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Everything posted by Kate-AHF

  1. And an "ala carte approach" could be upgrade to biz class. Fits in perfectly with the business model. Don't want it? You don't have to pay for it. But that option should be there.
  2. I don't understand why you think it's an either/or equation. You seem to think that improving the air dept would tank everthing else the line does well. I don't get that. When you rest on your laurels, you die as a company. This attitude of "Oh, we're doing enough, so get over it" I just can't wrap my mind around.
  3. Silversea seems to manage a very decent BC upgrade for a whole lot of their sailings.
  4. It's true, biz class and Oceania are incompatible. But it shouldn't be that way. Other cruise lines offer very reasonable upgrades to BC, there is no reason why O couldn't do the same. It's a major drawback for us on this line.
  5. And you can still get the conflict message when O has cancelled the initial shorex, it's no longer listed as a shorex you are taking, and you are trying to replace it. But you can't because it still thinks there is a conflict. Glitchy, glitchy, glitchy.
  6. You did nothing wrong. Before this upcoming cruise for us in a couple of weeks, I've never had a problem getting the online system to calculate the YWYW prices as long as I selected the minimum amount of shorex for that cruise to qualify. This time, I've had constant issues when selecting, and expecting, that 25% discount to show up and have been on the phone to O twice now to get what I needed. They did get it done both times.
  7. No clue. I suspect it's an Ensemble thing, but I haven't seen the invoice yet. I'm having issues getting the on-board booking credit perks applied, which we are entitled to as we are 24 days out of sailing.
  8. Yes. Jun 2023 voyage on Riviera. First time in quite a few O cruises I've gotten PPG.
  9. We are looking at the 11th - 29th. (The itin for the June 1st leg we are doing Fall 2022 on Sirena.) Then maybe rent a car and do a little of the Wild Atlantic Way again. The first time we did it we had to miss Slieve League as the fog was impenetrable. But that time of year is much later than I like to be in Europe. We are shoulder-season people. Just like you, we can't make ourselves fly over for just a 10 day - and 18 days is still too short. When we retired our biggest thrill was never having to take a 7 day European vacation again. First world issues for sure. 😳
  10. Thank you Orv. Very helpful. I was unaware of the reason for lack of TA air support. I will strike that from my list of "must-have's". We have a B2B2B on Marina in three weeks, and another B2B2B on Sirena next fall. Funny though, we are actually looking at a portion of the cruise you've mention in your signature, so it's possible our paths might actually cross.
  11. What a wonderful post. Heartfelt thanks for sharing this. I think this part is so important: " If I can spend $10 to 20,000 or much more on a vacation, I am not going to ask the TA to give me their livelihood." Exactly. Discounts, perks or rebates have never been a factor for us, and the TA needs to be compensated for what they do. I don't expect them to do this for free, and with all the pandemic cancellations, rebookings that are also then cancelled, and then rebooked again without a dime coming in - income has plummeted. In some cases TA's lost status commission tiers with some cruiselines because of drop in volume during this period. Stimulus must be the only way they have survived, and that's gone now. I do hope our paths cross over that glass Mauibabes.
  12. I willl admit I have a low bar for business: I want a lay-flat seat, and no DVT when I land.
  13. I can let you know in 21 days. Was encouraged by the recent youtube vids on the A321-neo
  14. What do i want from a TA. I do not care about perks, or discounts. I want someone who knows the product. I want help with air. ("Oh, we are a mom & pop agency. We don't do air") If I ask a question, and you don't know the answer (particularly in these challenging, constantly changing environments) I want you to ask. Though I have rapidly decreasing confidence that what the TA is being told is actually true. See: constantly changing environments, and very confused O employees. I want at LEAST a link to the current cruise ship travel contract and conditions when I book, so I can print them, and I don't want to go looking for them myself. If you think everyone gets this, yeah... no. They don't. I want some kind of assistance from the TA if things go way-bad-wrong on our cruise. I don't think they can fix everything, but I want them to at least try. I want an accurate invoice. I've asked three people on the last two cruises who their TA was. They were not sharing. If they evade or change the subject, what do I do? Polite society indicates I accept the dodged question gracefully. Though we have a new argument above "give the newbies time to learn their job". Which already absolves the TA from my point 1. Pinotlover seems to think that most people have control issues. Trust me, I didn't used to. Having balls dropped by others over the years has enlightened me that I need to take responsibility. Funny how it's "control issues" until there is a problem, then it's 'you have an obligation to keep informed". Okay, off my soapbox for another 2 years on this subject.
  15. I see these lectures on "using a good TA" every single solitary week here on this board. So why does finding one have to be like hen's teeth? It's just not that easy Orv. Had a good TA, used once with great huzzahs on our part, then she retired during the pandemic. Still using one we've used for 15 years, that TA is nothing like you describe. Minutia (like... what documents do we need to travel for this cruise?) is not his thing and telling me to call O to find out is not helpful. I've talked to a couple of the Connoisseur's club agents I found on the web. So far? Not impressed by the two i talked to enough to even try booking a cruise with them. So how many cruises do I have to suffer through a bad agent to find a good one? How many cruises do we take in a year? It could literally take 5 years trying agents to get a good one. You say the day you found your agent was "your lucky day". I'm not so lucky, and I'm getting tired of getting lectured on this. You all with great TA's should just count yourselves VERY VERY lucky and not talk to the rest of us that are not so lucky as being negligent, lazy, or stubborn. You all seem to think it's easy. It's just NOT that easy. I'm not picking on you per se Orv, I like you and see eye to eye with you on so many things and love your sane, reasonable worldview. But this thread sent me over the edge, and your post got picked to respond.
  16. That's very good information - and thank you very much for posting this. And those included fees should be widely advertised by O. Doesn't apply to us, as we will never use O air until they get real about bus. class, and we are arriving via train from another part of Italy. BUT!!! the included air deviation makes up for the overall cost, and the one night price commensurate with the inclusions.
  17. Pre and post cruise land tours are a much better value than the pre-cruise hotel, it seems. We did a post-cruise land tour and included transfers (obviously) and felt it offered very good value. Quite simply, the post-cruise tour was a great experience. For this fall, I asked my TA to book us for a one night pre-cruise hotel stay, because the hotel was great, it shaved off some of the planning with transfers and i could just.... veg. Until my TA informed me that one night pre-cruise in Rome with transfer was.... wait for it.... $840. Um, no. We will stay in an exciting new boutique hotel in the Jewish quarter, easy walking to many great restaurants, and the hotel will arrange for xfer to the pier. Massively less than $840. I don't mind paying a premium for convenience, but that price was just beyond what is reasonable.
  18. I'm quite relieved that La Reserve will be kept. I had not understood this before your post. It has been the highlight of our cruises, and might have kept us off of Vista if they had not found a home for the venue.
  19. The O shorex for Bari is now available to purchase in my account. For sure, there is a trip listed to see the Trulli. But what I am gravitating to is a listed trip to Matera. Never heard of this town before today, but after reading a Harper's Bazaar article about the history and it's amazing revival I am more than just intrigued. They believe that Matera is the third oldest city in history, after Aleppo and Jericho. While I'm sorry we (once again) won't get to visit Perast in Montenegro, this would more than make up for it. I normally say we are itin-driven. And that is true to a point. We cancelled our Regent cruise from Athens to Istanbul this month because we were pretty sure it wouldn't happen, and Istanbul and the post-cruise was crucial. But.... this O cruise from Rome to Miami is floating around the Med. Whatever the changes to the itin, we will STILL be floating around the Med which is just ducky with us. There is always something we haven't seen or done when we cruise there....even if it's O shorex. Eventually Marina will sail down to Miami and we will be on her.
  20. Though O doesn't have Bari tours posted yet, you can get an idea of what may be offered by visiting this page on a Marina cruise next year. There is also a nice Youtube walking tour here, which I'm pretty sure is covered in one of the tours on offer above. It sure would be neat to see the "Bari ladies" make orichette by hand on tables outside their home as in the video, but as it will be November I'm not sure that will still happen.
  21. Oh dear. Well, we'll try to do our part when we board.
  22. Serious question here... have pax that have been thwarted in their attempt to get a La reserve reservation even been able to get the ship to add another night?
  23. I'm kinda in awe of how well you know me just through my posting on this board. Though the Bin End list should be in our cabin when we get there.
  24. Which is why in 45 days - the instant I step off the gangway onto Marina I will head to the dining reservations desk.
  25. This is a great location. We stayed several times next door at what used to be NH Manin hotel until they re-named it Palazzo Barocci remodeled it and stripped it of all its charm. We now stay in the San Croce area at the Al Ponte Mocenigo - just steps away from the San Stae vaporetto stop, and also a stop on the Alilaguna orange line from the airport (no bridges with your luggage!!). Not as polished as the Palazzo Sant'Angelo and kind of Italian shabby-chic, but there is also a small garden for a very good breakfast and for Venice this hotel is very affordable. It's owner-operated and these guys have been at it for a while. And it's also just steps away from a small restaurant Osteria Mocenigo. Very, very authentic Venetian cuisine, and you probably will only hear Italian being spoken around you at dinner. Service can be great or a little, um, "casual". If our current flights don't get cancelled (again) we will be there in 42 days (not counting the hours yet, but close to it)
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