An Interview with Madeleine Virag, Away by TTI Travel Advisor
What was the occasion of your trip, and what did you envision a Silversea cruise to be?
Madeleine: Every year, my husband and I go on a long holiday. This year, we chose a Silversea cruise after hearing about the unparalleled luxury experience Silversea offers. The cruise did not disappoint!
What was your itinerary? What did you think of the experience?
MV: We spent 7 days on the Silver Spirit, a 540-passenger ship. Setting sail from Rome on May 12th, the plan was to head to Portofino, but we got diverted to Genoa because we couldn’t tender out – the sea was far too choppy. We were pleasantly surprised; Genoa was a charming little town! We then headed to Livorno, where we spent 2 days exploring Florence (Livorno is the gateway town to the heart of Florence). Then it was off to Sardinia, Menorca, Ibiza, and finally Barcelona.
Menorca was incredible – it is the northernmost Balearic Island; a knobby, cliff-bound plateau with a single central hill from whose 1,100 summit you can see the whole island. Prehistoric monuments left by the Neolithic settlers are everywhere, like navetes, stone structures shaped like overturned boats. It is stunning.
A unique Silversea touch is the personal butler offered for each stateroom. You can ask your butler to do anything from turn on the taps for you for your bath to pack your suitcase upon departure. Upon learning that gin was our drink of choice, we were presented with a large, cold bottle of it, and some top-shelf tonic. It was a wonderful touch!
What was the most memorable moment of your whole experience?
MV: Amongst the incredibly memorable moments like taking in the Sagrada Familia from the inside for the very first time, or the post-cruise stay at the 5 star Claris Hotel in Barcelona, a certain moment stood out in my mind – what I like to call “The Silversea Difference”: After our leisurely day in Livorno, we headed back to the main square to catch our transfer back to the ship. This is also where all the other cruise lines would be picking up their passengers with giant coach buses.
The square was insanity, with at least 20 mega-buses parked throughout. There was yelling, confusion, heated arguments, and lost-looking tourists – all of them clamoring to find their bus. Then, our sleek Silversea shuttle floats in, stops directly in front of where we were standing, and opens its doors. We were ushered onto the air-conditioned luxury shuttle. That, in my mind, was the Silversea Difference!