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About CruisinPashmina

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travel,the Arts
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Far East

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  1. This is an itinerary on my bucket list. I am most interested in the crossing as I have spent quite a bit of time in Japan. I got a kick out of Rosepark’s warning about the pesky deer in Nara. When we were there there were so many families giving them “deer cookies” that none of them bothered us. Btw they are very small..a special miniature type and cute enough. for us the thrill of visiting Nara was to tour the huge unbelievably beautiful all wood temple. It is set in a very large courtyard enclosure which is adjacent to the deer park. We found it very amusing that the deer were more of an attraction than the stunning temple.
  2. The crew is why I am SO loyal to Silversea. For over 20 years I have been amazed by and grateful to the very special people who work SO hard with grace and kindness. The crew IS Silversea. “You are simply the best”!
  3. Reading about this incredible series of mishaps has totally cured me of feeling sorry for myself for having to cancel the Transatlantic Cruise on The Shadow..Ft Lauderdale to Lisbon and on to Barcelona. The thought of being held captive in the Mumbai airport is horrifying. Unibok, you must be the bravest, most stoic, calmest person in the world. I salute you..big time.
  4. After an agonizing reality check, I decided that I meet all the criteria for high risk. I have just cancelled the Shadow Transatlantic crossing and on to Barcelona on March 27th. Devastated. But grateful to SS (and RCL) for the generous way this sad situation is being handled. I felt completely comfortable with being on the ship, but too nervous about the possibility of being stuck in Europe and being quarantined. I was traveling with four treasured friends and, individually, we each decided to cancel.
  5. This is another frequently brought up subject so I feel I must join in with a very different experience with sailing a segment of a World Cruise. When we booked Cape Town to Ft Lauderdale it never occurred to us that World Cruisers wouldn’t be welcoming. This was the last segment so the sailors had been together for months. From the first minute after embarkation, we were treated like celebrities. People made a point of coming up, chatting, asking us to join Trivia, telling us about the lecturers and we had a few invitations for drinks and dinners. As long time SS sailors we thought all this attention was extraordinary....after a few days on board, we figured it out. We were exotics..new folks who were bringing them new experiences, new conversations, and we new and just might be interesting. I think the grimness of the West African ports might have changed the atmosphere too. At night the bars were packed and everyone jumped in to share their excursion experiences. As an aside; we were anchored off of Cameroon and were scheduled to be there for about 5 hours. We were met by dirty shuttle busses...no big deal...and driven about a mile to the “downtown”. This was one huge area of stalls, a few buildings, some ramshackle houses, and a dire looking restaurant on the waterfront. One of our fellow passengers absolutely loved exotic jewelry and shopping in general. She presented her choices to the lady proprietor and was told by this lady that she would only accept local currency. Of course this was not an option...a five hour visit, to a small very poor country..no banks or ATMs in sight. My new friend gently put her choices back down and the shop owner went ballistic. She screamed that we, evidently tourists in general, were nasty pigs. It would have been funny if we hadn’t been so shocked. Definitely another bonding experience. Ironically besides all the acres of stalls, there was an amazing Large Primates Sanctuary. You had to have local currency to enter, but the Sanctuary’s Director was persuaded to take US dollars from at least 50 people. We figured out later that the exchange was not even close to the legal exchange..but no one minded as the cause was totally worth it. ‘ The long (sorry) and short of this is that I wouldn’t worry about taking a segment of the WC.
  6. Think this must be one of those eternal questions for which no one really has an answer. I tip only the butler..if he or she is helpful and discrete and the steward because he or she cleans the bathroom. I hand them envelopes on the morning I disembark and say Thank You. BUT...what I also do, is donate to The Crew Fund. I believe they must post a notice in the crew quarters, as over the years, individual crew members have quietly thanked me. I’ve been told that the amount donated is not posted..which I think is proper. Also something to note is that writing praise about outstanding crew really makes a difference in terms of promotions. I was told this by two different Hotel Directors...it’s very easy to do, just note them on the Surveys given to you in the middle and end of each cruise. Sadly, and I may well be wrong, I have noticed people slipping money to various staff..bartenders, Maître Ds. and others. I feel this really lowers the tone and changes the atmosphere. This has been a fairly recent phenomenon...do any others feel the same way?
  7. I was in the Royal Suite solo on a TA. The suite is lovely, but it’s not wonderful in rough weather. As it’s high and in the bow, and our weather was very rough in the North Atlantic, I really missed out on the glamor. Don’t know about sun on the big forward facing balcony. At high noon, it should be sunny. As for perks...I had a lovely cocktail party arranged by my wonderful butler, Philip...then it got rough, so No more fancy parties. While it is true that any passengers can arrange for private parties in even the smallest suite, Philip went all out. He’d been working at sea on much bigger ships and had never sailed big seas on such a little ship. We bonded and had some good laughs. This was a great example of the kind of super, but not fawning service on SS.
  8. Don’t even think of missing Angkor Wat. We went on a SS overnight..actually two nights pre cruise. We stayed at The Grande Angkor, a beautiful, historic hotel run by Raffles group. The temple complex will forever be etched in my mind. Totally worth a splurge. I have visited Saigon 4 times. The last time I was there, 2 and a half years ago, we went to the enormous market and it was so crowded, noisy, and the sellers were so aggressive that I had what was close to a panic attack. Pity, as previously it had been a fun experience. Of course go, but be prepared. The part of town where the designer shops are very close to the Cathedral (uninspiring) . I have no idea if the prices for designer clothes are any different from any other big city. Sihanoukville is sort of a snooze. We did visit an elementary school which we found affecting. One little girl grabbed my daughter’s hand and went everywhere with her..sweet little child. One boy, about 10 followed me around trying to speak English with me... that was encouraging..he’s going to do well. The Head of School gave a rousing welcoming speech. Our SS person from the ship, gave a generous donation, and most of our fellow passengers also contributed. I had known about this visit and I had brought crayons and kiddie scissors from America..They were a big hit! Other than the school, we went to a nice enough resort, had a good buffet lunch and sat on the beach. No one could swim because the water was filled with teeny stinging jellyfish. As I remember, this was the only excursion offered.
  9. Thank you for such an interesting sail along. I love all the details you put in your posts including your personal opinions. I want to know about the handling of the zodiacs as well as first hand impressions of the ports. I want to know the minutiae of each particular itinerary. I now know for sure that an Expedition Cruise, even a supposedly “Soft” one is not for me. Thanks!
  10. I have a vague memory of this type of trip of “Any Reason” cancellation policy immediately after the tragedy of 9/11.
  11. I Recently disembarked the Shadow after a 12 night cruise..Venice to Rome. On informal nights men without jackets were discretely given a loaner jacket to wear. All but one man pleasantly complied. The odd man out was a defiant teenage 70 year old,. He grabbed the jacket and, in a showy huff, went to a table, immediately took it off and hung it on the back of his chair. Charming. So there is a dress code which is a publicized part of the Silversea experience.... What on earth is the big deal??
  12. Lost luggage upon arrival in rainy Venice. Not feeling very well, but not really sick. Broken pipe in middle of first night. Beds got soaked, help arrived within minutes, and we got moved to another fully ready cabin. Now the bright side: the usual warm happy SS atmosphere. Greeted with hugs by familiar, lovely crew. My three beautiful adult daughters are having a fabulous time. The food is wonderful, all the wines are good..some are outstanding. While I still love the very Italian furnishings, and feel, it really is time to give this ship an extensive make over. I just hope they will choose to cheer up the stark greys and browns now on the newest ships with at least some color. We are now in Kotor tied up to the pier about 100 steps to an entrance at the massive city walls. There are two mega ships at anchor..a Princess and a Holland America. I’ve been here before so I’ve decided to watch the scene from above the fray. An acquaintance just returned to the ship and said the little city was jammed with folks pushing and shoving. No thanks! Perfect sunny, slightly breezy weather for lunching and relaxing outside. and...for those who know how much of a Trivia enthusiast I am...Two firsts and one second.
  13. Almost packed for this cruise. Venice to Rome...terrific itinerary! Anyone know who is the Captain, the Hotel Director, and the Cruise Director?
  14. Thank you posters for a terrific thread. I so enjoyed all the commentary and photos. I’ll be on the Whisper, Reykjavik to Greenwich, next July, and I’ll reread this before I go. I sure hope I have better weather!
  15. Oh, Mrs Waldo! I just checked and saw your comments on traveling with children..specifically mentioning my little girls. They were 9 and 12 Our cruise, on the Cloud was a Christmas/New Years holiday cruise. Cape Town Round Trip. Thank you so very much for your lovely report on the girls’ behavior. They loved the ship, the excursions and the warm reception they received from both the passengers and the crew. We ALL had a wonderful time ...especially with you and your a bit older kids. That all said, several of my other beloved 7 grandchildren, regardless of age, would not have been compatible with SS. The boys would all have been bored to death! For them we chose a Celebrity Cruise to Alaska. Because they were busy playing basketball, and swimming, and eating non stop, we ALL had a great time. We required coats and ties for the 4 boys, and party dresses for the three girls every night in the dining room . Amazing how getting dressed up lifts the mood and manners. At the time the ages ran from 5 to 15. Back to Silversea. Don’t take young, active children...there is really nothing for them to do. The very few young children I have encountered on board have been mostly very well behaved but always seemed sort of sad and bored. I’m shocked by some of the stories of very disruptive little children. It seems to me very disrespectful of parents to not have constant, loving control of their off spring. And unfair to fellow passengers, the crew, and the kids themselves.
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