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Petoonya

Just back- Oceania Mediterranean 4/25-5/9 vs Celebrity

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Promise to keep this extremely brief as it does not seem quite fair to post this on a Celebrity board. But I promised several people I would report back when I got home from this wonderful cruise.

 

All I can say is WOW! We are in love. We will also always be in love with Celebrity and will still sail with Celebrity. But Oceania is very very nice! Did the Mediterranean 2 years ago on Millennium in May and it was truly exceptional. But honest to goodness the experience onboard the Regatta was extraordinary- and the per diem was comparable to Celebrity's (at the time we purchased it- I have no idea what it is now.) We flew home late last nite from Venice and I am jet lagged and have to get to work tomorrow. Sorry - do not have the time to elaborate too much.

 

I will say- if you are the kind of cruiser who enjoys fine dining, can live without the usual cruise director spiels, no Las Vegas type shows, no smoking,enjoy the largest library afloat, would like two, no charge, specialty restaurants, only 684 passengers- Oceania might be for you.

 

The dining, the meals, presentation and service....I heard some of the the most diehard health enthusiasts in the gym say that they had given up- the cuisine was just too fabulous! One woman who said that she weighed 99 # at the start of our 14 day cruise was horrified that she weighed 107#. Horrors! I wasn't volunteering what I weighed starting and finishing!!

 

It was the typical BUSY Med cruise too- very port intensive. Long long days. Some nice things I noticed were that on the two sea days were that there were no chair hogs- you could always get a chair by the pool- and there were never and lines for anything- ever. I had doors held open for me again and again. Lots of courtesy shown- oooooh that felt good.

 

I had some concerns that we might feel a little out of our league on this cruise-that everyone would be an astrophysicist or Bill Gates Next door neighbor. It was not that way at all...there were no children on board but the demographics seemed to be much the same as Celebrity.

 

As I say there are still many many reasons that we still be cruising with X. It is still the cruise line we feel comfortable with with- the staff, the ships, the art. The cuisine may not be on a par with Oceania but it still has a lot of soul! Oceania may make our tummies fat but what other cruise line can fill our minds with art that makes us think and laugh- think big/glitter blue hair!

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Petoonya,

 

Thanks for the nice little Mini-review. I had wondered about Oceania. :)

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:D Welcome back, Petoonya!!!:D

Glad you had such a lovely cruise, and it sounds like the food was so good, you couldn't help but make a little piggy of yourself.;)

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Thanks for the little mini Review. We too have mostly done Celebrity and still love them, but decided to book our Med. Cruise on Oceania.

 

The last cruise we had on Infinity in 2004 was super, i.e. the service, food and ports, but the ship itself seemed stark to us, lacking warmth. So after this, we decided that we would try a smaller ship, to see if that is more to our liking. The idea of less formality also appeals to us, especially when doing port intensive Med. Something for everyone in the cruise world and variety is the spice of life.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to write.

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OK the secret is out! :( I am waiting on X to publish the fares for 2006 Med but they are going to have a tough time beating the free air offered by Oceania. And Petoonya just confirmed what I was expecting...Oceania seems to be the real thing. I still love X but seems like they are getting some serious competition from O! :rolleyes:

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We just got off Millennium three weeks ago, last year we did 12 nights on Oceania Regatta in the Caribbean-- It was wonderful. Lots of fun to have open seating with your new found friends, which you will see over and over with a ship of that size. The food was to die for, but the entertainment options were pretty limited. If you are a Celebrity lover, and you're over 50 or so, you'll love Oceania.

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Seabee, just a thought. If you wait for Celebrity's Med prices for 2006, you may be too late to take advantage of the free air option. I saw on website that effective May 31,2005 the free air is to be withdrawn. So if not booked within the next few weeks, free air is not offered.

 

I have heard entertainment is limited on Oceania, but we never are that interested in it, especially on Port intensive cruises. It will be tour, come back for dinner and hit the hay!:)

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Petoonya,

Thanks for your insights on Oceania. We are giving Oceania a try and booked the Nautica (Black Sea) for 7/2/06.

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USHA you little flower child you!

This cruise has your and the hotties name written all over it. Infact they have a "tranquility bed" with your names written on it. Those tranquility beds we believed had to be a big fat gimmick but by gosh by golly by betcha your Indiana leather mini skirt....they are truly floating clouds. And then then the Frette linens. We are sold on all the Oceania acoutrements-pure heaven.

 

So the very same cruise is now on sale... 14 days except that it is reverse VCE to BCN 5/7...but only til 5/31. Venice and the hill towns of Tuscany, Portofino are the most romantic places in the world... except for maybe Indianapolis? ;) My email address is under interests if you need. This was the most romantic most incredible cruise we have ever experienced.

 

best wishes and snorts

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Petoonya,

 

Are you going to be posting a review of your cruise? We're doing the (almost) same itinerary next year. I'd love to hear your experiences with the ports!

 

Thanks!

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Interesting ... We've sailed Oceania (and Ren before them) and just booked our first Celebrity cruise on Xpedition. Was intrigued by some of the other X trips and wondered how they compared to Oceania for the more mainstream itineraries.

 

We do enjoy Oceania, they have a number of features (open dining, restricted smoking, small size, port intensive itineraries) that appeal to us.

The country club casual dress is nice too, although occasions to wear my tux are rapidly vanishing ....

 

Frank

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Thank you for this info. We loved our Celebrity cruise this year but the 2 for 1 and free air fare deal and itinerary for Rome to Istanbul next June on Oceania were too tempting so we've booked that and based on what you say it looks like we really have something special to look forward to.

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Interesting ... We've sailed Oceania (and Ren before them) and just booked our first Celebrity cruise on Xpedition. Was intrigued by some of the other X trips and wondered how they compared to Oceania for the more mainstream itineraries.

 

We do enjoy Oceania, they have a number of features (open dining, restricted smoking, small size, port intensive itineraries) that appeal to us.

The country club casual dress is nice too, although occasions to wear my tux are rapidly vanishing ....

 

Frank

 

By 'restricted' smoking, what do you mean? Restricted to certain areas?

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This is copied and pasted directly from Oceania's website:

 

For the comfort and safety of our guests smoking is permitted only in designated areas. These will be a small section of the Horizons Bar and a small section on the Pool Deck. Smoking is not permitted in the staterooms, public room, verandas or in any of the dining areas. Cigar and pipe smoking will not be allowed anywhere indoors.

 

Wow! Oceania is sounding better by the second!!!:D

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I'll do a run down on ports with pics and everything- it was just so unbelievable! Damn- it's always the ports that you are not expecting a whole lot of that are the real surprisers. We had done a lot of these ports before. Last time I had not expected a lot of Dubrovnik and was I amazed. This time nearly dropped my teeth when we pulled into the harbor at Bonifacio, Corsica. This is an island we'd like to go back and spend a few weeks on. Portofino- WHOA! and down the line to Santa Margherita Liguri...spent a day driving all over Tuscany from Chianti to Siena to `San Gimignano to Volterra.......will write it up soon!

 

Hi Steve! Want to hear about your Princess cruise! And your cruise on Opera Boten! Thought about you when we were in Venice Never saw one person lite up anywhere anytime Usha! :)

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thanks so much for your post...

 

We have been considering a cruise like this... Only one question???

 

We have been debating a land tour, VS a cruise. WE have NEVER been abroad. My better half is concerned that with a cruise, and only a day at port, we would miss the opportunity to enjoy this part of the world..

 

I sure would appreciate if you could comment on what we could experience on a cruise... Please keep in mind, we have never been outside of the Caribbean on a cruise. Really, a 5 hour day in port in "say" St Thomas is more than enough!!!

 

Thanks,

Janet

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One thing you could do is pick a cruise that starts and ends in different places, and do a hotel package both before and after. That way you'd really get to see two places, and have a taste of the others.

 

I love Barcelona, so any cruise that starts or ends there would be a great idea. Plan for at least two nights, Barcelona is beautiful and there's a lot to see both indoors and outdoors.

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Agreed. We did a Barcelona to Venice cruise and extended on land at both ends. You really can't beat a Med or Baltic cruise for really getting a "taste" of a region. Our Baltic cruise gave us three days in St. Petersburg which was great. Of course, you can always go back later and stay longer in cities like Rome and Florence.

The whole concept of "pack once" and travel while you sleep is very efficient for seeing a lot of things in a relatively short amount of time.

 

Frank

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Very interesting. We have been looking at sailing with them. We tried Radisson once and missed the feel of a large ship but reading this makes me think about trying something else again. But we sure do love X!

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We are thinking about Oceania and trying to decide on the stateroom category. Which kind of stateroom did you have? Would you go up or down in category if you cruise with them again? Did you see a Category E? At 143 square feet, I think that might be too small for comfort.

 

On Celebrity we had a balcony which we enjoyed , but on Wind Surf I had a porthole outside. (All the Windstar staterooms have portholes.) One of the differences is that on the smaller ship there seems to be so much public outside deck space that the lack of a view from our room didn't seem as important. As you noted on Oceania, there wasn't any chair hogging - there seemed to be a huge number of empty ones - in the shade, in the sun, whatever. It has even made me think about an inside since with the portholes from a lot of places in the room one didn't see much of the outside.

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Boy Petoonya, did this catch our eyes. We have had only 1 great bed CC category AFT on Infinity. Connie last Sept didn't have any items delivered for the CC promise.

 

Describe rooms, 191 sq ft, suites for all, what? Size of the ship with under 700 people, I will feel like I could drive it ;-)

 

We are getting curious with free air & all for 2006.

 

USHA you little flower child you!

This cruise has your and the hotties name written all over it. Infact they have a "tranquility bed" with your names written on it. Those tranquility beds we believed had to be a big fat gimmick but by gosh by golly by betcha your Indiana leather mini skirt....they are truly floating clouds. And then then the Frette linens. We are sold on all the Oceania acoutrements-pure heaven.

 

So the very same cruise is now on sale... 14 days except that it is reverse VCE to BCN 5/7...but only til 5/31. Venice and the hill towns of Tuscany, Portofino are the most romantic places in the world... except for maybe Indianapolis? ;) My email address is under interests if you need. This was the most romantic most incredible cruise we have ever experienced.

 

best wishes and snorts

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Probably best to check the Oceania website for room info as its getting a little complicated ... OC is creating a slew of different categories with different perks ... all room have the upgraded beds, linens. We've done both a balcony and what OC calls a Penthouse suite. The Penthouse gets you a butler, etc. with a room 50% wider than a standard balcony.

 

Ironic that folks are looking at OC due to price. I'm *here* because I thought *they* were getting pricey ...

 

 

Frank

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Ironic that folks are looking at OC due to price. I'm *here* because I thought *they* were getting pricey ...

 

 

Frank

 

Last week, we (family of 3) booked the Nautica Black Sea cruise with free air for July 2006 and there are "other charges" besides prices shown on their site. In our case, gvt fees, taxes, security and handling was $228pp. Air taxes, fuel surcharges and ticketing fee was other $209pp. Since we are flying out of Turkey, a visa charge of $49pp is added. All this added another $500pp to the listed price. Even with these "other charges", we still think we got a great deal.

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