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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. "....why would anyone check availability??" I looked on the O site just to see what her itineraries will be at first. If you scroll down just to see prices, wait list status is listed for all cabins whether you cared or not (I do not but there it was). Maybe just there to set up for 9/15. Prices and itineraries look like the usual for right now and maybe well into 2023 so I can wait and hear how others like the ship itself and new layouts etc. Please do post about what you all get and later when you cruise. We have an O cruise for next fall and one for early 2023-still too too far away. Anticipating Vista and its new look and venues is something to do meanwhile. We got the fancy fantasy brochure yesterday but if not sailing before 2023, I wonder if all these looks will still be the same-all very brown and tan.
  2. I never took one of the culinary shop and cook tours but I have taken cooking classes on the O ships on sea days. I did not learn much of anything new but it was a lot of fun (each person has their own station so all get to try every technique,etc) and we did get recipes from some of the most popular specialty restaurant menus. It is way cheaper than the culinary tours. Just do not make early dinner reservations on a night that you do a class.
  3. Travelgoddes in our several years here in Fl, we have parked mostly in off site facilities near airports and ports throughout the state though not at Port Everglades. Off Site is cheaper and used by many of us retirees but others too. Some of these sites look primitive but our car has always been just as we left it when we returned sometimes after 3 or more weeks. We did have to leave our keys at most of them-it was not a problem. All have shuttles and all assist with luggage. Since both options are there for you, you need only to decide which you prefer.
  4. If all goes well, we are leaving for a land trip to Italy at the end of September. So far hotels, restaurants and some tourist attractions the require reservations have been booked without a problem. Just make sure you can get a refund if things and/or procedures change. I hope we all get there in the fall and have a good time!
  5. My first trip to Europe almost 50 yrs ago was on my honeymoon and it was also my first trip out of the country. We had a great 12 day trip seeing as many different places as we could but I was overwhelmed. Use O overland for those Europe trips and enjoy yourself with less stress. It is all good.
  6. I quit eating swordfish years ago because it was overfished. Then I heard about the worms and the mercury and swore never again. A couple of years ago, I had some again on a tasting menu that was perfectly cooked and delicious but still not eating it again. Swordfish and Red Snapper are delicious fish but too often overcooked and dry. Red Snapper also is not always what you get as Red Snapper. There are too many other fish in the sea to fool with these two.
  7. I have taken classes and seen Jacques Pepin since the 80s. I like him and his food and he certainly helped O's food reputation but as said he is much older now and it is time for a change. I thought Jacques was a favorite of many though it is my least favorite of the 4 current specialty restaurants. They can honor his past contributions by serving some of his favorites in the GDR and try something else. Edited to add that I looked at the link above after I wrote this. I do not know if the new dining venues will be exciting but they do sound interesting and something a little different.
  8. daveispar Israel was our first Gate 1 tour (big group) and we have taken several since. There was something for everybody and we did an add on to see Petra and the Red Sea. We have since tried their small group tours that are even better. Only one think to think about: Petra would be a great place to stay overnight to see at dusk or dawn. Enjoy Nautica!
  9. I am an early riser and have gotten up really early but at different early times on board Marina and Nautica (Riviera should be like Marina). As said, you can usually find a working machine (and sometimes company!) in Horizons and Terrace with coffee that will do before 6:30 am when the barista starts serving to enjoy while looking at the horizon or sail in. There are usually pastries by 6 or 6:30 to keep you going until breakfast. If you are in a concierge cabin, you can get machine coffee there but the room is only good for reading a paper- no view. Very early fortified with coffee is a pleasant time to explore the ship and enjoy a view of something in peace and quiet.
  10. As mentioned above, we saw Venice on an exhausting one and a half day tour with a great sail in and out several years ago. In 2019, we returned by car-left in the rental apt's parking lot (a bus ride away from the main island) the whole time and really saw Venice. We enjoyed sunset cocktails and things off the beaten path without all the frenzy and as said by several, it was magical at night with long dinners and quiet walks. If you want to see Venice from the water, take one of the local transit boats to get from point A to B or take one all the way around the main island-there are many deals on tickets. The POV taking a boat out to the other islands is also great. See Venice not from a cruise day!
  11. We also did the 3 day itinerary in SPB on Marina using SPB tour for our group of 4. We did the one day Moscow which we enjoyed but which limits what you can see in SPB and is a very, very long day (early departure and arrival back late at night (it was still white nights when we went and interesting that the city was jumping all the way back to the docks out of town after 11 pm). To the good we saw what was then available to see in Faberge eggs in a Moscow museum (the SPB Faberge museum was not available yet) and many scenes from the past in the cold war years. Now I would opt for the 3 days in SPB in order to see the Faberge Museum and also the Impressionist Collection which was in the Hermitage but is not anymore. If anybody takes the Moscow option, take the lunch option as the restaurant food was good but the first class train food was not.
  12. I agree with pinotlover that Viking has better enrichment speakers (on any number of subjects) and programs than Oceania. We did Viking's Midnight Sun cruise to Norway which was very good though not about the smaller fjords. I also agree with Hunding that Hurtigruten or other actual Norwegian vessels might be a better choice for Norway than Oceania. Our next cruises will be on O but there was something about the ambience on Viking (the decor of the ship, the food, the lectures, etc) that was just right for seeing several different parts of Norway.
  13. I am glad they are doing the refurb while some of Nautica's itineraries (in Asia) are questionable in the near future with problems in India and Myanmar which were on the cruise we wanted. I hope these problems are solved by 2023 so we can enjoy newly redone Nautica then! Meanwhile, I am watching to see if the AWTW cruise at the end of next year will include those ports and sell segment.
  14. Our FP trip on the Marina in 2014 at the end of January had very good weather with the one rainy day being a sea day. The year before that when O started in FP, some early year cruises had terrible weather-so weather is always a risk as said above. One port had to be cancelled because the seas were too rough to get into port or anchor. That port (do not remember name) was cancelled for good eventually because of rough seas there almost every cruise. Another atoll island was substituted. It was a wonderful cruise-our first-and the one that has kept us coming back to O. We finally tries an R ship on our 3rd O cruise and I hope to cruise on an R ship again-the smaller group is nice and most of us did not mind the small shower typical of many other big ship lines. The FP cruises are now on the R ships as far as I know and that is another improvement. I would be happy to do that FP cruise again if DH did not insist on going places we have not been as much as possible.
  15. 3 Oceania and 2 Viking with 2 O cruises pending: Viking ships have modern Scandinavian decor with a balcony for all rooms and the best lecturers at sea on many subjects (not just the next port). Food not quite as good as O in the past but pretty good and good Scandinavian choices. Free excursions not the selling point V thinks it is-the walk and talk visits on their river (and sometimes land combos) used to be great but not the same when you have to bus from a port to walking site. . Viking has more itineraries every year but still not as many as O and less experience in some parts of the world-though they now have cruises that include China where they had great combo land and river cruises in the past(our best river cruise). O still has better itineraries-we signed up for an Amazon cruise at a great price on V while on board (2 yrs ago), O's is better so we switched-faint hope it will still happen at the end of this year. Still we would book with either for the right itinerary.
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