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Holy Roller

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  1. In terms of Helicopter and Submarine trips, certainly on our current cruise they don't confirm when and where until on board and then confirm a few days before each trip. The sub dives were only scheduled for about 4 or 5 of the entire 20 day cruise and some were cancelled due to the swell which made transfer between the zodiak and sub dangerous. Similarly, some helicopter flights were cancelled due to visibility and weather. I believe that they also have to obtain local permits to use the sub and maybe the helicopter so that can also limit availablity. I did a 75 minute dive off Isla de le Providencia and went down over 200m!!! We had a scientist on board who was responsible for the protected area and this was the first time anyone had been given permission to explore like this. It was amazing. For me the most fabulous part was the scientist explaining that there were 4 types of angel fish on this reef and then becoming extremely excited because he had just seen (and photographed) a 5th. On board things are settling down. The staff are great and do everything possible to make the guests happy. In Portobelo the morning excursions were initially cancelled due to a protest on the only road out. The team on board were amazing. They arranged a quick tour of Portobelo (not a wonderful place) while they continued to try to negotiate with police and protestors but to no avail. Suddenly the protest broke up and they got the coaches through and adjusted the tours to suit as best they could. We did a long trip to Panama City and it turned out to be one of the best excursions we have done. Everyting was late due to traffic and we were the last back on board. WHen we got to the jetty the police were there, smiling, and our tender was loaded with us and last minute ships items. A great day thanks to the xpedition team never giving up. Others would probably have let it go as it was out of their control - not these guys. There are a few oddities on board that I'm certain will be changed over the next year. The small swimming pool in the Yacht Club is a waste of space. I haven't seen anyone use it though I believe one guest did for a few minutes. When there is any swell the Yacht Club floor floods and makes dining "interesting". Some cabins still haven't been finished and there are workmen on board. The 125 guests on board for the first part of the cruise has now swelled to 147. The on board accounts system is ***********. My wife and I had on-board credit as well as a free sub dive. When I looked at the account on the TV it appeared that they had failed to credit the dive. After much confusion it appears that we both have separate accounts and only one is visible on the TV. I had to get them amalgamated otherwise at the end of the trip we would have lost my wife's credits and I would probably have paid additionally for these on my only visible account. It is apparent that they have limited storage for wine and other items as some cabins are being used for this purpose which means that the sommelier, Krystina, has real difficulty managing her stocks and finding particular wines. She has been doing a wine tasting on each cruiser and it's worth confirming early as spaces are limited and they go fast. She is passionate about her subject and extremely knowledgeable. Only a few more days left for us but it's been good. For those following on, enjoy and let us know how she continues to improve.
  2. I can now confirm that we plan to go through the old canal. Today is at sea so after a very good brunch I went to the bridge (definitely worth a visit or two) and the helmsman went through the plans with me. It is possible that we will go with another vessel which evidently makes it even more interesting. Tomorrow is Isla de le Providencia where we are hoping for a deep dive in the sub. The sub was cancelled at Roatan Island due to the swell so we are keeping our fingers crossed for tomorrow. The trip is getting better and better and for those waiting to join us I guarantee that you won't be disappointed. The vessel and the crew are magnificent. Already we've decided to book another cruise on her, though we have to complete a few other trips that we've booked first. RandM, the Executive chef is Bert who ran our Chef's Table. I'm not sure who Chef Tom, that you mentioned, is? Have I misunderstood?
  3. The forecasts have tended to be unreliable. Today had been forecast for a thunderstorm but we had glorious sunshine in Rostand Island which is a wonderful island with fabulous people. Scenic laid on a great day and we’ve just left on our way to Isla de Providencia in 38 hours. Unsure which canal but will try to find out. I’m hoping for the old canal.
  4. Towel-animal, the laundry system was a mystery for the maid and butler who, when I asked what “limited” meant said that they had needed to ask the same question originally. They said that basically a reasonable amount of laundry and pressing each day was complimentary. If it was 3 bags a day then this could be considered over the limit. See you in Cartegena. R&M, I saw the Head Chef today to compliment him on the dinner and he admitted that he was an admirer of Heston and when I said that I felt that he was a worthy proponent of his culinary skills he seemed very happy. I certainly felt that he was the closest I’d experienced. I shall try to get a second bite of the cherry, though I would feel guilty if I deprived someone who desperately wanted to enjoy this of their opportunity.
  5. Dear RockyandMoose, You may be right about the 2 sittings in the teppanyaki but as there’s only 125 guests on this sailing they may feel they can cope - until they can’t. Last night we were invited to the chef’s table. An amazing meal of 10 courses accompanied by 10 wines including Chateau Batailly. This was a superb offering and very much appreciated by all. It was a cross between a culinary and a chemistry exercise. The closest that we know to anything like last night is Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, UK which has 3 Michelin stars and has been voted the best restaurant in the world. To say it was special is a heavy understatement. I know the table is by invitation only but try to get your butler on side - you won’t regret it.
  6. Booking restaurants seems to be first come first served, however, our butler has offered to help and it may be that we get some preferential status. We have some dates set but await others. We’ll wait and see. We had breakfast outside yesterday at the yacht club which was warm and sunny. The hot tubs are up and running and there are some loungers though limited as the space taken up by the helipad is where an outside pool and lounge area would be. i asked for towel hooks and yesterday they fitted 2 suction type hooks as temporaries. Functional and I can’t fault the attention to our needs. The ship is incredibly silent and unbelievably manoeuvrable. Coming off our mooring in Key West and “spinning” to head out attracted crowds. I know that seas are very calm but nevertheless I’m certain that we’ll feel the benefit when we hit some rougher conditions. The open bridge policy is interesting and I spent a little time there yesterday morning before we docked. Crew are justifiably proud of the ship’s abilities. All for now.
  7. I forgot. Towel-Animal, we’re on deck 9z
  8. When you board there is a welcome on deck 4 by the Recep desk area. I’m our case they had all the excursion data on hand and I attach a few photos as explanation. I also recommend booking the Teppenyaki as early as possible as there is only one sitting per evening and it gets booked up quickly.
  9. Well, we’re on board in our Spa Suite and just had our first night’s sleep. The bed is sooooo comfortable which is a number 1 for us. The staff seem excellent and the Maitre’d, JP, we recognised from Seabourn. Waiters are still getting to grips with things and our dinners last night were a bit mixed up; but we got there in the end. Towel rails are yet to be installed, which is a little unhelpful but overall the ship is beautiful. Having not done an “adventure “ cruise before we’re still learning the ropes and hope we have all the right clothes. Will add more later.
  10. I had the same apprehension when we received our cruise pack last week. I contacted the Peruvian Consulate in London and they confirmed that they do not insist on Yellow Fever certification as an entry requirement. Some of our destinations could require it if we come from Congo, Angola or Uganda or from an Active outbreak area. I have a certificate from some years back (valid for life) and my wife has a waiver certificate. Carol, we’re from the UK near Windsor.
  11. We have just arrived in the US and are now getting excited to join the ship on Saturday for our cruise to Peru. All your postings have been most useful and I will try to add while we are on board. We will be in a Spa Suite on the 9th Deck and I believe some of the features will be very modern. We're in the older age bracket and although the ship looks modern, like all ships, it appears to have its own individual charm. They've obviously really tried to think of everything but we know how difficult it is to please everyone. So far, every early fear or concern we've had has been allayed but the excellent earlier posts. Watch this space.
  12. We plan to board on 19th October in Miami to cruise down to Lima.
  13. Dear R&M, thanks again for the daily brief which has been the most explanatory and open reviews of the Scenic Eclipse to date. A director of the Travel Agent that I tend to use was invited on your trip and called me on Friday to give his "spin" on the ship. I was very pleased to hear that his experience concurred with yours and he didn't try to oversell the current experience. Like you, he felt that this was more of a "shake down" cruise and that crew were still trying to get to grips with everything on board. He too, felt that the quality of build was very high as was the quality of the food. Once the service and logistics are sorted out then this should be one of the finest cruise ships on the oceans. I shall try to add to this wealth of knowledge next month. I hope to meet with you on a future cruise and I think I speak for everyone on this site when I say thanks for going the extra mile to help us.
  14. Dear RockyandMoose, I’m so pleased that you managed to get your trips in the helicopter and the submarine. You deserved it. I also think that all of us on the site as well as Scenic owe you a debt of gratitude for the excellent reviews you have placed during your trip. A safe onward journey to you both.
  15. Dear RockyandMoose, I agree with you. I didn’t mean to imply that one should know how these things work intuitively; in fact the opposite. We tried to use a US washer and dryer on a Seabourn or Silversea ship and with no instructions it took ages to understand it’s workings. If Scenic are going to supply a guest “instruction manual“ for such facilities I think we would all be appreciative. I’m sorry to hear that the helicopter and submarine trips have not run as smoothly as desired but maybe the gods will be kind to you tomorrow. Thanks again for the excellent reviews of the different facilities.
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