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All Things Italian: Sorrento, Capri and Anacapri aboard Silver Spirit
Today, we woke up in our suite aboard Silversea’s Silver Spirit to find ourselves anchored just off the port of Sorrento, Italy. While it offers plenty of things to do, Sorrento has become a popular cruise port largely because of its proximity to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, and the dreamlike island of Capri.
While we’ve never been to any of the above, the decision to take the all-day excursion offered by Silversea to the island of Capri was a no-brainer. While I am normally a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of guy in terms of excursions, Silversea’s shore excursions have been so universally well planned and varied that we’ve found them to be more than worth the money.
Capri has been a resort destination since the time of the Roman Republic, and geologists have determined the island itself was once part of the mainland. At its highest point, the island of Capri rises to 1,932 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Aside from its roads, the harbour and town sections of Capri are so vertically separated that a funicular is used to ascend to the upper town. A chair-lift can also be taken in Anacapri to reach the highest point of the island.
Starting out on the pier in Sorrento, we took a hydrofoil (fast ferry) to Capri, where a “baby-bus” took us all the way up to Anacapri. From there, we had the option to visit a villa belonging to a famous Swedish psychiatrist or take the chair lift up to the highest point on the island. We opted to take the chair lift, and were not disappointed in the astounding views offered on this awe-inspiring island. The weather also cooperated, giving us a beautiful, sunny, warm day with almost no cloud whatsoever.
After taking in the incredible views it was down to Capri Town to enjoy some lunch and ample time for shopping. Unlike other cruise line excursions I’ve taken in the past, this one ran like clockwork. We were never rushed, had an incredibly friendly guide, and like yesterday, we were able to cram an astounding amount into one day. If Silversea lists the excursion as being “Active” or “Extensive” in its physical activity, they mean it! And Silversea passengers can keep up with the pace, too. They’re adventurous, spontaneous and young at heart.
They’re also up far later than I am in the evening!
When we arrived back onbard the Silver Spirit after eight hours of extensive touring, we were wiped. But in what is becoming typical Silversea fashion, there was a remedy for that too.
We called our amazing butler Arnel to modify our dinner reservation for this evening, and during the course of the call, he asked how our day was. We said it had been wonderful, but long and that we were a little sore. ‘Don’t worry’ he said, ‘I’ll be right up.’
To relax us after a hard day of touring, Arnel kindly drew us a warm, scented Elemis bubblebath, complete with battery-op candles and champagne on ice. He explained the Elemis soap is designed to soothe aching muscles and calm nerves. He then made sure our dinner reservation was amended and politely excused himself, and even returned with some homemade chips, salsa and guacamole later – he already knows our favourite snack.
If Capri was dream-like, our return to the Silver Spirit further blurred the line between fantasy and reality. I don’t think we moved for almost an hour.
Which got me thinking: we saw some pretty swank hotels today in Capri, but I’d wager no one there just had their butler draw them a nice hot bubblebath. For me, it’s the little details like that which are combining to make Silversea my favourite cruise line: not only do they absolutely ensure you are comfortable at all times, but they genuinely care that you are having the time of your life.
Cruises in general are an excellent value, but an ultra-luxury cruise like the one here onboard Silver Spirit is tough to beat. Believe me, I don’t have any envy for the people I saw checking into one of Capri Town’s most exclusive hotels – I’d rather be here than there! For one fee – which on Silversea includes my airfare, my pre-cruise hotel, and a generous onboard spending credit – I get the convenience of a cruise (unpack once, anyone?) but with the incredible service, accommodations and cuisine that can really only be found in an ultra-luxury cruise.
Once again, I envy the passengers who have been onboard this World Cruise since January. I’ve only been here four days and already I am completely at peace. I can only imagine what four solid months of this sort of treatment can do for someone’s well-being. I wonder if my doctor will write me a prescription for a long ocean voyage on a Silversea ship?
But even if guests elected not to go ashore today, there was a full day’s worth of activities to keep them as busy – or as relaxed – as they’d like.
A few highlights:
- 7.30 – Morning Walk with Personal Trainer Kieren – Running Track, Deck 10
- 8.30 – Silversea Quiz – Library, Deck 7
- 11.30 – Table Tennis with the Production Cast – Pool Deck 9, Aft
- 4.00 – Afternoon Tea is Served – La Terrazza, Deck 7
- 4.30 – Sundowner Cocktails with music from DJ Oskar – Pool Deck, 9
- 5.30 – Fitball Class with Personal Trainer Kieren – Aerobics Room, Deck 6
- 5.45 – Sailaway Party: La Dolce Vita – Pool Deck, 9.
- 6.45 – Destination Talk: The Eternal City of Rome – The Theatre, Deck 5
- 9.00 – Jazz Duo Mickki Brown and Eric Niesser entertain – Stars, Deck 7
- 10.00 – The Silver Spirit Singers and Dancers in “Euro 2011” – The Theatre, Deck 5
- 11.00 – Limoncello Talk and Tasting – The Bar, Deck 5
What can be better than cruising to the Mediterranean? The answer, I am quickly learning, is doing it aboard the Silver Spirit. Speaking of which, here’s a few random photos of some of the ship’s well-designed, Art Deco-inspired interiors to end the day with.
Join us here tomorrow on From the Deck Chair as we arrive in Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, Italy. Because everyone does Rome, we’re doing the “anti-Rome” thing and exploring all that the historic port city of Civitavecchia has to offer!
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