Our morning begins with an amazing breakfast at the Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel, Paris. The breakfast buffet was massive, with every item you could ever want.
A chef was cooking eggs-to-order so I ordered two poached eggs and Rickee ordered Eggs Benedict. They were the most perfectly poached eggs we have ever eaten. You would not believe how hard it is to get a perfectly poached egg. We both agreed, this was one of the best breakfasts we have ever had.
After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and found our driver, Gilles, already out in front of the hotel waiting for us. We had arranged a private car transfer with Paris Major Limousine through their website (www.1st-limousine-services.com) a couple of weeks before our trip. We received a confirmation from Mahdi Oustani, Sales Director for Paris Major Limousines, which we printed and brought with us.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a brand new Mercedes S-Class waiting for us out in front of the hotel. This is a beautiful, top-of-the-line Mercedes and was in immaculate condition. Two bottles of complimentary water were provided for us in the back seat. After our luggage was loaded, we were on our way.
About two blocks from the hotel, Rickee asked me if I had our passports. Oops! I left them locked in the safe in our hotel room. Panic mode!! We asked Gilles to turn around and go back to the hotel, which he gladly did. Because of the one-way streets, it was going to be quicker for me to get out and walk (or run) back to the hotel while Gilles and Rickee drove around the block to meet me and pick me up. I went to the Reception desk, had them make me a key, and ran up three flights of stairs to our room get our passports out of the safe. Now, with passports in hand, I run down the stairs and to the waiting car.
Whew! I am exhausted and stressed not knowing if that ordeal will delay our drive to the airport and cause us to miss out flight. Gilles did a great job of working the big Benz through the insane Paris traffic and got us to the airport by 8:45am. After unloading our luggage, he placed it on a cart and escorted us into the airport terminal to help us locate our check-in counter! Excellent service. We will definitely be using PML on our next trip to Paris!
It was a good thing that Rickee asked about the passports when she did. If we had waited until we arrived at the airport to discover they were back at the hotel, we would have missed our flight and possibly the cruise.
We checked-in with plenty of time to spare and boarded our Air Malta flight on time.
The Air Malta Airbus A320 was crammed full of passengers and seating was very cramped. But, the flight arrived in Valletta on time at 1:15pm. The flight crew was friendly and they even handed out complimentary bottled water along with tuna sandwiches.
There was no need to clear Customs and Immigration in Malta since we flew in from an EU country. It did not take too long for our luggage to arrive at baggage claim, and soon, we were trying to locate a taxi to take us to the cruise port in Valletta.
Total cost for a taxi to the cruise port was 14€ for both of us and the drive took about 30 minutes. We arrived at the cruise terminal by 2:00pm. Fortunately, our driver was able to drop us off right at the Silver Muse gangway, eliminating the need to go through the Malta cruise terminal!
After checking in at Reception on Deck 5, we were escorted to our Deluxe Veranda Suite (848) to drop our hand luggage and, to our surprise, our larger duffle bags were already there! We decided to get the un-packing out of the way. Our initial impression of the Deluxe Veranda Suite on Silver Muse was a very good one. The decor is beautiful and a lot of thought has gone into the design of the suite. Of course, we will give a detailed description of the suite in our upcoming full review of Silver Muse.
After unpacking, we wasted no time in heading to one our favorite spots on any Silversea ship, the Panorama Lounge. Silversea has even cleverly installed a special staircase at the aft end of our hallway that leads directly up to Deck 9 and into the Panorama Lounge! We toast to the beginning of another adventure with complimentary glasses of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine).
After our glass of Prosecco, we proceed to our suite to gather our lifevests. We have been instructed to meet at Dolce Vita on Deck 5 for a muster drill since we boarded in the second week of the cruise. When we arrive, we meet three other guests who also embarked in Valletta. The International Hostess, Kersten, soon arrived and explained all of the emergency procedures
We had pre-booked dinner reservations this evening for Indochine through the My.Silversea website. However, when we went to confirm our reservation at Reception, they could find no reservations of any kind for our suite. Apparently, all of our restaurant and shore excursion reservations are missing. Yikes! A further investigation is required.
The good news is that the Restaurant Manager assured us that we would have no problem with our restaurant reservations. We will tackle the missing shore excursions tomorrow. For now, we need to get ready for dinner. When we return to our suite, we see that Hayley, our butler, has already returned my sport coat and dress shirts from Silversea's laundry (I sent them out to be pressed when we arrived). Dinner tonight is at Indochine and the dress code is "informal" meaning a jacket is strongly suggested for men.
Our meal began with an appetizer of Papadum and two chutneys all of which were delicious.
We will post a thorough review of our Indochine experience on our new Cruise Ship Dining Blog soon, so watch for more details to come. After a delicious (and spicy) dinner, we decided to call it an early night.
Tomorrow, Silver Muse will be anchored off the coast of Taormina, Sicily.