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Posts posted by MJfromCA

  1. 13 hours ago, Port Power said:

    Did you book the June cruise and are you now on the ship?  If so, how is your suite?


    Yes, we just got off the Whisper on Sunday, and we did stay in 535, as no others opened up. We thought the room layout was fine for us, even though we did not need the accessible features.


    The dry dock seems to have focused on the reconfiguration of public areas, not refurbishing or altering suites, so the layout is likely the same as 2018/2021. The entry area (actually the whole right hand side of the room) is wider to accommodate a wheelchair, so the suite feels more spacious. The bathroom is on the small side, with one sink that allows a wheelchair to roll under it, a toilet with grab bars, and a fairly large curbless shower with a fold down seat and curtains. No bathtub. The walk-in closet is spacious, wide enough for wheelchairs. There is not enough room next to the king bed for a wheelchair, though. There is a sofa and two stuffed chairs and small oval coffee table, and a long desk/counter area along the wall with a chair and the refrigerator underneath, as well as a separate narrow makeup counter, mirror, and stool along the wall. Standard verandah outside.


    I hope Silversea will refurbish the rooms and older public spaces with the next dry dock, as their dings and scratches make it feel a little shabby.  The new public areas like the Atrium/Arts Cafe are beautiful.

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  2. For those wondering about laundry turnaround, it is only a sample of one, but our butler picked up our four shirts this morning before 9 AM, and they were hanging in our closet at 5:30 PM this evening when we returned from the Alhambra, with the linen shirt nicely pressed. So no issues with laundry yet, at least not on Silver Whisper.


    The new Whisper public areas like the Arts Cafe/Atrium and card room etc look great. The casino is tiny on Deck 8, but being my first Silversea cruise, I'm not sure how large it used to be before. There are some scratches and dents in elevators, suites, etc that were not addressed in dry dock - they must have concentrated on the reconfiguration of the new public areas. But overall a nice ship, and the service and food have been good (except for service in The Grill, but it has been improving a little).

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  3. 8 hours ago, rosewood jo said:

    So only the two restaurants got facelifts?    Nothing else other than added outside dining?   


    Comparing the 2021 deck plans to the 2024 deck plans for structural changes:


    Deck 5 changes:

    -  Casino moved to Deck 8, and the Casino Bar eliminated

    -  Boutique expanded into old Casino space


    Deck 7 changes:

    -  Connoisseur's Corner moved to Deck 8

    -  La Dame expanded into its space

    -  A new Card Room was added to a previously blank space beyond the Conference Room


    Deck 8 changes:

    - Library eliminated

    - Internet Cafe eliminated

    - Casino and Connoisseur's Corner moved into their spaces


    No way to tell from the new plans if the suites (or other public areas) have been refreshed/refurbished in the dry dock.


    I hope someone just getting off Whisper today can confirm these, and give us their overall impressions. I'm boarding June 6th.

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  4. Good to know. It seemed like the Whisper contracts would have ended before the dry dock, so more of their experienced crew would have been available for Ray in June. It sounds like from what you heard, they may have signed up for new longer-term Whisper contracts instead in May, is that right? If so, great!

  5. 15 hours ago, drron29 said:

    The crew might all be starting new contracts but for most it is unlikely to be their first contract therefore not inexperienced crew.


    Yes, thx, that is my hope too. But with Silver Ray's debut right around the corner, some of Whisper's experienced staff from before the dry dock might be transferred to Ray, meaning more newbies than usual might start with the new Whisper contracts. Another thread raised that possibility.


    This is our first Silversea cruise and our last cruise was on Seabourn, so I was just trying to correctly set our expectations. In any case, we plan to enjoy the ports and the newly-refurbished ship!

  6. On 1/14/2024 at 2:08 AM, Easterncommand said:


    we are booked on the 10th May cruise which is leaving from ‘Venice’ With regard to the refit other than providing a small arts cafe in the library/ connoisseur area it is generally just fixtures and fittings in public areas. I am not sure if this is going to include suite areas. The only issue I have is being the first sailing after a dry dock and will all work be finished.



    We are sailing on Whisper on June 6th, so we are very interested in this refurbishment. I hope it all is finished on time for you. If possible, could you post your impression of the changes/upgrades? Also, how you find the service levels and experience of the crew, since I assume they all are starting new contracts? Thanks!


    -- MJ

  7. Newbie to SS here, hoping to switch to Whisper in June from our just-cancelled Oceania. The only available verandah is a Superior Accessible (cabin 535).


    Can anyone explain the difference in the layout of an accessible verandah vs. standard verandah on Whisper, or point me to a diagram or video? There are no pictures on the SS website, and I've Googled and looked on YouTube, and nothing recent shows up. I like the standard layout so I hope the accessible layout is close to that (except wider and no bathtub). I don't know what Whisper will be like post-drydock, but I assume the differences would be similar.


    We'll watch in case a standard Verandah opens and we can switch, since we hate to keep this cabin from someone who might actually need it. But in case another one doesn't open up, I'd like to know what we are getting. Thanks!


  8. 1 hour ago, daydreamer62 said:

    Yes unfortunately they don't even get to Spain until after we were supposed to have disembarked in London. So sad.  It was such a perfect itinerary for me! 

    I guess it's back to the drawing board or resort to a road/rail trip


    Lauren, I feel exactly the same way about this Barcelona-Southampton itinerary for our segment. It was perfect, and rare among the Western Med cruise itineraries.


    Even though I'm disappointed, I understand why they had to do it. Wishing everyone safe travels.

  9. No penalty because we were upgrading our cabin and staying on the cruise, not cancelling the trip. They did the cancel/switch for us. They just wanted to be sure we knew we could not go back to our old cabin after the cancel/switch.


    Also, you only get the discounts available today for that new cabin. They may not still have all the discounts you had when you originally booked. I think I read on a different thread that you may have luck getting some grandfathered in, but I'm not sure. This is my first Oceania cruise, so I am no expert - just wanted to share my experience.  And you will have to have Simply More now - it is no longer optional, so that could affect pricing if you didn't have it before.

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  10. Here is how it recently worked for me:


    We'd been waitlisted for months on PHs on our upcoming Western Med cruise (a segment of the ATW cruise). A PH3 just showed up with status Available on the O website last week, so I called my TA, and she was able to learn what the price difference would be for me from Oceania, so we could decide if we wanted it. It is true I had to release our current cabin before I could finalize the switch to the PH3. However, I knew exactly how much extra I had to pay over what we had already paid before agreeing to the switch. We were past making full payment and into the 25% penalty phase already.


    I think your TA should try again with a different O representative.

  11. I just got off Koningsdam Dec 21st and she definitely has a Deck 14 that we visited. The only one of the four forward elevators with the button for 14 is the forward starboard elevator. A fellow passenger walking on that deck with us said it gets quite windy there when sailing (we were docked when I visited).


    It is strange that it does not show on the website deck plans. The ship plans in that elevator bay do show Deck 14, but as I said, I think only one of the elevators has the button.


    The Crows Nest is a more comfortable place to view forward (especially in the cushy center chairs), but you are seeing through windows rather than being out directly on deck.


    Koningsdam is a beautiful ship - enjoy!

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  12. We visited these ports (except St John) this month from Oct 7-12. The trees had just started turning in most places, not in the spectacular numbers and colors like we hoped for. On the other hand, we had warm dry weather during almost all those days, and it can apparently get colder and wetter later.


    A couple of other considerations:

    • Some restaurants and stores seem to close for the season after Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving, which is October 14th next year
    • You can still get remnants of hurricanes or tropical storms coming up the Eastern Seaboard in early October. We had the remains of TS Philippe come through Halifax during our overnight there on Oct 7th, and it delayed us getting us out of that port on Sunday by almost 7 hours due to swells. Seabourn could only make up some of that time, so we were late into Bar Harbor the next day.
  13. On October 11th on Seabourn Quest, we also were dropped off at Perrotti Park. It was a very convenient location to walk and see everything downtown, plus the Transit Center is only a long block away to pick up bus or trolley tours. I took a Viking Trolley tour and it was very good.

  14. On 10/11/2023 at 11:42 AM, PinonNoir said:


    We are on Insignia now:

    • Our cabin, a PH2, is in excellent condition.  We have blackout blinds, they aren't too short, easy to open and close (but then maybe I've got great dexterity?), nothing is ripped, loveseat is comfortable, cushion clips aren't broken, no issues with hot water. 

    PinonLover, do you get any noise in your PH suite from the pool area or Terrace Cafe above you?


    We are trying Oceania for the first time on Insignia next June, and hope to move up from our A3 to a PH if one frees up, but noise from above would nix that idea.


    I've appreciated hearing about your positive experiences so far!

  15. On 10/2/2023 at 10:10 AM, CruiserfaeFife said:

    Thanks @nancygp  - on Quest next August so I was hopeful, but we won’t starve 😀


    Do not worry - we had this same Sushi bar every night 6PM-9PM in The Club on Quest (Montreal-NYC Sept 30-Oct 12).  Chef Christophe said on the Galley Tour that Quest and Odyssey were the first two ships to get it.

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  16. I've read these posts with interest, thanks, as we will be there on October 3rd.


    How long is the transit time from the entrance of the fjord until the ship is docked?


    We dock at 8AM, so I'm wondering how early this night owl will need to rise to see it. On the other hand, we leave at 5PM and sunset is not until 6:20PM, so I might instead be able to sit on deck, drink in hand, as we leave instead.

  17. 3 hours ago, Cruzin Terri said:

    If you are lucky enough to stop at the port of Motril, the ride to Granada is much shorter and you will have more time in Granada.  That tour with Spain Day Tours was much better.  I do think that a lot depends on the guide.  The guide we had on that tour was better than the first one.  Again, you have to keep moving and no time to wander.  On the time we went from Motril, we had time to have a nice lunch prior to returning to the bus.  However, I don’t know if you would have had time to get to the Cathedral and Albanian.

    I hope this helps a bit.  

    I do think that if you want to do all this, you might want to hire a private guide.  That would help you get to all the places you want to see. You may want to contact South Olé Spain Tours.  They do private tours but are expensive.

    This answers my question perfectly, as we will be docked at Motril - thank you so much!

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  18. There is no official Meet and Mingle on Seabourn, but on my Roll Call, I suggested meeting informally in the Observation Lounge bar at a certain time early in the cruise. Perhaps that would work for your roll call group as well.

  19. I am on the same Insignia cruise with Daydreamer62, and would like to ask a followup question:


    Spain Day Tours has a guide that day for the Alhambra (and Generalife?). However, if we want to see the old town/cathedral, Albaicin quarter, or the Carrera del Darro afterwards, we'd be on our own. In your experience, are those doable by independent walking without a guide?

  20. 1 hour ago, florisdekort said:

    As Carnival is publicly traded, why do you even bother asking? He’d go to jail if he prematurely leaks information that moves the share price. 


    On 2/17/2023 at 11:29 AM, cruiseej said:


    I'm certain he won't answer anything about whether there are negotiations to sell Seabourn, but the other questions seem like reasonable ones to ask.


    Florisdekort, you and Cruiseej are of course correct that he can't answer that particular question due to legal constraints, and I know that.


    But the prompt was "Is there a question you'd love to ask Mr. Weinstein?" (without any caveats about whether he can answer), and the potential sale is a question I am curious about. Others on this board seem to be as well, since the thread on it last May (https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2854642-carnival-corp-in-talks-to-sell-seabourn/ ) had over 100 posts with over 16,000 views. I thought I'd raise it so Corporate knows we are watching with interest, but if that is not appropriate for this thread, I'm happy to withdraw the question (though I can no longer edit my previous post).


  21. On 2/17/2023 at 2:26 AM, Mr Luxury said:



    Mr. L, when Jan Swartz detailed the Holland America Group restructuring last month to Seatrade Cruise News (https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/jan-swartz-holland-america-groups-restructuring), she said:


    The reorganization has been driven within the group's leadership team, with input from Carnival Corp. & plc CEO Josh Weinstein.

    'It ties to Josh's vision of focusing on strengthening each and every brand's positioning and commercial agility and performance,' Swartz elaborated. 'He really is focused on who is the target market for each brand, who is the customer, how do we market to them, how do we sell the product effectively, how do we elevate the guest experience.'


    I'd like to know from Mr. Weinstein exactly what his vision is for the Seabourn brand now, the one he is communicating to Ms. Swartz.

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