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For those interested… The charity is the Maruzza Lefebvre D'Ovidio Foundation. It's named for the daughter of Silversea founder Antonio Lefebvre D’Ovidio. Maruzza died of cancer in 1999 at the age of 40, and Antonio and his wife created the foundation in her name. It focuses on palliative care and pain management for cancer patients, particularly children. Since Silversea was privately owned — first by Antonio and then his son Manfredi, who led the growth of Silversea before selling part of the company to Royal Caribbean in 2018 and the rest last year — I suppose it's not surprising they developed the program of having guests of their cruise line contribute to their family charitable organization. It will be interesting to see how long into the future they continue the default contributions now that Lefebvre is no longer the owner and is slowly phasing down his involvement over the next few years. 

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Some other cruise lines have a charity, but they give to it from their own revenue/profits.  Noble Caledonia is one, and I think I've read about others.  This would be a better model for Silversea IMHO.

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10 hours ago, sfvoyage said:

A couple of other pre-sail observations:

 

Website - I've really been impressed by Silversea's website so far.  Better than Seabourn's.  So easy to sign up and modify shore excursions.  Better flow and user interface for guest registration.

 

Phone support - The first time I called their reservation/guest support line, I encountered strong pushback.  The rep, to my surprise, actually asked if my cruise agent is unable to assist me.  I explained to her that my cruise agent was busy finalizing my booking with them and that I prefer to work with them directly for my questions, which are quite specific - I have a great cruise agent, but I always prefer to go straight to the source rather than going through my agent, thereby increasing the time lag and chance for miscommunication.

 

Time for HUCA (hang up call again), hoping to get a better rep.  The second rep was not as confrontational but also pushed back hard, telling me that they have protocols and I'm supposed to go through my cruise agent and not contact them except for website issues.

 

After these two data points, I've pretty much given up with their phone support.  (Luckily, the lady in special services is nice and didn't mind talking to me.)

 

Seabourn reps, on the other hand, have no problem talking to me.  In fact, over the years I've gotten to know quite a few of them, and it's always a pleasure to talk to them.  To me, these pre-sailing interactions are effective and efficient and contribute to brand building and customer relationship development.

 

9 hours ago, Observer said:

 

I assume that by "cruise agent" you mean (non-Silversea) travel agent.

 

I gave up on travel agents and began dealing directly with Silversea, where I have a wonderful consultant who is nearly always available (and who has colleagues covering for her when she is not).  Too many slip-ups/miscommunications (though I always communicate important matters by email in order to have a paper trail) when dealing with TAs.  I got better discounts/OBCs from a couple of TAs I dealt with, but they were not worth the pain.

 

I think that many travel providers will not deal directly with passengers who booked via a travel agent.  The travel agent is considered to "own" the reservation, and the travel provider does not want to "cross" the travel agent (e.g., by providing information different from and more accurate than that provided by the TA).

It’s good to hear that the SS agents are good to deal with.  I’m certainly capable of making my own travel arrangements but am thrilled with my main TA and she  has always happily, promptly obtained answers to my many detailed questions related to cruises, flights, hotels, tours, insurance, etc.   If one has given up on TA’s perhaps they haven’t found a great one. I’ve found no pain, only gain with my favorite TA’s.  

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A bit surprised and disappointed to read that the 'charity donation' added to your account unless you make an effort to stop it is still extant.  I am afraid I found the idea  somewhat off-putting.

 

Lola

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1 hour ago, lincslady said:

A bit surprised and disappointed to read that the 'charity donation' added to your account unless you make an effort to stop it is still extant.  I am afraid I found the idea  somewhat off-putting.

 

Lola

Luxury hotels do the same thing and sometimes I find the charity very worthy and invariably awareness of an environmental or other issue is raised in the process. It’s not a big deal to have the charge removed.  

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1 hour ago, lincslady said:

A bit surprised and disappointed to read that the 'charity donation' added to your account unless you make an effort to stop it is still extant.  I am afraid I found the idea  somewhat off-putting.

 

Lola

Just curious- how much do they add to your bill? $10 or $1,000

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2 hours ago, lincslady said:

A bit surprised and disappointed to read that the 'charity donation' added to your account unless you make an effort to stop it is still extant.  I am afraid I found the idea  somewhat off-putting.

 

Lola

 

Not sure where you got your information from but the donation is no longer added to your account and has not been added for quite a while now

Once again no need to be put off

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1 hour ago, Stumblefoot said:

$1 per day.

 

32 minutes ago, A Tucson Guy said:

Please- are you joking or serious. At $1 a day I don't think anybody would complain.

For comparison Four Seasons Hualalai adds $8.00 per day for a conservation fund that supports a cloud forest of Koa trees on Big Island.   There’s info in your room explaining the program and it is also easily taken off if you prefer your charitable dollars go elswhere.

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23 minutes ago, beaujolais said:

 

Not sure where you got your information from but the donation is no longer added to your account and has not been added for quite a while now

 

Hmm, we're getting conflicting information on here.  Perhaps somebody currently on the Moon can confirm?

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I am sorry if I have offended anyone, but this is not a well known charity, as happens with the hotel groups which add a contribution on to your bill, but one which no one knows much about, as a small 'family' charity, and there has been doubt cast in the past by others as to how the money is spent.

 

My objection has nothing to do with the amount, which is negligible for any one passenger, but the principle, although if you think about a dollar a day from all the passengers on all the ships, it does add up.

 

Anyway, maybe it has disappeared; someone on board recently will inform us.

 

Lola

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I have always thought that it might be less controversial if SSea gave passengers the “opportunity” to donate local currency from any country that a passenger has visited and won’t need again.  While this would be cumbersome for SSea, it would be a whole lot more pleasing to many passengers who resent the ”charitable” donation charged per day, myself included.

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Silversea may not be aware of this, but IMO, M&L and how they are very specially treated by SS officers on board  is an embarrassment

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4 hours ago, lincslady said:

My objection has nothing to do with the amount, which is negligible for any one passenger, but the principle, 

 

That is my position.  I have established a scholarship at my Alma Mater.  Would I consider asking my friends and relatives to support a cause which is very important to me?  

 

5 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

For comparison Four Seasons Hualalai 

 

Thanks for the information.  A stay at a Four Seasons Hotel is now off my consideration list.  The upper end hotels that I patronize does not offend me with such a charge.  

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Ah, yes. M&L -- from The Free Dictionary: possibilities are endless for the uninitiated

 

 

AcronymDefinitionM&L

Mario & Luigi (video game)

M&LMoon and Lola (jewelry company; North Carolina)

M&LMaintenance & Logistics

M&LMalkamaki and Leib (communications channel bound)

............

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20 hours ago, WesW said:

Silversea may not be aware of this, but IMO, M&L and how they are very specially treated by SS officers on board  is an embarrassment

 

Totally disagree.  

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3 minutes ago, A Tucson Guy said:

Is anybody going to tell us who or what M&L is?? Maybe it is if I tell ya, I gotta kill ya??

 

I believe it refers to two guests who camp out by the pool bar with personalized placemats and smoke/drink up a storm.  The placemats are laid out for them every late afternoon/evening.  It's the bar equivalent perhaps of getting up early each morning and reserving pool loungers.  

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5 minutes ago, Observer said:

It's the bar equivalent perhaps of getting up early each morning and reserving pool loungers.  

That is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.   Kind of sounds like Norm’s barstool at Cheers.

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