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vandrefalk

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  1. What a major bummer! Bb, do you have crossing directions backwards? Coming out of Malaga this weekend is westbound, right? And April 2020 ending in Lisbon would have been eastbound? Of course, I can be directionally challenged. if you look at the voyage calender, SD2’s last cruise in the Caribbean ends March 21 and doesn’t pick up again til May 7! There might be a charter or two in the Caribbean, but an original departure of Ap 20 with no pax must mean a LOT of work in addition to drydock! Fall 2017 didn’t get everything done and Spring 2019 got cut short to replace bow thrusters. Mysterious.... Hope the windstar substitution works out for you so you can keep the airfare! Would be interested to hear what you think about Windstar, if you do it. vandrefalk
  2. Jim, finally realized you were probably doing a thread here! Will enjoy following you and love the pics being posted. We did a lot of your early ports on our Silversea UK cruise last year so nice to revisit! you should think about the SD2 TA next fall from Malaga to San Juan. Hi to Lois! vandrefalk
  3. When SD had to go into drydock in Lisbon in May, we were the only ones coming back for the follow on cruise. They very kindly allowed us to leave most of our stuff (we only took what we would need for the 4 days) “as is” in the cabin. It was a huge help! For you, I suspect it depends on how full the charter is and whether or not you have to change cabins. Certainly worth asking the question! vandrefalk
  4. Enjoy every minute — wish we were there! Please say hi to all the crew, especially Brian, Mikee and Rose and Frud! And Capt Bjarne! Miss them all! vandrefalk
  5. OK, I know it's been a while but I thought I should probably do a final report on the crossing and the follow-on. We got home mid-May and I had spinal surgery two weeks later, so have not been on top of my game. We loved the crossing!! Weather, for the most part, was absolutely gorgeous. We had pedal to the metal most of the time -- guess having an appointment in dry dock is like going through the Panama Canal -- better not miss it! We did so well that the Captain DID decide to stop for a swim! Sadly, as they lowered the platform, they realized the swells were a bit too much and then -- jellyfish! The blue bottle, Portuguese man of war type! So that was that. At least they tried! The last day was an adventure -- breaking waves of 19 feet! As they hit the bow, I could see the remains smack our window on deck 3. A lot of folks (including Fred) were down for the count. Even Matt had a few sinking spells, but managed to persevere. I was ok as I religiously took my bonine but even I had to lie down for a bit just to keep from falling down! Quite the adventure. Disembarked in Lisbon and said we'd see themin 4 days. Did some touring with Beignet Boy and DW -- weather was great! Tried a great wine bar built in part of an old aqueduct and a couple of other restaurants we had been to in the past. All in all, a very nice 4 days. Oh, I forgot to mention that they let us on early in Barbados (due to the rumor that we were departing early) -- we stayed in a corner of the main salon to stay out of everyone's way, but the crew just couldn't let us sit there. Even though they had to get ready for the rest of the guests, they brought us bubbly, food and whatever we wanted -- isn't that just the SD way! Anyway, we reboarded and had Capt Steiner for this 5 day. And this time, there were only 37 pax! We were the only in-transit guests. Several were first-timers -- other cruises they had booked were cancelled or something, so their TAs got them on SD. All those I spoke to were really impressed (of course!). We sat with several nice folks. With so few on board, the only excursion that filled up was Gibraltar. Anna arranged a walking tour in Cadiz (pronounced Caddis, which I never knew) and a lot of folks did the tour in Gib. We had the front bed that night and it was amazing to see the Rock all lit up as we sailed by! In Puerto Banus (which has changed a lot since we were there 30 years ago), they had shuttles going to Marbella. We had lunch in the Orange Square, which still looked familiar, but the town has really grown. One afternoon, I was sitting by the pool and someone on deck 4 called me -- lo and behold, it was Christophe! Sudesh was also on board!! So great to see two of my favorite people. Did have some discussions about the Innovation. Everyone seems excited about it, but they are aware that it will take some doing to recreate the same atmosphere. I think the crew (at least initially) will be a mix of experienced and newbies as they ease into things. I think they can do the service, food, etc. but, inevitably there will be some changes. We disembarked (unwillingly) in Malaga and took the train to Madrid. Spent three nights there and did day trips to Avila and Segovia. Also went to the Prado and Botanical Garden, so It was a nice ending to the trip. Flight home was fine. I have to say this was a truly enjoyable trip -- almost no glitches, good weather, good company -- there was almost nothing to complain about except for the insane taxi drivers in both Lisbon and Spain (most of whom don't understand English, so you have to show them a business card or a map). Small price to pay for getting to see nice stuff! It will be hard to wait til the next trip!! Vandrefalk
  6. I think we all miss him! Vandrefalk
  7. Ok, guys. Layout of this site is very different from what I’m used to, so not sure how this will post. With only 34 on board, it is a different experience from what we are used to. Guess the westbound crossings attract more guests, but I’m liking this smaller group. HH and Blondie continue to hokd the record, but we came in third! Won’t last long as we won’t be back on til fall 2020 — just the way things are. Food has been great — new chef is fabulous— lectures are really good — one is an earth, sea, sky guy and the other worked in the royal household for many years. Trivia has picked up — my team lost today but we are still 2-1. Afternoon and evening movies — dessert extravaganza and dance music tonight. Weather has been pretty good until today — whitecaps in am, swells in pm and rain (some heavy) off and on. Yes, Trapper, we made beautiful music — Bobby’s girl are holding down the fort! During tonight’s dance music, there was a fabulous male voice — asked why he hadn’t been at piano bar. Answer — on vacation— sung with English National Opera for 30 years — gulp! Hope this brings you up to date! Vandrefalk
  8. Well, we are on our way — 34 on board! Some swells the first evening and yesterday but much better today. Capt Svein, chef Jorg, Hotman Jaime, MD Silvio, CD Matt, activities Anna. Also, Nic, Jerry, Severin, Fred (piano), Emmanuel, and others ! All good! Bobby’s girl and I are keeping the piano bar open. Not too much activity in terms of trivia and the like. lecturers are quite good. Hope this posts ok! Vandrefalk
  9. Right on, Trapper! You must have been at the hilton — SD was docked just across the way — our transport did show and the hotel wouldn’t come get us. I was not about to schlep bags up and down bridges (there are no ramps) so we paid something like 40 € to go 40 yards across the canal. Also did the vaparetto around town — crowded but a great tour. We took the water taxi at 4 am to the Airport — it was outrageously expensive but a beautiful ride. There is a great jewelry store (well, actually lots of them) on St Marks Sq — this one does jewelry out of tiny glass beads — necklaces with multi strands that you can twist. Wish I could remember the name! also remember when SD left — we were standing on the wharf and Capt Bjarne was on the outside bridge waving a norwegian flag at us — great memories! Heading to Barbados Sunday for the crossing! Vandrefalk
  10. Thanks for the updates, CTBJR and Trapper! We will be on the SD2 crossing, so hope some of the wonderful crew you mentioned will be on board. Do not know the new captain. We now have 200 nights on board and are adding another 15 with this trip (truncated crossing and follow-on cruise), but will never catch up to you-know-who! will look forward to meeting you, Back1817! You'll usually find me at the piano bar with Bobby's Girl 🙂 Will be difficult to be on board without Nicola -- we sailed with him last March -- last time we were on board 😞 Hope they get the elevator fixed (and hope that's not why we have to go into drydock!). I usually take the stairs, but some 10 years ago, I broke my leg the day before embarking. Was in a non-weight bearing cast, so would have been in a world of hurt without the elevator. As it was, I got quite good at going down (and up) the gangway on my posterior! Not something I want to do again....... They better not run out of Baileys!! Vandrefalk
  11. Agree with ctbjr -- that's been the case in San Juan for many years. In fact, I think only our first couple of cruises ending there allowed us to hang around. STT varies -- have had to get off as soon as we were cleared and been allowed to stay a bit other times. Vandrefalk
  12. hi, Trapper! The Colonel and I are hanging in there! Way too busy, but looking forward to the crossing -- wish you guys were going to be there! Vandrefalk
  13. I thought about Mystic but don’t think that’s it. Terje is one of their new captains and don’t think James has good ties to Oslo. So something else — still think it’s got to be a lease of some sort or buying an existing ship — possibilities are intriguing! vandrefalk
  14. Finally got more details. Miami is saying it is a dry dock issue (which I sincerely hope isn't major). Get into Lisbon on 2 May and we will stay in Lisbon for the 4 nights. With the reduction in fare on both cruises, that won't be an extra cost to us. The follow on now misses the Algarve, Seville and Tangiers. But Gibraltar (which was on the original itinerary but later dropped off apparently) is back on and they've added Cadiz. We can live with that and we don't have to deal with the air return. Disappointed and not happy about the late notice, but...……. and jumping to I wouldn't work with the dates. So guess we've done the best we can. See you soon, Beignet Boy! Vandrefalk
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