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“LIVE FROM” 2019 Oceania Insignia World Cruise, Jan. 11-July 11

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Indonesian Market dinner tonight in the Terrace Cafe....absolutely delicious!! I'm really liking Indonesian food. 

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Mar.20.2019 Puerto Princesa, Philippines

We were ill prepared for the excursion to the unesco heritage subterranean river and even less prepared for the majesty that awaited us. We disembarked the ship and traversed the 80km windy road in ninety minutes.   Then we boarded one of one hundred park taxis to the entrance to the underground river.  This 3 kilometres water segment took About 25 minutes.  We used a spare life jacket to minimize the splashing, And removed our shoes in preparation for a water landing. Then another half kilometre walk over sand, roots and plank bridges.  The tenderfeet arrived without injury.  Message to this point: waterproof shoes and shorts- you are going to get wet.  The taxi boats are narrow 4 cylinder outriggers, about 100 decibels.  We boarded a paddled outrigger and entered the cavernous world.  We edged silently ahead for 1.5 kilometres and returned, about 45 minutes. All round, 6 hours.  The photos, although breathtaking understate the experience.

 

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Photos 3  The crystal blue waters led to the opening to this subterranean world.  Fifty shades of gray complimented by a dozen shades of oranges caused by iron oxides seeping from above.  At least three species of miniature bats ranging from  three to six inches inhabit the ceilings and walls.  At points we scraped through while the ceiling jumped to a 200 foot dome.  In a word - spectacular, perhaps even ironic as it seems the underground river is keeping the island afloat.

 

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Photo 4 (Thanks for that comment) you could look at it from both sides.  My photos are subject to the limitations of an iPad; alternatively all your photos could/should be better (composition not withstanding).  The stalactites reach down everywhere like a shattered set of dinosaur teeth.  A mushroom, the holy family, a dragon, an angel, faces, Pegasus... the mind works overtime trying to relate to shapes we know.  The silence is deafening, broken only by the occasional chirp of a bat, drip or gentle paddle stroke.  The cavern is pitch black and the guides light plays havoc with focus and exposure.  end series.

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Posted (edited)

Mar.20.2019. ...Super Summary ... organize, select  a boat, find some friends and head for the door... no one serves it up like Mother Nature.

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Edited by See_More

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On 1/11/2019 at 8:38 AM, ToxM said:

Hey everyone, am looking forward to reading this thread and proxy enjoying the cruise with you all!

Bob I am looking forward to hearing your experiences as a first time Oceania cruiser. I love the line personally and I think you will as well 🙂

Thanks so much for all the informative posts.

I am new to O but not new to cruising and am thinking about ATW 2021 whose itinerary is very comparable to this one. . I have some questions which I hope you or someone can address.

-  How is the internet speed with the free wifi? Did anyone purchase any of the internet packages or faster speeds? I plan to do work by remote access, do business by email, etc so this can be a deal breaker for me.

- How is the gym? Someone did post a  pic of treadmills, ellipitcal and stationary bikes. Are there free weights, machines, etc. Are the classes crowded? Is sign-up required or just walk in?

- I noticed a few posts about not docking at ports due to weather and/or ill/injured passenger(s). Any long delays and how many have you experienced so far?

- Have there been any costs that you have not anticipated so far?

Would appreciate any responses.

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Thanks, Gary and Brenda, for sharing your fabulous experience at the Underground River....spectacular photo's!👍:classic_smile:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NYCnative said:

Thanks so much for all the informative posts.

I am new to O but not new to cruising and am thinking about ATW 2021 whose itinerary is very comparable to this one. . I have some questions which I hope you or someone can address.

-  How is the internet speed with the free wifi? Did anyone purchase any of the internet packages or faster speeds? I plan to do work by remote access, do business by email, etc so this can be a deal breaker for me.

- How is the gym? Someone did post a  pic of treadmills, ellipitcal and stationary bikes. Are there free weights, machines, etc. Are the classes crowded? Is sign-up required or just walk in?

- I noticed a few posts about not docking at ports due to weather and/or ill/injured passenger(s). Any long delays and how many have you experienced so far?

- Have there been any costs that you have not anticipated so far?

Would appreciate any responses.

Hi, and welcome to Cruise Critic's!

The 2021 itinerary is very nice.

As far as the internet goes, I find it extremely slow...almost like 'dial-up', most of the time.   It works better during the night, or when most of the passenger's are off the ship during a port of call.   Loading of photo's is especially slow.  I don't have the higher speed streaming service, but from what I have heard, it is not much good.  Best to do serious work at some hot spot while in port.

I can't answer much about the gym, other than the stretch class I have attended at 0800...it is usually well attended, and no signup is required. 

So far, we have only missed one minor port due to adverse weather preventing tendering.

The medical emergency actually gained us additional time at our Sydney call.

 

 I'll try to answer your other question's later, if I can....

Edited by bob brown

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3 hours ago, bob brown said:

Hi, and welcome to Cruise Critic's!

The 2021 itinerary is very nice.

As far as the internet goes, I find it extremely slow...almost like 'dial-up', most of the time.   It works better during the night, or when most of the passenger's are off the ship during a port of call.   Loading of photo's is especially slow.  I don't have the higher speed streaming service, but from what I have heard, it is not much good.  Best to do serious work at some hot spot while in port.

I can't answer much about the gym, other than the stretch class I have attended at 0800...it is usually well attended, and no signup is required. 

So far, we have only missed one minor port due to adverse weather preventing tendering.

The medical emergency actually gained us additional time at our Sydney call.

 

 I'll try to answer your other question's later, if I can....

Thanks for your response. I was afraid the internet would be "dial-up" slow. That's been my experience from past cruises. I assumed with all the pics y'all been posting that the speed was faster, forgetting that they can be downloaded at port. Most of my internet work is of a sensitive nature and I can use a mobile jetpack for port days at $10/day. Just wondering how others are handling the internet situation.

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See_More..Thanks for the interesting pics of the underground river and caverns.  Caves and caverns are a problem for me, so appreciate the info about your adventures!

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Komodo

 

Does anyone onboard know if any private tours went onto the island ?

Especially if they included a visit to the village or pink beach as well as the dragon walk.

Thanks.

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16 hours ago, Tranquility Base said:

Komodo

 

Does anyone onboard know if any private tours went onto the island ?

Especially if they included a visit to the village or pink beach as well as the dragon walk.

Thanks.

 

I know there were people who took private tours there, but don't know what companies they used.

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23 hours ago, NYCnative said:

Thanks so much for all the informative posts.

I am new to O but not new to cruising and am thinking about ATW 2021 whose itinerary is very comparable to this one. . I have some questions which I hope you or someone can address.

-  How is the internet speed with the free wifi? Did anyone purchase any of the internet packages or faster speeds? I plan to do work by remote access, do business by email, etc so this can be a deal breaker for me.

- How is the gym? Someone did post a  pic of treadmills, ellipitcal and stationary bikes. Are there free weights, machines, etc. Are the classes crowded? Is sign-up required or just walk in?

- I noticed a few posts about not docking at ports due to weather and/or ill/injured passenger(s). Any long delays and how many have you experienced so far?

- Have there been any costs that you have not anticipated so far?

Would appreciate any responses.

 

1) As Bob said, internet is unpredictable.  Using it to send a basic email can be ok, but downloading pictures is very time consuming. Sometimes it's easier on my phone and other times its easier on my laptop.  Even if it's running well, it disconnects constantly...you have to pray it doesn't disconnect just as you push "send." I don't think I could do any meaningful work on this. We've gone to many wifi spots on shore and found about 50% or more are also slow...likely because so many people are also using it. 

 

2) I go to the gym. I think it's a pretty nice place...not big and can be crowded at certain times, but well appointed. There are about 6 treadmills, several bikes, a couple benches with free weights, decent amount of machines for upper and lower body work, and a small area for classes. I heard they moved the yoga classes to the pool deck. I attended one class....no sign up.

 

3) There can be many unexpected costs....as the famous saying goes: "take half as many clothes and twice as much money."  😉

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1 hour ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

I know there were people who took private tours there, but don't know what companies they used.

We were there in December last year and used this mob-

 

http://topkomodotour.com/

 

Excellent service. Couldn’t fault them.

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Posted (edited)

Captain just announced we are bypassing Boracay account wind and sea conditions preventing safe tendering.

On to Manila with an extra sea day.

 

Feel sorry the most for a cabin steward who was planning to see his family living there...

Edited by bob brown

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Mar.21.2019 ... Since we missed Boracay, in keeping with my goal of one post a day until Tokyo, I pose the following question/curiosity - I enjoyed a double espresso in Toscana at 8PM, my husband claims that it kept him awake ! ?  To all, enjoy your sea day!

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Just heard we aren't going to stop today becausse of the sea state to rough for the tinders. I had a great, busy time in Puerto Princesa.  I picked one of the hundreds of trikes used as taxies. Several hours cost me ten US dollars but, of course I ended up giving him more. Cheap for your own personal tour and stops everywhere you want to go and see.

 

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On 3/18/2019 at 3:11 PM, JoePDX said:

That is about what I am targeting too!   🙂

 

Joe

I am on one leg of this ATW cruise Joe.  I think we are on the Edge together.  Look forward to meeting you.

 

Connie

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Anyone have room for one person on either or both of these private excursions?

 

1) 2 days and overnight to Luxor?

 

2) Petra (without Wadi Rum)?

 

If so, I'd like to hear the itinerary, details and price.  Can call cabin 8041...ask for Lisa.  😊

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Just now, The Beach said:

Just heard we aren't going to stop today becausse of the sea state to rough for the tinders. I had a great, busy time in Puerto Princesa.  I picked one of the hundreds of trikes used as taxies. Several hours cost me ten US dollars but, of course I ended up giving him more. Cheap for your own personal tour and stops everywhereimageproxy.php?img=&key=b5ec9cff05c76377imageproxy.php?img=&key=b5ec9cff05c76377 you want to go and see.

 

my bike.jpg

cathedral 03.jpg

cathedral 01.jpg

boy at grotto.jpg

flower trikes.jpg

boats 01.jpg

kids walking.jpg

street.jpg

You done well, Jim!👍

 

How’d you like those outrigger pilot boats?

😎

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34 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

Anyone have room for one person on either or both of these private excursions?

 

1) 2 days and overnight to Luxor?

 

2) Petra (without Wadi Rum)?

 

If so, I'd like to hear the itinerary, details and price.  Can call cabin 8041...ask for Lisa.  😊

Why without Wadi Rum?  If it's a time consideration, I understand.

 

We did Israel for 2 weeks with my husband's Israeli cousin who is also a tour guide, so we had time to do things.  We left her in Eilat and did a two night tour with a local group.  The first stop was petra/wadi rum (with a hotel stay there overnight) and the next was a shift to Mt. Sinai, again with a hotel stay nearby.

 

As much as we loved Petra, Wadi Rum was also wonderful.  We were just us and our guide was a retired major from the Jordanian Air Force.  We spent about a half a day in the Wadi Rum.  He prepared us lunch over a fire which was delicious.

 

This was a real highlight.

 

As I said at the outset, if time is limited, then I can see doing only Petra which also requires a fair amount of time.  We were lucky to have two days there.

 

Mura

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