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Everything posted by pinotlover

  1. Historically it will be mid September to mid October.
  2. Mura; Typically that limitation is with fresh fruits or veggies. I will check back with out guide on the issue.
  3. One of our ports of call in August is Kirkwall on Orkney Island . I’m captaining a tour group there from our Roll Call. When discussing and establishing our tour with the tour guide the subject of a lunch stop came up. Our guide checked and came back to tell us that besides us, in the smallish port, there would also be an additional two mega ships that day. It would overwhelm the town, lunch service will be crowded and slow. He suggested we pack a lunch from the ship , we’d stop somewhere to pick up drinks, and then do a picnic style lunch. Everyone agreed. Even remote stops such as Kirkwall, and I was basically advised the same in Torshaven, are seeing huge tourist crowds.
  4. If you actually review that list there is not a single Travel Agent listed. They are all Travel Agencies which are comprised of multiple Travel Agents. If you contact the Agency, ensure you tell them you want an Agent with lots of experience with Oceania, not just who ever is next up on getting a referral list. Rather sad the people in Miami struggle with the difference between Agency and Agent!
  5. On my cruise this past February and on my upcoming cruise, I have been able to book all private shore excursions via the Roll Call, not needing ship ones. If one goes on their Roll Call and says “ Here is a tour I’ve put together at XYZ, looking for six more participants “, I’ve found plenty of response either on the Roll Call or directly to me via email. I will say say there are fewer “ Hi! We’re the Flintstones from Bedrock joining this cruise “ posts than there once were.
  6. 1. On my upcoming cruise, many of us booked our shore excursions 10-12 months out. Therefore, at six months, where you are now, we were all booked and just needed to wait unit PIF date to ensure we had all travelers aboard, then re post to fill. 2. I am captaining two of the excursions. I put up tour descriptions and my email. Several signed up directly with me that never posted on the Roll Call. The number of Roll Call post may have nothing to do with Roll Call activity, just the degree of how much they want to post. 3. On cruise has a bunch of procrastinators. At three months out they woke up and realized they were on a cruise and are scrambling to find tours. We are at 2 months and several are still scrambling. You have a few months to go for that. 3. You’re on a 30+ day cruise. Odds are you’ll have mostly seasoned fellow passengers. Many of them seem to prefer short ship tours, simple diy, just resting, or waiting to see how they feel the day or two before a port to decide upon a course of action. Good Luck!
  7. Cuba has been given months to reconsider and re-evaluate their position in Venezuela supporting the current regime. Cuba, a sovereign country chose to stay the course. Now they’ll pay for it with a loss of American tourism. Both sides managed before and I’m sure both sides will manage henceforth. Plenty of places yet to cruise to! Not near as traumatic as to train for years and betold you can’t participate in the Moscow Olympics!
  8. We have what 5 separate threads on the exact same topic going on at once! Perhaps we need to (a) start another one to make it 6, or (2) have our new host merge them into one!
  9. With Oceania, allocation of highly desirable cabins and suites is done through the Travel Agency pecking order. If the class or type of cabin is over subscribed upon release, Oceania splits and doles out those cabins among the various Agencies. If you’re trying to book an oversubscribed cabin on your own, forget about it. If your Agent or Agency has a request in for 5 PH3s, and they get allocated 2, you’d better hope your high on your TA’s liked list or you get to choose another category. If you would like to entertain an upsell offer on any cruise, inform your TA and let them work it. All upsell offers come via your TA. Let me add that it helps if you give them parameters up front. Such as price limit or desired ship location. One makes no friends having their TA bust their bottom to get an upsell to then have the cruiser refuse the offer because the only available cabins are in the front of the ship and you don’t want there! Talk to your TA so they can efficiently work for you! It is only in rare situations that Oceania publicly advertise “ flash “ sales. Those opportunities are handed down to the TA to work from their customer lists. Oceania chooses not to utilize the “ blue light special “ ( for those old enough) method of marketing.
  10. There is always the option on Oceania ships of adjusting the thermostat to meet one’s needs. I realize that option is not 100% percent effective because some cruisers want to sail with their veranda door open and mess up the entire zone, but typically we find it to work quite well.
  11. Hawaii Dan; when/ If cruising becomes primarily about the ship and not the ports, you’ll have a lot of us quit cruising. There are already a host of land tours such as safaris and wine tours in South Africa; going inland Morocco to the Sahara and visiting all the great sites and bazaars there; Petra, Wadi Run, and multiple interesting places in Jordan all of which don’t require getting on and off ships in less than desirable port cities or having one’s port time cut or eliminated by weather. These adventures are already becoming popular alternatives to sailing. IMO, there exists a tipping point where over crowded ports, both ocean and rivers, drive travelers away from cruising. At that point, you cruisers will have the boats/ ships primarily to yourselves as travelers flee those industries. Once cruising goes “ out of vogue “, for travelers by its own success, it will be difficult to recapture that allure for at least a generation.
  12. I thought MSC took that additional vessel out!
  13. The OP should call their TA and I’M confident the TA can quickly arrange any level of barrage of slow mail and emails the OP desires. On a different note, one often questions the motivations of posters that come here with such issues when they haven’t approached their TA and or Oceania with those issues already.
  14. Some of the posts above are near comical. One’s TA brings them an upgrade offer to upgrade for $500. That means the TA has chased you down, by what ever means, gotten your response, and hopefully gotten back to Oceania before all the upgrades are taken. For these efforts the Agency receives ~ $75 give or take. The actual agent may get between $0 and ~$50 depending upon her deal with the Agency. So the wise counsel here thus far has been to fire the Agent, that admittedly has been prividing great service because you won’t get a split on the $50! Geez! Another poster was correct, the Agent should take the upsell offer to a cruiser that would be excited to have a PH, and don’t waste their time with those wanting to gravel over whether they get their cut on the deal. The cheapskate will probably never know he didn’t get the call others did!
  15. Shawnino; Travel Agencies get different commission levels based on volume of sales. It’s not all equal. Travel Agents, in the US, are paid in numerous manners including hourly, on transactions, and on commission. It’s not all equal. Customers typically receive various perks from their Agency or Agent based upon volume of business. It’s not all equal. You may find all of that inherently unfair, but it is typical of most business models. The guy walking in off the street that does one trip every 3-4 years typically won’t get offered the same perks as someone that sails 2-3 per year. Second, as Lyn pointed out, a lot of people walk-in off the streets to brick and mortar Travel Agencies and have an Agent do extensive work and provide extensive knowledge to them, only for that person to either book it all direct or via a discount on line Agency. As Lyn also correctly points out, and as I referred to, many of those brick and mortar Agencies are now charging up front fees for such services that come back IF you book with them.
  16. Concerning remarks about Australia. Some Americans here, such as Hawaii Dan, May obviously feel the efforts , on the behalf, by the Travel Agencies and Travel Agents have no value and that those entities only purpose is for rebates to lower the costs of a cruise. If one cancels a cruise those entities remuneration for service provided should be $00.00. I am told that even here in the US, some Agencies now require service fees that are non refundable if a customer cancels. Unlike Dan, they feel the work of their Agents do have value and should be compensated for such. Fortunately, we don’t face those fees because historically we Book and travel. Others, particularly groups, that have the Agent spending hours coordinating and arranging travel only to continuously cancel those plans face different scenarios. I see nothing outrageous in compensating Agencies/Agents for services performed.
  17. It’s Monday morning, I wonder if the OP has given their TA the fan dimensions and specs yet so to call Oceania. The OP didn’t state which cabin type they’re in, but unless a top suite I wonder if they realize how little space there is in the desk area for anything? This is especially the case on an R ship.
  18. It is my understanding that any changes or alterations to the basic contract must go through your TA. Changing cabins within a category might not apply. Changing from a PH 3 to a PH 1 would be a change to the basic contract and would have to go through the TA. Every upsell offer I’ve ever received came via the TA. I know of one instance where a fellow cruiser rejected an upsell offer from our TA, then called O direct hoping to work a better deal himself. O told him “ Upsell Offer? What upsell offer? You need to talk to your TA concerning any of those.” Restaurant reservations such as La Reserve are not alterations to the basic contract so they may be done directly. Accepting and negotiating air deviations and special air arrangements are and must be done via the TA from my experience.
  19. Best to have the fan, along with its specifications and size, presented to Oceania via your TA. Wild speculation is all that can be provided here.
  20. Neil; Sorry I didn’t get my edit up before your last post. I didn’t predict success in this situation. For future reference on other cruises, did you notice how easy to was to politely and kindly tell you NO? We haven’t a clue, nor should we, as to whom your TA is, however history has proven to me that a higher level of success typically comes when a high volume OCC TA makes that call on your behalf. The TA works through an entirely different organization than the nice professionals picking up the main 1-800 line that you utilized. Things work differently there to say the least! I fully realize that many posters here are totally diy ers and avoid/ refuse to use their TA. Do so at your own risk. Enjoy your cruise and good luck!
  21. Neilrr; I believe you meant “ have your TA call Oceania!” If all categories are waitlisted at 35 days out. What upsell are you anticipating. Nothing to upsell to. The only upsell offer I’ve ever received in that situation was a lucrative offer to move to a different cruise. I refused the offer even though it was incredibly sweet.
  22. I would address that question to your TA for accurate feedback from Oceania direct. My first recommendation is to accurately and specifically define the term “ small “ as it relates to the fan in question so that your TA can garner a response from O.
  23. You didn’t state which hotel you are staying in! We stayed in the Marriott and their hotel sedan provided the service. It was maybe a couple Euros more expensive than a taxi, but the charge went on our hotel bill. That’s call more Marriott points and not needing cash! contact your hotel for options!
  24. We did a combined private tour there with a Roll Call Group. Went out from the harbor in a smallish boat and got to see all the different species of albatrosses! Incredible birds fishing and resting in the water around us. The wing span on the Southern was more than the width of the boat! Then off across country on a lively drive , and down the coast to a spot with lots of baby seals and a large penguin colony! The tour company picked us up at the ship, no shuttle required. Check your Roll Call or just google Dunedin for ideas. It was a delightful visit. We had never seen live albatross and they were amazing!
  25. I remember a few years back on a Uniworld River Cruise on the Douro and one of the Uniworld brass was on the cruise. Uniworld has two payment options: you can pay in full well in advance, or you can make a modest down payment and pay nearer to the cruise date. At the time CD rates were maybe 1% , but the early payment discounts were ~10%. So some one asked about the spread since Uniworld could borrow money at less than 10%. The rep said it isn’t about the money, it’s about the clientele. He said the historical cancellation rate among cruisers willing to put their money down a year in advance was around 5% ( I forget the exact number). The cancellation rate among those only putting down a deposit is 6-7 times that. The 10% early discount is to entice those really interested in the trip to get signed up, because once they did, they’re probably going to be on the cruise. I believe Viking sees the same numbers and plays the same game without the options. We know walks and we know what talks. On a related note, as someone that often puts together land tours for those fellow Roll Call members , I see this dilemma often. Get your tour lined up we’ll in advance and then around pif date you start getting these messages that people have decided to cancel and do the cruise some other time or go to Timbuktu instead. You never know who’s on your tour until you get on the ship! One often wonders how many they turned away because their tour was “ full”, only to be scrambling later looking for real cruisers instead of mere talkers.
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