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About IWantToLiveOverTheSea

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    no favorite yet - looking at Europe now

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  1. Anyone know if there's a place to rent a car in Eden, or would I have to go to the airport? Also, about how far is Ben Boyd Park?
  2. Could someone please tell me the status of Regatta? I thought she was going to undergo a refurbishment this fall, but has that already been done, or is it in the future, or what?
  3. And in case, like me, you are wondering how to get that plus sign on a phone, I can tell you that on a Samsung phone, you need to keep your finger on the zero key rather than tap it! Thanks, everyone, for the information. I'm going to use my cell phone and the + key, then country code etc. in Indonesia, and look up info Australia as well. My carrier charges 25 cents per minute for calls, which I assume includes roaming, but maybe I need to call them just to make sure. But 4 minutes for a dollar isn't bad, as long as I don't chat at length with anyone! I guess if I do, I'll try to use whatsapp, although that makes me a little nervous as I've never used it. Besides, I'm not sure how easy it is to find WiFi in Indonesia, starting with Bali at the airport. I probably won't need to call anyone to or from a landline, but I'm copying the info above so I'm covered. Thanks for the warnings about emojis, SMS costs (although T Mobile says texting and data are free) etc. I guess at one point I knew that 1 was the country code for the U.S. (and I think Canada?) but then forgot it somewhere along the way. When it comes to data, one thing I don't understand is why it appears that a lot of people purchase sim cards for their phones in Bali and Australia. I have a phone which doesn't accept a sim card (I don't think, anyway) so it's a moot point. However, I am (again) curious. Do they purchase a card to make it cheaper to use WiFi, or what?
  4. I'm fairly new to using phones overseas, and totally confused. I've been given a phone number for a driver/guide in Indonesia. I'm pretty sure it's his cell phone. It begins with a + sign, which I assume means I need to dial whatever access code is needed to get outside the United States (my home) in order to dial an overseas number. Then there's 62, which is the Indonesia country code. Then there's a long number - maybe 8 digits or so. So my questions are: From a U.S. cell phone do I need to dial anything other than the + to get outside the U.S.? Then do I simply dial the number I was given? I read something online (by one of the big travel gurus) that sometimes a zero must be added or dropped, but it was not clear to me where and when that would be needed. If I try to text the person, do I just use the same number, including the +? And just out of curiosity, is the long number simply a number that has been assigned to his cell phone, without relation to the area in which he lives? In other words, is there no area/province/state code used in Indonesia for cell phones like there is in the U.S.?
  5. I'm only going to Bali, plus spend some hours in the Hong Kong airport. I'm following the guidelines posted on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. There are different tables for immunizations by age, medical condition, etc. The way I read them, the tables don't recommend the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (which are combined into one) if you were born 1956 or earlier. However, my doctor suggested getting MMR nevertheless. I don't know if she was able to test for titer level or what, but she indicated I was not immune to rubella. My insurance company indicated they would pay for the vaccine, although I suppose I need to pay the usual copay since I need to go to an infectious disease specialist to get it.
  6. In Napier, from what I've read, there is a 3 minute mandatory shuttle from the port to the iSite Center (tourist info) on Marine Parade/Esplanade. I've also read that Pegasus Car Rental is in Napier, although not within easy walking distance of where the shuttle drops people off. But their website indicates they give rides to various places like the airport, so you may want to google them and then contact them to see what's possible. I've read that people who rented from them in Port Chalmers, which is near Dunedin, NZ, were pleased with them. That doesn't help much, but perhaps it's a start!
  7. Yes, I noticed it was an OV when we sailed. But that was in 2014 and somewhere along the way I had either forgotten about it or thought the OV was on another cruise line. I remember a lot from my off-ship experiences (wonderful cruise, Iberian Sojourn) but not ship details.
  8. Wow! I'd spend $100 on ANY upsell, but I'd be shocked if that ever came my way. Actually, I just went on O's website and pulled a list of our past cruises. I was thinking we had never been in an ocean view cabin. However, our cruise list shows we got a deluxe ocean view cabin one year (2014). I know we never booked an OV, so apparently we were upgraded. I have a picture of me standing in front of a big window on Insignia. I was also surprised to see that our last two cruises were in the same room - Regatta 8037. I had no idea that was the case.
  9. OK, for those asking for more info on our upgrade/upsell experience: My spouse and/or I have been cruising on O, about a cruise a year, since 2004 or 2005. This info includes our combined experience. We can't remember exact years, amounts, etc. but as far as we can recall, this has been our experience: Our first travel agent (starting 2004 or 2005) supposedly had a very good relationship with O, and we used her for several cruises until she retired. On one of those early cruises, she managed to get us a free upgrade from a G GTY to a veranda cabin. On other cruises since those early days (changed TAs along the way when first one retired), I think we were bumped up once again (booked G or F, given a lower-priced veranda), but I may be mistaken. I'm thinking it's possible we were offered an upsell and decided to take it, rather than given a free upgrade to a veranda. Most of the time, however, we ended up in the same category as the GTY (G or F), although sometimes we were moved from a G to an F category. (F's are same as G's, just different locations. We love the insides in the middle of the ships - easy to get anywhere, very stable location, etc.) We've never gone from a GTY to an assigned cabin right after booking; but perhaps that's because we always book early, plus we never push to get our cabin assigned. As I said earlier, I don't feel there are bad cabins on O small ships, although if I had to choose a bad cabin it might be one of the G's down on the same floor as the medical center, or possibly one of the lowest-priced ocean-view cabins on the smaller ships (Regatta, etc.) The lowest-priced ocean-views on "R" ships are a little bit smaller than the inside cabins, so they may be a little bit more cramped; not sure. But of course, I would love a tiny porthole, as I'm always looking for lighthouses, and looking out a porthole beats looking for them on the TV (ship's bridge cam) or going upstairs to look outside. Free upgrades seem to be drying up. I definitely don't expect any these days, but if one happens, I'll be thrilled. But given the small number of inside cabins compared to veranda cabins, it's always a possibility. What seems more likely is upsell offers. We've only accepted one or two because price-wise they haven't seemed worthwhile to us. When we did have a veranda, we really didn't use it all that much anyway, and we're pretty basic travelers, so the difference in the room size, amenities, benefits, etc. didn't matter much to us. As to the price, I honestly don't remember what the offers have been, other than they have always been at least $500 per person (10 day and up cruises). They were definitely a good deal compared to the ordinary price; we just didn't feel they were right for us. As far as I can tell, people are offered upsells, when cabins are available, irregardless of whether a person has a GTY or not. I assume they start with people booked into the lower priced category, call them, and work their way up - but who knows what they do?! If you might consider an upsell, make sure your TA (if you have one) or O (if you don't have one) has a way to contact you up until cruise time. If an offer is made, you won't have a lot of time to accept/decline.
  10. I didn't know any cruise lines charged for credit card use. The two we use don't. But one of the two offers us a monetary incentive (forget the percentage amount, maybe 1.5%?) to pay using electronic transfer from our bank to theirs to pay for the cruise. If you use a card, there's no fee, either for use of the card to pay for the cruise or for purchases on board the ship. But maybe the cruise lines that charge a fee only charge Australians; who knows. I would imagine there could be some differences from country to country. As for bags being handed out for free, it's all over the board in the U.S. If I want to buy a bag in my county, it's 5 U.S. cents, with part kept by the vendor, and the rest going to the county. The goal, of course, is to reduce plastic bags. Most of us have a bag or two in our car or purse. It took some getting used to, but now it's no big deal. And yes, I did read recently that some Aus restaurants charge extra on weekend, which seems a bit odd to me.
  11. My husband loves Ray Carr. I'm in the "doesn't really matter" camp, although if they're too loud (crazy/cheerleader/try too hard to entertain types), I'm not crazy about them. I can remember only one of those. I personally liked Dottie. Announcements are announcements. All CDs make them.
  12. GTYs are nothing to be afraid of unless you like to know in advance what room you'll be in. Honestly, I don't think there's a bad cabin on O ships, but some might disagree. The room category and location doesn't matter much to us. As for how soon before sailing you know your room number, it varies. Once we got the number a day or two pre-sail, several other times it was maybe around the 3 week mark. Most of the time, however, it was 1 to 2 weeks pre-sail. Usually we get the cabin category we booked, very occasionally we get something better. We are always offered what I call an "upsell" offer. On occasion we'll take that, but most of the time we won't, as we're happy in the lowly "F" inside cabins.
  13. We really like sitting outside on the Terrace if the weather is nice, or there is something nice to look at, or even sometimes if there's nothing nice to look at - just port activity, or a lighthouse or cruise ship or whatever! For certain places (Venice, Kotor, San Francisco, NYC, Malta, Lisbon come to mind) we eat there so we don't miss good scenery. If it's a little cool, we just sit against the back wall - still get the view but not the wind. You can make your experience a little more varied by eating outside on the Terrace one time, then inside next time. My husband absolutely loves the Terrace, but I like variety as well. Therefore, I try to alternate where I eat, for example, one day eating breakfast in the room, lunch at Waves and then the Terrace for dinner. Occasionally on nice days Oceania will have a special dinner or lunch or whatever cooked and served on the Terrace, in the back - maybe a seafood day or pasta day. Sorry if any of this has already been mentioned. I only read the first couple responses.
  14. When you say "cruise lines," would that be sightseeing boats, ferries, and the like - or what? Thanks.
  15. Yes, I have to admit I love the idea of the price being the final price! I can see that it would be quite confusing to visit the U.S. if you're coming from Australia or New Zealand, particularly if you'll be in different states with different tax percentages. And then car rental, well, that's one situation in which the final price may end up being quite a bit higher than the daily rate that's quoted. It's quite annoying the first time you encounter it. But at least it's rare for us to be charged for credit card use. I'm not surprised Aldi charges for credit card use. They charge for plastic or paper bags, and are a pretty basic operation. But their prices are great, and the quality's usually pretty good, so I'm not complaining! Anyway, thanks for the information. Europe does sales tax the way we do it in the U.S., so I just assumed other countries/continents did it the same way! I'll assume NZ includes the tax in the advertised price too.
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