End Of A Voyage: Silver Spirit Arrives In Venice, Italy

Silver Spirit Sailing Into Venice

Guests and staff gather on board as Silver Spirit sails into Venice. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

On Thursday, shortly before noon, Silver Spirit docked at San Basilio in Venice, Italy. For the two hours preceding, nearly everyone on the vessel was out on deck — or on their balconies — to watch the spectacle of sailing past iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square and the Ducal Palace. It seemed an appropriate way to end such a beautiful voyage.

Silver Spirit In Venice

Silver Spirit docked at San Basilio in Venice. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

But Venice was not the end of our voyage — not yet. We still had one night on board Silver Spirit to enjoy the city known as La Serenissima, “the most serene.” We were docked as close to the city center as you can get, and San Basilio was within easy walking distance of some of the city’s best-known sites.

After lunch, we joined a “Hidden Venice” tour, offered by Silversea. The informative walking tour took us behind the scenes and away from the heavily touristed areas where we’d discover wonderful Old World architecture and scenic landmarks not typically encountered by visitors to Venice. I’ve included a few photos in the slideshow below, but pictures don’t do justice. You have to experience Venice to fully appreciate it.

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

Hidden Venice Tour

The “Hidden Venice” tour would complement what we intended to do on Friday after disembarking and that was to visit the major attractions, including St. Mark’s Square.

Tonight, however, we wanted to enjoy one last night on Silver Spirit. We still had one restaurant that we’d not yet tried. And there was a bottle of champagne in our suite that we’d not yet opened. Tonight was the night.

We started with a glass of champagne served by our butler Rodolfo, outside, one deck above the Observation Lounge. We were fortunate that our floating luxury hotel had one of the best vantage points to appreciate Venice, and the evening light seemed to bathe the city in an almost holy glow. Perhaps it was the champagne.

Our Butler, Rodolfo

Champagne served in Venice by our butler Rodolfo. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Our toast to Venice and to Silver Spirit was followed by a wonderful dinner in Stars, a Supper Club with great entertainment by the soulful vocalist Mickki and her pianist, Michelle. This is surely one of the best rooms on Silver Spirit, and the only Stars Supper Club in the fleet. I’ll be writing more about Stars in our review of Silver Spirit next week.

Alex Grizzle

My 16-year-old son with his favorite staff on Silver Spirit (from the left), Frederick, a waiter; Michelle, pianist; and Mickki, a soulful vocalist who performs in Stars Supper Club. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

For now, I’d like to leave you with a couple of videos from some of my previous visits to Venice. We disembark on Friday with more to explore in this lovely city — after bidding a reluctant farewell to a vessel that is not easy to leave.

  • theavidcruiser

    There are a lot of outlets that report the news. I don’t. I’m not well enough informed about the issue, and I don’t have the resources to interview passengers, crew, the CDC, etc. for a balanced and fair story. But again, reporting the news is not what I am aiming for with Avid Cruiser. For example, I don’t report news of Norovirus outbreaks, which are the result of extremely unsanitary conditions where people actually become ill. To my knowledge, Silversea has never had incidents of Norovirus or conditions that have made people ill. My goal is to report the experiential. I’m basically writing about what I experience on ships and in destinations. Some people will find value in this; others won’t. That’s okay. I know I can’t please everyone. All of that said, I only learned of the Silver Shadow incident yesterday, and there’s no way that I would have had the time to post something so soon. I wouldn’t have had the time for the research, especially from a ship, where internet access is challenging and the cost of phone calls prohibitive. So when will I address it? Well, definitely not before all of the facts are in. USA Today says, “The CDC has yet to make its report listing reasons for the failing grade public.” So we don’t even know why Silver Shadow failed. The paper also says, “The last six inspections of the ship by the CDC have resulted in scores ranging from 95 to 99, according to CDC records.” It would be irresponsible of me to portray Silver Shadow as filthy and unsafe, when that is far from what I have experienced and far from the last six CDC inspections and with the reasons for the current failure not yet known.

  • mary ferrrari

    I would like to know when you plan to address your readers as to the recent sanitation report of Silver Shadow and the lack of response from Silversea ownership. As a Silversea promoter , I would think you owe it to your readers to inform them of the current filthy and unsafe conditions aboard Shadow and the alleged practices that are in place across the entire Silversea line.