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Flatbush Flyer

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About Flatbush Flyer

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Point Richmond CA
  • Interests
    Travel, Food, Wine, Sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Pacific Ocean

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  1. Actually, there are a variety of smaller port stops throughout South America (e.g., AlterDoChao on the Amazon, Pisco in Peru [for flights to the Nazca Lines - including only one regional "airline"]) where the charter bus companies (sometimes only a single company) and associated licensed tour guides for both ship and private tours are provided by exactly the same source. In my earlier "Spain Day Tours" example, the only difference for trips to see the Alhambra was the size of the transportation: 40 passenger bus for ship tour and 16 passenger bus for private tours.
  2. Save your helicopter $$$ for the NaPali coast on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. I recommend the float plane for Alaska (as long as it's a classic like a dehavilland beaver). Opt for one with a route that includes a mid-flight landing/takeoff on a mountain lake. The pluses/minuses of private tours are price/group size/etc vs problem handling (particularly time delay repercussions if you're late returning). That said, do understand that sometimes in some places, it's the same operator doing both ship and private tours (e.g., Spain Day Tours).
  3. One sea day? Don't think too long. The classes prebook quickly (particularly now that SBC can be spent before embarkation) and everyone has sea days as their first choice. We often do the classes and, though basic in some ways, we have often walked away with info we didn't know, short cuts for larger dinner parties and "tricks-of-the-trade" (e.g., poaching eggs in plastic bags).
  4. As long as you transfer within the allowable time window (e.g., 30 days), why would you not get the best cruise line deal possible and then add TA perks? Of course, your choice of cruise line is a factor in fine-tuning your purchase. On our preferred line, we almost always "book onboard," which nets us an added booking discount, lower price match guarantee (up until embarkation), current SBC et al. We assign the cruise to ourselves and then immediately shop it around among a small selection of that line's "preferred partner" top-selling TA's. "Shopping around" your deal can then add TA rebate/SBC/gratuities etc -suggesting real savings of approx 5-10% +\- of the commissionable fare. Anticipating some replies that will suggest not giving up "control" of your booking to a TA, please be reminded that your single fare purchase is a "rounding error" in a ship's bottom line while that carefully selected TA you use may book $ millions annually with the same cruise line. Whose inquiries (yours or TA's) will get more immediate SATISFACTORY attention???
  5. For anyone relying on "credit card" provided trip insurance, note that (with very few exceptions), such coverage will NOT waive pre-existing medical conditions as a cause of trip cancellation/interruption.
  6. Two major items to consider are whether the cruise line you're considering specializes in longer itineraries and (related to that) doesn't repeat menus less than every 18-21 days.
  7. Actually, you can update to the "prestige package" (or purchase it outright) at multiple onboard locations (depending on the particular ship). Displays are usually setup in one or two public areas (e.g., adjacent to guest services or exec concierge) as well as at the entrance to the Terrace Café. Once you have agreed to the purchase, you are directed to guest services where you are issued a new key card indicating your booze change. As aforementioned, your credit card info is only taken at embarkation and is not needed anywhere on board during your cruise.
  8. Look at "dining" in your online Oceania account for this cruise and you'll see what is your allowance for that ship.
  9. How about Albion River Inn in Albion (just south of Mendocino, CA with great food and lodging). Book it for Thursday through Sunday for the weekend after Labor Day and add Winesong tix (both the general Saturday wine/food event at the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Pinot Noir event at the Little River Inn on Friday night).
  10. Excellent question! With the understanding that you're looking for a comparable shoreside experience and assuming you might want properties that are often associated with cruise ports, the perfect choice is Intercontinental Hotels. This is affordable luxury, convenient and with a great loyalty program. Many of the IC Hotels have Michelin starred restaurants (e.g., SF, Athens, et al.) and are very close to embarkation ports (e.g., Miami). BTW, Oceania often uses IC hotels for their pre-cruise properties. And they are priced along the lines of JW Marriott and Conrad (Hilton) properties. Interesting side fact: At least one Oceania GM came to the line from a previous position as a GM at multiple IC hotels.
  11. BTW: just because a particular port is dropped by the cruise line does not mean that previously committed port fees are credited by entities at that port.
  12. OP: as already suggested, the devil is in the detail. How many (and which) ports is a major factor in determining what percent of your total cabin cost will be port charges. And, obviously, some locations are more expensive than others (or none, which is one reason why transoceanic cruises with lots of sea days are less costly).
  13. PARTÉÉÉ🍸🍸🍸🍸😎😎😎😎🌴🌴🌴🌴
  14. OR.... Perhaps OP is talking about the ever-plaguing "sweet boat" smell on many marine vessels, which is usually related to even a slight accumulation of mold and/or mildew in the absence of adequate ventilation.
  15. And you can opt for O Life w/o air fare, which lowers the cost by the value of the air credit (still giving you whatever O Life perk you may desire). BTW: B Cabins on R ships are plenty big (w/shower). We've done quite a few 4-5 week cruises in them.
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