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Sorrento, Italy
Saturday, April 29, 2017   Related topics:
This morning we board the ship's tender for the short ride to Sorrento where we meet our local guide. We have booked the "Sorrento Coast & Tasting at Quatro Passi" excursion.

Our guide for the morning, Valerie, greets us as soon as we step off the tender.


escorts us to a shuttle bus that takes us up a steep, winding road into the center of Sorrento and to a parking lot where we transfer to a larger, more comfortable bus for the drive to Nerano, Italy. Once we are in the larger bus, Valerie begins her description of Sorrento and the typical Neopolitan lifestyle common to the area. We make one stop along the way to get a clear view (and photo op) of the island of Capri.

Island of Capri in the background Camera and Lens RentalRickee and I visited Capri in 1998, on our very first Mediterranean cruise. My only real memory was getting seasick on the hydrofoil ride from Sorrento to the island. It takes close to an hour for our driver to navigate the narrow, winding roads to the little town of Nerano, Italy. There does not appear to be much of a town here and seems an unlikely place to find a 2- Michelin-star restaurant.

The driver drops us off right in front of the restaurant where Chef Antonio Mellino, owner of Quattro Passi, invites guests into his place of business.

First, we have an opportunity to visit the impressive wine cellar at Quattro Passi. We walk down stone steps into a cool, dimly-lit cellar that has multiple rooms filled with vintage wines -- over 1,600 bottles in all! There are wines from Italy, France, USA, New Zealand, and more. Many bottles are wrapped in plastic wrap, not to protect the wine, but to protect the labels. They are even aging their own Balsamic Vinegar in small casks down here!

Wine cellar at Quattro Passi

After our tour of the wine cellar, we had the opportunity to sit on the beautiful patio for a wine tasting.

Two wines were poured for us, one red and one white, and platters of antipasti were filled with Proscuitto, Italian cheeses, and Bruschetta.

A small table was set up at one end of the patio with a sample of Italian products for us to try and/or purchase to take home. Many guests purchased Extra Virgin Olive Oil or a bottle of Limoncello. We purchased a jar of amazing strawberry and lemon marmalade.

All to soon, it was time to re-board the bus for the drive back to Sorrento. When we arrived back at the drop-off location, some guests chose to remain in Sorrento to do some exploring on their own. Silversea has a hospitality desk at the shuttle stop to assist with directions or answer questions.

We have seen Sorrento many times on previous cruises, so we decide to go back to the ship. The sun is trying to once again make an appearance as the tender approaches Silver Muse.

We are back on board by 1:00pm and I decide this would be a good time to check out La Terrazza's lunch buffet. The restaurant, located on Deck 7 aft, is much larger than restaurants of the same name on other Silversea ships. Many of the buffet items are organized into separate, free-standing stations, making long lines a thing of the past.

The seafood station caught my eye and I found myself going for the fresh Sushi right off the bat.

Fresh seafood station on lunch buffet

There is a lot of indoor seating, and a pretty large outer deck area for al fresco dining. On a beautiful day like today, the choice is clear. A table outside is the obvious choice. How often do you get to have lunch overlooking Sorrento?

It is a little cool outside, so small heaters have been turned on to provide additional comfort. A waitress offers me a glass of wine, which I accept. After my Sushi course, I visit the stir-fry station where a Thai beef stir-fry looks tempting. I order mine extra-spicy, to which the chef responded with a healthy dollop of red chili flakes.

Thai beef stir-fry (extra spicy)

This afternoon, I was back at the Team Trivia challenge with my Kiwi friends. Rickee was not feeling up to the challenge, so I represented Texas. It was a poor representation. Rickee is the trivia champ in our camp, certainly not me. Our team did not fare well today. After trivia, I went to Dr. Elovitz's final lecture on China's incursion into the South China Sea. Once again, Dr. Elovitz gave a thought-provoking talk.

Dr. Mark Elovitz

This evening, we have reservations for dinner at La Terrazza. By day, La Terrazza is the ship's buffet breakfast and lunch venue, but in the evening, La Terrazza is transformed into an Italian-themed bistro with full menu service. However, in a departure from Silversea tradition, La Terrazza now has a single menu that does not change throughout the cruise.

The menu, on the other hand, is quite extensive. In fact, it is the largest and most comprehensive menu we have found on board. When we arrive for our 8:00pm reservation, the restaurant is buzzing with activity. The only table for two is one positioned right in front of the antipasti station. There is a lot of foot traffic in this area with waiters zooming past, carrying trays of food to diners. Perhaps, not the best spot for a quiet, romantic dinner for two? Also, our table had an annoying wobble.

Service was a little slow this evening. After an hour, all we had completed was our antipasti course, a trio of Bruschetta. Once our second course arrived, things did seem to speed up and we were able to complete our meal before the 10:00pm show. However, we skipped the dessert course. I will go into more detail when we review La Terrazza in our Cruise Ship Dining Review blog.

Trio of Bruschetta antipasti

After dinner, I went to Deck 5 to get a good seat in The Venetian Lounge for tonight's performance, Musica Maestro.

Cruise Director, Jimmy Kovel, greets guests at Venetian Lounge

The show consists mostly of Italian opera vocal arrangements, performed very nicely by the three male and three female singers. It was an excellent performance, perhaps one of the best we have ever seen on a Silversea ship.

It is after 11pm when the show is finished and exiting the theater takes longer than expected. There is only one exit and many guests stop and chat with the performers outside the venue. It has been a long but wonderful day aboard Silversea Silver Muse. Tomorrow, Silver Muse will be docked in Civitavecchia, Italy (for Rome).

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