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Perdidogirl

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  1. No, I didn’t report the smoking on the balconies. It was our first cruise and I didn’t realize that I should. I figured that was normal despite the rules.
  2. Observer- Thanks for your post. Our butler could well have been overworked by other guests on our end of the hall. There were also a few disabled folks in our area as evidenced by all the wheelchairs left outside cabin doors. Maybe they took up a lot of his time.
  3. les37b- You are correct that it is one connection per guest. My Wifi authentications require that a text be sent to a phone no and my husband's cell no was not registered for that purpose so he could not receive the authentication code. Lesson learned!
  4. Rosepark- Thanks for your post. I did voice concern at the beginning about the butler's mishaps and the head of the butler service "Morgan Dias" came to our room see us. We shared what we had experienced so far and he promised improvement. However, issues kept occurring so I didn't want to keep banging a drum for no reason. Plus, our butler told us that he works for 6 months at a time with no day off. Just 4 hours sporadically here and there. It sounded really grueling and continued complaining or asking for another butler might have gotten him fired which we definitely did not want to do. He was a sweet guy, just in the wrong job.
  5. My husband and I recently went on a Baltic Cruise on the Silver Spirit. Here are our observations and some things that we wished we had done differently. (We are first time cruisers so most of this stuff is probably obvious to veteran cruisers! Hopefully a few other newbies will find this beneficial.) 1. Wifi 2-step authentication/Wifi generally: Given the ship’s one device Wifi policy, the day we boarded in Copenhagen, I should have logged into key websites that I need to use frequently for business so that I could do the 2-step authentication process using the ship’s Wifi for my laptop and cell phone service (needed in order to receive the authentication codes by text). Failing to do that and then having a day at sea with no phone service really hampered the ability to keep up with certain critical business activities back home. (Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of completely “unplugging” from work so please do not criticize.) On the topic of Wifi, it is really poor because of the satellite 22,000 miles above the earth according to SS, etc... Whatever the reason, it is extremely slow and basic things like uploading a small document to attach to an email are nearly impossible to do so just be aware. 2. Butler: Our “butler” was a very sweet, well meaning young guy that unfortunately was extremely forgetful and overworked. So many things were forgotten and/or went awry that by the end of the cruise, we had low to no expectations of him and we ended up calling the Reception Desk for what we needed (forgotten Chronicles, help with moving dinner reservations, the beer we had asked for, forgotten colored disembarkation luggage tags, etc.). 3. Cleaning Attendant: In contrast, this fellow was on it. Our room was kept sparkling clean with an abundance of toiletries daily. We could choose from green Bulgari, white Bulgari, Ortigia or SebaMed toiletries. He even offered to draw a bubble bath for me one day. 4. Room Service: We found this to be very hit or miss. 3 breakfast orders and 1 dinner order arrived incomplete. When filling out the breakfast door tag, we learned over time that the best chance for accuracy was to fill out the entire order under one person’s name, not per person as indicated on the room service door tag, I also wish that we had brought insulated travel mugs for coffee on our balcony as coffee was served in little cups that cooled down quickly. 5. Restaurants: We really enjoyed Indochine and it was not as busy as their no-reservations policy might suggest. The service at La Terrazza was incredibly slow at dinner (2 ½ hours was common) and the portion sizes were very small by American standards. (Not a complaint, just an observation.) 6. Advance Reservations: I am sure that veteran cruisers know the secrets here but despite logging at precisely the time when reservations were said to be “open”, we could not get a reservation at places like Seishin, La Dame, the spa on At Sea days, etc… My hunch is that frequent cruisers or guests on high floors (or their travel agents) get to make reservations even earlier and thus book out the most desirable spots. 7. Tor’s Observation Deck: We found this to be the most peaceful, quiet place to get a cocktail or a glass of champagne before dinner. 8. Smoking: Despite the ship’s policy, fellow cruisers smoked on their balconies so we could smell it on ours. Also, the crew’s smoking lounge was located on Deck 5, directly below the Fitness Center’s outdoor yoga/stretching deck so the smell of smoke was very prevalent there. 9. Individual Bottled Water: Individual bottled waters could be found at the Fitness Center, in an outdoor crate on the Jogging Track or during disembarkation in port. Despite asking for this, our butler would only bring a glass carafe of water or a giant plastic bottle of water so we learned to go to these other places. 10. Tallinn: We opted to walk around the old town on our own using the Rick Steves guidebook walking tour. The old town seemed like an empty Disney cobblestoned village for tourists. Anyways, we walked up to the top, saw the cathedral where we were told to not take pictures inside and walked back down to the ship via the souvenir shop streets. We would probably have had a much better experience had we done a tour. 11. St. Petersburg: A. The first time leaving the ship in St. P was a laborious long process at Immigration. After that, it got faster and faster. B. If views matter to you, don’t choose an odd-numbered room. We had 601 and while docked at St. P, our balcony view was of old hulking rusted oil tankers and construction cranes. Had we been on the other side of the ship, we would have had a nice city view. C. Seeing the Hermitage via an early morning tour organized by SS was definitely the way to go in order to avoid the dense afternoon crowds. We really liked the canal cruise and metro station tours. Others we spoke with enjoyed the dinner at Catherine’s Palace very much and we wished we had done that. 12. Helskinki: We took a local bus to the Seurassaari Open Air Museum where we had a delightful time walking around in the wooded setting and seeing the old Finnish houses and other rural structures. Afterwards, we took the bus back to the center of town and enjoyed a nice late lunch on the elegant Esplanade boulevard. This was one of our favorite days of the cruise. 13. Stockholm/Uber: Our cruise ended in Stockholm. Once we collected our luggage and exited the ship, we ordered an Uber via our phone app. The Uber car arrived quickly and took us to our centrally located hotel for ~12 euros. Other ship passengers stood in a long line for taxis. We met up with a fellow couple for dinner the next night and they had been charged ~40 euros by one of those taxis to go to a hotel about 3 blocks from ours. I want to stress that these are not complaints, just our observations and am sure that others may have/will have very different experiences!
  6. Badgerdee- Thanks for your kind post. I was a little surprised at the aggressive reactions to the post above on Silverseas Passengers FB Page. I guess it’s really just for SS veterans to post where they’re cruising next and Mr Cohen to share his travel photos. Anyways, the cruise has gotten more enjoyable. A fellow guest on a tour today said that she went to Reception and they either gave or turned on a personal hotspot on her phone and that’s really helped the WiFi situation.
  7. Les37b- Thank you for the idea about using the 2nd free WiFi that my husband is using. I thought each free WiFi connection was per person. Anyways, we’re in Tallinn now and I was able to do the authentications since I now have cellular service on my phone. I’m not trying to watch films while working out. I’m trying to listen to my purchased music on Google Play during my workout. Since I didn’t download my 50 or so workout songs before leaving, I’m trying to play/stream them via WiFi which is erratic. Hopefully writing about my mistake here will save someone else future issues. I asked one of the Fitness Center staff why there was such a strong smell of cigarette smoke in the outdoor yoga deck area (next to the “exclusive whirlpool/deck chair” area that costs extra, no less). She said matter of factly that this area sits on top of the crews’ smoking area, hence the smell. It didn’t sound like there was anything to be done about this so I didn’t lodge a complaint. After asking a 2nd time for the peanuts, they finally arrived. My point in mentioning this was that there seems to be little point in taking the time to pre-order minibar items if they’re not going to be fulfilled. Might as well just order things once on board!
  8. (I originally posted this on the Silverseas Passengers FB page but have since learned that its purpose is only to share praise and doing anything other than that causes a furore!) My husband and I are newbies so perhaps things improve as time goes on. That said, here are some observations that might be of use to other new cruisers: 1. It’s very much an Italian way of life here. Asking for our room to be cleaned at 10 am resulted in the cleaning service arriving at 12:45 pm. On the flip side, the complimentary olive oil in the Grill is delicious. 2. After having read online that all we had to do was request items for our minibar and room in advance, we did so a week prior. We made a simple request for peanuts and also mentioned this to our Butler when he came to greet us. Alas, no peanuts have yet materialized 24 hours later. 3. There is a strong ongoing smell of cigarette smoke in the outside deck just outside the 6th floor fitness center, where guests can stretch or do yoga in nice weather. Same smell on the outdoor dining terrace off La Terrazza. Come to find out, these areas are right above the crew’s smoking area on the 5th floor. 4. Given their WiFi plan, you can only use one device at a time unless you want to pay extra. This prevents being able to do 2-step authentication which some websites require for security purposes. I can’t log into my usual sites on my laptop without them wanting to send a confirmation text to my phone (which is not enabled due to the 1 device rule so I can’t get the texts). My cellular roaming doesn’t work while at sea either. Thus, I’m barred from accessing certain websites until I pay for 2 devices or get within cellular range. (I run a small business and need to access certain websites on a daily basis.) 5. WiFi is terrible, worse than on a plane. Be sure to download as much as possible before getting on board. I’m talking movies, e-books, music on Google Play, etc. It is virtually impossible to download anything using the ship’s free WiFi and the WiFi constantly pauses/buffers so it's a challenge to listen to non-downloaded music while working out or watch a show. (Yes, I know that some people prefer to socialize and look at scenery but I enjoy reading and working out too.) On the positive side, the staff are very friendly and the embarkation experience was extremely well organized. We arrived at noon like other cruisers advised and that led to a smooth embarkation and nice lunch at La Terrazza in a calm setting.
  9. Here is the message I got back from Silversea via their FB messaging system on the topic of comped wines: “Hello. Apologies for the delay. I've been trying to contact our company sommelier or anyone from his team to provide the most accurate answer, but it seems that he's traveling or onboard one of our ships with limited access to email. I realize time is of the essence as your voyage departs soon but as soon as I hear anything back I'll be sure to send you a message” That was 4 days ago and no word since. Does anyone else find it a little odd that only this one man knows what the comped wines are? Surely there’s a staff of procurement and logistics people working the wine supply for the Silversea ships?
  10. Special Services was evasive even after me asking twice. I messaged Silverseas via their FB page with the same question. They said that they would look into it and get back to me but never did. I guess they are wanting to preserve maximum flexibility in case what they say is there (and comped) isn't.
  11. We are leaving this Sunday on the Baltic cruise out of Copenhagen and about a week ago I emailed Special Services to ask what kind of complimentary Pinot Grigio could be placed in our minibar. She was very evasive and sent me a list of wines that I could buy. Surely by now, they know what types of complimenatry wines they will be stocking!
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