I’ve just returned from a two-day preview cruise of Silversea Cruises’ newest vessel, the Silver Spirit. Several people have asked me what the on-board ambience is like. Simply, they want to know, What’s the vibe?
My initial characterization is that the vibe is energetic, and not in a tiring sort of way, as in the activity list being so full that you become exhausted just looking at it. Rather, Silver Spirit exudes energy from its well-done public rooms and new production shows.
The rooms, in particular, exert a pull on guests, enticing them across the threshold and into a lively atmosphere. Take Stars Supper Club, for example. You’d have to be passing on a gurney to resist being pulled into this nightclub-style venue. Drawing inspiration from New York’s famed Rainbow Room, Stars is cozy and warmly lighted, with tabletop (electric) candles and an Art Deco motif.
The jazz vocalist known as Alfreda appears to have been built for the room — or vice versa. With curly hair extending below her shoulders, Silver Spirit’s diva is as good as any female vocalist, living or dead, recorded, live or otherwise. From her soulful rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star” to her sultry interpretation of “Killing Me Softly” the Morganton, North Carolina-native quickly owns the room and its inhabitants. Words are inadequate to describe the luscious lyrics that come deep from within this woman’s lungs. To appreciate Alfreda, you have to see her perform live.
The dining concept in Stars is also something special. Conceived by Silversea Cruises’ Culinary Director Rudi Scholdis, Stars, he says, is not a restaurant but a “foodatainment” venue. Scholdis describes the concept as “funky food served in a jazzy atmosphere.” The dishes are, in fact, artful interpretations inspired by the destinations where Silversea sails.
One other asset to Stars is maitre d’ Darlene. You won’t easily miss the nasal intonations of this native New Zealander. The Kiwi is not only attentive but also inviting. She makes you feel like a welcome guest in “her” supper club. Yes, Spirit has Stars. That much was known before the ship launched. What wasn’t known was that Stars has spirit.
The other public room that exudes a vibrant energy is The Bar. Situated adjacent to the reception area, The Bar is the “meeting point” and hub on Silver Spirit. One of the factors that makes the room work so well is that the main gangway, or entryway, leads into the reception area, and thus the effect is that of entering the lobby of a fine hotel.
The Art Deco-inspired room is nearly always bustling. High tea is served afternoons, cocktails are served evenings. Throughout the day, The Bar functions a convenient stop-off point for espressos or cappuccinos, cookies and cakes — and easy conversation in comfortable seating.
Silver Spirit also exudes a lively atmosphere in part because it is a larger ship for Silversea, carrying more guests (540) than the other vessels in the fleet. That larger guest count and larger show lounge has allowed Silver Spirit to energize its production shows.
In fact, the new production show Aquarius is as dramatic of a shift for Silversea as is the larger vessel for the fleet. Drawing inspiration from the Age of Aquarius, the performance features the free-spiritedness of the 1960s.
One of the icons of that era, a flower-powered Volkswagen van serves as a set feature, while what surely must be one of the high seas’ most attractive casts performs the happy music of a tumultuous time (particularly in America).
To sum it up, the vibe on Silver Spirit? Energetic and just a little groovy. No question, Silversea’s newest vessel has spirit.
Visit Ralph’s web site, <a href=”http://www.avidcruiser.com” target=”_blank”>www.avidcruiser.com</a>, to contact him and for additional articles about cruising.