The format of cruises, at least on Silversea, is the same. You board in the afternoon on the day of departure, and have a lifeboat drill. You check the fellow passengers up and down – who looks interesting? By quirk of fate you never seem to meet up, at this point, with those who later become THE most interesting, say an Indian movie star – watch this space. As Silver Shadow sailed past Sydney CBD, the sun was still shining at 6.30pm and many gathered on the ninth deck – MY deck, my running deck – to toast the voyage.