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About bitob

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  1. All of the above PLUS I have some mobility issues. I can walk but I can be a fall risk if the ship is rocking badly. When the ship was rocking badly on one cruise and my wife was unavailable my butler accompanied me up to my spa appointment to ensure I got there safely. That is not the norm -- but we have had the butler go out of their way for us many times -- including searching for a lost cell phone and getting the doctor to our suite in an emergency. We have come to see the butler as a necessity for a true luxury experience. When we began cruising we could not imagine wanting a butler much less knowing what to do with one. We are older and wiser!
  2. Agree. I was on the ship at the time and it was an incredibly sad few days. The staff did an amazing job in dealing with something for which they were unprepared, setting up a remembrance tribute and making sure the guests still had a good ship experience. It was quite the balancing act.
  3. Please add us to the list for the following cruises Aug 30,2020 (OCY200830-13) Barcelona to Quebec Aug 27 2021 (OCY 210827 and OCY210905) b2b Dover to New York Jan 21, 2021 (OCY2101-21) LA to Brisbane
  4. They have a similar set up in some of Marriott Executive Lounges. They no longer have plastic bottles of water for you to take to the room. You take a refillable bottle that is provided, fill it with your choice of water, take it to your room and return the bottle which is washed in their kitchen. You get a new bottle each time.
  5. FYI Aside from the good advice you have received on this thread, if you search the Oceania boards (perhaps put in the word "Butler" for the thread title) you will find numerous past threads where cruisers have discussed how they use their butlers. We needed the ship's doctor in an emergency on our last Crystal cruise. I called the butler. The Dr was there in 3 minutes. Our butlers have also given us some very personal assistance (which I won't detail here) and we will not book a cabin without a butler at this point.
  6. I posted this on another thread regarding the two companies We use Luggage Forward with no problem. I have friends who use Luggage Free with no problem. On one trip I did find a a significant difference. When we were flying to Chile for our Antarctica cruise, Luggage Free told me they could not deliver to our hotel pre cruise. Chile's rules required us to pick up the luggage personally at a customs point (dealbreaker). Luggage Forward delivered to our hotel -- no issue at all. I would call both companies for a quote and details of delivery. Luggage Forward offers a AAA discount. Not sure about Luggage Free. Luggage Forward is NOT a stickler about the weight of the 50 pound bag. As long as it's under 54 lbs you are good to go.
  7. We did not find the tables were too close together We ate in several different sections of Waterside and it was never an issue
  8. We use Luggage Forward but we have friends who have used Luggage Free with success. Only one difference I ever found When I was shipping luggage to Chile for our Antarctic cruise, Luggage Free told me that Chilean rules required me to pickup the luggage at a port of entry (a non starter for me) and that they could not deliver it to my hotel. Luggage Forward told me they could deliver to my hotel and they did. Not sure why there was a difference in policy. Also, Luggage Forward has a AAA discount. I am shipping 2 bags to Dubai for our April cruise.
  9. We have always preferred the R ships. For us, smaller is better. We do not care about the extra restaurant choices. BUT if we were to decide based on cabin choice, the O ships have better options. On a R ship we always choose a PH. The smaller cabins are not an option for us. On an O ship we prefer the Oceania Suite (or the PH) but we would sail even in a smaller cabin on the O class ships if that were the only option. The standard cabins on the O ships are larger with nicer bathrooms than those on the R ships. Even the Ocean View cabins are nice on the O class ships. Look at photos on line to see how you fell about cabin choices.
  10. Oceania has a list of "bridge cruises" posted on line. All that means is that there will be ACBL sanctioned duplicate bridge. You can always call O and inquire. https://www.oceaniacruises.com/experience/enrichment/bridge-program/
  11. If the cruise has sufficient sea days there will be an ACBL sanctioned game in the afternoon and lessons (beginning and intermediate) in the morning. The bridge instructors are certified instructors but of course they vary in quality. You will find a real mix of players and skill levels on a cruise ship. You will also find that many players who regularly play social bridge join the duplicate and don't really know the difference in rules and strategy. You will also find some husbands and wives who never play together at home playing together on board and that can be interesting. LOL If you are a bridge player who enjoys duplicate on vacation it's fine. If you want a first rate experience for bridge at sea, take a Larry Cohen bridge cruise on Crystal.
  12. I used to say I sail both lines and I like both lines for different reasons. IMO the food on Celebrity (other than in Luminae) has gone downhill so much that we have taken our last cruise on Celebrity despite having status that gets us perks. I no longer like the ambiance on Celebrity. The entertainment is no longer appealing. The musical productions are no longer stellar. I still like Oceania. I like the ambiance most of all. But truth be told I have become Crystallized to the extent that I am only a few cruises away from a free O cruise and I probably won't book those 2 extra cruises to get the free one. That's how much we love Crystal. Times change. Cruise lines change. Tastes change. Priorities change. If you enjoy a cruise line then sail it. If you do not, you have many other options.
  13. After trying Crystal I did not want to go back to Oceania (after 15 cruises on O). IMO Celebrity has gone downhill so much over the years that a comparison is absurd in the extreme. Other than in Luminae, the food is inedible. Crystal is a total experience. Amazing and unparalleled in every respect -- food, service, on board activities, entertainment. Celebrity is merely a cruise. There is nothing special about it at all. Azamara, by the way, is not luxury. It's a small step above Celebrity -- very small. Just my opinion.
  14. I will give my "opinion" We have done 2 sailings on Seabourn on the Odyssey class ships -- one to Antarctica. Hard to compare that cruise to any other. We liked Seabourn -- especially Seabourn Square and all that caviar. I cannot say we LOVED it. Then we sailed Crystal. OMG. NO comparison IMO. We are crystallized in the extreme. We almost always book long cruises with lots of sea days and in that category I do not have enough superlatives for Crystal. We have 4 more Crystal cruises booked. That said, we are sailing on Seabourn again to the middle east on the Ovation in April. Lots of sea days. Crystal does not offer this itinerary and with its two ships Crystal gives us limited options for long cruises with lots of sea days. I am sure we will enjoy Seabourn. On Crystal we upgrade to an PHS or a Seabreeze PHS. We are bouncing our last check and we prefer to sail in a larger cabin with a butler (I know many of you think this is silly -- I used to think so too LOL). A Seabourn cruise is a relatively cheap alternative because we never upgrade unless there is a promotion and never to the larger suites. The basic suites are nice size and no matter how much you upgrade you do not get a butler. We see no advantage in upgrading on Seabourn. Personally, we could enjoy ourselves on any cruise line (maybe not Carnival). We have 15 cruises on Oceania with 2 more booked and we are going on our second PG cruise in September. For us, we'd rather cruise with friends on any ship than be loyal to one cruise line.
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