Saturday, November 26, 2016

Silversea Expedition Cruises - Exotic Journeys Focus on "The Journey" - Silver Discoverer Indonesia/Myanmar Expedition: Part IX (Reflections)

I chose the November 7, 2016 Silversea Expedition cruise on the Silver Discoverer from Singapore to Indonesia to Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago because it was on Silversea Expedition’s oldest and smallest ship and the itinerary is a mix of expeditions with no real tie between them. 

Silversea Expeditions' Silver Discoverer
An Early Morning Expedition
How does that make sense?  I figure that if Silversea Expeditions can provide a remarkable experience with this challenging combination then it can most certainly deliver on its newer, larger, ships with more cohesive itineraries.

The short answer is:  The Expedition Staff of the Silver Discoverer came through with flying colors.  They – with the odds against them due to the ship arriving in Singapore a day late and with work from the drydock still incomplete – provided a unique, enriching and enjoyable experience that has made the adventure well worth it. 

A Percula Clown a/k/a Nemo
The longer answer is, as also addressed in this article, is that, frustratingly, there is significant room for improvement on the hotel side of things.  While most of the needed improvements are easily addressed through training or minor changes, what follows may seem like a rather harsh critique.  However, the reality is that most of the issues are easily addressed and/or shouldn’t otherwise cause one to hesitate taking an expedition cruise on her.

Properly Setting Expectations Improves the Silversea Expedition Experience

I am a bit baffled why Silversea would essentially be undercutting its own product by promoting it as if the Expedition product is essentially a twin of the Classic product.  The Expedition product is an exceptional one, but is focused on the journey with the ship being a tool to assist rather than being the focus.

An Expedition cruise allows you to really spend time with locals
in a casual setting
Put another way, the most significant thing to understand when booking a Silversea Expedition cruise is that you are not booking a classic Silversea ocean cruise.   The reality is there is very little in common between a classic cruise and an expedition cruise…including the mindset of the appropriate guests. 

By setting expectations properly it eliminates a sour note when guests board the ship and entering their accommodations expecting grandeur and a “suite”, but finding an older ship design with a few rough edges and “stateroom.  I would lose any reference to “elegant casual” dress or a Silversea fine dining experience. (The idea is to have guests’ expectations exceeded; not defeated.) 

That said, the Silver Discoverer works really well as an Expedition ship.  Her small size, open decks, shallow draft and stern-located tender platform allow her to do things and go places that a classic cruise ship (even smaller ones) cannot do.  I like her and I would sail on her again without hesitation. 

Silversea Silver Discoverer Delivered the Promised Expedition
Even With the Ship Being Late

So how and why did I enjoy my Silversea Expedition Silver Discoverer experience?  I was supposed to receive an Expedition and an Expedition is what I received! 

Expedition cruising
makes beautiful places like this a daily experience
With the ship being a day late, the challenge to do so was insignificant, so observing how they were able to turn an eleven day itinerary into a ten day one and still provide the full experience was an added bonus for me. 

As an expedition experience there are only a few times that the ship is “scheduled” to be in a particular port (unlike a classic cruise ship that has its ports arranged and pretty much set in stone).  Incredibly, with the captain and expedition leader working together – and with the cooperation of the authorities – they were able to deliver just about everything that was promised from the number of snorkeling and dive opportunities, to scheduled port calls, to onshore experiences.  And it was done with one day omitted from the itinerary.  (Usually a stop would be eliminated to catch up with the planned itinerary, right?)


In order to accomplish this, and because it is an “expedition”, asking guests to be ready to go at 6:00 a.m. on a couple of occasions to was deftly done and complied with without a complaint; though some groaning.  When one is on an expedition cruise the guests’ flexibility is key.

The Expedition Staff Excelled

Each of the Expedition Staff has a specialty and each one is personable and easily relatable.  Whether it was the resident “bird nerd’ (who pretty much is a nerd about everything) having an excited discussion about his disappointment nobody took a photograph of a dead rat observed on a shoreside visit or a thoughtful and engaging talk on the palm oil dilemma or a lecture on climate change or local culture, these same folks hopped into zodiacs and the water making sure we were both safe and intellectually got as much out of each visit as we, individually, wanted.   They dined with us, socialized with us and made us feel at home.  That is a true talent and invaluable to an expedition experience.


Many of the stops we made for first times for this ship.  Zodiacs were sent out not only to figure out which beach had the best snorkeling or diving, the logistics of getting everyone onshore safely, but what should be expected from the currents, water temperature, marine life, etc.  In port arranging for a dozen minivans hobbled together since tourism (especially Western tourism) is all but non-existent…and with guides.  Or even having a police escort to assure we did not get caught up in traffic that would have made an extremely long trip even longer…and possibly cause a port to be missed.  It is not easy making all this happen, but the Expedition Team of the Silver Discoverer did it time and time again.


 The Expedition Staff dines with the guests and not just on Elegant Casual nights when invitations are sent out.  It really adds to your experience when you can chat with the Expedition leaders not only about the day’s experiences, but who they are as individuals.

Expedition Ship Reality:  This Ain’t No Classic Cruise

There is no question that the Silver Discoverer is an old ship and needs some TLC; especially if she is associated with the luxury of Silversea.  Before reading my criticisms of the ship remember that she will be taking you to places where others cannot; so her shortcomings that cannot be easily corrected are, to me, well worth enduring.  However, you need to be sure they are for you!

Silver Discoverer's Veranda Suite
is really a large, comfortable, stateroom
The accommodations, including my Veranda Suite (one of the top categories) are not suites, but staterooms with (very) small bathrooms.  The stateroom cabinetry is not new, but the staterooms are comfortable (when the air conditioning is working properly).  The bathrooms are well designed and have wonderful, modern, higher end finishes.  Also buffing up the staterooms up are fantastic linens, Bulgari amenities, a stocked refrigerator, etc., plus they are kept immaculately clean and have butler service.  (My butler polished my boat shoes twice; making me feel a bit guilty for using them as intended!)

Your Silversea Butler
That said, there are times when the water runs brown and other times when it doesn’t run at all (not often).  There are issues with the air conditioning (this area is too cold, that area is too warm).  The teak decks are in need of work and a serious cleaning due to the refurbishment. And some steel surfaces could use sandblasting and repainting.  The lighting desperately needs to be updated and brightened especially in the dining room, reception and stairwells.  It is obvious that the wrong color light bulbs were recently installed, but nothing was done to correct the situation…or even acknowledging the problem. (This is one thing that just baffled me as the problem was immediately obvious when the bulbs were installed!)

Wrong color light bulbs turn this inviting sitting area
into an uncomfortable and dark space
Also, there were some “upgrades” that were installed during the drydock that, to me, are misses.  The buffet installed in the Restaurant is of an old design (and with the sneeze guard so low that you cannot reach the food at the rear) that lends itself to less than creatively presentations – with virtually (if not literally) the same items offered at each breakfast and lunch in identical serving trays lined up in a row.  Creative presentation costs nothing!!! 

The Discoverer Lounge (which is where breakfast and lunch used to be served) is now a rather barren looking space to relax in or play cards (though it does have a good coffee/espresso maker).  It was used regularly by a few of the guests, but they tended to only use the more comfortable chairs which are located in the four corners of the lounge.  Why those chairs were not used throughout, I haven’t a clue. 
Silver Discoverer's Discoverer Lounge
Somewhat incongruently, High Tea is served in the Discoverer Lounge each day; which to me seems inconsistent with the expedition nature of the product, but some did enjoy it.  I did enjoy the tea offerings on a few occasions.  The fingers sandwiches were fine, but the scones were merely OK and whipped rather than clotted cream was provided.

The Staff is Friendly, the Cuisine OK, But Both Need Significant Training

Also, while the Officers, Expedition Staff, Butlers and Guest Relations (even most stewards and stewardesses) are fluent in English and perform to a luxury level, the wait and bar staff have varying degrees of proficiency with English, and although they work with a pleasing approach, are generally slow and not sufficient polished to be considered luxury, or even premium, service. 

The impression I have is that the bar staff actually has had no training whatsoever, so drinks are poured inconsistently and cocktails are essentially non-existent.  Too frequently flat tonic or sparking water instead of club soda was used in drinks.  I consistently asked for Tanqueray gin and was given Bombay Sapphire (presumably as an upgrade).  I dared not ask for a rum punch no less anything more complicated; noting that the bars are sparsely stocked with liquors and ingredients.  (In contrast, after I disembarked the Silver Discoverer I spent one day at The Slate, in Phuket.  Each complex cocktail was perfectly created down to the symmetry of the sliced fruit.  It highlighted the Silver Discoverer’s bar staff’s weakness and how it truly affected any possible perception of a “luxury” experience.)


 The same can be said for most (not all) of the wait staff.  At breakfast I was never offered poached or fried eggs or omelets.  If you request them, they are available, but you have to flag down a waiter.  Similarly, bagels are not presented on the buffet, so again, if you want it you need to know to ask. 

One of my pet peeves is a waiter reaching across me to remove a plate and that is consistently done.  When dining by the pool, another pet peeve:  Dirty forks are not replaced, but rather taken off your plate and put on the placemat to be used for your second course. Yuk!  If you get up during your meal, your napkin is neither replaced or refolded.  These are simple training issues that can make a world of difference; especially when attempt to present a luxury product.


Communication is also an issue with a good number of the wait staff not really having a command of English…even on simple things.  As an infuriating example, I am pretty good with my wines, but I could never understand what the descriptions were…which were clearly memorized - not known - by the wine stewards – and delivered with thick accents and mispronunciations.  Thus you were pretty much in a less than luxury or premium experience merely choosing between “white or red” (both being held in one hand) with no – or only one - alternative readily available.    Were the wine stewards nice people?  Yes. Did they do their best?  Yes.  But if they are not properly trained there is no way they perform to an expected level.

Little touches are needed or are inconsistently provided such as continental breakfast in the lounge (or, better, would be on deck) when you are up at sunrise, mimosas and orange juice when you return, a culturally relevant culinary surprise midday on deck or at high tea, etc.
Similarly, the cuisine is OK, but not luxury or what one would expect on a Silversea classic fleet cruise.  It isn’t bad, but nothing was really memorable.  Breakfast is literally identical every day with a modest buffet (you can order eggs or an omelet but the waiters do not offer it to you) and lunch is also a buffet with many repetitive items.  Croissants seem to be frozen and tasteless as are most breads.  (I had expected some crusty Italian bread on Silversea, but none was to be had; not even the baguettes that occasionally appeared. Lunch at the pool provides a very limited menu with only the fish of the day changing.

Silver Discoverer in Kawthoung, Myanmar
In the Dining Room, misses like “pan seared” fish clearly never having seen a pan, but merely baked are common.  The only dinner that caught my attention at all was the Indian themed one.  Personally, I felt uncomfortable with the chef appearing each evening and going to each table seeking praise…especially when she had to know the quality of what was coming out of her galley.

But, with all of these issues, the cuisine wasn’t terrible, the breads were fresh and the wines were acceptable.  But with just a little effort it all could be so much better.

Overall Experience

From the cuisine and cutting edge architecture of Singapore to the orangutans of Belawan, Indonesia to the tsunami-ravaged Banda Aceh, Indonesia to the mystery and tension in Kawthaong, Myanmar to the natural wonders and Moken people of Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago, Silversea Expeditions delivered a very full and enriching eleven days.

Silversea Expeditions Silver Discoverer at sunset
To be sure, expedition cruising is not for everyone.  You need to be able to look and live past the discomfort of heat and humidity (or cold and wet), possibly constantly changing itineraries, less than optimal transportation, less than luxurious accommodations and a few misses.  Not everyone can or wants to. 

But if you do…or are willing to try it once…expedition cruising with Silversea Expeditions can be incredibly rewarding.

If you would like more information or would like to book your Silversea Expedition or other exotic cruise, please give us a call:

United States:           (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:     020 8133 3450
Australia:                 (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:    +1 530-562-9232

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Silversea Expedition Cruises - Exotic Journeys Focus on "The Journey" - Silver Discoverer Indonesia/Myanmar Expedition: Part VIII (Myanmar - Developing Tourism & Finding Nemo Again)

Our journey on the Silversea Expedition's Silver Discoverer cruise through the Mergui Archipeligo continues with arrival off the coast of Pu Nala Island and Bo Cho Village (also referred to as Bo Cho Island and Ma Kyone Galet) where the Myanmar and Thai governments coordinated the “resettlement” of the Mokan (Sea Gypsy) people. 

Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

We are some of the first tourists to visit this resettlement; most certainly an exciting and interesting opportunity and experience.  

Bo Cho Village Resettlement of Mokan (Sea Gypsies)
That said…

 
Mokan houses usually on stilts
A display of dried squid
The rationale apparently is that the Mokans wander between the two countries and also have a number of societal issues (poverty, drug use, etc.), but there is no way to control or assist them.  So the Myanmar government created a new village for them, with their houses being essentially in their traditional form, but with an Italian NGO assisting in providing each home with fresh water and sanitary systems, a school and a community medical center (which consists really of two midwives and not much more…yet.) The story does not end there, however!  


A display of partially built squid traps
The Mokan aren’t the only people living in Bo Cho, but rather there are five different ethnic groups, with the Mokan living on the beach (as they have traditionally) and the others living more upland and are the ones who run the school and shops while the Mokan continue to fish for squid (as do some of the other ethic groups). The story does not end there either! 

Being developed presently is a tourism plan, where people can come to see the Mokans.  A visitor center is coming soon.  I thought this a bit strange.  Are we coming to engage the Mokans or see them on display?  We shall see.


We were met by some very polite and enthusiastic young adults from the community who are learning to be guides.   They are working hard to learn English and to explain the various interesting area of the village such as the Mokan shrines, the Buddhist temple complex, the library and the (show) planation that has one or two of various varieties of local plants/trees.

My guide, Cherry, is the 19 year old librarian for the village.
With one month of English study she did extremely well.
By showing interest, taking it slow and asking questions
it made her more engaged.  By the end of our time she told
her friend to tease me that she wanted me to be her father.
(I, obviously, got special attention!)
There was also a very tightly orchestrated and intense singing of the national anthem at the school (with very few, if any, of the school-aged children actually interacting with us) 



followed by a more lighthearted application of the sandalwood makeup many of the locals use.  (It was originally used as sun protection, but now is more for beauty; used mostly by women, but some men as well.)
The traditional sandalwood makeup was offered to all of us 
The village is interesting.  The people are charming.  I am very glad that I went.  BUT…and it is a BIG BUT…I cannot help but think of the place more like an internment camp where the Mokan are being rounded up because “It will be better for you there” while their culture is essentially destroyed and they are put on show.  This is not so dissimilar to what happened to the Native Americans in the United States. 


I might think differently…at least a little…if the Mokan people had their input into the process and, believe it or not, some time was spent discussing the Moken people and their culture, rather than just showing us displays of some of their items, which was literally (not even virtually) absent.

This Mokan woman is supposedly 100 years old.
I am not sure how they know, but I also had no idea
what she was saying to me (good or bad)!
But this is what travel is about.  It is supposed to make you think and expose you to different things; some things that are not so comfortable.  If I had not been here I would not have known of the Mokan, other than I knew Sea Gypsies existed, or really anything about their way of life.  I would not have observed efforts to develop tourism…or the two sides (good and bad) of doing so.

Betel nut is quite popular with the older Mokan.
When kept in your mouth it gives you a bit of a high..and orange teeth
I did have one personal, selfish, disappointment:  I was going to have some of the local mohinga soup, but was told I had to wait until after the tour of the village.  Well, by the time the tour was over the day’s supply of mohinga was sold.  Soooo disappointed.  But as I was walking back to the zodiac, I saw a woman preparing something.  It was fried banana and fried yams.  She started cooking them and, as I waited with anticipation, one of the expedition team came over and said the last zodiac was waiting for me.  Soooo disappointed.  

Chili drying on a rooftop

Juxtaposed to visiting Bo Cho, our Silver Discoverer cruise shifted dramatically:  From this point on we are in a purely Silversea Expedition beach, snorkel and diving cruise.  We arrived at Frost Island; another beautiful beach with decent snorkeling and beautiful weather.



Then next morning was Shark Island (no there were no sharks) and was the best snorkeling of the cruise as far as variety of fish and the size of the reef.



The afternoon was, for me, the only disappointment as the Fork Island beach was actually part of a local resort of sorts with no snorkeling and cloudy skies.  I did hear that diving was excellent.  I would have preferred a pool party or something of that sort, but others were happy to get off the boat and spend time with sand between their toes. 

Case in point as to why one needs to be flexible when on an Expedition cruise:  I’m thinking stay on the ship, others are thinking toes in the sand and then there was the third group:  A number of people had never seen hermit crabs…and there were dozens of them…or seen a squirrel, some Australians declaring their sighting as one of excited importance.  I said that squirrels to me were the equivalent of flying foxes (huge fruit bats) to them.  After exchanging a few stories, we agreed.

On last day we stopped at Kyet Mauk, or Cock’s Comb, Island for a 7:00 a.m. swim through an archway into a protected cove.  It sounded a bit touristic (yes, even in Myanmar) and seeing a rope hanging to guide one through it at higher tides didn’t help.   But I figured it was the last stop on our Silversea Expedition Silver Discoverer journey so I should do it.  I am so very glad I did.  This little spot had the best variety of coral, probably the best variety of small fish, a massive school of a blue fish (I need to identify) and, although I did not see them, a small school of barracuda.

Kyet Mauk Island - Swim under the arch
into a protected underwater wonderland


The point is, especially when in a remote part of the world, sometimes you need to push yourself.  Rather than sleeping in, having your last spa appointment or starting to pack, take advantage of every opportunity.  I would have been sorely disappointed if I hadn’t looked past my pre-conceived idea.


As we now sail for Phuket, Thailand stopping back in Kawthaung, Myanmar to clear immigration, it is time to reflect on my time on the Silversea Expeditions Silver Discoverer.  Check back for my Reflections article!

If you would like more information or would like to book your Silversea Expedition or other exotic cruise, please give us a call:

United States:           (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:     020 8133 3450
Australia:                 (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:    +1 530-562-9232

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Silversea Expedition Cruises - Exotic Journeys Focus on "The Journey" - Silver Discoverer Indonesia/Myanmar Expedition: Part VII (Myanmar - No Complaints!)

The next day marked a rather dramatic change in our cruise on the Silversea Expeditions Silver Discoverer.  We left Indonesia and set sail for Myanmar; but not the Myanmar visited by ocean and river cruise lines.  We are headed to the Mergui Archipelago far to the south.

It was a lazy morning at sea, but there were still the snorkel and dive safety briefing and two lectures to attend.  Speaking of snorkeling and diving, if you snorkel Silversea Expeditions provides good quality equipment so you need bring nothing.  If you are a diver, you have to bring your own equipment, but oxygen tanks are provided.  (On this sailing there are only four divers, and most everyone else is at least giving snorkeling a try.)

Kawthaung, Myanmar
One of the only signs I saw written in English
We arrived off the coast of Kawthaung, Myanmar about an hour earlier than scheduled so as to give the two dozen Myanmar immigration officials the anticipated up to four hours to clear the ship.  Between the ship arriving early and clearing immigration quicker than anticipated we were off and ready to briefly explore this small port town. 

Silversea Expedition's Silver Discoverer
at anchor in Kawthaung, Myanmar
 A short zodiac ride to awaiting minivans brought us to a few monuments, but little to no explanation of what they were.  It was a combination of the guides not really speaking English (classroom English is one thing, but interacting with Westerners is a whole ‘nuther thing), Westerners being more aggressive (wandering around rather than staying by the guide) and, of course, the guide not wanting to offend by giving anyone instructions.  As the town isn’t large or of particular importance in recent history, it was fine.



We then were taken to a Buddhist monastery to walk around. 

I wish I knew how to caption this photo!
(After the groups left some from the ship that decided to just walk around arrived at the monastery and were welcomed into a local ceremony that surprised, and delighted not only them, but the locals.  Sorry I missed that!)  But as we walked out of the monastery I saw…Food!


I asked the guide if I could try some.  He was a bit shocked, but off we went.  Next thing you know I had a choice of pig liver or pig snout.  I figured the snout was safer. It was not bad, but not memorable culinarily either.  However, as a quick moment with the locals and seeing what they eat, it was.


We then were taken to a couple of souvenir shops, which just seemed to out of place in this ramshackle town, and were given the option to either be driven back to the ship or walk and explore.  Walk and explore it was!  While I will save some of my observations for the end of my trip, I will say that the town was clearly “something” many years ago.  The British colonial architecture is everywhere, usually still visible on the second and third floors, while the ground floor of most buildings seemed to a shop of some sort.  Intermingled were more Asian-type buildings.  Visually it was very interesting.




 As I walked I smelled Food!  I wandered quickly through the small market (it was later in the day so most of the day’s business had already been completed) and then saw a line of food stands along the pier-side.  



As I surveyed the stands, there was a young woman who never smiled, but made some sort of soup (which I now know is Mohinga, a noodle soup with a fish sauce base – sort of the national dish) with something like 20 or more ingredients.

Mohinga (a Burmese national dish) in the making.
Now:  How to get some for me?

 But I had two problems:  The woman wouldn’t look at me and I didn’t have any local currency.  After I solved the first problem through persistence (she was actually very shy because I am Western and also because she spoke no English) the second problem solved with a tap on my back.  A man, not saying a word, pointed me to the equivalent of a cambio (change maker) across the street.  I exchanged my remaining Singapore dollars for Burmese Kyat.

Back to the shop and I watched her deftly make this soup with a spoonful of this, a shake of that, a squirt of fish sauce (I could identify that!), and more spoonfuls of some other things.  To this she added two type of noodles that were cooked separately and the mixture was vigorously mixed.  Then a green thing I cannot identify and a hardboiled egg were added.  On the side a delicious brown fish sauce based broth.  It was spicy, smoky, sweet and just simply delicious.  A Top 10 of Street Food!


Mohinga - It it hard to capture the noodles and spices
in this dark, thick, soup
 When I told the young woman that it was fantastic with a rubbing of my belly and two thumbs up, she finally smiled…and it was a big genuine smile.

Complimenting the chef in any language
usually results in a big smile!
It was then time to return to the ship.  Upon arriving at the zodiac driven by Scuba Steve, from New Zealand, I said I could use a beer.  He jumped up, went into his bag and:  A beer for the ride back to the ship.  Definitely a Silversea Expedition Moment:  Laid back, but spot on!


The next day brought a dramatic change to the nature of our cruise.  We are exploring remote islands. First up is Lampi Island, which is part of a national park…and a very early morning as we headed out at sunrise to cruise the Lampi Channel which runs between two islands.  It would have been nice if coffee and croissants were provided by the pool as we waited for the zodiacs, but none was offered.  (Room service or the coffee station inside were available, but a simple thing like that would have made coffee on deck at sunrise a memorable thing.)

Early morning zodiac exploration on the Silversea Expeditions
Silver Discoverer


 We saw, at a distance, some crab-eating macaques and a few birds, but honestly just the natural beauty alone was worth getting up.  As we traveled up the channel we did come across an illegal Moken village (they are also known as Sea Gypsies that fish for squid and travel between Myanmar and Thailand).    

A Mokan village near Lampi Island, Myanmar


One of the hundreds of fishing boats that are seemingly everywhere
It was then back to the ship (a greeting with Mimosas and orange juice would have been nice) for breakfast and then a late morning zodiac trip to the nearby mangroves.  Early morning or late afternoon would have been better for birding and such, but there is only so much that can be fit into a day when there is significant ground (er’ um, water) to cover.  The expedition leader in our zodiac was excellent in teaching about mangroves and spotting the few birds that were out in the heat.

Mangroves in Myanmar


 The afternoon was spectacular with a visit to a remote beach that few, if any, have ever visited. The scuba folks dove, the snorkels snorkeled and those that just wanted the beach had that too.  The Expedition staff provided alcoholic drinks, beer, soft drinks, juices and water.  

My snorkeling buddy, Bonnie
Scuba Steve's charming daughter
I found the snorkeling (with my snorkel-buddy, Bonnie – Scuba Steve’s 12 year old daughter) to be quite good, but not great.  That is not a complaint, but rather merely noting the water was not perfectly clear and the diversity of fish was excellent, but the numbers of fish were just OK.   

Percula Clownfish (a/k/a Nemo)
Lampi Island National Park, Myanmar
That evening a woman that has made a sport of complaining got into a rant about how Silversea Expeditions should have had smaller zodiacs so that they could have gone deeper into the mangroves…but while she was in the mangroves she was miserable (dressed entirely inappropriately) and wanted nothing to do with it, wanting to just get back to the ship.  I had had enough!  I told her not to speak to me for the remainder of the cruise and that if she wants to be miserable all the time, she should do it on her time; not mine.  What a relief! 

Oh, and because of her protest about wanting to go back to the ship, rather than exploring a barrier island protecting the mangrove, she missed this:


 I didn’t!  And I got to say, once again, "WOW!"

Let me be clear, the Silversea Expedition Silver Discoverer is an older ship with a number of quirks, but it has a friendly, enthusiastic and talented expedition staff and a mindset of exploration and doing the things that will bring the guests real life memories; not necessarily of the spa or dining experience.  But that isn't why you go on an expedition cruise anyway, is it?


Just sayin’!

If you would like more information or would like to book your Silversea Expedition or other exotic cruise, please give us a call:

United States:           (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:     020 8133 3450
Australia:                 (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:    +1 530-562-9232