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Master Echo

'Echo-ing' Round the Med on the Shadow - June 2019

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9 hours ago, Silver Spectre said:

Looks like you are correct RP, he has left SS. That's a real shame, first Vicki and now Kirk. SS needs to shape up and look after it's much loved CD's.

I am really sorry that is the case. Personable energetic CDs are so important to the vibe of a cruise and I do wonder why so many seem to have left SS recently? Is it really because of a ban on performing Their own shows?  

Enough of this though on this thread which is about Master Echo and his trip. 

Rp

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Good mirning all,

 

I too echo the above comments about Kirk and words will be said to people who may be able to influence future policy!  I have just had it comfirmed that indeed we will not be seeing him on any SS ship.  That brings the tally niw to three - Luke, Vicki and now Kirk.  Eniugh is enough!!

 

Portofino today is a lovely sunny morning, temps aroud 82F,  and the pool beclons for a second swim, the first one at 7.00 am before breakfast! Not sure that will continue.  Formal tonight.

 

more to follow, hopefully pictures of Monaco at night and a bit of info on Portofino.

 

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Master Echo said:

Portofino today is a lovely sunny morning, temps aroud 82F,  and the pool beclons for a second swim, the first one at 7.00 am before breakfast! Not sure that will continue.  Formal tonight.   more to follow, hopefully pictures of Monaco at night and a bit of info on Portofino.  Master Echo

 

YES!!  Look forward to seeing your visuals and gaining added details on Portofino.  Have visited most parts of Italy, but that is the one "star" still on our future to-do list. All of the visuals from there look wonderful.  Keep up the great sharing.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 28,934 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

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Before covering today’s port of Portofino, I wish to revert back to Monaco.

 

Sir & Madame arranged to meet their lunch companion in the reception area on Deck 5.  Perhaps unsurprisingly Roberto, SS’s CEO, was also present though he did not join us for lunch.  They had not spoken to him since the Christening of the Silver Muse two years ago, so it was nice to catch up.

 

It was fascinating to learn of SS’s future long term plans, but it would be unfair to breach a confidence to announce any of these here.  There is a lot of positivity going forward because of the financial backing of an organisation of the size of RCI.

 

Communication with Venetians will be stepped up and this will include details, the like of which are often sought on these boards, such as who is currently where.

 

Whilst the configuration of the Moon and Dawn is pretty much settled, there is still some fluidity in terms of fleet enhancement, in respect of classic and expedition ships.

 

Sir & Madame were given access to cabin 418, which has been refurbished in the Muse colour palette, which is the template for all the cabins after the Shadow’s refurbishment.

 

An interesting sidelight that emerged after the RCI takeover was the number of ports visited by Silversea as opposed to RCI, with the former at over 1000, and the latter under 500.  At least one of the SS ports raised the eyebrows of RCI’s head of security, as a potential terrorist risk.  The response from SS was to suggest deleting calls in New York for the same reason!!

 

Although not discussed, there will clearly be a payback for the massive investment in the brand.  One recent example is the reduction in air credit when opting out of SS’s included flights, which has now been cut from $1000 to only $900.

 

Dinner in La Terrazza was excellent but the size of the menu has shrunk considerably.  On a positive note the range of complimentary wines has been expanded to a total of 64.

 

The tender to Portofino is calling.  For the enquirer on a previous thread who raised the question,  the last tender tonight will be 11.00 pm and the ship sails at 11.30 pm.

 

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

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Good morning - herewith belatedly a couple of pictures from Monaco at night.  One showing the town and castle from the Terrazza whilst eating outside.  Quayside and lit up Russian (supposedly) cruiser and finally the moon before retiring for the night from my balcony.

 

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

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Portofino June 18

 

Portofino is on the Italian Riviera, southeast of Genoa and, like other settlements

along the coast, was originally a fishing village.  Down the millennia, it has been a Roman colony and subsequently ruled by France, England, Spain and Austria.  Popularity as a resort began during the 19th Century and today its harbour is a regular port for yachts both large and small.

 

Sir & Madame took an early afternoon tender ashore for a stroll round the town.  Little has changed since Madame’s visit several decades ago, apart from the prices and the amount of visitors.  Seemingly too, are the size of the yachts which appear more grandiose than before.

 

After Captain Luigi ‘s welcome party, the formal night dinner was at a table hosted by the RDM.  Coincidentally, one of the other couples I knew from previous cruises, but our paths had not crossed for some years.

 

Portofino photos to follow

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

 

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1 hour ago, Master Echo said:

Portofino June 18

 

Portofino is on the Italian Riviera, southeast of Genoa and, like other settlements

along the coast, was originally a fishing village.  Down the millennia, it has been a Roman colony and subsequently ruled by France, England, Spain and Austria.  Popularity as a resort began during the 19th Century and today its harbour is a regular port for yachts both large and small.

 

Sir & Madame took an early afternoon tender ashore for a stroll round the town.  Little has changed since Madame’s visit several decades ago, apart from the prices and the amount of visitors.  Seemingly too, are the size of the yachts which appear more grandiose than before.

 

After Captain Luigi ‘s welcome party, the formal night dinner was at a table hosted by the RDM.  Coincidentally, one of the other couples I knew from previous cruises, but our paths had not crossed for some years.

 

Portofino photos to follow

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

 

Who/what is the RDM please?

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SPortofino June 18

 

Portofino is on the Italian Riviera, southeast of Genoa and, like other settlements

along the coast, was originally a fishing village.  Down the millennia, it has been a Roman colony and subsequently ruled by France, England, Spain and Austria.  Popularity as a resort began during the 19th Century and today its harbour is a regular port for yachts both large and small.

 

Sir & Madame took an early afternoon tender ashore for a stroll round the town.  Little has changed since Madame’s visit several decades ago, apart from the prices and the amount of visitors.  Seemingly too, are the size of the yachts which appear more grandiose than before.

 

After Captain Luigi ‘s welcome party, the formal night dinner was at a table hosted by the RDM.  Coincidentally, one of the other couples I knew from previous cruises, but our paths had not crossed for some years.

 

Portofino photos to follow

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

 

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Is Captain Mino Pontillo on the Shadow - I thought he only sailed on the Spirit?

 

thanks cindy

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Portofino June 18

 

Portofino is on the Italian Riviera, southeast of Genoa and, like other settlements

along the coast, was originally a fishing village.  Down the millennia, it has been a Roman colony and subsequently ruled by France, England, Spain and Austria.  Popularity as a resort began during the 19th Century and today its harbour is a regular port for yachts both large and small.

 

Sir & Madame took an early afternoon tender ashore for a stroll round the town.  Little has changed since Madame’s visit several decades ago, apart from the prices and the amount of visitors.  Seemingly too, are the size of the yachts which appear more grandiose than before.

 

After Captain Luigi ‘s welcome party, the formal night dinner was at a table hosted by the RDM.  Coincidentally, one of the other couples I knew from previous cruises, but our paths had not crossed for some years.

 

Portofino photos to follow

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

Portoferraio June 19

 

Portoferraio was founded by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in 1548 but the1802 Treaty of Amiens transferred the town to France. In 1814 it was handed over to Napoleon Bonaparte, as the seat of his first exile. 

 

In the 19th century, Portoferraio became the main shipping port of iron ore towards the mainland, hence the current name, meaning "Iron Port" in Italian. After the end of the Napoleonic Era, Portoferraio returned to Tuscany.

Silver Shadow docked immediately adjacent to a small carpark which was next to the  main road,  at the bottom of the impressive fortress Medici.  To the left as you leave the ship is the central business district and the ferry port.  To the right,  as you round the bottom of the Fortress,  is the marina with upscale shops, restaurants and cafes. The town is very walkable and there are plenty of taxis.

If you wish to spend your time in Portoferraio, almost all of it is accessible on foot.

 

The climb to Napoleon's city house and to the fortresses can be difficult for those with mobility problems, but there are taxis, however there is still a walk to reach Napoleon’s house.  There are also taxis that do a tour of the city and surrounding areas, however they were charging 40 Euros per hour.  

 

During the summer from the end of May to the end of August, there's a little tourist train (on wheels) that offers a set non-stop tour of the city at a cost of 5 Euros.  This is an ideal way to gain orientation of the city, and Sir & Madame, then retraced the route to places that they wanted to explore on foot.

 

The old town is integrated into the former defences and gives a tight knit feel.  There is actually little to see within Portoferraio itself and a couple of hours sufficed for Sir and Madame’s exploration.  The overall impression was very favourable within the limits it had to offer.  

 

Back onboard the balcony offered an excellent vantage point to observe the almost constant ferry traffic which serves a variety of destinations in Italy.

 

All for now, pictures to follow

 

Kindest regards

Master Echo

 

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PORTO SANTO STEFANO THURSDAY JUNE 20

Porto Santo Stefano is a seaport town on the west coast of Tuscany 95 miles northwest of Rome

 

The region is popular for its unspoilt beaches and nature reserves. The village of Orbetello is on an isthmus between two lagoons, eight miles from Porto Santo Stefano and the lagoons are one of Tuscany’s most uncontaminated natural areas.  Costa Concordia capsized nearby on January 13, 2012.

 

This port is a maiden call for Silversea, and we arrived promptly, dropping anchor only a short distance from what appeared to be a very pretty Tuscan town.  The weather was perfect and the short tender transfer, to my mind, was over too quickly.

 

Sir & Madame had booked an SS excursion to one of this region’s oldest historic farms, having been in the same family for over a hundred and fifty years.  It covers well over 200 hectares, with both the farm and a large winery, together with extensive vineyards, olive groves as well as fields of grain. Situated some distance from the port area, the drive took them through some large imposing mansions into a more rural landscape with less habitation.

 

On arrival at La Parinna, located amongst the rolling hills of the Tuscan Maremma, the walking tour commenced to show the various animals and produce this place sells.  They hope to be completely organic within a few years, although their extra virgin olive oil, and the twenty different cheeses, have all been prize winning.  It was comforting to see large open air hen houses, pens with a couple of huge pigs, and a delight to Madame, a big enclosure where the resident came out to greet our little party braying loudly - a very pretty and energetic donkey!  It was explained that originally donkeys were used to carry goods up narrow paths, but the couple they have now are - as our guide explained - on holiday and have long since retired from any work!

 

A tour through the winery and information on how it is produced was interesting, particularly on their super Tuscan wines.  They are in casks for seven years, which might explain the high price these Merlots and Sangiovesas can command.  

A tasting followed in the main farmhouse which consisted of two of their cheeses, some ham and a glass of their sparkling white wine, an ordinary white and a red, but unfortunately not a Super Tuscan!

 

The farm also has about twelve rooms which are let out during the summer, and there is a small shop selling everything La Parrina produces, from vegetables to fruit, olive oil to wines.

 

The next stop was to the Orbetello Lagoon and to I Pescatori.  This organisation was created in 1946 to offset a history of overfishing that threatened the existence of the lagoon’s marine life.  The slow food presidium is trying to protect the historic fishing and fish processing traditions and their old techniques.  Their methods for capturing wild species: sea bass, gray mullet, eels, clams, shrimp and crabs help preserve their existence sustainably.

 

On arrival we were shown a short film with English subtitles, for which they proudly stated, had been shown at the Berlin Film Festival last year and explains how they achieve their aims.

 

A long trestle table was then filled with several large dishes of food to enable our tour to sample the fish. This consisted of sea bream with vegetables, some smoked mullet, sea bass and some cabbage and potato in a lurid shade of purple with some bottargo - salted cured grey mullet fish roe.  The food was very tasty and was accompanied by a bottle of white wine.  However Sir & Madame were a little concerned to learn that the sea bass was farmed, and a small reserve outside where we ate, confirmed this assumption. This doesn’t seem to equate with best ecological practice.

 

Our tour finished back at the harbour,  but unlike the rest of the party, Sir & Madame eschewed the waiting tender, to remain in town to further investigate what this charming little place had to offer.  It certainly was a quiet area, apart from the arrival of the many ro-ro ferries which disgorged heavy trucks en route to towns far distant.  They spied a small kiosk selling gelateri, and contrary to what they expected, two very delectable scoops of Italian ice cream each, was theirs for only 5 Euros.

 

A return to the ship beckoned to have a swim before Trivia, and so ended a very informative day in this Tuscan town. 

 

It was very interesting to learn from MainsD and pm8718 who went ashore after dinner, that the town took on a different character with many young teenagers out on the street, unlike that of the day time atmosphere.  It was with a feeling of sadness that we slipped the anchor around 11.30 pm to begin the long sail to Palermo Sicily two days hence.

 

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

 

pictures follow shortly

 

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Love your stories! I too am disappointed...when I reach the end of your post and it's over. What delightful prose! Now I am eagerly awaiting the pictures.

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Posted (edited)

I second JP's praise. Your writing transported me to Tuscany for the day, even without photos. In October, we have arranged for five nights at an agriturismo/villa/winery in Chianti, and I felt as if I was already there. Looking forward to reading more of your wonderful descriptions of your journey.

Edited by JohnGinPBG

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No one writes more vividly or delivers better information than Master Echo. And the photos have been terrific. Please keep charming us with all the wonderful details of your adventures!  XO, Pash

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On 6/18/2019 at 1:33 PM, Master Echo said:

Sir & Madame were given access to cabin 418, which has been refurbished in the Muse colour palette, which is the template for all the cabins after the Shadow’s refurbishment.

 

 

Glad you found it. The photo I saw was just from the entrance but was just so much brighter than adjacent room.

 

Concur with the comments re Kirk... very sad to hear he’s parted company... wish him every success on his future ventures.

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Thursday June 21 at sea

 

Thank you all so much for your kind comments, and I hope that my pictures are not too bad.  I am a complete novice when it comes to using an I Phone camera.

 

Anyway a few pictures from Porto Santo Stefano

 

The shore line sailing into the port at Santo Stefano prior to anchoring 

 

 

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Thursday June 21 at sea

 

Thank you all so much for your kind comments, and I hope that my pictures are not too bad.  I am a complete novice when it comes to using an I Phone camera.

 

Anyway a few pictures from Porto Santo Stefano

 

The shore line sailing into the port at Santo Stefano prior to anchoring 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Apologies for the previous bit in the middle - good old CC !,  dont know what happened - now for the photos

 

Kindest regards 

 

Master Echo

 

more to follow - hopefully!!

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Edited by Master Echo

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