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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. Hank; Food being Bland and boring was an issue on our cruise also. Expect for the cheerleaders to assault you claiming every meal is excellent and every bite succulent, because as you know tastes are subjective! 🙄
  2. Marketing by someone wanting to sell blue jeans! Reminds me of the recent marketing gimmick of trying to sell dress joga pants, or if the dress sweat suits of old! Marketing by someone with something to sell.
  3. Consider looking at the very first thread on this Forum entitled “ Oceania Free Shuttles”.
  4. Did it ever, during the duration of the entire cruise, come to the OP’s mind to query their room attendant? 🙄
  5. We booked Singapore-Sidney, then Sidney-Papette on Riviera. Mostly new ports for us with just a few repeats, but hey, I can always revisit Bora Bora with out being bored! Been to Singapore once and needed much more time than a day tour allowed. We’ll fly into Singapore several days early pre cruise and finally do Singapore right!
  6. Public transport, such as subways and buses, are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to use. Some of our private tours were a combo of those methods along with cabs. Most do NOT take credit cards, including some of the cabs. Money conversions are mandatory. No the ticket machines won’t take US dollars.
  7. Guess this horse has been beaten to near death. As a former Army officer, “being at the appointed place of duty at the appointed time “ is firmly ingrained so we show up on time. However, it all suffers from “ Hurry Up and Wait”. People getting there at 6:40 to have a very short line versus those at 6:30 standing in a longer line aren’t really late. If everyone shows up at 6:30 or before, seating will not happen any quicker. It would just create a larger mob at 6:30. However, just like Boardamania, some enjoy lines as social time.
  8. One will often find a goodly portion of those reading in the library with their eyes closed and mouth open. 😇
  9. I can understand your position fully. Do likewise find the people with 1:00 and later boarding times that show up at 11:00 , or before, as being equally rude?
  10. To further answer questions not yet addressed, neither the Red Ginger nor the Tuscan Grill have bars. Additionally those venues are only open for dinner or other special events such as wine tastings. I would never take a 25 year old on an Oceania cruise. You might find the very rare exception that may enjoy it, but very rare are the key words.
  11. To enter Japan there is a process that everyone must go through, transit or visitation. One will fill out the paperwork, have fingerprints taken of the index finger of both hands, and be photographed. Fact is, not only did we go through the process upon entering at Haneda, but we had to do it totally again upon re entering Japan after Korea. Additionally, all ship passengers had to depart the ship , in that first port, and go through immigrations again whether they planned on touring that day or not. This was announced multiple times over the intercom and as reported, the ship’s captain came on and called out those by name that hadn’t done so, and ordered them to reception. The ship couldn’t depart until everyone had yet again cleared immigration. For those with tours that day, they had to go through the process before loading up. Hope that explains it.
  12. I’ll give a short review of our cruise. Precruise - the Tokyo Hilton is definitely nice. The precruise package was part of a sale we jumped on. Glad I didn’t pay Oceania for it. Regent was doing both a parallel cruise and precruise with us. They got the morning tours, and we the identical afternoon tours starting at around 1:30 or 2:00. Little time to actually sightsee and mostly a panoramic tour. Then off to Boardamania. Cruise - Overall a good cruise. We only had a couple ports clipped an hour, so we got to see what we came to see. That alone made it a good cruise. It was a 12 day cruise and we only had one sea day, so we stayed busy. Tours - predominantly private tours with a few Oceania tours mixed in. The best O tour was Osaka and Nara on the second full day in Kobe. As I earlier stated, we took the bullet train back to Kyoto, post cruise, to explore that town for another 2.5 days. Wonderful mix of private tours with substantial savings. Food- I hesitate to go there as there was a tremendous amount of grumblings. The NoNo have won the day. The chorus we heard in most of the eating venues from staff was “ We now allow our passengers to season their food to their taste.” Translated means no to very low salt and no seasoning on anything. The NoNos were ecstatic, the rest of us not. Mash potatoes, green beans, sauces, meats, etc without any seasoning is bland, but the NoNos were happy. We learned to salt our own foods. Funny story, nothing would often come out of the salt shaker and people learned to unscrew the top of the shakers and add at will. One had to watch for rice in the salt shakers! 😂. Funny story, one of the Diamonds on this cruise one night asked for garlic, oregano, and thyme to season his dish. He told the waiter “ if we can season to our own tastes, I want to add the seasonings that should be in the dish!” He got none of the above. So after self seasoning, as typical we had an excellent meal, some OK meals, and one very poor meal. The latter meal is an issue is a Miami corporate policy driven issue that even the chefs don’t like, but Miami rules. On the no salt/seasoning issue, one of the waiters in the PG said, a benefit for O now is that they don’t have to individually do low salt or no salt menus for a portion of the cruisers, every one gets it. The daily meals of exceptional local Japanese or Korean cuisine was so tremendous, the dinner food quality aboard ship was mostly an afterthought for us. Entertainment - Poor choreography probably placed the ship’s team below average. One of the outside entertainment was Steve Stephens who was flat out spectacular. Dr. Holden, who was the lecturer was poor. The CD , which was a 35 year Brit, was quite good. A think Chris was his name but can’t remember. New to Oceania. WiFi - worked pretty well except in S.Korean waters, but don’t believe that was Oceania’s fault. As I earlier stated, just over 52% were O repeaters. GoNext represented about 226 of the roughly 1100 passengers aboard. The vast majority of that segment trended younger (35-55). A significant portion of the Repeaters trended a lot older than normal. We had 6 emergency evacuations, by ambulance, that I know of, with only one returning same day to the ship. Most left on a gurney, including our elderly neighbor. Our single sea day had our butler and room attendant packing all their clothes and personal items the day after they left the ship. Forgot to ask our butler how all that was handled afterwards. I believe overall we had a very good cruise. Since food aboard ship was nothing exceptional, I would probably recommend the HAL, or other , circumnavigation of Japan so to see more. Just remember lots of walking! Final note, we visited Kanazawa after Kyoto for 2.5 days. Tremendous food city , especially fresh fish from its fish market, and easy to reach by bullet train. We took the express train to Tokyo and then the monorail to Haneda for our late afternoon flight home. Kanazawa was lovely and we got a private tour out into the mountains one day and far away from the numerous Japanese concrete jungles.
  13. Just a word of caution on this. Because of the tides, the exit on Deck 4 was not available for use for our disembarkation in Yokohama last week. So when WestEast talks about exiting with your bags, it meant walking down the gang plank with all your luggage. For those with mobility issues that’s not a good plan. In that case, you do the leave your luggage outside your room at 10:00 and exit , when your color and number is called and find your luggage being offloaded in the terminal. As an independent traveler ( no Oceania transfer) that meant an actual 7:45-7:50 exit from the ship.
  14. Purely a matter of schematics. ORV states he has rarely stood in line more than two minutes. Let me otherwise explain the math to you. Oceania typically does about 60 people , or 30 couples, at that 6:30 seating. In ORV’s case that would be 120 seconds for thirty couples or about 4 seconds each per couple. For most of us arriving timely, we aren’t processed in 4 seconds. It takes a bit for entering our room number and waiting for staff to seat the early arrivals and rotate back to pick up the next wave. The process is clean and efficient, but for those of us arriving promptly at 6:30, it’s not a two minute drill. Those arriving at 6:35 or 6:40 may well be seated nearly the same time as those of us arriving promptly. As a case in point for those starving souls sharing tables. Depending upon actual activity for the night, your table mates may well have arrived on time (6:30), but not seated for another 5-10 minutes. One’s decision to arrive early May or may not get tone faster service depending upon seatings for that evening.
  15. Bingo!! Kinda hard for people to claim you’re late at 6:40 when you still have to stand in line to get in. Being a part of a party of eight at a private home is one thing, while being two in a group of 50+ is another. I unfortunately witnessed Boardamania again on my last cruise. I’ll allow others to enjoy the pleasantries of lines. I will add however that one should show up by 6:40, otherwise they’ll be in line behind those with 7:00 reservations that show up early!😂
  16. No necessarily. Going from Horizons to our cabin, we often stroll across the outside walkway on deck 14 and down the aft stairs to our cabin. We are often amazed at the starving souls lined up by 6:15 at the Specialties. The purpose of being so early is what? A two top or sharing is predetermined. The doors open at 6:30. One can arrive at 6:40 and still stand in line. It’s like mini Boardamania . While we do always attempt to arrive at the specified time, it typically means standing in line, especially for the 6:30 dining time. While we have never been hungry, at any time, on an Oceania cruise, all those lining up so early must have different experiences.
  17. O has done one new alteration in aligning cruise segments. That is: 1 + 1 can= 1, or sometimes; 1+1 can = 2, but, they have eliminated; 1 + 1 = 3. In the latter case it can now only be booked as individual segments.
  18. I would have my TA get a definitive answer from Oceania on this issue. With out knowing the accuracy of their comments, passengers on our last cruise with multi segments said SM credits would not roll over to other segments. Now, a tidbit that I will pass along not knowing whether it is a onetime ancedotal occurrence or ordinary. On our recent cruise, we had been waitlisted for a ship’s tour for about six months. Oceania had closed the tour and was no longer adding to the waitlist. As I earlier reported, as a part of Boardamania, the line at Destination Services stretched around 1.5 hours shortly after boarding. Near dinner time, 6:45ish, there was no line so I enquired about our waitlist status. The service rep said “ I know nothing about any waitlist for that tour, but there is plenty of capacity. Would you like to book it?” Talking to other passengers, this seemed to be a common occurrence for multiple tours. Pre bookings showed tours full, but once aboard there was plenty of capacity for most of the tours. We primarily book private tours, but that one tour interested us. My advice, from this one experience, don’t sweat it if O wouldn’t let you prebook tours. Check with Destination Services once aboard for actual availability. Of course, my primary advice is to not book O tours at all. Join your Roll Call and participate in some excellent small group private tours.
  19. So according to certain posters here: when the Marina is on her last seasonal run around South America and you and your room attendant are both getting off in Lima , and she’s going home to the Philippines, giving her the last scraps of your Argentinean pesos and Chilean money ( maybe $30) is a good plan? I’d vote it’s not, but rumored to happen regularly. Might we welcomed on the ski lift line!
  20. Ak1004, we don’t disagree about the air issue. However, don’t forget all those fellow passengers that have Mother Oceania book their flights. They’ll get the same flights booking the cruise 3-4 months out as they would have 1 year out, unless a deviation was possibly paid.
  21. And Viking releases their cruises three years in advance. They are truly after the early birds. Spin the bottle, take your chances. I was fairly amazed at the number of passengers on my just completed cruise that had booked the cruise within the previous 3-4 months! Some had caught some interesting, and perhaps unpublished, sales by doing so. Of course, most of them then complained that all of the ship and private tours were mostly booked full! 😂 As a general policy , except for the ATW Oceania doesn’t release cruises more than two years in advance . As stated in post #35, Oceania didn’t want to divide up a new season of cruises thus stopping when they did.
  22. We docked in Yokohama and in Kobe. There is a large cruise ship terminal in both ports which the ship utilizes.
  23. +1. This is April 2024. With all the current world events I doubt Oceania is willing to commit to much of a schedule in over 2 years from now. Additionally, as a marketing decision, why would they tell you now a certain cruise is going in September 2026 when they want you to book it for 9/25?
  24. That question was asked to the FCS ( Past OCA) on Riviera. She responded that July 26 onwards cruises would be released in September or October.
  25. I don’t believe I said or suggested that jackets are required in the Specialties. I only reported what was being worn on our cruise. My experience is that Carribean cruises, along with other very warm weather cruises, are typically more casual than other cruises. We were definitely not a warm weather cruise! A higher percentage of jackets were worn by the gentlemen on this cruise than other cruises such as to the French Polynesia. Some won’t wear a sports jacket under any conditions and that’s allowed . I always take a sports jacket because sometimes it’s freezing cold in the Specialties . Just like my wife always carries a sweater or shawl. Neither are required by code, but we prefer not to be uncomfortable in any venue. Slipping a jacket off is simple if it’s too warm. Bringing a jacket, sweater, or shawl, even on a warm weather cruise, means one has options and can adjust to the surroundings environment. Not bringing them eliminates options.
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