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Posts posted by FauxNom

  1. 1 hour ago, Gourmet Gal said:


    Sorry, off-topic but I have a cruise planned on Nova…what were some of the exciting events?

    Yep, on the Cloud. This cruise was a Conrad Conbrink brain-child, with the most incredible event being a camp set up in the bush for an "overnight tenting experience." Hated to miss that one!

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  2. 13 minutes ago, highplanesdrifters said:


    Hope you weren't one of the victims and your final leg was great. After a week in the bush we returned through CPT .  Gastro issues nailed us after we returned home.  Now it all makes sense. Thanks for that update. 

    Welcome home! I'm sorry it hit you at all, but I guess home is the best place for it. Indeed, I and all my circle of friends were hit hard. It's not shocking, but so disappointing when you have to miss so many of the incredible events they produced for this cruise.

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  3. 6 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

    The Google wasn't able to help me.  Other than the condition that gets worse with every birthday, what does AGE stand for?

    Getting old? It was in the letter we received and I believe it stands for acute gastroenteritis 


  4. I hate to tell tales, but there was a massive outbreak of gastroenteritis on the Cloud in late March, Walvis Bay to Port Elizabeth. We were not told of a precise diagnosis, though it did take you out for 1-3 days, and usually responded to antibiotics. Rumor was that AGE is rampant in Cape Town, where many about-to-embark passengers had spent time before coming on board in Walvis Bay.

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    On 3/5/2024 at 3:07 AM, highplanesdrifters said:

    trip reports to Devils nose from friends was a bit negative.  Some turned back halfway through. Upon arrival others found the site closed due to bird stress. I hope some had a positive experience.  If so, please shar

    I very much enjoyed the hike to devils nose; felt like I was roaming the desolate moors in some British novel. It was an easy walk for about 95% of the way and those who couldn't manage it jumped on the land Rover to return.


    Peter Harrison (the Pied Piper of birding) encouraged people to head out to the cliff to see the albatrosses at eye level as they returned from their fishing expeditions. It was amazing--though not as amazing as the morning visit to the huge colony where I benefited from Peter's narrative on albatross behavior. He's a true asset.


    At devils nose, I think the birds got stressed by a lack of crowd control. The Apex birders group seems a bit more aggressive than typical expedition guests; many plant themselves in their preferred spot to take photos and the rest of the group has to clambor around. That makes for some chaos. The trail to get closer to the colony unfortunately was closed when I was halfway there; I can see the wisdom in that if some birds were stressed. 


    One passenger broke her tibia on the morning walk, sadly. She's staying onboard and plans to have 

    surgery when she gets home to South Africa. I've seen several other falls on the muddy, uneven and steep trails we encountered that day. It's definitely an expedition! I'm a novice but will try to add a few images of that day. My video of parent feeding chick seems to be located weirdly. Sorry!





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  6. Amazing pics, as always. And those are some really crazy numbers - so many staying on for the crossing and so many newbies!


    I hope your good karma maintains its strength for the c2c; I'm getting pretty excited about joining you! Is Michael the EL? It will be good to see Matt again.

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  7. Thanks, all, for the reports on the poles. I nearly always take my collapsible trekking poles on expedition cruises - but now I won't when I cruise on the Endeavour.


    @southerngoose If you buy some decent poles I can't imagine they would be of lesser quality than the rental variety. In the PNW, people of a certain age use them for all kinds of local hikes, and they are great for travel.



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  8. Can someone who's recently sailed on the Cloud tell me if there are trekking poles (hiking sticks) to borrow? It's always hard to jam them into my small suitcase so I was a little encouraged when they were provided on the Endeavour last August. Maybe the Cloud has them too?

  9. I did the Endeavour itinerary you mentioned last August and I am crazy about the ship. (The pool is covered with a temporary floor during meals so it's not weird at all to eat there. ) The restaurants are lovely and were uncrowded when I went; the ship was about half full. The main bar was much nicer than that on the Wind. Outdoor dining didn't happen when I cruised but I imagine they sometimes open up the grill if the weather is fine (ours wasn't). The Endeavour's definitely a cut above the Wind, which I also like a lot.


    The Endeavour itinerary was interesting enough to lure me in, despite having cruised on the Cloud from Kangerlussuaq to Canada a few years ago. There were some repeat stops, but it didn't matter. On both cruises the itinerary was a bit flexible by necessity; weather and seas can really impact getting to stop in every scheduled harbor. I thought the Pond Inlet cruise had more spectacular scenery and we saw more varied wildlife than on the Cloud (polar bears, walrus, narwhal, seals, whales, birds of all sorts). The Canadian Arctic is unforgettable!

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  10. On 9/6/2023 at 7:02 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

    What changes in the layout are caused by this entry difference?  Is it a plus [more space in the cabin] or a minus [for a reason I can't see]?

    The paired suites have a small hallway behind the first door, which changes the layout a bit.

    • Compared to 663, the un-paired suite (see my other post for photos), the bathroom is superior, I think, because the WC can be accessed from within the bathroom and from the main part of the suite. The WC is much more spacious than the somewhat cramped little room in 663.
    • The walk-in closet in 663 is huge and contains a large cabinet for hanging wet clothing (i.e. parkas). The other suites have a smaller cabinet located outside the closet on the opposite wall.
    • 663 does not have a desk; that space instead houses the fridge and other stuff under the TV mounted on the wall. The other suites have a desk in addition to the vanity along the main wall; the fridge is on the wall by the coat cabinet and is set up as a drawer. I like this design slightly more than that of 663.
    • If you don't mind being at the stern end of the hall, the un-paired suites are great. Layout is fine and the balcony is open to the rear of the ship for prime viewing.
    • All the suites seem to be very quiet and well-appointed. I don't think there are any bad choices!
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  11. I'm on the ship currently and absolutely love it. With a beautiful ship, terrific crew, and only 66 passengers, what's not to like (other than the weather)?


    We all feel lucky that we got out of Iqaluit on the appointed day. There was a lot of suspense as we waited for fog to lift so we could fly. The problem was not taking off but the fact that the people disembarking the ship had nowhere to go. Flights couldn't land in Iqaluit so Silversea wasn't about to drop us into a crowd of stranded folks in Pond Inlet, which has minimal airport facilities.


    After about 6 hours' delay we got permission to travel. The only problem with our flight was that we had to circle for 25-20 minutes because the tarmac was crowded with stranded planes. We cheered as we watched the disembarking passengers take off, headed to Iqaluit. 


    We've since experienced 4 days of mixed weather but some great excursions. All but 1 were zodiac-only; a hoped for hike was cancelled because the clouds were too low to allow for polar bear scouting. Yesterday we had a beautiful walk on shore, mainly admiring the tundra but also checking out the remains of a Thule village/camp. 


    We've seen a goodly number of polar bears, pods of narwhals and beluga whales, seals, and birds of course. 


    Our cruise is 16 nights -- I think a longer cruise is a good insurance policy when traveling an itinerary where changes are inevitable. I can heartily recommend this cruise.

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  12. I'm in 663 right now! It's a terrific suite. You can go down a staircase right outside the suite and you are at the grill. No noise at all and the end of the balcony has a wide open view. 

    Adding a photo of the suite just for fun.



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  13. I think the Shadow is wonderful, but there are places around the central stairway that sometimes smelled icky to me, like the carpet wasn't quite as fresh as one would like. But I have an acute sense of smell, so that might be an issue you wouldn't notice. Definitely no issues that would prevent me sailing on her though!

  14. Sounds great! I love those expedition ships....


    One tip: at some point you might find the buffet offering up eggs or meat that's not hot. If so, and if you have time, don't hesitate to order from the waiter. I'm not hard to please, but once I figured out that I could ask for almost anything, the dining experience became even better than it already was.


    How old are your kids? I hope they are enjoying being onboard.

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