South African Adventure: Silver Wind Cruise Review by harbormaster
Overall Member Rating
South African Adventure
Embarkation: Cape Town
We are in Cape Town, South Africa and will board Silversea Silver Wind for a 10 day cruise Cape Town to Cape Town visiting East London, Maputo, Richards Bay (overnight), Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Mossel Bay. Silversea is doing 3 of these trips and we are taking the one in the middle, with another leaving Feb. 2. Some background: We've sailed Silversea Silver Wind before and were thrilled when we saw this itinerary because we have always wanted to see South Africa. We flew from Dulles airport January 18 on KLM business to Amsterdam, then transferred non-stop to Cape Town. The total travel time was 21 hours - long, but uneventful. The plane arrived at 11 pm January 19, and the driver arranged by our hotel was waiting for us and took us the 20 minutes to our hotel, the Cape Royale in Cape Town. A word about the More Cape Royale: We had researched hotels in Cape Town since booking the cruise (we're cruise only) and had considered the Cape Grace, Table Bay, One and Only and Mount Nelson. However, the Cape Royale is one year old and has recently become a member of Preferred Hotels. It had great reviews on Trip Advisor and a package was available, so we booked. The package included return transfer from the airport/ship, spa, full breakfast and a two bedroom, two bathroom suite. The room is about 1,100 square feet, has a large living room with flat screen tv , a dining area, two bedrooms, two full baths and a full kitchen with granite counters, Siemens appliances including a washer and dryer. There also is a large balcony with views of the stadium and waterfront. Other rooms face Table Mountain. There is a pool bar on the 9th floor which has 360 degree beautiful views of Cape Town. The hotel is located in Green Point, within walking distance of the waterfront, and directly across from the new stadium being built for the World Cup Soccer in Cape Town this year. The location is great and there are restaurants within the hotel - a steak house and a sushi house, and a good Italian restaurant with excellent pizza next door. Also, the waterfront restaurants are easily accessible and have wonderful food and views. The best part of staying here is that the hotel provides a car (Jaguar) and driver, who will take you anywhere within a 5 km radius within Cape Town, on call at all times. We found this very convenient to get us wherever we wanted to go in the city and back and eliminated the need to take taxis. Even though the hotel is not directly in the waterfront, we found it nice to be away from the bustle over there at night. This morning when we woke up, we stepped out on the balcony and saw the Silver Wind docked in the harbor waiting for us. We would definitely stay here again. Our first day in Cape Town, we slept late and had breakfast. We then had the car and driver take us to the waterfront, where we spent time shopping in Victoria Wharf. We enjoyed the Red Shed Craft market and other stores and saw the Aquarium. The waterfront is lovely with many great restaurants and stunning views of Table Mountain. We the called the hotel car and were driven over to the Green Market Square. This is a market square with stalls selling all kinds of crafts and souvenirs, directly in front of City Hall. After the market, we walked along Long Street, stopping into shops and enjoying the architecture of the city. We then called the car and returned to the hotel. We had a lovely dinner in 1800 degrees, the steak house in the hotel and were happy to get to bed to catch up from a bit of jet lag. The next day we had booked a private tour from Hylton Ross of the Cape and the winelands. Our tour guide Deon arrived promptly in a comfortable van and we left for the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. We cannot say enough about Deon. He actually trains tour guides for the company and is exceptional in his knowledge and entertaining stories of Cape Town, South African history and the sites. We drove the entire Cape road, including Chapman's Peak, saw the 12 Apostles, Hout Bay, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, Simon's Town and the African penguins and drove through Table Mountain Park. We saw baboons, ostrich, bok, and penguins on the trip as well as fascinating scenery, entertained by Deon's commentary. We then drove to Stellenbosch, in the winelands and spent the afternoon walking the town, having a lovely lunch, and tastings. Deon took us back to our hotel after a very full day, worth every second. We had salad and pizza at Bravo the restaurant next to the hotel and turned in early. Yesterday we visited Robben Island, the site where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 29 years. It is a very popular tourist site now, so it is necessary to book tickets beforehand - sometimes up to 2 weeks during busy times. The tour begins next to the clock tower in the waterfront and takes about 3-1/2 hours. We took the ferry for the 20 minute trip to the island where buses met us for a drive around the island with a guide who gave commentary on our sites. We then left the bus and were taken on a tour of the prison by a former political prisoner. It was a fascinating tour of a piece of the history of South Africa. We then spent some time at the waterfront, had late lunch at Den Anker and did some more shopping. Today we will visit a few sites and then board the Silversea Silver Wind about 2.
Sunday January 24 At Sea
Yesterday, after breakfast and some shopping in the city center we took the hotel car to the cruise terminal at 1:30PM. The Silver Wind looked lovely in the harbor. We walked into the small terminal and were the only passengers there. We were greeted by a medical technician who asked us to fill out a survey on our health in the past days, and, after we handed it in, she took our temperature. When she saw it was normal, she said "Welcome aboard please proceed to check in." We turned in our passports, got our keys and walked onto the ship. Our cabin was ready and our Butler Anita was waiting at the door to welcome us. It was wonderful to be back on board. The Silver Wind has gone through refurbishment since our last cruise and she looks great. The cabin was spotless and the bathroom beautiful with the new wood and granite. A bottle of Dom Perignon, a gift from AMEX Platinum was waiting on ice. Anita took our orders for our room bar and other requests. We went up to lunch in La Terraza. We recognized Faye and Rudolpho from our last cruise and it was nice to see them and chat. After lunch we unpacked and explored the changes in the ship, including the beautiful new forward observation lounge. I also set up our internet account and so far the internet has been very quick. The Captain is Michele Macarone Palmieri, CD is Jimmy, Matire' D is Jorge and Hotel Manager is Roberto. We did our lifeboat safety drill at 5 pm and then went back to the room to watch the video of the first port lecture on East London. The sailway from Cape Town was spectacular with the sun shining brightly, Table Mountain in the background and the rest of South Africa ahead of us. Jimmy introduced his staff, and said that the majority of passengers are from England, with a handful of Americans, Canadians and Australians aboard. Fellow passengers have been friendly and interesting so far. The majority of passengers have not sailed with Silversea before. Dinner in the main dining room was excellent. We had foie gras terrine, prawns and a wonderful chicken stuffed with spinach, foie gras and cheese. It was excellent. We drank a New Zealand Sauvignon blanc which was lovely. After dinner, we walked around the deck and retired at 10. Seas were a little high for about an hour, then settled in. The weather is great. The last cruise, which did the same itinerary, had lots of rain and actually skipped Mossel Bay due to high seas and inability to tender. We are all hoping for better seas and weather throughout the trip, and so far, no problems. This morning we had breakfast in La Terraza and attended an interesting lecture by Malcolm Ainscough on Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, entitled "From Darling to Despot: Africa's Most Spectacular Failure." It was well attended and we are looking forward to more talks from him. I'm writing this as DH is at a French language class. Then we're off to lunch and ballroom dancing. Tonight is formal night with the Captain's welcome reception. The show tonight is "Broadway Rocks" with the Silver Wind singers and dancers.
January 25 East London, South Africa
The Captain's Welcome reception last night was well attended with most everyone in formal dress. Dinner once again was excellent, with lobster and filet among the offerings. It was smooth sailing into port this morning at 8 am at East London, South Africa. Weather is a bit overcast, but warm, with a shower predicted this afternoon. East London is known as the Buffalo City because it lies on the Buffalo River. It is South Africa's only river port city and has one of the most attractive stretches of the Eastern Cape Seaboard. Its white beaches are famous for surfing competitions. The natural history museum is home to the only dodo egg in existence and an exhibit of the coelacanth. Tours today include the Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, a city orientation, and Khaya La Banthu - Life of the Xhosa. We will take the third excursion, which leaves at 1 pm. This gives us time to relax this morning. The ship's arrival was greeted by a group of Xhosa ladies singing and dancing in native costumes, and blowing whistles and horns. Also along the pier were stalls with local goods such as beaded necklaces, wood carvings, bowls and other souvenirs for sale. The ship is running a shuttle service into a mall in the city if guests choose not to take a tour. Later: Back now from our afternoon excursion to Khaya La Banthu. This was one of the best excursions we have taken. Upon arrival at the village after a 40 minute drive, we were greeted by 91 year old Mama Tofu, who greeted us on behalf of the Xhose people of her village. There was a chorus of women, men and children who greeted us with song. We then walked across a small red carpet into the village serenaded by the chorus. We were seated on benches in one of the huts made of sticks, reeds and thatched roof. Mama Tofu addressed us on the culture of the Xhose and traditions. We then were separated, men from women and taken to separate places to learn of the traditions in raising the boys and girls to adulthood. The men went to a kraal, which is the "bank" of the Xhose man, because it contains his cattle and other important animals. The women were taken to the kitchen to watch corn being ground, and a meal being prepared in huge cast iron pots over a fire. The bread being made in one of the pots was spectacular. We had an interesting discussion on the traditions of the village and then went to another hut to join the entire group in eating the meal prepared for us. It was delicious. We had more entertainment, and were invited to join in the dancing with the children of the village. Upon leaving, we had an opportunity to shop for some of the hand made crafts available from their creators. Beaded items are the specialty of the Xhose and there were many purses, necklaces and bracelets available. We then drove the 40 minutes through East London, back to the ship. We arrived too late to join our trivia team, but relaxed and had a drink in the bar with new friends from England and California, before we all went to dinner. Snapper or prime rib were enjoyed at the table this evening, along with great conversation. An enjoyable evening.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 At Sea
We are at sea about 4 miles off the coast of South Africa, having just passed Durban on our way to Maputo, Mozambique, tomorrow's port. The Indian Ocean is calm and warm at 25 degrees C. It also is rather shallow, being only about 150 feet deep at this point. The outside temperature is a sunny 29 degrees. Beautiful day at sea. Today's lecture by Malcolm Ainscough was "The Creation of De Beers Diamonds and how it shaped Central and Southern Africa," an extremely interesting discussion of the influence of Cecil Rhodes on the formation of South Africa and the consequences of his actions. Galley lunch was served in the restaurant at noon. The chef, Laurent, outdid himself in the food and presentation of all items. The dessert buffet was wonderful. Tonight's entertainment will be "Fiesta Latina" with the Silver Wind Singers and Dancers.
Wednesday, January 27 Maputo, Mozambique We spent yesterday afternoon relaxing, attending trivia (our team tied for first place) and had dinner in our cabin, enjoying the Dom Perignon we had gotten as a gift. Watched a movie and went to bed early. We awoke to our dock in Maputo and opened the curtains to find rain absolutely pouring down. Torrential actually, and we have been told the roads are flooded and it is difficult for anyone to get to the ship. Water in the streets is waist high in some placed. Originally there were three excursions for today: a city orientation, a taste of Maputo which is a lunch in the wild, and art of Maputo which is for 15 people and visits one of the local artists famous in Mozambique. The taste of Maputo and the art tour have been cancelled. Malcolm gave a lovely talk on safari travel in Africa with wonderful photos to fill the time this morning. The city orientation now is on for 1:00 rather than the morning. The ship is running a shuttle to town and we have opted to do that and explore a bit on our own. We have been warned, however, to be very careful, not conspicuous, and not take any valuables ashore. This is just good advice for wherever one travels. There is a Visa charge of $23 per person to disembark in Mozambique, which the ship has charged to ship accounts. There also has been a bit of controversy because Silversea sent out a letter a few months ago that all passengers on this sailing MUST have Yellow Fever Vaccine or would be denied boarding. We had our shots. Then, some passengers called the cruise line and were told they did not need the vaccine. Then, their documents arrived (quite late - just a week before sailing) with a letter saying they must have the Vaccine. There understandably has been a lot of confusions and concern over the shot, the cost of the shot, potential side effects for older people and the communication regarding this requirement. When we checked in, I mentioned that we had our Yellow Fever documents and was told we did not need them for this trip. So, the shot is good for 10 years and perhaps we will need it on other travels. But we didn't need it to board for this cruise. We took the shuttle bus to town. The original destination for drop off was the Paloma area. However, the vendor changed the location, and we were taken to the Maputo Mall. After getting off and walking around for 15 minutes, we decided there was nothing there. The city is a typical third world city and in need of serious investment to bring it back to being ready for tourism. Unfortunately, our time here is too short to actually explore the rest of the country. There are many run down buildings in need of repair, including what was a beautiful train station. The shuttle guide offered to take us on a tour of the Central Market on the way back to the ship, but her supervisor told her she could not and we returned directly back to the Silver Wind. We could not explore on our own, because we are not allowed to walk back into the port and must be on a shuttle. Also, it is illegal to take photos of any government buildings here. The city orientation excursion is still out, so we will see what those passengers have to say upon their return. But suffice it to say, this is not our favorite port. Tonight is formal night and it is Venetian Society cocktail party. We have been invited to have dinner with Rachel, the HR Manager and we anticipate a very pleasant evening. On the menu are rack of lamb, Veal Shank and Coquilles Sant Jacques. Tonight's entertainment is "Strike Up The Band" by Gary Guthman.
Thursday and Friday Jan 28 and 29th, Richards Bay
It was a little rocky last night, but not bad. However, the Captain later told us that the port of Richard's Bay was closed until just before we arrived, due to high winds and waves. Just about 8 am a helicopter hovered over the ship and dropped down the pilot and asst. pilot on lines to the 9th deck. They guided us into port. We will overnight tonight in Richards Bay. Some passengers will disembark at noon for an overnight trip to Phinda Game Reserve. Others will visit Zululand, the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park or Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. The Hluhluwe Reserve covers 96,000 hectares and has hilly topography. It is home to 1,600 white rhino and 370 black rhino as well as the Big Five. It is world renowned for its white rhino conservation. St. Lucia Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site. It has 280 km of coastline and 328,000 hectares. The protected area is home to a large population of hippopotamus and 1,000 crocodiles. We visited St Lucia on the afternoon tour and, despite rainy weather, enjoyed sightings of many pods of hippos, a kudu, and crocodile. In addition, many species of birds and leatherback turtles. It was a very nice excursion. We returned back to the ship and ordered room service and watched a movie. We woke up Friday at 4 am in order to be on time for our 5:30 am Hluhluwe Game Reserve Drive. We had room service breakfast which was great, and headed for the bus. There were a lot of hardy souls ready for the early morning drive of about 1 hour to the Reserve. We then transferred into vehicles which held about 10 people (but we had less) and took off with cameras at the ready. It was overcast with no rain, but the ground was wet from heavy rains. The temperature was perfect for viewing. We were told that last cruise the temperature had been 40 degrees C and was very difficult to see game. We were rewarded with close encounters with elephants, giraffes, zebras, nyala, spotted hyena, water buffalo, the famous white rhino, gnus, impala, warthog and loads of birds, including yellow weavers and stork. The lions, although present in the park, were not out during our drive. But, we had a great time and took lots of great photos. We returned back to the ship and took a nap for an hour. Our team tied for first in trivia. We were scheduled to have the deck Barbeque and Variety show under the moonlight. However, due to possible rain, it was cancelled. We enjoyed drinks in the bar with some new friends. The Barbeque food was moved to La Terraza, and we had a great casual dinner up there before returning to our room.
Saturday January 30 Durban, South Africa
The seas were high last night but we arrived on time in Durban at 8 am. Durban is the third most populous city in the country and the busiest port in Africa. It has a subtropical climate and beautiful beaches. It is situated in the KwaZulu-Natal area and was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who landed here on Christmas in 1497. The tours today were a City Tour of Durban, Tala Private Game Reserve or the Valley of a Thousand Hills. We took the latter tour. It was a one hour drive through Durban out to the Thousand Hills area which is a beautiful setting in Zulu territory, and included a visit with the Zulu people and their culture. The landscape goes for miles and is indeed made up of a Thousand Hills. The weather again was overcast and a bit cool. The scenery and information on Durban and its changes since 1995 was interesting. We arrived at Phezulu which is an opportunity to see ethnic customs, song and dance by the Gasa clan. It also was possible to visit the traditional beehive huts and visit the reptile center which contained many crocodiles and snakes. While the visit and dancing were fine, it, in our opinion, was amateurish and touristy, not the best creation of Zulu culture available and not our favorite excursion. The visit to the huts was cut because there were too many of us on the tour, according to the guide. I would recommend the Xhose village tour I discussed earlier out of East London, rather than this one. We arrived back at the ship at 1 pm and the pilot took the ship out at 2 pm. Malcolm gave another talk today entitled "Apartheid-Democracy-Forgiveness: The Enduring Inspiration of Africa's Most Spectacular Success." Now we're off to trivia. Tonight is formal night and the Captain's Farewell cocktail party. Two comments on this cruise: We've sailed on the Wind before and are really enjoying it this time. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Service overall has been excellent. We have used room service a number of times and have never seen it better on any cruise ship. Everything has been served promptly and to order. Dinner has been served course by course and beautifully. This cruise, since leaving Maputo, has been very port intensive with no sea days. Excursions have been long and some early and some arriving back late. They have been great, but it also is tiring and has led us to take advantage of our own time in the suite rather than attend all the evening entertainment. So I apologize for not giving more details on that.
Sunday January 31 Port Elizabeth
We arrived in Port Elizabeth at 2 pm today and the ship sailed at 7 pm. This morning we did some laundry (3 washers and dryers on the ship), had breakfast in the restaurant and played trivia with our team. We came in first again! DH played golf putting, we had a light lunch at the pool grill and got ready for our excursion. We chose the Addo Elephant Park excursion. It is a sanctuary of more than 450 elephants. The Addo elephants are smaller than the elephants of central Africa but do not belong to a subspecies. Only the bulls have tusks, and they are fairly short. They were almost hunted to extinction early in the last century, but the creation of the conservation area has helped their numbers return. The Park is located 70 km north of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It is 370,000 hectares in size and one of the largest safari areas in South Africa. Other animals such as the Cape buffalo, lion, black rhino, eland, hartebeest, zebra, kudu, velvet monkey and mongoose are also in the park. Birds such as the Knysna Loerie and eagles are present. The drive was wonderful. As we turned a corner on the trail, we approached a lake bed where a bull elephant stood alone, taking water. In a moment, over the rise came a group of about 15 females and babies. They greeted the male and all soon were bathing, drinking and socializing. The head female rubbed heads with the male and trunks were intertwined. After 10 minutes, about 10 more elephants came down the path, and there soon was a huge group, all within about 15 feet of our vehicle. They were gorgeous creatures and the babies were adorable. There also were a large number of warthogs with tiny babies, Cape Buffalo, kudu, red hartebeest, leopard tortoises, rhinos and zebra. The drive was about two hours and we all agreed it was definitely worthwhile. The only part of the trip that bothered us was the driver of the tour bus who, on a road full of potholes, drove more than 100 km an hour to get back to port on time. He also was on the cell phone talking a lot, which we disliked. Port Elizabeth itself was very quiet because it was Sunday. It had a long tradition of auto manufacturing going back to the 1920s. We were told not to walk in the city center. We arrived back at the ship about 6:30, quickly changed, and had drinks in the bar. We dined in the restaurant and had roast duck and chateaubriand. By the way, we asked for a table in Rudolfo's area every night. He was an excellent waiter this cruise and on our prior Silversea cruise .
Monday, February 1, Mossel Bay
It was a rocky, rocky night last night and many guests were not feeling well. We were fine, and up early for our last port day in Mossel Bay. The ship skipped this port on the prior cruise with the same itinerary, due to high winds and waves. Well, the winds were still here, but it was sunny and the waves moderate. It is a tender port and so the decision to go for it depended on the ability to launch and return the tenders. The Captain decided it was doable and we gathered for our excursion in the Parisian Lounge at 8 am. It took longer than normal to load the tenders as the waves were a bit high (actually water was coming above the loading platform). But it was not too rocky in the tenders and we made shore easily. What a lovely area Mossel Bay is. It is probably the most picturesque next to Cape Town of all the ports. It is a harbor along the world famous Garden Route and a popular holiday town. It is blessed with a mild climate year round and is an international docking area. The town was developed as an export harbor for wool, ochre and ostrich feathers. The area right around the harbor has some lovely restaurants and a wonderful local craft building. Among the excursions today were trips to the Kongo caves and an ostrich farm, and a game drive at Botlierskopf. Some of the crew were looking forward to doing shark cage diving! We chose Botlierskopf private game reserve (not a national park like Addo or HluHluwe) for one last try at the animals. It was about 30 minutes from the port and was a gorgeous setting which has a lovely restaurant and tented accommodations where visitors can stay overnight. We loaded into vehicles which held about 20 passengers. This was the most passengers per vehicle of any of the drives. It was a 2-1/2 hour game drive. We were rewarded with seeing 3 lions, 3 elephants, many warthogs, eland, black and brown antelope, buntebok, giraffe and zebra. It should be noted that the owners of this game reserve had rescued some of the game like the lions and elephants. One surprise was that they thought they were rescuing a male and female elephant and a few months later, she gave birth to the baby, so there were three. It is important to note that if you go on this excursion, it is off road on very bumpy tracks. It is extremely steeply pitched and at times at dizzying heights, so if you have a bad back or neck or are afraid of heights, this might not be the one for you. We were provided a lovely lunch of Koroo lamb and all the trimmings, along with local South African wines in the beautiful dining room of the reserve. The interior is lovely and made from all natural stone and wood with thatched roof. Our drive to the ship along the coast was very nice. We arrived at the tender at 2:30 and got in. Well, the waves by that time had risen and the wind picked up. The Silver Wind was listing visibly from side to side. The tender crew attempted to make the landing platform 4 times before we finally were able to reach it. About 6 men passengers got off and then the waves hit the tender, flooding it and the platform. The tender had to move away. We then waited for the ship to actually change its position to try to make landing easier. The crew did an excellent job and really took personal risk to help us try to make it. At about 3:40 we finally were able to make the platform and among rising and falling tender, flooded platform and the with the great help of the crew, got aboard the ship. There was a last tender leaving at 3:30 from shore and they also did make it. However, Mossel Bay once again proved to be a tricky port to visit for the Silver Wind. Final trivia was at 4:45, so we changed our wet clothing and shoes and made our way to the Bar for the final competition. Jimmy gave us 30 questions this time, and our team came in second. However, we were first place overall on the cruise for trivia. We went up and exchanged our points for a nice travel clock. Then, it was time to pack. We got most of our things together, had a quick dinner and went right to bed.
Tuesday, February 2 Cape Town This was the rockiest night at sea yet. The ship arrived at Cape Town at about 6 and waited for the pilot to take us into port. We had room service breakfast, served beautifully once again by our Butler Anita, and watched the sail-in to one of the most beautiful port cities in the world. At 8 am we left the suite and waited in the lobby until we disembarked with no problem at 8:30am.
Overall this was an outstanding cruise. Some things we would change are very small things: 1.add better programming on the tv and movies - more channels and less looping of Fox and the same movies over and over. 2. A bit more accurate information on the ports and shore excursions, and 3. for breakfast, better eggs. For some reason, the eggs were often either cold or totally overcooked. We'd also eliminate Maputo as a port.
Our return to the Silver Wind was an extremely pleasant one. We have to say the food was excellent for the most part, the crew some of the friendliest and attentive we have met, and the majority of ports very interesting.
Addendum: Our driver and car were waiting to take us to an area about 3 hours north of Cape Town in the Cederberg Mountains. It is near Clanwilliam, SA, and the place we are staying at right now is Bushmans Kloof Game Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat. It is a member of Relais and Chateaux group and in 2009 was named the Best Hotel in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine. The private car and driver are part of the package the resort is offering. The drive to the resort is absolutely breathtaking through eye popping limestone rock formations reminiscent of Utah or Colorado. The Reserve itself is 16,000 acres and the resort accommodates 32 guests in individual houses and suites. Upon arrival each guest is assigned a guide, who will conduct game drives, sunset drives to spots for sundowners before dinner, assist with fly fishing and conduct drives to the caves on the property which contain primitive bushman cave paintings. The guides are incredibly well versed in the archaeology, flora and fauna and culture of the San bushman who inhabited this area. There also are talks on astronomy and star-gazing lectures at night. There is also a small museum with curator on the grounds. It is an astounding place of beauty and nature. We are in the Patterson suite, which consists of a large living room, huge bathroom with copper tub and separate shower, large bedroom, separate lanai off the bedroom, and a huge verandah overloading the mountings, river and lily ponds. We enjoyed a braai or barbeque out on a ledge in the mountains with incredible views. The resort is all inclusive with the exception of liquor and has a full service spa. We are winding down here nicely for a few days after our great cruise on Silversea and before our return to Cape Town and home. We certainly will sail SilverSea again and hope to return to see more of Africa. Less