A review of Silversea Silver Wind – Athens to Dubai by Lesley Monk
11 November 2011, Voyage 2132
Arrived at Piraeus, Athens with very quick check in procedure, then straight on board.
Alan, the Cruise Director greeted us with a glass of sparkling wine but more bubbles and chilling were called for. There was little time to drink it as we were needed for Registration and photos.
Staff advised us of the two venues which were available for lunch.
So far so good, but Lesley was not feeling at home yet!
A light lunch at the Pool Bar was taken, where several staff came to introduce themselves. There were many new staff including one from Aida Cruise Lines. They were very friendly, informal and eager to please.
Our suite was ready just before 1400 hrs, but we had to wait for our luggage. Unfortunately there was a double bed and we had requested twins. We observed a very good quality dressing gown and slippers in the dressing area with lovely plentiful towels in the bathroom and Bulgari toiletries but we were not offered a choice of designer soaps.
Whilst waiting, we opened a bottle of Heidsik Monopole and admired the lovely orchid. Jim the Butler came to introduce himself and take our bottle order, whilst explaining the finer details of the suite. He made notes to divide the bed. He rushed away and brought us back more hangers, maybe he thought I looked like a lady who had brought a vast wardrobe of clothes on board.
The suite was a rust colour and gold with a good size veranda which accommodated two chairs and a coffee table. Although the suite seemed smaller than other cruise lines I favour, with storage not as good, we did manage to get everything put away somewhere. I am a girl who prefers her accessories stored in cupboards and not on show, so would have preferred a few more hideaways.
Most of our cases fitted under the beds but one was thoughtfully taken away. We found that there were plenty of sockets for our needs. Our bar was stocked with two bottles of water (still and sparkling made on board by osmosis). There were also lager and mixers. We had a tray with a champagne stopper and swizzle sticks etc.
We went up on deck for the sail away party but the weather was a little cold. The cruise director introduced himself to the guests who were on deck with us, whilst we sipped a cocktail, ate a few nibbles and generally took in the view of the other ships in dock.
All this shipboard activity made me quite tired, so after a snooze went to dinner in the main restaurant aptly named “The Restaurant” where we had an oval table for two in the middle of the dining room, very good for people watching. It was a casual dress night and we had a very enjoyable meal with some excellent wine.
The crew on that night and throughout the cruise tried hard to learn our names. I travelled with a very good friend of mine – Geoffrey Spiller, but variations included:-
After an early night, the beds now split, we endured a Force 9 gale which lasted all through the night to next morning when there was still a heavy swell with horses. Not very warm and still breezy.
Early morning coffee was taken in the suite, speedily delivered after ordering. We took breakfast in the Terrazza which had a good selection at the buffet. The service was good, friendly and efficient
Later that day we visited the Theatre for a lecture on the Suez Canal which was very good.
Back to the suite, which had been cleaned to a high standard. I requested my dress to be pressed for the formal night tonight. The Butler was very obliging.
After a good lunch at Terrazzo, time in the afternoon to watch Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love” DVD, which had been screened the previous evening in the theatre.
Formal night and most people had dressed accordingly but a few still sported the “casual” look. The Captain’s Cocktail party was similar to Seabourn but a little less pizzazz.
Dinner that evening was absolutely excellent. The lobster was not in the least bit chewy and the venison with pear was divine.
On one of the following days there was a special poolside lunch featuring fish, which had been bought at the market the day before. The chefs were on deck filleting and cooking. Plan to go market shopping in Aqaba with David, the guest chef, then attend his “Learn and Eat” seminar.
For my part there are too many announcements about events on board but not enough about the location of the ship – going through the Suez Canal.
Our tour to Wadi Rum was fascinating and hauntingly beautiful. Care must be taken which jeep you board as some are open, old and decidedly not very safe looking and possibly not 100% insured.
Cardamom tea was served by Bedouins in a Red Indian camp with a tomahawk buried in a nearby palm tree! Lovely baklava cakes from Amman were served and there were camel rides for the tourists.
After making our way back to the ship, where we were given Pina Coladas on deck for the sail away party, the ship was plunged into darkness ready for the convoy.
That evening, Butler No. 2 had prepared a lovely birthday surprise. A bath had been drawn with Elemis bath soak bubbles, rose petals had been sprinkled around. The table in the suite had been laid with an impressive selection of canapés, napkins and a bottle of Champagne. The Hotel Manager had left a box of chocolates and the Butler arranged the cake to go to the restaurant.
And so the cruise went on…………. alas we had to disembark in Dubai and travel home.
I felt rested and relaxed after this cruise, Silversea had exceeded my expectations and I look forward to sailing with them in the very near future.