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groryjm

“LIVE” Iceland & Ireland on Silhouette - The Suite Life - 11th August 2019

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Posted (edited)

Monday cont

 

..... The shuttle dropped us off just outside the concert hall which is a beautiful building made seemingly of glass.

 

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As we wended our way from the flea market and shops up the hill to the church we saw a number of very modern sculptures 

 

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The prices are high so shop with caution. There are a couple of museums  and other attractions including a very interesting punk museum that was closed when we passed on the way up..

 

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.. but as our time was short we made our slow way up to the hill to the church. this took nearly an hour but mainly due to shop stops. the church it self is an impressive building that becomes even more so as you approach.

 

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There is no entry charge for  entry to Hallgrímskirkja itself but a small charge to visit the tower. I'm not good with heights so we skipped that. The church is modern but beautiful with an incredible organ.

 

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We arrived in Reykjavik on Monday and at the weekend it had celebrated pride with many of the shops and the main road to the cathedral painted in rainbow. I was pleasently surprised to see a pride flag laid on the alter steps ( The former Prime Minister of Iceland, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, was the first openly lesbian woman to head a government in modern history)

 

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We could have waked back the 3km to the ship, along which route you pass The Sun Voyager Sculpture, but passed as we were getting close on time 😉

 

My DD got back from her ride shortly after 5.30 giving very little time to get changed prior to our next excursion to the Blue Lagoon. This was magical in the sunset with the steam drifting off the water but I am afraid I am not going to show the photos. Needless to say when we got back to the ship at 11pm we slept very well.

Edited by groryjm

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Do you have a photo of an Icelandic horse and how are they different?

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2 hours ago, groryjm said:

Our waiters are both amazing and I have absolutely no problem with them at all. My problem is the sommelier. A sommelier is a wine waiter and should be knowledgeable in wine. Now at our table of four only one guest drinks wine the remaining three choose not to drink wine although occasionally one or other of the three of us will.

 

Most of the other restaurants on board have cocktails and other alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks that are not wine usually listed on the menu itself. Luminae used to have a list of signature cocktails on the first page of the wine menu . The attached PDF is a copy of that menu which I confess is a couple of years ago. Bear in mind that Luminae has only been in existence for four years.

 

In Luminae there seems to be a demarcation  problem and it appears only the sommelier can accept drinks orders and when one asks the waiters they have to refer it to the wine waiter. The wine waiter then sends one of the most junior waiters out to the passport bar to get the non wine drinks.

 

My problem is that the majority of our table don't drink wine. my Mil usually has a brandy and soda and that seems to be ok as it is the same every night. My DD also doesn't drink wine or fizzy drinks but likes to have a "mocktail" or a peach schnapps and ice but since speaking to the maitre d' this seems to be sorted. My self I like a cocktail at the start of the meal as an aperitif and a campari  and soda through out the meal . Carlos obviously wouldn't be expected to make these drinks but would send a lowly waiter to the passport bar. I only ever ask for something either on the MDR daily menu (the waiters always get this menu for my DD anyway), the "Celebrity Today" daily pour or from the old Luminae menu (which the passport bar staff have no problem in making anyway) My problem is that if he remembers to ask me what I would like to drink has seems to need me to repeat it at least three times and then repeats wrong more often than not before grudgingly accepting the order. bearing in mind we have only seven or eight meals in luminae so far I have yet to have easily ordered a cocktail by just stating what I want . If all goes well tonight then great. If not I'll just pop out and get my drinks from the passport bar myself.

 

I do apologise to all for ranting over my first world problem. I am not one to complain about anything usually

 

menu - luminae - wine.pdf 8.31 MB · 3 downloads

 

Your requests sound reasonable enough to me...I just wonder if the Luminae sommeliers are becoming overworked and possibly undertrained? 

 

If things don’t improve I suggest you speak to the suite manager and raise a ‘concern’, not a complaint, just a perspective of what your experience has been...

 

In the meantime why not take an initial cocktail with you from Michael’s to see you though the starter course?

 

Continuing sincere best wishes for a great cruise for you and your family!

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Posted (edited)
On 8/19/2019 at 1:12 AM, Georgia_Peaches said:

.........  It didn’t appear that any of the wines or cocktails shown on the menu would be covered by the Classic drink package. We have the Premium but I thought that only covered up to $15. Am looking forward to your update on the drink coverage. 

The beverage package limits for Silhouette from the first cruise this season until she returns on the TA back to the US are....

 

Classic $11

and

Premium $18

 

The menus in all the bars are inclusive of gratuity and revert to requiring a 20% gratuity form the TA when the menus will change back to not including it .

 

 

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Edited by groryjm

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39 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Do you have a photo of an Icelandic horse and how are they different?

 

I upset our Icelandic tour guide a few years ago by referring to 'ponies' . Also would be interested to know what distinguishes the breed !

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Icelandic horses have a different gait. In other horses and ponies trot is in  1:2 time..... so you get 'rising trot' or 'sitting trot' and you can count 1,2 1,2 etc

Icelandic horses (they're referred to as horses even tho to us they are pony sized)  'trot in 4 time so 1,2,3,4 & 1,2,3,4 etc. 

We competed against them one at a Native Horse and pony show (we used to show Welsh cobs) I had never seen them before. They are quite stocky and can have thick coats. 

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17 hours ago, HelenREMfan said:

Icelandic horses have a different gait. In other horses and ponies trot is in  1:2 time..... so you get 'rising trot' or 'sitting trot' and you can count 1,2 1,2 etc

Icelandic horses (they're referred to as horses even tho to us they are pony sized)  'trot in 4 time so 1,2,3,4 & 1,2,3,4 etc. 

We competed against them one at a Native Horse and pony show (we used to show Welsh cobs) I had never seen them before. They are quite stocky and can have thick coats. 

Thanks for the info!

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Loving your review and pictures. Helping me pass the time till my next cruise. Hope drink service improves. The rules for ordering and delivering drinks seems a little crazy. Who the heck makes these rules, did they forget about the customer?

Norma

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Posted (edited)

Tuesday 20th..... Awoke early again to Jacky's cheerful tones delivering breakfast. What is becoming apparent is the further into this cruise the less we order for breakfast and I suspect by Saturday we will only want coffee 😉. Today we had a trip scheduled through X for a 4X4 inland .I driver a Land rover Defender and am no stranger to off road driving, but the Icelandic's are legendary. For a start the the vehicles are awesome 😎 This was our ride. 

 

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There were four in our convoy but owing to one of our passengers not realising this was not the whale watching excursion 😯 we had to return him so we were about ten minutes behind the rest ov the convoy which gave us an almost private trip as we didn't catch up until almost the end.

 

These cars go any where and as the metaled (blacktopped) roads only go around Iceland to go in one has to go off road. Our first stop involved an almost 45 degree incline but the view was spectacular 

 

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Did you spot our ship?

 

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Next we drove along one of the service roads that run alongside the 38km run of pipe that takes geothermal electricity and hot water to Reykjavik

 

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Aliens have not landed these are the caps to the thremal bores that take the steam to the turbines to generate power or heat water. No one in Iceland has a water heater it all comes into the house ready heated 😎

 

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the next stop, once we had driven across a few rivers  ( remember no roads so no bridges either), gave yet another amazing view.

 

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All to soon we were back at the ship for an early depart for Akureyri but not with out another duck!

 

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the sail out was spectacular ....DSC03015.thumb.JPG.d8dcd873f9fb0e11de2fdbdfb3c06585.JPG

 

and we hugged the coast all the way through till arriving the next day crossing the arctic circle around 11ish. Carlos did seem a bit more responsive this evening perhaps because I choose to have a glass of port with the chicken liver custard. I will photo all the menus and daily's when we return if people wold like but the Internet is slow so that will have to wait.

 

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Edited by groryjm

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Amazing pictures and thanks for showing the horses too!

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Wednesday 21st..... Yet another early start and breakfast in the in the room from the cheery Jacky and the whale watching on a Celebrity excursion. It's well worth getting up a little early as the sail in to Akureyri through the Eyjafjörður Fjord  is spectacular and yet again the weather had been arranged perfectly. 

 

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we sailed on our whale watch boat about 200 yds down the pier from Silhouette 

 

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We only went about 40 minutes back down the fjord and no where near the open sea and spotted our first spout

 

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This hump backed whale called spots obligingly flipped its tail for us.

 

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we did find another whale and the captain had a bit of fun chasing down some gulls sleeping on the water

 

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when we returned to the pier the sculpture at the beginning of the town suddenly made sense

 

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Akureyri was to be our last stop in Iceland so we wandered the town for a bit before heading back to the ship .

 

Again we ate at laminae food dinner and the food was excellent. Carlos was a little better this evening and asked what I would like. I replied that I would like a margarita once he had repeated it a number of times even asking if i wanted it frozen, which I found a touch patronising, he then asked Jazreel who was serving me some bread at the time to fetch a margarita on the rocks for me. Why can't I just ask Jazreel it would be so much simpler. 

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Great reports, thanks!

Am considering a suite on the Silhouette - as opposed to the Aqua Class.

However not a lot of choice available and not sure if it is worth it. 

Aqua is £4,000 pp
Sky Suite is £6,300 pp
Penthouse is £14,000pp!! 

This is a 12 night Cruise in the Caribbean

Forgetting the Penthouse, I am wondering if the Sky Suite is worth the extra? I appreciate the extra space, but it is the other benefits that interest me - do they do tours? Any special sailaways? Does the concierge do anything? Appreciate you are in a better  suite, so maybe you get more than other suite guests - but would welcome your thoughts. 

We've been in suites on Royal & NCL - but never Celebrity yet. So I've no idea on what benefits one might get from embarkation through to leaving the ship. Maybe the lounge is worth it? I suspect we will opt for the premium package over the included regular package - but do we need it with the lounge? 

I suspect other options might come up as we get closer to payment date.

This will be pre-dry dock so with the current setup.

 

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1 hour ago, isdoo said:

........Forgetting the Penthouse, I am wondering if the Sky Suite is worth the extra? I appreciate the extra space, but it is the other benefits that interest me - do they do tours? Any special sailaways? Does the concierge do anything? Appreciate you are in a better  suite, so maybe you get more than other suite guests - but would welcome your thoughts. ........

Bearing in mind that anything I say is just my opinion and I have never sailed not in a suite. Firstly re sky suites the aft corner S1s are a fabulous space with both aft and side views from the balcony, a giant port hole picture window and even a pole to dance around. My MiL usually has one of these so we often spend time on her balcony and the views are fab and you even have your own private corridor. 

 

As to benefits yes in and RS you do get a little more attention and things like helipad sail aways and bridge tours are fairly certain. In a sky suite they are still possible all you need to do is express an opinion to the Michael's club host early on and such things can often be arranged. Michael's is more than just a bar with free drinks, and yes all drinks in MC are free regardless of packages as well as use of the fridges where one can help ones self to water and soft drinks at any time. Tea in MC at 3pm is also a nice social little treat and the MCC arranges musicians to play early evening along with social gatherings withe the captain and officers. We have even had private presentations of some of the podium speakers on sea days. 

 

Butlers are also great if you use them. they do need to know what you like and most will try to do there best to make your experience great. Some can be a little shy of the mark but just allert the MCC and things can usually be fixed. 

 

Priority embark and disembark can also be good if you don't want to wait in line . For ports that tender. Just go to Michael's when you want to board a tender and the MCC will escort you dirrectly to the next tender. Coming back to ship when there are long lines there is usually a suite line without any waiting.Remember you have paid for it so don't feel guilty walking past the line.

 

Oh and don't forget Luminae. The food and service is, in my opinion, better than the MDR, Blu and the specialties. The only reason we eat in the specialties is for an occasional change of scene. 

 

There is one down side though... one can so easily become addicted 😎 

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On 8/18/2019 at 4:42 AM, groryjm said:

Diana's Bitter

We wanted to tell you that we tried one of your Diana's Bitter and it now has a permanent place on our cocktail list.

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Thursday 22nd cont..... The morning started fog and relatively calm but we were due to pass through the tip of sea area Faeroes .

 

Gale Warning: Gale warning issued 22 August 03:41 UTC(Open)

Southwesterly gale force 8 expected soon

Cyclonic 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 at first, becoming variable 4 or less, then east 3 to 5.

Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough.

Showers, fog patches.

Moderate or good, occasionally very poor.

 

Based on the above and expected high winds the captain warned in his morning brief that we may be very late for our next port of call which was to be Belfast on the 24th at 1.30pm. The seas were rocking and rolling a bit by lunch and I imagine to the dismay of parents the kids and teen clubs were closed again. My DD in fact skipped lunch and slept but I suspect that was more early mornings and late nights than anything else. Jacky was great about holding back the room clean until the evening.  It did cause a slight problem for me later however for she woke demanding chips (fries in American) with salt and cheese. Deck 14 had been closed due to high winds and with it the mast grill. Luckily whilst lunch had finished there was a burger station still open, presumably because the mast grill was closed, so DD satisfied. 

 

All in all today I have been very glad of this suite and a comfortable quiet retreat from the crowds as with all the open decks closed the ship seems crowded with every space taken with people reading or playing games. 

 

I have noticed the tree is looking particularly sad and I would say almost dead. I do hope something is planned for the dry dock.

 

The grey weather started to calming a bit in the evening

 

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Oh lunch. My DWs brandy and soda managed to arrived with still water instead despite twice having the words "club soda"  repeated back, my campari soda on the other hand was fine. For dinner in Luminae things seemed better as I ordered a glass of Hungarian Oremus Tokaji after my cocktail. tomorrow we're in Tuscan so we will have to wait a day to see how the game plays out. service as always was excellent from Floyd and Jazreel.

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cont...

 

By the late afternoon due to the improvement of the weather the captain announced that our arrival would only be delayed until 2.30pm and all shore excursions would be re issued and delivered to state rooms which was great so no ques at shorex but it was surprising that this announcement was made directly to the room

 

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18 hours ago, isdoo said:

Forgetting the Penthouse, I am wondering if the Sky Suite is worth the extra? I appreciate the extra space, but it is the other benefits that interest me - do they do tours? Any special sailaways? Does the concierge do anything? Appreciate you are in a better  suite, so maybe you get more than other suite guests - but would welcome your thoughts.

 

May I jump in here... while also saying that this is just OUR point of view.

 

We usually cruise in AQ and sometimes (instead of a price drop) did Sky Suite.
For us all the Aqua amenities are good enough.

- Blu, as a smaller and more relaxed dining venue vs MDR, is the reason why we book AQ. We don´t think Luminae is much, if any, better, so that´s no reason.
- We don´t care for extra space in the room

- we don´t need a butler vs a stateroom attendant

- we don´t need Michael´s Club since we have a beverage package and can get drinks whereever we just feel comfortable

- we never needed a suite concierge 

- we certainly don´t need to book a suite for our own ego

- we don´t need the extra points which are so important to some

 

So if we get is instead of a price drop, we book a SS, but we don´t feel like it´s worth paying more for.

 

On refurbished ships the new retreat might be another perk... but agian not for much.

So if you can relate to some of the statements, here´s your answer.

 

 

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 Enjoying the review but  here is a just comment on the above conversation..

 

We usually book AQ Class sinxe it started.  We have enjoyed priority  boarding to a degree, helipad sailaway, Persian Gardens/ thermal suite, in room upgrades and BLU. (We miss daily water in the room,)

 

We are however looking forward to trying  Sky Suite for the first time, along with Luminae, access to Michaels and suite class boarding and priority disembark. Getting alot of good info and tips here.

 

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2 hours ago, hcat said:

 Enjoying the review but  here is a just comment on the above conversation..

 

We usually book AQ Class sinxe it started.  We have enjoyed priority  boarding to a degree, helipad sailaway, Persian Gardens/ thermal suite, in room upgrades and BLU. (We miss daily water in the room,)

 

We are however looking forward to trying  Sky Suite for the first time, along with Luminae, access to Michaels and suite class boarding and priority disembark. Getting alot of good info and tips here.

 

hcat- when and where are you trying a Sky Suite?  I think you will love it!

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groryjm

        I have been following your “Live” postings for the following reasons.I am always interested in reading about ports in Ireland, friends are taking a land vacation in Iceland soon and I was interested in the various sites they might choose to visit there and we have considered sailing on the Silhouette as it seems to be a favored ship by some CC posters.

      The information you have given here is very interesting as well as the photos you have posted. You,DW and DD seem to be enjoying your holiday despite some rough weather and choppy seas. I was particularly interested in the Iceland horses as there are many horse farms and stables located in our part of Long Island,NY. As I am writing this, the annual Hamptons horse show is about to begin here.

       Your experiences on the Silhouette have been interesting to read about although we would ,most likely,not book a full suite if we were to sail on the ship.  A Sky Suite cabin may be a consideration for us though.

         I couldn’t help but notice that you have disclosed frustration or displeasure with the service the sommelier has given -or not given your party -during meals in Luminae. From what I have read, there seems to be a perceived discrepancy between ordering wine and cocktails from this server. Ordering your choice of cocktails seem to present a problem for him. Perhaps he is more familiar with wine selections than mixed drinks.

          I can only recall the service my DH and I and friends received at dinner from the sommelier serving us in the MDR on the Summit last July. Since my DH and I were booked in Conceierge class and our friends with their two children were in a Balcony cabin,we were assigned to the MDR. None of us drink alcohol. On the first evening at dinner ,we pleasantly explained our choices of beverages to the sommelier. He graciously told us that was not a problem and proceeded to take our drink orders. Every evening after that the sommelier continued to  promptly deliver our non  - alcoholic drinks. His service was always accompanied by a pleasant attitude and we in turn respected his attitude and were affable with him. My DH generously 

tipped him as well as our waiter and his assistant for their excellent service at the end of the cruise.

        So, in our case, the sommelier’s service was in no way diminished because we did not request wine at dinner. In other words, what I am saying is that it wasn’t what we ordered from the sommelier that impacted his service for us, but perhaps,rather the manner in which we made our requests that caused him to be so responsive to our requests.

         I will continue to read your postings andI hope that the drink service improves before you reach the end of your cruise.

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35 minutes ago, MJSailors said:

In other words, what I am saying is that it wasn’t what we ordered from the sommelier that impacted his service for us, but perhaps, rather the manner in which we made our requests that caused him to be so responsive to our requests.

 

MJS, this observation could be interpreted as a less than favorable reflection of the OP’s approach towards the sommelier, which would not be fair as you weren’t there to observe the interaction between the two. 

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