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Everything posted by ABoatNerd

  1. I have cruised Celebrity since 1992 and Oceania since 2015. They are very, very different cruise lines. In the early years, Celebrity was the equivalent to Oceania in the cruise industry - higher than the mass line in service and food and graciousness. The extra charge restaurants were outstanding and the ships emphasized the link to the history of passenger ships (the Olympic paneling in the Ocean Liner extra charge etc) and a link to the sea with much open space. Over the years Celebrity has been downgraded; created into an overt class segmentation environment, shrilling for onboard sales and turned into Vegas at sea. I rarely cruise Celebrity any further, along with many other similar minded folks who have moved on. Oceania is a different product with many aspects of the former Celebrity in terms of the higher quality of the food, service and being a ship at sea. The Terrace informal area is very good with good range of food (never been self serve). There is rarely sales pitches and the entertainment is modest but classy. Their guest lectures are good, but not up there with Cunard in that regard. Oceania expects their guests to be able to entertain themselves hence there are on board libraries. Oceania too has had moderate downgrading since 2015, most overtly from 2018 to 2019 with the introduction of the new menu which removed many items and substituted inferior quality ingredients; the famed high tea experience really suffered. I am leery of Oceania for three significant reasons: 1) The smaller R ships simply do not measure up for a premium line. The rooms are small and the bathrooms are very inferior. I will not book on these ships given the poor price tag versus ship value for money 2) Staff. There is an onboard cold, condescending arrogance by the management team which is reported by myself and numerous other guests over the years. The service staff are competent but reserved in general. Very inferior to the more engaged Celebrity staff at all levels. 3) Port cancellations. Oceania has a tendency to have more than the normal number of cancelled ports. Read the Oceania reviews and you will note the many references. I have not experienced this pattern on Celebrity, nor Crystal, nor Viking nor Cunard etc. It is decidedly Oceania. The Regatta has the most pronounced tendency for lost ports. If the itinerary is the main reason you sail, check out the reviews of the specific ship you are looking at. This is my opinion, others may not agree. Take care.
  2. Mary229 and Kazu, thank you both also for your posts. I agree with what you said. I have found O to be much over rated in terms of service and food. Their R class ships, not good, old and small and the bathrooms (and showers yikes), totally not acceptable for a premium line. Also, the mechanics of the R ships, especially Regatta with its very dubious mechanical history. Essentially, the arrogance of the staff and officers and the seemingly constant missing of ports, is a total turnoff. Will not patronize O again.
  3. Thank you RuthC. My analysis is the same as yours after 4 cruises with O, will not patronize. Very over rated. The staff, and especially the officers, are arrogant and cold and perform like autobons. Much of the food is very overrated, particularly the Grand Dining Room. Granted, versus the main lines like Celebrity, there is no class discrimination and no nickle and diming per se, but not at all a pleasant experience. I was on edge the entire time. The downgrading (like all the lines) was substantive in late 2019, frozen tea sandwiches at high tea, brought them to the main desk to complain, they turned their backs. Enough said. Moving on to customized escorted land vacations, fed up with cruises.
  4. Will not consider cruising for quite some time until the product offering is clear and consistent. There was entirely too much downgrading and nickle and diming and promotions that were price increases happening before covid and I suspect this approach will be accelerated due to debt levels. I have not forgotten whatsoever. I took refunds, not Fcc, so my $ are available to me for wide deployment. Escorted and private escorted land tours are the vacation option going forward. Considering none of my friends will consider a cruise going forward, it will be interesting to see what happens to cruise lines when the Fccs are used up.
  5. Hi Mary229. Thanks for your post. Re:, Oceania, what were the negatives. I am interested in real consumer experiences vs the bull marketing. Thank you very much.
  6. Thank you mysty for your post. It is a vaccine fiasco in Canada to say the least. An important point is the Canadian federal government is mandating a 4 month gap between shots. This is very significant and in total disregard to the manufacturers instructions. So when the cruise lines say you need to be vaccinated, are they talking 1 or 2 shots required? At the snails pace vaccination in Canada, it will be a long time before the travelling public will have both shots. Been through many lockdowns in Ontario, no obvious progress to date. Likely stay at home Order for entire Province coming soon. So no cruise plans in the foreseeable future, nor any travel plans for the future. Very bleak times here in Ontario.
  7. RocketMan275. It is my understanding from the "experts" that there is no proof that having a shot stops the transmission of the virus.
  8. Further to your excellent post Peachypooh, a very significant limiting factor for me is what will the product actually be - ie how much downgrading will there be with the increased prices. If people remember back a year CC was awash in posts about constant downgrading of all cruise line product. Now add in their debt loads, I do not believe the food, service levels will be anything like we remember. So until there is a good body of consistent assessment of the cruise product, I am not putting any $ down on cruising. However, I will do land trips and trains.
  9. Well Canada is well behind in vaccine procurement due to legacy issues related to no vaccine manufacturing facilities and generally limited manufacturing in general in everything, nothing much is manufactured here anymore. . Be careful about reading in any benefits to Canada - be very careful to calculate the urban vs rural % population, this plays a part in the % of deaths due to this virus. Canada has a much larger rural population than the USA and other countries which may contribute to the so called lower Canadian death rates. Canada is not to be admired in this virus, our federal gov was in bed, and remains in bed, with China and got screwed in terms of vaccines, so we are now 38th in the world for vaccinations. Nothing what so ever to be proud of. This fact is just now circulating in Canada and the population is just now doing uptake.
  10. I agree. It is really interesting the difference between land and cruise. If you want to see the destinations, then land it the way. That is me, limited cruises going forward unless the ship is the best way like Norway, Cdn Arctic etc. Otherwise land, trains, real local restaurants, private guides and private driver who get you to the front of the line, the best authentic places. But then, to each their own.
  11. Hi Fouremco. What are you referring to specifically? Have you by chance had the vaccine yet? Shots 1 and or 2?
  12. Yes indeed ChucktownSteve and cantstopingcruising, well said, the lemmings will follow and obediently book. Not interested in all inclusive and have no intentions of booking Celebrity. Most fascinating to follow the changes on this board and their delusions of grandeur re: Celebrity is a luxury line, what bull. Spent today scanning in old pictures from my Century cruise in 1999, high tea in the forward lounge with tuxedoed wait staff with white gloves and tiered carts with incredible edibles - pretty darn close to my last Oceania high tea experience and Nothing like my last Celebrity tea experience fetching scones from the cafeteria. Celebrity was a premium line up to 2015 or so and then they were Royalized and fell back into just another mass line which is were Celebrity will remain for some time.
  13. Hi there. From Ottawa at the moment. Been no vaccines for 5 weeks now here, the public health line is not active. I am on the priority list as an essential care giver. Nothing, no first shot cause the vaccines ran out. The first group of Pfizer are now over due I understand, so the retirement homes are mulling are the first shots valid anymore, in discussion with public health. Some rumblings in the media about LTC folks getting shots, no idea if first or second or even if it is a real situation. People I talk to here are tuning out and I am ignoring the entire issue as there is no vaccines likely for quite a while and no wide spread knowledge how any new vaccine would be distributed. Some day I will call up the vaccine line. For those reading, Canada is 38th in the world for vaccine distribution - so a none starter at this point.
  14. Last time I checked, Canada was 33rd in ranking of vaccinations. A federal government national failure of epic proportions. I am currently in Ottawa, Canada. The public health line for booking has been closed for 4 weeks. I am eligible for a vaccination as an essential care giver, nothing. My elderly dad of 93, nothing. Residents in his retirement home, nothing. Nothing happening in a city of +1million. So I am ignoring the vaccine going forward and getting out and living and thriving.
  15. Canada has fallen from 10th to 20th place in vaccination progress. Under 300,000 people in the entire country have had the dual shot Pfizer. All vaccines "scheduled" for Canada originate in the EU and now there is apparently a potential hick up re: trade boundaries. Picking up the pace big time is required if there is even a chance of an Alaska season since Canadians often make up 30% or more of cruisers on voyages. I have no expectations of having a completed vaccine process any time in the near future.
  16. Thanks TeeRick: I have not seen the recommendations to continue with masks and social distancing much if ever in any communications in Ontario. If it happens it sure is not consistent. Well they were nurses as they had badges on with their employer name.
  17. Thanks Fouremco. We are not close enough to the her file to know. Just stating what I heard at my dad's retirement residence yesterday. Something seems amiss. There is no service on the health booking line, I tried to call to get my appointment for the first shot, no vaccines.
  18. shipshape sam's post is spot on and vital to the discussion of cruising. No one can confirm if the vaccines stop one from spreading the virus - this is the key point - that must be better communicated to the public. Frankly people coming into my father's retirement home (workers and outside nurses) are saying they do not need to wear masks cause they have the first Pfizer shot. So that is the concern. I was checking out yesterday and was standing listening to 3 workers all discussing that they have the first shot so do not need a mask nor social distance. This is a key failure in the public communication realm - people are not understanding the limitations of the vaccines. I will not get on a cruise ship until every vaccine manufacturer produces evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that once vaccinated there is no spread. Otherwise the cruise industry petri dish is likely to happen again and I sure as heck will not be on such a ship. I am not booking any cruise until this event is over.
  19. Greetings YoHoHo. Canada's so called vaccine manufacturing facility is dead in the water due to various reasons. A key failure of all federal governments in Canada since 2003, is the failure of Canada to have learned anything from the SARS outbreak, which was the worst in Toronto of anywhere in the world. Canada is not prepared for this virus despite having suffered the most from SARS. I lived in Toronto during SARS and it was H_ll - not dissimilar to the lockdowns of today but we had to go to work because there was no technology to work at home. So this is my second pandemic with the same responses repeated again. An interesting factoid about this virus - is the link of China to the Canadian virus lab in Winnipeg, in July 2019 a group of Chinese scientists and their staff were removed by the RCMP from the building - they have not been seen since. These Chinese scientists had been sending samples of SARS, MERS etc to where - the lab in Wuhan China. Most interesting is it not? https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/virologists-escorted-out-of-lab-in-canada-66164 Critical thought and analysis are vital, thanks for your post YoHoHo!
  20. Shipshape sam, thank you very much for your post. I agree. Would you please post any findings on side effects, this is critical. I suspect there will be colusion to keep any serious side effects supressed from public knowlege. I overheard a nurse entering my fathers retirement home today say to the building manager and other gathered staff that she has felt unwell weeks after getting the pzifer second shot with major headache and wheezing and she has tested negative. This is not good. She went to her doctor who contacted the health unit, who ignored her. She is going to the media.
  21. Greetings YoHoHo: You misunderstood my post. I said that Canada had contracted the majority of our vaccine from CanSino in China. The deal fell through due to their ineptitude and the fact the Chinese government refused to release samples to be sent to Canada for testing. Hence Canada had to scramble to get "some" vaccine from reputable companies. It is a well known fact that the Canadian feds are hostile to big pharma but they do like China. Since Canada has no vaccine manufacturing facilities, this country is totally reliant on other countries. Below is information related to Canada's epic failure of vaccine procurement. https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/pm-put-all-vaccine-eggs-in-one-china-basket-didn-t-consider-other-options-o-toole-1.24247415 That is why sitting in Ottawa with + 1 million people there has been no vaccine for weeks and no one knows when the next doses arrive, the public health booking line is down.
  22. Hi Sue from Canada. Thanks for your post. Yes fancy socks will be at the head of the line, of course and having pictures taken while my 93 year old dad sits and waits for a vaccine. Cruising will be affected due to Canada's federal government ineptitude and adoration of China. I suspect the Alaska cruise season will not occur as Canadian's will be so far behind the USA etc in vaccinations. I also recommend that President Biden keep the border closed with Canada due to our poor vaccine performance (not that I want that cause I have a new Porsche and I want to get driving south). Often on cruise ships up to 1/3 of the guests are Canadian, with the national failure to vaccinate, that could put a damper on any cruising involving Canadians. Sue, stay well dear lady.
  23. In Canada it is a national disgrace. We have virtually none for the entire country. It is so bad in Ontario that our Premier Ford asked President Biden for vaccine on Thursday! That is a total slap in the face to our federal govt. The Cdn feds arranged a "deal" with a company in China (yes China folks) to supply the majority of a vaccine for Canada. China stopped the initial vaccine from being sent to Dalhousie U (Halifax) for trials. Then the company could not get details worked out, so the deal died. By that point Canada was so far behind other countries ordering from accredited firms that we have nothing now. We got some from Pfizer a while back and nothing since. So Canada is dead in the water which is why many Canadians have gone to Florida for vaccine. Iunderstand new rules were rightly put in place by Florida this past week. Our Cdn federal government is totally incompetent and negligent in handling the national vaccine supply.
  24. Joel- the supply is national with allocations to provinces (nothing public about parameters). It is so bad in Ontario, the largest province, that our Premier Ford went public to President Biden on Thursday asking for vaccine. If that is not a slap in the face of the Cdn federal government, dont know what is. Very poor national vaccine situation in Canada.
  25. Hank, as always, thank you for your critical thinking, your knowledge of vaccines and thanks for the link to the herd immunity item. Given the slow inventory of vaccine supply everywhere (basically none in Canada due to a failed federal level "deal" with China (yes China) for the majority of vaccines for Canada), I do not anticipate cruising to start for quite a while. On many cruises, Canadians can be up to 1/3 or more of the passengers. With the national debacle of vaccine supply in Canada, best of luck having Canadians vaccinated any time soon. I would keep the northern border closed for quite a while until Canada gets its act together.
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