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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Silversea was a new cruise line for us and reading some of the reports on here you would think it was a cross between old Fred Olsen and new Costa ships! Nonsense - it was quite simply one of the best cruise ship experiences we have ... Read More
Silversea was a new cruise line for us and reading some of the reports on here you would think it was a cross between old Fred Olsen and new Costa ships! Nonsense - it was quite simply one of the best cruise ship experiences we have ever had. Seven days of small islands in the Caribbean - 300 guests, super service and some of the best food and wine we have ever had on a cruise, and that was without sampling the delights of La Dame which was an $50 per head. Excellent entertainment, smaller scale and more personal excursions - what is there not to like? We got a great deal and interestingly 70% of our fellow cruise passengers were also new to the company. Would we sail with Silversea again? Like a shot, particularly if we got the price and on board credit that our travel agent negotiated. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ... Read More
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ratings and we wanted a slightly larger ship with very experienced naturalists. While the ship holds about 100 people, I think we only had about 85 on board and it never felt crowded. Silver Seas has this down pat! From the moment you arrive at the airport, it is well organized and orchestrated. You never felt rushed or like you were part of a herd. Each experience was personalized and the staff and crew were very polite, respectful and helpful. Each day, you wake up early and head out for excursions. Most days, there were options to choose from. Each excursion started in a zodiac and you headed out to explore an island, snorkel, kayak or visit a small town. Each zodiac had a guide who lead you through the excursion and ensured each guest got the most out of it. The animals are a highlight of the whole trip. They are not afraid of people and you get a very up close (but not too close) experience with sea lions, birds, iguanas, fish and so much more. The ship itself was very nice. Rooms were spacious (for a cruise ship) and well appointed. Your personal butler ensured you had everything you needed and was quick to respond to any special request. Every time we left the room, they came in and cleaned and straightened it up. The ship wasn't new but well kept up. There was only one restaurant and the Grill on board. We had breakfast at the restaurant buffet each morning and chose to have lunch in the Grill on the deck of floor 5. We alternated between the Grill and main restaurant for dinner. The food was very good in both. I do think they could expand the Grill dinner menu beyond on the hot rocks as it was fun the first night and then got a little old. The restaurant food was all excellent and what I would expect at a fine dining establishment. Our fellow travelers were generally 40-60'ish years old and liked a very active vacation. There is little time to rest during the week. You could choose to skip excursions but then why go on this trip? It was action packed and crazy busy but exactly what we expected. There was only 1 child on our trip and about 10 teenagers who seemed to really enjoy it. Most people were part of bigger (6-12 people) groups which included families, siblings, multi generational, friends, etc. One word of warning which Silver Seas is clear about - this is not a trip for anyone that is mobility challenged. The ship isn't set up for it and the excursions all require you to go up and down steep steps on a rocking ship to the zodiac and often disembark in to the ocean and walk ashore to hike on a rugged trail. There is no entertainment on the ship other than a small piano bar for pre-dinner cocktails while watching the sunset. Most people were in their cabins by 10pm resting up for another big day of excursions. Overall, this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip although we may go back again one day and see the Western part of the archipelago. Also, we chose March as the seas were warmer for snorkeling although the air temperature was very warm too. It is the rainy season, but we didn't see even a drop of rainy and it was sunny each day. Can't recommend this trip on the Silver Galapagos highly enough! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are regular cruisers and have sailed on many different lines like Celebrity, RCCL, Princess, P&O, NCL and Carnival, however, this was our first cruise on a smaller ship. The combination of a good price for the cruise and an ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and have sailed on many different lines like Celebrity, RCCL, Princess, P&O, NCL and Carnival, however, this was our first cruise on a smaller ship. The combination of a good price for the cruise and an interesting itinerary made it attractive to book this holiday. We were certainly not disappointed with our first Silversea experience! The ship was immaculate and had generous public areas. The cabin (a Classic Veranda Suite) was luxuriously appointed with plenty of space. The walk in wardrobe was an excellent size and there was more than enough storage space for luggage. The bathroom was lovely with a full size bath and separate shower. The bed was comfy and the seating area spacious. The only minor criticism was there were no non smoked glass mirrors in the cabin. It would have been useful to have a normal mirror near the balcony door. The food in the restaurants was excellent quality as were the drinks.There were several very good restaurants to choose from and we enjoyed the ability to dine in different venues during the cruise. We particualry liked the Italian themed 'La Terrazza' which served delicious food and you could enjoy this al fresco on the deck. One thing we particularly liked was that because there were less passengers than on the larger ships, we were able to go to the buffets and not feel crowded, there was always a waiter to help you find a free table and offer to take your food for you. It was really lovely to always find a table outside to dine. The entertainment on the ship was not as 'full on' as on the larger ships we had been on but we were never bored. The shows in the Venetian Lounge involved the Silversea Singers, instrumentalists and when we were in Kota Kinabalu a local dance troupe and instrumentalists came on board and performed an excellent show. We also enjoyed dancing the night away in the Panorama Lounge and had fun at a karaoke night! The deck party was good fun and also during the day there was great food served at tables by the pool. In the evening the area around the pool became the 'Hot Rocks' restaurant where you could cook your own meat/fish on hot volcanic rocks. The staff were really friendly and helpful. We also met many friendly passengers, on several evenings we would arrange to meet up and go to dinner with new friends. We were so impressed with the Silversea brand that we decided to book a future cruise on the Silver Shadow. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia as part of the total cruise fare. And this is where things became odd. We were awakened at 1:30AM in Santiago, Chile, to join the charter flight to Ushuaia that left at around 6 in the morning. We had initially been told by Silversea's agent that because Silversea had chartered the flight, there would really be no issue with baggage. However, when we received our cruise documents, there was a baggage restriction of 50 pounds, per person. That necessitated considerable reorganization of our luggage situation as we had traveled a long way to get to the cruise and had post-cruise safari plans in Africa. The flight left after some delay and we arrived in Ushuaia only to find that we could not go directly to the ship but had to go onto a lunch somewhat out of town. This disappointed us because we were tired and might have preferred to see some of Ushuaia rather than go riding on a bus out of town to a countryside restaurant. Following the luncheon, we returned to the ship at around 2pm and boarded. Oddly enough, though, for all of the effort expended in getting us to Ushuaia very early, the ship did not depart until around 10pm. We feel this issue might have been better handled so as not to drag people out of bed at an unholy hour. We also felt that had we known of the baggage limitation and the hour of departure in advance, we might have made our own flight arrangements from Sao Paulo, our first stop in South America. Further, once on board, we came to learn that there had been a pre-cruise tour offering to Iguazu Falls. We were disappointed to learn this as we truly would have been interested in seeing the falls, having traveled all the way to South America from East Asia. On board, we elected to purchase an upgrade to the free internet provided to every passenger on the ship. This proved to be nothing but a waste of money and I would warn anyone against it. The charge was some $350.00 and the upgrade proved to be just as slow as the free service. The other negative was that we had confusion with a name on the cruise documents. We contacted Silversea's agent about this and he assured us that proper documents were on the way. The head office never managed to send the documents on time and they were not received until we returned home. One last annoyance was the daily briefing held by the expedition staff. This occurred every evening at 6pm, often after a day of going on 2 excursions. Though attendance was not mandatory, one felt compelled to go as details of the next day's activities were spelled out at that time. Perhaps this could be better managed in future. As for the positives, they are many. The food on board was excellent. Our cabin, though smaller than balcony cabins on Seabourn and Regent, was comfortable and functional. The staff on board were superb, especially our valet and the room steward. We felt that anything we needed or wanted was somehow found promptly appeared. The expeditions were excellent and we certainly appreciated the efforts that the expedition staff went through day in and day out - it is no simple matter bringing people safely ashore in isolated places, through sometimes rough surf. And the scenery on shore was spectacular, to say the least. Though two expeditions were done a day and one might have felt tired, they still were worth every minute and any effort. Shore excursions were fine but perhaps, Silversea might let people know the options available for shore excursions in advance of sailing. Would I recommend a Silversea Expedition? Definitely. But be aware of the issues I highlighted as attention to them could make for an even better experience. We did not travel with children and this type of voyage might better be best for people who are mature enough to grasp the significance of what one is experiencing. Would I go again? Yes! But mindful of the negatives that I mentioned. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My partner and I, both 60, joined a business group for the first 5 days of this 11-day sailing. This was my first time on Silversea but not my first cruise. I have been on 36 other cruises on 11 other lines so I feel I have a good base of ... Read More
My partner and I, both 60, joined a business group for the first 5 days of this 11-day sailing. This was my first time on Silversea but not my first cruise. I have been on 36 other cruises on 11 other lines so I feel I have a good base of comparison. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and enjoyed riding the Water Taxi past the celebrity homes and yachts. Embarkation on the Silver Spirit was quick and easy. The Silver Spirit is one of the most luxurious ships I have sailed on. Understated, yet upscale, elegance permeates throughout. There are many venues, outdoor seating spaces, and a lot of eager crew to serve you, It never feels crowded and you can always find a seat. The pool was large for a ship this size and there were three hot tubs. The day we utilized them, only one had working jets. There were a lot of loungers by the pool but few in the shade. Away from the pool were many more seats in the shade. You really have to explore all the open decks to find all the spots. Our Deluxe Veranda Suite was lovely: Marble bathroom with large shower, menu of toiletries, bath puffs, bathtub, and good lighting (once I located all the switches). Beautiful veranda with teak flooring and rails which do not obstruct the view. Sofa and chair in sitting area which could be cordoned off from bedroom with a curtain - a nice touch. Bed was very comfortable and our friendly butler brought us an egg crate mattress topper. He also filled our mini-fridge with our choice of beverages, The FOOD! Mostly superb. I love buffets and the breakfast and lunch buffets were outstanding with lots of fancy seafood, carved meats, cute jars of layered things, ice creams, fabulous desserts, you name it. Dinners were hit and miss. When we dined as a group (17 of us) service was painfully slow (3 Hours for dinner) and food was often cold. When my partner and I dined alone, the meals were normally paced. My favorite restaurant was Indochine, which I understand is the least popular on the ship, excepting the $60 upcharged La Dame (French). I love Asian food and this meal was excellent. Portions were small by American standards but we did not go hungry. Order something from all the courses and try something new! Dinner begins at 7 pm, which is late for us. I wish at least one of the restaurants started dinner service earlier. Don't hesitate to make special requests or tweak your meals to your liking. This is one of the hallmarks of Silverseas' personalized service. For example, my partner ordered the four (or was it five?) cheese pizza but requested meat be added. The pizza was great! I also loved the little treats offered in the Arts Cafe throughout the day. The All-Day Dining (AKA Room Service) menu was extensive. The only times we ordered room service was for morning coffee and service was prompt. Compared to other cruise lines, the Silver Spirit does not offer a huge amount of activities. There was, among other things, trivia, golf putting, the spa talks, a galley and bridge tour. The latter tours required same day morning signup as noted in the Daily Chronicle, the shipboard schedule, in tiny print which is easy to miss. Don't be like me - read the entire Chronicle! A small library is in the very top and front of the ship. An excellent lecturer offered a few talks on history and Caribbean topics. I would have attended more if I could! The nightly entertainment was the weakest part of this cruise, The 10 pm shows were boring, dated and not of the caliber expected from an upscale cruise line. I actually walked out -a first for me. Even though most of the passengers were older, everyone seemed bored by the shows. As for the ports, Grand Turk was a riot of beach activity, a swimming pool, Margaritaville, etc.right by the dock. We took a tour of the island, somewhat interesting, and a very fun boat excursion to Gibbs Cay where we swam with stingrays. In Virgin Gorda, the big attraction is the baths. We did not book a tour here because I had been to the Baths recently. Note: There is absolutely nothing to see or do here unless you are on an excursion. Hurricane damage is still evident. Next time, I would not even bother tendering in. We disembarked at St Martin and there is a shopping complex right by the pier. Again, I think an excursion by water may be the best option here. This is not a cruise for children, although there were a handful onboard who seemed to be enjoying the pool. The ship seems to be geared to those who want a relaxing, quieter cruise with fine dining, wine, and service. Would I go again? If the price is right and the itinerary compelling, maybe. If the entertainment was improved, that would be a big plus. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
After cruising with 6 other cruise companies, we were excited to have gone supposedly upmarket to Silversea. We were very disappointed.The whole ship is urgently in need of refurbishment, which apparently will happen later this year. The ... Read More
After cruising with 6 other cruise companies, we were excited to have gone supposedly upmarket to Silversea. We were very disappointed.The whole ship is urgently in need of refurbishment, which apparently will happen later this year. The cabins are not that big, the balcony was tiny. The flat screen TV was out of the ark, was tiny and couldn't easily be seen from the bed. For 3 days the a/c didn't work properly, the fridge had to be changed as it also wasn't cold! The food in La Terraze was excellent at breakfast and lunch, but awful at dinner. The main restaurant food was usually lukewarm, sometimes not cooked. The service was poor with little response to any complaints. The complimentary wines were good, but bizarrely it is company policy to not have a list of complimentary wines. Instead you are presented with a white and a red as choice for the day. It is not made clear that there are other alternatives, and we spoke to several people who had no idea even late in the cruise.They do, however, have a long list of wines at extra cost! Incredibly, there was no complimentary NZ Sauv Blanc available for the entire cruise due to a procurement error. You have to play 20 questions with the sommelier to find what choice there is.This was incredibly annoying. The staff were generally very friendly and helpful, the room attendant and butler were very efficient. Room service was efficient but again the food was usually cold. The other guests made the cruise for us, together with a great itinerary and good weather. There was general agreement that Silversea were overpriced, very disappointing and to be avoided in future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the sailing because the timing and itinerary were just what we were looking for. The issues started just after we booked the cruise through the Silversea Florida Office. The thing to bear in mind is that this is supposed to be a ... Read More
We chose the sailing because the timing and itinerary were just what we were looking for. The issues started just after we booked the cruise through the Silversea Florida Office. The thing to bear in mind is that this is supposed to be a luxury cruise and you are paying top dollar. The booking/ administration was awful and had no idea of life outside Florida. Questions went unanswered for weeks, escalation to management helped, but slowly, promises were not kept. Flights routings were stupid - the first plan was to fly us 4 hours East to Toronto, to fly us 5 hours West to Vancouver (rather than just the one hour to Vancouver), before flying to the Far East. Then they rescheduled our early February flight at the last minute giving us a very tight transfer in the middle of a deep freeze/ snow storm. We were told they wanted to cut down on our wait time in Vancouver - a better plan would have been to ask us! In my opinion, they had just no idea. The Shipboard credit was not provided and had to be requested from the ship. In all fairness, we travelled with a friend from England who did not have any issues with their admiistartion. Planning the ports looked odd. We stayed 2 days in Sianoukville, described as a cross between a rubbish dump and a building site, but only a few hours in Ha Long Bay, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Once we were on the ship, the ship's company could not have been better, service was excellent from top to bottom - particularly all the bar staff. We could not fault the cabin staff, just excellent. The line is Italian, so food was slanted to haute cuisine, which was fine, we had some beautiful dishes. The lunch on the Pool deck delivered a really, really good burger, just light on the salads, though I suppose I could have asked for double portions. The evening entertainment was not as good as we have previously enjoyed. There was a lot of opera/ American songbook shows, some of the arrangements were not my cup of tea The bar and pool staff plus the waiters were a joy. I doubt we will cruise with Silversea again - Regent provide a much better administrative experience and a nicer ship Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Silversea advertised a series of Asia cruises with their "Far More in the Far East" special, and wow, did it deliver. I chose this Singapore-to-Hong Kong voyage for several reasons: the timing worked for me, I liked the balance ... Read More
Silversea advertised a series of Asia cruises with their "Far More in the Far East" special, and wow, did it deliver. I chose this Singapore-to-Hong Kong voyage for several reasons: the timing worked for me, I liked the balance of ports and sea days, the itinerary would take me to so many places I've never been but have longed to visit, and the Silversea specials put this all-inclusive luxury voyage comfortably in my price range ($1000 air credit, $1000 onboard credit, most excursions included, 5% discount for previous SS travelers, 5% discount for booking onboard a previous cruise, and then a surprise 3-category upgrade just a few days before sailing -- it all added up to a reasonable price). The Shadow is one of the older ships in the fleet, but she is graceful and well maintained. After previously sailing on her smaller sibling, the Wind, the Shadow at first seemed so much larger. Within a day, that feeling diminished and she seemed perfect to me. My suite seemed bigger than I expected, although the pool seemed smaller than expected. On this particular voyage, we had spectacular weather until the final few days, and the pool deck was filled to capacity. There were short waits (under 5 minutes) for the morning buffet at popular times on port days, but generally passengers were well distributed throughout the ship. It was easy to find quiet places to sit, or more active places for company. Embarkation in Singapore is odd simply because you have to walk through a mall to reach the desk. Once in Silversea's hands, however, the process was easy and pleasant -- under 10 minutes from starting the process to sitting in the Panorama Lounge enjoying my 2nd glass of welcome bubbly. I dined at every possible venue, preferring La Terrazza for breakfast (waiters will bring you eggs to order and cappuccino, but everything else comes from the vast buffet). My meal in the upcharge La Dame was as extraordinary as advertised, while two dinners at the casual Hot Rocks were good fun with good company. The Restaurant does include a small selection of regional selections every night, and I found they were nicely done -- especially the lemongrass beef. Over the 2 weeks, I dined in La Tarrazza for dinner on 4 occasions, always enjoying the upscale Italian cuisine and handmade pastas. As others have said, luxury trappings are nice, but it is the warmth and professionalism of the crew that make Silversea so special. Without exception, every staff member on board was at the top of their game, remembering names and orders, anticipating wants or needs, offering a compliment or a steady arm, making conversation with real connections, sharing insights from their homelands. I found this to be true throughout the ranks: from the captain to the room attendant, from the wait staff to the officers, from the earnest care of the butlers to the often invisible work of the maintenance crew and accountants. Of everything on this near-perfect voyage, I think I will miss the crew the most. Would I go again? Yes. And I would enthusiastically recommend it to others. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Beautiful ship with large cabins and plenty of public spaces to get away. Lots of restaurants, but food choices were somewhat limited. Like most cruises, there were minor issues along the way, but we really enjoyed this cruise. ... Read More
Beautiful ship with large cabins and plenty of public spaces to get away. Lots of restaurants, but food choices were somewhat limited. Like most cruises, there were minor issues along the way, but we really enjoyed this cruise. Embarkation seemed a bit disjointed with multiple stops. Staggered times based on suite category meant no big lines and cabins immediately ready. Our boarding opened at 2:00 pm. Don’t get too comfortable unpacking and miss lunch as the hours are limited. Welcome champagne glass and a full bottle waiting for you in the suite. We toured and photographed the ship after lunch. Disembarkation went as scheduled with full room service breakfast available (a rarity on most lines). Out of the cabin by 8:30 am, we waited until 9:15 for our group to be called right on time. Uber for two to FLL was less than $12 + tip. Why would anybody spend more for a bus transfer? Ship. So much room throughout the ship that we often asked ourselves, “Where is everybody?” Like many newer ships, this ship has the plethora of quiet places to “hide out.” Lots of elevators and stairs made it a snap to get around. Service and Amenities. Mostly what I would expect for a luxury cruise line. All-inclusive alcohol and wine flowed freely. Water, iced tea, and juice at the gangway with cold washcloths back on the ship. Friendly staff always greeted guests in passing, but don’t expect them to remember your name like they do on much smaller ships. Bulgari toiletries. All the toys in the cabin except binoculars. (I bring my own anyway.) No fresh flowers or fruit in our cabin. Clientele. Most people we met were very experienced cruisers. Some were avid Silversea clients, but quite a few were on their first Silversea cruise. A fair number of Brits. The clientele age was more varied than we expected. We quickly made friends with a lot of interesting people and enjoyed their company throughout the cruise. This is not a ship for kids, although the one 5-year old girl onboard got a lot of attention. Entertainment. Six singers and dancers did all the shows, including their solo acts. Other musicians also onboard for piano music, etc. Enrichment activities. Ira Feldman was our destination lecturer. He was very informative and approachable. We didn’t spend time doing most of the other cruise trivia, bingo, bridge, etc. We like doing puzzles and this ship could use a better location than the card room for that purpose. Restaurants. Very different arrangement than many other cruise lines and we were quite confused when trying to make pre-cruise online reservations. I’ll try to provide the information I wish I had before boarding. There is a cluster of four restaurants on Deck 4. Atlantide is the closest thing to a main dining room and doesn’t require reservations unless you have special requests. Menu only changed slightly once during the cruise. Indochine is similar with an Asian menu, but we never went there. Seishin (Asian) and LeDame (French) are the small, premium restaurants that are pricey and small. Hot Rocks (aka The Grill) is outside on Deck 9 by the pool. For lunch they serve burgers, but for dinner you cook your own food on a hot stone. Just upstairs overlooking the pool is the pizza restaurant Spaccanapoli. It’s not really a dinner restaurant, per se, but it does have a dinner menu if you want pizza. La Terrazza is the buffet converted to a sit-down Italian restaurant in the evening with both indoor and outdoor seating. Surprisingly, it had some of the best food on the ship, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Finally, Silver Note is a nice restaurant on Deck 8 that transitions into a piano bar with dancing at night. Menus vary by restaurant, not by day, so the idea is to try the different venues if you want variety. Finally, Arts Café is a gem of a place to get snacks next to Silver Note. That is where they serve afternoon tea with scones, cake, sandwiches, etc.. Unfortunately, the amazing cakes are replaced with only chocolate after dinner. It’s a good place to get an after dinner drink. The biggest critique I have is that afternoon post-shore excursion food was limited. Waiting an hour to get a burger from The Grill or room service just doesn’t cut it when you have been walking all morning and you are starving hungry! The simple fix would be to provide more substantial food (e.g. sandwiches, sushi, fruit, cookies, etc.) at the Arts Café during the entire lull period between lunch venues closing and dinner venues opening. Food Quality and Service. We were disappointed in the quality, variety, and availability. Although we had a few excellent meals, most were just average, which was disappointing for a luxury cruise line. Appetizers were typically the best part of the meal. Our lobster tails were overcooked. Steaks were not very tender and often undercooked. Lots of good fish choices, so we ate a lot of fish. Service was too often painfully slow, sometimes taking 2 ½ hours for a three course meal. What is it about some ships and the timing of the coffee? I like to drink my coffee with dessert, but the coffee usually came 15 minutes after dessert was served and long gone. Our last dinner onboard at La Terrazza was the best food and service of the cruise. Dress code. Two formal nights and five other nights requiring jackets for men. I would prefer more nights of “country club casual” or a dress code based on restaurant venue. Wearing formal clothes or even a jacket to an outdoor pizza restaurant didn’t make sense. Internet. Finally! Free, unlimited internet. Still ship-slow and sometimes difficult to get a good connection, but at least you are not being billed for every minute. Upgrades to higher speeds and more devices were available. Self Service Laundry. With machines on every floor, we were actually able to find open machines on a sea day, which made quick work of the laundry we needed washed. Free with a confusing soap dispenser. Machine instructions were practically non-existent and also perplexing. It didn’t help that the machine labels were German and the water temperatures were degrees Celsius. Cruise lines could really help out their guests by providing no-nonsense guides in English with recommendations about which of the 14 cycles (from 20 min to 3 hours) works best for most clothes. Spa & Fitness Center. Lots of treatment rooms. We enjoyed the Thermal Suite, which was an extra package price and limited access. Silversea could take a tip from Oceania and provide free Gatorade. Smoking. This was one of our main reasons for not sailing Silversea earlier. It is now reasonably restricted and the occasional whiffs of smoke from a designated smoking area did not bother us much. Ports. Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, Cienfuegos, Havana, Bimini. Most people were on this cruise to see Cuba. Almost everybody went ashore to get a chance to see it firsthand. We invested heavily in shore excursions primarily because we didn’t know what to expect in terms of access and meeting the U.S. requirements to visit Cuba. All the Cuban tours were operated by Havanatur and transportation was provided on relatively new Chinese buses with toilets (an amenity you will appreciate in Cuba where every bathroom has an attendant with their hand out for a tip). Our shore excursion guides were all high quality. Everything was on time and the three sea days were a welcome respite from touring. An unexpected extension to our time in Havana allowed last-minute shore excursions to the nightclubs and shows. Friends we met through Cruise Critic were able to book their own independent tours, but we did not have the time to do all the advanced research and booking. Tenders. This was the first Silver Spirit itinerary to Cuba so there were many learning opportunities. Particularly problematic was the tendering service. Some of the tender rides were 35-45 minutes, but this was not entirely Silversea’s fault. Even this relatively small ship was not allowed to get close enough in some of the ports to have reasonable tendering times. This caused several of us to miss evening plans in Santiago because we could not get back to the ship in time to go back for the evening shows. Havana was the only port where we used a dock, which was a real luxury after all the tendering. The one big misstep was in Bimini, where bad management of tender rotations caused an hour wait that made several of us miss our afternoon shore excursion. The ship staff accepted full responsibility and refunded our ticket prices, but it was disappointing. In summary. We’ve never taken a perfect cruise, but expectations can be high for luxury cruise lines like Silversea. However, after 18 cruises on a variety of lines, this cruise makes our top 3, with Regent and Azamara. We loved the location and size of our cabin. Now that we understand the system, we will make better dining choices next cruise. Cuba is a must see and we will be back in the future to see the progress. Overall, we really enjoyed this cruise and will be back Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This trip should b a no brainer for SS, but it's not. To many little issues turn into stupidity. Examples, a Milk shake in US is made with ice cream and milk, they use no milk but use ice. Very difficult to explain how to make ... Read More
This trip should b a no brainer for SS, but it's not. To many little issues turn into stupidity. Examples, a Milk shake in US is made with ice cream and milk, they use no milk but use ice. Very difficult to explain how to make since there order system doesn’t allow explanations. The restaurants have a set menu, which means no different meals. Oceania, Regent, Crystal all have new menus for dinner every day, they also post outside what that nights menu is. The food is good but trying to customize a meal is difficult as you must order at least 24 hrs in advance. All, except 2 restaurants, must have a reservation, even though they are not filled. With empty tables at 8PM, you cannot just walk in. When we boarded we were told we needed an Australian Visa...but why wasn’t that notification made prior to boarding? So, request was made by Muse, but they applied to agency other than govnmt. Which charged more than double, notification was made about the problem and I was told I had to solve it. Fortunately others had same problem, so Muse handled the problem. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Superb from embarkation to disembarkation. My daughter took me on this cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday and I could not recommend it highly enough. She has sailed with Silversea before so I knew what to expect but it exceeded ... Read More
Superb from embarkation to disembarkation. My daughter took me on this cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday and I could not recommend it highly enough. She has sailed with Silversea before so I knew what to expect but it exceeded my expectations by a thousand percent. The service, the dining experiences, the amazing staff, the excursions, the suite, our butler and cabin attendant, the pool, the gym and all the extra little touches were beyond comparison. (I travelled on a Celebrity cruise last year and I would give that half a star (only for the excursions). Silversea would rate 10 stars if it was possible. From the room attendants, the wait staff, right up to the Captain, everyone went out of their way to be polite, friendly and helpful. Our suite was so comfortable, even including a bath! and a seperate dressing room. Our needs were met promptly and efficiently and we never felt that anything was too much trouble for the crew. Every day another new surprise greeted us. From exclusive chocolates on our beds at night to a waiter complimenting me on my jewellery and even remembering that my daughter was wearing something similar several nights before. The meals were like dining in a 5 star restaurant each time. It’s very easy to put on some weight. Silversea is expensive but it’s all inclusive, so you never feel as though someone is fawning over you just to earn a tip, which is what has happened on other cruises I’ve taken. Will definitely be sailing Silversea again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose to do two back to back cruises to cover as much of the islands as possible. This was the best decision I could have made. I will not go into the wonders of these Islands, just my shipboard experience. Embarkation after the ... Read More
I chose to do two back to back cruises to cover as much of the islands as possible. This was the best decision I could have made. I will not go into the wonders of these Islands, just my shipboard experience. Embarkation after the flight over to the Galapagos was excellent and well organised from the wharf to registering on the ship. My balcony cabin was spotlessly clean and well appointed and the balcony well worth the extra cost even with the solo supplement. My butler and cabin cleaner were very good and helpful whenever necessary. Dining was a joy with Chef Carlo Bermudez catering to all diets with plenty of variety and his Yucca Bread was absolutely delicious. He did a tasting menu for the few doing the two cruises one night, oh my, how good was that as were the wines and how lucky were we. The Hot Rocks Restaurant was the usual Silverseas high standard and much fun was had at this venue whilst enjoying the great food. Lunch on the deck was very popular but as other people have commented, not enough room, however hopefully the new ship will have an extended area. The Chef was cooking local food here every day and was so good to be able to sample these foods. Service was exemplary, the occasional language difficulty in the restaurant but nothing that could not be solved easily. The Expedition Team were experienced and very knowledgeable, looking after us on land and sea and we were so lucky to have these people guiding us through this wonderland. The treks and snorkelling in particular, were fantastic. Another highlight was watching approximately 200 Galapagos Sharks hanging around the ship one night in the light, one of the most awesome sights I have seen anywhere in the world. Captain Karin Chacon was very obvious by his presence, interacting with the guests and such a lovely gentleman. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him and enjoy his wealth of knowledge of the area. All in all, much more than I expected with a crew that really tries to make sure you have the very best of experiences, and succeeded. Thanks to you all Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because it was the only one available for 7 days in a warm climate in February. The agent with Silversea was amazing in assisting us with any of our questions or concerns. The embarkation and disembarkation were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the only one available for 7 days in a warm climate in February. The agent with Silversea was amazing in assisting us with any of our questions or concerns. The embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The ship is small which is very nice and the cabins (we had one for our grown son and one for us) were as or larger than we had on Regent and Oceania, all with verandas. The decor may be a bit subtle for my taste. We enjoyed our meals at the Silver Note and at Seishin. We thought the entertainment in the various areas was very nice, although we never went to any "shows" so I'm not sure about that. The service was very good and our butlers were very attentive and did extra things like polishing shoes without being asked. We were very happy with our shore excursions which included a helicopter ride, snorkeling (no fish, but a fun day on the boat), our favorite was The America's Cup trip, my son enjoyed the canyoning with rapelling and diving off of the waterfalls. Roseau - hmmm. Not worth getting off the ship as far as we could tell. The Baths were great fun but plan on getting wet. Overall, the food was not up to par with Regent or Oceania; but, was still very good and I overheard other people raving about it, so that's inconclusive I guess. There were not enough activities onboard. There is a bridge room but nothing organized so it may as well not be there, no mini-golf or mini-tennis which we've enjoyed before. Smaller ship size accounts for this I guess. Trivia was fun. We felt it was a good value. We noticed that the age range was younger than on our other cruises, so a more lively, visible and active group. Our other cruises were 24+ days so I'm guessing it was the quick, easy, 7-day trip to a warm clime would explain that. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for several reasons. Rated 6.0 luxury. It was our first cruise so we wanted to keep the days down to a minimum, and this cruise lasted 7 nights. It was refurbished last year so it was practically new with beautiful ... Read More
We chose this cruise for several reasons. Rated 6.0 luxury. It was our first cruise so we wanted to keep the days down to a minimum, and this cruise lasted 7 nights. It was refurbished last year so it was practically new with beautiful soft colors and rich woods. I read many reviews and it was touted to have excellent food and service. It did not disappoint. We loved everything about this ship. Everything went smoothly and everything worked perfectly. Our cabin was perfect, enough space for all our things. Everything was put away and there was never any clutter due to lack or storage. Our butler was terrific and very accommodating. We tipped him when we were first introduced, although we knew it was not expected. We just wanted to be sure he was happy with us from the beginning. He was sure to bring us our snacks in our room every day at 4:30 when we got back to the cabin to relax before dinner. All the restaurants were terrific. We were on deck 7 so it was very convenient to go to La Terrazza for breakfast every morning for their buffet. We could sit in or out depending on the weather and the wind level. La Dame was elegant as was Seichin. We loved eating at Atlantide. Very elegant and great service and food. Although there were 555 passengers, we found everywhere we went it was never crowded. We even found lounge seating at the pool area along the side of the ship where we were completely alone just looking our at the Caribbean Sea. It was glorious. We loved the hot rocks dinner at the Grill at the pool in the evening. The massages in the Spa were excellent. The shows were lovely. This was not Broadway, and coming from New York we get Broadway whenever we want it, but it was wonderfully entertaining. If you wanted daily activities they were there for you. We went on shore excursions, and we chose to play Trivia which was headed every day by the cruise director Rico. He did an excellent job throughout the cruise keeping us all happy and laughing. All in all, I'm sad to say our cruise ended. We can't wait to have this experience again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We found this trip at a great price on Vacations to go. We chose Silversea Silverwind because it was going to Cuba. We had never even heard of Silversea and were excited to enjoy this trip. We went with a group of 8 friends. We flew to ... Read More
We found this trip at a great price on Vacations to go. We chose Silversea Silverwind because it was going to Cuba. We had never even heard of Silversea and were excited to enjoy this trip. We went with a group of 8 friends. We flew to San Juan and were familiar with their port and were curious as to which slip/dock we would be loading on to. We were in walking distance to the pier and grabbed our luggage and found them right away. Here we go. So excited. It was real simple getting on and off. We loved the ship. A little bit dated but I still loved it. Silverwind is the oldest in the fleet. It was easy to get around. With it only having just under 200 passengers it was very intimate. Our cabin was perfect for us. The only struggle I had was plugging in the hair dryer. The clock radio was plugged in to the only socket on the vanity. It was hard to plug in the dryer cause it was too close to the wall with only one way to plug it in I was concerned it wouldn't work. There are 2 other plugs on the desk for charging phones. No plugs hy the beds. There were however European plugs that if we had known would have brought conversions. The bath room has a small tub/shower. The bed was so comfy better than I had ever had on any of my other cruises. Our balcony was great. The price of the cruise included the drink package and our butler would bring any bottle of choice to our room The dining was spectacular. There were 4 restaurants to choose from. The Grill is up on the pool deck, for lunch you could order sandwiches, wraps, or burgers. For dinner you needed to reserve a table and their menu of many wonderful items to choose from. We got to cook our main meal on a hot lava stone right in front of us. The laDame was the French cuisine. This one is an extra fee but well worth it. Make sure you leave 2 to 3 hours for this one. The main dining has all the wonderful foods you could dream of. LaTassra for breakfast and lunch had a buffet. Nicly furnished with a variety of foods. Also need to make reservations for dinner. The main dining was also wonderful. Every evening, each restaurant served the featured red or white wine if you wanted. The activities are minimal. The ones we did participate in were great. Entertainment was spectacular. The Voices of Silverwind were awesome. The on board credit aloud us to do shore excursions and what a treat it was. We did the panorama tours of both Santiago and Havana which were very interesting. There were no children aboard this ship. There would be nothing for them to do accept swim. We had the shipwreck snorkeling in Bimini and were disappointed when it took us 45 minutes to tender in and 1 hour to tender back out. Not enough time to do any looking around really disappointed in that. We had some rough weather a couple of nights and with this ship being small we got tossed around some but I expected that. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time in SilverSea very disappointed, definitely not was I expecting, Embarkation in San Juan went smoothly from there all went downhill, we book Cruise true American Express and got $ 1,500 dlls cruise credit on board the first ... Read More
First time in SilverSea very disappointed, definitely not was I expecting, Embarkation in San Juan went smoothly from there all went downhill, we book Cruise true American Express and got $ 1,500 dlls cruise credit on board the first order was to make reservations for dinner to our surprise ALL the Restaurant where book for the week we ended up having dinner at the same restaurant 3 times( The Grill ) and 2 times at la (Terraza), cabin was clean in perfect shape but above us was a restaurant " The Grill " so we had heavy noise until 11pm every night, next day we pick our tours and proceeded to reserve them to our surprise they where all book and all of them on waitlist, only one open up out of the five we selected. The port selection for this Itinerary was very poor except for St Barths & Tortola, I just don't understand how can a cruise line with this level make a stop in an Island like Rosseau, Dominica. Service on the ship was excellent but nobody went out of its way to assist or help beyond giving you the NO or you are on Waitlist.. Try to spend the on board credit on the Spa but with the same results it was book for the week and if an opening was available we will be notify, we where also unsuccessful, In General the ship felt very dull no activities at all, will not travel in SilverSea again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were VERY happy with every part of this cruise and think Silversea went above and beyond. We had a plane delay transiting Miami and Silversea took special care of us in Santiago and again when we got to Ushuaia. I agree with other ... Read More
We were VERY happy with every part of this cruise and think Silversea went above and beyond. We had a plane delay transiting Miami and Silversea took special care of us in Santiago and again when we got to Ushuaia. I agree with other reviewers that the Expedition Staff were OUTSTANDING - even to the point of joining people for dinner to bring their love of Antarctica and share their wealth of knowledge with passengers. I totally disagree with the one reviewer who complained about the dining room staff - we were placed with the same waiter (not necessarily the same one of his tables) every night and the last night when I said "but that is not Oscar's table", the maître d said "it is tonight!" They did everything they could to make our dining experience top notch - from deboning our fish, shelling our lobster, and suggesting what to order. Captain Pontillo got us safely through the Drake Passage both ways, outrunning storms and contributing to a fairly smooth ride. Silversea stepped up and provided a free bus tour of Ushuaia and its National Park when we arrived a day early. I cannot say enough good things about this company, this ship, and their staff. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Ok, I could only give 4 stars...because of the unrefurbished ship. But otherwise, all was perfect. Silversea will get a new ship in 2020, so if having clean, comfortable, but not shiny new accommodations will bother you, wait a year. ... Read More
Ok, I could only give 4 stars...because of the unrefurbished ship. But otherwise, all was perfect. Silversea will get a new ship in 2020, so if having clean, comfortable, but not shiny new accommodations will bother you, wait a year. You will not be disappointed with the organization of the expeditions and the care taken to ensure safety. Plus, the food is excellent even though the Galapgos has significant restrictions on food import (true for all cruises there). The Grill Restaurant was particularly fun at lunch with a keyboardist providing upbeat music. Overall, I'm glad we went when we did as the ship was just fine and really didn't detract from the main event of seeing the islands. The stay in Quito was a bonus. We self-guided ourselves through the old city and then took a taxi to Cafe Mosaico for the views and refreshments. The hotel provided was good. The day room in Guayaquil was excellent. Unfortunately we had a downpour and couldn't enjoy the city. Still, silversea made sure we were more then comfortable. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is our review of our recent trip from Sydney to Auckland on the Silver Muse. We were fortunate to have booked an Owner’s Suite in the ship and we were expecting to be blown away by the whole experience but, unfortunately, it did not ... Read More
This is our review of our recent trip from Sydney to Auckland on the Silver Muse. We were fortunate to have booked an Owner’s Suite in the ship and we were expecting to be blown away by the whole experience but, unfortunately, it did not really end up that way. Embarkation and disembarkation Very good and smooth. Food and Restaurants In our opinion, the food was excellent all round and although other reviewers complained of the lack of variety, the menu is changed every 7 days at the evening restaurants, except for “La Dame”. We felt this catered for enough variety as there are various dishes within one menu to guarantee no repetition of the same dish within two visits to that restaurant in a 7-day cycle. We loved the pizza at “Spaccanapoli”, the lamb at “La Dame” and the overall experience at “Indochine”. Perhaps the one restaurant that lagged was “La Terraza” (Italian) in the evening. We felt the food there could be improved. Service on board Outstanding, that is all we can say. Every single member of the crew made us feel welcome and always greeted us with a smile. We would like to point out the outstanding service provided by Shinuda (maître d’) who was always helpful and happy, Gabor at Indochine who went out of his way to make sure that our wishes were met, and Nuria at Indochine who was always happy and cheerful and made our dinners a joy. Butler For some reason our butler was not as good as it could have been. Not much attention to detail and seemed to be stressed most of the time. We have had better experience with butlers before. This was not one to remember. Entertainment and activities onboard We had a guest guitarist, Vincenzo, who gave two shows in the 15-day cruise. Very good. The Silversea singers were very good but on a 15-day cruise, their shows, we found them to be repetitive. Silversea should consider bringing in more guest entertainers on longer cruises. Our cruise director was good. Activities were average. Cabin That was our biggest disappointment. Having the Owner’s suite booked we had high expectations as regards services, overall experience and luxury. The reality is that other then the size of the room (basically 3 varanda suites -one with no balcony - put together into one suite) the overall experience is the same as any other suite in the ship. We expected to receive additional perks to the standard suites for the cost of the Owner’s suite but that was not the case, but the cost of the suite is over x2.5 times that of a standard Varanda suite. The sitting/dining room had two large TV sets opposite one another in a room that was no more that 5 meters in distance between opposing walls. We did not understand the reason for two TV sets in such a small space and it felt as though one of them was an afterthought to justify the suite category. Totally unnecessary. Our experience with the owner’s suite is that it simply is not worth the money and they do not represent value for money. We are not likely to ever book an Owner Suite or any of the other top suites until there is a clear value for money appreciation in the suite. Booking a Varanda suite will get you the same level or service and extras and if you are after more space, then a Silver suite is a more reasonable option. Just as a point in reference, we had an Owner’s suite quoted for a trip to Antarctica in 2021, the cost was quoted in excess of $110K whereas the Varanda for two costs $35K. Bear in mind you are getting exactly the same service on board. Just not worth the money in our opinion. Crew Never saw them. Did we have one?. Ports and excursions The destinations were what sold us the cruise. Outstanding experience, amazing journey. The excursions were good, and we particularly appreciated the Middle Earth (Littleton, NZ) excursion hosted by Hammond Peek, he made our day – excellent person and great host. Passengers We felt that the average of the cruisers was more in the late 60’s – over 70’s range. Perhaps the distance, time of the year and cost keeps away younger people. My wife and I are 55+ and would have preferred a merrier atmosphere and not so formal. The sea days were particularly tedious with almost no entertainment in the swimming pool which gave it an impression of a 5-star hotel with no entertainment. This area needs to be improved. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall our cruise was delightful. The only downsides being: first, some of the ports on this cruise (Road town,Tortola and Rouseau, Dominca) were odd choices. They are both sadly still suffering from hurricane damage. My second issue was ... Read More
Overall our cruise was delightful. The only downsides being: first, some of the ports on this cruise (Road town,Tortola and Rouseau, Dominca) were odd choices. They are both sadly still suffering from hurricane damage. My second issue was the awful wi-fi, even with the premium service we received for being in a Silver Suite. At times it simply did not work, and we were only doing emails and checking the weather and written (not streaming) news.. The explanation that it's tough to do wi-fi at sea is at odds with our very positive experience with wi-fi on Silver Muse about 18 months ago. Moving on to all the many positives: The Ship was in perfect, pristine condition. It was interesting to play "find the stretch spot". It was done so well that only with the help of a crew member could we figure out precisely where the work was done. And the additional room at the pool and Grill made for a better experience. I particularly like the new, Muse like, color scheme; others may disagree. Dining options are plentiful. We made reservations on MySilversea and all were honored. It was easy, however, to make some changes as the cruise went on. And, Atlantide and Indochine require no reservations. Even with a nearly full cruise (544 passengers) there were no problems making adjustments. The increased space in La Terraza was a mixed blessing. It was easy to get in there for dinner, but the relative intimate nature of the space is gone. And, I notice they no longer mention Slow Cooking in the description; sadly, the duck pappardelle was just OK. We tried Silver Note and enjoyed it. The duo (singer and pianist) were quote good, took requests andwere not at all too loud. The crew make the Silversea experience and this trip was no exception. They were uniformly charming and a delight to interact with. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The ship is not handicap friendly!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO walk in showers --have to CLIMB in a VERY TALL TUB.Ramps that are very difficult to move on a walker without - assistance. Service in the dining rooms were VERY SLOW most usaually the food ... Read More
The ship is not handicap friendly!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO walk in showers --have to CLIMB in a VERY TALL TUB.Ramps that are very difficult to move on a walker without - assistance. Service in the dining rooms were VERY SLOW most usaually the food was warm at best when served . When you want something HOT to eat you needed to go to the HOT ROCKS at night or during the day the buffet on deck 7 or snack area on 8. ROOM service always came with great food and served (here you could get hot tea-coffee ) all the time. Takes 2 1/2 to 3 hrs to eat evening meal -very poor service .Food not avaiable at all time like on lots of ships only during certain windows of time evening meals start at 7:00 PM make for very late night -SHOWS not worth seeing at 10PM Suites were great walk-in closet lots of storage great butler and maid--BATH leaves a lot to be desired. VERY expensive --have been on many other cruises far better for LOTs less. The experience of getting on and off were the best of the cruise very fast- Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Very nice cruise-line and lovely ship. Food, very good, and many options, coffee, delicious, wines complimentary and good. However many people were complaining that 7 PM was late for the earliest dining. I realize that in Europe, ... Read More
Very nice cruise-line and lovely ship. Food, very good, and many options, coffee, delicious, wines complimentary and good. However many people were complaining that 7 PM was late for the earliest dining. I realize that in Europe, particularly the South, people eat late, but these days, many Americans prefer to not eat after 8 PM, and many older folks like eating early, as it’s hard to sleep on a full stomach, and too, many want to go to bed early, to be up early for excursions. Everything is included except excursions and Spa services, which is a big relief - not being charged every time you turn around. The cabins are lovely, the beds super comfortable, with one’s choice of types of pillows, very nice if one hates foam, (which I do). The bathrooms are lovely, marble, and superbly appointed. People seemed to enjoy the various excursions, and the entertainment. Embarkation was perfect, and disembarkation as well, with the bus to the airport, fast and pleasant. The staff are ultra attentive and kind. I only had one complaint - the swimming pool water was mostly too cold to swim. Everyone was complaining, but when I asked if they’d informed staff, they said no. I complained, as staff can’t possibly know if there’s a problem, if no one says anything. It took rather a long time, but eventually, this was rectified. Personally, along with elongating the deck mid ship, I would have put in a new, bigger swimming pool. Maybe they’ll do this eventually. And they close the pool quite early- just past 6:30 I believe. this was very dissappointing as I love night swimming - quiet and serene, under the stars- after a long day- nothing beats this! Also, the shower in the Spa Thermal Suite, the water was just barely warm, and could never get hot. Also, they have VERY bright lights all over the deck at night- I asked why, and was told it was for safety. But most ships have footlights everywhere, so people can see stairs and where they’re walking, but the atmosphere is generally romantic and low lit, so one can enjoy the moon and stars and the evening skies. I wish they would maintain soft lighting at night. One other thing- I wish all the doors opened automatically, so we don’t have to touch door handles, as everyone on a cruise is so conscious of germs. And, I wish they’d get “BritBox”, so that guests could watch British comedies, mysteries, dramas and movies. There are a lot of Brits on board, and also, they make the best entertainment in the world. I really missed these. The company offers a Solo get together, for Solo travelers, and they meet at 7 PM in the lounge, but they need to let people know WHERE in the lounge, as it’s big and crowded. This was very nice, and I noticed a lot of these folks made friends during the voyage. And they’re offering vastly diminished single supplements on some cruises, which is a great relief to Solo travelers, and very smart of them, as this is a huge market. One thing- there was a girl at the reception desk, who many felt was a bit rude and standoffish , maybe she was new and nervous, but when I first told her the pool was cold, she replied:” It’s because it’s cold outside.” (Fort Lauderdale was 71F), and pool thermostats are supposed to adjust, maintaining the same temperature despite weather changes, and 71, is hardly cold. Also, this same girl, told me that customs in San Juan, had Global Entry - they don’t- I wasted time getting out of line to rush over to someone to ask where it was, only to be told they didn’t have it. If she didn’t know- just say so. Misinformation is a pain in the behind. Oh, also, our last night was ruined due to ONE man, smoking a cigar, on the 9th floor deck outside the lounge. We were all waiting to leave the port, watch the sunset, have one last glass of Champagne, and this ONE guy, made the entire area a no breathe zone. And it went on forEVER. I think it’s great that some people love cigars, (even if they’re REALLY bad for you), but PLEASE, not in common areas. I don’t understand why some people feel their personal bad habits should be suffered by perfect strangers. But everything else was really nice. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, with my suggestions. A very nice line, and I really missed my comfy cabin and all the nice people, after I left. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were going to Antarctica, so it really was all about the expedition. I will say without question, that part of the cruise was exceptional. The Expedition Leader was experienced, engaging, fun and educated. His team was extensive, ... Read More
We were going to Antarctica, so it really was all about the expedition. I will say without question, that part of the cruise was exceptional. The Expedition Leader was experienced, engaging, fun and educated. His team was extensive, young and enthusiastic - exceptionally well educated, anxious to engage and share information and experiences and talented in helping you to get the most out of each expedition. The crew were professional and looked out for your safety and comfort entering and exiting the Zodiacs. The lectures added to the experience and were available on the suite TV for those of us who preferred a nap or a late lunch. We got to see and do everything we had hoped to. The ship was also wonderful. Small at only 250 passengers, it is without shopping malls and cabaret shows, but offered everything needed. Well appointed and nicely decorated - easy to find your way around. The cabin had lots of room. It included a walk-in closet - a necessity for the parka, waterproof pants and many layers. The sofa and 2 armchairs were a bit cramped, but once we organized one at the desk, and the convertible table over the sofa, there was lots of room and still the ability to easily dine in the room. The balcony was a basic space - great for checking the weather, if you had enough layers or watching the passing icebergs. It was not a hospitable outdoor oasis, but given the subzero temps I wasn't planning on lounging there. The disappointment came in the staff and the food. Front desk staff were uninformed and unhelpful. They couldn't follow through on simple requests or connect you to senior staff who might be able to assist. The main dining room was table service with open seating. The host made no attempt to provide a consistent server even if tables were available or a specific area was requested. That meant even those staff working hard to establish relationships and know your preferences were at a disadvantage, and you were constantly explaining sparkling water, red wine, no coffee amongst other things. The food was unfortunately inconsistent - an amazing veal chop followed by inedible shrimp. The special South American buffet dinner included an Argentine BBQ lamb that so overcooked and a whole fish that say drying under a heat lamp. The last lunch was the 'Gala Buffet' that turned out to be everything left in the fridge and pantry. The breakfast buffet was consistently good but the al a carte breakfast was painfully slow - priority was given to cooking made to order eggs for the buffet diners. The specialty restaruants were good - Italian (well not quite authentic) had great flavours, well cooked and well served. La Dame (the Relais & Chateau) restaurant was flawless. At the end of the day, it is about value for money - this was a great cruise and I would not skimp on the expedition side of things, but check other vehicles/accommodations - they may be cheaper. Finally I must comment on the pre/post cruise transfer process. All I can say is it truly is a sh****ow! You stay a night at a hotel in Santiago for them to get you up at 2:30am to board buses to the airport to stand in line for over an hour to check in to a charter flight to wait in the boarding lounge for over 2 hours to get onto a 3 hour flight that provides you an inedible empanada imitation. This happens in reverse to get you back to Santiago - surely doing this every 10 days they could arrange hotel/ship based airline check in and luggage check - a dedicated security line and immigration line (remember it is only $$, and we certainly put out enough of it for the cruise). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Our cruise onboard the SilverSeas Explorer was spectacular from start to finish. The ship, crew, food, Captain and Expedition staff were all first rate. It is very hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting Antarctica. I was just ... Read More
Our cruise onboard the SilverSeas Explorer was spectacular from start to finish. The ship, crew, food, Captain and Expedition staff were all first rate. It is very hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting Antarctica. I was just in awe of the beauty and power of nature. We arrived independently so I can not speak to the travel arrangements made by SilverSeas. The port of Ushuaia is a working port and does not allow taxis, which we were unaware of but we did make it to the ship! The ship was beautifully maintained. Our suite 503 was kept spotless by our wonderful cabin attendant and butler. The daily "debriefing" and numerous lectures were held in The Exploder's Lounge. The maître d' Julia was incredible. I really believe she had memorized nearly everyone's name by the second day! There was buffet service for breakfast and lunch. Always some special to order at both meals. Plentiful staff to carry your plate. I don't drink but plenty of wine was being poured at lunch and dinner. The wine steward was more then happy to supply us with ice tea. I am a vegetarian and found the food varied and very good. All the staff knew you by your name by day three or four! The Expedition staff was well trained and had many varied areas of expertise.. Led ably by JD, we were placed in four colored groups and rotated our times to go ashore via zodiacs or go for a zodiac ride. Gearing up and heading out was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The weather was amazing and the seas were mainly very calm. Due to the weather, ice and skill of the Captain we sailed across the Antarctic Circle.We attempted to visit the Vernadsky Station but the ice stopped us. We did visit the harbor in Zodiacs. We saw so much wildlife! Penguins, Albatross, whales and seals. The icebergs were incredible and the clouds! I can not say enough about the service onboard SilverSeas. I would not hesitate to take another SilverSeas cruise. We disembarked ourselves at 900 am. SilverSeas provided a shuttle to Ushuaia. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships with a low ice rating never do. It would not be safe. So based on our research and our good experience on the Silver Galapagos in 2016 we booked a Silver Seas Expedition cruise. We were originally scheduled to travel in January 2018 on the Silver Cloud, but I became ill and was hospitalized just before our scheduled departure and had to cancel. (Fortunately we had full insurance coverage.) We rebooked for this January 2019, which turned out for the best. This was BY FAR the best cruise experience ever. Thanks to the Explorer's 1A ice rating, the skill of the captain, and the unusually good weather we were able to travel further south than any other commercial ship in the last couple of years. (Only one crew member had ever been that far south.) We made multiple wet landings, explored old, abandoned research stations and one active station, got some great wildlife photos and videos on shore and from the Zodiacs. The Expedition leaders, who also piloted the Zodiacs, were very knowledgable and greatly enhanced the experience. We even got to slide down a hill on Antarctic snow and my wife took the "polar plunge" into ocean water very slightly warmed by geo-thermally heated fresh water coming up through the ground and flowing down the beach into the bay. The views, sunsets, and the wild life (penguins, whales, seals, sea lions, and birds) were spectacular. A final note on the expedition leaders. It is hard to imagine a more educated and experienced group. Most had several years of experience and included a PhD in geology, professional ornithologist (PhD), and a Harvard educated marine biologist who was also the first women to ever SCUBA dive below the Antarctic ice pack. All-in-all it was the experience of a life time. WARNING - WARNING - WARNING - as with all expedition cruises to the Antarctic - and the Arctic for that matter - activities and landings are ALWAYS dependent on the weather and ice conditions. We were told the long stretch of great weather we encountered is rare. If your goal is to cross the Antarctic circle read the itinerary VERY carefully to make sure that crossing will be attempted. Again, never guaranteed the ship will make it to the circle because of weather. Also, you will be crossing the Drake passage. Even if you are not susceptible to motion sickness, get the "patch" AND put it on 24 hours before embarkation! Read Less
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