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Everything posted by lorimay

  1. After reading this thread, I went back and looked at my confirmation email for the shore excursions. What a mess. It did show the regular price and the 25% discount price and my SM credits. However, the math simply didn’t add up. I booked the minimum number (5) for the discount and I knew how much in excess of the SM credit I had been charged, but the email and my online account made no sense. Some excursions showed $0 as a discount. Nothing matched what my credit card was charged. I finally called and a very friendly representative helped me. He asked me to email him what I had received and was flabbergasted because it made no sense. Then he emailed me what he saw in his system and everything was correct. Oceania should be embarrassed that their software doesn’t work any better than this.
  2. We will be in Santorini on Vista in July. The day we are in port, there will be a total of eight cruise ships (if you add up the passengers, it could be about 14,000 people). We were going to explore on our own, but from what I read we could be looking at a several hour wait in the hot sun to get the cable car. I'm thinking of booking the Santorini Panorama excursion through Oceania just so we don't have wait for the cable car or walk up. The description for the tour leaves a little to be desired. If I understand correctly, the ship's tender will take us to a different dock (away from the cable car), then we will tour around the island on a bus and have a walking tour at Oia. However, it doesn't say how we get back to the ship. One line in the description says "There may be lines for the cable car during the busy summer season." Does this mean they will drop us off at the top of the cable car and we have to wait for it to get back down to the tenders? Thanks - I'm not sure if I'm ready for that many people on that small island.
  3. On one of our Oceania cruises, we had a load in the dryer and went back to the cabin to wait for it to be done. My husband went to pick up the load and there was a group of people hanging out in the laundry room. They confronted him, and were not joking about it, whether that was his laundry that he was picking up. It was a little off-putting. I had a strange encounter where a woman followed me into the laundry room, looked amazed as I put my laundry in the washer, then sat and watched as it tumbled. She never said a word.
  4. We traveled extensively with our kids when they were the age of yours. They were extremely well-behaved and fit in anywhere. There would have been no complaints from other passengers about them because of behavior. They also did not care for kid's clubs on cruises. However, they would have been very bored on Oceania. Please remember that the average age on Oceania skews VERY senior. The ship is dead by 9pm. The nightly entertainment doesn't start until 9:30pm and maybe a quarter of the passengers even stay up for that. The only other entertainment is in the bars. For most people, it's all about dining in the specialty restaurants. The excursions included with Simply More are group bus excursions at a slow pace, geared for older travelers. If your kids are picky eaters, the specialty restaurants, which are the highlight of the cruise, will be wasted on them. The buffet is great, so they could find something to eat, but the specialty dining is slow and probably not great for kids that age. I think the cons of the ship's atmosphere would outweigh the pros of the itinerary.
  5. Please don't make blanket statements like this. I usually have to work remotely while on a cruise. I pay for premium wifi. I have been consistently able to do zoom and google meets meetings in the Europe, transatlantic and the Caribbean. Is it the perfect picture I have at home? Not always but I can see everyone and they can see me. I can send pictures via my phone, download and post on sites like Cruise Critic, and stream content from Netflix and other streaming services. On basic wifi I can still check my email, send emails with attachments, make wifi calls via What's App. Some days it functions better than others but I'm not expecting perfect internet in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It's worth every penny to me to be able to get done what I need to.
  6. We were on a Celebrity cruise right before this charter a few years ago. They were setting up "playrooms" in the conference center and one of the outdoor areas. Beds were all around the walls in the conference center and outdoors it was all outdoor lounger beds. We asked a crew member about it - they said the staff has the option of not being in the public areas if they choose not to because of religious or moral reasons. Apparently there were also a lot of requests to open the veranda doors from one veranda to another. One crew member said she just kept her eyes down when she was out in public.
  7. On our first Oceania cruise, we were a little surprised by how quiet the ship was at night and what appeared to be a lack of entertainment compared to Celebrity. The crowd was definitely older than we were used to and it seemed they were less active. However, we discovered that the entertainment on Oceania and Regent is much more personal. There is only one show in the theater each night, usually at 9:30. The singers and dancers and the musicians were every bit as talented and professional as on Celebrity. True, you don't get the acrobats, but I never figured how they fit into a Broadway-style show anyway. There is also music in the lounges, usually a piano player and a string trio. The difference is that the entertainment is much more personal. The cruise director usually does a show and they can be very talented. We had one on Oceania and another on Regent that were excellent. We saw an excellent opera group on Oceania. It's all small scale, up close and personal. And on Regent the crew does a show at the end of each cruise called Krew Kapers that is heartwarming. Very talented crew members from all departments sing and dance - the same people who have taken care of you all cruise. What's missing from Oceania and Regent are the things we ignore on Celebrity anyway - the art auction, the "special sales" in the shops, the charm bracelets, the photography, the show in the martini bar, and the people who are working hard to get their money's worth for their drink package (although the most drunk person I've ever seen was on one of our Oceania cruises). As someone else said, we all enjoy cruises in our own way. I think it was hard for us to accept that the quieter, smaller ships fit our lifestyle now as we are older. For years I thought I could never go on a small ship, but once I tried it I like most aspects of smaller ship cruising.
  8. The true dress code on Oceania is what they call country club casual. In reality, at night most women wear nice pants or capris and a nice top, maybe a sweater or a blazer. Also a casual dress. Sandals are perfectly acceptable. For men, it's khakis or nice casual pants and a collared shirt. You do see nice polo shirts and some sports coats. Designer jeans with no holes would probably be acceptable. During the day, you see shorts and gym-type clothes (t-shirts, leggings). At the buffet in the evening you could wear jeans or shorts. We found it was a very comfortable atmosphere, especially since the dress code is the same every night. What I have come to dislike on Celebrity and their dress code is that the "evening chic" night is a sham - most people don't follow it anyway. Silversea still has formal nights. On Regent it's country club casual, but no jeans or shorts or gym clothes allowed in any public area after 6pm. And they do enforce it.
  9. There's almost always a bus that runs between the terminals. This has happened to us several times. Sometimes it's a big tour bus type vehicle and sometimes it's a shuttle bus. They are not going to leave you stranded - and it is a long walk!
  10. The noise problem is not just on the Vista. We were on the brand new Regent Grandeur in December and had the same issue. The ships were apparently built the same way. Talked to others on the ship and they said the older ones didn’t have the problem. We were lucky because although we could hear conversations on both sides it wasn’t too loud. One couple we met said their neighbors on the previous cruise had a huge fight and they could hear every word.
  11. Just beware with the really late dinner reservations. We were on the Riviera and asked for an additional reservation in Jacques. The only opening was an 8:30 reservation. We showed up at 8:30 and all the tables were still full. They can't always perfectly time when people are done eating. We waited at least 15 minutes to be seated, not a big deal for us. Finally, we are seated and the room starts clearing out. By the time we got our main courses (and we are pretty fast eaters) there was only one table left. You would think service would be fast with so few customers, but it was very slow. We weren't even finished with our mains when they started vacuuming around us. Not a pleasant experience. It was clear they weren't happy we were there.
  12. The Regent Grandeur was by far the most beautiful ship I have been on. Truly stunning, both in the suites and around the ship. While all the public areas are nice (the area around the reception area looks like a five-star hotel lobby), the library is the nicest I've ever been in anywhere. Our F1 or F2 veranda suite was almost the same size as the PH we had on Marina, but the layout and finishes were so much nicer. We felt the Marina and Riviera decor was a little tired. That might not mean much to most people, but does to us. We are sailing on the Vista in July and I've noticed from the pictures that it appears to be very similar, so we are looking forward to it. We wanted to try Oceania again and see how we feel about it after Regent.
  13. We were on the new Regent Grandeur in December. It was our first Regent cruise. We have done two cruises on Oceania, Marina and Riviera. Food is so subjective. However, we found the food on Regent to be equal to or better than Oceania. Same high-quality ingredients and variety. The differences I found was the presentation on Regent seemed to be much better. The French restaurant on Regent, Chartreuse, is more "upscale" than Jacques and the type of food is completely different (classic French versus more country French). Steakhouses and Red Ginger/Pacific Rim were almost identical. However, not that it matters, but the food was presented much more beautifully on Regent. We really disliked the main dining room on both our Oceania cruises. Had a couple of not great meals. We had major service issues in the dining room on Grandeur, but the food was much better. The big difference was they have a mix and match menu where you choose your protein (or more than one, steak and lobster or shrimp for example), the preparation and a sauce. They also have a rotating menu of chef's specialties. But with the mix and match, you never get bored. The other big difference is the buffet. Both have small buffets but there is plenty to choose from on both. Salad ingredients were better on Regent - my big complaint about the Oceania buffet was the same five salad ingredients every day. However, the Regent buffet is not open for casual dining in the evening, and that's where Oceania has the edge. What is better after a long day of an excursion than going up to the buffet, and ordering something hot off the grill to eat outside? On Regent it's the dining room, a specialty restaurant (with reservations difficult to get) or room service. There is an large outdoor pool buffet on Regent that Oceania doesn't have. It has many of the items from the indoor buffet plus made to order sandwiches and other items. We found the food ok (it was cold a lot) and the table service bad. We always liked Waves on Oceania, but much more food available outside on Regent at the pool buffet. If you are concerned that the food on Regent is a downgrade from Oceania, I wouldn't be worry. They are more alike than different. Now if you are talking the difference between Oceania/Regent and Celebrity (the line we cruised on mostly in 2023), there's absolutly no comparison at all.
  14. Our September 2024 cruise on this same itinerary was changed in December (2023). We were offered the opportunity to keep the cruise and get a $200 credit ($400 for retreat), move deposit to another cruise, or cancel for a full refund. We booked the same basic itinerary for 2025. If they change it again we will just cancel.
  15. We just booked 9110 on Vista. It's a concierge and the next stateroom aft of it is 9112 with the extended veranda. Is the visibility blocked in 9110 by the extended veranda next door? I couldn't find any pictures. Thanks!
  16. We were once in Labadee having lunch at the food area close to the fence. There was a crowd of people begging for food on the other side of the fence. When security would walk by they would duck down, then pop up after they left. They were holding bowls and plates. It was difficult to enjoy our all-you-can-eat buffet with hungry people only a few feet away on the other side. We had an interesting discussion with our kids about it. Back on the ship we mentioned it to one of the crew. She told us they actually pay a lot of money to the fisherman's village near by and that no one was starving in the area. I think that's the RCCL party line. I will never go back to Labadee.
  17. Between October of 2022 and March of 2023, I went on five separate Celebrity cruises for a total of about 55 days on board different ships. That call could have been about any number of things on a pst cruise or upcoming cruise. I hope they aren't paying a lot for the contractor who is performing these surveys for them. Over a year later, what's the point.
  18. I got an email from Celebrity today with the subject "Request for Assistance". It's a survey. But look at the date of my supposed call. I didn't make a call to Celebrity in December 2023, so they must really mean 2022. How they heck can I remember what that was all about? Anyone else receive something like this?
  19. If you want a real library, you should book a cruise on one of the Regent ships. This is the library from the new Grandeur. It's three separate areas. These pictures don't even cover it all. It's on the of the nices libraries I've ever been in, on land or sea. And I read all my books on an electronic device but still love a library
  20. We're moving our 2024 cruise to a 2025 itinerary on the Eclipse. The ship inventory is pretty wide open. For those of you who have done a lot of S class sailings, would you choose a veranda on the bump or would you choose a sunset veranda? Thanks for your thoughts.
  21. We were in an "F1" stateroom (they're all considered suites) on the new Regent Grandeur, but the other two, the Explorer and the Splendor, are set up the same way. There is a curtain you can pull at the end of the bed that separates the bed area from the living area, so one person could sleep in darkness while the other has the light. Although our PH stateroom on Oceania was slightly bigger, this stateroom was so comfortable I could not really have asked for more. I've never seen so much storage in a stateroom, and that's not including the walk-in closet. One of the great features is both the "coffee" table and the balcony table are large rounds that are high enough you can use them as dining tables and not feel as if you are bending over to eat. You can, of course, choose a larger suite that does have separate rooms, but I think a "regular" stateroom like we had would work well for you.The only other issue you might have is that the ship is a lot smaller, so you would have to take many more laps around the deck to get your miles in!
  22. We got back from our first Regent cruise last week and I have to say it will be hard to go back to Celebrity. We have always enjoyed Celebrity, especially the Edge class ships, and we did almost 50 nights on Celebrity from 2022 - 2023. We were also on two Oceania cruises since the pandemic. The Regent product was so far superior (although not perfect). I realize it's like comparing apples to oranges - Celebrity (upscale mainstream) with Regent (luxury). But if you are spending the money for a suite on Celebrity, I would suggest you give it a try. We liked Oceania also, but found we liked the people on Regent more. I thought the smaller ship would be an issue, but it wasn't. Embarkation on Celebrity was far superior and there's certainly a lot more entertainment on Celebrity, but food and accomodations on much better on Regent. I always found the staff on Celebrity to be fantastic but they are also great on Regent. If you are looking for an alternative give it a shot.
  23. We were on deck 7 just aft of the fire elevators, port side. Other than the noise from neighbors, it was very quiet an a great location.
  24. We had a wonderful last night dinner in Chartreuse tonight. Much of the food was magnificent, and the plating was spectacular. Top notch service from Aaron. Unfortunately, we had an 8:30 reservation so we missed the ABBA party in the atrium but we could hear it as we went to bed. We really enjoyed Krew Kapers. I’ve never seen anything like it on a cruise. So many talented crew members and the whole thing was very heartwarming. Our trivia team started out strong but didn’t do well the last couple of days. However, we did have enough points to get some fun prizes. The weather wasn’t great today so it was crowded inside. Spoke to some people coming into trivia from tea. Apparently it was an overflow crowd from Meridian Lounge into Coffee Connection and no seats anywhere. it was Italian day for lunch in La Veranda. Food was good. I wish there was a little more variety, especially the salad bar ingredients. I’m going to put my final thoughts together once I get home tomorrow. One thing I will comment on now is that I can clearly hear my neighbor’s conversation and I have earbuds in. Everything else about these suites is near perfection. I heard their phone ringing this morning. I don’t know if this is going to be an easy fix.
  25. For the balcony cleaning, apparently they were told they couldn’t use the balcony all day. I’m just telling you what they told us. As for the food, I don’t know what their standards are. For us, our food has been excellent. We had lukewarm food in CR the first night and at the pool grill- where, by the way, they now have signs that say “order here” at the ends of the buffet. On our first day, I saw the hostess’ ordering tablet there and asked if I should order and she told me to sit down and they would come to me. So excuse my confusion as to where to order there. I stand by my “they can’t get their act together” comment from before based on our experience. Other than the food temperature, I have absolutely no complaints about the quality or preparation of the food. I don’t see much difference from Oceania, and they also have outstanding food. However CR beats Oceania’s dining room by a mile. Food is very subjective. My standard is that I am an excellent and experienced home cook and I expect better food than I can cook. Almost every dish used better ingredients and was better prepared than I could ever dream of cooking. The one area I would downgrade them on is desserts. They are usually plated beautifully but not imaginative or out of the ordinary. Nothing bad but nothing special.
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