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About Mura

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    Brooklyn, New York USA
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    music, photography, travel
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  1. Our last time at LHR was in July 2016. W e were departing from the "new" terminal for our flight home. Terminal 5. My diary says we had a long walk to the train to the gates, and then another long walk to the gate itself. We were both using canes. No help was offered ... We've had many long hikes in large airports, of course, but this one seemed to be the worst. Mura
  2. I''m wondering if most people here do *not* need this message ... Maybe I'm giving everyone too much credit? It does seem logical that you get back what you give. I've seen lots of complaints -- make that comments -- on other threads about people who complain but never say thank you, who are quick to criticize, etc. It's so easy to say thank you ... or just smile. I do wonder why more people don't do so. (Then again, I've seen people entering through a door just ahead of me, and they know I'm right behind them, but they let it slam in my face. I don't expect anyone to hold a door for me if I'm a distance away, but if I'm right there????) Don't get me started about how other pedestrians treated me when I was walking slowly with a cane. They'd jump in front of me just to get ahead. It didn't seem to occur to them that in doing so they could have easily knocked me down. They didn't intend to, I'm sure ... but they didn't think about the consequences of their actions. However, as a result ... when I'm now following who is moving slower than I would like, I just slow down myself. Mura
  3. Ditto for the recommendations on Barcelona. We always plan on 3 days there pre- or post-cruise. It was my mother's favorite European city and I now understand why. Just be alert to pickpockets, but these days that can be true of any city, whether big or not. Clo, we haven't done Rio to B.A. but from what I have read here I think you are right about smaller ports. The "circumnavigation" from B.A. to Santiago tends to be one port, then one sea day. But even there, mostly smaller ports. I remember one that at the time we were there (20 years ago) the population of the port "city" was all of 100 people. Mura
  4. We've been on all of the ships over the years and have never experienced a crew that was unhappy (or rude, dismissive, fill in the blank). We have always been satisfied. Sure, sometimes more than others. Our experience on Sirena is nearly three years old so that wouldn't be relevant to someone looking to sail now! As Lyn says, the crew changes over regularly. Mura
  5. I cannot recall EVER being asked my loyalty status on Oceania ... or on any other line either. I DO recall being asked on Renaissance how much we had paid for the cruise ... but Ren was famous for having any different number of fee schedules for the same cabin level. Not that we ever answered that question ... Mura
  6. If you pay the deviation fee and have the added cost of a hotel that YOU have booked, virtually always that's still less expensive than paying Oceania's hotel costs (which are per person and not per room).
  7. Our first Renaissance cruise was October 5-20 (Lisbon to Barcelona) and we then drove up through France to Switzerland for another couple of weeks. Weather was lovely ... November could be a different story. Mura
  8. In the past we pretty much did DIY tours (with groups we formed on our roll call) with only occasional ship's tours but when oLife came into play we did start using a number of the "free" tours ... which were quite good. We didn't have complaints, and most of them were NOT too large. Of course, more people than on an 8 person privately booked tour, but not over crowded. When we were in Amsterdam a couple of years ago we did the ship's "Beer Tour" in Bruges, which was fabulous. If you like beer ... but they didn't only take us to the beer museum! As the price differential goes up between oLife and cruise only, we're more apt to take the latter ... of course, since we're not booking anything these days due to DH's vision problems our opinion doesn't much matter. For people who want the security of a ship's tour, while pricey O's are generally quite good. For those who prefer smaller groups, they will continue booking privately, I'm sure. Mura
  9. And lots of people (at Waves) ask for a surf&surf ... or the alternative. It's true that the sandwich is not enormous (the hamburgers are much larger) BUT a little goes a long way for me. Especially when followed with a smoothie ... Mura
  10. Mura


    Thank you so much for the lovely comments! They are much appreciated! Here's hoping we DO meet on a cruise some day soon. Mura
  11. This news IS distressing. We've been on Insignia multiple times but not recently ... never had such a problem on ANY of the ships (and we've been on all of them). I sure wouldn't be happy to see colored water coming out of the tap ... Mura
  12. It's not at all as if the only way to get extra reservations is if you have a butler. Sure, he makes it easy! The important consideration is just how many of the passengers are desperate to get extra reservations. On some sailings lots of them do ... but on others, the average passenger can be like us: NOT interested in extra reservations (at least most of the time). Mura
  13. Mura


    We very much enjoyed our last cruise (May 2018) but -- we were in an Oceania Suite. While we don't feel that there is "status" on the ships -- in terms of how people are treated -- I can't deny that those of us in suites get better care than others. The butlers are certainly very helpful! Our cruise was more than a year ago and we did NOT notice a decline in food. That doesn't mean I ignore comments to the contrary since then! Unfortunately, given DH's condition I don't know that I'll be traveling soon ... although I would really like to. It's not that I won't travel alone, it's that I'm concerned about leaving HIM alone! Mura
  14. Ah so! That COULD explain it!!! 🙂
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