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Found 46 results

  1. OMG--after the cancellation deadline passed yesterday, they have changed the first port from St. Barts to St. Maartens!!!!!! Did anyone see that? We are already visiting Martinique. This is not cool. One of the only reasons we stayed because out of the entire itinerary, St. Barts was the draw. NOT OK! I am totally disappointed in Oceania and the way they have handled this. We have cancel for any reason insurance--we will be cancelling unless this is corrected.
  2. Hi Oceania family…especially those who will be sailing with us during this great adventure! I’m starting this “Live From” thread today so that anyone who will be sailing on the world cruise and its segments can start posting their preparations for and travel to the 3 ports of embarkation…New York City on 1/11, Miami on 1/14 and Los Angeles on 1/30, as well as the segment embarkation ports along the way. I will be posting to the thread, of course, but this is also an opportunity for anyone sailing on this Insignia cruise to share their stories and adventures too. I’m hoping that it will also serve as a place for us to communicate with each other as we travel. To all of you who are not on the Insignia…please feel free to ask any questions or share your comments as we travel the world. I hope this thread can serve as a source of information for those who will sail the world cruise in 2020 and later years. I have gained a lot of helpful knowledge in reading previous world cruise Live Threads and Blogs, so maybe this can pay it forward. Some statistics: the entire cruise will visit 5 continents, 36 countries, 35 islands, 91 ports, 96 Unesco World Heritage Sites, 2 oceans and 16 seas. There will be 14 overnight stays, 2 equator crossings, 1 international date line crossing, 24 time zone crossings and 46,925 nautical miles sailed going east to west. The city with the largest population will be Tokyo and the smallest population will be Monte Carlo. Overnight stays will be in Bali, Indonesia; Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai, China; Hong Kong, China; Saigon, Vietnam; Bangkok, Thailand; Rangoon, Myanmar; Luxor, Egypt; Jerusalem, Israel; Lisbon, Portugal; Bordeaux, France and St. George, Bermuda. There will be 8 segments: New York City to Los Angeles; Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia; Sydney to Tokyo, Japan; Tokyo to Singapore; Singapore to Dubai, UAE; Dubai to Rome, Italy; Rome to Southampton, England; and Southampton to Miami. Our story: Connie and I are good friends who met 30+ years ago in nursing school. We’ve traveled together many times and had decided to take a “big” cruise when I retired (which just happened a week ago!), so about 2 years ago we started thinking of where to visit. We read about world cruises and began researching those offered by different cruise lines…which differed in the amenities offered, itinerary, type of ship and cost. We narrowed the choice down to Oceania and booked it on the day bookings opened up in 2017. We really liked this itinerary…includes most of our bucket list locations and also goes to places we’ve been to before but are looking forward to seeing again. Having now spent thousands of hours of preparation, we are very excited to get underway. The last thing we have left to do is to get our luggage picked up on Jan. 17, then we leave for LA on 1/28. We’ll spend 2 nights at the Beverly Wilshire hotel (where O is putting us up), tour LA and board the ship on 1/30. Can’t wait to meet everyone in about 3 weeks!
  3. https://www.smartertravel.com/how-dirty-is-your-cruise-ship/
  4. Anyone on the July 18 cruise to Cuba that is now Caribbean? I can’t find out what they are offering passengers. Anyone know?
  5. Looking to book on Insignia. On Riviera we made frequent use of the Concierge Executive Lounge, especially for very early coffee, tea and pastry. My husband considers this a deal breaker. Where can one get coffee at 6:00AM?
  6. Have never sailed on the Insignia and worried about the size of their veranda/balcony cabins. Can anyone tell me they are ok ? They look small but lovely after the refurbishment. Arl_nocaps
  7. Any pix of new suites.....bathrooms, closets, etc?
  8. We are on our first Oceania cruise in July (Insignia to Cuba). We paid with our AMEX Platinum card. In addition to getting $300 in shipboard credit, we will also get to attend a premium wine tasting event and select a bottle of wine from the tasting menu. Can anyone fill me in on what the wine tasting involves, and what the limitations are (if any) in terms of selecting our bottle of wine?
  9. We are on our first Oceania cruise in July (Insignia to Cuba). We paid with our AMEX Platinum card. In addition to getting $300 in shipboard credit, we will also get to attend a premium wine tasting event and select a bottle of wine from the tasting menu. Can anyone fill me in on what the wine tasting involves, and what the limitations are (if any) in terms of selecting our bottle of wine?
  10. On our 14 day Insignia cruise departing July 28th, I noticed that Monday August 5th has been changed from Antigua to St. Kitts. 9:00 A.M.- 6:00 P.M.
  11. We were on the Celebrity Reflection this past summer and the WiFi worked great. We were able to use our iPhones to text our grandchildren in Florida from the middle of The Mediterranean using the ship's WiFi ...How is the WiFi onboard The Insignia? I know they offer free Wifi for one device at a time....is there an upgrade we can purchase to have two devices connected at the same time?
  12. We are looking at the 2021 Insignia ATW cruise. We have not been on Oceania previously so do not know if a 216 sq foot room ( the concierge suite) would be adequate for a cruise that lasts 180 days. Would it be a mistake to book one of the concierge rooms? We have found Seabourn(veranda) and Regent (PH) suites which are slightly larger to be fine for 30 to 60 day cruises. Thanks for your thoughts
  13. Hubby and I are looking at an anniversary cruise on Oceania next year - as it’s a special anniversary we are looking to upgrade somewhat and Oceania looks appealing. Noted though that we would only have 1 reservation per speciality restaurant - usually we pay on P&O Britannia and go in Epicurean every night - so a bit disappointing to see the restriction. I’m wanting to know how flexible this would be though - if you have used your allocation is that it or are they flexible and allow multiple bookings. I know I’m comparing apples and oranges here but how does the main restaurant compare to more mainstream cruise lines - P&O’s main restaurant is not great hence the Epicurean reservations!! Also - how many guests do the speciality restaurants accommodate - I’m thinking if they are only small, reservations might be an issue. Thanks all for your responses in advance.
  14. We have a summer sailing out of NYC on Insignia. How early can we board the ship? We live in the area so not looking to spend anytime in NY that day, just spend as much time on the ship to get settled, etc.
  15. Has anyone experienced both of these ships recently? I would be interested in seeing pictures from the most recent refurbishment of the Insignia especially the B1 veranda level rooms. I assume the rooms would be the same on Sirenia which is due for its upgrade soon. Do the showers have curtains or glass doors? . I’m trying to decide between the 2 ships for their Cuba itinerary. I think specialty restaurants are different, with Sirena having the Asian grill and the Tuscan grill and toscana combo which I think I would prefer. How about the overall maintenance/condition of the ships ? I thought I read of significant engine noise on level 7 on Insignia , which surprised me. How about plumbing issues? On our last few cruises on Marina, it seemed like every few days toilets in certain areas would not flush and would require the maintenance crew to repair by executing a power flush of the system .wasnt a real issue, but concerned me that it seemed to happen more than once. Anyone do the Cuba itinerary on board these ships? Thanks for any responses
  16. I am sure this has been asked before and please be nice. The Oceania website lists most Oceanview rooms as 165 sq. ft. and Veranda as 216 sq. ft. The layout diagram seems to show them the same on the inside. Is the 51 sq. foot difference due to the Balcony or are the Veranda cabins significantly larger inside.
  17. Picking a cabin on Insignia on deck 7 near the laundry room and would like to be on the other side of the ship to avoid possible noise but still be as close to the middle of the ship as my category cabin will permit. Now you know my criteria. Not sure she's the same as the other R ships.
  18. Our cruise on the Insignia begins this July 28... how far in advance do the reservations for specialty restaurants open online for booking?
  19. Wanted to make sure Oceania passengers saw our coverage from some recent events. We toured Insignia in New York (after the refurb) and also took part in a Dom Perignon experience that is rolling out on Riviera and Marina this month. Questions, let me know!
  20. Is there a separate shower or is it a bathtub/shower combo?
  21. Insignia just came out of dry dock and the ship is beautiful. Our veranda cabin is decorated in muted shades of gray and white, and the storage configuration is quite efficient. The public areas of the ship are also quite lovely. We are four-time Oceania passengers, and have had good experiences in the past. We are definitely not high maintenance people, and can normally let slide a few shortcomings without any concern. We are on our second full day on board, and there are more than a few glitches. The telephone in our cabin has not been operational, despite three times letting the reception staff know. (In fact, it seems we have had to go down to the reception desk too many times already for just two days on the ship.) No phone means no room service, no way to reach our steward, and probably most important - no way to contact anyone if there should be an emergency in the middle of the night. We are, however, grateful that we are not one of the other passengers on board who apparently have no A/C in their cabins. Guess the phone not working is not as bad as trying to sleep in the humid hot weather we are experiencing. We decided to do a load of laundry today, bought the tokens, and the machine soap dispenser is broken, so we were locked into a half hour of washing clothes in the latched machine with no detergent. Reported it to reception, it could not be fixed, and they seem to have no interest in even putting a sign on the machine to let others know. Decided not to start over, so we are now waiting for our wet but not cleaned clothes to go through the dryer, an hour and a half in totally wasted. I understand that “stuff” happens, but there doesn’t seem to be any response from the ship’s staff, and that’s what is bothersome. Dining - first night in the GDR was a disaster. Our waitress told us she felt sick and dizzy - just what we want to hear as she is handing our food to us. The new bland seasonings we had heard about were in evidence - I had lobster bisque, and had I not seen the word “lobster” in the description on the menu, I would never have guessed that it was anything more than canned tomato soup. I also ordered the suckling pig, and oh my gosh, I think they included rubber bands. I actually had to spit part of it out into my napkin, a first for me. Second night dinner in GDR was much better - we stuck to the tried and true regular side of the menu. But I hate to have to do that every night. We’ll see. Service in Horizons for happy hour was non existent. We left after a half hour because no waiters came around to our table, and we saw a line of at least ten people waiting at the bar to order. Enjoyed a glass of our own wine in our cabin ... I appreciate that we can do that, but it would have been nice to sit in the bar. That is Oceania’s loss. I will I’ll continue this report as our cruise days go by. I hope to have better things to say!
  22. A heads up to anyone booked Sept 1, 2019 NYC TO MONTREAL --Fall Splendors The shore excursions are available for booking---really early. How nice !! arl_nocaps
  23. What are the rates for this cruise? Specifically for a balcony, although I’m curious what other cabins cost as well (I know they start in the high 30’s, but that must be for inside cabins). I’m many years away from being able to do one, but just wanted to get an idea of the price without having to get an actual quote from a TA.
  24. Many pictures of the recently refurbished Insignia can be seen here:
  25. Yes, this has been a long time coming, but I figured better late than never! First, a little about us. My husband and I are in our thirties, and we booked this sailing for our honeymoon. We are experienced Celebrity cruisers and like the product but not the recent cutbacks, and we decided to take the step up to Oceania and see if we would prefer this line. Precruise: We flew into LGA and stayed in Times Square so that we could see a show the day before we embarked. We both enjoyed Chicago, although I was horrified to be charged $10 for a hot dog from a street vendor. I didn't realize that prices were jacked that high in the tourist traps! Our hotel, Hyatt Centric Times Square, was comfortable and clean. We scored a great deal on Priceline, notwithstanding the $29 mandatory hotel fee. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier around 11:30am, which is normally when we try to board. We prefer having as much time on the ship as possible even if we have to wait in public areas. There was some kind of delay though, and we wound up standing in the terminal for over two hours. It wasn't the most pleasant start to our vacation, but once we were onboard having lunch at the Terrace Cafe with a glass of champagne, we were much more relaxed and happy! We had no issues carrying onboard a bouquet of fresh flowers and balloons that I had bought as a honeymoon gift for my husband, and ship staff offered to place it in our cabin while we were eating lunch. Stateroom: We stayed in cabin #4028, a handicapped accessible cabin in category G. We didn't require these facilities but when we requested a guarantee, this is what we were assigned. The cabin was spacious and comfortable. However, there were some maintenance issues that we experienced. There was a pipe that had burst next to our cabin and it was continually leaking through our carpet, which was cold and unpleasant. No one notified us about anything, they just put towels on our carpet. When we brought it up with the stateroom attendant, she explained the situation and told us that they would bring a fan whenever we were out of the cabin to try and dry it up. After three days in our ten day cruise, I asked how long this was going to go on, as it was unpleasant being in our cabin and getting wet feet. We were told that they didn't know and there was nothing else that could be done about it. Since it was our honeymoon and we did want to spend time in our room, we wrote a letter to the hotel director explaining the situation. Later that day, someone from the hotel department visited us and apologized for the inconvenience, but said that they had nowhere else to move us. He gave us a bottle of wine and $200 shipboard credit. It didn't alleviate the problem, but at least we felt that it was a nice gesture that showed understanding that this was dampening our trip a little (bad pun intended!). Other than that, our cabin was kept clean and well supplied, and we didn't really have any noise issues. The room issue was still ongoing when we disembarked. Dining: My husband has severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, so dining is always an area of concern for us. We had our booking flagged and acknowledged by Oceania, and we also went to speak to the maitre d' at the beginning of the sailing to discuss my husband's issues. Normally we take set dining on Celebrity, so the waiters get to know us- this was our first time trying open dining and we were a little worried about it but hoping that all would be well. There were definitely some hiccups. We had to wait for a very long time on the first night to confirm that the bread on our table was nut free, since the server didn't know. My husband was given menus to pre-order his meals without nuts, which was great, but they didn't give him dessert menus until we asked a few days later. Waiters kept offering him creme brulee since that was clearly nut free and he was hoping for more options than that. Also, despite all the precautions we took, nut products kept being brought to us- we even had peanut butter cookies sent to the cabin via room service one day! When we had dinner at Toscana, they brought out almond biscotti even after being advised of allergies. Afternoon tea was also a big headache. Many times, there were even nut products in the savories and sandwiches, let alone the desserts. My husband wasn't able to eat anything there because of fear of cross contamination. When we raised the issue, they did make him a special nut free dessert to have at tea, but he didn't get sandwiches or anything else. It's not that there wasn't food to eat; it was just the constant stress of worrying that precautions were not being appropriately taken. That seriously detracted from our enjoyment of the food. While we did very much enjoy the quality and presentation of what we were served, it was obvious that food allergies were much more difficult to manage in the open seating type of environment or at least on this particular sailing. We also found it a little odd that there were such large blocks of time where there was nowhere to get food other than via room service. We like to sleep in, and if we woke up around 9:45 or so, by the time we got showered and ready to go for the day, we couldn't get breakfast anywhere else. Similarly, if we went off ship during a port day and returned after 2pm, there wasn't anything available until dinnertime if you didn't want afternoon tea. We often like to grab a snack after a port day, especially if we have skipped lunch to go on tour. Room service was getting a bit repetitive for us at this point. We also like to stay out late in the evenings and like to be able to get a midnight snack from the buffet, but it closed at 9pm. None of these were much more than inconveniences, but we just found it surprising that nibbles of some sort wouldn't be available during the day. We did find that the food quality on Insignia was most certainly a step above Celebrity and the other mass market lines that we've tried. It lived up to the hype! Specialty Dining: We very much enjoyed Toscana- I think our meals there were beyond exceptional. We received one meal at each restaurant as part of our booking, and were able to get one additional one at Toscana which was so worth it. We did not really enjoy the Polo Grill- the food quality there was not to our taste. Bars: We booked the drink package, and certainly got our money's worth. The by the glass champagne was a pleasant surprise, and we found lots of different wines that we enjoyed. We found sommelier service to be a bit hit or miss though. Some days we had no issues getting drink refills and others it took a very long time to get served. While bar service was generally very good, we did miss the specialty bars on Celebrity and the kind of service where staff learned our preferences and would customize drinks. It seemed that on Insignia, the menu was just the menu and the staff either wasn't interested in experimenting or that it's not permitted. We did like that everything on the menu was included with no upcharges though, that was a really nice benefit. We enjoyed sampling some fine cognacs and liquors that would have been an upcharge on Celebrity. Entertainment: While we didn't expect this to be Oceania's strongest suit, we were a little surprised by some of the actions that were chosen by management. We went to the parties and activities, and at times things were hopping and busy, and staff would shut things down. We attended karaoke in Horizons and the bar was packed, people were having fun and signing up, but after the one hour, they announced an end and within minutes the bar emptied out. We couldn't understand why, if people were having a good time and very minimal staff were needed to run the machine, that they wouldn't keep it going especially given how many people were buying drinks. We definitely enjoyed the live music onboard, and partook as often as we could. Disembarkation: Smooth and easy. We were staying in NYC for a few days postcruise, so we stayed onboard right until the end. We had no difficulties finding our bags or getting off the ship. General Comments: Overall, we enjoyed the trip enough to sit down and make a list of pluses and minuses between Celebrity and Oceania. We came to the conclusion that there are things we enjoy on both lines. We did decide however that the level of concern we had about my husband's allergies and possible cross contamination was too much worrying to have on a vacation, and we found that it detracted from our overall experience a bit too much. We expect that we'll be returning to Celebrity as a result. Had things been handled differently? We really did enjoy Oceania. We cruise mostly for relaxation, bars, and good food, and definitely enjoyed the offerings on our cruise. We had purchased a future cruise credit and only recently decided to cancel it.
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