Subject: Re: Silversea
Hi Tory,

I have been on 4 Silversea Cruises in the past two years, traveling as a destination lecturer. These cruises are expensive, but have some huge advantages, to wit:

* quite small vessels, with more crew than passengers * no tipping * all booze on board is absolutely free, unless you want to go for rare gold-standard liquors or really expensive wine. * 24 hour room service--any food or booze at any hour very professional staff and excellent management * All staterooms include a panoramic window, and--a nice touch--a free set of binoculars.

Plus the chocolates, the bed turned down, the capacious enveloping robe....and they'll do your shoes at night.

In short, it's an excellent luxury hotel, afloat.

3 of my cruises were in the Baltic, where the available ports are few and predictable. But the Greek island cruise we took visited some quite imaginative places (such as Kos) & included an on-the-house evening concert in the ruins of Ephesus, with champagne laid on for all passengers who attended.

Passengers tend to be older, and on average stuffier, but I always found some really sypatico folks to drink with, and stay in contact with subsequently.

Obviously I never had to negotiate prices with these people, but I got the impression that there were various discounts, etc, which would be worthwhile pursuing. Once past that, relax and enjoy.

Penny in Toronto