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Everything posted by Paulchili

  1. 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.
  2. But aren’t you just paying $300 to get those very same $300 back as OBC? 😀
  3. Somehow I get a feeling from your recent posts that you are now ready for a new cruise line? 😀
  4. I will try to investigate this from sources I trust. Wouldn’t pre-cooked steaks cost more than raw ones? Somebody has to pay for this “service”. If so, multiplied by millions of steaks that Oceania uses this would be a significant (and unnecessary) expense for Oceania IMO.
  5. Is this a proven fact or an assumption on your part. What is your proof? It doesn’t take very long to cook a steak to medium rare - not worth saving this time by precooking and then freezing it IMO.
  6. O Life has NOTHING to do with air. You can use your miles to fly (and get credit for the airfare) and still add (or not add) O Life to your cruise. IMO, O Life is a good value when one chooses the excursion option. You pay $100/excursion in getting O Life but can get in return as much as $199/excursion in some cases - essentially doubling your benefit. In your case choosing the drinks package makes no sense and choosing OBC as an option is an even exchange - you pay as much ahead of time as you will get back in OBC.
  7. Given this info, it makes more sense to just pay for it on the cruise rather than pre-pay - especially if you have a CC that does not charge extra for foreign transactions. In addition, if one has OBC it appears that the only way to use this for gratuities is to pay for them onboard.
  8. Obviously I wasn’t as clear about this as I wanted to be. I did NOT mean swapping reservations with another passenger - rather trying to change one’s own reservation at an “inconvenient” time/date for a reservation for oneself at a better time/date (if available). This is done routinely when there are openings for such transactions. As you know, not all reservations are filled online - many spots are left open for those that are unable or unwilling to do so before boarding - thus leaving room for those that are looking to possibly change their original reservation. PS This detailed explanation is not for your sake as you know these facts - it is for those “newbies” you are referring to.
  9. If memory serves me right, you have to call O.
  10. Thank you for your answer. It seems to be a very recent and therefore current info.
  11. Thank you for that honest answer and I certainly understand what you are saying. I will follow your advice and contact Viking about this.
  12. Everyone is entitled to and guaranteed their allotment of specialty reservations. What is not guaranteed is the date , time and table size. The earlier you book, the better the chances you’ll get what you want (or close to what you want). You can always try to change reservations if you are unable to get your choices once onboard as well as you might be able to get extra reservations.
  13. Thank you. We will have both - refundable and non-refundable OBC. Which one of these can be used for gratuities?
  14. Exactly. One cannot order from the chef whatever they wish - the menu is from Toscana and Polo. One can order anything from those 2 menus but not anything else - AFAIK.
  15. We have cruised with Viking in the past but I do not remember the details. What is the daily tip/pp for the ship staff (CD, etc). This is a river cruise in Europe. Can this be paid with the OBC? TIA
  16. I am an infrequent user of either one but my experiences with Lyft have been better overall. There has also been a fair amount of unfavorable publicity about Uber (both the corporate side as well as drivers) - I have heard none of this about Lyft (maybe because fewer people use them?)
  17. Is there a particular reason why nobody is talking about Lyft? I prefer them to Uber.
  18. 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)😀
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Thanks for the feedback- glad you enjoyed most things. You must not be a croissant person because they ARE excellent - almost “Paris” grade 😀
  23. Pretty sure that will be the case with transfer to Monaco.
  24. 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.
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