With only 296 guests, a spring cruise with Silver Wind is definitely small ship cruising at its luxurious best. Because of the particularly good buy on this cruise, Alan and I splurged by moving up to a Medallion Suite. We were especially excited about the larger balcony, which was put to good use in the Mediterranean.
The spring cruise with Silver Wind was actually two segments combined into a month-long adventure. We booked cruise excursions online through Silversea as well.
Yes, there are probably less expensive independent cruise excursions to be found, but the convenience of booking a ship’s cruise excursion has pluses for us. If the ship doesn’t make it to port, we’re not on the hook to pay for an excursion we couldn’t make. And a 24 to 48-hour cancellation policy allows us to change our minds about an activity or switch to a different one. Being spontaneous is part of relaxing on a cruise for us.
In This Article, You'll Discover
- Tips for the first segment of the itinerary, Ft. Lauderdale to Monte Carlo, including our favorite excursions
- Tips for the second cruise segment, Monte Carlo to Rome, including excursions that we enjoyed
- Advice for coming and going
- How to dress for a small ship luxury cruise
Boomer Travel Tip
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Silver Wind Spring Cruise Itinerary
Following our policy of never flying to a port on the day of a cruise—just in case travel delays happen—we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the afternoon before embarkation. This gave us time to visit a store to make last-minute toiletry purchases rather than stuffing them into a checked bag.
Once onboard, it was time to enjoy two segments of spring cruising.
First Segment: Ft. Lauderdale to Monte Carlo
This spring Atlantic crossing included 8 sea days with 8 ports. That’s a total of 16 days if you’re counting.
- Hamilton, Bermuda: When Silver Wind called on Hamilton, we skipped an excursion in lieu of getting off the ship for lots of walking before the next six days at sea.
- Funchal, Madeira: Funchal is a common port on most Atlantic crossing itineraries. We’ve been there three times and counting. Walking the Levada in Funchal turned out to be our favorite way of exploring the island.
- Cadiz, Spain: A walking tour of Old Town Cadiz was on the agenda in a cruise excursion named Viva La Pepa. It was outstanding.
- Gibraltar: Alan and I have previously visited the apes of Gibraltar and visited the WWII sites. This was another do-what-we-feel-like port.
- Cartagena, Spain: Cartagena is easy to explore independently, as we did on our last visit. This time, the tapas and paella cooking lessons caught our eye on a Culinary Stroll Through Cartagena.
- Port Mahon, Menorca: On our last visit to Port Mahon, Alan did his own thing and I took the Menorca highlights tour. This is another port where we enjoyed walking around port, exploring on our own.
- Marseilles, France: Finally! I visited Aix-en-Provence. The historical French city had long been on my to see list.
- Monte Carlo: Eze and Villa de Rothschild on the Cote d’Azur? Been there done that. We chose to hang out in Monte Carlo, enjoying the extra time on the Medallion Suite balcony watching the luxurious private yachts in the harbor.
Walking the Levada in Funchal
Are you looking for a Madeira excursion? This may be it! On a levada walk shore excursion, high above Funchal, Madeira, my itchy travel feet are happy to be touching terra firma after a couple of rocky days crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a Silversea spring cruise. The chance to get out and appreciate nature […]
Viva la Pepa: a Cadiz Walking Tour
In the 1600’s, Christopher Columbus began his second voyage to the New World from the port of Cadiz, Spain. Today cruise guests learn about the city’s place in history during a Cadiz walking tour shore excursion that celebrates a unique event in Spanish government. Viva la Pepa: Cadiz Walking Tour When Silver Wind calls on […]
Do-it-Yourself Tips for a Self-guided Cartagena, Spain Walking Tour
Will your Mediterranean cruise be visiting Cartagena, Spain? It’s a lovely cruise port in the Region of Murica in Southwest Spain that’s easy to explore on your own. An important naval seaport due to the well protected harbor, Cartagena also offers beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. You’ll also find impressive Roman ruins. The combination makes for […]
Second Segment: Monte Carlo to Rome
The second segment was a 10-day busy, busy itinerary that started in Monte Carlo before cruising new-to-us islands in the Mediterranean. Alan and I are not fans of port intensive itineraries so we turned a couple of repeat ports for us into sea days. Have you ever stayed on a ship when the rest of the guests are touring? It’s divine.
- Livorno, Italy: It’s possible to visit Florence on a cruise excursion from Livorno but the 9-hour day holds no appeal for us. Our experience on long bus tours has not been good so we opted to walk the streets near the port of Livorno.
- Ajaccio, Corsica: We visited the Prunelli Gorges on our first ever trip to the French island of Corsica.
- Cagliari, Sardinia: The Archaeological site of Nora was on the itinerary for Cagliari and it didn’t disappoint. The Italian island was another first-time visit for us.
- Trapani, Sicily: In Trapani, a new port to us, we chose a cruise excursion that visited the Ancient Greek Ruins of Selinunte. It was a winner!
- Valletta, Malta: On a half-day walking tour, Alan and I discovered Valletta’s Hidden Gems as we explore the island-state on our initial visit.
- Siracusa, Sicily: Since this was our first experience in Siracusa, the archaeological ruins on a cruise excursion named Classical Siracusa was a must-do.
- Amalfi, Italy: We were ready for a break from cruise excursions. Strolling aimlessly in Amalfi was a delightful change of pace.
- Sorrento, Italy: Since Alan and I explored Pompeii and the Amalfi coast several years ago, we declared this stop as a sea day. Besides it was time to pack.
- Civitavecchia: The end of a month-long good time. After overnighting at The Hilton Rome Airport, the long journey to the U.S. began.
Touring Prunelli Gorge on an Ajaccio Shore Excursion
Have you cruised to Corsica? What did you do for an Ajaccio shore excursion? When Silver Wind called on Corsica during the Mediterranean portion of a spring cruise that sailed Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, we chose nature on our first-time visit to the French island. Isn’t it fun when cruise ship itineraries that you’ve experienced […]
Exploring the Ancient City of Nora, Sardinia
On a spring visit to Sardinia, Italy, it’s tempting to look for boomer travel adventures involving the island’s beautiful beaches. Visitors flock to Sardinia for the clear coastal water fringed by white sand. But, if you spend all of your time on the beaches, you’ll miss the Phoenician and Roman history at the ancient city […]
A Magical Cruise Excursion in Selinunte, Sicily
Imagine columns from the ruins of a Greek temple standing amid fields of wildflowers on a perfect spring day. When Alan and I traveled to Selinunte, Sicily, on a spring cruise with Silversea, that’s exactly what we found. And it was a beautiful reminder that the most magical of travel experiences happen when we least […]
Exploring Greek and Roman history on a Syracuse shore excursion
On a Mediterranean cruise, active boomer travelers will find plenty of historical sites to explore. And by history, I mean some of the most ancient places you’ll ever visit. I’ve walked the ruins of Ephesus, investigated the ancient city of Nora and stood among wildflowers in front of Greek temples at Selinunte—all while participating in […]
Best Transatlantic Cruise Tips for the Boomer Traveler
Should we travel on a Transatlantic Cruise? At My Itchy Travel Feet, readers ask us that question a lot. Since Alan and I have cruised on five Atlantic crossings—Regent (Voyager and Navigator), Silversea (Silver Sprit and Silver Wind) and Seabourn (Sojourn)—our answer is a resounding YES! In fact, we have the best transatlantic cruise tips to […]
Luxury Cruise Wear for Boomer Women
After years of sharing cruise fashion photos on my Facebook profile, many of you have asked me to write more about cruise wear for over 50 women. This is the first of a series of articles about what to wear on a cruise, especially luxury cruises, which is what I know best. My cruise wear […]
More spring cruising tips: coming and going
Because our international booking was separate from our domestic ticket, there wasn’t enough time between flights to collect luggage, check it again and return through security to catch the last plane of the day to Missoula. So we overnighted at a hotel near the Minneapolis airport before finally arriving home the next day.
If you fly out of a smaller airport, it’s cheaper to book international flights in and out of major airports, with a separate ticket for the domestic portion of the trip.
How to dress for a small ship luxury cruise
We consider cruises to be experiences rather than a mode of transportation, which means that dressing up is part of the fun. Are you curious about the dress code? The combined segments included 4 formal nights, 14 informal nights and 8 casual nights.
Alan and I aren’t interested in carry-on only travel on a journey like this. However packing efficiently was our goal. You can read how I plan and pack in luxury cruise wear for women over 50. Although, after wintering in sweatpants, turtlenecks and sweatshirts, I may have gone slightly overboard, pardon the pun, for outfits on this cruise.