US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)  UK: 020 8133 3450  AUS: (07) 3102 4685  Everywhere Else: +1 530-562-9232

Goldring Travel Blog – Making Waves

Cruise & Travel News, Reviews, Opinions, Deals & More

Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova – Goldring Travel Checks Her Out: Getting There…Maybe!

The plan was to fly to Quito, Ecuador on January 9, 2024, arriving late at night, fly to Manta, Ecuador in the morning, and then explore Manta for about two days before boarding Silversea’s Silver Nova; its newest ship.

Silversea Silver Nova
Silversea Silver Nova

Let’s just say things didn’t go according to plan. Wait! What?  Did you really think I was only going to say that? Seriously?

I checked into my United flights on January 8th and then two hours later was advised one of my connecting flights was canceled due to the problems with the Boeing 737-Max 9 door plug. (I wasn’t scheduled to be on a Max 9, so United just simply swapped the flight over to one at the last minute.) That left me – and I am very glad I immediately sought out my options – with only two options to get to Houston for my flight to Quito. I had to fly through Denver (never good in the winter) with either a very close connection to a Boeing 777 or a comfortable connection to a 737-Max 9.  The reservations agent warned me to only take the 777 because the later flight could be similarly canceled. (I did and he was correct. Whew.)

In the middle of the night, I received a text from someone I didn’t know kindly cautioning me that Silver Nova would be skipping Ecuador. Why, you ask? Because of riots and protests by the Ecuadorian drug lords and gangs. You know, just one of those things! So, I texted my Silversea representative on the ship, but it was the middle of the night.  In the morning, during my flight to Denver, I received the confirmation that I would only be able to board the ship on January 15th in Lima, Peru.

Goldring Travel doesn’t just write about cruises, expeditions, and land journeys, we also curate and reserve them for our clients; making sure each client is with the right company, on the right ship, and on the right itinerary for each client! If you’re not already a client, allow our expertise and service make your journey exceptional! Email us!

With my being able to make my tight connection, and with good internet on the flight, I had a choice: Admire the problem or address it. I chose to address it! 

    1. Find flights to Lima, Peru. Every flight was sold out. So how about still fly in to Quito and then onto Lima? Perfect…right up until I received a warning from United that flights to Quito may be delayed or canceled. So, I bought a refundable Premium Economy ticket on LATAM.
    2. Cancel my refundable flight on LATAM to Manta, Ecuador
    3. Book a hotel in Lima. I found a great rate at Miraflores Park, a Belmond property. Four nights for the price of three with free breakfast.
    4. Cancel my hotel in Manta.
    5. Cancel my tour in Manta.
    6. Arrange a transfer from the airport to the hotel in Lima.
    7. Have a drink.
    8. Land in Denver and rush to my connecting flight to Houston.
    9. Breathe!
Quito, Ecuador from the air
Quito, Ecuador from the Air

I was upgraded on my flight from Houston to Quito, Ecuador. It was with domestic first-class seats, but I think the nicest cabin crew I have ever had on a United flight along with actually tasty food.

With riots splashed across the U.S. media headlines, I expected military everywhere, tension, and extra restrictions. There was literally none of that. Rather it was one of the most relaxed and carefree disembarkation, baggage claim, and hotel transfer to the Holiday Inn Quito Hotel. The hotel was, by far, one of the nicest airport hotels I have ever stayed at!

After a lazy morning, I headed back to the airport. Again, no extra security. Just showed my boarding pass and I was in. I checked in and headed to a nice Priority Pass lounge to wait for my flight to Lima, Peru, which was about two hours and uneventful.

Miraflores Park Belmond Hotel's Lobby Lounge
Miraflores Park Belmond Hotel’s Lobby Lounge

I finally arrived at the Miraflores Park Belmond Hotel, which is a beautiful property on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a pretty park. Check-in was classy, sipping a delicious iced herbal tea, in the warmly decorated lounge area.

My Oceanview Junior Suite (the base accommodation at this hotel) is wonderful and includes a private sauna.


Time to finally relax…and my first classic Pisco Sour sitting by its rooftop pool!

Lima, Peru is one of the top culinary destinations in the world.  That is not hype or marketing. The food scene is mind-blowing!  Oh, so where to start? 

There are two upscale (safer) areas in Lima: Miraflores and Barranco so I stuck to those areas.  Well, knowing me, I had to start with straight forward local cuisine. But with so many options and Lima not being the safest place at night, I thought with all the issues I already faced, I should use the Belmond’s concierge and I was off!

Panchita - Lima, Peru
Panchita – Lima, Peru

I dined at Panchita, owned by the culinary powerhouse Gaston Acurio, one of Peru’s most renowned chefs…and who focuses on Peruvian cuisine. Peruvian grilled meats, or anticucho.  Because I wanted to experience it all, I ordered kinda all of it!

Panchita's take on Peruvian Street Food
Panchita’s take on Peruvian Street Food

I started with sort of an Old Fashion styled Pisco to accompany a Peruvian street food platter including grilled beef lung, liver, heart, and tripe, among other delicious bits; all in a wonderful spicy dry rub.

There are also many different types of corn offered in Peruvian cuisine and a starchy white corn with huge kernels was provided as a side dish.

Peruvian White Corn
Peruvian White Corn

This was followed by another Pisco and a sort of potato-focused platter with roast port,  beef skewers. (Did you know there are about 4,000 types of Peruvian potatoes? It is fun and delicious to see what potatoes are included in each dish or even as an accompaniment to your cocktails.)

Peruvian Beef, Pork, Potatoes, and More
Peruvian Beef, Pork, Potatoes, and More

Next up was a change to a local beer and actually one of my favorite dishes: Guinea pig!  (OK, I admit it: If they had removed the little paws, it might be a bit more appetizing!) Sweet and fatty. Yum!

Peruvian Guinea Pig
Peruvian Guinea Pig

Dessert was also traditional: Picarones. Picarones are basically deep fried donuts made of sweet potato and squash flour served on a wooden stick and accompanied with chancaca (a dense unrefined sugar syrup that isn’t too sweet).


And with that a very “interesting” forty-eight hours…and yes, it was only forty-eight hours…came to a successful conclusion.

Now what to do while I wait to join Silversea Silver Nova on January 15, 2024????

Interested in a Luxury Journey by Cruise, Expedition, or Land?

Contact Goldring Travel For Truly Expert Advice!

Email: eric@goldringtravel.com 

US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY or (530) 562-9232

UK: 020 8133 3450

AUS: (07) 3102 4685

WhatsApp: +1 732-693-8797

Facebook: Goldring Travel

Play Video
Waves We’ve Made

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,505 other followers



Click one of our contacts below to chat on WhatsApp