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jollyjones

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Everything posted by jollyjones

  1. The lighting for the boxes of bijoux adds a pleasant pop of sparkle around the edges of the Reception Bar, a nice theatrical effect that significantly adds to the attractiveness of the area. As for the contents of the boxes ... I can scarcely contain my indifference. They don't obstruct the exit from the room, that's all I can say. The Bar by contrast seems even more dark, claustrophobic and gloomy than before - I hate it and never go there except for trivia (did I mention that we won yesterday?) - I always used to prefer Panorama because if I'm on a ship, I want views of the sea, but the Reception Bar is giving it stiff competition for a pleasant place to be. And better people watching. SS calls it the Arts Cafe but I can't quite bring myself to do that because it really isn't the same as the Arts on the Muse and Spirit.
  2. Love the new Reception bar, full of life and people, great for people watching, lots of two top tables. Could become my favourite space. Now off to Panorama to look at, probably not join, the solo thing. On first look earlier, I thought the extra space given to the dance floor at the expense of the seating was an error but that’s just me, I don’t dance. We’ll see.
  3. Well, I have a butler(ess) who I’ve had before recently (on the Wind) so everything I usually have to ask for she has already done but, is it just me or are the sink plugs useless? They click up and down but when up the sink drains fast, and when clicked down, the sink still drains, just slowly. What use is that? And what a waste of water. I’ve tried tightening them up but no use. Also, the shower water pressure is impressive (very!) but I did have to tighten up the connection from the handset to the hose, it was leaking sideways. A lot. Hmmm ... But I love the Museification colour scheme, never was a fan of dark brown, especially in the bathroom. PS The Cobbler’s on board. As always, I think why? PPS New red carpet in the theatre, not sure it’s a good colour decision.
  4. Count me as someone who didn’t even notice what colour it is. Boarding mattered, not the hull. Lunch mattered (no breakfast), not the hull. Champagne mattered, not the hull. However, my excursion tomorrow in Port of Spain ain’t happening for lack of numbers, so if I go ashore (which as a person on my own, I’m not so sure about), I guess I might look at the hull on the way home. As an aside, my cabin is about twenty feet away from the never ending food in the reception cafe which, with the magically refilling Smarties* bag in the cabin, means that my recent hard won weight loss is at severe risk. * Smarties are M & Ms for our American readers, although I’m not sure I’m still speaking to you after the Orange Toddler’s latest misjudgment. And that’s being polite.
  5. Well, why not wear the suit jacket if he feels he needs a jacket? Why on earth would you need multiple sports jackets? Or, as some do, don't bring an actual suit, just a dark blazer and sorta matching pants then you can fudge the suit for formal and have a blazer for informal. I think on informal nights it's usually jacket, no tie for indoor venues. (You can take the jacket off once seated at your table.) And casual is decent shirt, no jacket. I won't be surprised if the dress code is interpreted pretty loosely, but can't tell ahead of time. I'm on this cruise and I expect it'll be relatively casual for SS since it's Caribbean, but I'm not a guy so the jacket thing isn't a problem for me. I'm b2b from the previous cruise which only has one 'formal optional' night - it's a 7 day, that's why the formal is optional - SS is def. more casual in the Caribbean.
  6. I'm not vegan, not really even vegetarian (more flexitarian) but I try to eat a plant based diet as much as I can and it is sometimes a struggle to achieve that on Silversea. On a recent cruise after not finishing my entree, when asked why I told them it was uninteresting, tasteless and not nutritionally balanced (all of that was true) and further commented that the vegetarian choices were very unimaginative. So it was arranged for me to meet with the Executive Chef and we discussed many things, after which the vegetarian food for the rest of the cruise was much improved. Vegan food is a whole step harder for chefs who are used to providing a slab of dead animal surrounded by a small scattering of plant bits. Lunch in La Terrazza is OK because it's a buffet and there's usually enough vegan choices but your wife may have a struggle at dinner in any venue (even Spaccanapoli I doubt there's vegan cheese, you'd have to have pizza without). I don't eat breakfast so can't comment on the choices. So my recommendation is to seek out a meeting with the Executive Chef as early as possible if you are not finding food you like - via the Front Desk or the Restaurant Manager - and I am sure you will be accommodated as well as possible. I believe they can agree a special menu with you for the following day but I never do that because I don't know 24 hours in advance what I'll feel like eating, or even where. One great thing about the Muse is the larger number of eateries available. Also, have you input the vegan info on 'My Silversea'? I think there should be an option for that. Also also, you can email Silversea and ask about things like vegan cheese or specific plant milks but you do need to do that well in advance (maybe 6 weeks?) to give them a chance to sort it out. specialservices@silversea.com This all sounds a bit disappointing, but don't be, the one thing you can guarantee on Silversea is that the service will be amazing and they will do everything possible to help you. I'm embarking in a week on the new Shadow, can't wait, and that'll take me to over 350 days with Silversea so you can tell it's a cruise line that works for me!
  7. They sent you just one of the rigid plastic tags with steel attachment cable, put that one on whatever bag you want, probably best on your checked one. They last forever and you'll get a new one with each cruise so you can end up with them on every bag you own. What SS means is the soft peel-off cruise specific luggage labels with your cabin number - you've probably got four of them in a booklet in the silver box - then if you don't want to carry your hand luggage with you at lunch while waiting for the cabins to be ready at 2pm, you can leave it with reception or somewhere and it'll be delivered to your cabin. You don't have to if you don't want. I travel with only carry on and don't use any of their labels and keep my bag with me - as a solo, it occupies the other chair at lunch.
  8. I've been muttering for years that I wish there was an 'opt out' choice for the Silver Box. It must cost a fortune to send it to Bermuda and there is nothing I need in it - not even the luggage tags because I travel with hand luggage only. I chuck the entire thing in the trash ... sigh ... I could understand that one would need to opt out early since the boxes probably have quite a long lead time, but I usually book 18 months to two years ahead and would be happy to have an opt out choice at booking, just as I choose to opt out of SS transfers, hotels etc. I suppose I should put it on my comment card when I'm cruising, but I've always forgotten about it by then. (And I tend to use the space trying to persuade SS to offer more nutritionally balanced and interesting plant based eating options, but that's a different issue.)
  9. But that's an enrichment lecturer, those are usually interesting and worthwhile. I'm talking about the ones who are mostly interested in advising you about shoreside shopping opportunities. That's one drawback of shorter cruises, especially in the Caribbean, because there are only destination lecturers. The enrichment lecturers are usually only to be found on the longer cruises - I do transatlantics nearly every year and the enrichment lecturers are frequently the highlight of the cruise.
  10. As an atheist I am perfectly fine that my cruise line doesn’t waste cabin space for ministers of any religion. IMO if it’s really important to you to go to a religious service on a specific day, you should stay home or somewhere land based near an appropriate church for it. There are far too many different beliefs among pax on a cruise ship for any specific one of them to be accommodated, what about all the others? Although I must say I agree with you that most destination lecturers are a waste of space but that’s usually because they’re talking rubbish, not because they’re displacing some vicar or priest.
  11. Each to their own. And for my own, I still say she's not everyone's cup of tea, she's definitely not mine. But then, I enjoy some types of entertainment that others may not. In person she may well be very pleasant when she's not performing to generate the maximum 'entertainment' (cringe, me). Most performers have a public and private persona.
  12. I'm just stunned that any of you managed to sit through such drivel. I tried to watch one of her programs - can't remember if it was on an SS ship but I think it might have been - and had to switch off very rapidly before she drove me insane.
  13. Different strokes ... I would (and usually do) select AA transatlantic any day. And I cross the pond multiple times a year. All aisle access! Storage space! Wider seats, four across instead of eight across! OK, this is business - BA must have one of the worst business products on the market even if their food does seem to have improved recently.
  14. Spins - I'll do my best to follow in your footsteps when I board the Shadow on Jan 7th. Season's whatnots to you and Dr L.
  15. Just done a week in the Caribbean, didn't even get off the ship. Just basked in the warm weather, foo foo drinks etc. Just remember this is your cruise and you can do whatever you want - there's no rules that say when and where and what you must do in port.
  16. Well, Stumbles and Les, I finally did hear from SS who clearly decided the market could bear some more Med cruises. The crossing moved from Nov 2nd to Nov 19th. I was offered the option to move to the new dates, or take the Med cruise on the date closest to Nov 2nd, without a price change (I've already paid in full, as usual). Since I have other plans in December, I opted to stay with the earlier dates and am doing the Med cruise 30th October. SS maintained my original price (which is much lower than the currently offered brochure price) but since I was moving from a 13 day to a 10 day cruise I got my TA to object slightly and they threw in some OBC, not a lot but enough to sweeten the deal. I find Med cruises are usually pretty pricy and seldom have a lower solo supp so I haven't done many - this itinerary appeals as there are ports I haven't visited. And crossing the pond in late Nov/early Dec is starting to get a bit wintry. So I am getting a more interesting itinerary at a price well below what I'd normally have to pay (and SS has eaten the extra port fees) on dates I'd prefer, in return for going from a 13 day to a 10 cruise. Just about worth it! (And I am doing the Whisper crossing on Sep 8th so I'll have seen the pond ... again ...)
  17. Possibly a car transporter, I see things like that from time to time docked along Front St (at the commercial dock, not the cruise pier) with a lot of cars disembarking.
  18. Sorry, but Paddington is hardly convenient for Waterloo which is where the trains to Southampton leave. And Paddington area hotels are not generally cheaper than LHR. The OP, if avoiding the tube, would need a taxi Paddington area hotel to Waterloo, then another taxi Southampton station to the ship. Trains aren't that cheap. And there's frequent rail strikes in that area. Also, the OP states that they are taking the cruise shuttle bus from LHR to Southampton. Altho' I have not yet stayed at the HGI at Terminal 2, I have researched it quite a lot for when I need to (since I fly through Terminal 3 a lot) and I believe you can walk directly there, indoors, from Terminal 2 (and Terminal 3, it's just a bit further). Check out HGI Heathrow Terminals 2 + 3, don't confuse it with HGI Heathrow, a different hotel, which is outside the airport on the perimeter road and is definitely not walkable. Again, I stress that the OP must be very clear about where the shuttle bus pick up will be!
  19. The Hilton Garden Inn at terminal 2 is brand new so ought to be in good shape. And I often stay in HGIs by choice, nothing wrong with them. It would fit the OP's need because you can walk there from terminal 2, but once there (like the Sofitel at Terminal 5) that's it, that's all there is, a hotel. There's nothing else around except airport. Depending on timing, the OP could check in to the hotel (and store their luggage if the room isn't ready) and take the tube into central London and do some sightseeing. It's very easy if you have a contactless debit card, costs about 3 pounds off peak, 5 pounds rush hour, and takes about 50 mins. Trains are every 10 mins from the Terminal 2/3 station. Also, the OP needs to be very clear about where the cruise shuttle bus picks up to take them to Southampton - Heathrow is huge!! And you really do have to take the subway or bus or walk to get around within it, taxis aren't interested in short fares such as to the hotels just outside the Heathrow perimeter. That's the major plus for staying at an on-site hotel like the Sofitel at Terminal 5, the Hilton at Terminal 4 (bit of a walk), or the HGI at Terminal 2 (can also walk there from Terminal 3, just a bit further). There are luggage carts but I can't tell you where you can use them because I only ever travel with carry on luggage, gave up checking luggage years ago as too worrisome, especially when going cruising, sorry.
  20. On Transatlantics, I always try and get a cabin that will be on the south side of the ship, i.e. port for westwards and starboard for eastwards. And, as a generalisation, there may be rough seas going across (may not, I've had some very rough and some very smooth crossings) but IMO it's worth going midships and low to minimise the movement. If not midships, aft is better than forward. Otherwise I can't help, gave up NCL many years ago, won't be going back to the big ships.
  21. I haven't looked at O's website recently because I'm not intending to go back to them, but generally cruise lines somewhere will state the square footage of their cabins - it's worth a bit of study to do some actual comparisons to see what you might be getting for your money. Also things like estimating what your drinks bill might be on O, don't forget the (I think) 18% tip they add to every drink. Not saying you shouldn't go on O, but do try as best you can to see what your actual bottom line might be - it can be quite different from your initial cruise fare! I hope you'll be happy with whichever you decide on, but information does help. PS I'm not sure that you'd find a huge difference on enrichment lecturers and excursions.
  22. No, I was on the Regatta and boy, it felt like those bathrooms were some of the smallest afloat. That said, the bathrooms on the SS 'bigger girls' i.e. not the Wind or the expedition ships, are large and wonderful.
  23. But don't forget the pleasure of being on an all inclusive, not having to sign for things, and grats included in the cruise fare. The bottom line on Oceania will probably still be cheaper than SS, but not as far as at first glance. I've sailed both and am firmly fixed on SS (nearly 350 days), I wouldn't go back to Oceania with their small cabins and tiny bathrooms. As stated above, it depends on what is important to you, the SS experience is several rungs up the luxury ladder from Oceania, but Oceania is ditto up the ladder from 'mainstream' lines - Celeb, Princess, HAL, Royal Carib etc.
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