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babysteps

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About babysteps

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Finger Lakes area, NY, USA
  • Interests
    food, wine, streamlining

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  1. We had an FCC (future cruise certificate, to be clear) purchased onboard Apr 2019, emailed TA on Mar 28, 2020 to cancel and TA was able to cancel Apr 8 (delay due to our email hitting their spam). Got partial refund yesterday May 28 (might be complete, would have to check 2019 credit card records -oops, sunny outside no time for that lol) - so basically 7 weeks. I realize the amounts are tiny vs. some folks' outlay, but one more data point shouldn't hurt 🙂 We had an FCC instead of a cruise because we had 2 trips to France and a big wine conference in Canada for 2020 - nope, none of that happening either. Ah, the best laid plans...suddenly find myself paying more active attention to our garden!
  2. Spouse is not a fan of gray for decor but loved the new post-Next Insignia. Hard to tell until you are onboard... someday!
  3. Although a future vaccine may not be a panacea, it could help flatten the curve so that healthcare systems could handle the annual influx of critical respiratory patients. I assume several different vaccines will be developed independently -- it will be interesting to see how testing and/or studies proceed, and how effectiveness compares with side-effects. An anti-body test could be useful as well, especially if it allows more people to assist the healthcare effort. I have no idea how long these take to develop, but researchers and regulators mostly seem to be on the same "full steam ahead!" page. Meanwhile, wash your hands everyone 🙂 [I find a hygeine mask emoticon, but not a hand-washing one...]
  4. In the picture in post #3 that thing between the plugs that looks like some kind of spacer? Iirc that is a light switch. Even if the ground of the plug were in the "normal" lower position, the device in post #1 would cover this switch.
  5. I think early check-in is offered on some larger ships and/or mass-market lines, but O doesn't do this. Check-in is pretty painless - worst case a short amount of standing in line (can often avoid by getting to port slightly after the stated check-in time). Actually, worst case is a surprise inspection and delayed boarding, with everyone showing up at the "regular" boarding time and a backlog to process - don't worry, that is rare (most often inspections are announced at least a day ahead and O or your TA will email you so you know to show up later). Spa reservations - not sure with the new spa; with Canyon Ranch there was a phone number you could call ahead of time to make reservations before boarding. We did that once lol, since then we just drop by the spa on embarkation day and make arrangements. Assume new spa will have a similar process, with extra spa front-desk staff on embarkation day to answer questions, schedule appointments (and sell package deals). Have a great time!
  6. We've been there just 2x on a port stop, each time we walked over to Shell Beach, did some swimming & then enjoyed the restaurant there for lunch. It can be helpful to walk over (when they open) to make a reservation for slightly later. This is not the best food on the island, but it's quite good and is hard to beat the view combined with a glass of rose, and (depending on your table) your toes in the sand. Hamptons-like prices, not quite "Paris + export" but ymmv (and some St. Barts restos defintely are $$$$$, not just $$$). Definitely fun window shopping on the way there and back.
  7. We've sailed with Corey as CD 2x, thought he did a great job. Opinions about CDs may be as varied as food preferences, so ymmv! We really enjoyed his Trivia, although it sometimes ran to 5:05 or so (as opposed to 4:59 sharp) - we didn't mind, but some folks seemed concerned lol. Some of his guest entertainers also did lectures/presentations, which I loved (spouse skipped). Corey on occasion arranged for local musicians to perform either onboard or on the dock. In Grenada he brought a steel-drum band on board to play poolside, the ship's band's percussionist was videoing them so you know they were great. Corey likes to invite other crewmembers to join him on the CD's daily TV presentation, which can be fun (I don't always watch CDTV lol, but somehow watched Corey's more than average). Generally my bias is a great CD helps, and a poor CD I'll have fun anyway. I thought Corey helped. Hope this info is useful.
  8. @Clutj and @LHT28 your room service might even consist solely of wine glasses and nothing else (last time we did that was a few years ago, but they happily delivered glasses as requested).
  9. Thanks for the detailed write up. Glad things improved after your first meal being meh - you must have been worried they would all be like that. I have to admit I stick to the roast turkey and/or the bone-in steamship roast beef from the carving stations on embarkation day in Terrace - no problem with being dry (you can ask for the juicy or fatty bits if you like).
  10. Tea time - we don't go to tea that often, so I could be wrong... But are we confusing everyday Tea Time with a Grand Tea? The Grand Tea (usually 1x per cruise and only on longer voyages) definitely has the impressive central table - or did last time I was at one (Jan or Mar 2019 iirc). Did everyday Tea Time ever have a central display table, or just the grab-and-go section (usually at the self serve coffee station) with items also found on trolleys?
  11. babysteps

    Oceania Air

    We've usually skipped O's air and done our own for $ or miles. We did use it once, EWR-MIA and then LIS-EWR (no intermediate stops). We were assigned AA domestic, TAP return, coach in all cases; no deviations (same day flights both ways). There was a slight glitch in getting seat assignments, our TA had to bug O to release our tickets or some such so that we could select seats ahead of time. Our flight to MIA was the first one in the morning (that is, quite early - but I'd been worried they would give us a "late" flight without too much cushion, so no real complaint). Consensus is to always run the numbers - sometimes it's better to use O, more often (but not always) it is less $ and/or more control to DIY.
  12. @clo haven't been on board since April 2019, but the website might be "puffing" things up a bit. Prime dry aged at Polo, yes. And trimmed so there is not too much of that aging-rind flavor (most people don't like the aging-rind/gamey flavor anyway, but FYI). Not sure, but by texture I suspect the Polo steaks are from grass-fed cattle who have not been grain-finished - tasty, but sometimes can be chewy (but sometimes super tender - ymmv). In our experience, steaks at Terrace are 'regular', not prime dry-aged. Others with more-recent-experience/more-focused observations/copies-of-GDR-menus will be able to report whether some steaks in GDR are prime dry-aged or not (my guess is usually not, but as a special maybe once in a while?). If things have changed and all venues are always prime dry-aged, that would be lovely. But don't be too disappointed if that isn't the case.
  13. Good tips cbb. You may already do this, but for the benefit of anyone making a mothball-the-house list: to minimize the impact if something goes wrong with a traditional water heater while you are away, you may wish to either drain and turn it off (turn off breaker or shut off gas, as appropriate), or at least turn it off.
  14. Some plant-based ice cream is better than others, but an unwelcome surprise is no fun. Ice cream may or may not have gluten free ingredients, but as a celiac it's not just the ingredients, it's also possible cross contamination with non-gf items such as ice cream cones, or a different flavor on the scoop (in the scoop rinse water), etc.
  15. Spouse ordered these once, wasn't a hit with him. If you want to try the sliders, doing it as something to share with the table sounds like a good idea - lets you try them without too big a commitment 🙂
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