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About pingpong1

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  1. Not implying that my vote actually "counts" for much, but just adding to other's observations. On numerous occasions when putting in "dummy bookings" (online) for various cruises/ships that I was interested in, I too would find that only a specific deck might show "openings" for one of those cruises. I was unable to see or "choose" any open staterooms that might be on another deck or in a different area of the ship/s. I found that "unavailability" to be very unlikely, given the fact that the cruises I was searching were still a long way off from embarkation date. And then, after "turning it over" to my TA for more research, and after she contacted Regent, she would find many more staterooms, on several different decks, also available for booking. So it would seem that perhaps Regent tries to fill up (or direct specific areas of the ship) with people doing their own bookings, while saving other areas of the ship for TA's and their clients. I'm not alleging any nefarious activity here. Perhaps it's just another good reason to use the services of a good/knowledgeable TA for final bookings.
  2. Hi Pinot - I'm trying to plan some "future strategies" before my first O cruise. Since you and some others have mentioned the slow/non-existent wine service in Terrace Grill, would that be a good venue for us to plan on bringing our own bottle/s with us, and pay the corkage fee? Regards.
  3. Okay - I've just put on (what some might think is) my "nit-picking hat"....Please don't be too harsh with me! 😨 Sticking with the "O reps" exact words...i.e., "you were allowed to bring 6 bottles of wine on when you embark....." what is the definition of "you"? Is the hypothetical (CYA) 6-bottle limit per "individual cruiser" or per stateroom? Given the fact that most staterooms are booked and occupied by two people, if "you" meant each person, than that would mean that each stateroom could bring a full case of private wine onboard (12 bottles per case), with empty bottles replenished in ports along the way, as the cruise progressed, right? And who, in "officialdom", would actually be "keeping count" of bottles per passenger per stateroom brought on board, anyway? The two very subjective words..."Moderation" and "reasonable" seem to be the operative controlling terms here. Personal wine brought and consumed on board is not a "problem".... until it's a "problem".
  4. Hi Bill. Either you're still not "old enough" yet, or Economy (for you) has not yet reached the point where it has become "brutal enough" for you to "bite the bullet", "pay the piper", and just budget for the extra cost of "first". 🤬 My last "economy flight"....anywhere.....domestic or overseas....was about 10 years ago. I just couldn't take the ever-growing lines, the hoards of people, the torturously uncomfortable seats, the hassles with luggage weight limits/fees, and the feeling of "too many rats being crammed into too small of a box", etc. At that point, I made the decision that if I couldn't afford the accompanying FC/BC fares for a trip.....I just won't go. "I felt your pain". "Ronrick" makes a very good point. If you can plan far enough in advance, compare all options, be willing to consider various times/routings/airlines, you may well find reasonably-priced FC domestic fares that are just not that much different from many more expensive Economy fares. "Good hunting"! About a year ago, a friend of mine was flying R/T from Phoenix to Myrtle Beach. I was following him out about 2 days later and he was quite miffed when he discovered that I was doing the same itinerary, but different times/different airlines in F/C for LESS money than what he was paying for in Economy. Best Regards.
  5. For me, a "good cruise", or even a land vacation, is one in which I don't ever have to turn on a cell phone or get within 10 feet of a keyboard device, at all! How did we ever function as human beings, raise children, or go on vacations, before we ever had "electronic thingies" to hold up to our ears? "Damn, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs"! 😠
  6. So, you're saying if someone reading this thread particularly likes "Dubai catering halls", than Oceania, vice Regent, is the cruise line for them??
  7. Jim - I'm "new to this party", as well. My thought would be to just buy some bottles/cans/6-packs in ports, just bring them on board (it's allowed), and put them in the frig, myself, to have on hand
  8. As they say, "No good deed goes unpunished" 😉
  9. And if I might tag onto Keith's reply.....Once you're on that first 7-day cruise and reach the "Day 5 mark", you'll be kicking yourself in the butt and wondering why you ever settled for such a short cruise!
  10. Paul - Just curious. If Canyon Ranch is a private/separate concession, it seems like they're paying Regent/Oceania to be on the ships and not the other way around, right? It isn't "costing" Oceania anything for Canyon Ranch to be on the ships. If anything, in some small/weird/non-quantifiable way, the fact that Canyon Ranch (along with their name recognition that Oceania uses in all their marketing literature) probably contributes to Oceania's overall profits and branding efforts. That would make (Canyon Ranch) a "profit contributor" rather than a "cost drain". Presumably, any other spa provider (like Steiner) is also going to be paying NCL/Oceania/Regent for the "privilege" of being on their ships, so how would this (elimination of Canyon Ranch) be a "cost savings" for Oceania - particularly if Steiner wasn't going to bring in as much money? Regards.
  11. Rollie - I'm "new to cruising", in comparison to you and your "Elite Plus" status with Celebrity. So you've taken far more cruises than I have. If you have not made all those bookings through a trusted regular Travel Agent over the years, then it seems to me that you've missed out on tons of ancillary/added benefits. I.e., cash rebates, additional ship board credits, prepaid gratuities, complimentary bottles of" nicer wines" waiting for you in your stateroom, etc. which successful and high-volume agencies regularly give to their frequent (and even first-time) customers. What did you feel was the benefit of booking directly? You are not going to get those extra benefits by merely calling up the cruise line, no matter what your status is, and booking your cruises directly with them. Others can chime in here, but it seems to me that you have really lost a lot of extra concessions over the years by not establishing an ongoing relationship with a good travel agency to do your bookings for you. Regards.
  12. Hi Poss - Don't feel like you're alone on this. All of these "plans" and "coverages" can be very confusing. We received the same letter (from AA). It's not really health or medical insurance, itself. It is only a service that provides "assistance from a distance" in helping coordinate options and services for you (including foreign language translations) to help get medical assistance for you and arrange transportation back to the U.S., if necessary. You would still have to separately pay for the actual transportation and medical costs. They also provide assistance in obtaining airline transportation for relatives and children, who might be accompanying you on a trip. They'll also provide assistance in getting your vehicle back to your home, if it's in a different city or location than where you live. They are mainly providing a warm, friendly, kind voice on the other end of the line on a 24/7 basis. They try to ensure (from a distance) that you are able to actually get the specific medical care you need to get you well enough, wherever you're currently located, to expeditiously get you back home. They are not providing payment (insurance coverage) for anything. You still would need separate health insurance and plane ticket funds to get yourself home. All of these same "assistance services" are provided with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, and perhaps other CC companies, as well. If you have the CSR card, buying this separate "assistance plan" offered by AA, would only be a duplicate/redundant coverage of what you'd already have with the CSR card and could be a waste of money. Regards.
  13. GR - No apology necessary! It gave me a good laugh. I was really looking forward to my first night at the "Hilton Sticky"! 😁
  14. Yes, it was humor (hence, the smiling emoticon). Our (my) best meals are at home, as well, thanks to the "cooking prowess" of my DW. And also, far cheaper than eating out. But among many other reasons, going on an "upscale cruise" gives her a much anticipated and welcomed break from those efforts. I'm hoping that Oceania lives up to it's slogan of "finest cuisine at sea". We'll see. Regards.
  15. Wow, another "good tip"! Thanks.
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