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riffatsea

Excursion protocol on Oceania

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New Oceania cruise here and just wondering about getting off the ship in port.

Do folks who have Oceania excursions get off first??

We are doing 3 ports in Cuba and just beginning to figure out where to use our Oceania O life excursions and where to book our own.

Lots of time so just gathering info right now.

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We've never had a problem leaving the ship when we want EXCEPT perhaps when it's a tender port.  In that case, people with gold cards (i.e. in suites) can just go to the tender.  Others need to get a tender ticket, and that can mean getting there early if you have a specific time, say, to meet a guide on shore.

 

I remember one time in 16 cruises where some ship's tours were exiting from the reception area which created some long lines (although they did move quickly).  Usually, we just go off the ship.

 

Mura

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OK Thanks! We actually have booked a Ph1 so I didn't know that came with early off at tender ports.

Good to know. So far none of our ports are listed as tenders but I have heard that one of the cities in Cuba has had a problem with its dock so maybe that will end up being a tender .

Things will change as time gets closer.

Thanks for answering!

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PH1 has a gold card so you should be okay even if it's a tender port.  I have to say that we usually have a gold card but we NEVER tried to get early access using it!  But from posts I have seen here, it doesn't appear to be a problem.

 

I remain puzzled as to how they can figure out how many people will be on a tender if on one end people with gold cards can just go on board when they want but at the same time they are issuing tickets for other people!  What if they issue too many?

 

However, I've never heard of such a problem so maybe they play it safe.

 

Mura

 

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Are you sure the PH have Gold Cards?

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, ORV said:

Are you sure the PH have Gold Cards?

PHs do have Gold cards but I don’t think it entitles them for early boarding of tenders. That privilege belongs only to OVO suites, AFAIK.

Edited by Paulchili

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Yeah, I think those are gold with a black strip across the top. 

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I'm absolutely not sure about any of that since we've never tried to use the privilege.

 

BUT on the "R" ships someone in a PH has a gold card. On Marina and Riviera there was only one time when we were in a PH (others were in OC and VS) but I'm pretty sure we had a gold card on that cruise (back in 2015).

 

So I won't insist that I'm right ... I just think I am.

 

BUT ... I don't see how the crews can distinguish between gold cards when people are seeking to board a tender.  The info I had was that a gold card gives you the privilege.

 

I just saw Orv's post and so, yeah, maybe ... but it also seems to me that the posts we have seen here previously indicated *anyone* with a gold card can get the early boarding privilege.

 

As I've said, we haven't tried so I don't know.

 

It sure would be embarrassing to show your gold card for early boarding for a tender and then be hold you don't qualify ...

 

Waiting to be corrected!

 

Mura

 

 

 

Mura

 

 

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Posted (edited)

What about those with high loyalty status?   Only curious, as on NCL,  those "Gold" and above, get priority tender tickets...

Edited by bob brown
correction

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We had problems in 2017 in Tahiti.  We were in a PH.  We had to complain before they let some non ship tour passengers onto the earlier tenders.  Going again and not in a suite.  Will try to be prepared to get there early and speak to the excursion desk when we arrive.  

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AFAIK only those  in the top suites like OS OC & VS  can just walk up to the tender area without a ticket  but  never been in  a PH 

I cannot imagine  them being able to walk up as there are a lot more PH  than top suites 

It would be a nightmare for those at the tender loading area with people turning up willy nilly  until all the tours are off & open boarding begins

 

I think I read someplace here that for CUBA  they were allowing tours off first because of the line up at the immigration check in the port area the first day

 

As for high status  pax  I am not sure they have special cards to distinguish them from everyone else ..I am not a high status pax  so maybe one of them will comment

JMO

 

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The only suites that get priority tender access are OC, VS, and OS on O Class and VS and OS on R Class.

 

They check your room key to ensure you are in one of those suites before giving you priority access. 

 

On our trip to FP, they told us that only 40 or so people have this access and that they always have extra seats on each tender to account for priority access or other changes. 

 

FP is the only cruise where I have seen an issue.  Typically you can get off the ship at your convenience when docked.  You just need to prepare a bit more for tender ports - and just grab a tender ticket.  The first few tenders are usually tender ticket holders and not tours, but that is determined by the excursion schedule. 

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Oceania appears to be getting away from the priority tendering policy as it is no longer mentioned in their literature,  featured on their website or listed as a reward within their Loyalty Program.  

 

In any case, it is very simple for any Passenger whose cabin comes with the services of a Butler (i.e. Suites) to have that Butler collect the desired tender tickets in advance.

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Hi StanandJim-

 

I wasn't sure of priority tender access either given the lack of advertising, but I just booked an August cruise on the Marina and my TA listed it as the first added benefit.  Maybe they have decided to keep it as a benefit but not broadcast it until you book and/or embark. 

 

 

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Hi Delee

Unless you are VERY sure of your TA, I'd be tempted to ask if they are working from YOUR new Invoice, or, assuming that everything will be the same as before.

 

Travel Agents tend to  believe that perquisites, like diamonds, are forever :classic_wink:

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Posted (edited)

IME, only OVO suites get priority tendering. Status has nothing to do with it, AFAIK (perhaps you get some extra special service if you are in President’s Club or whatever the highest level is called).

The place where early tendering is most difficult IME is Easter Island where fewer than usual number of tenders can run due to docking facilities and narrow shore approach access.

Edited by Paulchili

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Hello Riff,

 

Just saw you on here. We are going to try Oceania Riviera in May and still trying to figure out how they handle their excursions, tenders and everything else as we will be first timers with them. Hope you had a good New Years and maybe we will meet up again on a future cruise. 

 

You and Steve stay well.

 

Phil

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17 minutes ago, Nymetsfan6 said:

Hello Riff,

 

Just saw you on here. We are going to try Oceania Riviera in May and still trying to figure out how they handle their excursions, tenders and everything else as we will be first timers with them.

Phil

Probably very similar to other lines

if docked you walk off  when the ship is cleared  for DIY  tours

if you are doing  a ships tour they usually meet in the lounge  then disembark as a group 

tender ports  you go to the lounge & get  a tender ticket  & they call your colour/number  & you head to the tender area

after all the ship's tours  are gone  they open up the  tendering   & you do not  need to get a ticket  just go to the tender  area

They will announce when open tendering is available

not that complicated  really

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Folk's ' read the question! All ports in Cuba are docked. Nobody gets priority.

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@NY Mets,

Hi Phil, What a surprise!!

I just sent you an email.

We'll have to compare notes about our first Oceania cruises!!!

Laura

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We're doing the Cuba cruise later in the year and would love to you if you would recommend any of the excursions you went on?

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4 hours ago, LySn said:

We're doing the Cuba cruise later in the year and would love to you if you would recommend any of the excursions you went on?

We did a private 2 day tour with Fertours in Havana and they were great.   Google them and you can get an idea about them.  Fernando, the owner responds pretty fast and you can customize each day to see what you want.  Also much less than the ships tours.   Good luck and have a great time.  

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A question regarding an afternoon ship's excursion at a tender port.

 

We have an morning arrival, but an afternoon ship's excursion booked.

As long as we co-ordinate with the tour staff beforehand, is it normal to be permitted to meet the tour onshore at the tender arrival area ?

 

Just trying to plan our day with a DIY morning ashore;  assuming of course that we are able to tender ashore independently at a reasonable time.

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The typical procedure is to go to the Lounge, check in for the tour. They often give you the tour number and bus number for you to get on. So if O is running 2 or 3 identical tours, you getting on the wrong bus might throw off the expected count for the tour guide. 

 

If you check in with Destination Services and get approval and all the information from the manager, it shouldn’t be a problem. Also be aware that all earlier scheduled 1:00 tours may not really be leaving until 1:45. So be sure to learn when you actually need to be at the departure area.

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