As cruising resumes and the scope for international travel broadens, our Supplier Relations Manager, Connell Blackburn-Green, was lucky enough to go on-board Silversea’s newest addition to the fleet: Silver Moon. Her maiden season from June 2021 sees her cruising the Mediterranean, calling at ports along the Greek Isles and Italy. Read on to find out more about this exciting new ship from Connell’s on-board experience.
Day 1 – Manchester to Athens
An early start saw me head to Manchester airport at 3am. The multi-storey car park was already booked and left me just a short walk to Terminal 1, after which I checked in my hold luggage and the check-in attendant made sure that I had my double vaccination certificate as well as my Greek passenger locator form. Following this, I quickly made my way through security, over to the gate and got my book out while I waited to be called.
Thirty minutes later boarding my first flight to Paris was called and a passenger locator form for France needed to be filled in before arriving in Paris. Within an hour, I was transferring for my connection to Athens. Passports were checked like usual and passenger locator forms were also presented to airport officials. It was all very easy and by 1:30 pm I was meeting my driver and making my way to the port of Piraeus, ready to embark on Silver Moon.
Once at the port, Silversea crew members took my luggage and sent it on its way to my suite. A series of semi-permanent structures housed the Covid-19 testing facility which is facilitated by Silversea. Here, a couple of forms needed to be filled in and my test results were back 25 minutes after I arrived at the port. I was then cleared to embark on the ship, where I met other members of my travel group.
Once on-board, I took some time to unpack, in my suite, there was a welcome pack with a bottle of hand sanitiser gel and face mask. Face masks were to be worn throughout the ship, with the exception of the top deck and whilst seated in restaurants. Once I had unpacked my butler introduced himself (John) and went through a series of questions. What did I like to drink? Did I want to make any dinner reservations? Did I want to make any shore excursion reservations? Did I need any ironing doing? Wow.
Dinner was hosted in The Grill. Prime cuts of steak and seafood cooked on lava stones under the Greek stars – what a way to start to the week. I also ordered some Madagascan prawns which were slightly bigger than I expected and tasted phenomenal. The wine was recommended and certainly hit the spot, before a few drinks in Dolce Vita and an overdue rest.
Day 2 – Syros
Overnight we had sailed to Syros. The morning started with an in-suite breakfast, ordered using a form found in the suite – just make sure it’s in the folder outside the door of your suite by 2:00 am and breakfast will be with you at a time that you select. I went for the banana pancakes, syrup and fresh fruit, but the variety available to order caters for
I was then whisked off to the S.A.L.T. Lab to experience the ‘Cook the Menu: Moussaka’ cooking class. This experience comes free of charge and needs to be booked in advance, with two chefs taking you through the process of making the perfect Moussaka. The plate changes are dependent on where the ship is docked and uses fresh ingredients sourced directly from markets you visit along the way. It was a truly wonderful experience and left me with a new recipe to take home.
News broke that our planned trip to the port of Paros overnight would be delayed, and that Syros would remain our home for another 24 hours. I took the opportunity to spend the afternoon by the pool and sampled a cocktail or two. This area was fantastic, with beds aplenty and a very large pool for the size of the ship. The water was warm, brushing away any cobwebs still lurking from the late night before.
With a few calls to home needed, I made my way back to my suite where I got ready for the formal night. I wore a three-piece suit and tie, with a black tie being optional. The official dress code read:
- For Ladies: Cocktail dresses or pantsuits
- For Gentlemen: Tuxedos, Dinner Jackets or Dark Suits & Tie
- No shorts or flip flop type of footwear after 6:00pm in indoor venues
Dinner was held in Atlantide this evening. To start I had Ponzu Glazed Salmon & Balsamic Strawberry Compote and for main I opted for the Grouper. Everything was fantastic and ended a fantastic day on a very high note.
Day 3 – Syros
Morning broke with a relatively overcast start, but the sun shone through the curtains as I tucked into my in-suite breakfast which was delivered at 09:00 am. Banana pancakes, fresh fruit and apple juice seemed like a good choice! It was so easy to order too, with me filling in a form in the suite and leaving it on my front door before 0200. The choice of foods were huge and of such a high standard.
I had a lovely walk into Syros today where I sat on the Marina with an ice-cold beer. A walk up to the towns church is also recommended to all those who visit this quaint port of call.
The rest of the afternoon was spent next to the pool onboard, which is a fantastic size for this size of ship. There is plenty of seating around the pool and should easily cater for everyone onboard. Located just next the pool you will find Spaccanapoli, serving the best pizza you will find at sea, I had the cheese and anchovy pizza topped with bay leaves and would highly recommend it.
Dinner was in the S.A.L.T. Kitchen and gave me the opportunity to enjoy dishes from the region we were visiting. I am a fan of Greek cuisine anyway, but this really did blow me away. Service was impeccable and the Mackerel for main is whole-heartedly recommended.
Day 4 – Patmos
The sun broke through my curtains early, nudging me from my slumber and enticing me to take a peek at today’s port of call. To my surprise, we were still out at sea, however, not moving. Then I realised that this was a tender port and we had anchored just a short distance from the beach.
After breakfast, there was a mandatory Covid-19 rapid antigen test with the medical team (7:00am -10:00am). It was so easy to do and gave me the results within two hours, printed off and in my suite. Once I had done this, I made my way to Reception where I printed off my boarding pass and passenger locater form for the UK in preparation for tomorrow’s flight home. Printing is free and so easy to do, but if you struggle with this sort of thing the team on board will always be there to help.
Just after lunch I made my way down to deck 3 where I met the tender boat, before a 5-minute trip to the jetty at Patmos. After a visit to a few shops, I took the opportunity to grab a local beer and soak up the atmosphere in the village centre. It was a beautiful place to be and felt so authentically Greek. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will go back there again.
After a power nap in the late afternoon, I met the rest of the group in Dolce Vita before being hosted for Dinner in La Terrazza, an authentic Italian restaurant utilising the freshest ingredients to concoct world-class dishes. The menu was huge and waiting staff were on hand to recommend the best dishes which is always useful.
Day 5 – Rhodes to Manchester
The last day of the trip saw me check out of my suite at 0800 before making a quick visit to Rhodes Old Town and discover some Byzantine ruins. Time was short as I had to catch my transfer for the flight back to the UK. Even just the couple of hours that I spend in Rhodes has certainly made me want to go back.
I was truly disappointed to have disembarked Silver Moon after such a fantastic week but I feel so grateful that I’ve been able to discover some of the Greek Islands in such luxury. I cannot recommend this ship highly enough!
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