Happy New Year from everyone here at The Travel Authority!
BY: JANET STEINBERG
My recent 24-karat Silversea Caribbean cruise on the luxurious Silver
Spirit was pure pleasure…pure pampering…pure rest…and pure
relaxation. Yet I felt not an ounce of guilt on this golden
ABOARD SILVER SPIRIT
Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea, I knew that the 476 passengers
(from 17 countries) and I were in for a special eight days.
Having sailed many times on Silversea ships, and long a devotee of Silversea’s
dedication to providing an extraordinary level of excellence on its
fleet of remarkable ships, this cruise was to be a new experience for
me. This was to be my first time sailing on the 540-passenger,
all-inclusive…all ocean-view… all-suite Silver Spirit, the newest
vessel in the Silversea fleet.
didn’t disappoint. From the moment I stepped aboard,
time seemed to stand still. All the stress…all the hustle bustle of
the real world…instantly vanished from my eyes and my mind.
VANISHED ABOARD THE SILVER SPIRIT
of champagne was thrust upon me, I was pampered by a crew of 378
people from 36 countries that catered to my every
whim. For eight glorious days, Silver
Spirit offered the distinctive luxuries and celebrated lifestyle that
one could easily become accustomed to.
Yet, on Silver Spirit, there was a new level of luxury that began with the
dining experiences, and was carried on throughout the nightlife, the
spa, and the shore excursions.
The Restaurant, Silversea’s main dining room, sparkled with silver,
crystal and candlelight. Contemporary Mediterranean and
regional cuisine was served with sophisticated elegance
and impeccable service. It was here that we definitely
chose to dine for the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell dinners.
We enjoyed a divine selection of Italy’s best cuisine, served à la
carte, in La Terrazza. Authentic recipes and the
freshest ingredients came together with flair and passion – a flavourful
expression of Silversea’s distinctive Italian heritage.
The pool grill was great both day and night. At lunchtime, we
enjoyed burgers or fresh-from-the-oven pizza and lighter
fare. Come nighttime, and the venue was transformed into The
Grill featuring “hot rock” dining under the stars. This
fun, interactive cooking concept allows guests to grill their own seafood
and prime meats directly at their table on a heated volcanic rock
of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention The Bar where we socialized
throughout the day over specialty coffees, tapas and complimentary
But aaaaah, the two alternative restaurants (with minimal reservation
charges) were also not to be missed.
At Le Champagne, the only Wine Restaurant by Relais & Châteaux
at sea, we indulged ourselves in an evening where fine wines
complemented a set tasting menu of regionally
inspired dishes. In an intimate elegant setting, we were
privy to an enriching, flavorful, and memorable dining experience.
Dinner began with hot and cold entrees such as Carpaccio de Thon
Rouge (Red Tuna Carpaccio), Caviar & Condiments, and Foie de
Canard-Compote de Fruits des Bois (Pan-fried Foie Gras with
Forest Berry Compote). Entre-Deux (the second course) was
a choice of exotic soups. My choice was the
divine Farandole de Cepes-Essence de
Truffes (Porcini Mushrooms with truffle essence).
The third course was Terre et Mer (Land and
Sea). The choices included Dover sole, New Zealand Lamb,
Breast of Forest Pigeon, New England Venison and several other seafoods. All
of this was topped off with a Grand Marnier Soufflé, a Crepe
Suzette or a Trilogy of Chocolate Lava Cakes.
CHAMPAGNE’S TRILOGY OF CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES
of seafoods vied for the attention of our tastebuds, featured a large
round chef’s table as its centerpiece. From our table at lunchtime,
we watched the chef at work sculpting fresh sushi and
sashimi. It tasted as good as it looked.
menu. This began with the Amuse Bouche of Seishin’s
Signature Caviar Sorbet…a piece of cucumber topped with lime sorbet and
red caviar. This was followed by courses of
sushi, sashimi, seafood, meat, and dessert.
OF SEISHIN’S 9-COURSE DINNER TREATS
The old Rainbow Room in New York City, where my husband and I had our
first dance together some 25-years ago, was the inspiration for the
stunning Art Deco design of the Stars Supper Club. The
velvety sound of the cabaret singer conjured up thoughts of what the
Gatsby era must have been like some years before my time.
Silver Spirit’s Spa at Silversea is an 8,300-square-foot spa that is a
sanctuary of pure bliss. With floor-to-ceiling windows, it
features a resort-style pool and a ceramic-tiled Thermal Suite furnished
with heated lounge chairs.
A connecting private Hammam (Turkish bath) Chamber, serves
as the setting for the Private Hammam Experience, one of several
unique Silver Spirit treatments. An outdoor relaxation area offers bar
service so you can enjoy a complimentary fruit smoothie, champagne or
cocktail while soaking in the expansive spa whirlpool.
Standard Silver Spirit suites…the largest suites in the Silversea
fleet…all feature butler service, refrigerator and bar setup stocked
with our preferences, European bath amenities, down duvets, fine
bed linens, premium mattresses, our choice of down pillows, spa robes
and slippers, personalized stationery, binoculars, and umbrellas. Optional
WiFi Internet access was available in all suites, 95% of which have private
But the 24-karat gold of my gilt trip went beyond my stunning veranda
suite. The piece de resistance was my butler
Rodolfo Nerez from the Philippines and my suite attendant Adesh Gawale
from India. (All silver Spirit suites have butler service.)
RODOLFO WELCOMES US ABOARD IN OUR SUITE
Returning to my suite after a hot day touring Cozumel, I found the
following note from Rodolfo on my bed: “Welcome back from your
tour. We have prepared your bath for your
indulgence. Enjoy this muscle-aching reliever bubble bath. Relax
and enjoy the spa in you own suite.” Lo and behold I found
a candlelit bathtub brimming with bubbles.
When we returned from a day in Costa Maya I was once again greeted by his
note on the bed that read: “Have a wonderful birthday and anniversary
cruise with us. Best wishes and congratulations.” Along
with the note were five pink and purple “Happy Birthday” balloons and
lovely white orchids.
|BIRTHDAY BALLOONS GREETED ME ON RETURN FROM TOUR|
All too soon it was approaching the time to
disembark. Suitcases packed, we left for our final
dinner. Once again, upon our return, there a was a note from
Rodofo and Adesh. This one, placed atop our suitcase,
read: Your bags were cleaned with an Eco friendly
cleaning solvent. We look forward to welcoming you
Tell me, how can you top that?
JANET STEINBERG is the winner of 38 national travel writing awards and a
Travel Consultant with THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY in Mariemont, Ohio.