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pinotlover

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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. Reliable wifi on an Oceania ship!! 😳 Good luck with that!
  2. Quiet Sales: Are unpublished fares for specific cruises offered via the TA. They rarely include air, and may or may not include O Life. The fares are “ quiet” and unpublished thus not making the fares inclusive for those having best price guarantees. My TA knows me, and talks with me regularly. She therefore knows whether I’d be interested generally, with ( for example) flying to Athens in early June for a 12 day cruise on Marina B3 or B4 for $1200 each. Or show up in Miami in a week for a 7 day Carribean cruise for $525 each.Sometimes people are flexible, others are never so. A good TA knows their customers. Not everyone gets the calls.
  3. I believe the head chefs drive the quality issue more than the ship. Those chefs move around. During normal times, I believe the only difference is in the Terrace or Buffet. Not a quality issue, but with more people aboard I have found more selections on the O ships than R. Since we normally don’t eat in the Terrace as soon as the doors open, we have found more of an issue with keeping the food at proper temperature on the R ships. I don’t know if it’s an equipment issue or just less people producing less turns.
  4. I don’t know of any published list that has them all on it. Some of the Travel Agencies have it on their website. Always remember that OCCC members are Travel Agencies not singular Travel Agents. Once you’ve identified an OCCC Agency, you must further inquire about which of their Agents have extensive Oceania experience. All probably don’t, especially now. Don’t get too overwhelmed with the OCCC designation. With the takeover of NCL, it’s importance has wained. Multiple high selling Agencies now are at the top commission tier that don’t necessarily sell much Oceania. From what I understand, the designation hasn’t been updated since about 2017. That is new Agencies moved on with non producers removed. It’s now mostly a relic of the past. It’s more important to find a good Agent that will provide the level of service you want, along with the perks you find fair.
  5. I believe the discussion was providing customer service, but perhaps defining it first. We stopped at a Panera for lunch on the way home. There was a line at the counter, but no one there. Everyone was waiting and waiting. Finally someone asked at takeout. No more counter service. Go to the kiosk and order. They had three, two didn’t work. Credit card only obviously. Then you wait at your table until they call your name to go up to get your food. The definition of customer service at Panera now. Does a self service kiosk provide better service than a human? Is customer service only what they choose to provide on any given day? If the concept or definition is being redefined constantly what should our expectations of customer service be on a cruise ship? It appears expectations and reality are colliding.
  6. I just don’t know.I just returned from a major industry wine event in Cincinnati. It was the first such major event since 19 due to Covid. In three years a major changing of the guard. Many of we few remaining old more seasoned attendees were surprised at not only the horrific display of poor manners by the overwhelming number of Millenniums, but more so by their attitudes against established perceptions of manners. The question was raised “ Are manners and social gracious” still taught? Do they matter? So Boomers, you may be paying the bill, but do those performing the work even accept your definition of good service? I believe we seasoned cruisers are on a bridge to tomorrow. A bridge most of us don’t want to either recognize or cross. How, and with whom, this is resolved will determine how our vacation dollars are spent in the next few years. Winners and Losers!
  7. But, But the DIYers that don’t want a middle man!! Back to life, we’re not back on O until Oct. That marks three full years since fall 2019, pre Covid, that we were last aboard. A lot has changed in three years. How many of today’s staff were onboard before the pandemic hit? How many understand the high level of service expected of them? There was no gradual transition between the older and the newer groups. It will take a strong management and commitment to service to successfully bridge to the future. We obviously are there yet, and Oceania has to show its commitment to what it is and what it wants to be. Perhaps looking back three plus years isn’t their answer for the future. Management must lead. We can only see the direction they lead.
  8. We’ve beaten the head horse about many Oceania cruisers that show up before their assigned times. Useless effort to beat it more. I do have separate thoughts on the OP’s Embarkment experience. Things happen that are sometimes unavoidable. Let’s get past that. If a UA or AA flight is delayed, I get a text informing me. If it’s a long delay, I might well wait until later to go to the airport. Oceania has our contact information. Why couldn’t they send out a blast text telling everyone that Embarkment ( in this case) will be delayed 1.5 hours and adjust/add that to your assigned boarding time? Wouldn’t that be a positive customer relations move? We would much prefer wandering around town, enjoying another glass of adult beverage, or nearly anything versus just waiting in a line to board a ship not yet prepared for us. Cabins not ready until 4:30, and people carrying, lugging, or pulling carry on for that long! 🥺! Technology could have forewarned those that care.
  9. What do you think “ providing travel insurance “ is? What % of the total fare does that represent???
  10. Tremendous detailed review. Thank You!! May I ask how many passengers were aboard with you? Did you typically eat alone or sharing? I ask this because we typically share our table, and with a reasonably full ship, the meals normally take a leisurely two hours, thus ending 9ish and giving time for the pit stop and to wander to the Lounge. Finishing by 8:30 is early. As often as possible we avoid the ship’s tours. I appreciate your difficulties there. Some choose the tours for their convenience. We haven’t found that rewarding. Best of Luck with your future adventures! 🍷
  11. Yes, but!! We’ve both read posts, in the past, where demolition work will sometimes actually start on the cruise(s) prior to actual dry dock. Carpet being torn out and other such work, for example. So could Oceania be freezing the number of passengers on the ship to maximize such work being done by crew pre dry dock? Or, if the cruise is poorly sold, might they just cancel it to allow even more work and disruption on the ship. Personally guessing, with the need of revenue, the cruise isn’t cancelled unless really undersold. Either way, neither of us probably would want to be on that cruise .!
  12. Also remember that prospective passengers have been cancelling cruises in droves . Ships sailing near empty. Some of those are FCC that have an end date. Those latter year cruises are going to become “ use it or lose it” for some. They have to get them booked. Personally guessing the Riv will be undergoing a Retro at that time.
  13. On the R ships, the PG and Toscana share a kitchen and work area. Impossible one side caught it and the other didn’t. My guess is they consolidated staff enough to keep one operating and closed the other.
  14. Booked two cruises. First one was the 12 day 4/1/24 Tokyo-Tokyo on Riveria. Got our first choice on cabin! 🙏 Also booked the 35 day OZ circumnavigation on Regatta for 12/21/23. Got our third choice for cabin , but still very happy. Still in a PH3. I always give my TA a list of 3-4 cabins we want. With the latter cruise, I gave the list and then just told her to just get us a PH if those fails. Tried to stay flexible. I gave our TA the cruises we wanted booked on the 25th, two days before the cruise details were released. She immediately gave them to her O rep. Happy Days!!!
  15. Per the release booking starts at 09:00 EST. If you have a competent TA they will prebooked you . Not sure how many times that has to be said to sink in. A pre booking doesn’t necessarily book you. It means your request is in the system. At whatever point Oceania decides, they hit GO, and all the algorithms take over. Combinations, Permutations, and Probabilities at that point. I call it the voodoo magic! We don’t know the established parameters of those algorithms , nor is O likely to tell us. Out spits bookings, or perhaps actually allocations for bookings it seems. Seems to me it was once explained that, for example, a TA may have a request in for 5 PH on a cruise but gets allocated 2. The TA decides the lucky two to fill the allocation. Also part of the black magic. For those DIYers, you’ll notice you can’t instantly book and hold a cabin. Confirmation has to wait until it comes out of the spinning wheel.
  16. On a different Forum, with a thread on cruising, there is one that was on that ill fated cruise. He is adamant, that easily realizing a problem, that Oceania should have been doing mandatory Covid tests, for all, at least every three days. He also believes that the point came where Oceania should have mandated masks. If passengers refused to do so, their outcomes could be the same as with airlines. The “ NO Sail List”. He likewise directed some highly descriptive adjectives, not allowed on CC, toward those obviously ill that refused to test. Definitely not the same as FF regularly describes Oceania’s passengers. 😳 Lastly, he made a point of the number on the ship at Embarkment that were already of recognizable frail health . With no mask mandates, he described it as leading the Christians to the lions. Some he thought were questionable as being on a cruise ship during the best of times. This isn’t the best of times. Some of the things O could have done.
  17. As demonstrated by a cruiser just off a Marina cruise, Oceania has numerous customers that believe cruise ships are indeed assisted living facility. Find any ship’s medical team that will validate that position. They are not, but many won’t accept that fact. Passenger demographics often dictate the atmosphere of a cruise. This is from the energy on board, to the shorex taken ( if taken at all), to which restaurants they eat in.
  18. One must also realize that an experience TA talks regularly with their respective Oceania sales staff, and they quickly know who are the constant shoppers and who aren’t. Then the better Agencies and Agents decide if they want to play the game. The game is played on both sides.
  19. I believe the OP is wanting to compare Oceania to PG or Windstar, not Celebrity. For the latter, there’s little comparison, Oceania is far superior in most every category. However, for the first two, it’s an entirely different experience. PG is far more into experiencing the FP culture, cuisine, habitats. The enrichment series on PG is far superior to that on Oceania. While with a blind eye the food is better on Oceania, it’s the same food in the FP as in the Baltic or the Med. You’ll get one Polynesian buffet in the Terrace as their FP experience. Then it’s back to the regular. I don’t look for a steak house when visiting Boston, nor a lobster shack in Germany. Some do, and only want the familiar. Only you can decide what experience you want in any locale. You will have an extremely great experience wherever you cruise to on Oceania. You just must realize how the experiences can be different.
  20. I did start my comments by saying that cruising on the current practically empty ships is a different experience. I remember having a cruise on the Marina with 800 aboard and the ship seemed empty. Now 300-500!! 😳 People say they can eat in a Specialty every night. Our October cruise has been waitlisted since shortly after release. Final payment is due in three weeks. It’ll be interesting to see what happens then.
  21. In today’s world of 300-500 passengers total on an O ship, perhaps not so bad. Consider though that same O ship with 1150+ passengers, with 900+ embarking. Consider what happens when about 600 of them ignore their assigned boarding time and show up early, while their cabins won’t be available for 2-3 hours. Most descend upon the Buffet, carrying, lugging, or dragging all sorts of carryons. Some have gotten there as early as 9:00 to get in line for that Buffet. Think crowded airport restaurants, except people are constantly getting up and down to get food. Many ports don’t have cruise terminals and that wait is in whatever the elements are. We’ve boarded early twice. Been there done that. Never again. Sightseeing, a nice peaceful lunch of fresh local cuisine, pick up the luggage from the hotel concierge, and get to the ship 3:00ish or so. In my definition, absolute chaos. Some just enjoy that Buffet line more than we do.
  22. To be specific, in a regular 750 milliliter bottle there are about 25.4 U. S. Fluid ounces. In some restaurants, with “ heavier “ pours, one may get five (5) ounce pours, therefore a typical bottle of wine yields 5 glasses. However, in a larger majority of fine restaurants serving fine wines, the pours are typically about four (4) ounces apiece, or six (6) glasses per bottle. This is especially important at a table of four where everyone gets one glass and the remaining is split according to preference. Perhaps an extra half glass each, or in Lyn’s case, some have no more and others enjoy two glasses. Unless it’s a very inexpensive wine, where we are charging our bottle cost per glass, my customer restaurants rarely do five ounce pours. Oceania wines, by the glass, do fall primarily in this lower quality category, but pours are still around 4 oz aboard ship. When lucky, the hand can get heavier.
  23. The noise is always worse in the port side ( odd numbered cabins). Never book under Waves!
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