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About lj77346

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Houston TX
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    Holland America
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  1. I just got off the Marina on Nov. 11 and the internet as we sailed around the Mediterranean ranged from mediocre (at best) to very poor. There were numerous days when I was constantly losing the internet connection. As I was just checking email, it was just a bit frustrating, but if I needed to get work accomplished it would not be a good situation. On a few occasions I tried to do a speed test, but the ping was so slow that the test would not run.
  2. We were on the 5 a.m. bus to the airport in Nice. There were 18 passengers on the bus and we pulled away from the port at around 5:15 a. m. As there was no traffic at that time in the morning, the bus arrived at the airport in Nice at around 7:30 a.m. Considering that Oceania had to move about 1200 passengers (only about 50 from the Nov. 4 - 11 cruise were sailing back-to-back) from the ship to the airport in Nice or to Monte Carlo and then get about 1200 passengers to the ship, I felt that Oceania's destination services staff did as well as could be expected in handling the logistics of moving so many passengers given only 2 days notice that the port of Monte Carlo would be closed. Considering the number of buses that Oceania had to arrange on short notice, the port closure was a reasonably large expense for them.
  3. On the Marina now and we just received a letter telling us that the cruise will end in Marseille rather than Monte Carlo because on Monday the port of Monte Carlo is closed because of expected high winds. For passengers currently onboard Oceania is providing buses to the Nice airport or cruise terminal in Monte Carlo.
  4. I just got off the Insignia on October 5 and even on the sea days, I didn't notice many (I like ricka47's term) "chogs." In the past when I've been confronted by chogs whose belongings were removed from "their" chair, rather than argue with them, I just say, "there was nothing on the chair when I arrived" and continue to drink my beer.
  5. I just got off the Insignia - the CD is Carson Turner and I don't know who the restaurant manager was.
  6. We just returned from a 14-day cruise on the Insignia and the shower with glass doors is an improvement. While the shower is the same size, now there is no problem with a friendly shower curtain clinging to you when you are showering. In addition, the glass door keeps the water in the shower rather than letting it escape to the bathroom floor. Relative to your concern about booking an inside room - if you are on a port intensive European itinerary, we find that an inside room is fine as we are usually ashore during the day and are only using the room for sleeping and showering. Even on sea days there is always space to sit in Horizons or around the pool.
  7. Thanks for reporting on your eventful world cruise. It's great reading a review with an exceptionally happy ending. Congratulations! Cheers!
  8. I just checked and my booked cruises, which were there earlier today, are gone now as well. They must be doing maintenance. Hopefully, everything will be restored soon so you can make your restaurant reservations tonight.
  9. Unless procedures changed in the last year or two, at the port in Vancouver you go through Canadian immigration (to leave Canada) and then you go to the next area in the terminal where you go through US immigration for the Alaska segment of the cruise. Theoretically, after you go through US immigration and board the ship, you are considered to have left Canada. I don't recall any kind of formal immigration check stopping at Victoria prior to going to Seattle.
  10. Most cruise lines tape the calls to their reps and very likely this is the case with Celebrity. If your TA specifically asked if you could keep your perks and the Celebrity rep answered affirmatively, then have your TA call Celebrity and ask to speak with a supervisor. Describe the conversation with the Celebrity rep noting the rep's name and the date and approximate time of the call. Ask that the tape of the call be reviewed and if the Celebrity rep did say the perks would not be lost if you took an upgrade, they should be restored or some other remedy may be offered if the error was Celebrity's. I had a transaction (not with Celebrity) where the invoice I received did not reflect what I was told during a phone call and after review of the tape, the error was corrected. Hope you can get a reasonable resolution to a frustrating situation.
  11. When we were in Leith on the Nautica about 2 years ago, there was no shuttle. However, a number of buses (routes 22, 34 and 35) run from the port in Leith to the Waverley rail station in Edinburgh. The ride is about 30 minutes and the cost about 1.60 pounds.
  12. If you have an evening flight out of Buenos Aires, I would suggest that you consider getting a day room in a hotel in Buenos Aires rather than taking a transfer to the airport that might get you there 8 hours or more before you can check in for your flight. When I went through EZE last year, you could not check your luggage for your flight until about 2-1/2 hours before the scheduled flight time. As you can't go through security until your flight and gate gets posted on the departure board, there is not much in EZE before security so it's not a good place to have to wait for hours. Staying in Buenos Aires for the day gives you the option to tour around the city a bit or just relax in the hotel. The hotel can call a cab to take you to the airport and if I remember correctly, the cab fare was around $40.
  13. The Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has issued licenses for 12 categories of travel to Cuba. One of those categories is "support for the Cuban people." Under that category there is no requirement to be on an excursion, you can do your sightseeing on your own. However, you need to comply with the OFAC regulations that prohibit engaging in financial transactions with entities that are on the "Cuba Restricted List" - businesses that are essentially under the control of the Cuban government. Oceania provided a printout of businesses that are on the list. I was on the Insignia cruise that stopped in Havana on July 2, 2018. I did not have an excursion booked and went ashore with no problems. Getting through immigration at the port in Havana was slow, but as long as you had a visa the Cuban authorities let you enter and never asked if you had an excursion. The OFAC regulations are a U.S. requirement, not a Cuban requirement. I did not enter into any financial transactions with any of the entities on the restricted list and had an enjoyable day walking around Havana with no hassles and in compliance with the OFAC regulations.
  14. lj77346


    We were on the July 1 - 15 "Caribbean Palette" cruise on the Insignia. We enjoyed the cruise - food was very good as usual. The cruise was memorable because the itinerary was changed to get us out of the way from Hurricane Beryl. Instead of going to St. Lucia and Dominica, the ship went to Trinidad, then we had 3 sea days going to Bermuda instead of the 2 days we would have had from Dominica. We felt that communication onboard about the change in itinerary was handled well. There were a couple of sea days with lots of motion to the ocean, but nothing that Oceania could do about that.
  15. You might want to check with NCL as Hellesylt is a port that is used for shore excursions that will meet the ship in Geiranger. Since the ship does not stay in Hellesylt for the day the rules for leaving the ship there may be different than other ports - you need to get to Geiranger to get back on the ship.
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