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Posts posted by FLConnie

  1. 1 hour ago, Luv2cruze me and u said:

    We picked a few and our driver picked one.  Here are some of the ones we have visited (note: we have done this excursion twice so these are across two trips).  Magoni - The inside tour was just okay...outside tasting area was really cool.  Bruma - One of the nicest wineries we have been to.  Great tour and an incredible restaurant with tapas on the property.  You need a reservation for this one.   Our driver (Josue') knew someone working the desk and called and got us in.  Xecue' - Just a tasting room and a nice patio.  Tasted 5 of their wines.  Nice setting.  Next trip we went to Monte Xanic - Nice tour and sat on the patio for our tasting.  Nice property.  The next stop was Clos de Tres Cantos.  No tour on this one but a nice setting/view for the tasting.  They also paired the wines with chocolates that were fantastic.  The last one was Vena Cava.  Really cool story and venue.   They also have a food truck on site.  Good luck and enjoy!  

    Thx.  These are most of the same ones we thought would be good from watching You Tube videos!

  2. On 9/25/2023 at 11:06 PM, Luv2cruze me and u said:

    Couples Tour is the name of the one we did and Josue was our driver both times.  He is awesome and you can ask for him too.

    We are doing that tour later this month.  Did you choose wineries before hand?

  3. 1 minute ago, coaster said:

    I understand it is based on tonnage also. Either way, it would seem reasonable that an underbooked ship might not be able to cover the cost no matter how it is calculated. Royal not stating the reason for the cancellation only strengthens my belief. Royal is never going to state a fact like this as it would just add to an uproar from those that booked.

    It’s not just one cruise. It’s this year and next so can’t believe it would have to do with capacity. Financial reasons seem logical since the one article I posted mentioned loss of revenue for the canal with the low water levels and not as many passing ships through. 

  4. 2 minutes ago, coaster said:

    Wonder if they cancelled the canal portion as the ship is underbooked for these sailings. I understand the ship pays the transit taxes based on the number of berths on the ship whether they are occupied or not. Not enough passengers onboard to cover the taxes could of been a reason.

    From what I read on the RCL board it was for all of 2024 too. 

  5. Being an animal lover she will enjoy the one being pulled through the area by sled. You also get to hold puppies and learn a lot about the sled racing and their training at summer camp. We followed our driver online who ran the camp through a couple of racing seasons afterward. Well worth the excursion. 

    • Like 1
  6. 8 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

    @FLConnie I have learned to be very clear and specific with my response to questions on Oceania.  First be clear I have NEVER sailed Oceania before.  Second, I am booked on a Oceania Cruise for November 9, 2023 with two PH3 Penthouses.  One for my wife and me.  The other for our best friends.


    When I did my research on the drink program I asked a lot of question on this board.  My cruise had only one out of three choices for the perk.  At first, I was going to get the Drink program for two which was Beer and Wine for lunch and dinner and upgrade on the ship.  I found out it was about the same as just booking the Prestige Unlimited package upfront before you cruise.  My cruise is 10 days, the Prestige package was $600.00 per guest. I also found out that when you upgrade onboard, you lose the % off of some the Special Meal Offerings.  


    Logically, I determined.  Just buy the Prestige package now if you want it.  Get the $600.00 OBC as your perk.  Pay the extra now via my credit card and be done with it.  This gets me the % off and the Prestige Drink Package.  Seemed logical to me.  So I did not upgrade from the perk, I simple bought it up front.  Sorry for the miscommunication.  That was my logic.


    On another completely different note, I was able to get all of my Restaurant Reservations (four specialty restaurants, four reservations) now for a cruise that is in November 2023.  I thought you could not do that until you were paid in full and closer to the cruise.  No clue why I was called so early by the Riviera Guest Services to be able to have access to that nice pre-cruise opportunity.  


    I hope I answered your questions.


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment

    Thanks.  This will be our first Oceania but our 30th something cruise.  I have been reading the board as well and have learned a lot.  We are Panama Canal in October 2023 in a PH1 and I can only book culinary classes.  From all I have read, restaurants are 75 days out for PH.  Hopefully a glitch in your favor! Thanks for the reply.

    • Thanks 1
  7. On 4/19/2023 at 11:23 AM, Sthrngary said:

    Well all of this is clear as mud to someone just now considering Oceania Cruises for the first time.  If is a first time for me as well however I studied O a few years ago, booked it and it got cancelled due to Covid.  I am back booked for November 2023.  


    When I tell everyone on this blog that O is kind of confusing to new folks like myself, I am really not kidding.  Yet it would be of great value to new bookings and new O guests to read and learn as much as possible on the different plans.  I am by no means an expert on O.  I do like to know what I am buying and if their is a way to make the entire situation less of an investment without taking away value.


    1. OLife: This was my first lesson.  Choose one of three perks.  Were every other cruise brand I have used provided a full adult drink package, O was beer/wine at lunch/dinner.  Some of the blogs on this were pro/con like everything else on a cruise.  The debate of which perk was the best value were all fun to read.  My decision was $600.00 of onboard credit which I used pre-cruise to purchase the full Adult Drink package called the Prestige Drink Package which was $600 per guest, spirits, wine and beer when ever a bar/restaurant was open.  It also gave discounts on some of the unique dinning opportunities. I paid another $600 for the second guest.  Was this a deal or a value, not really.  About a wash.
    2. OLife Ultimate:  I was literally upset when I say this on my cruise, until I went back to the fare I got originally and realized my initial fare was fair less.  In doing a math competition, it seems adding the other two perks, raised the fare about what you would expect.  All that went through my mind was, the Marketing Department strikes again.
    3. O Air:  Oh boy was this one debated on this and other social media site.  There are advocates to both.  There are some contributors on this blog for O that are literal experts. I am not.  I am just old and set in my ways.  I thought I knew lots about airfare until I met the experts.  What I did know was to do my best to book my flights directly with the air brand, fully refundable if possible, as early as possible to get the best itinerary and price.  If the fare went down, cancel and rebook since it was fully refundable.  Kind of like with fully refundable cares fare deposits.  For me, not everyone, my strategy worked very well.  By booking directly with the Air Brand, my Cruise Fare was $1,000.00 less per guest which was very close to what I paid.
    4. Cruise Only:  Oh boy was this confusing at first.  In my past, cruise only simply meant no air.  With Oceania it meant no OLife and no Air.  I figured it out simply by doing the math.  One perk was worth about $600.  The air credit was $1000.  Take those off and my fare was that much less.  Many say this is the way to go for them.  That is cool.  However just knowing how it seems to work is enough for most of us newbies to make a decent business decision.  
    5. Extraordinary Saving Sale: I again did the math however it seems that the PH3 I choose really was not an Extraordinary Saving for my situation.  The lower categories seems to be a very good deal for some.  O marketing needed to sell more cabins and did so by making the lower categories very attractive.  Since everyone when they leave their stateroom are treated the same on an O voyage, if I was booking again, I would definitely consider this.  
    6. Four Category Upgrades: The labor day sale was a four category upgrade.  That is when I booked.  Since then all kinds of marketing and promotion has happened including price increases.  When I do the math, I look at my category of PH3 and see where we would be for each promotion. Your situation may differ. 


    Now this is my experience currently.  As I stated, it was a bit confusing at first.  I kept asking the previous O guest questions to get to this point.  I hope my experience thought this learning curve helps some. 


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

    How did you go about upgrading the beverage package before the cruise?  Oceania told me we could do it onboard but prefer to do it before. Thanks

    • Like 1
  8. 8 hours ago, greenumbrella said:

    We did ship our luggage.  Since Princess recommended Luggage Forward, we booked with them.  They scheduled pickup for July 18 in Florida in order to get to Southampton by July 29.  We didn’t get much guidance even after calling for more information.  “just pack as if you were flying”. We paid $1,107 for 3 check in bags.  After seeing all the Heathrow problems, this started to sound cheap.  DHL is the carrier they use.  Our bags were picked up promptly on July 18 - and returned promptly on July 19!!  Apparently they do a thorough inspection, more than any airline experience.  They found 2 foil packages of individual use insect wipes which do say flammable in small print.  Instead of trashing them and sending the shipment on, they returned all 3 bags because they were on one waybill.  Now they said there was no longer enough time (still 10 days!) to get the bags to the ship!!  We repacked and called to talk to them about changing the destination to our London hotel but their office was closed for the day at 3:55 pm, Boston time where they are located.  We have not received a refund after a full month and we may not if DHL doesn’t reimburse Luggage Forward.  

    Crazy us, we still wanted to avoid Heathrow!  We contacted ShipGo.  They said they didn’t have time to get our bags to the ship because the port agent requires them at least 3 days before sailing.  How about our hotel in London where we were spending 5 nights prior to sailing?  Yes, that would work.  We paid $814.87 for the very same 3 bags.  They emailed the shipping documents and gave us very specific instructions on how to attach the waybills, this time a different number for each bag. They also gave us strict guidelines for packing - no liquids, no toiletries, no vitamins, no medication even over the counter, no electronics, no tobacco, no perfume, no jewelry.  Our bags were picked up by the same DHL worker on July 20 with a plan to deliver by July 27.  They actually arrived on July 25 in great shape.  ShipGo has real people who answer phones from 8-8 on weekdays and all day on weekends from West Palm Beach, FL.

    On return, we checked our bags at Heathrow 4 hours ahead of our flight and they arrived on the plane with us.

    Hope this information will help others make decisions.


    ShipGo is who we plan to use. Thanks for the reassurance! 

  9. On 8/2/2022 at 4:50 AM, caribill said:


    If you have a package, you do not have to pay the local taxes because you are not paying for the beverages at the time you order them.


    If you do not have a package and order a beverage, then the local taxes will apply.

    We always have the drink package on various cruise lines and have had to pay taxes on embarkation day while in port if in the US


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