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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. If one pays a deviation, AND uses Oceania’s outrageously priced hotels, Oceania then provides transfer from the airport to said hotel. Then from hotel to ship. If one doesn’t use their hotels, then no transfers. The same goes for an Oceania sponsored pre and/or post extension. Transfers are provided. On the extensions , one is not required to use O Air to get the transfers. They need only provide Oceania with their flight arrangements ( via their TA).
  2. There is a cost for using Jacques name. We don’t know what that cost is, but apparently it’s more than what Oceania wants to pay going forward on its new Vista ships. FWIW, I randomly asked my Lions Club group who Jacques Pepin was. Many are travelers and cruisers. A couple thought he was an old skier, while others mistook him for Jacques Cousteau. Moral being , he’s lost /losing name recognition. Another issue, as he drifts into oblivion, are the Oceania chefs that like to do their “ interpretation “ of a dish. Already an issue in the GDR, where their “ interpretation “ no where resembles the original dish. Numerous examples of this have been discussed on these boards. What happens when Jacques isn’t ready Jacques anymore? There’s an end date for sure.
  3. Everyone has their personal best and favorites and it varies greatly by individual. Same goes for wines. Some styles of wine drinkers love, why others dislike immensely. The saga with the Specialties, in my opinion , is that the GDR nor the Terrace do a comparable job in creating the same dish. Joe’s Diner just can’t make Julia Child’s recipe like Julia, regardless of following the recipe to a T. Same goes for Oceania. On a 2019 cruise, the Nautica had a Red Ginger night in the Terrace. The results were a disaster . An insult to RG. I highly doubt, that regardless of intent, the GDR can on occasion/demand create Jacques dishes like Jacques does/did. It’s just not the way things work. The GDR has done Jacques menu before, it’s just not the same. If Jacques is that important, stay with the O ships! I’m guessing there is an end date for there also, which may be sooner than some want/expect.
  4. My point as well! Their Butler was able to get the son added a couple extra nights, but not every night. It’s not guaranteed.
  5. Or not so true in this case. I have friends that stayed in an OS, whose adult son and d-I-l accompanied them in a B something. The system only allowed them to prebooked the son based on the son’s allotted reservations, one each for that cruise. My friend was then trying to get his Butler to book the son to join them as additional reservations. Wasn’t always possible. While an OS can get a Specialty reservation every night if they like, either on line or via the Butler, it doesn’t mean they can get all their buddies in lower categories in with them all the time.
  6. This is really going to be a “ wait and see”. On port days, the GDR is now normally closed. Lack of demand. The Terrace and Waves easily facilitates those remaining on board. Will Ember be open on port days for lunch? Will something else close? On sea days, will all four venues be open for lunch? Seems to be a lot of staffing needs without an increase in demand. On sea days, we’re “maybe, sometimes” for lunch depending upon several factors, but I don’t ever recall the three venues being crowded because everyone spread out lunch times. Now staffing a fourth venue for lunch? Someone will be bearing that extra expense if that’s actually what’s done! Wait and See!
  7. Thanks ORV; I had missed the pdf
  8. The question about La Reserve is whether they continue to have the wine and food pairing meals, not whether they have a dedicated space primarily for it. It will be interesting to see how long Jacques continues on the O Class ships? 2 years? 5 years?
  9. The easiest indicator of of a poor chef is overcooked fish. Rubber shrimp and lobster are at the top of the pyramid of things grossly overcooked. If it takes a steak knife to cut your lobster, the chef is useless.
  10. It is the easiest to be overcooked and come out bone dry. Rarely a good choice in high production kitchens such as on cruise ships.
  11. Much of what we were told a couple years ago came to be: 1. Jacques will be gone. 2. Barista will become more like a French coffee shop with tables and linen. 3. Polo Grill is still there which is different from forecast, however Oceania has already said they are doing a menu overhaul at all the restaurants. So perhaps in lieu of a name change, the menu overhaul in effect on all the ships will give PG a new feel. Especially so with a new different decor coming. Trusting ORV’s observation of only three Specialty restaurants, this means we’ll now have three open seating restaurants to choose from for dinner. The number of available specialty reservations per cruise will decline unless individual restaurant capacity increases, which I doubt. As a different issue, reading about the new health food restaurant, my first thought was , when not eating in a Specialty, is this where everyone with the special “ off the menu “ dining requirements will be channeled. Let the one kitchen take care of all those special requests , while the GDR stays with its nightly menu. Probably a more efficient model!!
  12. Haven’t been to Rudesheim for a few years, but last time there ( non cruise), they were talking about banning the buses in the City Center. That alone could help many towns. Make them walk in and out, thus stopping all the buses from loading and unloading causing congestion. Hermitage has a relatively small City Center with a town square. I was shocked, a few years back on a Viking cruise, when we got on and off the bus 3 times just going around the square! Had we walked the entire thing, it wouldn’t have been much more than a half K! Nope, the buses had to stop, block traffic, drive a couple hundred meters, stop, block traffic again, etc. Actually the distance from the boat to Center was short and no buses should have been required. I believe there are many areas where the towns could tighten up some rules to help the situation.
  13. Here’s the larger problem. River cruise people that haul back to the ship, between tours to eat and drink. Same goes with many ocean cruisers. Those bachelor parties are supporting the local economy big time. All the tight wad cruisers eating lunch and dinner aboard ship, not so much. Who do think the local merchants would rather get rid of: (1) Old foggies rushing back to the ship for lunch , to have drinks, and play Trivia; or (2) people that actually buy meals, have drinks, and participate ( other than tourist shops) in the economy? Oh! But the Ship’s Buffet! 🙄 I continue to be amazed at the number of cruisers that never get off the ships at various ports, or if they do, it’s only for a quick walk around. They then expect to be prioritized above tourist that come to spend money??? 😂😂
  14. True, but Dom P is far more expensive, even wholesale than the wines poured for the Connoisseur Dinner. Fortunately, for us, they poured the Dom quite freely during the meal. 😜
  15. Best way to see Italy. Enjoy the towns when the cruisers/tourists have left. The food is so remarkable that any “ ship” food is a step down from local cuisine. Lots to see and do in, and around, Venice, so no reason to be pushed by a ship’s schedule. Enjoy!
  16. Food & Wine Trails is great! You’ll enjoy their excursions. More expensive than O’s but definitely worth the price.
  17. I enjoy La Reserve, and have done all of them more than once, except the Dom P. which I will repeat. Having said that, I will probably never repeat the Bourgeois meal. By far the least favorite with the least compelling food and wine. I really enjoyed the Connoisseur dinner and was disappointed when they deleted it. It is my understanding that since it was more expensive than the other two ( pre Dom) it didn’t sell as well.
  18. A consideration. The comforter on the bed is very very warm. Often too hot and we either remove it or kick it off during the night because it get too hot. That comforter may well provide all the heat she needs.
  19. Great planning, but here’s a couple updates. We were on United Polaris BC flights. Most of the Lounges are in certain airports are totally closed, particularly overseas. In the US, the ones that are opened are being capacity limited. The airport may have three United/Polaris Lounges, for example, with only one being open. Your tickets won’t guarantee admission. Capacity control. Airlines are cancelling and merging flights on an ongoing basis. That scheduled non stop can quickly become a 1-3 stop flight days before takeoff. Right now, you do and hope for the best, and roll with what you get. Those 22 had a nonstop to Atlanta at about 11:00 ish. They end up on a one stop, with a long layover in Amsterdam, at 06:00. Most all of their connections were affected. We were a bit luckier. Our scheduled 12:25 went OK to Dulles ( not our original booking), but United had cancelled our connection, so our 2.5 hour layover became a 5.5 hour layover.Here today, gone tomorrow.
  20. +1. Depending upon the airlines involved and the airport, if you come in on a domestic European flight and going out on an international flight, you may need to reclear security. You certainly don’t want to attempt FRA with an hour layover!!
  21. We’ve had tours disappear from our scheduled January cruise also. My TA was told that O was having difficulty confirming the availability of the tours with the hosts. Oceania didn’t want to keep selling tours that might not go. Large group visits to homes, farms, or other smaller venues are still highly problematic.
  22. I just posted a couple hours ago on how our United times and routings got changed multiple times over the last two months before our cruise. I also pointed out that 22 on our cruise ( not us) got a huge change just days before their return flight. Flight schedules are extremely dynamic at present. It’s not pretty. Oceania has no control. We had booked our own flights and had little control. The airlines are dropping and merging flights like mad right up to departure. I thank God we didn’t do something stupid like booking Spirit Airlines for cheap seats!! if the anxiety level is too high, cancel! Things aren’t going to change much over the next year. The airlines are doing what they fill they must to survive. Oceania has no control. The airlines wag their tail and O, and its passengers try to hang on. The tail is not wagging that dog!
  23. Memory is lagging here. I might easily be wrong, but I thought that if a paid excursion got canceled, the funds went on your ship board account and weren’t refunded, if required, until the end of the cruise. I’m not even sure it’ll show up as onboard credits until after you get on the ship. I won’t guess on the reasons, several come to mind. Europe, like the US, is struggling with a worker shortage. How many ships are in the area and who made the reservations first? Are you promising them 50 tours or 5 during the season?
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