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Page 4
Continued from page 3

Silver Whisper and Costa Atlantica photo

ABOVE: A Silver Whisper tender ferries passengers from ship to shore in Monemvasia, Greece.

A typical day with Silversea Cruises in the Mediterranean

During a Silversea cruise from Athens to Rome, We began each day on the Silver Whisper by stepping out on our veranda to watch the ship's arrival in port. Then we had a light breakfast in our cabin, or--if we weren't in a hurry--we went topside for a more substantial breakfast in the open air.

On days when we'd booked excursions, we headed for the gangway or tender at the appointed time (usually between 8 and 9 a.m.) and went ashore. Most tours lasted only half the day, giving us time to wander around the ports on our own before it was time to sail.

We frequently returned to the ship at midday, had lunch in the ship's air-conditioned buffet or restaurant, checked our e-mail in the Silver Whisper's computer room, then went ashore for a few more hours in the Mediterranean's summer heat. Many of our fellow passengers took a less strenuous approach: They changed into swimsuits and headed for the pool, where they ate hamburgers and sipped cold drinks while working on their tans.

The ship usually sailed around 6 p.m., giving passengers time to shower, visit the bars for cocktails if they were so inclined, and enjoy a leisurely dinner before the night's entertainment. After the show, we usually spent time on deck before returning to our cabin, but the casino and bars were open late for the nightlife set.

On "sea days" (days when there was no port call), we sampled a few of the morning and afternoon activities from the Silver Whisper's daily schedule. Lectures, trivia-team competitions, golf instruction, bridge tournaments, water polo, needlepoint, fitness classes, port briefings, and spa treatments were just a few of the options listed in the daily Silversea Chronicles newspaper. Some activities were combined with afternoon tea at 4 p.m., which helped to replace any calories that we'd used up while sightseeing in port.

Not all ships are like the Silver Whisper, of course; a few smaller vessels may offer a limited range of activities, while a 3,000-passenger "megaship" may offer everything from basket-weaving to basketball. But the basics are common to nearly all ships: A cabin, plenty of food, bars, lounges, and open decks where you can enjoy views and fresh air from the sea as you cruise between ports.

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Venice for Cruisers
Getting to or from your ship, Venice hotels for cruisers, the Marittima and San Basilio piers, and more. From Venice for Visitors.

Civitavecchia image

Rome for Cruisers
Trains to and from the port, plus a 35-page Civitavecchia city and port guide. From Rome for Visitors.