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Everything posted by chrism23

  1. chrism23

    Nova virus

    The article below was prominently printed yesterday in the New York Post. It says that 31.people are ill with a virus that is causing diarrhea and have been quarantined on the Nova. Not being an MD I am reluctant to guess the cause. At first glance it looks like a classic Norovirus but the article does not mention vomiting which is usually part of a Norovirus-which is spread primarily by touch or contact with objects, these are called, fomites, There is no need to say that SS should be implementing strict had washing protocols which it had partly in place during early COVID, when you couldn't enter a restaurant without getting spritzed. (and wash your hands as much as possible). Good luck. https://nypost.com/2024/04/16/us-news/nearly-30-silverseas-cruise-passengers-fall-ill-with-diarrhea-at-sea/
  2. An article appeared yesterday- https://crystalcruises.com/story/meet-the-crew:-introducing-vicki-van-tassel,-crystal's-new-cruise-director?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=CTA_image&utm_campaign=Vicki_15Apr24_PRUS a long interview, with Vikki saying she has become Cruise Director for Crystal-I think not for one particular ship but for the whole fleet-all the ships Crystal has left of which I have no idea, the only one I can name is the Symphony. For me, she was a great, the best Cruise Director in the SS fleet, I have no idea what the story is with Crystal. With Manfredi Lebebrvre now running Crystal it seems like some cherry picking has begun. Has anyone been on Crystal since the sale. What I had understood was that its ships are worn, its cabin's too small, and definitely not a 5* experience. I haven't looked at their web site, ships where they are sailing. Should I. I imagine Manfredi is spending some of the cash he got from the sale of SS to invest in Crystal. Oh PS. I haven't seen her in a couple of years, she is a blond now looking quite attractive .
  3. Damn this does not bode well. Ms. Muckermann really cared and it showed, She is the only CEO I have encountered who personally returned an email and took action. She interacted with many clients. She understood us. I fear the worst. ( I am also of the opinion that the new ships are too large but that's off topic, sor,t of I am recently off the Moon which, for me is nearly perfect. It is a gorgeous ship) After our first SS cruise, which was near perfect we said from now on, " if it ain't broke don't fix it". Around 10 cruises and 200 days in, there have been a couple of minor bumps but no big deal, they have been near perfect. In 12 years we've had two cruise consultants who have been really helpful and the importance of which can't be underestimated, Yes, the food goes a little up or a little down, it's nothing to get exercised about. The logistics of embarkations and transfers etc were handled smoothly, We will be 30 days on the Whisper this summer, it is being retrofitted and about to be in dry dock, I wonder if its future is a larger expedition ship? Anyhow, I read somewhere awhile ago that Silversea had the highest return rate of any cruise line. I am sure, absolutely sure, that changes will be made that will anger a lot of people, probably me too, which has me angry already. On board posts are really going to be interesting the next few months. Cheers.
  4. chrism23


    I too am a bourbon drinker with 10 cruises in. Sorry, their bourbon selection is weak. Think Jim Beam etc. And Jack Daniels is not a bourbon, it's a whisky,. You might mention this issue to your CC who might pass it up the line and you'll have a bottle of the Macallan waiting in your room. SS used to do stuff like that. Oh, if you are still filling out forms and come upon a "special request" section, mention it, You never know.
  5. Thanks. I think I have a problem. There was also a print letter saying they had to switch one of the ports. So I am shut out for the excursion pages too. Guess I wait for a live human tomorrow to solve the problem. Glitches like this are is unlike them.
  6. Hi, hopefully this is just a quickie. I have been working on an August booking on the My Bookings page (there are 7 previous. Just about done. And the page for the August trip has disappeared, gone poof!, Has this, or is, happening to anyone else.? I know this is stupid but I am stumped. TIA
  7. Hi. I was. on the Cloud on an 15 day expedition cruise last year. They do not provide walking poles. We did about 10 excursions that required some hiking. There were two or three where I wished I had poles-wet rocks down hill. Their degree of difficulty icons aren't always accurate-depends on conditions. Ask the expedition staff what they think before taking a 3 mile hike So If you have any doubts or feel you need poles buy some, Carbon fiber walking poles weigh ounces and pack small. They are a good investment especially if you go the Galapagos.
  8. My. I seemed to it a nerve here. A few retorts. The incident with the pool chairs was on the Muse. It was loud and lasted about 10 minutes at promptly 6:00 AM every morning. When I say loud think of a light plane hitting the ship. It got you up. Some neighbors complained, in passing I blamed myself for not looking at the deck plans more closely . I think this heads up is worth it to many pax. Being next to elevators is also a problem for me. I stand by that comment too. I think many people find elevators and resulting conversation sometimes bothersome outside their door at 2 in the morning. As to a cabin location where I don't think you have ever been caught on deck 9 in a North Atlantic Storm. Not even scopolmine patches helped me. We were nearly bouncing off the ceiling. The passengers on Deck 6 in the middle of the ship probably had a much better time and maybe even ate dinner, I could go on with my comments but I won't, I have got many but you get the drift. I may snob and really don't care. At home I have tried to construct an environment that is calm, quiet, and serene as possible. I don't see why I shouldn't try to do the same on board. BTW. One cruise I got bumped to an owner's suite because of A/C problems. It is waaaay too big, the person in the other one had a cocktail party for 64 the day we got switch. It was eerie having so much space.
  9. I am not sure I understand this thread at all I fear I sound elitist. I have 10 cruises and have 159 days, so we are not any sort of VIPS. After our second cruise, I select the suite I want when I book the cruise, may up to a year in advance, and this for simple verandas not the real pricey stuff. I have learned a lot of obscure lessons, such as , 'don't book a cabin on the deck below the swimming pool. The dutiful crew starts moving deck chairs at 6:00 QM sharp an it is LOUD. And the obvious, stay away from elevators and other busy traffic areas.I have a great CC ( he owes me a phone call so the 'great" is in peril) and he knows my particulars-mid ship, medium deck-never the top decks which will rock and roll more. So when we talk, I am usually able to get the suite I want or within a door I don't know if is the difference maker here but I book about a year in advance. But I always book back to backs and sometimes it's tricky getting the same cabin twice in a row With all my advice I just got stuck with suite 826 on the Whisper for 30 days. Too high. If on board could you take a peek and see if there are any red flags. Thanks. Cheers
  10. Hi. I am venturing far a field, I apologize but need some help. I am a regular poster here, a Silversea life , with 10 cruises and about 150 days in, I rely a lot on this forum for information. There are quite a few people here that really know what they are talking about. I have a River Cruise scheduled with Tauck-Budapest to Amsterdam on June 14th. I can't find a Tauck site on Cruise Critic I have had 2 trips with Tauck a cruise to Cuba on the Ponant-their original ship, a gorgeous art deco sailing ship, which you wouldn't get me on again if you paid me. And a land trip to the Canyons. Can any body tell me anything I need to know about doing a river cruise with them? If not could someone point me in the right direction. TiA chris
  11. We got over the 100 day threshold on our last cruise hence Free Laundry. It is so worth it. My underwear even came back folded with tissue between pairs. I think every ship has a do it yourself washer/dryer. You can locate them by looking at the ships deck plan. A tip, we reached the 100 day level while on the South American Grand voyage. The gave us the 100 day perk, even though we didn't hit 100 days until a couple of a weeks into the cruise.
  12. Now you have me worried I am on the Whisper for about 30 days in the summer. I was looking forward to a really buffed up ship. Sounds like they may go modest if it's on the block. On the other hand they may go higher end because this spring redo may have to last 7 years to 2030. We'll see. I am going to miss the smaller ships.
  13. I know I am going to get unmercifully flamed because of this, but hey, someone needs to take the grief. I love the 5:00 PM Trivia games. Its fun and one of the best ways to meet people on you cruise. But, SS needs to establish 2 fleet wide rules.that would improve the game. First, establish limits on the number of players on a team. Years ago it used to 6 or 8. On my last cruise on the Moon there were teams that expanded to 14-16 players, Simply not fair, a return to a mandatory 6 or 8 is needed. Second thing is to have answer sheets scored by another group. I won't say people cheat but they will definitely go "close enough" and give themselves a point. Problem is when they are not close. I am not saying, for one second, and this would be a disaster, that spelling come into this at all. With spelling 'close enough" should suffice as long as the score keeper knows what you mean. These two things are no big deal and word should filter done to the cruise directors that there are now a couple of new rules.
  14. Did the Iceland to Scotland expedition cruise a year ago on the Wind. I would love to do a cruise on the Endeavor, the ship looks absolutely gorgeous. A few points that always come up. You will do no wet landings. All piers. Unlike the Galapagos where every day seemed to have a wet landing. So leave your watershoes at home. The Silversea crews are absolutely the best in getting passengers in and out of Zodiacs even in really rough seas. Three expeditions with Zodiacs and haven't seen one bad mishap getting in and out. No parka is provided by SS for the Scotland expedition cruise. Only Antarctica. Also there is no entertainment. Every day there is a briefing at the end of the day on what you did during the day and a preview of the next days agenda. These were really helpful. Do bring a good study pair of hiking boots and break them in before you sail, And invest in good quality foul weather gear. that can be layered especially water proof parkas. pants, hats, leave the bathing suits at home too, I don't think I was by the pool once. Now for my big complaint about the Scots cruise. We did not stop at one distillery. We sailed by a few, After the cruise I wrote a real letter, paper and everything, to SS headquarters saying that they needed a stop and a tasting or two. I said even better would be a Scotch tasting on board where on can compare scotches with a lecturer of some sort. The other complaint is we didn't even see a golf course. I thought that at least there should have been one golf excursion on one of the iconic Scotch courses. I tell my friends I spent 15 days sailing around Scotland and didn't have one scotch or hit one golf ball and they look at me like I am out of my mind. What you will do is walk and walk and walk. I probably saw 100,000 sheep and 1 million puffins. But the scenery was jaw dropping. When choosing excursions, each is rated by degree of difficultly. These are somewhat erratic. On the Scots cruise we left from Iceland, there on the second day we did a "moderate" excursion which was a hike that turned out to be up a 4000 foot volcano, I was fitter at the time and was gassed at the top, but everyone made it to the top. (As it turned out this volcano was only a couple of peaks down from the one that was acting up a few months ago) I love the smaller ships and the physical activity . I will try to take excursions whenever possble.
  15. Some help then please. I am booked on a Greece/Eastern Europe tour (back to back about 30 days) on the Whisper, in August (stupid, yes I know). I read here, someone quoting Barbra Muckerman,/that the Whisper is do for a major retrofit this starting this April. I have looked at the schedule for the Whisper and can't really figure it out. Or is 2 weeks too short? The Whisper is the last SS ship to get redone, last time 2018. Is all this in fact true? And if so how extensive will be refurbishment take and what will it consist of.? Thanks in advance.
  16. I can't resist this. On one cruise on the Muse we had a noice in the ceiling, probably in the HVAC system they couldn't fix. So the hotel director asked if we would mind changing rooms. He put us in an owners suite. Believe or not I thought it too much. There was a dining are that seats 8. Another dining room table on the double wide veranda that seated 6. A few seating areas with a couch and chairs. It was 1000 + square feet. There were 2 owners suites on the Muse, the passenger in the other held a cocktail party for 60 the night before we moved. I should add that the suite change occurred during dinner, and the SS crew, moved every single article-clothing-they folded everything we had that could be folded, stuff we had lying around, everything, perfectly. The price for this is astronomical, up to 10 times the price of a standard veranda. That said it's too much. If I was doing a 150+ day would tour it would would be nice. But we don't eat in the room, don't travel with others to entertain, just don't need it. Earlier this year we did a 31 day cruise in a deluxe veranda with no problem The comments on location are worth noting. If you get remotely sea sick, pick something in the center of the ship, maybe decks 5-7. You do not want to be fore or aft, In rough seas its like a roller coaster ride. Oh, in the owner's suite they give you a bunch of goodies, one being a tan Silversea baseball cap that has a lot of silver embroidery. If you see someone wearing one, know that they have paid big bucks.
  17. I think I started this topic again with my blue blazer comment. , it rears up every few months or so, I usually don't stick my 2 cents in but I will here. I am very much in favor of the aspect of the dress code that requires men to wear a jacket in the main dining room. One of the main reasons I travel SS is their ships seem so civilized and civilization is so lacking these days in most places. The same reason I don't travel Carnival or those other party barges. SS is like a small fantasy world, elegant. I don't want it ruined by somebody in a sleeveless shirt and cargos shorts, sitting with a can of Bud being loud at the table next to me in the MDR. I go farther than that. I like formal nights, they are one of the few times each year I get to play dress up, I go all the way with pleated shirt, stripped pants, patent leather shoes, studs, bow tie etc. One restriction to this was luggage space, but since I resolved 2 years ago never to fly economy again, the carriers are much more liberal with poundage so I can pack all in 2 bags even for 30+day cruises. I don' think there is a great divide, yet, among Silversea passengers, most of whom favor some sort of dress code, nor do I think there will be.. Let us hope, or we may reach to the point where SS is running spring break cruises out of Miami with 500 drunk college kids. 😃
  18. Fellow Travelers. I do not know if this topic has been previously addressed I looked through the topic heading and didn't see one that would be relevant. So here goes. Yesterday I got an email from my cruise consultant that said he-meaning all cruise consultants, will no longer be handling air reservations. They have established a direct line into what must be an expanded air department, and you book your air directly through them. Payment matters are still to be handled by your cruise consultant. This to me is a MAJOR change in how SS does business. I have been sailing SS for 12 years, 10 cruises, and have had 2 great cruise consultants who I have always relied on to book my flights-and to frequently run interference for me with the air department. (This lead me to start a topic about 2 years ago entitled "Silversea Air screws up Again" which had 100's of comments and views). Having my cruise consultant book air was an essential part of what I regard as Silverssea's stellar services. Call it one stop shopping. Now I find out I have to deal with another individual in another department, explaining what I want all over again and plod through what is available and what is not. As a reminder what prompted my previous blow up with SS Air was when they booked me flying from Dublin to Boston via Rotterdam. Anyhow. On the positive side yesterday I used their new department, got an agent who had the patience of a saint, and we worked out the air from NYC to Athens and Venice to NYC for a Greece trip I have scheduled for August. I always look in advance at flights that are available on the days and times I want to have that all ready when talking to SS, She got me exactly what I wanted, non-stop, business class, on the days I wanted. So to ever that woman was, a profound thank you. But the system seems newish, she had to talk to her manager a few times, and seemed slightly unsure of herself. So I don't know whether this topic has been covered or whether it is new news. Nor do I know, and can't gauge whether it's going to be for the good or bad. I do know yesterday.was the first time for me using the new system and somehow I made it work. I apologize if this has been covered and I have wasted your time..
  19. Can I put an end to the never-ending dress code debate. I think every man in the world has a pair of chinos and a blue blazer. That works for everything, formal, informal, casual. Just pack the 2 items and wear them all the time if you choose. Woman. Same deal, I think every woman in the world has a little black dress. It also works everywhere. Issue settled, end of discussion, for ever. 😄
  20. The putting, on all SS ships so far, is inside, outside the MDR, after Trivia at 5:30. It is fun not skill. The have all these plastic bridges etc they put out. On one cruise they had us hitting down the stairs. You putt for points, anyone can get lucky, its most fun when the ship is really rolling.
  21. Hi. We are booked on the Whisper for a back to back August 1-23 for Greece and the Adriatic Coast departing from Athens. This will be our 9th cruise with Silversea. I noticed in looking through pre-cruise material the Whisper hasn't been refurbished since 2018 which is the longest any of their current t ships have gone without a redo. Am I right in this? Are there any plans for any sort of redo between now and August. And lastly, for those who have been on it recently , what kind of shape is it in. I have to say I am a little concerned. I am more concerned about the climate in Greece. Last year it was 120 degrees in Rhodes in August and there were wild fires and they had to evacuate 20,000 people. I am thinking I made a big mistake with this. I made the decision on the basis of itinerary, this is the only part of Europe we haven't done, and wasn't paying sufficient attention to the ship and timing. Any thoughts on the matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  22. No way is La Dame worth a $160.00 surcharge. I used to always go there once to see what was up. Then I figured out that the selections at La Dame usually appeared on the Main Dining Room menu the next night. The one difference was the portions at La Dame were larger-a good example of they were serving rack of lamb for instance at La Dame you would get 4 ribs in the MDR you would get 2. But there is a trick a waiter taught me many cruises ago. Just order 2 entrees in the MDR. And for that kind of $$ the wine must be far superior to their usual plonk, Dom instead of Monopole, maybe a second growth Bordeaux, like Baron Pichon-none of which I have seen on a SS ship.
  23. Hi. I am new to this board but not to cruise critic. I am a regular on the Silversea site having sailed with them 10 times. Hello Jazzbeau. We are doing the Budapest to Amsterdam trip on June 2 on the Espirit. This is our first river cruise. We have been with Tauck twice before, one land only trip to the US Canyon Lands which was spectacular. And also a cruise to Cuba, on the Ponant- its first ship, a gorgeous art deco sailing ship, with cabins that were way too small. This cruise will go down in Tauck lore, there was a nasty storm, and a full blown Force 5 tornado when we arrived in Havana. We were on the 18th floor of our hotel and the power went out. Enough said. Take away, don't sail the Ponant and delete Cuba from your to do list. Anyhow. I booked this trip on Friday. There were only 2 cabins left on the Diamond deck, #s 315 and 316 which are aft separated from Arthur's by 2 smaller cabins. I took 315 and still have 8 days to cancel. My concerns: 1. Are there sufficient tables for 2 in the Compass Rose restaurant. I absolutely loathe eating with other people at larger tables. This is a disqualifier. 2. Is Arthurs, its alternative restaurant crowded or noisy. I am 2 cabins away. On SS I always book suites away from potential noise-elevators, restaurants etc. This would be another disqualifier. 3. For those who have done both Tauck and Silversea how does the food compare. I really like the food and beverage service on SS (I am not a total snob). 4. I noticed the Espirit was last refurbished in 2018. Has anyone been on board recently and what kind of shape is the ship in? Thanks for any help. ( I would be happy to share any thoughts on Silversea which has become my home away from home. I love them) cheers chris
  24. Absolutely Curacao especially for less experienced divers. In Curacao at certain points you can literally walk off the beach and there is a Cayman's type wall only 50 or so yards from the shore. I think it goes down a couple of thousand feet. This will accommodate both divers and snorkelers. Best of both worlds.
  25. Bob, Please start a new thread. I started this one all over a year ago. I also posted a followup saying I had found a way to work around any issues I had with SS Air. The key to problem solving was developing a fantastic relationship with my CC cruise consultant. I have tried to take it down so someone else's name is on it but I can't figure out how to do it. I think a newer version should go up, they did after all try to send me to Frankfurt from Dublin,to get home to Boston, but that was corrected immediately with one "are your kidding me" phone call. There are still problems. But please, can someone take this over. Every day my inbox is overflows with followups on the subject. Thanks to anyone who jumps in here.
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