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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. We had them triple rafted. Ours, the ship going in the opposite direction with the same itinerary, and a third with a different itinerary. We didn’t do Tournon, had to miss it. A very low IQ lady on our ship decided she wanted to visit the identical Longship rafted next us us, then got into a long conversation with those passengers. She had come aboard previously but hadn’t checked out when hopping on the other ship. Captain sounds all aboard, and we depart shortly thereafter. Suddenly, at bit down stream, we’re turning around in the river and heading back to pick her up. This all eats up a bit of time which meant we missed our scheduled appointment at the next lock. There we had to sit for several hours before another slot was available. End result, no Tournon. That fellow passenger was not held in high esteem the remainder of the cruise. Perhaps by now Tain Hermitage is limiting the number of boats they allow to dock.
  2. A new thread started today with a poster staying on the ship during Boardamania in Barcelona to eat lunch in the GDR! 🙄 After a long TA, with multiple sea days, they stay on the ship in Barcelona!!! For Boardamania!! So much spectacular food and things to do in Barcelona . He was exited to do lunch in the GDR. Stopped reading the thread at that point. He’s a true Cruiser or they were having hail, lightning, torrential downpours, and a bit of brimstone.
  3. You should see some of the small cities in the Mosel or Rhone get slammed with 10-12 of those boats in a day,along with all the tour buses with them. Viking triple rafts, Uniworld double, then AMA, Avalon, CroisiEurpoe, Tauck, & Scenic all slamming Tain at the same time. Then the paying guests from the hotels! Even cities like Heidelberg needs to ban all tour buses from the castle to the river, and at least 1.5 km each way from the Rathaus and cathedral.
  4. Your point is well taken for the Embarkment or disembarkment city of cruises, river or ocean . However, for those ports in the middle the story can be quite different. Cities such as Barcelona and Venice are now only allowing those cruises that start or depart from their cities to dock their. Other, just visiting cruises, dock a couple hours away.
  5. As one frustrated Barcelona shop keeper said “ They don’t hesitate to bring their own food off the ship, why do they never bring their own toilet paper from the ship?” 🤬
  6. If in a rush, I’d advise against either venue. Otherwise , order a drink, particularly coffee and/or juice, have them at the table. Place your napkin in your seat, then get your food. A commonly recognized etiquette is napkin etiquette, which many ignore. 1. Your napkin goes on your lap, just like waiters place it there. 2. If you depart your chair temporarily, the napkin goes on your seat. Never put a used napkin on your table. 3. If you have finished your meal, leaving your napkin on the table indicates to the staff, upon your departure, you have finished your meal. Long and short, if one haphazardly leaves their napkin on the table to go after more food, you should well expect a cleared table upon return. Leaving it on your chair means you’re coming back.
  7. 4000-6000 passengers cruise ships are insane. Having 3/4 in town at once is beyond that. I do believe that the massive ocean cruise ships will find fewer ports they are allowed to visit in the very near future. Isn’t a 6,000 passenger cruise ship a display of arrogance at some level?
  8. For European cities, the best fix is for the individual cities to establish significant size “ No Tour Bus Zones” in the heart of the towns. Rothenburg adT can be over packed, but imagine if they allowed tour buses inside the walls! Do the same in the other major cities, keep the tour buses out of the inner zones, and make the people walk. We were ( regrettably) on a Viking cruise in Hermitage several years back. The city square is not very large( maybe 150x75 yards), but the Viking buses made three stops around that small square picking up and dropping off passengers, backing up all traffic as they did so. For the down town part of that visit there was no reason passengers couldn’t walk from where the boats were docked. Viking had three ships rafted in that small town and about 20 tour buses lined up all trying to depart about the same time. Absolutely that should be limited. Tain Hermitage should ban all buses in that downtown area.
  9. Easy answer. They don’t always release the tours exactly 365 days in advance! That one year date is not written in stone. Have patience. Some new tours are released at 6-7 months pre cruise.
  10. I believe that Oceania’s self vision of what their restaurants are, and what they want them to be, is evident in their enforcement of any published dress code. What Oceania wants it to be, is what they enforce. Our individual wishes and desires of what it should be have zero value. Their ship, their rules.
  11. As I reported from my recent cruise, once aboard many found plenty of availability for ship tours that had been waitlisted and even closed to new bookings. Best to wait until aboard and talk to Destination Services. DS didn’t understand why a waitlist existed, but was glad to sign people up for the tours.
  12. So accordingly if you ordered beef Wellington and they served you beef bologna , in an filo dough, and you like bologna then that’s OK??? I bet you’re a fan of the infamous piccata Marsala dish Oceania serves that is neither piccata nor Marsala. What’s in a name anyway? Why should anyone be disappointed if their hamburger is made from chopped liver, what’s in a name?
  13. As a side note, I believe all but the senior staff are actually employed by Apollo. The employment contract is actually with Apollo, not Oceania, and that contract spells out compensation and benefits. As with any and every employment Agency, what the Agency is paid may not mirror what the worker is paid. The Apollo Group supplies personnel to multiple cruise lines. Fwiw, the company has a majority share holder by the initials of FDR, unless he has sold out in the very recent past.
  14. Bland dishes and sauces. Made up Americanized recipes. NoNos don’t like garlic, so don’t expect garlic even in dishes that call for it. Nothing new here folks. Remember the NoNo call all these dishes excellent.
  15. Yep, forget about Cleford that I haven’t met. I should have known since the Shoe only works Marina.
  16. Not a similar cruise. The missing link for O cruisers is port fees. Barcelona, Venice, Dubrovnik, etc., have been both drastically reducing the number of cruise passengers ( thus ships) allowed, but likewise drastically increasing port fees for those ships that do make it in. While labor, food, and fuel costs have all increased; it’s a worthless exercise to compare cruise prices without including port fees. Recenting read a cruise industry rag talking about this issue. Those of us signing up for cruises two (2) plus years in advance may find ourselves more and more disappointed as many of the ports opt to reduce ship visits.
  17. Was this Peter the Shoe which is my least favorite CD of ALL? Any line, any time! 🤬
  18. I wear a hat regularly. I wear a hat to play golf, mow or work in the yard, keep the sun out of my eyes and not burn my head. I remove them indoors and always at meals. If you don’t like the hat, or never wear one fine, mine is ok and I like the price!
  19. Each to their own. For those that wear jackets or blazers, I have seen newly acquired pins proudly displayed on those blazers. Then not so much until the next award. I have seen Diamond and Double Diamond wear theirs regularly. When 80% of the ship are repeaters, perhaps the blue pin doesn’t mean as much. Afterwards, maybe more. Maybe obtaining Platinum status is a highlight of one’s entire career. They may feel more accomplished doing so than others and proudly display their pins.
  20. Only as long as you don’t forget to pack the backpack like I did for Japan, then it really came in handy. Very cool mornings so sweaters or windbreaker. Then off later into the bag. What to do with the water bottles and telephoto lenses? Into the bag. It was a saving backup!
  21. We do blind wine tastings regularly. The results can be both amusing and staggering. An easy way to discover who still has a palate and a sense of taste. A large number of the elderly learn ( if they didn’t already realize) theirs is long gone. I often do blind taste tests at the start of some of my beginner wine classes. You’d be amazed at the number of people that can’t identify blackberry juice from blueberry juice; or strawberry from cranberry. A lot of people are scared of actual blind tests because of what they quickly reveal.
  22. My often repeated advice for the newbies is to dramatically curb your expectations. Perfect example being my recent cruise where about half the ship were newbies. Continued stream of complaints and/or disappointment with the food. They had completely; hook, line, and sinker; bought into the marketing pizzazz of “ finest cuisine at sea” and had boarded with oversized expectations of what that cuisine would be. Disappointment could only result when expectations are so high. Be realistic, you’re on a ship, most often at sea, which is feeding a large number of people. The food can be very good at times, but this isn’t a Michelin star experience. Don’t come in expecting it.
  23. Finally the truth of the situation ! All the mega ships seemed to depart relatively early. We have been there on both the Marina and Vista, that didn’t depart until 8-9 Pm. In both cases, we waited until after 6 pm to take the gondola down. No crowd, easy peasy, back on board by 7. Both days we had wonderful tours, great wine tastings, and memorable days. Driving during rush hour can be a personal decision. Standing in line for a gondola at three, when the ship doesn’t leave until 8 is a personal decision. Great food in Santorini, cry me no tears if i go you choose to stand in line so to make a 6:30 dinner reservation. Like any other line that was a personal decision. We had drinks and enjoyed the moment.
  24. I believe it’s a policy issue.The table is far too small and the issue of keeping the patio door closed instead of opened up.
  25. 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.
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