Crystal Cruises Yacht |Caribbean 

Year round in the Caribbean starting November 2017. This will be a great vacation for Millenials and even older folks in their 40s. Baby Boomers too.

Apparently promotional offers from just $2,995 each . Wow!

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & complimentary amenities with Virtuoso Voyages.

 

Top Producer with Expert Knowledge on all Luxury Lines:
– Silversea
– Seabourn Cruise Line
– Regent Seven Seas Cruises
– Crystal Cruises
– SeaDream Yacht Club
– AmaWaterways
– Viking Cruises & Viking River Cruises

 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
twitter  flickr  facebook   you tube  tripadvisor

four seasons preferred partner,
Read my review of Seabourn Sojourn

and my more recent review of Seabourn Sojourn in the Baltic
Read my review of Seabourn Spirit
Read my review of Silver Cloud
Read all my ship reviews with photos

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client, you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

 

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LGBT Gay Friendly Luxury Caribbean Cruise

Hello fellow clients and sailors!

I’m very pleased to let you know that I’m hosting another Voyager Club sailing, this time a 7 day ultra-luxury Caribbean cruise on Silversea, including an overnight in St Barths. This was the draw for me as I haven’t been, and keep hearing how it’s the best place in the area!

The only problem is that I’m getting into this hosting gig a little late and the ship is getting pretty full, with about 20 suites left.

If you’re interested please contact me right away. Below are the basic details, and/or click here for all details, including  photos, deck plans, etc.

Pictures from our 2011 Voyager Club sailing on Silversea can be found by clicking here.

Dates: January 29 thru  February for 8 days (7 nights)
Starts: Ft. Lauderdale
Ends: San Juan
Ports: Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos), Samana (Dom Rep), Road Town (BVIs), St Barths (overnight), Philipsburg (St Maarten)
Ship: Ultra-luxury Silversea’s Silver Wind, 298 guests, 210 crew, refurbished 2013 (built in ’95). This ship, sister to Silver Cloud, is also very similar to Seabourn’s original 3 ships.
Virtuoso Voyager Club: Complimentary amenities in our wonderful cruise program can be found here.

Prices, including our complimentary Voyager Club amenities, are as below, per person, and subject to change until booked:

Vista Suite, $3,560
Veranda Suite, $4,450
Midships Veranda Suite, $4,550
Medallion Suite, $6,050
Larger Suites are also available
availability subject to prior sale

To book or for more information, please send me an email or call.  Those contact details are below.

Thanks very much,

Josh

Included in this Cruise

  • Spacious suites – over 85% with private verandas
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Butler service in every suite – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Diversity of dining venues – casual, romantic, regional delicacies, and gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and 24-hour room service – always complimentary, always available
  • Sophisticated entertainment from live music to production shows
  • Enrichment lecturers, acclaimed chefs and destination consultants
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Free WiFi throughout the ship

Silver Privilege Fares: book early for the best fares and availability; Silver Privilege Fares are structured to reward guests who book early with the best possible fare and the privilege of being able to select their desired suite when the best inventory is available. All Silver Privilege Fares shown are cruise-only per guest unless otherwise noted, based on double-occupancy. Availability of all suite categories cannot be guaranteed. Fares for single guests are available upon request. Additional restrictions may apply.
Silversea Fare Guarantee Programme: Silversea’s Fare Guarantee Programme provides guests with the peace of mind in knowing that when they plan ahead and book early, not only will they be able to reserve their desired suite, but they can also benefit from any future reduction in the Silver Privilege Fares for their voyage, upon request. All voyages are eligible.

See Terms and Conditions

Voyager Club Benefits

All Virtuoso Guests Receive

  • Welcome Reception
  • Onboard Host
  • One of the following 3 options:
  • 1) Island Sights with Lunch at Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France – 2016 | Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy | 03 Feb 2016
  • 2) $175 USD Credit Toward Purchase of Virtuoso Product  This option is only available if selected and pre-registered by your Virtuoso Travel Advisor at least 46-days prior to the cruise sailing date. May be applied by your Virtuoso travel advisor toward the purchase of private shore excursion created by a Virtuoso On Site or another Virtuoso preferred product in conjunction with this cruise.
  • 3) $150 USD Shipboard Credit This option is only available if selected and pre-registered by your Virtuoso Travel Advisor at least 46-days prior to the cruise sailing date. Onboard credit applied to your shipboard account. Restrictions Apply. Please see Terms and Conditions for Details of Restrictions.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & complimentary amenities with Virtuoso Travel’s Voyager Club.

 Top Producer with & Knowledgeable Person for All Luxury Lines:
– Seabourn’s Pinnacle Club
– Regent Seven Seas Cruises
– Crystal Cruises
– Silversea

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
twitter  flickr  facebook   you tube  tripadvisor

Read my review of Seabourn Sojourn
and my more recent review of Seabourn Sojourn in the Baltic
Read my review of Seabourn Spirit
Read my review of Silver Cloud
Read my review of Oceania’s Marina
Read all my ship reviews with photos

Josh Friedman  is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service.  Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

This is an LGBT friendly group.
lgbt rainbow flag

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40
Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Virtuoso Voyager Club | Silversea Caribbean January 2016

Hello fellow clients and sailors!

I’m very pleased to let you know that I’m hosting another Voyager Club sailing, this time a 7 day ultra-luxury Caribbean cruise on Silversea, including an overnight in St Barths. This was the draw for me as I haven’t been, and keep hearing how it’s the best place in the area!

The only problem is that I’m getting into this hosting gig a little late and the ship is getting pretty full, with about 20 suites left.

If you’re interested please contact me right away. Below are the basic details, and/or click here for all details, including  photos, deck plans, etc.

Pictures from our 2011 Voyager Club sailing on Silversea can be found by clicking here.

Dates: January 29 thru  February for 8 days (7 nights)
Starts: Ft. Lauderdale
Ends: San Juan
Ports: Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos), Samana (Dom Rep), Road Town (BVIs), St Barths (overnight), Philipsburg (St Maarten)
Ship: Ultra-luxury Silversea’s Silver Wind, 298 guests, 210 crew, refurbished 2013 (built in ’95). This ship, sister to Silver Cloud, is also very similar to Seabourn’s original 3 ships.
Virtuoso Voyager Club: Complimentary amenities in our wonderful cruise program can be found here.

Prices, including our complimentary Voyager Club amenities, are as below, per person, and subject to change until booked:

Vista Suite, $3,560
Veranda Suite, $4,450
Midships Veranda Suite, $4,550
Medallion Suite, $6,050
Larger Suites are also available
availability subject to prior sale

To book or for more information, please send me an email or call.  Those contact details are below.

Thanks very much,

Josh

Included in this Cruise

  • Spacious suites – over 85% with private verandas
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Butler service in every suite – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Diversity of dining venues – casual, romantic, regional delicacies, and gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and 24-hour room service – always complimentary, always available
  • Sophisticated entertainment from live music to production shows
  • Enrichment lecturers, acclaimed chefs and destination consultants
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Free WiFi throughout the ship

Silver Privilege Fares: book early for the best fares and availability; Silver Privilege Fares are structured to reward guests who book early with the best possible fare and the privilege of being able to select their desired suite when the best inventory is available. All Silver Privilege Fares shown are cruise-only per guest unless otherwise noted, based on double-occupancy. Availability of all suite categories cannot be guaranteed. Fares for single guests are available upon request. Additional restrictions may apply.
Silversea Fare Guarantee Programme: Silversea’s Fare Guarantee Programme provides guests with the peace of mind in knowing that when they plan ahead and book early, not only will they be able to reserve their desired suite, but they can also benefit from any future reduction in the Silver Privilege Fares for their voyage, upon request. All voyages are eligible.

See Terms and Conditions

Voyager Club Benefits

All Virtuoso Guests Receive

  • Welcome Reception
  • Onboard Host
  • One of the following 3 options:
  • 1) Island Sights with Lunch at Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France – 2016 | Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy | 03 Feb 2016
  • 2) $175 USD Credit Toward Purchase of Virtuoso Product  This option is only available if selected and pre-registered by your Virtuoso Travel Advisor at least 46-days prior to the cruise sailing date. May be applied by your Virtuoso travel advisor toward the purchase of private shore excursion created by a Virtuoso On Site or another Virtuoso preferred product in conjunction with this cruise.
  • 3) $150 USD Shipboard Credit This option is only available if selected and pre-registered by your Virtuoso Travel Advisor at least 46-days prior to the cruise sailing date. Onboard credit applied to your shipboard account. Restrictions Apply. Please see Terms and Conditions for Details of Restrictions.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & complimentary amenities with Virtuoso Travel’s Voyager Club.

 Top Producer with & Knowledgeable Person for All Luxury Lines:
– Seabourn’s Pinnacle Club
– Regent Seven Seas Cruises
– Crystal Cruises
– Silversea

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
twitter  flickr  facebook   you tube  tripadvisor

Read my review of Seabourn Sojourn
and my more recent review of Seabourn Sojourn in the Baltic
Read my review of Seabourn Spirit
Read my review of Silver Cloud
Read my review of Oceania’s Marina
Read all my ship reviews with photos

Josh Friedman  is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service.  Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

This is an LGBT friendly group.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40
Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Sailing in the BVIs

My Cruise on Silversea Cruises’ Silver Cloud

The Giotto Report
My Cruise on Silversea Cruises’ Silver Cloud
Caribbean | February 2011

Dear Readers,

I have returned from the Caribbean and a cruise aboard Silversea’s Silver Cloud from Ft. Lauderdale to Barbados.  Here’s my report of our Virtuoso Voyager Club’s great experience.

The first installment below covers Silversea and Silver Cloud in general with thoughts on service, crew & cuisine! Subsequent blog posts will focus on Voyager Club, the ports and excursions.

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida . Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands . Philipsburg,  St. Maarten . St. John’s Antigua, Castries, St. Lucia.  Port Elizabeth, Bequia. St. Vincent & The Grenadines (including Mustique) . St. Georges’s Grenada . Bridgetown, Barbados.

Silversea Cruises

As most of my regular readers know, I used to work for Seabourn Cruise Line and had never sailed on Silversea.  As I get rave reviews from my clients about both lines, I thought it was about time to try the former competition. I also wanted host a Virtuoso Voyager Club sailing and learn more about that so when the opportunity came up I jumped on it.

Silversea’s first ship was Silver Cloud –launched in 1994. Silversea was Seabourn’s first serious competitor, and took the Seabourn idea a step further with a bigger and more spacious ship, almost all with balconies (only Seabourn’s larger suites had them), and at a reduced price. Silversea was created by V Ships, who had recently sold off their Sitmar Cruises brand.

Throughout the cruise I was asked which I preferred, so I’ll tell you now that I really can’t answer that question. I did just sail on Seabourn Sojourn in November 2010, but that was only for 2 days.  It’s been longer since I did a full Seabourn cruise and any full-on review wouldn’t be fair. (Yes, I did love it. Read my blog post)  But frankly it’s not that important as my clients consistently tell me they love them both.

Silver Cloud

Service

The cruise was very enjoyable for everybody I spoke to, including myself, our Voyager Club group of 28 persons, my co-host Gary Rhodes and other guests. Comments regarding the high level of service were the most common and I agreed to some extent. On a small ship of c. 450 or less guests, one’s relationship with their dining room and bar waiters, cabin stewardesses, butlers and ship’s general management (i.e. cruise director, shore excursions staff, reception, etc). is paramount. Because the ship is so small, and with a limited number of restaurants/lounges to explore and experience, the quality of your personal relationship can be the difference between a mediocre and a stellar experience.

Take Myra.  She’s the bartender in The Bar. Fabulous. A bit like Cheers, she knows your name and what you drink – and only after one visit. After dinner, what a pleasure to hang out with your new friends in The Bar and to enjoy Myra’s company.  Same to be said for Selma in the Terrace Café for breakfast.  “Hello Mr Josh” or “Mr Friedman” was a very nice way to start the day. She and her colleagues tried to remember your preference for coffee, lattes or whatever. Jimmy Kovell the Cruise Director, Bertram Petyt the Hotel Manager and Jorge Caeiro, the Maitre’D all went above and beyond the call of duty.

I did feel however that there were language problems between guests and crew as well as a general lack of polish in the restaurants. With dining so important an event on a luxury ship, and interaction of the staff and guests so critical,  English comprehension needed to be better. This created a problem with the general way in which the entire dinner experience flowed and with the specifics of getting what you wanted.

They could have done a better job in anticipating needs and  being a bit sharper in their service. On a ship of this caliber, one shouldn’t have to ask for butter, bread, water, etc. but you did too often. And then sometimes it took too long to get it. Nonetheless, after a few days of cruising and relaxing a bit, it was less annoying. But it should have been better.

Food

For me food is the #2 item of importance after service. But they’re close! I’ll remind my readers that I’m a San Francisco food snob before I say that I found the food quality inconsistent. Presentation on the plate was perfect, but flavor was mixed. Sometimes the courses were unique and would rival San Francisco’s best, and at other times they were basic and dull. Coupled with inconsistent service it was hard to know how your meal was going to go.

Crew

The very friendly and hardworking crew is primarily Pilipino, with a scattered person or two from other countries including Brazil, South Africa, Mauritius, Slovakia, Lithuania.

Passengers

While mostly American from the Midwest and East (this was a winter cruise), there were many guests from England and Scotland. Others I met came from France, Belgium, Chile and Australia. Ages ranged from 2 on up, with most in their 50s to 70s.

The Giotto Reports are reviews and stories of my travels around the world.  They’re named after Giotto di Bondone, the 14th century Florentine artist, whose namesake street I lived on at number 37 in Florence  when I was in college.

For my complete set of photos from this trip and others, visit my photo home page. [photos coming soon]

 

 

 

 

 

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso

 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with travel experts, a virtuoso member agency

 

twitter  flickr  facebook   you tube  tripadvisor

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

 

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

 

affiliated with travel experts, a virtuoso agency and four seasons preferred partner,
201 spear st., ste 1100,  san francisco, ca 94105 cst# 2080753-40.

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

 

Silver Cloud

Silversea's Silver Cloud

Silver Cloud Bow

Haiti | Old Tourism Hotspot in Need of Help

Haiti EarthquakeEarthquake in Haiti

 

I wish I had a picture of the wood bowl my grandfather Saul Herman bought in Haiti. 

He died when I was a baby but my mom had the bowl for years. Maybe she still does.  It was a huge beautiful, dark wood bowl — big enough for a salad to feed a large family. 

He got it on a cruise to Haiti, probably in the 40s or early 50s. It was an easy voyage as we’re from Miami Beach. 

The bowl above is a modern one (taller and less squat than ours), crafted by a group i just discovered online who helps rural Haitians. They’re called Comite Artisanal Haitien

Here are links to organizations who are helping bring relief due to yesterday’s earthquake.  And this is the main CBS News Link

American Red Cross
Action Against Hunger
AmeriCares
American Jewish World Service
CARE
Beyond Borders
Catholic Relief Services
Direct Relief International
Childcare Worldwide
Doctors Without Borders
Feed My Starving Children
Friends of WFP
Haitian Health Foundation
International Medical Corps
Hope for Haiti
International Relief Teams
Medical Teams International
Meds and Food for Kids
Mercy Corps
Oxfam
Operation USA
Partners in Health
Samaritan’s Purse
Save the Children
UNICEF
World Concern
World Vision
Yele Haiti
• Wyclef Jean’s grassroots organization: Text Yele to 501 501 to donate $5 via your cellphone 

Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA and abroad, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler and management of study abroad groups. Business services include high-touch reservations, exclusive hotel and airline offers.  His relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful business or leisure trip. Contact him at 415.248.5079 or via email or via your comments below.