Riviera's FW excursions and culinary classes

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#1
677 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
We are sailing on Riviera in early August and we keep checking but we still don't see any FW excursions or culinary classes for our cruise. We are concerned as these were one of the main things that drew us to Oceania. Are there some sailings without these features? Or, is it common for them to made available very close to the date the cruise starts? Or is this just a problem with having booked on a new ship?
#2
1,751 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
We are on the cruise before yours. There no Culinary Center classes available. I am assuming there will be none at this point. The facility may not be ready or perhaps they are not offering classes on every cruise. I suspect they must anticipate high demand (based on # of seas days and ship occupancy levels) before hiring instructors. I don't know if they are offerred on all of Marina's sailings. Perhaps we will see a change now that final payment date has just passed. Despite (temporary) equipment problems we enjoyed the classes on Marina's maiden voyage but we had many sea days on that cruise so many classes were offered. This cruise just two sea days. I'll re-check our booking as embarkation gets nearer.

Sorry, I don't know what FW excursions are.
#3
Colorado
551 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
FW excursions are Food & Wine Trails excursions, centered around culinary highlights. It appears that there are a few of these now being offered. There are also a few Bon Appetit excursions (visit markets and follow up with a cooking class).

Although we are on a culinary dream itinerary on Marina (London to Barcelona) in September, I am disappointed that no F&W or BA excursions are being offered (at least none so far - all the other excursions have been available since March).

O informed me that the on-board culinary classes will be available 120 days prior to our sailing.
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Rubysue (Barb)




Past Cruises:
RCI: 7-day Eastern Caribbean, Song of America (12/82), 10-day Southern Caribbean, Nordic Prince (6/84), 7-day Western Caribbean, Song of Norway (11/87), 10-day Southern Caribbean, Nordic Prince (11/91), 7-day Western Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas (12/13). Celebrity: 14-day Voyage to Antarctica, Infinity (02/14); 11-day Mardi Gras & Western Caribbean, Equinox (02/17). Princess: 12-day inaugural Alaska/Canada, original Star Princess (5/89), 10-day Panama Canal, Royal Princess (11/96), 7-day Solar Eclipse Cruise Southern Caribbean, Dawn Princess (2/98). American Hawaii: 7-day French Polynesia, Liberte' (11/86). Holland America: 7-day Alaska, MS Westerdam (7/06). Disney Cruise Line: 4-day Bahamian, Wonder (5/06), 10-day Western Mediterranean, Magic (6/07), 4-day Bahamian, Wonder (2/08), 12-day Inaugural Northern European Capitals, Magic (6/10), 3-day Bahamian, Dream (5/11), 7-day Eastern Caribbean, Fantasy (3/13). Oceania Cruise Line: 12-day Caribbean Pearls, Regatta (3/10); 12-day Jewels of the Aegean, Marina (9/11), 15-day Continental Connoisseur, Marina (9/12), 18-day Voyage of the Midnight Sun, Nautica (7/13); 15-Day Radiant Retreats, Regatta (10/14); 20-day Vikings, Castles and Kings, Nautica (6/15); 22-day Amazing Amazon, Insignia (11/16). Cunard: 6-day Transatlantic Westbound, QM2 (6/10). Delta Queen/Majestic America: 7-day Memphis to New Orleans, Delta Queen (6/04), 7-day St. Louis to St. Paul, American Queen (10/07).
#4
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,932 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Carnevale
We are sailing on Riviera in early August and we keep checking but we still don't see any FW excursions or culinary classes for our cruise
Are you checking under "ALREADY BOOKED" ?

I think the culinary classes are under options tab but not sure as I do not have a current booking to check the location
Maybe someone will comment on where they found the time slots for the classes
#5
1,751 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Thanks, rubysue, I did not know they were a brand name of a tour provider. I did an internet search on their name and looked at their web page. They have a number of cruises listed but it may be that these are are winery sponsored cruise tours they have packaged and not just a ship excursions.

Carnivale, curious I poked around O's website and found under 'Explore Ashore' selecting excursions for Tuscany (Livorno). From there found a listing and on that page can select a drop down box for other cruises with this excursion (there may be other excursion too). Looks like you are out of luck as I do not see one offered in August. They have them listed through to later in the Fall so may be simplest to check with O's Destination folks and confirm if they do have something on your itinerary. It also depends on where cruise's itinerary because F&W Trails would only be organizing tours in certain places. Assuming you are on the Aug 3 Turkey, Greece, Croatia, ending in Venice cruise, I think there may not be a wine excursion.

LTH28 I learned that it appears the F & W Trails are excursions like other can be viewed without a booking (but have to find them - no search) but like you I have not found a place to see when culinary classes are offered except under a booking. Mine (the one before Carnivale's) reports that none are available at this time.
#6
677 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Many thanks to all of your for the info you have shared. I suspect that YoHoHo is right and there won't be any of these special events on the cruise we have booked (yes, we are on the the Greek Glories cruise). That is so disappointing given all that I've heard about the culinary centre and the emphasis OCL puts on food and wine. But given what's been shared I'll give OCL a call to confirm.

Thanks again everyone!
#7
Stamford, CT, USA
6,070 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Carnevale
Many thanks to all of your for the info you have shared. I suspect that YoHoHo is right and there won't be any of these special events on the cruise we have booked (yes, we are on the the Greek Glories cruise). That is so disappointing given all that I've heard about the culinary centre and the emphasis OCL puts on food and wine. But given what's been shared I'll give OCL a call to confirm.

Thanks again everyone!
What everyone has been trying to say is that on the Oceania Web Site, if one clicks on the "already booked" icon, and sets up an account, each passenger may easily manage their booking in a number of different ways.

http://www.oceaniacruises.com/

Pre booking dinner reservations, pre booking Culinary classes, reserving Privée and/or La Reserve, or purchasing a Shore Excursion, are all easily accomplished ahead of time, if that is the passengers preference. It is even possible to book a pre or post cruise hotel, or to request a change in ones Oceania-Air reservations.

Once set up (and it does take some effort), the passenger can easily monitor their cruise plans, down to the smallest detail.
Why not? Look up your booking number, and give it a shot.
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#8
677 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Thanks Jim and Stan. I've been using that part of the OCL website for sometime now (got all my pre-cruise info entered and have been reading up about all of the excursions). That site says there are no culinary classes at this time for the sailing we are on and none of the excursions have the FW designation (but there are many excursions in each port). I think you are on the first Riviera cruise next month. Are there any Culinary Classes and/or FW excursions on your sailing? I'm wondering if the problem I'm facing is that this part of Riviera isn't ready yet.
#9
Stamford, CT, USA
6,070 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Carnevale
Thanks Jim and Stan. I've been using that part of the OCL website for sometime now (got all my pre-cruise info entered and have been reading up about all of the excursions). That site says there are no culinary classes at this time for the sailing we are on and none of the excursions have the FW designation (but there are many excursions in each port). I think you are on the first Riviera cruise next month. Are there any Culinary Classes and/or FW excursions on your sailing? I'm wondering if the problem I'm facing is that this part of Riviera isn't ready yet.
The Culinary center will be operating during promotional cruises, even before the 5/16 Maiden Cruise, so it is not a case of the facility not being ready.

Are you sure that the site says that no culinary Classes are being offered, or does it say that no culinary Packages are being offered?

In our case, even though the Culinary Class section had "None" next to it, clicking on the "Add" button displayed a list of available classes.

It does not appear that there are any Food & Wine, Bon Appetite or Artist Loft tours being offered on our cruise or on yours. This may be a function of the part of the World that we are sailing in (our cruises are very similar but some of our ports are very basic places), or it could mean that the Tours themselves are not ready to be rolled out yet.

I'll ask the Tour desk more about the details of that, when I get on the ship in a few weeks
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Jim & Stan


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#10
Salem, SC
387 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I know that on the Marina transatlantic in March that the culinary classes posted much later than anything else. I think part of the problem is that it was a transatlantic and they were offering many more classes (usually 2 a day) than usual and Chef Kelly was not going to be on board and instead we had Chef Annie and Chef Noelle.

We also participated in the first Bon Appetit market tour and cooking class while we were in Funchal. It was fantastic, we had such a good time. Again, this excursion did not post when the other excursions did but later on and I just happened upon it. Once on board I questioned if there had been enough demand for fear that it might be cancelled. Upon embarkation there were 6 of us already signed up and by the time we arrived in Funchal we were up to 22. 24 is the maximum number since the cooking part of the tour can only accommodate 24 at the 12 cooking stations.
#11
677 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I'm always so impressed with how helpful everyone is on these discussions. Thanks so much!

Jim and Stan, when I click on the "Reserve Culinary Classes" button what comes up says "Bon Appétit Culinary Classes are unavailable at this time". I tried clicking on the "Add" button but nothing happened. Then when I clicked on "Bon Appétit Culinary Classes" it said both classes and packages are "currently unavailable". If you would ask onboard that would be terrific!

And CAG, you have given me hope! I'll keep looking in case something appears later on. A market tour and cooking class combo would be ideal. I'm glad you were able to enjoy it.
#12
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,932 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
If you have not done so already you can view the classes offered
http://www.oceaniacruises.com/ships/...onappetit.aspx
it will just be the times/days that you will need to confirm at a later date
You could also try asking your TA or Oceania to book the classes you want
you just have to pay at the time of booking

I am sure it will all work out in the end

I did notice some excursions including a wine tour in a couple of ports just not the FW tour group

Lyn
#13
677 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Thanks LHT28. I hadn't thought of going to the part of the website that describes the ship. Seeing this list makes me hope the classes will be offered even more - they sound great!
#14
Ocean County, New Jersey
690 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
We can keep up with the postings on the blog at http://www.oceaniacruisesblog.com/ta...linary-center/

There are postings about the various new features that will also be available on the other Oceania ships as well as Marina and Riviera. Chef Kelly often posts there.
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#15
73 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Hi Everyone,

I am on the August 13th sailing from Venice to Rome and very interested in the cooking classes. It is my understanding that you will be able to book them as soon as you pay in full.

Shay
#16
Colorado
551 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Shay123
Hi Everyone,

I am on the August 13th sailing from Venice to Rome and very interested in the cooking classes. It is my understanding that you will be able to book them as soon as you pay in full.

Shay
This has been discussed in other threads. You do not have to have paid for your cruise in full to book La Reserve, Privee, shore excursions or culinary classes because you pay for those items immediately when you book them. I booked and paid for a culinary class on Marina last year before final payment was due. I have already booked and paid for La Reserve and two shore excursions for a cruise this year and final payment isn't due until June.
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Rubysue (Barb)




Past Cruises:
RCI: 7-day Eastern Caribbean, Song of America (12/82), 10-day Southern Caribbean, Nordic Prince (6/84), 7-day Western Caribbean, Song of Norway (11/87), 10-day Southern Caribbean, Nordic Prince (11/91), 7-day Western Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas (12/13). Celebrity: 14-day Voyage to Antarctica, Infinity (02/14); 11-day Mardi Gras & Western Caribbean, Equinox (02/17). Princess: 12-day inaugural Alaska/Canada, original Star Princess (5/89), 10-day Panama Canal, Royal Princess (11/96), 7-day Solar Eclipse Cruise Southern Caribbean, Dawn Princess (2/98). American Hawaii: 7-day French Polynesia, Liberte' (11/86). Holland America: 7-day Alaska, MS Westerdam (7/06). Disney Cruise Line: 4-day Bahamian, Wonder (5/06), 10-day Western Mediterranean, Magic (6/07), 4-day Bahamian, Wonder (2/08), 12-day Inaugural Northern European Capitals, Magic (6/10), 3-day Bahamian, Dream (5/11), 7-day Eastern Caribbean, Fantasy (3/13). Oceania Cruise Line: 12-day Caribbean Pearls, Regatta (3/10); 12-day Jewels of the Aegean, Marina (9/11), 15-day Continental Connoisseur, Marina (9/12), 18-day Voyage of the Midnight Sun, Nautica (7/13); 15-Day Radiant Retreats, Regatta (10/14); 20-day Vikings, Castles and Kings, Nautica (6/15); 22-day Amazing Amazon, Insignia (11/16). Cunard: 6-day Transatlantic Westbound, QM2 (6/10). Delta Queen/Majestic America: 7-day Memphis to New Orleans, Delta Queen (6/04), 7-day St. Louis to St. Paul, American Queen (10/07).
#17
73 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Yes. I have seen this discussed and that's where I got the information regarding being paid in full before booking culinary classes. I have been able to book shore excursions even though I am not paid in full but the culinary classes don't even show up.

I guess the best thing to do is to call Oceania directly and find out what's going on.

Thank you for the information.
#18
1,751 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by Shay123
Yes. I have seen this discussed and that's where I got the information regarding being paid in full before booking culinary classes. I have been able to book shore excursions even though I am not paid in full but the culinary classes don't even show up.

I guess the best thing to do is to call Oceania directly and find out what's going on.

Thank you for the information.
As per my earlier post I suspect it is becasue there are no classes for your cruise. My Riviera cruise July 19th has no classes. "Culinary classes are currently unavailable"

It is a little confusing because JimandStan report that they can add classes to their cruise which is a few before ours. Perhaps only for the Maidnen Voyage to get it off to a start or perhaps they are waiting to see if the facitlites are ready for real action and not repeat the problems on Marina's maiden voyage

Let us know please what you find out. You could end a lot of speculation.
#19
Stamford, CT, USA
6,070 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
It is a little confusing because JimandStan report that they can add classes to their cruise which is a few before ours.
Since this topic was first introduced, there has been some talk about there being staffing issues in the Culinary Center, when the Riviera sails Transatlantic in November.
I'm not sure which sailing you are on, but remember that they need instructors as well as the facility to have a class.
My suggestion would be to telephone Oceania, just to confirm that the problem is not web-site based, and then keep checking for the classes every time that you manage your reservation.
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#20
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,932 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I would think by July or even June they will have Culinary classes
It as J & S said it is probably a website glitch or an oversight

Sometime the website is not up to date IMO