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su-arizona

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    321
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About su-arizona

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Belleair, Florida
  • Interests
    Travel & golf
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, Windstar, AMA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever the wind blows

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  1. Gosh folks....the subject was crowded cruise ports, wasn't it? I'm not sure there are any "back alleys" in St. Barts. We enjoyed it the first time we were there in the 80's and could rent a mini moke - driving was an adventure. If you spend enough for a fabulous lunch at a fabulous hotel - it ought to be enjoyable and folks ought to be polite. Unless it's high season of course... As I mentioned before, crowding isn't exclusive to cruise ports, or even remote locations.
  2. I'm on the AA flight BCN-MIA next month, booked through O air. I believe it is true Premium Economy, but will certainly report back if it isn't! BTW, in defense of O air, they were careful to point out that my DL flight to BCN was Comfort+ and that it is not true Premium Economy (though DL costs about as much!). I was willing to suffer to get an overnight non-stop to Europe from TPA (not many of those from TPA, and my go-to LH flight was full). Maybe I'll feel differently after the flight!
  3. Before someone jumps on me for the previous comments, we don't use FF miles and are currently without a good TA....
  4. If you mean Olife airfare, you should know what flights you want before you book through O. Then you can make a comparison. We usually do the premium economy upgrade and it has most always been less expensive than booking on our own. Seat selection is the same as buying airfare on your own - you should choose your seats as soon you have your confirmation number. I generally check seat availability when I check on the flights I want before talking to O. If there aren't good seats available on your own, O booking can't help.
  5. Ummmm..... I'm not sure travel in the off-season is a great solution....After 20+ years in the Phoenix area I can't say I recommend it in July. Staying in a nice hotel is fine, but you may not wish to leave it in the daytime. Large crowds are not limited to cruise ship ports. No cruises to Walt Disney World, but over the years the crowds have grown oppressive there too. I once had these apocalyptic visions of what overpopulation would look like - but now I think we are seeing it everywhere around us in everyday living, in crowds and traffic and touring. I just finished buying timed admission tickets for the Alhambra and Sagrada Familia months in advance...and remember giving tickets to the Anne Frank house to others in Amsterdam last year when we could not even purchase tickets to the museums on site - much less the Anne Frank house. And being unable to see the flowers in Giverny over all the other heads. Or the Sistine Chapel ceiling through the hundreds of iPads photographing the ceiling by Japanese tourists. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a solution, or such a thing as spontaneous travel anymore. And right now, I can't even add one person to specialty dining reservations on Oceania for a single widowed friend who decided to join us about a month before the cruise. Now THAT seems to be something that could be resolved. I am finding it really sad that Oceania is so unresponsive to such things.
  6. On our Riviera cruise Oct-2019, we booked La Cuisine Bourgeoise in La Reserve by calling Oceania. This La Reserve option didn't appear online in La Reserve dining - it had to be booked by telephone. Perhaps this has changed now, but our June Riviera cruise doesn't show it online either (it may not be offered, haven't asked). We thought the dinner and the wine pairings we excellent, and the dinner is certainly worth the price. The wines alone are worth the price, and they are very generous with the pours. I'm sure the "Dom" dinner is fabulous, but don't overlook the other options - they're great too!
  7. It would be nice to have a coffeemaker en suite...but...Since I know I won't have one on Oceania, I book a cabin with easy access to the Concierge/Executive Lounge so I can easily grab a couple cups of coffee to take back to the cabin. Less fuss than going to Horizons, Baristas etc early in the morning. Also, coffee ordered the night before usually arrives very promptly at the scheduled time in the morning - with or without butler.
  8. We're on the same cruise with you - also in Concierge - and we've chatted on the Roll Call. No sea days, and there are three days in a row that I expect will be very long, tiring days of touring - I know we are both touring Seville from Cadiz and Granada from Almeria - and Malaga also has many full-day tours. So I won't book specialties for those nights, as we probably will choose to dine casually in the Terrace. But that's just us...we rarely dine in the GDR and head to the Terrace Cafe when we're tired and don't want to get 'dressed up'. Most dishes from the GDR are also available in the Terrace, plus the grill options. Like others have said, specialties are rarely booked on the first night and the last night out is usually a Terrace/packing night for us. Gosh...that doesn't leave much time! I don't usually enjoy sea days, but this is our first with NO sea days!
  9. Riviera is my favorite ship - the only one I'd consider for a TA. Small enough to get to know others, but large enough not to be bored by many sea days. Also (having cruised in really bad weather) large enough to feel comfortable in rough seas. We cruised Greece last Oct on Riviera, and will return to visit Spain in June.
  10. I was just discussing this topic with an Oceania sales rep a couple days ago... A number of posts here said that an "extended voyage" or B2B cruise only counts as one Oceania club cruise credit (not two as in booking two separate cruises). She confirmed that was correct. So I assume that is why it isn't 'allowed'. There is no real pricing discount on doing a B2B, but there is some savings since it's charged as one way air for each cruise segment. I would also assume that's why you need to cancel and rebook. It wasn't enough of a deal for me to book the extended voyage though...
  11. I always load up my iPad with a selection of new movies...the onboard movie content is pretty limited, and tends to repeat frequently.
  12. I agree with Mura - I rarely hear announcements. So I couldn't say whether Dottie makes more announcements than others... What I do remember most is that Dottie is one of the only CD's who showed up for the M&G and stayed long enough to meet and greet most of the attendees. Greatly appreciated, and set a good tone for the rest of the cruise!
  13. Since OLife began, I noticed that private tour participation on Roll Calls went way down. That's when I began taking the OLife shore excursion credit...On our Greece cruise in October, I took a couple private tours with Niki Tours (which were excellent) in Olympia and Santorini - where we could take shared private tours. In Gythion there was not enough interest in shared private tours - which is an excellent reason to take the O tours to less-popular sights. Another time the O tours can be more advantageous is tender ports - especially in smaller ports. On Patmos, all tours - O or private - go to essentially the same two sights. Taking the O tours allowed us to be on the earliest tenders, when the sights were less crowded. And the O tour was really great, with an excellent guide. So for me, it works to take the limited number of free O excursions, some private excursions, and some independent exploration in ports where we can easily walk or drive to interesting sights from where the ship is docked. Choosing the O Life shore excursion option always makes financial sense for us, but you need to do your research and choose wisely.
  14. Viking River is certainly the 800-pound gorilla of European river cruises. There are more Viking longships than I'd care to count. But there are still many other lines offering river cruises, and they differentiate their products in many ways. And there are still more lines building new ships to enter that market. I expect that we'll continue to see lots of competition in the ocean cruise market as well. I know I've been curious about Viking Ocean, but haven't been able to find a cruise I'd want to book. Viking does a lot of advertising, and they seem to fill both their river and ocean ships. Leaving room for me on other lines.... Aren't we fortunate to have so many good choices?
  15. In October, we cruised with friends who were in a Penthouse suite with extended veranda on Deck 7. The weather was lovely, and they dined on their balcony several times. The balcony is very spacious, and made the cabin seem larger as well. We often dine outdoors in the Terrace Cafe...more frequently than in elsewhere if the weather's nice. Service is usually excellent, though the Terrace doesn't have course by course table service. We enjoy the "buffet", choosing what we'd like for dinner. It is often difficult to carry your own plate to the table as staff is quick to offer help taking your plate to the table. Wine service is like the other restaurants. Having just taken my first mass market cruise with a buffet, I can guarantee that the Terrace Cafe is a buffet in name only - not your typical buffet.
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