Live from Silver Cloud 1432 - Istanbul to Piraeus

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#1
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I have a few minutes before the Captain's Welcome Reception to get this started... We boarded yesterday (Wednesday) and it's been great so far!

I've started uploading pictures to my Picasa account; this will cover up until this morning. Not enough time right now to put in the full narrative but that will come later. https://picasaweb.google.com/1017265...eat=directlink will link to the pictures I've posted so far.

We arrived in Istanbul Saturday afternoon and had a pleasant evening. Sunday morning we wandered for a few hours before returning to the airport to fly to Cappadocia. We stayed 2 nights in a cave suite in Uchisar, driving around to numerous incredible sights. One more night in Kayseri to end it before flying back to Istanbul Wednesday (yesterday) morning.

We stayed on the ship Wednesday afternoon and rested up, enjoying the beautiful views rather than heading into the city for a short time. It's a bit of a pain to get back and forth from ship to city in Istanbul, and we were tired after running around in Cappadocia for 3 days. Sailaway at 6PM was gorgeous with the sunset and evening colors over the Old City.

Two major surprises: First, when we boarded yesterday, we found out that today's stop in Lesvos was canceled due to a bad weather forecast; the captain didn't think that tendering would be safe so he proactively changed the itinerary. We will instead have a sea day today. Instead of the scheduled sea day on Saturday, we'll have an extra stop in Marmaris (Turkey) on the way between Kusadasi and Alanya. So is it an even trade? We will see...

Second surprise - the ship is probably half full, at most. Wonder why? The dining room last night was a ghost town. The safety drill was quick and painless, without the usual crowding in the Panorama Lounge. The staff to guest ratio is probably 2:1. This will be a very interesting experience!

Off to the Welcome party now - more to follow as time allows!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#2
London, but not in the EU (soon)
2,126 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Thanks for giving us all an update. Enjoy your trip and I hope you enjoy the last hurrah of the magnificent Artists of the Silver Cloud.

Great photos, Cappadocia looks like fun.
#3
UK
6,906 Posts
Joined May 2012
Hi JP,

Lovely pictures! Looks like a real adventure. I don't think the swap is too bad .....

If you fancy a lunch-time kebab in Marmaris, the Angel Restaurant and Bar sells good Adana and Beyti kebabs as well as the rest of the full kebabi range. You'd expect me to talk about kebabs wouldn't you! Not too fond of Kusadasi but one has to visit all these places.

Your pictures are much appreciated. Have a great evening and regards from the Coolies to Chris!

Jeff
#4
Arizona
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
JP good day
Were just off the Cloud last week and found a new policy of closing the Pool Grill for one night a week to do a in-depth cleaning of the deck area. It was previously done late in the evening and guests below banded together and complained. So if you made reservations on line for the Grill you may get a cancelation notice in your room clip.
Have a nice time……
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( 12) SILVERSEA Cruise Shadow-Alaska 2011, Whisper-Central American 2013, Silver Galapagos 2013, Wind-Africa/Canary Islands/Spain 2014, London-London 2016 Cloud Athens-Rome -2014, Mobsasa-Cape town-2015 Explorer 2015 Lisbon- Portsmouth, Muse 2017 Buenos Aires, Argentina - Key West Florida
(2) SEABOURN Cruise Sojourn, South America 2013, Quest, Boston 2015
(2) CELEBRITY Cruise Mediterranean2010/ 2008
(1) UNIWORLD RIVER Cruise (S.S.) Antoinette -Castles along the Rhine 2014,
(4) SCENIC RIVER Cruise Scenic Gem Paris to Paris 2016, Scenic Amber 2017 Prague - Budapest, Scenic Eclipse 2018 Cuba to Cuba, 2019 Buenos Aires, Argentina to Antarctica
#5
Atlanta
5,914 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
JP and Chris, thanks so much for the live Cloud reports on your Eastern Med voyage.
Also, for sharing your outstanding pix (esp of Cappadocia). Grant does a wonderful job during the cooking demo's--is he going to do a ready, steady cook segment?
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#6
France and England
1,193 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Hi JP, thanks for the pics so far.
I loved your tour guide at Pigeon valley! And one thing's for sure, he didn't talk too much or expect a huge tip

Really looking forward to following your journey. I always enjoy your trip reports and pics.

Have a great cruise!
#7
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
So, back to the beginning - here we go!

Friday 10/17:

We took the day off from work to finish some things around the house, and drove down to JFK in a leisurely fashion - instead of trying to work a half-day and rushing. Had some time in the T4 DL Lounge, and enjoyed the rooftop patio. It's a year old lounge and pretty nice - last time we were here it was pouring rain so no chance to enjoy the open air. Here's a picture if you've never seen it:



Flight to AMS was nice. Tasty food and decent wine selection. We didn't even bother taking our headphones out, and went right to sleep until breakfast was served.



Saturday 10/18:

Landed in AMS early, but had to wait for a gate, so very little connection time, and only had a few minutes to spend in the KLM lounge. The flight to IST was smooth and customs was quick – but there was a long wait for the luggage, and then almost an hour drive to our hotel! Traffic in the old city made it very slow. Nice hotel - in Sultanahmet, Hotel Sultania, on a pedestrian street a few blocks away from Aya Sofia, etc. Our room:



Rainy and chilly today in Istanbul so after freshening up we wandered Gulhane Park which looked nice at night. Tree-lined paths, brightly lit, and occasional views of the Bosporus.



After we got wet enough we headed back to the hotel for dinner. Very enjoyable – A window seat at Olive restaurant, at the adjoining hotel, with a view of the Bosporus. Turkish meze for an appetizer, then Sultan kebabs (beef and meatballs over potatoes and yogurt-mint sauce, topped with tomato sauce). Chris got shrimp with pomegranate and lemon zest.



Dessert was baklava. Some nice Turkish wine to go with it... Then we were long overdue for some sleep!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#8
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Sunday 10/19: Istanbul to Kayseri

Leisurely morning as our flight to Kayseri isn't until 12:25. We were up surprisingly early and had finished breakfast by 7:30, so we decided to walk around a little. We walked up by the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque which were both nice to see without huge masses of tourists – though a few groups were lined up already...



We walked in the area of the Hippodrome, and saw the German Fountain:



As well as a few obelisks - that of Theodosius, and the "walled coumn":



We went down the other side of Sultanahmet to the Little Aya Sofia which was closed for entry, but we got some nice views from the back.



Then we climbed back up the hill to Constantine's Column

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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#9
usa
2,816 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Great photos! Amazing that the ship is so empty. Do you think it's due to the political upheaval or fear of Ebola, or some other reason?
Enjoy your time aboard.
#10
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Istanbul, continued:

Since we were making such good time we visited Sulemayne's Mosque. On the way, we saw a rare sight - the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday, so it was quiet here - much different from the hectic activity we saw last time!



Nice views of the mosque on this sunny morning.



Much nicer weather than yesterday!



The city was fairly quiet this morning, so we made it back to the hotel with time to spare, packed up, and checked out.

Much quicker transfer to the airport today. The domestic terminal at IST is a little less fancy – you have to go through security with all of your luggage when you enter, and then go through security again to get to the gates, which are crowded and chaotic. Luckily we'd brought Priority Pass cards, so we could access a lounge, which was nice, and not at all crowded.

Next stop - Cappadocia! We have wanted to visit here for years, so hoping we can get to as many things as possible.
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#11
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by spinnaker2
Great photos! Amazing that the ship is so empty. Do you think it's due to the political upheaval or fear of Ebola, or some other reason?
Enjoy your time aboard.
Thanks!

I could not get an answer from the CD about this when we asked him last night. I know that they were promoting this cruise heavily in the past few months before we left. So at least some of this, I think, is because it didn't sell out. It must be an unusual / lesser-known itinerary. That's why we booked it, though...

Don't know if there were a lot of recent cancellations due to politics and/or Ebola worries. Final count, announced at the Captain's Welcome Party, is 146 guests. The staff significantly outnumber us. It's very strange indeed!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#12
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Silver Spectre - thank you, and we will try to enjoy the shows if we can stay up that late. Busy port days planned ahead...

UKCruiseJeff - we are OK with the swap. We brought a guidebook and we have arranged a rental car already (thankful for the unlimited internet). We're plugging a few destinations into my GPS now....

carefreecruise - we shall see! Supposed to have reservations tonight, made them online. Have not received confirmation, though the Chronicles say it's open tonight.

WesW - it was a fun demo. Biljana (head sommelier) was his assistant. Don't know his future plans for this cruise yet.

Nigella - the tour guide was a sweetheart. Unfortunately, she attracted a few other dogs and a fight ensued. Luckily we didn't get caught in the crossfire! It was a little scary for a minute...
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#13
Tulsa OK
7,653 Posts
Joined May 2006
Loving your pics. We went to Cappadocia a few years ago and loved it. Your pics bring back great memories. And love the food in Turkey. Can't wait to hear more.
#15
Arizona
446 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by Emtbsam
Unlimited internet??? Is this something new?
Was on the Cloud two weeks ago and they switched mid voyage from selecting from minutes to days. I had to buy more internet and all I remember is you can now select from one day to ten days and so on. I asked about it and many guests like it better because they don't have to remember to log off.
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( 12) SILVERSEA Cruise Shadow-Alaska 2011, Whisper-Central American 2013, Silver Galapagos 2013, Wind-Africa/Canary Islands/Spain 2014, London-London 2016 Cloud Athens-Rome -2014, Mobsasa-Cape town-2015 Explorer 2015 Lisbon- Portsmouth, Muse 2017 Buenos Aires, Argentina - Key West Florida
(2) SEABOURN Cruise Sojourn, South America 2013, Quest, Boston 2015
(2) CELEBRITY Cruise Mediterranean2010/ 2008
(1) UNIWORLD RIVER Cruise (S.S.) Antoinette -Castles along the Rhine 2014,
(4) SCENIC RIVER Cruise Scenic Gem Paris to Paris 2016, Scenic Amber 2017 Prague - Budapest, Scenic Eclipse 2018 Cuba to Cuba, 2019 Buenos Aires, Argentina to Antarctica
#17
4,779 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Loving your narrative and pix. The Internet is really slow here on the Shadow and I think part of the problem is that folks buying unlimited access DO not bother to log out. Oh well, life could be worse here in Huahine. Enjoy the trip.
#19
Albany, NY
4,397 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by swindy
What are the daily rates for the new Internet packages please
Here you go - screen shot of the pricing plan in effect now: in a nutshell if you buy it for the duration of the cruise, it's $16/day. My screen capture shows that package for only 4 days because we only have 4 days left... But we used $144 of OBC for 9 days of unlimited access. Speed has been OK; maybe because the ship is half full? We are careful to log out when we finish...

Venetian Society Party tonight! We've had some great, busy port days and have seen enough Roman ruins to make our heads spin. Daylight Savings time is over in Europe (as of yesterday) so getting dark at 5:15 or so, which cuts into our touring time! Hope to have time to post more pictures in the next few days.

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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)