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Master Echo

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About Master Echo

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    cruising, genealogy
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere not visited

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  1. You are not alone -I too am sailing in 110 days time on the Whisper, it is nothing to do with it being a Sunday!! Seemingly SS do not realise the passage of time! I have contacted both SS and also my TA to ascertain exactly when these shorexes will appear on 'My Silversea'- and I suggest you all do the same thing. Kindest regards Master Echo
  2. Terry LOL!! Kindest Regards Master Echo
  3. I suggest that you all conserve your precious Bulgari supply! I understand that as part of its drive to eliminate single use plastic, SS are considering the substitution of alternatives for those currently supplied in cabins. Pesumably this would include the whole range of toiletries from shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion. They are also considering a change to the plastic water bottles supplied for going ashore. Kindest regards Master Echo
  4. In the same context, I was told that SS will not offer one way inbound flights as a matter of policy. This meant that it was not cost effective for me to cancel my Cuba cruise on the Whisper in November. Kindest regards Master Echo
  5. Dear Observer & Stumblefoot As I said we will all live in hope!! Observer you do not say when you are booked on the Moon? I am on the inaugural on August 6 2020, so hopefully I will be able to end your stupefaction then!! Kindest regards Master Echo
  6. Responding to Observer's wishlist, I forwarded the door tags idea, to a senior level within HQ, and received a reply that this was an excellent idea which had been forwarded to the New Build team. We all live in hope!! Kindest regards Master Echo
  7. SS now has 64 complimentary wines, sourced from around the world, so ask the waiter for the grape variety you prefer. Based on one experience on Regent Explorer, concierge grade offered useful benefits, e.g earlier booking for shore excursions, amongst others. For detailed list check Regent's website. I also concur wholeheatedly on the farce that is checking in for Regent's shore excursions, as well as the inability to take more than one excursion on any particular day, despite their major advertising hyperbole of "up to x number of shore excursions on your cruise"! Breakfast in the main dining room on SS is a very quiet affair enjoyed by only a few passengers and obtaining a table for one is never a problem. Butlers - surprisingly this seems to cause a great deal of angst. The butler is there to fulfil reasonable requests. The extent to which one uses one's butler depends on personal preferences. Apart from the usual services, he/she is a source of information and they are always willing to help. Hope you enjoy your SS cruises, and welcome to the 'Family'. Kindest regards Master Echo
  8. Battle of the Venetians I have reported previously that there was a marked difference in the demographics of the two cruises. The first was more typical of SS. The second had ten young children and an approximately 40-strong party of American university baseball players, including some with their parents and younger siblings. Most Venetians dislike cruising with other people’s badly behaved children and the arrival of a children’s counsellor on the second day helped to ensure an adult’s equivalent was not required! For the majority of the voyage, the young children were entertained in the conference room during the day and so away from the other public spaces. Once Henry, the HD, had informed all families with children of whatever age by letter about the rules appertaining to the swimming pool, combined with instructions to his managers to enforce these politely, harmony prevailed. Drinks glasses were removed from within the wooden pool surround by the stewards, although some passengers continued to sit with glasses by the pool’s edge. The baby in nappies/diapers, who was lowered into the pool by its mother, did not have this experience repeated following complaints. One battle that was lost concerned the smoking of cigars, which Silversea permits in all smoking areas. On the second night, four cigar smokers created such a fog outside Panorama as to make it a no-go area for non-smokers. Complaints bore no fruit because their action was within the rules but there was a view that the rules need changing. Smoking has now become a pariah activity, and to allow any smoking on one side of the ship, cannot stop it drifting across the open decks to the other. I accept that some people do wish to smoke, but they should be confined to a special room, and so speaks an ex-smoker!! As to the activity of the baseball players themselves, they might usefully be described as the typical clean-cut all-American boys, who behaved appropriately in public. One parent recounted that they’ lived it up’ in their cabins well into the small hours, ordering room service steaks at 2.00 AM. Pity the poor night butlers and galley staff! The foregoing was something of a baptism of fire for Sandra during her first contract as CD, having been promoted from Assistant CD. Dining with her on the second evening, she was called away to deal with a passenger incident on pool deck. Henry’s part in managing matters should not be underestimated. I have seen reports on these boards where HDs fail to take steps to enforce the rules, which are there for the benefit and comfort of all passengers. One final point on the rules governing general behaviour round the swimming pool. These are posted on a small board, adjacent to the showers, and are not very visible, particularly as almost all passengers, except for a small handful, ever used the shower before going in or out of the pool. This should be enforced, not least on hygiene grounds! PIRAEUS SUNDAY JULY 7 The Lady Shadow docked alongside the usual cruise ship pier in Piraeus, the port for Athens. The pier has two faces, with an embarkation hall and segregated luggage collection area for those disembarking. Past experience here meant I opted for “own arrangements” for onward travel because taxis are plentiful outside the embarkation hall and stand under cover. This meant that I was not tied to a predetermined debark slot but could head off the ship at the last call at 09.45. I took a leisurely breakfast in the MDR where I was joined by Henry, (HD) and we reflected on the preceding 20 days. This meant it was a little after 10.00 before I was swiped out for the final time, and found the luggage, the last to be collected, in the care of one of the Shore Excursions staff, which I thought was most thoughtful. A €50 taxi ride to the airport was half the Silversea price for the group transfer, let alone that of a private car. And so to a few overall impressions. Whilst the ship might be judged to be dated, it was not especially tired, bearing in mind it will shortly be ripped apart in dry dock. Food service in the MDR at breakfast and dinner was very good, which cannot be said for service in the bars when non-Filipino staff were involved. I have sailed with Executive Chef Grant before and the food then was excellent. Overall, the quality was not as good this time. Whilst the six Voices of Silversea were excellent, there were no guest entertainers. Occasionally on previous cruises, a local folkloric show would be staged in the theatre. Unfortunately, in Kotor, the expected “group” were not allowed to come aboard by the Montenegrin immigration, possibly as we had tendered, maybe they feared, they wouldn’t return! Pity those on the Grand Voyage with 47 nights of performances repeating around every ten days. As is invariably the case, the friendliness and warmth of the crew helps to make the holiday and some of those with whom I have sailed before feel sufficiently confident to joke with me. This onboard atmosphere is what brings me back to Silversea because there are other luxury lines that sail to the same ports and offer a similar food and beverage product. Well that is all, and winds up my trip from Monaco to Athens, and I would like to thank you all for your kind comments and hope you may have been interested in some of my doings! Arrivederci Kindest regards Master Echo
  9. Finally at last a few pictures taken from the Lady Shadow of the island of Santorini, showing the villages of Thira and Ia Kindest regards Master Echo
  10. As promised photos from Rhodes Kindest regards Master Echo Pictures from Thira, and Oia on Santorini to follow in next post
  11. Dear All, Photos from Rhodes and Santorini will follow - However here is the post regarding Santorini SANTORINI JULY 6 At the height of Greece’s period of power from about 400 BC, Santorini became an important trade centre and a naval base, due to its strategically perfect position in the centre of the Aegean Sea. Prior to this, Santorini hosted a civilisation around 3600 BC. Discoveries show the existence of an ancient Minoan colony, which was very similar to those found on the island of Crete, with artefacts of the same Minoan style. The volcano on the island erupted in 1500 BC and was so huge that many consider it to be the main cause of the destruction of the great Minoan civilisation on the island of Crete, situated 70 nautical miles away. After the explosion, the centre of Santorini sank, and the many earthquakes that followed destroyed a big part of the rest of the island. In 1204 AD, the island became part of the Venetian empire and the name was changed to honour Santa Irini, the name of a Catholic church. The tourist development began during the 1970s and today it is regarded as one of the best tourist destinations in the world and a major call by cruise ships. Unfortunately the infrastructure has not kept pace with the massive influx of cruise ships visitors. Blessedly the Lady Shadow was the only cruise ship in Santorini on this day, and it is certainly a first, as in the past few years, there have been upwards of five or six large cruise ships, or even more. On one occasion the second Costa ship, decided not to stay, and sailed on. From the very first visit of Madame in the late 60’s, when she castigated the donkey’s owner for putting too large a person on its back, not giving it regular water, and not looking after his animal. Seemingly in the 21st century, nothing has changed. The number of donkeys has increased, their well-being is still not considered, and worse, from a hygiene point of view, their droppings are strewn all over the paths, making it difficult for people walking. There was a concerted effort to try to stop this activity all together, particularly as there is now a cable car, but still this trade persists. The Shorex Manager on SS told me, they actively discourage passengers from taking the donkey rides to the top, but it is still a ‘must-do’ for some. For some years now, all tenders are operated from the shore, and cruise ships are not allowed to use their own. Obviously this comes at a price, although I do not know how much. Although it would have been nice to renew my acquaintance with the old back streets of Santorini, particularly as the sole ship, the comments from returning passengers convinced me that my old memories were better left intact. So apart from the hated P word, (packing) Sir and Madame, spent their last day in the sun by the pool, before disembarking the following day in Piraeus. Kindest regards Master Echo
  12. RHODES FRIDAY JULY 5 Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and is situated at the southeast of the Aegean sea in Greece. Rhodes is also known as the island of the knights, which relates back to the Christian crusades in the Middle Ages. Rhodes city is the largest on the island and has a population of approximately 90,000 in its metropolitan area. The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek sun-god Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes in 280 BC and was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 226BC. For a change on this cruise, instead of tendering, the Lady Shadow docked in the inner harbour, as always on time. She was closely followed by the Norwegian Jade with her 2800 passengers, blocking out the sunlight momentarily, as we sat in the restaurant eating breakfast, before manouevering alongside her berth in the outer harbour. In view of the large amount of people that would converge in the narrow streets of Rhodes and Lindos, and having been there only recently, Sir & Madame decided on a sea day. However some pictures of the harbour hopefully will accompany this post. Kindest regards Master Echo
  13. Dear Jpalbny, Thank you so much for your understanding - to me it is a dog's breakfast!! I am afraid my track record of posting on CC is not good. There have been several occasions when having spent some considerable time posting contemporaneously directly on the CC boards, I have lost the lot due to loss of signal or whatever. I have therefore learned my lesson, and now compile my report on Pages, and then merely copy it onto the CC boards. Therefore I am not using Microsoft, or Chrome. Perhaps you could tell me what I have done incorrectly and hopefully I can rectify it? Kindest regards Master Echo
  14. Having just disembarked Silver Shadow, where there were ten young children and a number of teenagers, SS brought on a Children's Counsellor to provide entertainment for the former. This was conducted in the ship's conference room, well out of the way from the normal passenger flows. This meant that the young cohort were almost invisible during the day. The Hotel Director was firm in ensuring that the all parents with children under the age of 21, were informed of the rules relating to, in particular, swimming pool behaviour. This meant that no drinks glasses inside the wooden pool surround and no jumping into the water, however this was not adhered to universally. Sadly the absence of parental supervision, meant that pool deck staff had to pick up the role of the parent in enforcing the rules. One mother was observed lowering her baby which was wearing nappies/diapers into the pool, which caused great offence to fellow passengers. The HD bought a child's paddling pool at the next port to provide to water based activities for the very young children. As has been noted several times above, some parents seem to think they should have no responsibility for the actions of their children, and it is this that causes severe irritation to other passengers. If children, as some posters have said above, are well behaved and used to being in this kind of environment, no one including "old grumpy passengers" would object! Kindest regards Master Echo.
  15. Dear Mayflower, i hear what you say, but I do not think that SS suffers, anymore than other lines. It is not a new phenemonon either. In 2012 in Aqaba, there were three ships in port, two were docked reasonably close to town, and the poor Wind ended up in the cement port!! However increasingly round the world, port authorities are building bigger facilities to accommodate the largest ships, and seemingly it is inevitable that smaller ships are also docking there. In Chile, the original port for embarkation and turn-round was always Valparaiso, this February, we left from San Antonio, a new cruise terminal which resembled a large aircraft hangar, with absolutely no facilities whatsoever. Kindest regards, Master Echo
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