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About sugar333

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  1. Having been away from HAL for some years, we returned for a great itinerary of Japan on Maasdam beginning July 31 for two weeks. Sadly I have to agree that the food in every venue was subpar compared to our previous cruises. One example in the MDR was a “rustic lasagna” that tasted like it was made with ketchup. We eat out a lot and go to lots of buffets here in Vegas. We aren’t picky or overly critical. Based on the food alone we will be highly unlikely to cruise HAL again.
  2. Our trip on Silver Galapagos was 3 years ago in Nov. When we did the deep water snorkeling I thought there was a chain with one step thing put over the side but could be wrong since my husband and I didn’t go into the water because it was so cold. I do recall people entering the zodiac on both sides. The beach snorkeling waters were much warmer and yes the shorty wetsuits were adequate . We just can’t take “cold”. It hasn’t been mentioned but please be aware that there is so much more to this trip than the “water activities”. Seeing so many and different types of Galapagos tortoises and hearing their amazing history is worth the trip alone. The movies and talks on the ship are excellent. Snorkeling is a small part of this one of a kind trip. Hope you go and be sure and write a review when you return.
  3. You are correct about the deep water snorkeling having a chain ladder. This still required some upper body strength to pull yourself up and over the large rounded sides of the zodiac. No ladders are used on beach (wet) landings. This is where I had trouble because I was standing in water up to my knees and had to hop up and land my rear on the edge of the zodiac. Not easy for shorties. There was one crew member driving the boat and a guide on each zodiac. The crew member usually held the boat from moving in wet landings .I never saw any guides helping people. I would certainly call and ask Silversea how much assistance is available. There are several zodiac outings that involve just riding in the zodiacs observing. These begin and end at the ship,s platform where crew members do assist passengers in and out of the zodiacs. I think if you decide to go, that you will find plenty to see and learn. The Galápagos Islands are fascinating.
  4. I don’t want to be discouraging, but I am a very fit senior, yet I struggled getting into the zodiacs at wet landings. This was because I am vertically challenged (5 ft tall). There isn’t a lot of assistance that I observed, but then I never asked or saw anyone else being assisted. There are some easy landings and the overall experience was terrific. If you decide to do this trip you will just have to determine from the briefings which landings will work.
  5. Kayaking on Silver Galapagos is just kayaking. It does not involve any snorkeling. Snorkeling is either “deep water” which is off the zodiacs or beach. The deep sea requires physical strength to get into the zodiac. Beach is much easier. The hikes are either dry or wet landings. Wet being physically harder to enter and exit zodiac. Some hikes are very challenging as far as jumping from rock to rock( marine iguana island). Sorry I don’t remember the name. The day before briefings are very detailed . You may not be able to do everything but I must say that the beach snorkeling was my favorite.
  6. Our most recent Silversea cruise was on the Spirit last Fall. We are frequent Crystal cruisers. We enjoy them both, but were very surprised that the menus on Silversea did not change in any of the restaurants during that 12 day cruise. It took an effort to find something new to try. Maybe this has been corrected. We just prefer Crystal for a better experience in food, excursion quality, and entertainment.
  7. Have to chime in here. Sailed Silverseas east coast cruise last September and saw worn out jeans repeatedly in dining room. Definitely not designer! Also recent Regent cruise saw a man turned away for wearing shorts( he returned in long khakis). On our many Crystal cruises we have never observed jeans of any type in the dining room. If you want to be a rebel and “stand out” , then wear your jeans. Everybody knows how to dress nicely for a nice restaurant or show. Putting on a pair of regular pants shouldn’t be so hard.No one cares, but you will get stares.
  8. Don't know if the asking of suite numbers is maybe a new policy. We were asked at every dining venue every time we entered by the person seating us . This was not when the iPad's came into play while ordering.The iPad's were used by the waiters.
  9. Avalon1025, we were on the10 days previous Spirit cruise (Nyc to Montreal). The weather was getting quite cold at the end ,so I feel for you. I have to totally agree about the non-changing menus. 10 days is not a long cruise, but we were becoming depressed at the prospect of "foraging" for something new to eat. We tried twice to brave the elements and eat outside. It was crazy cold even with heaters and windscreens. We were kind of irritated with the constant iPad and "what is your cabin #" at every meal. That said, the service was flawless and very polished. Timing between courses was perfect. We took SS excursions in every port and while we enjoyed them, I was shocked at the size of the groups. One had 41 people! The non-changing menus ,and jam packed tours don't speak luxury to us. We usually cruise Crystal and occasionally Regent.Sorry,but no more Silverseas for these cruisers.
  10. As I posted earlier in this thread, this was the same Sheraton that Regent used for our disembarkation day stay in February of 2017. We did follow up in emails and through our TA. I sincerely hope that Regent uses a different hotel this year.
  11. Thank you Flossie009 for the great pictures. As you can see Rio and Copocabana/Ipanema beach and their accompanied hotels are far in the distance. Their is no place to walk to from this Sheraton except the favella( not recommended)! The beach is lovely but is also a public beach and favorite for the favella residents(again not recommended) . No showers or lockers/safes were made available. There are many hotels located in the Copacabana and Ipanema area that would have been more desirable and much safer.
  12. Go army! Your suggestion to disembark the evening before is brilliant! We were aware of the situation beforehand as was our TA. What we didn't know was the choice of hotel . The Sheraton was an extremely poor choice as to location . We certainly did provide feedback to Regent about this situation and can only hope that this has changed. Rio is such a dangerous city,that I feel that Regent should absolutely provide an added responsibility for their disembarking passengers.
  13. Here is what Regent did on our February 2017 cruise that disembarked in Rio ;since the majority of flights from Rio leave at night,the majority of passengers had this situation. Regent provided a large meeting/ ballroom at the Sheraton and some water and limited coffee tea( ran out quickly) .The room was very cold so everyone left and found seats throughout lobby etc. We ate lunch and just read our books. Other people took taxis etc.One couple tried to use Sheraton pool and were told "no ,guests only".This was a very poor choice of hotel mainly because of its isolated and dangerous(at base of a large favella) location. Lots of unhappy people and bad end to a nice cruise.(ps our lunch was at the Sheraton and purchased on our own)
  14. Our first"classic" Silversea cruise is booked for Oct 16th on the Silver Spirit. We are long time Crystal and Regent cruisers and have also sailed Silver Galápagos. We certainly remember when Crystal had formal and informal nights and dresses accordingly. In preparation , we asked our travel agent to check with Siversea to determine the number of formal and informal nights. He was told that there were NONE! Only smart casual for all nights! I told him to double confirm which he did. Is this a brand new change? I'm totally confused .
  15. One of our favorite excursions involved a ride from the mooring pt on a unique vehicle that resembled a buggy used in harness racing except pulled by a bicycle. This mode of transportation took us to a small silk factory that made "black lacquer" silk. After viewing the quaint factory we walked to a field where th silk was vegetable died and spread out to dry. This sounds boring but in fact was both exciting and very interesting. The tours in Siem reap involved multiple visits to Angkor wat, plus visit to Angkor thom, plus my favorite the overgrown ruined temple used in "Tomb Raider". Great guides ! Final gala in Siem reap was outdoor four course gourmet dinner held outdoors at a backlit ruined temple with elaborate entertainment during dinner. Fabulous!
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