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gaa2

Live from Marina

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Cruising the Chilean Fjords today, not much to see yet. The glaciers were spectacular after rounding Cape Horn. Captain did not stop at Punta del Este due to concern about tendering in high seas. Loved seeing the penguins at two ports (saw three types). The port yesterday was Punta Arenas, lots of graffiti from the recent protests and not much to do on a Sunday unless you get out of town to nature, which is the real attraction in Patagonia. Enjoying the ship, some positives and some areas for improvement, but overall a great time so far. Staff works very hard and have been generally very good EXCEPT the staff from Destinations who are really only interested in selling you tours and have not impressed us with the same attitude as everyone else.   One person at Destinations is quite rude, but she is not representative of the staff generally. Shoutouts for excellent service to our attendant Stephanie, assistant waiter Sylvie, and Cellarmaster Loredonna. Love the cabin, dinner at Jacques, dinner at Toscana, and the Wine Bar. The coffee bar has been good, so has afternoon tea service. Lots of options on sea days with culinary classes, art studio, etc. although we have not taken advantage of classes. Good lectures, well-attended with replays in your cabin. Gym is very crowded, good luck on sea days if you like to work out in the mornings. Happy to answer questions assuming the spotty WiFi allows me to log back on.

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just to clarify  "Destination Services" IS  all about ship's tours  not making other private arrangements for guests on the fly

They should  change the name of the dept  to "Ship's Tours" so  people are not confused

JMO

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We will be on Marina in February.  I would be interested in your comments regarding food quality and service in the MDR and the Terrace Café.  Further, do you know the name of the Executive Chef on the Marina.  Have a great cruise!

Joel Barry

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Hi Joel, 

We only had lunch in the Terrace Cafe upon embarkation. The variety was good and it seemed fresh but it was very crowded so we never returned. We have eaten breakfast in the MDR and it was fine. Breakfast service in the MDR was excellent.  We did not care for lunch in the MDR (tried it twice) but the atmosphere was quiet and relaxing, with lots of tables open near windows. We did not like the selections and did not like the food itself. We have not tried it for dinner but family members have reported enjoying it (while we were having date night at Jacques!)

I am sorry, but do not know the name of the Executive Chef. 
Enjoy your cruise!

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Gaa2, Please don't judge lunch at Terrace on your first day there.  Of course it was crowded with nothing else (other than Waves) being open. 

 

When we are in port (if the GDR deigns to open) that's where we will probably have lunch, but depending on the menus we may go to Terrace.  If we've been on a tour, we usually opt for Waves.  We love breakfast in the GDR on sea days -- or if the arrival in port is late enough.  If it's a port day with early arrival, and we have a planned tour (usually privately arranged but we do ship's tours as well), then we'll have breakfast in our room.  The time I tend to avoid in Terrace is breakfast on tour days!  Then it truly is crowded.  It also depends on which ship -- if an "R" ship, Terrace for breakfast on port days can be extremely crowded.  It's not so crowded on the "O" ships.

 

Our two most recent cruises had the "revised" menus in the GDR (we were on Marina and Riviera at those times) which as I have often posted haven't pleased us -- not that there isn't enough choice.  Just that we used to have much more choice.  We don't care for the prompter repetition of offered courses.  It used to be that menus repeated every two weeks or so ...no more.  (Unless this has changed since our last cruise which certainly could be the case.)

 

We often liked lunch in the GDR for the "international plate" -- I've forgotten now what they call it.  But that was usually a huge platter with a number of choices, and for light eaters one plate could satisfy both people ... not that we ourselves are light eaters!  Still, when DH ordered it I'd always offer to help out ...

 

Mura

 

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Dear Gaa2 and Mura:

 

I appreciate your candid comments on quality of food and service on the "R" class ships.  We have only cruised on the "O" class with Oceania and were a little concerned about the almost 50% more passengers to serve and feed on the larger ships.  We have been very impressed with the food quality and service on the smaller Oceania ships.  We were not impressed with the Destinations Group on Oceania, however, we had the same complaints on Viking Ocean.

We will be on Marina in February and Viking Orion in October, and perhaps we will choose one line as our favorite?

Thank you,

Joel Barry  

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Joel, I cannot speak to Viking Ocean at all since we've only used them on river boat cruises ...but we were so disappointed with them on a French B2B in 2012 that we haven't returned.  I see that many loyalists like Viking Ocean very much, we're just not ready to move over.

 

For us, we are fans of both the "R" and "O" ships on Oceania.  They each have their benefits.  I believe that Destinations is not "Oceania" per se, and we haven't had problems with people serving there in the past BUT we also haven't used them much!  I would never suggest that you should judge the line by Destinations staff.  If you are unhappy with the Reception Desk, that would be something else!

 

I will add that when we consulted Destinations in November 2017 when we were in Haifa -- the clerk was very helpful.  He actually told us how many people were on board ... VERY FEW.  And he helped us get to the shuttle into Haifa where we met DH's cousin ...

 

Mura

 

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7 hours ago, Cape Hernlopen said:

Dear Gaa2 and Mura:

 

I appreciate your candid comments on quality of food and service on the "R" class ships.  We have only cruised on the "O" class with Oceania and were a little concerned about the almost 50% more passengers to serve and feed on the larger ships.  We have been very impressed with the food quality and service on the smaller Oceania ships.  We were not impressed with the Destinations Group on Oceania, however, we had the same complaints on Viking Ocean.

We will be on Marina in February and Viking Orion in October, and perhaps we will choose one line as our favorite?

Thank you,

Joel Barry  

Joel, our last Oceania cruise was on the Sirena, and we thought the food was better in Red Ginger and the MDR. We had a great cruise and are enjoying Marina, but there were differences. I don’t know if it is size-related. On Sirena, Destinations crew attitudes were pleasant and helpful even if you were only getting a tender ticket from them or passing by them and asking them to point you in the right direction (unlike our experience in Marina where one employee behind the desk, with no line, tersely replied “look at the map” when asked about the direction of travel). But as mentioned, we have also had positive dining experiences in Jacques and Toscana and MDR breakfasts. This is a holiday cruise, and we are grateful to be here. The crew, so far from their own homes, work really hard to give us a great experience. We cruise for destination, and Oceania has wonderful itineraries. We are still excited about the ports to come on this cruise as we explore the beauty of Chile. Although our next cruise will be a return to Seabourn, we have booked Oceania on the Nautica for an itinerary we liked in 2021. We have not yet tried Viking, and would consider it for an Arctic cruise.

Happy cruising!

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to gaa2

Thank you for your interesting comment about Marina ship . We will be on Marina for two cruises starting on January 22 and we are happy to be on board again.

Could you please transmit the best regards to the Cellarmaster Loredana from two guys JP & André from Switzerland who will be pleased to meet her again if she will still be on Marina

Thank you very much and have a nice cruise.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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13 hours ago, Cape Hernlopen said:

Dear Gaa2 and Mura:

 

I appreciate your candid comments on quality of food and service on the "R" class ships.  We have only cruised on the "O" class with Oceania and were a little concerned about the almost 50% more passengers to serve and feed on the larger ships.  We have been very impressed with the food quality and service on the smaller Oceania ships.  We were not impressed with the Destinations Group on Oceania, however, we had the same complaints on Viking Ocean.

We will be on Marina in February and Viking Orion in October, and perhaps we will choose one line as our favorite?

Thank you,

Joel Barry  

 

We sailed on the Riviera and few months later on Azamara which is identical to Oceania R class. We did not find Riviera more crowded despite being almost double in terms of passenger count. The reason is that the ship is more than double size, so there are much more public areas. Also the passengers/ratio on O class is actually better than R class. I would not be concerned about crowds/service at all.

 

Interestingly, we had poor experience with excursions desks on almost all our cruises, including the last one on Crystal. 

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Dear ak1004:

 

Thank you for your comments on the R class ships and the "excursions desks".  Perhaps we all need  cruises with more sea days.

 

Wishing a happy and safe New Year for all members of cruise critic.

 

Joel Barry

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