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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. Seems to me, we had a gentleman come on the ship, during docking, and sit up a table to sell local currency. The exchange rate wasn’t exceptional but adequate, and getting $20 worth of Kroner proved handy. Our lunches were paid by cc.
  2. 1. The dish was obviously prepared for the NoNos. 2. The onboard chefs have zero control over the quality of meat and other products they serve. Miami alone makes those purchases either by current availability and/or budgetary considerations. The chefs cook what Miami sends them. The next resupply is almost certainly already sitting on the dock awaiting the ship; and the resupply after that is already purchased and enroute. All that sinewy meat isn’t going to be ground up for hamburger. It will be cooked the best they can. 3. The NoNos have won the day. Adding samba, tobasco, and other additions to a meal results in entirely different flavors and tastes than having a dish prepared with the proper herbs and spices the dish calls for. If a dish needs a bit of herbs de Provence, thyme, curry, oregano to enhance the flavors, or add more authenticity , it should be done during cooking. Having the NoNos continue to say “ Just add tobasco, I want mine bland”, doesn’t solve the issue.
  3. Since 2020, and Covid, the best price guarantee has been until final payment. Very distinctly in the T&Cs. Before FP was sometimes not until 90 days pre cruise, depending upon length of cruise. I believe most have now moved to 150 days or more, thus shortening the span. The other confusing point , for some, was that the guarantee was only for Oceania published sales, not sales ran by On Line Agencies or “ silent “ sales.
  4. Buying any alcoholic beverages in the Nordic countries , including Denmark, is outrageously expensive due to taxes. You bring what you may want or buy from the ship.
  5. For those future Japan cruisers, I thought I’d bring up one last thought not yet mentioned. Similar to New Zealand, and some other countries, it is prohibited to take fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, etc off the ship in Japan. We daily got the briefing from the CD before leaving for tours. At some ports, our belongings were searched, at a couple of the ports we were met by the friendly sniffing dogs. Japan has fabulous food and a delight to try all the different regional specialties. Just don’t plan a picnic with food from the ship.
  6. I have been on two different F&WT winery sponsored cruises. We had several exclusive wine tastings and a reception away from the regular passengers, along with a few exclusive winery tours. None of those impacted any other Oceania cruiser. We did have one Group wine dinner, in the PG, that was paired with wine from the host winery. It did count as our guaranteed meal there. In that the wine flowed very generously, we may have become a little noisy! 🥸😇! I will add that , much like the GoNext cruises, our groups of 50-75 trended perhaps 25 years younger on average that the normal Oceania crowd. We were the oldsters in both Groups. So neither cruise may have been as sedate as some prefer, but by no means rowdy.
  7. Perhaps they no longer do. In 2015 they certainly did. Made visits to downtown, the Valrhona chocolate factory/shop and out to a Croze-Hermitage winery. It was an all day visit.
  8. To start: Absolutely. Even finding garlic in a dish demanding garlic is a rarity. The odds of getting good lobster is about 3 in 10.Mushy or overcooked. The last couple times I had the lobster risotto in Toscana, the lobster could have been rubber bands. Just as tough, chewy, and tasteless. On the Vista we had trouble in the TC cutting our lobster tails with a steak knife. Long and short - enough other good food to take a 3/10 risk with lobster. I’ve had wonderful Lobster Thermidor and been served it uneatable .Bring out the chainsaw to cut it. 3/10 just not worth it. One of the problems that the ship cooks have is a strict Oceania policy. This policy helps lead to inconsistent meals. As explained to us by the head restaurant chef on Sirena, Oceania has a policy that says if the ship is sailing 7/365, then the items on Specialty menus will be served 7/365. Well, outside of the main ingredient, that may not be practical. Example our recent cruise. We typically love the spicy duck watermelon salad. First, all the spice is gone. The NoNos have gotten tamarind eliminated from most items. That however was not the main problem. The only watermelon on the ship was grossly unripe. We’re talking most all of the melon was white with almost no red. It wasn’t served at breakfast in the TC for several days for obvious reasons. Most of us can easily understand that ripe watermelon may not be available everywhere in the world every day. I don’t believe that even a U.S. Dennys restaurant would have served the dish. They would have just told patrons it’s currently not available. That however is against Oceania policy. It gets served 7/365. The waiter told me I’d get the same thing if reordered. He’d had lots of complaints.The chef knows what’s being served, he knows it shouldn’t be served. Miami says it gets served regardless. Complaining to ship staff is about your gratification, won’t affect Miami . The queen cut prime rib is typically good, in PG,, as well as lamb, when they have good quality meat.. The Dover sole in Jacques is great, along with the escargot, however Jacques is only on two ships. The quality of veal, on the ship, varies a lot. This has more to do with the quality of the meat itself than preparation which is likewise inconsistent. The lobster bisque in PG has extra lobster chunks and you get that nice splash of cognac. Only lobster bisque I think worth eating on the ship. They have a tempura dish in RG which is an insult to tempura. The fish is unseasoned, thickly coated with some breaded batter, and plain bad. It would be like calling unseasoned KFC tempura chicken .
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?” 🤬
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Yep, forget about Cleford that I haven’t met. I should have known since the Shoe only works Marina.
  24. 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.
  25. Was this Peter the Shoe which is my least favorite CD of ALL? Any line, any time! 🤬
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