Sue's first cruising experience

Not having experienced a cruise before, and never really having had the desire to do so, I found myself jumping at the invitation to spend 5 nights aboard the luxury Silver Spirit, the newest and largest of the Silversea ships, as it departed from Las Palmas to Funchal.

sues-first-cruiseSilver Spirit is truly magnificent with 95% of the suites offering private verandas. As you would expect from a ship of this calibre it is extremely well appointed, with excellent facilities and those added luxuries that can really make a difference. Prior to my departure I was sent a form to fill out with a choice of nine different pillow types, never before have I been offered such wonderful facilities. My suite had both a walk-in shower and a separate bath tub, stocked and replenished daily with Bvlgari products, a spa robe and slippers and all the other usual amenities you would expect from a 5 star company.sues-first-cruise002

I shared a very charming butler with a couple of other suites. Negi was both helpful and attentive, but not overbearing. He asked me what I liked to drink and before long he was carrying a bottle of gin and champagne into my suite. With the fridge well stocked with mixers and an ice bucket over flowing I could see why I was going to enjoy the next 5 days at sea!! Actually this is something that Silversea offers all their clients at no extra cost apart from some premium brands of champagne and spirits. My midship veranda suite had floor to ceiling glass doors opening onto a furnished private teak veranda where I could already see I was going to enjoy watching the sun go down.

During my stay, I was given the opportunity of visiting the Silver, Grand and Royal Suites. The extra space is amazing, and they are wonderfully luxurious without being overly decadent.

sues-first-cruise003Renowned for their culinary excellence there were a number of different restaurants to choose from. La Champagne is the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant at sea, serving indulgent and artisan food, although you are restricted to 1-2 visits during your stay depending on the length of your cruise. La Terrazza, the A' la Carte restaurant on board, served fresh and delicious cuisine. One of my favourite places to eat was the pool bar which in the evenings when the stars come out it is converted into The Grill restaurant, a truly wonderful venue which features hot rock dining. It serves mouth-watering seafood and prime cuts, and eating out under the stars in the open air with the sea breeze on my face was an amazing experience. When the temperature started to tumble, the staff wrapped blankets around us. I can only speak very highly of all the crew on board who worked tirelessly to please passengers and who walked around the ship with a constant smile on their faces making you feel very special.

sues-first-cruise004Being given a taster of different Islands, I had the opportunity to visit Arrecife on Lanzarote, Agadir and Casablanca. I found the later in particular very interesting, having not been before, although I felt that I wanted more than 5 hours to truly experience the culture, which I found fascinating. I particularly enjoyed my visit to the Grand Mosque, where the local guide was excellent, and the various markets and souks, which sold beautiful and diverse products, such as delightful hand-made tagines and Moroccan rugs.

sues-first-cruise005Silversea is the ultimate in luxury cruising and an experience that I would highly recommend especially if you have never cruised before.

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