1 Silversea Silver Wind Europe - Black Sea Cruise Reviews

We knew in advance that the main attraction of this cruise ,ie Yalta, was off the port list due to the troubles as was Sevastopol but the info came through to late to cancel without penalty so we decided to make the best of it. Istanbul ... Read More
We knew in advance that the main attraction of this cruise ,ie Yalta, was off the port list due to the troubles as was Sevastopol but the info came through to late to cancel without penalty so we decided to make the best of it. Istanbul airport is a very,very busy place and without fast track entry immigration would have taken over half an hour and coming home even worse. Anyway our private transfer was waiting for us and delivered us to the port in good time for boarding which entailed multiple showing of documents and became a little tedious but the Silversea staff were ever cheerful and efficient.The next surprise was the steep gangway we had to negotiate to board the ship,upto deck5,this was a challenge to some of the less able passengers.I know tidal conditions have a part to play but only twice during the cruise could we walk off the ship in comfort via deck 3. Our first impression of the ship was that it looked no different to some of the less prestigious lines,we didn't feel the wow factor we were expecting of a supposedly top of the range ship. Anyway we were led to our cabin where we met our butler who offered a choice of toiletries and explained the layout and workings of the equipment in the cabin,he also took our order for the mini bar which took 24 hours to arrive but thereafter refills were no problem. I must say I had made a pillow choice online prior to the cruise but this was nor fulfilled but our tours similarly booked were fine. The ports of call had been adjusted so our first visit was to Sinop which had a pretty little promenade and not much else. Next was Trabzon a place with a lot more history,here we decided to discover the city alone and after getting a map from the tourist office in the main square we found ourselves wondering through the bazaar,a fascinating labyrinth of tiny streets with absolutely everything for sale.From the main square it is only a short walk back to the ship. Batumi was the next port this is a city with beautiful architecture counterpointed by awful Russian built apartment blocks.Here we took a tour to the Gonio fortress,dating from Roman times and on to the Adjara winery,a lovely setting and a nice drive but the wine didn't quite match the surroundings. We then called in to Sochi where the perverse Russians made us tender in instead of docking,our walking tour guide seemed more interested in talking like Shakespeare than giving us the bottom line on the history of the place so much so that we had to cut two attractions due to the time he wasted talking but we did make it to the beer tasting. Odessa was the next port,here we took a guided tour with a wonderful guide called Emilia,this historic and beautiful city is well worth a visit particularly the opera house which is outstanding,We had lunch on the ship ,which was moored quite close to the famous Potemkin steps,and then thought we would wa;k back to the city centre for some more photo opportunities but it started to rain so we turned back.This was a blessing as only 30 mins later the terrible events we all know of took place,some passengers and crew were still in town but returned unharmed. It so happened that Constanta was our last port and I must say it is a typical example of a post communist city terribly poor and run down,it made us count our blessings.The boat trip we took to Ovidiu island was overpriced although we enjoyed the included meal. Nessebur was cancelled due to high seas,a pity as it looked to be a pretty place to visit,however this meant we headed straight to Istanbul giving us the benefit of arriving in daylight and therefore getting great views of the Bosphurous on the sail in Our on board lecture was Corey Sandler who was absolutely brilliant with his easy style and detailed knowledge of the area and the ports visited we really understand the troubled history of this region now. We also enjoyed the entertainment provided by the ships troupe of 6 singers/dancers a really talented and pleasant group of young people as were the resident quartet and Remon the pianist,top class. We found La Terraza restaurant to our liking but as the menu only changed every 3 days we also used the main restaurant,the food was equally good in both,however our meal in Le Champagne was a little disappointing for the $40.00 cover charge I fact there were only 6 people in when we ate there.We cancelled our other reservations there To sum up the ship was very nice overall but looking tired in places and not in as good condition as we would have expected.That said the staff on board were of the highest standard with nothing to much trouble and always service with a smile,they really are a credit to Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Silver Wind Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.4
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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