This review is directed to people like myself - taking a very special vacation of a lifetime and wanting to know as much about it in advance as possible to reassure myself that I made a good choice - not directed at the "pros" who are constantly on the board and/or on the ship. Let me begin by saying we were pleased beyond our expectations and would not have traded a thing about the cruise.
Because of my work schedule, we normally vacation in the Caribbean at a luxury resort where we can just totally relax and enjoy fine dining in area restaurants. I had formerly cruised once on Carnival 14 years ago with teenage daughter in Caribbean and with Celebrity to Alaska with family so this was first with just husband and me on luxury line. We selected this cruise because we liked the ports, we wanted small ship and I couldn't be away too long. We spent 3 days in Istanbul before embarking - good thing - a wonderful city with a lot to see and do and also time to recover from jet lag. More
First day was a sea day - another good thing - time to rest after touring 3 days and before stopping at 5 ports in 5 days.
Check in was so laid back and easy - turn in our passports, get our picture taken, room keys and go to lunch (we went about 1:00 - no problems). After lunch we went to our suite and our luggage was already there. We were in the least expensive room (Vista 433) which was low and center because of my sensitivity to motion. Suite was spacious with plenty of storage space, walk-in closet, drawers, shelves, desk area, vanity area, loveseat, chairs and table, flat screen tv, plenty of hangars, pillows, bathroom with tub and shower, champagne chilling in the bucket and fresh fruit too. We're not big drinkers so we had made no special beverage requests but there was water, soda and beer in our refrigerator. Our cabin stewardess was excellent, very pleasant, always called us by name, smiled and exchanged pleasantries. Our butler was also pleasant and prompt.
One of the best things about the Wind is that they made everything easy and pleasant for you - no hassles at all. There was always a way to get your needs/wants met - sometimes you had to think a little creatively. When we arrived in port, they had a table with bottles of water, they always had maps and information at the shore desk, everyone was friendly and helpful and courteous at all times. Dining The quality of food was generally excellent. We usually ate breakfast at La Terrazza but the waiters brought the food we wanted cooked to order to us because we're not buffet types. They couldn't have treated us better. We did eat breakfast one day in the dining room but it took longer and wasn't any better than La Terrazza and didn't have a particularly exciting menu. We only had lunch on board a few times - once at the pool deck (the first day at sea) and the galley lunch buffet on the other day at sea. Otherwise, we ate in ports. Several times I ordered a shrimp cocktail and drink on the room service menu before we went to dinner - it was a nice way to unwind after a day in port. Room service was always prompt and graciously served. We had dinner one night at La Terrazza which was excellent and the other nights we ate in the main dining room - usually at a table for two near the window. Dinner wasn't served until 7:30 which we found to be a bit late - especially when we were getting up early to visit the ports. Usually it was 9:30 before we were done and we were ready to go back to our suite to read by then. Often we left without dessert and we ordered it in our room after wards. We had no complaints about the quality or quantity of food and there was always a variety. I'm not a particularly adventurous eater and I found that sometimes, I liked 2 of the intermezzos and none of the starters, but I ordered that way and it wasn't a problem. I also don't like heavy desserts so I often just ordered truffles and they brought me two or three each night. I was surprised that lobster was not on the menu once, nor was crab and very seldom shrimp. On the last night, I asked the waiter if there was lobster and he said yes, but it was frozen and you would have had to request it in advance. After reading this board for several months in advance of the cruise, my one complaints is that it seems like Silversea wants to be known as a cruise line where they'll meet your every need but I would prefer that they offer to everyone what they have - not just to the demanding few or those "in the know. "
We wanted a stress free relaxing vacation where we would be treated very well and have comfortable accommodations while we visited some places we had never been. The Silver Wind definitely delivered on that. We did not do any of the ship's excursions, nor did we participate in any of the ship's activities (with the exception of going to 2 port lectures) nor did we see any of the entertainment so I cannot comment on any of those areas. The other passengers seemed friendly, well-educated, interesting and sophisticated but not pretentious or arrogant. We found people to talk with when we wanted to but we had plenty of privacy and peace and quiet. The Wind was a wonderful experience that provided exactly what we were looking for. We would definitely cruise with Silversea again with the right itinerary. Less
We hired a private guide to take us to Ephesus. He was well-educated and spent about 6 hours showing us all of the area points and explaining about what we were seeing as well as Turkish culture, life and government in general.
We walked around the harbour area to Little Venice, had lunch right by the water and then hired a taxi for an hour to drive us to a couple of the beaches. Not impressed with the beaches - one was just stones. But Mykonos is clean and beautiful - friendly people.