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pinotlover

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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. On our last R ship cruise, Aug 2019. They were doing this in the mornings at the desk normally occupied by the OCA on Deck 4 or 5. The Terrace was deemed to busy for additional activities other than breakfast.
  2. Currently, international flights are being cancelled and/or changing regularly. Paying the $175 probably buys one little unless flying in early. Hopefully, by next summer, air travel loads return to some normalcy thus flight schedules can be a bit more secure. Then booking those better connections early, and perhaps even paying a premium for them, will make sense. We are a months from that. For our Jan S.A. Cruise, entire international airline routes have been dropped meaning our then one stop via DFW has become a two stop via DFW and MIA with a much earlier departure. We’re paying the price of a one stop for what is now a two stop! 🤬
  3. Remember United Airlines has ceased operations from JFK. UA will fly you into EWR or LaGuardia and you must transfer to JFK. Do let them book you on United with a connection at JFK!
  4. Some have posted here they find dress codes archaic, but that is not a universal feeling. Allow me to add another venue where swim suits and bathrobes are not allowed. Daily, Oceania presents a very nice, almost elegant, Afternoon Tea in Horizons starting at 4:00 (16:00). Regular ship casual dress is allowed. However, despite announcements by the CD, and regular blurbs in the daily Currents, there are always some that feel that just their swimsuit or maybe a bathrobe is appropriate attire for Tea. It’s NOT and the staff is then forced to quickly usher those passengers out of Horizons.
  5. I guess it depends upon your definition of “ covers”. I know they have turned back people trying to use their bathrobe as a cover. They also don’t want wet bottoms. Waves is especially geared for people utilizing the pool, and immediately adjacent to it.
  6. I haven’t yet sailed on Oceania since the pandemic shutdown and most importantly since the recent introduction of the sorely needed new menus in the Specialties. Therefore, it is impossible for me to perform any analysis or rating on the current restaurants.
  7. I have actually meet numerous folks on Oceania where money is no object. They pay Oceania’s price for hotels AND for Biz Class Air for shear convenience. With that being the case, what is O’s motivation to considerably lower their prices for everyone, so to attract a possibly small additional number of new flyers? More work for less money! That was never in my business playbook!
  8. I believe the same comments could be made reference booking hotels, shore excursions, and in the past, ship transfers. Oceania is what it is. Can’t be all things to all people. I’m not afraid of DIY.
  9. What has typically happened in the past is: 1. your flight and arrival information are provided to Oceania. We do this via our TA, others I suppose do it themselves. 2. An Oceania rep meets you either at baggage claim or outside of customs depending upon country entered. 3. If Oceania has other arrivals within a time slot, you are taken to a bus or van where you wait for those other parties to arrive. 4. If Oceania doesn’t have other arrivals they put you in a taxi or van and off you go. You won’t know whether #3 or #4 applies until you arrive.
  10. My wife doesn’t take a sweater to restaurants in the middle of our summer because it’s cold outside!!! 🙄. You’ve only been on the Marina and might not understand that the AC/heating system on the antiquated R ships is a different animal than on the newer O ships.
  11. I always wear a sports jacket to La Reserve and Privee and most often to the Specialties. Easy to pack and sometimes the restaurants can be down right cold and the jacket feels great. OTH, if the restaurant is too warm, I can slip it off. Same as my lovely wife carrying a sweater to dinner. If she needs it, she has it. Temperature differences between the front of the Specialties and the rear can be substantial. I don’t do ties, but for me, packing and wearing a sports jacket isn’t a big deal. I would never pass on great food and fine dining because of a sports jacket mandate. Harters; Dress Blues or Dress Whites is the military version of a tux, not Class A. That is equivalent to a business suit.
  12. Perhaps Jancruz knows, my TA will, there is a deadline date for Groups to confirm/sale blocked cabins before they are released for general first come first sales. If there is a large Group event on your cruise, that deadline date is a good time to be watching for waitlists to be possibly lifted.
  13. Something has to give. The Marina pulled out of the S. Pacific ( Australia, N. Z., French Polynesia) because it couldn’t fill its ships, particularly on the intermediary cruises. In 2019, we were on a Marina 12 day F.P. Cruise with less than 800 aboard. Fabulous cruise, but most likely not a money maker for Oceania. We were in the sold out Marina for a Feb 2015 Sidney-Auckland cruise. We were told the Auckland-Papeete cruise was near empty. Now, only R ships go that route. I know R ship lovers, and Oceania passengers that won’t sail them. The Alura Class is going to have to long term develop its itinerary and following. Oceania doesn’t need another winter Carribean cruiser. Something has to be developed in the median term.
  14. If O doesn’t book the flights, you can’t choose your seats. Planes have been flying mostly full. One of the things I learned from my trip this summer is to not waste money booking a favorable itinerary. You may well end up with a crappy itinerary after three flight changes, cancellations, and consolidations and fill really stupid that you gave them premium dollars upfront for a better itinerary. For Jancruz; one of those cancellations was a nonstop that was replaced with 2 stops.
  15. Anyone watching the current economic news will tell you that comparing cruise prices for a 2022 cruise priced 18 months ago, versus a 2023 cruise, recently priced, is comparing apples to oranges. Fuel Oil, food, and labor prices are increasing dramatically for those of you that obviously haven’t noticed. Oceania can hedge some of that out into 2022, but not 2023. Those price differentials you’re seeing are inflation hedges based upon the expectations of inflation. In 2023, if prices subside and Oceania needs to sell cabins, they’ll have the flexibility to drop prices. However, if inflation starts swirling upward, those currently posted prices may look like a bargain in 18 months.
  16. For those folks that just signup for new 2023 cruises this week. Were any of your TAs offering consortium PPG on any of the cruises? We booked a Vista cruise last month and our TA said they didn’t get any for those cruises. She said perhaps later, closer to sailing, but currently Oceania obviously didn’t believe it needed to add the perk. Having the summer 2023 Vista cruise booked, we didn’t book any of the newly released cruises, and I didn’t want to bother my TA that was busy helping those that did with the question. I just checked my Oct 22 booking, that waitlisted almost entirely on release and has been completely waitlisted for months, and there are no TA/consortium PPG listed for that cruise either. So for us, no double dipping on either cruise. I question going forward if Oceania won’t start using the Consortium perk closer to sailing, < 1 year, and then only on undersubscribed cruises? I’ll be interested to see your responses.
  17. Not sure how new this is. Seems to me about 4-5 years back this issue came up. Oceania was running special promotions in mainland Europe and people learned of it and attempted to book through TAs in that country to get the special pricing. A few were successful before O shut it down. I believe a few instances also arose from Aussies trying to use US TAs. Haven’t our Canadian cruisers sometimes gotten very nice conversion rate deals perhaps making it lucrative to book in Canada in Canadian dollars? If not already the policy, this puts it in print.
  18. To get into the port itself, in Athens, you must have some documentation showing your are on a specific cruise and the time of your boarding. Athens is not like many ports where one can just walk/ drive up to the ship. Even if you can’t get the Blue Book, have Oceania email you a document showing your Embarkment Date and Time. The Gate Guards check all vehicles, especially taxis, ensuring proper documentation. The ship is quite a distance from that gate. Don’t try to enter before your designated time. The gate guards will turn your taxi around.
  19. +1. Add to this list a circumnavigation of Japan. It would sell out in pre-bookings! However, like the Sicilian cruise above, which I’d likewise immediately book, Oceania appears to have zero interest.
  20. We’ll, actually, you don’t have to wait for the cruise. I/we normally do all the final tour coordination and sign-ups via private emails. Once you have my email you can ask me anything you want! 😇 The obvious problem with this approach is the increasing number of people that have no desire to take any private tours or participate, at any level, on the Roll Calls. Those people have to wait. I have a wine decanter and know how and when to use it. Some people have wine decanters sitting in their cupboards that never get use regardless of how desperately the wine may need it. Therefore, merely processing a wine decanter means little. I’m fortunate enough to have an excellent Travel Agent and know how to use her. I don’t demand absolute control of all aspects of my cruise or life. I have no desire or intentions to sit on hold to talk to some 1-800 phone rep that has often been proven to provide inaccurate information. Some relish that as “ being in control “, or “ eliminating the middle man”. Some here may have a very good TA, but like the wine decanter choose never to really use them except for some rebate they can squeeze. On a related note, we went with friends last night to a restaurant we have immensely enjoyed in the past , but hadn’t been to in about a year. The wait staff had 100% rolled over and service was horrendous. The restaurant was short handed plus working with new hires. Our entire economy is dealing with labor shortages. Not receiving pay for months has sent many experienced Travel Agents either into retirement or different areas of employment. It will take awhile, and a steep learning curve, for the new hires to come up to speed. Patience will be required. 99+% of the issues brought here don’t require answers or resolution in months, there is plenty of time for the new hires to learn. Refusing to give them the opportunity prolongs the learning curve. Those believing a TA is nothing more than an $8/ hr clerk and wanting to squeeze them down to minimum wage levels aren’t helping matters. Tried to hire an $8/hr clerk recently?
  21. I checked the port of San Antonio. Oceania Marina is the only cruise ship currently scheduled in for Dec-Jan. An Italian ship is due in in February. I believe some of those on Antarctica expeditions are staying on the Atlantic side. If Chile remains shut down ATW 22 won’t be going there as an alternative either.
  22. I likewise find some of the claims of rebate levels unrealistic. The other issue at hand is many of our Travel Agencies and their Travel Agents haven’t seen a paycheck in 18+ months. Many of the current bookings are for paychecks way out in the future. Perhaps the Agency or Agents aren’t in a position to be as generous as before. They’ve busted their bottoms on bookings and cancellations and not got paid for quite a while. I can be very happy with the excellent service and goodies I do receive, and not obsess over ever commissionable dollar they earn as some here seem to do.
  23. I believe the payment in full date for your cruise has passed. I actually expected an announcement by now from Oceania. The cruise after yours, as does ours, visits Chile. Their new protocols require all foreigners to quarantine 5 days upon entering the country and cruise ships are banned. Currently all other lines have cancelled their Chilean itineraries, if not all of S. A. for the upcoming tourist season. We remain booked on a January Santiago-BA cruise. I’m guessing Oceania is still trying to work it out with the Chilean officials, but am not hopeful.
  24. The details to be worked out with Marghera is getting back and forth to City Center. It’s about 15 km out of town. It will require some combination of shuttle bus and water ferries/taxis to get to St. Mark’s. What time would one need to be in the ferry in St. Mark’s to ensure they’re back on the ship by 5:00? Same logistics getting to the Center to begin with. Could easily be a 2 hour transit each way. If one wants to actually visit Venice, a cruise ship is quickly becoming an inconvenient way of doing so. But, isn’t that the plan anyway?
  25. Not only that, but how about the posters that claim to know the exact week , months in advance, when new bookings will occur? That way they can claim they usually only book while aboard! I’ve been aboard twice when bookings opened up. We ended up with a FCC once. Internet service was so bad the onboard OA couldn’t get anything booked. I’ll continue to stick with my highly professional Travel Agent and I have no need to bid her every time I need a booking as some here apparently need to do. Cheapest isn’t always best imho, but apparently not to others.
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