6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was my first time cruising with Silversea. After spending 3 nights in Istanbul prior to boarding I was ready for the cruise. This was not my first time cruising solo, but it was my first time on an ocean ship vs having done a couple ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Silversea. After spending 3 nights in Istanbul prior to boarding I was ready for the cruise. This was not my first time cruising solo, but it was my first time on an ocean ship vs having done a couple of AMAwaterways river cruises. While I am up in age I don't look it or act it so I was ready to enjoy all that the Silver Spirit had to offer. The ship was small by comparison to ships I've been on, BUT I enjoyed the layout. The service was fantastic. My suit 812 had a wonderful butler and assistant who couldn't do enough for me. The suite was well laid out and had more than enough space and was very comfortable. The embarkation and disembarkation were like nothing I've ever experienced. Smooth and quick. The food was very good and you could really have whatever you wanted all you needed to do was ask. The Grill next to the pool cooking your own meat and fish was outstanding as was the wine. The main dining room was never really crowded and the food choices were outstanding. The trip included all excursions and internet which was for the most part very fast. TV had lost of movies and a good selection of American news channels only problem was we were a day ahead which took getting used too My issues were with the entertainment which as a former music industry executive I found to be way below my standards. While the singers were talented their voices were not meant for doing pop, but when they did classical selections they were outstanding. The fact that there really was no variety was sad. Why no comedy or magic? In their speciality showroom Stars the duo was outstanding except for the fact that on the nights I was there the other customers lacked in my opinion "class" because they tried to talk over the music and that was very rude. It was a class room with great food and while I understand people are on vacation and looking to have a good time trying to talk over the music should not happen period. Another issue I had was being single. While there were 52 others who were traveling solo or with friends the ship did have a singles mingle each evening and only 5 folk showed. We had a great time together and had usually enjoyed diner together with the two ship hosts who were wonderful. In closing would I sail again on Silversea and on the Silver Spirit I would. I'd also recommend this line and ship to those who like luxury. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Once again Silversea delivered. Having booked onboard last year to do back to back cruises from Venice to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, our itinerary had been changed due to the political situation in Ukraine. Whilst this ... Read More
Once again Silversea delivered. Having booked onboard last year to do back to back cruises from Venice to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, our itinerary had been changed due to the political situation in Ukraine. Whilst this meant that we were visiting some of the same ports twice, on an port intensive cruise this gave us the chance to create our own sea days, sometimes with only a handful of other passengers on board. Sailing out of Venice late at night was magical, giving a completely different perspective of this bustling city. We took Silversea excursions in some of the ports and all were enjoyable, informative and set at the right level. However the highlight being Discovering Photography with Ivo Pervan in Trogir when my husband along with Ira Feldman from Silversea who was escorting the tour were the only people participating. Having travelled with Silversea before we were looking forward to dinning in Stars Supper Club, however unlike before when it has featured Jazz (as it advertises it does), now it has middle of the road music and seems to have lost its way. The other Restaurants however lived up to our expectations and lunch in Seshin was a nice change. On what in fact the 2nd cruise the menu on the Pool deck changed, whilst retaining some of the old favourites some interesting new offerings appeared. I cannot leave this review without mentioning Yun the acupuncturist on board. With one session he relieved a problem my husband had lived with for over 20 years and stopped the dizziness I had had for over 8 months. His approach to solving the problems we presented was methodical and thorough and we cannot recommend him enough to fellow travellers. The highlight of the cruise however was the 3 performances by 2 soloists from the Bolshoi Ballet during what should have been the Black Sea cruise. Their performances in the show Lounge were enthralling and, whilst working in a somewhat restricted area, still managed to incorporate leaps and lifts. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Enjoyed the May 31st, 10 day cruise from Rome to Venice with some caveats. Embarkation was quick and DH and I had a lovely light lunch at the pool grill. Sail-away party was disappointing due to unresponsive servers at the pool grill. We ... Read More
Enjoyed the May 31st, 10 day cruise from Rome to Venice with some caveats. Embarkation was quick and DH and I had a lovely light lunch at the pool grill. Sail-away party was disappointing due to unresponsive servers at the pool grill. We had to hail waiters for canapés and for drinks being supposedly passed to all. Thankfully, our apprehensions as to service for the rest of the cruise were mostly put to rest. Most waiters were attentive, although a few carried a sour face and I assume were not very happy campers with their job, but, hey!, we are paying their wages. The verandah cabin in deck #5 was very acceptable and quite comfortable. Our butler, who goes by Joy, was very affable, reliable, and we could tell he was always very busy. Our housekeeper was very efficient and cordial, as well. We found the food to be very good with excellent quality ingredients. Contrary to the former reviewer, we found it under-salted! Of course, not everything was top notch all the time, but in general much to our liking. The complementary wines were on the low end side, but some were acceptable. The entertainment at the show lounge consisted of the Voices of Silversea, a group of young, talented singers with good dance moves when required. We would like not to to see the British invasion so many times (in both SS and SB, I have to add). The entertainment could be improved with more variety; a comedian and professional dancers, perhaps? This was a "transition" cruise to the new policy of included excursions for the Med cruises. There was a lack of organization in tender ports with regards to passengers lining up for tenders. I would recommend SS to clearly advertise in their itinerary brochure the SS tour tender times, in order that guests with private tours, or guests not wishing to tour, will not need to wait in line. All being said, we had a lovely time, and met many nice and interesting passengers with whom we plan to keep in touch. We find that this cruise was good value for the money, and will continue to recommend SS to our friends. Hope our observations are duly noted. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my first and probably last transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA to Lisbon Portugal. I enjoyed this first time experience but the large number of sea days was overwhelming so I am not sure I would do it again. ... Read More
This was my first and probably last transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA to Lisbon Portugal. I enjoyed this first time experience but the large number of sea days was overwhelming so I am not sure I would do it again. No fault of Silversea, the weather for the middle part of the cruise was dreary, raining and a little choppy. As a first time transatlantic cruiser I did my research and knew the weather could be unpredictable. I was prepared for bad weather but what I did not expect was the weather causing a scheduled stop to be canceled. This was VERY disappointing. The ship was scheduled to stop in the Azores but due to weather this was canceled resulting in 7 consecutive sea days. Interestingly in speaking with other passengers that traveled this cruise before this is a regular occurrence on this route, so be warned if taking a transatlantic in the future. First time transatlantic cruisers be aware of just about every other day of necessary time changes. Overall the Silversea experience was what I expected. I have been on three prior Silversea cruises, two on the Silver Wind and one previous on the Silver Spirit. Pre Cruise The My Silversea website makes it a whole lot easier to post your information, book excursions and dinner reservations. I still find it rather cumbersome to use but the end result is great. The Formal nights are posted but I think the Informal nights and Casual nights need to be posted as well. The printed list is waiting in the cabin upon arrival and there is no need to confirm reservations. Onboarding This was my first Silversea boarding in a US port and I was a little disappointed. The first contact appears to be with staff members of Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades not Silversea. I was actually asked by the person taking the luggage for a tip. Not wanting to start the trip missing luggage I complied but was highly annoyed. This was also the first time arriving early (before scheduled boarding time of 2:00 p.m.). We were able to board a little after noon and have lunch before going to the cabin at 2:00 p.m. The Cabin The best part of the cruise is the size of the Veranda cabins on the Silver Spirit! The bathroom size with separate tub and walk-in shower is great! The Butler, Evelyn, quickly arrived and quickly fulfilled all our requests. The cabin attendant, Mark, was equally as accommodating. This was my best Butler/Attendant experience on Silversea. On the downside the electronics (outlets, TV and remotes) are in dire need of an update. The in mirror TV’s are nice but are obviously outdated. The remotes are very frustrating and difficult to respond. I think they are so overused the buttons are worn out. There is only one outlet (two if you unplug the clock) that were not designed for plugging in chargers as you have to be careful not to inadvertently turn on or off the light. The Restaurants Le Champaign, Hot Rock at the Pool Grill, La Terraza and the Restaurant are all equally excellent and offer unique food and experience. Most disappointing was the Stars Supper Club. On my prior Silver Spirit cruise I was unable to get reservations. I wish that had been the case on this cruise. The food is over the top in richness and not really good. The setting and entertainment was nice but I will never eat there again unless the menu is changed. We chose not to eat at the Seishen and from what I could tell not many others did either. Calling out to Silversea, how about a specialty Tex-Mex restaurant? The Entertainment The show talent now referred to as the “Voices of Silversea” was relatively new having only been on board since January. They appeared to be talented but the staged shows were not as good as I remember on previous cruises. One show that stands out as memorable, only because was so bad was the “show/play” set in a New York bar. The early “final” show was only 30 minutes. The cruise director, Moss, is excellent. He is very visible and takes time to speak to the guests. His show in the Panorama Lounge was excellent. For being a sea day intensive cruise there was not many other scheduled events. There were two cooking demonstrations, individual shows with each “Voice of Silversea”, a galley tour and bridge tour and guest lecturers (about British Royalty and US Cinema). There was no destination lectures for Bermuda or Lisbon. Not even a “What did we miss in the Azores!” As far as I could tell there was no “make-up event” to compensate from the missed stop in the Azores. The galley tour was good because the chef had a great personality. The cooking demos did not offer any sample of the food being demoed as was done on previous cruises. The second demo, an attempt to a competition between two of the chefs was painful to watch. This was my first bridge tour on Silversea and I found it to be very fascinating! The Excursions Bermuda Island Tour – The tour departed on time and the guide/driver was well informed regarding all parts of the island. There were ample stops at most scenic sites. The tour was scheduled for 6 hours and the final stop was a scheduled “on your own” time at a shopping area of 60 minutes over five hours into the tour. There was still a 30 minute drive back to the ship. Luckily all of us on the tour agreed to not stay the full hour and return to the ship. Due to the length of the tour it should have been scheduled for longer and included lunch. Glass Bottom Boat Tour – The three hour tour was the right time and gave a good look at the island from the boat as well as the turtles, fish and wrecked ship off the coast were fascinating. Overall Review Overall this was another satisfying experience on Silversea. As stated I will probably not do another Transatlantic but will definitely be back on Silversea as well as checking out other cruise lines. A couple of notes below on general cruise etiquette: Thumbs down: • Passengers who stake out deck chairs by leaving a cheap magazine on a chair and then disappearing for hours. • Passengers speaking loudly late at night in the hall when returning to their cabin. • Passengers who play cut throat Trivia – (this is a vacation after all)! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
My husband and I picked up the Auckland-Melbourne leg of this cruise February 12. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, though there was room for improvement as noted below. The beautiful scenery of New Zealand and smooth flow of the cruise ... Read More
My husband and I picked up the Auckland-Melbourne leg of this cruise February 12. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, though there was room for improvement as noted below. The beautiful scenery of New Zealand and smooth flow of the cruise fortunately made up for the mild to moderate service flaws we experienced on this ultraluxury small ship which competes with Regent and Seabourn. PRE-CRUISE: We spent two days prior to the cruise in Auckland . We stayed at the conveniently located Auckland Hilton, right on the pier near where the ship docked, which has a wonderful (though expensive) view restaurant called Fish. We also independently toured excellent wineries and had a gourmet lunch on Waiheke Island the day before the cruise at the fantastic and scenic Mudbrick Restaurant. I recommend allowing at least two full days for touring in and around Auckland as it is a delightful port with many options for half-day or full-day excursions, a good port choice by SS. AMBIENCE: We had been on the Spirit before in May for the Monaco Grand Prix cruise in 2014 (see my separate cruise review from then). As before, the ship was very clean, with nice lines, and is elegantly designed (though I personally do not like a lot of the artwork adorning the walls, e.g., the African works and pop photographs), and appeared well-maintained. It was quiet and nicely air-conditioned in public and private areas. The chairs in the restaurants and lounges are soft and comfortable and public areas are uncrowded. Boarding was easy and pleasant and coming on/off the ship at each port was also easy (other than in Melbourne, where it took a full hour to get off the ship for our excursion). There were many passengers already on board who had boarded in Los Angeles, or earlier, many of whom seemed a bit bored with the cruising they had done to date, but I doubt that is atypical for older passengers on long trips. Passengers seemed to be, for the most part, between the ages of 65 and 75, though some were much older. A few were in wheelchairs, some were stroke victims, some were much younger (or at least young at heart) and some were very healthy and fit appearing. I did not see (or want to see) any small children, though I read on a CC post that the captain’s wife had her well-behaved baby on board with her and on some excursions. This is not really a ship for children. Most passengers appeared to be native English speakers, either North American or British, though there were also Germans, a couple Spaniards, French, and a few Japanese passengers on board (and probably others I did not identify). Passengers were all polite, well-dressed and mostly well-traveled and affluent at varying levels, though some passengers we met seemed to prefer monologues to dialogues. Crew in restaurants and housekeeping and maintenance areas appeared to be primarily Filipino descent, though there was a mix of origins. They spoke English with passengers, and either English or Tagalog or their native languages with each other. The quality of English spoken by basic crew ranged from poor to outstanding (mostly somewhere in between). Crew smiled frequently, though some smiles were forced. Officers were European and spoke excellent English (they also obliged with a very nice bridge tour). The chef is French, from Bordeaux, and an absolute delight, very animated (he led a galley tour and a wine/food demonstration, great fun). He sets high standards for his staff, and told us he requires they take a quiz identifiying passenger names and faces, which are posted on the kitchen walls. FOOD: overall, good to very good, except for room service breakfast (the few times we ordered the latter, we often were delivered the wrong items, hot foods were served cold, or we received comical variants of what we had requested, such as an ultradiluted Tang-like pale pink liquid that was supposed to be OJ, or dry cereal but no milk) Once we ordered a room service “cheese plate” and what appeared was a plate of 10 small pieces of identical brie cheese instead of a variety (quicker to fix the plate that way). Our favorite restaurant for breakfast or lunch buffet was La Terrazza where we could choose from a variety of freshly baked breads, croissants, fruit, cheeses, meats, yoghurt, fruit, egg and sausage dishes, pizza, pasta, sushi, even European style creamed herring. We loved dining outside on the deck (choice of sun or shade). We had one excellent meal (lamb) in Le Champagne. Stars’ small plates, accompanied by a talented jazz singer and pianist, was also very pleasant, interesting. The food in The Restaurant was generally quite good though there were some tasteless pasta-in-red-sauce or rubber fish dishes ( the service was another story, see below). Unfortunately there did not appear to be anywhere to get some quick food of any kind other than through room service between 10 and 11AM, and between 11 and 12PM there is only service on the outside patio deck (not very convenient if you either have an afternoon excursion at 12:30 or 13:00, or the weather is inclement). However, with enough planning, there was never a risk of going hungry! SERVICE: Here is where we had some problems, primarily with the butler and the main dining room wait staff. Our veranda suite was immaculate on arrival and was kept in that condition the whole cruise, as before. The sheets were soft, the towels were soft and thirsty, and nothing was broken (not even the sink and tub stoppers which are often the first to go). There was both a shower and a separate soaking tub and a full supply of several kinds of toiletries, and a pillow menu. The butler did not appear until we had already been checked into our room for several hours (he apologized for being late). Having traveled with SS before, I knew what I would want: I presented him with a modest written list of requests for the room , and reviewed these with him verbally as well to make sure he understood them. It took about three days before we finally got the mini-bar properly stocked, and I took to writing out a day by day request list and leaving it on the bed to avoid confusion between him and housekeeping. On the first day I noted the mattresses on both sides of the bed were quite hard and asked if they could be flipped to the soft side (as had been done on the Silver Cloud for us in the past). Without looking, he said he thought they were already on the soft sides. I asked him to doublecheck when we went to dinner and he said he would. We returned, but there was no comment. The next day I again asked him about the mattresses, and he fired back (inaccurately) that they were already on the soft sides. Eventually my husband and I flipped the mattresses ourselves and found there were indeed softer sides (we can only conclude the butler did not want to bother to look and just made up that we were already on the soft side to save work). As a bonus, when we flipped the mattress, one side had a yellow-discolored mattress cover. There were also incidents where it appeared the butler and his assistant were determined to do things their way, no matter what, even if we did not want them done that way: e.g., they charged into our room despite a Do Not Disturb sign when just an hour before my husband had told the housekeeper that I was seasick and was resting and did not want to be disturbed. They insisted that it is their “policy” to call and if no answer then come into the room even with the sign up if they had not been in earlier in the day (and apparently even if they had just seen us and been told NOT to come in). Another incident showing a mechanical, no-judgment style was one late afternoon, when we had no sign out yet but the room had been serviced earlier. The housekeeper rang the bell and when I opened the door she was standing there holding cotton balls, indicating she wanted to put them into the bathroom. I first told her I did not need any balls, but she insisted on offering them, so I offered to take the few balls from her so I could just close the door. I was tired and did not want or need her coming into the room, but she refused to give them to me, and instead insisted on going with the balls into the bathroom, only to discover that the cottonball container on the high shelf was already full. The main dining room personnel, though sometimes good, often appeared overworked and uninterested in doing anything other than their minimum and there is a lot of “someone else will do this” attitude. They rarely came over to ask how our food was after bringing it. Our first night, we sat over a half hour without even drink offerings. On other nights, personnel would often just come over and start pouring the generic white wine of the evening for everyone if the first person said he wanted white, without asking what others wanted. One evening my husband and I joined a table set for 8, and the waiter came and poured white for everyone and ran off before I could ask for red instead. I tried to catch his eye for 15-20 minutes, but he was busy studying his tablet, not looking up at our table at all. When I finally caught him, I asked to try the red. 10 minutes later, still no wine, so I waved at him at his station when he finally looked up. He immediately knew what I wanted as he then grabbed the red of the day which he’d forgotten to bring. As it was warm, and awful, I again tried to catch his eye, and after more struggles, asked for the Connoisseur’s wine list as I knew where on the list the wine I wanted was and could quickly show him. Three people and 15 minutes later I got the list, and to save time quickly pointed out the bottle of wine I wanted which had the price clearly marked. Instead of taking the order I wanted to give, the waitress ran off, hoping someone else would take the actual order, and another person eventually came. I thought I was finally set, but then instead of bringing the wine, the first waiter came over yet again, after another 10 minutes delay, to show me that there is a price to the wine I wanted, to make sure I would know there is a charge, which was already quite obvious! As I had specifically asked for the Connoisseur’s menu, which has prices marked, I was annoyed that yet another delay was somehow justified to make sure I REALLY knew that I would be paying extra. By the time I finally got the nicer wine, I felt exhausted enough to need a stiff drink instead. Perhaps if I’d been wearing formalwear I’d have had better luck. In general, our perception was it was a long and difficult process on the cruise to order upgraded wine, either in the restaurants or in the room (where no wine menu is available – there is a food menu and a caviar menu but not the Connoisseur’s list, and to get that, you have to call the butler and start the struggles there). We would have ordered a lot more higher quality wine if it were not such a strain to do so each time. Not uncommonly personnel also exhibited a “not my problem” attitude: in La Terrazza, the big, grind-style salt shaker on our table did not work (likely due to trapped moisture). The waiter tried it, no go, and I commented to him that many of the shakers on board did not work, likely due to moisture, so perhaps they could consider adding water absorbing substances (or rice). He managed to extract enough salt for my dish from another shaker that was slighty less impacted, and then took the broken shaker and just stuck it on the next empty table (instead of removing it from the dining room to get the moisture problem fixed). Another time I noticed papers blew off a tray a waiter was carrying on the outside deck , and they looked like they were headed for the sea. Another waiter came by, looked right at the papers, which appeared to be receipts of sort, ,and kept on walking, leaving them on the ground (not his problem, apparently). In contrast, the front desk personnel and cruise/social directors were all friendly and helpful with proper executive function and judgment. The cruise consultant, however, was less friendly (other than in public, such as at the boisterous Venetian welcome), and was not in his office very often. My sense when I inquired about 2016 cruises was that he is tired of his job, or perhaps would prefer to deal with male customers or both man/woman together when they book. SHOWS: a small group of delightful, talented enthusiastic singers did a good job performing everything from ABBA to opera. I went to all but one of their shows (hint: don’t sit in the front row during the Dancing Queen number or you may land up on the stage). There was also a very talented and beautiful classical pianist Van-Anh Ngueyn whose playing moved me to tears. SPA: my husband loved the massages once I convinced him to go try them, and I loved the manicures and the pleasant lady from Latvia (Kristine )who did them (but not the world-beat pounding music that was playing there) EXCURSIONS were overall well-organized, except in Melbourne (1 hour to disembark for a tour). In Tauranga we went on the Volcanic White Island tour by Helicopter, fantastic (I hope to post pictures my husband took)! Ulva Island excursion (off of Stewart Island) is also a not to be missed walk for light to moderate hikers, beautiful and invigorating. Milford Sound was also spectacular, postcard perfect. In sum, we enjoyed the cruise, despite some annoyances, and would consider returning to SS for the right itinerary (though our next two cruises are booked with Seabourn, to test them out and compare). But we do hope that the main dining room waiter and suite personnel training will improve. I hope to post some pictures showing “best of” in the near future.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
I would give this cruise 4 out of 5 stars. The staff was great, wonderful attitude an service. Thought the charge of 256$ for internet a little excessive. My only complaint is that the food quality was very good. For a long cruise the ... Read More
I would give this cruise 4 out of 5 stars. The staff was great, wonderful attitude an service. Thought the charge of 256$ for internet a little excessive. My only complaint is that the food quality was very good. For a long cruise the variation was like going at home to the same restaurant and menu every night. Example of the service-one of the restaurants serves tapos type stuff and have 5 fixed course each with 3 tiny servings with a tiny fork. I told the head waiter that there was nothing I wanted to eat with that tiny doll like fork. Most of the food was gourmet (not my cup of tea) and the head waiter said and did fix me all kinds of stuff not on the menu. Although I did not like that restaurant, the waiter could not have been more accommodating to satisfy me. I think the philosophy is European regarding food and we look more to the American type of variation. Overall did enjoy enough to rebook another cruise next year. For a small ship, I thought the entertainment level was better then I expected You got to know the waiters and when my wife and I would go to something like Trivia-the waiter would have our drinks in hand before we sat down. At the bar before dinner, the waiter would also have what we liked before we set down. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Having cruised with Azamara last year and really enjoyed being on a relatively small ship this year we booked Silversea having first read of the Six Star luxury on offer. We joined the ship in Venice having spent the previous night there ... Read More
Having cruised with Azamara last year and really enjoyed being on a relatively small ship this year we booked Silversea having first read of the Six Star luxury on offer. We joined the ship in Venice having spent the previous night there as I had never been to Venice before. Whilst I enjoyed discovering this beautiful city I found the people living there really unfriendly and most unhelpful. At 1pm we checked in to the Silver Spirit and received assistance with our luggage and were offered a glass of champagne and a cold towel. The crew were helpful and did their best to please. The cabin on deck nine was well appointed and a decent size. The Butler introduced himself and I informed him that I drink mostly diet coke and could my mini bar be stocked with this. This request was ignored and I had to ask each day for diet coke through room service. Of the four occasions we used room service the order arrived correctly only once. The little touches were missing like the cabin fruit never making appearance throughout the cruise, the night time pillow chocolate being the same every night, the breakfast items were always the same where on Crystal there was always a special breakfast dish of the day. This was a port intensive cruise but the entertainment consisted of a couple of singers and a guy playing the piano. We would have liked to have had an act from a magician or comedian and some daytime activities. Whilst I appreciate we travelled in school holiday time I was just not expecting the number of children we encountered on this cruise. With the exception of Bingo and a trivia quiz there was no other organised activity and therefore the children on board took over the swimming pool completely every day allowing no opportunity for any other passenger to make use of this facility. The children were anything but well behaved and continually jumped in and out of the pool with loud shouts and screams. The other thing lacking that we had enjoyed on Seabourn and Crystal was the pool attendant. At this level and price it would have been nice to be greeted taken to the sunloungers and given towels. On this cruise you helped yourself to towels and then selected your sunlounger. Little things and touches were felt like returning to the ship even Celebrity offers a cold towel but not Silversea who offered just warm water. Generally the food in the dining was varied and acceptable although anything with chocolate was made from real very bitter chocolate including the ice cream. One night we dined in the Italian speciality restaurant which at best I could describe as average. If this restaurant was on land and I had eaten there I would not return. The portions in the restaurant were not very large and the lunch buffet was really quite limited in choice but excellent for those who like Cesar Salad everyday. We enjoyed the holiday but my choice would be Azamara for the overall cruise experience followed by Crystal and Seabourn. P.S. I requested a questionnaire form from the reception desk but they did not have any and told me to obtain one via the Butler but he did not have either. A big thank you goes to our cabin steward who was delightful and did a great job for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
We have only done a few ultraluxury cruises before, including with Silversea, so we are not as experienced as many on these boards and perhaps my expectations were too high. Overall we had a very nice time, with a few annoyances and ... Read More
We have only done a few ultraluxury cruises before, including with Silversea, so we are not as experienced as many on these boards and perhaps my expectations were too high. Overall we had a very nice time, with a few annoyances and disappointments. This was an anniversary cruise for us, focussed on the Monaco Grand Prix, as we are big Formula One fans (we DVR and watch all the F1 races at home) We booked 8 months ahead of time to assure we would get space and tickets to the race that were being organized by Silversea, so we would not have to worry about the hassle of getting to/from seats at the track or having to fend for ourselves at what we expected to be a very crowded event with potential for disorganization and "mob scene" we wished to avoid. We had made our own arrangement in Barcelona for four night before the cruise, as I could not get timely pre-cruise hotel information from the Silversea booking agent despite several attempts. Barcelona is awesome, we plan to go back for more days. EMBARCATION: flawless, no lines even though it was just 1.5 hours before latest check-in time, painless passport check, pleasant and welcoming staff starting right at the port when the cab dropped us. SHIP: The Spirit was clean, smooth and comfortable everywhere and everything seemed to work. Public areas were uncrowded and low stress. The African themed art hanging in some of the hallways was, to me, pretty ugly and uninspired, but other than that the decor was tasteful and elegant. I have a back and muscle problem so the soft and comfortable dining chairs in all the indoor and outdoor venues were especially appreciated. SUITE and SUITE SERVICE: Our 365 sq-ft (counting veranda) V5 suite was and remained immaculate through the cruise. Our butler Jerry and his cleaning helper Larry (really) introduced themselves almost immediately, and they efficiently filled and refilled our unusual mini-fridge stocking requests. My towel gluttony request for always having six bath towels on hand was honored. The bed was nice and soft, the bathtub and separate shower and bath toiletries (there is a choice, I chose Bulgari) were perfect. The retractable clothesline over the tub was welcome for small items, though we also used daily laundry service regularly and our clothes were only lost (and then quickly found) once. The veranda lounge chairs were ergonomically just right for positioning my difficult back and legs. We used room service for appetizers a few times and it was prompt, food was tasty. In addition, after a particularly long excursion, the butler surprized us with an unexpected array of appetizers as well, anticipating we'd be tired and hungry. Internet wi-fi was slow and expensive as it always is on cruises, but way better than on our last SS cruises (Alaska, South America). For $250 we got the 1000 minute package and the speed was fast enough to get a reasonable amount of work and communication done and still have leftover minutes. DINING: surprizingly, a mixed bag. Our favorite was the Stars Supper Club, where we ate on formal night (you can be informal there) and were pleasantly surprized with sequential tasty small bites and a sultry singer. La Terrazza outdoor deck dining on the buffet food was efficient, uncrowded and reasonably tasty for breakfast and lunch, and dinner the first night was exquisite, though table service (coffee) was spotty in the mornings. The 3 dinners and 1 breakfast we had in the dining room were mostly just good enough, nothing wow like we'd had on the Silver Cloud. The gratis white and red wines poured were mostly the Silversea label which I did not care for, so we just ordered and paid extra off the Connoisseur menu. Seishin was interesting, tasty sashimi, though the waitress struggled for several minutes with the mechanics of how to open a bottle of special wine we'd ordered (after having first brought the wrong bottle). But she also noticed I was using my hand fan, because the room was hot, and immediately set off to get the AC turned up. Breakfast in the room always arrived on time and with what we ordered, though the offerings of European style "lunch meats" that were there and all over the ship were tasteless. SERVICE: Mostly good, though there was one lady at reception who did not seem to like her job and who had some attitude problems, and some of the (mostly Filipino, not uncommonly talking Tagalog to each other in public areas) wait and cleaning staff seemed tired, especially towards the end of the cruise. One annoying episode was where we'd ordered a Connoisseur wine we did not finish that we wanted to take back to our suite to store for the next day (we always bring the air removal pumping devices for this purpose). The waiter insisted on sending someone to bring the wine to our suite, rather than letting us just carry it ourselves (it really isn't that heavy!). We waited a half hour in our suite, putting off going to sleep as we anticipated a door knock, and the wine did not appear, so I got redressed and set out to track it down. No one seemed to know where it was, until finally, it appeared, late (the next night we knew better, and just carried the wine back ourselves :) ENTERTAINMENT: the only show other than in Stars we went to was opera night, where a mezzo named Victoria Morgan moved me to tears with the beauty of her voice singing Carmen, but one of the male singers was just so-so. PORT AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: -- some guides were great, some not so good, all excursions we did (except for the separately organized F1 race) were good and worth the price, with clean buses and functioning AC, and though the toilets on the buses were routinely locked, the bus driver on one excursion stopped and opened up the toilet for a desparate passenger, which was nice. SETE: all-day excursion to Carcassonne, interesting. About a one hour drive in a comfortable bus with AC, then you see a charming hillside medieval walled town. The local guide who gave a brief tour was terrible (heavy accent, plus the heavy wind this area is known for did not help), though he tried. There was time for a leisurely early lunch of cassoulet (we chose Le Jardin De Templier near the Basilica). It was nice we had enough time for a local lunch, as opposed to just a stroll to buy souvenirs, and time to tour the fortress. A Russian Orthodox choral group happened to be performing in the Basilica, lovely. CANNES: two days -- wonderful. One day we did an excursion to St. Paul de Vence and Chateau de Saint-Martin for wine tasting . Though St. Paul was cute (warning -- steep walking!), the trip to the beautiful Relais and Chateaux location of Saint-Martin alone, where excellent wines and appetizers were served on a gorgeous view patio, was worth the excursion fee. No herding, no mad rush. The only disappointment was that we could not buy the wines we'd just tasted on site. The next day we went on the Nice and Perfumerie Fragonard excursion. This was well-organized but it is a long drive, lots of traffic (included time to buy wholesale quality perfume after a tour of the production facilities). When we stopped in Nice, after some traffic, a guest asked the local guide about toilets and the guide said there were none other than going into a cafe to buy a coffee , "that is just the way things are done here." After we'd wandered around a couple minutes we found immaculate, staffed public pay toilets at the nearby Seven Continents Square (hard to miss), so I mentioned this when we got back on the bus, for the guide's future reference for guests. She defensively said, "Yes, they are there, but I did not mention this because you have to pay 50 cents!" Perhaps local excursion guides should be advised that it is likely Silversea pax would not mind paying 50 cents for a clean toilet?? :) AJACCIO: On embarkation, we were told the Clos Capitoro Wine Tasting excursion out of Ajaccio was cancelled, so we rebooked into the Walking Tour and Fesch Museum option. Then that tour was also cancelled the night before, and none of the remaining tours appealed to us so we set out walking the lovely town on our own (which actually turned out fine). The Fesch Museum is worth a visit, do not miss the Corsican art in the basement which was our favorite. MONACO, 2 days. EXCUSIONS TO NICE AND EZE -- Medieval Eze is beautiful (VERY steep to walk up to!), but unfortunately we were too early in the day, and did not have enough time to have a leisurely lunch in one of the excellent (and expensive) local dining venues. Had just enough time (45 min) for a stroll, drink, and pictures, or a quick purchase. MONACO GRAND PRIX PACKAGE -- Key issue: You will not have VIP seats or service at the race! Two nights before the race we were issued F1 package swag bags which consisted of a cheap mini-backpack with F1 programs, ear plugs, some cheap binoculars, a tiny plastic rain poncho, and our lanyards and tickets. We were given a detailed orientation RE how to get to and from the ship to the track. Access would be only to the races that day (Sunday), not Saturday's qualifying, no pit walk, no special access, just regular grandstand bleacher seats for Sunday, is what we should expect. We were told our seats would be mostly in the K2 section grandstands, "near the checkered flag" (though it turned out we could not see the checkered flag from our seats, as it was up and behind us). We'd been told at booking, and that night, that there would be a "former F1 driver" at the upcoming cocktail party, but we were still not told who it would be until we got the late night newsletter on our bed, where a wiki printout of the bio on Allan McNish awaited us. McNish had started in only 17 F1 races, so technically he was indeed a "former F1 driver" and Silversea did not lie, though his greatest fame was actually that he was a 3-time American Le Mans Series champion. Then the night before the race a special, formal cocktail party in La Terrazza, with excellent canapes and champagne and almost everyone dressed to the nines. A lot of the pax there seemed less interested in F1 than in just being where they thought they should be so they could tell people about it when they got home, but many were hardcore car buffs, and it was nice to meet fellow afficionados. This was followed by an entertaining talk given by McNish, who was a great speaker and we were happy to meet him even though we'd never heard of him RE F1 racing until this trip. Then we had a special dinner with not extra special food at La Terrazza with fellow F1 fans. Then came the actual race on Sunday: we tendered in early to allow time to walk up the hill to the track. The streets were a zoo, full of souvenir shops and tourists as well as high end boutiques, some ladies in outrageously gawdy outfits as you'd expect, but mostly just casual attire like we'd been told to wear. No drivers or celebrities viewed. Our grandstand seating (no backrests), out in the blazing sun was indeed in K2 and, as noted, we could not see the checkered flag. Toilets were few and far away dirty portable units with LONG LINES (3 stalls, one broken, for hundreds of women), so we were afraid to eat or drink anything though the drunken Aussies behind us (not SS pax) kept climbing over us in the bleachers to go get more beer. Overhead announcements were hard to hear and the display board showing driver standings had big delays. As we sat for a few hours, uncomfortable, trying to focus on the race, we longingly gazed at others in town who were luxuriating watching the race from commercial service yachts and hotels, drinking champagne and eating lunch in real chairs, (presumably with access to clean toilets), thinking that if we'd paid a few hundred dollars more (we looked it up), we could have been there instead of suffering on our bleachers. For $1500 per person, we (perhaps unrealistically) expected more, and would not do this again, as we are not interested in bragging rights for just having been there (when we got home, we then watched the race on TV:) PORTOFERRAIO -- we took the tour across the island first, and then toured Napoleon's old villa, nice views and some interesting history. Could have skipped the island tour and just toured the villa on our own. DISEMBARKATION smooth, no problems, took the bus SS had organized to the airport SUMMARY: overall an entertaining cruise, with mostly excellent service on an uncrowded ship, though we probably would have picked a different Silversea cruise (or bought our own GP tickets with better seats) if we'd known the Grand Prix experience was going to be so uncomfortable relative to the price. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
We had nearly filled out the Silversea questionnaire and the ratings, but decided to write a letter to the hoteldirector instead. We also nearly decided to book a cruise in the middle of the cruise period, but at the end we decided ... Read More
We had nearly filled out the Silversea questionnaire and the ratings, but decided to write a letter to the hoteldirector instead. We also nearly decided to book a cruise in the middle of the cruise period, but at the end we decided against it. Why you could ask and I will try to give an answer that is more than putting dots in a questionnaire. Of course we also listened to other friends of ours or people that we met on this cruise. The opinion of my wife and myself is that we will not sail on this ship anymore, even with a fantastic Captain and a very very excellent cook! The best point of Silversea remains the totality of the crew, my compliments, but if it is the Cloud or Spirit, we still remained very impressed with nearly all crew members...a 9 -- 10. BUT....the crisis has seemed to also effect Silversea. When arriving in the suite, no Champagne in a bucket, which looks so welcoming and gives a special feeling of luxury, also not on the balcony suites, we heard. The only reason I took a low Suite is because my wife gets seasick fast, this voyage no problem at all. I am glad I did it this trip. The mini bar was sparsely filled, when we asked for a bottle of Prosecco from Valdobiadene, we got that and the bottle of Chardonnay that we asked for. The restaurant was much better than on the Cloud and therefore we visited it more thant La Terrazza which we preferred on the Cloud. The shuttle bus in Ponta Delgada every 30 minutes, crazy,the distance was very very short easy with only minimal extra cost is every 10 or 15 minutes, it was a 6 minute drive. People were waiting in the pouring rain! The guy was sitting on his rear end waiting 15 -- 20 minutes in front of the ship or at the collecting point, Don't forget the average age!! Of one couple we know, and they were irritated, as they had a birthday which they had filled in in the pre voyage information. Silversea forgot it completely but they got an email from Seabourn! The entertainment was average and below standard for a 5 star ship. I found the entertainers on the Cloud much better. The boring man telling about humour was ....just boring. So we decided to not book on the ship, and the 5 % we missed too bad. If we go back to Silversea it will be on the smaller ships, or the medium sized ones that we have no experience on. So concluding, did we have a nice voyage, yes very nice , but the extra star in the "Complete guide to Cruising and Cruise ships", I do not find correct, for me it should still be a 4 +, like the Cloud. I wanted a 5 star and I will try that somewhere else. Does that mean I will never be back, absolutely not we will travel with the company sometime somewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We set off from home at 04.50 on 1st March from Manchester airport on the 07.20 shuttle to Heathrow. From here we caught the 10.25 BA flight to Los Angeles, touching down at 13.15, local time, 8 hours behind the UK. LAX appears unique ... Read More
We set off from home at 04.50 on 1st March from Manchester airport on the 07.20 shuttle to Heathrow. From here we caught the 10.25 BA flight to Los Angeles, touching down at 13.15, local time, 8 hours behind the UK. LAX appears unique to us in being the only airport where planes are required to be towed onto the stand - jobs for the boys!!? Parked within 50 yards of the stand, the first tow truck that was attached broke down, so we had to wait about ten minutes for a replacement! The Captain (a lady) advised us that this was perhaps no bad thing; because the airport terminal congestion had eased by the time we were able to disembark the plane. The Immigration hall was still packed with people and we made our way to one of the interminable queues with around at least 100 passengers in front of us, each queue being situated in front of four immigration desks. By the time we could see these booths, we found that only two were manned and soon afterwards, one of the two staff, just got up and left! A notice displayed on the booth read "The face of our country", to which we wryly observed that it was more accurate to say the invisible face! Eventually we were reassigned to a different queue, and finally passed through immigration to collect our baggage, which had been removed from the carousel and put on the floor in a haphazard manner, necessitating walking round the whole perimeter of the carousel to locate each item! We then queued again to pass through customs which involved handing over our declaration form stating we were not in possession of more than $100,000, did not have any food, had not visited a farm in the past 7 days and had not handled any animals! By now over two hours had elapsed since the plane touched down!! Outside the terminal we found the airport hotel shuttle pick up point and waited about ten minutes for the Marriott bus to arrive. Check in at the hotel was swift and we were given a 7th (top) floor room with a king sized bed. The room was very spacious and had all the facilities we needed. We had chosen this hotel specifically because we knew from Google Earth street view that it was easy to walk to and from the airport. This gave us the flexibility of either catching the hotel shuttle or walking, and we timed one walk at 13 minutes from leaving our room to arriving at terminal 1. On the 2nd March we were back at the airport for a 7.20 am flight to San Francisco's Oakland airport. Here we had already booked an open topped bus tour of the city, which lasted two hours. The weather was fine, dry and reasonably sunny, although only around 15C. We then wandered round the central part of the city and took a short cable car ride; the cable cars are one of the main features for which SF is renowned. During our city tour we saw the famous Golden Gate Bridge, whose colour is more akin to the Forth rail bridge in Scotland, red rather than golden. We returned to the airport for our flight at 19.05 arriving back at LAX at 20.25, walking back to the hotel. On the 3rd we were back once again at LAX for the Flyaway coach link ($7) to Union Station to catch Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner to San Diego, a journey of two hours 50 minutes. We were advised to do this, rather than flying, because the railway hugs the coast for part of the route, and therefore is scenically attractive. San Diego was a little disappointing and we certainly saw quite a bit of it, by taking two different trolleys (trams) criss-crossing the town. We also walked round the famous Gaslamp quarter, which proved to be underwhelming when set against its high rating. Restaurant food was expensive so we waited for our return train journey for food. The train station, known as Santa Fe Depot and dating from 1915, was a short walk from the waterfront, but there were no cruise ships in that day. We were surprised that on the return journey the train was packed and standing, with so many day-trippers returning to Los Angeles from the various beach resorts along the way. On the 4th, with a bit of a lie-in for the first time since arriving in LA, and seeing the hotel room in daylight, we checked out at 11.am. Our review of the Courtyard by Marriot LAX has already been published on Trip Advisor. Although there were metered taxis in the street outside quoting USD60 but subject to whatever the meter actually recorded, we had arranged transport with the concierge for $65, and arrived at the cruise terminal around 11.45am. Embarking commenced as usual at 12 noon and we had some lunch and made some future dinner reservations. Lifeboat drill is now enforced and you are dragged out of your cabin if you are not at your muster station, so "dearly beloved" has now had to change the habit of a lifetime and attend!! We had not finished unpacking before it was time to go to the Panorama Lounge for our prearranged gathering of Cruise Critics. The next day was at sea and, and as we predicted the weather was cold and cloudy. Matters improved on the 2nd sea day, although the temperatures were far from tropical. However I suppose we were being slightly over optimistic to expect anything else at the beginning of March!! The ship was virtually full with 500 passengers (single occupancy means that it is rare to hit 540 capacity). Silver Spirit is of course the largest of Silversea`s ships and we have always felt it was less intimate and the passengers less friendly, and this time proved no exception. On several occasions when passing passengers in the corridors one felt one was invisible, when they neither smiled nor acknowledged you, and whether or not they spoke English, a smile is universal and costs nothing! However with regards to the officers and crew, nothing is too much trouble and they have worked extremely hard to provide an excellent level of service. We sailed with Captain Arma last November on the Wind, and he invited us to dinner on the first informal evening. We found out later that he is responsible for choosing his own table, and prefers to dine with people he knows. Cabo San Lucas - this was a tender port, but only about 5 minutes to the pierside. We did not have a trip until the afternoon, so just walked along the promenade lined with shops and restaurants. Most of the shops were selling souvenirs and the cafes had loud music blaring out, reminiscent of a Mexican Benidorm! Walking to the end of one side, we came to a weighing machine, which stated that the marlin hanging from it weighed 120 lb! Round the corner the fishermen were selling the catch of the day, mainly mackerel, which were huge and resembled large salmon. They were also gutting the marlin, and the pelicans were trying their hardest to pinch the roe, without much success as it was too heavy for them to break off. As we came into the pier, there were several large seals, one in particular was hanging onto the stern of a returning fishing boat, and was desperately trying to get in, with both flippers and half his body on the back of the boat!! There were several round the fishermen gutting the marlin and were vying with the pelicans for any morsel they could get. Other passengers ventured further afield on foot and said the town became less tacky and more refined so our view of Cabo as sleazy was based on a limited exposure. Our whale watching trip started by getting on a catamaran in the harbour with about 75 other Silversea passengers, so the boat was not full. We headed out into the Pacific, and not into the Sea of Cortez, which we had expected, but to travel the full length of the Sea of Cortez would have taken several days. The boat could, though, have headed towards the mouth of the Sea of Cortez, where the land-based passengers saw more whales than we did! We were well looked after during our trip and had no complaints about onboard facilities serving us margaritas and/or soft drinks. We saw a few whales, but those who did a cookery course at a local hotel saw more including calves. The tip therefore is to research a waterfront hotel and go there if you want to whale watch!! Acapulco. We were due in here at 12 noon, but in calm water, the pilot fell off his boat between that and ours, and had to be fished out and hospitalised with two broken ribs! This caused a delay of 90 minutes until a fresh pilot could be found. This worked to our advantage because we did not sail until 22.00 instead of the planned 17.30, for which we were most grateful. They are currently rebuilding a new cruise terminal, so the approach to the old town was fraught with diggers, cranes, and holes in the road. However we managed to reach the old town and walked round the market district, taking in the shops and street vendors, before finding an Internet cafe for US$1 for one hour! We took a cab to a cafe right round the bay on top of a promontory with a very good view of the whole bay and our ship. We had been recommended to visit Senor Frog's bar but at 5.45pm it was dead. This seemed to sum up Acapulco, where several other bars to which we had been recommended had closed down due to lack of business. The local taxis are mainly old style VW beetles, in varying states of decrepitude. Ours was no exception. The driver said it dated from 1992, but its rust and lack of power on the hills suggested maybe 1972! We finished the day in Acapulco by going to Quebrada to see the divers who have one performance around 1 pm, and three shows later at night in the dark. They charge 40 pesos (USD4) to watch the performance, paid in advance to a guy selling tickets. People dispersed when the ticket seller came round. Our vantage point was a public viewing area built on one side of the small bay where the divers jump from a different side. There was piped music and a Spanish commentary. The youngest diver was 7 years old, about which his proud grandmother, who was standing next to us, informed us. They dive from three different stages from the cliff, and reach these by climbing up the cliff face from the sea. Although being told the performance would be at 7pm, then 7.20pm, the show actually started at 7.40pm. This performance is quite impressive, not least because of the height of the cliffs from which they jump, but also due to the narrow gap between the cliffs into the sea. Overall, Acapulco disappointed. The fact that this had once been the resort of the great and the good was remarkable, until one remembers we are talking about the 1950's and 1960's, and time moves on. This was no glitzy resort but bore the hallmarks of a tourist destination from which the tourists (foreign, at least) had gone. This is perhaps a shame because at no time did we feel threatened or intimidated. What was surprising was how few locals had any command of the English language. Huatulco. After a day at sea, we reached here, a pretty resort with nine bays, popular by virtue of its close proximity to Mexico City. We got a taxi (USD5) from the jetty to La Entrega Beach where one can leave one's belonging with one of the beach bars for the price of a beer. Being Sunday the beach was packed. We had taken our snorkel gear because this beach has a small offshore reef and is popular with divers and snorkellers for this reason, but we found the water to be very cold and didn't in fact snorkel at all. Puerto Chiapas. This was our final port in Mexico, which is very close to the Guatemalan border. Here we took the shuttle (USD10) per person round trip, for the 50 minutes ride to Tapachula. This is the largest town in the area and the shops gave the impression of a degree of prosperity. There was quite a contrast between the locals here and those in Acapulco, the former being slimmer and apparently more affluent, the latter being invariable well overweight and down at heel. Again, we found an Internet cafe, which charged USD1 for one hour. Back at the attractive port area we perused the few outlets in the terminal, buying some coffee. Close by was a bar/cafe with a large pool and a great R&R spot for the ship's crew. We had a Mexican dish and got a free beer, which was not expensive. Puntarenas. This is the Pacific port in Costa Rica where we had arranged a trip on the Monteverde tourist train through the rain forest in the mountains. The coach needed remedial surgery on route - administered by the driver after receiving a spare part by special delivery, whilst we sat on the coach for about an hour. The drive was very scenic as we climbed to over 3000 feet with a marked drop in temperature, having left the port at 8.15 with temperatures already at 91F!! After lunch we had a ten-minute ride on a miniature railway followed by a 30-minute walk through the rain forest canopy. Whilst we heard some birds, we saw nothing, the usual story - the fauna are at their most prolific early in the morning and late in the evening. We then retraced our steps by train and coach to the ship. The trip was worth it for the drive but not for the train ride or rain forest walk. The lunch venue is part of the railway setup and fully accessible and modern, although the food was nothing to write home about. We had a sea day before a full day transit of the Panama Canal, the highlight for most passengers, but we were fortunate to have done this before. We had an exceptionally interesting and informative lady guide brought on at Miraflores, who gave a running commentary until we finally reached the Caribbean side and she left by launch back to Panama. Cartagena. The following day we arrived in Colombia's popular Caribbean port, also a port we had previously visited. With nothing extra we wished to see, we stayed on board and enjoyed a very hot sunny day by the pool. Santa Marta. The day after, we reached Columbia's main coal exporting port, further east from Cartagena. Fortunately there was only limited activity in the dock area because it was a Sunday. We opted not to do any of the two ship's shore excursions, but availed ourselves of the Silversea's shuttle out of the container port area to the edge of the town. There were plenty of taxis here and a few market stalls. From here we used the locally provided map to walk along the road with a pleasant beach to our right and the town, laid out on a grid plan, to our left. We walked through a well-maintained park towards the heart of the town. The town itself appeared reasonably prosperous and well kept in the main streets which were bustling with people, roadside stalls, and many shops were open in 5th Avenue - actually named 5th Street. Unfortunately they would not accept US dollars, which was a shame as there were some nice clothes in some of them. Prior to visiting the shopping area, we came to a large square, at one corner of which stood the Cathedral in which the main Sunday service was just finishing. It was a very plain but attractive church with a stained glassed little annex, with both side doors and the main entrance open to the elements. The music was also interesting and was not of the hymnal type, but very modern, in a show tunes type style. Local women wore attire above the knee and tops without sleeves, contrary to the advice from our ship regarding conservative dress if visiting the cathedral. After realising that we could not spend any money and having seen most of the main streets, we returned to the ship. After two further sea days with the weather continuing to be generally hot, but sometimes windy, we disembarked the ship in Fort Lauderdale. Silversea arranged facilities for a hospitality room at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, for those flying out that evening from Miami. This worked very well because it gave us another day swimming and sunbathing before our flight at 21.45. The organisation of the Silversea ground staff from getting onto the coaches at the quayside, to being taken to Miami airport was first class and extremely well organised. Silver Spirit Review This is the biggest of, what Silversea calls, the line's traditional fleet and it has the worst passenger/crew ratio. Generally, the ship's condition was very good, though our V6 grade cabin, 917, had bad carpet staining beyond routine cleaning and the settee had stuffing showing and looked worn. There was also staining on carpets in the corridors, particularly on deck 9. We feel that the ship is long overdue refurbishment, as some internal areas are looking decidedly shabby. We also found the bed mattress to be unacceptably hard, despite being given the "soft" side, and various doctoring by our butler and his assistant. The lights over the writing desk flickered due to a loose connection but this was fixed, as was a badly squeaking bathroom door. Our butler and his assistant did everything required of them. All the staff worked hard to provide the highest standard of service. I am sure that if we asked them to lie down so we could walk all over them, they would!! Nothing is too much trouble. We try to be civil and polite and friendly to these people because they work long hours, every day for typically an 8-month contract. The same cannot be said for an increasing number of passengers. One guest relations manager told us that, when he leaves the sea, he plans to get a dog and call it Hey You. This will enable him to say to the dog "Hey You, come here", a familiar cry directed at him by passengers! Such passenger rudeness is total unnecessary and a disgrace. Captain Arma splits his time between this ship and Silver Wind, and we had sailed with him on that ship last November. We found him friendly and approachable. Martin was the Hotel Director, deputising for the ebullient and charming Paulo, who returned from leave at the end of our cruise. Don was the cruise director and he handled the afternoon trivia quiz with diplomacy, even when one team exceeded the limit of 8 by an extra member and 2 'observers', and several other teams "cheated". Despite this, our 'little' team of up to only 6 won several times. We didn't watch very much evening entertainment, partly because poor dining room service precluded this on 3 occasions. Anyone coming to this line for nightlife will be disappointed because the bars and lounges are largely empty by 11pm, reflecting the age profile of many passengers. Entertainment is one of many areas where Silversea has made cutbacks. The troupe of entertainers they do employ are not good all-rounders, and they need to bring back the Jean Ryan company who we saw first on the Silver Spirit, who were infinitely superior. Dining Room We took breakfast, lunch and dinner here on various occasions. There are some menu items at breakfast that come from this galley and it is sensible to dine here to enjoy them at their best. Breakfast food and service was very good. Lunchtime service was excellent, probably because, like breakfast, few opt to dine here. The food was generally also very good, though the Oriental stir-fry dishes (a welcome option) were very bland. Dinner was something of a curate's egg. Sometimes the service was faultless, sometimes there were inexplicable long waits; this is unacceptable on a line like Silversea, who proclaim they are 6th star. Sometimes the food was very good, sometimes it definitely wasn't. We dubbed this the artichoke cruise because this vegetable appeared in some form virtually nightly! Previous voyages have majored on spinach or asparagus. The beef Wellington served on the first formal night was cold and rejected for a hot version, which was provided graciously. When dining on a table larger than for four, it was inadvisable to have fish as the main course because it would be overcooked. We always ordered extra vegetables with our main course but it was difficult to get the galley to cook these beyond blanching. Desserts were invariably very good and the sorbets fantastic. The restaurant manager, Marcelo, was charming and very helpful. In addition to the main dining room, there are 5 other dining venues. La Terrazza. This was extremely popular and advance reservation necessary. There are 3 menus, which rotate every 3 days. The service was as good as staffing and galley allow. Possibly the worst meal we had here was as part of the Captain's invitation table. Those who chose the ravioli found it congealed, stuck to the plate, and impossible to cut with a fork. The main course fish was served overcooked and dried out. If the galley can't get it right for the Captain's guests, what can one expect normally? We had a total of four dinners here and some food was better than others. One night, the venison stew was good but the 'catch of the day' was not. Sometimes the pasta was good, sometimes not. By virtue of being extremely popular, and so full every night, the waiters were constantly rushing and this gave the impression the venue was under-staffed. Marcello still managed service with humour and efficiency, though. We lunched here on 2 occasions and neither were sufficiently memorable to recall now. We like the opportunity offered to take breakfast outside here. This facility proved popular with passengers but restricting the large tables set for only just 2 effectively reduced capacity, and when very busy, necessitated us asking if the occupied table would mind company. Eating outside brings the drawback of a long walk to and from the food service area. The range of food was good, though omelettes were pre-cooked, thereby rendering them rubbery and cold, so we specified lots of '"extras" to ensure we got a freshly cooked one. Stars Supper Club This shares a galley with La Terrazza and serves a multi-course tasting menu from 8.30pm. Entertainment in the form of a jazz singer and pianist accompanies the food and there is a small dance floor. The menu does not change and was well prepared and presented. Mickey, the singer has been the resident singer since the Spirit was launched. Even allowing for her heavy cold at the start, she gave the impression of being bored with her role. During a previous sailing on the Spirit, a different artist was superior. Le Champagne We did not eat here this time, having sampled the revised $30 cover charge and the new menu on the Wind last November. Seishin Unique to the Spirit, this venue offers Japanese cuisine, subject to a cover charge. The original Japanese chef has been replaced permanently by a Filipino (cutback?), and the food was interesting and well presented. The three female waiters coped well. Deck Food We often took lunch here because we spend a lot of time around the pool. The menu has not been changed for years and needs a revamp. On sea days a mini barbecue is put on and this adds variety, though the very basic salad choices were very disappointing and could easily be enlarged. In the evening this galley runs the Hot Rocks venue of dining under the stars. The menu is limited and focuses on steaks, though salmon, prawns and pork chops are also on the menu. The concept is to cook your own main course on a hot stone, which is brought to your table for the purpose and is a concept which was popular in the UK 20-30 years ago in mid-range restaurants but has long since died out. Frankly, this is not fine dining on any measure, does not fit with the original Silversea concept of ultra luxury and shows how Silversea is now catering for a different demographic. It was amusing to watch other passengers stuffing their faces with large slabs of meat, clearly oblivious to the Relais et Chateau marque to which Silversea belongs. Brown Rolls The availability of these became something of a saga! We were told company policy lays down that Silversea only provide these at dinner, where they were always in short supply. For breakfast and lunch, a brown loaf is offered, already sliced by the crew so it is dry and unappetising. Eventually a special bake was prepared for us but 'hidden away' in case other passengers ate them first! Ultimately, brown rolls debuted for everyone at breakfast in La Terrazza on the last morning of the cruise prior to disembarkation! The good news part of this saga is Silversea work hard to never say 'no' to meet reasonable requests from passengers, which we gather is not true on rival Seabourn and (from our own experience) not the case on Oceania. Disembarkation This was handled very well by Silversea, both in terms of baggage handling and the transfer arrangements to the Hyatt Pier 66 hospitality room and late afternoon journey to Miami airport, as previously stated above. The same could not be said for US immigration, which, like our arrival at Los Angeles on the 1st, was an appallingly protracted process. Silversea kept passengers on board in comfortable surroundings, in order to minimise the time spent standing in line in the terminal, though inevitably some passengers had already started to queue alongside the outside deck prior to their luggage coloured tag label being called. Some passengers had taxis waiting for them on the quayside, but didn't manage to disembark till after 11 am. One wonders if their taxis waited! We won't be returning to the USA any time soon because of these delays at immigration which are lamentable for a technologically-advanced country. Passengers Of the roughly 500 on board, there were 183 from the USA, typical for a voyage starting or ending in a US port. Next by number were 88 from the UK and there were roughly 55 German speakers (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Only 14 were staying on for the following cruise. A significant proportion of the passengers were plain rude; they would pass you in a corridor without even a smile, as if you were invisible. This is another indicator in the changing demographic on board these days. It never ceases to amaze us how many passengers have little appreciation of the ports of call and no clear understanding about the return flight arrangements. They just leave this to their TA in blind faith that the 'travel professional', who is always described as 'brilliant', knows best. From long experience of TAs, this is very risky because, often, their knowledge is inadequate and we frequently come up with better alternatives than the TA, when taking account of the circumstances of the passenger. Our favourite quote from this cruise came during a dialogue over where in the world we have sailed with Silversea. One of the sectors is the Middle East and a passenger enquired whether this was China! Still, it's probably cheaper on a cruise than in a care home!! Sadly, the number of passengers of this sort appears to be increasing and one marvels at Silversea taking care of them, always with a gracious smile; another Silversea plus. There is no doubt that the Spirit is regular Silversea passengers' least favourite ship, and surprisingly a number said they would not sail on her again. We would certainly think hard before choosing the Spirit again, which is a shame because we like Captain Arma, Paulo (hotel director) and many of the crew, all of whom try their best to serve passengers well. The problem is the dining arrangements do not work consistently and to the standard of the other 4 traditional ships. Two further comments, which are seemingly not within the remit of either the officers or the crew. Dress code Quite rightly, Silversea have a strict code to which they ask their passengers to adhere. On a formal night, one couple was seen entering the theatre, the lady in a heavy knitted sweater, accompanied by her husband with a baseball cap on his head! We have heard alarming rumours that Silversea are intending to relax the dress code, removing the requirement for male passengers to wear jackets in La Terrazza. Unfortunately most passengers seem incapable of understanding what "smart casual" means, and quite frankly they are an insult to those passengers who do. There were several occasions when jacketless men appeared in public rooms and were not censured. It would seem Silversea are letting this ride. Smoking policy Once again Silversea are specific on where passengers can and cannot smoke. This also was not adhered to. With the advent of the electronic cigarette, which does contain nicotine, passengers were surreptitiously smoking all over the ship and were not told this was not allowed. There was often a smell of cigarettes from some passengers' balconies, and some passengers blatantly smoked on deck in non-designated areas and were not stopped. If Silversea have both a dress code and a smoking policy, then it needs to be adhered, to regardless of whom the passenger might be. The title for this review refers ostensibly to the above two issues, the state of the cabin and internal decorations, and the inconsistency of the food, but in no way to the standard of the service provided by the crew. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Easy helpful courteous boarding. Good size comfortable suite. First night in main restaurant Silversea tried to con me. We asked if we could order wine by the glass and the waiter brought us a box of spectacles. We asked someone else - ... Read More
Easy helpful courteous boarding. Good size comfortable suite. First night in main restaurant Silversea tried to con me. We asked if we could order wine by the glass and the waiter brought us a box of spectacles. We asked someone else - the wine waiter I think - if we could order wine by the glass and he too said no but handed me 2 wine lists - one with stratospheric prices and the other with so-called special good deal prices. I asked if there were any wines we could order by the half bottle and he said no but they would keep what's left for our next visit. I managed to find an ok bottle of wine for $60. The next day I found out that there are loads of complementary wines and that this is part of the inclusivity of Silversea. Clearly the wine waiter was expected by his bosses to persuade passengers to trade up to paid-for wines. I don't mind that as an option but I think it's grubby to try and get me to trade up by deceit. I handed a letter of complaint to the reception and they apologised and knocked off the $60. I'm sure there was some small print info where I could hjave learned this in advance but Silversea have shovelled more bits of paper in front of me at the outset of this voyage than the total papers I got when buying a house. Information not only has be churned out, it also has to be received. All the restaurants were too noisy. Not just the musak. The main noise was the clattering of plates and cutlery by the staff into one of the numerous serving islands that seemed to be within ear splitting distance of every table. The waiters had no sensitivity in this regard - they would be more at home in a cheap cafeteria. It used ot drive me nuts the way the waiters would try to carry my plate if I was waalking to my table from a buffet. I'm not a cripple. They need to develop enough sensitivity to back off when a guest seems comfortable continuing his journey unassisted. On one occasion when at my table I picked up a pepper pot top add some more pepper to my dish a waiter rushed over to try to take it out of my hand so he could do it for me. I know cruise operators have a lot of elderly guests who might enjoy this degree of rescue from the unbearable hardship of adding more pepper to their meal but waiters need to be trained to differentiate between types of guests in terms of self-reliance. Allowing smoking on deck is unacceptable and in the case of cigars, such smokers should be sent to a cigar-fumed chamber for aversion therapy. Seriously, developed countries have for the most part conquered this obnoxious social habit which is so unpleasant to anyone within a few feet of these wretched people and it is about time Silversea followed suit. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We embarked in Barbados--Silversea works hard to get you to the ship from the airport and onto the ship, but check-in at the dock was tedious--unorganized. Reception on board was smiley-face friendly, but not much else. Cold towels (good) ... Read More
We embarked in Barbados--Silversea works hard to get you to the ship from the airport and onto the ship, but check-in at the dock was tedious--unorganized. Reception on board was smiley-face friendly, but not much else. Cold towels (good) and warm champagne--glasses half filled (bad) and you had to look for a server. Most arrivals hadn't eaten all day and there was nothing to snack on, and I finally grabbed someone and asked them to show me to our room...which was ready--noting that liquor I asked for in my room was there--very good. The ship was clean as a whistle--and the staff otherwise quite accommodating, or certainly willing to be accommodating. This was a 9-day cruise that stopped at six islands and returned to Ft. Lauderdale. Ports were fine--no issues, even though my wife and I stayed on board for two islands we'd been to previously. Also, the on-board pool is salt water--a very pleasant surprise--clean as a whistle. All ships should consider converting to salt water Now, don't go by the company's website hype and photos. At 61, take my word, I was in the young crowd, and don't believe for a minute that these are executive type travelers...80% on this ship (at only 2/3 full) were retirees--great folks, but this ship/cruise did not offer a chance to hob-nob with fellow business folks--65% American and the rest Canadians, Brits and Europeans. There were three children on board with one being totally obnoxious and mostly un-managed. I'm beggin' you if you go on this cruise line--please dont take kids on this cruise line--there is nothing for them to do and everyone else is on board to get away from kids. Our cabin was simply great--comfortable bed with our butler just about as good as it gets. The cabin was spanking clean everyday...we even told our room steward not to change the sheets everyday--it was just that clean. Good for Silversea. Food, unfortunately, was average at best with a less than suburban steak house quality steak in the main restaurant (yuk). The whole food thing on Silver Spirit needs to be re-worked, in my opinion. The specialty restaurants were okay--booze selection was top drawer, but you had to ask for it--wines above average all around. The breakfast buffet--our choice for all nine days, was well run with excellent food and health food choices. Hats off to the bartenders throughout--all very good--all very accommodating, with a special nod to Wilma and Bass in the Reception Lounge and Rex at poolside. The captain and the crew were very standoffish. Even though language barriers were evident, the captain made no attempt to respond to my several friendly "hellos" and gestures other than with grunts. This is the first cruise I've ever taken with no dialogue with any of the staff/crew. We we're in a very upscale cabin--yet no captain's dinner, no reception--no nothing. On our very similar Windstar cruise (Wind Surf) two years earlier, everyone gets to know everyone, and the captain and his crew were totally interactive--not so on the Silver Spirit. Entertainment was okay--about what you'd expect for a small ship--but a very nice show lounge. The poolside "horse races" with the talent staff to earn on-board cruise points just may have been the most annoying thing I've ever witnessed on board a ship---they need to lose it...nobody cared, except the screaming kid. Lastly, the crap about not tipping from management just means most people don't, which is a shame. As expensive as this cruise was, my wife and I tipped our butler, our room steward and several of the bartenders. The tips were greatly appreciated...these folks are just working stiffs like we all once were-- looking to make a living...please take care of them as well. Good cruising to you--we'll probably go back, just not sure where or when. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
We cruised Alaska with Silversea in 2010 on Silver Shadow but this was our first time in the Caribbean and on Silver Spirit. On arrival at Miami Airport we collected our luggage and just outside the baggage hall the Silversea ... Read More
We cruised Alaska with Silversea in 2010 on Silver Shadow but this was our first time in the Caribbean and on Silver Spirit. On arrival at Miami Airport we collected our luggage and just outside the baggage hall the Silversea representatives met us and took our luggage. We boarded the mini bus for the 45 minute transfer to the Silversea pre-cruise hotel which was the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. The transfer was handled well and we arrived at the hotel very quickly. The Pre-cruise hotel was however not so good and poor value for the cost. This is reviewed in more detail on Trip Advisor. The following day the 13.00 transfer to the ship (10 mins maximum) was also smooth and as we passed the long time of people standing in the hot sunshine waiting to board the Holland America ship we started to get a bit apprehensive. No need, as we were dropped off in a covered area and swiftly went through customs after filling in a short health form. Next we went up to a desk and picked up our suite "keys" and were then straight onto the ship - less than 30 minutes after leaving the hotel. A glass of champagne waited in reception for us and then a quick photograph for the security card/ suite key and we were all done. We were informed that our suite would not be ready until 14.30 so off we went to La Terrazza for some lunch. We went along to our suite at 14.40 and it was all ready but there was no sign of our butler (we later learned that they have a break in the middle of the day) so we unpacked ourselves to avoid the clothes being even more creased. This I guess is the down side of being allowed to board early but it was nice to get on the ship and get settled before we left port. We also used the time in the restaurant to book tables for later in the cruise at La Terrazza and "Hot Rocks". The ship itself has some good points and some bad points. For a relatively new ship there are some quality issues which you wouldn't expect to find. The chairs in the dining areas are already showing signs of wear with chips on the wooden handles and some of the seats on deck had nasty stains on the cushions. Some of the deck areas are covered in an "imitation" deck covering which is some sort of plastic coating but it is not non slip and there are signs all around warning that it may become slippery when wet. We didn't find it too slippery but it does look very cheap and nasty. There are however some "bumps" on the deck which do catch you out from time to time. On this warm weather cruise the walking/jogging area became clogged up with sun loungers and we didn't enjoy walking our usual few miles to burn up the calories quite so much as on other cruises. The "bar" on deck 5 is a nice area to meet for pre and post dinner drinks and is a good size. The tables in La Terrazza however are so close together that getting to a window table is difficult. The tables in the main dining area are much better spaced. We tried the "hot Rocks" dining one night but it is a bit of a novelty and who wants to cook their own food when on holiday? There seemed to be lots of room on the ship but there were only around 340 passengers. Our suite was clean and tidy but I don't think that our choice of Hypo-allergenic pillows had been picked up from the guest information forms we filled in on line (my birthday was missed on our cruise last year as well). We asked the butler to check and they were provided before retiring for the night. The cabin does appear narrow at first as others have commented on but we never really found this to be a problem. It does mean that some of the cupboards are so narrow as to be useless but there is plenty of other storage space. We did find the washbowl a bit shallow and if the tap is turned on a bit too hard water does splash over the mirror. The tap is also a bit fiddly and in our suite you had to push the handle down to turn the water on. There is also only one bowl where some ships have two. The shower and bath worked well but we did have a bit of a smell in the toilet at some stages of our trip - it was not particularly bad and seemed to come and go. The major problem we had on our first night on the way from Fort Lauderdale to BVI was the noise and vibration in the suite. The sea was quite rough with a sizeable swell but the balcony door rattled, the wardrobe door rattled and various other bits of the cabin joined in for good measure. On the way back from Prince Rupert to San Francisco on our previous cruise on Silver Shadow the sea was much rougher but we never had a problems with our suite. Also we don't tend to suffer from sea sickness but we didn't feel too good after our first night and the following day we had a light breakfast and lunch and went to bed at 17.00. We complained about our cabin and two maintenance men spent over an hour on the suite door and then pronounced that they couldn't fix it. We were offered the use of another cabin on deck 6 (we were on deck 8) which we didn't like so much but we slept there for two nights whilst we were at sea and until the sea calmed down a bit. This avoided us having to pack and unpack again to move cabin. I managed to fix the balcony door with aid of a flannel from the bathroom wedged under the outside runner of the door to make sure the catches engaged properly when closed. The table on the balcony was falling apart and it wouldn't even take a drink. This was replaced by a better one but it still had sharp pieces sticking out of the side and needed replacing. We were advised that they were all the same. The wooden decking on the balcony rocked as you walked on it and the other end rose up by almost 1 inch. This couldn't be repaired either as it was caused by a bulge in the metal of the deck according to the maintenance staff. By this stage I was wishing I had packed my tool bag as I am sure I could fix it! The aircon also seemed to be a bit dodgy and sometimes in the middle of the night we would wake up as the room had got too hot. The control unit was only partly secured to the wall and this was reported by the butler but never fixed before we left the ship. The TV remote control sensor is located below the mirrors and just above a couple of useful shelves but if you place anything on the shelf it blocks the sensor and you can't operate the TV. Poor design. We felt that the food quality and choice at breakfast and lunch was not as good as last year but still ok. Most of the fruit at breakfast seemed to be tinned which is surprising given we were between Florida and the Caribbean. The eggs were freshly cooked as usual but at 07.00 when we had breakfast most mornings the other "hot" items were not as hot as they should have been. The hash browns were over cooked virtually every day and disintegrated when a fork was applied. The coffee and orange juice were very good however. The dinner choice was good and the quality fine. The menu had quite a lot of fish dishes reflecting the local produce but the steaks were always an option and superb (you must try the Black Angus steak). The complimentary wine (and champagne) was in my opinion poor except for some good Italian and New Zealand white bottles mainly served at lunchtime. On our previous cruise with Silversea when we asked for something else we always found a good alternative. On this cruise the alternatives offered were also on the whole poor and the wine waiter staff did not seem to know what was available in the their cellar. We never saw the head sommelier during the trip. Screw top bottles of Cote De Rhone are not really 6 star cruising? The staff were on the whole quite good and friendly especially the butlers and room maids but some of the European restaurant staff had a very abrupt manner which was a bit disconcerting. Our butler called us by name but virtually no other staff asked our name or used it. On our previous Silversea cruise the restaurant staff knew us by name within a couple of days. There seemed to be just something missing this time and perhaps it was the very officious Maitre d' who certainly kept the staff on their toes. The "senior" staff (captain, Chief Engineer etc) were not very visible either in the restaurants or public areas but perhaps we just missed them. Disembarkation was as smooth as embarkation and the colour coding system for our luggage and getting off worked well. We were off the ship by 09.30 having had to vacate the cabin by 08.00 making use of the bar to wait. On our previous cruise we were "abandoned" by Silversea at San Francisco airport at around 11.00 for a 17.30 flight which we knew to be around 5 hours late thanks to a text from BA. The ship had been chartered for the next week leaving ASAP and so remaining on the ship was not an option. On this cruise we were offered a "complimentary" excursion which lasted 6.5 hours and included lunch dropping us off at the airport only 3 hours from our scheduled departure - much better! This was offered as an excursion ($139 if pre booked) on the list we received but we did not take it up thankfully. We took 5 Tours (including the complimentary one in Barbados) mainly because we had $500 shipboard credit. None of them looked very inspiring I have to say unless you like beaches or snorkelling. The tour in Antigua (overview) turned out to be really good but that was down to the fantastic tour guide we had on the bus. We spoke to others who did the same trip and they didn't enjoy it. I guess the Caribbean islands do not have that much to see on tours. I would recommend that you do NOT book the Seven Sisters waterfalls tour on Grenada unless you want to spend an hour on a botany lesson about the vegetation on the island, and another couple of hours slithering up and down a steep muddy slope to see a couple of fairly poor waterfalls (the other 5 are so small that it is not worth the effort to climb up to see them). On the way back there is a group of guys who charge you $1 to clean your shoes before you are allowed to board the bus. The tour guides put on a pair of wellies before they set out which was very wise but not an option for us. The cruise Itinerary gave us a good flavour of the Caribbean visiting 7 different islands but I have to say they are all remarkably similar and apart from the sunshine and beaches they are not very interesting. They are all becoming very dependent on tourism and in places like Castries you have to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers just to walk out of the port, many of whom I am sure are not licensed. It was nice to see the Caribbean but it is not for us Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Western Mediterranean, 7-21 October 2011. I am a well-traveled, 53 year-old female cruising with my same-age niece. I have about 10 weeks of cruising experience, on a variety of lines and different-sized ships, this was my first ... Read More
Western Mediterranean, 7-21 October 2011. I am a well-traveled, 53 year-old female cruising with my same-age niece. I have about 10 weeks of cruising experience, on a variety of lines and different-sized ships, this was my first Silversea cruise. Rather than a "destination", we used the ship as a "Five-star floating hotel" to travel to and see parts of the Med that we had not seen before. There's definitely something to be said for unpacking and packing once to see twelve different ports! Cabin - 910, Least expensive Veranda cabin; located on the Pool Deck. Everything you've read about the narrowness of the cabins on the Spirit is true, it's just too narrow in the very middle where it really counts. We had the beds configured as twins, so this at least made it a little more convenient to pass than if the bed was configured as a queen. It just doesn't work, we were constantly in each other's way. The TV which is hidden behind the mirror is a definite space-saver, but it makes for a darker mirror and it is impossible to use the mirror while the TV is on. The TV behind the living area mirror works better, but is impossible to "tilt" toward any other part of the cabin. Otherwise, the space in the cabin is very comfortable, the veranda is larger than most (deeper) allowing for ottomans for your faux-wicker chairs. Desk area is spacious as is storage and walk-in closet. Shall I tell you about the bathroom?... Whoever designed the sink and faucet was an idiot. After two weeks using the stupid thing, we still sprayed and splashed water all over the place. They should have opted for two smaller sinks with "normal" faucets! The boat-shaped shower is small and awkward, and makes it impossible to shave your legs. Good thing they also put in a full-sized tub. Both have good pressure and we never ran out of hot water. Make-up mirror is not lit, and there is poor overhead lighting; better to opt for the vanity area by the bed - much better lighting. Plentiful and luxurious towels and amenities. Restaurants - "The" Restaurant - Smaller and more intimate (lots of 2-tops) than most ship's dining rooms. We never had a problem getting a table, even when it looked crowded. Good service, not excellent - and very loud bus stations, ask to be seated as far away as possible. Good choice of "everyday" selections and creative and varied "specials". There was always a selection of good wines available at no extra cost, or you could just ask for your favorite. Portions are small, such that a three- or four-course meal is possible without being stuffed. Breakfast gets boring, always the same menu (exactly the same as room service) and there are no specials. "Seishin" - I'd call it Asian "tapas". You choose from either a 4-5 course ($30) or a 9-course ($40) dinner, then you can add on Sake tastings for extra. Food and garnishes became repetitive on 9-course meal, but overall it was a fun and tasty experience. This is the only place you can be served Japanese beer on the boat - too bad they don't have a bar, only seating for about 26 diners with a Sushi-bar "demo" in the middle. "La Terrazza" - This is the ubiquitous buffet restaurant for the boat, at least for breakfast and lunch. Both meals had the same food display and availability (with minor changes) daily - it became boring, but at least you can get in and out in a hurry if you choose. Breakfast service is a little awkward, you must go through the buffet, then sit down to order any egg dishes, as they won't take your order while you wait at the buffet. Lunch always included a generous salad bar and assortment of sushi. For dinner, it's a reservations-only, sit-down Italian restaurant, the menu changes every 5 days or so, but some dishes are always available. Good food, good wine - just ask to be seated away from the bussing stations - as the constant clang of dishes and silverware tends to de-romanticize the dimly-lit beautiful dining room. "Le Champange" - Best food on the ship! Every day they feature a specific food, then build a six- to ten-course menu around that food. We went twice, for Lobster night and Fois Gras night - absolutely delicious! They advertise it as a Gourmet Food & Wine experience at $200 per person, with a special glass of wine paired with each course. BUT... if you buy yourself a Bon Voyage gift prior to departure (see Silversea's website) , it's only $150 per person. And, even better, it's only $30 each if you get the "tasting menu" and purchase a bottle of wine off their wine list (mandatory), the wine list starts at about $50 per bottle. Generally, what they were pouring with the full menu was very young and mostly drinkable, but in my opinion not worth $170 each. "Stars" - Billed as a "Tapas" restaurant with live Jazz entertainment. Good food, not great. Good music, not great. Still, I think it's a "must" during the cruise. "Hot Rocks", also known as The Pool Grill - this is a great idea that really works. You get a salad, then they bring out individual hot "tiles" on which they have just placed your selection of meat(s); you also get a veggie skewer and a baked potato. You cook your meat the way you like it, then put it on your plate and eat it. Simple dinner, but it was really good. Somehow, after all the fancy food, a steak and baked potato just hit the spot! Dress - As I expected, anything goes. Unfortunately for you guys, ladies can get away with dressing-down easier than men can. Ladies can go to dinner any night in nice black pants and a silk top. On the formal nights, I saw everything from tuxedos and ball-gowns to jeans and short skirts. If "Formal" is your thing, just plan the evening around "The Restaurant" or "Le Champagne" and dress to the nines! If "Formal" doesn't do it for you - then make a reservation at Hot Rocks and wear your jeans. It's just no big deal - do whatever you feel like and you'll be comfortable. I way-overpacked, especially considering the convenient and free self-service laundry on each deck. Service - Silversea obviously cares about this aspect and has trained their staff to be responsive to the guests' needs. Almost always, they come through with shining colors, but occasionally, they just miss the mark. When they don't get it done correctly the first time, follow-up and follow-through get lost; I have a feeling that because the staff has such task-specific jobs, they expect each other to take care of issues, and then they drop the ball thinking it's not in their job-description. Then, when you have to ask again, the staff seems put-out, like "we are taking care of that already," you want to ask who is? and when? Nevertheless, within less than a week, most of the staff knew us and addressed us by name - what an accomplishment when there are 500+ guests on board! All staff we encountered spoke perfect English, as well as other languages I'm sure. Overall, I was definitely impressed by the level of service and the extensive knowledge of the staff. Shore Excursions - It was nice to have smaller size groups for tours, it was also a bonus that each tour was accompanied by a crew member, usually from the "Social Staff" (entertainers, etc.). During two weeks on board, we took a tour everyday except one. Sometimes we would have only 18 to 20 people on an excursion - and they used those huge, 52 passenger busses. It felt like a waste, but I understand why they do it - people would rather have the extra elbow room and not feel packed-in like sardines. I personally think it would be better to use those smaller 22 passenger mini-busses and just fill them up. Most excursions were very professionally led and very informative - you know there's always an exception, we had one tour-guide who spent more time on her cell phone than she did telling us about what we were seeing. I highly recommend ANY of Silversea's shore excursions which feature the little crown - they are very special indeed, always done in very small groups, usually include an incredible meal, and worth the price! If you want to stay away from the larger groups and the older, slower-moving crowd - look for the "extensive walking" excursions - they were much faster-paced and tended to cover more ground and spent far less time sightseeing from the bus. However, be aware that even with a sold-out cruise, they still cancelled shore excursions (always at the last minute!) - book yours early and be prepared with a second choice. Spa - Every day they have a "special" announced in the Silversea Chronicles - act fast getting a reservation, because the specials are usually combination-type packages and up to about 30% off, and they sell out fast. They have a wide variety of treatments, more than I've ever seen offered on a ship - but they are very expensive. The facial and massage treatments I had were basic and average, but being able to take advantage of the quiet, covered deck, exclusive hot-tub, and heated relaxation beds was a treat. Facilities are new and really nice, but not worth the extra $$$ required if you are not having a treatment. Overall - I detest being nickled-and-dimed to death on cruises, I also dislike the constant P.A. announcements trying to sell me something and not being able to enjoy sea-days without having art or jewelry hawked all day. It was a real pleasure to be onboard Silversea and have absolutely NONE of that! Silversea's Spirit is the epitome of a truly classy, luxury vacation. The "house" champagne was Heidseick Blue-top, and it was available whenever and wherever I wanted it - does vacation get much better? I loved having all the different dining options on the Spirit, just be sure and get reservations for every night as soon as you get on board, otherwise you'll be disappointed when your wait-list never clears! I'm ready to go again... where do I sign up? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
Silver Seas makes a very big deal about service and luxury. Our experience is that they perhaps should talk less and do more. There was nothing wrong as such, but there were some oddities that made this less than five star. Upon ... Read More
Silver Seas makes a very big deal about service and luxury. Our experience is that they perhaps should talk less and do more. There was nothing wrong as such, but there were some oddities that made this less than five star. Upon arriving at the airport, we were met by a cruise rep, as arranged. She explained that we would be taken to the ship, although it was too early to board. However, we could check our luggage, then go into the city for the day. She said the cruise would be available for boarding at about 2 pm. The transfer to the port was by private car. When we arrived at the port, there were reps there as well. They, however, did not know what to do with us. The woman we spoke with suggested we wait for boarding (4 hours!). She was obviously busy with passengers leaving the ship, but even when I told her what had been said at the airport, she was clueless. After 45 minutes I saw a desk that had a checked luggage sign, and yes indeed it was where we could leave our luggage so we could tour the city. That the ship's own representative was ignorant of a service that existed within 100 feet of her was rather stunning. We finally boarded around 3 pm. No one showed us to our stateroom. The stateroom was just fine, and lived up to the claims of Silver Seas for the Spirit appointments and amenities. It was very large and comfortable, with two flat screen televisions (but outdated movies). One problem was the "desk" in the sleeping area. It was more of a ledge than a desk, very shallow, and there was very little space between it and the bottom of the bed. The hair dryer is permanently attached in a drawer there, so you have to use this space to do your hair. However, if one person sat there to do that, the other had to climb over the bed to get to the bathroom or closet. As for the walk in closet, at first I thought it was a good idea. However, I think we ended up with less space for hanging garments than we do in cabins that do not have this feature. I have read some of the reviews about services offered on this ship and by this line and let me just say that a lot of it was news to me when I read the reviews. No one indicated we could have the butler unpack or pack our luggage, least of all him. It was not clear what he would or could do, other than make sure that our fridge had the water and drinks we requested, and serve us room service if we ordered it. He offered to help us in any way, so perhaps I was supposed to make whatever demands I wanted and leave it to him to comply or not? We found a card that said we could request a choice of newspapers, but he explained that was no longer offered free of charge. The lack of information was a bit of a problem in many areas, in our opinion. The ship seemed to assume we were more aware of how it operated than we were, since this was our first experience on this line. When it came to service, again nothing was "wrong." On the other hand, there were peculiarities. When you went to the breakfast buffet, a waiter took your plate and carried it to your table. All fine and good, but an example of how the ship did these showy "service" things that were not really necessary. What was odd was that no one explained that you could request certain other items from the waiter in addition to the buffet, such as pancakes or eggs Benedict, or that the waiter would put in the order for an omelet so you did not have to wait for it. There were all these waiters watching passengers trying to do that themselves, and not saying a word about the service they offered. They just took the plate and carried it, then asked what you wanted to drink. I just found this peculiar. Perhaps no one else does. The lunch is only served until 2 pm in the buffet or the dining room, which is annoying. After that the only option is a very limited menu at the pool grill. One day I asked if perhaps I could order from the room service menu instead of the grill's menu.(I did not want to eat in my room.) I assumed that it would be available since room service was available. The staff had no idea what to do with my request, and eventually said, no, only items on the menu could be served there. My point is that many of the staff do not seem to be empowered to go the extra mile to ensure the service being touted. They have a little list they have been taught of their duties, and unusual requests seem to confuse them. The excursions were pretty typical. One was not well thought out and included a stop that made no sense, where we visited a resort for ice tea and little cakes. I think it was included just to claim the tour, which was pricey for the time involved, had X number of stops when in reality it had X minus one. A long excursion to Seville would have been better if more time had been set aside to be on our own. 90 minutes to both eat lunch on our own and shop was not sufficient in a Spanish city. Neither the cruise rep who was with us nor the tour guide offered any advice on restaurants either, which was less than helpful. (Actually, I purchased nothing on this trip because all of the excursions left so little time to do so. By the way, while in Gibralter we discovered it was a duty free zone. None of the ship's information had indicated this. Considering the high VATs in Europe, it is the sort of thing passengers might want to know, I think.) The food was very good in the dining room. More selection would be nice. Efforts were made to create distinctive dishes with unusual tastes. We were fine with this, but those who like less creativity might find it less appealing. The wine was adequate. The free pourings were all of a "light" taste--very light in some cases. I think they could do better in this area. They seem to be choosing the wines by the lowest common denominator in terms of what would be considered drinkable. So the wines had little depth or body. I think that one can request a different wine, from the bar, if the offering does not appeal. Ask for a specific varietal and it will be brought. The Italian restaurant was, again, somewhat typical, and not gourmet. Think well done Trattoria food. It did provide a change of pace from the dining room. Debarkation went very smoothly. We stayed an extra two days in Lisbon at the Tara hotel. It is a large business hotel, with large rooms but somewhat tired decor, in an upscale neighborhood some distance from the city center, with very few restaurants in walking distance. I think the cruise line uses it as an option because it is near the Ritz, which it also uses. Be warned that this hotel has the hardest beds I have ever slept in, and I am used to European beds being hard. Our flight back was fine, but the cruise line might have warned passengers about the problems with the Lisbon airport. It is not an airport where you want to cut it close. Besides a long walk to the area that has the International gates, there is a passport control that creates a huge bottleneck. We stood in that line alone for over half an hour. We made it to our plane, but there were five "no shows" in business class (out of 12 booked passengers), including at least one couple from our cruise who I knew should be there. Another couple from the cruise made it just in time. While this is an airport issue, Silver Seas should warn passengers about this, since they use Lisbon on a regular basis. We found ourselves, after all was said and done, trying to articulate why we were a little disappointed in this experience. Not unhappy, mind you, just a less than wowed. We felt it had not compared favorably with cruises taken on other luxury lines, but pinpointing why took some thought. The initial lack of service upon arriving at the ship did not help, of course. I have tried to give a picture of the little things that accumulated to give us this feeling that Silver Seas customer service and general experience was slightly "off." Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
In 2009 I posted a review of the Silver Cloud which caused quite a stir. Essentially I said that it was presumptuous on the part of Silversea to associate themselves with Relais & Chateaux property because their food was poor, and ... Read More
In 2009 I posted a review of the Silver Cloud which caused quite a stir. Essentially I said that it was presumptuous on the part of Silversea to associate themselves with Relais & Chateaux property because their food was poor, and worse, they were cutting corners while trying to maintain a veneer of quality. What I did not reveal in the review, but did in subsequent blogs,is that I am a partner in a Relais & Chateaux property and that I am acutely aware of their accreditation standards. In that review I was also very clear that the service on the Silver Cloud was superb, and that the experience of cruising on Silversea was supported by their service. For this reason, we embarked again on the Silver Spirit to cross the Pacific. The Spirit is a beautiful ship. Nautical architects could argue endlessly over the preferred location of the public areas, but the fact remains that the areas flow very well. Quiet spots are found all day long ( including the pool area) and the dining rooms ( reserved or not) were always comfortably full but never crowded. The midship veranda cabins, however, were another story. They comprise the great majority of the suites on the ship and they are absurdly narrow, almost claustrophobic despite their stated square feet. And the shame is that had they sacrificed a couple of cabins per deck to enlarge each remaining cabin, the Spirit would have set the standard of luxury cruising because the "bones" of the cabin are great. The bathroom is spacious, with an excellent shower. The veranda is finally usable ( ie. meals for two), and the TV system works very well. Associated with the cabins is the butler service. This was introduced shortly after our last cruise, and while I was skeptical at the time, I am now firmly convinced that it is an expensive effort which delivers far less satisfaction than offering better quality wines. Although courteous, our butler had nothing to do other than serve breakfast in tails, and leave some canapes before cocktails! Seriously, why demote the cabin steward in favour of a butler, who at great expense, delivers no appreciable difference in service? The food on the ship covered the gamut, from excellent to indifferent. La Terrazza finally returned to its trattoria roots and served some very good fresh pasta, and more importantly, they changed their menus from time to time. Their breakfast buffet was an efficient way to get people fed, but it was not imaginative nor was it refined. The advantage was that you could eat on the aft deck, which food aside, was worth the effort. The Main Restaurant was consistently good, but to be clear, no meal was at the standard of a Relais & Chateaux property in France, Italy, or for that matter, in the US. The Champagne, on the other hand, was excellent and well worth the $ 30 supplement. The same could be said of Seishin. The chef spent 14 years in Japan, and the attention to detail was evident. The dishes were refined , beautifully presented and very good indeed. Now for the rest. Running a cruise ship line is a business like any other. Tradeoffs are inevitable, but great care must be taken to not devalue the brand you have built. In Silversea's case they must balance their " all inclusive" mantra with superb service, and I strongly believe that they have the skewed it in the wrong direction. The service has gone " over the top" ( ie butlers) and the mainstay of food and wine have suffered. The fish is still frozen ( why offer a frozen branzino?) and the wines are deplorable. For example, the featured red wine at the Terrazza is Col di Sasso by Banfi, a $6.00 wine at US distributors. Why, particularly when you are paying approximately $ 900/day for a full pension? In my opinion, this equation needs to addressed quickly before the brand is damaged. My comments may suggest that we had a bad time. On the contrary, we had a great cruise, and will probably choose Silversea again, but I am concerned that the company believes that instead of leading the industry in quality and service, they are merely measuring what they have versus the competition and matching it. This is not a formula for success. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Background Information I booked this cruise while we were on the Maiden Voyage of the Spirit in December/January in order to take advantage of the 2% onboard savings and the free air program. We enjoyed the Spirit on our first sailing, ... Read More
Background Information I booked this cruise while we were on the Maiden Voyage of the Spirit in December/January in order to take advantage of the 2% onboard savings and the free air program. We enjoyed the Spirit on our first sailing, though we traveled where it was cold, and I thought a warmer itinerary would be fun. We have been on a number of Silversea sailings on Whisper, Shadow, and Wind and hope to get on the Cloud sometime soon. We have also sailed other lines We're in the travel industry and I am a Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE, Certified Luxury Specialist (CLS) and Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC), as well as a former technology quality assurance lead. I seem to approach a lot of my trips from a QA perspective, and my husband often points that out to me!! This review will focus on this sailing, as I've done comparisons of the other ships, other lines, etc. before. Travel & Hotel Info We left Houston IAH on American, and Silversea was nice enough to let us have some say in our itinerary on the free flight promo. That was very much appreciated. We left on a flight leaving Houston at 10:40 a.m. and arriving in Miami at 1:25 p.m. Our only requirements were for complimentary internet, breakfast and 24 hour shuttle. We got all that, and that was about it. We stayed at a Comfort Suites in the highest end room there (lol) and walked to IHOP nearby for a quick dinner. It was nothing like any IHOP we have been to, but we ate. In the morning, we had an easy shuttle and took the next American flight into Barbados BGT, arriving around our expected time. The day of our departure, Silversea provided those with flights to Miami, JFK, and the UK a transfer at 9 a.m. to the Savannah Hotel in Barbados where we had a hospitality room (group) with towels, juice, coffee, tea, water, pastries, fruits, light sandwiches, and a couple of hot appetizers. They had an air conditioned room with board games, and we had full use of the pool and beach. Todd and I wore bathing suits under our departure outfits, and we took full advantage of the facilities. Unfortunately, they announced the departure time only to those in the main room, and the "rumor mill" time was not quite right. We stumbled into some of the group loading up and ended up with a few others on a second bus. The Savannah was OK, plenty of loungers and adequate shade, but the water off of their short beach was natural and 100% full of rocks. Some guests stayed all 4 1/2 hours in that room and did not look around. Others laid at the beach or pool. Some ate and had drinks. We sat under an umbrella by the pool and got in the water a number of times and walked around in the sand. We also had a few snacks. Arrival & Embarkation We arrived into Barbados BGT airport at 1:15. We had hoped to see a Silversea rep to direct us or at least signs since a number of Silversea guests were on our Miami flight. No such luck and no baggage assistance either inside the baggage claim or at the Silversea provided transportation. A lady was outside with a list of expected arrivals, but she did not even know her list had the cabin numbers, and she seemed almost unable to manage the group of maybe 14 people. She sent people here and yon and finally got everyone in cabs where no baggage handling was provided either free or at a cost. We all helped each other schlep our bags right into the vans. Then we waited a long time while they tried to cram another couple on, but eventually we proceeded when nobody came. We certainly did not have room for their bags. There was no water provided. We had a ride longer than the 6 of us in our particular van expected. Traffic was bad, and we inched along. When we got to the port, we were still self-directed with no rep in sight, but since we had been to Barbados before, we sort of told our group where to go and reached the tables with Silversea reps that were requesting cruise tickets. We then were put on a local bus again with no water and taken to the ship, though it was a very short distance. At that point, we had our ID cards and were told rooms would be ready. When we got to the gangway, someone took my bag and carried it up, but we were scolded for standing 2 inches from where they wanted us. I am sure newbies in front and back of us were not impressed, and nobody carried their bags or Todd's. Greeting was nice with cold towel and escort to the bar for nice drinks, nuts, chips, and party mix. No canapEs or greeting spread for the first time on Silversea. Nobody announced it, but I knew Silversea would have something nice open for everyone somewhere, and I was delighted to find that the lunch buffet was left open until 3:45. Todd didn't come up, as he wanted to wait for the butler, but I had my first of many delightful meals onboard, and I prefer the full meal to the canapes. Ship Info The ship holds 540 guests, and there were about 479 onboard or 89%. There are lovely public lounges onboard the ship. Last sailing, we loved the new main bar which was open day and night at that time and just off the lobby. Of course, it is still open for seating, and they have a big screen tv going in the afternoon, but drinks are not served in the afternoon as they were when we sailed over the holidays. One had to go to the Panorama or the pool deck or one's own cabin. This started to make those spaces where we hung out, and a lot of people used the nice space behind the Panorama or other nice shady areas around the ship. There are 3 hot tubs on the pool deck, and they were at 3 slightly different temperatures. I think it was on purpose and seemed thoughtful to me. The pool was used more than I have seen the pool used on any luxury sailing. We used it a few times ourselves, and I was really pleased to see Todd enjoying the water areas more than usual (not that he doesn't like them, but he never "gets around to it" much). We did not use the spa, steam room, etc. this time. I have covered these areas in my original report, along with the pluses and minuses of some of the locker areas. The ship is very easy to navigate, and our cabin 647 could not have been better positioned. We were in between two elevator banks and two staircases, and we were just about anywhere in a short moment. The library and internet cafe are mixed, and there is no divider for the internet section. The conference room is near the theatre. There is also a small card room. The medical facility is on deck 3, and unfortunately, I had to pay them a couple of visits after slamming my finger in the cabin door for nearly a full minute. Activities Activities were generally led by the cruise director and two social hostesses, along with members of the production cast. We participated in all of the team trivia sessions. Todd played in several table tennis tournaments. We attended many golf putting contests. Together, we did one shuffleboard contest, and Todd attended several others. On the sea day, I attended the wine tasting in the Panorama Lounge. This was led by one of the 3 sommeliers, Norman, and he was assisted by one of the others, Simon. There was a white and a red in the tasting. I also attended the cooking demo in the theatre. At the cooking demo, the emphasis was on fois gras. The chef made a fois gras terrine that everyone got to taste and a seared one that nobody got to taste. I had ordered this through our butler the day before, and he arrived that night with two beautifully prepared plates and a full table setup. On the sea day, they also did a bridge tour and a galley tour. I tried to sign up for the galley tour long before the deadline, but it was already full. I would not have been able to go due to my accident anyway. My accident really put a damper on the sea day and the last 1/3 of the cruise. I was on my way to arts and crafts to make a bracelet when I injured my finger in the door. Also in the arts and crafts department, they had origami lessons. There were Italian, French and Portuguese lessons, too. I believe there were card games. There were some classes from the spa on detox, acupuncture, botox, etc. There were two enrichment lectures on the sea day based on geology and Barbados. We enjoyed the things that we did, and we got some logo prizes at the end for participating. One night, we played blackjack at the casino before dinner. I won $5, and Todd won enough to pay for the two tours we did. We did not go back after that, as we were happy with our winnings. Also, there is a full exercise program and dance lessons with the ballet duo available at no additional cost. There was a captain's party on the formal night, and like last time, it was split between The Bar and Panarama Lounge. There was also a Venetian Society one night in the theatre. There was one couple that was honored for going over 500 nights. They will receive a complimentary 14 night cruise. Service The pool deck was a bit more crowded than our last sailing on Spirit due to nicer weather, and the deck staff was not as quick to remove towels. They were not usually resetting up towels like they usually do on Silversea, so we'd have to go seek a towel. Also, though there were more waiters than we have ever seen, but if you weren't sitting at the dining tables, you had to go ask for service. The pool deck service has always been over the top before, so it was a step down even though there were probably twice as many servers. They just seemed to be wandering sometimes. They were happy to do anything when asked. Some people did not think that the dining service was that great. Ours was fine to good. At lunch, it was not always easy to get wine without begging, and they rarely carried the plate to the table anymore, which is something I really enjoy them doing and something I really needed for 3 days. Breakfast service is the best we've ever had, and the other service was better than on the maiden voyage on Spirit. Our butler service started slow. We received the Bvulgari toiletries right away but wanted to try the new ones. We did get those after a few hours. It took about 5 or 6 hours to get our bags unpacked, and we had to let the butler repack a few hours before we were ready. Other than that, the butler and cabin service were exemplary. Several days, we received beautiful snacks at cocktail hour - things like huge mussels, crab dip on crackers, chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce, pate, crab claws, and meatballs. He knew that I liked limes and brought them automatically after a discussion on exactly how many I would need each day. He always kept our chardonnay stocked and our soda and ice, too. He, along with our room attendant did a wonderful job with the suite. When we ordered room service , it took so long. I tried to give up and go eat upstairs at noon when they opened and left for a tour at 12:10 (I was told the meeting time was 12:30 to make it to the tour at 1 pm) and went down to the tender. They had just left without me, and I missed the tour after getting over on the tender and finding they had left by 3 minutes after time even though they called the boat to see if I was on it. The head butler did not know this, yet he came to apologize for the delay with room service, which was caused by them calling to say they were not happy with the quality and were redoing the order. I thought that was very classy of the head butler to make a visit, unlike the shore department who did not bother to start lunch early anywhere in order for anyone to have lunch. Sometimes they served drinks in the theatre, which was something that was missing on the maiden voyage, and this was very welcome. The reception staff was also very courteous, and the bar staff remembered everything all the time and were so courteous and efficient. We always love Silversea service, and it a major factor in why we sail with them. Port & Shore Excursions We overnighted in Barbados on the ship, and I paid a couple $20 to take me around for an hour for some photos and to explain some of the historical and picturesque sights. They took me to a beach that had some hurricane damage and down into Bridgetown and some other places. It was enjoyable. Elsewhere in the review, I talked about our day in Barbados at the Savannah Hotel at the end of the cruise. The first port was Dominica. This was the only new port for us based on the originally scheduled itinerary. I went on the aerial tram tour. They brought an old rickety bus, which was not exemplary of Silversea, and it broke down 7 miles up the road. We were safe and looking at a beautiful volcano, but two ladies were uncomfortable and trying to talk everyone into going back to the ship. Twenty minutes later, we were rescued and divided into two vans that were still full but were more of the style of what Silversea should have sent in the first place. The tram ride was very interesting, and everyone crossed the foot bridge in the rain forest. There was some light climbing and hiking. Photos don't do it justice. We never got to see the 5 waterfalls like the description, at least not water falling but could hear them and saw a couple of rivers coming off of them. It was worthwhile, but I would not go again. Todd did the accessible tour. He went to Morne Bruce viewpoint and experienced a lovely view overlooking Roseau and could see the ship and also some rain forest. Next, they went to the botanical gardens and saw birds and some flora and fauna. It was small and had a lot of hurricane damage from Tomas that had just come through. There was not a lot to see except some nice views. They went on a long drive (at least 30 minutes) with nice views, first along the beach and then up a mountain in the rainforest to Jaco Falls. There was about 45 minutes there, and some of the bathrooms were not great. They walked down a steep area with a lot of rocks. Todd wanted to get in, but there wasn't much time since he had stopped to take so many pictures. At the end, both tours offered both a rum punch and a non-alcoholic beverage. Todd dined on the pool deck after his tour, and I dashed to the buffet. The people that went on the whale watching and dolphin tour mostly saw dolphins. I think the people that did the emerald pool enjoyed that one. I also went inside the market area and also toured the visitors center and walked a ways down from where the ship was docked for more photos. The next day, they flipped the itinerary around and went to St. Kitts instead of St Barths. Todd did not get to the ship. Last time we were there, he golfed at the Marriott, and I went to the casino and pool and beach there. This time, I walked quite a distance up and down various streets and viewed some old churches and other buildings, along with a brief look at the touristy shops at "The Circus". We never did go to St. Barths due to the safety issues and damage from Tomas. The captain spent a long time circling around Phillipsburg in St. Martin, but there were 25,000 people there from large cruise ships, and there was no slots, so he went to the French side where it was necessary to tender. We were a long ways out, and the tender was a 20 or 25 minute ride. That is the only thing I saw since the tour abandoned me, and we have only been to the airport there. I just got right back on the tender since I was upset. In Bequia in the Grenadines, many people just jumped on the back of the trucks sitting there for island tours. We did that last time and went to the fort and turtle farm and a beach. There were water taxis to take people to the beach, and I think Silversea organized a beach tour and also an island tour. I walked all around the waterfront as far as I could and took a number of beautiful photos and walked the little beach there. A number of people sat around at the little restaurants and bars there and had cocktails. I walked over to the vegetable markets to look around and also went to watch some local fishermen working with fish. I stayed there a while, as I was enjoying that. There were a number of people who had zodiacs docked and were coming in and out from yachts offshore to get things at the markets. The iced tea and chilled water at the tent where guests were to wait for the tender was a nice touch. Our Suite We adore the verandah cabins. The rain head shower is nice, and the shower is tall enough. Todd finds the space a bit snug, but it is fine for me. The tub is a luxury size for a cruise ship, and I love the nice rinse off spout that they installed. The cabin had plenty of storage space everywhere. There are two TVs controlled by one remote. This time, we had no issues at all with the system, and there are over 400 movies from which to chooses. We enjoyed several recent releases. Our drinks of choice were always there, we never ran out of anything, and after a very short conversation with the butler the first day, the things we did not need were removed to allow space for what we liked. We had nice fruits and orchids, and we had champagne on ice upon arrival. The verandah was very inviting in warm weather, especially since the loungers will lay back, and with footstools and a nice table, it is just a terrific place to be. Dining I enjoyed the buffets at lunch the most. The dining room was full, but they are using a sharing concept to help with this (optional). On the days that Todd did not come up, I always shared, and I really enjoyed the conversations. The restaurant was always open for course by course lunch, but I was enjoying selecting my own fruits and salad ingredients. Todd liked the meats and vegetables a lot. There were mostly cold soups at lunch, a disappointment, but there was a delicious squash soup one day. Most days, the lunch buffet has a regional theme. There is usually an Asian item (a couple of times, it was a chicken curry, and the other days, it was Thai or Chinese). There was always a carved meat, quite a few fresh vegetable dishes and a few nice dishes. One day, there was a nice boulliabase. Also on the lunch buffet are beautiful lettuces, a variety of dressings, salad toppings, a salad of the day, sushi, sashimi, gourmet cured meats, fresh pastries, a cheese trolley, gourmet ice cream and sorbet, and fresh breads. The fish was the most disappointing since it was usually dry and overcooked, but the last day, there were large, nice sea scallops. Todd enjoyed a burger a couple of days on the pool deck. Another day, he just got onion rings. We shared a pizza one day. I heard one lady say she didn't want her food anymore because it was taking too long. It can take a while since it is cooked beautifully to order, so if you want a quick bite before dashing off somewhere, this is not the venue to use. If you are hanging out, it is a lovely option, and you can get your food at your pool chair or the table. There is a full menu on the deck. There is a full menu for the room with very nice choices, and you can get the restaurant offerings during meal hours. The day after I hurt my finger, we stayed in a lot since I was in pain, and we had a nice room service lunch. The tables that they set up in the Spirit verandah suites are larger than on the other ships since there is more space. Todd had French onion soup, and I had tomato basil. I ordered a pesto pasta, and Todd ordered steak. At breakfast, you can go to the restaurant for the course by course service, it was never crowded. You can also go to the buffet. For the first time at the buffet, my waiter always asked me if I wanted to order anything such as eggs, waffles, etc., and things were prompt and beautifully prepared. They have asked Todd before, but I have never been asked. Daily, a variety of fresh fruits were carved throughout the service time, and there were other varieties of fruits and gorgeous berries. They had piles of smoked salmon and cheeses. There was ham, bacon, sausage, potatoes, beans, pastries, yogurt, and cereals. The pink grapefruit juice was so delicious that it tasted like I was drinking a grapefruit ( I was!!). We went to La Terazza one night. We had soup and an antipasto platter and salads. Todd had sliced steak, and I had wonderful osso bucco. Todd had the tiramissu, and I had the panna cotta. I didn't like it because it had nutmeg in it. Service was nice, and the restaurant was quiet and relaxing. We really enjoyed our evening there. Early in the cruise, we went to hot rocks. I ordered the veal chop, and Todd ordered a steak and a couple of shrimp. The server insisted that I order sea bass, but it was not like any sea bass I have had and was too fishy to eat and likely was not sea bass. I normally love the sea bass on Silversea. We had salads, and Todd had a baked potato. My veal chop was divine, but there was no way I could finish all of it. Todd had the same issue as last time with it cooking before he could eat it and getting too done. The restaurant is so popular now that it is hard to get in if you don't reserve early in the cruise. We had a second reservation and gave it up. We had a great evening and really enjoyed the Filipino singer that sings up to the diners from the pool deck. We enjoyed our dinners at the main dining room, though there was often no fish choice besides the daily salmon choice. I ended up ordering other things. I couldn't order vegetarian due to it always having mushrooms, but I always found something like pheasant or shellfish or something. On formal night, I asked to have my lobster prepared without butter, and I loved it. Since the shows were at 10:15, too late for us if we finish dinner at 9:30, we adjusted our schedule to 8 or 8:30 the two nights of the production shows and went to the Panorama beforehand and listened to Amadeus and the DJ music and relaxed. It actually made for a complete evening doing it that way. One evening, we dined with a couple that had been married 61 years, and we had a wonderful time with them working our way through all 5 courses. Evenings were great until I hurt my finger, and then we just watched movies after dinner. That was fun, too. I just couldn't sleep. On the night of the pool bbq, it was just hours after I slammed my finger in the door, and I just had 4 crab claws and one rib, and Todd had 3 ribs, and I was just in too much pain, so we left about 15 minutes after it started. This event is not our thing, but we liked how this time they put smaller tables for 6 or 8 vs. those long tables we have experienced on most sailings. The main dining room was open, but I was not up to it. We did not go to Seishin or Le Champagne. Seishin has two teaser menus and the main degustation menu, and you can pair with complimentary wines, wine pairings, or sake pairings, and there are different prices for each of these choices. Le Champagne is so beautiful on this ship, if I was going to go there, it would be on this ship, but many times, I know that the menus are too exotic for Todd's more meat and potatoes taste. Entertainment I found this to be weaker than it has been on other Silversea cruises since there was no guest magician or comedian or cabaret act. Last time on Spirit, they offered the shows twice in an evening, and I know that was short-lived for only one or two cruises. This sailing had two production shows, both are repeats for us from the maiden voyage 10 months ago. Only Keeva remains from the original production company, and I feel the original entertainers were better, though this group is good. The Rocketman show was not nearly as good as with the other group. Same with Dawning of Aquarius. There was a Taste of Things to Come show that was very short. It was on the pool deck. On the BBQ night, there was a show by the production company. We were not able to attend that due to my accident. There was no guest performers at all, and that is a first time for us ever on a luxury ship and was a disappointment. Several nights, they had movies in the theatre, and those were on the TV anyway. There was live entertainment on the ship and DJ sets. Any we attended were quite pleasant, but the timing was not always just right for when the people were in the particular lounge. STARS was so crowded on the nights of the lack of live entertainment in the theatre that we could not even get a seat or get to the bar, We tried several times and never stayed over 5 minutes since it was just too full. Disembarkation The butler packed for us before dinnertime, and we kept our bags in the room and put them out before the 11 p.m. deadline, keeping out a few things for our day at Savannah Hotel. I had a short breakfast because we had to be off the ship for our ride to Savannah at 9, and both the doctor and the restaurant didn't open until 8 a.m. We did not get the luggage assistance that I requested, but we did alright and easily located our bags in the terminal. We took the shuttle over to Savannah, it probably took 30 minutes. We had easily opted out of the charity donation, and there were no unexpected charges on the bill. We had the two tours and my $606 and change doctor bill. There was a sort delay of 15 minutes for passport pickup which also made it a challenge to go to breakfast and the doctor, but I managed it all. This was not our best Silversea cruise due to a few issues with the shore excursions and the handling of my accident, but it was mostly very enjoyable. Our cabin was excellent, dining service was mostly excellent (beverage service was good but not excellent in the dining rooms). The shore staff size needs increased, and they need to take a look at getting back into treating people to a more luxurious tour style. We relaxed so much all around the ship, in our balcony and in the cabin, and we enjoyed every activity we attended and wish we could have made even more, though we gave it a valiant effort. I did a blog, which is a work in progress at http://www.luxurycruiseandland.com. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
My wife and I just completed a 14 day Transatlantic cruise on the Silver Spirit out of Lisbon and wanted to share briefly some of our expectations that were met and not met by Silversea. This was our first Silversea cruise and looked ... Read More
My wife and I just completed a 14 day Transatlantic cruise on the Silver Spirit out of Lisbon and wanted to share briefly some of our expectations that were met and not met by Silversea. This was our first Silversea cruise and looked forward to it very keenly based on the many positive reviews we read and talking to our cruise consultant. In summary from my first touch-point with the cruise line: 1) the website is cumbersome and tired for an upscale cruise line. In fairness it has undergone an update but still lags other. 2)Booking spa treatments before the cruise is a nice plus other lines don't offer but 3)we find it maddening that one cannot book the specialty restaurants before hand as most other lines allow. If one wants to make sure they obtain their choices they need to rush aboard and run around the ship to each restaurant and book since it is not automated but manual lists are kept 4)beverages and gratuities included in the tariff is a major plus especially on a 14 day cruise 5)embarkation was smooth but again manually performed? 6)upon boarding you can have lunch in the Restaurant or (not publicized) in La Terrazza before departure 7)Staff is attentive and by mid cruise most remember your name 8)the Butler service is spotty compared to past ones we have had 9) the ship is new obviously but somber and almost non-offensive in its color palette and uses of woods. The narrow cabins and funky sink are well documented and accurate. Storage is ample 10)The Restaurant and La Terrazza are the 2 best with no surcharge restaurants aboard. Seishin was very poor in every respect. The concept needs to be rethought. La Champagne was tried 3 times and was fine in food quality but not worth $300 with wine. Stars was fun with its tapas concept and music but once the music started the diners were asked to be quiet while everyone listened to the "concert". Hot Rocks was intriguing as it is on the outside upper pool deck and everything is served for you to grill. Some nights can be gusty indeed and the heaters are rolled out. 11) Getting a poolside perch was not difficult during the cruise. 12)The average age of cruisers was older then we thought and certainly much older then we preferred. If I were to guess I would say in the 70's. This had a tempering effect on ALL activities on the ship. 12) By 10:00pm or so the ship save for a hearty 20 to 30 of us "goes to sleep". If this is your style this is your ship. 13)The Casino is small but adequate as we used it nightly. 14)The internet worked beautifully as I had to use it quite heavily for business 15)The shore excursions were simple and thoughtfully geared to touring for the older audience. 16) debarkation was simple and felt not rushed. So, in conclusion if I haven't lost you yet the key question is would we cruise Silversea again and would we do it on Spirit or on one of the smaller "clubby" other Silversea ships. I honestly don't know. We purchased a refundable trip for the future and gave them a $1,000 deposit to save 5% off on a future cruise. We have 12 months to let this one sink in and regroup. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
This was our first Silversea cruise, and we were very excited to "step it up" to a luxury line. The following details our experience as honestly as possible: Embarkation: Very easy. Just walked aboard after checking in. No ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise, and we were very excited to "step it up" to a luxury line. The following details our experience as honestly as possible: Embarkation: Very easy. Just walked aboard after checking in. No line whatsoever. Were greeted with a welcome champagne (Drappier in contrary to the brochure Pommery) and our carryon was taken from us after we had our photos and passports taken. We were escorted to our midship veranda suite by a friendly lady. Suite: The midship veranda suite was very nice and perfectly adequate space for a 14-day cruise for 2. As other's have mentioned, the suite is very narrow and long, and there is an ackward makeup desk/mirror 1 foot in front of the bed which made it quite difficult to walk by while my fiancee was getting ready. The bathrooms were nice with marble and wood highlights. The bowl sink was ok and large enough for 2 to use simultaneously but the faucet did spray water everywhere if not careful. The separate shower and bathtub were nice and the water pressure was excellent in the shower. We appreciated the choice of bathroom products and tried all of them including the heavily perfumed Bulgari, the lighter Ferragamo, and the nonscented Neutragena. The walk-in closet with armoire were good storage. The bed was very comfortable and the choices of pillows were fun. We tried buckwheat for the first time and enjoyed them. The sitting area of the suite was spacious enough for 2 and the convertible coffee table with top made in-suite dining convenient. The balcony was decent size, and the outdoor furniture was nicer than most cruiselines. We had a strange loud squeak from the wall of our suite that made it very difficult to sleep while at sea, but as soon as we complained about it, it was fixed. Butler: Our butler was very conscientious and worked hard. He occasionally missed things though esp with breakfast but always got our special requests right. For special occasions (Bday, romantic evening, etc) he did an awesome job with candles and special surprise desserts. He even had cheese and snacks waiting for us after we returned from a long shore excursion. We were especially impressed when our butler brought us a 1 liter bottle of Baileys for our room when we asked. Service: As a whole, the service was great but not as personal as I have heard about Silversea. There were a few people who knew our names, but not many. The service in the main dining room seemed rushed and they seemed overworked. Service in the other restaurants was much better. It was nice having gratuities and alcohol included; we were not hounded by servers trying to sell drinks and we didn't feel guilty to have a drink by the pool. Food/Wine: Food as a whole was some of the best cruiseship food we've had but it did not rival restaurant-quality food (except for Le Champagne). The food in the main dining room was always artfully presented and usually quite good but not as amazing as we were hoping for (we are foodies). Every dinner was accompanied with complimentary white and red wine most of which were quite good. We never felt the need to order from the Connoiseur's list. Le Champagne was outstanding but $400 inc wine pairing was steep. It did rival some of the Michelin 3-star restaurants we've been to. Seishin was somewhat disappointing eventhough the food was presented nicely. The sushi was ordinary in comparison to Nobu or other creative Japanese restaurants. Hot Rocks was excellent and we ate there twice. Cooking beautiful filets on 500 degree stones was fun. Stars was a great concept and the tapas were nicely done and well presented. La Terraza for dinner was excellent especially the filet course with a truffle sauce (we ate there twice). The decor in La Terraza seemed more intimate and inviting than the main dining room, and the service was better. La Terraza for lunch was decent though we prefer food cooked to order rather than buffet. Entertainment: As a whole, the ship seemed to go to sleep just after the main 10:15 show for the evening. We did not go to the casino, and we went to the disco once (only to find 5-6 people there). The production shows were decent but not extraordinary; definitely less impressive than other cruises. The other acts (a multiinstrumentalist and a pianist) were not very good. The ship band was pretty poor as a whole. The best entertainment was a female jazz singer and her accompanying pianist. We enjoyed them very much in Stars and their one show in the main lounge. Ship as a whole: The ship was immaculate, new, and intimate. The overall design was good except for the boutiques and casino which were hard to find. Also, the observation lounge was hard to get to. The ship was nicely decorated though art deco wasn't really our preference. Itinerary: The itinerary was excellent, and we experienced a lot of diversity over the 14 days: western europe, Morocco, Canary Islands, 6-days of doing nothing across the Atlantic, then Antiqua, Dominica, and Barbados. St Lucia was cancelled and we were rerouted to Dominca due to hurricane damage. Weather was sunny and 70's for most of the trip except for severe rain in Antiqua. Excursions: Ship shore excursions were better than others I've been on. They seemed to be well organized and interesting. We were able to find some more active excursions in the Caribbean including speedboating and snorkelling. Ziplining was offered but it was cancelled due to hurricane damage. Fellow passengers: This was our only complaint- the average age (physical and mental) of the passengers. It seemed like most people were in their 70's with some in their 80's. We were the youngest couple on board BY FAR. We enjoyed the lack of screaming kids (there were NO kids on board), but we would have liked to hang out with some more energetic and fun people. There were times where we felt as though we were on a floating nursing home, but as a whole everyone dressed elegantly and seemed polished. Would we do it again: We both enjoyed the luxury of Silversea but at our current age, I'd say NO. There are other cruiselines we'd like to try before returning to Silversea. Perhaps in 20-30 yrs, we'll be back. Who knows? :) Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We have sailed on all of Silver Seas ships, and we have found we prefer the larger vessels to the smaller ones. Because of this, we wanted to try out the Silver Spirit so we could compare it to the Shadow and the Whisper. Having said this, ... Read More
We have sailed on all of Silver Seas ships, and we have found we prefer the larger vessels to the smaller ones. Because of this, we wanted to try out the Silver Spirit so we could compare it to the Shadow and the Whisper. Having said this, I will give you my opinion of our experiences. Cabins: First of all, the Mid-Ship Veranda cabins on the Spirit are not nearly as functional as the ones on the Whisper or the Shadow. They are very narrow and the bedroom configuration makes it very difficult for one person to get to the bathroom from the living area while the other is in the bedroom using the mirror or sitting at the foot of the bed. There is a very long narrow hall that acts as the entrance to the cabin, which is very off-putting. The Silver Suites, however, are lovely and are larger than the Silver Suites on the Shadow and Whisper. The decor of all the cabins on the Spirit is darker than that on the other two ships, which some people don't like, but the furniture and electronics (including flat-screen TVs) are very nice. We found the beds comfortable in both types of cabins. There is not enough storage in the bathrooms in either of the cabins. The sinks (two in the Silver Suites, one in the Mid-Veranda) are very large and take up almost all of the counter space, and the storage on either side of the mirrors is too shallow to hold much of anything. The faucets in both cabin bathrooms have a funky lever that operates them, which leads to many accidents until you get used to them. There are no storage drawers in the bathrooms , so you are limited to under-sink storage primarily. The "rain shower" is a nice addition in both cabin types. The veranda with the Silver Suites is quite large with a table and two chairs and two reclining lounge chairs, and the veranda with the Mid-Ship cabin is slightly larger than the ones on the Shadow and Whisper. The location of the Silver Suites on the Spirit is high and forward, which I don't like. I prefer the more central location of the Silver Suites on both of the other large ships. Common Areas: The Common Areas on the Spirit are very different from those on the Shadow and Whisper. Some areas are better, but several are a real problem. Under the real problem areas on the Spirit, the theater is number one. It has a very low ceiling, will not hold all the passengers on the ship at one time. The seating and side-arm tables are not functional at all. The stage looks like it was built for one-man shows it is so narrow and compressed looking. It is a dark and uninviting place. You don't dare put your drink down, because the side-arm tables are so small the drinks won't sit solidly on them. The forced "love seat" seating does not allow for much diversity as far as seating configurations are concerned. People who come in as a single, do not want to sit down next to someone they don't know in the "love seat" configuration, so you get a lot of wasted space. The fact that you can't seat the entire ship in the theater does away with the Captain's Welcome and Farewell as we have known it before on the other Silver Sea ships. Now the Captain must hop from one place to another to welcome the passengers. Another problem area is the main bar. It has lost any feeling of intimacy because it literally overflows into the Reception area with nothing to contain it. On the Shadow and Whisper, this was always a place to unwind in a cozy atmosphere. On the Spirit, it feels more like Grand Central Station. The Fitness Center is tiny and over-crowded. Enough said. There are some nice additions to the common areas, too, however. The Panorama Lounge has been enlarged to include lots of outside deck space with comfortable sofas and chairs. It is a lovely place to sit and read or just gaze at the sea. The pool is slightly smaller on the Spirit as they have added another hot tub. Restaurants: The main restaurant feels about the same on the Spirit as on the other two larger ships. La Terrazza on the Spirit has some additional outside seating, which is a nice addition. Stars is a waste of space. Very few people seemed to take advantage of it on our cruise, and those who did didn't go back. (Remember, I am telling you what happened on our cruise. Others may have had a different experience here.) La Champagne's space was very nice, but I felt the food didn't live up to the hype. We ate there twice, once each cruise, and enjoyed our dinners, but didn't really feel like the food was that special. On the Shadow and Whisper, we have experienced some exceptional dinners in this venue, but that may be due solely to the chefs we had at the time. The addition of an Oriental Restaurant on the Spirit appears to have been a good idea. We ate at Seishin twice also, and really enjoyed the food there. It was different, varied, and prepared quite well. La Terrazza on all ships has been good. Service: We had excellent service on the Spirit, but again, I think this can vary depending on what cruise and cabin you select. Our butler and cabin attendant when we were in the Silver Suite on the Spirit were the best combo we've ever had. The butler and cabin attendant in the Mid-Ship Veranda cabin were a bit more harried I think. They tried very hard, but there were a few slip-ups. On the Shadow in the Silver Suite last winter, we had good service, but there seemed to be some confusion as to who was supposed to do what!! This may still be a work in progress. The service in the Dining Room was a bit slow a couple of nights, but on the whole, we didn't have a problem. Some people seated at the larger tables complained about slow dinner service on several occasions. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
This is a boutique ship and the newest one offered by Silversea. Pro's: - only 500+ passengers - very well appointed and well planned suites, even the Vista suites have ample room, closet space, and well planned and ... Read More
This is a boutique ship and the newest one offered by Silversea. Pro's: - only 500+ passengers - very well appointed and well planned suites, even the Vista suites have ample room, closet space, and well planned and appointed bathrooms - vanity, but bring your own extension cord with extra plugs - wonderful system for converting coffee table to dining room table - free movies on demand, all categories, over 500 - wifi - your very own butler - almost everything is included (wine and spirits, water, etc.) - pampered service everywhere! - La Terraza breakfast and lunch buffets, nothing hurried, staff assist with plates, pre-set tables with linens - it's size allows the ship to have premier docking slips in ports, in Venice the ship docked right on the Venice Lagoon - never, ever crowded - anywhere! Con's - European style late start to dining hours, earliest is 7PM, main dining room is 7:30PM - very late breakfast opening - 7:30 PM, hard to eat and make an 8AM private tour if one wants to make the most of the day - no casual option for dinner, would be nice to have a buffet option for those who just want something light, don't want to dress up, and don't want room service - very bad system for continuing passengers (2+ week cruisers) as you're not allowed to book anything (excursions, hair appts., dining room reservations) in advance once you've embarked. The longer you're on the ship, the more difficult this is to reconcile as you can't book anything for future weeks, online or otherwise. Your embarkation stops all your online reservation privileges putting those who have not yet embarked and may be cruising for only one week, ahead of you in terms of appointment times and preferences. You can book via phone or at the venue once embarkation for that week begins. Note: Staff do try to help and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. - Main Dining Room, not very inviting, food could be simpler Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Maiden Voyage-South America Embarkation-Buenos Aires 16 days to Valparaiso South American embarkation ports can be very difficult to reach. We originally planned to connect via DC, due to East Coast weather leading up to our departure ... Read More
Maiden Voyage-South America Embarkation-Buenos Aires 16 days to Valparaiso South American embarkation ports can be very difficult to reach. We originally planned to connect via DC, due to East Coast weather leading up to our departure was not looking good, we changed our plan to Lima, Peru instead. You should be well advised that most South American countries accesses $131 per person entry fee to US citizens, if not visa. Our flight on Lan Chile was late out of Los Angeles which resulted in broken connection in Lima, nice long layover which was not a good start. We spent 3 extra days in Buenos Aires prior to our sailing, we generally plan few extra days to avoid unplanned events. Embarkation at BA Cruise Terminal was chaotic due to 5 ships in port, Silversea representatives were no very active in assisting arriving passengers. They were happy to stand with clipboard, but not too involved, unless approached by passengers. We finally found our way through customs and immigration, then to shuttle bus to our ship. Once dockside, we entered the ship, then to lobby for registration and to our cabin. We were greeted by our butler and our room Stewart, they were pleasant and greeted us with a smile. Our luggage arrived shortly there after and our butler asked if we wished to have him unpack our bags and stored. Very nice touch, but my wife insisted on doing it herself. Our Mid-ship Veranda cabin was very spacious, approximately 376 square feet, full bath, large separate shower with rain shower head, walk in closet, two full size mirrors with built in flat screen TV and separate sitting area with curtain divider. Very nice in room movie feature, there are 378 films loaded in the system which allows you to browse and watch film of your choice. This was our first experience on Silversea, have cruised mostly on all inclusive mid-size ships. The staff and their service level matches our experience with similar class ships. We were always addressed by our name, everywhere we went, our needs were anticipated most of the time. There were instances when we had to repeat our request, especially during rush hour in the main dinning room. Our favorite dinning venues were Main Dinning room, Pool Grill and La Terrazza for lunch and breakfast. Main Dinning room menu was to our liking, Pool Grill for stone steak dinner(amazing). Two for fee specialty restaurants did not interest us, simply because of negative feedback from those who sampled them. Seishin Restaurant was not authentic enough and La Champaign over rated. I have not encountered extra fee for dinning on any other all inclusive ships, but I am sure there is a market for this type of service. We sampled the Star Supper Club, music too loud and was not impressed with their bite size menu, novel idea though! One other issue on this ship is their smoking policy. The Panorama Lounge allows smoking on one side, it might as well be the entire lounge. It was suffocating for non smokers and we had to escape to main bar area on deck 5, but it was always packed with people and hard to find available seating. They also allow smoking in cabins which really surprised us for safety reason. When we walked through the hallway on our deck, we smelled strong cigarette smoke coming from several cabins. There was never a mention of no smoking policy in cabins. Regent Seven Sea for example does not allow smoking anywhere except in the smoking lounge or out on the deck area. There are couple of small things worth mentioning. In the Panorama Lounge, the doors leading out to the deck has large door handles on the inside, but small knob like handle on the outside which makes it difficult to grasp and open? Internet Cafe is situated in a small area and not easy to find. The Main Showroom is large enough with very small stage and they do not offer beverage service at anytime, so we carried our own from the bar. The quality of entertainment was sufficient, not impressive. Now about our voyage! Ocean is rough in this part of the World , no matter when you travel, this was their summer. It was windy and rough seas, especially first couple of days sailing to Port Stanly. Our second day at sea was roughest I have experienced with ship this size. It felt like the ship was planning during the night, the sound of hull smashing against the water was loud and unsettling. It lasted most of the night. What can you say about Port Stanly? It is wind swept pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere. I guess most cruise-ships make this call, because there isn't much else around. We were there for several hours mingling with those adventurer who were getting ready to depart on Antarctic expedition on Russian trawler. We departed for possible Cape Horn encounter, but weather was so rough our Captain decided against the venture and instead ducked into Beagle Channel toward Ushuaia, Argentina. Then the CNN reported about 8.8 major quake in Chile, our destination. We had 9 days, before our scheduled arrival in Valparaiso, so crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. At the same time our thoughts were with those who perished and injured by the quake, feeling little guilty with our comfort in luxury. We participated in ship sponsored shore excursions, prices ranged from $100 to $2000, very expensive as with others. There were to complimentary excursions included with the cruise, the Silverse Experience which is a nice touch. We purchased 3 other excursions and they were interesting and quality of lunches and service was in line with ship's standard which included wine and beer with every meal. We sailed through the Chilean Fjords to Punta Arenas, Puerto Chacabuco, Puerto Montt and finally Valparaiso. Captain kept us informed of condition in Valparaiso as we approached our final destination. The damage was minimal in Valparaiso as well as Santiago. We scheduled ourselves to stay in Santiago for 3 days which turned out to be good move on our part. Those extra days allowed Lan Chile to return their operation back to near normal, our flight home was operating as scheduled on the 11th. On our last day in Chile, we were struck with 7.2 after shock on the 23rd floor of Marriot which rattled our nerves, but just in time for our departure. The airport ticket counter area was in the tent, because the second floor above the counter area had collapsed and 3 hours before departure, we were allowed into the terminal to our departure gate. We were happy to feel those wheels of our plane clear the runway! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Summary We originally booked Africa/Seychelles for December 9 on Silver Wind. In fact, I booked this in 2007. That cruise was canceled, and we booked this sailing to replace it. At first, I was very disappointed, but then I was very ... Read More
Summary We originally booked Africa/Seychelles for December 9 on Silver Wind. In fact, I booked this in 2007. That cruise was canceled, and we booked this sailing to replace it. At first, I was very disappointed, but then I was very excited about the new ship. We booked for the ship, not the itinerary. Due to the weather and the hassles we had getting to/from the destination, we look forward to sailing Spirit next fall in the Caribbean. We are travel agency owners, but we have paid full price for all of our Silversea sailings. I'm a Certified Lifestyle Specialist - Luxury Travel and a Certified Travel Industry Executive. I approach things from a very analytical view because of what I do. Hence, you will find below a rather lengthy piece. Those that don't want to read all of this should just read this summary and then read the section headings to find the areas that are of interest. I felt since this was a new ship that I needed to try to cover everything I could remember. Dining - There are a number of restaurants. Not all are available without paying extra, and all but the main dining room require reservations. The main dining room for dinner does not have as much variety as it should, though they will allow you to order special requests a day in advance. Simple things can be accommodated on the same night, and you can order from the room service menu in the main dining room and from the dining room menu in the cabin. The restaurant managers were all absolutely top notch and just went way out of their way to make every meal a joyous experience. Some meals were memorable, all were delicious. Ingredients were very fresh, and enough complimentary wines were available to please most guests. Public Rooms - The lounges are cozy, and we liked the layout of the ship. Cabins - Our only complaint is with the number of plug-ins. The cabins are very nice and comfortable, and we enjoyed our 11 nights there. The balconies are bigger and easier to open, but be sure they are locked and that your cabin attendant has locked the door, as they do slide open. The shower is tall enough for most any man, and there is a rain shower. Entertainment - We loved the live entertainment in all venues. The organized activities were all excellent, too. There just were not as many as I would have liked. Spa & Fitness - We did not do any classes or treatments. I am just basing this rating on the layout and the pricing. The offerings are more extensive than you will find on the other ships, and they have a number of treatments to make them quite proud. Family & Children (By Age Group) - There were just a couple of children that were not teens, and they were well supervised and seldom seen. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I enjoyed them. Shore Excursions - All of our tours were organized by professionals and escorted by staff. It was a little confusing how the rep was always at the location where we were to end up, rather than at the beginning of our journey (ship departure) directing us where to go. A couple of times, poor judgment was used regarding the weather, and at times, there were no umbrellas for people that did not bring the ones from their cabin. We enjoyed everything we did. The Casablanca cooking tour should have had a real cooking element but was enjoyable. Given our circumstances, I thought the staff worked very hard to give us as many choices for experiences as they could have. Embarkation - They led us to believe that boarding at noon started in 2010 and that we absolutely could not get on at noon. In fact, they did have noon boarding. We arrived at 2:15 and got on, but we had no assistance with bags and no welcome drink. We were properly escorted to our cabin. Service - We had issues with dinner service the first two nights, and our butler service was in need of improvement. Around the ship, we found a number of people that did not seem as empowered as we have seen on all other Silversea cruises, though they did their best to be accommodating. In many cases, our expectations were far exceeded, and there was not a single time where a slight service gap really made a significant difference in our overall cruise experience. Value-for-Money - It was a lovely cruise where we were so comfortable, well fed, and well entertained. I just felt it was overpriced due to a few situations. It was not something I felt strongly about, so I gave this a 4 rating. Rates - Rates were high due to the holiday sailing and the honor of it being the maiden voyage. However, the maiden honor was scarcely celebrated. Things were not quite ready, though everything was at about 97%. People seldom ever love Christmas/New Year's holiday rates on any vacation. I feel that Silversea has created a unique product with Spirit. It has some of the elements of the other Silversea ships, but it is something different. Those that like luxury will find it here. The "basic" suites are outstanding, and the silver suites and above are spectacular. Some of the best managers at sea are running the ship, and I feel they will continue to send it to new heights as it matures. Precruise We flew coach on Continental from Houston IAH to Barcelona via Newark on December 21. This was right after a huge blizzard on the east coast, but we timed it well enough to not get stranded. We were delayed for two hours getting into Newark, though. We lucked out because our flight to Barcelona happened to be on the same plane as the one from IAH even though it was a different flight number and crew. They still boarded in a somewhat timely manner, and we only arrived at Barcelona 42 minutes late at 9:42 a.m. We did not have video on demand, and the movies we could select from on the TV screen were all family/kid type shows plus TV. Still, we managed to find things to watch and killed the time in between the two meals. We had no issues in customs and got a taxi to our hotel on Las Ramblas for about 30 Euros with a non-English driver. We caught 3 glimpses of Silver Spirit on the way to the hotel. I had booked Hotel Continental on Las Ramblas for the one night due to free stuff and location. We used the internet extensively in our room and the lobby both. We only had one European converter, so we had an interesting time swapping back and forth trying to keep our batteries charged on all our devices. They also have free food and drinks there - tapas, pastries and breads, ice creams, cereals, coffees (including espressos and lattes), sodas, tea, beer, and wine, all 24 hours a day. The rooms are basic and quite pink, but you do get a tub. We would not stay more than one night, but the location was very good, if only the weather had been. We did a lot of walking here to see some of the buildings and architecture that people go to see in Barcelona, but we did not see everything because it was cold and rainy. Embarkation and Cabin We were well aware that Silversea would begin allowing boarding at noon in 2010, and I had called two or three times to ask about early boarding before our sailing. I was told it would be impossible because there would still be inspections. Silversea added a 2 day non-revenue sailing before ours (which to some of us cheapened the "being the first to sail" factor of our trip). Because of that, they allowed boarding at noon, but then they did not tell very many people. We suspected this might be the case, but we still had not made it to the cathedral, so we walked there from our hotel and then got a taxi to the ship and boarded at about 2:15 and were then told that, of course people were boarded at noon. Very few were on board, but as we were on only a few minutes, more started to come. Those with enough nights could board at 10:30, and most did. Since we were there before 3, there was no champagne greeting (I did see this after 3), snacks or anything, and we did carry our own carry-on bags with no offer of assistance. We were shown to our suite right away, however. We were in balcony cabin 606, a forward cabin on the port side. We were immediately impressed with the cabin. We looked around everywhere, noticing all the detail. The bathroom was very nice with a separate shower and tub. The shower is taller than the other ships, and there is a rain head. The tub was nice, but on the first use, we had no hot water at all, so we had to call. The floor was wood with a marble trim around it. There was a large white basin sink. The faucet took some getting used to in order to prevent splashing up the mirror. There was a shaver plug and shelves to put things on. The one thing I thought was a little odd was the toilet paper layout and also the hand towels just sit on the counter, as there is no rack for them. The Bvulgari setup was there. The bed from what we measured with the covers was 6 ft. 5 inches long and 5 ft. 9 inches wide. My husband is 6 ft. 3 inches, and his feet were over the bottom much of the time, and I am 5 ft. 6, and even mine were over sometimes when I scrunched into the pillows and covers. We never complained to ourselves, as the bed was very comfortable. We never were offered a pillow menu, but we did have one soft and one firm pillow each. That is what I put in the comments online before the cruise. The couch is longer than on all the other Silversea ships, and this is the biggest thing I wanted changed since Todd is tall. The table in the sitting area is a little longer, too. There are two cabinets that have sitting stools on them - one in the sleeping area and one in the sitting area. Each house a TV. The one in the sitting area has the mirror with a TV that stays a black square when off. The one in the bedroom goes invisible. We loved having two TVs, but they worked with one remote. When we would turn on one and then the other, the one in the bedroom would stick on whatever channel or function we had been in. We would have to call for a reset/reboot. This happened to many passengers, but they were going from cabin to cabin interviewing those with the issue to try to sort it out and track a pattern. We loved being able to check our statement on the TV, read about the shows and lecturers, etc. However, there were 56 movies, no newer releases like before. We had probably seen almost 50 of them. Also, what they show of where the ship is going was interesting but not as informative as the old system. We always watched recorded enrichment lectures in the past, and these were never shown. There are lamps in the walls on either side of the bed and other lamps on either side of the couch. There is also recessed lighting in the ceiling, and we liked how you could turn this and that on to change the amount of lighting even though there were no dimmers. Some of ours did not work, but another call, and they were there after some time to change bulbs. In fact, they were going door to door for that, too. A very nice change in the room is the draperies between the sitting and sleeping area. Instead of tying back, they slide along a track and can be completely opened or closed. You can really block out the light if you want to sleep, and you can get them totally out of the way when you want the cabin to seem spacious and serviceable. I was so pleased with it because it really changed how much I was able to sleep. We also really appreciate how thoughtful they were in setting up the balcony door and making it completely easy to handle. It is a must to keep it locked. In high winds, they will open. Also, a number of guests, we were the first that we knew of, had one or two incidents where the cabin attendant would leave the door totally open. If you took hours to discover (we discovered it at 4 a.m.), you may have high winds and freezing cold coming in by the time you wake up and figure it out. The balcony is larger than the other ships in verandah, and the chairs are very nice and adjustable, the table is larger, and there are two footstools. Since we were in such rough waters some of the time, there was often a lot of salt on our glass, and often we could not see out, and other times it was so cold we never opened the drapes. There are two plug-ins in the sitting area - one American and one European. Silversea has added a lovely clock that is so useful, but it takes up the only American plug in that area. Bring a strip. We were constantly unplugging the clock. It does have a battery backup, and it holds the time for a long time. There is another plug of each type in the sleeping area at the dressing table. We found ourselves constantly having cords draped over the bed or across the sitting area since the plugs were on the opposite side of everywhere we wanted to sit or lay down. The suites have doorbells, and the attendants and butlers need to learn to use them! We were burst in on as early as 7 a.m., and some guests (including our neighbor across the hall with 406 nights) were even bursted in on in their undergarments with the privacy sign on. At some point, they just stopped doing our room altogether, which was annoying when we would have the service ticket up for 6 or 7 hours. I am sure a couple of conversations to the cabin attendant could fix this, but it should not be necessary. Silversea opened La Terazza until 4 p.m. for lunch, a nice touch vs. having to run to the pool grill. We had a full meal and were soon relaxed and well-fed. Room Service We used this 3 times. We tried breakfast, lunch (Todd only), and dinner. The menu is extensive and similar to the other ships. You can get about anything you want from them (dial 800). The breakfast menu still has the guest one and guest two side, a lovely touch that avoids a lot of confusion. Todd's mango was quite green, but his omelet was well prepared. I had boiled eggs, cereal and a mixed fruit plate. Everything was perfect. When Todd ordered during the day, he ordered French onion soup and another course. Everything arrived hot. On the breakfast, it did arrive within our selected time (we asked for 6 to 6:30, and it came at 6:30. At the airport, we talked to a couple that put 7:30 to 8 on their ticket every day, and they would come before 7 a.m. even when they wrote on there to not come before 7. When we ordered dinner, we ordered a mix of the dining room items and the room service items. Our butler asked how long he should wait to come get the trays. I said 40 minutes, and after an hour and a half, I was calling and chasing him down to get all those dishes out. The dinner was quite nice, and they do a lovely setup. If you like, they will do it course by course, but we just wanted it all delivered. We had whatever we wanted - soups, appetizers, salads, entrees served at the right temperature and maybe in 30 or 35 minutes from ordering. Butler and Cabin Attendants Our suitcases were in our closet after we got back from eating our first lunch. This is different from the usual where they have always been on the bed. In fact, there were two clunky luggage racks in the room that remained there during our entire stay. When we met Nikhil , our butler. We asked him for the unpacking. He got a female cabin attendant to do it for us. She looked discouraged when she saw all of our stuff, but she did a fabulous job of putting things pretty much where we would have. We told her to put Todd's things up higher because he is tall. She asked if she could put the suitcases under the bed. Everything was set up beautifully. We also asked Nikhil for some other toiletries of one of the other brands. Those never came, and after two or three requests, we gave up. The attendants did replace the Bvulgari when it was getting empty. We also arrived to pretty much an empty refrigerator. We did note what we liked and mentioned the preferences I had done online before departure. In fact, those took 3 or 4 days to arrive, and the butler admitted that came from my online request and not his efforts. We did eventually get him to understand exactly what we liked by about the 9th day of the 11 day cruise, and we were serviced enough throughout by either tracking him down or by calling room service (who then paged the butler). It was not a big deal, but it really was all we needed besides the packing and unpacking. Todd became ill about 7 days into the cruise. When Nikhil saw how sick Todd was, he offered many times to call the doctor, and he did begin to check on us for requests after my mid-cruise comment card came out. At the end of the cruise, Nikhil did all of the packing, and he did a very, very nice job. He did not come when he was supposed to (he asked for a specific time), but the job was great, and we were so happy to have the service. Nikhil indicated that all of the butlers went through the guild training and that he had a masters degree in hospitality. He was charming and nice, and I am sure after he gets used to Silversea and the way of the company and the guests, he will surely get his service level up. He indicated he had 15 cabins. The butler on the other side of the hall seemed to be out and about a lot, and the lady across the hall seemed to always be concerned about her laundry arrival time and the impacts it had on her schedule. She tried to do something about it every day, and eventually, she got it worked out. Our cabin attendant seemed to not come to do the cabin until about 4:30 if at all and then it was almost time to turn down the bed. We only got chocolates about half the nights, and the Chronicle daily newsletter often did not come until 10 p.m. or even sometime in the night. I am sure we made it difficult by being in the room a lot, but we did have out our service ticket a lot and even called once for service. Pool Deck Service The pool did not open until around the 3rd day of the cruise, and we learned that there was a crack in it that had to be repaired. It was also the 2nd day when the hot tub worked, but after that, it was great. Temps were about 97. They did have to drain them the day that we were supposed to go to Tangier when the weather was bad and the waves were quite high. I went there in spite of the cold weather, and once the guys saw me, they would come around every few minutes to see if I needed anything. Rex at the pool bar area always would start getting ready for me or most any guest when they walked up, already expecting what they were going to order but asking to make sure. With the addition of the pool grill restaurant on deck 10 some days into the cruise, they were happily staying open downstairs until 9 or so. A welcome feature in the temperatures we had were lovely blankets, and the guys set up plush towels and comfy blankets all over. Many days, they had no customers except 4 or 5 at the bar, either die hard outsiders or smokers. Then on a couple of sunny days, maybe they had 20 people. We had lunch out there one day. It took a little while to get pizza, etc., but everything was made completely to order. We loved how fresh everything was, and the pizza was perfect. The last thing Todd said was that he wished we had eaten up there more often. The Restaurant It is possible to have all meals here a la carte. While I usually like a la carte best, our itinerary was so port intensive, and we had a lot of tours. It worked out better for us to do the buffet, and we enjoyed the view in La Terazza. The first night at dinner, nobody in our section got a menu for about 40 minutes nor was water served, and tables were not properly set. Some of the sections seemed to be operating, but ours was at a standstill even though there was wait staff around. After that night, things got better every day, and by the end of the cruise things were going very well with the service level we are used to on Silversea. There were a variety of wines being served. Some of them were from Spain, the region where we spent a good part of the cruise. We stuck to chardonnays after tasting some of them because that is just our preference. We found they had about 5 or 6 different complimentary chardonnays on the ship. There was an Italian, a couple from California, and I don't recall the others. All were tasty, so we just always said any chardonnay. Most of the menus had 3 appetizers. The intermezzo section typically had 1 soup, one salad, and one pasta. We often ordered the soup and the salad, and when they did not suit, sometimes we'd just order green salad for me and Caesar for Todd. We ordered the room service soups once. There was always a sorbet, and we had them every night. For the entrEe, there were 4 choices - a fish dish, a couple of meat dishes, and a vegetarian dish. There were 2 or 3 desserts. We seldom had dessert, and they only brought petit fours on two nights. Maybe we did not wait long enough. I imagine that was it. For the dinners, perhaps 9 of the 11 nights, they had sea bass for the fish. A couple of times, they put down sea bream, but then they would have sea bass anyway. One night, they had a seafood stew, and on Christmas they did not have a seafood dish. On Christmas, they had a holiday menu with set courses except for the entrEe. I had the goose that night. There was a holiday dinner on New Year's Eve, too. On both holidays, we had fun party favors at the table. They also gave a few prizes for the holiday of significant value. We did not win. All the food was very good, but I found more variety at lunch than dinner. It was always possible to customize, and there were never any mistakes in anything we ordered. A memorable dish I had was osso bucco, something I look forward to when I see it. The mashed potatoes were also some of the best I've ever had. In general, all the vegetables were prepared just exactly right. I did not find too much salt in the food, either. Todd's favorite was the Black Angus beef he had on one of the first nights. He thought it was just beautifully prepared. The restaurant is very nice, and we never saw any issue with crowding. Requests for sharing and private tables seemed to all be honored, and dinner was always a highlight of the day. Antonio was great with everyone, were the entertainers and waiters that seated guests. La Terazza Breakfast We had breakfast here a number of days. A couple of days, we had room service breakfast, and a couple of days, we skipped breakfast. Each day would start with charming greetings by Jonathan and/or Darlene. Todd ordered an omelet a few days, and it always came out fairly quickly. I ordered hard boiled eggs one day. They said 15 minutes. It was 30, and I asked to take them to the cabin. They were done perfectly, but the next time, I ordered them from room service. We did not see anyone order pancakes or waffles, and they were not offered. I imagine you could. I always got a nice portion of delicious fruits. Someone was always carving lovely fruits such as grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, watermelon and other melons, and mango and papaya. They also had beautiful berries out on the buffet, along with dried fruits and nuts and some premium canned fruits. There were other fruits such as lychee. Sometimes there were whole fruits, also. They had hot and cold cereals, various breakfast meats, beans, eggs, Asian style items such as fish, and European style meats and cheeses. There were also a number of pastries. I am sure I am leaving many things out. Lunch La Terraza serves most of the items from the a la carte restaurant but in buffet style. We had lunch here a number of times. We enjoyed the soups. They had several seafood soups. Each time, the seafood was added fresh to order. This was the same with several soups, ingredients were added fresh after someone ordered. There was an Indian soup one day. There was always at least one grilled fish, a carved meat, two types of pizza (one day, there was calzone), a variety of vegetables, and other entrees. Some items were veal parmesan, quiche, beef wellington, seafood stir fry. There were many others. Every day, there was a large platter of sushi and sashimi and some Asian salads. The Seishin sushi chef prepared all the sushi and sashimi. It looked just as fresh as downstairs in the restaurant. Something I enjoyed were the various green salads. There were so many nice toppings and a delicious Italian dressing. I would get another great serving of fresh fruits daily. One day, they had a seafood platter that Todd really enjoyed with great onion rings. Another day (I think New Year's Day), there was a seafood buffet with crab legs, clams, mussels, and shrimp. In fact, I was able to get clams on several occasions. Those were a real highlight for me. They also had other dishes for the non seafood eaters. We are not big dessert eaters, but they had a variety, including sugar free. One day, Todd had the homemade ice cream. There were always 4 varieties (not always the same). I heard one guest say they only had the zero/zero at The Restaurant, but someone went and got it for him without him even asking. He was quite happy. They also had a variety of lunch meats (I missed the coppa even though there were other great meats) and fresh breads and beautiful looking cheeses. Service up there was really great at lunch. The food was good, and the staff was great. In general, lunch was my favorite meal on the ship due to all the fresh things I was able to get and because of the nice variety. Dinner We had dinner here one night, and we always intended to go back. Service here was wonderful. It is amazing how wonderful people like Marcello just go from one meal to the next and never look tired or unhappy and seem so concerned about all the guests. We started with a very nice antipasti platter that we shared. It had 9 items (pretty much the whole appetizer menu) in sampler sizes in a beautiful dish. I had a salad in a crunchy bowl, and Todd had scampi. Then I had sea bass, and Todd had the beef dish. For dessert, he had tiramisu, and I had an amazing chocolate sorbet with fruits. Instead of the regional theme menus, La Terraza has gone to one menu with more selections. We enjoyed the menu immensely. Our only real disappointment here is that they do not offer a soup. I would also like to see a different veal dish from Milanese since I am not one to eat a lot of fried foods. Food is always subjective, but our experience was extremely good. Galley Lunch This was held in The Restaurant on Christmas Eve. Since it was held after the champagne tasting, there were already a lot of people in the room. We were sitting with Cruise Critic online messageboard member NJBelle and her husband and daughter, and we saw a long line, so we waited quite a while. There was still a line, but we went up anyway. It moved along. The area was a bit tight because Darlene was putting people through in lines on both sides. People then had to criss-cross. This did cause us to get full plates to avoid the line again, and then some things got cold. My favorite is always the ethnic foods. This was no exception. I love the pancit since I grew up eating it when we lived in the Pacific. The Naan was disappointing. They had a beautiful carved beef entrEe. There were piles of seafood. They had veal, fish, chicken, even burgers. There were huge salads. The desserts were served on a table out in the restaurant. I just got a few of the garnish berries, and Todd did not have dessert at all. I enjoyed the meal. Todd did not as much, but he had his plate full before he got to what he really likes because he just did not look ahead due to the people. The Pool Grille Restaurant One night, well into the cruise, they decided to try the grille with the captain and some staff and a few guests. We missed that. The next day, we were having lunch at the pool grill, and we did see the restaurant manager accepting reservations. We signed up for 8 p.m. While the restaurant is al fresco, and the weather was not great on this cruise, he did indicate that the heaters warm it up 10 degrees F. We were advised to dress casual. We dressed as if we were inside since it was an informal night and we came from the show. That was a particularly cold night, and only one other person was brave enough to dine there. He loved the food and was happy he did, but his family went inside and ate at the restaurant. They situated us right under a heater, but we did wrap ourselves in pool deck blankets. We did alright. The menu consisted of a variety of meats - several cuts of steaks and a veal chop. They also had shrimp. Todd ordered a ribeye, and I ordered a strip steak. We ordered shrimp to share. First we had salads. The steaks arrived sizzling on the plate, rare. The shrimp arrived raw, and it easily cooked in just minutes. I cooked a few shrimp at a time. The meats are served with baked potato, but you can get fries. I ordered fries. Todd ordered a baked potato, but it was too cold to eat when he was ready. It was not on the sizzling plate. We each had a few fries. We had fruits for dessert. The restaurant is serviced from the same area where they prepare the pool lunches, and the guys cart everything upstairs. The wine, water, everything comes from the pool bar, so they keep it open until around 9 (maybe later now that the restaurant is popular). The food was delicious, but if I ordered a steak again, I would get a filet. These other steaks were way too big, and they cooked beyond medium since it keeps cooking while you are eating. We had plenty, and the food quality was high. I believe even full, the service will remain fabulous because it is not a big place. I'd like to see scallops added. The concept of the entrEe is that you are brought the item on a sizzling plate, and you have control over the doneness. It is not like cooking over a campfire, a hibachi or anything else. You simply let your meat sizzle as you eat. The most intense amount of cooking is turning it over to keep it even. One of our favorite lunches was from the pool grill. We wish we had eaten on the pool deck more often, in spite of the outside temperature. Some days were certainly nice enough. I had pizza and salad. I ordered a shrimp cocktail that did not arrive. Todd had a burger. Everything is cooked to order, so allow time for that. STARS Stars Lounge is located off to the side of La Terraza. It has seating for 24 guests. There is also a full service bar there. In the evenings with a little bit of additional seating. I really liked it here and was here about 8 or 9 evenings for at least a while. Todd was here several, as well. It works as a place for a full meal, a gourmet snack, or just a lovely cabaret lounge. The entertainers, Alfreda and Vladimir put on a live show every night. It was always different since it was live. They seldom took breaks, and Alfreda always chatted from table to table before her show and during the breaks. Vladimir accompanied her and was always right on. When we first went, the menu had tasting portions for each letter in STARS. There were people doing the entire tasting of 15 items. Later, they added a pasta tasting set, also. The way it works is that you get 3 items per letter ordered that are served together and are a couple of bites each. For instance, there is one that I got a few times that has fois gras, a frog leg, and a scallop. Everything was top quality, and the presentation was beautiful. If you don't want any of those items, there are nibbles on the table. There are some incredible flour tortilla chips. They also have olives, incredible breadsticks that are like munching on cooked pie dough (yes!). There are some dipping sauces. One has a lot of fresh garlic. It did take a bit of time to get the ordered items, but we never arrived there hungry, anyway. Darlene, the manager was doing a wonderful job hosting and running the restaurant, in spite of always coming off a full day and evening at La Terraza. She is to be commended. The Other Lounges The Bar on Silver Spirit is just off the lobby on Deck 5. This is a new concept for Silversea, as The Bar has always been aft. We found that guests either loved it or did not like it at all. We loved it. We were there every day because of trivia, and I would stay afterward for the appetizers. There was food of some sort most of the time. In the mornings, there were pastries, orange and grapefruit juice and coffee. At first, they were running out of pastries, but a quick talk with Helmut, and that was corrected for the rest of the cruise. I would have loved to have seen a tray of fruit. After that, they served bullion . There were sandwiches and a full menu with even paninis during the day. Later on, there was a full tea service. At the cocktail hour, there were gourmet canapEs such as pate, shrimp cocktail, fois gras, tempura, etc. The issue was, none of them were ever served warm. Helmut said they were not allowed to serve them hot. I never did know the reason, and I think this should be changed. Throughout the day, they had a tub of hot mixed nuts, and they also had the usual baskets of nuts, chips, pretzels, and chex mix type items. Service at the counter was fine after the first day, but at the lounge seats, sometimes the servers stood at the back and did not seem to realize they should be circulating. Other times, the service was impeccable. Amadeo played piano tunes here at night before dinner and after dinner. The Panorama lounge was a location to hear Mark play the piano, and at 11 p.m., DJ Luc played a variety of tunes, including requests. As this caught on, there was a lot of dancing. I had good fun dancing up there a couple of nights. During the day, there were also refreshments served here at a variety of times, sometimes similar to the restaurant, and on one side, they do allow smoking. We only made it to the observation lounge to look around. It is a modern room. As you walk in, there is a screen that shows the live route the ship is going (same as the TV). There is also a great telescope up there. The view is spectacular, and I am sure this will be a popular spot for coming into port, sunsets, etc. The ship has the Connoisseur's Club lounge across from the casino. This is a clubby sitting area where cognacs and such are available and smokers can come. They were leaving the doors to the casino and the hallway open. The show lounge is not designed to hold all guests, but it was never full. It has a main stage and two side stages. I loved the way they used all three stages. Sometimes my eyes were just mesmerized traveling around the room to not miss anything. The room is all one level, but the seating is tiered so that everyone can see. The rows are too close together, so if someone crosses their foot right next to you, it will overlap. The benches for two are cozy for some, but we did fine. Sometimes we each sat on one side since there was usually plenty of space. They do have a place to set drinks, but it is barely wide enough. No drinks are served, so you have to bring your own. I asked a number of times anyone who would listen if they would just bring a small variety (like they usually do at the captain's party) and have the greeters hold them. They seem worried they will not please everyone, so they have taken on the solution of not doing it at all. I imagine the design will remain controversial to a lot of guests, but the seats are comfortable, you can see from everywhere, all guests were accommodated on our sailing. It is tight in the back, and you have to walk around the lighting, and there would not be much space for wheelchairs, walkers, and the like. There is no ramp side for handicapped that I saw, and the steps are very tiny (like 2 inches each), and they are constantly telling everyone to watch their step. Seishin This is a reservation only restaurant. While it was advertised they would have bento box lunches and a la carte, in addition to the degustation menu, during our sailing, this had not yet occurred. However, the restaurant manager was hoping this would happen, and she also was open to doing lunches when interest was high. We toured here more than once, though we did not dine here. We watched some preparation, and I sampled a couple of sakes. Dining here is 9 course, with a lot of raw. There is a chef that does the raw part in the middle of the room, and there is another chef that does the teppanyaki and other hot dishes in the back. The current price is $40 for the degustation with the sake pairing, and then there is a wine pairing option with the Le Champagne pricing. The entrEe for the degustation is waygu beef. The room accommodates 24. They had 22 to 24 a night in there, and 3 nights were sold out the first hour of the cruise. Le Champagne The room built for Le Champagne was well thought out and beautiful. Regional menus were offered. The one that looked the most interesting to me was the Tour of Italy. It featured a lemon veal scallopini. They had a caviar focus and an asparagus night. There were a number of others. The price here is $200 per person currently for the degustation menu and wine pairing if booking while on the ship. There is an option for $30 where no complimentary wines are served. To have wine, one must order from the manager's list. A number of guests were noting that some of the wines on the list were not available. Daytime Activities In general, there were less activities on this cruise than any Silversea cruise we have experienced. The itinerary was very port-intensive. The day that we did not get to go to Tangier, they put on a movie, but almost nobody knew about it. I only knew because they made it a "Name that Tune" question in the game at night. They did not have shuffleboard because they had not yet painted the lines. They did not have the golf putting because they did not have the equipment in yet. It was set to arrive the day we got off the ship. They did have some bridge games. Every day except the last night and the first night, they had team trivia. We played all nine nights that it was held. Only once did our team not place in the top 3. There were a few spa lectures on acupuncture, stress, body analysis and such, but the timing never worked for me. They did not have organized needlepoint at tea, but you could ask for a complimentary kit, I found out. One or two ladies just did theirs at tea time anyway. There were at least a couple of meets to guess distance traveled. There were no food demonstrations, and I always look forward to those. They did have a champagne tasting in The Restaurant on Christmas Eve right before the galley brunch. There were also port lectures and history/war lectures. Unfortunately, they did not put these on the TV. I hope they will do this in the future like we have always had on the other ships. The spa had conditioning classes, along with yoga and pilates. One afternoon, one of the Japanese guests did a lovely dance show in full costume. Nighttime Activities On this sailing, they were having a lot of the shows at both 6:45 and 10:15. We always went at 6:45 and attended every day. When the show is later, Todd often does not go, so I really enjoyed this pre-dinner option. There were 3 production shows. One was called Aquarius Dawning. It had music mainly from the late 60s. We enjoyed that one a lot. Another was a tribute to Elton John's music. Yes, Darren did an Elton John impersonation, but mostly, it was a tribute to a variety of his music. Even the ladies sang. Even the Lion King was featured, along with some costumes. The third was Euro 2010, a tribute to the show itself. We enjoyed that, also. At 10 pm one night, there was a Moroccan show with a local group. This was in Casablanca. I really enjoyed this. One of our trivia players did not like it at all because of his hearing aids. Guests were engaged in audience participation. I wish I had been sitting near the aisle. Another night, there was a local Flamenco show. This was very good, too. It was not as good as the show we saw on our tour in Cadiz. There was a group onboard at the beginning of the cruise that was in the Taste of Things to Come show and also did their own two shows on one night. This was Il Divo Forever. They were from Uraguay and Cuba but met in Iceland. Another night, there was a cabaret singer. Iris Williams. She sang a variety of songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. The boat was rocking that night, and she handled it quite well and gave a lovely performance. One night, they just had a Star Trek movie. We were in port that night, so no casino. One night, they had a Name that Tune game in The Bar with Amadeo playing the tunes on the piano. This was a team game. My team came in 2nd or 3rd. There was a mix of songs, including movie themes and songs from all sorts of decades. There was a section where the rhythm and to be named, and another where the composer had to be named. The captain's party was held in both The Bar and the Panorama, as was the Venetian Society party. There was entertainment in the lounges, and on some nights (7 out of 11), the casino was open if we weren't on an overnight. Other Public Areas On deck 8, there is the shops. There is a variety of logo items, jewelry, and designer ware. There are a very few pharmacy items. Also on deck 8 is the casino. This is larger than on all the other Silversea ships. Most notedly, there are quite a few more slots. They generally opened a half hour after coming into port and closed while in port. We played roulette once and eventually lost, so we mostly stuck to black jack and won almost every session. Tables also close during dinner. The day we arrived in Lisbon (which was supposed to be a sea day), they opened only for a couple of hours and only slots. The pool deck is very nice with 3 hot tubs and nice loungers with padded headrests. There is a row of double loungers that have thick cushions. All along the deck on the sides, there are loungers. Back behind the panorama lounge, there are other seats and even covered cabanas. Deck 10 has more seating and a track. These all have smoking areas. The library and internet center had a lot of books, mostly hardback. Gone are the DVDs, you just watch the movies on TV. They still had the suduko, daily quizzes (they ran out before 9 am almost every day), and crossword. The internet did not work a couple of days near the beginning of the cruise, and the guy running the center was seldom every in the center. He was available by page. Since he was with people all the time he was up there, I was surprised he was hardly ever around. On 5, they have the tour concierge desk now and also reception. Reception is the "go to" area for start for any issues, to pay bills, etc. There was a lot more "I am not allowed" than I have ever heard, but generally, they handled everything I ever needed. The infirmary is on deck 3, and the prices for nurse and doctor are posted there. They will also come to the cabin, but they charge more for that. The butler can arrange this. The spa had a number of treatment areas and new things like bamboo massage and herbal massage. They also have a Chinese medicine doctor and offer acupuncture. One of the guests we spoke to had this done and was quite pleased. Also available is Botox, and a number of people had it done. I don't need that yet. I didn't see a lot of specials except for multi-treatment packages. The aerobics room looks like it could not handle more than a handful of guests. It had hand weights and other equipment (no step) and a big screen. You could pick a routine from it, also. There was new equipment in the cardio room, and they had loaner headsets. A number of the machines are hooked to satellite, but it was not yet working. They were doing body composition analysis in this room for $40. There is a thermal room that was available for $25 per day or $150 for the cruise or $250 per couple. You could do your own aromatherapy and also sit on the hot stone seats (short) and also use the outdoor hot tub and lounge area. There was also a relaxation room. All areas had bottled waters and bottle juices available. The thermal area had its own sauna and steamroom. There was also a free sauna and steamroom, but both sets were unisex. It was an odd trot from the locker area to the sauna and steam, and over there, there was no hanger for robes and little room to move around. Generally, the steam room could handl 3 guests. The sauna had two benches for sitting or laying down, and it was oceanview. If someone laid on the bottom shelf, you could not lay on the top without making them move. The forward elevators did not work for several days in the rough weather. We just kept walking to the next set. Tours and Ports I booked tours with Silversea online in advance, and given the weather, I wish I had not done this. Our first scheduled tour was in Barcelona. This was the vineyard tour. It was canceled due to weather, but we did not do another tour since we had walked around a lot on our own the previous day. I had caught a mini cold from walking in the rain, so we just enjoyed the ship, all new. While walking around, we saw many restaurants, and there was everything for sale outside, even mice. In Malaga, we did a tour that went to a cathedral and a couple of castles. We had a spectacular view of the bullring and the ship and all of the water. We did the whole tour with umbrellas, and everyone wanted to come back early. The cathedral was just beautiful inside. All the architecture was amazing all around us, and we could not believe how much space was used in the town and how stacked the buildings were. There was also a shuttle, and some people went shopping. In Cadiz, we did the walking tour and Flamenco and Tapas. We really thought this was a highlight. I had walked all around the day before, but I did not know what I was seeing, and I did not go to quite as many places. It was windy up by the Atlantic. The Flamenco show was exceptional. Everyone was served local meat, cheese, and bread. We all got two drinks - either cava, red or white wine, lager or soft drinks. It is amazing how much work those dancers do, especially the men. Everyone had a great seat. Before the show, we were taken to a flower market and given time to go around on our own. We found a flea market and a fish and farmers market. We could not believe the variety of items available there. If you come here, be aware of the lengthy siesta time in the afternoon. Five guests did the cooking school here and actually got to cook. The cooking tour is the only tour I heard of that was not escorted by Silversea, but the guests just loved the tour. In Gibraltar, we went on one of the Rock of the Apes tours. This was another huge highlight. We were taken out by a lighthouse where we could see both Africa and Spain while we were standing in the U.K. The rock was an interesting sight, and after we drove up, we were placed in the environment with the apes as they ran free. We had many photo ops . We went inside for the cave tour, and it was very interesting. After the tour, I stayed in town to look around while Todd went back to the ship. There were a variety of British restaurants and pubs and many shops. Some were not open when I arrived due to it being Sunday, and then they opened later. In general, it was a good idea to have US dollars here (I did not), as they were giving the same exchange rate for Euros and USD. Since I was paying in Euros and already had lost on that deal from USD, I took a double hit. I only bought some cough syrup (12 EU) and a couple of magnets. I took a cab back to the ship for 2 Euros, but he would have taken 1 pound or 2 US dollars, also. In Casablanca, we each did a different tour. Todd did the sightseeing tour. They went inside the mosque on Todd's tour. On ours, we just saw the outside. Both went to the farmer's and fish market. Here I bought some of the Argan oil body lotion. Our guide stayed with us at all times. We went to a cooking school. First we were given some delicious juice that tasted like tangerines. Next, we were seated at a long metal table. The students demonstrated making various cookies and biscuits and beef and chicken dishes. The cookies were served with mint tea during the demo. Later, all the prepared dishes were served buffet style after we completed a hand-washing ritual that was a photo op. at the end, we had more cookies and tea on the rooftop. We had several sightseeing stops and a trip inside of a local store to buy African items. We also had a stop to a local herb place where they sold many herbs, lotions, potions, mixes, etc. for medicinal purposes and spices for cooking. Many were demonstrated. Then they were offered for sale at a one time price. I bought some other local hand crèmes. I'm really enjoying them. Both of our tours went by Rick's Cafe, a tribute to the movie that was actually filmed in Hollywood. Tangier was canceled due to the ship entering hurricane category 2 waters. We saw land in the distance, but we never entered the harbor and sailed on to Lisbon a day early after several hours of just laying down seasick and a rocky evening. Our tour in Lisbon included about 1 and a half hours on a river boat around the Tagus river. We were given local ham and cheese sandwiches and pastries, along with orange juice that tasted like Tang. This was a very pleasant way to see the river and get excellent pics of all the monuments and of Silver Spirit. Next, we took a motor coach all around town and got out for a couple of photos and saw a lot of the architecture. This was very relaxing. Dress Code The dress code on the ship during the day was resort casual. Since it was generally around 53 degrees F or 12 C much of the time, people had on long sleeved shirts, sometimes sweatshirts or sweaters, and long pants. I saw more people around in their robes than on any other cruise. Some wore them up to the hot tub. I have seen this before, but there was more of that on this cruise since it was cold. Also, people wore robes to the spa since the dressing room setup was not as desirable as on the other ships. Swimsuits are needed in the sauna and steam due to the unisex setup. During the day, I saw more jeans than ever, and with the weather, I wore them a couple of times myself and was happy to be in them! At night, we had 3 formal nights. It was a holiday cruise, and I think people enjoyed the dressup. We had 3 or 4 casual nights, and the rest were informal. Todd wore long-sleeved shirts on the casual, sometimes with a jacket, sometimes not. On the informal nights, he wore various dress shirts and a jacket and usually a tie. Some wore ties, and others did not. On New Year's Eve, there were a few gowns, but mostly, people dressed like on other Silversea cruises where there are a mix of tuxes and suits for men and a mix of dresses and nice pant outfits for women. Everyone looked nice all the time. Staff and Other Guests Around 60% of the staff came from other Silversea ships. We saw many familiar faces. Our cruise director was Fernando, and he brought Alessandra with him. It was great to see them. Crystal was the other international hostess. Fernando was ill for half the cruise, and Alessandra stepped in much of the time and did a wonderful job, as always. We saw wait staff and managers, all sorts of people that remembered us, and that we remembered. One exception is the production team. They were hired with contracts until August and had rehearsed for about a month and a half in Fort Lauderdale. There were 3 men and 5 women. Included is a ballet couple from the Ukraine. We did notice a difference in the service level of the new people from the seasoned Silversea staff. It was not from lack of interest or trying. By the end of the cruise, they had taken it up several notches. Even the experienced Silversea staff had some glitches with the new ship, but they were swift to act. There were 462 guests. There were 159 from the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) and 86 guests from Japan. There were some from Hong Kong and a number of Europeans and people from Canada. There were very few children, and none of them bothered anyone that I know of. We also were told that around 85% were returning Silversea guests. Holiday Celebrations At first, I thought they weren't really doing much for the Christmas holiday. They did, actually do some nice things, but there was not a lot of advanced notice. They had a mass on Christmas Eve. I went to this, though I am not Catholic. The next day in the early evening, there was a non-denominational service, but it was not mentioned the day before. There were a good number of attendees at the mass, including a number of the staff. There was a holiday show with mainly carols. This involved singing and piano and was held in the show lounge. On Christmas Eve, they had the galley lunch. On Christmas Day, there was an Italian family dinner in La Terazza and a set menu in The Restaurant, with the choice of entrEe. Seishin and Le Champagne were both open. On New Year's Day, they opened Seishin at lunch and had a Japanese New Year's party up there. Also on New Year's Day, they had a seafood buffet at lunch at La Terraza. On both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, at dinner, there were party favors at all the tables. On New Year's Eve, the lounges all had parties starting at 11 p.m. We booked in for STARS for 9:30. Dinner went until 9:40. Many that reserved did not show up at their correct time, and their tables were held. There were pluses and minuses to that. CEO Ken Watson attended the party at STARS. Alfreda added Motown and even disco to her offerings for the night. The entertainment staff all brought around champagne, and there were party favors - noise makers, hats, streamers, and balloons all over. There was dancing, and even Todd danced a little in spite of having a stomach ache and cough that was going around the ship a bit. After 12:15 when he went to the cabin, I went up to the Panorama lounge to look around. There were just a few people left. Inaugural Significance On this sailing, there was not a single sail away party, not even the first sail away. We were given a tote bag and two baseball caps, and we also got a paper certificate each noting our sailing on the maiden voyage. Little mention was made and not a lot of fanfare. Even the in-room sail away champagne was never even put on ice. When we opened it ourselves, they took it away before we even drank it. Debarkation and Trip Home We had a nice breakfast in our room and left the ship at 7:30 a.m. since we supposedly had an early flight in Lisbon. We were able to get a cab at the ship. We went in a Mercedes with an English-speaking guide who took us all the way inside the airport with our bags and made sure we were OK. He only wanted 37 Euros. On the Continental flight, we had video on demand. I watched 3 movies. The flight was full. We were served two meals again. We arrived to Newark two hours late. This caused us supposedly to miss our flight. We had already been confirmed for another flight in Lisbon as they expected us to miss it. We had to recheck our bags, and then we killed a bunch of time in Newark before we finally boarded for the 6:45 flight (we had originally been going to be all the way home by 7:20 Central). The flight was full, and we were set to go. They never shut the door, and all of a sudden, they said there was a security issue and to stand by. Eventually, we were deplaned, as were all planes in the terminal, including our original flight that had been delayed due to mechanical issues. We ended up being rallied down to the baggage claim. We were in Newark 8 hours, but eventually we got out that night and got home at 3:18 a.m. 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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