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Everything posted by grmmybtty

  1. We’ve visited Puerto Madryn twice. On our first visit we took a tour of Penisula Valdez in a minivan with 6 other couples. There was a bathroom stop at the visitor center followed with 2 different stops to see Magellan penguins (there were a couple of dozen at the first stop and close to a hundred at the second), stops to see close to a hundred sea lions and another to see hundreds of seals frolicking in a bay. It was a long drive since we did cover a lot of territory. On the way we saw guanacos and ostrich type birds. On our second visit this past March, we took a tour to Punto Tombo. We were in a small minivan with one other couple. We were fortunate to see thousands of penguins from both near and far. It was a long drive with a bathroom stop. We took both tours with Sentir Patagonia. We enjoyed both tours immensely and would not hesitate from repeating either tour.
  2. We were on the ATW and chose to make our air arrangements ourselves, receiving $1000 air credit. When the cruise abruptly ended in Rio, we made our own arrangements to return home. We did not ask the concierge or the Oceania travel department to assist since we knew that they would be busy making arrangements for the approximately 300 who used their air. We had no expectations that Oceania would cover our flight home.
  3. We want to see the Christmas markets but also want to see and experience something else too. I’m glad that our cruise offers both.
  4. We are booked on the AMA Christmas Market Cruise on the Rhine during Thanksgiving week and it looks like there are at least one or two daytime activities to choose other than visiting a Christmas market. I’m afraid that one or more Christmas markets a day for 7 days would be way too much for anyone to bear.
  5. We were on both the Sirena and Insignia this past year and the shampoo/body wash and separate conditioners were the same as they’ve always been on both the large and small ships. The only difference in the products was that those in concierge and above had a choice of Bulgari scents than those of us in steerage.
  6. Congratulations Bob and Betsy. We wish you many happy, healthy years today. Hope to see you on the Tokyo to San Francisco segment of the 2020 ATW.
  7. We were able to exchange it for a better bottle of red by bringing the bottle to Polo. The room steward can only exchange for the current house red or white.
  8. So happy to hear that Bob is doing well. Best wishes Bob and Betsy for a long happy life together.
  9. Please let Bob know that we are praying for his recovery. Hugs to you and Betsy for being such good friends.
  10. Bob, You have become dear to us as we have followed your journey. We hope that you have a speedy recovery and join the ship soon. Thank you Jim for keeping us posted on Bob. I think that all of us would have been worried when we didn't hear from him in a few days since he was so actively posting about your wonderful trip around the world.
  11. I want to echo Northern Aurora. We have cruised along Japanese ports twice now. In Kobe, our ship docked at Naha Port. We walked to the metro stop nearby. No signage was in English. I was in the process of using Google translate to figure out which train to take when a very nice older gentleman who spoke no English, stopped to help us. I told him that I wanted to go to Nishiki Market and he pantomimed which train to take, how much, etc. And even walked us to the right track, once in Kyoto, we found English signage at Kyoto Station, but we’re confused as to which train to take back to the port (even though I had it down on Googlemaps). Another younger person with minimal English helped us in that instance. Even though I had the directions on googlemaps and there was some English signage, the overstimulation of the train station was overwhelming. We have found some really nice Japanese who are willing to assist lost tourists, but even though they took English in school, their spoken English is poor. Google translate is priceless, even with the data charge.
  12. We traveled to Shanghai on the Millenium a few years ago. No shuttle was offered at any port. Be aware that the fog often delays entry into Shanghai and the ship may dock several hours late or not at all. We were scheduled to arrive in the morning but the ship did not dock until 1pm, causing us to miss half the day.
  13. What happens may depend on the ship’s itinerary. Our first B2B passing through Miami came from the Caribbean on the way north to NYC. We had stopped at Port Canaveral the day before and went through Customs and Immigration onboard. We not have to pass through Customs again in Miami. Our next B2B went to Cuba and we did have to walk off the ship through Customs and Immigration in Miami with the 4 other people doing the next segment.
  14. We cruised together a few years ago and have always enjoyed reading your postings. I am so sorry to hear about your loss and hope that you are surrounded by those you love best. I hope that the good times you had together will put a smile in your eyes again.
  15. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe if we all get drunk enough 🤣
  16. In China and Vietnam (and probably all over Asia). the snakes are soaked in alcohol for a long period of time and the infused liqueur is served as a health tonic. Rafael and Armando can try it during our cruise next year!
  17. Welcome home Frances. Thank you for the great info on Tokyo port. Now that you are home, we will have to get in touch to plan SIN-SF for 2020!
  18. Cynthia, I just looked at the overland tours since you mentioned the overlapping times. Oceania has added a few new ones in Africa, and a couple of them begin upon disembarkation from Cape Town so that it entirely overlaps the dinner event that night. I wonder if the planners even look at the schedule of events when land tours are being planned? The Himalayan land tour looks wonderful.
  19. Cynthia, we are on the ATW 2020 and have the same concern about fitting something in on our Kobe stop since the event is smack in the middle of our overnight. Would love to visit Fushimi Inari and the Bamboo Forest too. Maybe we can plan something together (bettytabora at yahoo dot com)
  20. Thank you Frances. Glad you made it into Kyoto from Kobe. Hope you got on less crowded trains than we did last year. Looking forward to sailing with you and Raphael next year.
  21. Did the ship dock in Yokohama or Tokyo Bay? We will be overnighting in Tokyo on the ATW 2020. Did you know ahead of time where you would be docking?
  22. There are not usually shuttles on disembarkation day. Depending on where the ship actually docks the taxis may not be allowed to get close to the area where you actually get off the ship. We booked a car to pick us up (can't remember the name of the company, but they were mentioned in a Venice ports of call thread). Apparently private booked cars are allow through to pick up passengers. We got to the airport in about 30 minutes. Our other option would have been a very expensive private water taxi.
  23. We stayed at the Rome Hilton Airport after leaving our ship about 2 years ago. We didn’t want to go into Rome because Trump was in town for the G10 (or something) and there were demonstrations. We took the local bus from the airport to the town of Fiumicimo. It’s a nice fishing village with some cute shops and restaurants. We walked around a bit, then had an early dinner before taking the bus back to the airport. No major sights to see, just a pleasant afternoon by the sea.
  24. Prices were about the same and ours was only a 7 day cruise! The major difference is that we got jackets for only 50 points. That’s probably why they went so fast.
  25. Very true. The stocks will run out the farther you travel from Miami and you don’t know when or if the same item is restocked. The jackets went really fast on our Cuba cruise a few weeks ago, especially the larger sizes.
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