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Everything posted by ssawjo

  1. You have to get there very early in the morning in order to see the forest elephants. There may be monkeys hanging around, LOL, but the forest/jungle itself is fascinating as is the canopy walk. Also, strongly recommend visiting the castles along the coast. A lot of history there, mostly sad. Unfortunately, you probably wouldn't have time to do both, Kakum and/or the Castle. Try the Star Beer if you can. It is very good.
  2. Thank you for the update. When we were there, December 2022, we walked past it with the usual police presence outside and a flag waving. Long way to go or call if you have a problem in Sao Tome!
  3. There is also an US Embassy in downtown Sao Tome. If things were that bad, they should have gone there for assistance and/or the port agent. Also, not having a credit card, preferably Visa, then they were incredibly stupid. I was in Sao Tome in December 2022 and found it to be a third world country with a colonial Portuguese legacy. Some interesting colonial history. They also enjoy practicing voodoo even though it is a Catholic country. However, the people were very friendly and helpful if needed. We were on a Regent sponsored tour, so no worries there. The tender dock is nothing but a set of stone steps that are very slippery. It was an experience and I am glad we visited but that is all.
  4. I see that there is no grilled chicken sandwich on offer. Too bad. It is a nice alternative to a burger.
  5. Had a great time in Saigon with you and Cathy. Very good review and the pictures are great. Take care, Bill and Kathi
  6. Actually, the engine problems started in Mumbai where we boarded and continued up to our disembarkation in Bangkok.
  7. Too bad they no longer offer a grilled chicken sandwich.
  8. We will be on Emerald Princess in April and will be in Cabo until 10 PM. Looking for a recommendation for a bar/restaurant near or within walking distance of the tender location. I saw that there were a lot of bars and restaurants nearby and some are good and some are not so good. We do not want to go to Cabo Wabo. Thanks for your advice.
  9. My point was that Oceania, IMO, arbitrarily cancelled the port call to Bintan claiming "operational" reasons and did not explain what those were. Therefore, they should have at least offered some type of compensation. It was not a lot of money for the visas. It was a time consuming process to obtain. By the sounds of things, you don't trust a lot of companies.
  10. You are probably right about Bintan. But the issue was that Oceania required all of us to obtain Indonesian visas and have them in hand before boarding. They are inexpensive but time consuming to obtain on line. No apology or offer of compensation. I would have preferred to have spent the day at Port Klang as a sea day or head to Singapore for another day there. But the Singapore idea was not considered because the port was full, maybe? Otherwise, the cruise was nice. We had not been to many of ports before, so there's that. However, my opinion of O has changed from excellent to ?. I don't think I can trust them to fulfill their commitment to the passengers.
  11. We were on the same cruise. Agree with the statement above. However, I personally felt that we were not treated as adults regarding O arbitrarily changing port times. This led to several headaches regarding our private shore excursions. We were on board for 35 days (Mumbai to Bangkok) and I estimated that we lost about 25 hours of time in port. Some ports, no big deal. Losing four hours in Manila was bad (it was actually three) especially for the Filipino crew members. If the staff had been more forthright about the "mechanical" issues, which they termed "technical" issues, I believe that the passengers would have been more understanding. The lack of transparency was frustrating. It seemed we either arrived late or left early or both in several ports. One port, Bintan, was eliminated entirely for "operational" reasons. Instead we spent an extra day in Port Klang, a 24 hour working container port. Just a bit of a rant. Otherwise, great cruise, etc.
  12. Yes, that is exactly what happened.
  13. Another question for an evisa when arriving at Sihanoukville Cruise Port. The application states that it is not for people arriving at cruise ports. Just airports. So, what to do?
  14. We decided, after much research and other considerations, to just do an Oceania excursion. Prices are comparable to what is on TripAdvisor and at least it starts in Muara. See you onboard.
  15. Thank you for your quick response. Yes, definitely planning at least 3 nights in BCN and about the same for MAD. I like planning so it should be fun. This will be our fourth time in Lisbon and to be honest we've seen/done it all. So, just a quick overnight there. We were also in Porto. Wonderful city. Bill
  16. Hello, we are boarding the Oceania Vista in Lisbon in September 2024. I was thinking of flying to Barcelona to spend a few days there (the ship does stop in Barcelona but only for a day and probably at a different location), taking a train to Madrid for about two days, and then taking another train or plane to Lisbon. I was wondering if this is a good plan. I really do not want to drive across Spain and Portugal. The trains seem reasonably priced and frequent. Nothing has been arranged, except the cruise. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Bill
  17. Thank you for your ongoing review. I have always found the coffee, except from Barista's, to be downright awful. It is like drinking yesterdays dish water.
  18. One more question: Were you required to obtain a visa to enter Brunei?
  19. Did some googling yesterday and found that the Tours by Locals person is unavailable the day we are in Muara. Probably will be with others from our cruise, Oceania Riviera. I also found that other tours are either pricey and/or will not do pick ups at the Muara cruise port. So, we decided to do a ship's tour instead. Not ideal but you do what you have to do.
  20. Had my TA call O and it was changed correctly. We changed to the mangrove cruise also. Thanks, Bill
  21. Yeah, you are probably right. I will suck it up and do so.
  22. Hello, I am attempting to cancel a booked tour and book a different tour from the same port. I cannot see where I can do that on the booking (Manage My Booking). The tour I want to rebook to is available. I really don't want to deal with an Oceania rep and my travel agent leaves something to be desired. (I should find someone else.) Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. BTW, the port of call is Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, on Jan. 31, 2024. Thank you, Bill
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