I have been very privileged to have had a week sailing on the luxurious 'Silver Moon' the newest edition to the 'Ultra Luxury' Silversea fleet. Having not travelled since pre pandemic I was slightly nervous about the new protocols and how the travelling experience would be. I shouldn't have worried, as long as the paperwork is in order and you have proof of vaccination, the transition through the airport and on the aircraft will be seamless. Mask wearing is required throughout.
After arriving into Rhodes in Greece we were swiftly taken to a local medical centre to be PCR tested prior to boarding. Embarkation was very strict even to the point of having our luggage fumigated but that to me was only more reassuring.
The ship is exquisite. The most luxurious cruising experience. A small ship at only 40,700 tonnes and at full capacity only 596 guests. We had less than 400 on board and you will find the staff to guest ration almost 1-1.
The on board experience is exceptional. All suite accommodation, all with sea view and full bathroom. Butler service included, luxurious amenities and my favourite a pillow menu. Definitely go for the goose.
An array of exquisite dining options. 8 restaurants on board Silver Moon. All-inclusive restaurant concepts serving the best ingredients at sea and I have to say the best food I have ever tasted on or off the sea. Everything from French cuisine, Asian inspired serving the most fresh and beautiful sushi, hot lava stone meals cooked at your table under the stars and the best the sea has to offer in Atlantide. My favourite was Silver Note which is a small plate concept complimented by live jazz and blues.
Silver Moon is the first ship to deliver the new SALT (sea and land taste) culinary immersion programme. Salt Kitchen, an exclusive destination focused restaurant where you can enjoy the food and culture of your destination. Salt Bar where the cocktail waiters were like scientists creating some mad experiments, or Salt Lab where we had cooking lessons. Great fun but I think I will stick to working in travel!
I had a very generous veranda suite, champagne on arrival and a well stocked mini bar, replenished daily by the butler with whatever you want. A very nice bottle of gin appeared. Premium wines and spirits are included. I wasn't sure how I would feel about having a butler but they are very discreet and experienced.
For those nervous about cruising post pandemic, please don't be. Silversea had the strictest of protocols which only made us feel safer. Mask wearing throughout. hand sanitizers and washing stations readily available.
It was waiter service throughout so no touching of food. I found this enhanced the experience as who doesn't like being waited on. We visited Cyprus, Crete and Mykonos and finished in Athens. Everywhere seemed weirdly normal bar the mask wearing in shops and restaurants which was again reassuring.
Some excursions are included with Silversea and the highlight for me was in Crete, and again a SALT experience and Cretan food feast at the PESKESI organic farm. A beautiful oasis in the remote mountains of Heraklion. A great adventure, touring the vegetable gardens picking our own veg for cooking. We all became cooks for the day, stuffing vine leaves and prepping veg. Over the charcoal whole lamb shoulders of lamb cooking. No electricity and everything cooked over the embers. We drank the local wine and raki and immersed ourselves into the local Cretan ways. The most memorable culinary experience and day out with the most perfect hosts. Well worth booking.
Silver Moon had everything you would expect from a 6+ ultra-luxury cruise with exceptional service and attention to detail. Coming back into the was straight forward again once the protocols were followed.
Would certainly recommend trying to get away and most certainly have the confidence to do so and for an unforgettable voyage and culinary experience it's got to be Silversea.