire ship. I’m just saying different cruise lines have different vibes and different clientele. That clientele often segregates because of those differences into the various lines. Trying to superimpose one culture onto another is difficult at best.
  20. Would never work on an O ship unless a promise was made to have everyone back to their cabins before 9:00 pm. Different lines have different programs. Though interesting this won’t work on many O ships. The 9:15/9:30 show is well past the bedtime of many O cruisers.
  21. Now, for some, the upside of the above changes being fair to O. With the different booking numbers for those long segments, one can now make their full allocation of dining reservations for each segment separately. Likewise, now with SM, they actually get more SM tour credits than on an extended journey.
  22. I just believe we’re all so different it’s impossible to please everyone. Some cruise for the ports, others for the ship. Some are happy with a perfectly quiet sedate ship atmosphere, others become bored by it. Some are NoNos , others definitely aren’t. We have a multitude here locally that go to Gulf Shores, Al twice per year. Only place they ever go and haven’t been South of Tallahassee. Others travel the world. My b-I-l goes to the exact same restaurant and orders the same meal every week. We love to explore the variety of restaurants, and food groups, and rarely hit any restaurants more than once a year. He’d be much happier on a cruise line than I that hasn’t changed their Specialties menu in 20 years. Others are the same. Can’t keep everyone happy. Going to Freeport, ME, Charleston, SC; or Gulf Shores doesn’t have to mean one is necessarily better, it means they’re different. Going on O, Viking; SS, or EJ, versus always sailing O isn’t a case of which is best; but doing something different. Similar to my b-i-l, some don’t like different. How does Oceania account for that in its daily operations and loyalty programs? For those of you watching, Oceania did sneak in a new policy this year. The sum of the segments can now be less than the credits awarded, but not more. If you now book a 10 day + 10 day cruise = 20 days = 1 extended journeys = 1 cruise credit. Been this way for awhile. However, if you now book a 20 day segment + 17 day segment = 37 days or oops, no longer. Now just separate back to backs and 2 cruise credits. You don’t get the 3 credits as in the past.
  23. Here’s my view. Except on the international nights in the TC, both the TC and the GDR now offer the same dishes at dinner. If one prefers to eat their meals quickly and leave, the TC offers the best option. If one prefers to be served and have a nice leisurely dinner, the GDR is there for you. The GDR is not staff to provide diners the quick turnaround meal. Asking the staff to do so means you’re interrupting the flow for the other customers. Rather selfish, imo. Go to the TC and chomp down at your own pace, or enjoy the meal at a leisurely pace as set by the kitchen and staff in the GDR. What’s so hard about this? Just don’t expect it both ways.
  24. Well actually the topic of change got a bit of conversation over dinner one night on my Riveria cruise. Oceania is in the process of making two very intertwined changes that may affect us all a lot. First, the end of the R ship era. The major significance here: although there are occasional exceptions ( the ATW) the cheerleaders will quickly bring up, the demographics of the R ship passengers are typically much older than on the other ships. So much so that some refuse to cruise R ships on that account. A friend we’ve sailed with in the past was talking about his extended holiday cruise. He said “I’ve never seen so many wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers on one ship in my life. 7 days of sedate and quiet can be relaxing. 14 days of sedation can be tedious. 21 days of sedate and quiet and I’m screaming at the walls. 30 something and I need a straight jacket and a padded room. There’s more human energy in a morgue than on our cruise!” What happens when a large percentage of those R ship passengers transition to an A or O ship, joining similar passengers? Perhaps 1000-1500 more integrated in. Add in the transition to SM when all those passengers feel obligated to sign up for ship tours whether they’re able to do them or not! The OP is correct, times are changing. I believe the change may become quite noticeable.
  25. Pinotage is one of the varieties that is uniformly poor in overall quality. An excellent pinotage might rate a 91-92. Many/ most are below that. Many of other varieties blow that away.
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