The itinerary was port-intense and we hit the ground running from day 1 (well, we started with a few days in Paris beforehand, so we had been running even before day 1)... We just got home this morning from 3 days post-cruise in Rome, and at this point we need a vacation to catch up from this one!
Overall thoughts: Kirk Detweiler, the new CD, is quite good. We didn't interact extensively with him but in our limited interactions with him we found him to be very pleasant, interactive, and well-suited to the job. Rumor has it he started as a singer, but had been a CD on a mass market line for quite some time prior to coming to SS. He did sing a few songs at one of the Captain's parties and did a nice job with that. Think he'll be a great addition to SS.
We can't comment much on the new entertainment - more singing, and no dancing. We actually enjoyed the old dance shows, with the ballroom professionals. Only saw one show - the variety show on-deck for the outdoor BBQ where they did impressions of famous musicians - it was OK; some of the impressions were quite good and some were lukewarm. We would have gone to the shows had we not been so crazy busy in port.
Food and wine were pretty good in the MDR, delicious at La Terazza, and really great in Le Champagne. They now have Hot Rocks at the Poolside Grill for dinner, and that is a wonderful addition. We had a great meal there, and we wish we'd had time to dine there more than once! So much better than dining under the stars.
We had over $1000 in OBC this voyage, and honestly had a hard time using all of it. We took only one ship's tour and had to hit the connoisseur's list hard the last few nights so as to not let it go to waste. It was a good way to taste some wines that we'd never splurge for at home, though. Guess we'll have to plan better if the OBC is a recurring theme.
We managed to pack light - one large and one small suitcase for the 2 weeks we were away, including formal clothes. Having OBC was a real perk here as we could do "free" laundry, and thus we could cut down on the quantity of clothes we packed. Because we packed light we could use public transport in Athens and Rome to get to/from the ship - we saved a ton of money here that we could spend on other fun things!
Will give a little day by day account of the ports over the next few days, as we get settled in at home and get our pictures (and brains) organized. Suffice it to say that we can't agree with some of the previous posters who didn't have a good time on the Silver Wind!
We spent 2 days in Paris (Versailles) pre-cruise which was nice. We had not visited Versailles during our last Paris trip; we found the chateau and gardens to be stunning! We stayed in the Trianon Palace Hotel right next to the chateau which was really nice, even though the hotel restaurants were a touch overpriced... A full day was enough to see the highlights, and we flew into Athens the next afternoon/evening.
We took the Piraeus Port bus from ATH which was incredibly easy. Just walk outside the baggage claim area, and the bus is waiting (you want the X96 bus). Tickets are available at the booth next to the bus stop for 5€ each. The bus stops about a mile from where the cruise ships dock, so you have to get off and get a taxi to the pier - that was easy and cheap as well. The whole transfer cost under 20€ for 2 people, and doubt it was much slower than a cab, but would have been tricky with more than one bag each. Once onboard, we spent the evening settling into our "home" and awaiting tomorrow's stop in Milos. More to follow, as it's 4AM Europe time, and sleep is calling!
Last: Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016 (photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
Avalon Affinity - Danube - Vienna to Passau - June 2013(flooded! - awesome land trip instead )
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)
Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
Tahitian Princess 8/09; Insignia 11/08; Sea Princess 8/08; Millenium 6/08; Nautica 1/08; Nautica 11/07; Regatta 4/07; Tahitian Princess 1/07; Carnival Spirit 8/06; Insignia 5/06; etc...