The best small cruise line in the world?
Europe - Western Mediterranean
Despite the delay by BA in getting the luggage to Venice Silversea as expected provided everything needed including a trouble free embarkation in late afternoon and a warm welcome by my charming butler whose help was always friendly and professional.
The suite was comfortable,spacious and well appointed.The lectures were outstanding and the few activities especially on the sea day were enjoyable.The on board service was six star with always a smile,chat and efficient service of both the inclusive drinks and superb food:the dinner always had good alternatives where the ever changing gourmet menu was not chosen.
Fernando was an excellent cruise director with his trivia quiz much fun and often quite difficult.The ship was spotless,well decorated and I look forward to July 2012 when I am on the Spirit again for two weeks.
It is expensive especially for singles BUT it is a fantastic cruise holiday experience.
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Cabin review: VR601
The suite was a good size,queen bed with various pillows provided,quiet suite at the end of the corridor.Well appointed with mirror TV,Bulgari soaps etc,comfortable lounge area and good sized verandah.
Port and Shore Excursions
My third visit to Dubrovnik both before and after the civil war.Despite the heat of the day it was a great experience to ascend the cable lift to the hill top overlooking the old city.The city was very busy with visitors from round the world but it is an incredible sight and so full of history. Silversea provided a free shuttle service from the port to the Pile Gate:a much appreciated service. The effects of the bombardment all now appear covered over with new roof tops and an enjoyable walk around the wall:at a small price.
The ship tendered off the main port with a shuttle provided for guests from port to town:I walked back to the port at the end of the visit.I have had several week holidays at Sorrecnto and it is always a favourite port of call.The centre is generally clean and attractive with so many well priced tourist shops together with local wares including inlaid tables,which are part of my home furnishings now. It is so close to Pompeii,Herculaneum and to the attractions of Naples.I do not avail myself of the ship's tours these days with most ports of call preferring to wander around discovering for myself:here in Sorrento is a newly opened section of the old town wall with a free guide sheet in English.
Silversea no longer provide a shuttle service (as on a past cruise) to the town centre on the hill top.I took a service bus at 2 euros single and explorted the town again:I was here 10 years ago on Silver Cloud.The streets were busy and with the narrow lanes provided a hard time in the heat of the day reaching the Greek Theatre and the main square and adjacent gardens.So many cheap tourist shops decorate the streets and it is worthwhile having a good price comparison prior to possible purchase. A lovely town with impressive churches,clean and very attractive.
One of the oustanding ports of this part of the world.As this was the port of embarkation I only had a Sunday to explore this city:for the 8th time! I chose to walk from the port terminal (shuttle bus provided from the ship)and visited several churches en route to the Accadamia Bridge across the Grand Canal.I visit to a musical instrument museum and of course a crowded St Mark's Square with a stroll along the canal side to finish. A fantastic city and the sail away was accompanied by the cruise director providing a fascinating commentary. One of the most memorable of ports around the world.