A couple of weeks ago, while Silver Spirit was docked in Safaga, Egypt, passengers set out for a long day on a complimentary Silversea shore excursion to visit the temples along the Nile River. When motorcoaches returned at 9 p.m., exhausted passengers were greeted by Silver Spirit’s butlers and room stewardesses flanking the gangway entrance and holding signs reading, “Welcome Home.” The notion that its ships are your home is certainly something that Silversea works hard to convey 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
But there was more. As we boarded, we were all invited to the pool deck, where Silver Spirit management had organized an impromptu evening buffet and Arabian entertainment. What struck me was how management was able to pull off such a remarkable feat on such short notice. I, for example, would not know where to begin looking for a Whirling Dervish, performed by a young man who mesmerized the audience.
The “wow” factor certainly moved the needle, and I’ve seldom seen a staff prouder of what they had accomplished. The deck party was the talk of the ship the next day. It had been unexpected and unplanned until a few days before arriving in Safaga, when management met and decided to try to pull of a spectacular welcome back for passengers on the daylong tour.
Exceeding expectations (and having the resources to do so) exemplifies the essence of luxury cruising and makes for memorable moments, sometimes spontaneously born.
The complimentary tour to the Nile temples would have been enough to make for a special day, but the warm welcome home, the elaborate buffet and the local performers brought on board for an evening of entertainment under the Arabian sky, made for an exhilarating ending to an exciting day — at “home.”