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Everything posted by Ride-The-Waves

  1. I don't get it. Why mock seniors? Our one cruise on Marina resulted in "never again" on Oceania. Too many people who believe they are "entitled" to do what ever they want anywhere on the ship. This is not "refined" cruising. The alcohol policy provides for too much "lubrication" for enjoying dinner in a specialty restaurant. One group of 2 couples came to dinner carrying three drinks each. Not enjoyable sitting next to them. Found many fellow passengers very critical of others. Not a welcoming cruise line.
  2. Viator and Trip Advisor are one and the same company. Tour recommendations are the same. Be very careful with both in following advice and bookings.
  3. Agree that food is subjective. We are NOT foodies by any stretch of the imagination. What we do expect is a nice ambiance contributing to "fine dinning." Did not find that on Marina. Table in the specialty restaurants were so close together it was difficult to get to your chair. The noise levels were so high that we could not hear each other sitting across the table. Not enjoyable. I wont mention the well lubricated couples next to us... Similar experience in the buffet - tables so close to each other it was a challenge to carry food from the serving line to the table. Crew was very helpful in helping carry items.
  4. Astute observation. The "luxury" lines appear to be doing well - passengers with no concerns over cost are well cared for. From there on down the economic scale, and that includes Oceania, is a different story and cruise lines are struggling to balance the books and will be struggling for some time. The nickel and diming has really gotten outrageous. Pricing for basic fares as well. Cutting corners can only go so far before the roof falls in. Spouse has us booked on an RCI transatlantic in the Fall - not my choice. I've long outgrown plastic party ships, but she has friends who convinced her to go. Everything is extra and expensive. Sad that many lines view this is the new norm. Possibly in the end we will end up with high-end cruising and mass market party ships...
  5. Recently cruised Oceania Marina (Transatlantic) and HAL Zaandam (Panama Canal), ships about the same passenger capacity. No comparison. The Zaandam cuisine was better, cabin nicer, public spaces more inviting, ship more spacious, the crew more inviting, especially the officers. Remember, "the best cuisine at sea" is a trade mark, not a factual statement. My experience? First cruise as a youngster was 1949 and in the 1950s on SS United States, SS America, America Lines ships, and a host of HAL ships. More recently Celebrity, Hurtigruten, Princess, Azamara (a favorite) and Royal. We will not sail on Oceania again. Over priced, snooty fellow passengers and crew.
  6. My spouse's favorite analogy : as her parents drove Manhattan in the 1950s: "Look out the rear window to experience the Empire State Building." NO - a driveway in NOT the same as experiencing Antarctica on land. We did it on Hurtigruten Fram with landings south of the Antarctic Circle. If you are spending the coin to get there, spend a few more and do landings. We did 12 in different locations, ranging from rocky or volcanic ash to mooring pier side at a station. Another good analogy: seeing a tulip in a flower pot and visiting Keukenhof in April.
  7. Presuming that a grocery store has a number of trained and qualified check out clerks "doing other jobs" may be a misconception, especially since these stores are focused on profit and not proving public services. Government are usually very efficient and employees focused on customers up to the point of locals enabling services through revenue.
  8. Early on-set Type 2 Diabetes. Check with you physician.
  9. Last renewal we ordered both the passport book and the passport card. Carry the passport card with us off the ship along with a credit card. Passport card is the best deal going. While it doesn't;t replace the book, it facilitates obtaining a new book at the local embassy.
  10. Rearranging the deck chairs... It continues to amaze me that these corporate types couldn't care less about the product - the customer - and focus on caring about themselves.
  11. NEVER travel outside your country without a passport. PERIOD. We have both passports and a cruise card which is the same size as a driver's license. Take both on cruises with the card being identification on/off ships if needed. One never knows when an emergency will happen and the passport become the proof of citizenship.
  12. Cruise line contract employees' gratuities are NOT "on the books" of a cruise line. One of the reasons cruise lines do this is to avoid paying taxes on gratuities.
  13. As discussed on other threads Paxlovid is a prescription medication that is prescribed for a specific instance and use. Self-medicating using Paxlovid is not only dangerous, but likely illegal in most places. Doctors who prescribe it "just in case" need to be reported to state and federal medical authorities. That said, most cruise ships carry it these days.
  14. As discussed on other threads Paxlovid is a prescription medication that is prescribed for a specific instance and use. Self-medicating using Paxlovid is not only dangerous, but likely illegal in most places. Doctors who prescribe it "just in case" need to be reported to state and federal medical authorities. That said, most cruise ships carry it these days.
  15. Likely the cruise lines will totally balloon the price above anything reasonable.
  16. We sailed with Hurtigruten (Fram) to Antarctica and south of the Antarctic Circle with many stops to Zodiac ashore. Great trip to include wonderful food. And, great internet enabling the downloading of books for evening reading. Have also had horrible totally unusable internet on Princess during a TA. Its all in what the cruise line wants to provide it customers.
  17. Marina does NOT "look bad." Just fine, in fact. Personally don't much care for chrome and glitz.
  18. Thanks for the advice. The actual time "away" was in seconds to minutes, not hours. FYI - its not easy to finger-type on an iPad or other small mobile device, especially when the connection is "dropped." Were there lounge chair hogs on Marina's last TA? Didn't notice...
  19. On the just completed Marina TA any wifi connection was terminated minutes following the last activity. This required repeated logons which became very intrusive and frustrating.
  20. The food is good. The ambiance sometimes not so much. We recently experienced Jacques and Red Ginger on Marina. Jacques is stuffed with tables sitting on hardwood floors which amplify sound throughout the restaurant. We were at a two-top and could bared hear each other across the table. Ate in Red Ginger twice, first time was good with the ship maybe half full. Second time a two couples sat at the table next to us came in well oiled with one carrying three drinks. Unpleasant. Dinning is more than food. Ambiance is important. We also need to remember that the slogan "Finest Cuisine at Sea" is a registered trademark and not an actual evaluation by any independent organization.
  21. Going to give Azamara a serious look. Sailed with them many times pre-Covid and before they were broken off from RCCL. Always enjoyed the ships, ambiance, crews, and felt it was truly "like coming home" again. We don't enjoy the mega ships and carnival atmosphere.
  22. Not quite the worst cruise ever, but close. NOT up to expectations. Onboard Rome to Miami. Toooo many days. Immigration at San Juan was a real cluster and all Marina's fault. Took the ship 2 hours and 45 minutes to get everyone off. Scary when you think about safety and security. I addressed the issue with one of the senior officers - and received a head shrug. NOT the fault of immigration. We processed through that in minutes. The terminal did have chairs for sitting - thankfully. Doors open and A/C at full blast resulted in a cold for both of us. Management/leadership incompetence. Found the ship to be dated and in need of overhaul. NOT a "near luxury" ship. Ate at specialty restaurants six times out of eight reservations. Food was generally good, if served colder than expected. Best of the restaurants was Polo. The noise level in Jacques and Red Ginger was uncomfortably loud resulting from too many tables too close together. Couple next to us in Red Ginger came in soused (carrying three drinks). Disappointing. We ate mostly in the Terrace Cafe which was also crowded with tables too close together (saw one lady trip and fall over a chair leg) - it was also impossible to get through to your table after selecting food from the buffet. Crew was great. Worked hard to please. Can't say the same about leadership. Guest lecturers were good and knowledgeable. Embarkation was a breeze in Civitavecchia. Walked off in Miami (see immigration above) and in car at Miami international within one hour. "Worst Internet at Sea" should be Oceania's moto. Horrible connectivity. First day tried logging on and received notification it would be $25/day for "basic (non existent)" Internet. Had my mobile phone "on" while checking in and that counted as the only device allowed (reception grudgingly "fixed" it). "Fast" Internet was $35/day. No thanks. Only good connection was last two days specifically for comments. Everything on board appeared geared to nickel and dimming you from your money. Boutique prices brought tears to my eyes they were so far above normal. Why? Who wants to pay over $120 for a polo shirt? Nuts! Cabin was nice and comfortable - "PH" on Deck 11. HVAC worked well. Great closet. Looks like first and last time on Oceania for us.
  23. We did Antartica on Hurtigruten's Fram making a dozen landings on islands and the continent itself, visited several research stations and were enthralled by the local wildlife, seals, whales, and of course penguins. Hurtigruten provided the boots and jacket (got to keep the jacket) and we cruised the Antarctic Ocean from Ushuaia and back. My spouse likens the difference to her experience as a teen driving through New York City: her father told her to look out the rear window to see the Empire State Building. Stopping was not an option. We have stepped on all 7 continents. Africa safari with Tauck and Antarctica with Hurtigruten have been highlights of our travels.
  24. Wearing a tux to 6pm dinner went out when waiters stopped calling people to dinner by walking the First Class passageways playing xylophones.
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