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Flatbush Flyer

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About Flatbush Flyer

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Point Richmond CA
  • Interests
    Travel, Food, Wine, Sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Pacific Ocean

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  1. I doubt that you'll find many folks who have much idea of what ports are in an itinerary for which you provide only a name, particularly since the names (and itineraries) in any particular region change over time. Even providing the dates would still require us to look up the itinerary. So, you may get more response if you just post the itinerary ports. Then there's the issue of a few disgruntled reports here on CC vs the hundreds of glowing reviews. I've been on Sirena twice in the past 9 months (both long cruises). All is well! We'll be back on her in December. BTW, Sirena was purchased from Princess several years ago and had a $40 milllion makeover. And now, it (along with the other three R ships) are receiving the total NEXT project interior redesign.
  2. Another similar tactic, albeit with the need for favorable time windows, is to book-onboard.
  3. A very good point about the O Life - especially since you can now use Oceania loyalty SBC to pre-purchase a non-O Life tour (or two) also.
  4. That cruise is one of a bunch of short Caribbean cruises being done by Sirena before heading to Europe. And none are being marketed as "extended voyages" (multi-segment). If you check on these cruises, there's tons of availability right now due, in part, to the reality of the bulk of regular Oceania cruisers tending to do longer cruises in regions other than the Caribbean. IMO, you may see more activity on your roll call this autumn.
  5. If you're allowed to order out for Oceania food, the HAL suite thing might be worth a 👀.
  6. For your destinations and travel abroad (in general) : The best advice is to do some significant research including perusing the works of trusted travel authors/publications (e.g., Lonely Planet; Rick Steves, et al.). There are also some wonderful articles in mags like Conde Naste and the travel sections of The NY Times, SF Chronicle, etc). Many foreign consulates have concise/accurate info for travelers as well. Of course, you can also search here on CC (in the "Ports" sections). But realize that there's plenty of misinformation spread throughout the good stuff. For the "ins and outs" of cruising: Chat/correspond with a well respected TA who (beyond doing your booking) is a top seller for your chosen cruise line and cruises often on their ships. They have the answers and any contacts you may need. Again, you can search here on CC in the cruise lines/cruise ship forums as well as on your cruise's "roll call." But, there too, understand that some of the info is dead wrong. And, as was the case for many of us, know that "experience is the best teacher." So, be observant and attentive to the idiosyncrasies once onboard. I will give you one very important suggestion: When shopping for value in cruise costs, NEVER rely solely on a comparison of published cabin costs. You must also consider the expense associated with related required costs and optional selections you may choose. Once you add things like airfare, internet, beverages, alcohol, excursions, specialty restaurants and gratuities, remember that the seemingly "expensive" cabin on a premium cruise line may include many/all of what will be extra costs on a mass market ship (AND the quality of your experience will be significantly better in many respects). Bottom line: Do the complete math!
  7. Why is the gross tonnage of Breakaway 1000t more than Getaway?
  8. In general, full 22" bags are far too big for an international carry-on (i.e., weight if full). Our Oceania cruises are, minimally, several weeks to more than a month (plus pre/post cruise land visits. However, we pack for 10 day "laundry segments" Our checked bags are 29" "Travel Pros" that can fit in most town car trunks (for transfers) and just make it under Oceania beds for storage. Our carry-ons are small under-seat sized Travel Pros, which hold valuables/electronics/meds and one night emergency toiletries/"all purpose" change of clothing. Thus, the carry-ins are easy to keep with us (and out of the way of other cruisers) while we wait for cabin availability on embarkation day. They also allow for stowage (atop them) of collapsible six pack wine carriers we bring with us for local pre-cruise purchases. IMO, get small carry-ons.
  9. To you, it may be a B2B. To government authorities, it's a port stop.
  10. Back in 2017, they changed their server situation such that you had to reconfigure your account (including secondary authorization preference) to continue gaining access. As part of that process you should've received a personal key (four sets of four random characters, each set separated by a hyphen) to get you in if you're having trouble. i just tried getting in and had no problem (did have to enter a texted code, which is how I chose to do secondary authorization). As a test, try your email/password combo to sign in at login.gov. At least, that will tell you if your info is good. Then, go back to the ttp site and use "login" (not new account) to get to your stuff. Of course, if you didn't jump the reconfigure hoops when it all changed, you may have some problems. Call the DHS help line for further assistance. You can't call the trusted traveler program.
  11. Agree on the <$199 price for allowable O Life tours (aka those tours not notated with OE, OS, et al.) Also, I've never seen 40 people with a guide hired by Oceania (figure more like 16-24 depending). There are some panoramic (bus ride sightseeing) tours but usually other worthwhile active ones as well. We usually mix ship and private tours. Note that the O Life freebies tours also count toward the minimum number required to get the 25% discount (Your World Your Way) on any purchased tours (e.g., OS, OE...). The cart on your account is very intuitive and will show you if you're better off taking O Life tours or SBC. Search for my prior posts explaining this in great detail.
  12. Aft corner suites on Oceania "R" and "O" ships have wraparounds.
  13. We were on Sirena earlier this year and late last year. Never had less than 2 bartenders in Martinis or Horizons during Happy Hours. Whenever there was a break for one, still didn't have much of a wait. My chief complaint about the bars is the need to request fresh squeezed juices for cocktails with premium booze. I agree that the wines by the glass may only have 3 or for wines I would consider decent. We most often bring our own wine onboard and usually add the occasional ship bottles (primarily from the "bin end" list). And bar service in the Terrace Grill can sometime be a challenge. Of course, a kind word to a maitre'd and someone appears immediately. The approach to the GDR menu (across the Fleet) changed about 9 months ago. We like the more focused simplicity while retaining the nightly offerings for less adventurous diners. BTW, we found the GDR Beef Wellington (on Nautica this past June) to be excellent. You've done the right thing by using your comment cards. They do influence policy/practice changes.
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