Sail on a ship of dreams.
One of the classiest cruise lines you can go on is Silversea.
It specialises in small, luxury ships and if you’re a discerning traveller, looking for a five-star experience, it’s the one for you.
The quality of the suite (note, not cabin), food, entertainment and overall experience is truly special.
Silversea’s all-inclusive policy makes for a relaxed atmosphere and you’ll find most passengers are over 50 and well-travelled individuals.
Silver Wind is one of the most intimate ships afloat today and I spent a week on her in August.
It has a fabulous spa, some beautifully designed suites and lovely public rooms.
Unlike some of the big ‘floating cities’, on this ship you will find everything you need in about five minutes infinitely preferable, as far as I’m concerned!
If you’re looking for a huge casino, schedules packed tight with activities, and pool games, this is not the cruise for you.
If you’re looking for a class act for a special occasion, you’ve found it.
Silversea has a mixture of formal, informal and smart-casual dress codes.
For formal nights, ladies should wear cocktail dresses, evening gowns or smart trouser suits while men should have tuxedos, kilts (the Americans love them!) or dark suits.
Informal means dresses or trouser suits for the ladies, jackets for the men (ties are optional).
I sailed on the Silver Wind from Monte Carlo to Barcelona.
I’ll tell you about the wonderful ports of call over the next two weeks, but this week I wanted to just tell you about the ship.
Why? Because it’s a holiday in itself and, even if you don’t disembark once, you’ll have a week of a lifetime.
You can work off the calories from all the wonderful food on-board by visiting the ship’s gym.
Try the Stretch and Surrender class if you’ve been especially indulgent.
For me, the real joy of a Silversea cruise is that there are fewer than 300 passengers, with almost as many crew members to attend to your every need.
And I do mean every need even on a buffet lunch you’ll find a waiter wrestling with you for your filled plate to take it to the table.
The restaurant is one of the loveliest dining rooms at sea you will find.
It has a high-domed ceiling and nightly you will find entertainers providing dance music between courses, should you feel like a boogie.
Both the bar and Panorama Lounge are comfortable spots to meet people, socialise and dance.
On that subject, this is a great cruise line if you’re a solo traveller.
There’s a good assortment of evening entertainment.
It could be a classical concert or a smallish production show in the Show Room or it could be Moonlight Movies feature films shown outside on the pool deck.
On most ships you spend as little time in your cabin as possible.
On Silversea, expect to do the opposite more than 85% of them have balconies.
The suites feature luxurious amenities that can be customised to your individual preferences. They carry all different types of pillows and bedding, for instance.
There’s also butler service on all ships and every one is trained by The Guild of Professional English Butlers.
Your butler will pack, unpack, replenish your bar with whatever alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks you wish, press clothes, polish shoes, sort laundry, bring you food and drinks any time of the day or night basically you’ll want to take him home at the end of the voyage!
All gratuities are included, and, believe me, this can run up to £200 per person on other cruises, so that’s a big plus.
And there’s no chance of being lumped at a table with the same group of folk every night.
Whichever meal and wherever you eat, you choose where you want to sit and when you want to eat.
The spa is a wonderful place to while away some time and indulge. Treatments are at an additional cost, but prices are reasonable and the therapists are excellent.
They offer all manner of treatments everything you’d expect from a land-based spa.
They even offer an oriental medicine programme including acupuncture therapy and Chinese herbal supplements.
The cruise line will also transport you from the airport to the ship and back again at the end. What more could you possibly want?
Silversea’s Silver Wind departs on June 22, 2015, for a seven-day voyage from Monte Carlo for Barcelona calling at Saint Tropez, Marseille, Sete, Alcudia and Valencia. Prices start from £2,350 per person based on double occupancy of the Vista Suite. Visit silversea.com or call 0844 251 0837.