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  #21  
Old March 12th, 2011, 02:26 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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Why not post your questions on the Silversea board where you will get many more repsonses.
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  #22  
Old March 13th, 2011, 12:36 PM
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Just booked on Silverseas Silver Whisper after receiving a brochure in the mail yesterday with some really good prices. 7 day cruise to Scandinavia and St. Petersburg, with 2 nights over in St. Petersburg.

On this cruise, can anyone advise what our options are with regard to "formal" nights? Will there be any on a 7 day cruise? We would not be attending shows or events after dinner, just looking forward to a nice meal with a nice bottle of wine every night. Spouse can bring a bespoke suit or silk sportcoat. I normally wear crepe trousers and dressy tops. Plan to be off the boat most of the day on tour, will not be using spa, internet, pool. We need to plan the wardrobe carefully due to our desire to travel light and bring only one suitcase apiece.

Also any information we need to know about the Silver Whisper, the possibility of smoke on board, in suite dining, including room service breakfast, and specifics/tips with regard to this specific itinerary. We were told we need "visas." I know that Russia requires a visa but if you plan to use ship tours, that a blanket visa for the group is covered? Visas needed for Sweden, Denmark, Finland or Estonia? Any comments on ship tours? I plan to use ship tours rather than private tours. I was not happy with at least half the private tours on my cruise last summer--sharing private tours with people you don't know is a crap shoot.
Based on what you are looking for, I think Silversea is the right choice. The disappointing excursions you had on Oceania would be the same on Regent -- they are contracted with the same companies. On our Silver Spirit cruise in November, the excursion (only did one) was handled well.

The only place a visa is required is St. Petersburg. Estonia was our favorite port (followed closely by St. Petersburg). We spent two days pre-cruise in Copenhagen and only 1/2 a day in Stockholm -- both lovely cities. Did not go to Finland.

We will be on the Whisper in May (transatlantic departs from NYC with stops in Newport, RI, Halifax, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Cork, Ireland, Waterford, Ireland and Fowey, England). If this thread is still around, I'll let you know more about the ship. Several friends feel that the Whisper is the best ship in the fleet. We found the service exemplary on the Spirit but was not fond of the ship itself.

I agree that you'll receive more responses if you post this on the Silversea board. I'm pretty sure there is at least one formal night and one informal night on a 7 night itinerary. The folks over there will know for sure.
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  #23  
Old March 17th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Based on what you are looking for, I think Silversea is the right choice. The disappointing excursions you had on Oceania would be the same on Regent -- they are contracted with the same companies.
The disappointing excursions that winegirl had on Oceania were not ship tours. She had bad experiences with private tours booked with other Oceania passengers.
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  #24  
Old March 18th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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The disappointing excursions that winegirl had on Oceania were not ship tours. She had bad experiences with private tours booked with other Oceania passengers.
Thank you for clarifying that. Guess I was just making an assumption that the ship tours on Oceania are the same calibre as Regent which isn't a fair comparison. Regent tours, for the most part, are "free" which encourages hundreds of passengers to sign up. This causing crowding, etc. Oceania uses the same tour operators but are probably less crowded
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  #25  
Old March 21st, 2011, 08:40 PM
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Thank you for clarifying that. Guess I was just making an assumption that the ship tours on Oceania are the same calibre as Regent which isn't a fair comparison. Regent tours, for the most part, are "free" which encourages hundreds of passengers to sign up. This causing crowding, etc. Oceania uses the same tour operators but are probably less crowded
While Regent tours may indeed be fuller due to their free nature, and while Oceania probably uses the same tour operators as Regent, winegirl reported problems with private tours booked with other passengers, using most likely completely different tour operators. I had the impression that the problem was not with the tour operators but as she said, "sharing private tours with people you don't know is a crap shoot."

Last edited by gillianrose; March 21st, 2011 at 08:43 PM.
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  #26  
Old March 22nd, 2011, 03:12 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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Which is why I take the word private seriously and always book my own private excursions. Then, if I don't like the company I only have myself to blame.
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  #27  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 09:46 AM
fairbourne fairbourne is offline
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Smile First time Cruisers on Silver Whisper

Hope this might be of some help to you sailing on Silver Whisper soon - you lucky things! We - that's the husband and me - sailed on the Whisper transatlantic last year Southampton to NYC. Our first ever cruise and we were not disappointed. I am an ex-hotelier and that means I spot things others might not (!) but there wasn't much at fault with the Whisper. Recently refurbished we enjoyed very comfortable surroundings and our suite (Verandah) was more spacious than we had anticipated and storage for everything was great. Being our first cruise, we over-packed, having no idea at all about what we should be wearing, but hey why not, we didn't have to carry our luggage! With that in mind let me re-assure those of you who want to dress up then go for it, but equally if you prefer a more casual approach than that seemed to be fine too. By more casual, I mean you would be perfectly fine in your classy, evening trousers with a glamourous top - many of the ladies on our cruise, including myself, wore similar. There were no ballgowns, but simply elegant evening/cocktail dresses and although most men wore black tie, a dark lounge suit is perfectly acceptable. Anyway, what we found was that our fellow travellers were not the type of people who judged you for what you were wearing! And they were a mix of mainly Americans, with Europeans scattered in for fun! We met and made some wonderful new friends who we have kept in touch with. Not being good "group people" and by that I mean we absolutely hate being part of tour groups, we were worried that we might meet "Bob from Wolverhampton" and be stuck all cruise. But no worries, we met people from different walks of life who were interesting to chat with and interested to chat with us, and then not hang around you like the preverbial bad smell for the rest of the cruise!

The staff were great and the food we found almost all of the time to be first class with the exception sometimes in the main restaurant for dinner was a little repetitive. Breakfast in La Terrazza was our favourite time, and as the Atlantic was very kind to us we enjoyed eating outside on the terrace most days in the sunshine and with dolphins for company. Simply wonderful. We are not big drinkers, so didn't inbibe too much, but enjoyed the non-alcoholic beverages our thoughtful butler stocked our fridge up with, without request from us. Our butler was first class and although friendly, remained professional with our requests. On the whole we found the staff went out of their way to ensure you were enjoying your time on "their ship". They were all so proud of the Whisper and many told us it was their favourite Silversea ship.

It was my husband's birthday and we returned from dinner one evening to find our butler had set up a surprise candle lit birthday table (not real candles but those little tealights with batteries) with a beautifully iced cake, champagne, a hand-made card from her and our room attendant, and a card from the Captain.

We found everything at Silversea is done with a touch of class without being overly fussy.

Now to the never-ending debate on smoking. I cannot tolerate smoke and was worried pre-cruise that I would have a problem with smokers/stale smoke. The only time I had to move was one morning sitting out on the terrace of La terrazza when an inconsiderate couple - I think they were either French or German - didn't get close enough to find out!! - came for breakfast and lit up right next to us. I think you are allowed to smoke out there in one section but it was rare to find anyone smoking there at all. The smokers were definitely in the minority and the only other time we came across smoking was in the bar, again allowed in a small section but in my opinion if you allow smoking in any part of a room, then it's as daft as the old smoking sections on an aircraft - and yes you guessed it the same couple!

I think we have encountered more issues with people smoking on land than we did at sea.

So I wish you all the happiest time on your cruise on Silver Whisper - and as I write this, am enjoying remembering our happy days on board her last year.

If you would like to know anything else then I would be happy to help you if I can.
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  #28  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 10:05 AM
fairbourne fairbourne is offline
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I also meant to tell Winegirl that please do go for breakfast in La Terrazza although I appreciate your dislike of buffets - aren't we all fed up of cooking and serving up at home! - but you can choose exactly what you want and the staff will carry your plate(s) for you back to your table, and in fact, our waiter offered to get everything for us to bring to the table anyway as he watched what we had and got things for us without having to be asked. The staff also call you by name which is very nice and we tried to return the compliment as much as possible.

We also had dinner one evening in Le Champagne - as a lover of fine food we were in our element and as I don't eat red meat, Le Champagne Chef prepared special fish courses for me which I loved. Although you do pay extra for this, I really would recommend enjoying this experience once on the trip. The husband had the full wine/dining experience, but as I don't drink, I only paid $30 for the meal. He thoroughly enjoyed the wines and the knowledge of the sommelier. We felt truly spoilt that evening and I can still recall the fabulous food which was exquisitely prepared.
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  #29  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 03:37 PM
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fairbourne: Thank you so very much for the wonderful description and review of your Silver Whisper cruise last year. We will be on the Silver Whisper two weeks from tomorrow on the reverse itinerary that you did (New York to Southhampton). Did you go on excursions in Newfoundland, Halifax and/or Sydney?

We have over 100 days on Regent -- took our first Silversea cruise in November on the Silver Spirit. While I was not impressed with the ship itself (perhaps they had to cut corners when it was built as it was during difficult economic times) we found that the service was excellent and the food in La Terrazza was superior to Regent. "The Restaurant" is about the same quality as Regent. Two cruising friends have indicated that the Whisper is the best of the Silversea ships and we are looking forward to the cruise (at the "what should we pack" stage.

Again, thank you for posting about your experience on the Silver Whisper.
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  #30  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 05:23 PM
fairbourne fairbourne is offline
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Hi Travelcat2 - what a lovely user name! I am so envious of your upcoming trip on the Silver Whisper! We arrived in St Johns, Newfoundland on a fairly dull day and we went on a short (2 hours from memory) organised Silversea coach trip which took us to the important bits in a fairly short time - up Signal Hill (small museum on Marconi) the views looking back down to St John's are wonderful; a small fishing village and a drive along the coast. Nothing really special about St John's that makes it stick out - was glad to get back to the comfort of the ship! However, one of the ladies on the dock security team when she heard us talking asked where we came from in Scotland, and we thought "she'll never have heard of our tiny village" - but not only had she heard of it she had driven through it and was moving here late last year. Small world! You'll love the dogs though!

Halifax was busier with a market right there on the docks and we didn't go on a tour but chose to walk around and explore the town on our own. Silversea ran courtesy coaches to and from the centre but walking would have been about 10 minutes. On the day we were there the Canadian Navy were holding a ceremony to welcome a new Admiral which we found totally by accident - or rather we heard the sound of bagpipes and followed the noise and came across the parade ground with all of Halifax's great and good watching this parade! On our return to the ship, we spent a wonderful afternoon sitting on our verandah watching a truly magnificent airshow - all for this "new boy" - we literally had a ringside seat. So I don't expect you'll get a repeat performance but Halifax was a pleasant visit, and after several days at sea it was nice to just walk around.
Our trip didn't include Sydney.
How exciting that you are at that stage of planning your packing - I had the best of fun planning my outfits! and at least you will be arriving in the UK at the start of our summer, so hopefully you will have some nice weather. We didn't get off the ship in Ireland or Fowey but Fowey is a beautiful cornish town and well worth the trip ashore even just to walk around and do have a cornish cream tea! Are you staying in the UK post-cruise?

Have a fabulous trip!
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  #31  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Hi again Travelcat2 - I have just read your public profile and discovered you are a fellow Reiki Master! How wonderful.
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  #32  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 09:15 PM
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Great to meet (online) another Reiki Master. My husband is from London, so, we have spent a lot of time in the U.K. It is such a beautiful part of the world (and quite expensive for U.S. Citizens). We are hoping for good weather in the U.K. as well as Canada. However, the weather this year has been strange. I'll post a review of the Silver Whisper when we return
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  #33  
Old October 23rd, 2013, 04:45 PM
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kennicott kennicott is offline
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Smile Not from our experience

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Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post
Regent tours, for the most part, are "free" which encourages hundreds of passengers to sign up. This causing crowding, etc. Oceania uses the same tour operators but are probably less crowded
I guess at first blush one could assume that to be possible. However, we have been on dozens of Regent shore excursions and have never experienced anything like that. I believe they have a policy of limiting a large coach load to around 35 or less. So the coach, at max, usually has 20%-40% empty seats. And when they don't have other coaches available they list the tour as "sold out" and there are lots of "sold out" excursions. Never have I been on a packed or crowded bus with Regent.

On the other hand, I see coaches absolutely crammed with guests from other cruise lines. Admittedly, not those from the four top luxury lines, but Princess, Carnival, etc.

Here is an interesting assessment for Northern Europe and four luxury lines: https://www.rssc.com/media/experienc...rnEurope.pdfpe.
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  #34  
Old October 24th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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I guess at first blush one could assume that to be possible. However, we have been on dozens of Regent shore excursions and have never experienced anything like that. I believe they have a policy of limiting a large coach load to around 35 or less. So the coach, at max, usually has 20%-40% empty seats. And when they don't have other coaches available they list the tour as "sold out" and there are lots of "sold out" excursions. Never have I been on a packed or crowded bus with Regent.

On the other hand, I see coaches absolutely crammed with guests from other cruise lines. Admittedly, not those from the four top luxury lines, but Princess, Carnival, etc.

Here is an interesting assessment for Northern Europe and four luxury lines: https://www.rssc.com/media/experienc...rnEurope.pdfpe.
This is such an interesting topic but this thread is very old and out of date. I posted on an earlier page that I was going on my first Silversea cruise. I just completed my third SS cruise. Perhaps a new thread can be started?

In terms of Regent, they do not cram guests into buses (we have been on 75% full buses most of the time). The problems I have with included excursions are:

1. Guests are herded into the theater to wait until their bus number is called. If the ship clears late, it becomes standing room only.

2. While buses are not full, I was on a tour in Italy where 6 buses were going to the same place and arrived at a restroom stop at the same time. It is not uncommon for multiple buses to be doing the same excursion. Regent tries to have them visit the sites at different time which is why we have had to do wine tastings at 9:00 a.m. (not that I minded that:-)

3. Since passengers are not paying for many excursions, some simply don't show up or cancel. If passengers were paying - even a small amount -- they sure the heck would cancel rather than rudely not showing up. JMHO.
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Total nights: Regent = 264 / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 12
Sailings per ship: Voyager (11), Mariner (4), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (1)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (2 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Cape Town – Rio / E. & W. Caribbean (3 sailings) / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Rome to Lisbon / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo

Upcoming cruises: / Miami to Miami - 14 nights - Riviera / Rio to Barcelona - 18 nights - Mariner / Cape Town to Cape Town - 15 nights - Mariner / Explorer - 2016

Last edited by Travelcat2; October 24th, 2013 at 03:15 PM.
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  #35  
Old October 24th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Question Being herded on Regent

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Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post
This is such an interesting topic JMHO.
Good point, but your average of 75% full bus on Regent is certainly different from ours. I would say that the 75% would be a max for us while our average is around 35%-45%. Like I mentioned, Regent doesn't allow overcrowding on specific tours, so they "sell out" if it gets close to that. Now, we have traveled extensively on HAL and Princess as well. On Princess we have experienced packed coaches numerous times, HAL is better but not near as good as Regent. And, both those lines charge, in HAL's case, "through the nose".

All three queue in the theatres and it can get crowded at times, particularly on anchor/tender days. Can't recall a bad situation with Regent in that regard as they separate the shore excursion show up times pretty well but did experience some pretty nasty pushy/shovey days with both HAL and Princess. Never have we witnessed anything close to "standing room only" or "being herded" on Regent. Always, lots of extra seats and lots of room.

If things get backed up due arrival times or clearance issues, all the lines seem to accomplish a pretty good job of spacing coaches out at the attractions.

So, with respect to not having to pay for a shore excursion translating into mayhem and/or other problems, I believe that to be pretty much a non-issue.

However, I believe your basic contention regarding no fees creating direct or indirect difficulties has some merit. Not with respect to shore excursions though but with alternate dining.

Most outfits have surcharges for their speciality restaurants. Our favorites are Prime 7 on Regent and Pinnacle on HAL. If we nail down a table for two we really, really do enjoy the dining experience in both scenarios. Unfortunately, it is not exactly easy to get reservations for two. So, one can gamble with the "luck of the draw" in tablemates at a table for four or six and get reservations most of the time. What we have found with Regent is, since no extra charge is required, some eat in Prime 7 regardless if they like the facility or not or be in a foul mood, simply because they feel they have to take advantage of a perk or something.

So, after being saddled with a couple of real "turkeys" once, who were sloppily dressed, bitched about everything throughout dinner, etc. etc. we don't eat there unless we have a table for two. Only exception, would be a table for four on HAL because they make all of us pay extra.
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  #36  
Old October 5th, 2014, 08:54 AM
bocageri bocageri is online now
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The SeaDream 28 years ago was called the Sea Sea Goddess. It was owned by Cunard. I was on it. At that time it cost $6,000 per person. It was some luxury ship.


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  #37  
Old October 5th, 2014, 11:31 AM
Texas Tillie Texas Tillie is online now
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The SeaDream 28 years ago was called the Sea Sea Goddess. It was owned by Cunard. I was on it. At that time it cost $6,000 per person. It was some luxury ship.


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