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Posts posted by Rainbow3fe

  1. 13 hours ago, avw said:

    You didn't start this discussion. I responded to the person who started this discussion. Her question was:

    "I am looking to book a cruise to Japan in 2025.  I have narrowed my search to Oceania and Azamara.  Any feedback would be helpful." 

    My comment provided feedback she was looking for.


    As for the difference between Oceania and Azamara, each person values different things more than the other. I don't value "upscale" as much as "friendly and happy". 

    I apologize.  I asked a sam


    13 hours ago, avw said:

    You didn't start this discussion. I responded to the person who started this discussion. Her question was:

    "I am looking to book a cruise to Japan in 2025.  I have narrowed my search to Oceania and Azamara.  Any feedback would be helpful." 

    My comment provided feedback she was looking for.


    As for the difference between Oceania and Azamara, each person values different things more than the other. I don't value "upscale" as much as "friendly and happy". 

    I apologize. I asked the same question somewhere in CC and incorrectly thought it was in response to my post.  

    • Like 1
  2. 1 hour ago, pinotlover said:



    Absolutely a few of us would go, but your example testifies how few. On Az it’s nearly the entire ship. I’m just saying different cruise lines have different vibes and different clientele. That clientele often segregates because of those differences into the various lines. Trying to superimpose one culture onto another is difficult at best. 

    I'm  sure it is different on each line. People gravitate to where they're comfortable. Since we dine later we rarely see a show. 

    The Piano Bar is open after the show. Most people go to see the shows which run from 9:30-10:30. After a full day touring everyone must be tired. 

  3. 10 hours ago, pinotlover said:

    Would never work on an O ship unless a promise was made to have everyone back to their cabins before 9:00 pm.


    Different lines have different programs. Though interesting this won’t work on many O ships. The 9:15/9:30 show is well past the bedtime of many O cruisers.

    Huh?? Not true. You want people to believe Oceania is for people who go bed at 9.  We booked our 12th Oceania cruise . We usually have dinner at 8:30 and at about 10 PM we enjoy the Piano Bar at Martinis with around 20 other passengers.  

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 2
  4. 8 hours ago, osandomir said:

    The post that you were replying to pointed that the port for Kyoto is Kobe on the itinerary and Osaka on the accompanying map. One off many omissions on Oceania website. Actual port is probably Kobe that to be accurate not anywhere near Osaka.

    Thanks for clarifying that. Port is Kobe and it docks there for excursions to Osaka and Kyoto.

    • Like 1
  5. 46 minutes ago, avw said:

    In February, I attended the best" Azamazing Evening" that I have ever seen, in Rio de Janeiro. They they took all the passengers to a historic theater where a Carnival show was performed that was written just for Azamara about 10 years ago. It was incredible fun and top quality!


    In response to repeated inquiries from their customers, who have made it clear that they want these special events to take place on shore, Azamara  has expressed a commitment to doing Azamazing Evenings on shore where possible. Their new CEO, who just started at the company, reaffirmed  this in a webinar to meet her just last week. However, they noted that sometimes, logistics just don't allow this, such as inadequate transportation resources  to transfer all passengers at once. 

    Why are you discussing AZ when I asked about passengers who cruised to Japan on Oceania?  We love Oceania and it's more upscale than AZ and the food is better.

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  6. On 4/16/2024 at 5:07 PM, mamaclark said:

    I am curious as to why the Oceania website itinerary for this tour lists Kyoto/Kobe port, but the accompanying map shows Osaka.


    The ship takes you to Kyoto but the port is near Osaka. The same way they say the ship goes to Rome but port is in Civitavecchia, Athens is at Port of Piraeus and so many others.

    • Like 1
  7. 59 minutes ago, edinburgher said:

    Monemvasia is the big draw in his area.


    Do check shorex even should you not want to book one as they give a good idea of highlights of the area and what could be doable in the time available.


    And if on a Roll Call for your sailing, have you looked to see what fellow pax might be planning there? Someone may have arranged a private tour to somewhere and is looking for others like yourselves to share.

    Thanks. I appreciate your suggestions. 

  8. 4 hours ago, Pearl64 said:

    Does anyone know if you are permitted to bring unopened crackers off the ship? My husband is diabetic and I always carry the snack peanut butter and crackers or just plain peanuts. I certainly do not want to hold up immigration. He usually is ok but it is just insurance if he has issues. Would a doctor's note help?  Thanks.

    In our experience unopened packages of non meats, fruits and vegetables were not on the prohibited lists. I definitely would ask either Oceania or search on an Official Japanese website. Good luck 

  9. Hi,

       We are only going to visit one museum on our excursion in Athens.  We would like advice in deciding between The Acropolis Museum OR The Archeological Museum. 

    I would appreciate any input. 

    Thanks 😎


  10. 2 hours ago, Pearl64 said:

    Thanks for the responses. Utilizing public transportation is a new one for us. We have been on many private tours and never used public transportation. I was most concerned with ship tours where usually one sees the big buses. One just needs to have an idea of what to expect. We are not against. Godfrey’b, it is good to know you were able to figure out the transportation on your own.

    Hi Patty,

           We should have had some experience using Japan's public transportation system by the time we get to Kyoto.  Hopefully it will be a bit easier to navigate by then. I honestly considered asking to book a taxi from Kobe port into Kyoto. A taxi costs over $200 (4 passengers) as opposed to less than $20 pp. on the train. We would have spent the extra $$ for a taxi but I think the train ride might be an interesting experience and you only save 15 minutes going by car.

         Would like to know if others who went from Kobe to Kyoto have feedback.

         Been reading 24/ for nearly a week. Overwhelming but fascinating. 💥🎉 Cannot wait to explore Japan. 



    Felice 😎 

  11. 8 hours ago, Pearl64 said:

    Question about transportation on Oceania shore excursions? Are there private busses or do they utilize public transportation? Many private tours I’ve looked at utilize public transportation. Just trying to know what to expect. Thank you.

    We never had to use public transportation on any Oceania excursion. I noticed that in Japan just about every private tour said the guide will use public transportation. I understand that in Tokyo, traffic is crazy and like in New York,  there's no place for driver to leave vehicle in order to escort the tourists.  

  12. 20 minutes ago, WESTEAST said:

    Our next cruise is onboard Vista so will definitely be trying one (or two). Yes lobsters, Sea Bass in Red Ginger; we love the Escargot and Dover Sole in Jacques onboard Riviera and will miss it on Vista but open to trying the new Ember and the Dover Sole in Toscanas is excellent as well.

    We will didn't enjoy anything about Ember except for the fireplace.  Even though there's no Jacques, they served yummy escargot in GDR once or twice.

    You're going to be impressed by Vista but except for the awesome staterooms, we really prefer the other Oceania ships.

    • Like 1
  13. 1 hour ago, WESTEAST said:


    We were on the Riviera in Japan last month and found the food and service excellent in all venues with a few exceptions (lamb in Red Ginger, steak in GDR).  First time to have the pizza in Waves at dinner (served to us in the Terrace) and enjoyed it so much we went back a second time (p.s. they were open to customizing a pizza e.g. extra pepperoni, etc.). Taste is somewhat subjective and everyone has their personal likes and dislikes.  We did not find the food tasteless and hope you enjoy your cruise and the cuisine.

    Wow. We enjoyed two pizza dinners at Waves on Vista.  I didn't know that Waves on Riviera offers them as well. Looking forward to that in addition to the lobsters, fresh tuna, filet mignon and Sea Bass in Red Ginger. 

  14. 6 hours ago, thebsinmiss said:

    Sorry to hear about the issues with the cruise but glad you enjoyed it overall.


    We are on the Riviera in June and I really hope they address any issue of unseasoned/under seasoned food before then.


    The reason we booked on Oceania again (and why our friends are joining us) is the food.

    If we wanted uninspired tasteless food aimed at catering to the lowest common denominator then we would have booked on one of the mega ships at a far lower price.


    I'm very concerned about this and hoping it is a one off and not a corporate mandated on going issue.  Time will tell I guess




        On our 9th O cruise, Regatta Feb 2024, we had not one problem with the food. We felt everything was up to Oceania's high level of quality. Since there's no Jacques on Regatta, we enjoyed Polo's French Onion soup immensely.  Yes, it was salt heaven😄

  15. 1 minute ago, cjwags said:

    We did a private guide in Tokyo through Go With Guide.  Her name is Kahoko K.  In Nagoya we did a private guide, Mikari, through Tours by Locals.  In Kyoto and Nara we did private tours with Pinpoint Traveler.  Our guide was Lito.  All of these experiences were fantastic and far superior to O excursions. We just did our own thing in Beppu (monkey park and private onsen).  Beppu was very easy to navigate with taxis or buses.  In all the other ports we did O excursions.  The day in Nagasaki up to Arita and then the peace park was our least favorite.  Way too much driving. The O excursions were all well done and well organized.  No real complaints.  We just really prefer private guides.  With Simply More we did not want to "waste" our excursion credit so we did more ship tours than usual.  We will rethink that for our next O cruise in 2025.  regardless of what you decide, you will have a fantastic time.  Japan is amazing!


        Thanks for the quick reply and the wonderful information.  We will check out those guides.

          This will be our 11th O cruise but only our 2nd SM. We just booked 3 ship excursions because we wanted to use the credits.  We have plenty of flexibility to book private tours with 7 more places to visit. 

         We had already decided that a drive to the Peace Park wasn't going to be on our agenda. 

        We heard the tour by ferry from Hiroshima to the island of Miyajima is wonderful.  We felt that if we did it on our own, we might have travel delays so we booked that with O for peace of mind.

        We cannot wait to explore Japan. So happy to hear that it's awesome. 


    Felice 😎

  16. On 4/15/2024 at 4:43 PM, Pearl64 said:

    Contacted my TA today. Our cruise April 1-13, 2025 will disembark and embark from Tokyo International Cruise Terminal and not Yokohama. The Kyoto stop is not known at this time . Oceania claims it is too early to know. I guess both our guide and we will need to be flexible.we also need to wait for the “free” hotel  choice to be announced. Some ship excursions are already full. Hopefully this will all work out.

    Any thoughts on which ship excursions are special enough to book immediately? We are just beginning to research.  Can't figure out where to find good private tours. Any suggestions would really be appreciated. 


    Felice 😎

  17. On 2/25/2024 at 11:48 AM, pinotlover said:

    We are doing an O cruise to Japan starting on 4/1. Doing private land tours on both sides of the cruise. Will report back experiences late April.

    Looking forward to hearing about your excursion experiences. Would like feedback on both Private and O tours.


    Felice 😎

  18. On 4/3/2024 at 3:11 PM, EJL2023 said:

    Following is a post I found from several years back with regard to 7069 on Marina, which has same layout as Riviera


    • QQRZZA
    • September 20, 2005
    • Belton, TX

    There is no obstruction and a clear view. It is the best possible "oceanview" arrangement that I have ever seen. The rooms are identical to the balcony rooms, but without the balcony. We have been on the 7th floor on Marina twice. Be sure to check the location of your proposed cabin. Earlier this month we were in 7069 on Marina. Turns out it is above Martini's. In the evenings, the noise penetrates significantly from the sound system just below. They have an amplified sound system throughout Martinis, with speakers mounted in the cieling. When they have a band, a singer or even some of the piano performances, it is rather loud in 7069, and maybe others. A call to the front desk was met with .....nothing. Best to avoid areas over loud entertainment, if that type of thing bothers you. We had a singer one night who started at 10:45pm and went on until about midnight. It was very loud. My mistake, I should have been alert to a possible issue. Next time!!

    Seriously? Never heard a "band" in Martinis   it's a piano Bar .

  19. On 4/3/2024 at 2:31 PM, D. B. said:

    We just booked a Japan cruise on Riviera for next March.

     Looking at the deck plan I see that our Deluxe Ocean View stateroom 7067 is directly above the Mattini Bar!

     Can anyone with experience in one of these Deck 7 staterooms Tell Me if the Noise from the Bar below is a problem?

     We are retire early and are concerned about possible noise.

    Martinis is usually quite quiet. Most Oceania cruisers aren't partners. The Piano bar in Martinis wraps up by 10ish. You're going to be fine.

  20. On 4/2/2024 at 11:32 PM, cjwags said:

    We just returned yesterday from 12 days in Japan on Riviera.  We fell in love with Japan and will absolutely return someday!



    Active couple (58 and 59), well traveled both on land and at sea, second O cruise, other cruises on X, HAL, RCCL, first trip to Asia, love good food and better wine. My comments are simply our impressions and I respect that others will have contrasting input. 


    Overall a very good cruise.  There were outstanding moments and disappointing moments, but we have come to expect as such. No cruise line does everything exactly right.  I am sure some folks will focus more on the disappointments, but not me.  I am just grateful to have been on a cruise in a spectacular country.



    Arrived at 1:15.  We were on board by 2:00 or so.  Luggage was in our cabin by 3:00.  One bag was missing but showed up about an hour later.  (There was a bit of prompting by DH.) 



    We ate in main dining room four times.  Two were good, one was medium, and one was not good at all.  We were able to get extra specialty dining reservations because we were willing to eat late, if needed.  This resulted in a total of seven specialty dining experiences.  Jacques was very good on two occasions with standouts being the pork chop and the dover sole.  Red Ginger was good on two occasions.  We were advised by wait staff to avoid a couple of dishes due to less than great beef supply, so we had other dishes that were good.  It wasn't stellar, but no real complaints. Two nights in Toscana were very good, if the right dish was ordered.  Stick with the chef's special pasta and the lasagne and you can not go wrong.  They were excellent.  Our companions ordered a couple of dishes that were disappointing.  The artichoke appetizer was fantastic on the first night, and inedible the second.  Our night in Polo Grill was very disappointing.  The sommelier was rude and even "corrected" our pronunciation of a wine.  (BTW, we were correct, he was not!)  The prime rib was good, but two of the sides were terrible.  We then waited 25 minutes for desert and never had our wine glasses refilled.  By far worst night ever on O and one of the worst on any cruise.  I spoke to management about it and learned I was not the first to voice concerns.  Waves was always good.  Terrace Cafe felt crowded since the back patio was not open most days due to weather.  We really missed this option, as it was a favorite of ours last summer.  Overall, I think O struggles more with consistency than quality of food.  



    Typically we prefer private tours over ship tours.  Because we had included excursions and shipboard credit we did more ship tours than usual. This proved to be a mixed bag for us, as we aren't good at "following the lollipop".  Tour guides were all enthusiastic, polite and accommodating.  They did their best with timing, crowds, etc.  The ship tours are just too regimented for us, as we like to be independent and explore.   We often had to rush through sites in order to get to the next one.  We would have preferred longer times in less sites.  There was also a great deal of driving time as sites are pretty spread out.  In the future, we will use our shore excursion credit on the more expensive and involved tours and do the rest on our own.  The days we booked with private guides were by far our favorites.  The ports visited were all great, with the exception of Busan.  It was a bit jarring and loud after so many serene days in Japan! We were in port with Silversea on one day and their tour followed us to each and every place.  Exact same excursion.  Same for a day in port with Regent.



    The Riviera is a very pretty ship.  I fell in love with the decor on the Vista, and it took  while for the Riviera to grow on me. Some aspects of the decor on  Riviera is just not my style.  However, that is completely personal taste. I recognize others will prefer Riviera. Our B3 cabin (7108) was fine, but we didn't love the position of the closet. It was a bit cramped by the side of the bed.  The color scheme is quite nice after the refurb.  Bathroom is a good size and maximizes space. Our extended balcony would be a great perk in good weather.  Lots of rain and cold on our trip so we didn't get much use of it.  Also, it is less than private, so if that is an issue, the huge size might not make up for it.  Also, someone was smoking on their balcony not far from us everyday so it reeked of cigarette smoke.  We spoke with management and they sent security on two occasions to try and identify who was smoking.  O was responsive to this concern. 


    Oceania Overall:

    While I know there are other options out there, we will return to O in 2025 for another cruise on the Vista.  The itinerary is very good in Norway and the value is better than what we can find elsewhere.  We were booked on a Silversea cruise in June of 2025, and were notified last week that it has been cancelled.  We tried to switch to another SS voyage, but the prices have gone up so much, that we can not justify it.  A very similar cruise to Norway on SS is more than twice the price on O.  I know they can't be compared, but I can not see paying twice the price.  I can take another whole vacation for that amount!  


    We were on the younger side of the passengers on this voyage but I think that has more to do with location and time of year.  This is not a problem for us at all and enjoy meeting those passengers who are older than us! 🙂


    Plenty of folks will complain about the 2+ hour immigration waits for Japan - Korea, so I will not go into it.  Not all of it was Oceania's fault.  We just waited patiently and met great folks in front of us in line.  Some passengers were belligerent and ranting.  Never makes the situation better.  Staff recognized how they could have course corrected but did not anticipate the string of unexpected location changes, delays and technical difficulty on the part of Japanese immigration officials, otherwise they would have chosen a more appropriate handling of the process. 


    Will we only travel on O? No.  Will we try other lines? Yes.  Will we return when voyage is a good deal and a good itinerary? Yes.  Already booked for 2025.


    Feel free to ask questions.  I will do my best to share our experience if it helps 


        We are on this itinerary next April.  Please let me know which ports you took private excursions and how I can contact those guides. Which cities did you go on the O tours? Were they worthwhile even though the guides rushed you through the sights? It's so difficult to plan a trip to a place where we have no idea how to proceed without guidance from people who have been there.

       I appreciate your help.

    Thanks,Felice 😎

  21. 42 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

    Can't say it any better than euro cruiser above. 


    For me, I'd frame it as what I'd be more interested in: the art itself or the architecture and grounds. 


    Either one will be a treat.


    Thanks  I appreciate the kind advice. 

    I think we'll go for the art because there are works we've never seen.💥

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