My Perspective: Silver Shadow, Ship Shape?

© 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Last year, when cruising on Silver Shadow from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand, I did something unusual: I remained on board. To add some sparkle to the so-called turnaround, Silver Shadow Hotel Director Flavio Gioia invited more than a dozen back-to-back passengers, me included, to a special cocktail reception in the ship’s “Provisions Area.”… [Read More]

8 Tips For Creating Your Best Ever Summer Vacation

© 2013 Ralph Grizzle

If you are in your fifties or beyond, no one could blame you for thinking that your best summers are behind you. That’s what I thought — until this summer. At age 55, I am having what just may be the best summer of my life. It did not come easy. I spent hours/days planning… [Read More]

Silver Spirit, Athens To Venice In 60 Photos

Silver Spirit, Hvar, Croatia

If, as it is said, a picture is worth 1,000 words, then we have 60,000 words, enough for a book, contained within this post. After culling hundreds of photos that we snapped last week and the week before, we chose 60 to portray a memorable voyage on Silver Spirit from Athens to Venice. The slideshow… [Read More]

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

Silver Spirit In Venice

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… [Read More]

From Afar, Hvar (Croatia)

Silver Spirit anchored in Hvar, Croatia.

This morning, Silver Spirit anchored off of Hvar, an island that bills itself as the sunniest in Adriatic. No problem with anchoring. Tenders ran frequently, and we hopped on one to go ashore. As you can see in the photo, Silver Spirit appeared stunningly gorgeous at anchor. Unfortunately, our tour, an off-road excursion, was cancelled… [Read More]

On Silver Spirit, Assessing The Cost Of Luxury Cruises: Ten Value-Added Extras; What’s The Real Cost?

Morning Paper

It’s no secret that the cost of luxury cruises can induce “sticker shock” for the uninitiated. Per diems typically range from $300 per person to $800 per person on many luxury cruises. But when all of the value-added extras are factored in, the cost of luxury cruising is actually much less than the sticker price…. [Read More]

Beautiful Bay: Silver Spirit Sails Into Kotor, Montenegro


I always regret using superlatives in print. They often come back to haunt. Just when you think you’ve experienced the best, something that tops it comes along. Today, Silver Spirit showed us a few things that were worthy of superlatives. From around 8:30 a.m. until about 10 a.m., we cruised Europe’s most southerly fjord (a… [Read More]

On Silver Spirit, The Trip Thus Far: Midway Through The Voyage


We are midway into an incredible journey on Silver Spirit from Piraeus (Athens), Greece to Venice, Italy. Today, we visited Corfu, Greece, where we trekked to the top of the Old Fortress for magnificent views of the town, Silver Spirit in the distance and the mountainous coast of Albania. Check out the photos here. Yesterday, one… [Read More]