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OLife Late Flight


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One time, years ago, when we lived in Indiana, we booked our air with Royal Caribbean, our flight was very late getting into MIA.  Yet, they held the ship for us and we were the very last ones on the ship. Since then, we've moved to Florida and mostly drive to the ports.  Now, we are looking at a cruise next year from Istanbul to Monte Carlo and are considering using OLife for the air which will be new for us.

 

I read in another post that Oceania does not bear any responsibility for issues on flights that they have arranged and that it is up to the passenger to deal with that on their own.  Is that correct? I don't want to be standing in the Istanbul airport knowing that the ship is on its way to the next port.

 

One option appears to be to fly in a day early which is always good advice.  But the costs with this option from O seem to be very much higher than they need to be.  Yet, perhaps it is best to spend the money for the peace of mind?

 

This will be an interesting cruise for us as it is on the Riviera and we were on the last sailing of the ship before the lock down in March.  Our cruise was shortened from 10 nights to 5 and, when we returned home, we found that we both had contracted Covid-19 either on the ship or somewhere in Miami.  Yet, we are still here to talk about it and to use that 150% FCC!

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Fly in a day early and don’t book the hotel room through Oceania. They are stupid expensive. 
 

One example. For our January cruise starting in Buenos A, we looked at staying in the same hotel O uses for the extra night since we are doing a pre-cruise with O. Hotel for one night and breakfast + taxi ride ( arranged through hotel) is $ 194. Cost for same from Oceania is $400 each or $800! 
 

 

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16 minutes ago, ricka47 said:

Yeah, the hotel costs are so high at $695 pre and $995 post!

For international embarkation ports that are new to us, we often will check out what pre-cruise hotel is being used by Oceania and, if it is one of our "go to" hotels (e.g., Intercontinental), we'll DIY the reservation at considerably lower cost. This saves us a lot of research.

 

As for guaranteeing that the ship will wait for late flight passengers who booked through the cruise line: Read your T&Cs. NO cruise line guarantees that. At best, they may try to wait for a flight the cruise line has chartered or have their port agent assist individual latecomers in meeting the ship at the next port.

But, as the old saying goes: "Time and tide wait for no man."

Sorry that you contracted "The 'Rona." But, knowing the extreme precautions introduced by Oceania in January/February, I'm betting your vector was in Miami. We were on Nautica in the Indian Ocean for a 30 day cruise that started in early February. Cape Town to Singapore became Cape Town to Dubai and, in all seriousness, we felt safer on the ship than we did in the four hastily arranged airports needed to get home to SFO.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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6 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Fly in a day early and don’t book the hotel room through Oceania. They are stupid expensive. 

Totally agree with both points, however using O’s air for early arrival forces the $175 pp non refundable deviation fee.  The non refundable deviation fee IMO is a ripoff by Oceania, but a necessary evil.

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15 minutes ago, shank63 said:

Totally agree with both points, however using O’s air for early arrival forces the $175 pp non refundable deviation fee.  The non refundable deviation fee IMO is a ripoff by Oceania, but a necessary evil.

Most, if not all, cruise line air departments charge for deviation from their arranged flights. At least, Oceania waves the deviation fee for O Club members (gold [or above]?).

BTW, for intercontinental cruise embarkation, we always plan on arriving at least two nights prior to the cruise (for all of the obvious reasons).

And, FWIW, never use O's air for bizclass. Even the O air folks will tell you not to do it.

Their price quoted for bizclass may occasionally seem lower than DIY. However, you must have booked the cruise "with air" and the value of the economy tix in the original fare is NOT applied as a credit. In essence, you end up paying both the economy AND bizclass fares. IMO, always better to take the air credit and DIY with a combo of that savings along with FF miles and additional cash for any balance due.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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5 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Most, if not all, cruise line air departments charge for deviation from their arranged flights. At least, Oceania waves the deviation fee for O Club members (gold [or above]?).

We did a HAL cruise and used their Flight Ease booking feature, and no deviation fee was charged.  I wish we were Gold O Club members, but we started using O a little too late in life.  Other than the deviation fee, we are very loyal to Oceania and are optimistically booked on the Riviera in September 2021.

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1 hour ago, shank63 said:

We did a HAL cruise and used their Flight Ease booking feature, and no deviation fee was charged.  I wish we were Gold O Club members, but we started using O a little too late in life.  Other than the deviation fee, we are very loyal to Oceania and are optimistically booked on the Riviera in September 2021.

The problem with HAL is that you had to endure their food.

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1ST  O Life  has nothing to do with flights

 

2nd  book your own air & fly in a day or more early

 do you really need  a 5* hotel ???

 

3rd  do not book the hotel packages from O   they are way overpriced usually

most places you can get a hotel cheaper  & transfers for a lot less

 

JMO

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1 hour ago, shank63 said:

Totally agree with both points, however using O’s air for early arrival forces the $175 pp non refundable deviation fee.  The non refundable deviation fee IMO is a ripoff by Oceania, but a necessary evil.

just book your own air   most cases by the time you add in the deviation fee  to the air credit you will at least break even or save some $

JMO

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I would definitely recommend flying into Istanbul 2-3 days early.  If you have not been there before there are so many interesting sites worth seeing.  We used Ephesus Shuttle and were very happy with their tours in Istanbul as well as our private tour of Ephesus from the ship.  They still have very high reviews on Trip Advisor.  We had an airport pickup and transfer to the hotel they booked for us.  Time on our own as well as superior tour guides throughout.  

 

Hopefully, cruise lines and local authorities will allow excursions by private providers or travel on our own in ports.  

 

As a side note, our trip was during Hurricane Sandy and we stayed overnight in Istanbul awaiting East Coast travelers who were arriving late the next day.  We did not mind as another day in Istanbul on our own was great.  

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When we embarked from Istanbul the first night was an overnight there and all the next day in port. We had the ship for our hotel, got up the next day and did tours all day. As we weren't worried about missing the ship and we didn't have included deviations at the time we just went in the first day. We got in pretty late and the traffic was horrendous, it took us over an hour to get to the ship, yet we could see it at various times during the transfer ride. We could have walked there faster at times but had our luggage. Great trip, it was the start of a B2B including at TA back to Miami. 

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We have embarked twice in Istanbul on Oceania cruises, once on our very first cruise ever in 2008 (on Nautica) and once in 2014 on Riviera; it is one of my favorite cities with a very cosmopolitan mix of people. 
 

Both times we flew in early because Istanbul is such a fascinating city to explore, partly because of its historical importance to both  Christians as the “New Rome” from Constantine’s era (Byzantium/Constantinople) through the mid-15th century conquest by Muslim Turks. It also is physically beautiful due to the waters on which it is located.  

 

There are many lovely hotels with welcoming warm helpful staff in both the older historic Sultanahmet section south of the Golden Horn and the newer area north.  The cruise port is very centrally located as well near the mouth of the Golden Horn. With the rise of President Erdogan it is becoming less and less pluralistic unfortunately.  The difference we observed between our six-year visits was disturbing but the sightseeing still is superb.

 

Edited by CintiPam
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ricka47,

So sorry to hear you contracted Covid and glad to hear you are both doing well.

Is self booked air available now? Have you examined your options? ITAMatrix or Kayak or even Travelocity etc. are good places to start.

You also have some access to more direct flights or one stop flights if you get to Atlanta, Orlando or Miami/Ft. Lauderdale rather than starting from Jacksonville. Convenience and price could play a role in your final air reservations.

Don't forget that all air travel is likely to change before you travel. You will have more control of your flights with many airlines if you book yourself. You avoid the middleman. 

Don't forget that some airlines charge for seat assignments too. That's another cost factor to consider.

Stay safe.

 

 

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Thanks - we're doing better although I think that my wife is one of the "longhaulers" (yes, that is a real term that is being used) as she still has some symptoms.  We both have some of the fatigue and brain fog that appears to persist.  This is a nasty virus to be sure.

 

We probably will just fly out of MCO or ATL as the choices of flights are so much better - Rick

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1 hour ago, GICNJC said:

I have a related question.

If you have taken OLIFE with air and you use Oceania pre or post cruise hotel, do the charge the air deviation fee?

I believe that I've read that the deviation is rolled into the price, which it should be. As has been stated time and time again here, using the hotel through Oceania is generally never a good idea. The only reason I could see to do it is that you want someone to take care of everything for you, and saving money, or not spending it unnecessarily, is not important. 

 

The big benefit to taking the deviation is that you could go in as many days early(up to a point) that you would want to, as well as stay later. You can also go into another city instead of the embarkation port and then work your way there. 

 

Are you working with a good TA? They could give you a definite answer. If you do the math you will find that the hotel through Oceania is not a good idea. It's probably not too late to change it if you have already made that choice. Even figuring in the included transfers and the deviation it's still real expensive. 

 

PS< Olife has nothing to do with it, but it's easy to see why people think that with the way Oceania markets it. I think they like people being confused. 

Edited by ORV
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11 minutes ago, ORV said:

 .....The only reason I could see to do it is that you want someone to take care of everything for you, and saving money, or not spending it unnecessarily, is not important.....

Alternatively, one needs to only do enough research to pick a good pre-cruise hotel (e.g., Intercontinental - worldwide in many metro port areas) and contact the concierge for transfers, private tour guide recommendations, etc. You'd be surprised at how reasonable might be their cost compared to both Oceania or DIY arrangements.

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1 hour ago, GICNJC said:

I have a related question.

If you have taken OLIFE with air and you use Oceania pre or post cruise hotel, do the charge the air deviation fee?

 

Double check with your TA, but I believe it does.  This is the one case where booking the Oceania hotel *might* be worth it.  You pay for an overpriced hotel, but get the deviation fee thrown in. This only works if you only stay one night.  Also, ask about transfers.  Not sure if you get those as well.

 

Edited by KS&JW
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2 hours ago, KS&JW said:

 

Double check with your TA, but I believe it does.  This is the one case where booking the Oceania hotel *might* be worth it.  You pay for an overpriced hotel, but get the deviation fee thrown in. This only works if you only stay one night.  Also, ask about transfers.  Not sure if you get those as well.

 

In the past one cost for everything - deviation, hotel and transfers.  

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I booked a cruise yesterday with air and we're getting the hotel.  Yes, it's expensive but it does include transfers from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to the port in the morning as well as any deviation fees. 

 

We've been doing mostly easy Caribbean cruises where we just drive to the port.  So, for this one, we'll let them take care of us and then get more adventuresome next time by doing all of this on our own.

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