Wednesday 27 June 2018

Silver Spirit Norway, Day 13 - Weighted down

With thanks to Silversea for this Norway cruise
More photos to follow when the wifi is faster
While it's far from a Mary Celeste scenario, the passengers guests on the Silver Spirit feel spread a little more thinly today. Certainly, a number of them jumped ship yesterday, either frightened off by the weather forecast, or uninterested in the rest of the voyage now that it will be entirely at sea. Our prolonged stay in Tromsø to give the worst of the weather time to pass means that, in order to at least try to get back to Copenhagen on time, our stops at pretty Ålesund and Olden have both been cancelled, to considerable disappointment (we'd already missed out on Hammerfest).

So our numbers are down - plus, because there's still a fair degree of pitching in the 5-6m swell, the lifts have been locked in case anyone gets trapped inside. With so many on board with mobility problems, that means, I'm guessing, a lot of them are confined to their rooms suites, and only the show-off doughty sorts are up in the library lounge on Deck 11 or even the Panorama Lounge on Deck 9. Most people out in public seem to be in Dolce Vita, midships on Deck 5 - where there is, I have to say, some territoriality involved. I was pointedly rejected when attempting to sit down at a cluster of four chairs and a sofa, informed with distinct hostility by the one (Australian) woman already sitting there that the sofa was taken, and she was expecting more friends besides. Happily, I was immediately invited to sit at the next cluster with Marcel and Christoph from our TP team, while the Dog at the Gate sat behind me, alone, for the next three hours.

On the programme today were lectures, bridge, blackjack and table-tennis tournaments, a movie, and even a fashion show, in which women who had shown an interest in the boutique were invited to model the jewellery including, to one woman's understandable excitement, a half-million dollar diamond necklace. One of our TP team members was weighed down with huge gold and amethyst pieces which were interesting to see on that scale, if impractical.

Passing over today's TP result (not a result), the main event of the day for us was dining at La Dame, the most exclusive of Silver Spirit's seven restaurants and the only one you have to pay extra for ($60 each!). There are only twelve tables - I think, it was a bit too dimly lit to be sure. The food was, naturally, very good: escargots, lobster bisque, braised duck and a sweet soufflé for me. We chose not to dump $585 on a bottle of Chateau Margaux, or even a Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc for $50, because the house wine was perfectly fine. There was a slightly awkward moment afterwards, when chef Yan emerged from his kitchen to ask how we had all enjoyed his dishes and every one of the guests had to apologise for not finishing their main course because they simply weren't able to fit it all in. 

Later, I sat in the empty observation above the bow up on deck 11, watching the grey sea and listening to the wind whistling, and reading a book titled 'Norwegian Wood Chopping and Stacking', which was endearingly poetic. After that, Angela and Alex down in Dolce Vita kept up their record of not playing anything I didn't already know and like.

Highlight of the day? I suppose Capt Macarone telling us that Silver Spirit would have no trouble coping with the demanding conditions, due to being "well ballasted". After my dinner tonight (and, cumulatively, the many meals preceding it on this cruise) I feel in much the same condition myself.

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