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  1. Within a couple of years, Viking will have seven cruise ships with thousands of berths to fill, and they are claiming as a comparative advantage that no children are permitted on its cruise ships. I gather they are succeeding. Virgin cruises is about to launch, again forbidding children. (I believe Ritz Carlton does permit children.) "Those of us moving up the age ladder" have in many cases done the child thing and relish some quiet and decorum when on holiday. It takes only one youngster -- hungry and tired when dining room only opens at 7 pm -- acting out by pounding or crying to disrupt dinner for scores of people trying to enjoy a quiet, luxurious meal. I really believe that a ban on all young (sub 6 or 7?) children would be in Silversea's commercial interest. Even more drastic bans seem to work for Viking.
  2. Understood and agreed. I doubt they are imagining six people in a regular Vista or Verandah suite. But it should be possible in a two bedroom Owners or Grand suite, for example.
  3. I checked the website in the earnest hope that this promotion had finally been removed -- or at least limited to a handful of holiday/summer vacation cruises. No such luck. It's still there on 200+ classic sailings, including Grand Voyage segments. I went to the Terms and Conditons page and found the following passage: "To benefit from the promotion children must be booked as 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th pax in suite. Guests 1st and 2nd are not eligible, regardless of age." So Silversea is imaging the possibility of four children in a suite occupied by two adults? This seems a bit much even in the largest/most expensive suites. Please, Silversea: Can we get some clarity on this matter? The inclination to make alternative plans grows.....
  4. Yours will not be the only losses. I exchanged messages last night with another couple I had met on SS. They shared my dismay regarding the very young (crying, pounding, etc.) children on a cruise we shared last fall and they say they have moved to Viking. They are the third couple I know moving to Viking because of the child policy. They say they took their pre-teen grandchildren a couple of years ago on a port intensive SS cruise and it worked well. What they can't stand -- and SS will apparently not address -- are very young kids (sub 6 or 7, they say) disrupting meals with their acting out (age appropriate conduct for which they are not precisely "responsible." ) Beginning dinners at 7 pm is a recipe for such kids, they say. Please note: Removal of the "promotion" from the website does not imply the removal of the discount. It's simply not being advertised. It would be good to imagine that the delay is a product of serious reconsider at SS and adoption of a policy saying that no new bookings will be taken for kids below, say, 6 or 7.
  5. A number of responses: First, re "kids." I think it's important to clarify who is included in that category. A two year old is a lot different from a 12 year old. My concern is with very young kids who cannot control themselves. Friends suggest that 6 should be an absolute minimum age. Now to your questions: 1) I think the widest selection will be in the buffet at La Terrazza. But the menu in Atlantide is quite varied. 2) You can get coffee in Arts Cafe beginning at 6:30 am. I do not rely on the butler because a) they are very busy in the mornings, esp on port days and b) I cannot expect them to produce coffee instantly when I wake up and I do not want to unnecessarily commit myself to in suite breakfast at a given hour (I may like to sleep in or get up early), and c) I can throw on some clothes and go to Arts to get a hot coffee as soon as I like. I am satisfied with regular (very good) drip coffee, but of course they also make speciality coffees. They have a thermos of regular coffee. Bring a travel mug with you and you can fill it up and take it back to the suite. 3) I think you are on your own for icebreakers. 4) Spaccanapoli is probably the source of the pizza you have seen. It's wonderful! I have occasionally had dinner there -- pizza, a salad from the Grill (available in the evenings from 7), and dessert. It's a nice break from the rich food elsewhere on the ship. And it's always casual, even on formal nights. I believe the room service pizza also comes from there. Enjoy!
  6. You are of course dead right. My tongue was firmly in my cheek, and I intended to refer to the current discussion of the 75% discount for children under 2 years of age (50% for other children well into their teens.) I should have added a 😀 to my post to make clear that I was being (or trying to be!) sarcastic/humorous. Nonetheless, I think there may well be a relationship between disruptive, cranky/noisy very young children in the dining venues (including the Grill) and the fact that those venues open around the time many of them are customarily in bed.
  7. The 6 pm sitting was doubtless established to accommodate infants and toddlers for whom the 7 pm opening of other dining venues is too late. Very young children get cranky if they are hungry and up well beyond their customary bedtime. La Dame is the solution.
  8. Unfortunately, I do not believe either of these world cruises travels up the west coast of Africa.
  9. This thought is prompted by a post on another thread on this board. I suggest that in La Terrazza at breakfast time it be possible for the guest to wait at the omelet/waffle station while his/her dish is being prepared. Currently, one is either told to order via the server tending to his/her table or, if the cook takes the order, sent away and told that a server will deliver the prepared dish. Allowing the guest to stand and observe the preparation will help ensure that the dish is prepared to one's preferences (how loose should the eggs be? what veggies do you want in the omelet? etc.) and that it goes immediately from the stove to the plate to the table (i.e., is served hot) rather than waiting a bit for a server to be available to deliver it.
  10. I did this itinerary along the west coast of Africa several years ago on Wind or Cloud. It was a fantastic cruise, with stops at many ports along the coast. I wonder if these itineraries were removed when Silversea moved its smaller classic ships (Wind/Cloud) to the expedition fleet. It may be that some of the West African destinations simply do not lend themselves to quality tours with larger groups that would be involved if the used Whisper/Shadow, not to speak of Spirit/Muse.
  11. It's not a concern on two P&O ships. It's not a concern on Viking. It won't be a concern on Virgin. Does the fact that Viking is apparently prospering with its no-children policy imply anything? Viking is not quite in the all-inclusive luxury category. But I know as a matter of fact that it has attracted at least four previously-loyal Silversea guests because of its guaranteed child free atmosphere. None of the all-inclusive luxury lines (I am thinking here of Crystal, Regent, Seabourn, and Silversea) offers a guarantee of a child-free cruise. Could Silversea achieve a comparative advantage -- a distinctive marketing angle -- by being the only true luxury line to bar infants and toddlers? Thus Colgal's concern (and mine!) would be at least in some measure addressed. I would leave it to wiser heads than mine to determine the magic age. Four? Five? Seven?
  12. Let me once again thank you, Capt F, for dealing with SS management. The above is of course only part of your post. I understand that inaugurals and WCs/Grand Voyages are significant investments for many, but I would argue that all Silversea cruises should be considered "special," attracting sophisticated travelers who know the reputation of the Silversea brand and want to be part of the Silversea experience. My personal preference would be to tighten the rules on children for all cruises -- and especially the rules pertaining to sub-3 year olds. As for anticipating when children can travel: I assume you are referring to when children would be in school. The growth in home schooling means that an increasing number of children are not involved in the conventional school holiday schedule and could be expected to sail at any time. What's more, infants and toddlers are at best in a child care setting -- not in formal schooling -- and it would be difficult to anticipate when such young children could travel. I think that "reasonable" anticipation about the presence of children (especially infants and toddlers) is difficult to make, and I wish Silversea would establish new, more restrictive policies (esp. as they related infants/toddlers) and remove the need to play a guessing/hoping game in booking cruises.
  13. I appreciate your efforts on this matter, Capt F. However, I think that your focus on length may be misplaced. Is a single 22 day voyage different for a guest than a B2B totaling 22 days? Moreover, if sales are slow, some of these longer segments you describe may be divided into shorter A&B segments as apparently is the case on at least one leg of the Shadow grand voyage. I think this matter demands more than a piecemeal approach -- removing the incentive from this and that cruise. I think that they should reconsider offering any such incentives at times other than June-August and Christmas holidays. And I hope especially that the incentive would be entirely removed for sub-three year olds or that they would be barred from public areas such as the indoor restaurants, Panorama, Dolce Vita, etc.
  14. I understand that management committed to remove from the website any notice of special rates for children on this cruise. Did you get the idea from Mr. Conroy that no bookings for children/infants would be accepted for this sailing? If parents could still book children, what would be the fares for those children? Thanks.
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