By Jane Archer, Cruise Critic contributor
Spirit of Adventure Overview
As the name of the ship -- and, indeed, the cruise line -- indicates, Spirit of Adventure is all about, well, being adventurous.
This is not for cruisers who want a luxury ship with plush cabins, where wine tasting, dicing with lady luck in the casino and lavish shows are the highlights of the day. Spirit of Adventure is aimed, instead, at rather mature people who seek a more edu-cruising-style experience.
Spirit of Adventure, which is also the name of the one-ship cruise line, was formed by over-50 travel specialists, Saga Holidays. The intimate size of the ship is one appeal for its Spirit-ed passengers -- many on my cruise in the Black Sea were back onboard for a second or third time -- who want a small, cosy, onboard ambience where everyone gets to know everyone else.
Open-seating dining, so passengers can move around and sit at different tables at dinner, is also an absolute must. When I was last on the ship I met a woman who had been casting around among cruise lines, looking for a replacement for Swan, and had decided on Spirit because of its open dining.
Lectures are also an important part of the Spirit mix. Usually, they are linked to the places being visited, although random topics -- we had gardening and the joys of growing old -- are offered. We had a pianist, string quartet and quizzes most nights. "Casino," I quickly discovered, is a dirty word.
Spirit of Adventure Fellow Passengers
Spirit of Adventure is very much a cruise line for the Brits, although they do get a smattering of others nationalities -- Belgians, Swedes, Irish and Americans -- who can put up with the very British style.
Most passengers are affluent and well-read. Many are regular cruisers, and almost all on my cruise were in their 60's. In fact, the average age was 62.
That said, they also liked the idea of this soft adventure cruising -- the lectures and the fact that Spirit of Adventure goes off the beaten track attracted them to this brand, as opposed to the more traditional Saga, over-50s' ships.
Spirit of Adventure Dress Code
Smart casual is the order of the day, and although there were a couple of formal evenings on my cruise -- as there are on all departures -- I noticed most people didn't bother with black ties or evening gowns.
Spirit of Adventure Gratuity
Tips are included in the cost of the cruise.
--by Jane Archer, Cruise Critic U.K.-based contributor
February 2011 Tony Fitzgerald
Spirit of Adventure - Magic of Madagascar Cruise
3 - 17 January 2011
Departure: Port Louis, Mauritius
Itinerary: Reunion, Madagascar (4 ports), Mayotte, Zanzibar, Tanzania (mainland - 2 ...continue
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Not having cruised before,we looked for a smaller ship for our first taste.Having read some fine reports about this ship we booked this trip to the Caribbean.After a long,tiring flight of some 8+hours we finally arrived in Barbados,there we were met ...continue