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Everything posted by Paulchili

  1. I am not sure but I don’t think so. I have not encounter this as we always take tours together. Maybe someone else has the definite answer.
  2. We also enjoy the afternoon tea and go frequently. I have no recollection of hot items at tea - only finger sandwiches, cakes, cookies and scones. That said, there are enough posts lately about the decline of food on Oceania. This is more concerning when it comes from O regulars rather than first-timers, whose expectations might have been set too high based on reports here as well as the claim of “best food at sea” by Oceania. The regulars OTOH have a basis of comparison to their prior experiences. We have noticed changes on Oceania in the last couple of years but they were not related to decline in food quality. We have a few O cruises scheduled in the future and are anxious to see what our experiences are. There are choices out there should Oceania decide they want to cut corners on what they are best known for.
  3. I know exactly what you mean. We had a similar experience when connecting there BA flight to BA flight. I literally ran ahead as M couldn’t go fast enough just to get to the plane and hold it if necessary. It was pretty stressful.
  4. Many terminals with wide separation - have to switch terminals when connecting to BA with second security clearance. LONG lines everywhere whether you are arriving or leaving. GE (Global Entry) helps us on arrival to US but of no help at LHR. Very strict security. That said, any large hub is a disaster since 9/11.
  5. Keith, Thank you for that succinct summary of Crystal's specialty restaurant history. It is very helpful to those of us that are neither Crystal cruise line nor Crystal CC board regulars.
  6. Are you including yourself in this observation? 😁
  7. That is literally unheard of - perhaps you can give more details? Everyone is GUARANTEED their share of reservations. Perhaps you didn’t book your reservations online (PH can book well ahead of other cabins) and when you asked for a reservations once onboard you were given a time or table size you didn’t like? I am just guessing here but you certainly could have and should have booked the reservations online well ahead of the rest of the ship giving you the best chance of your date, time and table size. I simply do not understand the circumstances that led to you not being able to get a single reservation at Jacques. As this is a Crystal board, perhaps we can continue this on Oceania boards?
  8. Just to add - in the next 2 - 3 years we are booked on Regent, Seabourn (30 day cruise) and Crystal as well as Oceania (B2B2B), Princess and a few river cruises. Each of these cruise lines have their pros and cons, strong and weak points and some aspects that are better than Oceania but overall we like Oceania best. With all that said, we don’t limit our choices to Oceania alone.
  9. I do and I am. That does not stop me from cruising other lines as well for certain itineraries (even if I personally don't think they are better than Oceania) 😀
  10. Of all people you know how well this concept can works on Oceania. Everyone is guaranteed their allotment and extra reservations are then given as they become available - at no extra cost while trying to be fair to everyone. No line is perfect - it's just a matter of the "best" fit. For example, I wish Oceania had Crystal's Bistro and Crystal's enrichment program and Seabourn Square. Oh, well....
  11. Most people DO make it on the ship on time but stuff happens - no way to predict that. It's not that unusual for flights to be late and miss connections. Just think of what you would be faced with flying to Asia via HKG planning to arrive on the day of the cruise. Who could have predicted that crazy situation. If you have a day or two to play with, you can make changes/adjustments.
  12. What you do know is that the chances of getting the "best" direct non-stop flight (most expensive option) is a lot less than getting a cheaper flight with one or more connections. The often measly O's credit for included flights seldom qualifies for the "best" flights.
  13. In addition, I hope that you do know that if you miss the cruise - even if it's an O booked flight - you are on your own to catch up with the ship.
  14. Not the passengers' fault - it's up to the Maitre D' to give everyone equal opportunities to enjoy the specialties. He/she should know how many times each passenger used those facilities. OTOH, perhaps there was no demand and then why have empty tables while refusing some reservations. Conversely, with high demand, refuse those frequent users (not PH) and give others an equal chance. And I agree, it is tacky to charge for specialties on a luxury cruise line that is not at a bargain basement price to start with.
  15. Dan, you probably know the answer just don't want to hear it Prior experiences have no bearing on future experiences as they will offer the cheapest ticket/routing available at that time (unless you deviate). You can get lucky - like osandomir above - but do you feel lucky, do you (to paraphrase Dirty Harry)? 😂
  16. If you received a SECOND PPG benefit (like from your TA in addition to your Silver+ benefit), that second PPG is capped at $250. Those that have been grandfathered by 12/31/2013 received the full value of second PPG.
  17. As well as 3 Crimean ports instead of just one - the way it used to be.
  18. That is good to know - we just might do that as well. Unfortunately for us this is of no value to us as we don’t drink but we definitely do eat 😁
  19. Love the itinerary -never been to Kiribati before and no other cruise line is going there. Also, as I pointed out above, Crystal shines in enrichment programs which are mostly on sea days and there are plenty of those on this itinerary. In addition, I want to see if my prior experience on Crystal was an "aberration" or do I still feel the same after this one.
  20. Looking forward to trying the 'new" Umi Uma - the previous version did not leave a lasting impression.
  21. That must be something new. Yes, there were tiny pieces of lobster in appetizers but no lobster as a main course. Can you please post a link for that menu. Also, there would a charge for this after the 1st visit (unlike on Oceania where there is never a charge in any restaurant).
  22. Which dining venue(s) and how far in advance do I have to ask?
  23. 2 cruises on Nautica in Aug 2021: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/Mediterranean-cruises/istanbul-to-athens-NAU210826/?sr=%2Fcruise-finder%2F%23sailDates%3D2021|08%23ships%3DNAU https://www.oceaniacruises.com/grand-voyage-cruises/istanbul-to-rome-NAU210826A/?sr=%2Fcruise-finder%2F%23sailDates%3D2021|08%23ships%3DNAU
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