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Everything posted by Paulchili

  1. Is there a particular reason why nobody is talking about Lyft? I prefer them to Uber.
  2. Just for a comparison, let me tell you about our river cruises last year - it was a bad year for all rivers in Europe. 1 Our Viking Elbe cruise from Berlin to Prague was cancelled and we were notified a week before we were to leave for the cruise. We received full refund but no compensation for changing of air 2 This cruise was to be followed by an AMA Budapest to Bucharest cruise so we left for Europe (Budapest) a week later (flew for miles so it only cost us a change fee that Viking did not cover). Luck would have it that our AMA cruise was cancelled as well as the ship couldn’t get past Vienna. We were offered a cruise of same duration from Vienna up the river instead of the Budapest to Bucharest cruise. In addition to this we received a full refund in a form of a credit for future AMA cruise - in other words, we get a cruise of same duration (different itinerary) PLUS a “free” cruise in the future. In addition, as everyone was in Budapest for the cruise they bused us all to Vienna AND as people were scheduled to end in Bucharest (we had a private tour there) they flew EVERYONE who needed to be there to Bucharest for free or home from Vienna for those that had no plans in Bucharest. Now - that is what I call compensation for an inconvenience even though it was out of their control. That will surely want me to cruise with AMA again (in addition to our “free” cruise)😀
  3. Apples and oranges. Other than sleeping in a cabin on a ship that floats on water there is very little in common between river and ocean cruises - even if both are on Viking. Ultimately only you can decide if ocean cruising is better than river cruising by trying it. Others’ opinions are of limited help as you don’t know who they are and what they like. If I tell you that I prefer ocean cruising to river cruising, how is it relevant to you?
  4. We did Bucharest and Brasov privately and I would highly recommend doing it - either with the ship or private. By description the Viking tour is very similar to what we did privately. Budapest is a great city - again extend your trip there with the ship or on your own.
  5. If that is all that has changed I should be OK as we rarely dine in the MDR for dinner. It’s the specialties or the Terrace 9 out 10 nights - others may feel differently. That said, I am sorry that you were disappointed.
  6. Thanks for the feedback- glad you enjoyed most things. You must not be a croissant person because they ARE excellent - almost “Paris” grade 😀
  7. Pretty sure that will be the case with transfer to Monaco.
  8. Private tours CAN be cheaper if you can find enough people to share the tour with you; if it's a private tours for just 2 people it's most likely (much) more expensive than ship's tour. They do tend to be more satisfying as you and your "friends" determine the itinerary vs the ship doing so.
  9. Don - the air does not come into this calculation. Sure - you are ahead $300 if you go with O air. Good - do it (even though we don’t know what kind of “air” you can get yourself for $300 more vs what Oceania will get for you). What if the air Oceania gets for you has 2 connections with long layovers and your own air for $300 more could be direct, non-stop(just speculating here). That issue appears settled in your mind. Now - what is the fare with O Life vs without O Life (air included in both cases). I bet it is $1400 more with O Life. In essence, you are paying $1400 more to get Oceania to give you back that very same $1400 as OBC. Now you have to make sure that you spend ALL of that $1400 or you'll lose whatever is left over. Why not not pay that $1400 to Oceania for O Life and then spend whatever you want or need on PPG, Excursions, etc - if that turns out to be less than $1400 then you saved money; if it’s more, you’ll pay the difference one way or another. Bottom line - you are ahead ONLY $300 by taking the Oceania air - NOT $3700. That is the way I see it based on your post above.
  10. Was it for a cruise booked onboard with “best price guarantee” till final payment?
  11. Not a good choice. just take the cruise w/o O Life and pay for your expenses as you go The OBC is non-refundable. Thus if you have any OBC left after the PPG & excursions you’ll have to find something to spend it on - whether you want to or not (or lose it) You are not getting any extra value out of your OBC by taking it and using it the way you plan to
  12. That’s what happens when you come to CC to complain AFTER your cruise instead of researching here before the cruise. Those that don’t know about CC have a “beef” but you don’t. If you had come here before your cruise then you would have known that you can book the cruise w/o O Life (or cruise only) and you would not have been “ripped off” by $1400 - and yes, you can “get away from being ripped off” on Oceania as they are an ”a la carte” cruise line. Now you know 😀
  13. They will try their best - no guarantees. Their chances are better than you trying yourself (usually).
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Are you including yourself in this observation? 😁
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. 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) 😀
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