The 7 Most Luxurious Details Onboard The Silver Spirit
By Theresa Norton Masek
It’s the little things that matter, even on a luxury cruise. I just returned from a weeklong Caribbean voyage on Silversea Cruises’ 540-passenger Silver Spirit. As you’d expect, it was a posh escape from the never-ending Chicago winter. Pretty much everything’s included on Silversea, from a stocked mini-fridge (soft drinks, carafes of water and your choice of alcoholic beverages), to luxury bath amenities and onboard gratuities.
But what puts a voyage over the top? It’s a series of little things that combine to elevate a typical cruise into an unforgettable experience. And here are my seven favorite things about my Silver Spirit voyage that made it a trip I’ll always remember.
Butlers bearing breakfast
Every passenger on Silversea gets the attentive services of a butler, who has undergone training by The Guild of Professional English Butlers. (And they’re the best, right?) Not only did Priyesh, my butler originally from Mumbai, India, bring me breakfast, he laid it out on a white tablecloth, poured the coffee and chatted a bit. Throughout the week, he also opened my door for me when he was nearby, picked up and delivered my laundry, got my dusty sandals cleaned, and brought me canapés at 5 p.m. on the dot, just when I was feeling peckish.
One night, the hair dryer stopped working just as I was getting ready for dinner in Le Champagne, the fanciest restaurant onboard. After a futile effort to restart it, I called Priyesh in a near panic. I thought he’d simply bring another hair dryer, but he knew the neighboring suite had also just lost power in one outlet. So he immediately contacted the electrician, who fixed everything in minutes. And I made it dinner on time with dry hair and a calm demeanor.
A great night’s sleep
... and a few top-notch naps as well. I give credit to Silversea’s pillow-top mattress and the decadent custom-made Pratesi linens. They’re 100 percent Egyptian cotton satin sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. Although I didn’t take advantage of it, the pillow menu offers no less than nine options, from soft down to memory foam. The pillow menu said my bed was made with two kinds of pillows, which worked out just right — two were firm enough to hold my head while sleeping on my side while the softer versions squished just right for TV watching.
Caviar with traditional accompaniments
It’s been a long time since I’ve been served a healthy helping of caviar on a cruise ship. Hallelujah, it’s on the menu in Le Champagne, the upscale restaurant — only 24 seats — with a menu designed in collaboration with Relais & Chateaux master chefs.
I was delighted that the one-ounce serving of ossetra caviar came with traditional accompaniments, including buckwheat blinis, a delicate slice of potato swirled with sour cream, chopped egg white and yolk, and onions. Oh, and a mother-of-pearl spoon for the caviar, of course. Caviar served this way is just so elegant — especially when washed down with a sip of Champagne!
Le Champagne requires reservations and a $30 cover charge, which is a bargain. Previously, dining here cost $200 because it included a wine pairing with every course. Now, you can drink the complimentary house wines with the meal or choose to upgrade the experience with rare vintages for an additional fee.
Not to ignore the rest of my meal. I had passed on the risotto decorated with edible gold leaf in favor of lobster bisque punctuated with chunks of lobster tail. The rack of New Zealand lamb was delicious and artfully arranged with stalks of green and white asparagus. I finished with a Grand Marnier soufflé. Delightful.
The fitness center
Just kidding. I didn’t make it there once, despite packing my workout clothes. But it’s there if you want to use it.
I went from the sublime dinner in Le Champagne to the perfect al fresco experience the next night — dinner at the Pool Grill. Here, you choose your protein — I had a filet and jumbo prawns — and cook it to your preferred doneness on a preheated volcanic rock set in front of your plate. Sides were a vegetable skewer and a baked potato with the usual toppings.
Some might think the hot-rock grilling is a little gimmicky, but I found it a fun way to liven up dinner. Besides, after all the rich, elaborate food served onboard, it was nice to have a simple, tasty meal. Count me a fan.
And during the day at the Pool Grill, you can’t beat the perfectly grilled hot dog, served with cole slaw, French fries and onion rings and washed down with a cold beer. Heaven after a morning snorkeling or exploring Tortola.
The perfect spa treatment
I love a good spa treatment, and I had one of the best on the Silver Spirit. The 100-minute “Polished to Perfection” treatment combined a tri-enzyme resurfacing facial, a body scrub and a half-body massage. This is a package that can’t be booked on the ship but must be reserved online in advance.
I loved every second of it. While the back massage was relaxing, it was the facial that put me to sleep with the scalp and neck massage. Aaahh.
Those little, little things
And finally, those unexpected extras, like a cool towel poolside. The cloth hand towels in the public bathrooms. And the way Priyesh or my suite stewardess took the time to perfectly rewind the hair dryer cord every single day. That attention to detail is the sign of true luxury.
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