A Day at Sea with Silversea
I’ve decided that if there is a problem with Silversea, it is that the onboard experience is so good that ports of call are almost a nicety. Today was a great example of that, as guests aboard Silver Shadow spent their first full day at sea en-route from Thailand to Yangon, Myanmar.
If you’re used to the dizzying array of activities offered aboard a huge megaship, you might look at the Silversea Chronicles for today and decide that you’d be bored. But boredom just isn’t an option aboard the Silver Shadow. In fact, today alone I got a hot stone massage at the Spa at Silversea; toured the ship’s galley; enjoyed afternoon tea; watched a classical Italian operatic performance in the Athenian Lounge; dined out under the stars at The Grill featuring Hot Rock Dining; and learned about the expedition led by director James Cameron to photograph and document the RMS Titanic from the man who helped make the movie Ghosts of the Abyss possible, cinematographer Piet de Vries.
And that’s just half of what I could have done. Today, I could have: learned Italian or Portuguese; taken part in beginner’s Bridge; enjoyed a cooking class or a martini tasting; taken a tour of Silver Shadow’s onboard art collection; putted my way around the atrium in Mini-Golf this afternoon; done a Scavenger Hunt; or even learned how to line dance.
Of course, on Silversea, you’re free to do as much or as little as you’d like. Some guests sat in the Panorama Lounge, reading a good book and enjoying the always-free cocktails and beverages. Many sat out by the pool, reading the latest thriller or working on their tan. Some worked out in the ship’s Fitness Center, while others enjoyed conversation with newfound friends.
Personally, I love the personal development aspect of a Silversea cruise. I love that I can learn a new language or try something that maybe I wouldn’t get to do at home. If big ships are manufactured fun, a Silversea ship offers real, honest, intellectually-stimulating onboard experiences.
The high point of my day today (aside from my hot stone massage, which really was superb) was the lecture by guest lecturer Piet de Vries. De Vries actually got to dive down to the Titanic to photograph the 2003 documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss. He told a packed Athenian Lounge how he had to light the wreck using a massive HMI lighting rig known as “The Medusa”, and about the logistics of diving down to Titanic, which lies 13,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic.
In my former life, I used to work in the film and television industry. I also am a lifelong amateur Titanic historian. And, I like ships. So this afternoon was fairly sensory overload for yours truly.
On an equally exciting note, my butler Catalino quietly removed the 2016 Silversea brochures from my suite this morning. Just as I was going to ask where they were, a new, shiny, 2017 Silversea brochure arrived, detailing the line’s exciting lineup of classic luxury voyages and expedition cruises for the coming year.
Silversea has a lot of cool things lined up in 2017. To start with, the brand-new 596-guest Silver Muse will set sail next spring. The largest ship ever constructed for Silversea, she’s also the company’s first new, purpose-built ship in eight years. She’s a slightly larger, near-sister-ship to the line’s current flagship, the 2009-built, 540-guest Silver Spirit.
Even though Silver Muse will look similar in appearance to Silver Spirit (with the exception of her new dual-funnel arrangement), don’t be fooled: Silversea has added a ton of new features to this exciting new ship. Chief among these: a new restaurant concept that eschews the former main dining space known as The Restaurant in favor of two more intimate dining venues, Atlantide and Indochine. They’re just two of the eight dining venues that will be onboard.
Also noteworthy: Silver Muse says goodbye to the often-underused Casino for the first time in the company’s history – and I don’t think many travellers will miss it. The Casino on a Silversea ship is something of a ghost town. In its place: an expanded, aft-facing library situated adjacent to a larger and more expansive Connoisseur’s Club. I like that, too: here aboard Silver Shadow, there’s almost too little space in the Connoisseur’s Club, particularly on evenings at sea.
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