It was a great trip, cruising from Bali to Singapore on the luxury vessel Silver Shadow. No matter how hard the day — hot and humid weather, bumpy roads, heavy traffic in under-developed Indonesia — those of us traveling with Silversea were well taken care of ashore. We returned afternoons and evenings to our luxury boutique floating hotel with its four restaurants, spa & fitness facilities, pool, and let’s get right to it, complimentary champagne, as well as wine, beer and spirits.
As an Australian on my voyage noted, “You can’t even get to some of these places in Indonesia all that easily, and to be able to do so in the comfort that Silversea offers appealed greatly to us.”
There were at least 10 highlights from my 11-day voyage that may give you reason to think about cruising Indonesia. Interestingly, some of the highlights were aboard Silver Shadow. After all, getting to the destinations we were visiting was a big part of the journey.
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1. My Suite. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to Grand Suite 601. The two-room suite was not only expansive but also gorgeous. I would have a hard time thinking of a better space to call home on any sea voyage. Step inside and have a look around the largest suite on Silver Shadow.
2. My Butler. One of the service aspects that distinguishes Silversea is that every guest enjoys the helping hand of a butler. My butler was wonderful — cheerful and professional, always there when needed, making my time on board easy and enjoyable. Butlers on Silversea not only complement an already-luxurious voyage but also enrich the journey by their high standards to make sure that there is smooth sailing all the way. See The Butler Who Does It All
3. Dining At Le Champagne. Silversea boasts the only Relais & Chateux restaurants at sea, and on Silver Shadow, I enjoyed a multi-course dinner in this beautiful venue. I dined alone and relished the experience. See Dining Mindfully & The Virtues Of Champagne
4. Free Laundry. One of the perks that came with my suite: free laundry, dry cleaning and pressing. It may sound trivial for laundry to be one of the highlights of a cruise in Indonesia, but this perk, along with the luxury lifestyle on Silver Shadow, made travel in an otherwise challenging destination comfortable and relaxed. See Assessing The Cost Of Luxury Cruises: Ten Value-Added Extras; What’s The Real Cost?
5. Riding Elephants In Bali. Ever sat on top of an elephant? I parked my butt on the back of a pachyderm for one of the best shore excursions I’ve ever experienced. See Riding Elephants In Bali
6. Borobudur With Police Escort. My returning 30 years later to this UNESCO World Heritage Site was quite an experience given that the trip required two police cars to get us through traffic. The drive to Borobudur was an adventure in and of itself, not to mention touring this impressive Buddhist temple and seeking our own form of enlightenment. See The Buddha & Me, 30 Years Later In Borobudur
7. Indonesians. I said it many times while compiling my Live Voyage Report each day during our voyage: The Indonesians I encountered were warm, beautiful people, ever curious, ever welcoming and always smiling. To experience the warmth of the Indonesians is reason enough to travel here.
8. Colorful Welcomes. In nearly every port, dancers in costumers welcomed us to their cities. The dancers and singers set the tone for cultural experiences ashore — and made for great photo opportunities.
9. All-Inclusive Shore Excursions. The cost of Silversea’s shore excursions included bottled water; and, where appropriate, refreshments and lunches; admissions to attractions; complimentary backpacks; as well as coaches and minivans that were uncrowded. See Reflections On Silversea’s All-Inclusive Shore Excursions
10. Singapore & The Singapore Sling. Singapore was our final port of call, where I enjoyed an Evening Trishaw Experience that ended at the Raffles Hotel and the iconic cocktail, the Singapore Sling, included in the cost of the excursion. It was an appropriate cocktail to toast the end of an exotic — and enriching — voyage. See Disembarking Silver Shadow & Final Thoughts
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com