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    GTA Canada
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    Wine tasting, foodie
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  1. I have wondered the sense of buying decent wines on a cruise. Good restaurants typically let wines rest for 6 - 8 weeks after delivery before serving. How can aged, vintage wines that are subject to the movement of the ship be fit to drink? Aren't we smarter to search out a passable table wine on board? (The Queen of England often prefers Mateus)
  2. Yes. That's what we do. Couple of things to remember: 1. Your gratuity for drinks (now 20% I believe) is included for the drinks with either drink package. 2. You do not have to upgrade to the Prestige Package the first day. You will have your wine/beer available at lunch and dinner with the Basic Package. Maybe you have a gifted bottle of champagne (or you bring one on board) in your stateroom while you unpack. You will avoid the line at Guest Services on embarkation day. You save $40 (drinkers can be thrifty). 3. Three glasses of champagne or a couple of single malts and one glass of wine at lunch and dinner and you are at the $60 mark. Does not take much. 4.The advertised 10% off La Reserve with either drink package does not apply if you have the OLife beverage page - even if you upgraded to Prestige.
  3. If you would be happy with a French Verandah rather than a real balcony - grab it. If the amenities of a Concierge stateroom don't matter then book the French Verandah. The amenities don't matter to me either. If the size of the cabin is important then book the French Verandah, I would prefer their location, too. It's all about what you value. Isn't it nice to have choices?
  4. It does get confusing: a) #129 has to do with OLife selection - OBC (On Board Credit), Beverage Package or Excursions. Beverage Package choice for OLife makes no sense if both are not drinkers - then excursions or nothing IMO. b) #134 - IF only one is a drinker then you can choose to buy the beverage package ( that exercise on your Booked Cruise) in any combination and pay for it. This makes sense dollar-wise. This option of only one person taking the Beverage Package does not exist as an OLife choice. (Upgrading the basic Beverage Package (House Select) can only be done on board and I can't see they would not follow the same rules as buying however I don't know for sure...)
  5. If you go to your booking on Oceania, choose Beverage Option under Other Options > > > you can choose NONE, HOUSE SELECT or PRESTIGE SELECT for each passenger. So one could choose NONE and the Other choose HOUSE SELECT etc.
  6. I have seen no Vista Cruise where the solo cabin is more than any balcony cabin. I would be interested if anyone can point me to such a situation. Every Vista cruise I have looked at has the solo cabin priced at less than the price of a French Verandah (2 persons)... and it is what the solo passenger has to pay that is the issue.
  7. Yes, Oceania is very clear on this - both people must have the same OLife choice. So, unless you want the excursion choice, you are best to back out the OLife as your cost is identical to the amount of the OBC which they will give you. Or, as others have mentioned, you are trading cash at time of final payment for a non-refundable OBC onboard..
  8. I still agree with you. The only thing you can say is that the solo cabin is the cheapest way for a solo passenger to cruise on Vista.….and it is the fastest category to sell out on any Vista cruise.
  9. I would agree with everything you say as we have done similar comparisons in CAD. The exception we have found is when we search Regent using “Special Offer” > “Canadian Dollar at Par”. We were looking at Bridgetown to Bridgetown, 12 day, at $7499 pp CAD. This came out very nicely in a per day comparison particularly as, at the time, we were trying to avoid US departures. There are European options. There is another Special category in Regent called “Priced in Canadian Dollars’. No idea what that means but it might be worth investigating if you want to try Regent.
  10. Thank you for the information - lots to take in here
  11. The solo cabins are priced as A4 cabins with the amenities that a concierge cabin carries. The pricing seems to be 1.83 of the pp charge of an A4. In other words a solo traveller would pay one and 5/6 what a traveller would pay who shared accommodation. I would agree that it seems like a lot even though it appears that the solo cabins have extended balconies. Having said that, it looks like Oceania gauged the market well as the solo cabins were fast to sell out.
  12. If you have preferred dates and specialty restaurants, do the 12:01 thing.
  13. The examples that have been given for Ember - braised short ribs on polenta, grilled swordfish with asparagus, crab cakes with spicy aioli, and a cobb salad with smoked chicken - are pre-prepped items that only need to be quickly heated and garnished. That leaves me cold.
  14. It looks like there will be a version of La Reserve in the culinary center: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/oceania-experience/post/vista/just-revealed-vistas-imaginative-new-dining-experiences#blog-navigation "The Culinary Center ascends to a new level of gustatory immersion as our passionate Chef Instructors share their enlightening perspectives on culture and cuisine through the lens of food and wine. Here, guests may not only partake in lively hands-on instruction – they may also indulge the pleasures of the palate in the new oceanview Culinary Center Dining Room with private group dinners or one of our many exclusive and highly acclaimed food and wine pairing experiences." Reservations are required for dinner iat Ember: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/ships/vista/culinary-experiences Click on the Ember image and you'll see "Open for lunch and dinner; reservations required for dinner." below the image. More Vista food-venue discussion is in this thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2795925-vista-restaurants-revealed/ Thank you - more people than La Reserve but more elegant I think. It makes sense. Ember - fast or slow service for dinner - interesting
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