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Everything posted by Paulchili

  1. Well, well - what do you know 😊 - I was indeed on that Riviera TA in Nov 2013. Fortunately, I was never on a Noro cruise - a string of good luck I hope to continue. Would enjoy sailing with you again some day - like with many people of my age, it would be like meeting you for the first time (again) 😊
  2. ORV - do you really expect me to remember that far back? 😀 A few years ago I would have remembered such things but these days I am just glad if I can remember my name 😊 I will check though.
  3. Thank you. I am sure we'll have a great cruise - looking forward to exploring the Explorer 😀
  4. What “falling standards” are you seeing on Regent? Curious as we are sailing on Regent in 2 weeks
  5. Really? If that was the case it was a truly unique cruise. Didn’t they have any lectures, trivia, movies, bridge, card tournaments, country fair with officers, stitch & b**tch sessions, cooking demonstrations or classes, art classes or you just didn’t notice?
  6. I just priced and booked a Viking river cruise. Had quotes from a Viking agent and 3 TAs. Let me just say that they were WIDELY different and the Viking agent’s price was highest. We are talking several hundreds of $$$ apart.
  7. Cruise only fare for B2 is $4,499.
  8. I would suggest to leave the tour at the castle. If they have not visited the inside of the Cathedral, you can do it on your own and then go through the remainder of the Castle complex to the Golden Lane and down the stairs into Lesser Town. Visit the church on Lesser Town square and Kampa Island (with John Lennon wall) and then walk across Charles bridge following the street to Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock tower. Afterwards admire the beautiful Art Nouveau buildings along Parizska street on your way back to Intercontinental. Maybe stop to visit Klementinum with what many call the “most beautiful library in the world” https://www.boredpanda.com/beautiful-library-prague-czech-clementinum/ Look into a private tour of the Jewish Quarter - even if you are not Jewish -due to its historical importance (some of the oldest synagogues and cemeteries in Europe). For dinner (or lunch) I would choose a local restaurant - like one of the pubs - over international restaurants for better food at better prices. Concierge at the hotel can assist you. For shopping or window shopping - especially for Bohemian crystal - walk along Celetna street from Old Town square to (and through) Powder Gate to Municipal house just past the tower. Go inside to check interior and the beautiful Art Nouveau restaurant on ground floor or have a meal downstairs with local musicians at dinner. Czechs & Prague are very musical - like Vienna - and if you are so inclined find a concert in one of the churches. Enjoy Prague - a very special city.
  9. Thank you. That confirms the 15 Euro/pp/day. Were all 7 days on the ship or did you have any pre/post cruise days on land (not likely on 7 day cruise)? Did you have any OBC? If so, could you have charged the gratuities to the OBC? (others have indicated that it is possible). TIA
  10. Flip a coin? 😀 I think you should explore other options - we have (Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking Ocean). All were very good and each had some points that were actually better than on Oceania but when the overall experience was considered (food, service, cabin, fellow passengers, cost, our preferences & likes, perks, etc, etc), O still suited US best (even though it no longer is the Oceania we first cruised on in 2006). That said, it might change in the future depending on what our future experiences on Oceania will be.
  11. I respect your opinion and you should follow your heart (or your maybe head?) 😊
  12. ..and a walk-in closet on O ships and a manageable bathroom and shower on R ships, a room where you can actually enjoy ensuite dining and so on. That said - it’s an entirely personal choice. Many are perfectly happy in an inside rooms and others would not sail if they can’t get an OS or VS
  13. I will certainly agree that you are entitled to your opinion but at the same time it is just that - your personal opinion. By the same token others are entitled to their opinion - like bitob in post #51 above:; We were on Marina in November with 2 other couples. Together we have more than 40 cruises on Oceania. We all agreed that the food on that cruise was perhaps the best we have ever had on Oceania (it is not always the best food at sea, I agree). The chef was from Paris. Every food venue was perfection. We have rarely, if ever, experienced perfection in every venue. Every cruise is different and the Executive Chef makes a HUGE difference. It so happens that one of the couples bitob mentions in the post are very close personal friends of ours and have told us independently after their cruise that “this was the best food they’ve had on Oceania” in their 20+ cruises. Granted - they were on a different cruise from yours but who is right about Oceania’s current food - you (and others like you) or them? These are both personal and therefore subjective opinions. Time will tell how the majority of seasoned O cruisers will report about their opinions on the food as compared to the past - included our personal opinion on our 3 upcoming cruises next year. As it should be in all democracies, the majority rules and wise consumers will eventually speak with their wallets one way or another. 😊
  14. That’s just it - you cannot make an intelligent decision until you can do the math. To do the math you need the numbers - you need to know the value of the included packages. The ultimate O LIfe of first segment could very well be worth more than $700 - depending on how much you would otherwise spend on alcohol and how much OBC you would get with O Life Ultimate. For comparison, it would not make sense for us as we do not drink and we get OBC anyway with out status - thus the Ultimate package would not be worth $700 more for us. Also - how many cruises do you have with Oceania - in other words, does it matter to you to get credit for 2 cruises or not (are you getting close to your 20th free cruise or not?)
  15. O Life excursions have to be booked no later than 14 days prior to sailing. They can be cancelled prior to this date but not after. AFAIK they are not cancellable once onboard either but can be exchanged for other excursions. If they are cancelled by Oceania (wheather, etc) you would receive $100 non-refundable OBC (or could exchange it for another excursion). That is my understanding and my experience.
  16. Are you asking about O Life excursions or regular ones because there is a difference.
  17. Do I remember correctly that bacon is your favorite health food or am I quoting someone else? 😀
  18. I told you not to throw away your abacus 😀
  19. This is my favorite auto-correct of all time - food gras in place of foie gras. What a difference a few letters make! 😀 A tough choice - eat grass or duck liver? 😀
  20. Henry, That sounds like a good reason on the surface but if this were to result in an exodus of the loyal base - as some here are already contemplating - then it might not be such a good idea on the long run?
  21. It is my understanding that both FDR and Mr. Binder are “foodies” and the last thing they would want to change on Oceania is the food quality. Best food at sea is their motto and that is mostly what gave Oceania its niche - why would they want to change that?
  22. I would prefer the “pay me never” scenario but since that is not one of the options, I will take later over now 😀
  23. I do not know why the waiter said what he said but I have it from THE most reliable source that the steaks do NOT come pre-cooked.
  24. Rosmerta, Here are your choices when booking an Oceania cruise: Cruise only - no air, no O Life. You get credit for not including air Cruise, air + O Life Cruise, air, no O Life Cruise, O Life but no air (get credit for it) O Life costs $100 per included excursion more than no O Life - i.e. if your O Life gives you 8 included excursions, you will pay $800 more in your fare than if you did not choose O Life. As for included O Life excursions - they do vary but most are over $100 and up to $199. Any excursion that has letters associated with it (OE, OS, etc) are not included in O Life options and are usually more expensive. Look up a cruise similar to your In the near future and check the available excursions to get an idea for excursions and prices on your cruise.
  25. But aren’t you just paying $300 to get those very same $300 back as OBC? 😀
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