3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We found the restaurants to be pretty good. Not a very good experience at Le Champagne. Several of the dishes had been sitting for awhile with mushroom soup being lumpy. We had to stir the soup to eat it. It should be better. Great wine ... Read More
We found the restaurants to be pretty good. Not a very good experience at Le Champagne. Several of the dishes had been sitting for awhile with mushroom soup being lumpy. We had to stir the soup to eat it. It should be better. Great wine selection and nice size Foie Gras. We found the Italian restaurant and the main dining room to our liking. We had two reservations in both Le Champagne and the Japanese. Cancelled the second reservation in both. If we had to pick a weak spot for the overall experience, it would be the staff. Slow food service at the pool. Our room was not clean when we checked in. Trash under the bed with dust bunnies, sticky residue on counter top and on our phone. After that was addressed we had no problems, room was kept clean. Our butler was very nice, but it took two days before our bar was stocked. Our travel partners across the hallway got their bar stocked on day one. The reception was unable to answer simple questions regarding disembarkation. We got off the ship in Venice, at a dock far away from the main port terminal. Reception had no idea how to arrange private taxi transfer to our hotel. We had not purchased transfer thru SilverSea what we felt was completely overpriced private boat taxi to our hotel. The fact that the reception did not know the process is unacceptable. It turned out to be very simple. Just pick up your bags and walk 100 yards to the Taxi dispatcher! We had prepaid for the transfer directly with Venicelink and had to wait about 30min for the boat. No big deal. Spa was nice, but again very expensive. Workout facilities, about the size of a tiny hotel room, basic. Found it annoying that all of the pools and every hot tub on the ship where drained and closed the morning before we got off the boat. None of the people we talked to had heard of this being scheduled. Pools and hot tubs are a major part of the facilities on a ship and loosing all of them for 1 of 7 days we felt ripped off. We had very low expectations of the on board entertainment and after attending one event that was confirmed. No big deal. Did not partake in any of the shore excursions as we booked our own for 1/2 the price on-line. Used tenders to reach two of the ports, very well run, never waited at all. Well done! Buffet for both breakfast and lunch where outstanding. Decent wines served everywhere. Security on board and at shore was good. We felt safe and secure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We went on a 7 day trip from Athens to Venice. This was a great itinerary with many wonderful stops. It was the main reason we selected this cruise. We thought the excursions were very good. We only booked the half day or shorter ... Read More
We went on a 7 day trip from Athens to Venice. This was a great itinerary with many wonderful stops. It was the main reason we selected this cruise. We thought the excursions were very good. We only booked the half day or shorter ones but we did do one everyday . We booked our own in Venice because Silversea wait listed us on the one we wanted. We thought that was unusual since we booked very soon after they became available. They told us it was available once we boarded but we already had paid for a different one online. The food was not amazing but fine.. We did not eat at any of the restaurants which required an extra fee. There is only one restaurant that does not require reservations out of all the dining options. The service was sporadic . At times it would be very good and at other times it seemed you were ignored. The entertainers gave it their all and we appreciated that. We had no problems with embarkation or debarkation. The biggest deal breaker for us was the cabin . The ship is said to be non-smoking . The hallway outside our cabin smelled of cigarette smoke the first day. By the third to fourth day , inside our cabin smelled like smoke, especially in the evening and through the night. We made several attempts to alert the staff. They sent personnel but they did nothing to change the situation. We found it unacceptable, especially being medical professionals ourselves, for a luxury cruise line to have cigarette smoke venting into a cabin and take no measures to rectify the problem. Overall,we will not choose Silversea again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Silversea Cruise Critique: Athens to Venice September 21 to September 28, 2027 The Silversea doesn't compare in its service, in the quality of its staff nor in its overall attitude to the Seabourn. Here are a few examples: ... Read More
Silversea Cruise Critique: Athens to Venice September 21 to September 28, 2027 The Silversea doesn't compare in its service, in the quality of its staff nor in its overall attitude to the Seabourn. Here are a few examples: Food: The cuisine is too nouvelle: ‘too cutesy by half’. The portions are small; odd combinations that don't work together; poorly prepared, and frequently luke-warm. Dinner entrees with incredibly sized entree portions: One night my entree had only 3 scallops and another only 3 raviolis. There is no choice if you want to order wine by the glass. For example, if you want a glass of red wine, you get whatever they are offering that day; otherwise you must buy a bottle. The choice of 2 or 3 room service appetizers were limited and nontraditional. No shrimp cocktail; no antipasti (and this is an Italian ship); no pate or assortment of cheeses or nuts; and no free caviar. Staff: The personnel do not seem to have a service orientation. Most of the staff are genuinely disinterested and appear to be ‘working’ by rote. The maître d ’hotels appear annoyed if you don't like the location of the table they offer you at meals and are disgruntled if you ask them to find a different one. Disagreeable and borderline surly restaurant managers spend more time talking to each other than helping guests. Waiter staffs who only want to do the expedient thing: dish the food at you and move on so they can wrap up their meal service chores. Their touted 'butler' service is over rated. When ours wasn’t busy looking for a tip, he caught a cold which my wife then caught. Shore Excursions: The arrangements of the timing of the ship getting into each port and the shore excursions are poorly planned. Instead of arriving at 8 am and starting a shore excursion at 8:15 am, if the ship were to arrive a little later, and depart a little later, the shore excursion could occur later. This is particularly important for excursions that involve swimming when that activity should occur in a hotter part of the day. Many of the shore excursions/ports of call were not well thought out and in at least one case, passengers complained and a partial refund was obtained from the shore operator. Their brochure offered a transfer excursion in Venice on disembarkation day as part of the transfer to the hotel. The offer was perfectly clear and in plain English. But in a bait and switch move, they reneged on that option. Miscellaneous: Wi-Fi was way over priced and then worked only sporadically and inconsistently. A polite inquiry was summarily dismissed and not treated with any effort to understand or investigate. Generally the atmosphere on this cruise was one of being 'nickeled and dimed': an extra charge for everything. Bottom Line: They are chintzy while trying to appear ritzy. The Silversea cruise line is not worth the price and certainly doesn't compare to the Seabourn. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Cruise line. We have sailed with Silversea 5 times. This last cruise service and food has gone down hill. The buffet breakfast service was poor. The Grill food was poor. The Le Champagne restaurant was excellent as well as the Italian ... Read More
Cruise line. We have sailed with Silversea 5 times. This last cruise service and food has gone down hill. The buffet breakfast service was poor. The Grill food was poor. The Le Champagne restaurant was excellent as well as the Italian restaurant for dinner. The highlight of the service was the room butler. He was very attentive and efficient with a good personality. The onboard entertainment was extremely poor. The cruise director served as the main entertainment ( kind of mom and pop) and the rest of the entertainers were poor. The room was well kept and serviced and modern and clean. The ship is well kept and clean. The exercise facility is small and limited. Spa facilities are over the top expensive. The ports of call were ok. Kudusadasi was the best port of call. Mikanos was a bit of a disappointment. The downtown area is nice but that's all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
One of the best cruise experiences we have ever had. The check-in in Athens was the smoothest every with a champagne toast on arrival and an escort to our room, Our Butler Darwin met at the door with a bottle of champagne to assist us ... Read More
One of the best cruise experiences we have ever had. The check-in in Athens was the smoothest every with a champagne toast on arrival and an escort to our room, Our Butler Darwin met at the door with a bottle of champagne to assist us in our arrival. The luggage arrived almost as soon as we did. We stayed in Suite 646 a Veranda 4 stateroom. In addition to the bedroom, living room and balcony the suite had a full closet with a chest of drawers and ample room to stand and pick out your wardrobe for the day. The bathroom had a full tube and a shower with ample room to enjoy. We dined in Stars, La Terrazza, The Grill, Le Champagne, Seishin. Each restaurant was special with exceptional service and food. Our favorite was Le Champagne where we celebrated our 25th Anniversary in style, The entertainment was very enjoyable with four song and dance shows and two special ballet shows. We particularly enjoyed the theater seating which was a lounge chair We also signed up for the thermal suite and basically had our own private hot tub and lounge area at the back of the ship to enjoy each afternoon when we returned from shore. This was well worth the additional money. On our Anniversary our Butler Darwin and our room steward Jeffery decorated our room with swans and rose petals and really made the day special. We embarked in Athens (Piraeus) and made port calls to Monemvasia, Aghios Nikolaos on Crete, Marmaris in Turkey, Kusadasi in Turkey, the island of Mykonos, and Mytilene, on the island of Lasvos. We took two of the ships tours to the Palace of Knossos on Crete and to the Ancient Cities of Caunos & Dalyan in Marmaris both were small groups and very interesting. In Monemvasia we went on our own using the local bus to the old fort and had a wonderful lunch at Matoula Restaurantat overlooking the ocean. In Kusadasi, we took a tour to Ephesus & the Terrace Houses provided by our travel agency, VIRTUOSO followed by a wonderful lunch and dance show on a terrace at the Hotel Kismet. In Mykonos, we took the bus provided by the ship to the town of Horta and wondered the alleyways. We found a fantastic restaurant, Restaurant Kostas behind the church recommended by the bus driver which was not crowded. In Mytilene, we found a small public beach not far from the tender drop off to enjoy the morning. On our return to Athens we took the cruise transfer to the airport to catch our return flight. We had a very memorable Silversea Cruise and will be back aboard a Silversea ship in the future. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We sailed on the Silver Spirit on it's Athens to Venice seven-day cruise in August 2016. It was our first time on Silversea and we were looking forward to our cruise and it didn't disappoint! Embarkation was as easy as ... Read More
We sailed on the Silver Spirit on it's Athens to Venice seven-day cruise in August 2016. It was our first time on Silversea and we were looking forward to our cruise and it didn't disappoint! Embarkation was as easy as imaginable. We were the only two people embarking. We did get there a little early but not much. We were escorted throughout the process and even escorted to our cabin to see where it was even though cabins weren't ready yet. We had lunch on the pool deck and by 2pm the cabins were ready and our luggage had been delivered! We had a veranda suite on deck six. It was very spacious with a great walk-in closet and plenty of drawers for storage. The sitting area was spacious too. The bathroom was nice although we never used the separate tub. We did use the veranda some and that was fine. A couple of other nice treats were the binoculars in the room and the TV in the mirror. However, the sound and picture quality on the TV need updating. It wasn't HD quality and the sound was like like a radio not quite set to the station. Our butler was new but good. We had breakfast in our suite every morning and he was very punctual. We really liked the small ship feel. No crowds, no lines. Also no pesky photographers. Service was very good throughout. We also liked the all-inclusive aspect and not having to sign for drinks, etc. Having bottled water when getting off and on the ship was great. Some nice cool towels when returning after a hot day in port would've been a nice touch. We only got that at embarkation. We have had that service on other lines and were surprised not to find it with SilverSea. The food was very good to fantastic. I realize that's subjective but we like to have a great meal at a nice restaurant and Silver Spirit did well in the regard. We had dinners in Stars Supper Club, La Terrazza (twice), the Hot Rocks Grill and Le Champagne. We had dinners ashore twice. We had lunch by the pool and in the MDR a couple times. We always had breakfast in our suite. We also thought the bar service was very good, either with standard cocktails or wine or with some special orders. We were traveling with a small group so we didn't partake of the entertainment. We did find some time to play blackjack though and found the dealers and fellow players to be very good. We ended the cruise up a few bucks, so that helped! There isn't much for shopping on the ship compared to bigger ships but that was OK. They do have some sundries hidden away if you need something basic; you just have to ask in the shop. There was some confusion in getting our butler to help with a purchase of Zantac, as our documentation stated that Butlers or Reception could help with this purchase, but we ended up just getting it ourselves. Both the Butler and Reception insisted we see the doctor for this over-the-counter medication. Since we spent a good part of the time in port, the ship's shops were not open very often. The internet was typical cruise ship internet; good enough for checking email, Facebook and the news. We got an hour a day with our suite and that was enough for us. We booked our excursions through Silversea. Several were included excursions and they were good. We had a paid shore tour in Venice that was quite good and a dinner ashore in Dubrovnik at a family estate that was fabulous! On thing about this cruise, the held our passports on the ship. They said it was to assist with getting clearance in each port. We got them back in Venice. We heard they might do that so we brought color copies of our photo page with us ashore. Disembarkation was just about as easy as getting on. With such a small ship, finding our luggage was very easy. Overall a five star cruise! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Originally chose this cruise as it left from Istanbul and having worked with ships through the Turkish straits for nmany years had always wanted to go through myself. However with the security situation this year they moved the start to ... Read More
Originally chose this cruise as it left from Istanbul and having worked with ships through the Turkish straits for nmany years had always wanted to go through myself. However with the security situation this year they moved the start to Athens which was the biggest let down of the holiday but understandable and at least they took the decision early. It proved a good decision, on the day we flew to Athens, Istanbul airport was closed dues the bombs there! Booked through 6 Star Cruises, who's transfers and the hotel booking in Athens were immaculate. Boarding was very swift, almost no one else there at that time as we came from our hotel by taxi. After lunch all luggage was happily in the room for unpacking. On this cruise we hadn't seen much point in booking excursions, just did one (on Corfu where there was limited shore time for such a large island).The excursions there were seemed very expensive and I didn't hear too much glowing praise so maybe this was a good choice. At almost every port of call we were lightered to or docked in the port so didn't need tours to have a good day out. Lightering worked very well and we never had to queue more than a couple of minutes. Food I thought was very good, better than Regent the previous year. The Japanese is really good but only worth one evening paying due the limited menu, and I would skip the French completely anther time for the main dining room as there is too much fat/cream in the food, but the (inclusive) Italian, grill, and the main dining room were excellent quality and had grreat choice on the menu. We always got good tables, quickly and service was excellent. Recommend going to the Japanese for lunch of Shasimi and Sushi at no extra charge if you don't watn to pay the extra $40 a head for dinner. For drinkers like us there were excellent wines at the table, plus cocktails in the bars, where they seemed happy to make anything even stufff not on their lists. Live entertainment was OK , the performers excellent but I have to say not really what I was into. They showed the Euros final in Paris on the big screen and the semi finals in conference rooms with bar service which was an excellent touch. The cruise director's show was best, he's a great guy and his regular trivia quizzes are good fun in the late afternoon., though the points awarded are rather mean - you need 80 for a base ball cap and the list of prizes list actually very poor!! We didn't go to many enrichment lecturers but saw them all on the ships TV and they were very good and helpful with each port. The one bad event happened to me in Koper where some mad old lady local dumped a bucket of water containing god knows what over me in the main square by the cathedral from a 3rd floor window. I went back to the ship to change, reporting the issue to the shore and ship staff and filled in and filed a report but little happened and I have no idea really if the incident was followed up by the police. Silversea did not handle this well. Liked the forward and observation lounges for cocktails before or coffee etc after dinner. Room were comfortable, plenty big enough (we were in 755), the facilities OK though these days the TV should be much larger and the fridge actually cool. The butler was a good guy, thugh we didn't use him too much, and the cabin attendant was a really nice man. All the crew seemed very friendly and happy and I thought that the ship on the whole is very well run. Public rooms good too. WORST THINGG ON SHIP - without a doubt the awfully slow wifi, so antiquated, really needs some investment,, should be so much better on such a small ship given what you are paying. First stop ashore was always a coffee bar with free wifi, always so much faster in every country. Most days could not download the Times in less than 20 mins, a pain when you are on a limited time budget for the voyage. Overall loved the ship and would use Silversea again, but would prefer say Regent for an itinerary where tours were necessary. Ports 2 July 2016 - Mykonos, Greece (lightered) Nice luxurious island, excellent for a stroll about the town and viewing the shops and the windmills. Lightering point short stroll away. 3 July 2016 - Monemvasia, Greece (lightered) Catch a (cheap) shuttle (pay) bus to/from the city gates (about 1.5 miles away) from lightering point. Too far to walk in the heat and dangerous on the narrow road. Very unique and interesting World heritage town. but to fill the full day ashore go swimming after or go back to ship for lunch and air con. 4 July 2016 - Zakinthos, Greece (lightering) Rather boring town on medium sized island. Not much to see, could easily be dropped from the cruise itinerary for somewhere more interesting like in Albania. Best plan to go swimming. Top site seems to be a 40 year old shipwreck that spoils a rather nice looking secluded white beach. Ship did a short detour on leaving so we could see this famous site. Best way to see it is that way with a Bellini in your hand! 5 July 2016 Corfu - docked Ship is docked a good way from the port exit and the town, if not doing a tour you need to take a bus or taxi. Did tour to Achillion Palace (well worth seeing, loads of history especially if you have been to Vienna and seen the other side of the links to the Austro Hungarian empire) , with a stop to see famous Mouse Island and the planes landing below you at the airport. Then onto Corfu town. Would have liked more time in the town but so hot walking around at midday a bit tough. 6 July 2016 Kotor, Montenegro - 7 July 2016 Fabulous sail in/out, get up early and sit with coffee on your balcony, you will see both sides as ship stays overnight . Ship initialy lightered but then docked at 5pm for an overnight stay. Unfortunately a thunder storm rolled in and spoiled any chances of an evening ashore. Geat waled city, wish we had seen more but the above menioned incidnt rather spoiled it for us. 7 July - Dubrovnik (lightered) Arrived after the great early sail out from Kotor and breakfast. Lightered but again strait to town, no walking at all to be in the old city. Very crowded, much better later in the pm which with a late evening sail out we happily could do. Prices very expensive though. 8 July 2016 Hvar, Croatia - (lightered) Nice island small town, not a lot to see though, best to go swimming after a look around the shops and the cathedral, or go on a tour to Split 9 July 2016 Koper, Slovenia (docked) Docked right by the city so easy walk in. Great views from bell tower. A quieter city than many of the others (maybe as it was Saturday and all locals at the beach). Worth looking around and good shops. 10 July 2016 Venice, Italy -and overnight Worth getting up v early to see the great sail in past San Marco etc. Short walk to shuttle boat from cruise docks to 2 bridges up from an Marco, very convenient start point for what ever you want to do. Having been a few times before we were happy to wander. though marvelling at the extortionate prices they try to charge (saw coffee at €10 for example). Really nice to view from ship but a port best seen in off peak season, especially in winter. 5 ships in the day we docked. Too many people. Disembark - Transfer - Flight - Venice Venice airport a dump, glad we were in a lounge, and as usual BA were late (3 hours on London-Athens leg and 1.5 hours on this return). Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband & I completely enjoyed our Silver Sea experience, everything went smoothly from beginning to end, on our 10 day cruise on Silver Spirit from Athens to Athens. We cruised the Greek Islands as well as Kusadasi, Turkey just ... Read More
My husband & I completely enjoyed our Silver Sea experience, everything went smoothly from beginning to end, on our 10 day cruise on Silver Spirit from Athens to Athens. We cruised the Greek Islands as well as Kusadasi, Turkey just prior to the airport bombing in Istanbul airport, and our experience of Ancient Ephesus and Mary's house was incredible, and not to be missed. Icha was a wonderful, amazing tour guide! It would be very sad to not be able to go to Turkey now, because of the political unrest, it was so beautiful! We absolutely enjoyed the different aspects of each of the Greek Islands and hope to go back in particular to Magical Santorini, Historical Rhodes with it's fabulous beaches, Old city and castles, as well as Mama Mia's Skiathos Island! And if you go to Thessaloniki, make sure and do your shopping there, as the prices & choices are best there. The historical Churches were amazing to see there as well. The Ship; Let me tell you about the ship, first of all this is the smallest ship we have sailed on and also our first luxury cruise. So I am writing this review from the perspective of a first time Silver Sea cruiser. I am wanting to impart information that gives you a heads up as to what to expect, particularly if this is your first time on Silver Seas. This ship did live large though, we never felt cramped. I have cruised several other cruise lines. This ship was about 2/3's full. Our cruise was a celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary and we wanted to treat ourselves. The cruise did not disappoint, we were impressed with the impeccable service all throughout ship. Truly top notch! And the tasty 5 star food. Even the breakfast Danish tasted as if it was freshly made that morning, and they were huge! Our Butler Riju and Mark our cabin cleaner were amazing in always knowing the right time to come by and they did pamper us with treats and great room service. The cruise ship is layed out quite nicely and there are many different places on the ship to hang out inside and/or outside to enjoy your drinks and canapés that the ship serves in the bar/lounge areas prior to dinner. The bartenders were fantastic and remembered what drinks we wanted and our names. Rex and Fred were outstanding! We loved meeting the Art Dealer and his wife in the bar. In the evening after 5 pm, women are expected to wear long pants or a dress, it can be casual on informal to casual nights. And men are expected to wear long pants. On Formal nights men are expected to wear jackets and a tie as well in the dining and indoor restaurants. The exception is if you eat at The Grill. The Restaurants; My favorite restaurant was La Terrazza because it was fabulous Italian food and you could eat outside which was fun during a sail away. The pasta was freshly made everyday, and the portions were small and the menu changed slightly day to day. I really appreciated all that. Our least favorites were the 2 specialty restaurants, Le Champagne and Star Supper club, not because of the food, because all the food on the ship was 5 star, but mostly because the service took so long. We sat there for 3 hours in each. I don't like to sit anywhere 3 hours straight! The wine served with all the meals were delicious choices. Someone definitely knew how to pair wine with the meals and did a great job! However, it was a very nice experience to spontaneously decide to have dinner with another couple, and not have to have an awkward moment with someone new as to who is going to pay, or how to divide up the check. Because, we all already paid for everything in advance of the trip. The Pool area: I found the pool a bit on the cold side, it could have been a degree or two warmer to be able to lounge in it. Even though Greece was having a heat wave, the pool was colder than the Greek ocean water. There were always empty lounge chairs, and so it was easy to relax by the pool. The Cabin on Deck 4: Let me tell you it is the biggest suite we have ever cruised, and we booked the least expensive regular cabin and it was huge. It has 4 separate sections. 1) First we walked in we noticed a soaking tub for 2 people, as well as a large shower ( for a cruise ship) As well as plenty of space for toiletries on the granite bathroom counter with dual sinks. Our fabulous butler brought us balloon's for my birthday, yes we celebrated my birthday on the ship as well, and we had a bath drawn for us 2 nights out of our 10 day cruise. We felt spoiled and well taken care of! We even had our sunglasses cleaned and polished with a polishing cloth that was left for us, and my husband also had his shoes shinned, and at the end of our trip our luggage was thoroughly cleaned inside and out. 2) The second section was the walk in closet space with enough hangers to hang all our clothes and plenty of spare room in the closet and a 6 drawers tall chest of drawers. There was plenty of room to change our clothes in the closet area. 3) The King bed area, also had two end tables on each side as well as a vanity at the foot of the bed with a TV in the wall area, which doubled as a mirror when the TV was off. There was plenty of cabinets in which to store things, but we didn't end up using it. 4) The fourth area had a curtain that could be drawn between the seating area with a coffee table, couch and sitting chair. It also had another TV in the wall/mirror area and another vanity area. This area also had a refrigerator that was stocked with our favorite drinks as well as fresh ice everyday. We did not spend much time in the cabin because we toured everyday, but when we did spend time in it, we loved the space! We did not book a balcony cabin, and we were told by our butler Riju that it was too warm to hang out on the balcony anyway because of the heat wave, and that we then had more floor space in our suite without it. The Passengers: There was a mix of couples and friends traveling together. Everyone was open to meeting new people, and we got to meet and know some very interesting, warm and engaging people. And it was wonderful that everyone shared tips about the various restaurants and excursions. We met a recently retired NFL coach and his lovely wife, a retired attorney. A 29 year old entrepreneur who had also brought his girlfriend and parents on the trip. And a lovely retired couple from Australia and another lovely couple from S. Africa. Excursions: Each excursion had about 22 people or less, and we never waited in any lines whatsoever, not for getting off the ship, not for dinner, and not for an elevator as you do on some of the bigger ships. Also the entertainers by night become chaperones during the day trips and alert you when the time is right to get back on the bus or to leave back for the cruise ship. It was nice to get to know them well. The Gym & Spa I did go look at it, but unlike using it on cruise ships in the past, I never felt like I had the time or the energy to use it. Our excursions were in the morning, and by the time we were done touring in the Greek heat, I was done for the day. There were no at sea days on this trip. So it was tough to make time to spa as well, just not enough time for everything. I am an eclectic cruiser, I like variety of cruise styles and ships with a preference for the much larger ships. Each cruise line has their pros and cons. And I especially appreciate the larger than life entertainment & comedy & shopping on the larger ships which was missing on this smaller luxury cruise. Shopping, Gambling & Photography on board: The boutiques on board were only open very late at night, and there wasn't much to look at in the stores, I was disappointed by that. Just few pieces of very high end jewelry and clothes. If you forget something for your trip, make sure and ask the shop keeper if she has the item you need, because the most basic things one might need are hidden from view and are behind a locked mirrored cabinet. We never saw anyone gambling in the casinos when we walked by around 10 to 10:30 pm, but we were told they do get busy very late at night. Also while cruising, I do like having our pictures taken particularly for formal nights to commemorate a special trip, but there are not any photographers on this cruise. I did miss that perk that you get on the larger ships. In Conclusion; My husband prefers the Silver Sea experience over the other cruise lines. He said he has never felt more relaxed. He loved that everything was paid for in advance and that he wasn't needing to sign for anything at all! We look forward to our next trip with Silver Seas. As far as I go, I prefer the larger ships, but will definitely be more than willing to do another Silver Sea cruise in the near future. It was an unforgettable 5 star experience, and my favorite part was meeting all the fabulous friendly people, and having the most interesting conversations with them, as well as the exquisite dining experiences! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We traveled with our adult children (separate cabins). We enjoyed the size of ship and the shore excursions. The ship staff was not that good at keeping track of passengers or helping those with mobility issues on the excursions. The ... Read More
We traveled with our adult children (separate cabins). We enjoyed the size of ship and the shore excursions. The ship staff was not that good at keeping track of passengers or helping those with mobility issues on the excursions. The food was good although I was expecting the quality to be higher. Service at the restaurants was generally good (not exceptional) but inconsistent. The cabin service was good. Cabins were spotless. The butler service was inconsistent. One room the butler was very good, the other adequate. All in all an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
Seabourn Quest 2012 cruise vs. Silversea Spirit 2013 cruise We took the Seabourn Quest 2012 11-day cruise from Rome to Barcelona and a 2013 Silversea Spirit 7-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with ... Read More
Seabourn Quest 2012 cruise vs. Silversea Spirit 2013 cruise We took the Seabourn Quest 2012 11-day cruise from Rome to Barcelona and a 2013 Silversea Spirit 7-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with the top of the high end, and that a comparison in this league is perhaps splitting a few hairs, here is my attempt to make a head to head comparison: 1. Embarkation process: Equally flawless from arrival to completion with lunch served while suites were being prepared for early arrivals, but with some minor differences noted: when you arrive your cabin on Quest, your luggage is sitting on a mat on your bed, whereas on the Spirit your luggage is waiting at your suite’s door. However, the Spirit has a "butler” assigned to all cabins, who offered to unpack us (we declined the offer). (Butler service on the Quest is limited to the highest end suites.) One troublesome gaffe on the Spirit (which I guess could happen anywhere), is that one of pieces of our luggage did not arrive to our room, despite bearing the preprinted Spirit label with suite number on it. We immediately alerted our butler, who repeatedly assured us that the "hotel manager” was on the dock dealing with it and that most likely was delayed for additional security screenings due to containers of liquids in the piece. Then, after 90 minutes of such "assurances”, another guest graciously brought the missing luggage to our suite, advising that it was mis-delivered to his suite. It would be better if they used bar code scanner labels to know where luggage is during movement. Notwithstanding this gaffe, I give a tie vote to the embarkation process. 2. The Ship: Upon first entering the Spirit, my first impression was that (perhaps because it is older), it was dark (using dark woods), as compared to the Quest which presented a lighter and more open experience. As one descends to the lower decks on the Quest, the hallways get narrower, following the taper of the hull, consistent, however, with maintaining uniformity of suite size on all decks. Also, a significant issue to watch out for on the Quest is that some of the suites on the lower decks had portions of veranda walls in metal (instead of the usual glass), effectively serving to block some of the exterior views from those cabins. A niggling design annoyance on the Spirit was that one person could not pass another at the foot of the bed because of the narrowness created by the Spirit building in a second vanity table coming out from the wall opposite the foot of the bed. Otherwise, appointments within the suite were equal, though the Spirit had a bathtub (which the Butler or housekeeper once left with a surprise bubble bath for my wife!), whereas (I think) the Quest did not have a tub (which we do not use anyway). Due to the brighter presentation of the Quest, and the annoyance of inability of us to pass each other at the foot of the bed on the Spirit, the edge in my vote goes to the Quest. On the other hand, while we were midship, higher than middeck on both ships, the sense of any movement, docking, or dock departure was simply undetectable on the Spirit, whereas I did get seasick one night on the Quest. (That, however, may be more a function of routing on open seas, than ship.) However, this should be balanced by the fact that at the time of our booking, Silversea’s pricing for virtually the same 2013 cruise offered by Seabourn (not on Quest), was much more aggressive, which can serve to assuage petty annoyances! (Seabourn’s substantially higher pricing at the time may have reflected it having sold out of the mid-range suites, and the fact that Silversea was running a sale at the time of our booking.) Finally, we experienced some substantial vibration in suites on the aft end of the Spirit that we never experienced anywhere else on the Spirit, so I would book mid or forward on Spirit. 3. Food: Food on cruises is a very big deal to me, so my commentary is perhaps skewed in relation to other factors. The food is excellent on both ships. Now for the whining: The (outdoor buffet) breakfasts on the Quest are deeper in variety, such as interesting daily specials made to order. And one more niggling point about breakfast: it is almost a sacrilege to me for the Spirit to have such wonderful servings of smoked salmon, with cream cheese and capers, and yet no bagels upon which to enjoy it. (I certainly respect readers’ right to deemed me "spoiled”, or to not even know what a bagel and lox is; suffice it to say, the Quest had bagels to go with the smoked salmon, which I enjoyed at many breakfasts.) At (outdoor buffet) lunch, this issue got deeper on the Spirit. There was plenty of good food, but simply not at the depth of quality and selection (and expense to the ship) as on the Quest. For instance, on the Quest, the chef continuously put out individual chilled glass bowl servings of plump shrimp cocktail. Nothing like that on the Spirit. There was more selection of high line food on the Quest’s outdoor lunch buffet, and fellow gourmands (who sailed both cruise lines) concurred with me that there appeared to be relative economizing on the Spirit’s outdoor lunch buffet. (Of course, perhaps over the last year, Seabourn performed some belt tightening of which I would be unaware (no pun intended)). Dinners on both ships’ restaurants were equally excellent, though the standing menu filet mignons on the Spirit were so thin that they appeared to curl up a bit in cooking. The Spirit had more restaurants (+-6 vs. +-4), but two of them on the Spirit were extra charge restaurants, in comparison to there being (I think) no surcharge-restaurants on the Quest. 4. The staff: equally excellent, well-selected, well-trained, and held to " and infused with -- the highest standards of gracious hospitality. Some staff on each ship recalled what alcoholic beverage I had the previous day and automatically brought it over to me the next day " all to the credit of both cruise lines. The Butler on the Spirit, in each case on his own, took my shoes out one night during dinner to be shined, another afternoon had tea sandwiches in our suite upon our return, and on another day had strawberries with chocolate sauce and bubbly on ice awaiting our return to the ship (as though we needed more food!). (That said, as happens anywhere, there are some minor exceptions: the maître d’ at the Italian restaurant on the Spirit needs to be retrained to pick his head up from looking down, and respond to greetings; and a tour director on the Quest shouted at a staffer in the presence of my wife.) Edge to the Quest for the minor luxuries of more staff taking the trouble to learn our names and preferences, which added personalization; though some folks may prefer the feature of the Butler on the Spirit, who was extremely gracious, but whom we really didn’t use since everything generally was executed well, thus not needing his help, though all his special treats were indeed nice. 5. Excursions. Pricey, but well-executed on both ships. (We were advised that Seabourn dropped one tour operator about whom several guests complained.) Dinner at Ephesus, Turkey (illuminated) library ruins (Quest, included), or nighttime concert there (Spirit $179 p/p), is a life-experience not to be missed. 6. Enrichment: Winner is Seabourn; it had pre-port arrival briefings by both a local expert, as well as by a Phd who explained the geopolitical considerations of the port into which we were next to dock. This provided input both practical and intellectual. In contrast, the Spirit had a speaker talking about her book of interesting places to see in the world " none of which had a thing to do with the ship’s itinerary, and there were no other speakers providing local briefings on the Spirit (though both ships maintain local expert-desks for answers to questions / suggestions.) Finally, during such briefings, the Seabourn briefing room / auditorium had servers serving drinks, together with a place to put the drink. The Spirit, had no servers (though you could find a bar on the opposite end of the same deck and bring your drink back to the auditorium where, alas, the drink holders (it that is what they were) were too small to hold a drink glass. Sniff! 7. The bottom line: assuming rough parity in price, I would go "Seabourn” again, because weighing unequally the factors that mean more to me, it is worth a bit of a premium, but not a price gouge. All-in, we are indeed privileged and happy to be on either ship line.   Read Less
Silver Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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