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rialannah

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  1. The conversation on this thread caused me to do a check of my own. We are booked on a 22-day Mediterranean cruise on Vista in May-June 2023. I selected cruises of similar length on Sirena and Riviera in the same region at about the same time. I used pricing for a PH1 which is what we have booked. The per day cost for the three cruises was only about 6% difference between highest and lowest. Contrary to some other conclusions, Vista was in the middle - with Sirena lowest and Riviera highest. I am not suggesting that this is a universal conclusion, but as always it demonstrates that when making comparisons the results are heavily influenced by the choice of comparators.
  2. We have stayed at both the Thon Opera in Oslo and the Havnekontoret in Bergen and can thoroughly recommend both in terms of location and amenity. If your cruise has not called at Flam then it is worthwhile to consider incorporating that into the rail journey from Bergen to Oslo or vv. Although it is a long day, it is possible to take the "Norway in a Nutshell" journey which involves train from Bergen to Voss, then bus through the hairpins down to Gudvangen on the fjord, followed by a cruise around to Flam, then the famous Flambana train from Flam up to Myrdal, followed by the train from Myrdal to Oslo. This is offered as a package and works well. Luggage is not convenient on this journey, but luggage can be sent through porterservice.no who collect the bags and have them waiting when you arrive in Oslo. The cost is somewhere around $30 per bag I think. While we have not taken the Oslo to Bergen direction, I understand that the same journey applies in that direction as well. It is a shame to visit that part of Norway and miss out on Flam.
  3. We have stayed at both the Thon Opera in Oslo and the Havnekontoret in Bergen and can thoroughly recommend both in terms of location and amenity. If your cruise has not called at Flam then it is worthwhile to consider incorporating that into the rail journey from Bergen to Oslo or vv. Although it is a long day, it is possible to take the "Norway in a Nutshell" journey which involves train from Bergen to Voss, then bus through the hairpins down to Gudvangen on the fjord, followed by a cruise around to Flam, then the famous Flambana train from Flam up to Myrdal, followed by the train from Myrdal to Oslo. This is offered as a package and works well. Luggage is not convenient on this journey, but luggage can be sent through porterservice.no who collect the bags and have them waiting when you arrive in Oslo. The cost is somewhere around $30 per bag I think. While we have not taken the Oslo to Bergen direction, I understand that the same journey applies in that direction as well. It is a shame to visit that part of Norway and miss out on Flam.
  4. Jan Your quality advice/information is always greatly respected and appreciated. I know that you have commented on this previously, but are you able to to confirm the accuracy (or otherwise) of the 2023 date. Our interest stems from an extended cruise booked on Nautica in 2022. We are R ship fans. Thanks Mike
  5. The delay in the refurb of Nautica is really disappointing. 2023 will be way past time. It is interesting to note the (misleading) small print in the recent 'Delights of the Mediterranean' brochure where the pictures of Sirena and Nautica on page 39 are the NEXT version with a note at the bottom of the page "Nautica's Re-inspiration coming soon." Obviously soon is subject to quite different understandings!
  6. Jan Thank you for your usual high quality information. As an aside, it's nice to have confirmation that the advice provided by the 'O' rep and the status report on CC were both accurate.
  7. I suggest that we take this conclusion with a grain of salt at this stage. I recently posted this on another thread: Most of us on this cruise will be hoping that the NEXT refurb of Nautica will be completed before we sail. Yesterday I participated in an Oceania webinar launching the 2022-23 'Tropics and Exotics' collection. I asked the following question - "When will the refurbishment of Nautica take place?" The verbatim answer I received from the O rep was - "I was checking a few places for a date but all I can get is this year, again no official date yet." In addition, the following is an extract from a review of all scheduled cruise ship refurbs on CruiseCritic: Ship: Nautica Dates: On Hold Details: The final chapter in the line's OceaniaNEXT refurbishment schedule, Oceania's Nautica will be fully re-imagined by Miami-based Studio DADO, bringing the ship in line with the rest of Oceania's totally transformed vessels. Passengers embarking will be treated to updated staterooms, suites and public spaces boasting a new, brighter decor scheme of new softer colors inspired by the sea in place of the old, dark Renaissance-era interiors. The refit was put on hold due to the ongoing global health crisis, but is expected to be completed in 2021.
  8. Good call. I was reacting just on the basis of the cruises listed in the just received Oceania promotion for the Mediterranean and completely forgot to check the cabin status shown for those cruises. I hope the indicator remains reliable and that the dry dock proceeeds.
  9. I see from the current cruise schedule for next year that Nautica has sailings scheduled right through June and July. While there are doubts as to when cruising will resume in Europe, this does suggest that the previously identified window in July 2021 for the 'NEXT' refit might no longer be the case.
  10. We took a pack of $1US bills with us, which I think was pretty standard. In addition we took pens/pencils and notebooks which seemed to be well received. We had some of those left over which we left at the school. While some cruisers found all of this offensive and thought it shouldn't be encouraged, there are only about 10 ships a year that call at Boca da Valeria so it is hardly a dominant part of the kids' lives. We were quite comfortable with it.and enjoyed the interaction. The boat trip up river - circa 30 minutes - was about $5 per person I think.
  11. We did this cruise in 2016 on Regatta. This might have been an advantage as the number of passengers descending on each port was only half compared to what will be the case with Marina. We thought that the cruise was excellent, with the Amazon the absolute highlight. However, the earlier posts are a fair reflection of the range of attitudes of passengers generally. Of all of the cruises we have taken, this one provided by far the greatest payoff for research leading to arranging independent tours, but at the same time required a very large investment of time devoted to that research. In general, those of us who participated in independent tours really felt really positive about the experience, whereas those who had not made advance arrangements and left the ship to wander around the ports (which can work on many other itineraries) were quite negative. Those who took the ship tours fell somewhere in between. For Alter do Chao and Santarem we located a really outstanding young man who had not previously taken shore excursions, but was experienced in multi-day eco-tourism. We had two memorable days with him (a group of about 12 of us), on the water in Alter do Chao and on land in Santarem - including an excellent visit to Belterra, one of the old Henry Ford settlements. Unfortunately recent attempts to help friends engage with him for subsequent cruises has revealed that he has moved on. However, I expect that there will be others out there. Boca da Valeria involves a wander through the tiny settlement, usually accompanied by the local children ($ expected). As an indicator of living conditions in Amazon villages it is really worthwhile as is the trip upstream with one of the local men in a vessel of often interesting heritage. We had two days in Manaus with a local tour group whose name I do not recall. The first day was spent with a very extensive tour on the water to a range of sights around the Amazon and Rio Negro which was thoroughly worthwhile (we had a group of around 40 in 2 boats). The second (shorter) day was spent within Manaus itself, with the superb Opera House the highlight. For Paratins, the Boi Bumba seems to be the only real choice. We enjoyed the color and movement and the energy of the performers. This can only be arranged as a ship excursion. I hope that you find these observations about our experience to be helpful. Mike
  12. I participated in the Australian version of the webinar today. The comment was made that O was waiting for CDC requirements, but cruising with 70 - 80% of capacity might be expected.
  13. I participated in an Oceania webinar today. I asked the question when would the Nautica NEXT refurbishment occur. There were two company representatives who responded. One said it would be in July 2021. The other, I believe, said something to the effect that it would be next year with the date to be determined in the next couple of months. So still no certainty at this stage.
  14. Nautica's NEXT makeover is scheduled to commence on 8 June at the CNDM facility in Marseille, the same place that the Sirena refurb was done.
  15. I certainly hope that they proceed with the refurbishment. No doubt a challenging decision pitting the desire to limit the cash drain by curbing capital expenditure against the need for the ship to be enhanced to the same standard as the rest of the fleet. Nautica is currently still docked in Dubai. The drydock is scheduled for June 8-21 in Marseille. Reports indicate that the French dockyards are slowly returning to operation, but possibly with reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions.
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