Spirit

Spirit

Photo from Silversea website

Links to Port Pages

The Ship - Silver Spirit

Rome, Italy

Naples, Italy

Alexandria, Egypt

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Aqaba, Jordan

Safaga, Egypt

Salalah, Oman

Muscat, Oman

Dubai, UAE

The Ship

sign

15 November 2017: After the bus ride from the Hotel Majestic we arrived at the port in Civitavecchia to board the Silver Spirit. As with all our previous sailings with Silversea the embarkation process is very easy and quick. Photo for the ship computer, check in with the desk and register, then we were escorted to our cabin. After leaving our hand luggage in the room we headed back to the pool deck (which is the same deck as our cabin and only about 50 feet to the doorway). A relaxing lunch and back to the cabin to unpack. We've learned through the years that it is easiest of one of us unpacks at a time! Simply not a large enough room to work at the same time. In just a couple of hours we were all done. The other beauty of cruising is "Unpack once, awaken in a new place every day!" That evening we had our first meal in the Restaurant, the main dining room, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The meals in the Restaurant on this cruise were extremely good every time.

17-18 November 2017: After departing Naples we started across the Mediterranean to Alexandria, Egypt. We enjoyed the quiet time, played cribbage, and then started a gin rummy tournament between us that lasted the entire cruise! Days were relaxing and evenings were good food, good wine, and chatting with different people we met on the ship.

21 November 2017: Around 3:30 in the morning we entered the Suez Canal. We were not up! An interesting thing about the canal transit is that since it is somewhat one way at a time, with a few sections of bypasses where two way transit is possible, the ships have to line up in their places for entry. While we actually departed Alexandria at 2:00 pm on the 20th, it was over 12 hours to start the transit. The canal is only 79 miles from Cairo, which is not that far. It would seem we could have stayed in Alexandria longer, so it must had been driven by the queuing process required and spacing between the ships as they transit. In the morning we went out to the deck and enjoyed our coffees as we traveled the canal.

Here is a website I found while trying to identify on of the memorials on the canal. The official site of the Suez Canal Authority

Morning on the Suez
Suez Canal
Morning on the Suez Canal
8:00 am on the Suez Canal
Mubarak
Mubarak
Mubarak Peace Bridge
Mubarak Peace Bridge
Suez Canal
Suez Canal
Suez Canal
9:30 am
Suez Canal
Military Post Camp
Sinai side - soft desert sand and pipes
Military post and encampment
El Ferdan Bridge
El Ferdan Bridge
Half of the El Ferdan Bridge - Largest swing bridge in the world! Other half is on the Africa side

Closer view of El Ferdan Bridge

Unknown
Welcome Sign
Unknown memorial just as we enter Timsah Lake. Appears to have been erected with the New Suez Canal project in 2015

Welcome to Egypt sign at Lake Timsah

AK47 Monument
Suez Defence Monument
The Battle of Ismailia took place between the Egyptian Army and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the last stages of the Yom Kippur War during October 18–22, 1973. The monument commemorates the Egyptians killed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War with Israel and is in the shape of an AK47 and bayonet
The Suez Canal Defense Monument at Ismailia, Egypt. The monument was designed by the French, is 50 meters high, 240 meters long and used 4,700 tons of granite in the building. The monument was erected to commemorate the defense of the Canal Zone from the threat of the Turkish Army in the Great War.
Bypass
graphic
12:00 pm New Bypass constructed in the "New Suez Canal" project in 2015
Graphic on the Suez Canal from Wikipedia

 

25 - 28 November 2017: Days at Sea! And so the Gin Rummy tournament continued. Restful days after a couple of long days to Petra and Luxor. We visited with other passengers, took little naps,and had leisurely dinners.

Between the 26th and 27th we passed by Somalia. This area has been harassed by Somalia pirates since 2000 and their civil war. Early on international ships, including cruise ships, were hijacked. The most notable are the MV Maersk Alabama (Captain Phillips story) and the Seabourn Spirit attack in 2005.

I did not know the reason behind the piracy, so checked it on Wikipedia - "After the collapse of the central government in the ensuing civil war, the Somali Navy disbanded. With Somali territorial waters undefended, foreign fishing trawlers began illegally fishing on the Somali seaboard and ships began dumping industrial and other waste off the Somali coast. This led to erosion of the fish stock and local fishermen started to band together to try to protect their resources. An escalation began, leading to weapons being used and tactics such as taking over a foreign ship until their owners paid a ransom. After seeing the profitability of ransom payments, some financiers and former militiamen later began to fund pirate activities, splitting the profits evenly with the pirates In most of the hijackings, the pirates have not harmed their prisoners. An anti-piracy coalition known as Combined Task Force 150 established a Maritime Security Patrol Area in the Gulf of Aden, aided by India and Russia. By 2010, these patrols were paying off, with a steady drop in the number of incidents. As of November 2017, there were no hostages or major vessels remaining in pirate captivity."

Military boats and helicopters patrol the area and the lanes. Our captain was in frequent contact with them and ordered the ship to "go dark" the afternoon and evening of the 27th. This meant all the outside venues were closed off (in fact the doors were braced with No Entry signs posted); all outside lighting except for navigational requirements were turned off; all draperies were drawn for cabins and all venues. It was rather interesting that evening with very few people actually moving around. It seemed many just stayed in their cabins.

But the next morning, all braces were gone, drapes opened up, and the announcement of a "Pirate Survival Party" for the evening on the pool deck. ANd what a party it was! Everyone acted as if they'd never been in a "lock down", including some of the crew. The captain, officers, and staff joined the guests for dancing and drinks ...into the wee hours!

 

(More updates and pictures to come)

 

 

 

 

 

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We are back on the Spirit again for this cruise and looking forward to the adventure! While we have sailed the Silver Wind more, we learned after our last cruise that the slightly larger ship is a bit more our style. The additional restaurants and larger public areas are very enjoyable.

We will have more sea days on this cruise than we've previously. So here's to a great time on the Spirit!

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Pre-cruise Post

Verandah Suite

Spirit Deck Plan

We are on deck 9 this time! Straight out to the Pool Deck...which we hope to enjoy once across the Mediterranean!

Pool Deck

 

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If you'd like to look for your own cruise click here -Silversea

 

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Page Created: 26 August 2017

Page updated: 7 January 2018

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