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About les37b

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    United Kingdom
  • Interests
    Photography, travel, football and enjoying life
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Thank you for posting. Always nice to see live reports and look forward to sailing along with you.
  2. I understand the logistics and explanation given. Problem is, it’s not a massively long stay. Danang to Local attractions was quick and easy. Hue was obviously a trot. Now everything is a fair distance. The tour we did of Marble mountain wasn’t worth the effort because of the lack of time. When I’d booked, I happened to notice they’d change the port probably 6 weeks prior to departure. Enjoy your shopping trip... if you’re going to the market....remember.... even though it might say “fixed prices”.... you can still haggle and if you buy several items reduce the prices shown from between 20 and 50%. in general buying a few things really does help in bargaining more than you might realise. Look forward to your land trip report and photos. Somewhere I’d really like to visit.
  3. Yes. I can confirm this is what happens. On ours we all gathered in the theatre then led to the deck 3 exit onto a large floating wooden platform that was attached to the Shadow and you simply walked onto it and is on the same level. Much easier than a tender. All Junks used were moored onto this platform and we simply departed one by one. I think we had 4 Junks from memory. My experience of the staff on the Junk was much the same as above. Loads of “junk” placed on the tables to hard sell. They also came round at the end to shake every passengers hand expecting a tip to be passed. Given that I wanted to GoPro from the top deck the entire trip and the attitude of the captain in ripping the camera off a few minutes before arriving back, he ensured nothing was given. The crew were not particularly welcoming but I guess you just need to ignore and take in the experience of the visuals. Actually I’ve just remembered. The friends of the owner family (the huge guy in the MDR on formal night in an Hawaiian shirt) were led onto our Junk without needing to be seated with the rest of the passengers. They then proceeded to talk over what the guide was saying, detracting further. However I can’t stress enough.... it’s a great trip and the cave is awesome.
  4. Will do my best to get it edited and uploaded. I’ve one (bow and stern) of our arrival from the south and also the junk sailing to the cave and back. I’ll see if I can find the cave 360s too. It was pretty spectacular so real shame time didn’t permit. i assume your shipmates were your Hanoi party? Did you board direct from the Shadow?
  5. Glad you got to sail Halong. It really is such an awesome place to visit... Enjoy your sailout. It was quite misty when I did it. And I really need to play catch-up and post the results of that from my gopros. (Makes mental note!...) Did you get to the cave? Next stop Chan May which I'll be interested to hear if your views of the port are the same as mine.
  6. Just had a quick gander..... looks fabulous and I know i’ll enjoy reading it when I have the time and using something other than a phone to give it some justice.
  7. les37b

    embarkation day question

    From my experience it’s always been 11am embarkation begins (or more specifically, they allow boarding to start. When you say you have a transfer booked, is this SS transfers or something you have booked? I suspect all airport transfers by SS would always be by private taxi’s and they would simply take you direct to the ship once you arrive. Where is your departure from? Anyway, the collection of bags at the ship embarkation point I suspect would be manned early enough for you not to need to be concerned with your stated flight times. There would be no problem simply dropping your bags off and going for a stroll or boarding at 11ish and having an early stroll around the ship. In fact our last was in Singapore. We chose not to take the SS transfer and paid for a taxi from the hotel and arrived at the Ship at 10.45. Handed in our bags, went through Passport control and security at 11 got on the ship, then decided to go back into the shopping complex just outside. Lets hope your flights do arrive to schedule! (But that’s potentially another story if late!)
  8. Just seen you've departed HK. Hope you enjoyed your stay there. Looking forward to your reporting. Hope the WiFi isnt too slow and you managed to upload a few photos. Enjoy..... PS Who is the CD? Kirk?
  9. les37b

    Silver Cloud 2021 Voyages Wait Listed

    With that in mind, I hope the menu change frequency is increased! Friends of mine on a Tokyo Muse cruise in April commented to me yesterday that theirs had gone from wait listed to lots of availability (and a £5K price increase on what they had paid.) I do often wonder if there is some strange marketing ploy in the background of some of these.
  10. les37b

    Silver Shadow or Silver Spirit?

    Whilst I part agree with you, would you feel more aggrieved if it was included but you found it was pre booked before you had the chance to reserve and missed out all together? Thing is, you know prior to booking this charge exists and if it offends so much, make a decision not to go ahead and book something else, which I suspect is what you've done for some time now? I'm not quite sure where you were going with your martini charges and tips. Gratuities are included in that you don't have an extra bill added to your bill like most other lines do. Drinks are included and you won't be charged $15 per Martini. However if you want to drink $200 bottles of wine each night, it's not unreasonable to expect to pay a premium and not point out "but it's all inclusive". It's not like these details aren't made clear to everyone online and in brochures. Should excursions be included too? If they increased the cruise price by $120 to cover a booking you are allowed to make to let you eat once in each per cruise without charge, would that be a better way of covering these extra costs? Personally, I'm happy enough not to pay an extra premium for things I can choose to add or not to add. It's a reason I'd probably never sail Regent because the excursions are not free really and add considerable cost which personally, I'd prefer to take control of. Edit: I just read your comment on the Regent / SS comparison thread, which basically says the same as I have above. I just see these "speciality" restaurants as an extension of that frame of mind. I don't like Japanese food, so I'm glad they haven't loaded my fare to cater for it to be included. I honestly don't see this to be any different to the excursion "all inclusive" costs on Regent.
  11. les37b

    Tear Down That Wall!

    Knowing how accurate the info on the website can be at times, I do wonder if that’s a mistake or if Atlantide has just become the MDR by default? I could have thought that might be the deal, but missing La Dame makes me think it’s an error. (At least the La Dame part.) i appreciate Indochine wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it definitely was my favourite eatery on SS. im sure when it announced it was going to by the twin of Muse and restaurants were the same. Another new owners change?
  12. les37b

    Tear Down That Wall!

    I do wonder if the resistance is down to scale. I expect the odd dish swapped over would cause no harm, but if were made available for everything and most in the two restaurants chose from the Atlantide's menu, that it's this scenario that would be a problem and want to avoid. Obviously they can't be seen to do it for one without others having noses put out of joint by being refused. I'd expect supplies and availability of the correct plates etc may also play a part in the decision to a lesser extent, though I don't think that would explain why the menu can't be served in your room. I certainly agree with everyone's views that it's a pity SS don't allow it.
  13. les37b

    Tear Down That Wall!

    The good thing about opinions, we are all entitled to them and each individual has different perspectives and takes on what's important and what isn't. I did even suggest in my reply that I might be in the minority. As to not going to the bar on the smaller ships because you'd like to listen to music, I can certainly say that wasnt the case on the Shadow and the entertainment was very well received. (Acoustic guitarist.) I'm hoping they have similar in April on the Wind. I'm sure you will enjoy if they do. There are lots of areas on the ship I'd consider a waste of space, but accept there are many who want those places. Like the smoking room! Lets make it a smoke free ship! lol.... OK that was tongue in cheek, but it partially serves the purpose. I dont use the theatre either. I would ban the gym too, but that would be shooting myself in the foot as I do use it sometimes. Anyway, I do get your point about space management and the percieved need for a larger Atlantide. (I must admit I did think on the Muse that did actually disappear in the refit that took place when reservations were removed. May have that wrong though and just a proposal by CC members with suggestions?) I know it was certainly there on the Spirit last September. I'll compromise. Nick some of the space at the rear of Indichine and transfer over to Atlantide. How does that work?
  14. les37b

    Tear Down That Wall!

    I might be the odd man out here. I loved the bars in Atlantide and Indochine and would hate to see them go. And Cavernous was indeed the right word for Dolce Vita on the Muse! Whilst I enjoy a pre dinner drink in the Bar on the Wind before diving down one floor to the restaurant (Same for Atlantide and Indochine), there was something a bit more snug and welcoming than a bar that resembles a community centre hall.
  15. les37b

    Tear Down That Wall!

    Personally I loved Indochine so I'd not want to see that disappear. Not quite sure why merging two restaurants and menus into one would give greater choice? Granted, the change of menu (or lack of) is another issue, so I'd prefer to keep them as they are, but rotate and change menus more frequently than they do. That said, I could happily use just indochine and go through the menu....... I'm gutted that the Wind has a MDR and no indochine, though Im not making a suggestion to change it. Interesting to see a regular poster initially unsure of all the choices on the Spirit and Muse and currently on the Wind and missing the choices.