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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby JollyJill » 08 Jun 2016 09:08

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Having arrived yesterday, this is our first full day on Marina and as it is foggy here in the port of Oporto, a good time to start the blog.

I have decided to save photos for a review when I get back and just keep this blog as informative. I am aware of course that as there were a group of cruising mates that did a day visit on this ship 2 years ago, that there are already lots of photos of her in the review section of the forum.

Yesterday was a L O N G day. We set off at 3 am together with Wen & Paul in a taxi which arrived at Gatwick an hour later.

We had booked out flight to Lisbon independently because Oceania's offering meant a change of plane at Munich., which just added to the hassle and lengthened the travelling time.

The check in was instant- no queues, as was going through security. Before we knew it, we were settled in an eaterie having breakfast.

When our gate number appeared on the board, we made our way to it and boarded the plane within minutes. The flight was half empty which made it all the more pleasant (is flying ever pleasant?)

On arrival at Lisbon at 10.15 am, we encountered a slight hiccup in waiting for Paul's scooter to arrive from the plane. It delayed us by about 20 mintes but as we had plenty of time before embarking the ship, the only concern was that our booked taxi would wait for us.

At this point, I must mention that the man who met Paul with a wheelchair from the plane, who was instrumental in finding his scooter was incrediby helpful. He passed us over to the waiting taxi driver who equally helpful in taking care of us all.

Our arrival at the terminal was a little disappointing as we had to shift all our luggage across the road ourselves. I put this down to the amount of building work in the area, which I hope is the construction of new cruise terminal.

Once we had found trolleys and wheeled our luggage into what was a bit of a ramshackle terminal, it was taken from us to the scanner and we made our way through to the initial check in point, where our names were ticked off a list and we were given the usual medical form to fill in.

I found myself making comparisons to the check in facility when we sailed with Seabourn, which was exemplary.

Not so with Oceania in that there was no welcoming glass of anything and no coffee (although there was a machine nearby).

That said, we didn't have to wait long before those who were in suite accommodation (thanks for the upgrade Oceania) were ushered on board by 11.30.

Once on the ship, we were directed to the Marina theatre where we officially checked in and received our cruise cards.

As the cabins were not accessible until 1 pm, we went to the Terrace Cafe to sit and enjoy a welcome coffee followed by an early lunch (we had eaten breafast at 4.45 remember).

Whilst the other 3 sat enjoying a post lunch coffee, I went to La Reserva, which was where we were advised to book the speciality restaurants for the cruise. It was as well that I did (the butler could have done if for us) because all 4 of them were already pretty booked up.

Having decided that we would eat in the Grand Dining Room (MDR) on our first night, we agreed that as we all prefer to eat at around 6.30 pm and wanted to try all the dining experiences, we would book for all 4 together. I managed to get the bookings secured for tables for 4 in all of them, which left 3 evenings to dine in the MDR.

More to come....................
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby adogap » 08 Jun 2016 09:27

All sounds great so far Jill. Looking forward to the updates and the photos at the end.
Hope all of you have a great time :mrgreen:

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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby Mungo » 08 Jun 2016 09:40

Good to hear you've safely arrived and on board! :D
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby octocruiser » 08 Jun 2016 11:10

Excellent first report, Jill. Tell it like it is - can't be fairer than that :D

If the Dining options were all booked up before you even got access to the cabin it sounds as if those who were relying on the butler to do it would be unlucky. Or do they hold back an allocation for the elite with butler service. . ?
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby Jimmy the One » 08 Jun 2016 12:22

Thanks for taking the time Jill.
Hope you all have a good time our regards to Wen & P :thumbup:
Jim
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby JollyJill » 08 Jun 2016 13:31

JollyJill wrote:
Image


Having arrived yesterday, this is our first full day on Marina and as it is foggy here in the port of Oporto, a good time to start the blog.

I have decided to save photos for a review when I get back and just keep this blog as informative. I am aware of course that as there were a group of cruising mates that did a day visit on this ship 2 years ago, that there are already lots of photos of her in the review section of the forum.

Yesterday was a L O N G day. We set off at 3 am together with Wen & Paul in a taxi which arrived at Gatwick an hour later.

We had booked out flight to Lisbon independently because Oceania's offering meant a change of plane at Munich., which just added to the hassle and lengthened the travelling time.

The check in was instant- no queues, as was going through security. Before we knew it, we were settled in an eaterie having breakfast.

When our gate number appeared on the board, we made our way to it and boarded the plane within minutes. The flight was half empty which made it all the more pleasant (is flying ever pleasant?)

On arrival at Lisbon at 10.15 am, we encountered a slight hiccup in waiting for Paul's scooter to arrive from the plane. It delayed us by about 20 mintes but as we had plenty of time before embarking the ship, the only concern was that our booked taxi would wait for us.

At this point, I must mention that the man who met Paul with a wheelchair from the plane, who was instrumental in finding his scooter was incrediby helpful. He passed us over to the waiting taxi driver who equally helpful in taking care of us all.

Our arrival at the terminal was a little disappointing as we had to shift all our luggage across the road ourselves. I put this down to the amount of building work in the area, which I hope is the construction of new cruise terminal.

Once we had found trolleys and wheeled our luggage into what was a bit of a ramshackle terminal, it was taken from us to the scanner and we made our way through to the initial check in point, where our names were ticked off a list and we were given the usual medical form to fill in.

I found myself making comparisons to the check in facility when we sailed with Seabourn, which was exemplary.

Not so with Oceania in that there was no welcoming glass of anything and no coffee (although there was a machine nearby).

That said, we didn't have to wait long before those who were in suite accommodation (thanks for the upgrade Oceania) were ushered on board by 11.30.

Once on the ship, we were directed to the Marina theatre where we officially checked in and received our cruise cards.

As the cabins were not accessible until 1 pm, we went to the Terrace Cafe to sit and enjoy a welcome coffee followed by an early lunch (we had eaten breafast at 4.45 remember).

Whilst the other 3 sat enjoying a post lunch coffee, I went to La Reserva, which was where we were advised to book the speciality restaurants for the cruise. It was as well that I did (the butler could have done if for us) because all 4 of them were already pretty booked up.

Having decided that we would eat in the Grand Dining Room (MDR) on our first night, we agreed that as we all prefer to eat at around 6.30 pm and wanted to try all the dining experiences, we would book for all 4 together. I managed to get the bookings secured for tables for 4 in all of them, which left 3 evenings to dine in the MDR.

More to come....................


To answer th quetion about the speciality restaurants being so popular and therefore booked up quickly; I think it is because passengers are only entitled to book each of them once during this cruise. We were advised to book them on line before we left home but wanted to liaiase with Wen and Paul before we made any decisions re dining.

Our Butler by the name of Ronny intruduced himself to us all (we have the same one being in adjoining suites) yesterday afernoon.
He asked us about the booking of restaurants and when I told him that I had done it, he said that I was wise to have done so.

Having settled into our cabin/suite and unpacked, we both needed a rest as neither of us had slept much the previous night.

I will do a cabin review on our return but I am pleased to say that it is extremely comfortable without being ostentatious.
There was a bottle of good quality bubbly in an ice bucket and some canapes waiting for us, along with a fridge full of complimentary soft drinks.

After logging on to cruising mates and reading the sad news of Shirley's death, we opned the bubbly to toast to her and John's bravery throughout these past 3 years.

After muster drill we got ourselves ready for our first evening dining experience in the Grand Dining room but stood on our balcony with Wen & Paul as we sailed away from Lisbon under the bridge (the one named by date) on what was a beautiful sunny evening.

To be continued................
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby Trace » 08 Jun 2016 13:42

Really enjoying this so far Jill... Thankyou X
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Postby grannyM » 08 Jun 2016 14:23

Nice start to your postcards Jill. Looking forward to more when you have time. :)
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby octocruiser » 08 Jun 2016 15:36

All sounds promising !

I'll be pleased to read updates as and when.

I suppose most folk will be able to visualise that experience of sailing under the bridge as many will have done it. In our case nowadays almost every cruise has gone to Lisbon. ;)
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JollyJill on Oceania Marina 7th - 14th June 2016

Postby tobysgranny » 08 Jun 2016 15:52

The travelling and getting on the ship is always the worst bit of the holiday for me and it's lovely to finally get in your cabin and have some lunch and then relax until drill time. You have done all that and finally can get on with enjoying the cruise.

I hope you have a lovely cruise with Wen and Paul and can't wait to hear the next installment.

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