Sailing the Silver Spirit Voyage number 5617 Athens to Venice
When I was kindly invited on board the Silver Spirit by Silversea, I was slightly apprehensive as to what to expect being my first cruise.
However, the itinerary was great as it included some of my most desired destinations all in one trip.
Arriving into Athens airport, which after the Olympics has increased quite noticeably in size, we grabbed a taxi to the Port which took approx. 50 minutes at midday for €45.
Boarding the ship was so straight forward, so much smoother than an airport check in. Within 10 minutes of arriving at the port we were given our key-cards, a glass of champagne and shown to the ‘La Terezza restaurant for a very extensive buffet lunch whilst our room was being prepared.
I was excited to explore the ship immediately whilst the other guests were still boarding throughout the day and evening. However, neither the Casino or boutiques were open whilst docked which was a little disappointing but the bars were open so I went up to theCasino Observation Lounge
Observation Lounge and grabbed a cocktail instead.
At 15.00 we were shown to our
Veranda Suite which was laid out very nicely and well proportioned. It was very pleasant, the bathroom had a separate shower and bath. The lounge area was very spacious with a walk-in wardrobe and the sleeping area separated by curtains.
My butler arrived to unpack my suitcases and stock the minibar with my requested beverages and I headed down to the muster drill.
Day one was coming to an end and since I had an early start, I decided on a nice quiet evening with room service and an evening on the balcony as we set sail.
The cruise lasted 10 days. Departing from Athens, I visited 10 destinations in total, docking at some and anchoring at others. I much preferred docking as its almost the same as just walking out a centrally located hotel straight into town. When anchored, even though taking the tender seemed a little more time consuming in doing this the approach into some of these places was breath taking, especially Dubrovnik which is my most favourite destination to date.
The silver spirit is not a large ship, it holds 540 guests and I had anticipated it getting quite compact, however I couldn’t have been more wrong. I never once struggled to get a sun-bed around the pool area, I was often the only person in the hot tub, at the bar my drink was replenished before finishing, and I was always seated in my restaurant of choice. Yes, of course you do see the same people daily but there are enough communal areas to escape the ones you don’t want to see. My favourite was thePanorama Lounge
Panorama lounge where you can order room service, get cocktails from the bar, relax in a lovely air-conditioned lounge inside or use the double lounge beds on the deck where smokers are welcome but only on the port (left) side of the ship.
Every morning you would receive the ‘Silversea Daily Paper’ which would brief you on the destination you would be arriving in with weather reports, things to see and do and a lot of other useful information. Most excursions would start at approx. 10.30 am with pre-booked guests given priority to the first tenders. All guests upon leaving the ship were provided fresh towels and water to take with them and advised on what time to return back to the ship to set sail.
Entertainment on the ship varied, in the day there were various trivia competitions to take part in and also mini golf on the top deck, in the evening I was spoiled for choice, there was the casino with the connoisseurs corner next door, Jazz singers, a pianist, Karaoke, live music and a variety of performances at theShow Lounge
Show lounge. The most popular show featured British music of the 1960s and by the end of the show, it had turned into a full-fledged sing-a-long One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of dining options which are all inclusive except for the Le Champagne (Relais & Chateaux) andSeishin Restaurant
Seishin (sushi restaurant). However, a little trick is that Seishin offers a lunch menu at no extra charge!
Reservations are a must if you want to get that perfect location on sailing evenings, I dined thrice at the Hot Rocks which is around the pool area where you get to cook your own choice of meat or fish on a hot lava stone.
I booked one morning at the spa which was $49 for two, I wouldn’t recommend this as the facilities are the same as the communal ones, Jacuzzi, Sauna & Steam room. In fact, the communal steam room was probably better as it had a window looking out of it.
What I would recommend are the treatments, I had a very relaxing face massage and a pedicure which were reasonably priced and of a high standard.
Overall and to round off I was pleasantly surprised with the cruise. I had anticipated that the other guests would be a lot older and not very sociable however I was wrong.
Would I do another cruise??? ………absolutely, bring on the Silver Muse
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