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Everything posted by TheRampantSnail

  1. There was only one guide on each bus but on many of the trips were were broken into two or three groups with a guide from the location. As I said, on others we were able to do more or less our own thing after being giving information from the guide. Clearly, however, that is no indication as to what will happen in the future. I am sure when the included excursions start in full there will be reports about how they are organised. No doubt or paths will cross on the cruise! We are very much looking forward to sailing on the Moon - Muse like with added features sounds wonderful.
  2. Our last cruise (discounting the subsequent cancelled cruises) was on the Silver Muse round Japan in April 2019. This cruise included an excursion in each port. Whether this was just a special promotion or a test run for the new policy on included excursions I don't know. However, we found that there was a good choice of available excursions in each port and every one we went on was very good. The guides were very good - as good as the private guide we hired for our post-cruise stay in Tokyo. I cannot recall if there were any additional cost tours available. Coaches held about 40 people from recollection, but this was pre-Covid of course. However, at most of the locations there was plenty of opportunity to wander around on our own and we never felt herded in any way. We have two cruises on Silver Moon booked for next year - Southampton to Lisbon in September and Barbados to Barbados in November. We shall have no concerns about using the included excursions again.
  3. In April 2019, at the start and end of our Muse round Japan cruise, we were in the Conrad. It is in a very good position.
  4. It shouldn't be anything to worry about. I have two Moon cruises booked for next year, one in September and the other in November. I booked the November one a few weeks before the September cruise but the September cruise showed a calendar almost immediately whilst the November cruise had the question mark for some time before it changed to a calendar. I don't think it is sinister, I think it may just be a case of waiting.
  5. I am coming late to this debate about Azamara v Silversea but will add my bit for what it is worth. We have cruised very frequently with Azamara (but not in the last 3 years) to various destinations in Europe, South and Central America and India. Every cruise was enjoyable. We always found the food very acceptable and the cabins, though perhaps a little on the small side, are perfectly OK. The main shows are not to our taste and very repetetive, but they have had some very good other acts. The cruise directors are (were, as I know Russ Grieve has moved on) fantastic. The Azamazing evenings were very good, generally. Best of all, the staff are amazing from the captain to everyone else. The included drink selection is OK only and we really got to dislike the constant promotion of upgraded drink passages and especially the way the staff had to parade around to try to flog various not-included drinks - it felt very un-Azamara like. What has put us off recently has been the price hikes, which really stretch the value quotient. To illustrate that, in 2019 we did a round Japan cruise on Silversea. We had considered a similar cruise on Azamara but the price being asked was more than Silversea. We like Silversea, with whom we have had four cruises. The food is excellent as are the included drinks. Cabins are better and bigger. Senior staff, unlike on Azamara, are not really visible, though staff you actually engage with are fantastic. Entertainment is not up to much. Some people may not like the formality (formal, informal and casual nights) but it is not at all stuffy and we don't mind the dressing up. All things considered, we think Silversea is better value at the moment. I will be interested to see how Azamara fares under new management and would not be averse to going back to Azamara for the right itinerary at the right price. However, for now, our first choice will be Silversea
  6. ..and still we have heard nothing from Silversea about the cancellation (should have added last time that the TB to Lisbon was September) and nor has the travel agent. And still My Silversea shows the booking, telling me it is 245 days to sailing. Is there actually any communications department at Silversea?
  7. I can't say that I am impressed with Silversea's communication on this. On 13th January there was an update to expected sailing dates showing that Silver Wind would not be sailing until November. The Tower Bridge to Lisbon sailing was also deleted from the website. However, I have heard nothing from Silversea to inform me of the cancellation and the cruise is still showing on My Silversea. I spoke to the travel agent today and they had heard nothing from Silversea.
  8. That's our Tower Bridge to Lisbon cruise scuppered. I really thought that the Covid situation would have been such that we could do this cruise and it was something to look forward to. Oh well!
  9. I suppose we will have to wait and see.. but our Silver Muse Japan cruise in April 2019 was advertised as having one free cruise in every port and, as it turns out, we had a number to choose from in every port. Numbers on a few were limited and allocated on a first come basis. It all worked well, and I think that may be the case under the new system. The wording may be to indicate that you cannot do two tours each day, should timing permit. (As you can do on Regent).
  10. I fully agree with those of you who love The Wind. We first cruised on her 6 years ago from Cape Town to Accra and are (with limited optimism) looking forward to being on her again next September from Tower Bridge to Lisbon. Whilst it came as no surprise that our Shadow cruise in December has been cancelled we hope, pandemic conditions apart, the The Wind remains part of the fleet.
  11. Our September 2021 Tower Bridge to Lisbon is still listed as the Wind on My Silversea.
  12. Excellently said. It applies universally and should be the last word on the situation.
  13. Just received the following email about our December 2020 cruise from San Juan to Miami Dear Esteemed Guest, We are reaching out to you today to let you know that the itinerary of your voyage aboard the beautiful Silver Shadow has been slightly adjusted. Due to port congestion in Mayreau, St. Vincent and Grenadines on December 11th, 2020 it has become necessary to rotate our call with Bequia on December 8th, 2020. To find out more details about your amended itinerary, kindly refer to the information attached. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you on board. Well, good to know they are on the ball (despite that stupid "reaching out" phrase) on itinerary changes but it makes me no less confident that we will be sailing. Will the ship be able to sail and can it be crewed? Will the FCO be advising against travel - if so, insurance invalid? There is the flight issue - London to Madrid and 9 hours Madrid to San Juan - will there me flights and will we want to be stuck on two planes. Will San Juan be open (especially as we have booked two nights in San Juan before the cruise) and Miami at the end of the cruise. Will the Caribbean islands (who have done so well in containing the virus) want cruise passengers? We booked this cruise over a year ago and are/were really looking forward to it but I can't see it happening - but Silversea have ensured that our (probably) non-existent call at Mayreau will not be crowded. Still we have Silver Wind in September 2021 to look forward to. PLEASE NOTE: this is not a dig at anyone or anything, just a poor attempt at ironic blach humour!
  14. We have taken 125% FCC for a cruise in April cancelled by Regent. All details have been agree with our Travel Agent but I was wondering how long it takes Regent to issue the actual certificates. Does anyone have any experience? Turning to Regent Reassurance (reduced deposit, $1000 onboard credit etc) we would like to use our FCC with this promotion. It is valid for all cruises before 31 December 2020 but bookings have to be made by 31 July 2020. Currently, only cruises up to the beginning of May 2022 are listed. Regent (UK) has told our travel agent that later cruises will be listed in August - which rather restricts the validity of the Reassurance programme. We have a travel schedule in place for 2021 (virus permitting) so would be looking to take our next Regent cruise in 2022 - but we have the dilemna of whether to take that cruise in early 2022 (where, for various reasons, none of the itineraries are ideal) or waiting and hoping later cruises are listed before the end of July.
  15. Our May cruise was cancelled and we, perhaps foolishly, opted to take the FCC. Om my profile I see that the cancelled cruise has been taken down but I now see what looks like a hyperlink entitled "Shipboard Credits Available". It isn't a working hyperlink, however, so I am not sure what it actually means (there were no onboard credits with the cancelled cruise). Previous cruises are showing OK. Just another curiosity.
  16. This is the thing that is really puzzling me - why, as so many posts have indicated, does getting to share a table by requesting so on arrival seems so difficult on Crystal when on the other lines we have sailed with make it so easy. Is it the staff who don't want to facilitate or, as seems more likely from what I am reading here, do Crystal cruisers not want to socialise in this way? What makes Crystal cruisers so different from those who cruise on other lines?
  17. Thank you all for the answers but, probably because of the thread title I used or because I worded the question badly, most answers have missed the point. Inviting people to join you for dinner is not what I was asking. On the lines we have cruised with, we typically say at the entrance to the restaurant that we are happy to share a table. We are then taken to a table where others have asked to share and we all wait and chat until the full complement of the table has been reached and then we all order our selections. I would like to know if this happens on Crystal. Two people have specifically answered this point and I must say I am not very encouraged.
  18. My wife and I are experienced cruisers with a number of cruises on each of Azamara, Regent and Silversea. We have not sailed on Crystal but are now booked on Symphony for March 2021. One of the, many, pleasures of cruising for us is the sociability. We enjoy meeting other people through joining a trivia team and particularly by joining a shared table at dinner. We are happy dining as a two from time to time but mainly like to ask to join a table for four or six. We have done this on all our previous cruises, met some very interesting people and made many friends. We would hope that this would be the case on our Crystal cruise next year. I have, however, been scanning the Crystal board on this site since we booked and I am beginning to get the impression that most people either prefer to sit as a couple or share a table with people they already know. I have also had a couple of indirect reports of couples asking to share a table and then finding that no one joins them and they then spent the meal sitting as a couple on a large table like Billy No-Mates. We are beginning to wonder if Crystal is a good choice for us. Can I ask what your experiences are? Do you ask to join a shared table? Have you noticed this happening?
  19. I also concur wholeheatedly on the farce that is checking in for Regent's shore excursions, as well as the inability to take more than one excursion on any particular day, despite their major advertising hyperbole of "up to x number of shore excursions on your cruise"! We never had a problem booking morning and afternoon cruises in St Petersburg on our Baltic cruise. Service on both lines are about the same but the officers on Regent are much friendlier and more approachable than on Silversea. Our experience is that Silversea officers are more friendly and approachable - although I have to admit that the captain on one Regent cruise did nod at me (I think!)
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