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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. We received it too. Thank goodness. Brazil did the right thing by delaying as they are clearly not ready to process a lot of Visa applications. It would have been a nightmare for all of us.
  2. We are cruising the Amazon River in October and wondering whether Malaria is a big enough risk that we should take Malarone pills during the voyage. Any advice?
  3. I agree, but what troubles me is the apparent backsliding in several areas. For example, there now appears to be more "for a fee" restaurants on luxury ships than ever before. And the "free" shore excursions provided by some seem to be getting fewer and less interesting than the "pay more" excursions. What's next? Pay to see a premium show?
  4. My TA has been periodically checking on this situation with respect to when the process to apply for a Visa will be ready. Her opinion is that the process will likely open on or around September 1, or the deadline for having a Visa may be pushed back. I'm hoping for the later.
  5. I turn 66 next year. Will I have to leave Explora and find another cruise line?
  6. Is there some kind of government grant available for this kind of public service?
  7. I still can't decide which of Seabourn and Silversea I like best, so I've booked additional cruises with both over the next 6 months. If I haven't decided after that which one I like best, I'm going to book them both again and keeping doing so until I decide. I know this kind of self-sacrifice is not common, but I want to do a thorough job of choosing the winner even it it takes me another 10 years.
  8. As long as they serve free champagne and caviar on the catamaran, I can rough it!
  9. We did our Silversea Galapagos cruise (on the old ship) and Maccu Picchu trip in December of 2018. We arranged our own air to Quito and arrived a few days early, and were very happy we did. We stayed at the Marriott in Quito (a beautiful hotel), and they arranged a private tour of the city for us. The tour took place on a local holiday, and as customary loads of people cruised around the city on open-bed trucks celebrating -- great fun! On a previous South American cruise, we spent a day in Guayaquil, and were not very impressed. Not really much of significant value to see. In contrast, we loved Quito and plan to go back one day. All of which is to say, while there is nothing you can do about the change in arrival city, in my view there is a significant difference between the two cities, and it is a shame you will miss Quito.
  10. I no longer bring my tux on cruises because the sea air made them shrink.
  11. I agree. Maybe they could call it "No Name" Bistro, or perhaps "Generic" Trattoria! 😂
  12. Maybe SS is adopting a variation of the New Coke marketing strategy In order to make La Dame a more appealing option on most of their ships, SS announces a dramatic increase in prices on the Ray and Nova. When passengers on the other ships see what a "great" value La Dame is at $60 per person, they flock to the restaurant and fill all the seats, increasing SS revenue. If seats at La Dame on the Nova and Ray are not filled, SS can then announce that they are reducing prices to $90 per person on these ships in response to passenger response. Then, they can announce that in order to avoid confusion, they will be instituting a common price of $90 per person for La Dame across the fleet. Now, they can look like a cruise line that listens to its passengers while still increasing the cost of La Dame by a significant amount.
  13. Maybe the strategy is to improve occupancy at La Dame by increasing prices, thereby making people believe that the average food must taste better at the new higher price point. This is a strategy that sometimes works in certain businesses where buyers equate price with quality.
  14. When this news first surfaced on the Silversea board this morning, we all thought it must include exceptional wines from the reserve list. But no! Wines from the regular, included list.
  15. By the way, the upcharges are being introduced on the new ships -- Silver Nova and Silver Ray. No word yet as to when or if the older ships will also switch over to the up charges.
  16. Thanks. I believe Seabourn is similar with its Thomas Keller restaurant. Is there any other luxury line out there who chages this much to dine in an alternative restaurant?
  17. Silversea, which proudly boasts to be an all-inclusive cruise line, has just announced an eyewatering increase in upcharges for its La Dame and Kaseiki speciality restaurants. For example, the upcharge at La Dame will increase from its current level of $60 per person to $160 per person -- that's right, $320 per couple to dine in a speciality restaurant! In my view, this may cause some Silversea loyalists to start looking at other ultra-luxury lines -- including Seabourn and Regent.
  18. Can anyone give me an idea of how these new upcharges for the two speciality restaurants compare with what's now available on Regent? I suspect some of us might want to rethink who we will sail with in future.
  19. My first-ever cruise on the QM2 was a similar short itinerary from NY to Halifax. It was horrid and I swore never to sail in the QM2 again. The ship was packed with extended familes with many young children, and since the weather was bad, everyone was crammed into the indoor public areas hogging tables and chairs all day. I would have debarked the ship in Halifax had we been allowed. Fortunately, I tried a trans-Atlantic on the QM2 several years later and the experience was completely different. There were some children on board, but not so many as to take over complete areas of the ship. And the limited children's facilities on the ship were sufficent to keep the children occupied and busy without disturbing others. Sure, if you want to bring children on the QM2, a short 3 or 4-day cruise from NY is the time to do it. But if you want the real QM2 experience, take a longer cruise where the passenger mix will be more appropriate for a grand ocean liner like the QM2.
  20. When I sail with Celebrity, which is not very often, I choose AquaClass cabins rather than the Retreat. I have sailed in Princess Grill several times with Cunard, but only when it was offered for a healthy discounted sale price. I might try the Retreat if it was offered on a sale, but at normal prices it seems a poor value compared to suites on SB or Silversea.
  21. But it may have the same effect in terms of fewer ships and fewer passengers visiting the city each year. And that's not a bad outcome.
  22. I agree. The greed and short-sightedness is shared between some ports and cruise lines. Eventually something had to give and we are now beginning to see the consequences.
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