We chose this cruise as our good friends wanted to take this trip - it had been recommended to them by others - but they backed out. We knew nothing about cruises, having never been on one - except the perception that you had either the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our good friends wanted to take this trip - it had been recommended to them by others - but they backed out. We knew nothing about cruises, having never been on one - except the perception that you had either the choice of: 1. Travelling with 10 million children dressed up as characters from movies; 2. Travelling with the equivalent of a floating frat party; or 3. Spending a considerable amount of time makking sure you were dressed 'suitably' for your fellow passengers.
We both needed a break, it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we decided to take a chance. After all, we both loved the cities of embarcation and departure -Dublin and Barcelona - if the ship experience was bad, we could stay in our cabin, have room service and read and watch movies.
The ship experience was amazing! We arrived by cab at the port, our suitcases were collected, we immediately went aboard and fifteen minutes later we were sitting outside, waiting for wine and fire-baked pizzas. We bacame so relaxed over the next few days that one time we got on the elevator and after about 90 seconds, we looked at each other noting that neither of us needed to push a floor button.
Our cabin was lovely. Each day a bottle of champagne magically appeared in our mini-fridge and my husband's shirts were perfectly starched and pressed. Mark, our butler, could not have been kinder or more thoughtful. He and Jeanette, our housekeeper, made the trip in our cabin the type of experience everyone wants. They were super. (A side story: One night, we encountered a little rougher waters and my husband needed to leave dinner at Indochine before dessert. Our waiter offered to have my dessert brought to our cabin. I was delighted and we left. When we reached our cabin, we turned on the television to watch the news...the next thing I knew, I was awake and my dessert was on the dining table in our cabin. My husband had fallen asleep, too - he didn't know what happened. We found out the next day that Mark had brought my dessert and when we didn't answer our doorbell, he quietly placed my tray on the table and left. I asked him if we were snoring - and he assured me it wasn't very loud...)
We pretty quickly settled into a relaxing routine. We arrived at Atlantide (the main dining restaurant - in addition to Indochine) each morning as they opened. Great service, charming servers and delicious offerings from an expansive menu. We went to La Terranova once for breakfast, but buffets aren't our favorites - so we stayed with Atlantide for the remainder of our trip.
After breakfast we found comfy chairs in the Venetian Lounge and read for several hours. We were always asked if we wanted a beverage and their tea 'menu' was unbelievable.
Oh, no...it was time for lunch. Where did the morning go? (Tip: Use the stairs as much as you can to help manage the delicious meals.)
Between lunches and dinners, we tried every restaurant. Our dinners at Indochine were delicious, but the service at Atlantide was more consistent; same story at LaTerranova.
We ate at La Dame on our anniversary and it was worth the surcharge. While delicious, I'm not so sure I would say the same for the Japanese grill.
The poolside Grill is super for lunch if the weather is nice. I wasn't so crazy about the 'hot rocks' for dinner, though. The woodfired pizzas were super and I could visit the gelato bar three times a day if I didn't care about weighing more than my clothes could cover.
We visited the fitness center almost every day and it was never busy. Immaculately maintained - it was compact, but met our needs. I had a massage at the beginning of the trip. The massage was excellent, but I canceled a second as I felt pressured to buy more services. I hope this comment reaches management.
We often went to the Silver Note after dinner for a night cap while we listened to the jazz duo. They were great and Danielle, the bartender made us a delicious drink - hazelnut liquor and lemon juice. She was a doll. That was the only entertainment we experienced - we go to bed early.
We met many lovely people on the ship and no one looked askance at what I wore to dinner. I should finish, by saying we enjoyed our trip so much - we have signed up for six more voyages with Silverseas in the next 16 months. Read Less