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About sealover155

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  1. My thanks as well. We were seriously looking at Silversa cruises. But I'm so surprised to learn about the smoking issues. That's a deal breaker for us as my retinologist has warned me about the dangers of second hand smoke for those of us with retinal disease, in my case macular degeneration. Given the age demographic, you'd think Silversea would have addressed this.
  2. We've had multiple, wonderful experiences flying Lufthansa from LAX to Germany and then onto other EU cities. We've flown Business, FC once, and most recently their Premium Economy on their 380. Frankly, PE was just fabulous as it's a private cabin with dedicated attendants and restrooms. And very quiet. If not using miles, I could not justify the cost of Business. We talked to a passenger in regular economy and he was impressed as well. As we are United Mileage Plus members we consider Air Canada as well as they consistently rate highly in the annual competions. But the connections in Toronto never seem to make sense on the routes we are interested in. Also I'd rather fly non-stop to Europe when possible. Do you check seatguru.com.
  3. Oh, Turtles06, so sad your review has come to an end! Please promise to review all of your cruises. This itinerary is definitely on my list as I adore Quebec City, have New Englanders in my family history and have always had a fascination with PEI, Halifax, etc. And of course, those lobster rolls, Here in Southern California we have the lobstatruck that visits my town once a week and they're decent but nothing like my favorite memory of the roadside ones in New England. We miss the ambiance of sitting on a wooden picnic table next to the casual stand in the middle of nowhere. Your review was the perfect balance of ship and port info. And I always appreciate candid opinions. So, thank you very much.
  4. Suddenly I'm starving!! That lobster roll and blueberry pie look fantastic. So glad you found the perfect lunch. BTW, do you think Becky's problem was the untraditional roll? Aside from the flavorless lobster, of course. That thick hot dog roll should be kept for sausages, etc. Your pictures and commentary are both beautiful and helpful, so thanks again for such a substantive review.
  5. Many thanks for such a thoughtful and substantive review. As others have said it's greatly appreciated. I agree that the the new colors scheme is attractive and peaceful. And I'm thrilled about the new showers! But, the design flaws are inexcusable. My guess is there is a preponderance, of staterooms occupied by at least one woman. The decision to not have a mirror above the desk/vanity is absurd. Hopefully that will be remedied. Whoever made the decision to eliminate coffee tables inside the rooms and to decrease the size of balcony tables has most likely not sailed on a ship or at least not on an itinerary with more than 1 or 2 sea days. It can be assumed that management would prefer their guests get out their staterooms as much as possible. Please explain where will my husband and I play backgammon or scrabble or enjoy room service or put our beverages while reading. Where will we put the flower arrangements we always order? Will we have to schlepp a folding table along with footrests (hopefully the rumors that they're coming back are true) along with our luggage like the Beverly Hillbillies?!? And, how often will coffee cups and beverage glasses be spilled on the carpet when they are placed on the floor due to no table? Style, albeit questionable, over substance comes to mind.
  6. The change to Tuscan on M class ships was a deal-breaker for us. No way does Tuscan approximate the experience or make the expense worth it. Italian steak houses are a dime a dozen in today's restaurant world. The Murano-like restaurants were one of the few remaining aspects that set Celebrity apart from their competitors. They were settings for very special occasions, or just a change from the MDRs, Blu, or Luminae. We haven't stepped foot on an M class since the change.
  7. Paul - Many thanks for another fabulous review. I always appreciate how thorough and opinionated you are! Seriously, the real value here is your honest, candid thoughts. Edge sounds like an amazing and innovative experience. I just love that you and Edward experience so many aspects of the ship. Thanks for the gorgeous photos, too. Happy to hear that the wonderful service continues. From reading the reviews we're concerned, also raised by others, that there seem to be fewer quiet peaceful places to relax during the days as we usually choose longer cruises with many sea days. Unless, of course you are in a suite and have access to the Retreat. I think I'd miss the forward lounges on the S and M classes, and I hope the rumors of converting them into suites are just that! Disaster! Sorry your dinner at Fine Cut missed the mark. The scallops sounded and looked divine though. I noticed they featured Nueske bacon! We've loved it for years and while it's available here in Southern California in upscale markets we find it's easier to order it straight from the farm in Wisconsin. I just might make a wedge salad tonight with it. Curiously we discovered it at our favorite steakhouse in LA, the Pacific Dining Car. Also glad you highlighted one of our favorite reasons to cruise - the value of making new friends. We have cherished, long time friendships whose joys are truly impossible to overstate. So, I may have to change my Cruise Critic name to Chicago Mary Anne as my husband and I will be moving to Chicago this year! After a lifetime in Pasadena we are anxious to be closer to our son and his family. We are hoping to move to the Streeterville area so, who knows, we just might run into you and Edward in one of those steakhouses. My current fave is Chicago Cut but we love em all. Thanks again, Paul.
  8. Hi Linda - Still following along and dreaming of a cruise to all of the islands you visited. Just love all the nitty gritty details. Do your children have a favorite island? Our experience in the Caribbean is a bit limited as most of our travels including cruises have taken us elsewhere. I think we've only been to 4 of the islands. Don't get mad but we're moving to Chicago this year after a lifetime in Southern California to be closer to our family. Since the Caribbean will be a little easier to access I'm hoping it won't be such a hard sell on DH. Since you asked, regarding Eastern Europe, put Krakow, and Budapest as well as Prague on the top of your hit parade. From what you've said about your family I think you'd all be charmed. Tell your husband that my husband won't go on a river cruise either. Says he's not old enough. And he's 76 but acts like and thinks he's 55. Mary Anne
  9. Hi Linda! Since my FIL was of Czech heritage and we all have funny Czech surnames, the Czech Republic was the big motivation and destination for the trip. But first we wanted a more relaxing and recreational experience. We decided on the Salzkammergut area just outside Salzburg where we could relax, go boating, hiking and swimming while being within striking distance of Salzburg and all of its treasures. The village of St. Wolfgang is a picture postcard and the luxury White Horse Inn actually has a floating-in-the-lake swimming pool. That turned out to be a huge hit. From there we hired a van and driver to go to Prague via Cesky Krumlov, fulfilling the little one's wish for castles. But we were all enchanted. We spent about a week in Prague, a return visit for my husband and me but the first for my son's family. We hit all the highlights but included a visit to the wonderful zoo and enjoyed a boat ride on the river. Since we were a group of six it made sense to hire a private guide for the castle and other historical sights. We struck gold with our guide who researched the family name and birthplace (Bruno) of my FIL. We wound up hiring her and her driver to take us there on an all-day trip. Our original plan was to take the train and explore on our own. This turned out to be a highlight none of us will ever forget. So, being flexible is always a good idea. My husband and I continued onto Berlin for a week and then back to Austria for another week before returning home. The little ones needed to go home to the Chicago area as school was starting. BTW, so glad you enjoyed our favorite ship. We've sailed her twice , both transatlantics and they had to literally force me off the ship both times! Mary Anne
  10. I'd like to add my thanks for such an informative and fun report. That you and your fabulous family experienced so many aspects of the cruise experience adds so much value. Throughout my my life as a parent, and also as a daughter I've adored family vacations. In 2017 my husband and our son and his family and I had an epic trip to Europe. Think, big anniversary. All but my then 6 year old grandson had been to Europe many times. Due to his age and that of his sister, age 9, we knew we had to satisfy all expectations - lots of castles, please Mimi, and hilltops to twirl on like Maria in Sound of Music. I thought my year of planning was exquisite and detailed but now, after reading your review I realize I'm just a rookie!!! The image of that calendar will live in my memory forever!! All worth it, of course as I'm sure you agree, travel and experiencing different cultures and history will help to create curious and compassionate young people. Again, my profound thanks. Your charming and often hilarious take has made our cocktail hour very entertaining the last few days. Mary Anne
  11. Yes, we both had the Pneumonia vaccine, which like most vaccines is not 100% effective preventing disease. Supposedly it lessens the effects. Whatever we are still convinced vaccines are essential. Curiously the first question asked was not whether he'd had this vaccine but whether he'd had the flu shot, which was yes. He thinks that he might have picked it up in the fitness center as he was suspicious of a machine he used a few days before. Of course we both agree that the healthier and fitter you are, the better to fend off one of these bugs. The examples of people coughing and sneezing irresponsibly never ceases to amaze me. I fear for those who are immo- compromised or otherwise more vulnerable. I detailed our story mostly to compliment the Medical Staff but also to let you know that if our experience is how all guests are treated, you can rest easy. My husband kept saying, "What if this happened when we were in a hotel in Borneo?!?"
  12. Yes! We watched the Mars landing along with most of Pasadena! What a thrill and such encouragement for all involved with the space programs worldwide. I neglected, to give a shout out to the non-medical crew who were so thoughtful and kind during our ordeal: The Asst. Maitre'd of Ocean View who graciously found a beautiful plate of fruit for me after most of the stations were being set for lunch- I'd missed breakfast and he sensed my dismay. And our waiter in MDR who offered to deliver to our stateroom anything I wanted. Those random acts of kindness meant so much.
  13. Thanks so much for your review, thoughts, and ideas. We, too, we're on this cruise and while we had an unusual (for us) event that impacted and restricted our activities the last few days, we agree with most all of your experiences. This was our first non-Aqua Class in 4 cruises and we were absolutely delighted with the MDR, from the food to the wait staff and especially our table mates from Germany and Australia. Lots of laughter and wonderful shared histories. We also dined twice in Murano and once in Tuscan- all were very good. I do agree with your comment about the heavy rich food in Murano. This time I passed on the starter and just had entree and cheese. I've finally learned that just because it's included doesn't mean that I should have it! Our evening in Tuscan was wonderful once we convinced the server we really did want to order a bottle of Barolo even if his recommendation of "decent" red was included in our Premium Alcohol Package. Our steaks were divine. We never made it to Lawn Club (see below). For me one of the highlights was the lecture series by Jim Kennedy from NASA. I lived through those early and thrilling years of the space program from my home in Orlando. Watching the lift offs on TV at school and then running out to the field with my classmates to see the vapor trails are indelible memories. Such fun re-living those times but also learning about the Space Shuttle, etc. along with the future of space travel and exploration. And, for many years we've lived in Pasadena, CA, home to JPL so for us it was very special. The event mentioned above, was our first ever visit to the Medical Clinic. After the breathtaking sail into New York my husband announced that he was not feeling well. We went back to our cabin where he slept for the next 18 hours. The following morning on our way to Bermuda we finally made our way to the clinic. In retrospect I should have insisted on having the medical team visit him in our cabin. On admittance he had a skyrocketing fever and dangerously low blood pressure, combined with profound fatigue- a scary situation even for an otherwise strong and healthy guy with absolutely no pre-existing conditions. The care he received and the kindness and compasssion shown to me over the following 4 days were simply exemplary. We were blown away by the skill of Dr. Fabian Dutan and his team. As our business was in medical equipment we are very familiar with clinics, hospital ERs, etc. - we've been in hundreds of them so we were very skeptical!!! No need as it was all top notch. He is still recovering (turned out to be Pneumonia) but will be fine. And luckily we, narrowly, avoided being disembarked in Bermuda. Overall, we are still in love with the Silhouette and she remains our favorite ship. She's just a good fit for us. We were not surprised to have a bit of rocking and rolling the first few days but we would have enjoyed more deck time. This was our 6th T/A, and our second northern one but the sail-in to New York this time was exhilarating, complete with Frank singing "New York, New York". Hopefully there will be more glorious crossings in our future. Thanks to all who've shared their experience on this sailing but especially to the OP- very insightful comments and fabulous photos. P.S. So glad you enjoyed Hamilton - it's really extraordinarily.
  14. Many thanks, Paul, for devoting so much of your time to another fun and informative review. I just love opinionated reviews, so your's are always a hit with us. I would like to know your thinking on additional tipping in specialty restaurants. I realize that none is required but I've been thinking that we probably overdue it. Also completely understand that more is sometime warranted and other times, not so much. Having said all that, with excellent but not over the top service what would you leave, if anything? This is, of course, apart from the sommelier. We will be on a T/A this fall and will probably have a multi-night package. Again my thanks for the ride along. Mary Anne
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