Luxury Cruising Around the World
|Silver Spirit docked in Lisbon
— World Cruise. Those two words set some travelers' hearts aflutter.
And it's simple to see why. There's no easier way to see a vast
swath of the world's most treasured destinations than on a World
Each of the more than 100 days of a World Cruise with Silversea
is an adventure with a plethora of exotic ports of call and on board
wine experts and guest lecturers and chefs, plus the
amenities luxury passengers expect.
Sadly, a World Cruise is out of reach for many of us who have
neither the necessary time or disposable income. Happily, it's
possible to participate in "segments" as we did earlier
this year when we boarded Silver Spirit in Barcelona to sail the
final segment of her World Cruise that ended in Southampton. As we
discovered, each segment includes a
complimentary Silversea Experience, an exclusive experience that all
aboard are welcome to attend. In addition, there are Silver Shore
Land Adventures that allow guests to explore a region further with
overnight stays in destinations a bit too far from port to visit on
an excursion. Participants depart the ship in one port and rejoin
the cruise a day or more later.
Launched in 2010, Silversea Cruises' 540-guest Silver Spirit is
the luxury cruise line's newest and largest ship, with the capacity
to carry 30% more passengers than fleetmates Silver Whisper and
Silver Shadow, and 45% more than Silver Cloud and Silver Wind. With
more guests on board, would the larger ship
deliver the line's traditional experience of luxury and service in a larger setting? That's what the Cruise
Diva team set out to discover as we boarded Silver Spirit in
Barcelona, Spain. Our 10-night segment of the World Cruise
alternated sea days and port calls to Malaga, Spain; Lisbon,
Portugal; Bilboa, Spain (where we attended a reception at the
Guggenheim, a complimentary Silversea Experience); and St. Peter
Port in the UK's Channel Islands before disembarking in Southampton.
Shortly after our arrival at the terminal in
Barcelona we were greeted at Reception on board Silver Spirit to
check in. With a short wait until our Royal Suite was ready, we set
out to explore and easily found the Connoisseur's Corner where a
waiter brought us coffees. While the
Connoisseur's Corner is the designated cigar smoking lounge, we were
to find it a congenial spot for evening conversation. It wasn't long
before we were able to proceed to Deck 7 forward and suite 701.
Our butler Julian arrived shortly after we did bearing a tray with
champagne and canapés and to offer us a choice of soaps for the
bath. We were indecisive so he left a selection of them all after showing us
some of the features of our 990 square foot home for the next ten
days. There would be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the 125 square
veranda, so we went exploring and soon found ourselves at the Pool
Grill for an alfresco lunch. It didn't take long for us to decide
that it was the go-to spot for light breakfasts and lunches served
|The Lobby, looking into The Bar
Where Bigger is Better
Unlike her fleetmates, Silver Spirit has a more open
arrangement with hints of art deco styling in the reception lobby
and The Bar. Adjacent to the lobby area, The Bar is the first lounge
you see when boarding and it's the go-to spot from morning, when
coffee is available and the news is shown on the big-screen
television, to nighttime for dancing and drinks before and after
Also adjacent to the lobby is the Shore Concierge and Cruise
Consultant. Further aft, The Theater is the main show lounge where
lectures are presented during the day and evening performances
include concerts and lively production shows.
As expected, dining on a Silversea cruise is an exquisite
experience. All dishes are carefully prepared using the highest
quality meats and seafood for Silver Spirit's guests.
- The Restaurant is the main dining room where the
atmosphere is stylish and elegant, but not stuffy, and the menus are
diverse and interesting.
- La Terrazza is the daytime buffet for
breakfast and lunch and features themed evening dining that
celebrates regional Italian cuisines with table service, either
inside or al fresco.
- Le Champagne, the wine restaurant by Relais
& Château offers a six-course dining experience of either
Gourmet Dining or regional Degustation Dining with wine
pairings. Reservations are required and there is a surcharge.
- Also reservations and surcharge-required, Seishin include seven sensibly portioned courses
served in a casual, friendly style. Reservations are required, but
there is no additional charge.
The Pool Grill is poolside with salads,
burgers, and other favorites at lunch with table service. At night the
complimentary Black Rock Grill is a an
interactive dinner option with no surcharge that allows diners
to cook their choice of steaks, veal, pork, lamb, salmon, fish,
or prawns to their taste right at the table on a super-heated
With jazz musicians setting a scene
reminiscent of supper clubs of the 1930s, Stars
is the intimate art decor restaurant serving regional and
seasonal dishes to be enjoyed in a succession of small courses.
Make a reservation right away as seating is limited to 26
Black Rock Grill
At our first dinner in Silver Spirit’s Restaurant we were
fortunate to be seated next to a lovely couple—World Cruisers from
the southern United States. Although we were each seated at tables
for two, we chatted throughout dinner and looked forward to seeing
them again during this segment of the cruise. In fact, had they not
been so friendly I wouldn’t have discovered a dessert I ordered each
night—dates and nuts (in this case, pecans) with a glass of port
Wines chosen to complement each meal proved to be very good on our
cruise and we enjoyed trying a wide variety of new vintages.
Cruise Diva is far from a food critic, but a few dishes deserve
special mention. My room service breakfast often included Eggs
Benedict after I first tried them just to see how they would measure
up to those served in the dining room. Even from room service, they were
consistently well prepared with a creamy sauce. Importantly, they
always arrived piping hot. Our favorite spot for a light snack was
the Pool Grill. This may seem like something
odd to mention, but I love crispy French
fries and Silver Spirit never disappointed me. While food is
available at any time, I appreciated the portion sizes we were
served—none were overwhelming.
Although dining hours are set, restaurants are open seating and
guests dine with whom they please, when they wish, within the
scheduled times. Requests for tables for two were always honored in
Lastly, of course there is room service which is set up by your
flair—and crisp tablecloths—en suite, even at breakfast.
Guests may order from the restaurant menus during dining hours. Or,
if there is something you want, such as the guacamole and chips we
craved one night, all you have to do is ask. If it's available,
room service will provide it.
Where else are you going to play, relax, and sleep on board?
Silver Spirit -> Part Two
© Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com
From Cruise Diva's Silver