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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. 2005!!! Contentinal Airlines was still in business then!! Should I talk about Delta in the 1980s?? Being serious now in 2022. Airlines are flying jammed packed. 1. Get to the airport way ahead of flight time. 3-4 hours ahead. In AMS, it was 3.5 hours from checkin/baggage drop to the gate. That was on a Thursday. 2. Never schedule a layover less than 2 hours anywhere. Three is even better. 3. Don’t fly in on the day of Embarkment or tour start. Come early. 4. Never take a buy out on a plane that’s flying. You never know when you might actually get on that next flight. 5. Avoid airports that are disasters. Amsterdam ( AMS) is a Black Hole. It’s going to take a long time for KLM to get it straightened out. There’s a reason Delta is offering cheaper fares via there. You might go in and take days to get out! In June, we had passengers join our cruise on Day 3, without luggage, that ended up taking the train to catch the ship because of flight cancellations out of AMS. Heathrow is now recommending at least three hours time for connecting flights. We had fellow ship passengers with less than 2 hour connecting times on UA out of ORD, that never saw their baggage the entire cruise. Stuck in a warehouse in Chicago. This isn’t 2017 or 18. Planning air is a task.
  2. I may be speaking out of order for him, but I believe the miles come from using United Travel as the Travel Agency for the cruise. Where some here only want TAs that give cash rebates, others use United Travel for more ff miles. I get the offers and brochures regularly from them because they see me making payments to Oceania, Uniworld, etc. on my Explorer card. If you don’t use O Air, United will work the air for you and give you even more ff miles.
  3. In Tahiti, we stayed at the former Meridian. Forgot the name of the group that took over but still a really nice place to stay. Conveniently located with a good store, with great wine selection, just outside the gates. Also a very good restaurant in the same complex.
  4. We stay in an otw at the Hilton Moorea. Great place.
  5. Both easily done via a land tour. Multiple companies offer them and I can make recommendations. Many of the great visits are not practical from ship shorex.
  6. If itinerary is important along with maximizing the FP experience, I recommend considering Paul Gauguin. PG makes French Polynesian feel, taste, and seem like French Polynesia. Oceania is a great product, but it comes nowhere near developing the sense of place that PG does. It depends upon what’s important to you. Are you going to FP to eat in an Americanized Italian restaurant ( which is good) and worry about sheet thread count; or are you going to more throughly experience FP?
  7. Yeah, but you’re Speeeciall. I was talking about the rest of us . 😂🥂
  8. Captain’s party is most often on Day 2, sea day or not. Repeater’s Party bounces around, no particular day. Important to remember that depending upon the cruise, I have seen as many as three (3) repeater parties when 75+% of the ship are repeaters. You’re only invited to one of them though. Horizons can only hold so many. 🥂
  9. If cash rebates are the main objective with a Travel Agency, remember that the top of the heap today are the Preferred Agencies. These are top sellers NCLH wide. They all get the same commission level NCLH wide as those only concentrated on Oceania. For the DIYERS, where only cash counts, these agents/agencies may fit the bill.
  10. And therein lies the problem. Pre-Covid, there was an industry article on UA discussing how many thousands of flyers they have with over 1 million miles in their ff miles accounts. It’s actually carried as a liability on their financial statements. All this dynamic pricing we suffer through is merely a problem to get those with the huge numbers to burn through their accounts.
  11. Actually a relic of the past. The “ Club” has not been altered, added to or deleted from, since around 2017 and the NCL acquisition of PCH. There’s been a lot of water under that bridge since 2017. My recommendation is to talk to fellow cruisers and feel them out about their Travel Agents and the Agencies they work for. First, decide what’s important to you. We have posters here that are only interested in rebate checks and the amounts thereof. They don’t actually use their TA. Others of us like a Travel professional to take care of our needs. Personally, I don’t want a 23 step plan of addressing an issue and DIY. I call, text, or email my TA and problem solved. One step, not 23. I still receive gracious benefits, but I don’t set down and do a line item by line item review of every commissionable items post cruise. Decide what’s important to you and discuss that with your TA. An example is in 2019, we were traveling with friends that used our TA. She comped our four Dom Perignon La Reserve dinners. She knew we all love Dom and La Reserve. A wonderful evening and we toasted her at the dinner. Other cruisers requested her contact information. To us much more special than a cash rebate of equal costs. To others here, even drinkers, they only want CASH. Comping that meal meant they lost credit card miles they would have received paying for themselves. Cash only please! Decide what’s important to you and communicate that with your potential TA.
  12. Hank; NCLH is NCL, Oceania, & Regent cruise lines. When NCL took over PCH one of the listed advantages was a consolidated Air Department. Regent flies a large percentage of its customers business class. The company already has in place all the tools it needs to offer business class air to Oceania cruisers. Each of NCLH’s three lines have their own niches, markets, and profit centers. On Oceania, the Air Department is one of its profit centers, just like its shorex group and their ridiculous prices. I don’t believe Oceania sees a need to exert energy to trim a profit center at this time. It’s not a matter of having the current capacity to do so, it’s strategic branding. NCLH has a brand offering Biz Class Air, it’s called Regent. It’s why Regent doesn’t compete in “ best cuisine at sea”! That’s a different brand. Don’t smear the lines. 🥂
  13. You may have never complained, but many do. Upscale bars and bartenders often craft their mixers to specifically go with the brand(s) of alcohol used. They don’t just dump Mr T’s into a glass.That crafted mixer doesn’t necessarily go well without the booze. While I agree that any bartender should smile and make the drinks, the customers should understand what they are getting.
  14. Rum has flavor, bourbon has flavors, wine has often even more flavors. Some of us enjoy those those tastes and flavors. If you leave the garlic out of shrimp scampi, don’t complain if the dish doesn’t taste like shrimp scampi. Therein lies the issue with the bartenders. They don’t like people complaining because their none alcoholic drink doesn’t taste right. You’re drinking mix, enjoy it or not but don’t complain because it only tastes like mix.
  15. Having been a corporate vagabond for years, I have status on both UA and AA. When you live in Chicago or Denver, UA is the easy choice to get where you’re going. In Dallas, it’s AA. Today in retirement having dual permanent status is great. There are places where UA and the Star Alliance provides better and more regular service to and likewise with AA and oneworld. I call the Platinum Line at AA, I get the same service as at UA. Options! Much like having lifetime status at both Marriott and Hyatt. UA, with its dynamic pricing with ff miles, seems to be far harsher than AA fwiw.
  16. The time with the OCA was not necessarily the issue. The OCA had literally hundreds of cruise requests dumped on her of which she had neither the time nor assistance to get into the system. She was also basically blocked out of the system due to capacity overload. Wifi cratered with all the people just trying to view the upcoming cruises. We went to a cafe for lunch and used their wifi. We got a pdf from our TA of the cruises. Hadn’t seen them yet, and responded with which cruise(s) we wanted booked. All during a delightful onshore lunch with a couple adult beverages! 😎
  17. Simply put NO. First, let me say that the 5% number quoted above actually varies from very little up to 5% depending upon the expectations of sales for that basic cruise. There are no standard savings for booking any cruise aboard other that the receiving the $100 OBC, reduced deposit ( which isn’t a savings), and the best price guarantee going forward. I have had five O cruises cancelled in the past 2 years including one scheduled in 2022. I will next be on an O ship in Oct. I currently have five O cruises booked of which the first four are completely waitlisted and have been since released. Only the April 2024 cruise is showing availability. If I had waited until my next cruise to book aboard , I probably wouldn’t get on any of those upcoming cruises over the next 18 months. Booking when the itineraries are released typically gives the best pricing and cabin selection. I recommend that approach to waiting until being aboard to book. I have twice been aboard ship when itineraries were released and bookings commenced. A fiasco. Neither The ship’s OCA nor its wifi could handle the deluge of computer traffic. My current recommendation in this scenario, is once aboard buy a Future Cruise Credit, thus yielding all the book aboard perks, and email a copy to your TA so they can prebooked you on your desired cruise. As stated by FF, you can now buy that FCC 30 days before cruise so your TA already has it. Oceania, like other cruise lines, have hard to move cruises . Winter Carribean and off season Med cruises often fall into this category. Watch and wait and sales regularly appear. If your personal schedule has flexibility, let your TA know. Oceania often has quiet sales, at remarkable prices, to help fill their ships. Since these are “ quiet “ and not published fares, they don’t invoke the lowest price guarantee options. Good Luck and Happy Sailings! 🍷
  18. Having sailed Nautica 4 times, all pre Covid, I never found the dinner buffet to be overly enticing. Items that were cold, overcooked, soggy, etc. We always found the GDR on the Nautica to be far superior to the buffet. Might I recommend you give the buffet line a break and relook at the menu in the GDR? You may be delighted with the change.
  19. Jeans. Never an issue for us anymore during travel. They’re very bulky and I can pack probably three pairs of nice slacks in the same amount of space as one pair of jeans. If they get wet, they take twice as long to dry. They aren’t cool in the summer nor warm in the winter. My one pair stays home in the closet on my journeys. Dress blue jeans are about as big an oxymoron as a dress sweat suit! 😂 Remember those shiny articles of days past when people tried to push them off as dressy? Kinda like today with people claiming joga pants are dressy! They’re exercise/sweat suits, nothing more than any other sweat pants! They’re fine for the gym/joga or Walmart shopping.
  20. +1. We have never had problems getting either half portions or appetizer portions of any requested dish. In the PG, they do have a Princess cut of the prime rib that isn’t on the menu. It’s typically 5-6 Oz. They do not have a 1 or 2 Oz cut however. If the waste bothers you, order something different. The petite filet mignon is maybe 3 Oz.
  21. This question pertains only to the GDR. The rotation is on an appropriate continuous 14 cycle. On Embarkment one never knows which day of that cycle they are on. Really doesn’t matter because for them, it’s Day 1 and they won’t see a repeat for a couple weeks. The Specialties never change the menus. Only variant is an occasional fresh fish. The Terrace has a changing menu with different buffet themes thrown in.
  22. The final product will be interesting. Looking at the brochures many of the common area chairs and couches look as if they are designed for Lord of the Rings Halflings ( Hobbits). I’d have to get on my hands and knees to get in our out of them. This is already an issue with the new Next design on the R ships. Seems to be magnified on the Vista. I’ll find out in June of 23! Hope all those computer graphics aren’t real life.
  23. Here’s a generally accepted fact; with wine, or other alcoholic lubricants, typically comes free spirited conversation with your fellow table mates. The rate of food consumption slows down as the vivacious talk increases. The main focus of dining isn’t how quickly can the meal be consumed. Some of us enjoy that. It sounds as if the OP wants nothing to do with that scenario. Simply said, Eat and get out. I still therefore believe dining alone is their best option for happiness.
  24. It has been repeatedly posted here to DIY Biz Air. That is what we always do. No argument from me on that strategy. We have a cruise, and adjacent land tour, booked on the Vista for next June. Some of you have bookings aboard her as early as next April . Airfare is now purchasable for our cruise and those before us. We have ff miles, but would prefer to save them for a couple Asian rim cruises booked later on. Threads are full of new ships not making delivery due to manpower and supply chain issues. Canceling and changing airfare is a pain with all the rules. So the question is, what are my fellow Vista booked passengers doing? A leap of faith and buying those Biz Class tickets, or waiting and watching for more concrete news from Oceania? If the latter, how long will you wait and what will motivate the action? Your thoughts are appreciated. Current Biz Class airfare isn’t cheap and we hate to move rashly.
  25. Like LHT28, I have never witnessed the scenario you described, but feel from your comments you’d be far happier getting a two top and eating alone.
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