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bubbulz

Question for experienced river *and* ocean cruisers

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We recently sailed on an Oceania cruise to Cuba, on one of their smaller 684 passenger ships (Sirena). It was our first time sailing with them...and we really liked it.  Over the years we have sailed down the Rhone on the 45 pax  m/s Provence with Grand Circle, and also on the very large Royal Caribbean behemoths.  This felt just right, and I loved the high tea every day at 4 'oclock.

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Oceania is great, I agree, but we haven't sailed on them since 2008 so it's good to hear that things haven't changed. We only sailed on the R-class ships (which include Sirena) but we never sailed on Sirena since she was acquired by O. We sailed on the other R-class ships Nautica, Insignia, and Regatta.

 

Interestingly Sirena is actually the former Tahitian Princess then briefly renamed Pacific Princess, before it was sold to O to complete their quartet. We sailed on her twice when she was owned by Princess, once with each name. Confused yet? I think I am!

 

Oceania offered a great product when we sailed and we'd happily go again if the itinerary and price is right. Glad you included them in the discussion. Their food was superb and they have two specialty restaurants which were fantastic (and included). The only knock compared to SS is that you have to buy alcohol.

 

 O included all specialty coffee drinks for no charge when we sailed. Still the case now?

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Yes, specialty coffee drinks are included, and yes you can purchase an alcohol package if desired (we did not and came out ahead $ wise). But they do let you bring up to six bottles of wine on board, and only charge a corkage fee ($25?) if you bring the bottle into a public area or a dining area.  I brought 3 bottles for our 10 day cruise which I consumed during our diners. 

 

So while you do have to pay for alcohol separately, and there are excursions included in the "O" package the cost is still far below Regent.  And YES, the food is still excellent, especially in the specialty restaurants.

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Here is another option for you http://www.tauck.ca/small-ship-cruises.aspx

 

Tauck Small Ship Cruises. Some use the Ponant ships mentioned above.

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We are going on the Uniworld Paris-Normandy  SS Joie de Vivre in April have a few questions...Ive never used this forum to ask questions so I apologize if this isnt the appropriate way? 

What time of year did you go? , the golf pics look wonderful! What was the timing of that excursion (time  you left, returned? did y ou eat lunch there?) wondering if time to do the afternoon bike ride they give as a "pm" choice same day..golf listed as an "am " choice?; Any thoughts on the Chefs dinners?  I think your comments said you hadnt talked to anyone who had done? I realize its an extra cost. DO you suggest we rent one of the portable wifi units ( we should be to the cruise by 10 am unless they change ports like did!) Did you participate in any of the Paris tours offered by Uniworld (DO as the locals? Montmatre? we have been to Paris but traveling with some who have not considering getting a private guide for the day..sorry for all the questions! 

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