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  1. We stayed independently on Moorea pre cruise and took the lunchtime ferry across to Papeete. We'd originally planned to walk around the town but there was nowhere to leave our luggage and it was very hot at that time of day so we abandoned that idea. Fortunately for us only one couple had arrived ahead of us so we found seats in the shade and I enjoyed having time to write up my journal. There isn’t a lot of seating by the gate, only 8 chairs when we were there, half of which are in the shade. Soon a small number of people had gathered. We'd parked our luggage off to one aside and everyone else did the same. At some point it "disappeared" onto the boat. One of the Gauguins played his ukulele and sang to entertain us and we filled out the pre-embarkation forms. The cruise director came to say hello. When the gate was opened at about 3pm we all made our way on board, had our photos taken etc and when we got to our rooms I noticed the clock said 8 minutes past 3! There's really very little in the way of facilities at the quayside and I was quite content to sit and wait, but if I hadn’t found a seat in the shade I’m not sure I’d have been so happy. We probably should have taken a later ferry, but we were excited to get on board.
  2. They still do an afternoon play on sea days but it clashes with the choir class they offer! In fact it clashes with quite a few things.
  3. We’re just off Celebration and also booked 14 nights that turned out to be 2x7, b2b. The first night's show "Walking on Sunshine" is only on once, at 10pm, (and is repeated the following week), probably because the entertainment staff are involved in "manning the lifeboats" at the 9pm safety drill, and passengers who’ve arrived that evening are tired. The rest of the time there was a different show every night. On 2 nights there was a comedian from the UK, a different chap each week, but some of the same jokes! Each of them did 2 shows on the night they were on, then later in the week an 11.15pm show. The entertainment team do the rest and each one is different.
  4. We were on Celebration for two weeks and requested a table for two every night bar the 2 gala nights when we dined with friends. If we went early there was no problem. If we’re arrived later on we sometimes had to wait up to 5 minutes. There is seating nearby but OH used to pop down to reception and pick up the following day's port map. We were always asked if we’d like to share but waiting was never a problem. I've found Boots own brand sea sickness tablets worked fine for me. Only had to take them once and that was on a December Transatlantic during a storm. Being able to look outside helps, and you can get an injection on board.
  5. I took a handbag (shoulder bag that I wear across my body) as well as a carry on and had no problem. I could have emptied it into my carry on if I’d had to but no one queried it at either end. It’s useful to have purse and passport handy.
  6. We flew from Manchester and didn’t get luggage labels until we arrived at the airport. They had the cabin number on them.
  7. Just off Celebration on Thursday. Gavin Carroll is the CD. He flew over on the same flight as we did so started just over 2 weeks ago, 7th or more likely 8th Feb.
  8. We also did it in Hanoi. A group of us on a private tour booked into a hotel. We did notify Oceania and there were no problems.
  9. There's a Trolley Train Tour mentioned on Tripadvisor. It seems to be offered by cruise lines. Don’t know if you can do it independently as link to website didn’t work for me.
  10. One of the things I’ve noticed on O, which I don’t like, is that "higher ups" can be harsh on those working under them and I wonder if the reception staff were being put under pressure from all sides. The laundry fail was an opportunity to make a simple gesture that cost little and would have gone a long way, but maybe they were too scared to make that decision. We’ve seen staff being berated in front of passengers. i suspect that the new crew's first concern is keeping their jobs and they are frightened of putting a foot wrong. Knowing that passengers are unhappy will add to the stress. We were on Nautica with a noticeably relaxed crew once and it made a big difference to the atmosphere. Hopefully this new crew will improve with experience.
  11. We flew to Los Angeles last May and bag drop was cancelled. It was a scheduled flight with Thomas Cook. I thought it was due to increased security. It might have changed since then.
  12. I have never seen a changing table in a public restroom on O, nor a high chair, and since cribs would be in staterooms I can't say if they are available. i have though seen a young child in Jacques, perhaps 4 or 5, all dressed up and sound asleep on her chair. When our 3 boys were little we tended to holiday where there would be other children as it made the holiday better for them, and therefore for me. I'm surprised at the Grandparents attitude, especially at it's making your life more difficult. However, you may find that if your little chap has a sunny smiley nature he will be the star of the show. I have a one year old GD who beams at everyone when we are out for a walk and people keep stopping to say hello to her. I've seen a toddler on one O cruise who belonged to an officer and lots of people were enchanted by her. Many O cruisers will be grandparents themselves and may find him charming. My one bit of advice would be if he starts to get cranky, remove him from wherever he is to somewhere where he isn't disturbing anyone. That will take the pressure off you. Remember he will be in a strange situation and you will be his 'anchor'.
  13. I don't think the ballroom dancing on Oceania is very good and I think you will be disappointed again. We've met folk on board who were very disappointed as they, like you, cruised to dance. The best line for ballroom dancing is, IMHO, Cunard. Some cruise lines feature dancers from the UK version of Strictly Come Dancing as guest artists. Oceania has many great atributes but I don't think ballroom dancing is one of them.
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