My wife and I joined the ship in Venice although not in the heart of things were we were berthed, it was a nice walk not far from the ship to find a cafe and have a cappuccino and an ice cream, until we could board at 2pm. We boarded, greeted by staff who would become familiar to us by the end of the trip. We have cruised many times before, but as I stepped on board my eyes are everywhere, taking in the surroundings. Our hand luggage is carried for us to what turned out to be the Magellan Lounge for registration, champagne and nibbles offered to us and the process was quick and easy. Then we were shown to our cabin. We had been upgraded to the owners suite, we were informed of this by our agent just few days before we left. Well that has spoilt us, how will we go back to a regular size cabin! Very nice, what we did to deserve this I am not sure, but I suspect it may have been because the flights seemed to cause some problems as we left from Gatwick and returned to Heathrow. Rita our Stewardess came to greet us, we were well looked after very discreetly for our stay. The first thing we did was unpack, plenty of room for a change, I won't describe all details here; see the brochure for full specification. First evening meal we had an invitation to join Duggie Browns table, he is an English comedian, we had pleasant table companions,it was a very entertaining start to the cruise, Duggie was trying to get a couple to stop discussing U.S. politics! Next day time to chill out and discover the ship. It was a bit cool but we joined the sailaway party at the Sky Bar, spotting Venice landmarks as we moved out to sea.
Next day cruising the Adriatic Sea, weather not good, rain ensured we joined THE QUIZ, great fun nice people in our team, we turned up each day for the quiz and got to know our team members quite well, If any of them are looking at this, they know who they are, wasn't that great! Eric and I was convinced Henry Cooper knocked out Mohammed Ali! Wrong! Another invitation to the Captains Table, the man held us spellbound, with his charming manner when proposing the toasts, a great evening again. Nice to dress up Black tie adds to the sense of occasion, we can all dress down anytime at home.
THE PORTS OF CALL. Included Corfu, Taormina, Sorrento, Genoa, Nice, Barcelona, Malaga, disembarking at Lisbon. Briefly we walked around Corfu on our own; Taormina, Sicily; Again on our own, but the shuttle bus took us there, a very pretty and pleasant place to spend some time. Next Sorrento. The main tour we took was for Herculaneum 4 Hour trip very interesting with a good guide for those who have not been it is similar to Pompeii but on a smaller scale--recommended. Its just me perhaps but I generally dislike coach trips but sometimes it has to be done! Genoa on our own again a pleasant walk around. Nice we have been to many times, so we hire a car the purpose was to drive to Villefranche to have lunch at a favorite restaurant "La Mere Germaine" unfortunately the car had to be back for 6pm and there was a long road works queue in Villefranche.
This made us decide not to go to visit the Rochchild Villa at Cap Ferrat, as time would run out on us, but we enjoyed lunch in beautiful place. At sea next day, good weather. Barcelona we walked around, as you walk towards the centre, beware of dangerous curb edged with wedges of granite for tripping over, one lady passenger fell over and needed hospital treatment and her holiday was ruined. Another day at sea further quiz session. Malaga our next stop, took tour "Villages of Costa Del Sol" should have taken my own advice and not taken a coach trip, we called at Marbella, not for long, shops closed, by the time we found toilets and bought a newspaper it was time to go to Puerto Banus, nice place but we felt rushed. In the evening, an "Exclusively Seabourn Experience" it was visit to a tapas bar, we were led up 3 flights of stairs to a room that was not large enough for us all to see the Flamenco Dancing, drinks did not flow, a bit slow and a lady next to me had to ask for Sangria, they went off to make it! Could have been better organized.
OVERALL IMPRESSION; Don't get the idea my gripes will stop me having another Seabourn Cruise...it will not!
ENTERTAINMENT; Low key just right for us, pianist and singer "Superfly" friendly Geordies. Name that tune was also good fun. Good cruise Director Tony and his wife Christine FOOD; Mostly excellent, but soft boiled eggs they can't get right, my wife tried twice, lousy porridge, but Silversea is just the same!
OTHER PASSENGERS; Everyone we met was friendly, a great crowd that gelled together so well, the people we met were an important part of this great holiday. Regards to all.