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Live Blog – Silhouette Nov 3 – Beaches to Broadway – Pull up a seat and Join


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9 hours ago, scanditaly said:

Hello Jim and Iain;

 

Scanditaly here hailing from the West part of San Jose.  Love the Il Postale restaurant in your area.  Thanks for doing the "live from"; have read a few of your reports and really enjoy them.  Your SA trip was wonderful to follow.

 

We have used the car rental tip twice now, picking up a car at SJC the day before, and driving ourselves up at our convenience for the SFO takeoff.  Thank you.  

 

Enjoy the continued excitement as you prepare for your journey. 

Lisa

 

Hi Lisa -

Always wonderful to meet a neighbor.  I love Il Portale (the Post Office) but have to admit we haven't been there in quite some time.   Actually I don't think we have been there since they moved to their new location.

 

We use to rent local edition cars rental all the time but have started using Uber and Lyft in the last couple years.   I found out how inexpensive they can be on that trip where I forgot my Passport and had to quickly get home to retrieve it.   Do a mock trip and see how the rates compare from your area.   For me  the cost to SFO is $45-50 and San Jose $25.00

 

 

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6 hours ago, Zigster said:

Hi Jim (and Iain) - Really looking forward to your blog as we love Silhouette and are looking forward to our 3rd sailing on her in November.  Would love to do a TA one day, but not certain about all those sea days.

Congratulations on your Zenith status!  Nice perks along with access to Michael's Club.  

Thank you for taking us along on your journey!

Patty

 

Thanks Zigster 

I think the thought of all those sea days scares a lot of people but I love them.   The dynamics are definitely different.    The beauty is you can do as much or as little as you want.   Since you don't have to get up really early most days you can sleep in, stay up late and get to meet fellow passengers.   

Celebrity goes to great lengths to make sure there are multiple things gong on all day.

The enjoyable part of a west bound TA is that you gain 5 hours during the crossing. Having said that we may only have 4 this trip (just guessing) as U.S. DST Ends on our first night while Europe will be turning their clocks back this weekend.   

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4 hours ago, effinaround said:

Awesome Jim.  Looks like we'll pass in the Atlantic, albeit at different altitudes. I'm flying over on the 7th to catch the Eclipse on the 10th out of Barcelona.  This is only my third cruise and my first with Celebrity. Thoroughly enjoyed your last epic trip a few weeks back. 

 

I'll look up and wave as you fly over.   Enjoy Barcelona, it is one of our favorite cities.  The number of trips isn't important.  What is important is that you enjoyed yourself and appear to be on the tract to becoming addicted to cruising.   

 

Enjoy your cruise and have a great time. 

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4 hours ago, jimbri said:

Looking forward to your review.  I hope to someday take a TA!

 Like many others I was really worried about my first TA and had brought along far more books than I could have ever read.   As I mentioned on previous cruises I do a lot of walking as a means of burning off those extra calories.    Usually spend about 3-3.5 hours a day walking and listen to Murder Mystery Audio Books.   

 

This cruise is really going to be special with the two over-nights in New York and Bermuda.  I don't expect there to be a lot of early mornings … Yea...

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Looking forward to your review Jim, a TA is on our bucket list, but was wondering which is the best to do, west to east or the other way around.

I notice on your signature that you are sailing the Amalfi Coast and the Greek Islands on the Edge next October. We have that itinerary booked for early September so I may be  able to give you some tips......😉

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7 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

Thanks Zigster 

I think the thought of all those sea days scares a lot of people but I love them.   The dynamics are definitely different.    The beauty is you can do as much or as little as you want.   Since you don't have to get up really early most days you can sleep in, stay up late and get to meet fellow passengers.   

Celebrity goes to great lengths to make sure there are multiple things gong on all day.

The enjoyable part of a west bound TA is that you gain 5 hours during the crossing. Having said that we may only have 4 this trip (just guessing) as U.S. DST Ends on our first night while Europe will be turning their clocks back this weekend.   

LOL, Jim, we thrashed out the  end of DST consequences on the Roll Call a couple of weeks or so ago.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Here's what I think: normally, the UK is 5 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.  But British Summer Time (their DST) ends this Sunday, Oct. 28, which will mean the UK will turn their clocks back an hour and will only be 4 hours ahead of our East Coast, BUT only for one week, until DST ends in the U.S. on Nov. 4. 

 

We embark on Saturday, Nov. 3.  On Sunday, Nov. 4, the U.S. will end DST and turn the clocks back one hour, once again creating a 5-hour time difference between our East Coast and the UK.  Which means we still have to account for 5 hours and should have 5 time changes in our 6-day crossing to Boston.  Put another way, five 25-hour days.  Love the westbound crossings!

 

Hope we have the chance to meet,

 

Judith

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3 hours ago, h20cruzer said:

WOW, can/t wait for your live blog. I'm with effinaround will be on the Eclipse 11/10 and 11/23.

Thanks for your recommendations on restaurants in BA.

Please remember your passports.  Love the Silhouette.

Safe travels to Southhampton and the TA.

Norma

 

Hi Norma -   I'm excited for you and your upcoming trips to Buenos Aires.   If you have time in BA visit Palacio el Paz.    It is on old Estate build by a newspaper magnet and is a wonderful tour.   They have tours in English once a week but we went on a Spanish Language one.   While we don't speak Spanish fluently the guide was wonderful and spoke so clearly and expressively that we were really able to understand.    A couple of people on the tour helped a bit with translation also. 

 

Our highlight of the tour was one of the fellow guest (6 in all). She was an opera singer  and when she heard about the acoustics in the music room asked if she could sing for us.  What an incredible voice and delightful experience.

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3 hours ago, Orator said:

Have a great time as a new Zenith. There should be quite a few Zeniths onboard to welcome you into the ranks. Thinking about that cruise for next November.

I was expecting there to be quite a number of Zenith's aboard.   The repositioning cruises must really attract us.  

Hope to sail with you again.   

 

Jim 

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2 hours ago, kpark895 said:

Looking forward to this next review.  I so enjoyed your last one.

Thanks for joining in and your kind comments.   I'll do my best to keep it interesting and fun fill tips and tricks.

 

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5 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

LOL, Jim, we thrashed out the  end of DST consequences on the Roll Call a couple of weeks or so ago.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Here's what I think: normally, the UK is 5 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.  But British Summer Time (their DST) ends this Sunday, Oct. 28, which will mean the UK will turn their clocks back an hour and will only be 4 hours ahead of our East Coast, BUT only for one week, until DST ends in the U.S. on Nov. 4. 

 

We embark on Saturday, Nov. 3.  On Sunday, Nov. 4, the U.S. will end DST and turn the clocks back one hour, once again creating a 5-hour time difference between our East Coast and the UK.  Which means we still have to account for 5 hours and should have 5 time changes in our 6-day crossing to Boston.  Put another way, five 25-hour days.  Love the westbound crossings!

 

Hope we have the chance to meet,

 

Judith

I must have missed the discussion of the time zone changes.   I'll take your suggested changes as I'm brain dead on figuring out the time change with the DST.  

 

I would have to agree with you on your calculation when I think of the logic you explained.   When retired one looses track of time regularly. 

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1 minute ago, Jim_Iain said:

I must have missed the discussion of the time zone changes.   I'll take your suggested changes as I'm brain dead on figuring out the time change with the DST.  

 

I would have to agree with you on your calculation when I think of the logic you explained.   When retired one looses track of time regularly. 

Agreed!  There are some weeks when I think it's been Wednesday for three days.  :classic_blink:

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October 26, 2018

 

Half of the fun of cruising is the pre-cruise planning.   I really enjoy arranging and planning cruises and have a tendency to check a couple sources daily.   The Cruise Fishy site is one of my favorites and I use it for both research as well as to send me alerts when it finds a price drop.

 

I booked this cruise the day it came on the Market close to 2 years ago.   My normal methodology is to book it myself and then reach out to a couple travel agents and ask them what they would offer to transfer the cruise to them.   Those refundable OBC’s ae always important to my cruise planning.   It is fairly easy to transfer the booking but has to be done within the first 60 days from booking.

For this cruise we booked a Celebrity Suite and paid $6,199 pp plus $392 tax and port charges.  My travel agent was kind enough to offer a $700 OBC.   Many don’t realize how much and how often the prices change so here is a summary of the price changes from when the cruise was first released until today.   I am also including a graph of the price movement. 

 

                                       636177090_PricesSilhouette.jpg.fb2e1a066443b745af55e48595d8f9aa.jpg

 

994826296_PricesSilhouetteGraph.jpg.a83604a6e3a42e230d6a32a40738a20b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Jim_Iain
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6 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

October 26, 2018

 

Half of the fun of cruising is the pre-cruise planning.   I really enjoy arranging and planning cruises and have a tendency to check a couple sources daily.   The Cruise Fishy site is one of my favorites and I use it for both research as well as to send me alerts when it finds a price drop.

 

I booked this cruise the day it came on the Market close to 2 years ago.   My normal methodology is to book it myself and then reach out to a couple travel agents and ask them what they would offer to transfer the cruise to them.   Those refundable OBC’s ae always important to my cruise planning.   It is fairly easy to transfer the booking but has to be done within the first 60 days from booking.

For this cruise we booked a Celebrity Suite and paid $6,199 pp plus $392 tax and port charges.  My travel agent was kind enough to offer a $700 OBC.   Many don’t realize how much and how often the prices change so here is a summary of the price changes from when the cruise was first released until today.   I am also including a graph of the price movement. 

 

                                       636177090_PricesSilhouette.jpg.fb2e1a066443b745af55e48595d8f9aa.jpg

 

994826296_PricesSilhouetteGraph.jpg.a83604a6e3a42e230d6a32a40738a20b.jpg

 

 

 

Unfortunately that site has become very flaky of late.  Notice that the most recent update on your cruise was over 6 weeks ago.  The same thing has happened as I try to follow hoped-for price decreases on my January Edge cruise – there had been nothing for months, then suddenly a price update 10-15, but again nothing since then.  So I'm back to checking the Celebrity website every day.

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16 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

Unfortunately that site has become very flaky of late.  Notice that the most recent update on your cruise was over 6 weeks ago.  The same thing has happened as I try to follow hoped-for price decreases on my January Edge cruise – there had been nothing for months, then suddenly a price update 10-15, but again nothing since then.  So I'm back to checking the Celebrity website every day.

 

I agree that the site is flaky at times but even so I found that on my saved searches you can quickly link to your Celebrity cruise without having to do any searching (we all know how easy it is to search Celebrity at times)   I may have mentioned that the fishy sight is only one of the sites I use (for the reason you mentioned).  

 

All you need to do is click the currency and it will take you to the country specific site.  I have to caution that it doesn't always work, especially if Celebrity is changing their site around. 

 

cruisefish.jpg.6fd01e25229544732b975969e043472a.jpg

 

 

Edited by Jim_Iain
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36 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

Agreed!  There are some weeks when I think it's been Wednesday for three days.  :classic_blink:

 

I find that we often say... Geeze it's Friday again already.   On our last cruise we got to the point that the only way we could figure out what day it was, was to check the telephone.   

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26 minutes ago, DUTRAVEL said:

Hi, we are on this sailing with you - we love the TA's (this will be our fourth). We fly out of San Jose tomorrow to Paris. See you on board next week!

 

Dianne, Peter & Henrietta

How wonderful that you are getting a jump start on the cruise and flying to Paris.   I got a great rate on AF (SFO-CDG-LHR) so will also be flying Air France but out of SFO.   I wish we could have gotten a SJC flight as it is so much more comfortable.   

 

Look forward to meeting you on the ship.   

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1 hour ago, Jim_Iain said:

 

I'll look up and wave as you fly over.   Enjoy Barcelona, it is one of our favorite cities.  The number of trips isn't important.  What is important is that you enjoyed yourself and appear to be on the tract to becoming addicted to cruising.   

 

Enjoy your cruise and have a great time. 

Absolutely!  My wife and I love cruising (first time NCL Jade, Dec 2016, second cruise Royal Princess, Jan 2018) and it certainly is addictive!

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Now that I mentioned flying -

 

BOOKING AIR FARE WITH CHOICEAIR - WHAT A STEAL

 

I normally book air as soon as the new flights are listed about 11 months before flight time.   Their is usually a good allocation of discounted seats.

 

I booked our Air via Choice Air (Flights by Celebrity) -   Normally I like to book a non-stop when available but sometimes the fare dictate the route. 

 

AIR FRANCE -  BUSINESS CLASS  - ONE WAY     $1,1000

 

I think this is the best Business Class I have ever booked as it is currently listed at $3,800 and AF direct is about $7,000.

 

image.png.926d2fb99315791ce146811fa12b93f6.png

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3 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

 

I'm looking forward to Silhouette again myself.   We haven't been on an S-Class in a couple years.    The last was Silhouette and I really enjoyed her.   

 

Are there any specific items that you can point to that makes her more special than her sisters or is it just a general feel.    I know I dislike Reflections due to the increased passenger load and especially the extra Sky Suites that makes Luminea very crazy. 

 

I always like the Lawn Club Grill  which isn't on every S class ship.  Last time I was one Silhouette, I was fortunate enough to be in a Sky Suite and did not find Luminea crazy, but I do tend to eat on the early side. This was also a sailing over New Years, so the ship was full.

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2 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

How wonderful that you are getting a jump start on the cruise and flying to Paris.   I got a great rate on AF (SFO-CDG-LHR) so will also be flying Air France but out of SFO.   I wish we could have gotten a SJC flight as it is so much more comfortable.   

 

Look forward to meeting you on the ship.   

 

We were lucky enough to get a business saver rate on miles with Lufthansa (through United).

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3 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

 

I agree that the site is flaky at times but even so I found that on my saved searches you can quickly link to your Celebrity cruise without having to do any searching (we all know how easy it is to search Celebrity at times)   I may have mentioned that the fishy sight is only one of the sites I use (for the reason you mentioned).  

 

All you need to do is click the currency and it will take you to the country specific site.  I have to caution that it doesn't always work, especially if Celebrity is changing their site around. 

 

cruisefish.jpg.6fd01e25229544732b975969e043472a.jpg

 

 

Thanks Jim.  I didn't know that, and it is a good shortcut for my daily Celebrity website price check!

 

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We will see you in Michaels Club if it’s not too crowded.   We traveled in a CS when they shared the benefit of Michaels Club with the Suites above them.   On the Soltice Class, we found the CS small with a tiny bedroom and no dining table.

we did enjoy the much larger balcony but our balcony opened to the bow so we couldn’t use it when we were underway.   We are in a RS and that is a better suite but the balcony is small.   Guess it still includes the jetted bathtub so you can only have one lounger.    We have always cruised with Cunard and have recently enjoyed Seabourn sailing.    The prices are comparable.   See you on board, Karen and Jim

 

 

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