Have you ever dreamed of spending a holiday in the Mediterranean Sea? Ever dreamed of waking up every morning in a new place, and pulling the curtain of your suite room window to unveil the turquoise blue of the sea? This is the reality when you embark on a voyage with Silversea Cruise like I did this summer. After a truly excellent and flawless experience aboard Silver Spirit, I can say that this cruise was one of my best holidays ever. Read this post to find out why.
In July this year I boarded the Silver Spirit cruise ship in Athens and a week later I disembarked (with a very heavy heart…) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I always dreamed of going on a cruise, but I never imagined I would be on an ultra luxury ship, with my own suite and butler to take care of everything I need.
At first I was mostly excited about all the different destinations I was going to visit: Mykonos, Monemvasia, Zakynthos, Corfu, Kotor and Dubrovnik. It may seem obvious to you, but I always thought of a cruise as a convenient way to go from A to B. A quick mean of transport to visit as many places as possible in a short time. I never really thought about going on a cruise just to be on the ship. This was the biggest revelation I had on Silver Spirit.
A few days into the voyage, I realised that a cruise is as much about the places you visit, as it is about the experience you have on board. It feels like stepping into a parallel world where everything you need is available and no worries exists.
A cruise provides a truly stress-free holiday, especially when you choose to travel on a luxury ship like Silversea’s Silver Spirit.
At 640 feet in length and a beam of 86 feet, Silver Spirit combines the award-winning hallmarks of the Silversea luxury cruise experience with expanded amenities and exciting venues for dining and entertainment. The public spaces are beautiful and with a unique Art Deco flair.
The ship also features the largest suites in the Silversea fleet and the personalised service for which Silversea is known.
Silversea prides itself for offering a personalised service and “up-close” experience on all its ships. Compared to bigger cruise ships, Silver Spirit is small, intimate and easy to walk around. The ship can host a maximum of 540 guests and there can be up to 376 crew members (with a staff-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one). Every officer and crew member will go above and beyond to make sure passengers are happy. As a guest of Silver Spirit, you know that all your needs are taken care of.
Nearly everything you may need is included in the cost of the cruise, so once you are on board you don’t need to worry about carrying your wallet around. Naturally this means that the average cost of a Silversea cruise is higher than other cruise holidays where only the basic accommodation is included. But if you are going to treat yourself to a lavish holiday, you really want to make that everything is taken care of before you go, and avoid stressing out on unexpected charges. With the exception of shore excursions, the casino the spa and the two premium restaurants with require a reservation fee of $40, everything is included on Silver Spirit (including gratuities).
I stayed in a Veranda Suite which featured a bedroom with queen-sized bed, a living room, a walk-in wardrobe, a spacious bathroom with shower and bathtub, and furnished private teak veranda.
The suite measured a surprising 35m² , that’s nearly the size of my old flat in London!
There was free wifi in the room, a flat screen TV with on-demand movies, and a choice of bath amenities (Bulgari and Ferragamo). When you travel for several weeks or even months on a cruise, you want to make sure your bedroom is comfortable and most of all, that is feels like home. The Veranda Suite on Silver Spirit definitely does.
I loved having the space to eat breakfast in my room if I wanted to, and having a large desk to sit at with my laptop when I needed to work (yep, bloggers still have to work on holiday!).
But my absolute favourite feature was the walk-in wardrobe and the marble bathroom. I was especially grateful for having a bathtub one afternoon when I came back from a shore excursion to Budva in Montenegro and discovered that my butler had prepared for me a bath with hot water, bath bubbles and floating flowers.
My favourite restaurant on Silver Spirit was La Terrazza on deck 7. Not just because they serve Italian dishes and make a mean Aperol Spritz, but also because of the outdoor seating and of course, the view. Dining at the golden hour on the terrace of a luxury cruise ship overlooking the sun drenched shores of the Aegean sea…this is my favourite memory of the cruise.
Silversea Cruises is privately owned by the Lefebvre family of Rome, so no wonder Italian cuisine is excellent on board of their ships. La Terrazza uses buffalo mozzarella from Naples, organic balsamic vinegar and olive oil from Umbria, Parma ham and Parmigiano Reggiano from Emilia-Romagna. The pasta is made daily in the kitchens on board.
La Terrazza also serves a breakfast buffet every morning and an afternoon tea service with tea, finger sandwiches and cakes every afternoon from 16:00 to 17:00.
Other dining options on Silver Spirit include the Pool Bar & Grill located on the mezzanine above the swimming pool deck. At this restaurant the food is cooked right in front of you on hot rocks placed in the middle of the table.
The Restaurant, the biggest restaurant on board located on deck 4, was our favourite spot for dinner as you can always get a table without pre-booking. The menu features classical cuisine including signature dishes by the Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux.
There are two premium restaurants on Silver Spirit for which you need to pay a minimal surcharge: Champagne and Seishin. Both restaurants are small (around 15 covers) therefore guests must book their table for dinner as much in advance as possible.
We were lucky to get a table at Champagne on our first night. Champagne is the only Wine Restaurant by Relais & Châteaux at sea and the dinner featured a set tasting menu of six French dishes paired with fine wines.
For the ultimate breakfast experience on board of Silver Spirit, I indulged in room service and asked my butler to serve breakfast in my suite. I had a choice of eating breakfast in the living room or on my balcony, taking all the time I wanted to read the morning news or check my Instagram feed! ;)
No matter how much I love the luxury of room service, it requires a little bit of planning as you have to order the night before. I can never know hours in advance what I will want to eat for breakfast, so breakfast buffets are my preferred option.
The Restaurant offers a la carte breakfast while La Terrazza offers a casual, buffet-style breakfast until 10:30 every morning.
The buffet was large and offered anything from breads and pastries (freshly-baked on board), English style breakfast, continental breakfast, and food suitable for all dietary requirements.
Relaxation and wellness
While on the cruise you can choose to work out in the well-equipped Fitness Centre, take a yoga class in the aerobics room, or relax in the sauna and steam room. Beauty treatments, facials and massages are also available to book at the Spa and Beauty Salon.
After a few days of indulging in the amazing food and wine on board, I was grateful for the gym which I use a couple of times during my cruise.
My favourite place to relax on Silver Spirit was without doubts the pool deck area on deck 9. Thanks to the hot and sunny Mediterranean weather, the swimming pool was truly the place to be, especially in the afternoon with a cocktail in hand.
I am not one to miss an opportunity to visit a new destination, so every morning I would get off the ship to visit the island or town where we had docked. The picture-perfect Mykonos and the understated yet impressive Monemvasia; the shipwrecked beach and blue waters of Zakynthos, the magnificent old town of Corfu; the stunning scenery of Montenegro and the majestic Dubrovnik. Everyday there was a new stunning place to discover.
But after a few hours on land I would return to the Silver Spirit to have afternoon tea on the terrace, work or rest in my suite, or relax by the pool with the other girls. It felt like such a treat!
In addition to all the restaurants, the pool, the spa, Silver Spirit also features: a Panorama Lounge, an Internet Cafe, a Conference Room, The Bar, a library, a Casino, a show lounge, an observation lounge and a shopping area with jewellery shops, fashion boutiques and beauty store.
Anything I could possible need was available to me in my suite, or on the ship or upon request to my butler. The highly-trained, attentive and friendly Silversea crew truly know how to execute excellent service.
Let’s talk about the big elephant in the room here: cruises are for older people, for your parents and grandparents. But I spent six nights on board of Silversea Silver Spirit and never had a dull moment. There was not a time when I felt bored or out of place. Yes, it is true that most of the guests were over 50’s, but it’s also true that we were not the only people in our 20’s and 30’s. Within a few days we had bonded with younger guests on board and started to hang out together by the pool or the bar. On an intimate cruise line such as Silversea, the other guests and the crew soon become like old friends.
Over a week I visited six new cities in three different countries, relaxed on the beach or by the pool on the ship, exercised in the gym, and even had time to do some work when I had to. I dressed up and wore little summer dresser and heels, I watched the sunset every night, I sang karaoke in the bar, I danced, I watched a live music show and listened to jazz in the piano bar. I ate fantastic food all day long, I drank delicious cocktails and wines, I laughed a lot and I had a lot of fun. If that sounds like the ultimate holiday is because it was.
On our last day we all decided to cut short our visit of Dubrovnik and have lunch by the pool on Silver Spirit instead. I was gutted to be leaving ship, we all were, and wished I could spent another week on board the Silversea Cruise. I hope to be back on board for another wonderful holiday soon!
Disclaimer: I was the guest of Silversea Cruises. All opinions are my own.