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About UDSpud

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    Cool Cruiser

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    travel, bridge, sports
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    Northern Europe

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  1. Assuming that Oceania and NCL corporate types read the Oceania Board, it may be time for users of this board to make improvement suggestions. I will get it started with the following: 1. A daily sheet, or page, of things going on in the port stop that day. Special exhibitions at museums, farmers markets, daytime sport events, concerts that fit the ships in port time, etc This would be especially helpful for things one could walk to from the port. I have others, but want to hear from others.
  2. Advice - take it or leave it. For the events (Oceania club members and Captains) in Horizons, I always dress upscale. For me that is a sports coat, dress shirt (with tie), a dressy vest, appropriate non- khakis dress slacks and dress shoes with appropriate socks. . Is it necessary? - no. Is it appreciated by the ships officers in the reception line and the well dressed production company singer/dancers? - definitely yes.(IMO and experience)
  3. While part of the high survey results for Viking Ocean are deserved, their "what we are" and "what we are not" helps limit poor reviews. Some will complain about an Oceania cruise if there are children under 18 on board and Viking does not have to worry about this. The same situation exists with casino's. People who want them may not sail Viking and will not complain about "no casino's" (or any casino related complaints) My new Travel and Leisure cruise survey as Viking rated highest in their category and arrived several months after I received a letter from Viking requesting I vote for them in the Travel and Leisure survey. I chose to vote for Oceania with my $$,$$$.$$.
  4. While timing and noise levels may be the main reasons for the MDR vs Terrace Café decisions for many, I like the quick sample approach and creativity possible with the Terrace Café. I can request a very small cup of a new, to me, soup and go back and get some more if I really like the sample. I can also create a salad out of several basic choices and many add on choice items. Oceania's Terrace Café usually(or always?) has a small serving plate of small unusual sandwich to try. Desserts, you get to see and request the portion size you wish (the young server will often position the knife or ask the count to verify your request). A similar portion of carved meat exists as you can ask for more or less and often light or dark. They even served me the ear of a cooked pig after verifying that I really wanted to try it. The aforementioned may be reasons why the Terrace Café may get crowded. It is not unusual to see ship officers there later in the dinner hour. I have also occasionally seen passengers leave the MDR for dinner desert at the Terrace Café.
  5. Just a thought. Many people on this thread seem to question, criticize, complain about the MDR on port days. Since the ship personnel should know how many are on or off the ship, an issue for Oceania becomes one of timing and people changing their minds about coming back on for lunch. My suggestion - Oceania should consider a combination MDR for popular to medium popular port day lunches. By combination I mean a limited menu service and a limited buffet. Ideally, these offerings would be publicized as to the choices available ahead of time (at least the night before, like on the bed with the Currents) and advance warnings that menu service could be delayed if more passengers than expected arrive at the MDR that day for lunch. Another Oceania labor planning choice would the first course and dessert from that MDR buffet and the main by menu, with waiter service and prepared by order. This idea attempts to mimic the large occasional holiday brunches in the MDR (without the degree of show). Additional cruise critic Oceania board user ideas are welcome. This thread has highlighted a problem, lets hear some more solutions.
  6. Cheers to Hawaiidan on his 6/29/2019 post. Glad to hear there are a few Oceania cruisers who use DIY (do it yourself) in lieu of paid shore excursions. I like interactions with locals when I travel. I get to spend most of my year with Americans. Yes, you should plan ahead and use common sense. Our last trip on Oceania had a stop at Tangiers, Morocco. The wife was worried and stayed on the ship. I walked all over, but was careful to try and stay on main streets with lots of people and in the daylight. Another thing is to find smaller towns or suburbs near the port city. Often there may be no shore excursions to them, but they have the benefit of not being swarmed with tourists. Local public buses and trains can be reasonably priced and often have local passengers willing to help tourists. Sometimes even foreign tourists will help you. A French couple once helped us get a special train fare from St. Jean-de-Luz FR to Sabastian SP for 20 Euro's round trip for both my wife and I (conversation with them was free) My next Oceania cruise is a 10 day Baltic cruise from Stockholm in August which we will fly into after 4 days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. At the Warnemunde port stop, I will get to do my favorite past DIY excursion to Stralsund via train from Warnemunde and Rostock. It is a wonderful former East German town on the Baltic which was largely spared during WWII due to very little military or industrial value. I will take Oceania shore excursions to use onboard ship credits that are not refundable.
  7. One solution for the adventuresome - research nearby smaller towns, especially those with excellent (frequent) public bus and/or train service from the port city. For example, on back to back cruises with Southampton in the middle, take the train from Southampton to Winchester. The town has major tourist attractions, good restaurants and flat easy walking with frequent train service. Since there are some passengers leaving the Oceania ship and others coming to the ship to board, Oceania usually has offered a shuttle bus from the ship to the train station. Another is Dinard, France which is a short passenger boat ride across the harbor from St. Malo. We are taking an Oceania Baltic cruise in August and I have all ready noted small DIY (do it yourself) towns near Helsinki, Riga, Klaipeda and Tallinn. The small town approach is best if you have seen the big major city tourist attractions already. .
  8. My post - 4th from bottom on page 59 - re: MSN & Viking Sky "...some passengers were sucked into the ocean as the wave receded..." I made this post last night just before our library was to close. After posting, I printed out the MSN page with the above quote. At that time I learned that it was a Asheville NC Citizen-Times story. Per the story, two Asheville resident couples (the Umbergers and the Barkus's) were on the cruise and, I assume, were probably the main source of the comments. Only the Barkus's were in the dining room muster station site. ( the Umbergers were in the forward theater muster station) "Bruce Barkus said the couple isn't yet ready to discuss their harrowing experience - ' its all still too raw' ". Per the account - "But he (I presume Mr. Barkus) gave permission to his cruise companion Winslow Umberger to provide an outline of what the Barkuses lived through, according to conversations they shared about the experience." I choose to assume that passengers in the dining were sucked around by ocean water as the wave receded, but were not sucked into the ocean outside the ship. I am sorry for not making clear the original news outlet for this account in my original quote. Perhaps Viking knows if any furnishings were sucked out of the dining room into the ocean and lost, but I still have not seen any report of people, crew or passengers being sucked, or swept, into the ocean.
  9. I am posting this due to what may be at least a very poorly worded comment on this event I just read on MSN -Lifestyle entitled " We survived the Norwegian cruise accident and still recommend Viking" . Right under this heading was the name Elizabeth Anne Brown. The third section of this report was called "Pinned down by Artic water" In referring to the windows broken in the dining room ( I believe it was muster station B ) this appeared - " and some passengers were sucked into the ocean as the wave receded " Having read most of the 59 cruise credit pages included before this and other outside reports, I have read nothing to indicate that any passengers were "sucked into the Ocean itself ( ie were sucked off the ship ). Please advise if I am wrong or were passengers just sucked across the dining rom by ocean water.
  10. My bad, my bad, I apologize. Many of you are right, especially after a re-read the first page. I am sorry, the downside was discussed quite a bit When a dance, I sweat. When I work out, I sweat, When I walk around ports ( and it is warm), I sweat . Now that you get the picture, (sorry about the truth), I use the self-serve laundry a lot (my better half does not). It reached the point that I was giving "how to use the laundry machines instructions" to passengers new to Oceania. Three other points, minor, and I can wash my hands of this topic.: 1) Oceania used to open the doors to the self-service laundry (O ships) at 6:00 am if I remember right, and now I believe it is 7:00 or 7:30 am. 2) On my last Marina cruise, I had to go to a third different floor to get a dryer when the wash cycle finished. 3) I now need another way to use small amounts of OBC credits (Oceania does not have $2.00 and $4.00 shore excursions.) I will now put a (clean) sock in it.
  11. Is no one considering the downside? A problem with self-serve laundry is that the dryer takes more time than the washer. If someone uses the last dryer just a bit before I start my wash cycle, I may have to take my damp wash one a trip to other floors laundries. If dryer are free, I may find a few clothes in a dryer with a lot of minutes to go when I, or someone else, needs a dryer for a full, finished load of wash. I do not plan to bring enough clean clothes for a 26 day cruise to avoid laundry. Like wasted, over-ordered food, free, or all ready paid for, has a downside.
  12. Per CC news, 03/04/2019, Viking has committed to two more ships to be delivered in 2024 and 2025. Viking referred to "sister ships" and "new innovations". (Hope I got the second comment right) Based upon recent CC port news, there may soon be too many cruise ships or certain areas an times ( the Caribbean in the winter).
  13. It is important to gage your group and perhaps the room for seriousness. I was there once for a later question which was a word for a particular type of fear. The answer was supposed to be a fear of what. I somewhat loudly mentioned a one word name for another cruise line. Got a big laugh including the CD.
  14. To those questioning beverage service in the Terrace. It may not be relevant, since I very rarely drink beer, wine and other hard beverages there, but one possibly explanation come to mind for service issues. If memory serves me correctly, a beverage station is only near the entrance/exit door on the port side. If I am correct then anyone seated on the starboard may find service slower for that reason only. I am not sure if beer and wine come from there, but, if not, it may come from even further away. This being said, it often appears that servers for these beverages may be under-staffed. I will note that the table waiters and waitresses often ask about coffee, tea and fruit juices (including refills). (when Terrace is busy, I just get them myself). Perhaps a little table sign (such as used to get Waves sandwiches, etc into the correct Terrace table} should be considered.
  15. To - californiacruisluvre s - Sorry you got such a poor cruise. I assume since you mention many (7?) prior Oceania cruises that this might be regarded as the exception to the rule. (feel free to post on the thread I started "Can Oceania survive Viking") . I thought my last Oceania cruise was sub-par for many of the same reasons, but I also, upon reflection, noted that I compared it to my previous Oceania cruise that I regarded as exceptional. The following questions come to mind: 1) Did you write your concerns in the mid-cruise and end of cruise surveys? 2) Did you ever see and then, if the time seemed right, take the opportunity to directly voice your concerns directly to the General Manager or location staff supervisors, etc.? 3) Did you use "Please", "Thank You" and the individuals name enough? (If so, then your comments abut staff attitude are probably appropriate). 4) How full was the ship? And were many of the Oceania staff and crew new to the ship, Oceania, or cruise line work? Have a good Viking cruise. (PS - my wife got glared at by the Viking Sea captain for sitting in his favorite seat at the breakfast buffet - we learned from this and avoided that seat for the rest of the cruise)
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