The ship is unusually quiet due to the low number of passengers

ABOARD THE SILVER SPIRIT – We are now on our third day at sea on this transatlantic crossing on the Silver Spirit. We will have six full days at sea before we reach St. John’s, Antigua, then a few days visiting Caribbean islands, then two more days at sea before reaching Ft. Lauderdale.

Plenty of lounges in the pool area

This is a very quiet cruise, for one main reason: There are only 163 passengers on a ship that carries 540 so there are no “crowds” anywhere. Although they accept reservations for the several dining rooms, there are no waits. There are always seats in the show lounge. There are always lounges available by the pool.

In fact, the only place we see very many people at one time is during the daily team trivia session run by our cruise director Kirk Detweiler. About 50 people show up every day for that fun session and the numbers seem to be increasing daily as the word spreads. My team, The Eggheads, is currently in the lead but the other teams are close behind. We are a mixed group, from the U.S., Canada, Germany and England. Did you know that a group of turkeys is called a “rump?” Neither did we.

Outdoor dining is a treat

In fact, there are more crew members on board than there are passengers. Thus, Silversea’s usual outstanding service is even more exemplary. There are always one or two waiters hovering…to carry your plate, remove your dirty dishes or bring you a cup of cappuccino or expresso.

In fact, the only problem I have encountered on board is the quality of the regular coffee they serve. It has an “off” flavor that I think comes from the water they use. But today we discovered that we can have Americano coffee brewed for us on their Illy machines and it is quite excellent.

Service is always exemplary

Silversea is super-luxury line that caters to very high end cruisers. Perhaps only Seabourn is in the same class, although Regent Seven Seas is close. There is much discussion about these three lines among the passengers, with some feeling the food is better on one and the entertainment better on another. The fact that Regent now includes shore excursions (which Silversea and Seabourn do not) is noted.

Silversea does include alcoholic beverages, both in your statement and elsewhere on ship. There are no charges anywhere except in the shops and casino, for shore excursions and in two of the specialty restaurants. This is very easy to get used to. It is lovely to have wine poured for your meals (several choices available), appetizers served in the bars and any kind of coffee you might want.

For such a small ship, the Spirit offers a wide range of dining options which we will be exploring throughout the cruise. Two of these have upcharges. Le Champagne is the Relais & Chateux offering ($30 per person) and Seishin is the Asian restaurant ($20 for the four-course menu or $30 for the nine-course “degustation.” (We will be dining there tonight so I will fill you in on that later.) There is also an Italian restaurant, a supper club serving tapas and an outdoor grill restaurant featuring “hot rocks” cooking. What fun! It appears that most people onboard are choosing the small dining rooms. Last night we ate in the main dining room and it seems that there was only table at each station. Kind of weird.

Because of the relatively small number of passengers aboard, we are meeting people at perhaps a slower rate than usual but each day we know a few more.

 Photos by Chet Janssens

November 19, 2012

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