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bettylu January 27th, 2004 08:33 AM

Oceania's Insignia
Anyone cruising on the june 14 trip around the British Isles, round trip from Dover? We're looking forward to this cruise.

Marilyn February 8th, 2004 09:32 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Dear Bettylu:

We are signed up for this cruise and are just starting to think about the various ports and what we might like to do.

Are you also a member of the Oceania Yahoo board? If not, do sign on. You log into and then request membership to OceanaCruiser. (The board was set up before Oceana found it necessary to change its name to Oceania.) Once you are a member, sign up for the cocktail party for our sailing. If 20 people sign up, the cruise line will throw us a party. Currently, I think we are at 14.

We are flying in and out of Gatwick. I have hired a minivan to take us from the ship back to the airport on the 26th. If you are also flying home that day from Gatwick and would like to share our car and driver, please let me know.

Marilyn Faye

bettylu February 22nd, 2004 12:54 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Marilyn: Thanks for your note. I just signed onto the and entered the OceaniaCruiser, however, I can't find the number of people already signed on. How do you get this information? I must bedoing something wrong.

As of now, we don't have our plane reservations for this trip, so we're not sure if we'll be returning from Gatwick or Heathrow, usually it's Heathrow from Newark.

A few yeards ago, we did a British Isles trip and on the most part made our own arrangements for seeing the various ports. There's a tour bus company called Guide Friday that is an on-again-off-again sightseeing trip that we did and it was very good. They have a web-site, but I haven't checked it out yet. We've used it many times.

Are you going to be in London on the pre-cruise offer? We are and will be arriving on June 12.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Marilyn February 22nd, 2004 02:20 PM

Re: Re: Oceania's Insignia
Dear Betty Lu:

So glad to hear from you.

Re: finding the number of attendies for the cocktail parties. . . you are not doing anything wrong. You will get an email update every Monday which shows all of the cruises, their current count and the person who has agreed to be responsible for name tags.

We are arriving on June 13 and will spend that night in Dover. We want to get back to Dover Castle. We visited the underground tunnels when we were there in September, prior to our Dover-Barcelona cruise, but didn't leave ourselves enough time to see the older parts.

I think we will do the larger cities on our own, using hop on, hop off, buses where available. Don't know about the more rural stops in Scotland. I expect this will be a less intense touring experience than some of our prior trips. And, that's not all bad!


bettylu February 24th, 2004 04:48 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Marilyn: Thanks for your note. We'll probably be doing the same in the major cities. I've been checking for info on Orkney and Shetland and found these two web-sites and I e-mailed the Orkney Tourist office and they gave me names of two men who give private tours, however, in looking further, I see that the tourist office is nearby and probably has information right there when we leave the ship. Shetland looks so small that it will probably be walkable.

How far is the castle from where we'll be getting on the ship? Did you do Oceania on your cruise in September? We did a Princess cruise in September from Barcelona to Southampton and loved it.

Regards, Betty

TheSeaCruzer February 24th, 2004 05:27 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Betty!

Glad to see that you too will be joining our cruise. I was in dover a year ago. The castle is with in sight of the ship. However being a castle its on a hill or rather the cliffs. Its an easy taxie ride from the ship that shouldnt cost you any more than 5 pounds.
In my five weeks spent touring the english country side, Dover Castle and the tunnels were probably one of the most impressive things a saw. I plan to take my family up to the castle when we arrive in dover. Granted we will be jet laged but it will be well worth it.


Marilyn February 24th, 2004 08:27 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Betty:

Yes, our trip in September was on Oceania. Actually, it was probably similar to yours, but in the opposite direction. We sailed from Dover to Barcelona.

We arrived a few days early. Took the train to Brighton directly from the airport. Spent the night there and picked up a car the next day and drove to Dover, visiting Leeds Castle on the way. The next day we went to Canturbury and drove around the area. Had a lovely lunch on the back deck of a restaurant at St. Margaret's Bay, with views of the cliffs and the ferries going back and forth to France. The next day, we did some shopping in Dover and then went up to the castle before going to the ship. My husband dropped me off with the luggage and was going to return the rental car and take a cab back, but one of the guys at the dock followed him and brought him back in his truck. Talk about service. They got a big tip!

Thanks for the web site info. Stay in touch.


bettylu February 27th, 2004 04:50 PM

Re: Re: Oceania's Insignia
Dove and it's castle sounds great - I hope we'll have enough time to explore the area as we're taking the ship's transfer from the London hotel to the ship. We just made our flight arrangements and we do arrive and leave from Heathrow on British Air. The more we correspond, the more I look forward to this trip. Regards, Betty

Dorothy Gold March 23rd, 2004 12:50 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
I will be on this trip with my husband. We are arriving on the 12th and will be staying at the hotel in London and then take the ships transportation to Dover. Is anyone interested in sharing tours on this trip. I tried to get a private tour for Balmoral Castle in Scotland but had no luck. We will be staying for eleven extra days at the end of the trip spending 2 nights in Dover, 2 nights in Cambridge, 5 nights in the Cotswolds, and can't decide where to spend the last two nights before our flight from Heathrow. Any suggestions for anyone. Thanks .

Marilyn March 23rd, 2004 05:46 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Dorothy:

Glad to meet more 6/14 cruisers.

I'm curious. Were you trying to arrange a private tour of Balmoral with a guide or on your own? Have you arranged for any private guides? I can't seem to get a handle on this trip. I guess I'm used to docking in larger cities where the "must sees" and "must dos" are a little more obvious.

We are from San Antonio and this is our second Oceania cruise. Where are you from?


Dorothy Gold March 24th, 2004 11:53 AM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi, my husband and I will be on this trip. We will be spending 2 nights in London before going on to Dover to board the ship. Are you interested in sharing any tours instead of using the ships tours. Let me know if you are intested.

Dorothy GOld

Dorothy Gold March 24th, 2004 11:57 AM

Re: Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Marilyn:

I don't have any set plans for the Balmoral tour. I tried to get some private guide that could possibly meet at the boat. Be I've had no luck. I will keep trying. I will let you know if anything else comes up.

bettylu April 7th, 2004 05:34 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi: I'm reluctant to book any trips to Balmoral at the time we'll be there as it isn't open when the Queen is there and it looks like she's there in June. I've already been to Glamis Castle, so wouldn't want to go there again. It is beautiful and very interesting though. I'm wondering if Oceania will have shuttle buses to various towns we'll be near. Does anyone have any idea if they do? Most of the cruises I've been on provide this service - I'm thinking about Dublin and Waterford for instance.

bettylu April 25th, 2004 12:36 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Marilyn: I still don't get any information about the Yahoo party and I did sign us up for it. As time is getting closer, we're getting more excited, aren't you? This should be a very interesting trip. Should we contact Oceania about our transfer back to Heathrow? I noted someone said they weren't booking more of these, I guess I'll find out when we get the paperwork. Have you done the Panama Canal cruise? WE're thinking of doing it with Celebrity fromSan Diego to Fort Lauderdale. Any input would be helpful. REgards.

Marilyn April 25th, 2004 03:57 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Betty:

Yes, I am getting excited.

The Yahoo Party: You will receive an invitation in your cabin with the time and place. The party is given by Oceania so it is their call. There is a list posted each Monday on the Yahoo board of the number of responses and we are over the magic number of 20 so the party will happen.

You can contact Oceania or your TA about transportation back to Heathrow, but, like you, I read on one of the boards that Oceania was not offering it. There are other alternatives: buses, trains and private transport. Like so many things, it is a question of time and money! I am still looking for someone to share our car and driver back to Gatwick.

We have not been on a Panama Canal cruise. We have cruised in the Med, Western Europe, the Baltic and the Carribean.

Are you spending any time in England before the cruise?


P. Rich April 25th, 2004 05:01 PM

Re: Re: Oceania's Insignia
We will be on this cruise also with a 2 day pre cruise stay in London at the Chancery Court Hotel. We usually travel with another couple and do our sightseeing on our own by hiring a car and driver, Unfortunately they can't make this trip, but we will try to get a group of 4 or possibly 6 together and do the treips on our own rather than using the ship's tours if possible.
Phyllis and Norman

bettylu April 25th, 2004 05:02 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Marilyn:

We are going to be in London two days before the cruise - we took advantage of the free two days that Oceania was offering. We'll be staying at the Interncontinental at Blackfriars and have the Oceania transfer from there to Dover. I'm hoping it's early enough so we can get to see the Dover castle.

Like you, we have cruised the Western Med and Atlantic, British Isles and Norwegian Fjords, Greek Isles and Istanbul, Alaska, Baltic and this past February did South America fromSantiago to Buenos Aires, which was fabulous.

We should be getting the paperwork soon, don't you think?

clo April 25th, 2004 09:44 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Re Balmoral, we visited there a few years ago - not in conjunction with a cruise - and it was wonderful. If I remember correctly, the Royal Family doesn't arrive til perhaps late July/early August. A private tour isn't necessary - just the transportation part. You just show up, pay your money (seem to remember that it's modest) and walk around. Only one room - a ballroom - in the house is open to the public. They've pulled some pieces from various parts of the house. But it's the grounds that are spectacular: the gardens, the Fell ponies. We were really glad we had the opportunity. Enjoy your holiday.

bettylu April 26th, 2004 01:20 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Thanks, Clo, for the information about Balmoral. I would love to visit there, I'll have to check to see how to get there from Peterhead rather than take the ship's tour. Are you on this cruise?

TheSeaCruzer April 26th, 2004 11:14 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia

If I'm right the ships tour takes 8hrs to get from peterhead to and from balmoral. Its about three hours driving time each way wich only gives you 2 hours at balmoral. So we've decided to opt out on this tour and just stick with the closer tours. From what I've exepericned if you've seen Hollyrood you've seen Balmoral. The the gardens in the back of Hollyrood offord some increadible views of the Crags - mtns. a dont miss in my book. I hope the info helps.

Just 48 Days!


clo April 27th, 2004 06:18 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
I just looked at my map of Scotland and it appears that Balmoral is approx. 100 miles. I'm surprised it takes 3 hours each way but certainly not a real quick trip. Balmoral could easily be "done" in a couple of hours but I agree with Seth: probably other things to do that are closer in. We visited when we were travelling around Scotland for a week in a car so that made it much easier. Regardless, you'll love Scotland. Oh, and no, we won't be on this cruise. We're on HAL from Rome to Dover mid-May. Have a wonderful holiday.

bettylu May 15th, 2004 04:23 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Starting to get really excited about this cruise. However, haven't received any documents as yet - have you? It's less than a month now.

Marilyn May 16th, 2004 10:08 AM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Betty:

According to my TA's post on another board, your TA will receive your documents from Oceania 21 days before departure IF there are airline tickets included. Otherwise he/she will receive them 1 month ahead. Then, of course, they have to get to you.

Have you found any good websites besides Orkney & Shetland? I found one for Ireland: I was trying to find out about transportation from Waterford to Kilkenny. The schedule for public transportation is good TO Kilkenny, but not back. Can't seem to find out anything about hiring a driver for the day and I don't really want to rent a car. I need to email one of the tourist offices and see if they can help.

4 weeks to go!


bettylu May 16th, 2004 05:28 PM

Re: Oceania's Insignia
Hi Marilyn: Thanks for your note. That confirms what our travel agent said, but she already has our tickets, but you amde me feel a lot better.

As for Waterford transportation. I've checked several sites and took a book from the library , but there's very little good info on Ireland which is surprising. I did find a web-site that is pretty interesting, if you haven't already seen it, try Maybe there's a train that would be convenient.

We leave four weeks from this past Friday.

Regards, Betty

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