Get Away With Fran

January 21, 2010

Silver Spirit is officially launched

Filed under: Cruise — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:10 pm

SilverSpirit-7

The fancy new Silver Spirit was officially christened today in Fort Lauderdale. The pier was done up to reflect the art deco decor of the ship, classical musicians played and opera singers sang. All very classy, of course, as you would expect from ultraluxury cruise line Silversea, launching its first new ship in nine years.

The Spirit is the line’s largest ship by far, carrying 540 passengers, but still small by today’s ship standards. Line officials made big hints another new ship would follow. Silversea Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre said it’s fun to see the vision of a new ship become a reality and added, “You will see more of these.”

Lefebvre’s sister, Silvia Lefebvre, did the honors of christening the ship as its Godmother, but oops, the champagne bottle attached to a tether did a big thud, and then another, and then another, until a staff member grabbed the line and made sure the bottle smashed.

Officials later blamed the wind, because while the skies were sunny and temps in the 70s, there was a breeze.

Some 450 invited guests were in attendance including passengers embarking today on the ship’s 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage.

December 21, 2009

Art deco elegance highlights Silver Spirit

Filed under: Cruise,International — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:29 pm

Silver Spirit is all about art deco elegance which may come as a surprise to fans of the line who are used to ships that are more sleek and contemporary – Euro trendy. Call this one – Silversea’s largest ship at 36,009 tons and 540 passengers – more old-fashioned traditional; a luxury throwback in a good way.

Art deco touches include etched glass in new spaces like The Bar, a new bar and coffee area off the reception area – boasting aqua blue colors and a light “winter garden” ambiance. Cool new spaces include Stars Supper Club with live jazz and a menu that Silversea’s top F&B guy terms as “snacks” but other line executives call dinner – I guess it’s all a matter of how much you eat; the bites at Stars are meant to be shared, like tapas.

My own dinner tonight in the La Terrezza was amazing, the Italian restaurant one of six on the ship – I had the beef carpaccio, house-made vegetable ravioli and the most delicious fresh sea bass with grilled vegetables.

But another surprise – make this one even a shocker – came tonight in the ship’s theater (really a show lounge and an odd affair design-wise with all seats two-person banquettes and no bar service, but I digress). The surprise was the show – very Carnival Cruise Lines, on a psychedelic set complete with a VW van and eight performers (four singers and four dancers) prancing around the small stage in a 1960s/70s-ish production, and singing songs like “Aquarius” from “Hair” and even some Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Mamas and Papas and Simon and Garfunkel. I nearly fell off my banquette when one fellow appeared on stage all in leather to sing “Born to Be Wild,” accompanied by women in skin-tight jumpsuits basically pole dancing on chairs.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it wasn’t good – it was decent as these things go – just not what you’d expect from an ultraluxury cruise line. Then again, the show brought back recollections for me of an, ahem, hazy variety, so maybe that’s the goal.

The ship very much delivers in terms of elegance, beautiful all-suite accommodations with all the amenities Silversea passengers have come to expect (the suites are big) and more – the TVs hidden in the bedroom mirrors are a┬ánice edition. And the ship has spaces that Silversea fans will very much recognize and surely embrace – comfy lounges, an expanded casino, an H Stern jewelry shop.

Different can be good, but so can familiarity.

My preview cruise of Silver Spirit continues tomorrow in Barcelona (I will be checking out the ship’s spa including the unique hammam).

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