ABOUT OUR CRUISE SHIP AND CRUISE

Trip Start May 28, 2007
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Trip End Dec 31, 2007


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, July 5, 2007

SOME GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT OUR CRUISE SHIP AND CRUISE.

IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN OTHER CULTURES, HISTORY, ART AND/OR ARCHITECTURE YOU WOULD PROBABLY NOT BE INTERESTED IN THIS CRUISE.
IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BEING IN AN ENVIROMENT OF LUXURY AND ELEGANCE AND BEING PAMPERED BY A SUPER FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL STAFF YOU WOULD PROBABLY NOT BE INTERESTED IN THIS CRUISE.

ABOUT THE CRUISE SHIP:
   -  PASSENGERS - ABOUT 680 
   -  SHIP'S CREW - ABOUT 380

DINING:
   - MOST CRUISE SHIPS HAVE BETWEEN 2,000 & 3,000 PASSENGERS
   - THEREFORE, BECAUSE OF THE NUMBERS, THEY MUST HAVE 
     FIXED SEATING FOR MEALS  -  WHICH MEANS THAT YOU
     MUST SIT AT THE SAME TABLE WITH THE SAME PEOPLE
     AT THE SAME TIME FOR EACH MEAL. AND THERE ARE LINEUPS
     FOR MANY THINGS - LIKE GOING ASHORE, DOING OTHER THINGS.
    - OUR SHIP HAD OPEN SEATING  -  WHICH MEANS THAT
     YOU CAN SIT WHERE YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT AND
     WITH WHOM YOU WANT (AS LONG AS THEY ARE WILLING
     TO SIT WITH YOU OF COURSE), AND AT ANY TIME THAT
     THE DINNING PLACE IS OPEN AND SERVING MEALS  
     -  USUALLY ABOUT A 3 HOUR TIME PERIOD
     FOR EACH MEAL - BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER.
     WE USUALLY TOOK ABOUT AN HOUR & HALF FOR BREAKFAST,
     AND ABOUT 2 HOURS  FOR DINNER - WE MISSED MANY
     LUNCHES BECAUSE WE WERE ASHORE. THE MEALS TOOK A LONG
     TIME BECAUSE WE TOOK OUR TIME AND WERE USUALLY
     TALKING TO PEOPLE.
     - THERE WERE 5 EATING PLACES ON THE SHIP:
           - THE GRAND DINNING ROOM - A DRESS CODE REQUIRED
            SHOES AND LONG PANTS (CLUB CASUAL AS THEY
             CALLED IT) - MEALS SERVED FROM A MENU BY WAITERS.
             - THE TERRACE - WHICH WAS AN OUTDOOR/INDOOR PATIO
             WITH A HUGE BUFFET SELECTION OF FOOD - DRESS CODE
            ALLOWED SANDALS, SHORTS, SHORT SLEEVE SHIRTS, AND 
             MESSY HAIR, ETC. FOOD INCLUDED A CARVING TABLE WITH
            VARIOUS TYPES OF MEAT - ROAST BEEF, LAMB, TURKEY,
            HAM - IT WAS LIKE TUCKER'S MARKET PLACE IN OTTAWA,
            ONLY MUCH, MUCH BETTER.
             - THE POLLO GRILL - SPECIALIZING IN VARIOUS STEAKS
             AND ROASTS AND SEA FOOD - LOBSTER, SHRIMP, ETC.
              ORDERED FROM A MENU - INCLUDED A 32 OZ. CUT
              OF PRIME RIB ROAST (THERE WAS A 16 OZ. ONE FOR
             PEOPLE WITH A SMALLER APPETITE), SMALLEST STEAKS
              WERE 16 OZ., AVERAGE SIZE WAS CLOSER TO 24 OZ. 

              DRESS CODE - NO SANDALS OR SHORTS
              - TUSCANNI - SPECIALIZING IN ITALIAN AND MEDITEREAN
             FOOD - DRESS CODE - NO SANDALS OR SHORTS
              - THE WAVES BAR AND GRILL - ON THE SWIMMING POOL
              DECK BY THE SWIMMING POOL - SPECIALIZING IN FRENCH
              FRIES, HAMBURGERS, HOT DOGS, ICE CREAM AND ALL OF
              THAT KIND OF STUFF. I DO LIKE FRENCH FRIES.
              DRESS CODE - SANDALS, BARE FEET, SHORTS,
             SWIMMING SUITS ALLOWED - I THINK WEARING A SHIRT
             WAS REQUIRED, BUT I AM NOT SURE NOW.
              - 24 HOUR ROOM SERVICE/NO CHARGE - INCLUDED
              IN THE PRICE OF THE CRUISE - WE HAD BREAKFAST
              IN OUR ROOM SEVERAL TIMES WHEN WE HAD BOOKED
              AN EARLY SHORE EXCURSION TOUR - ie. 8:00 AM

THE TOP CHEF FOR THE OCEAN LINE IS JACQUE PEPIN , APPARENTLY HE IS A WORLD RENOWNED CHEF, HE HAS HIS OWN TV COOKING SHOW.

IT IS HARD NOT TO OVER EAT ON A CRUISE LIKE THIS.
SEVERAL TIMES I HAD RESOLVED TO HAVE A LITE MEAL AND
ENDED UP OVER EATING AGAIN, BECAUSE THEY HAD A NUMBER OF MY FAVORITE DISHES, OR DISHES THAT JUST SOUNDED AND LOOKED TO GOOD TO PASS UP OR DISHES THAT I JUST HAD TO TRY.
MAINLY ATE FRUIT FOR BREAKFAST - BLUE BERRIES, BLACK BERRIES, RASPBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES, SLICED PEARS, SLICES PEACHES, GRAPE FRUIT, ETC  -  ALL FRUITS THAT I PARTICULARILY LIKE  -  OCCASSIONALLY I GAVE INTO TEMPTATION AND HAD BELGIAN WAFFLES AND/OR PANCAKES  -  OF COURSE THEY HAD ALL OF THE STANDARD STUFF LIKE BACON, SAUGAGES AND EGGS ANY WAY YOU WANTED THEM.

I ONLY GAIN 3 LB.'s ON THE TRIP WHICH VALIDATES MY BELIEF THAT IT IS NOT HOW MUCH YOU EAT, BUT WHAT YOU EAT THAT PUTS ON THE POUNDS  -  I STAYED AWAY FROM STARCHY FOODS LIKE POTATOES (EXCEPT FRENCH FRIES OCCASSIONALLY), RICE, BREAD AND PASTA AND SUGAR (ie. RICH DESSERTS AND PASTRIES)
I DID CHEAT ON THIS DIET - I DID HAVE FRENCH FRIES, HAMBURGER AND ICE CREAM IN THE POOLSIDE WAVES BAR AND GRILL OCCASSIONALLY. AND I TRIED THE MORE EXOTIC DESSERTS OCCASSIONALLY - PEACHES OR PEARS JUBILEE OR FLAMBE AND SOME OF THE RICH LOOKING PASTRIES OCCASSIONALLY.

THE SHIPS SERVICE CREW COMES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD - PHILLIPINES, INDONEASIA, ROMANIA, CROTIA, SERBIA AND OTHER 3RD WORLD COUNTRIES  -  THIS IS DONE ON PURPOSE  -  SO THAT ANY PASSENGERS FROM ANY OF THESE COUNTRIES WILL AT LEAST HAVE A FEW OF THE SHIPS CREW FROM THEIR OWN COUNTRY THAT SPEAK THEIR OWN LANGUAGE - THEY ALL SPEAK PERFECT ENGLISH.
THE MANAGEMENT AND TECKNICAL CREW MEMBERS WERE FROM 1ST WORLD COUNTRIES - ie. FRANCE, ENGLAND, U.S.A., CANADA.
THE CHEFS WERE FROM FRANCE - LISE GOT A KICK OUT OF TALKING FRENCH WITH THEM - THE CRUISE DIRECTOR WAS FROM CALIFORNIA, A NUMBER OF THE TOP MANAGEMENT MEMBERS OF THE CREW WERE FROM CANADA.

THE PASSENGERS WERE FROM ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES - U.S.A., CANADA, ENGLAND, AUSTRALIA - IF THERE WERE PASSENGERS FROM NONENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES I DID NOT MEET THEM ON THE CRUISE. AS FAR AS TOURIST GO AND THE SHIPS'S CREW GO THERE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE PEOPLE THERE FROM CALIFORNIA - WHICH IS NOT SUPRISING, BECAUSE IF CALIFORNIA WERE A SEPARATE COUNTRY, IT WOULD BE BIGGER (POPULATION WAYS) THEN MOST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD (LIKE CANADA) AND IT WOULD BE AND IS A VERY RICH COUNTRY OR STATE.

THE CREW MEMBERS WERE EXCEPTIONALLY FRIENDLY AND PLEASANT - EITHER IT IS THEIR JOB OR THEY JUST HIRE PEOPLE WITH THAT TYPE OF PERSONALITY OR MAY BE IT IS BOTH.

THE CRUISE SHIP SAILED MAINLY AT NITE AND DOCKED BEFORE 8:00 AM IN THE MORNING AND WENT OUT TO SEA AGAIN SOME TIME BETWEEN 6:00 PM & 11:00 PM. WE SPENT ALL OF THOSE DAYS ASHORE LOOKING AROUND AND SEEING THINGS AND DOING THINGS.
THERE WAS ONLY TWO (2) DAYS THAT WE SPENT AT SEA - 1, GOING
FROM AMALFI, ITALY TO ATHENS, GREECE BY GOING THROUGH THE MESSINA STRAIGHT (BETWEEN SICILY AND ITALY) AND 2. GOING FROM KUDASI, TURKEY TO ISTANBUL, TURKEY THROUGH THE DARDENNELLES STRAIGHT BETWEEN EUROPE AND ASIA.
ALL OF THE OTHER DAYS WE WERE ASHORE LOOKING AROUND AND DOING THINGS - SO WE SPENT MOST OF OUR TIME (WHEN WE WERE AWAKE AND NOT EATING OR NOT SLEEPING) OFF OF THE SHIP EXCEPT FOR THE 2 SEA DAYS. THOSE DAYS WE SLEPT IN AND SPENT A LOT OF TIME AROUND THE SWIMMING POOL AND SUN DECK. IT WAS LIKE HAVING A DAY OFF FROM WORK - IT WAS LIKE HAVING A HOLIDAY.

THE CRUISE LINE "OCEANIA" HAS 3 IDENTICAL CRUISE SHIPS THAT GO ON CRUISES ALL OVER THE WORLD - ie. AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AMERICA, AROUND THE WORLD, ETC.

THEY TRY VERY HARD TO CREATE A CLUB ATMOSPHERE AND GET REPEAT BUSINESS - GOING ON AN OCEANIA CRUISE AUTOMATICALLY MAKES US AN OCEANIA CLUB MEMBER WITH ALL OF ITS BENEFITS AND PRIVELEGES (WHAT EVER THAT MIGHT MEAN - WE DO OR WOULD GET SLIGHT REDUCTIONS IN FARES NEXT TIME WE BOOKED A CRUISE WITH THEM) - WE NOW GET A LOT OF LITERATURE AND EMAILS FROM THEM - THEY GIVE OUT PINS AND PRESENTS TO THEIR CLIENTS THAT HAVE BEEN ON 5 CRUISES WITH THEM - 10 CRUISES - 15 CRUISES - 20 CRUISES AND 25 CRUISES, WITH THEM.  THEY HAVE REUNION CRUISES. SO THEY MUST HAVE A VERY SOLID CORE OF REPEAT CUSTOMERS THAT ARE CONSTANTLY GOING ON CRUISES WITH THEM.

SOME OF THE CRUISE SHIP'S FACILITIES INCLUDED OF COURSE THE SWIMMING POOL, WHIRL POOLS, SUN DECK AND WORK OUT ROOM, RACE TRACK/WALKING TRACK, LIBRARY, COMPUTER ROOM WITH INTERNET, GAMES ROOM WITH MANY GAMES AND BRIDGE TOURNAMENTS (SEEMED TO BE A NUMBER OF POKER GAMES GOING ON IN THE GAMES ROOM ALL OF THE TIME), GAMBLING CASINO, SPA, EXPENSIVE BOUTIQUES (PRESUMABLY DUTY FREE), ART GALLERY - OTHER THAN WALKING AROUND THE CRUISE SHIP AND CHECKING OUT THE FACILITIES, WE DID NOT USE THEM (EXCEPT FOR THE SWIMMING POOL, WHIRL POOL AND SUN DECK).

ACTIVITIES INCLUDED A POOL SIDE BAND, NITELY DANCES, NITELY ENTERTAINMENT, BINGO (YES BINGO), GAMBLING CASINO, FREE COURSES IN THE COMPUTER ROOM RE: INTERNET, EMAIL, DOWNLOADING PICTURES FROM DIGITAL CAMERA'S, ETC., LECTURES BY A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR ON THE SITES AND PLACES THAT WE WOULD BE VISITING. I HAD A PROBLEM WITH HER ENGLISH ACCENT AND PREFERRED TO WATCH IT ON OUR TV LATER - HER LECTURES WERE VIDEO TAPED AND BROADCAST ON THE SHIP'S TV STATION LATER, BRIDGE TOURNAMENTS, SUDOKA AND TRIVIA QUESTIONS CONTESTS - HANDED OUT IN THE MORNING AND RETURNED THAT NITE - A VERBAL TRIVIA PURSUITS GAME IN THE BAR DAILY (REWARD POINTS GIVEN TO WINNERS THAT COULD BE USED TO PURCHASE PRIZES LATER) - WE DID NOT REALLY GET INVOLVED IN ANY SHIP BOARD ACTIVITIES. WE DID NOT FEEL THAT WE HAD GONE ON A CRUISE TO PLAY BINGO.

THEIR CRUISE SHIPS ARE QUITE A BIT SMALLER THAN THE AVERAGE CRUISE SHIPS ABOUT 600 to 700 PASSENGERS COMPARED TO THE AVERAGE SIZE OF 2,000 to 3,000 PASSENGERS. THE SMALLER SHIP CAN DOCK IN MANY PORTS THAT THE LARGER SHIPS CANNOT DOCK AT. WHEN A SHIP CANNOT DOCK, IT ANCHORS OFF SHORE AND PASSENGERS ARE TAKEN ASHORE BY A SMALLER PASSENGER BOAT - IT DEFINITELY TAKES LONGER WHEN THIS HAPPENS. THE SMALLER SHIP ALLOWS OPEN SEATING FOR DINING AND THERE ARE NOT THE LINE-UPS THAT THE LARGER CRUISE SHIPS HAVE. ALSO THE SMALLER PASSENGER LOAD ALLOWS FOR A MORE CASUAL, INFORMAL FEELING AND ATMOSPHERE AND WAY OF DOING THINGS.

WAS THE CRUISE WORTH IT???? - ABSOLUTELY.
THE ONLY REAL DOWNSIDE IS THE COST - IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE.
IT WAS VERY EXPENSIVE EVEN THOUGH WE GOT 1/2 PRICE BY BOOKING IT LAST AUGUST (FULL REFUND AVAILABLE TO THE END OF MARCH) AND FREE AIRFARE (FREE AIRFARE COST US OVER $500 EACH - FREE AIRFARE DID NOT INCLUDE THE APPLICABLE TAXES - BUT IT WAS STILL A GOOD DEAL - FULL AIR FARE TO ROME AND BACK FROM ISTANBUL WOULD HAVE COST AT LEAST MORE THAN $1,000 EACH AND QUITE PROBABLY MORE THAN $1,500 EACH - STILL A GOOD DEAL BUT NOT AS FREE AS I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE)

WE COULD PROBABLY LIVE IN INDIA FOR 6 MONTHS ON THE MONEY THAT OUR TRIP TO EUROPE COST - SO WHETHER WE WILL DO IT  AGAIN IS VERY DEBATABLE - IT IS A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES; A TOUR OF ITALY AND A LUXURY CRUISE OF THE EASTERN MEDITERREAN OR LIVING 6 MONTHS IN A 3rd WORLD COUNTRY UNDER SEMI-3rd WORLD CONDITIONS  -  BUT IF MONEY WAS NOT A CONSIDERATION WE WOULD DEFINITELY DO IT AGAIN.

WAS IT WORTH IT  - YES IT WAS DEFINITELY WORTH IT  -        - - WE THOUGHT THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO FOLLOW OUR OWN ADVICE - -
"BE GOOD TO OURSELVES!!!!!"

THAT'S ALL FOR NOW

OTTAWA DAVE
AND
THE VERY LOVELY LISE
VIVA LA OTTAWA

AND YOU BE GOOD TO YOURSELVES

THIS TRAVELBLOG IS A LABOUR OF LOVE FOR ME.
THAT MEANS THAT I ENJOY DOING IT AND IT IS NOT WORK FOR ME.
AND I PROBABLY DO IT MORE FOR MYSELF THAN FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ARE READING IT.
IT IS LIKE KEEPING A JOURNAL OR A DIARY.
AND I FIND IT IS THERAPEUTIC OR ENRICHING OR SATISFYING IN SOME WAYS TO REVIEW, REFLECT ON AND/OR THINK ABOUT AND WRITE ABOUT WHAT I HAVE SEEN AND SAW AND DONE AND EXPERIENCED.

SOCRATES:

"A LIFE NOT REFLECTED UPON
IS A LIFE THAT IS NOT WORTH LIVING."



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Comments

elisex
elisex on

Great reminiscing
Hi sweetie,
Just read your blog and relived a few great moments of our great European adventure. I totally agree with you. If someone only does one cruise in their life, they should do this one. Our adventure is just beginning. What next? India, Spain, Portugal, France (yes I can do simutaneous translation), Australia, Indonesia, Mexico. Ah yes Mexico................
Lots of love for you my darling and for anyone reading this blog.
Lise

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