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Newbie Oceania Questions and feedback request


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Where Oceania air really shines is cruises that start on one far flung location and end at another far flung location.  We did the Tahiti to Peru cruise a while back.  You would need to book a one way international  flight on two different airlines.  Very expensive unless you use airline miles.  Since Oceania is not  set by the same rules you and I are, they can get flight without the one way penalty.  

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1 hour ago, patty1955 said:

Really? I may have to rethink the airfare

But you have to book the dates in/out  at the same time

 

You are not charged the fee until you & Oceania come to an agreement on the flights you want

In some cases there may be an upcharge  but most of the time  it is just the deviation fee

 

in the past you could start the process 270 days out

 

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@Ski Mom 2

I cruise WS and Oceania, and you will be tickled with O. It's WS but a bigger ship. More people, but you will never feel crowded just like WS. Dining and service outstanding, same as WS as well 🙂 Have a fabulous cruise.

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1 minute ago, Petoonya said:

@Ski Mom 2

I cruise WS and Oceania, and you will be tickled with O. It's WS but a bigger ship. More people, but you will never feel crowded just like WS. Dining and service outstanding, same as WS as well 🙂 Have a fabulous cruise.

Thanks Petoonya! I was trying to figure out how to catch up with you since I know you’ve cruised both lines. We love  WS and I hope we will enjoy O as much!

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Posted (edited)

A quick thanks to all posters in this thread.  Very helpful discussion and advice.

 

Thank you very much all the information.  The details offered will make my first O booking a much smoother experience. 

 

Much appreciated.

Edited by Homerody
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Most of the discussion has been about OBC and shore excursions. I usually take the beverage package. It costs $40 per day person, or $80 per stateroom.  It usually has a higher value than shore excursions.  We are next booked on a 25 day cruise. That equals $2,000 for the beverage package ($40 per day times 2 people, times 25 days).  The OBC is only $800 and the excursion option is for 8 excursions, both per stateroom.  The excursions amount to a maximum of $1600.  Therefore, we come out at least $400 ahead with the beverage package.  Of course, if you don't drink then choose the shore excursions.

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54 minutes ago, Twiga said:

Most of the discussion has been about OBC and shore excursions. I usually take the beverage package. It costs $40 per day person, or $80 per stateroom.  It usually has a higher value than shore excursions.  We are next booked on a 25 day cruise. That equals $2,000 for the beverage package ($40 per day times 2 people, times 25 days).  The OBC is only $800 and the excursion option is for 8 excursions, both per stateroom.  The excursions amount to a maximum of $1600.  Therefore, we come out at least $400 ahead with the beverage package.  Of course, if you don't drink then choose the shore excursions.

But the Beverage package offered as the O Life Perk is only for  wine & beer with Lunch & dinner

If you are ashore   you are missing out  on those  drinks  😉

 

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6 hours ago, KS&JW said:

Where Oceania air really shines is cruises that start on one far flung location and end at another far flung location.  We did the Tahiti to Peru cruise a while back.  You would need to book a one way international  flight on two different airlines.  Very expensive unless you use airline miles.  Since Oceania is not  set by the same rules you and I are, they can get flight without the one way penalty.  

Check out ITA Matrix (web air search engine). You can’t buy tix there. But, you can figure out how to get from A-B and back from C-A anyway you want to do it.

As for two different airlines- just fly with consortium members like United and Lufthansa (or another of their numerous Star Alliance partners) and familiarize yourself with “code sharing” and other mechanisms that allow you to do everything with one phone call.


And, as I’ve posted elsewhere on so many occasions, do not use Oceania for bizclass tix purchases. That ticket prices might seem like a bargain until you realize that the economy air cost in your cruise price will not be credited  when you buy the bizclass ticket. You end up paying both fares.

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5 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

But the Beverage package offered as the O Life Perk is only for  wine & beer with Lunch & dinner

If you are ashore   you are missing out  on those  drinks  😉

 

But, for $20/person/day, you can upgrade to the prestige package with unlimited spirits (except for some top shelf single malts/cognacs) and wine by the glass all day (18% gratuity included).

Because we do longer cruises, have platinum O Club perks and get a fair share of event invites, we no longer get booze packages.

We bring our own wine (usually start with a case and replenish enroute) and pay the $25/bottle corkage which, if you drink good wine, ends up being a bargain. That $75 Cab at home would be $200+\- (plus 18% gratuity) onboard (I.e., if they even have it). But you can  DIY for $75+$25 (tip included). Add happy hour prices and freebie events (officer dinners, O Club events, etc) and most folks will come out ahead compared to the Prestige package cost (where you still only get a limited selection of wine by the glass).

BTW, for onboard wine purchases, always ask for the “bin end” list on the first day. There are actual bargains to be had - far better than the 7 bottle purchase program.

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9 hours ago, Ski Mom 2 said:

OK let me see if I understand this now...

 

Olife costs me $200 pp (although I don't see that cost on my invoice)

OBC taken results in $200 pp (we would have no trouble using that up) so that's a wash so to speak.

Excursion credit would be 2 excursions @$100-$199 each or up to $398 pp

Hence if you take the excursion credit you could potentially "gain" up to $198 pp if you take the more expensive excursions.

 

Yes?...

Yes - book the $199 allowable tours and double the value of the offered O Life OBC (and you can take the air credit with O Life). PLUS - a 25% discount on paid tours if the total tours booked (O life and purchased) meet the minimum number required for YWYW On your itinerary.

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Posted (edited)

So truth be told, we do enjoy drinks prior to dinner, wine with dinner and perhaps an after dinner cocktail too. We plan to bring wine on board since I’m sure we can do better even with the corkage fee. I have tried to find what wines by the glass are typically served but realizing our cruise is still 2 years away that can change. Will we be happy with that selection by the glass? We’re not wine snobs but we do enjoy quality wines. 
 

With so many sea days I can see we would drink at lunch on those days but will be gone during lunch on port days. Our cruise is 20 days so the extra $20 pp/per day adds up but could be worth it to have drinks any time. 
 

So even if you get the package do you still purchase wines by the bottle?


Good thing I have plenty of time to figure this out!!

Edited by Ski Mom 2
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3 minutes ago, Ski Mom 2 said:

So truth be told, we do enjoy drinks prior to dinner, wine with dinner and perhaps an after dinner cocktail too. We plan to bring wine on board since I’m sure we can do better even with the corkage fee. I have tried to find what wines by the glass are typically served but realizing our cruise is still 2 years away that can change. Will we be happy with that selection by the glass? We’re not wine snobs but we do enjoy quality wines. 
 

 

You can look at some menus  from prvious years  at  this person's blog

he does a good job of photos of the ship & food as well

https://www.thepreismans.com/marina19_menus.htm

 

We do not drink much so do not take the package  but we do buy some bottles of wine  that is what OBC is for  ..right LOL

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The great unknown is the presumed need to take cruise sponsored excursions. Hopefully by'23 this will not be an issue.

Before you decide if the excursions are an option read them carefully and compare the offerings to those you can book via the recommended tours on the Ports of Call forums, Trip Advisor, Tours By Locals, Viator etc. if you can self book.

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Remains to be seen what any new rules are, but...

 

Wine bottle purchase gets 15% discount if you have either bev plan.

When doing math on bev plan, keep in mind that the 18% tip is included.

If you order doubles and then add a dessert wine/port you get to the daily value pretty easily.

Bev plan used to be better deal when O had pretty good champagne by glass, but it has gotten bad recently.  The latest one O took over all of Regent Seven Seas stock after their cruisers revolted and protested!  

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11 hours ago, Ski Mom 2 said:

So truth be told, we do enjoy drinks prior to dinner, wine with dinner and perhaps an after dinner cocktail too. We plan to bring wine on board since I’m sure we can do better even with the corkage fee. I have tried to find what wines by the glass are typically served but realizing our cruise is still 2 years away that can change. Will we be happy with that selection by the glass? We’re not wine snobs but we do enjoy quality wines. 
 

With so many sea days I can see we would drink at lunch on those days but will be gone during lunch on port days. Our cruise is 20 days so the extra $20 pp/per day adds up but could be worth it to have drinks any time. 
 

So even if you get the package do you still purchase wines by the bottle?


Good thing I have plenty of time to figure this out!!

One thing to keep in mind is that when you take the basic drink package for your Olife perk you don't upgrade it until you are on board. You can wait until a few days in to the cruise to upgrade if that is your preference. Generally the Captain's Welcome is on night two of the cruise and drinks are free in most bars, so you really don't need it then. Also, you can bring all the wine you want to drink in your cabin without a corkage charge. The other thing that hasn't been discussed here is the liberal policy Oceania has toward bringing your own bottle/bottles of other drinks aboard. Although they have a basic policy about not bringing them, in practice you can bring on whatever you want at embarkation or port stops. The biggest drawback is that it is for in cabin consumption only, and I'm really only one of those sleep or make a short stop in the cabin type of people. 

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19 hours ago, KS&JW said:

Where Oceania air really shines is cruises that start on one far flung location and end at another far flung location.  We did the Tahiti to Peru cruise a while back.  You would need to book a one way international  flight on two different airlines.  Very expensive unless you use airline miles.  Since Oceania is not  set by the same rules you and I are, they can get flight without the one way penalty.  

Actually Air Tahiti Nui partners with American, so one can ticket both Papeete and Lima on one ticket with American.

 

I’m sure one can do it on United also using their South American partner back to the US.

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We've only done one Oceania cruise. We did Concierge. It was not a lot extra and we regarded the idea as a treat for the little extras. In truth, I'm not sure whether it was worth it for us. We're hoping to do a "special occasion" cruise in August 2022 and will decide whether to save the relatively small amount of money or not, when we're closer to booking. Of course, with all the money we've saved on holidays during Covid, we may just decide to throw lots of cash at this one in any event.

 

Air did not arise last time as it was a UK to UK cruise, so we drove to near Southampton and stayed in a hotel the preceeding night, leaving the car with one of the parking compnaies dockside. Next years trip is likely to be European port to European port  so air becomes involved. We've not looked at this side of things yet, so don't know about any constraints the O deal has. Do they only fly from/to one UK airport or do they have flights from regional airports? If the latter then that's fine but, if it was a matter that I have to get to London and probably stay overnight in a hotel there, I'd probably look to book our own flights from our regional airport to the port airport. That might mean that, if we havent visited the port city before, it could be an opportunity to spend a couple of days there before the cruise.

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41 minutes ago, ORV said:

.... Also, you can bring all the wine you want to drink in your cabin without a corkage charge. The other thing that hasn't been discussed here is the liberal policy Oceania has toward bringing your own bottle/bottles of other drinks aboard. Although they have a basic policy about not bringing them, in practice you can bring on whatever you want at embarkation or port stops....

 

This is one of the things I like best about Oceania:  They treat the pax like adults when it comes to bringing on alcoholic beverages.  We tend to take long cruises, and we just delight in purchasing wines/liquors from the places we visit for consumption on our balcony.  And if a bottle of Barolo happens to make it into my backpack in Italy, then the corkage fee is happily paid.

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Let me again point out the highly obvious that people fail to mention. On some cruises, in some parts of the world buying wine and spirits to bring aboard it both easy and economical. Great Britain, Southern Europe, Australia, NZ, most of S. America, and Hong Kong fit into this category.

 

However, if your cruises are going to the Baltic States, South Asia, the Middle East, India, and a host of other places it’s unpractical to impossible and highly expensive where possible to procure wines and certain adult beverages.

 

Even in the Carribe , where cheap rum is galore, one needs to be careful of buying those wines that sat and bounced in a truck in 100 degree heat all day.

 

Buying ashore and bringing aboard is NOT a one size fits all adventure. Location, Location, Location.

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12 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Let me again point out the highly obvious that people fail to mention. On some cruises, in some parts of the world buying wine and spirits to bring aboard it both easy and economical. Great Britain, Southern Europe, Australia, NZ, most of S. America, and Hong Kong fit into this category.

 

However, if your cruises are going to the Baltic States, South Asia, the Middle East, India, and a host of other places it’s unpractical to impossible and highly expensive where possible to procure wines and certain adult beverages.

 

Even in the Carribe , where cheap rum is galore, one needs to be careful of buying those wines that sat and bounced in a truck in 100 degree heat all day.

 

Buying ashore and bringing aboard is NOT a one size fits all adventure. Location, Location, Location.

 

I'm sorry Pinotlover....  I can't help myself: 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, Harters said:

Do they only fly from/to one UK airport or do they have flights from regional airports? If the latter then that's fine but, if it was a matter that I have to get to London and probably stay overnight in a hotel there, I'd probably look to book our own flights from our regional airport to the port airport. That might mean that, if we havent visited the port city before, it could be an opportunity to spend a couple of days there before the cruise.

If you look at the fine print on their website  it will tell you what the gateway airports are in the UK

 

You fly in on embarkation day & out on disembarkation day

you could pay the deviation fee of $175 USD pp & fly in/out on days you prefer

We like to arrive earlier  to get over the jet lag   but you may not have that problem

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5 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Actually Air Tahiti Nui partners with American, so one can ticket both Papeete and Lima on one ticket with American.

 

I’m sure one can do it on United also using their South American partner back to the US.

 

Yes, you can in theory do that.  However, as I discovered when I took this cruise, you pay a very dear price for such a ticket.  A price similar to two one way international tickets.   Let's just say that some times Oceania air is a good deal. 

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1 hour ago, KS&JW said:

 

Yes, you can in theory do that.  However, as I discovered when I took this cruise, you pay a very dear price for such a ticket.  A price similar to two one way international tickets.   Let's just say that some times Oceania air is a good deal. 

Not for bizclass. See my earlier post- you’re paying both their economy and bizclass ticket cost with Oceania.

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