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A NEW DAWN - Silver Dawn

The sun rises on a new dawn

Just over a year ago I wrote about boarding a cruise ship for the first time in over forty-five years. The last time I disembarked a cruise ship was the “Island Princess” back in 1977 where l worked as Deputy Purser. A lot has changed in 45 years. The Purser has been replaced by the Hotel Director and the job we did back then have been split up into dozen different categories.

In September 2021 we took the first post-covid cruise on Silver Spirit which sailed around the British Isles for a liberating trip following almost two years of lockdown. Covid restrictions were strictly enforced with temperature taken daily, mask-wearing apart for eating and drinking and social distancing meant that mixing with fellow passengers was very limited.

A year on, restrictions have been massively reduced as we embarked on Silver Dawn for a ten-day western Mediterranean cruise. Testing is no longer required before boarding so long as you are fully vaccinated and boosted. Embarkation was very swift and within minutes it seemed like we were boarding the ship. With embarkation not starting until 2.00pm, we had not expected lunch. The hotel director, other officers and crew were on the gangway to welcome us onboard and informed us that lunch was indeed being served in The Terrazza Restaurant until 4.30 pm.

The great thing about Silversea is that crew members are moved from ship to ship, old faces from previous cruises soon appear and recognize you. Crew members still wear masks onboard and it is sometimes hard to recognize them ashore without them. Roll on total freedom again.

Almost every member of the crew has a smile and hello as we passed them by. Even the lady cleaning the gents one evening explained to me how she and her husband worked together on the ship and that her children were looked after by her Sister back home in the Philippines whilst they were at sea. Wilmar our cabin steward went on to tell us that he had three kids, two around twenty, and a little girl who was three, she had been a lockdown baby. He hoped that lockdown did not happen again. LOL

Silver Dawn was built in 2021 so stepping onboard she appears brand new in every respect and in extremely luxurious, at a cost of US$ 380 million you expect nothing less. She is small and beautifully formed at 699 ft long and 85 ft wide with no inside cabins, oops sorry suites, the suites stretch for approx. half the width of the ship in some locations. Almost all suites have balconies, a spacious seating area, and a bathroom with a full-size bathtub and shower. And then there is the bed, with wonderful linens and pillows like dreaming on a cloud.

Carrying around 600 passengers and 408 crew you get an idea of the level of service onboard. Passenger capacity is almost back to pre covid levels with almost a full ship for our cruise, but you honestly never get the feeling of being crowded and there are always enough sunbeds on deck for those guests wanting to enjoy a few rays. The deck stewards try to serve the same area of the deck each day so if you have a favourite spot. It was not long before Rafael knew our names, prepared your lounger with towels and brought along your favourite tipple. No need to bag your space with a book each day.

Each Evening the Deck Grill becomes Hot Rocks

In the evening the deck area is cleared and the daytime deck grill becomes “HOT ROCKS. Eating here is casual and although you are given a great big bib to wear, beware that cooking your own favourite meat on rocks that have been heated for 24 hours can be a bit messy and you tend to smell a bit like a barbecue. Cool-weather is not a problem for eating here as overhead heaters can be employed and wind shields dropped down. Even better choose an evening with a later departure from port to enjoy the view as you pull gently away and set sail.

We have been unlucky with deck parties, once again on this cruise the deck party was moved indoors due to high winds, it is never quite the same.

Vicki Van Tassel - Cruise Director Silver Dawn in Ship Happens

Due to the small size of the ship entertainment is naturally more limited. I cannot go any further without mentioning the Cruise Director Vicki Van Tassel, yes that is her real name and as she liked to remind us “No I am not a Stripper”. Vicki was a stand-up comedian in a former life and had everyone on stitched at the drop of her hat. SHIP HAPPENS was her own show one evening and she played to a packed house. Vicki was assisted by Bruno who we had also sailed with before and two international hostesses Chrystelle and Thais, Chrystelle loved to dance and almost killed me on a couple of occasions strutting our stuff in the Panorama Lounge to DJ Anthony.

The voices of Silversea three guys and three girls, classical pianist Elena, cassical guitarist Nicolass, Jazz duo Tracy and Denis and the Silver Dawn Trio complete the entertainment team. Most evenings at 10.00 pm in the Venetian Lounge some or all the Voices of Silversea take to the stage for 45 minutes with a medley of musical entertainment, following which those who still have stamina make it to the Panorama Lounge to join DJ Anthony, some nights this works and others for some inexplicable reason the lounge is dead, to the point where l feel sorry for the DJ and the bar staff. I guess if you want a party you go to a Carnival Ship.

Silver Dawn - Portoferraio Elba

Being a small ship, the advantage is that more often than not you get to dock near to the town, occasionally this does not happen when some other small cruise ship has pipped you to the post and got the prime position. In three ports on this cruise, we had to tender ashore. St Tropez the sea was rather choppy and made life a little difficult for the tender crew.

I cannot mention this cruise without thanking Silversea for relaying the Queen’s Funeral onto the large screen in the Venetian Lounge.

Although the majority of passengers were from the USA, there were around 140 Brits onboard that appreciated being able to pay our respects to Her Majesty by attending her funeral via Satellite link.

Revisiting San Tropez after thirty years on the day of the Queen’s Funeral was uplifting. With a visit to the cemetery which surely has one of the most beautiful views for a final resting place.

However l think my favourite port of call on this cruise has to be Portoferraio on the Island of Elba where Napoleon was exiled for about 10 months, from May 3rd 1814 to February 26th 1815,

Portoferraio - Elba

The views from Forte Falcone were stunning

The majority of guests on Silver Dawn were American, about 140 were from the UK but oddly enough there were also around 40 Australians aboard Silver Dawn, some of who we had the pleasure of meeting when helping to celebrate Don’s birthday

Ten days aboard Silver Dawn flew by and before we knew it we are being thrown off the ship at 7.15 am for the trip from Civitavecchia to Rome Airport.

I always think it is cruel the way you are tipped off the ship on disembarkation day.

Silver Dawn is the Sister ship to Silver Moon

Almost Identical in every way

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2 Kommentare

Very useful information, thanks. Diva (round Britain 2021).

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Salty Seadog
Salty Seadog
01. Okt. 2022
Antwort an

Hello Diva.

Nice to hear from you. Was it really a year ago that we enjoyed the Silver Spirit trip around the UK. Silver Moon and Silver Dawn have S.A.L.T kitchen replacing Indochine. I like both but feel inclined to dine in S.A.L.T more often as there is a daily offering from the region visited.

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