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pinotlover

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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. I’d save your money and take your husband on an Oceania cruise where he hasn’t “ been there, done that”! Far too many exotic places to see to repeat an area he’s not interested in repeating.
  2. ORV; Let me add to my posts above by saying the cruise line made it very clear that some of the employed protocols were directives from the nations in which they were sailing. The cruise lines do what they are required to do in order to be permitted in that country. The problem we (I) have in addressing any of these posted questions is the flux we’re in. Different nations have different rules that seem to be changing monthly or even weekly. Oceania could go to Sweden, then it couldn’t, for example. The cruise lines are the tails in this current saga, and they are being wagged, not vice versus. So, really all I can tell anyone is what was required to cruise the Med in July 2021. Who knows when the Marina, the only Oceania ship currently sailing, arrives in the Med what will be required then.
  3. No! Another line with their own sail safe protocols. Between cruises they did a total sterile deep clean with a fogging agent to kill any bugs. All passengers off. I don’t know how Oceania’s depth of cleaning versus what the EU countries require.
  4. Wait and see! People are still going to Sicily in and around Etna. Don’t believe they ever slowed down going to Pompeii regardless of what that volcano was doing. We’re scheduled to go their 10/22. Good Luck!
  5. Katie; I believe the current rules for extended journey/ grand voyage are: 1. Pursuant to your cabin class, you’ll be allowed a certain number of early reservations for your entire 24 day cruise. 2. If/When you are authorized multiple reservations in each restaurant, the reservation system will require you to spread those reservations out across the entire cruise. 3. Therefore, based upon the number of reservations you have in each half of your total cruise, you can invite who you like ( with their booking number) for that portion of the cruise. A btb cruise does not generate two (2) sets of reservations. One does not get a new allowance of reservations for each segment . The number of reservations allowed are set by total cruise length and cabin categories. Hope that explains it.
  6. We disembarked of free will wanting to sightsee. I believe everyone had to disembark so that special cleaning ( maybe an aerosol spray) could be conducted through out the entire ship. No place for anyone to hide. Your bags stayed in the cabin, but all passengers had to be off from maybe 9-12. They served lunch aboard for those returning and new boards, but I don’t believe it began until 1:00 when general boarding began. We ate in town, but I believe that was the drill aboard ship. Again, I have no clue as to what O does or will do.
  7. Home port country rules. I haven’t a clue in the US, but in Europe all passengers on BtB had to be retested. Cruise line took care of it. No big deal, unless you test positive.
  8. Flew Brussels Airlines a couple years back. They were actually tremendous, and the easiest boarding I’ve done in years. Maximum carry-on weight was 7 kg. One carry on and one hand held item only. Everything was weighed. Anything/Everything else had to be checked . Carry on was then given a colored tag, with the color changing daily. If you tried to board without the tag, the item was taken and gate checked. Cost of gate checking: 100 Euros. Came time to board, everything went quickly and smoothly with ample room in the overheads or under one’s seat for carry on. That’s the way all the airlines should do it! They are part of Star Alliance and I prefer them to UA or Lufthansa.
  9. We are a little over a week away from the release of the new 2023 itineraries for the other Oceania ships. It will be interesting to compare prices on identical, or near so, itineraries on the newly released cruises versus the Vista’s prices. If the delta is significant you’ll undoubtedly see Vista cancellations and moving of deposits; or for those unsold cabin categories, a lot of price pressure as final payment draws near. For those R ship lovers, are they going to pay a premium to sail Vista. I think not, but time will tell.
  10. Captain’s welcome, is as our PHD replied, most typically on the 2nd night of the cruise. Been on multiple cruises where the first sea day wasn’t until day 7 or 8. There are ZERO fixed rules on this issue. The big nada. For those continuing to claim they bring alcohol, particularly wine, aboard at the various ports, I’d love for them to enlighten us on the wines they procured in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indian. Ever visit most Muslim countries, buy much wine there? Also please don’t leave out the part on how high the prices/taxes were on those bottles you procured in the Baltic, particularly in Norway. Prices there even make O prices look cheap! Absolutely, in some countries, on some itineraries, we love buying and enjoying great local wines and bringing them aboard. However, it is extremely itinerary specific, and outlandish claims that it’s possible at every port or cruise is wrong. This goes along with the constant claims of the near mythical $199 OLife ship tours which may or may not exist on any cruise. For quite a few of the itineraries one must closely evaluate the various drinks packages to determine which best meets their needs. Even though we prefer private shore tours, we must likewise consider ship tours, in many small ports, with undeveloped tourist infrastructure. There are no “ one size fits all” solutions when sailing the world and visiting the diverse cultures. Anyone that claims they always do so and so is blowing smoke. Other than the one’s that don’t drink and rarely go ashore, that is? 😂
  11. UA was the same this summer on both domestic and international flights. People would show up trying to wear bandannas or scarves masquerading as masks. UA gave them a real mask and disallowed the others.
  12. Face masks were required on YS regardless of whether a face shield was worn.
  13. The requirements are not the Airlines. They only do the work to ensure compliance of the arrival country. The masking requirements are FAA requirements for flights into and out of the US. I’m not anti masks and actually support the protocols. I did believe the stewardess were over zealous in deciding whether 10 seconds between sips of your drink was excessive and one needed to pull their masks up between sips. This was especially the case since everyone aboard had an antigen tests, typically within 48 hours verifying they were negative for the virus. This was not an open environment. I’m likewise guessing near 100 % was fully vaccinated plus having the recent tests.
  14. Why would you believe that Vista is different from the other ships? The same protocols apply. Vista is just another ship in the fleet, albeit new.
  15. Give you an example on one of our meals. Remember everything is served at once. They took our drink request, then brought us our meal with it. So if one requested a mix drink, you learn you probably won’t get wine with your meal. So everything includes your typically pre meal nuts, salad, main course, and dessert all at once. Returning, I opted to hold the nuts for later. The beef, for the main course was mostly gristle, so I didn’t eat much of it. That was a good thing actually. Dessert was ice cream served in a small container like one would buy at a convenience store. It was mostly melted when delivered. After I ate my salad, and briefly picked at my gristle, I went on to the ice cream. It was soup, but cool. Those that had other entrees said it was hot mush. There was zero reason the ice cream, in its own package couldn’t have been served later and individually. United offered no alternatives for dessert except melted ice cream. United is using the pandemic as an excuse for laziness. Set you expectations for your flying experience low.
  16. Went to Europe this summer, but not with Oceania. Both of our UA flights were all on time, and mostly full 90+%. At checkin, UA inspected our vaccination records and our recent antigen tests to ensure compliance of the host country . Boarding for the international leg started very early because they rechecked everyone’s paperwork again at the gate. This made boarding slower, therefore they started earlier. Masks were required in the airports and on the planes. FAA directives mandates this through mid Jan 22, at present. Expect it to continue. Even during the meal they were not so politely telling Passengers to pull their masks back up between bites and sips. Pull your mask down off your nose and they were immediately in your face. We were in BC. In neither BC nor lower cabins were preflight drinks served, even though we boarded, both ways, about an hour or so pre departure. A bottle of water was in our seats. The pre packaged food, all served at one time , was the worst airplane food we’ve had in 20 years. Service was nearly non existent. No pre-meal drink, and afterwards if you wanted anything you went upfront to ask. Flight itineraries changed right up until flight day for many. I believe the reason our flight was so full is that many flights were cancelled and flyers consolidated onto specific flights. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and our one week pre cruise stay. Glad we went! The hours between airport entry and final exit were unpleasant at best. Most airline lounges are closed. The occasional ones that are open are capacity controlled so many couldn’t get in. My biggest recommendation is to throw your blanket over your head and pretend, or actually, sleep to get some respite from the mask. They don’t bother you if they can’t see you.
  17. three rectangular tables of eight is what I remember mostly. Seems if they had less than max, they just pulled chairs giving extra space at the table. Because of an O foul up, we actually had 28 at one dinner. They sat the other 4 at the bar!
  18. They left in wines aboard, parked in the Med over two summers!😳 Those by the glass whites must be really special by now! 😂 After two years, and an upcoming dry dock, those on the Nautica will really be special. 😁 I’ll gladly let the Flatbush Flyer race for those “ deals”! 😇
  19. Carol; So what happens if next month’s release of cruises for six ships has a resounding response? I don’t believe their infrastructure could handle it! Things seemed to get fairly shaky last Wednesday.
  20. Can anyone confirm that a “ bin end” list currently exist? How and where were any such wines stored for the past 18 - 24 months if they are on the list? I would guess it would take several months of sailing for any new bin ends to be generated.
  21. Only those that have recently sailed can answer the question. With the limited number of early cruisers, we don’t know if every venue is open every night. Some of the lines have announced they will not be. With the limited number of passengers we don’t know if the ships are running full capacity with help. 800 crew for < 400 passengers is not a doable solution. I believe that past experience may mean little in the short run. Once aboard talk to the staff at the Specialty reservation desk.
  22. Prices are based on double occupancy. Do you normally get a discount at a hotel if only one is staying instead of two in a room? Is that price gouging also for not charging you half rate?
  23. I think your cruise is showing lots of cabin availability. So unless a lot of late bookings occur, there’s your answer.
  24. 1.8x < 2x If 1.8A4 > 2.0B or D, then book B or D and be happy. Personal choice, you choose. Options are nice.
  25. A word to the wise. We flew in four days early and stayed in Moorea. Wonderful time. With everything so iffy right now with air travel, I’d recommend flying on a carrier, and an itinerary, that goes to your destination everyday, not every other, or every third day. We flew into Papeete on UA from SF. Great flight and wonderful connections for us. If booking today, since that flight only goes every three days, I’d book the daily flight through LAX.
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