Upcoming Atlantis charters include Amsterdam to Barcelona, September 4-14 on Celebrity Silhouette, and San Diego to Mexico, October 14-21 on Holland America Line’s Oosterdam. More: atlantisevents.com. join a guided shore tour, make our own way around a port or just stay aboard and scope out a prominent position on the pool deck. Then dress up for dinner in the vast Silhouette dining room, with a floor-to-ceiling mirrored centrepiece that wouldn’t look out of place in a Las Vegas casino. Rotating menus across the voyage offered selections such as cedar plank-grilled black salmon, Dijon and herb-crusted rack of lamb, beef tournedos and buffalostyle frogs legs in rustic garlic parsley butter and blue cheese dressing. Every dish of the American-inspired cuisine was excellent, even though cooked for about 2600 passengers, and far superior to a sad pasta I had in the pretty main square of the Italian coastal town of Sorrento. After dinner, a stage show in the theatre or a party on the pool deck.
Highlights ashore included an impromptu stroll down the sweeping crescent-like promenade of Nice, tinged by artwork, candles and toys commemorating the 2016 Bastille Day terror attack; a dawn-to-dusk guided day tour that took in Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii; and tramping over the massive battlements of 15th-century Bodrum Castle in southwest Turkey while looking out over the harbour where our 21st-century floating castle dominated the view.
A moment that seemed the essence of holiday magic was watching the sun sink over the Aegean from an old sailing boat we chartered at Santorini.
It was this and many other moments that turned Atlantis into a holiday triumph for me. I am merrily recruiting a band of brothers for another voyage in a year or two. This is despite occasional character-building moments, such when I discovered many youngsters enthusiastically attending the 80s revival party. They seemed too young to appreciate the best decade in the history of pop music. “Oh no,” they corrected me, “80s nights are really big on campus.”