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#249669 - 03/04/18 01:28 PM Silver Spirit Extension  
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Ngaire Online
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Just wanted you to know Ken and I leave on Tuesday and will be out of the office until March 14. Not on my list of the dates we are out of the office escorting trips, but of course Clay and my team will handle anything that comes up.

We are going to see the Silver Spirit receive her 49 ft extension. It is a Silversea function and we will see the ship cut down the middle and separated then the next day go back to see the new 49 ft extension added to the ship. I hesitated a first to do this a long way to go for a short time but it should be something really neat to see.

Trying to get air was a nightmare. Flights do not go into the Palermo airport every day. No business frequent flyers on the date going out. Just looked like it would not work. We were doing all this when we were on the Mariner making it even harder. However, after a few gray hairs it all worked out as if it was "meant to be" On March 6 returning on March 13 we could get business class BA from DFW to LHR using miles and a companion ticket we have that is about to expire.

What to do until the function starts in Palermo on March 9th? I have always wanted to go to Lake Como. Been on my list for a long time, so I said lets check it! Worked great BA from LHR to Milan and then on the 9th Easy Jet from Milan to Palermo. Success so I accepted the Silversea invitation.

Then we decided since Ken and I never do anything with just the two of us so we decided to splurge and find a really luxury hotel in Lake Como. Foiled on that one as the nicer hotels do not open until late March. We finally decided to stay at the hotel that Cheron found in Lake Como, when they went with June and Ralph. Hotel Olivedo in Varenna, great location and lots of restaurants so we will splurge on food instead!

The itinerary from Silversea looks fantastic. First night dinner in the hotel where we are staying and that looks fantastic. Then one in a swanky Italian villa and one in a castle on a hilltop. We have to leave a day early to catch the flight coming home but we do get to see the entire Silver Spirit event.



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#249677 - 03/05/18 08:02 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Good for you two to get away without all us ragamuffins in your shadow.

Have a fabulous time. We did a home exchange more than 20 years ago for a week in a condo overlooking Lake Lugano on the Italy/Swiss border and LOVED it !


Marcie

#249679 - 03/05/18 09:00 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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Ah I will miss my ragamuffin friends. The event will probably have a bunch of people I imagine a minimum of 50 guests. Probably mostly Europeans I am just having to meet a whole new group of people so I will miss all my friends!!! Always more fun with good friends.


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#249687 - 03/06/18 01:05 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Have fun. I remember you telling me about this on Mariner and it sounded fun. Glad you are getting some "you" time as well.


JoAnn
#249689 - 03/06/18 08:36 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: cruisinfanatic]  
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Ngaire, we look forward to your comments on the stretched Spirit. Our cruise on the Spirit on 7/24, which we booked with Susan Walsh, will be our first on Silversea, after many trips on Regent. Perhaps not the best way to ty a new line (i.e., a newly stretched ship); but the itinerary (Copenhagen to Stockholm via small ports in the Gulf of Bothnia, rather than in the Gulf of Finland) is quite unusual,

We had read about "select TAs" being invited to the cutting, and are glad that KLT will be there.

When we were in the Italian Lake district, we stayed on Lake Maggiore at the pretentiously named "Grand Hotel des Isles Barromees". The views were spectacular, the hotel was grand in late 19th century style, and we had a great meal on one of the Barromees islands. If your Lake Como hotel falls through, try this hotel. J & J

#249698 - 03/07/18 09:07 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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On the plane now in LHR heading to Milan.

I am sure we not be on the ship at all. It will be in dry dock. But really looking forward to seeing this done.

I searched and found lots of beautiful hotels in the Lake Como area but none open till late March or April. Villa de Este the famous hotel opens earlier than most but two days after we leave. Many of the restaurants are closed Monday through to Wednesday. Guess it is not peak time!!!!

Also very cold in the 30’s but at least we are thee and it won’t be crowded.


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#249700 - 03/07/18 04:29 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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Lake Como does not disappoint. It was misty and had been raining when we arrived. But quite quickly it started to clear up. Now we are looking at snow capped mountains, a totally calm lake, with blue sky and sunshine. Tomorrow is supposed to be bright sunshine no clouds. We will travel by ferry to Bellagio and some other ferry stops. NO people around. We walked the waterfront and saw maybe ten people.

Tonight we both want pizza. Found a restaurant open that is rated highly for pizza. Then hit the sack.


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#249704 - 03/08/18 12:15 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Glad you are enjoying Lake Como. It is a beautiful place. Not sure if you can walk it, but if you walk along the lake to the left of the hotel as you leave it and walk to the end of the walkway, then turn a corner to the right, then up a bit to the left - not much past there around the corner, there is a very good restaurant with a big patio area which we enjoyed very much, Unfortunately all the steps would probably be problematic for you to go to a lot of the cafes/restaurants we went to, but the walk to the restaurant I just referred to is pretty flat with no steps. It does take about 10-15 mins to walk there. Not sure of course whether the restaurant is even open but it is quite large so it may be open. Hope the weather stays good for you.

#249708 - 03/08/18 03:58 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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Yes we walked that area yesterday as the weather was clearing. We ate in that area last night at the Victoria Grill rated best Pizza in verbena. FABULOUS.

We researched all the websites on the restaurants here and the highest rated only has six tables. Called ll Cavatappi and made reservations for tonight. Yes lots of steps but worth it for the views


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#249709 - 03/08/18 04:09 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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Today was amazing. PERFECT weather, brilliant blue sky, no wind and not very cold. Maybe 45 degrees. With a coat super comfortable. We took the ferry to Bellagio and walked the town for about two hours. Then we took the ferry to Maggiano and liked that more. I hope Ken can post some pictures you will see the gorgeous weather and scenery. Fantastic lake walk in Magianno that went a long way. We walked it all then stopped and split a pizza. Service today and last night has been incredibly fast. Probably walked for five hours today and loved every second of it. Surrounded by such scenery on a perfect day we had such a good time.

NO PEOPLE. On our ferry rides maybe six other people. We lucked out off season was the way to go and no day could have been nicer than today.


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#249710 - 03/08/18 05:38 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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I'm glad you're having so much fun at Lake Como. Al and I were there years ago in November. We decided to drive up after a convention in Monte Carlo. Were we ever surprised to find the city and the hotels so empty. Our hotel was totally empty except for the two of us and a Delta flight crew. We nearly froze, but had so much fun walking around (those were the days!) eating pizza and browsing through little grocery stores. That's when I found out Italians really do eat Barilla pasta!


Kathy
#249714 - 03/08/18 08:33 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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We are very much enjoying reading your posts about your visit to beautiful Lake Como.
We would go back in a heartbeat. We absolutely LOVED everything about it. We found Varenna to be the perfect location on so many levels. We loved both Bellagio (where we walked for ages and ended up having a fabulous lunch up the top of the steps somwhere) and Menaggio, but in some respects also preferred Menaggio. I took some nice pictures there. Lovely walks everywhere throughout the area. Just SO glad you are taking some time out for yourselves. Of course we are wishing we were with you but we are with you in spirit, for sure!!

#249715 - 03/08/18 08:45 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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Enjoyed dinner - tonight tiny place. Darling little guy who is probably the owner. Two chefs cooking in a kitchen with a window so you can see everything being prepared. Fantastic artichoke and mushroom soup. Great bread. We both ordered a steak. It was tender and perfectly cooked but I think we are spoiled with meat. It did not have much flavor. However the potato gratin was fantastic. Found this with meat before in Europe just different. Should of had a pasta.

We met two Australians at breakfast at the hotel this morning. Really nice from Melbourne. We were seated and in walked the two Australians. There was only one four top and it was booked. So we sat next to each other and nattered away during the whole meal. We really enjoyed their company.

Sorry to leave here would have liked one more day. However off to Palermo tomorrow and the event calendar looks great.


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#249716 - 03/08/18 09:20 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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That tiny restaurant sounds as though it is the same one we ate at. We had a hard job getting a reservation there but finally managed it on our last night. Great food and service. Speaking of meeting nice people, we had the good fortune to meet and chat with a very likeable gay couple sitting at an adjacent table, while dining at a restaurant in another hotel with fantastic views overlooking the lake in Varenna. It turned out they were also from Rancho Mirage !! We still keep in touch with them and consider them good friends now. We have been to each other’s house for dinner and also dined out in the desert several times. You never know who you are going to meet eh !!!

#249721 - 03/09/18 06:04 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Lake Como:

[Linked Image]
We arrived in Varenna on Wednesday afternoon with clouds and light rain.

[Linked Image]
What a difference a day makes.

[Linked Image]
Varenna is a beautiful city on the lake.

[Linked Image]
Our hotel is the building on the left side, the Hotel Olivedo.

[Linked Image]
We took a ferry to Bellagio, it took about 20 minutes.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Then we took another ferry from Bellagio to Menaggio.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#249722 - 03/09/18 06:27 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#249723 - 03/10/18 02:41 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Thank you Ken for the beautiful photos! Wonderful colors! I love hearing about this trip , and about the one June and Ralph had! ha! Seriously, it all sounds so charming and looks gorgeous!


Kim
#249724 - 03/10/18 05:22 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Loving all the pictures, Ngaire as well as your wonderful narrative! Thank you for taking us along! Haha never been there, just heard along the way George Clooney loves it? He’s seen not quite the number of sights you have, for sure.

#249726 - 03/10/18 09:08 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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We are in Palmero now. Fabulous old hotel, Villa Igea. Rooms with high ceilings really decorative. When we arrived lasted yesterday afternoon it was raining. We woke to brilliant sunshine, totally calm. My weather juju is working great. Off to see the Silver Spirit cut in half.
Back later.


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#249728 - 03/10/18 01:20 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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We are back. Great event.

A huge tent was set up right next to the ship on an upper level. In the front area of the tent was a bar with all kinds of finger foods. Then seating with a stage for some speeches and an overview with pictures of all the updates to the ship.

The speeches were really interesting. Facts, figures and stories of how this is all done. What used to take two weeks to do is now Is now completed in 48 hours. They are totally refurbishing the ship with the same nice light woods and colors as the Silver Muse. Also removing the main dining room and going with the all speciality restaurants concept that is on the Silver Muse. They are adding 34 cabins, making the pool deck area larger, creating more restaurants and lager public spaces. It will look totally different.

The new section is adding two extra decks. As much as possible the new section has already been completed. You will see a picture of it n Kens pictures that will follow.

The ship moving apart is very slow so no way to video any action.

We then moved onto lunch and the finger foods were gone and now all kinds of pasta and seafood. Lots of visiting going on as well. A very friendly bunch of people, mostly writers only a few travel agents.

Hopefully Ken will post a few pictures today.

Our room has a terrace and we did not go out there yesterday but we can see the Silver Spirit and section being inserted from the terrace. It is really close.



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#249729 - 03/10/18 04:43 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Fincantieri Shipyard, Palermo, Italy:

[Linked Image]
The Silver Spirit.

[Linked Image]
The last bit was being cut.

[Linked Image]
Ngaire between the Silver Spirit and the extension in yellow.

[Linked Image]
She is being pulled apart.

[Linked Image]
The stern on the left is on blocks and stationary, and the bow on the right is on tracks and being pulled away from the bow very slowly.

[Linked Image]
Ken, Ngaire, and Mark.

[Linked Image]
Our hotel was close to the shipyard and was able to zoom in on the Silver Spirit, the yellow part is the 49' extension.

#249730 - 03/10/18 06:15 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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petlover Online
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I've loved reading your posts and seeing ALL of Ken's great photos !! Thank you !!


Marcie

#249733 - 03/11/18 04:29 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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This is incredible! I hope they have a really good welding team. ;) So great that you and Ken could experience this, Ngaire! You look so cute in a hard hat too! :)


Kristin

Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-12/14
Voyager-10/08, 11/10
Navigator-05/07, 5/09, 10/11
Paul Gauguin-6/06, 12/07
Silver Shadow-12/06
Silver Whisper-11/05, 12/04
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#249735 - 03/11/18 06:51 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Omg, that this the real Mark Conroy by your side while you’re watching? Sure looks like him! Looks to me like you had the honored spot to watch. Actually doesn't surprise me one bit, my dear! He loves you, haha!

I agree with Kristin, hope they’re good welders. Kristin, too long since we’ve seen you!

#249736 - 03/11/18 09:16 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire Online
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Yes, that was the real Mark Conroy. We all had a perfect vantage point to see the separation.

Last night was a total WOW. At a private villa, Palazzo Gangi that is not open to the public. No tours only rare special events. A stunning villa rivaling in many ways any of the villas we have seen before. Each room was ornate, beautifully decorated in the style of the 1800’s.
Ken took pictures but no way he could capture what we saw. The main ballroom had a multi level ceiling. Ken tried but the picture could not show the effect. The frescos were stunning.

It is the villa that was used for a movie called THE LEOPARD starring Burt Lancaster. The movie, made in the 1963 was set in the 1860 time period in Sicily. The villa is owned by a Prince and Princess. Trying to find Prince of “what” looking on the internet it might be the Prince of Salina. The Prince of Salina was part of the story line in the movie and this Prince is probably the descendant entitled to the title. What was brilliant was Silversea gave us all a copy of the movie, we cannot wait to watch it.

The Princess was there and hosted the event. She was beautiful, warm and friendly and so natural and approachable. Very simply dressed. Coral silk top with black pants and shoes. No jewelry. Page length blond hair. Probably in her fifties, so elegant. She welcomed everyone, introduced all the musicians, singer and orator. Every bit the host. She went around to each table during dinner to talk to every guest. She said it took 23 years to restore the villa to its original state. I realized we did not take a picture of her but it did not feel right to do that.

The dining room was spectacular. The ceiling you could not stop looking up as it was so intricate. Fresh flowers everywhere the florist bill must have been high. Every table had a large arrangement in the middle of the table but low so it did not interfere with communication. Perfectly set table. Shades of Downton Abbey. A four person quartet that played softly while cocktails were taking place. We could talk.

An opera singer started the dinner with three songs. I am not fond of opera but what she did with her voice was amazing. Also songs I recognized. After she finished singing dinner started and the quartet move into the ballroom. We could hear them but definitely light background music. Every detail was perfect. Low flowers, quiet live music = heaven for me. Two of my pet peeves are high flowers on a table and music so loud you cannot talk. This was all due to the Princess paying attention to the details. She oozed class and intelligence. During the dinner she had an orator give readings from parts of the book that inspired the movie. The story was fiction but incorporated real events during that time frame. There were leopards on the floors and references to the story. Hard to grasp all this in one evening. Need to research so some of my facts may not be accurate.

THE FOOD
Appetizers kept coming - all kinds. I think I tried everything. All excellent. White gloved waiters.

DINNER was as fantastic as was everything else. Different wine with each course. First course was a pretty molded spinach mousse set on a cream sauce. Followed by a lobster soup wth edible flowers on the rim of the bowl. Followed by a fish dish with purple fancy potatoes. Desserts were served on a flower covered table about four different choices. Ken and I had a little of all of them. Every single dish was outstanding. Followed with after dinner drinks, dessert wines and expresso.

Unbelievable night doubt I will ever experience anything like that again. I was treated like a princess by a princess cannot get better than that.

This afternoon we go to lunch then back to the shipyard to see the insertion of the new section.

I forgot to mention there is an old ship parked next to the tent area. This is where all the crew are staying as there is no power or water on the Silver Spirit during this process.


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#249737 - 03/11/18 12:41 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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WOW, sounds amazing and I am sure seeing the ship cut and pulled apart was fascinating. Now you get to see the new section put into place. Sounds like it was/is well worth the trip. The photos were really interesting.


JoAnn
#249738 - 03/11/18 01:32 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Dinner with a princess? Takes one to know one, Ngaire! Sounds magical.
————————
Helen

#249739 - 03/11/18 03:01 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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What a fascinating experience. I am so happy for you and Ken that you were able to do this. The dinner with the princess sounds heavenly and I am transfixed by the photos of the ship being cut in half. It looks like they might have gone right through the middle of the pool? Can't wait for the next photos!


Kathy
#249740 - 03/11/18 03:15 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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FYI.....The Leopard is available to rent on Amazon. It's in Italian with English sub-titles.


Kathy
#249741 - 03/11/18 03:35 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Another beautiful day. We went to lunch, more fattening pasta and fried food. Tastes good but I am ready for some fresh vegetables now. Then onto the ship yard. After finishing that big lunch they had more food in the tent at the ship yard!

The process of inserting the new section only took about 15 minutes. The section was resting on a hydraulic platforms with wheels that can turn. They moved it up to the ship, the wheels turned and they started to insert the section. You could see all the items in the new section for the internal finish out. Kens pictures will tell the story. He may not get them all posted today but he will try.

One more dinner tonight in a castle. I think it will be more pasta. Tomorrow we fly Palermo to Milan to London. Overnight in London then flight home. Been a great trip but I am ready to come home now and get ready for Batik.
.


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#249742 - 03/11/18 03:48 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Dinner at Palazzo Gangi:

[Linked Image]
The main ballroom.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
The recessed fresco paintings in the ceiling.

[Linked Image]
The dining room.

[Linked Image]
The Princess in the red top is introducing the musicians.

[Linked Image]
Leopards pictured in the main ballroom floor tile.

[Linked Image]
Ngaire talking to the Silversea President of the UK.

[Linked Image]

#249743 - 03/11/18 05:06 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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The insertion of the extension to the Silver Spirit:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#249744 - 03/11/18 05:07 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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[Linked Image]
It will take many days to line up the new section and properly connect it to the ship.

[Linked Image]
Silversea is also adding thrusters to the stern of the ship.

#249745 - 03/11/18 05:08 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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I am so in awe....what a fabulous once in a lifetime experience !! I'm soooooo happy you were able to go. Absolutely surreal. GORGEOUS in an understatement. Safe travels back home.


Marcie

#249746 - 03/11/18 05:29 PM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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What Marcie said!


Kim
#249748 - 03/12/18 03:55 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ditto!!!!


Kristin

Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-12/14
Voyager-10/08, 11/10
Navigator-05/07, 5/09, 10/11
Paul Gauguin-6/06, 12/07
Silver Shadow-12/06
Silver Whisper-11/05, 12/04
Silver Wind-4/04
#249749 - 03/13/18 10:34 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
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Ngaire, you are amazing describing an event like this. Especially that dinner! You are the best reviewer ever to bring it to life! Especially since this venue is rarely available. How lucky we were to get these photos, just beautiful.

Something none of us will ever experience and you gave all the details to build a perfect picture, then Ken comes along and gives them! Ken, those photos of the ship change were great! Ngaire said it took only 15 minutes? Amazing! Thank you both!


#249750 - 03/14/18 01:31 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: Ngaire]  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,417
Ngaire Online
Ngaire  Online


Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,417
Dallas, Texas
Thank you Olivia but writing is something I am not good at. In my job I have to a lot of it. English and composition always my worst subjects. So I am pleased that you liked it.


See pictures of our adventures here or follow me on
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#249751 - 03/14/18 01:34 AM Re: Silver Spirit Extension [Re: jhp]  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,511
azgkrudi Offline
cruiser
azgkrudi  Offline
cruiser

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,511
Steilacoom, WA
Originally Posted by jhp
Ngaire, you are amazing describing an event like this. Especially that dinner! You are the best reviewer ever to bring it to life! Especially since this venue is rarely available. How lucky we were to get these photos, just beautiful.

Something none of us will ever experience and you gave all the details to build a perfect picture, then Ken comes along and gives them! Ken, those photos of the ship change were great! Ngaire said it took only 15 minutes? Amazing! Thank you both!



Again...ditto! Thank you, Ngaire and Ken! What an experience.


Kristin

Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-12/14
Voyager-10/08, 11/10
Navigator-05/07, 5/09, 10/11
Paul Gauguin-6/06, 12/07
Silver Shadow-12/06
Silver Whisper-11/05, 12/04
Silver Wind-4/04

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