Wow, well I know this expression is cliché but, Wow! I have been on 35 other cruises, and while those cruises were excellent, Silversea just takes every thing one step further.
First the embarkation process was smooth and easy. We estimated that it might take 40 minutes to get from the Seatac area hotel to the pier, but it only took about 25 minutes. So we arrived at the pier ½ hour before we were supposed to. We waited in a short line, where they checked out passports and our vaccination cards. The vaccination cards had already been uploaded via the online check in, but they did recheck them. Then we got in a line to get a sticker on our passport, then got in another line to get our keys and set up our on board account, and then we were able to join the ship. All very efficient. If we had arrived at scheduled time we probably would have had no waiting.
The ship is sailing with just 267 passengers, but the ship holds just under 600. So we are going to be spoiled all week long with service. We found a nice big lounge where we enjoyed a glass of champagne, set up our internet account via our phones and then watched the safety drill video on our phones. We then went for a late lunch at the outdoor pizza grill. The waiter asked what we would like drink and we said Italian Red, and he went and got a bottle from somewhere for us. After our late lunch we headed to the room where we were greeted by out butler. He welcomed us with a bottle of champagne and then asked us if we would like him to unpack for us. He said he would take care of it later in the day. We hung out in the room a bit and then went to the muster assembly. They are still doing an assembly on Silversea, which is different than on other ships who have adopted the Muster 2.0 protocol with the video and just a check in at the station. We had a brief life jacket presentation and a few safety advisories and then we were done.
We headed back to the room. This is when three men in tuxedo and tails showed up with hangers and unpacked our suitcases. The were super fast. They got most of the stuff hung up that they needed to to be hung. A a few things were put into drawers that needed to be hung up, but they saved me so much time. Usually, I am the one who unpacks and hangs everything and it takes me an hour or so. Having them hang up everything for me was so welcome.
We had a sail away reception in the observation lounge with some of the folks from the Silversea marketing team and watched a beautiful sunset as we left Seattle. Some other agents who are friends of mine through CruiseOne/Dream Vacations, are onboard. We had a little reunion from our 2017 Crouise Europe Bordeaux river cruise.
After the reception we headed to the outdoor grill for dinner. The evening restaurant is a hot stone grill. The food is cooked at the table on hot stones. I had a mixed grill with a little bit of everything and Steve had a beautiful veal steak. The served a lovely New Zealand red wine with dinner. We were even given huge bibs to protect our clothes from the cooking food.
After dinner we had another lovely surprised. We went to the lounge for a little night cap and to listen to piano music and we asked for dessert wine – ice-wine, tokay, something like that. Then the bar tender appeared with a bottle of Cadillac Sauternes style wine. This had special meaning to me as I visited Cadillac 5 years ago when I was in Bordeaux on that CroiseEurope cruise with a great group of friends. Very good dessert wine, I will add.