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About molemaui

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, Viking Ocean (NOT RIVER), Silversea, Uniworld

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447 profile views
  1. We were usually seated immediately in Luninae. A couple of times we may have waited five minutes to be seated. The staff is incredibly talented and service oriented. That and the outstanding food is why we usually book a suite when we can. Here's hoping for a "return to normal" sooner rather than later.
  2. We sailed on the Edge in a Sky Suite this past February. Here are my observations: 1. Take the second level or better cabin so your bed faces the ocean. As mentioned in a earlier post, your bathroom mirror also slides apart for a pretty cool view while in the bathroom. 2. Luminae on our specific cruise was absolutely fantastic. Service equaled the best I've had on Silversea, Oceania and Regent. Food was easily equal or better than SIlversea and Regent (both who serve outstanding meals) and a spirited debate ensues when comparing to Oceania. All in all-great. 3. Retreat is a wonderful escape from a crowded ship. Our sailing was full and there were plenty of lounge chairs for everyone in Retreat class. This is nothing like I've ever experienced on a ship where you have to be up at the crack of dawn to get a lounge chair. Bar and food service is also outstanding on the Retreat pool deck. 4. Retreat Lounge somewhat reminds me of a concierge lounge at a Ritz Carlton. Snacks, good wines, champagne and liquors along with a pretty "basic" continental breakfast. This lounge is a great place to get questions answered without waiting in some long line. The best analogy I can give regarding Retreat Class on the Edge is comparing the suburbs to the city. In the suburbs, it's usually quieter and less crowded. When you want to see a play, sporting event, etc, all you do is drive to the city. On the Edge, you simply get in the elevator to see or participate in all the ship has to offer. This recent cruise has caused me to rethink sailing the premium lines I've come to enjoy. Celebrity's Retreat product is a strong contender to other more expensive cruise lines. As enthused as I was with this cruise, I just don't know when I'll sail again. I totally get (and comply) with masks and other social distancing guidelines but do not see cruising desirable having to continue in this fashion. Still hoping.................
  3. It was only a deposit but 23 days after I requested it, the refund appeared on my credit card.
  4. First I'm so happy you didn't smell any smoke. I'm not an anti smoking guy -just pointing my experiences. Next time I'll be sure to note weather, wind speed/direction and number of smokers so perhaps my observation will have more validity in your eyes.
  5. Great question. Will likely not get on a big ship for years. May not be much difference but somehow in my way of thinking, river cruising seems to be a "logical" alternative. Will likely do a few before considering ocean cruising. Last river cruise was on Uniworld three years ago. A few less people when full than many of their competitors who pack a few more staterooms in. Kind of surprised we haven't done it again having sailed 9 times since then on ocean type ships. Now's our opportunity.
  6. I agree . Tamarind was outstanding. Ate there twice in. 7 days. N Y Pizza disappointing. Aft deck location where the smokers are. Combine that with prevailing winds, it is a most unpleasant wait for your pizza. Otherwise, nice ship
  7. There is no way ethically, morally or any other way one can equate a personal cash flow problem like so many are having now to one of a huge corporation. If the information I have read is correct, shame on HAL for the way they do business. Cash flow is often "smoke and mirrors" but they do have access to various lines of credit and other forms of liquidity. I heard many "boasts" from various cruise line CEO's that they can weather the storm with zero revenues. That means taking care of your liabilities as well. Despite cruise shutdown, they have taken money in "good faith" and are not responding in kind. I have a future cruise deposit on HAL which I'll probably leave there for a while as I don't want to waste time on the phone. If I decide not to cruise HAL again (which I have not come to that decision yet) I'll simply ask for my money when things calm down. It's only $200 so I'm not too excited. One more point-I cancelled my September cruise with Oceania after all the COVID cancellations and received my money back within a week. A different way of doing business I guess.
  8. Luminea totally exceeded our expectations on our recent Edge cruise. We had thought we might try some of the specialty restaurants but decided we enjoyed everything about Luninea (ambience, service and FOOD) that we ended up eating every dinner and quite a few breakfasts and lunches there. We recently sailed Oceania and were blown away by the food quality and overall excellence. I think our Luninea experience was quite close.
  9. Forgetting the financial considerations (it would take quite a magician to be able to put together merger or more likely an acquisition given current economic conditions, RCL financials and the low percieved consumer demand into the foreseeable future) I would hate to see the Oceania brand marginalized as I'm sure it would be if it joined the RCL stable. Also, I've only sailed Silversea pre RCL days and have gotten the impression from friends we've sailed with and many CC comments that RCL is doing a great job making Silversea less special. Again in fairness, I've only sailed them pre RCL days and thought they were tremendous. At their price point, I'm not going to be a guinea pig to check things out.
  10. We sailed on Oceania's Riviera (concierge veranda) in July and the Edge (Sky Suite) this past February. Here are my observations: Oceania - food outstanding+++ as are the free specialty restaurants. Much better than Silversea and Regent. Nice laid back atmosphere-non suite verandas were larger than basic Celebrity verandas. Liked the laundry rooms on each floor. You can pack a lot less on a 14 day cruise if you can do laundry. Just cancelled a September Oceania cruise. Whether it ends up going or not-too soon for me. Got my refund in 7 days. Celebrity-when booking a Sky Suite or higher on the Edge, you are in "Retreat" class and have access to a private dining room (Luminea) pool/sun deck and lounge. I won't say the food was better than Oceania but if Oceania was a "10", Luminea on Celebrity was a "9.75". Really liked the small ship feel access to Retreat offered. When you wanted other bars or entertainment, you simply got in the elevator. As an aside, we talked to people in "Infinity Verandas" who did not have access to Luminea. They liked the choice of restaurants but hated the crowds and felt the food was very good but not great. I like the 4 perks Celebrity gives you and am annoyed that Oceania only gives you one internet access. You have to buy an additional one if you want more. Their "O-Life" benefits are confusing regarding the drink package. If you choose the drink package as your O-Benefit, that just includes drinks during meals. You have to upgrade it if you want to drink whenever you want. It's only $20/PP/day but unless you ask a lot of questions beforehand, you may be disappointed in what you choose. We always tour privately so the tour options weren't a choice for us. Bottom line-LOVED both cruises and if and when I ocean cruise again, I will l sail both Oceania and Celebrity. For the near future, I'm returning my focus to river cruising. I somehow think (perhaps incorrectly) this may be a safer option plus we've had outstanding experiences on Uniworld.
  11. I've cancelled a September booked cruise on Oceania and received refund within a week. I'm leaving my "future cruise deposits" in with Celebrity for the time being even though I don't plan on cruising for quite some time. Three reasons-it's only $200, I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount time on the phone and I WILL cruise again, especially on Celebrity and Oceania-just not comfortable at this time. I foresee doing land trips whether they be in the US, Europe or whatever along with possibility of river cruising for the near future once the initial "stay at home" orders are lifted. Intellectually, I do not see much difference between cruising on a big ship and on a 130-140 passenger ship on a river cruise but in my mind, less people equate to perhaps a bit more safety. I could be DEAD wrong however. A previous river cruise on Uniworld was excellent and we wouldn't mind trying them again. Most of us on this board have it in their DNA to be cruising or traveling. It's a hard habit to put on hold.
  12. Thanks-really good information. My people strongly advised against buying either RCL or CCL despite low prices citing it was gambling not investing but did venture the opinion that they felt they would "get through it" but not define how except to say they had enough access to cash.
  13. It's not an attitude or a wish but a potential fact. The "good news" is the three majors can likely survive until early-mid 2021 with almost ZERO revenue if reports from financial analysts are to be believed.
  14. Sailed the NA Feb. 15 (2nd cruise after repairs). Cruise was excellent.
  15. Depends what dictionary you choose. I see both. Here is one definition. Thanks for forcing me to check the dictionary. excessive or exploitive in amount or cost, as out of greed or to take advantage of consumers or patrons: predatory pricing.
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