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About Twiga

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    California Central Coast
  1. Twiga

    Reviews of Oceania

    I was on the Sirena for 28 days during August and September 2018. It was terrific! The ship was great, the food was great, and the crew was great! I prefer the smaller R ships, (the Sirena, Nautica, Regatta and Insignia). We spent 8 straight days at sea from Madeira to Nassau. It was a wonderful time, very relaxing. There was always a lot to do if we wanted to be active or we could sit by the pool and read. It was my 9th Oceania cruise and my favorite! You will have a great cruise whether on the Insignia or the Nautica.
  2. Twiga

    Specialty Restaurants on Longer Cruises

    Firstforty2012 made similar comments about the food onboard Sirena on another thread, saying that only 10% of the food on that cruise tasted great. I believe that he/she was on the Athens to Miami cruise. I was also onboard the Sirena for that cruise. I had an entirely different experience with the food. I would say that 90% of the menu items taste great. We (four of us) did not experience tough meat, although that does happen at any restaurant. I hope he/she told the wait staff as they would have brought another dinner immediately. We thought that the food on the Sirena was the best we've had on any Oceania cruise (17 cruises total). I even spoke with several of the chefs and discussed the wonderful food on the Sirena. We all have different tastes and likes in food, so I wanted to provide another point of view.
  3. Twiga

    For Oceania cruisers considering Azamara

    Firstforty2012 states that on his/her recent 28-day Sirena cruise only 10% of the menu items “tasted great.” If that was the Athens to Miami cruise, I was also onboard the Sirena. I had an entirely different experience with the food. I would say that 90% of the menu items tasted great. I found, though, that the some of the food in Red Ginger was very bland. We asked for spicier food and were given chili sauce on the side, which helped. The wait staff will work with you if you tell them what you would like. The food in all of the other restaurants was excellent. I loved the special-themed dinners in the Terrace Café, especially the Greek, Indian and Spanish dinners. We all have different tastes and likes in food, so I didn’t want a bad review of the food on Sirena to pass without comment.
  4. I agree 100% with Hawaiidan. You have selected a great cruise! Go for it! For your future sailings, and possible onboard booking, please do not rule out the R-class ships on Oceania (Nautica, Regatta, Insignia, and Sirena). I have sailed on Nautica and Regatta many times and love them. I will be sailing on the Sirena for the first time next month. I prefer the R-class ships as they are smaller, more intimate, and they gave me a chance to really get to know passengers and crew, more than I could on the larger Marina. For example, we rarely had the same servers at any restaurant for meals on a 17-day Marina cruise last year. On R-ships we had the same servers over and over. We got to know them, their stories, and they got to know us. It is definitely true that the O ships have pluses not available on the R ships, namely Jacques specialty restaurant, larger suites, and culinary classes. But if I have a choice, I will pick the R-class ship with about 500 fewer passengers. I enjoy the intimate feel of the Nautica and Regatta. I recently sailed on the Azamara Journey this year, also an R-class ship. It was wonderful (although the food was not quite as good as on Oceania). There are pluses for each type of ship and we each have our favorites. Please do not exclude a future cruise on an R-ship because of some bad reviews. I suggest that you read the posts by Travelberlin on this forum entitled "Live from the Sirena (December 16th to Janury 20th)." Her descriptions of the ship and her cruise experience throughout her journey are beautiful. I am looking forward to my 28-day sailing on the Sirena!
  5. We were on the Journey in February 2018 on a 14 day cruise. The cruise was fantastic! It was our first cruise on Azamara after eight cruises on Oceania. In Windows at breakfast we always asked for coffee. After receiving our coffee, we were never offered a second cup and it was almost impossible to get a server to look at us to get a refill. I wondered why so many people were getting their own coffee from the machines. I soon discovered why. It was either do it yourself or you don't get a refill. There were too few servers in Windows in the morning to offer refills. We were never given or offered a carafe of coffee. On Oceania our coffee was constantly refilled at breakfast. This isn't a deal-breaker and I have another cruise booked on Azamara.
  6. Twiga

    Zeebrugge (Bruges) On Our Own

    I was in Bruges in June 2017 on the Oceania Marina. The Destination Services people said that the ship would have a shuttle into Blankeberge, where we could take the train into Bruges. It wasn't there when we got off the ship. We took the port shuttle bus to the gate (very close to the ship) and there were taxis for 50 Euros one way and Cruise Express buses for 20 Euros per person round-trip. We took the bus and were in Bruges very quickly. The drop-off point is on the edge of town. It was a nice walk through a park, not more than 10 minutes from the bus to the beginning of the town. We took the Cruise Express bus back to the ship at 4:30 p.m. It was an excellent deal and easier than waiting for a train in Blankenberge. The only negative was that the last bus back was at 5:00 p.m. If you want to stay longer, then the bus isn't the best option. In the main square in Bruges we found a Free Walking Tour guide. He gave us a fantastic tour. Bruges is very easy to do on your own.
  7. Thank you for the update, Bonnie! I am on the Journey in February 2018. I hope the OBC work-around will be extended further to include our cruise or the permanent fix will be implemented soon. Please keep us informed!
  8. I was in St. Petersburg last month on the Marina overnight (for one night). They did not have any Russian dancers onboard.
  9. Twiga

    Riveira Deck 10 v Deck 11

    I was just in cabin 11071 on the Marina this month (June 2017). The noise from above was quite annoying. Between 10 and 11 pm and between 4 and 6 am there were chairs and tables scraping loudly. I notified reception four times. The next day it would be quiet, then it would begin again. I was on the Regatta in a cabin beneath Waves and there was no noise. I would not book a cabin in that area on the Marina or Riviera.
  10. Twiga

    Passports for shore excursions

    I just got off the Marina on Monday, June 19th, after boarding in Southampton on June 2nd. They took our passports upon embarkation. Each day the cruise director informed us if we needed our passports in port that day. That information is also printed on page 2 of the Currents, which you receive every evening. Our first port was Honfleur, where we needed our passports. We picked them up at the Reception desk that morning. For Zeebrugge we just needed a copy of our passport, which the ship provided. We needed our passports in Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Gothenburg, Warnemunde, Tallinn, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg. We did not need them in Kristiansaand, Oslo, or Copenhagen. Only in St. Petersburg were we required to show our passports to anyone. At immigration we showed them our passports and our tour tickets (with a privately-arranged tour). They took about 2-3 minutes looking at our documentation, then stamped our passports. We were given back our passports and tour tickets. We were not given anything to carry with our passports. The next day we showed them the passport with the stamp and we went right through their inspection very quickly. If you are going to St. Petersburg, get in line to disembark an hour early. We did and we were off the ship and through immigration in about ten minutes. The ship only lets 50 people off at a time. Once they have cleared the immigration area they let the next 50 people go ashore. By the time disembarkation began, the line was extremely long, even winding through Jacques and beyond! We did not need any photographic ID cards at any time, only our Oceania World Card and passports.
  11. Twiga

    Internet speed

    We were on the Regatta in November-December, 2016, for 23 days. The internet was horrible the entire time. I do not know the actual internet speed. The cruise was from Miami to the Amazon to Miami. It often took 15 minutes to log on to the laptop computer in our cabin and get to our Yahoo email. I would log on, then go do something else while it connected. Our tablets and phones would not connect to the internet in our cabin. We had many days where there was no internet connection at all (both in ports and at sea). The computers in the IT room were no better. However, on my Alaska cruise on Regatta in July 2016, I could get online on my tablet in my cabin. I had no trouble with the internet, although sometimes I had to go into the hallway to get a connection. I guess it depends on where you are.
  12. Twiga

    Champagne in Suites

    We were on the Regatta very recently, in December 2016, in a Penthouse cabin. The champagne was Jacquart from France. I do not have any more information as this is all I could see from a photo I took shortly after arriving in our cabin. The champagne was very nice.
  13. Twiga

    First time on Azamara - review

    Takemewithyou, thank you for your response. I am booked in a penthouse cabin. Do you know how many reservations we can make for each specialty restaurant on the first day of a 14-day sailing? Also, where to we go to make the reservations? Thank you!
  14. Twiga

    First time on Azamara - review

    I have sailed on Oceania many times and love it. I am booked on my first cruise on the Azamara Journey in February 2018. I am looking forward to it very much! Takemewithyou, can you please tell me how/when to book the specialty restaurants on Azamara? I had assumed it would be similar to the Oceania procedure. Baz-T, thank you for your review. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your first Azamara cruise.
  15. Twiga

    O and the Amazon—opinions?

    Julise 67 asked "What time of year did you go to the Amazon?" We left Miami on November 29, 2016. Our first day on the Amazon River was December 7, 2016. We were on the Amazon for six days.