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Old February 20th, 2009, 10:24 PM
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Day 3 – Silver Shadow – at sea
Each evening, when we return to our cabin, waiting on our bed is the Silversea Chronicles, the ship’s daily “newsletter” and schedule of activities. Each evening, along with the Chronicles we receive the next day’s menu, for both lunch and dinner in “The Restaurant”.

In suite dining is also available for all meals, served by the butler. We’re going to try this at least one evening, just because we can, but overall we enjoying “going out” for dinner.

Our suite is the first cabin aft of the bow (front- pointy end), and on a small ship such as The Shadow, we definitely feel some motion in the ocean when the seas get a bit choppy. The bedroom is closest to the bow, so any motion just helps to rock us to sleep. The good thing is the suite is so large, if the motion bothers us at all, we can move to the living room.

I’ve chatted several times now with a gentleman from London, England. He’s often travels alone, and his predominant cruise line of choice is Silversea. Though he’s cruised on several other cruise lines over the years, as a single traveler, he feels the Silversea experience smooths the possible bumps in the road for his vacation. For dinners he always asks to join a table, and this allows him to meet new people each evening. And, of course, can arrange to dine again with any he happens to get along very well with.

In his experience, the all-inclusive nature of the line is a key as well, because it eliminates any “awkward moments” about who’s purchasing the wine at dinner, or who’s turn it is to “buy a round” in the bar.

He tells me that for most of his cruises he pays the full single supplement, which in essences translates to paying the price equal to a double occupancy cabin. On this 17 night sailing through a combination of early booking discounts, Venetian Society discounts, and discounting by his travel agent, he booked a Verandah Suite (approx. 345 sq ft, 60 sq. ft. balcony) for the equivalent of $7800 U.S., which included all fees, and his airline tickets. For two passengers, of course the fare would higher, with added airfare costs. Fares obviously vary, with sailing dates and itineraries as they do with all cruise lines.

Admittedly, you can certainly spend less to cruise. If you aren’t the sort to spend much onboard when you cruise (though that’s getting to be a much more difficult chore on many cruise lines these days) you may not see the included amenities of Silversea as having a real dollar value to you.

I’m basically a “cheap date”. The in-suite bar set up, with wine and brand name liquors (which are replenished as needed, and available in all staterooms onboard) are a waste on me. I do look at the nice bottles in the bar each day.

I’m also not much of a wine drinker, so the complimentary pours at dinners are wasted on me as well. But my bar fridge is packed full of Diet Coke, juices, and bottled water which are all included.

This morning Mrs. Kuki and I enjoyed one of the very best things about a day at sea; sleeping in late! Finally getting moving about 9:30 A.M we enjoyed a continental breakfast pool-side, though breakfast was still being served in La Terreza, and The Restaurant.

At 10:30 A.M. Mrs. Kuki went off to a presentation of a line of “active wear” clothing by Carol McDowell, a representative for a company called Anatomie. Anatomie describes itself as “the future of active fashion”, and sells a line of clothing made in Italy, with the latest French and Italian fabrics, sewed with German Lycra threads, created for “the active trend setter and sophisticated woman”.

This is a new wave of high end woman’s clothing. Mrs. Kuki is familiar with a similar and very successful Canadian company, called LuLu Lemon. She tells me this “active wear” is growing wildly in popularity because it’s lightweight, durable, UV protective, antibacterial, and moisture wicking. It’s all designed to be flexible, and useable.

Carole is on the Silver Shadow to test the onboard market, to see if there’s a match for the Anatomie clothing line and the Silversea passenger. We had the pleasure of meeting Carole the first evening onboard when she quite accidentally joined us for dinner. Mrs. Kuki was excited to see the clothing presentation. I, of course, was just excited to see beautiful women.

There was actually a lot going on around the ship this morning, with Bridge play, pool-side games, a tour of the navigation bridge, dance lessons with the ball room dance instructors onboard, horse races…. and I did none of them! I sat pool-side enjoying the sun, and worked my way through the morning going from coffee, to diet coke, to lunch. This is the beauty of a day at sea; you choose to do as much or as little as you like. Apparently, today was a day for me to be a vegetable. That can only mean I’ve settled in.

From what I understand for awhile Silversea had ceased having “production shows” included in the onboard entertainment. That is no longer the case. On “The Shadow” there are seven cast members from the famed Jean Ryan Production Company. I always and continuously note that I’m no judge of either music or dance. I am talentless, and have no clue in those areas. However, Mrs. Kuki loves the production shows, and she tells me their first show last night was terrific, and the troupe impressed her. There is one show a night, at 10 P.M., in the Athenian Lounge, whether it is a production show or one of the headliners.

After reviewing “The Restaurant’s” menu last night, and noting thing evening’s menu was going to be Caribbean themed, we decided we’d dine in La Terrazza instead, if we could get a reservation.

I mentioned in an earlier report that La Terrazza is the ship’s casual buffet style restaurant for breakfast, and lunch. However during the evening it is transformed; it becomes an a la carte traditional Italian restaurant.

It’s a circular dining room, and with rich golden curtains drawn, covering all the windows, and candle-lit tables it’s quite a stunning restaurant; quite a transition. For dinner they accept only 60 reservations, though there is no surcharge for dining there. I had forgotten to call first thing this morning for a reservation, but fortunately they were able to fit us in. It was “sold out” tonight.

I had to dine at a table for two, with just Mrs. Kuki, but it was worth it for the terrific meal. Each evening the menu in La Terrazza changes, to match a particular region of Italy. It’s a very fun and interesting idea, because if you’ve ever traveled to Italy you know that the food from one region to another varies quite considerably.

As dessert was served a stand filled with petite fores was also placed on the table. Some were wrapped, and the label read… “Selected for Silversea by BGO Tire”… go figure! Well, it actually said “Selected for Silversea by BGO TRE”, but it gave me chuckle.

I mentioned the candle-lit table above. I was surprised to see actual wax candles being used in La Terrazza tonight, as well as in The Restaurant, unlike most ships I’ve sailed which use the battery-lit faux candles.

Tonight we turn our clocks back one hour (gaining one of the hours as we head west). When we returned to the suite we found a reminder on the bed about the time change, but we also found the travel clock, which normally sits on the night stand, on the bed, changed to the correct time. The attention given to the small details such as that, has very much impressed me to this point.

Tomorrow is our first port of call, so we thought we’d hang our order sign on the door to have breakfast in the suite before departing on our tour in Cartegna. The breakfast room service menu is the most extensive I’ve seen on a ship. Not only is the selection beyond enormous, the thought given to the organization of it so simple, yet so thoughtful. It has a separate portion for each guest to fill in their name and check off their choices, rather than cram the choices on to one order sheet for the cabin. As I said… it’s the attention to the small details!
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