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Embarkation - All aboard for a cruise around the UK.

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

It is over 18 months since we retired, just before Covid hit the world. Retirement was supposed to be celebrated by a cruise in the Caribbean. Of course, this was cancelled, since then we have rebooked the cruise twice in the Mediterranean but both these attempts were thwarted by further lockdowns and travel restrictions. Finally, a cruise was announced that circumnavigated the UK and Ireland. We thought this would be a good bet.

We travelled to Southampton to board the Silver Spirit. At this stage, I must point out that I have not been on a cruise ship since I left P&O Princess Cruises back in 1977. And I knew I would be in for a big surprise. Baggage seamlessly disappeared as we pull up at the City Cruise Terminal. Of course, then the testing had to begin before boarding the ship. I will not go into details, but I must say it was very smooth and well organised but took about an hour for the test results to come through.

Stepping onto the ship was like entering a different world compared to 1977. The service on Silver Seas is exemplary. Every member of the crew smiled and said hello as we passed them by and were directed to our cabin or as they like to call them now suites. By the time we arrived that the suite door we were greeted by name by the cabin attendant as I would call them. Within minutes our butler arrived and explained the suite, how it worked and how he was available for any help that we required during our cruise. A bottle of champagne was on the table and he offered to pour it for us as well as an offer to unpack our bags. We declined both as we had a ship to explore. Having missed lunch we settle on the afterdeck of the Arts Café overlooking Ikea so enjoy afternoon tea. The sandwiches and cakes were delicate and delicious but the tea was awful. The service was very friendly and efficient.

Being a smaller ship the entertainment crew is quite small, but we are not looking for 24/7 entertainment. We had already met most of the entertainers as they took part in the embarkation and covid testing routine. Hayley had already told us that she was from Manchester and it was her first seagoing contract. We were later to discover that she was one of the Silver Seas singers.

Something else new to me was the fact that you had a choice of restaurants to choose from and most of them are open seating, no reservation necessary, and plenty of room for all guests that choose to eat in each restaurant. The was so new to me. In my time at sea, it was one or sometimes two restaurants with two fixed time seatings in each. With of course a Captain’s table and the same dining companions at each meal.

On our first evening, we choose Indochine and Asian-inspired restaurant with an interesting menu selection. Having given our suite number to the head waiter we were met by our waiter by name. This is very impressive and has happened more than once in our first day at sea. On embarkation our photo was taken, so l assume our photo pops up and they identify each guest by name.

The following morning the breakfast we chose was buffet style and our waiter from Indochine,, Zouhair from Tangier was serving at one of the breakfast stations. He immediately greeted us by name again we were very impressed.

Our first day was spent at sea and unfortunately, the weather was overcast and rather cool, but of course, this was outside the ship's control. Luckily we were rather slowly cruising at only 6 knots so the headwind was not too much of a problem.

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I like the blog. It gives a different perspective from the one we write, so we complement each other well. Regards from Diva and TSH.


John Martin
John Martin
Sep 05, 2021

Silver Sea certainly know what company to choose for your first cruise ship experience since leaving P&O/Princess David. In the same category as Seabourn. They used to be clients of ours when I was a lecturer at the Salzburg based Maritime Hotel Academy (that's a story for another time).

Personalising your 'guests' was one of the attempts we made at P&O when I was training officer/manager. Getting the Asians away from calling everybody Sir & Madam like a herd of sheep was a challenge. We looked at all the ways that they could identify the names of the passengers - from baggage labels to seating plans. It's easier now with 'your' on board credit/key card whenever you show it.


Jamie, The Purser
Jamie, The Purser
Sep 05, 2021

Hello David on the high seas, thanks for posting first impressions of your beautiful cruise ship, love the photos.

Butler personal service is superb, and the use of individual names is quite unique, and excellent customer service.

Tea at sea was dreadful when I worked on the ships, because powdered milk was the norm, but today, milk is fresh, so the tea should be perfect, perhaps its the quality of the water?

Dont let a cup of rosie put you off your trip, enjoy the wonderful experience.

Looking forward to Day 2 lol

Happy cruising !

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