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About bobolz

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  1. Fauxnom Not good news, so sorry to hear about your current situation. Hope things improve in you and your fellow travelers favor. I wonder if those self promotional ads you see on MSNBC are a result of the cruise lines satellite feed and they have to fill that commercial time that you usually get at home, is not available out at sea so they fill that time with promotional ads. I remember that used to drive us crazy , but because we refuse to watch Fox News , I don’t know if they have normal ads on Fox News. Again best wishes for a good outcome for all.
  2. Nowornever yes at the time we traveled on the Shadow, it had NOT gone through its recent refurbishment, but NOW that it has, it’s probably even nicer . Thanks
  3. If the op or anyone else is still interested, we have sailed on Oceania(both the O and the R ships which should be similar to Azamara ) , Viking and Silverseas. We enjoyed all of them, each having their pluses and minuses, but all cruise lines we would travel with again if the itinerary was interesting and the price was right. So here is my opinion of Silverseas Shadow, versus Viking and Oceania . Note: Shadow is an older ship that had not been recently refurbished, larger than the Wind, but smaller than the muse and Spirit. Although Oceania and Vikings overall decor and furnishings were newer and fresher than Silverseas , I had no issues and now that it has been refurbished , it’s probably even nicer. - ROOMS: comfort of the rooms with walk in closet and bathrooms with separate tub and shower and 2 sinks . We had a vista suite, we did not need a balcony which would have added >$1000 pp, not worth it to me, but maybe worth to others. Believe had a DVD, but thought the TV offerings were decent. Compared to the other lines, I think I preferred the Silverseas over Oceania and Viking . More storage than Viking deluxe Veranda , but bathroom shower and bathroom storage on Viking was a slight plus over Silverseas. Compared to Oceania, storage in room was comparable, but the walk in closet on SS was much better than the sliding door closet next to bed on Oceania (and Viking) . Bathrooms, preferred O ships to R since had separate bath and shower, but preferred SS bath storage and design. Didn’t really use the Butler, but was nice to have if you needed something. We think on the refurbished Whisper , the room may be even be nicer than the Shadow which had not yet been updated, but believe it is now. The 2 are sister ships. -Size of ship was equivalent to R ships, but much fewer passengers which gave it the advantage over both Oceania and Viking. -more inclusions than Oceania , but similar to Viking. Free unlimited Wi-Fi (I assume that is still included, believe Viking included ) , free laundry machines on each floor (Viking inclusion) , included drinks(Viking only wine and beer w/ lunch and dinner) , and included gratuities. Some of these SS inclusions can add up on these other lines, so was nice to know we didn’t have to worry about that added cost. -FOOD All of the lines have comparable food, which is to say is very good. . I don’t recall a bad meal on Silverseas or Oceania, although there were some hit and misses on Viking and I would rank Viking last of the three. Nevertheless if you enjoyed the food on these other lines, you will enjoy Silverseas . Overall , Oceania had more choices for dinner venues than the other two which gives it a step above the others. Definitely preferred their dinner buffet to Viking, and wished Silverseas had a dinner buffet since there are nights you just want something quick after a long day of sightseeing. It was not a deal breaker , but would have been nice. So the lack of included dinner venues was the one area that Silverseas lacked compared to the others. Having only the MDR , Italian , and casual outdoor grill (, which is only good if weather is nice and if you like grilled protein and not much else). The plus for SS over the others is that you can make as many dinner reservations in advance for the 2 specialty restaurants. I believe every category of room has the same reservation timeline , which is an advantage over Viking and Oceania which limit the amount of reservations as well as the sign up period, which is a disadvantage for those in lower level rooms . ATTIRE- The formal nights I thought would be a problem, but you do have an option to make reservations at the other dining venues that don’t require formal dress. I actually like to dress nicely on the cruise versus at home. The more “formal” environment on SS just means more guests will dress nicely on non formal nights versus Viking which seemed to be more accepting of very casual attire in MDR, which frankly disappointed . Oceania seemed to have the perfect mix. As stated, you can’t go wrong with SS if you like the other lines. Good luck and safe travels . Sent from my iPad
  4. My parents were scheduled to go to Antarctica on Silverseas about 2 years ago. They purchased the travel insurance through Silverseas. My dad was unexpectedly hospitalized 2 -3 weeks before their trip and was able to cancel and get fully reimbursed for the entire cost of the trip, including air. The Silverseas agent said it was probably good they had cancelled the trip since he said it would have been very difficult to get medical treatment and the expense to airlift would have been costly if he had another reoccurrence while on the trip. He maybe waited a month to get the full reimbursement, maybe more, there is of course paperwork to complete by the doctors, but in the end it was well worth it. I was impressed with Silverseas travel insurance services after that experience. Good luck
  5. Thanks cdn sorry about your flight change. I understand the need for the change if your original flight was cancelled, sorry that it was not ideal new flight times. I’m wondering if there was anyone that had Silverseas change their flight possibly as a result of overbooking and since they did not have a seat assigned, they were moved to another flight. If a flight is cancelled, I will accept that, I just don’t know if there would be any other reason to change your flight other than overbooking . If these unticketed “bookings “ are truly holding a seat for you , I would hate to pay extra for ticketing a month or so early.
  6. What I would be interested to know is if anyone experienced having been booked on a flight, but when they finally ticketed the flight, the flight was changed to a different flight? If the reservation we currently have doesn’t change and we are guaranteed a seat, I would hate to have to pay $150 to simply release the ticket , so I could reserve a seat. However, even this extra $150 is still less than what we would pay on our own. So so at this time not sure.
  7. Update on our experience. We forwarded our preferred nonstop flights and dates to Silverseas and they were able to reserve our flights that we provided, except we could not get our entire party on the outbound flight, so we split the group up to fly out on 2 separate days, but the same nonstop flight. So far I would have to say I’m very impressed with the service I have received thru the Silverseas agent who worked with the air dept to get us what we wanted, albeit we have to go out different days. Not a big deal. Silverseas provided us with the PHR # for the airline and was able to get on the airline website (American) to see our record locator # and confirmed the days and flights with the Airline directly. The Silverseas air agent had apparently pre selected seats for 2 of us, but did not for the remaining 4 on the later flight. I did call the Airline, but they said we could not make any changes or select seats until the booking was ticketed and to call Silverseas for seat assignments. Silverseas said the earliest I could have the tickets released was 4 months before the cruise for $150 per ticket. This would be on top of the $150 pp air deviation fee we will be charged shortly. All in all was very satisfied with my air reservation experience, but believe it helped that we provided the dates and flights we wanted and our Silverseas agent followed up to make sure we did that as soon as air reservations became available (~270 days prior to the cruise start date) . It should be noted when Silverseas offers this air promotion to its guests, it appears that there are only a certain amount of seats that will be released by the Airlines for specific flights at a contracted rate, so we probably got lucky we reserved the moment it was available and grabbed the last “contracted” rates on the desired flight, for only 4 of us. The flight the day b4 had apparently exceeded their seat/price allotment and thus 2 of us are going to leave 2 days b4 our family where there was apparently more allocated seats available.So this would explain why some people may not get their desired nonstop flights. It’s what is available at the time bookings open up. I’m going to assume more seats will open up, but don’t know for sure if and how many and looks like for some of you an additional charge may be incurred to get what you want. In the end it was much cheaper than what we could do on our own. However, that may not have been the case if Silverseas was not offering the BC air promotion. Will cross our fingers that the ticketing process goes as planned and we fly out and back with no issues Best luck to all of you!Sent from my iPad
  8. Slsd and Lois. Sorry i only meant Regent as having included excursions. In regards to Seabourn , please don’t get me wrong, I ALWAYS wanted to consider Seabourn, but when I initially started researching an alternative to Oceania when their Iceland itinerary didn’t appeal to me , I looked at Seabourn, Regent, Silverseas, and Viking, and I seemed to remember both Regent (which included excursions which made them the most expensive) and Seabourn being more expensive than the others. Note: we will only book the vista suite on Silverseas, I don’t find value paying $2000 more per person to reserve a veranda suite. I would rather use that savings towards business class air. I also prefer to be as close to the bottom of these smaller ships due to potential seasickness. Initially we booked with SS for the Iceland cruise on the Wind, but later found a better itinerary and better price with Viking for a trip a year later, so changed to an itinerary that included Japan on the Shadow and ended up getting a reduced fare that could not be beat . Our upcoming trip also was a great offer that included discounted business class air. So the fact that We don’t book the more expensive veranda room and was lucky to get some great deals with SS may explain why I saw a difference between SS and Seabourn prices. I’m glad that you questioned my opinion of the perceived price difference. It peaked my curiosity, so I checked seabourn site and found that there may be potential to pursue them in the future if they are offering specials. Thanks
  9. We enjoyed our cruise on Silverseas and have another one planned for next year. I didn’t find the clientele “snooty”, but clearly they enjoy the more formal atmosphere vs country club attire that seems to be the preferred dress code on other upscale lines. We we are seasoned travelers and were Oceania regulars. We also are not big fans of formal nights or butler service, but we managed. For the formal nights , my mom wore sequined-typed jacket and flowy pants, I wore a long black dress that was a polyester blend that could easily be rolled up without wrinkling , my husband wore a suit, my dad just brought a sports coat and tie with nice trousers . It all worked. Most women wore cocktail dresses, some more formal than others; men mostly wore suits or jackets w ties, don’t recall too many tuxes. Other than casual nights, most men had a sports jacket and women wore dresses or nice pant suits/outfits. No one was as sloppy as our Viking cruise , where some people wore sneakers and cargo type pants or jeans, that was too sloppy for me. I don’t mind dressing up a little nicer than I would at home while on a cruise, but some nights would have preferred a more casual option , but the hot rocks (the pool deck outdoor venue) was your only casual option, but the menu was limited. I did miss not having a buffet at dinner, but it all worked out. We we have been on Oceania, 1 Silverseas and 1 Viking cruise and I enjoyed them all for different reasons. I would travel again with all of them depending on the itinerary, which is usually the determining factor as well as price. I don’t see me ever traveling Seabourn or Regent , I’m not interested in included excursions , we prefer to do private or smaller group tours and I do not perceive “value for my money” at their price points. In in regards to smoking, there was smoking allowed on a section of the pool deck that was near the outdoor bar, so I tried to stay clear of that when eating at Hot rocks . I don’t recall smoking being a real problem in other outdoor areas. Good luck with your decision, I’m sure you will be satisfied with Silverseas or any of these smaller upscale cruise lines.
  10. This is my concern that SS may not be able to honor this business class promotion. I see that business class prices are much higher than what I believe SS has allocated in the fare They charged. I just hope that they don’t default to their “ offer is subject to availability “ statement referenced above. I can only hope that they have covered the cost in the price for all those that have paid and did not exceed their business class allocation with their partnered airlines. Gema - did you just recently book this cruise for this year or is this for next year? Thanks everyone for your continued comments
  11. Thanks so much TTS for all the pics! It looks very nice, can’t wait to get on board, unfortunately it will be a very long wait.😔. The menu for the MDR , I assume , looks like we should have plenty of great options to choose from , mouth is watering just looking at it! Once again i cant thank you enough for all your posts. Will continue to follow your adventure along with the others. P.s if it’s any consolation, our weather in the states has been pretty miserable too! 100+ degrees for almost 4 days. Thank goodness you are on the cruise and not in a European hotel, I hear AC is not always available in hotels..... enjoy!
  12. Thanks TTS for taking the time during your cruise vacation to share your adventure. Looks like you are enjoying. We will be on next May and wondering if you could share some picks of the rooms and other updates to public spaces since I believe whisper went thru a recent upgrade/refurbishment and interested To see if there is a difference between its sister ship the Shadow which we were just on in October. We willl be in a Vista suite, so not sure if you are levels above that, but whatever you are willing to share would be great. Thanks also for sharing pictures of the menus. I can’t remember all the offerings in the Grill and La Terrazza and wanted to share that with my cousin who will be joining us next year and who has gluten allergies. When it’s time to make reservations, want to know if there is enough variety offered in La T . Enjoy your cruise and thanks again for sharing with all of us!
  13. We had been Oceania regulars, but had recently travelled on the SS Shadow for Asia and enjoyed it. The Shadow at the time had not been through a substantial refresh( so probably similar to the Wind, but Shadow is a larger ship similar in size to the Regatta (R ship) , but frankly I didn’t really notice any significant “tiredness” except a few areas of the ship that required some cosmetic maintenance ( mostly in areas that were not traversed much) . In general the state rooms and public areas were clean and comfortable. As stated above, the stateroom bathrooms were much nicer and larger than the Oceania R ships with both bath and shower. We had a vista suite ( no balcony) , but had a walk in closet that I loved and was clearly more spacious and convenient than the closet on Oceania. I assume the Wind also has the walk in closet . the only negatives for SS compared to Oceania , was the limited restaurant options on SS, especially if heading into colder climates. There is only the Main restaurant, La terrazzo (which is the buffet for breakfast and lunch ) but is a sit down, reservation only Italian restaurant at night, and the casual outdoor , The Grill, which is not ideal in cold weather (although they will provide blankets) , but in milder climates it’s nice to sit outside. However, for dinner it has a very limited menu. The other option is La Dame which is reservation only , prixe fixed, gourmet restaurant. (Cost $60pp ?). So not having a casual buffet option at night was one thing we missed about Oceania , but we managed. On a 24 day cruise, I may have found this to be more of a problem. The food is comparable to Oceania . The other thing that is different is the dress code is much more formal than Oceania . In fact you have formal nights (and on a 24+ day cruise) you will have more than 3. Formal means men must wear suits and ties ( or at least jackets and ties) . Coming from Oceania that took some getting used to. If you enjoy dressing up , than maybe this will not be an issue for you. The fact that that you have to get from Southampton back to London after disembarking from Oceania (which I believe is almost a 1 1/2 to 2 hour journey ) versus disembarking at Tower bridge would lean me more to Silverseas. Also gratuities, Wi-Fi, and self service laundry are included on SS. The self service laundry is on all floors and there are 3 wash, 3 dryers on each floor. Versus I think the R ships only have 1 floor with a laundry. On a long journey like yours , this may be worth considering. So all in all silverseas is a good alternative to Oceania , so it’s just a matter of how you feel about the above comments. Enjoy your journey
  14. Hopefully we will be lucky to get nonstop both ways from PHL using American, since each destination has a nonstop option to/from PHL , but like Gourmetgal said , the price SS added on for business class was about 1/2 of the price of these flights , so am concerned will get something less desirable. BTW, how far in advance are you all making these air arrangements with Silverseas? Our agent had told us about 270 days in advance we could start planning, but looks like the rates are available now on American’s website. Thanks again for all your comments/ guidance.
  15. Thanks Lois for your contact info. I may also contact her if she is not opposed to providing guidance, although I’ve booked with another agent. Thanks everyone for your responses regarding your experiences. This was what I was concerned about, that the options may not be the best. I know we can not do better on the price, so will have to hope for the best.
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