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jollyjones

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Everything posted by jollyjones

  1. OMG what a reputation to precede me! I too have noticed a relaxation of the dress code but we’re Caribbean so I’m not so surprised. At least it was relaxed last week on the infamous Cuba debacle (jeans in the MDR, least of our problems), it’s formal tonight and it’s quite dressy. Plenty of tuxedos; there’s one woman in a tight black off the shoulder long frock with a huge black and white striped frill around the top, looks like a flower vase out of the 1960s. Also long black gloves. Unbelievable that anyone still dresses that way.
  2. The problems were partly of my own making and partly of the itinerary - some of which were caused by SS and some by bad luck. I bought the cruise as a b2b W Carib and E Carib 18 months ahead of time. 6 months ahead of time SS changed the W Carib to Cuba - by then I had the plane tickets bought and multiple other arrangements made around this cruise and other trips so it would have been a major problem to cancel, nor could I change to another cruise because of timings. So I already felt a bit trapped before I started. First stop was an overnight at Santiago de Cuba where the dock had been damaged months before but not repaired so we were anchored ... rather too close to some sort of industrial plant belching out foul black smoke which smelt revolting. It was a 30 minute tender ride which I was unwilling to do - I find tendering very unpleasant even for a short ride, it's a claustrophobia type thing - so I felt trapped on the smelly ship for two days, didn't see anything of Santiago apart from the haze of pollution hanging over the town in the distance. Then we turned round and went back the way we'd come to Havana for a single day (8am - 5.30pm) stop. I, as had everyone, had signed the affidavit to say I'd do a person-to-person cultural thing to satisfy the US rules so I went on a qualifying SS tour supposedly a 'panoramic overview of Havana' (sounded good on paper) which turned out to be an endless drive around Havana's suburbs. The coach stopped and we got off periodically but it was difficult to concentrate on whatever we were supposed to be looking at because of the overwhelming clouds of black exhaust fumes from all the vehicles both old and new - no emission controls here! I felt I couldn't breathe for five hours and I have no respiratory problems. The old American cars were the worst culprits and they were everywhere but once you'd seen one you'd seen them all, they were of no interest to me. The tour should have had a health warning. Back at the ship, once I'd recovered from the exhaust fume headache and nausea, it was too late to go into Old Havana and wander around which was the only thing I actually wanted to do. It's a shame I didn't grasp until too late that all you have to do to satisfy the US is sign the affidavit - you don't have to actually do a person-to-person cultural thing (unless your conscience insists) - the Cubans couldn't care less what you do, I could have just gone wandering around Old Havana on my own all day with no problem. There should have been an overnight at Havana rather than Santiago. Then we had the joy of Nassau because you can't sail directly back to the US from Cuba and there's no good cruise ports in the Bahamas. Ugh, Nassau is such a dump, I gave up getting off the ship there many visits ago. But wait, there's more - our final stop was meant to be Bimini - I knew that'd be a long tender but I thought I'd stay on the ship, a 'sea day' at anchor in the ocean breezes would be OK. But at the last minute we were told that the sea might be making up a bit so the tender ride (which was 55 minutes) would be difficult so it was cancelled and instead we had two full days in Nassau docked with massive ships and thousands and thousands of cruise pax. So my Western Caribbean 9 day cruise turned into just one five hour drive around Havana's suburbs. PS The weather has been mostly glorious, and I am cruising, and I am optimistic about the Eastern Caribbean leg that we have just commenced so life is, on balance, very good. Just a shame about Cuba, I feel kinda cheated out of seeing what I wanted to see.
  3. And good riddance. I am on the Wind toward the end of a Cuba cruise and it is by far the worst cruise itinerary I’ve been on. The crew are as great as ever, but the rest has been problematic. Usually if something doesn’t go well, I take that as an excuse to do the cruise again in the future. I will never do this one again. Now I am worried about having two large and very obvious Cuba stamps in my passport - I transit frequently through the US, I just hope there won’t be problems with the CBP if things really tighten up.
  4. The TSA app (MyTSA) is useful to show you which security checkpoints have a pre-check lane that is open - there may not be many! And MIA is so much bigger than FLL, the walk to the gate may take ages. I never find the Skytrain to be much use because there are so few stations but it may help you. I wouldn't book a 9am flight, I think it'd be awfully tight and uncomfortable timing.
  5. Hope you enjoy it but I'll not be there to wave you off when you depart Bermuda on the 19th as I shall be back in Fort Lauderdale on the turnaround day for my b2b cruises on the Wind! PS make sure you're on deck for the sail in or out, it takes about an hour once you come through the reef and it's worth seeing.
  6. Sounds like a walk in shower with a shower seat could be your safest option. That works well for my very elderly father who has similar problems to yours.
  7. That's what SS keep saying but how's that going to work in practice? It's not just the ship, you need an experienced expedition crew to tackle the polar regions - the Antarctic (and presumably the Arctic) cruising seasons are short, what are they going to do while she's doing classic cruises? Not to mention that I bet it'll be 'classic' cruises at expedition prices ...
  8. And I'm already in Lauderdale, to board the Wind on Wednesday - who's going to wave me away?
  9. Ahhh ... the indescribable feeling of watching your favorite ship sail away without you ... Thank goodness I'm on the Wind on Wednesday for three weeks or I'd be desolate.
  10. Jimmy K told me that Moss has gone to the Expedition side because SS wants to improve the entertainment offerings there so Moss will develop the programme. PS And much as Colin enjoys and is good at his job, surely he must be wanting to retire soon?
  11. Hmmm ... I wonder if SS is finding itself a little depleted in CDs? Maybe some very new faces coming soon? PS I was also looking forward to Luke as a CD, will miss him. Hope his career flourishes.
  12. Hope you like expedition cruising then. After next summer the larger ladies will be your only choice for classic cruising. And, IMO, you seem to be limiting yourself - I love the new Spirit, like the Muse, and am eagerly looking forward to trying the Moon. The Whisper I find a bit meh - neither the choices of the Spirit nor the intimacy of the Wind.
  13. Well that'll show SS what happens when it stops CDs performing their shows! Altho' I suspect it's something more prosaic like a young up-and-coming ocean cruise line ...
  14. Problem with Tower Bridge is that only the little ladies can go under it. I’d much prefer it for embarkation, even to Greenwich, but the Whisper and up won’t fit!
  15. No, I believe it is seriously (permanently?) delayed because of planning objections from nearby residents. One ship at a time can dock (maybe, anchor?) at the existing Greenwich pier (near the Cutty Sark) and the 'terminal' is a pop up tent - not sure, but I think that's how it goes. We had to leave from Tilbury last September because Azamara gazumped us from Greenwich. I'm doing the same cruise again this year, on the Whisper this time, and the itinerary still shows Greenwich. I must see if I can find out for sure from the Port of London website! PS Even if they eventually build the new port, there will still only be a berth for one ship at a time but there will be actual terminal facilities.
  16. Moon's appeared in roll calls so I've started one. Now over to all you energizer bunnies ...
  17. No, they didn't. Can't really, the only way would be to sacrifice one of the adjacent silver suites - ain't gonna happen, that'd be revenue down the toilet ...
  18. If you really wished it, (to travel light) you just have to make it happen. All it requires is careful planning and a very carefully curated cruise wardrobe. And a lightweight but capacious backpack and roll aboard. I was wandering through MIA recently with time to kill before my flight and, passing a luggage scale, on a whim I placed all my luggage (backpack and roll aboard) on the scale - just under 30lbs. Last November I did an eleven day Caribbean cruise followed by ten days in London, and this June I intend to do fourteen days on the Wind up to the Arctic Circle plus a couple of weeks in England, all just with said backpack and roll aboard.
  19. Perhaps try: specialservices@silversea.com or informationdesk@silverseas.com
  20. Sorry this is no help to you but I absolutely cannot imagine why anyone would travel with so much stuff, no matter how long you are travelling for. What an utter pain to pack and unpack it and deal with it. Free ship's laundry or no, (don't forget the free launderettes on board, I just rinse clothes out in my sink), a week's worth is plenty. No-one remembers or cares if you wear garments repeatedly, and a clever selection of separates allows for many different looks. I travel solo and do it with just carry on - soooo much more relaxing - no worries about stuff getting damaged or lost. So as I said, not much help to you but perhaps consider making life easier by taking less in the first place? PS You can get two suitcases under each side of the bed if you need.
  21. Well ... possibly, I agree it could be fun ... but Madeira has awfully steep hills and I rather suspect you gazelles will be leaping around the heights while I'm still grazing the flowers at the bottom ...
  22. Basic internet is free and unlimited, even to the pax not in fancy suites. The only limit to your use of the ship's computers would be if other pax wanted to use them. Never seen a queue, most pax use their own devices. If you have your own devices, only one device per person/account can be signed on at once but the hand off between devices is very smooth. Basic is free and unlimited, 'premium' is somewhere between about $20 per day whole voyage or about $30 for a 24 hour package.
  23. Thanks for starting this Stumble, I was wondering if a Moon roll would happen. But OMG, the energy of you youngsters! After even reading about all the endlessly energetic outings you get up to, I have to have a lie down. Being on the same ship might be exhausting. Hopefully with lots of sea days and the bigger ship, I’ll find little corners to idle away in. Can’t be a tired trivialist.
  24. Jimmy told me he wants to move up to be a Hotel Director on SS - I expect he has a few interim steps to get there, I wish him all success. He'll be a loss as CD, gonna be some new blood, I guess. Luke should be about ready to step up to CD by now.
  25. So sad, , I'll be disembarking that day. Normally, I'd love to do the crossing too but couldn't work the timing this year. I hope the weather gods smile on you and the Wind is in fine form; I'll be back on her in June.
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