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Posts posted by pingpong1

  1. For me, a "good cruise", or even a land vacation, is one in which I don't ever have to turn on a cell phone or get within 10 feet of a keyboard device, at all!  How did we ever function as human beings, raise children, or go on vacations, before we ever had "electronic thingies" to hold up to our ears?  "Damn, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs"!  😠

  2. 9 minutes ago, Jim and Monika said:

    The main reason I am asking is because I'm afraid the bars will be closed by 11 pm. We are used to staying up much later on our vacations. I was hoping to get some extra beers to put in our fridge in case the bars are closed early.

    Jim - I'm "new to this party", as well.  My thought would be to just buy some bottles/cans/6-packs in ports, just bring them on board (it's allowed), and put them in the frig, myself, to have on hand

  3. 1 hour ago, rundent said:

    Our T/A gives a bouquet for every cruise and the first thing we do is ask the steward to remove them. Don't know where they come from but we can't stand the smell and it's not like we don't like flowers. Asked to discontinue the practice, to no avail. 

    As they say, "No good deed goes unpunished"  😉

  4. 15 hours ago, keithm said:

     If you like to be "coddled" this is a cruise line to try out. A 7 day trip will give you a good feel. Then you may decide if it's for you.

    And if I might tag onto Keith's reply.....Once you're on that first 7-day cruise and reach the "Day 5 mark", you'll be kicking yourself in the butt and wondering why you ever settled for such a short cruise!

  5. On 7/11/2019 at 7:18 PM, Paulchili said:

    But - will it come back after the new provider starts? 😊

    I seriously doubt that - it was a money saving move (just like lowering the OBC) 😒

    Paul - Just curious.  If Canyon Ranch is a private/separate concession, it seems like they're paying Regent/Oceania to be on the ships and not the other way around, right?  It isn't "costing" Oceania anything for Canyon Ranch to be on the ships.  If anything, in some small/weird/non-quantifiable way, the fact that Canyon Ranch (along with their name recognition that Oceania uses in all their marketing literature) probably contributes to Oceania's overall profits and branding efforts.  That would make (Canyon Ranch) a "profit contributor" rather than a "cost drain".  Presumably, any other spa provider (like Steiner) is also going to be paying NCL/Oceania/Regent for the "privilege" of being on their ships, so how would this (elimination of Canyon Ranch) be a "cost savings" for Oceania - particularly if Steiner wasn't going to bring in as much money?  Regards.

  6. Rollie - I'm "new to cruising", in comparison to you and your "Elite Plus" status with Celebrity.  So you've taken far more cruises than I have.  If you have not made all those bookings through a trusted regular Travel Agent over the years, then it seems to me that you've missed out on tons of ancillary/added benefits.  I.e., cash rebates, additional ship board credits, prepaid gratuities, complimentary bottles of" nicer wines" waiting for you in your stateroom, etc. which successful and high-volume agencies regularly give to their frequent (and even first-time) customers.  What did you feel was the benefit of booking directly?


    You are not going to get those extra benefits by merely calling up the cruise line, no matter what your status is, and booking your cruises directly with them.  Others can chime in here, but it seems to me that you have really lost a lot of extra concessions over the years by not establishing an ongoing relationship with a good travel agency to do your bookings for you.  Regards.

  7. Hi Poss - Don't feel like you're alone on this.  All of these "plans" and "coverages" can be very confusing.  We received the same letter (from AA).  It's not really health or medical insurance, itself.  It is only a service that provides "assistance from a distance" in helping coordinate options and services for you (including foreign language translations) to help get medical assistance for you and arrange transportation back to the U.S., if necessary.  You would still have to separately pay for the actual transportation and medical costs.  They also provide assistance in obtaining airline transportation for relatives and children, who might be accompanying you on a trip.  They'll also provide assistance in getting your vehicle back to your home, if it's in a different city or location than where you live.  They are mainly providing a warm, friendly, kind voice on the other end of the line on a 24/7 basis.  They try to ensure (from a distance) that you are able to actually get the specific medical care you need to get you well enough, wherever you're currently located,  to expeditiously get you back home.  They are not providing payment (insurance coverage) for anything. You still would need separate health insurance and plane ticket funds to get yourself home. All of these same "assistance services" are provided with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, and perhaps other CC companies, as well.  If you have the CSR card, buying this separate "assistance plan" offered by AA, would only be a duplicate/redundant coverage of what you'd already have with the CSR card and could be a waste of money. Regards.

  8. 1 minute ago, clo said:

    LOL.  I assume that was humor.  To tell the truth we rarely have steak in a restaurant as we can cook a better (or as good at a fraction of the cost) one at home.  And, yes, I cook foie and escargot at home also.  Cooking is my fave thing to do and had A LOT to do with our decision to go with Oceania.

    Yes, it was humor (hence, the smiling emoticon).  Our (my) best meals are at home, as well, thanks to the "cooking prowess" of my DW.  And also, far cheaper than eating out. But among many other reasons, going on an "upscale cruise" gives her a much anticipated and welcomed break from those efforts.  I'm hoping that Oceania lives up to it's slogan of "finest cuisine at sea".  We'll see.  Regards.

  9. 15 minutes ago, clo said:

    All things that I neither cook nor have in a restaurant.  Here's their online menu:



    And as someone suggested, I'll ask which are their house made pastas.  I make my own on occasion and there's simply no comparison.


    And steaks are just a small portion of their menu:



    I'll take the seared foie gras and escargot please 🙂  And IF we get a steak it will be cooked to their description of rare:

    "RARE Nicely seared on the outside. Red, cool on the inside."

    And if it doesn't come like that I'll send it back 🙂

    Clo - Perhaps for you, the "best restaurant" might well be you own dining room!  😉

  10. 1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

    we like Toscana & Polo  but  the menus  are stale & needs some updating

    same old same old for several years now





    I guess there's only so much you can do with spaghetti & meatballs (or veal Marsala, or saltimbocca, etc.) .  Italian is Italian.  And a "steak is a steak".  What kinds of "updating" do you think they could do, while still keeping it Italian and American Steakhouse, respectively?  Just curious.

  11. Hi Flatbush - I'm picking up lots of good info from you and other "O vets", in prep for my first future O cruise.  I also figured out (pretty early) that the 7-bottle "wine package" was no particular "bargain".  Most of the bottles on that package, at least those I've seen listed in various posts (most I've never even heard of), would certainly not be "worth" the $47 (each) that is being charged for them.  I'll always choose "quality" over "quantity".  For me, a cruise will always be a "quality" vs. a "Walmart" experience.  No offense to Walmart!


    Sure, at home I'll routinely buy and have on hand, a few bottle of "Beringer's White Zin"  (about $5-6/btl retail) in my garage frig, for my friends who like it - and I certainly don't "hammer them" for drinking it, if that's what they like.  But I'm not going to pay $47/bottle for that level of "quality" for a bottle of it on board a ship - any ship.  The "bin end" option you mentioned sounds much more promising/viable and I had not heard about that previously, until you mentioned it.


    Like you, I fully intend to "go shopping" for some nice wines in ports and bring it on board (or/and perhaps also bring a couple of bottles from home, as well).  I'll consume them in my suite/veranda and will also have "no problem" whatsoever paying the reasonable corkage fee for these personal bottles to enjoy with meals.  After all, Why would I be willing to pay the (total) cost of ~ $15K-18K for my "O" cruise (airfares, pre-cruise hotels, stateroom upgrade, private excursions, actual cruise fare, Prestige Bev Package, etc.), and then, at the same time, "balk or fuss" about a $25 corkage fee for enjoying a bottle of my own nice (decanted) wine at dinner?  That would be totally nonsensical and irrational.  "Life is too short" to worry about the "small stuff"!


    Thanks to all for the continuing good info everyone is providing.  Regards.



  12. Your beautiful pictures of Iceland brought back memories of my travels there 25 years ago (on government business).  The cathedral is particularly beautiful and unlike any other I'd ever seen.  As I recall, there is (was) a statute of Leif Erikson standing in a plaza in front of the church?  The water was so clear, pure, and pollution-free that you could look down from the pier into it and see huge fish (salmon?) swimming about.  Regards

  13. 16 hours ago, tmartois said:

    If you say gave your room steward or butler like $30-40 extra on the first day do you think you would get “better” service?   We always just prepay all the tips but this is our first PH suite.   I want it to be an amazing experience for my wife and I.  

    Just curious, here....What if it turns out to NOT be an "amazing experience"?  What would your recourse be?  Are you thinking that providing an "extra tip" (a "bribe" as some have called it), which is over and above what has already been stipulated/collected by O before or at the end of the cruise, will make a marked difference between your cruise experience being "amazing" or "just average"?

  14. 11 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

    Did this a few years back.... after a 40 day cruise.   we were tired.     It was a easy walk to the pier, quick walk through  immigration and customs,  Hire a porter for our 2 bags and  he whisked us out and into a cab so fast it was scary.... in less that 30 min off the ship We were in a cab heading to EWR !!!        Wow....     Id use a porter they  are the guys  it appears to facilitate  a rapid transit.    You get what you pay for,  Tipped $20.  and was  glad.

    Hi Dan (and others) - Would you or anyone happen to know/recall what a cab costs from the Manhattan terminal to EWR airport?  or a booked limo?  Regards to all.

  15. 9 hours ago, azam71209 said:

    In general, we try to stay on the ship as long as possible in any port where there is no compelling reason to rush. Plan on a later flight, have a leisurely breakfast, and end your trip without fighting the crowd.



    Hi Mary - 3-stars! "Bravo".  Some advance planning can certainly prevent a whole lot of frazzled nerves, shouting matches, and "mad dashes" off the ship, as well as knocking 5 other people over in the process, just to grab the "first available cab".  After all, travelling and cruising is supposed to be a "relaxing vacation", right?  I've never understood why people cause so much misery for themselves (and others around them) by cutting times so short, and hoping/wishing/praying that all transfers, connections, luggage, etc. will somehow "work out perfectly" without turning the trip into a major melodrama! But that also seems to be the "normal pattern of life" that people choose for themselves today - whether on vacation or not.  Best Regards.

  16. 2 hours ago, Zqueeze1 said:

    This is a very decadent and sweet dessert.  You gotta have a big sweet tooth.  

    Z and TB

    Oh!.... So you've MET my wife!!??  On special occasions, and with friends over to our house for dinner, we've actually made these popcorn sundaes for our guests a number of times to serve for desert (with the chocolate and caramel sauce, popcorn, ice cream, etc).  Some of our friends joke that they want to go "straight to desert" and skip the salad and entree. The "first go" I was talking about in my post was having one on Regent, and in Prime 7, for the first time.  Haven't done that yet. 😃  For us, it's just being on Regent at all, no to mention eating in Prime 7, that's "decadent"!

  17. A "Newbie question".  Is there an extra charge for these classes?  If so, what would it be?  Also, how/when would you sign up for these - before the cruise or once you're on board?  We've got a Transatlantic to look forward to on Riviera in Oct 2020.  They sound like fun and a good way to spend some free time at sea.  Tks.

  18. 16 minutes ago, liptastic said:

    Pingpong how kind of you to invite us. Sadly I have to say sorry . Work commitments for us both , and also we have a holiday booked in August. 

    Your itinerary sounds wonderful and I know we would love that. We have twice taken Canada New England cruises and have to say they have rated along with Alaska as our favourites and best. 

    I know you will have a fabulous time, will you be posting the odd snippet for us to enjoy? 

    Hope to join you onboard next time 😉

    Thanks, Jean.

    Hi Jean - Too bad about how "work" always gets in the way of every other thing, you'd much rather be doing.  We will be taking along a couple of "Newbies" with us.  My DW's cousin and his wife.  They have never done an Ocean cruise before and this will be their very first...on Regent, no less!  Not a bad way to start!  They have promised that if this turns out to be "okay" for them, it won't be the last one.  We'll just keep our fingers crossed regarding the weather.  It could be gorgeous or "slightly rotten".  You just never know.  But as the saying goes, "It never rains inside a bar (lounge)".  Yes, I might post a few snippets, too.  Best Regards.

  19. 6 hours ago, Zqueeze1 said:

    RCandKC:  We are going to Prime 7 tonight and will let you know how it is. Although we have had lots of sunshine, it gets pretty cool in the shade or when the wind kicks up. However, I cannot complain because it is way too nice outside. 

    Z and TB

    Hi "Z" - Have you already had the Popcorn Sundae (perhaps on an earlier) cruise, yet.  I'm eagerly awaiting my first "go" at that on our upcoming October Navigator cruise. Hmmm?  I wonder what an appropriate wine pairing (or Single-Malt) would be for that Sundae?  Best Regards.

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