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About sunlover12

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Madison, WI

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  1. The drink package does not include bottles of wine but you will get a 50% discount on bottles that you purchase. You both do not need to purchase the drink package if you choose. Waiting until day of embarkation is fine for making spa appointments. I've never had a problem getting an appointment on the date and time I've asked for. Welcome to Oceania and enjoy your cruise!
  2. I agree that there is no right answer and that it depends on how much you ask him to do above and beyond. We like the PH because of the larger cabin. We’d be fine without the butler. On our last cruise, we had 2 breakfasts in our cabin and that’s the only thing we had him do. We didn’t tip extra.
  3. People who bring dogs on a cruise ship that are not true service dogs are unbelievably self-centered. They care about no one but themselves. Then to bring them into a dining room adds to the absurdity. They should stay at home if they cannot bear to be away from their pet. What is wrong with these people?!
  4. I was on Marina in June of this year and I found the internet service to be poor. I was only trying to use it for basic things like checking emails and reading the news. I wasn't trying to upload photos or files or FaceTiming. The internet was non-existent in our cabin. We had one sea day and I tried using one of the ship's computers in Oceania@Sea and it was non-existent there too but I suppose that's because many people were trying to use it at the same time. The only places on the ship where I found it to be fairly reliable was in Baristas and the library. It's definitely something that Oceania should improve on, IMO. I've been on one other cruise line (Royal Caribbean) and their internet service is far above Oceania's.
  5. We like to stay in Hilton hotels too. We'll be in Barcelona next year for the first time and we will probably book the Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. It's in a central location that's walkable to the attractions and it is Hilton's boutique hotel brand.
  6. I use my credit card as much as possible. There is no foreign transaction fee and you will get the best exchange rate with a credit card than with any other method of payment. I’ve never had any sort of problem using my credit card in any country in Europe. I’ve never purchased Euros in the US but I will assume that the exchange rate is rather unfavorable. I’ll usually get a small amount of Euros from an ATM in the city center(not the airport where the exchange rate is bad). One thing to remember with using cash in Europe is that a lot of shops don’t like It. I’ve received more than one dirty look from the shop clerk when I’ve paid with cash. They clearly prefer payment with a card. Cash is generally okay with a taxi however.
  7. I agree. I have also craved American fast food outside of the US. At one point in our younger years, my husband’s career took us to a 3rd world country in Africa. Our food choices were very limited and imported food was scarce. We went on R&R to Madrid one year and our very first stop was McDonald’s. They were the best cheeseburgers we ever had. I make no judgements on where and what people choose to eat.
  8. The OP said he/she is in his 50's. I wouldn't put that in the younger 5-10% although it is true that O has an older clientele on average than the mass market lines. I'm in my mid-60's and on my last O cruise, which was this year, there were many people younger than me. There were quite a few in their 40's and a handful in their 30's. There were plenty of people out on the dance floor at 11pm. The OP said he's not a "party animal" but does enjoy being out to have a late night drink and dancing. It sounds to me he will fit in with Oceania so I hope he/she will give it a try.
  9. I was in a PH this year and there was a tote bag in the closet like the one pictured above. I didn't take it. I have enough tote bags. Not interested in reusable water bottles either. I have enough of those too. If they replaced the tote bag with wine tumblers..... that is something I would use.
  10. That’s interesting because I use a credit card many times a week in the US and none of my cards have a PIN. They all have chips. The standard procedure is that a signature is required only if the transaction is a minimum amount, usually $100. ATM and debit cards do have a PIN. Credit cards do not. I was in Scandinavia this year and used my credit cards without any problems. A PIN was never asked for but I am wondering if it’s a different procedure in Spain.
  11. Are you referring to a PIN for a credit card or debit card? In the US, credit cards do not have a PIN. Only debit cards do. I have 3 or 4 credit cards and none of them have a PIN. I'll be in Spain next year so I'm curious as to how this is going to work.
  12. We were on a cruise that went to Cape Horn a number of years ago in mid-March. That is some of the roughest water in the world and the weather can change very quickly. It was a clear, sunny day and everyone was excited about going onshore. They were telling us to be ready to go if and when the captain gave the go-ahead but unfortunately, the decision was made that the water was too rough for a dinghy. At least we were able to get a great view of it and it is beautiful.
  13. This is why we always book our own flights because I can see that this can get very complicated if you have O do it for you. You're right that they will choose the least expensive way to get to your destination and I'm getting too old for that! My apologies to the OP - I drifted away from the original question.
  14. pinotlover: For people who live in the cities you have mentioned, they are more than likely to fly into Chicago and connect through there. I don't live near a major hub. It's 130 miles to O'Hare. Sometimes we will fly there and sometimes we will drive. It depends on the fare. Madison WI has at least 12 flights a day to Chicago and Minneapolis so we have many options. There would be no reason for us to fly to New York if we are going to Europe.
  15. Chicago O'Hare has many nonstops to Europe on various airlines. It's our hub airport and we never fly through NYC. Minneapolis also has many nonstops to Europe on Delta.
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