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About hillsprint

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  1. Yes, I would agree that using road transport is probably a limited option, especially when you consider a 3000 passenger ship would require about 54 or so buses to ferry all into the city. Then marshalling them all to get back to the ship would be a nightmare, as afterall we will all want to stay as long as possible, and there won’t be room for 25 busses in the bus terminal solely for one ship. Hence why the proposal to use docks within the lagoon and then they’ll tender folk back and forth. Mind you will the canals be up to the increase water traffic and how much damage will all those wakes cause to the infrastructure?
  2. With regard to Redtravel’s post, as far as I am aware Azamara still has a Cassini unless you are on the new Pursuit which has a different layout to the older ships. If you are content with the R design ships then I think there are Pros & Cons for both lines, but Riviera and Marina are in a different class, especially on a longer cruise.
  3. We were on Riviera in August and found the Wi-fi connection poor across the ship. Certainly it was the worst I had experienced in the past 7 years of cruising, it was much better on Azamara, Celebrity and NCL. All the cruises were in the Med so they were in similar network conditions. Certainly it is something that O need to improve as more customers now expect a consistent service.
  4. We were on Riviera at the end of August and it was mentioned that within a few weeks all O's Head Chefs were meeting with the Culinary Director in Spain, apparently this rarely happens. So maybe standards and menus would be discussed at that. I am surprised that a chef would be allowed to make a large unilateral alteration to a dish, surely a dish served on one O ship should reasonably represent what is served on the others?
  5. We are just back from a short city break in Palma de Mallorca, it’s a lovely city, lots of interesting shops, Passeig Del Born is the main avenue, there’s a great tapas bar Ombu on it, or go to the Sky Bar/Restaurant in the Hotel Almudaina for fabulous views over the city and port. The cathedral and the Almudaina palace are worth a visit and the covered market Mercat de l’Olivar is fantastic with numerous tapas bars in amongst the market stalls, really great food at low prices. Palma is just a lovely city centre to walk round and it is relatively flat.
  6. We found Toulon not to be a great port to visit, basically is a large French city that is a major naval port, it is not really a tourist spot. If I went again I would probably do a tour. We were docked in the centre of the town, but sometimes they have to use the cruise port which is about 5 miles out. You can check on the Toulon Port website to find which you are in.
  7. My wife did the Cooking with Jacques course on our recent Med cruise on Riviera, the description on the O website made it sound a very simple class about emulsions and dressings, but it actually entailed a full meal of a dressed salad, filet steak with asparagus and then a chocolate mousse dessert, with wine. She thoroughly enjoyed the 2hr class and Chef Kelly was very good. Best bit was I got invited in at the end to taste it all :)
  8. In August we used Friends in France for a private transfer, it was 80 euros and took about 35 mins
  9. Look on Page 3 of the Guest Invoice attachment you get in the email about 3 weeks before the cruise. Look in the Promotional Amenities section, it will list House Beverage Package along with Free Internet and PPGs ( Pre Paid Gratuities).
  10. This is just an observation, on the Azamara board, Bonnie McLaird has been appointed as the Azamara internet rep, or Chief Blogging Officer as they call it. If folk have a query they can address it to her or she picks up an issue that has been raised and can provide an authoritative answer from the company. On here we see many issues where speculation and misunderstanding of what is provided leads to what amounts to bad PR for Oceania. Surely it's time for O to recognise that it would be beneficial to have a presence across the various strands of social media, in order to inform and provide a channel for their customers to interact effectively with the company.
  11. Folks, embarking on our first Oceania cruise today. We flew in yesterday evening, Pre-cruise, to Rome Fiumicino Airport, to save on doing the Red Eye flight on the morning of Embarkation. We stayed at the Hilton Rome Airport Hotel, which is attached to the airport by an overhead walkway The hotel is a good transit point being 30 mins to Rome by train or providing a relaxing breakfast before, in our case, a transfer by the highly recommended Rome Cabs to the Riviera in a sunny Civitavecchia, where it was sharing the docks with a few esteemed friends, both large and small We have had a walk round the ship and been to our Concierge stateroom and I have to say it all looks in great shape. Cheers Michael
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