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Everything posted by deadzone1003

  1. I believe they still do plus they are planning to eat at 8 or later when walk ups are more easily available, but this is all academic since they are a party of 12 and will require two tables, at least, so some booking ahead will be required.
  2. If you like to eat late, like 8pm or later, and you are more than willing to share tables, you should be able to eat at most specialty restaurants each night by just walking up to the restaurant without reservations (that's how they filled those tables with 6 to 8 diners, usually). You may have a good chance of reserving a table for 6 or 8 on the same day. Most reservations are made for 2 to 4 people and at an early time. Unless there are big groups who happen to be on your cruise, those larger tables are usually available.
  3. Please elaborate. We will be on the Sirena in December.
  4. Those solo cabins are the oceanviews from 6030-39. These are those 143 sq ft oceanviews with door entry from the side. If they left the original double bed in there, it may be adequate. If they reduce the size of the original bed to a twin. It will be more than adequate in terms of space. Also these rooms never had a couch, if I recall. Have you considered calling Oceania?
  5. In 2016, we visited Tetiaroa (Marlon Brando's former Tahitian island that he owned), it was quite interesting and enjoyable. When you are in Bora-Bora, I would get a few couples and chartered a pontoon boat and just sailed around the island of Bora-Bora - you will see how beautiful Bora-Bora really is and you will be able to visit the north part of the atoll where all those over-the-water hotels are.
  6. Your itinerary requires alot of tendering. With 2650 passengers on the Konigsdam, it may take awhile to get ashore, not a pleasant option. Just remember, the passengers on longer cruises tend to be older, but even older if it is a round-trip cruise. With a larger ship, you have more activities though this could be offset a little bit by an older less active fellow passengers. My biggest strike against the Konigsdam is that when you think of Tahiti, you are really thinking of Bora-Bora - the Konigsdam doesn't go there - it is too big. Food is much better on Oceania though the entertainment is better on Holland America. So, Oceania would be the better choice unless you like to be on a really long cruise or you hate flying or entertainment is very important to you.
  7. I think they are running at about 70-75% capacity. Remember, they usually have one side of a deck reserved for quarantine/isolation. My trip aboard the Ruby Princess last April had the port side of Aloha Deck blocked off as well as 100/200-numbered rooms of the Starboard side of the Aloha Deck.
  8. Costa is really just an European Carnival for their 7-14 day cruises. Once you go beyond a two week cruise the clientele is older because they have more time to travel and tend to be more sedate even on Carnival or Costa. So, my recommendation is to try a Costa cruise that is longer than 14 days or a transatlantic before making that final payment on Costa.
  9. When I was on the ship in late April, it also included the A1** & A2** of the Starboard side of Aloha deck. Don't know if they are still doing it.
  10. I presumed these are either the Grand Class or Caribbean Class ships, even the Coral Class. These are probably the best value cabins on these ships. They have the same size cabins as the regular oceanviews, but larger than the insides. I always felt that the insides were a tad too small for my comfort.
  11. Are you aware that Apothic is owned by E.J. Gallo? It is likely that the grapes used by Gallo in Apothic is sourced from Lodi since Gallo has a winery up there so it can't be too bad, maybe a tad sweet for some wine drinkers. Since you have Trader Joe's in New York, try Nero Grande Appassimento (poor man's amarone) or Ruggero di Bardo Susumaniello (bottled in an old fashion whiskey bottle, I believe).
  12. To be fair we should be comparing Main Dining Rooms unless the specialty restaurants are not additional (like on Oceania). We have only tried 7 cruiselines with Oceania as my favorite. Princess and Celebrity would be second. Holland America would be third. Royal Caribbean, Costa, and Carnival would be last. The Executive Chef on each ship will determine how variable will be the food. Even on Oceania, you have variability where you can honestly say, is Oceania really the best? In the near future I will have an Azamara cruise this September and Windstar cruise in April under my belt. Windstar supposedly is competitor to Oceania, we will see. Even Oceania is not across the belt top-notch - they make pretty ordinary pizza (pizza ovens on their small ships are outdated) and runny milkshakes (I think it is due to the ice cream kept at too warm of a temperature) - no problem with brain freeze with their milkshakes.
  13. My favorite wine-maker company is Kinero. The wine-maker is Anthony Yount. My favorite is his Grenache Blanc, sourced from the Paso Robles area - probably using the same grapes as Tablas Creek.
  14. Rumors in Hong Kong are that they are considering transfers from airport to cruiseship or vice versa as in transit - this is a means to circumvent that 7-day quarantine for in-coming visitors. Currently, if you are in transit at the Hong Kong Airport, you do not need to be quarantined or need a covid test. I suspect that it will have to be by cruiseline bus transfers in order to minimize contact. So, pre-cruise or post-cruise in Hong Kong looks out of the question. Since Hong Kong is following China's guidelines, that 7-day quarantine may be there for an indefinite future. I don't know how workable this transit option will be as it will pretty much require all passengers to arrive or depart on day of departure/arrival. It will require some passengers to stay at the terminal for a few hours before boarding a cruiseline's bus for transfer. I will be arriving on April 4, 2023 in Hong Kong on the Windstar Star Breeze, but it holds only 312 passengers. So, it would be workable for us. But much larger ships will have logistic difficulties. All of this is speculation, but it does show the limited options that the cruiselines has to face. I can see it work for ships under a thousand passengers, but as the ship gets larger, there are only so many airlines flying in or out of Hong Kong. On the other hand if your ship is just visiting Hong Kong for a day, expect Hong Kong to become a sea day or another port will be scheduled.
  15. It appears to be perfectly cooked. Problem is it appears to be perfectly cooked pork belly, not a pork roast - skin is very crispy (and can be hard) and to get that skin crispy, the meat is a little over-cooked so you have the firmer texture for that too.
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