July 18, evening, somewhere between Athens and Santorini
On the ship, in my jammies, sitting on the balcony, under a spangled sky, moonlight bouncing off the waves, eating gummi bears. And no, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Spent the day touring Athens, which seemed to be largely closed pending a visit from the German finance minister. Or something. One thing that was opened was the Acropolis, which looked so romantic from a distance but in person was filled with the teeming population of multiple mega cruise ships. The haunting footsteps of yesterday were trampled by the stampeding hordes of today.
So sightseeing en masse is not my thing.
Got to the ship in the afternoon and it is truly lovely. About 450 passengers, a surprising number of whom are kids — I suppose only about a dozen but surprising as there isn’t that much for a kid to do on a Seabourn cruise besides pee in the pool. Several small ones had been set free by their parents to run around the Square (a large central area with comfortable chairs, a coffee shop, and computers.). The staff were as taken aback as the passengers. But the demographic on this ship is definitely younger and more varied than on our Silversea cruise 15 years ago, even if we are older and more staid. It’s nice.
The deal with Seabourn cruises (and Silversea, for that matter) is that they are small ships, so unusual ports are possible, everyone has an outside suite (and most have balconies), and there is next to no crush of people every time you turn around. And they are all inclusive, which means you pay through the nose upfront and that’s it. No bar tab, no tipping, no extra charges except for shore excursions, spa treatments, and the gummi bears in the shop. 🙂 So it’s a vacation from money, among other things, and sometimes that’s a real pleasure.
We are a category 3 Veranda Suite on Deck 6. Except for the ritzy owners and penthouse suites (which are very cool and very pricey) all the suites are identical except a handful on a lower deck have no balconies. The only distinction in price is where they are located.
And these suites are a marvel of well-used space. King beds, walk-in closets, two sinks in the marble bathroom with a separate marble shower and a full sized tub!!! There is a comfortable living area with a table and bar, and it opens onto a balcony big enough for two loungers and a table.
Public areas are spiffy too. There is a full spa and fitness center, four restaurants, a couple of pools, multiple hottubs, the Square I mentioned, and various other comfy spaces. You don’t ever seem to feel that there are very many people around.
We ate dinner tonight at the Colonade — outdoors at the back of the ship. Very breezy and nice. I had shrimp cocktail, which was so-so (should have known that nothing bears shrimp from my Gulf!) and seabass with fennel. Very good. Jer had an excellent crab cake and salmon and artichokes. I had a cheese plate for afters which was terrific, but I had to identify the cheeses for the waiter, and Jerry had coffee frozen yogurt.
Then a walk around the ship, and gummi bears and single malt (for Jer) on our balcony, listening to the waves crash before they soothe us to sleep.
And yes, I do know how fortunate we are. Very grateful.