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Live From Vantage Ocean Odyssey Mumbai to Singapore December 10, 2022


nh6mile
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We will be embarking the Ocean Odyssey today December 13th and, time and internet permitting, will post about the ship and the rest of our journey.

 

We arrived in Mumbai 2-1/2 days ago.  We elected to book flights through Vantage that theoretically got us in a day early. What it meant was we added a night on our own at the Taj Tower in Mumbai so we would have a room waiting for us upon arrival.  Many of those that did not do this had to wait in the lobby or restaurants two to eight hours for their room to be ready.  We also booked through the hotel the airport transfer.  Unless Vantage takes into account the early arrivals of flights into this part of the world I highly recommend you do this.

 

Our first day of sightseeing in Mumbai - a city bus tour with stops as per the itinerary was fine. As was the welcome dinner and initial briefing.

 

There will be about 104 guests on the journey.

 

More later after our planned day visiting Bollywood and onto the Ocean Odyssey.

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  • Host Jazzbeau changed the title to Live From Vantage Ocean Odyssey Mumbai to Singapore December 10, 2022

Embarked Monday 12/13, later than planned due to Bollywood excursion running late. Immediate safety briefing and port talk followed by dinner.

About 104 passengers, typical foreign mix of crew. All friendly, relatively young’s. Not sure of total crew count. 
Lounge spacious, well done, multiple TV screens for talks and lectures.

Dining room also fine. First night meals and wines (complimentary) were acceptable. Need to check out wine list.

Internet spotty- no surprise.

Will explore ship tomorrow morning. Our first stop - Goa - isn’t until noon with a 10AM lecture.

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This is a new ship that is experiencing some minor issues but overall it’s been good. By minor e.g. elevator has needed some maintenance, our a/c in the bedroom does not provide enough cooling but is fine in our sitting area, there’s something wrong with the hair wash basin in the spa. Small stuff.

The showers are good. Access to balconies good.

The exercise room has plenty of equipment but hardly used thus far.

There’s only one spa attendant doing it all - massages, pedicures, hair, etc. - so appointments fill up quickly. 
Three bar areas. Restaurant service good, food okay. Breakfast omelette was good with typical self service choices.

Have not yet been to the second restaurant Athena.

Lecture hall (lounge) nice setup and our first lecture was interesting.

The library is a nice area to relax but needs more books which should grow over time.

Today will be our first sea day so we’ll see how much the pool area with the two jacuzzis accommodate the passengers.

Our stop at Goa was an experience. After disembarking there was a labor dispute going on between the cab drivers union and the bus drivers, something like that.  It got heated enough where the buses that were to take us on our excursions had to turn back. This was something beyond Vantages control. You never know what to expect when you travel  to foreign countries.

 

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There is no drink package (as yet). They offer a red, white, and rose included at dinner. Some good, some not so good.  They do have a wine list of better wines to purchase. Typical restaurant prices, double retail price. They also offered three different packages of discount wines by the bottle. I did not partake.

 

There is a cocktail of the day, e.g. Negroni ,  Manhattan, etc. at $5.

 

Some days there are different excursions to choose, listed on the detailed itinerary on the website. Today and tomorrow in Cochin we all do the same.

 

There is no guest washing machine. We are using the laundry service and hand washing some stuff.

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We were unable to tour Goa yesterday. The article below, published in the Goa Herald, explains what happened.

After around 100 American tourists, passengers on the cruise ship ‘Ocean Odyssey’ that arrived at the Mormugao Port on Wednesday, were forced to go back to their ship after local taxi union members obstructed the buses that were supposed to take them on their tour. Francis Vaz, the manager of Le Passage to India,  has complained to the TTAG, the Tourism Department, the Chief Minister and DGP. tour operators from Goa have expressed outrage. An impression was created that Goa is not safe for tourists, Otto De Oliveira Fernandes, Owner of Le Passage To India Tours & Travelsstated. The tour operators met Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday and said CM Sawant had assured them that he would initiate an inquiry and take action against those involved.  

Tour operators also alleged that the taxi drivers gheraoed the coach and assaulted the driver who sustained injuries. They said the image of Goa is at stake and cruise agents have immediately cancelled docking at Goa due to Wednesday's incident. 

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nh6mile,  Thank you for your REAL time postings.  We have done 3 Small Boat River cruises with Vantage and they were great but with all the bad publicity we are reluctant to give them money for along period of time.  Thinking of waiting for a "last minute deal" and there are some great itineraries offered.curious about the new ship!  If you don't mind questions I will keep them coming.  How expensive is laundry service....3 weeks is a long time not to do wash.

Are you always with the same group of passengers when you go ashore for an excursion?

 

We have been cruising with Viking most recently!

 

Scary about Goa......probably my favorite stop in India. AND you taught me a new word "gheraoed"

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Vantage is doing their best to handle interesting situations. If you’re in Presidents club there are some discounts so it’s not too costly. Typical long sleeve shirt $7, socks $2.50.

 

You pretty much stay with the same group during excursions. All the pre-trip passengers remained intact. 
 

Our day yesterday cruising on a houseboat on the backwaters in Kerala was enjoyable. 
 

P.S. I too had to look up the meaning of gheraoed.

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About your flights, did you ever get a preliminary itinerary and when?  We are 81 days out and have never received an itinerary.  I am very concerned because we are doing back-back on Ocean Odyssey and they can mess up the flights and hotels pretty easily.  Also concerned that we paid extra for Premium Economy and it might not be available.  When did you get your final documents?  Did they pay for your extra night?  

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We had business class flights booked through Vantage several months ahead. However, not Vantage, but the airline changed our flights to where they were no longer acceptable. About two month’s ago we asked Vantage to change our flights to what we preferred and they did so without a problem. We received final docs about 12 days before we left. As to the extra night we paid for that.

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Embarked Monday 12/13, later than planned due to Bollywood excursion running late. Immediate safety briefing and port talk followed by dinner.

About 104 passengers, typical foreign mix of crew. All friendly, relatively young’s. Not sure of total crew count. 
Lounge spacious, well done, multiple TV screens for talks and lectures.

Dining room also fine. First night meals and wines (complimentary) were acceptable. Need to check out wine list.

Internet spotty- no surprise.

Will explore ship tomorrow morning. Our first stop - Goa - isn’t until noon with a 10AM lecture.

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Kochi - Southern India. Long bus ride to cruise on a houseboat in the Kerala backwaters. Some passengers felt the time on the houseboat was too long. If you shortened it might not be worth the bus ride. Entertainment that night by Kathakali dancers - good.

Next day we toured part of Kochi, visiting Chinese Fish Market and spending time in area known as Jew Town. Visited the synagogue and shopped.

There are still some glitches on the ship - inoperable elevators, out of order toilet, no broadcast TV although stations listed ( we don’t watch so not an issue for us).

Some disorganization as this is the first itinerary from Mumbai to Singapore for the Odyssey.

Food is good - not great. Don’t like the fact that you have to pay for soft drinks. A little chintzy.

Service excellent. Bars are nice and there’s plenty of open space.

Internet in cabins spotty but stronger signals in common areas.

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As part of the itinerary we spent a night off the ship, at a nice resort Cinnamon Lodge. The adventure included a Jeep safari at Minneriya National Park, visits to two unesco heritage sites (Sigariya Rock Fortress and Dumballa Rock Cave Temple). Long days. Good to be active. Repositioning ship also allowed the crew to have their holiday party.

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Prior to the start of the trip we were informed that we would be bypassing Port Blair (disappointed) and would now have 3 days at sea before arriving Phuket. We had some rough seas with the Dr. apparently running out of motion sickness pills.

The tour leaders kept us entertained with lectures, movies, games, etc.

General passenger comments: Rooms are nice, lots of storage, bathrooms good. There’s lots of open spaces on the ship. Exercise equipment excellent. There should be more daytime snacks available other than cookies in library. For those not getting free laundry (room level dependent) it seems expensive. Ship decorated nicely for Christmas with a gift exchange and carols. No zodiacs yet, supposed to be received in a few days in Singapore.

We are back on this ship in August. It will be interesting to see if some of the smaller issues are fixed by then.

 

 

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thanks for the great information....too bad the ship did not put in a free laundromat.  Are the floors heated in the bathroom for when it sails in colder climates.  Do people seem to miss a pool?  I think the diagram only shows hot tubs.

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17 hours ago, deec said:

thanks for the great information....too bad the ship did not put in a free laundromat.  Are the floors heated in the bathroom for when it sails in colder climates.  Do people seem to miss a pool?  I think the diagram only shows hot tubs.

Yes on the bathroom floors but we have it turned off. There would have been a couple of days where the pool would be used. Too much movement when we’re at sea and the ship is hesitant to fill it up with less than clean water when we’re in port. The jacuzzi’s have been used. 

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