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Everything posted by jollyjones

  1. I find wanting to join random strangers at a table odd - sure, by all means dine with new friends met before dinner. Unless you all walk in together, how can they time the service? To the OP’s point, Indochine and La Terrazza changed after a week, Atlantide didn’t - I was not much in a meat mood and did find the vegetarian selection small and boring. However, with these three and Hot Rocks and Spaccanapoli (don’t like LaDame or the Asian place), I wasn’t eating in the same place all that often. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  2. Generally, you can’t. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  3. Day 14 of 15 and we are swinging at anchor off Newport, RI. And I do mean swinging, the Crystal Symphony is nearby, keeping position with side thrusters, but we are swinging through quite a large arc. 20 min tender in cold weather under grey skies, definitely not going ashore, hate tendering at the best of times, and these aren’t. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  4. And for the next installment in the ongoing series "Unsubstantiated Rumours I have heard" - I had dinner last night here on the Spirit with the Guest Relations Manager, he said that RCL has given permission for six new ships. He doesn't know for sure but believes that there will be four more 'Muses' after the Moon and the Dawn, and that the Wind will be Cloudified because it is uneconomic as it is. So, more grist for the rumour mill ...
  5. Could be interesting when baby boomers, who are currently a huge part of the cruising market, feel too old and creaky to leap in and out of zodiacs .... Sent from my iPad using Forums
  6. THREE HOURS ?!! Each way?!! Are you crazy? I think hard about embarking on a thirty minute drive and only do it if I must. And that’s at 30 mph. OK, much further and I’d fall off the end of the island, but still ... Sent from my iPad using Forums
  7. What a pleasure it was to come into Halifax yesterday under clear blue skies - I'd almost forgotten what blue is. So much of the rest of this cruise has been under grey, grey, grey heavy clouds. And wind, and often rain. There were three ships in so it was fairly crowded, but once past the rather chaotic, noisy and smelly (bus exhausts) shuttling out of the commercial port, the walk along the seafront and boardwalk was very pleasant. Or should have been, but I was on a tour supposedly showing us the local gastronomic delights interspersed with Halifax history, but it was a curious order of stops (e.g. beer then lobster then wine then rum cake and fudge then fish chowder) with a poor tour guide - we spent long intervals just standing around doing nothing, nor did we learn much history. The next group who started an hour after us were just ten minutes behind us when I gave up and abandoned the tour. Shame, it should have been good - next year when I'm back in Halifax (on the Whisper), I'll do it on my own at my own speed. We've been speeding along overnight (nearly 20 knots) to get to Boston by 4pm today (an overnight stay). Our itinerary said a 6pm arrival but since we must do the face-to-face US CBP interviews after arrival, maybe they thought that would ruin this evening if we arrived at 6pm. Who knows. Quite windy and rough this morning but suddenly warmer than it's been - 70 degrees - so far we've been mostly well below 60 degrees. Sky overcast but some blue bits starting to show, could be another beautiful day ahead. Hope so. Looking forward to Boston, another market visit tomorrow with David (Hannover St Market). BTW I've been so fed up in the past with the free internet that I purchased the premium tier this trip and have been quite pleased with it - pretty consistent and fast enough (~2 MBPS) to not drive me crazy every time I try to do something. OK, that's not exactly lighting fast - here's hoping that one benefit from RCL might be better speeds.
  8. Well, we bounced a bit coming across the pond but clearly nothing like what Mino is expecting - we’ve had the ‘secure all loose objects’ recommendation. Not quite out of the harbour yet, we await developments. Since it’s an ill wind etc ... one good thing is that we now go back half an hour tonight instead of forward half an hour then back an hour after leaving St Pierre. Shouldn’t really matter but after so many time changes I’m increasingly uncertain whether I want scrambled eggs or a gin and tonic. First world problems. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  9. And I live in Bermuda, pervasive cold grey damp is not in my lifestyle. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  10. The Cruise Consultant did confirm that the Cloud is very popular and is making SS a ton of money ...
  11. Here we are in St John's and the Cloud is in too but she's docked a fair way away and it's so cold, grey and depressing I currently feel no inclination to go ashore. I'm definitely not an expedition cruiser, I consider myself laid back, others would say lazy, but I don't see the point in making myself cold, wet and miserable for pleasure. I think we've been a bit unlucky with the weather this year, maybe next year will be better, I'm doing this same itinerary on the Whisper. PS One great improvement on the new Spirit is that Moss's announcements are clearly audible in the cabin without having to open the door - not uncomfortably loud but definitely audible. I am reminded of this because he has just announced that it is not only cold outside but very windy and has started to rain so anyone taking their suite umbrella ashore is asked to open it carefully so it doesn't blow inside out.
  12. The latest unsubstantiated rumor I have is from the Cruise Consultant here on the Spirit. She has heard from SS marketing that RCL intend to move one of their other ships to SS to replace the Discoverer when her lease runs out, which I think is before the Wind even completes her published itineraries. The only expedition ships RCL has are in the Celebrity fleet and it may possibly be true because, altho' the Xpedition (94 pax) is showing itineraries till end 2020, the new build Flora (100 pax) is coming in May 2019, and there is much muttering on the Celeb board about the unexplained disappearance of the Xperience and the Xploration (these are small and old, however). Whether RCI is planning to rebrand one of these to SS, or just loan one till the Wind has been Cloudified, or none of the above, who knows?
  13. Well, it depends if we really are both in at the same time and the weather isn’t awful and we aren’t too far apart. That said, it’d only be for nostalgia, having cruised on her pre-conversion, I have no interest in expedition cruising. Also, storage is irrelevant, I cruise solo and only with hand luggage, there’s always way more than I need. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  14. Day four of four sea days and we haven't had a pub lunch yet so, yes, it's today. It'll be in Dolce Vita, just as well, it's very grey and cold outside again (50 degrees, that's seriously cold to me). We are now back on our planned course, we've dropped down all of four degrees latitude to 47N, last night at the Venetian party Captain Mino said that in all the crossings he's done in the Spirit, he's never done one at such a high latitude as this one. We're grateful that he's taken so much care to skirt around a number of storms and lows that could have made it much rougher. Most cruised cruiser announced at the Venetian party was two thousand and something days ... I wish! However, I did get my certificate for 250 days, not too shabby since I only started with SS six years ago. Dolce Vita is the most used space on the ship for this voyage, possibly because we've bounced around a bit and Panorama isn't so pleasant just to sit and read if your drink keeps jumping. After my complaints about the inadequate 'library' in Tors, they are planning on putting out a selection of books each morning in Dolce Vita, an excellent response IMO, hope it works out in practice. St John's tomorrow and apparently we will be in with the Cloud and will be able to visit her just taking our key cards, sounds like a plan. This info came last evening while I was enjoying dinner at Lester Woodfall's table, the HD - see my comment on the Wind makeover thread for another bit of info. Now back to studying the new 2020 itineraries!
  15. Atlantide is open for breakfast and lunch - I really enjoy lunch there, almost more than dinner. The pool grill is more usable in a wide range of weathers now that there are heaters and screens along the side area; there are heaters above Spaccanapoli but it is more exposed - it is undercover so it is usable unless the weather is truly awful. The Arts Cafe serves light food, coffee and drinks 6.30am - 11pm, and if you're into asian food, Seishin serves sushi type stuff noon - 2.30pm. I hope someone else can help with the rest, I never use room service or go to Silver Note. According to today's Chronicles: Atlantide breakfast 8am - last seating 9.30am, lunch noon - last seating 1.30pm Spaccanapoli 11.30am - 11pm La Terrazza breakfast 7.30am - last seating 10am, lunch noon - last seating 2pm The Grill lunch noon - last seating 3.30pm Silver note starts at 8pm with last seating at 11pm (I'm on the Spirit just now but it's the same on the Muse) And BTW, isn't this what is great about Cruise Critic? Even if all this info were to be on the website, I prefer to get it from cruisers who've actually been there!
  16. I'm currently on board the Spirit and had a long chat yesterday with Lester, the HD, and I asked about the future of the Wind. He said that although no official decision has been announced, he believes it is inevitable that the Wind will be 'Cloudified' and become an expedition ship to replace the Discoverer. Apparently, quite a lot of Venetians who had not previously been interested in expedition cruising on the smaller ships, are giving the Cloud a go and are loving it and are coming back for more. Classic cruisers have the Moon and the Dawn coming along with their economies of scale. Follow the money ...
  17. Culinarywise, the lunch and learn was hugely enjoyable (it's fully booked or I'd go again). Menu: Seared scallops with Clonakilty black pudding Tenderloin of beef with oxtail gravy and tiny Brussel sprouts Sticky toffee pudding All prepared in front of our eyes (in a group of 26) by David in his inimitable style - of course, we actually ate 'here's some I prepared earlier' but it all tasted delicious. And helped along by wines chosen by Karolina who also 'helped' the cooking (tried to pour wine in everything!!). This morning, the third sea day and third 25 hour day (I love them!) we awake not to a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness - instead there's plenty of mists but there's nothing mellow about the grey sea, the heavy dense low grey clouds, and the rain. According to Captain Mino yesterday at noon, we have been sailing 400 miles further north than the planned route to avoid Hurricane Helene - the remains of which are heading loosely towards 'ertford, 'ereford & 'ampshire where 'urricanes 'ardly ever 'appen - but now we have turned more southwesterly towards St John. Stepping on to my verandah, I think it may be fractionally warmer than yesterday which was the first day I didn't see a single soul out on the pool deck. For good reason. Today will be a first for me - a twenty four and a half hour day - don't suppose it'll feel much different. And it's the second formal night, and the Venetian night. I've been invited to dine on the HD's table - Lester Woodfall - haven't ever met him so that's another new experience. To occupy us till dinner time there's the usual round of destination and excursion talks, spa seminars, bridge games, boutique specials (been a lot of them), dance classes, Spanish and German lessons (on a cruise from London to New York), golf putting, table tennis tournament (seas a bit rough for that), music talk about Sondheim, film talk entitled 'If Love be the Food of Music...' hmmmm ... I'll be looking at Karolina talking about Prosecco v Champagne, and David's Irish cheese tasting. And yes, of course Moss is doing trivia every day - popular, a lot of teams - we haven't covered ourselves in glory; two firsts, two thirds, and one result to be ever consigned to oblivion. PS Lois - if you look at the Silversea website search engine, on the right is a tab marked 'more' - under that you can select 'Ecole des chefs/gourmet cruises' to find some of the cruises most likely to have interesting culinary offerings.
  18. A few notes about onboard activities: So far, Charmaine, the Cruise Consultant, has proved to be as efficient as she is pleasant. She's giving a talk today about 2018, 2019, and 2020 highlights. Having just received the email from SS about 2020 and not having had time to look at it, I may go along to the talk and see what's on offer. The internet hasn't been too bad - offline yesterday for an hour or so and a bit slow today, but we're in the North Atlantic so should be grateful we're in satellite range at all, I suppose. Guest lecturers: Corey Sandler (Destination Consultant) - I went to his first talk but found he jumped around from topic to topic too much that if I hadn't read it all in Wikipedia ahead of time I might have had trouble following him. He's obviously very knowledgable but not so good at getting it across, he even sounded like the Wikipedia entries. Herb Keyser - seems to be talking about music. His first talk was about George Gershwin but he had technical difficulties which were unfortunate, and he talked little and played a lot of music so I left, not my thing but others seemed to be enjoying it. Today's talk is about Lloyd Webber. John Bridcut, an independent filmmaker. An odd selection of topics - yesterday was about the films he's made of the Royal Family, today is about Roald Dahl, one of the future ones is about filming along the Greenwich Meridian from Lincolnshire to Senegal. Again a lot of film, not so much talking, but may be worth another look altho' I wasn't keen on his sales pitch for his DVDs. And, of course, Chef David. Two cooking demos so far, both up to his usual standard. And something slightly different for the next three days - 'Lunch and Learn' 'watch and enjoy as your lunch is prepared before your eyes'. In Indochine, I'm going to it today, hope it's fun.
  19. We're afloatin' on the ocean, second of four sea days from Cobh to St John's, Newfie. Captain Mino's noontime update yesterday was lengthy and not easy to understand, he sounded unsure of what he was saying. What I understood - and I may be wrong - is that yesterday would be rough (it was) today would be smoother (it is), also tomorrow (we hope) but we are going full steam ahead at 20knots to 'get some miles under our belt' because we may be meeting a low pressure system near Newfoundland and have to slow down to ride the seas. Hmmmm ... I hope the glue holds. The ships sure creaks, and the doors on the forward elevators bang rather disconcertingly in the rough. On current forecast, we'll be somewhere near the remnant low that is Florence but not till next Wednesday when we should be in St Pierre & Michelon so I'm not sure what lies ahead for us. Not to belittle the disaster the poor souls in the Carolinas are facing, but I hate it when we bounce around too much, I can never sleep.
  20. Sorry Magor, I wasn't trying to criticize you, it's just rather difficult to follow postings about one voyage if they are not all in the same thread. For example, you've started a new thread for each of your two postings and I completely missed the first one as I didn't realize which voyage you meant. Spins original thread is meant to be communal but after the first flush of enthusiasm, I seem to be the only one left - please do come over and help me out here!
  21. According to Moss, we’re pretty full - unusual indeed for a crossing. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  22. I guess you can if you want, but is there any reason you’ve chosen to start a new thread instead of posting on the already extant ‘live from’ thread about this voyage? Sent from my iPad using Forums
  23. Not criticizing your assumption, just looking for any glimmer of hope for the Wind. I’m not interested in expedition cruising so would be sad to lose the Wind as she offers quite a different experience from the bigger ships. That said, I’m getting used to the Muse and now the stretched Spirit and I do wonder if I’ll miss having the increased choices ... Well, I’ve got three cruises on the Wind next year, guess I’ll find out. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  24. Itineraries for the Moon should be coming out next week, and according to Charmaine, Cruise Con here on the Spirit, don't go making assumptions about the Wind despite what it might look like!
  25. Pretty much everyone arrived at the M&M with a plateful of cheese so all worked out OK. Charmaine Waters, the Cruise Consultant, seems to be on the ball, as well as being a pleasant person to chat to, and already knows she's going to be inundated next week once the 2020 itineraries come out. For us solo cruisers, she was reassuring and said she has a long list of the future voyage solo supps which she will deliver to us, and just because they have disappeared from the website, the low solo supps still exist. She also says that she believes and as yet has no evidence to the contrary, that RCI intend to keep the SS product largely unchanged. Talking to Moss, he feels that most of the changes won't be directly visible but will be beneficial - such things as improvements in marketing, internet bandwidth, procurement and delivery of supplies that come with a huge company with clout in dealing with suppliers. Enjoyed a pizza in Spaccanapoli after the M&M with Spins and her DH, good pizzas as usual but also helped by not having to look at the hideous red jogging track a la Muse - the deck is just regular color. This morning in Cobh under sunny skies with a cool but pleasant temperature (60 ish) - pleasant to me anyway after spending the summer dying in the heat at home in Bermuda - it's currently 80 degrees there at 5am!
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