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Everything posted by Paulchili

  1. That’s a pretty good one. I would add Dragon Beaux & Tong Kiang - both in that neighborhood. However, the best Dim Sum in SF is Yank Sing. That said, due to its popularity it is always crowded and prices have gone through the roof. Now I will go there only for very special occasions as a treat.
  2. I find it somewhat curious that your DH owns a pair of boxing gloves and apparently uses “it” but doesn’t know what “it” is actually called 😄
  3. Could it be Terry from Ohio aka TLCOhio?
  4. Obviously, fresh lobsters are available in some locations only. Most of the time cruise ships serve either frozen ones (like Oceania) or none (like many other lines). I'll take frozen over none (unless fresh are available :))
  5. What did you expect to do online? I got off the same Marina cruise and most of the time the internet on my iPad was fine for emails. I was able to follow an airline website looking for availability of a flight for next year and when it became available I booked it without any trouble; I followed sports results for my teams; I occasionally checked CC. I even did some banking and made a few calls on my iPad with WiFi connection. I did not do FaceTime, Facebook (I never do those even at home) or try to download any pictures On a few occasions internet was not available but it would always be a temporary situation. While obviously the connection was not like at my home, I was able to do the things I wanted and needed without any trouble - just more slowly. FWIW, several of the buses on shore excursions in Italy & France had very good WiFi - even for downloading pictures 🙂
  6. ellbon, just out of curiosity - do you ever re-read your posts before you post them? It might be a good idea. Sometimes it is difficult to understand them - like what does this mean - “The zoo oils cheaper than the opera house”? At least I have that problem - others may not.
  7. Here is my experience with lobster on our 24 day Crystal cruise as noted in my review: Worst thing about dining (for me) – absence of lobsters and foie grass. Lobster tails were available twice in 24 days – once on formal night (black tie optional) and once at a special brunch. As Oceania fans know, lobster is available daily in the Terrace and all 4 restaurants have full lobster dishes on the menu( steamed at Polo, Fra Diavolo at Toscana, Pad Thai in Red Ginger and Thermidore at Jacques). Crystal’s 2 specialties had appetizers with tiny taste of lobster. While Jacques no longer offers sautéed foie gras it still has an outstanding pate of foie grass – there was no such item on Crystal. While many may not miss these items, I did miss them a lot as I love both lobsters and foie grass. Just finished a 14 day cruise on Marina and had LOTS of lobster everywhere and every way and lots of foie gras on our 4 visits to Jacques (where sautéed foie gras is back to my delight; then there is a nice piece of foie gras on top of a fillet that my DW passsed to me each time she ordered that dish). For me, whatever advantages Crystal may have over Oceania (entertainment, enrichment come to mind) food is not one of the advantages that I see. As always, YMMV 🙂
  8. You don’t tip the butler each time he serves you - only at the end of the cruise (if you wish)
  9. No problem Henry - that is what I meant 🙂
  10. This, of course, varies from person to person. Those that like to socialize at the bar will indeed find inclusive lines to their liking better than Oceania. We socialize at dinners, trivia, on shared tours booked through CC roll calls and other venues. We have met a lot of very nice people through these venues and have kept in touch with some of them. In other words, we have no trouble socializing on Oceania without included alcohol. That said, I agree that this distinction is important to point out when comparing cruise lines as it is important to many.
  11. Thank you. A good reason for us to avoid Azamara (just like Regent) - why pay for something you don’t use.
  12. Is it not only with meals or is it anytime?
  13. Juliet - you are being very nice and understanding about this but you have definitely been “wronged” - particularly as one of your reservations was for a special occasion. IMO they should compensate your inconvenience by an extra reservation in your favorite restaurant (Jacques?) as a good will gesture. JMO. Happy anniversary and enjoy the cruise
  14. Janet - that is exactly the same letter I was given today. Indeed, after final payment one will receive OBC of the non-refundable variety (or an upgrade or FCC). I wonder if the OBC is in the amount of difference in the new lower rate vs the original rate or some “random” amount like the OBC for 2nd PPG?
  15. Do you check ITA daily (or even several times a day) or do you set up an alert of some kind? I think that you would have to do one of those things to “catch” these deals.
  16. Sale on July flights to Europe? Maybe for December but not very likely for July IMO. I know award tickets to Europe are much harder to find for July than December and prices usually reflect the same economics - it only makes sense that there will be higher demand for those tickets for July than December/January. Of course, anything is possible but I personally would not count on that.
  17. There really is no actual answer to your question except you trying Oceania and deciding for yourself. All of us have different requirements, expectations and experiences that may have nothing to do with those of your preferences and likes/dislikes. I tried Crystal and although there were many things to like about Crystal I definitely prefer Oceania (you can read my full review in the link I gave above). Conversely, I know of at least one loyal O cruiser who tried Crystal and became Crystalized. You really have to make this decision for yourself.
  18. As stated above, O Life and Oceania air are two different and separate options. You can do either one without the other or “cruise only” without either.
  19. You may want to look at this thread - lots of answers to questions that you are asking.
  20. If you are in SPB on a Monday and have arranged a tour with ALLA or SPB Tours, go to the Hermitage on Monday as it is closed to the public but open for groups. We were there virtually alone - what a difference that made!
  21. Jan - that is what I though based on our prior experiences.. However, this year we cruised on Viking & AMA B2B and this time Viking won hands down in all respects (to my great surprise). I guess it can vary from cruise to cruise. That said, neither came even close to Oceania - at least not for me.
  22. River cruises have their advantages but they are a different animal from ocean cruises. I think both of you should be open and flexible because there is no river cruise comparable to Oceania that would fit your requirements save for no formal dress code. They do not have large cabins - in fact they are quite small; only 1 restaurant with a limited dinner menu (generally speaking, one of each dishes - meat, fish and vegetarian) and certainly no exec. lounge. That said, they are small ships, well organized excursions and visit places that ocean ships cannot. However, I can’t think of where you would have to river cruise in July/Aug to avoid the heat.
  23. In the latter case you will need a new card as the cards are dated. We are on a B2B with 2 different booking numbers; our cruise card is dated 10/26 till 11/2 (when the next cruise starts).
  24. Turned out to be a wise decision by Captain. It was somewhat overcast but no rain and 69 F. The town was as empty as anyone could ever hope for Dubrovnik to be - no other major cruise ships in port today and the tourist season is just about over.
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