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Observer

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  1. I am generally in a pessimistic frame of mind, but I am an optimist on this matter and have little question that cruising will resume. It may be a number of months -- a year? -- before vaccines and effective therapeutics are available. But I have cruises booked for the latter half of 2021, and I fully expect to be back in the arms of SS then.
  2. As everyone on this board is aware, the situation with the pandemic and cruise cancellations/restarts is very fluid. Is it certain that this is a new (permanent) policy? Or might it be that this program currently ends at the end of August, but might well be renewed just as other incentive programs (e.g., 10% Early Booking Bonus, etc) are routinely renewed.
  3. I wonder if they might defer launch of Moon for paying guests until March. After its scheduled TA, much time is scheduled to be spent in central/south America (including ~ 70 night Grand Cruise around South America.) Those are perhaps not the most salubrious places to be nowadays. I know it would disappoint many people booked on Moon, but I wonder whether it mightn't make sense for SS to keep Moon in Europe for the winter and -- ideally! -- begin cruising in Europe.
  4. I hope -- and think -- this is mistaken. I think that SS is very fortunate to be part of RCCL. Look, for example, of the funds they put into Shadow, just a year after Whisper had her dry dock without RCCL support. SS will, I think/hope, benefit from the deep pockets and access to capital of its parent company. I recall that other efficiencies are expected, such as reduced fees for credit card transactions, benefit of savings from being part of RCCL huge contracts for fuel/provisioning/etc. It's difficult to see how a free-standing SS in Monaco could have survived the current traumas.
  5. The fact that it doesn't show a 10/25% supplement does not necessarily imply that it is 2x the single. It could well be 50%. It may be that it is heavily booked -- perhaps with Europeans booked on the Grand Voyage who wanted to return to Europe.
  6. Just out of curiosity, what has happened to the two planes -- the business jet and the wide body? Are they still flying with Crystal livery? Are they often in the air?
  7. If the situation in Brazil is not under control by February, the ship could simply sail past Brazil, spending more time in other South American ports and the Caribbean. How about an overnight in the Falklands? Etc.
  8. I am a huge Silversea fan. But there is one area in which I think Crystal trumps Silversea, and it might be relevant for a TA. The Silversea standard suites are larger than those on Crystal (and that might make a difference on a TA). The Silversea ships are of course newer. The dining choices on Dawn will be more plentiful than those on Crystal. Every Silversea guest has a butler (and s/he can be very helpful). Etc. But Crystal enrichment/entertainment is IMHO better than Silversea's. This might be relevant on a TA with lots of sea days. I am quite happy to fill my days chatting at the bar/pool, reading, watching a movie (from a huge inventory) in the suite, getting some exercise, playing trivia, perhaps even visiting the spa. I rarely attend lectures anymore, so Silversea is just fine for me, even on TAs. But some people want much more activity-- lectures, classes, etc. And here Crystal excels. If you feel the need/desire for such programmed activity for the multiple sea days, you might opt for Crystal. Otherwise, I would opt for Silversea.
  9. I have sailed a good deal on both Crystal and Silversea. For various reasons, I prefer Silversea. On ships in the Muse class (which Dawn will join) there is no main restaurant (unlike Crystal with Waterside). Instead, there is a large variety of specialty restaurants (few of which have surcharge). So one might dine one evening in SALT, one evening in Atlantide, one evening in La Terrazza, one evening at the Grill, one evening at pizza restaurant, one evening at Silver Note, etc. The menus in La Terrazza will change once or perhaps twice a week. The Atlantide menu is very large, lots of choices, but it may not change during a cruise. Etc. Please note: On older/smaller ships like Wind or Shadow and Whisper with one main restaurant, the menu changes every night (though there are some constants.) These ships have fewer specialty restaurants, though they all have the poolside Grill at night and La Terrazza There is no need for suit and tie every night. I have been on long Silversea voyages where I never put on a tie. On formal nights I often eat at The Grill or the outdoor pizza restaurant, where one can wear shorts and sport shirts even on formal nights. La Terrazza always expects one step below the stated dress code. So on formal nights, one can go informal (jacket no tie required). On informal nights, one can go casual. And of course there is always room service served by your butler in your suite (bathrobes accepted.) The room service menu is very generous. On Crystal, butler service is available only in penthouse suites.
  10. I do not know this itinerary, but I can speak of the ship. The ship went through a major rehab/drydock last year and is very fresh. There was major revision on Deck 5, and the Atrium Bar (or whatever they call it now) and lounge area is a wonderful addition: snacks and coffees and drinks from 6:30 am until very late. There's also lots of comfortable seating. There were other changes such as removal of unnecessary computer room, moving library to Observation area, expansion of Panorama, refreshing spa facilities, etc. It's a great ship and I prefer it to Whisper (that has not been so significantly changed). It is difficult to generalize about service. Reviewers tend to be people with bad experiences, and there are doubtless some (very, very few!) crew on Shadow who are tired or upset by news from home, etc. But the service is to the Silversea standard. If there are problems, the Guest Relations Manager can be easily contacted and will sort things out promptly.
  11. I really do not see that this much applies to Silversea. It speaks of "large gatherings," and at most there might be 600 guests on a Silversea ship and even fewer crew. They are only together at muster or weekly crew drills, and these could easily be held multiple times to reduce crowding. Why would there be no entertainment on Silversea? Consistent with the large gatherings context, I believe that "shouting, chanting, and singing" refers to group activity, not listening to a handful of performers. I think immediately of religious activities in large congregations. I don't recall group shouting, chanting, etc., on Silversea. But, then too, I am generally not up very late. CDC will probably be producing guidance for cruise ships. A portion of that guidance will probably be far more relevant to mega ships than to Silversea's ships. Again, I doubt that -- apart from muster in its current form -- Silversea has many "large gatherings" such as Dr. Redfield references. I believe that Silversea has many decisions/challenges ahead. But I do not believe that the dangers of chanting in large gatherings are among them.
  12. Of course you can have dinner together. You simply have to make separate reservations. I would suggest that you then consult promptly with MD once onboard to explain that you want to sit together. I imagine they will be pleased to have one three-top rather than three one-tops.
  13. I don't doubt that this is a fair description of sailing if Silversea were sailing today. Perhaps it will be the reality in the short term (as long as a year?). But I am hopeful that advances in medicine will allow Silversea and other lines to resume much more normal operations at some point in the not too distant future.
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