Sailing into Fort Lauderdale in the early morning.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
When I first embarked Silver Spirit, I have to admit I was a little worried.  I’d never sailed on a luxury line before – would I like it?  Would it be enjoyable?  I had a sneaking suspicion it would be a good fit, based in part on my tour of the Silver Shadow in Vancouver back in June.  
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, is just how good it was.
Too often, I think, luxury cruises are dismissed as being “for rich people.”  What I discovered was that the people who sail aboard Silversea are some of the kindest, most fascinating folks you could wish to meet.  They’ve worked hard in their professional lives, and this is their reward: a truly relaxing getaway.  No lines.  Unique ports.  Attentive service.

 Entering Port Everglades aboard the Silver Spirit.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
There are also those who could cruise mainstream lines – and have – but who have left, preferring instead to do one cruise every couple of years instead of multiple mainstream cruises per year.  They’re active; they’re adventurous.  They’ve traveled the world – sometimes multiple times – but they’re unique and down to earth.
 I myself would fall into this category; I’m not wealthy by any means, but I appreciate and enjoy the finer things in life.  I write this blog and hold down a full-time job in the entertainment industry.  I probably spend ten to twelve hours a day in front of a computer. So the opportunity to cruise – and truly relax, unwind, and enjoy life – is paramount.  I love cruising on all lines and ships, but I was surprised how quickly I relaxed onboard Silver Spirit – by day two, I was thoroughly enjoying myself.  On many mainstream lines, it can take twice as long before I fully settle down.

The famous apartment blocks that line the cut in Ft. Lauderdale.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
 
Sure, Silversea costs more upfront than, say, Royal Caribbean.  But do the math: how much did you spend on your last mainstream cruise?  What did the flights, the gratuities, the beverages, coffee, alcohol and wine cost you?  How about your pre-and-post transfers?  Now add that total to the cost of the cruise itself.  Chances are, on most voyages you’ll find the difference in cost is surprisingly minimal. But what you gain in exchange is priceless.
I love my cruises, and I’m sure I’ll cruise mainstream lines again, but with the knowledge that they offer a very different experience.  The Silversea experience encompasses so much more than just raw costs or vessel size; after nine days aboard, the crew and passengers feel like old friends.  You just can’t mimic the same sense of camaraderie on a three-thousand passenger ship.

What I heard from many guests who’d previously sailed the line is that the Silversea experience gets even better on their smaller vessels like Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, and their expedtion vessel, Prince Albert II.  I may be a self-confessed “big ship” guy, but I can’t wait to sail Silversea again, on an even smaller ship this time.

Is Silversea for everyone?  Of course not.  If you need constant stimulation (or you’re hooked on rock climbing walls, ice-rinks and flowriders), Silversea may disappoint.  But if you’re looking for a cruise that stops merely being a vacation and becomes an experience, Silversea provides that in spades. 

 Silver Spirit in the early morning of December 20, 2010:
I can’t wait to come back.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
To me, Silversea and the Silver Spirit were almost dream-like.  I discovered a type of cruising I thought I would never experience; a style I thought had died away twenty years ago.  The entire experience has let a profound imprint on both myself, and my fiancée.  I honestly get choked up thinking about some of the experiences I’ve had in the past week and a half.
In life, there are moments you remember forever; those little snippets of wonder that remain imprinted in your mind long after the actual even has faded; the ones you replay and relive, both for yourself and your loved ones.

The Silver Spirit is one of those – and I can’t wait to return someday.
For more information on Silversea and Silver Spirit, be sure to visit the Silversea Cruises website.  They just released their 2012 voyages last Wednesday for those who like to plan ahead.
Missed the original installments of this article?  They can be found below.  Stay tuned in the new year for a complete photo-tour of this fascinating ultra-luxury ship, accompanied by HD video clips.
Day 9 – Key West 

From the Deck Chair will return Wednesday, December 22, 2010. 

 

20 Responses to Silver Spirit Day 10 – Disembarking in Ft. Lauderdale

  1. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  2. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  3. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  4. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  5. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  6. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  7. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  8. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  9. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  10. ChaChaCha says:

    Thanks for the great posts, Aaron! I was on this sailing & couldn't agree w/you more about the people, the service & the experience. Hope to meet you aboard another Silversea cruise.

  11. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  12. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  13. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  14. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  15. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  16. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  17. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  18. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  19. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

  20. E Squared and Mui says:

    We'll be aboard PAII in July for our first SilverSea cruise … really enjoyed reading your blog and it seems like Silver Spirit may well be in our future too.

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