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Hi everyone,

 

Just cancelled my Xmas cruise with Silverseas ( long story).

 

Booked for Xmas 2019 on the Sojourn San Juan to Miami on 21 Dec.

 

I have some questions regarding suite. We have decided to try the Penthouse Spa suite, instead of our usual Penthouse suite. Has anyone got any pics of this suite or have any reviews I could look at?  My consultant is great but she can't find any videos or pics either. She has explained that basically the suite is about 100 sq ft bigger than the regular penthouse, plus the balcony is bigger and you have unlimited access to the serene area plus a spa concierge?? I guess that they can get me into appointments and arrange my treatments etc.

Also "healthy snacks and drinks" in a second fridge .

I guess one appeal is that these four suites are secluded as far as you can only get to them via the stairs within the spa.

Any experience of this suite would be great.

 

A few other questions:

 

Xmas Day we are doing Carambola Beach. They are offering tours on that day as well - one I particularly want to do so was wondering if that's the day they will do Caviar in the Surf? Don't want to miss that as we missed it last time.

 

Would they also do the BBQ in the marquee with the lobster ( husband asking)

 

Also does anyone know if they will do the hosted dinners like before on Xmas Day and NY Eve?

 

I am a vegetarian ( newbie) should I speak with the chef onboard regarding menu choices? I ask as  Silverseas last Xmas thought it was acceptable to give me a tomato and a couple slices of veg for my Xmas Dinner...... not kidding :-)

 

Lastly, I am flying out of Miami to meet the ship in San Juan. Will I be able to leave my car at the port of Miami so its in situ for when I disembark or will I have to leave it at the airport and then cab to from Port back to the airport upon my return?

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I can answer the parking question for you because we live in FL and take extended trips out of MIA all of the time.  If money is no object, it's a coin toss whether to park at the MIA or the port of Miami price wise.  You're going to take a taxi one way in either case and parking is around $25 per day either place. (Both the port and airport are operated by Dade county). What I do on extended trips out of Miami is park at the Sheraton Miami Airport.  You can find this option on line and get prices around $8-9 per night.  Search under "MIA parking rates" and everyone offers the Sheraton.

 

The vegetarian options are quite good on Seabourn in my opinion.  FYI.  The main dinning room offers a vegetarian main course every night or you can request almost anything you want 24 hours before.  Also, SB offers hosted tables all of the time and I would guess you will get invited to a hosted table staying in the Penthouse Suite.

 

We're spending Christmas and New Years on the Odyssey this year - can't wait.  We did the Panama Canal a few years back, Sojourn, I think, and it was the best NY eve we've ever had.

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Posted (edited)

Christmas day is caviar in surf day.

Have no clue what BBQ in the marquee might be about.

Spa suites are great.....especially corner.  There is quite a difference between two on end and middle suites.  

 

Serene area is pretty worthless when you're staying on top.  That second fridge used to be stocked with favorable bottle juices.  Those days are over.   On a good day, they might have cans of V8.  Otherwise, it's cheapo unhealthy juice and raisin cookies.

 

And congratulations on the easy decision choosing SB over SS this time.   Besides not aggravating yourselves, I'm guessing you are paying many fewer dollars.

Edited by saminina

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3 hours ago, saminina said:

Christmas day is caviar in surf day.

Have no clue what BBQ in the marquee might be about.

Spa suites are great.....especially corner.  There is quite a difference between two on end and middle suites.  

 

Serene area is pretty worthless when you're staying on top.  That second fridge used to be stocked with favorable bottle juices.  Those days are over.   On a good day, they might have cans of V8.  Otherwise, it's cheapo unhealthy juice and raisin cookies.

 

And congratulations on the easy decision choosing SB over SS this time.   Besides not aggravating yourselves, I'm guessing you are paying many fewer dollars.

Hi - Thanks for the info - the BBQ last time we were at Carambola Beach was set up with a large white Marquee with lots of dishes to choose from with the wonderful huge lobsters that were steamed on the grill and in endless supply. My hubby loved that! - we just caught that bit after our tour - the caviar in the surf we missed 😞

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4 hours ago, raphael360 said:

I can answer the parking question for you because we live in FL and take extended trips out of MIA all of the time.  If money is no object, it's a coin toss whether to park at the MIA or the port of Miami price wise.  You're going to take a taxi one way in either case and parking is around $25 per day either place. (Both the port and airport are operated by Dade county). What I do on extended trips out of Miami is park at the Sheraton Miami Airport.  You can find this option on line and get prices around $8-9 per night.  Search under "MIA parking rates" and everyone offers the Sheraton.

 

The vegetarian options are quite good on Seabourn in my opinion.  FYI.  The main dinning room offers a vegetarian main course every night or you can request almost anything you want 24 hours before.  Also, SB offers hosted tables all of the time and I would guess you will get invited to a hosted table staying in the Penthouse Suite.

 

We're spending Christmas and New Years on the Odyssey this year - can't wait.  We did the Panama Canal a few years back, Sojourn, I think, and it was the best NY eve we've ever had.

You are correct - I am paying the same price for a penthouse spa suite as I was on Silverseas in a V3 cabin. Apart from that the cruise consultant has totally lost my business - only interested when I am waving my CC in front of him - other than that he was on the missing list - oh well he lost $22k  sailing because of his attitude.

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45 minutes ago, sarahjane01 said:

Hi - Thanks for the info - the BBQ last time we were at Carambola Beach was set up with a large white Marquee with lots of dishes to choose from with the wonderful huge lobsters that were steamed on the grill and in endless supply. My hubby loved that! - we just caught that bit after our tour - the caviar in the surf we missed 😞

 

We were on Sojourn cruise over Christmas 2017, will be again this year,  and I know the marquee you're referring to. I expect it to be a similar setup this year. Carambola is my favourite place for the Caviar in the Surf event.

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48 minutes ago, Isklaar said:

 

We were on Sojourn cruise over Christmas 2017, will be again this year,  and I know the marquee you're referring to. I expect it to be a similar setup this year. Carambola is my favourite place for the Caviar in the Surf event.

Isklaar, 2017 you say? Thats the cruise we were on - we had the best time - best cruise we have ever done.  You may remember seeing us onboard. English couple - we had a six ft tree in the suite - which we had Nick and Jo from Customer relations fetch from our room and put it at the head of our hosted table on Xmas Evening and NY Eve. We had such a great night on both of those hosted table events. Possible we were a tad loud as we all were up for s party - such fun and lasting memories.

maybe look us up if you are on our sailing - we love to meet people! This year we still intend to bring the tree - its not Xmas without it ! Even if we have to fly it out to San Juan. LOL

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Sarahjane,  for the video of the Penthouse Spa suite, just go to YouTube and search for “Seabourn penthouse spa suite”.  The Sojourn will not come up, but the Odyssey does.  The suites should be identical.  The video I saw was from a travel agent who does many online video ship tours.  I am surprised your TA could not find this information as all it takes is a simple google search. We spend the Holidays in Nevis, and can see the ship when it’s in both Nevis and St Kitts, so we will raise a “cheers” to you all.  Enjoy the cruise, Seabourn does a much better job than SS in the Caribbean (who does nothing special like Seabourns caviar in the surf, or the beach party).

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On 7/17/2019 at 6:37 PM, sarahjane01 said:

Just cancelled my Xmas cruise with Silverseas ( long story).

 

You know we all want to hear that story :classic_biggrin:

 

On 7/17/2019 at 6:37 PM, sarahjane01 said:

I am a vegetarian ( newbie) should I speak with the chef onboard regarding menu choices? I ask as  Silverseas last Xmas thought it was acceptable to give me a tomato and a couple slices of veg for my Xmas Dinner...... not kidding :-)

 

The vegetarian food onboard is pretty good and quite varied. I would be quite surprised and somewhat disappointed if Seabourn didn't do a lot better than a tomato and a couple of slices of veg; on any day. 

 

That said, even though there is always a vegetarian option available, there does tend to be just the one choice per day. Meals are planned pretty much for the entire cruise so you could absolutely ask if you could have a preview of the daily options at the start of the cruise and ask for a few changes if you found some days unappealing. For Christmas Day itself, if you want something specific, ask for it and the galley will do their best to make it for you. Generally on Seabourn if you make a reasonable request the crew will do everything they can to help. The head chefs are particularly outstanding in that regard and they pride themselves on making sure every guest loves every meal. 

 

Should be a great cruise, we've never yet managed the Christmas one, bucket list. 

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18 hours ago, sarahjane01 said:

Isklaar, 2017 you say? Thats the cruise we were on - we had the best time - best cruise we have ever done.  You may remember seeing us onboard. English couple - we had a six ft tree in the suite - which we had Nick and Jo from Customer relations fetch from our room and put it at the head of our hosted table on Xmas Evening and NY Eve. We had such a great night on both of those hosted table events. Possible we were a tad loud as we all were up for s party - such fun and lasting memories.

maybe look us up if you are on our sailing - we love to meet people! This year we still intend to bring the tree - its not Xmas without it ! Even if we have to fly it out to San Juan. LOL

 

We were onboard that cruise with two other couples, our friends who live quite close by us in England and two other friends who live in Europe. I wish I'd seen your six ft tree! 

Hopefully we'll meet you onboard this time. 

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On 7/18/2019 at 8:43 AM, rols said:

 

You know we all want to hear that story :classic_biggrin:

Well - we Love Seabourn.  Last year at Xmas they did not have a Florida to Florida cruise so we decided to book with Silverseas.

 

Our Cruise consultant with SS ( Lets call him A) booked us a Veranda V3 as no Silver suites were available.  He said no -one was on a wait list for a Silver suite so we had an almost 100% chance of getting one as an upgrade.We paid in full and were happy. From that day forward whenever we tried to reach A he was never available. We left messages and tried calling about several things we needed help with.  Also he could not provide anything in writing about the shipboard credit and other "perks" he had said we were going to get on-board.

 

 

The cruise got closer and no sign of the Silver Suite upgrade mentioned - Of course that never came to fruition nor did the other perks promised..

Fast forward to the actual cruise....

 

We arrive at Ft Lauderdale port - no clear signs as to where we should go - got to the check in - not offered a warm greeting or a welcome drink ( unlike Seabourn who couldn't get the alcohol in us quick enough :-)).

Very miserable check in staff. Boarded the boat and went to our suite - Veranda suite was adequate - actually spacious and we fitted the 6ft Xmas tree in fine. :-)

 

Room butler was fine - accommodating but became overbearing as cruise went on, he actually walked in on me naked when I was in the shower as he had knocked the door  and I did not answer quick enough.The tour excursions seemed to change with no notice, on-board entertainment was not great. 

 

Xmas night. NO ATMOSPHERE at all. We sat at a table with a cheap printed menu - no festivities really. My husbands dinner was good - I am vegetarian - they served me 1 tomato cut in quarters, 2 slices of zucchini, 2 slices of carrot and a pearl onion!!!! Well i guess it was arranged real pretty on the plate and drizzled with a herb sauce..... This food offering went on for quite a while, until I saw the Chef and had a word.

 

On Seabourn both Xmas night and NYE were massive. All ladies were escorted to their tables. Very festive food offerings and lots of warm cheer. Very memorable evenings.

 

Anyway overall the SS cruise was nice (not $18K nice)- and were were left with a taste of " they have had your money and now not interested" kind of thing. 

 

This year again Seabourn not offering the Florida round trip cruise so we decide to give SS another go - got lumbered with A again as he is "our consultant" according to SS.

This time we booked a suite, but as soon as we had paid - A became unavailable again - the final straw was I called to ask A about changing my cruise from a 9 day to a 17 day and he actually had the nerve to tell me " he was slammed dealing with customers and I would have to wait as he was "very busy."

That was it for me - I emailed him and told him to refund me all the money with immediate effect and guess what? Within minutes of receiving that email he was on the phone - I didnt answer - just followed it up with another email requesting the refund.

Its taken SS 2 weeks to refund my card - they tried to hold onto $400 as a "future cruise credit".... not a chance - a swift email strongly worded to A's supervisor has sorted that. In the meantime I called Seabourn and  booked us on the San Juan to Miami holiday sailing, got into a penthouse spa suite for the cost of SS veranda with no stress and BS.

Only got to figure out how to get the 6ft Xmas tree and all the decorations to San Juan now.........if thats my biggest issue then I think I can live with it.

As a customer the only way you can respond is to take your $$$$ elsewhere in this instance and thats what we have done - i feel happy and confident our Xmas cruise will be great!

Hope to see you on-board one day.

 

 

 

On 7/18/2019 at 8:43 AM, rols said:

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Sarahjane001 said:

Well - we Love Seabourn.  Last year at Xmas they did not have a Florida to Florida cruise so we decided to book with Silverseas. ...

 

Thanks for telling the story. We've had better and worse trips on both SB and SS but never had one with that level of disappointment especially around Christmas time. We've not yet done an over-Christmas cruise however we've sadly disembarked just before and always felt the festive atmosphere on board just getting going. 

 

If I understand correctly your cruise consultant 'A' worked for SS and you booked directly. They sound entirely unprofessional, from dangling the hope of a silver suite upgrade which wasn't likely to appear to their ridiculous response when you asked if you could give SS more money and extend this year's cruise. 

 

I can already anticipate the advice you're going to get here which is to get a good travel agent and work through them instead of going direct to the line. I will say that we have dealt with SB directly and received wonderful service from their consultants, if we book directly we do usually .. well always .. then transfer the booking to our travel agent who then deals with payment and documents and keeps track of visa issues and gives us a small discount after the fact. We had to go through a few TAs before we found this one, but none of them were even a fraction as bad as it appears 'A' was. 

 

There were quite a few threads on the Silversea board last year where people had issues with their cruises; it happens. What they were most upset about was the total lack of support they received from Silversea's head office who blew off very legitimate complaints or offered small amounts of credit towards future cruises. It sounds like the poor service at Silversea's land-based operation goes from one end of the process to the other. 

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Posted (edited)

Sarahjane001,

 

I thank you for the effort you put into that expose of Silversea’s tiresome product and your treatment there! It needed to be said for their own good is one way of looking at it. It also shows how poorly managed the operation is to be so sloppy in a variety of areas just 8 months ago.

 

We have a Cloud cruise next month with a rather unique itinerary for 16 days- Greenland and Canada. Seabourn does not offer anything comparable yet and we booked it over a year ago before the Venture was even a gossip topic. This Could cruise is certainly expensive and I am reading on the Silversea board that of late it has plumbing problems which some kinda dismiss as what you get in an older ship. Well, for me this will hopefully be minimized or eliminated soonest! I also see that Silversea is “cloudifying” the old Wind. I hope for the Silversea faithful they do a thorough job.

 

I will make a fair report on the Cloud in due course. Then we are back to Ody and Soj in Nov and Dec respectively and all that is so familiar, predictable, enjoyable and valued by us.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Edited by markham

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Cloud has had plumbing/HVAC problems for years.  Nothing new.   Blows my mind that they can maintain such a loyal list of passengers.   You will notice a huge difference in product offerings, yet so many say they are similar.   Good luck with the crew, for starters.   SS does beat out SB in a few categories  that matter to me, but not enough for the premium charged.

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Saminia,

 

In your opinion, in what areas does Silversea beat out Seabourn?

 

I realize everyone has an opinion and opinions are subjective, and so rest assured I will be very interested in what you say and certainly not argue. I have only cruised once with Silversea and that was the Whisper.

While I was pretty underwhelmed with the whole thing I will be on the Cloud next month and run towards its best aspects whenever I can and whatever they are!

 

What I have heard off the cuff from Silversea passengers that they like, whether or not they know Seabourn, has ranged from the free laundry they get after 100 days, the generous smoking policy e.g. on deck poolside, and familiarity with certain ships and staff. So I am very interested in more depth of information.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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markham- I believe (though I could be  wrong and stand to be corrected in that case ) that smoking is allowed in the open air area of the casual restaurant (Colonnade equivalent).    This would put me off completely,  as I think Silversea does attract more smokers than  Seabourn and we particularly like eating al fresco in good weather.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, markham said:

What I have heard off the cuff from Silversea passengers that they like, whether or not they know Seabourn, has ranged from the free laundry they get after 100 days, the generous smoking policy e.g. on deck poolside, and familiarity with certain ships and staff. So I am very interested in more depth of information.

 

Amazing that you mentioned three items......all totally true.  Free laundry has to be the single biggest marketing ploy by SS.  The dream of reaching 100 days at who know how many $$.  And once attained, "I'd like to try SB, but we get free laundry on SS.....cannot leave now."   Mantra spoken by many.   Yes, more generous smoking policy, but not close to any restaurants.  Yes, some people love the robotic Filipino staff and the comfort of familiar faces.

 

The kicker is, minus the smoking, trying SB once, twice.....by third time the staff will be just as familiar and you will realize Seabourn has the better staff and best loyalty program afloat.   

 

Things I like better on SS, especially the smaller ships.....The Bar.  Well, that was before they converted to Filipino entertainment.  Still, I prefer the physical structure.   The OB on SB, or the bar on 5 does little for me.   And I prefer drinking the better included wine on SS with proper wine glasses.   I prefer pasta dishes on SS.   Both lines serve the crappy San Bernadino brand ice cream.  Crystal serves Ben & Jerrys and that is where I'll be next month.

 

Edited by saminina

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Well, I will be a very good customer of The Bar on the Cloud! I have a track record to establish there but then I also like the Observation Bar on Seabourn with its forward views. Always a great segway for a delicious dinner, and I love Italian food and seafood.

 

From another thread I have taken note of another relative advantage at Silversea: more self-service laundry facilities, and I know that they are the high end Miele brand. (It was absolutely laughable when Seabourn launched the Encore and the mavens at head office had decided no passenger laundry on board would be installed. Imagine that! But I digress...)

 

Yep, it’s up to us to ensure that our glasses are always full and we live in the moment. And why wouldn’t we do so when we will be on Silversea, Crystal and Seabourn? That said, I don’t plan on wasting time in the Cloud’s laundry rooms, nor do I know if I will ever sail 100 days on Silversea, so I will be reserving a portion of my personal budget for laundry. It’s only for 16 days, anyway, and we will get free service on Seabourn for our 8 weeks this fall/winter.

 

Also, and I will get to the bottom of the smoking policy on Cloud and include that in my review, I hope that any outdoors dining we do will be unspoiled by second hand smoke. Too crazy to even contemplate in 2019, for goodness sake!

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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23 hours ago, saminina said:
23 hours ago, saminina said:

Both lines serve the crappy San Bernadino brand ice cream

 

Actually, Sojourn (I can't speak for the whole fleet, but know for a fact on Sojourn) now makes its own gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt,  etc. They are very proud of that, and we were happy with the quality. 

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22 hours ago, markham said:

 (It was absolutely laughable when Seabourn launched the Encore and the mavens at head office had decided no passenger laundry on board would be installed. Imagine that! But I digress...)

 

There was a guest laundry on the SB Encore I sailed on this year. 

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On 7/20/2019 at 9:49 AM, markham said:

 

Then we are back to Ody and Soj in Nov and Dec respectively and all that is so familiar, predictable, enjoyable and valued by us.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

Markham, will we meet you on Sojourn? We board on the 10th December for 25 nights. 

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Isklaar,

Yes, we will be on board keeping our usual low and discrete profile. 

But I do expect to beat all challengers for the best Christmas door decorating prize. And we do welcome competition if you and others are so inclined. Holidays can bring out the best in all of us, right?

So I hope to you then. Take care in the meantime!

Happy and healthy sailing!

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35 minutes ago, markham said:

Isklaar,

Yes, we will be on board keeping our usual low and discrete profile. 

But I do expect to beat all challengers for the best Christmas door decorating prize. And we do welcome competition if you and others are so inclined. Holidays can bring out the best in all of us, right?

So I hope to you then. Take care in the meantime!

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

 

Door decorating in advance of the dreaded 'Howdy Doody' corridor party!

Hope to meet you onboard.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Swingdancefan said:

Actually, Sojourn (I can't speak for the whole fleet, but know for a fact on Sojourn) now makes its own gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt,  etc. They are very proud of that, and we were happy with the quality. 

 

If your etc. includes ice cream, you have been misinformed which is not uncommon.   Some flavors of ice cream mixed up on board.  The higher volume flavors are San Bernadino.

 

Yes, SS is better than SB for self serve laundry.   I doubt any company beats Crystal in that department.   And yes, Encore went into service without a self serve laundry.  Ovation and Encore were designed with no self serve laundry.   No matter the ship, SB fails in this category.

Edited by saminina

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