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Carol From California

My Review of Silver Sea Cloud Antarctica Cruise - February 18-28, 2018

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We had more humpbacks than we could count, and one day had two pods of orcas. I see you have contact info, I'll send you a group of photos we have that includes the orcas (look for the white spot!)

 

I will send you some of my photos too. Look forward to getting your email.

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The dress code in the restaurants did not seem to be enforced. We saw people dressed up and others in jeans. You will be fine with dressy pants and switching out the tops. Did not see any gowns. My husband packed a jacket and only wore it once. Certainly do not need a dark suite IMO. On the night we went to La Dame for dinner I even saw someone in jeans in there! I think because it is an expedition cruise they do not enforce the dress code which I was very happy about. We are used to Regent, Oceania and Viking which have a more relaxed dress code. The Grill (Hot Rocks) on the top deck is always casual.

 

Cruise video was $150 and included the video as well as photos.

 

Gratuities are included and I don't think you need to give any additional.

 

That is so sensible. Dress code on Antarctica sailings are not really feasible. On Seabourn Quest this year everyone got the 20-minute cruise video on a memory stick for FREE! The use of a drone has transformed these keepsakes.

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That is so sensible. Dress code on Antarctica sailings are not really feasible. On Seabourn Quest this year everyone got the 20-minute cruise video on a memory stick for FREE! The use of a drone has transformed these keepsakes.

 

I never comment about the whole dress code quagmire, but here I'm going to come right out and say what I actually think: Dress codes and formal nights on expedition cruises are absolutely ridiculous. You've got one or two landings a day in Antarctica, replete with hosing-off and wet-room changes. Changing yet again to dress for dinner holds zero appeal. You are there to see the wildlife you might never get a chance to see again, and when (as happened to someone I know on the Quest this season) someone shouts "Whale!" during a show or dinner and you want to go running out on deck, the last thing you want to be clad in are silk palazzo pants and dressy shoes.

 

Fletcher, I am waiting with baited breath for the Quest sailing for early 2020 to come out so we can book! I will treasure my memory stick!

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I never comment about the whole dress code quagmire, but here I'm going to come right out and say what I actually think: Dress codes and formal nights on expedition cruises are absolutely ridiculous. You've got one or two landings a day in Antarctica, replete with hosing-off and wet-room changes. Changing yet again to dress for dinner holds zero appeal. You are there to see the wildlife you might never get a chance to see again, and when (as happened to someone I know on the Quest this season) someone shouts "Whale!" during a show or dinner and you want to go running out on deck, the last thing you want to be clad in are silk palazzo pants and dressy shoes.

 

Fletcher, I am waiting with baited breath for the Quest sailing for early 2020 to come out so we can book! I will treasure my memory stick!

 

Completely agree about the dress code. That is why I was so happy it was not enforced!

 

They did charge for the video but because we had so much OBC it did not actually cost us anything. It is a 30 minute professionally done video with music and there are also several hundred still photos included.

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Thanks for the wonderful review! It will help a lot with our (I'm Cflutist's hubby) trip this December on the Cloud. We are really looking forwards to it.

 

A few more questions if you don't mind....

 

Can you give us an idea of the range of weather conditions you encountered on the shore excursions? I'm think we need to be prepared for anything from bright, warm (okay, 32 degrees) sunny weather to gusty, rainy/sleet/snowing conditions. But I could be wrong. :-)

 

Regarding photography, are most of the things/animals that you wanted to photograph (yours were great!) close to you or far away. Anything else to mention about taking pictures?

 

At the end of the trip in Ushuaia, did anyone try to do a bit of sightseeing while waiting (rather than just sitting on the bus). Any recommendations of things to see?

 

On the Zodiacs going to shore, did you need any wind protection for your face?

 

We've never had a butler before - anything we should know beforehand?

 

Thanks!

 

Ernie (aka websailor)

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I have another question.

50lbs per person for a checked bag. But are you allowed a carryon on the Charter flight to/from Ushuaia and Santiago e.g. for photography equipment and personal electronics. Maybe a fleece top too?

Thanks.

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Thanks for the wonderful review! It will help a lot with our (I'm Cflutist's hubby) trip this December on the Cloud. We are really looking forwards to it.

 

A few more questions if you don't mind....

 

Can you give us an idea of the range of weather conditions you encountered on the shore excursions? I'm think we need to be prepared for anything from bright, warm (okay, 32 degrees) sunny weather to gusty, rainy/sleet/snowing conditions. But I could be wrong. :-)

 

 

The weather was pretty consistent. It ranged from 32 to 37 degrees. For us that is cold (we live in Los Angeles). For a couple we met from Alberta, Canada who came from 17 degrees below it was warm for them. It did not rain or snow except for a mild drizzle a few times.

 

 

Regarding photography, are most of the things/animals that you wanted to photograph (yours were great!) close to you or far away. Anything else to mention about taking pictures?

 

I used a telephoto lens but lots of the wildlife is close. They tell you to keep a distance from the wildlife, but if the wildlife approaches you then that's okay. Some of the penguins walked right up to us and stood between our legs. I would recommend taking a camera as opposed to using your cell phone. I would be afraid of dropping a cell phone off the zodiac.

 

At the end of the trip in Ushuaia, did anyone try to do a bit of sightseeing while waiting (rather than just sitting on the bus). Any recommendations of things to see?

 

Since our cruise returned to Ushuaia the afternoon before (and we heard they ALL return early) we had already gone off the ship and explored the town. There are some souvenir shops and things like that. We walked around. So when they took us to the parking lot the next morning we wished we had known they were going to do that. We would have walked around the town then.

 

On the Zodiacs going to shore, did you need any wind protection for your face? Definitely get a fleece neck gaiter that you can pull up over your mouth. We got ours on Amazon for under $20.

 

We've never had a butler before - anything we should know beforehand? We did not use the butler very much. We have had a butler before (on Oceania) so knew what to expect. She was very nice and I am sure could be utilized more than we did.

 

Thanks!

 

Ernie (aka websailor)

 

I put the responses above after your questions.

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I have another question.

50lbs per person for a checked bag. But are you allowed a carryon on the Charter flight to/from Ushuaia and Santiago e.g. for photography equipment and personal electronics. Maybe a fleece top too?

Thanks.

 

Yes you are each allowed one carryon (approx. 17 pounds) plus one personal item each. Items were not checked for weight in either direction.

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Ok, we get the parkas when we board the ship, what did you wear on the trip to the ship?

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T337A using Forums mobile app

 

It was not so cold in Ushuaia. As I recall it was 50's or 60's. It was recommended to bring a packable lightweight rain coat and we definitely needed those....it was a little drizzly. I don't think it's necessary to bring another warm jacket, but a lightweight sweater, sweatshirt or jacket would work. You will be flying from Santiago where it was quite warm.

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Sad to hear that Kara is joining Scenic Eclipse as expedition leader. This is a loss for SS.

 

 

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Definitely a loss for Silversea. Since I have a whole lot of nights with Silversea, I am unlikely to move over and try Scenic, but this would make it more tempting.

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Sad to hear that Kara is joining Scenic Eclipse as expedition leader. This is a loss for SS.

 

I guess a loss for Silversea but a win for us on our upcoming Antarctica voyage on the new Scenic Eclipse. Will tell her hi and give her best wishes from the Silversea guests.

 

Just FYI: I thing its the same company that runs all of the Silversea ships will be also running the Scenic ocean ships. So its just a lateral move for her, staying with the same company.

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I guess a loss for Silversea but a win for us on our upcoming Antarctica voyage on the new Scenic Eclipse. Will tell her hi and give her best wishes from the Silversea guests.

 

Just FYI: I thing its the same company that runs all of the Silversea ships will be also running the Scenic ocean ships. So its just a lateral move for her, staying with the same company.

 

 

Scenic is actually an Australian owned and run operation. They commenced in 1986 in Newcastle, a large regional city in Australia. Initially they just did coach tours in Australia and have continued to expand to now where they have lots of river boats (15 or more I think) with Scenic Eclipse being their first foray into ocean cruising. They are an upper end operator. I have not actually sailed with them but I did attend a presentation on the new Eclipse. Looks truly impressive. We sail both Silversea and Seabourn and we found the pricing for the Eclipse to be around 20 percent more than these. Can't wait to read reviews on the new Eclipse. But just wanted to mention that Scenic is an Aussie success story. (and I don't work for them or have any affiliation whatsoever). Enjoy your cruises.

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