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Solar Yellow

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About Solar Yellow

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Robins, Iowa
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania and Celebrity
  1. Solar Yellow

    Riviera vs. Veendam: similar itineraries

    Totally agree. If the higher cost of Oceania really isn't a burden, it's worth every penny. I just got back from Alaska on Nieuw Amsterdam (I know, larger and newer than Veendam). My friends were on their first cruise in 20 years and I probably drove them nuts comparing everything to Oceania. Apologizing, actually. They bought the soda package and ended up drinking no more than two or three Cokes a day because it was so difficult to find someone that would go get one. Also apologized for the food and the zoo of people in the buffet, the photographers, the art auctions, the formal nights, all the announcements, etc. It wasn't a horrible experience, it just wasn't in the same league as Oceania. Oceania is a completely different experience. Do it!
  2. I usually lurk, but this is a great topic and I feel the urge to comment. I've been on Marina once and Riviera twice. We did the Baltic on Nautica and I wasn't a fan of the ship. In fact, I would never sail an R ship again. The comments and ideas here have hit the nail on the head. Nautica didn't feel special to me like the O ships. The decor is old fashioned and I missed Jacques and Red Ginger. The bathroom module in the cabin really sealed the thumbs down fate for me. I'm a large guy and actually found the tiny shower to be more manageable than the shower cubicles on the O ships (I have to use the bathtub/shower). However, the overall size of the bathrooms on the R ships is down-market and the 1960's Rubbermaid look brought me back to reality every time I stepped in. Seems like a small thing but the O ships just make me feel like I'm outside my normal reality - something I look for while I'm on holiday. So, yes, I agree with the upgraded bathrooms even if it results in fewer cabins. And let's update the carpets and art - maybe not as contemporary as the Azamara ships, but lighter and certainly more modern.
  3. Solar Yellow


    Well my goodness. I thought the was a public board where I could voice my opinion. Of course there are other things to worry about. It isn't a big deal but I do find them annoying and a waste of time. Also, I was responding to someone that thought maybe they'd gone away. Please RJB, please continue to be confused, confused, confused. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  4. Solar Yellow


    Nope. On Nautica now and find the damn things every evening Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. Solar Yellow

    Cabin fridge preferences and when to request?

    We just ask our TA to let Oceania know we want our fridge stocked with nothing but Coke Zero and we usually arrive to find it as ordered. It didn't happen one time, but we just asked our attendant. By the way, Oceania carries Coke products so I don't think you'll have any luck getting Pepsi.
  6. Solar Yellow

    Noro on Riviera again

    I'm with Lyn. People can be very thoughtless and inconsiderate. I was on Riviera in May 2014 and witnessed an adult, though young, person run her finger around the rim of all the stemware on the table during muster in the Grand Dining Room. She also put the chrome lid to the butter container on her head. I made sure to tell the staff about it afterwards. I noticed in May 2015 during muster on Riviera, the tables were not set. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not.
  7. May I say, this thread is exactly what the Oceana board needs right now? So fun to read along with somebody having a great time and experiencing Oceania for the first time! Thanks for sharing, Lee.
  8. Ha! I figured by now there would be a firestorm of posts from people telling you Florence is better than Rome. Guess I'll be the first. The first time I was there, we had an overnight stop in Livorno. We rented a car, stopped in Lucca and Pisa, and then stayed in Florence instead of going back to the ship. I think staying overnight helped us fall in love with Florence. Rome is great, but I love how walkable Florence is and I find it cleaner and more manageable than Rome. It has its share of history and art, too. We have returned for a pre- and post-cruise stay including trips into the Tuscan countryside to visit Siena, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, Bologne, etc. The surrounding areas are another strong draw for Florence. You owe it to yourself to spend more time there! But I digress. Please continue... ;)
  9. Solar Yellow

    B3 Extended Balconies on Riviera

    When did this happen? I had one of these cabins in May right after the dry dock and my veranda had two loungers and a small table. They were so new, I finished removing the shipping wrap from them. I seriously doubt they were removed since they were specifically added just for those B3 cabins.
  10. Solar Yellow

    All Things Vantage

    Yes. That would be great! Thanks.
  11. Solar Yellow

    How do you define a LUXURY CRUISE LINE?

    What an interesting thread! When I first read Norris' post, my thought was it was an easy answer. Then, I tried to define it in my mind and I really can't do it. I don't like formality and would probably not enjoy Crystal (and some of the other "luxury" lines) as a result. I'm not a big drinker so free-flowing alcohol is not import to me. I love Oceania for the food, ambiance, service, no formal nights, beautiful cabins/bathrooms, and size of ships. Most of all, though, I love Oceania for the wonderful people I've met and made friends with. Now that's luxury! I've followed Norris' very entertaining posts on the Princess forums so I really hope he decides to try Oceania just so I can see what he thinks and live vicariously through him.
  12. Solar Yellow

    All Things Vantage

    Thanks very much for your opinions and answers. I'm sure we'll enjoy the trip even in the winter. One more question; I haven't been provided anything that gives the times we'll be in "port." Will Vantage eventually provide that? Oh, and it turns out I think we're going to be in Regensburg on a Sunday so not BMW plant tour. :(
  13. Solar Yellow

    All Things Vantage

    Hello everyone. Last Thursday, I responded to an email only offer from Vantage and signed up for the Majestic Rivers European cruise from Bonn to Budapest for November 20, 2015. I've been lurking on the river cruise forums for several years and signed up for offers from most of the companies with the thought that some day, I'd get more serious about taking a European river cruise. Well, the deal Vantage offered was just too good for me to pass up. I've been on five ocean cruises (all in the Med) since 2010; three on Oceania and two on Celebrity. Bavaria, Vienna, and Budapest have been high on my bucket list (along with Prague, Warsaw, and Krakow). I'm a 49 year old male and I'll be travelling with my 56 year old sister (she was on all but one ocean cruises with me). Have I completely lost my mind? I'm feeling confident I've chosen a company and ship that will be satisfactory (River Splendor) and we'll enjoy the itinerary. I'm not concerned about perhaps being a little younger than most of the passengers. My budget dictated the time of year we're going and my sister will enjoy the Christmas markets. Plus, I'd rather be a little chilly than too hot. This itinerary sacrifices Prague for Germany (mostly Bavaria) and it doesn't include Bratislava, Salzburg, or Cesky Kumlov. Unfortunately, due to the cruise being 15 days, I don't have the vacation time available to extend. So, any comments about the itinerary, the season, and/or Vantage? Also, a few questions: Is there self service laundry on-board? Will there be enough time to take a 2.5 hour tour of the BMW plant in Regensburg? Will we be sorry we're missing Prague, Bratislava, Salzburg, and Cesky Kumlov? Will the scenery be disappointing due to it being late Fall? Will there be a lot of Christmas markets available in late November? Thank you for your opinions.
  14. Solar Yellow

    On Board Booking

    I should have emphasized the small in "small discount." It's a token. The person that received free gratuities, OBC, and free internet received those because the current offer on the cruise they chose included those. They didn't get them for booking on board.
  15. Solar Yellow

    On Board Booking

    I booked in May while on Riviera. I received a small discount on the new cruise, a reduced deposit amount of $250/per person for an Ocean View, and an additional $100 OBC for the cruise I was on. I'm allowed to make one change to a different cruise and still retain the benefits (if before final payment date) and if I decide to cancel altogether, the deposit is refundable (except they'll withhold the $100 they gave me as an OBC). I'm thinking the OBC had to be used while on the current cruise. I booked very late in the cruise but had other refundable OBC so it worked out for me.