Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Other Cruise Lines > Silversea Cruises
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #61 (permalink)  
Old February 25th, 2009, 02:25 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Default The "Coffee Problem"

Kuki:

Greetings from Barcelona. What you perceive as a fault in service with regard to dessert and coffee really isn't a fault at all, but rather is merely a difference in American vs. European cultural and eating practices.

In North America, you tend to be served dessert and coffee at the same time. In Europe, that is a no-no -- first you have dessert, and then coffee, after-dinner liqueurs, etc. follow as the complete end to the meal.

Silversea provides European-style dining service and has one of the highest percentages of European vs. North American clientele in the industry.

That may be why you perceived a slight fault in service. For us, it would have been a fault to serve dessert and coffee at the same time.

Enjoy your cruise -- we love your reports.

Jordi
Reply With Quote
  #62 (permalink)  
Old February 25th, 2009, 03:00 PM
ready2gonow's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,837
Default

Jordi, thank you for sharing that! Being a fine Texas girl, I prefer my coffee and dessert served together.

I will be visiting Barcelona later this year, so I will certainly keep this in mind. I look forward to visiting your beautiful city!

Kuki, your dinnr sounded wonderful! Trip, diet-schmiet! Let's eat!

Also, Kuki, loved the beautiful picture.
__________________
Darlene
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas

HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
Reply With Quote
  #63 (permalink)  
Old February 25th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,867
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

Jordi, one of the wonderful things this site does, is bring people from all over the world, together. with a common love of cruising,and, sharing information. Thanks for letting us know about this custom..now, I need a desert, and, then a cuppa tea
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #64 (permalink)  
Old February 25th, 2009, 05:19 PM
nlb1050's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Posts: 1,661
Default

The no coffee with dessert is something we found with MSC. But for hubby and me it was even worse. We enjoy coffee with our meal and it was not easy to get this on most nights. But usually they would bring the coffee with dessert. I guess this is the way they were trained.
__________________
Nancy



Guadeloupe Accommodations



Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013, Carnival Legend Nov 2013, MSC DIVINA Jan 2014
Reply With Quote
  #65 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2009, 01:55 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Re: The "Coffee Problem"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPAINBARCELONA
Kuki:

Greetings from Barcelona. What you perceive as a fault in service with regard to dessert and coffee really isn't a fault at all, but rather is merely a difference in American vs. European cultural and eating practices.

In North America, you tend to be served dessert and coffee at the same time. In Europe, that is a no-no -- first you have dessert, and then coffee, after-dinner liqueurs, etc. follow as the complete end to the meal.

Silversea provides European-style dining service and has one of the highest percentages of European vs. North American clientele in the industry.

That may be why you perceived a slight fault in service. For us, it would have been a fault to serve dessert and coffee at the same time.

Enjoy your cruise -- we love your reports.

Jordi
Jordi,
Thanks very much for the informative post. I didn't know that. I've been to Europe a number of times, but only by ship for the past decade, so in most cases was back on the ship for dinner.
It was indeed presumptious of me to expect what may be a norm for me to be applicable everywhere.

I promise Iwon't whine on anymore about the coffee ...though I did get it with dessert tonight.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #66 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2009, 02:00 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Day 8 on Silver Shadow

Day 8 – Silver Shadow – Puntarenas, Costa Rica
This scene was accidentally set because we weren’t sailing from Puntarenas until 10:30 P.M. The ship sat docked, and as we had returned from tours, etc., we began our normal evening ritual with a drink at The Bar, and then off to dinner just prior to 8 P.M., at The Restaurant on Deck 4. The dock happened to be at our eye level from our seats in the dining room.

I was enjoying yet another fabulous meal, with wonderful company, when I looked up from the plate I had been voraciously attacking, and saw an automobile directly outside the window we were seated next to (sorry to say, that as it was dinner, I didn’t have my camera at hand).

I have nothing at all negative to say about seeing the car sitting there. It was just one of those totally unexpected odd scenes that don’t compute in your mind when you see it. The “what’s wrong with this picture” moment supplied me a good chuckle. I hope you can visualize it and enjoy a laugh yourselves.

And now, to the beginning of the day…

Costa Rica is a beautiful country, with lots of variety of things to do. The problem is access to them from the ports. Because of the nature of the road system, it can take literally hours to go short distances.

We’ve been fortunate and visited by ship on several occasions. I have wonderful memories of our last visit when we went white-water rafting; one of the most fun activities we’ve done anywhere.

On previous visits we’ve toured the banana plantations, toured the marvelous National Theater in San Jose, and have seen the wildlife from the tour boats in the rivers and canals. Each one has taken more time to get to than the time we got to spend doing them. I thought I’d try something different on this trip, so I booked to spend the day golfing.

As mentioned yesterday, the Silverlinks golf program is available on specific sailings on the Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper. In fact it’s a concession operated by Elite Golf, who do many of the golf programs on most of the other cruise lines as well.

I’m assuming that’s the reason it’s not included in the tours listed for booking online prior to the cruise. On the Silversea web site, as well as on other cruise lines, you have to really hunt it down, to find any details even of the availability of it, and when and if you do find it, you can’t book it online; you have to call or e-mail Elite Golf.

Frankly I think the system is a disservice to those who may want to golf. People are unaware that the option exists, so end up pre-booking other tours, or making other private arrangements instead. It is easy enough to cancel ship’s excursions you’ve pre-booked once onboard, however, a last minute change in plans can sometimes throw off the plans you may have made with others.

There are several reasons the golf tours should be included in the list of available cruise line shore excursions:
- Knowing there’s a golf excursion available enables advance planning for it, which could mean bringing some equipment along, whether it might be golf shoes, balls, gloves etc, if you choose. All of the equipment is available for rent, at an extra charge, so that may be one of the reasons the cruise lines and/or Elite Golf choose not to publicize the golf programs.
- The golf professional onboard operates the program separately from the shore excursion. This led to a problem with today’s experience. The pier in Puntarenas is long. All of the ship’s excursions had the transportation waiting off the gangway, except for the golf. Those of us golfing, had to meet off the gangway, and carry our rental equipment, including golf clubs, the length of the pier, to our waiting vehicle. It was not allowed to come to the ship, as other tour buses were.
It wasn’t a huge problem for me, but there were other more elderly people than me, who had to struggle to get to the waiting transportation, carrying their golf clubs and equipment.

If this were a ship’s excursion, rather than a concessionaire, they would have at least had crew members to handle getting the equipment to the end of the pier, rather than have passengers having to deal with it themselves. Try as he might to help, the golf professional running the “tour” would have taken a great deal of time to run that length of the pier back and forth to get everyone’s gear to the mini-bus we used today.

Granted the obstacle we faced today is not a problem in many ports, but I’ve dealt with similar issues before when dealing with Elite Golf before; such as tender ports. The golf tours are not inexpensive, and even more important on a luxury line like Silversea, the service provided, or rather not provided, doesn’t work. There is a disconnect (as in the Steiner’s Spa issue I mentioned in an earlier report) between the service experienced than what is experienced when dealing directly with ship’s operations.

In my opinion the cruise lines should demand the contractors supply the same level of service as the ship run operations.

Once we got to the actual golf experience, it was excellent! Today we played at the La Iguana Golf Course, at the Marriott Costa Rica Resort. We enjoyed an excellent day of golf (not my game, the experience), on a beautiful golf course, which runs along the edge of the rain forest, with several holes running along the ocean coast line. At this particular facility we were able to stop at the clubhouse for a very nice lunch after playing 9 holes, and then continue on after lunch to play the last 9 holes.
The first 9 holes of the course are very nice, but the spectacular scenery and course design shine through on the back-nine, in my opinion. When you play golf as badly as I do the scenery and the experience becomes very important.
I’ll try and post the pictures of the golf course tomorrow.

Tonight, at 6:45 P.M. there was a Costa Rican Folkloric Show in the showroom. The presentation was very charming because it was done my local children. The kids seemed thrilled to be doing it onboard the ship, and the audience was very appreciative of their efforts.

After the show, and after a stop at The Bar, where we met up some with new old friends, we went off to dinner. Putting aside the story I opened today’s report with, the meal and service were first rate. I even sampled some Kendall Jackson white wine with dinner tonight. Of course with my vast knowledge of “the vine”, I wouldn’t know the difference between a Kendall Jackson and a Michael Jackson.

We sat and chatted with our tablemates until after 10 P.M, and though there was late night dancing, and a special edition of Night Trivia, after a long day in the hot sun, we returned to our suite.

Returning to the suite, and preparing to sit down to write today’s report, I checked my e-mail first. I received an e-mail from my long-time best friend that his father had suffered a stroke, and would be going in for surgery tomorrow.

Those who followed my Virtual Cruise Report in November from NCL’s Jewel will likely recall that on that cruise my father became seriously ill; passing away the evening before we were disembarking the ship.

Tonight’s e-mail brought back those horrible empty feelings I felt that night I got the call to the ship. I wept again for the man who meant so much to me, and pray that my best friend at home doesn’t have to feel what I felt.
More importantly, I mention this tonight because as I said then, when my father insisted I stay on the ship to complete the voyage, you do have to live life now! No one ever knows what tomorrow may bring. You have to enjoy all that life offers, and relish the experiences, and the joys of making new friends, and touching old friends. And do it all with a sense of humor, and a big smile on your face, knowing you’re blessed to have the opportunity. I know I am!
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #67 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2009, 04:48 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Posts: 143
Default

My thoughts and prayers are with your friends family...

I just returned from my Panama Canal cruise on the ms Statendam Friday and you are leaving me longing to return already! (I have't even finished unpacking)

When you get to Guatemala tomorrow, if you haven't booked any excursions already, see if you can find a tour operator company called Go With Gus Tours... we had a wonderful day with Gus and he is a truly facinating ambassador to his country.

If you have booked something else already and see their desk, please send greetings from Manya to Gus and his wife.

If you sail into port before the sun rises, you may be able to see the lava flowing from one of the volcanoes... sorry, you WILL have to get up rather early for that.
__________________
Manya F
Reply With Quote
  #68 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2009, 05:47 PM
ScurvyDog's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southeast Of Disorder
Posts: 2,364
Default

Kuki
Our prayers are with your friend and his dad. Hopefully everything will go well and he will experience a speedy recovery.

We are leaving for St Maarten in the morning and will be "out of the office" for about 10 days. Will catch up on your excellent adventure when we return.

J&K
__________________
56 Carnival: Mardi Gras, Ecstasy X2, Fascination X6, Celebration, Elation X5, Glory X5, Fantasy X4, Valor, Holiday X3, Imagination, Liberty, Spirit X2, Freedom, Destiny X2, Splendor X2, Dream X2, Conquest, Legend X3, Victory, Sensation, Paradise, Inspiration, Magic X2, Triumph, Miracle X2, Breeze, Sunshine X3
7 Norwegian: Sky, Jewel, Dawn, Epic, Pearl, Breakaway, Getaway
7 Windjammer: S/V Legacy X3, S/V Polynesia, S/V Caledonia, S/V Diamant, S/V Sagitta
HAL Statendam
Reply With Quote
  #69 (permalink)  
Old February 27th, 2009, 12:46 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Day 9 - Silver Shadow - at Sea

Day 9 – Silver Shadow – Day at Sea

- For pictures of the golf course I played yesterday in Costa Rica, check out this photo gallery. It's titled Panama transit, but just scroll down for the golf course pictures....
http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=5026

Early this afternoon I was relaxing (something I’ve got very good at) on our veranda, when I heard a splash, and turned to see several Dolphins playing in the waters just off of my veranda. I have spotted Dolphins from a ship before, but always from a loftier point of view, high on deck. I was mesmerized by the fact they couldn’t have been more than 20 yards from where I was standing. It was me, the ocean, and several Dolphins at play. By the time I thought I should grab my camera, of course, they’d moved on.

Thinking perhaps they were playing with the ship, I went up to Deck 8, to check the horizon on the starboard side. As I stood, I did see two or three in the distance come up out of the water. They seemed to disappear again, so Mrs. Kuki and I sat pool-side to have a drink. We saw some people on the port side pointing in the distance, so we went back down to sit on our Veranda. Just as we got there we saw a group of Dolphins right next to the ship, and below our balcony. I managed to get this picture of two of them in the air, and the splash as a couple more of them landed in the water.


As I took it, right below us, just a few feet from the ship, a line of them six across jumped out of the water. They were magnificent, and they were so in sync they looked like a trained act at Sea World.

I would have had an amazing picture, except it unfortunately was directly into the sun. When we looked up, as they disappeared, we noticed there was a huge school of Dolphins perhaps 100-150 yards off the port side. We got a great view of them using the binoculars that were in the suite when we arrived. There had to me 60 or more in the school. If it weren’t for luggage weight restrictions for flying I’d have had my camera with telephoto lens with me, and could have had some magnificent photos, but you’re going to have to live it through my excitement, rather than pictures.

After that excitement ended I met with the Hotel Director, Paulo, to have a look at some of the other categories of suites. The handicapped cabins are enormous, with a very wide doorway, large enough to easily have a wheel-chair pass. The interior space of the suite is plentiful, and someone in a wheel-chair should have no problem moving around the suite. There is a small ramp for access to the verandas.
I shot some video of the other suite categories on the ship, which I’ll post on my return.

Today, being the middle of our cruise, I sat staring at the ocean, looking to spot more Dolphins, and contemplated the service onboard. Other than a couple of very minor “blips” I’ve mentioned, service in all departments onboard has been nothing short of stellar. From the reception desk to the shore excursion department, to the bar and restaurant servers, I can’t imagine what more they could do for me to improve my cruise experience.

I’m dazzled and amazed that the Maitre D’ in The Restaurant is able to choose the perfect tablemates for us each evening when we want to join a table… until tonight.

Tonight, we were seated at a table for six; us, a very nice elderly British couple, and an inebriated American couple, who argued amongst each other about whose turn it was talk. The food and service was once again outstanding, but I have to admit this was the first time I couldn’t wait to finish dinner. But it took us 9 days into the cruise to meet anyone we really didn’t care for!

Considering that we’re purposely dining with new people almost every night, that’s a very good record.

We had to sit through stories of them first having sailed on The Shadow when she was new, and how much better it was when… , and how they’d hired three helicopters to fly their entire family over New York to tour it, and how their boat is fastest thing on the water, and how incredibly successful they are in business, and on and on and on. They’d interrupt conversation to talk more about themselves.
This couple was really a caricature of pomposity, both in actions and physical appearance. They would have been easily cast in a movie about this type of “character”. I was beginning to write a script in my mind, and I had to cover my laughter with my dinner napkin several times as I thought about it.
Interestingly I think they fit in worse on this cruise than any of the other passengers. Certainly, of any we’ve met.

What has really taken me on this sailing, and makes me feel quite inadequate, is how easily other passengers remember our names. I’m sad to say my ability to remember names pales in comparison with staff, crew and fellow ship-mates.
Having such a long history in the hospitality industry one would think it’s a skill I’d have naturally developed. But, I’m great with faces, and horrific at remembering names. It’s a social skill, and the fact it’s one I’m unable to master bothers me somewhat. I’m just going to have to stay on the ship, as a study program, until I have it down pat!

A rather unique program that Silversea offers is the ability to “create your own voyage”. You can look at their itineraries, and then choose which portions you’d like to sail on. You can choose your port of embarkation along the itinerary, and choose where you’ll disembark the vessel… as long as the personal itinerary meets all government requirements. There were some people who disembarked “the Shadow” in Cartegna, others left yesterday in Costa Rica, and others will leave, while new guests join the ship in Acapulco. With this system those who join in Acapulco can choose to stay onboard until they reach the port they’d like to disembark at during the ship’s next itinerary. Of course you have to check fares individually if you choose to personalize your itinerary.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #70 (permalink)  
Old February 27th, 2009, 01:04 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 1,514
Default

great virtual cruise.

That sounds really cool that you get to choose how you want your cruise!
__________________
Booked Cruises:
Carnival Dream for Thanksgiving
Eastern Caribbean- 11/20/2010

Past Cruises:
Carnival Ecstasy (4 Day Baja Mexico) 2003
Carnival Pride (7 Day Mexican Riviera) 2007
Carnival Spirit (8 Day Exotic Mexican Riviera) 2007
Carnival Freedom (7 Day Western Caribbean) 2008
Carnival Elation (4 Day Baja Mexico) 2009
Carnival Spirit (7 Day Southbound Alaska) 2009
Reply With Quote
  #71 (permalink)  
Old February 28th, 2009, 12:16 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Day 10 – Silver Shadow – Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Early last evening I spoke to our butler Vierny about the possibility of hosting a cocktail party in our Suite for some of the people we’ve met during the cruise. He said, no problem, we can do it tonight! I thanked him, but told him I’d give him more notice than that.

Today The Shadow’s port of call was Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, the country’s largest Pacific Ocean port. I had been told that like in Costa Rica, most of the major sites you want to see are some distance, and a considerable time to get to. This is a port we haven’t visited before, and I initially thought a ship’s tour might be best. As I considered the options it became obvious that all tours offered were between 8 and 9 ½ hours in length.

There was one tour that interested me; hiking on an active volcano. I didn’t pre-book it, because I wanted to wait and find out how much of the time was spent on the bus getting to and from.

I detest tours involving long bus rides to anywhere, and in situations like this you often spend as much time getting there, as you do “there”. Even the golf we did in Costa Rica resulted in a 1 ½ hour bus ride each way. I understand it may seem odd to complain about having to spend time getting somewhere when traveling, because that’s essentially what traveling is defined as… but at my size, I’ve yet to come across a bus with space enough for me to be reasonably comfortable.

The flight excursions ranged from $599 per person, to $2229 per person. We’ve done helicopter tours in Alaska, and though I’m a lousy flier, helicopters ride quite differently. But, right or wrong, I had my own misgivings about helicopter tours in Guatemala. Irrational probably, but after hearing of the tour bus crash last week in Dominca, I thought I would be cautious.

I have to admit in many ways I am an unadventurous adventurer. I like to explore independently, but only when I mentally believe I’m safe. I’ve often wandered the side streets of many major European and North American cities, even where crime can be rampant, with no problem. At 6’ 3” tall, and over 200 lbs., I normally feel safe.

Yet, on a first time visit to an underdeveloped country in Central America all I really wanted to do was call my momma and get my “blankie”. My concern with Guatemala was not with crime, but rather questioning the infrastructure. I was very busy before the cruise, with a CruiseMates Group Cruise, and I failingly hadn’t researched it before the cruise, so had no mental comfort zone.

We opted for breakfast on the veranda of La Terrezza to begin our day. The buffet had all variety of fish, as well as more customary breakfast items. The coffee is served at your table by waiters, and if you want to order freshly made eggs, the waiters take your order, and deliver them when ready.

Many of the tables on the veranda were unusable this morning, as both tables and chairs on the railing had a layer of soot on them; we were told this was from a plant nearby. I thought it might be materials from the ship’s funnel, but we found the same soot on our balcony furniture on our balcony, and since it’s on the bow of the ship, it couldn’t have come from the funnel.

After sitting for a bit we decided to at least venture off the ship, to the pier-side market, and then decide if we were going to carry on further from that point. The vendors at market were very friendly and not pushy at all. They invited you to look at their wares, but there was no harassment at all. As we wandered amongst the kiosks we came across a fashion show being held illustrating traditional native fashions of the various regions of the country. It was quite enjoyable and the models they were using were really quite good looking. Mrs. Kuki wanted to trade me for one of the male models, but she found they don’t accept Canadian “currency”.




As expected the vendors in the market were quite open to bargaining, but were very polite about it. Their polite and friendly manner helped them close the sale with me, as I wasn’t nearly as aggressive in my bargaining as I am in places like Jamaica, where I react to the aggressive vendors. Besides which, they were selling some very beautiful locally made goods, and they weren’t expensive to begin with.

The posted taxi fares seemed a bit expensive, and though some bargaining would have no doubt lowered the prices, we decided not to venture any further. The ship was quiet this afternoon as many of the passengers were more adventurous than I, and had gone out on tours.

I also found out later talking to some crew members that there are several interesting things to do close by. As I said above, I should have researched in advance, or spoken to the crew earlier about Guatemala. The crew is always the best source of information about what to do in ports of call.

Our suite is the first from the bow, on the second deck of balconies up from the pier, in the above photo. Wave!


Silversea is different than more traditional cruise lines, in that their ships do not run regular itineraries; leaving from and returning to the same port for long stretches of time. The Silversea ships, with the exception of expedition ship, Prince Albert II, are operated for travelers; meaning they sail around the globe, opening up a wide variety of exotic itineraries. Today the Silver Cloud is in Parati, Brazil, the Silver Wind is in Visakhapatnam, India, the Silver Whisper is in Xiamen, China, and the Prince Albert II is in Punta Arenas, Chile
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #72 (permalink)  
Old February 28th, 2009, 09:09 AM
ready2gonow's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,837
Default

Kuki, another great report.

Your cautian in unfamiliar ports maks sense.

I was thinking about your butler, Vierny. Is he responsible for the daily needs of your cabin (towels, beds, etc.)? Does he care for more than just your cabin? Have you utilized him for services beyond the normal day-to-day needs (other than the requested cocktail party)? Do you have a way to contact him, whenever? How long has he been with Silver Sea?

Another great sunset and nice pics of the ship!
__________________
Darlene
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas

HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
Reply With Quote
  #73 (permalink)  
Old February 28th, 2009, 09:15 AM
jacdenv24's Avatar
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bobcaygeon, Ontario
Posts: 643
Default

Kuki, I'm enjoying this virtual cruise immensly! You have a certain way of conveying the feel and ambiance of a ship. I think your suite is probably larger than my condo-REALLY! Unless we win a lottery, I doubt we'll ever sail Silver Seas (in spite of the great deals being offered) but I do have one question. Years ago, while in port, we struck up a conversation with a couple that were on S.S.-not sure which ship. They raved about the whole experience but mentioned that everyone dressed to the nines for dinner every night. Is this still the case? Is this a "dressier" cruise line than the mainstream? Let us know what time you're having the cocktail party
__________________
Oceanus 1987
Splendor of the Seas 1997
Regal Empress 1998
Horizon 2000
Summit 2001
Sovereign of the Seas 2003
Noordam 2003
Zenith 2004
Mercury 2005
Princess Sun 2006
Princess Sea 2007
Constellation 2008
Mercury 2009
Constellation 2010


Celebrity Silhouette
Reply With Quote
  #74 (permalink)  
Old February 28th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2gonow
Kuki, another great report.

Your cautian in unfamiliar ports maks sense.

I was thinking about your butler, Vierny. Is he responsible for the daily needs of your cabin (towels, beds, etc.)? Does he care for more than just your cabin? Have you utilized him for services beyond the normal day-to-day needs (other than the requested cocktail party)? Do you have a way to contact him, whenever? How long has he been with Silver Sea?

Another great sunset and nice pics of the ship!
Dar,

We have stewards who clean and do the general set up in the suite. Vierny is there for the extras.... he serves breakfast, tea, snacks.. whatever you like in the suite. But he just doesn't deliver them. He sets up the table with tablecloth, flatware etc., and when we decide to have dinner in the suite, he'll be the one serving it course by course.

He also takes and returns laundry and dry cleaning. He made our dinner reservations at La Terrazza. Though he services 8 suites on the ship, he's always asking if there's anything he can do for us, when he see him in the hallway. He makes sure we know if there's anything we want, he'll get it done.

Unfortunately he's yet to be able to replace Mrs. Kuki with two 20 year olds
There's also a "butler" button for speed dial on the in suite telephone.

He's been with Silversea for 5 years (I think..since I asked that question on day 1, when my mind wasn't mush), and a bulter for almost 2 years.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #75 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2009, 06:56 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Day 11 - Silver Shadow - I'm in a FOG

Day 11 – Silver Shadow – at Sea
The world as we know it may be collapsing around us (we get Fox news on the ship ), but I’m in “life’s Disneyland”… where everything is possible. Reality is a sea away, and the reality I’m living in is that everyone exists to please me. It’s the magic of cruising, and the illusion of tranquility. As temporary as it may be it’s a unique escape.


We awoke this morning, and slid open the balcony door to see the width and breadth of the Pacific Ocean lying as flat as bathwater for as far across the horizon as the eye could see. Each day of this journey seems to have brought with it a new moment of awe.

I’m shocked at just how dedicated Silversea’s PR department is that they’ve been able to control all of these things. Someone has a great Rolodex, if they can manage to have Dolphin Shows next to my balcony, and have ocean waves turned off at will, and provide the magnificent sunsets I’ve been photographing the last several days, and provide a continuous variety of interesting, humorous, and delightful people for me talk to.

I had no idea God was available for hire.

Yet more tricks were up their sleeve for today. As the morning progressed, while the seas remained still as a whisper, a thick fog rolled in to encompass the ship. The broad spectrum of what we’ve been fortunate enough to see and experience on this sailing can at times almost leave me speechless.




As we sailed slowly through the fog I couldn’t help to think back to the days of the early explorers of the oceans, when they didn’t have the radar and technology which exists in today’s world. What were they thinking when they encountered a thick fog... particularly those who may have had a nagging thought in the back of their minds that the earth was flat?



During his 12 Noon announcement Captain Caparano explained that along this stretch of ocean the waters are often very choppy, and the type of fog we were experiencing was very unusual in tropical climes such as this. It was certainly an interesting to experience the phenomena; a very thick fog, yet the sunshine making its way through the fog to keep temperatures very warm. Every few minutes for most of the afternoon the ship’s Fog Horn sounded, as a warning to other boats that may be in the area.

The daily activities continued uninterrupted, even in the rather eerie conditions; Volleyball in the pool, with the passengers and Cruise Staff, shuffleboard on deck, and sun-tanning, continued. And I suspect some probably got too much sun today, as its effects can be masked by the clouds and fog.

Today’s afternoon High Tea was altered somewhat. The theme was to be that of a Viennese coffee house experience. According to today’s Silversea Chronicle, the Viennese Coffee House tradition goes back to 1683. In the activities portion it was listed as “Weiner Tea Time”. The European’s onboard would understand that this is Weiner as in Weiner schnitzel, the North Americans maybe not so much. Some may have come expecting a hot-dog cook-out.

At any rate, they served the most delicious Austrian crepes!!! Even the term delicious doesn’t do it justice. I was in dessert heaven!!

This evening was our 7th “informal night” of the cruise (that translates to a sports jacket and slacks, tie optional, for the men). During this 17 day cruise there are 3 formal nights, 8 informal, and 6 casual. That can sound like an awful lot of “dressing up”, but it truly hasn’t turned out too badly. I brought my tuxedo, a suit, and two sports jackets, along with regular resort casual clothing. Frankly it feels alright to dress up a bit for a change, as opposed to many cruise lines where the trend is to “dressing down”.

I enjoyed the dining experience in The Restaurant very much tonight. The service just keeps getting better and better, if that’s possible. The entire dining experience just seems to operate in sync.

In my view the sociability of the dining experience onboard the ship is what sets this apart. It’s totally charming, and makes the excellent food taste even better. Early in the cruise I talked about trying the in-suite dining, however at this point we’ve enjoyed the dining room experience so much it may be unlikely that we stay in for dinner. It might be a waste to pass on enjoying a butler privately serving us dinner in the Royal Suite, but it would also be a waste to pass on what I think is one of the most unique dining experiences on any ship we’ve sailed.

The only thing I don’t like about the dining room is the name. Over the 11 days, I am so sick of repeating “The Restaurant”. For the balance of the cruise it will be referred to as Chez Kuki.

Pretty much every evening, it’s been 10 P.M or later by the time we leave Chez Kuki. It’s not because the service is slow. It’s because the meal and the conversation flow very naturally together.

As a result of finishing dinner at that time, I haven’t been to many of the shows in the showroom, but tonight a comedian/magician performed, so I made a point of attending. It was a British comedian, and his humor was silly and fun; just the sort of stuff that appeals to me.

Tomorrow we’re in Acapulco, Mexico. I’m golfing once again, and Mrs. Kuki is doing a tour called Elite Acapulco. I’ll report on both tomorrow. Tomorrow night is also Dinner on Deck, “Silversea Style”, which I very much look forward to… because I won’t have to type “The Restaurant”.
There are quite a number of passengers disembarking in Acapulco, and it will be interesting to see how many replace them. We may have “new meat” to meet at dinners.

It took 11 days to find a spot where Internet service was unavailable, and the connection speed hasn’t even been too bad for a ship. Tonight we hit the wall when trying to log in. That’s the reason for the late report, not that I was lying drunk on the Veranda of the Panorama Lounge.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #76 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2009, 08:23 AM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,867
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

I think your sailing through the fog was amazing!! Keep enjoying every second,,,I am
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #77 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2009, 09:35 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 309
Default

Kuki,
Thanks for bringing us along your journey. Enjoy your port tomorrow. I spent a few fun days there in 1979. It was my first adventure out of the U.S. Your photos have been wonderful...especially the sunset.

jojo
Reply With Quote
  #78 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 12:14 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Speed Dating Without the Speed

Day 12 – Silver Shadow – Acapulco, Mexico
In yesterday’s report I talked about the sociability of the dining experience. To illustrate what that means; we’ve met two couples, who are good friends at home, who are cruising together. Interestingly they rarely have dinner together. Some people will wonder… then what’s the point of cruising together? Well, they spend lots of time together, doing tours together, lounging by the pool together, having drinks in the bar together, playing trivia together, etc. Yet when dinner times arrive, most often they enter the dining room separately, and request a “joined table”. They do, what we originally did unknowingly, request to participate in the sociability of the dining experience.

There’s no doubt, if you’re at all outgoing, you can always meet people on a ship by participating in any activities onboard, during tours, etc. However there truly is something unique about meeting and sharing dinner with new people every night. Dining with someone in this setting is somehow a more intimate meeting than say a pool-side conversation. In some ways it’s like the speed dating concept, without the speed.

You have 2 – 2 ½ hours together to get to know one another, and it’s surprising how in that time, in that situation, you can determine who you like, and who you may not get along with so well. Later during the cruise, when you meet those whose company you enjoyed, all the preliminary discussions are done with, and it’s like running into old friends again. The dynamics of how well it works is intriguing to me. And from what I can tell, it also has a great deal to do with why Silversea cruisers continue coming back to sail Silversea’s ships.

Acapulco was our port of call today. We’ve been several times, and it’s not one of my favorite cities. We’ve already seen the famed cliff divers, and toured the area several times, so I booked a round of golf with the ship’s golf professional. Mrs. Kuki’s tour included seeing the cliff divers again, and then a tour through Las Brisas, a well known exclusive resort, which included time at their Beach Club.

Today’s round of golf was at the Fairmont Princess Golf Club. It’s a rather “regular” resort golf course, and at $335 including golf, club rental, and transportation, it is over-priced. I haven’t used the services of Elite Golf’s ship’s program for several years, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to try them again. I enjoyed a beautiful day, and a nice outing, but honestly they haven’t improved much since my last experience with them. In some more exotic locales the simplicity of letting them handle the arrangements might be worth the premium, but in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii, I’ve had no problems, and got much better value, booking my golf on my own.
It may not be that different than people booking excursions through the cruise lines; they want someone else to tend to the details, and the security of being taken to and from the ship. I expected Elite to tailor their golf program for Silversea passengers and that’s not the case. It is pretty much the same as on all the cruise lines they operate on. Though on the ship Bruce Mendelson, the golf professional, did have almost daily putting contests, and also a presentation on his list of “Best golf courses in the world”.

I was disappointed the program is pretty much as it was, but it won’t stop me from going with them again for the final outing I’ve booked in Puerto Vallarta. However it’s not likely a service I’ll take advantage of again when I’m cruising.

Mrs. Kuki very much enjoyed her day. She said the guide on her tour was excellent, and after seeing the Cliff Divers from a reserved patio area at a restaurant with excellent views (we’d dined there during a show on a previous visit making our own reservations during a pre-cruise), and then touring Las Brisas, they were served a very nice lunch at the Las Brisas Beach Club.
It’s not difficult to get a taxi at the pier in Acapulco, and negotiate a price for your own tour, and many passengers chose that option.

We were docked in Acapulco until 11 P.M. tonight. Some passengers disembarked the vessel today, and more were joining the ship through the day and evening. After 12 days onboard it was relatively easy to spot the “newbies”.

During every journey Silversea holds a Dinner on Deck evening, and tonight was chosen for the event for this cruise. It really is an event. Tables and chairs are covered to dress up the deck, and fine table and glassware set on the tables. Food and wine are abundant, and once dinner is done, the very festive party atmosphere takes over, and the enthusiasm almost took me by surprise.








A Mariachi Band was brought onboard to entertain, and the passengers got right into it. Dancing, drinking, carrying on, enjoying the evening like they thought they were on a Carnival ship. Even the Captain was out dancing with the guests tonight. This is a very happy ship; both crew and passengers alike; and everyone was smiling tonight!

If you can’t read the sign below, you had too much wine at the party tonight!


Tomorrow is a day at sea, and Mrs. Kuki and I have invited a few of our favorites, of the people we’ve met, to a pre-dinner cocktail party in our suite. Even since we made the decision to host a cocktail party… which is pretty easy to do when everything is included … it’s been difficult not to invite more people! Every day we meet new people and want to invite them as well. Vierny thought a dozen would be comfortable. So far we’ve invited 16 I think, so 4 will be uncomfortable.

I’ve left it entirely in Vierny’s hands to decide what’s going to be served, and I have no doubt at all it will be fabulous.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #79 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 08:43 AM
Marc's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 3,625
Default

Kuki, loving your reports. It sounds like Geela's tour in Acapulco was identical to the one we had there a few years ago. The Las Brisas Beach Club was beautiful.

Your reports about your meals have been great. Hopefully, your experience will get others to try "open" or "freestyle" dining experiences without fear of being alone for dinner. The ability to have dinner where you want, when you want, and with whom you want is fantastic.
__________________
Marc

"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

F Scott Fitzgerald

Seven Seas Voyager (30nts) - Dubai - Cape Town - Nov 14
Reply With Quote
  #80 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 10:53 AM
Mike M's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: You're Looking At Me
Posts: 23,826
Default

Suckling Pig!!!

I'm booking. I want the ears. Taste just like fried pork rinds.

Love the reports, Kuki!

Take care,
Mike
__________________
Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator

"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me

"Fear is the assassin of dreams." ~Me
Reply With Quote
  #81 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:28 PM
Marc's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 3,625
Default

Kuki, can you ask a bo'sun, or maybe the Captain, what is the draft on their lifeboats/tenders?

thanks,

Marc
Reply With Quote
  #82 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:35 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Quote:
Suckling Pig!!!
Oh my! I thought it was "sucking pig" and I thought why would I want to
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #83 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:38 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
Kuki, can you ask a bo'sun, or maybe the Captain, what is the draft on their lifeboats/tenders?

thanks,

Marc
I'll ask tonight, if any of the officers join us for cocktails. You sure you're not just trying to get them to look at me in a really odd way?
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #84 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:46 PM
Marc's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 3,625
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
Kuki, can you ask a bo'sun, or maybe the Captain, what is the draft on their lifeboats/tenders?

thanks,

Marc
I'll ask tonight, if any of the officers join us for cocktails. You sure you're not just trying to get them to look at me in a really odd way?
Kuki, the reason I ask is that the Seven Seas Mariner is not going to let passengers go ashore on Pitcairn Island. The reason stated is that the water is only one meter deep; too shallow for the tenders. The tenders on Silversea should be very similar, if not identical, to the ones on the Mariner. I would like to see if their draft is over one meter.

thanks for asking,
__________________
Marc

"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

F Scott Fitzgerald

Seven Seas Voyager (30nts) - Dubai - Cape Town - Nov 14
Reply With Quote
  #85 (permalink)  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:50 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Day 13 - Pressures on Silversea - Water

Day 13- Silver Shadow – at sea
Occasionally the cruise lines will have a “press trip”, where they invite a group of press and media on a ship, where they are accompanied by representatives of the cruise line. Normally these “press trips” are arranged when new ships come out of the shipyard, or are recently refurbished, or some new programs are in put in place which the cruise lines would like promoted. While lots of good information comes out of those trips, my own preference is to be traveling as I am; being able to report back on the experience as a passenger for a full voyage.

My goal the past 13 days, and continuing to the end of this voyage on Mar. 7, is to bring you onboard with me to share experience, to try and give a view of what a cruise on this ship would be like if you were to sail her. I do hope that you have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy the daily reports of life onboard.

Today’s topic is shower pressure, and the degree to which it impacts your day.

Though we have a lovely Jacuzzi bathtub in our suite, I’m not a bathtub kind of guy. Therefore it’s a treat to have a separate shower stall in the suite as well. Not only is there a shower, but there’s water pressure when I shower, and the temperature and pressure remains constant; That, and the Bvlgari bath products I’ve become so accustomed to are spoiling me.

Who’d have ever thought a man would give a darn about what type of bath products he was using?… especially a Canadian man. And the towels! The towels are to die for! Who’d have ever thought a man would utter the words “the towels are to die for”? But they are. They are large, thick bath sheets, not little itty bitty strips of terry cloth. We have more towels in our suite than there are people from Western Canada who speak French. Then there are the three telephones; one on the desk in the living area, one in the bedroom, and one in the master bath. I like to call Mrs. Kuki from the bathroom just peecause I can. (I couldn’t help it, sorry!)

While on the topic of bathrooms; as well as things are thought out on board, with much attention to detail, whoever designed the placement of the toilet paper roll in the “master bath” must have enjoyed the practical joke they were pulling. If I weren’t double jointed I’d never be able to wipe. There’s plenty of room in the face of the vanity by the sink to build in a toilet paper dispense. AH!! Now I’ve thought of another use for the bathroom telephone. I can call Mrs. Kuki to come pass me the paper.

It’s Day 13 of the cruise, and we’re still here, and people are still being nice to us. We’ve talked to many people, and shared much laughter, and everyone has treated us like “we’re one of them”. They think we’re “Silverseaers”. On Silversea one can most likely rightfully presume that passengers onboard are upper middle class, to well off, to so stinking rich they could buy a small country if they wished.

What one shouldn’t presume is that everyone is going to be like “Mr. & Mrs. Caricature of Pomposity”. It’s quite the opposite.

Snobbery; assuming how people will act, and “who they are”, based on their income levels is a presumptive process. Whichever side of the coin you’re looking at it from, it’s a disservice to the people. Assuming stereotypes are correct, and categorizing people based on those assumptions, builds social walls which can prevent you from finding out just how much you may have in common.

But if you ignore stereotypes, you quickly realize the commonality of people’s lives, and issues within them. Everyone worries about their children, their families, their health, the condition of the world (both physically and financially).

In the past month Mrs. Kuki and I have gone from visiting areas of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina (and still not rebuilt), to a CruiseMates Group Cruise on Carnival with lots of silly antics and almost non-stop activities, to being the opening act for a comedian, to “The Rehab” group cruise, where a smaller group got to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company, to a cooked up “group excursion” to a barber shop in Cozumel, to sailing on one of the most luxurious cruise lines in the world. The transition between these quite different experiences is much easier than people would think.

As the saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life”, and Mrs. Kuki and I have had continually tingling taste buds as a result of this month long adventure. Throughout the month, it’s been the people who have made it special, and that part is no different on Silversea.

This evening we invited a dozen or so of our favorite people on this cruise to come by the suite for pre-dinner cocktails. Our butler Vierny brought in a full portable bar, as well as canapés for our guests.



We all had a wonderful time chatting, and introducing some of the people who hadn’t yet met each other. It was a nice mix. We had Brits, Americans, and Canadians, and we all got a long famously. It’s very easy to throw a fabulous cocktail party, when there are no additional charges for it.


We were delighted that the Hotel Director Paolo, and Captain Corsaro joined us. Helmut the Food & Beverage manager dropped in as well, though he had to run to prepare for the evening’s dinner.

L to R Vierny, Paolo Pecivale, Kuki, Captain Angelo A Corsaro.

I learned that Captain Corsaro was the very first employee hired by Silversea, when the cruise line first began. A fact he is very proud of. He began his career with them in Sept. 1993, and he’ll be bringing out the new Silver Spirit when she debuts in Dec. ’09. Paolo will be working with Captain Corsaro once again as the Hotel Director on the Spirit.

From cocktails everyone headed to dinner. I won’t go into the details on everything I ate, but you can certainly tell this is an Italian cruise line, as the pastas have been fabulous!!

Tomorrow is a port day, with a visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I learned tonight that we’ll be at anchor, and tendering because there are too many ships visiting tomorrow. I would imagine that because Silversea is not a weekly visitor to the port, she doesn’t get a berth at the pier.

I’ll be off golfing again, and when Mrs. Kuki learned tendering would be necessary she said she may just stay onboard and relax. When Paolo overheard her say that, he jokingly told her he would get her, her own tender to go ashore. Nothing would surprise me though, at this point.

Internet service through most of the cruise has been surprisingly good…for being on a ship at sea. The last two and half days, from just prior to our Acapulco visit, it’s been a struggle, and therefore very difficult to get pictures uploaded to the gallery, and imbedded in my daily reports. I have many more pictures to share, but you’re going to have to wait to see them.
I’m presuming it has something to do with the relationship between where we are, and where the satellite MSN is using is located.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #86 (permalink)  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 09:28 AM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,867
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

I think you need to stay onboard longer..waddya say? This cruise just cannot end for me..How cruel can you be? I have smiled at the dolphins, cried when the golf experience was less then expected, and gained some weight at our cocktail party last night, and I cannot and will not let you ruin my cruise!!!! xoxxoxox
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #87 (permalink)  
Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:07 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: virginia beach
Posts: 1,298
Default

Kuki, your cruise on Silversea sounds wonderful!! I am sure that you and Mrs. Kuki are having, "the time of your life", meeting new people and experiencing ports that you haven't been to before. I must say that going on a cruise is the best form of travel and you writing about this cruise really enforces how wonderful the cruise experience is.
Reply With Quote
  #88 (permalink)  
Old March 4th, 2009, 01:17 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Day 14 - Silver Shadow - Puerto Vallarta

Day 14 – Silver Shadow – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
With the economy and the stock markets still in the toilet I’ve been surprised by how many of my fellow passengers have told me they’ve booked their next Silversea cruise while onboard. I can believe them, because every time I walk by the Cruise Consultants office, she’s got someone in with her.

The way I see it, there can only be three reasons for it. Either they see great value in the current round of discounting by the cruise line, or they’re willing to give up other things rather than their Silversea cruises. Or perhaps, like me (ahh, don’t I wish!), they are so wealthy that the collapse of the economy of the entire world doesn’t affect them.

Whatever the case might be, I can understand the desire to do so because there’s very little, if anything, missing from this cruise. I’m just surprised, with “conditions” being what they are.

As I’d mentioned earlier in the Virtual Cruise Reports, there are two lecturers onboard. Professor Cory Sanders, and Richard Crowley. Both have given many lecturers, and both certainly “know their stuff”. I’ve slipped in for a couple of the lectures, but watched all of them later on television in the suite, when it was convenient.

While both were very informative, Professor Sanders delivery was a bit too dry for me. Perhaps oddly, too much like a lecture. Richard Crowley adds some humor to his lectures, which to my taste at least, keeps my attention more easily. In fact Richard Crowley reminds me of John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, both in his appearance, and his sense of humor.

We’ve never had to tender when visiting Puerto Vallarta before, but the Holland America Oosterdam, and the Sapphire Princess were tied up at the pier, and the little Silver Shadow was forced to anchor in the bay.

I’m amused by how gigantic they seem to me now, when I see them from “The Shadow”. I’ve previously sailed sister ships of both those ships, and have never before given much thought to how big they are. It’s actually funny how different my perspective is from my perch on “The Shadow”. (You know I’ve been dying to say it! Is this the time?) Only The Shadow knows… how it feels.

The tender process went very smoothly this morning and when returning this afternoon. It’s a very different and much more unpleasant process when it’s necessary to tender from the Mega-ships, particularly when you’re signed up for shore excursions. Not so from the Silver Shadow.

After returning from the golf outing, had we been docked, I’d have likely walked off the ship to venture off and look around a bit. As it was, it’s much more difficult to motivate myself to catch a tender back to shore.
I golfed at El Tigre today, which is in close by Nuevo Vallarta.

There were ten of us with the ship’s golf tour today. Transportation was better, in a large comfortable tour bus that could carry many more. The El Tigre golf course is a very pretty golf course, and fun to play. It’s well designed and can be a test of skill… though I have none to test, they’d say that in Golf Digest…, but it won’t beat you up and send you packing if you’re a “duffer” like me. Today was the least expensive of the three golf outings, at $240. That’s about the maximum price any of these courses should be. I imagine this one was least expensive because there are so many golf course resorts in this area.

I did get quite a chuckle today, as a guest who had whined much more than I did about the golf in Acapulco yesterday, was, like me, back playing golf today.

Over the course of the Virtual Cruise I’ve talked a lot about our wonderful suite. There are several down-sides regarding the suites at the bow, and we experienced it yet again this morning. At ports of call, where like today we drop anchor, there’s the very loud sounds of the anchor being dropped as the yards and yards of chain roll out. It sounds like the chain is stored and released from our bathroom.
In ports where we draw up along the side the pier there’s the rumbling vibrations of the side-thrusters. In either case, there’s no sleeping through it. You definitely know immediately when you’ve arrived, and you arrive shaken or stirred.
If you’re adverse to the motion in the ocean, you’d probably be happier looking at other Suite options further aft. While I wouldn’t relish the ride up here in a vicious tropical storm, or a blustery transatlantic sailing, in most cases I’d probably gladly accept the risks of the Suite location for the reward of the spacious indulgent luxury of this Royal Suite.

It’s called The Capri Suite, by the way. It’s ever so charming to have a Suite with a name.

I thought I’d share my choices for dinner with you tonight. I began with Gnocchi Tricolori ( Tomato, Spinach, and Parmesan Dumplings in Sage Butter sauce). My “Intermezzo” (middle course) was Ravioli Alle Punte D’Asparagi con Sala at Tartfuo (Home-made Asparagus Tip Ravioli with Creamy Truffle sauce), and for an entrée I ordered Grilled Sirloin Steak of Kansas Beef (with a shallot-Red Wine reduction, a cabbages-mushroom Roulade and Duchess potatoes). All three courses were unbelievably good! The meal ended with a fabulous crispy berry basket, covered in a sweet sauce for dessert, and coffee. I freely admit I am not a gourmand, but I think by anyone’s standards this meal would be rated 6 star! And once again delightful company; one couple we’d dined with before and another we had not, made the evening most enjoyable. We’d arrived at Chez Kuki at 7:45 P.M. and left at 10:15 P.M., yet it was such a delightful dinner, it felt as though only a half-hour had passed.

I’m sure some readers who know my history will be shocked to hear I went to see the Pianist headlining in the showroom tonight, Craig Dahn. Apparently he used to play with Liberace. For the little I know about music, I thought he sounded very talented, but he was accompanied by the ship’s orchestra, and in my opinion would have sounded better performing solo.

Tomorrow afternoon we visit Cabo San Lucas, then a last sea day, then Ensenada, Mexico (don’t ask me why), then they are going to force me off the ship, my nails digging into the freshly varnished railing. It’s difficult to even think about our adventure ending soon, but impressive knowing we haven’t been put ashore before now.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #89 (permalink)  
Old March 5th, 2009, 01:49 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,385
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Day 15 - Silver Shadow - A Night with a Knight

Day 15 – Silver Shadow – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Admittedly, after 14 days I’m running out of adjectives to describe this cruise. As you’ve read along I’m sure you’ve noticed not everything has been perfect, but to be honest, the imperfections get diminished in our memories by the collection of the unending efforts of “the ship” to make us, and all, its passengers happy.

As the days have passed I’ve spoken with quite a number of the passengers onboard and to date have heard no complaints, and only exuberant kudos, in regard to anything that is directly a ship’s operation, with one exception; Everyone we spoke to who took the Best of Puerto Vallarta Tour, universally reported it was bad. Honestly, I learned long ago that pretty much any tour which is titled Best of (anywhere) is generally far from the best of. Instead they all seem to be a view out the window of the bus, with some time for shopping, and I avoid them.

One of the matters of business that has me especially pleased is the lack of what I refer to Ship SPAM delivered to the suite each evening along with the daily Chronicle. The Chronicle has some small ads within its pages, and there’s a separate sheet with a more portable listing of shipboard activities, as well as the preview menu for the next days lunch and dinner.

There are no flyers delivered to the cabin each night promoting the art auctions at sea, nor any photographers running amok on the ship, to take pictures at every opportunity to sell you later. Fact is there’s no such thing as a ship’s photographer on Silver Shadow. There are no announcements over the public address system, other than the Captain’s daily Noon navigational announcements. Though they occasionally play Bingo, it’s for fun to earn points, not money.

To this point in the cruise we’ve had absolutely incredible weather the entire cruise, enjoying temperatures from the 80’s to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m so brown I look like an over-cooked order of Ribs…a very large serving of Ribs at that.

This morning Silversea dialed up from their Rolodex once more. There were whales and dolphins in the waters around the ship for several hours. Captain Corsaro announced the whales positions had been spotted on the aft side when they were at the closet point to view from the ship. Unfortunately they weren’t close enough to get any great pictures with my camera. Perhaps it was too costly to get them to perform closer to the ship.

There was one exciting moment when very near to each other, two whales breached, and several dolphins flew in and out the water. The people on the pool-deck broke into spontaneous applause.

About 11:45 A.M, the whales and dolphins were no longer visible. I asked Paolo, who happened to be standing next to me if this was their scheduled lunch break. Without missing a beat he said “Yes, of course. They’ll be back at 12:30.”

We were anchored off of Cabo San Lucas until 7 P.M. this evening. “Cabo” has quite a lively night life, with many nice restaurants and bars. If I were designing this itinerary (Silversea can consult me if they like ) I’d have made Cabo an overnight port, and skipped the upcoming visit to Ensenada.


At anchor off the coast with us today were the Holland America Statendam, and the Crystal Symphony.
No tours planned for us today, we tendered ashore, and strolled through the marina area. We’d first visited Cabo San Lucas in 1994, and at that time it was a sleepy little coastal village. A few shops and a few bars lined the main street, which at the time was a gravel and dirt road.

Then in the late nineties and early 2000s, Cabo became THE hot spot on the Mexican Riviera. Celebrities and jet-setters simply had to come to Cabo. With them came major development of the area, with a beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotel at the pier, and many restaurants and bars.


Today the marina is full of luxury boats and yachts, and the area is world renowned for its sport fishing. No longer a quaint fishing village, today it’s the Cannes of the Mexican Riviera.


Below is the Silver Shadow, as seen through the boats at the marina.

More Cabo pictures available:
http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=5035

Back onboard The Shadow, because of sea conditions the Captain had to alter the ship’s position several times to make it safer for tender operations. Several times they had to lift the anchor, and then drop it for the new position. One of these times I happened to be relaxing on the toilet and as they dropped anchor I yelled goodbye to Mrs. Kuki.

Oddly some of the worst motion we’ve felt on the ship was while at anchor off of Cabo San Lucas. Because of the positioning of the ship, and the currents, the ship rocked side to side. It’s an unfamiliar movement on a ship listing to one side, then the other, and back again.

This evening there was a sail-away party on deck. Chairs are covered once again with chair-slips, cocktail tables set out, and grilled chicken skewers, shrimp skewers, California rolls, rolled salmon, freshly sliced prosciutto, and “surprise” appetizers are served, while watching the sunset over Cabo San Lucas.

It was while being served some of this nosh and a drink I recalled I hadn’t mentioned a most interesting service trait. Whenever anyone delivers a drink, or an appetizer, or whatever, I say thank you. Rather than say you’re welcome, the servers respond: “Pleasure”. To many it might seem like such an insignificant difference in response, but given some thought I think it’s a delightful terminology. Very simple, warmly delivering the message that they are happy to be serving you. It may be a standard continental phrasing I’m unfamiliar with, but I love it.

This evening we’d been invited to dine at Le Terrazza, with Sir Keith and Lady Kathy.

If you’ve been following this Virtual Cruise Report from the beginning, this is the couple we met the second day of the cruise (first formal night), at the Captain’s Welcome Onboard Reception, who we felt we’d hit it off well immediately, but couldn’t have dinner with that evening.

It shows you should always trust your instincts, because we’ve had the opportunity to spend several evenings together, and they are truly a fun, interesting, entertaining and delightful couple. Meeting them, and now considering them dear friends, is a part of the magic of cruising! We’re from different countries, a world apart, and surely it is almost impossible that we’d have met at any other time, in any other place, and given the opportunity to become friends as we have on the Silver Shadow.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #90 (permalink)  
Old March 5th, 2009, 10:18 AM
ready2gonow's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,837
Default

Kuki, I'm sorry, but you are going to have to book another week or two, to this journey! You can't get off! I feel like I have been there, with you.

That was quite a sail-away party! Sounds incredible!

Thanks, again!
__________________
Darlene
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas

HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
angelo, captain, carole, corsaro, cruise, demographic, heavenly, journey, mcdowell, memory, photos, seas, shadow, ship, silver, storm

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Virtual Cruise Report from Silvesea's Silver Shadow Kuki Regent Seven Seas Cruises 0 February 17th, 2009 09:05 PM
SILVER SHADOW neviboy Silversea Cruises 0 November 1st, 2004 06:19 AM
Silver Shadow 24JUN Alaska Craig Gay / Lesbian Cruising 0 June 14th, 2004 09:05 PM
Silver Shadow Seychelles + Safari Todd Feldman Silversea Cruises 5 May 19th, 2004 01:37 PM
Silver Shadow Anne Campbell Silversea Cruises 3 April 27th, 2001 07:28 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:32 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1