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Jimbo

New to Oceania, Tell All Please

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6 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

Since the ship is smaller, but with a lot less people, but does the ship still feel crowded like the mega-ships do? or can you really tell there are only about 650 passengers onboard?

 

 The R ships  & the O class  ships never feel crowded to me  except on disembarkation day 😉

Sometimes you will find a line  at opening time for the GDR but it moves quickly  we usually wait  about 10-15min after opening  & short or no line

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7 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

Since the ship is smaller, but with a lot less people, but does the ship still feel crowded like the mega-ships do? or can you really tell there are only about 650 passengers onboard?

Since there is only one evening show at 9:30, the small showroom can fill up fast. Also, since they serve pretty much the same food on the MDR dinner menu up at the Terrace Cafe (their buffet) plus lobster, steak and other tasty dishes every night, the buffet fills up relatively fast after 6:30 or so. 

 

Now, since there is not a lot of entertaining things to do in the evening, you'll see a lot of folks just sitting around socializing and listening to music in the atrium or at their one bar. For us we just head back to our cabin after the show and watch a movie, play on the internet or just sit out under the stars on our balcony. Like I said it's a more relaxing cruise experience than ones offered on cruise lines with larger ships.

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We are relatively new to Oceania so I might offer some assistance.

If all goes well we will be on the Regatta from San Francisco to Vancouver  in 2021 - a reverse itinerary sort of....

If you haven't been to Alaska before an aft cabin is the best place to be. (We have done this before.) The ship will leisurely circle in the glacier bay (presuming it's Hubbard since that is our destination.) And if you are going to Hoonah - Icy Straits being on the balcony as you sail back out through the narrow channel is amazing.

For Alaska I would recommend you avoid the O Life excursions. It's been very easy to find good guides and things like the White Pass Railroad that you can book yourselves. The Oceania excursions are pricey and not always the best. If there is an excursion you want to buy from Oceania you can always do so without O Life.

If you wish to use Oceania air there are extra fees for altering their flights. Anything but the basic fare will probably be higher than you can arrange yourselves.

The Regatta carries less than 700 passengers. We have sailed this size ship on Azamara and the bathrooms in most categories are tiny. The balcony cabins are a modest but comfortable size.

The cuisine on Oceania is far better than RCI with the exception of Chops which serves better beef than the Polo Grill IMHO. 

Concierge Class has its perks. The early boarding isn't worth much but it's available. You will also get several wash and fold laundry chits. But we book itinerary first and cabin location next with any cruise and we couldn't pass up the aft cabin for Alaska so we felt the cost of the Concierge class aft cabin was well worth it. 

I was not impressed with the internet service. Only one person's device can be used at a time and I hope the service is better on the Regatta.

There are no "chic" or formal nights which works particularly well for an Alaskan itinerary. Passengers on our Oceania cruise in February were neat and tidy and I really don't think anyone stood out as either scruffy or over the top haute couture. 

I did want to mention that there are travel agents who are not part of the Connoisseurs Club who might offer the same or better deals. A good agent is definitely the way to go with Oceania. I did some comparison shopping to transfer our on board booking and my TA beat some of the Connoisseurs Club companies. The Connoisseur agents do provide knowledge of the line that a more generic travel agent might not have.

Sorry to run on so but as a newbe I though some additional points might help.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

if  the posts are beneath you  then just pass  them by

Yes of course people can use the search feature   but so what if they choose to just ask the questions first

you are not compelled to answer

 

 

 

Nor are you compelled to be the "post police."

I'm sure that many on the Oceania forums would agree that pointing someone to "search" is a smart thing, particularly when the OP is (admittedly) too busy watching TV to fully read a supplied link.

In any case, you just told OP to search UTUBE in a follow-up instead of explaining what have been posted many times before.

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8 minutes ago, alcpa1 said:

I did want to mention that there are travel agents who are not part of the Connoisseurs Club who might offer the same or better deals.

Possible but doubtful. Oceania pays agent on a sliding scale based on sales volume. Agencies aren't awarded Connoisseurs Club membership based on good looks.

So the challenge is to find those top selling Connoisseurs Club members who are willing to share commissions AND provide great service. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Possible but doubtful. Oceania pays agent on a sliding scale based on sales volume. Agencies aren't awarded Connoisseurs Club membership based on good looks.

So the challenge is to find those top selling Connoisseurs Club members who are willing to share commissions AND provide great service. 

I don't know, my TA gives us 11% rebate check + OBC to book an O cruise, provides great service and they aren't a member of the Connoisseurs Club. How much does your Connoisseurs Club TA give you?

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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37 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

In any case, you just told OP to search UTUBE in a follow-up instead of explaining what have been posted many times before.

Hard  to explain a video on You tube  better if you view it

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Just now, LHT28 said:

Hard  to explain a video on You tube  better if you view it

Equally hard to figure out whose statements on CC are correct (or anything other than opinion) or based on actual experience or professional knowledge.

 

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34 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I don't know, my TA gives us 11% rebate check + OBC to book an O cruise, provides great service and they aren't a member of the Connoisseurs Club. How much does your Connoisseurs Club TA give you?

If that's 11% of your total fare (rather than the commissionable fare) that would be a very nice rebate. But, 10%+\- is not unusual for long term clients who book multiple cruises per year. Add the TAs gratuities coverage (thus giving you O Club  "in lieu" SBC) and that's what we've always aimed for as desirable. Of course, because of non-commissionable cost differences from itinerary to itinerary, the perentage figure can easily change from cruise to cruise.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Since there is only one evening show at 9:30, the small showroom can fill up fast. Also, since they serve pretty much the same food on the MDR dinner menu up at the Terrace Cafe (their buffet) plus lobster, steak and other tasty dishes every night, the buffet fills up relatively fast after 6:30 or so. 

 

Now, since there is not a lot of entertaining things to do in the evening, you'll see a lot of folks just sitting around socializing and listening to music in the atrium or at their one bar. For us we just head back to our cabin after the show and watch a movie, play on the internet or just sit out under the stars on our balcony. Like I said it's a more relaxing cruise experience than ones offered on cruise lines with larger ships.

All great information for a new cruiser to a new cruiseline. Sounds like it would be perfect for us, kind of showed out and the entertainment part of cruising isn't that important anymore.

 

8 hours ago, alcpa1 said:

We are relatively new to Oceania so I might offer some assistance.

If all goes well we will be on the Regatta from San Francisco to Vancouver  in 2021 - a reverse itinerary sort of....

If you haven't been to Alaska before an aft cabin is the best place to be. (We have done this before.) The ship will leisurely circle in the glacier bay (presuming it's Hubbard since that is our destination.) And if you are going to Hoonah - Icy Straits being on the balcony as you sail back out through the narrow channel is amazing.

For Alaska I would recommend you avoid the O Life excursions. It's been very easy to find good guides and things like the White Pass Railroad that you can book yourselves. The Oceania excursions are pricey and not always the best. If there is an excursion you want to buy from Oceania you can always do so without O Life.

If you wish to use Oceania air there are extra fees for altering their flights. Anything but the basic fare will probably be higher than you can arrange yourselves.

The Regatta carries less than 700 passengers. We have sailed this size ship on Azamara and the bathrooms in most categories are tiny. The balcony cabins are a modest but comfortable size.

The cuisine on Oceania is far better than RCI with the exception of Chops which serves better beef than the Polo Grill IMHO. 

Concierge Class has its perks. The early boarding isn't worth much but it's available. You will also get several wash and fold laundry chits. But we book itinerary first and cabin location next with any cruise and we couldn't pass up the aft cabin for Alaska so we felt the cost of the Concierge class aft cabin was well worth it. 

I was not impressed with the internet service. Only one person's device can be used at a time and I hope the service is better on the Regatta.

There are no "chic" or formal nights which works particularly well for an Alaskan itinerary. Passengers on our Oceania cruise in February were neat and tidy and I really don't think anyone stood out as either scruffy or over the top haute couture. 

I did want to mention that there are travel agents who are not part of the Connoisseurs Club who might offer the same or better deals. A good agent is definitely the way to go with Oceania. I did some comparison shopping to transfer our on board booking and my TA beat some of the Connoisseurs Club companies. The Connoisseur agents do provide knowledge of the line that a more generic travel agent might not have.

Sorry to run on so but as a newbe I though some additional points might help.

 

 

We have been to Alaska before and had a Family Ocean View with Balcony FV  on the aft on Celebrity Infinity, Nice sized cabin and Balcony was really  large, Corner aft. Really enjoyed the cabin and views.

 

We would not miss going to Formal Nights, we stop going to those many, many years ago. My wife would love that.

 

Kind of dispointing your view about Polo Grill, we really enjoy the food at Chops on RCL.

 
Edited by Jimbo

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7 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

If that's 11% of your total fare (rather than the commissionable fare) that would be a very nice rebate. But, 10%+\- is not unusual for long term clients who book multiple cruises per year. Add the TAs gratuities coverage (thus giving you O Club  "in lieu" SBC) and that's what we've always aimed for as desirable. Of course, because of non-commissionable cost differences from itinerary to itinerary, the perentage figure can easily change from cruise to cruise.

I'm going to send out to my TA a request on a quote and see what he comes back with and compare it to the price on Oceania web site. I'm not sure if he has dealings with Oceania or not?

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I searched on youtube , but can't see to find any pictures of those Aft Balcony Cabin Pictures, Would anybody have a few to share? Would like to see the size of those balconies.

 

Thanks

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1 hour ago, Jimbo said:

I searched on youtube , but can't see to find any pictures of those Aft Balcony Cabin Pictures, Would anybody have a few to share? Would like to see the size of those balconies.

 

Thanks

the aft cabins  have deeper balconies  6090 & 6093 are the deeper  than the same on decks 7 & 8

  if you want the  wraparound balcony   you would need the OS  or the front facing  VS

 you could put the cabin number in the search

There are some  photos here of those aft cabins

 Found  a photo   here of 6090

https://www.cruisedeckplans.com/DP/deckplans/category-detail.php?c=901

 

Here is  a video after the refurb if you did not see it already

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J26FmPrTvzA

 

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1 hour ago, Jimbo said:

I'm going to send out to my TA a request on a quote and see what he comes back with and compare it to the price on Oceania web site. I'm not sure if he has dealings with Oceania or not?

There will be no difference in published prices between Oceania and a TA. The real deals come in the form of Commission sharing (as discussed above) plus other perks. The top selling agencies (Connoisseurs Club) do have access to occasional "quiet sales" that rotate among them. Searching here on CC will find numerous posts (including some of mine) on how best to find a great TA for Oceania.

 

BTW, as regards the above food comments: Oceania IS Food. Read the reviews in mags like Bon Appetit, Saveur, Forbes. And if you ever have a dish that isn't right, say something. It will be addressed immediately. BTW, the Terrace Grill is not a "buffet." It is a casual restaurant with a la minute cooking, food plated by galley staff (so don't touch stuff please) and the option of al fresco dining.

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Wow.  Rough crowd here.  I had some questions on Oceania also, even after using the Search function.  I'm afraid to ask them now since I have even more posts than the OP.

 

I remember considering O a few years ago but the ship was one of the smaller ones, so I did not follow through.

 

I do recall the OBC was, at the time, $800 and I stated that I would probably use that to purchase cocktails and I was told the drinks on O were very expensive and even with the $800 OBC I'd be better off with a paid, premium alcoholic beverage package.

 

The ship I'm considering now is Riviera.  My research tells me that the B3s are highly prized because of the larger balconies, however, the cruise I'm looking at only has the forward balconies available.  Could I ask how they are ....without getting my head chewed off?

 

The other alternative is the Concierge.  We really want a table for two  (especially now) and with Concierge it appears our chances are better.

 

What is the balcony size for the Concierge cabins, on Riviera?

We don't care about shows anymore and tend to do our own excursions or just stay on the ship.  However, we do like to go to the casino and mainly play slots.

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, mafig said:

Wow.  Rough crowd here.  I had some questions on Oceania also, even after using the Search function.  I'm afraid to ask them now since I have even more posts than the OP.

 

I remember considering O a few years ago but the ship was one of the smaller ones, so I did not follow through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You aren't kidding man, be careful what you ask and how you word it..........lol

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13 minutes ago, mafig said:

The other alternative is the Concierge.  We really want a table for two  (especially now) and with Concierge it appears our chances are better.

 

What is the balcony size for the Concierge cabins, on Riviera?

We don't care about shows anymore and tend to do our own excursions or just stay on the ship.  However, we do like to go to the casino and mainly play slots.

 

 

We usually book  a B cabin   & have no problem getting  a table for 2 

Cannot help with the forward B3's  hopefully someone has info for you

if you mean for the Specialties    then  timing is the key  we usually book 6:30 or 7Pm slots  & always get  a 2 top

 There are some good photos of Riviera 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/riviera-607/

Does not show the recent upgrades to Barristas  but you do get the idea

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, mafig said:

I'd be better off with a paid, premium alcoholic beverage package.

 

B3s are highly prized because of the larger balconies, however, the cruise I'm looking at only has the forward balconies available.  

 

The other alternative is the Concierge.  We really want a table for two  (especially now) and with Concierge it appears our chances are better.

 

 However, we do like to go to the casino and mainly play slots.

Consider the O Life Booze option, once onboard you can upgrade to Prestige package for $20/day/person.

IMO, B3s w/ extended balconies (forward or aft) are more desirable than Concierge which really don't get you much. We only do As when Bs are not available.

Oceania has casinos?👀?

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Jimbo, You know I ask for some feedback on the Celebrity board (for those who have cruised both lines) and got some helpful, cheerful responses back.

We had a cruise on Edge in a suite that was cancelled.  

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9 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

If that's 11% of your total fare (rather than the commissionable fare) that would be a very nice rebate. But, 10%+\- is not unusual for long term clients who book multiple cruises per year. Add the TAs gratuities coverage (thus giving you O Club  "in lieu" SBC) and that's what we've always aimed for as desirable. Of course, because of non-commissionable cost differences from itinerary to itinerary, the perentage figure can easily change from cruise to cruise.

Very true. The 11% is the advertised rebate return. When I do the math, it usually works our to between 10.2 - 10.3%.

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18 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

You aren't kidding man, be careful what you ask and how you word it..........lol

Absolutely! - or else it may be "no soup for you!"

 

In all honesty, you will find that Oceania has a very loyal group of regulars on CC. Among them are a few folks who will go to great lengths to find the right answer to reasonable questions that have not been answered a zillion times before. Often, these further researched answers will save you big $$$ and/or missteps.  On the other hand, their wasting time reposting often extensive/detailed info that is easily found (e.g., instead of watching TV) accomplishes very little.

Don't want to search? As aforementioned: call Oceania to get baseline info (yes, like any customer service, you may need to call more than once to verify stuff) and then shop your intended cruise to the several Connoisseur Club TAs you've researched and short-listed.

Admittedly, understanding/mastering the intricacies of Oceania booking and perks (including what has to be the best loyalty program in the industry) can be challenging. 

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13 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Consider the O Life Booze option, once onboard you can upgrade to Prestige package for $20/day/person.

IMO, B3s w/ extended balconies (forward or aft) are more desirable than Concierge which really don't get you much. We only do As when Bs are not available.

Oceania has casinos?👀?

 

I have read that upgrading to the Prestige package is the way to go.  Trying to figure out how that's better than using the $400 obc to purchase drinks.  DH doesn't drink wine, just cocktails and considering that soft drinks and coffee and juices are free, I'd have to figure that out, especially if my TA gives us even more OBC.

 

I might find the Concierge useful because I have read (and I DID use Search and read some reviews) that pool lounge chair  saving is alive and well on Oceania.  We

would use the Spa deck.  I already mentioned we really want a table for two at the specialties also.

 

 

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11 hours ago, alcpa1 said:

The cuisine on Oceania is far better than RCI with the exception of Chops which serves better beef than the Polo Grill IMHO.

 

I second that.  I've had better meals in Chops than I've had in Polo Grill.  Polo is Oceania's only specialty restaurant that does not meet expectations, IMO.  

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What about insurance?

Do most of you get private medical insurance or use Oceania's?  

We went on over 30 cruises without purchasing insurance, but as we've gotten older, we think it's better not to push our luck.  Our last couple of cruises, travel insurance was provided by our travel agent.  I don't know how good (or bad) it was, didn't have to use it.

 

Since independent insurance gets more expensive, the older you get, what do most of you do?

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1 minute ago, mafig said:

 

I have read that upgrading to the Prestige package is the way to go.  Trying to figure out how that's better than using the $400 obc to purchase drinks.  DH doesn't drink wine, just cocktails and considering that soft drinks and coffee and juices are free, I'd have to figure that out, especially if my TA gives us even more OBC.

 

I might find the Concierge useful because I have read (and I DID use Search and read some reviews) that pool lounge chair  saving is alive and well on Oceania.  We

would use the Spa deck.  I already mentioned we really want a table for two at the specialties also.

 

 

If you're talking about a 7-10 day Caribbean cruise on an O ship (IMO, a waste of time and what O has to offer), you'll find some chair hogs who are new to the line. If you see it, mention it to a pool attendant and they will remove the stuff and place a note on the lounger top. Don't see a pool attendant? Just move it yourself.

 

FWIW,? Where O shines is longer cruises to far more interesting itineraries with a good balance of sea days. On those cruises, you'll find few chair hogs.

When we first started on O, we did shorter cruises and did the Prestige package. But now, we do cruises averaging 4+\- weeks. We bring our own wine (no limit despite CYA statement of only several bottles)- often a case at least. Between twofer happy hours and O Club events (as well as invited officer dinners), there's plenty of low/no cost booze. Then there's O Club loyalty SBC (non-refundable) that has to be spent (e.g., a combo of "in lieu" gratuities plus increasing added SBC depending on loyalty level).

Instead, because we mix ship and private tours, we most often take the O Life excursions option and select the most expensive of the allowable ones (just under $200, which effectively doubles your O Life value). In addition, because you can count the O Life tours against the minimum (number depends on ship itinerary) number of tours required for the YWYW 25% discount on the paid tours, we find the excursions option to be the best for us.

This is the kind of info you'll find already discussed many many times in previous CC threads. 

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