Cruise Diva's CRUISE
~ Istanbul to Genoa ~
Greet me with a Whisper... an
ultra luxury Silver Whisper
& Embarkation, June 5 & 6, 2002
For those of us who remember, air
travel was once an adventure to anticipate. Due to time and changing
circumstances, it can be a grueling experience. However, with a cruise
to look forward to, even the long flight to Istanbul was bearable.
Deluxe treatment began the moment we
alighted from the plane and made our way through passport control. Silversea representatives met
us at baggage claim and took over the task of moving luggage and our weary bodies
to the elegant Swissôtel Istanbul The Bosphorus—the first leg of our
voyage, which was just the beginning of the entire Silversea experience.
of the Bosphorus from Swissôtel Istanbul
For anyone who is hesitant to travel
to Istanbul, just let me say—go there! It's a fascinating city with a
history steeped in intrigue. It's also a dream destination for
travelers and offers a bit of something for everyone. For sightseeing fans,
the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, and
the Cisterns are just a few highlights. Shoppers can head for bargains
at Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market or trendy designer shops on
Rumeli Street and the Nisantasi area. Food lovers will find an
abundance of Turkish and international restaurants to select from.
After an afternoon of shopping, we enjoyed a leisurely meal of
traditional Turkish dishes in Taslik Turkish Restaurant, a former
private residence on the grounds of Swissôtel.
Refreshed from a good night's sleep
and elaborate buffet breakfast in Café Suisse, Silversea guests could
choose transfer tours of Istanbul or take the complimentary shuttle to the pier in
I managed to complete my shopping pier side
and proceeded to check-in; a swift process. Relieved of my carry-on, I
was greeted with a flute of Moët & Chandon champagne and escorted
to my Silver Suite where checked baggage awaited me. But first—the
suite! All accommodations on Silver Whisper are termed suites, but the
Silver Suite is my favorite—701 square feet of pure comfort in muted
shades of gray and ivory and rich wood cabinets. With unpacking out of
the way (and the walk-in closet barely half full), my stewardess
dropped by to familiarize me with the mechanicals; how to operate the
television, VCR, and CD player, plus the workings of the Jacuzzi tub
in the marbled bathroom. Did Cleopatra have it this good? I doubt it.
The flower arrangement on my dining table was so perfect I thought it
was silk. It wasn't—the exquisite
flowers were real, as were the orchids in a delicate bud vase on the cocktail table. For easy
listening, a selection of CDs were also at my fingertips.
All suites are equipped with a
refrigerator, stocked with soft drinks, beer, and guests' preferred spirits.
Writing desks are complete with personalized stationary, postcards, a
programmable telephone, and shelving units contain a dictionary,
encyclopedia, almanac, and world atlas. My dressing table was equally
well outfitted with a hairdryer and make-up mirror. The bathroom
toiletries are by Bvlgari.
Still feeling somewhat jet-lagged and
the Jacuzzi in my suite was a soothing indulgence before dinner. After
a delicious, perfectly rare filet, I tumbled off to sleep. Enveloped
in silky Frette linens, I dreamt of the coming day at sea and plenty of time of fully explore
the lovely Silver Whisper.
Next -> Cruise the
Cyclades Islands & Go Ashore at Nafplion, Greece
Back to the Istanbul
to Genoa Cruise Diary Index
Find out more about the Med in Mediterranean
Ports of Call
Cruise Line Profile - Silversea
Eyewitness Travel Cruise Guide to Europe & the Mediterranean
Cruise Diva's comments:
The most useful guidebook I've found for multiple European ports of call
Courtesy of Silversea Cruises & Author's Collection