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Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman

 

Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Istanbul to Genoa ~

Cruise the Strait of Messina & Explore Rome, Italy

June 16, 2002

What a way to begin the day—knowing I had nothing more urgent to do than choose a spot for coffee and croissants. The Observation Lounge or Panorama Lounge? The Panorama was closer to my suite and I was joined by one of our Gentlemen Hosts. A light "breakfast" was in order because we were looking forward to the day's culinary highlight—the Galley Brunch.

Fanciful vegetable sculptures decorate culinary treats at the sumptuous Galley Brunch

Served in the Restaurant, we were invited to "raid the galley" where Silver Whisper's Executive Chef and his staff anticipated our arrival. Stations with salads, appetizers, breads, entrées, and desserts adorned with ice carvings, vegetable sculptures, and flower arrangements awaited our inspection and destruction. I did my part, returning twice.

Another special event during our last sea day was cruising through the narrow Strait of Messina and then sailing past the volcanic island of Stromboli. We were so close, we could clearly see the steam of the world's most active volcano, which has been erupting for 6000 years. It must be quite a nighttime sight when the flames and lava are visible.

Sadly, our cruise was winding down, although the Captain's Farewell Reception and Crew Parade began a festive evening. After a final lobster dinner and variety show featuring all the entertainers, it was Disco Night in The Bar where the dance floor rocked until the wee hours.

June 17, 2002

From our berth in Civitavecchia, the Eternal City—Rome—was about a 90-minute drive. In addition to guided tours, Silver Whisper offered a coach transfer to the city for independent exploration and shopping. Bus service was also available to Tarquinia, a medieval city where the archeological museum contains Italy's most complete collection of Etruscan finds, and a shuttle took passengers into Civitavecchia to pore through its shops and market.

Packed and ready for an early morning departure, my friends and I decided to test the Silver Whisper's galley one more time with a "grand" en suite cocktail and dinner party. We began with canapés and wine... but wait! Something was missing. Wouldn't some guacamole and chips be a satisfying addition to our celebration? One call and we had them made to order in no time at all. 

Our dinner was served, course by course, as we sailed into the evening, toasting one another and vowing to sail together again soon.

Next -> Debarkation & Lasting Impressions

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