Silver Wind Live Voyage Report – Day 2

Cruising the Indian Ocean aboard Silversea’s Silver Wind

Cruising the Indian Ocean aboard Silversea's Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Cruising the Indian Ocean aboard Silversea’s Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Position as of this writing: 34° 14.32’  S, 24° 10.05’ E

Speed: 14 knots

Wind: 69.7 km

Bound for: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

After departing from Cape Town, South Africa last evening, Silversea’s Silver Wind almost immediately encountered heavy, rolling swells and high winds. This, in turn, had me encountering what was only my second bout of seasickness ever.

When the pool was finally filled this afternoon, it became a bit of a show. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
When the pool was finally filled this afternoon, it became a bit of a show. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Normally, I pride myself on my ‘damn-the-torpedoes’ constitution that lets me enjoy the elevator ride that accompanies adverse weather while one-handing the uppermost, forward-most railing, screaming ‘Is that the best you’ve got?.’ into the wind and spray, but last night my sea legs weren’t fully working. So I hauled myself out of bed and stumbled over to the bathroom amid the shuddering of the ship and the ghost-like movement of my closet’s drawers to get a tried-and-tested remedy: I put a band-aid on my belly-button.

Large swells and high winds sent Silver Wind rocking today. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Large swells and high winds sent Silver Wind rocking today. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Now, I know how odd that sounds. Years ago, my mother read that if you placed a band-aid on your belly-button, it would help avoid seasickness. Mom’s sources on this advice remain unclear at best, but she was right – it works as well as eating a piece of ginger (also noted for its seakeeping properties.)  Within 30 minutes of applying it, I’d gone from dreading the next swell that would shake my suite to having it lull me to sleep.

Deck 9 aboard Silversea's Silver Wind was buffeted by high winds all day. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Deck 9 aboard Silversea’s Silver Wind was buffeted by high winds all day. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Once I got there, it was a wonderful, Silversea-sleep. There are actually two sides to a Silversea mattress: the standard soft side, and a firmer side for those who need a little more support. Your butler can switch this around for you, if you need it.  There is also a pillow concierge menu featuring nine different options atop which you can lay your head upon. Embarrassingly, I’ve only ever stuck with the standard ones that the line puts out. Ditto for the toiletries, which come as Bulgari Silver in the Grand Suite, but can be swapped out for the regular green Bulgari (also awesome), or ones produced by Ferragamo.

It’s all about choice.

Unfortunately for me, my body chose a different choice this morning: the choice to be seasick. I put up the good fight with my little mal-de-mer ailment, trying to sit indoors, outdoors, forward and aft, but by 9am, I had to admit defeat: I crawled back into bed, put Taken 2 up on the television, and shut my eyes. In 34 cruises and over 200 days at sea, I have never once been physically ill on a cruise. That long-standing run ended this morning as the high winds and swells finally got the better of me.

Still ahead: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Still ahead: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Now, let me say this: if there is any ship I could have been forced to be seasick aboard, I’m glad it is the Silver Wind. My butler, the fantastic Ronaldo, sensed immediately that I wasn’t feeling well when he delivered my breakfast this morning (likely when the colour drained from my face.)  He offered to bring me some sugared ginger, crackers, and Ginger Ale, which I readily agreed to. He was back in a flash, and came to collect my uneaten breakfast shortly thereafter. Even the front desk was offering to bring up some anti-seasickness tablets for me. For solo cruisers like myself, having another person offer to bring you something to make you feel better is just as good as being at home. By noon, I felt well enough to rejoin the world thanks to their kind care.

When I felt well enough, I spent some time reading one of the full newspapers you can have delivered to your suite. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
When I felt well enough, I spent some time reading one of the full newspapers you can have delivered to your suite. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

But enough about my inner-workings; let’s get on to this Wednesday, January 16th here onboard the Silver Wind.  Here is a look at some of the things guests could participate in today, courtesy of the Chroniclesdaily program:

  • 8:00am – Silent Wine Auction – The Humidor (8)
  • 8:00am – Morning Walk with Fitness Instructor Alfie – Aerobics Room (9)
  • 9:00am – International Desk: Asta is available to assist International Guests – Main Lobby (6)
  • 9:30am – Beginners Bridge Class with Bridge Directors Robert and Joann – Card Room (6)
  • 10:15am – Coffee Chat with the Artists of Silversea – Panorama Lounge (8)
  • 10:30am – Intermediate Bridge Class with Bridge Directors Robert & Joann – Card Room (6)
  • 10:30am – Language Class: Spanish with International Hostess Roxana – Panorama Lounge (8)
  • 11:00am- Language Class: Arabic with International Hostess Asta – Panorama Lounge (8)
  • 11:30am – Informal Shuffleboard with your fellow Guests – Pool Deck (8)
  • Noon – Midday announcement with Captain Michele Macarone Palmieri – Public Announcement
  • 12:15pm – Martini Tasting with the Bar Team – The Bar (5)
  • 2:30pm – Ice Cream Social (weather permitting) – Pool Deck (8)
  • 3:00pm – Water Volleyball (weather permitting) – Pool Deck (8)
  • 4:00pm – Afternoon Tea is served to the music of Perry – Panorama Lounge (8)
  • 4:15pm – Destination Lecture: Port Elizabeth – Parisian Lounge (6)
  • 5:00pm – Team Trivia with Cruise Director Allan – The Bar (5)
  • 10:00pm – Showtime: Silversea Presents “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” with the Artists of Silversea – Parisian Lounge (6)
This corridor on Deck 9 was added along with a new observation lounge and spa area during Silver Wind's 2010 refit. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
This corridor on Deck 9 was added along with a new observation lounge and spa area during Silver Wind’s 2010 refit. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The one thing I’m truly disappointed I missed was the Arabic language class with Asta. If you’ve never gone to a language class on a cruise before, do so: they’re absolutely invaluable, and I though the chance to learn a little basic Arabic would be amazing.

On another note, I am super-impressed with the new paper stock Silversea is using for their Chronicles daily program. Textured and heavier than the previous paper, it gives the daily program a decidedly elegant feel to it. It’s also very tactile, and great for making notes on the paper. I am not sure if this new stock is only being used for certain suite categories, but I will try to find out.

Decks are connected via two spiral staircases located amidships. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Decks are connected via two spiral staircases located amidships. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

One thing I really love about the Silver Wind is how easy and familiar everything is, even compared to my sailings on the much-larger and newer Silver Spirit. When I finally mustered up the courage to have lunch in La Terrazza this afternoon, it was just like a slightly-scaled down version of the one onboard the Silver Spirit, with the same attractive wood-panelled wall treatments and crimson soft furnishings.

Public rooms are laid out just as onboard all Silversea ships, with guest suites taking up the forward half of the ship and public areas situated aft, all linked by a single central corridor.  A dual-sided spiral staircase links each level amidships (along with four elevators), and a smaller staircase provides additional access to the ship’s forward suites.

The Deck 8 corridor outside the Panorama Lounge aboard Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
The Deck 8 corridor outside the Panorama Lounge aboard Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

I love that the Silver Wind has been “Spirit-ized” a little: the gorgeous observation lounge up on Deck 9 was added during a refit a few years ago, and looks every bit like a scaled down version of my favorite daytime spot aboard the Silver Spirit, complete with a telescope and a book exchange program.

Entry doors to The Bar on Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Entry doors to The Bar on Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

But there are also some wonderful differences about the Silver Wind, too. On Deck 5, The Bar is smaller and wonderfully inviting, spanning the entire beam of the ship. Flanked by large picture windows on either side, it’s decorated in cream coloured tones accented by highly-polished dark woods, making it feel bright and airy by day, and soft and soothing by night. I also like the grid-patterned ceilings that hide the room’s air conditioning systems; these were common on ships of the 1990’s but have gradually disappeared over the past decade or so. Here, the geometric pattern works to compliment the room’s Picasso-esque artwork.

The Bar aboard Silver Wind at night: warm and inviting. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
The Bar aboard Silver Wind at night: warm and inviting. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Like the Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, The Bar aboard the Silver Wind leads directly into the Parisian Show Lounge by way of two flanking doors on the port and starboard sides of the room. You wouldn’t expect to see a sweeping, two story show lounge onboard a ship the size of the Silver Wind, yet the Parisian Show Lounge makes perfect sense: it can seat the entire guest compliment in a single go.

The Bar also leads forward to a small Casino situated on the ship’s starboard side. Like the Casinos on every Silversea sailing I’ve been on, it sits largely forgotten and unused – which is fascinating, if you think about it. On larger, mainstream ships, the casino becomes this whirring entity of noise, flashing lights and cigarette smoke. Here onboard the Silver Wind, the Library is seeing more action. I’m not a gambler myself, so to me a quiet casino is heaven on earth.

Books, DVD's and CD's can be rented for the duration of the voyage from the Library on Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Books, DVD’s and CD’s can be rented for the duration of the voyage from the Library on Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

More cool little things worth mentioning: there’s no interactive entertainment system in the suites aboard Silver Wind, but there is an extensive DVD library for guests to choose from. You simply head on down to the Library, pick the title out that you want, and sign it out at Reception. These are completely free of charge.

For suites with the Bang & Olufsen sound systems (or guests with their own CD players), a small selection of CD’s can also be rented out. I was impressed I was able to get my favorite sailing album, Enya’s Amarantine, to listen to, along with a DVD of the Liam Neeson movie, Unknown, to watch.

THe beautiful Panorama Lounge at night, located aft on Deck 8. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
THe beautiful Panorama Lounge at night, located aft on Deck 8. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Tonight was our first Formal Night, and I enjoyed a fantastic dinner in the Italian-inspired La Terrazza all the way aft on Deck 7. Along with the outdoor Grill featuring Hot Rocks and Le Champagne, dinner in La Terrazza is one of my most treasured events on any Silversea ship. It’s like a little slice of Italy gone to sea, and I every time I dine there, I feel like I am back in my favorite city of Firenze.

Silver Wind has two Lobbies: one on Deck 5 (shown), and another on Deck 6 where Reception and Shore Excursion decks are. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Silver Wind has two Lobbies: one on Deck 5 (shown), and another on Deck 6 where Reception and Shore Excursion decks are. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Finally, I want to impress upon readers how much like a family a sailing with Silversea is. I’ve already met crew who remember me from my voyages aboard the Silver Spirit and the adventurous expedition vessel, Silver Explorer. They’re quick to say hi and offer me a hearty handshake, and I always enjoy stopping to chat and catch up with them.  And I’m not alone; throughout the ship, I’ve seen other guests shake hands and embrace with the ship’s staff, asking them how they are and what they have been up to since they all last met.

Being able to travel halfway around the world and cruise in luxury is wonderful, but being able to step aboard and be greeted by a familiar, smiling face is what makes this experience truly magical. That, and sailing the Indian Ocean – in any condition.

Our South African Adventure aboard the Silver Wind continues tomorrow. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Our South African Adventure aboard the Silver Wind continues tomorrow. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Night time once again. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders
Night time once again. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silver Wind, South Africa

Day 1Cape Town, South Africa
Day 2Cruising The Indian Ocean
Day 3Addo Elephant Park
Day 4Day at Sea
Day 5Maputo, Mozambique
Day 6iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Day 7On Safari
Day 8Durban & Tala Private Game Reserve
Day 9East London & an Inkwenkwezi Safari
Day 10Day at Sea
Voyage Recap

Join the Conversation

kara says:

The ship looks absolutely beautiful, stunning in-fact. I was shocked to hear that you had sea-sickness but glad to hear your back up and at it! Looking forward to hear what’s coming up in the next ten days!

Kim says:

What a wonderful view of the ship! I cannot wait to see more pictures of it. When you mention places that I’ve been on the spirit my interest of what they look like in this ship intrigue me to see more. Sounds like you will have an amazing adventure tomorrow and I cannot wait to read about it! I have once again been swept away by your writing.

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