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About tvmovielover

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North Florida
  • Interests
    Cooking and Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking River Cruises
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe and Asia

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  1. I think it is just a misspelling but I got a kick out of "woemen". Is that something we should worry about? So sorry, just joking. Dress is "smart casual" or something like that.
  2. I agree with poster#7 above-both Viking and Oceania have some very good "included tours" and some that are not very good even for first timers. Viking may have more people on a bus some of the time but when off the bus, smaller groups are formed for the walk or whatever. It was the same on O if the bus had more people. The thing to remember is that you are paying for these "included tours" one way or the other. Viking is slightly more expensive to cover them. O charges more for the Olife to cover them. Private tours and public transportation to sites are much cheaper and often more satisfying though some places are easier on a ship tour.
  3. I remember a central table in the middle of Horizons I think on the Marina for tea but on Nautica there was a smaller self serve bar against a wall. It was too good to risk going every single day on both! Maybe a few less choices next year will be a good thing.
  4. We know do not fly in on embarkation day, but we were lucky on all 3 of our included O air plans so this is for those who may not have the luxury of leaving earlier. If we go earlier or stay later, we make our own arrangements. First was Papeete-Papeete: Nonstop MCO to LAX then LAX to Papeete with enough layover for a good meal in the airport. Return went through DFW, almost always easy to make quick connections with the sky way. Second was MCO to Chicago to Denmark then Sweden to Denmark to Chicago to MCO. This was not the best but when weather was not a problem, it worked well (short passport line for passengers in transit with only carry-on on return made short transit time in Chicago doable). On embarkation day, storms in Chicago closed airport and we sat in St Louis over 2 hours waiting for window. Our 4 hour wait evaporated and we got there in the middle of boarding only to sit on the plane for another storm to pass. Lesson: Try to avoid Chicago when it is rainy-possibly worth a deviation though summer storms can wreck the schedule anywhere-someone told us they are big on shutting down. Third was MCO to Gatwick the BCN to MCO. I forgot what the return route was originally but the transit time was too short and our TA asked for a different return (I do not know why but we did not have to pay). We were routed through Toronto on Air Canada Rouge (hated by many). We had purchased the inexpensive Premium economy upgrade for this trip. A good thing because PE on Canada Rouge is apparently as good as regular economy is bad. But the best part was that it is still an international flight from Toronto so we had PE to MCO too. We were lucky on all 3 cruises but still, take the chance if you must. Do take PE upgrade if it is a good deal. Avoid Chicago. I do not like either Gatwick or LHR but Gatwick has other problems. It can take a very long time to get into London unless you take the train and taxi within the city. The one time we used O's pickup was Gatwick and the pickup was 2 hours late because of traffic (saved a wait in the cold in Southhampton but still) and then we had to walk about 10 minutes with the driver to get to the parking.
  5. +1 on this. Is this the only sailing of that itinerary? I am glad you and your husband can celebrate his improved health (there right now) and I know the problem of Xmas in the face from my Jewish DH and his family. However, cruises and resorts mostly have Xmas in the face in December and early January so it is not the best time for you to sail if it will make you enjoy the experience less.
  6. Thanks, LHT28, I needed to know that for our next cruise.
  7. ORV Maybe hot food at dinner was always served to us but I thought I remember many things were self serve at breakfast and lunch-I could choose my own bread, fruit, cheeses and cold cuts, etc. This was in 2014 before the NORO problem as said above. ANDEE in case you come back here, did all the low salt menus have to come from the MDR or could you get some lower salt things in the specialties too?
  8. + 1 on page 1 poster who mentioned how much more crowded the Terrace on the R ship seems at peak hours. On our first cruise on Marina in the South Pacific, the Terrace was our venue of choice for most meals. It was warm and pleasant sitting outside and did not seem overcrowded. You also were still able to serve yourself which was a little faster-do not jump on me-being served and not having us all touch the food is safer and better which I prefer now (on last mass line cruise-still too many touching food and not enough hand cleaner to avoid problems). Our next Marina cruise was in Northern Europe and even in summer, outside dining was not always as pleasant. Our last cruise on Nautica was very nice but all venues were crowded at peak dining hours and all venues are smaller so we mostly only ate breakfast on the Terrace to get off the ship faster. I guess we prefer the GDR when time is not an issue but the Terrace can be delightful and relaxing on the right ship in the right place.
  9. The small pastries at Baristas early in the morning. The bread at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The pastries and tea sandwiches at Tea. It is bread and pastry paradise!
  10. Some of the groups regard Trivia as a blood sport but other groups are just there for fun or until happy hour or dinner or something. While we take it somewhat seriously, what we have enjoyed most about it is the group that forms (usually by accident) every cruise. It is another way to make a group of friends on board so worth it to go just once.
  11. Still waiting to see if our next O cruise will be less good foodwise (last was 2 years ago) and I will say that the food on the Marina in all venues was better a few years ago than on the Nautica where we will cruise next year. But I am sure that the food over all has always been better than on RCL which we like okay but sorry O is better. No experience on the much exalted Seaborn, Crystal, Regent (?), and Silversea (though our Galapagos cruise was the last on a ship that became the Silverseas ship there on the next cruise-food was very good but similar to O not better) but RCL no way. I have no idea at this point whether O is " best at sea" but the food has always been very good and I will be disappointed to find it less so on our next cruise. Unfortunately, food is very objective and personal. I believe your review of less than great food on your Insignia cruise but to rate the veal chop in the Italian Restaurant as the best offering in the Specialty restaurants as the best offering cannot be accepted without comment. It was fatty and just okay on both the Marina and Nautica! Toscana is my favorite restaurant!
  12. No I am thinking of his granddaughter Shuri (how it sounds not sure how spelled) who is in one of his recent books as well as a recent (last few years) PBS series. Gloria has not been on a show in a while. Nice for them if there is now a grandson too.
  13. +1 on Jacques Pepin having left heavy cream sauces behind for the most part a long time ago. What I think he has done that is great is adapt his old French cooking techniques to modern American foods (he has been in the US for longer than he lived in France at this point) and tastes. He and Julia Childs both used what they learned in France to make both classics (at first) and more modern dishes better. Jacques on O ships are my least favorite restaurants but what he did on tv and in his books in more recent times are useful and up to date. I have attended his cooking classes in the 80s, 90s, and 00s and always learned something new (his shows with Claudine and her daughter are interesting). I do not think I would attend his cooking classes now as he is getting on but I met him at a concert where I live in Florida this past winter and he still has a keen interest in food (he went to several local places) and everything else. Additionally, when we toured the Loire Valley last spring, we had a lot of very good food that was not old cream heavy stuff. Everyone everywhere has for the most part moved on-that is what is fun about food.
  14. I found out I was bothered by altitude upon landing in La Paz Bolivia many years ago when I was about 26. Ever after I have followed the rules of no alcohol, light eating, plenty of water, rest, and moving slowly the first few days in any high place. We lived in Bogota Colombia (8,700 ft) for a few years without incident following these rules when coming back. Recently, now seniors, when my husband and I visited family in Bogota, he reacted to the altitude for the first time ever. It turned out to be a symptom of a serious heart problem. Cuzco and Machu Picchu are wonderful places to visit but you can have altitude problems at any age for many different reasons so be mindful of the possibiltiy. I never took pills or chewed leaves but many other people touring swore by the tea made from mate de coca ( I did not like the slight sweetness). I am sorry I will never see Nepal but happy I have seen some other high places. Go for it if in good health.
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