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New to Oceania, Tell All Please


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10 hours ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

Just trying to understand what is included in a booking with O. Do we get unlimited internet with each booking? Please tell me what you get with the $20 pd pp upgrade to Premium Beverage package. NO alcohol with regular fare?  How much are daily gratuities?

Plus, are all balconies private? Deck plans don’t make this clear.

Just booked our first Oceania cruise and are not finding fine details on web site.

Thanks for help. Have learned a lot of good advice from CC over years.

Advice item number 1:

If you just booked and did not use a TA (which I assume is true since you may not have gotten the answers there), drop everything and find a good TA, preferably one who is a high volume Oceania seller and member of the Oceania Connoisseurs Club. Most of them will share their commissions with you at approximately 5-10% of the commissionable fare. 

You have up to 30 days from deposit date with Oceania to transfer.

Thus, you get all the O perks plus added TA rebate or refundable SBC plus an advocate who does $ millions of business with O while you alone are a rounding error. 

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LHT28, Thank you for the links in your reply. They were very helpful and answered most of my questions. I am still a bit unsure about purchasing the upgraded beverage package. We are wine drinkers plus I get a cocktail or two. I hope to bring some wine on board if we are able to purchase it before boarding. Do you just get more glasses of wine and liquor with the upgrade? Is there a link for that info?

Thanks again for your help.

 

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We did use an O TA. DH called O to get info and ended up with a booking. Not sure how we get a member of Connoisseurs Club. Just ask person who answers?
He opted for the OBC perk as that is usually best for us but after reading might switch that for excursions. Although I’m going to go through list to see how totals look. 
Thanks again for help. O seems to be very different from other cruise lines we’ve used. Looking forward to this experience.

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15 minutes ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

LHT28, Thank you for the links in your reply. They were very helpful and answered most of my questions. I am still a bit unsure about purchasing the upgraded beverage package. We are wine drinkers plus I get a cocktail or two. I hope to bring some wine on board if we are able to purchase it before boarding. Do you just get more glasses of wine and liquor with the upgrade? Is there a link for that info?

Thanks again for your help.

 

With the  Prestige Package  you get  drinks anytime anywhere  with the  House select  it is  wine by the glass/beer  with  lunch & dinner only

There  is  also a 7 bottle package  but you never know what is on the list until you board

You can bring wine/spirits for  your cabin   if you take the wine to  a dining venue the corkage fee is $25 per bottle

Scroll down this page  to Onboard packages

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/value

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22 minutes ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

LHT28, Thank you for the links in your reply. They were very helpful and answered most of my questions. I am still a bit unsure about purchasing the upgraded beverage package. We are wine drinkers plus I get a cocktail or two. I hope to bring some wine on board if we are able to purchase it before boarding. Do you just get more glasses of wine and liquor with the upgrade? Is there a link for that info?

Thanks again for your help.

 

Despite what you read on the O website about bottle limits, you can bring as much personal wine onboard as you want. We do longer cruises and often bring a case plus buy more at port stops.

The value of the prestige package is the cocktails. With either the basic O Life or the extra $20/person/day (or $60 if you take a different O Life perk), the "wine by the glass" is as much as you care to drink. But, it is one glass at a time and the list is less than two dozen mostly mediocre items.

The cocktails are unlimited except for a few high end scotches/cognacs. And the value is particularly great if you order doubles with better spirits. The package covers the 18% tip as well. 

So, as an example, order two double side cars with Henessey Privilege Cognac, Cointreau and (ask for) squeezed lemon juice. That double drink would retail for $25+\- plus tip.

When we first started with O on short trips, we found the Prestige package a good value. Now we usually take the O Life excursions perk, bring our own wine, go to the Captain's and O Club events and smaller Officer invited dinners, etc where booze is served and occasionally add cocktails at happy hour.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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12 minutes ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

We did use an O TA. DH called O to get info and ended up with a booking. Not sure how we get a member of Connoisseurs Club. Just ask person who answers?
He opted for the OBC perk as that is usually best for us but after reading might switch that for excursions. Although I’m going to go through list to see how totals look. 
Thanks again for help. O seems to be very different from other cruise lines we’ve used. Looking forward to this experience.

 

You can also opt out of the air  & book your own

 Compare what you can get on your own

If you want to fly in earlier  (which you should)  you will have to pay a deviation fee of $175 pp  to choose the flights/dates otherwise you are  flying in the same day as the cruise with the included air & maybe  not an  ideal routing

 

When is your cruise?

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16 minutes ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

 O seems to be very different from other cruise lines we’ve used. Looking forward to this experience.

You will not be disappointed. Oceania treats people like adults and trusts that they won't abuse the personal booze rules (yes, you can also bring your own spirits - for consumption in cabin only. Your personal wine is for cabin consumption too OR you can bring it to meals for $25/bottle corkage.

That $80 wine you brought with you, if sold on the ship would easily be more that $200-250 plus tip onboard (vs $80+$25).

One added item: There's a 7 bottle wine package which you can search about here on CC. Occasionally, there'll be a decent wine or two on that list and we might buy 7 bottles of something like Shramsberg Mirabelle sparkler. But, we find the better onboard value to be the "bin end" list. I've posted about this many times on CC. So use the search feature to get more details.

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1 hour ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

We did use an O TA. DH called O to get info and ended up with a booking. Not sure how we get a member of Connoisseurs Club. Just ask person who answers?
He opted for the OBC perk as that is usually best for us but after reading might switch that for excursions. Although I’m going to go through list to see how totals look. 
Thanks again for help. O seems to be very different from other cruise lines we’ve used. Looking forward to this experience.

No one pointed this out to you. You DID NOT use a TA. You booked directly with Oceania with one of their Customer Service Reps. Big difference. Google as usual is your best friend. Type in Oceania Connoisseurs Club Travel Agent and go through the first couple of pages until you find something you like. Then have an email discussion and see how you feel about them. There are some real gems out there. Also some duds. I personally would keep away from the big name agencies that you see advertised here. They usually have an owner and a couple of certified agents, then the rest are just phone answerers. 

 

About the balcony, just like any ship there are balconies that can be looked into or observed from other locations. It's all dependent on which ship and the location. 

 

Most of us that understand the system recommend to NOT take the OBC as a perk. In just about all(although there are outliers) situations it's a wash and you're trading cash for a non refundable on board credit. 

 

Once again, when and where is the cruise you've booked? Thanks. 

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2 minutes ago, ORV said:

No one pointed this out to you. You DID NOT use a TA. You booked directly with Oceania with one of their Customer Service Reps. Big difference. Google as usual is your best friend. Type in Oceania Connoisseurs Club Travel Agent and go through the first couple of pages until you find something you like. Then have an email discussion and see how you feel about them. There are some real gems out there. Also some duds. I personally would keep away from the big name agencies that you see advertised here. They usually have an owner and a couple of certified agents, then the rest are just phone answerers. 

 

About the balcony, just like any ship there are balconies that can be looked into or observed from other locations. It's all dependent on which ship and the location. 

 

Most of us that understand the system recommend to NOT take the OBC as a perk. In just about all(although there are outliers) situations it's a wash and you're trading cash for a non refundable on board credit. 

 

Once again, when and where is the cruise you've booked? Thanks. 

Thanks for catching that finer point about the initial booking being with an O Rep. Hopefully, Big Tiger Fan will do the research and transfer to a TA. 

FWIW, on long O cruises and/or higher end cabins, we're talking about "four figure" savings.

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We are currently booked in the Riviera in November, RT Miami. We’ve been using AAA lately which is why DH surprised me when he made the booking. It’s a short 10 day cruise which he did because I’ve been grumpy about our 3 canceled Princess Cruises. 

We have a few days to make some changes. He did not take air option as they did not offer the airport we use and we refuse to drive to Atlanta. He did take the Miami hotel which will be dropped as price is ridiculous. We can beat it on our own. 
Will have to do the Google search recommended to see what I can find. 
Thanks again for info.

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19 minutes ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

We are currently booked in the Riviera in November, RT Miami. We’ve been using AAA lately which is why DH surprised me when he made the booking. It’s a short 10 day cruise which he did because I’ve been grumpy about our 3 canceled Princess Cruises. 

We have a few days to make some changes. He did not take air option as they did not offer the airport we use and we refuse to drive to Atlanta. He did take the Miami hotel which will be dropped as price is ridiculous. We can beat it on our own. 
Will have to do the Google search recommended to see what I can find. 
Thanks again for info.

Bear in mind that many times you can add a regional airport for $99 pp on both ends. Many times I find I can't buy cheaper flights than what Oceania will offer them for. But we have the included flight deviation at no charge ($350). So without that if a person wants to go in early then yes, it's best to book them yourself. Also those in major markets are much more likely to fare better by booking their own flights than those of us that fly out of Regional airports. 

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1 hour ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

We are currently booked in the Riviera in November, RT Miami. We’ve been using AAA lately which is why DH surprised me when he made the booking. It’s a short 10 day cruise which he did because I’ve been grumpy about our 3 canceled Princess Cruises. 

We have a few days to make some changes. He did not take air option as they did not offer the airport we use and we refuse to drive to Atlanta. He did take the Miami hotel which will be dropped as price is ridiculous. We can beat it on our own. 
Will have to do the Google search recommended to see what I can find. 
Thanks again for info.

I would  drop the O Life perk  unless you are going to take the excursions  but for the Caribbean  you can do tours on your own cheaper

Taxi or UBER to/from hotel/port  also a better deal

JMO

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1 hour ago, ORV said:

So without that if a person wants to go in early then yes, it's best to book them yourself.

I can't imagine a situation where we wouldn't go in at least days early and stay over at the end also.

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21 hours ago, ORV said:

Bear in mind that many times you can add a regional airport for $99 pp on both ends. Many times I find I can't buy cheaper flights than what Oceania will offer them for. But we have the included flight deviation at no charge ($350). So without that if a person wants to go in early then yes, it's best to book them yourself. Also those in major markets are much more likely to fare better by booking their own flights than those of us that fly out of Regional airports. 

Add to this that some codes used by Oceania do not allow upgrading to bizclass with your own FF points and/or don't accrue FF points.

We too do not have to pay any deviation fee. But, we still prefer to take the credit since O's bizclass pricing policy is a loser.

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Besides the extreme cost for biz air with O, it's a special category -- if you are flying over the ocean, it's business.  But if you are going over land, it's coach.  For those of us who fly from the east coast to Europe (or from the west coast in the other direction), that's fine.  But if you are flying from a local airport to a gateway or have overland flights in Europe or Asia ... it's not so fine.

 

Even though we leave from NYC, we prefer to book our own.

 

Mura

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28 minutes ago, Mura said:

if you are flying over the ocean, it's business. 

Not sure what "over the ocean" means. Is that "international"? When we fly to Rio some of it's over water and some not. ??? When I was working with my O rep the minute I mentioned J he said that we'd be better to book our own price-wise.

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2 hours ago, clo said:

Not sure what "over the ocean" means. Is that "international"? When we fly to Rio some of it's over water and some not. ???

Let's say you are flying from Detroit to Rio via Miami. Your DTW - MIA will be in domestic economy and your MIA-RIO in international business.

If you have a direct nonstop flight from Detroit to Amsterdam then all of it is in business

Edited by Paulchili
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On 5/15/2020 at 12:51 PM, Big Tiger Fan said:

We are currently booked in the Riviera in November, RT Miami. We’ve been using AAA lately which is why DH surprised me when he made the booking. It’s a short 10 day cruise which he did because I’ve been grumpy about our 3 canceled Princess Cruises. 

We have a few days to make some changes. He did not take air option as they did not offer the airport we use and we refuse to drive to Atlanta. He did take the Miami hotel which will be dropped as price is ridiculous. We can beat it on our own. 
Will have to do the Google search recommended to see what I can find. 
Thanks again for info.

Welcome Tiger fans we're Gamecock fans and will be on the 11-13 cruise.This will be our first cruise on Oceania so we're really excited.Hope we meet you guys.

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Quartetman, This is so funny. DH is NOT a Big Tiger Fan. That’s just me. He’ll be watching your games also. If we make this cruise we’ll have to meet for a drink so y’all can commiserate about your Gamecocks. 😁🐅🐅🐅

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1 hour ago, Big Tiger Fan said:

Quartetman, This is so funny. DH is NOT a Big Tiger Fan. That’s just me. He’ll be watching your games also. If we make this cruise we’ll have to meet for a drink so y’all can commiserate about your Gamecocks. 😁🐅🐅🐅

I pull for the  the tigers if they're not playing Carolina.I don't hate them because they're our rivels.Half of my friends are Tiger fans.I'm really looking forward to this cruise.We normally sail Holland America or Royal Caribbean so this will be a real treat.We do love our food and wine.Would love to meet you for a drink We're looking at air out of Columbia and it's awful so I thing we'll fly out of Charlotte.

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We are not really fans of air travel right now either.  Typically we fly in and out of Atlanta, which is a two hour drive.  We have a cruise book on the Marina in December from Miami to Buenos Aires and we plan to rent a car and drive to Miami.  Going home we will take international business class that should give us some protection.  I don't know if that works for you but it is safer than coach travel right now.

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18 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Let's say you are flying from Detroit to Rio via Miami. Your DTW - MIA will be in domestic economy and your MIA-RIO in international business.

If you have a direct nonstop flight from Detroit to Amsterdam then all of it is in business

Correct.  I believe they call it "restricted".  We fly from NY (JFK or Newark) direct to Europe most of the time, so that would be a business flight UNLESS we had a stop somewhere inbetween.  When we flew to Lima in 2015 we had to go from JFK to Atlanta, then on to Lima.  So the domestic flight would have been in coach had we not booked our own air, business all the way.

 

Mura

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On 5/2/2020 at 9:04 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

If you like aft-facing cabins like we do, there are four A1 cabins on decks 7 and 8 and two A2 cabins on deck 6 that usually get booked pretty fast.

Question? What is the advantage of an aft cabin? thanks

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33 minutes ago, liamur14 said:

Question? What is the advantage of an aft cabin? thanks

Picture the ship is leaving port. If you're in an aft-facing cabin, you get a complete 180 degree view of the port as you're leaving until it fades into the distance.  Now picture you're out at sea and it's a windy day. In your aft-facing cabin, it's calm because the ship is protecting your balcony from the wind. Now let's say you're cruising through the Panama Canal, imagine your view out the aft as you're going through the locks or going under one of the large expansion bridges. Then, of course, there's Alaska, Antarctica and the Norwegian fjords and all the beauty those itineraries have to offer. Those are some of the reasons we love booking an aft-facing cabin. 

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