This trip was exceptional from start to finish, with a few middle-eastern style 'quirks', which were down to the locals not the ship. I would highly recommend Silver Wind to anyone who values the personal touch, the very very best of service and personality over cutting-edge design and gimmicks. Silver Wind met my every expectation, it was a joy to be on-board. The people really make this ship, the crew, staff, managers and fellow guests were the best I have come across.
We arrived into Athens during an anti-austerity demonstration outside the parliament and where was out hotel, King George Palace, but in Syntagma Square. Luckily George's Taxis were able to get us there even though all the roads were closed and the army and riot police were standing in a line blocking the streets in case things started to get lively. Our rooms in the hotel looked out over the square, it was interesting to watch the protests from the balcony. We didn't for one moment feel unsafe and as soon as the demonstration was over, ten minutes later the street sweepers were out, tidying up and things quickly returned to normal.
Our transfer to the ship was again with George's Taxis, all went to plan. Dropped us right outside where Silver Wind was berthed. We were met by the car door by a porter who whisked us to check-in, no one was waiting, there were NO QUEUES! 5 minutes and we were onboard and it was only 12.30! Our bags went to our cabins and we went for lunch, outside at the back of the ship.
The whole ship is friendly, comfortable, welcoming and very professional. When our suite was ready our butler and her assistant unpacked our cases for us, a real treat, whilst we relaxed and explored the ship. The fridge in the suite was stocked daily with whatever you desired, champagne, fresh juices, spirits. The staff knew our names by the second day and were addressing us by our first names by day 3. Food in all restaurants was invariably excellent and there were invitations to dine with various members of the ship's crew throughout the voyage, all very memorable.
Onboard there is very much a have whatever you want, wherever you would like it policy and if that means curry, prepared by one of the Indian chefs, in the main restaurant, them so be it. You only need to ask.
Entertainment was excellent,pianists, the ship's band, a young, very talented acoustic guitarist was exceptional.
We participated in 'L'Ecole des Chefs' a cookery school with a series of demonstrations, tastings, lunches with wine pairings and workshops. All were excellent and included in the fare.
Disembarkation was well organised and civilized. Obviously sorry to be leaving, but looking forward to a few days in Dubai. We will definitely be back onboard the Silver Wind some day, hopefully soon!