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donaldsc

Question about OLife Choice

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I have cruised a lot but never on Oceania.  I have a question about the OLife freebie package.  

 

The cruise that I am thinking about will give me 3 options - OBC, 14 tours or a drink package.  I have 3 questions.

 

1) Do I have to decide which freebie I want when I book and if I change my mind later, can I change my freebie.

 

2) Can I select any of the tours that are offered with the possible exception of very expensive tours or am I restricted to a limited number of cheap tours.

 

3) How good are the free tours.  Are they interesting or do they pack 40 people on a bus and drive around the city saying "look left, look right, you now have 15 minutes to run into the shop we have contracted with to buy souvenirs."   In other words, if I take the free tours, will I be stuck w 14 lousy tours.

 

I am thinking that I might be better off taking the OBC and booking my own tours either from the ship or independently. When we travel, we usually do small group independent tours.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

DON

 

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Posted (edited)

1)  You can change your mind later about which Olife option you want.  There may be time limits on when you can change your mind.  ie can't change 2 week prior or something

2)  Generally, You can choose any tour that is under $199.

3) The tours vary in quality.  However, there will never be 40 people on a bus.  There will likely be 24 people on a 40 person bus.  You need to read the tour to decide if it is what you want.  Some people have limited mobility and want a 'bus' tour.  I take very few Oceania tours, but can't recall being taken to a gift shop.

 

If you want to book your own tours then I suggest you don't don't choose OBC, but instead choose the 'cruise only' option.  The cruise is often priced higher by the same amount as the OBC, so generally but not always, best to not take the OBC.

Edited by KS&JW

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9 minutes ago, KS&JW said:

1)  You can change your mind later about which Olife option you want.  There may be time limits on when you can change your mind.  ie can't change 2 week prior or something

2)  Generally, You can choose any tour that is under $199.

3) The tours vary in quality.  However, there will never be 40 people on a bus.  There will likely be 24 people on a 40 person bus.  You need to read the tour to decide if it is what you want.  Some people have limited mobility and want a 'bus' tour.  I take very few Oceania tours, but can't recall being taken to a gift shop.

 

If you want to book your own tours then I suggest you don't don't choose OBC, but instead choose the 'cruise only' option.  The cruise is often priced higher by the same amount as the OBC, so generally but not always, best to not take the OBC.

Agree on the <$199 price for allowable O Life tours (aka those tours not notated with OE, OS, et al.) Also, I've never seen 40 people with a guide hired by Oceania (figure more like 16-24 depending). There are some panoramic (bus ride sightseeing) tours but usually other worthwhile active ones as well. We usually mix ship and private tours.

 

Note that the O Life freebies tours also count toward the minimum number required to get the 25% discount (Your World Your Way) on any purchased tours (e.g., OS, OE...).

 

The cart on your account is very intuitive and will show you if you're better off taking O Life tours or SBC. Search for my prior posts explaining this in great detail. 

 

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Check the terms & conditions  of your cruise

All O Life excursions  MUST be booked 14 day prior to sailing

 

 

Terms and Conditions Promotional Fares - OLife Choice

*Standard terms apply. View complete terms and conditions in addition: Cruise-Only Fares do not include OLife Choice amenities or airfare. OLife Choice offer is subject to change on 7/1/19. OLife Choice amenities are per stateroom, based on double occupancy and subject to change. Free Internet is one per stateroom; Owner’s, Vista & Oceania Suites receive access for two devices per suite. OLife Choice free shore excursions vary by voyage and exclude Oceania Select, Oceania Exclusive and Executive Collection. Voyages up to 9 days receive 4 free shore excursions; 10-13 days receive 6 free shore excursions; 14+ days receive 8 free shore excursions. If shore excursion amenity is selected, all excursions must be chosen at least 14 days prior to sailing. OLife Choice beverage package amenity is House Select. Guests in the same stateroom must choose the same OLife Choice amenity and amenity must be chosen by final payment. Not all promotions are combinable. All Fares include government fees & taxes.

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20 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

I have cruised a lot but never on Oceania.  I have a question about the OLife freebie package.  

This is not a freebie. In your case you are paying $700 more than if you do not take O Life.

Note - 14 tours are per cabin - hence it is 7 tours/pp. Each tour is “valued” at $100 - hence your O Life is $700 more than not taking O Life

 

The cruise that I am thinking about will give me 3 options - OBC, 14 tours or a drink package.  I have 3 questions.

 

1) Do I have to decide which freebie I want when I book and if I change my mind later, can I change my freebie.

You can pick your option up to 2 weeks before the cruise.

2) Can I select any of the tours that are offered with the possible exception of very expensive tours or am I restricted to a limited number of cheap tours.

You can select any tour that does not have any letters attached to it (like OS, OE, etc) They can be up to $199. Taking excursions can be a good choice as you are paying $100/excursion that can cost up to $199 - can be a good value if you find excursions you like.

3) How good are the free tours.  Are they interesting or do they pack 40 people on a bus and drive around the city saying "look left, look right, you now have 15 minutes to run into the shop we have contracted with to buy souvenirs."   In other words, if I take the free tours, will I be stuck w 14 lousy tours.

The O Life tours (NOT free) are generally good - many take a combination of ship and private tours

I am thinking that I might be better off taking the OBC and booking my own tours either from the ship or independently. When we travel, we usually do small group independent tours.

Choosing OBC is usually the worst of the 3 options - certainly less valuable than taking excursions as discussed above. Whether the drinks package makes sense depends on how much you drink.

If you don’t Ike any of the O Life choices, don’t take the O Life package

 

20 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

Thanks for the help.

 

DON

 

I hope this helps

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1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

Note - 14 tours are per cabin - hence it is 7 tours/pp. Each tour is “valued” at $100 - hence your O Life is $700 more than not taking O Life

Is the number of tours limited to 7 tours for one person ?

Eg; in  example above can one person book 10 & the other person book 4 tours ?

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9 minutes ago, Tranquility Base said:

Is the number of tours limited to 7 tours for one person ?

Eg; in  example above can one person book 10 & the other person book 4 tours ?

I am not sure but I don’t think so. I have not encounter this as we always take tours together.

Maybe someone else has the definite answer.

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Thanks to everyone.  I need to book by August 21 so I have to make a bunch of decision a lot more quickly than usual.

 

DON

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2 hours ago, donaldsc said:

Thanks to everyone.  I need to book by August 21 so I have to make a bunch of decision a lot more quickly than usual.

 

DON

Book  the O Life perk you want 

you can make a change  before final payment  if you change your mind

I think your cruise is 2 yrs away so you have  a few months to decide what works best  for your needs

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Book  the O Life perk you want 

you can make a change  before final payment  if you change your mind

I think your cruise is 2 yrs away so you have  a few months to decide what works best  for your needs

 

I need to book the cruise by August 21.  I found out from you guys that I can make OLife perk choices later.  I did do checks on ToursByLocals for the ports and I have a feeling that booking my tours on ToursbyLocals will be the same price as on Oceania and I can get very small group tours.  I do have lots of time to make that decision.

 

DON

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16 hours ago, KS&JW said:

 

If you want to book your own tours then I suggest you don't don't choose OBC, but instead choose the 'cruise only' option.  The cruise is often priced higher by the same amount as the OBC, so generally but not always, best to not take the OBC.

As others mentioned this is the general thinking on this. All you're doing is prepaying for your OBC

15 hours ago, Tranquility Base said:

Is the number of tours limited to 7 tours for one person ?

Eg; in  example above can one person book 10 & the other person book 4 tours ?

 

15 hours ago, Paulchili said:

I am not sure but I don’t think so. I have not encounter this as we always take tours together.

Maybe someone else has the definite answer.

While probably not actually allowed I'm sure there is a work around, tickets don't have names on them and I've never seen anyone check. Not that I'm advocating doing this, I'm just saying you probably could. 

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I am thinking since the O Life  tours are per cabin

one person could book them all for themselves if they wanted  to

 

same as the OBC  they go on the account & anyone on the cabin account can use the OBC

The drink package is different  though

 

That said  we never take the ship's tours  & on occasion   the OBC works out  well

otherwise we  take the cruise only fare

JMO

 

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Posted (edited)

Note that the tours are per cabin, so 8 "free" tours with two people now becomes 4.

 

We took our first cruise with Oceania a few months ago. We are long-time cruisers, but never Oceania.  So, the "free" tours are NOT free. You pay an average of $100 per excursion, and they can be priced up to $199.  Seems like a good deal, but its not. 

 

We really liked Oceania in most ways, but I will say their excursions are a RIP-OFF.  So we had 14 "free" ones, so that meant 7 for the two of us.  Most of Oceania excursions are priced from $80 to $180.  Most of the ones we took ranged in price between $100 and $189.  They were all HORRIBLE.  All of them were the same with little exception. They were a bus tour with a full bus of people. One did have an added rain forest gondola ride,  and another had one of those underwater sub rides.  I checked the price of these alone, and they were only $20 - $30 each, so we must have been paying $130 for the bus ride.  The other tours were simply 2 - 3 hour bus tours.  Even though we "only" paid $99 each for them, and they had "values" up to $189, I'd guess each would have cost $60 or less on Carnival or Norwegian.

 

We originally went with Oceania to get away from the nickle-and-dimming of all the others, but Oceania seems to sneak in rip-offs as well.  I guess you can't get away from it in the cruise industry.  Anyway, on our trip, the $1,400 that we paid for the "free" excursions really left a bad taste with us.

Edited by ano

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48 minutes ago, ano said:

Note that the tours are per cabin, so 8 "free" tours with two people now becomes 4.

 

We took our first cruise with Oceania a few months ago. We are long-time cruisers, but never Oceania.  So, the "free" tours are NOT free. You pay an average of $100 per excursion, and they can be priced up to $199.  Seems like a good deal, but its not. 

 

We really liked Oceania in most ways, but I will say their excursions are a RIP-OFF.  So we had 14 "free" ones, so that meant 7 for the two of us.  Most of Oceania excursions are priced from $80 to $180.  Most of the ones we took ranged in price between $100 and $189.  They were all HORRIBLE.  All of them were the same with little exception. They were a bus tour with a full bus of people. One did have an added rain forest gondola ride,  and another had one of those underwater sub rides.  I checked the price of these alone, and they were only $20 - $30 each, so we must have been paying $130 for the bus ride.  The other tours were simply 2 - 3 hour bus tours.  Even though we "only" paid $99 each for them, and they had "values" up to $189, I'd guess each would have cost $60 or less on Carnival or Norwegian.

 

We originally went with Oceania to get away from the nickle-and-dimming of all the others, but Oceania seems to sneak in rip-offs as well.  I guess you can't get away from it in the cruise industry.  Anyway, on our trip, the $1,400 that we paid for the "free" excursions really left a bad taste with us.

 

If we get the cruise that we want, we are planning to use the $1400 OBC to pay for tips.  That will leave us about$600 left.  I am sure that we can find 2 tours that we want to go on that will eat up most of that $600.  We plan to do most of our tours w ToursbyLocals.

 

DON

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, ano said:

We originally went with Oceania to get away from the nickle-and-dimming of all the others, but Oceania seems to sneak in rip-offs as well.  I guess you can't get away from it in the cruise industry.  Anyway, on our trip, the $1,400 that we paid for the "free" excursions really left a bad taste with us.

That’s what happens when you come to CC to complain AFTER your cruise instead of researching here before the cruise. Those that don’t know about CC have a “beef” but you don’t.

If you had come here before your cruise then you would have known that you can book the cruise w/o O Life (or cruise only) and you would not have been “ripped off” by $1400 - and yes, you can “get away from being ripped off” on Oceania as they are an ”a la carte” cruise line.

Now you know 😀

Edited by Paulchili

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5 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

If we get the cruise that we want, we are planning to use the $1400 OBC to pay for tips.  That will leave us about$600 left.  I am sure that we can find 2 tours that we want to go on that will eat up most of that $600.  We plan to do most of our tours w ToursbyLocals.

 

DON

If you do your research BEFORE you book you might  find a TA that will include the gratuities

Just saying

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57 minutes ago, ano said:

We originally went with Oceania to get away from the nickle-and-dimming of all the others, but Oceania seems to sneak in rip-offs as well.  I guess you can't get away from it in the cruise industry.  Anyway, on our trip, the $1,400 that we paid for the "free" excursions really left a bad taste with us.

Why did you not just  take the cruise only fare  then you could book the excursions you wanted  with private guides or just DIY ?

Do the math BEFORE you book

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

If you do your research BEFORE you book you might  find a TA that will include the gratuities

Just saying

 

Our long time TA sends us a check after the cruise.  I am happy with that.  Also, I have carefully analyzed the finances of the cruise and since I do not like to go on excursions w more than 6 or 8 people, my choice is best for me.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

If we get the cruise that we want, we are planning to use the $1400 OBC to pay for tips.  That will leave us about$600 left.  I am sure that we can find 2 tours that we want to go on that will eat up most of that $600.  We plan to do most of our tours w ToursbyLocals.

 

DON

Not a good choice.

just take the cruise w/o O Life and pay for your expenses as you go 

The OBC is non-refundable. Thus if you have any OBC left after the PPG & excursions you’ll have to find something to spend it on - whether you want to or not (or lose  it)

You are not getting any extra value out of your OBC by taking it and using it the way you plan to 

Edited by Paulchili

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5 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

Our long time TA sends us a check after the cruise.  I am happy with that.  Also, I have carefully analyzed the finances of the cruise and since I do not like to go on excursions w more than 6 or 8 people, my choice is best for me.

 

DON

Well then you are quids in

We rarely do ships tours   either

Also you may be paying your own non refundable OBC 

Do the math 

We book cruise only fare  book our own air

Choices Choices  😉

 

Enjoy the cruise

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7 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Why did you not just  take the cruise only fare  then you could book the excursions you wanted  with private guides or just DIY ?

Do the math BEFORE you book

 

Yeah, guess I was just stupid and not as smart as you.  I stupidly assumed that a $150 excursion was worth $150, but I was wrong.

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4 minutes ago, ano said:

Yeah, guess I was just stupid and not as smart as you.  I stupidly assumed that a $150 excursion was worth $150, but I was wrong.

Seriously??? 🙄

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41 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Not a good choice.

just take the cruise w/o O Life and pay for your expenses as you go 

The OBC is non-refundable. Thus if you have any OBC left after the PPG & excursions you’ll have to find something to spend it on - whether you want to or not (or lose  it)

You are not getting any extra value out of your OBC by taking it and using it the way you plan to 

Buy em books and buy em books, …………..

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5 hours ago, LHT28 said:

Well then you are quids in

We rarely do ships tours   either

Also you may be paying your own non refundable OBC 

Do the math 

We book cruise only fare  book our own air

Choices Choices  😉

 

Enjoy the cruise

 

I did do the math.  The difference between cruise only and the full package for the 2 of us was $3400.  I checked the airfare if I booked it myself and it was $3700 so I am $300 ahead here.  This does not count the $1400 OBC that I get w the package.  If I figured it right, I am $3700 ahead by taking the package.

 

I think that I did good.  

 

DON

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

I did do the math.  The difference between cruise only and the full package for the 2 of us was $3400.  I checked the airfare if I booked it myself and it was $3700 so I am $300 ahead here.  This does not count the $1400 OBC that I get w the package.  If I figured it right, I am $3700 ahead by taking the package.

 

I think that I did good.  

 

DON

Don - the air does not come into this calculation.

Sure - you are ahead $300 if you go with O air. Good - do it (even though we don’t know what kind of “air” you can get yourself for $300 more vs what Oceania will get for you).

What if the air Oceania gets for you has 2 connections with long layovers and your own air for $300 more could be direct, non-stop(just speculating here).

That issue appears settled in your mind.

Now - what is the fare with O Life vs without O Life (air included in both cases).

I bet it is $1400 more with O Life. In essence, you are paying $1400 more to get Oceania to give you back that very same $1400 as OBC. Now you have to make sure that you spend ALL of that $1400 or you'll lose whatever is left over. Why not not pay that $1400 to Oceania for O Life and then spend whatever you want or need on PPG, Excursions, etc - if that turns out to be less than $1400 then you saved money; if it’s more, you’ll pay the difference one way or another.

Bottom line - you are ahead ONLY $300 by taking the Oceania air - NOT $3700.

That is the way I see it based on your post above.

 

Edited by Paulchili

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