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Observer

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  1. Thanks very much for these long and thoughtful posts. I have *lots* of nights on both Crystal and Silversea (though I have booked away from Crystal lately because of what I consider to be their onerous payment and cancellation terms, especially for long voyages I prefer). I think you are absolutely correct that Crystal enrichment/entertainment is superior to that on Silversea. But I would gladly trade a few lectures or evening shows for the more modern Silversea ships, the smaller size, the larger standard suites (with walk in showers as well as baths on most ships!), etc. Life (it's said) is a series of trade-offs, and I gladly trade Crystal entertainment/enrichment for all Silversea offers.
  2. I understand that this "tiny enhancement" was introduced on Silver Shadow during its recent drydock and will probably be a standard feature, beginning with Silver Moon.
  3. I know someone on that cruise. S/he says that SS was fantastic. Mark Conroy (sp?) head in North America (?) apparently flew to Dallas to welcome people back in middle of night and go around and tell people about itineraries on private jets/limos back to their homes. Silversea apparently went the extra mile to ensure that everyone was well looked after. Looks like SS shined in adversity.
  4. President Trump on Monday afternoon on repatriation of US Shadow passengers: Overnight, we successfully brought home 103 American citizens after they had been stranded for 10 days in Brazil, following a cruise. We want to thank the Brazilian government and their great President. Most of those returned were senior citizens. My administration, in cooperation with Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and the private sector, coordinated their safe return to the United States. So thank you to Governor Abbott. Terrific governor, terrific man. I think the "private sector" (read: Silversea/Royal Caribbean) picked up what must have been the hefty bills. So [to echo POTUS] thank you to Silversea and its RCL parent. Terrific cruise line, terrific corporate parent.
  5. Correct. She did not write the article. But she was apparently quite willing to have the publicity and sent a photo of herself apparently in her suite. I don’t doubt that the situation is challenging for Ms. Roberts. But her account expresses no concern/empathy for the crew who must be hugely challenged by this situation and who may well face losing their jobs. In fact, ships from cruise lines other than Silversea are also affected. Here’s a link to the Washington Post article referenced in an earlier post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2020/03/17/cruise-ships-around-world-are-scrambling-find-open-ports-passengers-stuck-coronavirus-shutdown/
  6. Sorry to hear of your sister’s illness and I hope she recovers fully and quickly. As you doubtless know, every passenger must give an emergency contact before sailing. If you were listed as her emergency contact, the SS silence is terrible. Otherwise, how could SS be expected to know all family members of guests? My next of kin is definitely not my emergency contact for such purposes, and I would be very upset if s/he were contacted by SS in such a situation.
  7. I really think that this subject heading is alarmist and misleading. Yes, the past weeks have been difficult for RCL, as they have been for airlines, hotel chains, other cruise lines, etc. The same subject line could be used for most of the cruise line forums on CC: For Seabourn or Princess or HAL , “Carnival In Trouble”; for Norwegian, “Norwegian in Trouble,”. Etc. I wonder if Silversea is fortunate to have the backing of RCL and whether, if things/business/cancellations/etc. turn even worse, Silversea would have been able to tough it out as an independent, family owned company.
  8. Am I correct in understanding that Silversea does not underwrite the policies but that, in buying such a policy, one is in fact being insured by an independent insurance company (in Pittsburgh?). So the decision may well be out of Silversea’s hands.
  9. Understood! As I have said, there is zero compulsion to tip on Silversea and no scowls if one does not. But a tip is a nice way (in addition to including names on comment forms, etc) of expressing gratitude and providing modest financial assistance to hard-working staff. If it’s a $15,000 cruise and one tips a total of $150 ($50 each to butler and suite attendant and $10 each to five others) that’s 1% of the cruise fare.. And then there’s the Crew Welfare Fund. When I began cruising many years ago, another luxury line forbade tipping and made it clear that any crew member taking a tip would not have contract renewed. Silversea in no way forbids or even actively discourages tipping — just as they do not discourage the purchase of premium wines, dining in La Dame, etc,
  10. Restaurants in many countries add service charges to the bill and the bill says “service compris.” It is understood that most or all of the money goes to the restaurant and not the server. It is customary in such cases when one has enjoyed good service to leave some cash for the server.
  11. This is a controversial matter and highly personal. I always tip my suite attendant and butler with whom I have daily contact. If there are waiters or bartenders or pool attendants with whom I interact regularly and positively, I may tip them. But I cannot tip the dishwashers in the galley or the people who launder my sheets, etc. To recognize them, one can contribute at Reception to the Crew Welfare Fund. It is not well publicized and there is zero pressure. It is possible to disembark a Silversea cruise having given no tips, and no crew will scowl. But crew will be grateful for the recognition (and money!) associated with a tip.
  12. I understand that you encountered a very challenging situation, as have tens of thousands of others affected one way or another by COVID19. I sympathize with you. But could you please explain what “rights” have been denied for which you must fight? I assume that such rights would be found in applicable law and/or the Terms & Conditions for the cruise to which everyone who purchases a cruise must agree. Could you kindly elaborate?
  13. You speak of “even an economy flight.” Do I correctly infer that you booked your ticket in a premium cabin (business or first)? And that you did not purchase the Silversea air package? And that you do not have insurance that would cover trip interruption? And that you had no written statement from Silversea setting forth the reimbursement offered and simply assumed that Silversea would reimburse you for any airfare you found In any cabin? Unfortunately, I think that may prove to have been a rash assumption. In any case, not all 600 guests would be flying to the same destination. Silversea guests come from Europe, North American, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, etc. Moreover, BKK has lots of international air service, with multiple Gulf carriers for example offering one stop service to the UK. And your trip was not at a prime travel time like the Christmas holidays. I am sorry that you have faced this situation. But..... POSTSCRIPT: After posting this, I wanted to check on fares BKK-LHR. I checked for Tuesday (allowing for date line changes.). There were lots of flights available with one stop; all of these were in the USD $500-600 range. There was also an EVA Air nonstop for $400. I understand that things might have been different when you were booking. But to judge from availability on Tuesday, $1000 might well have handsomely covered the cost of coach travel BKK-LHR.
  14. This seems very strange. No limits at all placed on the bookings? One could book in First Class? Any routing one desired? Was there no written notice setting forth the instructions and terms? Had I been in this situation, I would not have relied on a mere oral instruction on a matter like this and I would have requested some written statement committing SS to reimburse and the amount of reimbursement.
  15. If they are really sanitizing the entire ship, it would seem unlikely that family members of Filipino crew will be able to board the ship to see where the family member spends so much time away from family. These stops in Manila are very touching. It is so good to see crew members (many of whom have become friends) show off their workplace, beaming with pride. I hope my prediction/assumption is mistaken.
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