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cindilouwho

live from marina!!!!!!! Musings from an O newbie - Azamara cheerleader.

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Apologies for not doing this yesterday but I was operating on no sleep for 48 hours. Train from Budapest to Vienna took 6 hours and almost didn't make my flight to Stockholm. Once safely aboard I began the serious business of having fun. This blog will document my impressions of O. I have been accused of being an Azamara cheerleader so I am going to make some comparison as I see them. I am traveling with 10 friends that I met on AZ so ... I will try to stay focused on making "fair and balanced" assesments.

 

First of all - embarkation was a bit disorganized and strange. Instead of allowing folks to just go to the checkin - everyone milled around in front of security while they called out boarding priority. Thank God I was in a PH or I would still be in line. LOL. It was a little bit class structured and I was surprised.

 

Once aboard I had a nice lunch at the cafe. Weather was lovely and I met some CC'ers and enjoyed a martini. My favourite lunch!!!! Got into the suite by one .... Lovely! Roomy!! Totally indulgent.

 

Dinner was amazing in the Terrace. Fabulous. Food as good as at cc party now. Music and free drinks. They have been great. Gotta go. More later.

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Glad you are finally onboard as I want to hear your impression of Oceania. The boarding thing is a pain, they have to make people who paid lots more to be on the same ship feel special. For 4 plus G,s I can wait a while. My wife just sits and thinks about the stuff she can buy with the money.

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Cindi,

Looking forward to hearing about ALL your experiences and impressions - both good and bad.

Have a safe and enjoyable cruise,

Paul

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Hi Cindi, I too am really looking forward to your impressions of Oceania compared to Azamara. Thank you so much for taking the time to post.

 

Hope you have a great trip.

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Hi, Cindi! I look forward to your impressions of the Marina, since I will be boarding her on 24 August this year for the Stockholm/Copenhagen Baltic cruise, and I haven't been on her yet. However, I was on the Regatta two years ago, as well as having sailed both of Az's ships. Loved all three of the R ships, but thought food on the Az while excellent, was surpassed on the Regatta.

 

Again, I look forward to your impressions of the Marina.

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after several years on O....so interested as well!!! Keep us in the loop!!!! LuAnn

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Looking forward to your reviews since we love the R ships and have not yet sailed on Azamara.

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Hi Cindi!

 

Thanks for posting. I'm eager to hear how you feel O compares to AZ. We board Marina July 15 for our second Oceania cruise. We have been loyal to Crystal since 1997, but we were VERY impressed with Marina last year. I hope you are, too.

 

Have a great time and keep us posted!

ricki

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It sounds like there are a number of people on this thread that have sailed with Oceania before. I'm interested to hear more about the embarkation process. I am a first time cruiser with O in 2014. From my signature below, I have sailed on several different cruise lines, from inside cabins to deluxe suite accommodations. I've never experienced a bad embarkation process. I guess what I don't understand is why there wouldn't be several lines for different customer statuses or suite and non-suite guests to enter. On the flip side, there are at most 1250 guests boarding so maybe it doesn't take very long.

 

Care to share your experiences?

 

 

Sent from my Samsung Note II on the T-Mobile 4G LTE network using Tapatalk Beta 4

Edited by vulcan1971

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To be fair you cannot really compare an O class ship to a R class ship

The whole atmosphere is totally different

 

Now if you were comparing R class ships of either line it would be a better comparison

 

 

YMMV

 

Lyn

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It sounds like there are a number of people on this thread that have sailed with Oceania before. I'm interested to hear more about the embarkation process. I am a first time cruiser with O in 2014. From my signature below, I have sailed on several different cruise lines, from inside cabins to deluxe suite accommodations. I've never experienced a bad embarkation process. I guess what I don't understand is why there wouldn't be several lines for different customer statuses or suite and non-suite guests to enter. On the flip side, there are at most 1250 guests boarding so maybe it doesn't take very long.

 

Care to share your experiences?

 

 

In our experience there are several lines for the different Cat

Oceania gives a time for your boarding to commence according to the cabin cat you are in ...however some people want to get there long before they are scheduled to board & sometimes you get lucky & get to board early but sometimes you wait until the time in cruise documents suggested to board

 

The only port we had to wait was Amsterdam they did not open the desk for the lower Cat until the time slot that was advised 3 pm

 

If you are schedule for a 3 pm boarding do not show up at 10am

Edited by LHT28

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To be fair you cannot really compare an O class ship to a R class ship

The whole atmosphere is totally different

 

Now if you were comparing R class ships of either line it would be a better comparison

 

 

YMMV

 

Lyn

 

I agree with you except the atmosphere and ambiance can be compared. I am looking forward to the comparisons non the less.

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I agree with you except the atmosphere and ambiance can be compared. I am looking forward to the comparisons non the less.

 

I concur. Food and service can also be compared.

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Cindi

 

Cannot wait to hear your impressions of O - especially compared to Azamara

I will be on Azamara in August and have a chance to do my own comparison (R ship to R ship).

 

I concur with Lyn - hard to compare R ships to O ships (the O ship PHs are amazing) -- but I am anxious to get your take on everything.

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I too look forward to reading your on-the-spot impressions. It has been fun reading your pre-cruise posts these past few months.

 

We very much enjoyed our first Azamara cruise last October after four Oceania cruises, and we will sail again this fall on Azamara, but we will be on Riviera next spring. We are itinerary driven, and although we prefer the food and more updated accomodations on Oceania, we also enjoyed the more laid back atmosphere and better entertainment on Azamara.

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...First of all - embarkation was a bit disorganized and strange. Instead of allowing folks to just go to the checkin - everyone milled around in front of security while they called out boarding priority...

It's been my experience that embarkation is very much dependent on the port in question. Cruise ships in general use a combination of ship staff (actually quite rare on shore unless there is a serious problem, like a communications breakdown from shore to ship), a contracted shoreside services company and local port staff.

 

Oceania used to use Intercruises as their port services company, but switched to another; I think it was some time in 2012; I can't recall the name. These are the folks who greet you and man the shoreside check-in desks. In many ports, they also guide you. In some ports, local port employees do the guiding.

 

The cruise line does not have a lot of control over how these processes are handled. Most embarkation problems are rooted in the local employees.

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On my last two Oceania cruises, the port staff we dealt with was so incompetent that BOTH times they screwed up our keys, photos and credit card information. We were notified to go to Reception and fix it. We have seen "trainees" checking people in.

 

No big deal to us -- but that has been our experience.

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On my last two Oceania cruises, the port staff we dealt with was so incompetent that BOTH times they screwed up our keys, photos and credit card information. We were notified to go to Reception and fix it. We have seen "trainees" checking people in.

 

No big deal to us -- but that has been our experience.

 

I do have to ask,Papeete? I had problems with mine and it took 2 trips to reception to get it fixed. The only rude staff person I found on the Marina was one of the Security people. The rest of the staff were delightful to deal with.

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The OP is talking about the time slots for boarding for different cabin types and not letting people from lower cat go early. This is the Oceania plan given to the shore side company doing the work. It has nothing to due with the port or subcontractor used.

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I agree with you except the atmosphere and ambiance can be compared. I am looking forward to the comparisons non the less.

 

And don't forget the comfort, service and cuisine. These also can be compared. And all of these are what I was really interested in.

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I look forward to the comparison, too. I'm an avid O supporter - never had any problems and uber-enjoyed my 4 cruises on Riviera and Insignia.

 

Wondering,, were you able to get a meet and greet CC party? I haven't had one since Insignia 7 years ago.

 

BTW: Try the money-penny martini - bet you can't drink just one :)

 

Kathy

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I'm reading this avidly too since I travel on my first O cruise in 6 weeks on Nautica. I guess we will be the last to board though :(

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I have been on other lines that had the same "class category" check-in. One was Cunard (the QE2), the other was NCL. Quite different lines!

 

But I'm surprised to hear there was confusion because we haven't encountered that on any of our O cruises. Maybe we were lucky! When we boarded in Athens for the Black Sea cruise last August on Regatta there was a delay but that was because the security guy who had to check our passports decided to take a 20 minute break and there was no replacement.

 

I HAVE seen people in lower categories board early. One couple I innocently led in with us ... We'd met them on the train the day before returning from Girona to Barcelona (where we boarded Regatta) and it just didn't occur to me that higher cabins boarded earlier than lower ones. No one stopped them so probably there was plenty of room up in Terrace for lunch at the time.

 

Mura

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It sounds like there are a number of people on this thread that have sailed with Oceania before. I'm interested to hear more about the embarkation process. I am a first time cruiser with O in 2014. From my signature below, I have sailed on several different cruise lines, from inside cabins to deluxe suite accommodations. I've never experienced a bad embarkation process. I guess what I don't understand is why there wouldn't be several lines for different customer statuses or suite and non-suite guests to enter. On the flip side, there are at most 1250 guests boarding so maybe it doesn't take very long.

 

Care to share your experiences?

 

 

Sent from my Samsung Note II on the T-Mobile 4G LTE network using Tapatalk Beta 4

We have never experienced slow or disorganized embarkation on any of our O cruises. As LHT28 mention, don't show up hours early especially if you are in a lower Cat. expecting to breeze thru. Some ports are not as efficient as others regarding processing. Most times we have arrived days earlier & choose to take our time to visit the sites before boarding! Reading similar cruise posts on CC you are warned of the more challenging embarkation ports..our next cruise to FP include LAX and PPT..I know what to expect:o

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I agree with a previous poster's comment about expecting to board earlier than the time stated on your documents (based on cabin category). We were on Riviera in June, boarded in Rome. Many people from our roll call were putting together drivers to the port and all leaving Rome mid-morning. We spent the morning exploring Rome! We've been there before, but there is always something new to see. We got to the ship about 2:45, there was absolutely no line, took about 5 minutes -- and then we had a wonderful lunch in the Terrace Cafe. By the time we were done with lunch we went to our cabin and the luggage was there. Yes, we enjoy being onboard, but with a 10 day cruise ahead of us there was no reason to rush to board and wait in lines.

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On our last few Oceania cruises every category was processed at the same time only using different lines (suites, concierge, staterooms). It was quite painless.

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Think Barcelona will allow early boarding for lower cabins? It will be a very full itinerary next spring and would like to get on, unpacked and settled.

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Think Barcelona will allow early boarding for lower cabins? It will be a very full itinerary next spring and would like to get on, unpacked and settled.

 

If everyone in the "lower cabins" thinks the way you do it will be the boarding mess that has happened before. Times are assigned just to avoid the crowding. Don't blame the cruise line if you all come early and it is a mess!! :rolleyes:

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This may sound harsh or cruel, but I think it needs to be said. If boarding earlier is important, one should consider that when choosing a cabin category.

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It will be a very full itinerary next spring and would like to get on, unpacked and settled.

 

Don't we all :rolleyes:

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This may sound harsh or cruel, but I think it needs to be said. If boarding earlier is important, one should consider that when choosing a cabin category.

 

Well said!;)

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Think Barcelona will allow early boarding for lower cabins? It will be a very full itinerary next spring and would like to get on, unpacked and settled.

 

Hi Carole,

 

Glad you are trying Oceania! We boarded in Barcelona last year as Concierge Level guests, but there was no attempt to distinguish one cabin level from another at boarding.

 

Ricki

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Hi Carole,

 

Glad you are trying Oceania! We boarded in Barcelona last year as Concierge Level guests, but there was no attempt to distinguish one cabin level from another at boarding.

 

Ricki

 

We boarded twice in Barcelona and twice in Civitevecchia. We were in B level cabins and did not experience boarding one level from another and boarding early on all these occassions. There were different check in lines.

 

Check in at Papeeti was in the Town Hall and no one could board until 6 pm. It was rather disorganized and confusing for all. Miami was the only time Oceania called boarding by level.

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Cindy must be having way too much fun on her cruise...haven't seen a "live" post yet. Good for her

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Cindy must be having way too much fun on her cruise...haven't seen a "live" post yet. Good for her

 

+1

It doesn't seem to keep the rest of us from posting here though - does it? :D

Cindi - we are all anxiously awaiting your live reports. Afterall, what's more important - your cruise/sightseeing or keeping us posted?:D

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This may sound harsh or cruel, but I think it needs to be said. If boarding earlier is important, one should consider that when choosing a cabin category.

 

Could not agree more!

 

Boarding recently in Seattle was done as stated in our boarding information found in THAT brochure.

 

We arrived just a few minutes after 11am, and after filling in the health form, were asked for stateroom category and then shown to a queue for suites - Owners, Oceania and PHs. I think we stood for about 3 or 4 minutes, if that, before being directed to a check in desk.

 

There were lots of people waiting in a roped off area, I imagine the other staterooms categories who had turned up early. People we met in a verandah stateroom waited an hour to be checked in - they turned up early and took the gamble on being checked in early.

 

So as far as I am concerned this was a breeze and by 11.30 we were sitting on the outside deck of the Terrace Cafe enjoying drinks and looking forward to lunch! :)

 

There were lots of announcements keeping people informed as to when their stateroom would be ready, but from one announcement, it would appear that some were more anxious than others and not happy to wait as people were asked not to open the fire doors and hamper the housekeeping staff who were busy trying to get all the staterooms ready!

 

For those of you who have never cruised from Seattle, there are plenty of porters to take your luggage from you as you arrive. And when you disembark, if you give your luggage to a porter when you collect your bags, and you need a taxi, the porters have priority over the main taxi queue. We did not know this but we always use a porter and she whisked us through and got us a taxi almost straight away, whilst the people who had not used a porter were standing in a very long line. It was worth a generous tip for that service with a lovely smile. The taxi driver told us it was chaos that morning as another larger cruise ship had arrived at the same time, so taxis were stretched, so we has a very quick ride to pick up our rental car before he whizzed back to the pier! I imagine two or more ships arriving at the same time is not unusual!

 

ANYWAY! my vote is with you DJO466 - I think Ms CindilouwhoLOU is having way too much fun or has got lost in the Martinis Menu!:D

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