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Sail Date: August 2019
My family of 4 (including my Wife, 10yo Son, 8yo Daughter) were on the Silver Galapagos the end of August. It's important to note that this is an "expedition" and not a "cruise". Everything was excellent. Also, ... Read More
My family of 4 (including my Wife, 10yo Son, 8yo Daughter) were on the Silver Galapagos the end of August. It's important to note that this is an "expedition" and not a "cruise". Everything was excellent. Also, while the up front cost is higher than other ships, once you realize what’s included (just about everything) and the level of service and luxury it is actually a very good value. First, a big thanks to Sean Swedman, at Silverseas, who handled every single detail of the trip with perfection and patience. There were a lot of moving parts and Silverseas was flawless in ensuring a smooth trip. They are with you from the moment you get off the plane until the moment you board. It's really amazing. While the ship is aging (a new one is coming in 2020) it was still luxurious and very well maintained. Cabins were nice sized with plenty of storage and very comfortable. The staff was truly outstanding. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, went out of their way to do provide incredible service. The naturalist, butlers, expedition leader, dining room staff, zodiac drivers, etc., were always smiling and always there to help. Our cabin was cleaned at least 3 times a day. All this service and luxury made the actual reason for the trip, the magical Galapagos, even better because it was just so easy. Two excursions and usually a snorkel every day. The landscape, animal and bird viewing were stunning. We got up close to just about everything. Many times, the birds, iguanas, tortoises and sea lions were resting on the trails so we had to walk around them. There were just a few children in the ship but my kids loved it and they staff went out of their way to engage with them. Many evenings a naturalist joined us for dinner at the request of my Son and spent an hour or two answer an endless stream of questions. Walks range from easy to somewhat challenging but there are always options. Food was excellent at every meal. A lot of seafood choices and if you wanted something different all you had to do was ask. We did a few times and every single time the answer was yes. Highly recommended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal ... Read More
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal follower! I can't imagine travel on any other line after the great experience that we had. We were met at Oslo and Tromso by Silverseas agents and professionally looked after till we boarded the ship. We had managed to upgrade to a Silver suite on the Silver Cloud, which is, in effect 2 cabins together, so a separate bedroom/dressing room with two shower rooms/toilets. Our butler was efficient, polite and a real gentleman, "Arun" helped to make this trip memorable. With only about 230 passengers, the voyage is made all the more enjoyable as it is possible to meet more people, who are from all over the world, and we met some very lovely people. The food was of an exceptional standard, real fine dining, and the staff on all levels were polite, friendly and knowledgeable. How they manage to remember all our names is a mystery, but they do, The Zodiac trips were well organised with a priority on safety, which is encouraging given the choppy seas at times, and also the land excursions to see the wildlife were also expertly organised, with forward parties going on shore to check out safety i.e.meaning making sure there were no Polar bears loolking for an early meal! It is the first trip we have had in many years, that we were not wanting it to end. Full credit to Silverseas and the ace team that they have working on the Silver Cloud, they made the expedition into one our our most memorable trips.. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 1st cruise on Silversea and they nailed it! Top to bottom, the experience exceeded all of our expectations, and was superior to our recent Seabourn Encore cruise in NZ/Australia. The ship was stretched and fully refurbished ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise on Silversea and they nailed it! Top to bottom, the experience exceeded all of our expectations, and was superior to our recent Seabourn Encore cruise in NZ/Australia. The ship was stretched and fully refurbished last year, it looks brand new with top notch high end touches in every venue. We are very seasoned cruisers and have been on nearly all the mainstream cruiselines (Regent, Seabourn, Oceania, Celebrity, HAL, etc.) with over 60 cruises under our belt. We traveled as an adult couple in our late 40's along with our 22yr old daughter, sharing a cabin with her. We choose this cruise for two main reasons. 1. Experience a Silversea cruise 2. Itinerary to Norway where we haven't traveled before. The ship was fully refurbished and stretched last year (read about the changes on CC) and it shows with high quality touches in every venue. The ship sailed full, but we never encountered any crowded areas and the space to pax ratio is very high! This ship offers everything you could want in a smallish footprint luxury line. No sings of wear or tear anywhere. Beautiful fresh flowers are found throughout the ship, adding an upscale high end vibe to the ambience. SHIP 5 STARS The standard suite was very spacious, well laid out, included high end toiletries, stocked bar, shower & tub, balcony, and a butler. Many discussions about how to utilize a butler can be found on CC. Ours provided us with balloons/cake/decorations for our Anniversary, caviar, canapes, dining reservations, room service, a VIP dining experience on our balcony one evening with roses, and so much more. This is something Seabourn doesn't include that we truly feel sets Silversea apart from them. CABIN 5 STARS Dining options were excellent and well balance with most types of cuisine represented on the ship from Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Steakhouse, Italian, Continental, pizza, gastro pub special lunches, and so on. Some CC's threads complained about the lack of variety of choices on Silversea...I don't see how this is truly possible! With so many dining venues and new menus every 3-4 days we never felt like we repeated meals or bored of the food offered after 14 days onboard. The quality, variety, and presentation was superior to any other cruiseline we have traveled. Unlimited caviar is now included with Silversea, leveling the field with the competition. We loved Artist cafe's excellent lite bites and high quality coffee service. I could go on and on about the food, but won't bore you to tears other than to say it simply was the BEST we have experienced to date (Seabourn was well below Silversea). FOOD 5 STARS Entertainment was geared towards an older demographic, which was expected. The singers (no dancers) consisted of 2 opera performers and 4 others.The theater had excellent sight lines with no obstructed views like we experience on Seabourn. One show per evening, around 9:30pm was offered. The opera singers were excellent! A few other strong vocalists mixed with a few average. The jazz duo in Silver note delivered an authentic jazz club like atmosphere and were a hit! One knock was having no duet or soloist that sang and played an instrument. The guest entertainment consisted of a comedy magician that was excellent and another pianist (the ship already had a full time one on staff). Why repeat the same entertainment that already existed from the staff onboard? ENTERTAINMENT 4 STARS The service was absolutely without a doubt 5 star luxury level at its finest! We felt as guests and not pax for our 2 weeks onboard. They would bend over backwards for you; we felt the staff enjoyed their jobs and were happy to work onboard. A very high percentage of staff knew our names within a few days onboard, similar to what we experienced on Seabourn. Seabourn dining room service always felt chaotic and understaffed. We didn't run into this on Silversea. The vibe was much calmer, more chill, and less stressed we felt from the service staff compared to Seabourn. The cherry on top was having a butler catering to our needs no matter how big or small. He went the extra mile to give us top notch service that sets Silversea apart from the competition. SERVICE 5 STARS Ports and excursions were all excellent and have been discussed many of times on CC. We enjoyed all of our stops in Norway and loved the authenticity of Norway vs places like Alaska that felt touristy. We had a very early arrival in London and were greeted by staff taking our luggage from us and then directly to the ship. We were delighted they took us to a city center high end hotel to have breakfast and refresh before our transfer to the port. PORTS 5 STARS We rank Silversea Silver Spirit #1 out of our 60+ cruises. If you're looking for the best of the best, you have found your ship! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful 11 night cruise on the Spirit. We had not sailed Siversea in 10 years and will definitely be returning. Our past experience with this line had not been very positive and we switched to Seabourn ... Read More
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful 11 night cruise on the Spirit. We had not sailed Siversea in 10 years and will definitely be returning. Our past experience with this line had not been very positive and we switched to Seabourn but decided to try again based on the itinerary and timing near our anniversary. We embarked in Barcelona, it was qiuick and efficient but not as wrm as Seabourn. Our first impression of the ship was “dated”- perhaps it was the color scheme but the furniture style reminded me of an assisted living facility. We then reviewed the buffet in La Terrazza but opted to have lunch in the Atlantide restaurant where we enjoyed a tasty Mahi and drank a french chardonnay. The room was less frenetic than La Terrazza and the service excellent.We finished lunch and went to our Deluxe veranda suite on the 8th floor and found our luggage had been delivered-always good to get the unpacking squared away. Once again we had the impression that the suite had a bit of a dated feel to it but the space was similar to the Seabourn line and felt familiar. The shower was larger and the tub deeper but there was only a single sink.the ame/nities were very similar and we were very happy to have a jewelry box in the safe for our items. Our butler showed up shortly after and took care of several requests including a mattress topper for the bed which was on the firm side. After unpacking and attending the muster drill we showered, dressed for dinner and went to the Panorama lounge for a predinner cocktail. The ambience is different than the Observation bar on Seabourn and both have positives. We always enjoyed a seat at the beautiful bar on Seabourn where we could enjoy the bartender’s company as well as conversation with other passengers. The bar area on Silversea is small and not a focal point of the room so we chose to sit in the comfy chairs.The Silversea lounge was just that- very comfortable chairs and a very nice dance floor. I loved having a cocktail list on the Spirit and the drinks were well crafted and presented. Our reservation the first evening was in La Dame because we could only waitlist this venue for the rest of the cruise when we tried to book our reservations back in Feb. The dinner was just perfect- excellent food with delicious options and very attentive service - the only negative was that many of the tables were set so closely together that we felt as if we were joining others rather than dining as a twosome. The other restaurants on the ship were similar with many of the tables for two placed very closely together which could be positive or negative depending upon one’s table-mates. A couple next to us was forced to engage in political banter with two people on their other side told us after the other couple departed that they did not enjoy the discussion. All of the dining rooms seem to fill up each evening and everyone seemed to make an effort to dress nicely which added a touch of elegance. On Seabourn there were fewer jackets and almost no ties. We dined in La Terrazza most mornings and the selections for breakfast were quite varied and the food delivered hot and very quickly which we appreciated when we had an early excursion. We also enjoyed room service a few mornings and one evening when we were too tired too move! and our butler brought the tray-the presentation was lovely, the orders correct, and the food hot. The food in Seishin and Indoshine were nice options and we enjoyed the ambience of each restaurant. The only dinner we did not enjoy was in La Terrazza- service was on point but the food just wasn’t appealing- we only tried it once. The Arts cafe was another plus-it offered all day snacking items and we loved the option of bringing some things to the room-particularly as it was right down the hall. Our suite was very accessible to the elevators, the lauderette (which I used once,) the Arts Cafe and the pool. The only negative was the sound of furniture scraping across the deck above us- not a gigantic nuisance but I would probably go for deck 7 instead of 8. The ship’s excursions were very interesting and not overly crowded- there was always space on the bus to move around. Overall I would say that Silversea had better food and service and we really enjoyed having the services of a butler. Seabourn has prettier and more up to date venues and better entertainment. We liked the glamour of dressing for dinner on Silversea but did not like the surcharges for some of the restaurants. The welcome on Seabourn is more vibrant while Silversea is more subdued. Many of the guests on Silversea have sailed numerous times with the line and we are pleased to say that we shall be repeatIng with another cruise in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
In reflecting on our 11 nights aboard the Silver Spirit, I can honestly say we couldn't think of a single thing we would have liked to change. This ship and crew are the epitome of why we sail with Silversea again and again. Every ... Read More
In reflecting on our 11 nights aboard the Silver Spirit, I can honestly say we couldn't think of a single thing we would have liked to change. This ship and crew are the epitome of why we sail with Silversea again and again. Every single crew member we encountered was friendly and professional with some being old friends that we were happy to see again. I personally like the decor of the Spirit as it has a bit of the darker wood and warmth that I thought was lacking in the newer Muse. Our suite was kept immaculate for the entire voyage and all the public areas were clean and well-maintained. My daughter even commented on how the crew was painting and repairing something every day to keep it all looking fresh. The ship never felt crowded and the crew always had something planned to try and keep us busy even if we were at sea. We love the daily trivia, golf putting, and the special events such as chef's cooking demonstrations, and galley tours. The singers were very good although we didn't attend all the shows. We are late diners so many nights we were still enjoying dessert at that time. We found the food in all restaurants to be very good. The menus in Atlantide and La Terrazza did have a few changes during our voyage. Service was excellent and the wines were generally very nice as well. My glass of pre-dinner champagne only had to be requested for the first few nights and then magically appeared for the rest of the cruise. My daughter enjoyed that caviar was offered as an appetizer choice--I'm not sure I remember seeing this on any of our other voyages. Compliments to the chefs and staff as each dining experience was very good to excellent. Not to be missed...there were some seriously talented bartenders on board as well. If I had to nitpick, Silver Note was our least favorite food-wise but the jazz duo was lovely so we counted it as a win as well. The spa was beautiful and we enjoyed some services there. They were giving tours on embarkation day and some giveaways so it was a fun introduction. The gym is a bit small for this size of ship and my only comment about the fitness classes is that the yoga classes and such were only offered at 7 am but tours went out around 8:30 each day so I didn't get to go to any classes. I was disappointed as I brought my yoga gear and was ready to practice. Most of the afternoon classes where paid classes such as booty boot camp, etc. In general the excursions were very good and I was impressed with how organized they were even on the days we had to tender. Everything went quite smoothly. Embarking in Barcelona was easy but there was an actual line to board which I've never experienced before. I think flights must have come in just before we went over to board so many arrived at the same time. Mallorca- Caves of Drach was very pretty and interesting. The added on Majolica pearl factory tour was really a store to purchase jewelry with one person demonstrating how the pearls are made... no commentary. We weren't there long so not a big deal but a little underwhelming. Cadiz--Andalusian Horse show was fantastic. What gorgeous creatures and the trainers have really worked magic with them. No photos or video allowed which was a bit of a bummer but actually made everyone stop and watch the horses. Not to be missed! Lisbon--We did a city drive and river cruise on the Tagus River. The city drive was ok but our guide was my least favorite and the river cruise was not too good. Not much to see and there weren't enough seats on the top deck so those of us that sat below had dirty and scratched windows to look out of and a very limited sound system so we didn't hear much of the commentary. Cascais and Sintra--both towns were very cute and the drive up the coast and through the mountains was lovely. Our guide was exceptional and we enjoyed walking around. Maybe a bit more time especially in Sintra would have been nice as it was very crowded and we didn't have time to see the palace and finish the shops. It was quite cool when we got up there as well. Porto--LOVED this town. Wish we had more time here as there was a lot we would have loved to have seen on foot. We had a great guide who was an architect and offered much educational commentary on the buildings including the stunning port terminal where we docked. We took a bus tour and a river cruise on the Douro with its many bridges and then went to a winery to taste the port wines that the area is famous for. The river cruise was much better than the one in Lisbon and the entire visit made us want to go back to Porto. St. Malo--Went to Mont St. Michel and had our exercise for the day--up 350 steps. The guide was very knowledgable and we enjoyed the tour. I think it was probably handled as well as it could have been given that it was a Sunday and every person in France and four other countries much have been there....crazy crowded. Our only complaint was that we were given several hours of free time to shop and eat afterwards and the crowds made it impossible to shop and the food was not very good in any restaurant. We would have preferred to have been taken back to St. Malo and allowed to dine there and see the town. We were very disappointed not to have seen it but very happy to have seen Mont St. Michel...it is stunning. Guernsey--What a charming little place. We did not get to see the whole island as we opted to take the powerboat ride and just walk around the town where we docked. We did get to see puffins and seals and has a fun ride so we are not complaining but hoping to go back again and see more. Portsmouth--Home of the Royal Navy...felt very safe. Interesting tour to the town of Winchester and the beautiful cathedral. Jane Austen is buried here and the remnants of the castle nearby have some ties to Henry VIII so that was interesting. Probably a little too long in town for us though as we had nothing to do after the guide dropped us off. I think there were some pubs open and some passed the time there. Disembarkation in London was very easy. Cruise Director Roy was delightful and a wonderful addition to the Silversea family. Overall, one of the best cruises we have taken and an itinerary that we would do again given the chance. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise from London to Lisbon a segment of the complete cruise to Barcelona as a back up to our Scenic Eclipse Cruise which was cancelled due to the new ship having construction delays and us already having vacation time ... Read More
We chose this cruise from London to Lisbon a segment of the complete cruise to Barcelona as a back up to our Scenic Eclipse Cruise which was cancelled due to the new ship having construction delays and us already having vacation time booked from work. We stayed in London a few days prior at the ship hotel Conrad which was a beautiful hotel in a great location walking distance to Buckingham Palace. The transfers went smoothly, and we were on the ship for a nice lunch on the terrace. The rooms were ready around 2pm. We had a veranda recently updated but you can still tell this is an older ship the furniture wood had lacquer peeling and looked tired, but the bed was comfortable and the bathroom had two sinks and great shower with great water pressure they laid out the configuration with two beds but we had requested one, minor issues easily fixed by the great room staff . The crowd was on the older side we were in the minority being in late 40's early 50's most were in the 60's or older. There were some "younger" couples we met and some multi-generational families onboard. Gym was small but adequate in the back of the small spa/sauna. We did boot camp with the trainer which was a challenge but fun on a rocking ship! The restaurants were good Le Dame was amazing but a very small space and extra cover charge. The drinks were premium and all inclusive. The boutique was small but had nice items to shop. Internet was included and spotty at times but worked for basic emails etc. Casino had basic games with a small bar and friendly staff. Entertainment was basic cruise ship with a few singer dancers and a guitarist and pianist. Seems like most people went to bed after the show ! The ports were fun and we did excursions in all of them since most were new to us. Biking in France was a lot of fun! The excursions are extra and not included in cost like Regent which to date has been our top cruise line although this is a close second because of the staff and service! We got off in Lisbon and stayed there for a few days. What an amazing city! We picked our own hotel the One Palacio da Anunciada great location in Lisbon five star amazing breakfast and staff. Overall we were very satisfied with our first Silversea cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first SS cruise and our only prior experience of an ‘all inclusive’ cruise (in terms of alcohol & gratuities included) was our initial cruise on Paul Gaugin (PG), which we thoroughly enjoyed. In a way the Shadow ... Read More
This was our first SS cruise and our only prior experience of an ‘all inclusive’ cruise (in terms of alcohol & gratuities included) was our initial cruise on Paul Gaugin (PG), which we thoroughly enjoyed. In a way the Shadow reminded us of our PG experience in terms of excellent service, friendly crew, very good food and non-contemporary decor, but still very comfortable. They’re not majorly dissimilar in max pax numbers although PG’s style, entertainment and dress code befits its laid-back tropical itineraries. Anyway, we thought the Shadow service was generally excellent. Going on excursions was made so much more relaxed with the provision of water and beach towels before the gangway and cold facecloths and drinks waiting on return (unless near departure time). Our butler, Ray, room attendant, Orly and other crew were so helpful and pro-active. Joe, the maître d' at La Terrazza was always welcoming and Marlon and Marven were our favourite wait-staff. We enjoyed Peter’s (the head barman) cocktail lessons and all the destination lecturers were excellent and provided enlightening pre-excursion background information. Our voyage was immeasurably enhanced by Kirk, the CD who was outstanding and seemed to have unlimited energy. His show “The Boat is Rockin!” was arguably the best of all the performances in the show lounge. The solo performance shows by Julie, Laura & Ines from the Voices of Silversea were also very good. Given the size of the Shadow, the entertainment options met our expectations. I had wondered whether I would be bored with so many sea days, but there was more than enough in the daily program to keep one engaged. The gym was adequate and certainly far larger than that on the PG; a dual pulley functional station and a larger fit-ball would have been nice though. Pilates and yoga classes were available, but my wife preferred to perform to her own standard. Food: Overall, very good. I wouldn’t rate it as excellent because there were a couple of dishes we felt were ‘meh’ (eg. seafood bisque in MDR and tomato bisque room service), but the majority was flavoursome, range was quite wide and we liked what some might describe as ‘modest’ portion sizes, but we felt were just right with aiding the completion of a three course dinner. For us, the various menu choices were extensive enough such that in our 15 day voyage we found that by rotating through the various dining venue options (including room service, but excluding La Dame), we still found items we would have liked to have ordered but couldn’t fit in. Lobster, if that’s your desire, seemed to be on the menu every night in the MDR. Caviar as well, but I only noticed it printed in the 1st formal night menu and after that it seemed to be on request. Other standouts included the stellar Arabian-themed lunch in the MDR and the ‘pop-up’ cooked to order lunchtime stalls in La Terrazza. We also thought the meat available at the Grill was some of the most tender beef we’ve had, but the Chateaubriand in the MDR was slightly even more so. I was bemused though as to why there wasn’t any Italian beer available given SS’s heritage and how they could also run out of Gin several days before disembarking! Excursions: we did a mix of private and SS tours. To us, some of the SS tours were reasonable value for money and some less so. However, all 3 SS tours that we did do were well organised, coaches were only half-full for comfort, were accompanied by SS staff and the guides were good to very good. During this itinerary, the only port that didn’t hold much interest was Sur. Otherwise, this itinerary was great in that we managed to visit Petra and Luxor, although 2 nights in each port and stops in Israel would be better, but you can’t have everything! One area for improvement: The disembarkation process in Safaga could be improved with better foot-traffic management. Cabins: no significant complaints. If we had the choice we would have chosen a mid-ship location rather than so far forward (a bit pitchy at times). However, it wasn’t so bad we needed to take Stugeron or the like. We loved the spacious bathroom with twin basins and separate bath & shower stall and we felt spoilt with twice daily cleaning. The bed was most conducive to sleep (Ray said the beds were replaced not so long ago). So, was it a case of the dry dock later this year couldn’t come soon enough or a case of ageing gracefully? We would lean more towards the later. One could focus on the places with some fading varnishing on the hand rails, or cracked/bubbling paintwork or worn carpet (the carpet in the public areas could certainly do with a good steam clean, but I suspect unlikely before the refurbishment later this year), however, our focus was more on enjoying what the cruise had on offer. The ship is quite functional (they managed to fix the freezing conditions in the show lounge towards the end of the voyage – in the meantime it was a case of BYO jacket). The refurbishment planned for later this year sounds wonderful and should make the Shadow a more attractive choice in the “luxury” cruise marketplace. If you haven’t cruised with SS before then for the Shadow at least, our experience was that the service was excellent, food was overall very good, the entertainment/activities appropriate for this ship size and hardware was functional. However, if you’ve previously cruised on the Muse/stretched-Whisper or other recently built luxury ships then I can understand one might be underwhelmed by the Shadow’s décor, but I think a CC Shadow board poster summed it up best in a SS thread I read early last year; “The decor on the older ships is very Italian...think of a special hotel on The Grand Canal in Venice” (but I might add without Italian beer available…….). So, would we cruise with SS again? The answer is “yes” although a 4.5/5 score would be our rating (but not an available choice). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Just completed an extraordinary trip 8 person family trip with our grown children and their loved ones. Trip was to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday with the family, but the Galapagos and Silversea provided the perfect backdrop. Many ... Read More
Just completed an extraordinary trip 8 person family trip with our grown children and their loved ones. Trip was to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday with the family, but the Galapagos and Silversea provided the perfect backdrop. Many of the other reviews have mentioned the magnificence of the islands and the fauna and flora. I'll only add that words can not adequately express what one will experience either in the water or on the land. We have lived and traveled in many countries, but never have we experienced the wonders of snorkeling up close (sometimes inches away)with sea lions, manta rays, sharks, galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and more all within the same ecosystem. Bottom line-the western Galapagos is everything and more than you've read. The ship itself is dated, but certainly very acceptable for a Silversea cruise.In fairness the new Silversea Galapagos ship arrives in 2020. Rooms were very good, but somewhat short on storage space. We loved the location of our room # 345 as it was central to the meeting room, exit to the Zodiaks, dining room. The crew from wait staff to expedition were fabulous. The young chef (Andrea) was amazing in the preparation of her lunch and dinner menus-fish lovers will marvel at what can be prepared. The expedition crew/guides were extremely engaging and knowledgeable, and I'd be surprised if there was a better group of guides in the Galapagos. Finally a note of caution on the activities in general. This is not a sit back and relax cruise. If you are not on a hike (sometimes quite challenging), then you're in the water snorkeling. In other words one is very active during the day, and after dinner did you rarely see anyone on deck after 10pm because people were in bed and exhausted. If mobility is a concern, then I would carefully consider if this is the right trip. This trip will always have a very special memories for my family. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Galapagos are a GREAT place to visit. We were onboard the Silver Galapagos from May 30 to April 6, 2019. We chose the rainy season as the temperatures were to be warmer and the seas calmer. We were blessed to have calm seas, ... Read More
The Galapagos are a GREAT place to visit. We were onboard the Silver Galapagos from May 30 to April 6, 2019. We chose the rainy season as the temperatures were to be warmer and the seas calmer. We were blessed to have calm seas, warm days and only SPRINKLES of rain on a couple of days. With the calm seas, there were several opportunities for kayaking. While kayaking, we had sea lions trail us, saw beautiful sea stars (starfish) through the crystal waters along with turtles, iguanas and birds. The snorkeling trips were a highlight. We saw penguins, turtles, sea lions and fish all within a few feet. They seemed unconcerned with humans. Take a GoPro for underwater photos and videos. I was quite happy that I had purchased insulated thermal liners (recommended by Silversea) for under the short sleeve and short length wet suit that Silversea provided. With the insulated thermal liners (the bottoms looked like leggings but were from ScubaPro) we could enjoy the time in the cold water and were protected from the sun. It was an incredible adventure! The Galapagos are a great place to see nature up close and unwind. As noted in several reviews the ship is dated but the crew made up for that with incredible service. They were on top of everything. The small size of the ship makes it easy to get around and getting on and off the ship with the Zodiacs was quick, simple and safe. Most landings were wet so you will need water shoes. The small size also enables you to meet new friends. You see the same folks on the excursions, in the dining room and at the meetings and it’s easy to develop friendships. Our group was dealing with celiac and some food allergies to dairy, garlic and onions. Concierge Chistian, Chef Andrea Cruz and our waiter Guillermo Reina kept us safe. Chef Andrea went above and aboard in preparing delicious, safe food for us. Chef Andrea was often out during the buffets and she would always point out safe foods for me on the buffet. She made Ecuadorian stew and other special foods specifically for us. During a cooking demonstration, she even made me my own ceviche that fit my dietary restrictions! For those who require gluten free, but without the dairy allergy, they had Yucca rolls that were enjoyed by many on board the ship. The buffet was well designed with breads in a special area which made the possibility of cross contamination with gluten less. Guillermo did a great job of communicating with us about our food so we knew it hadn’t been mixed up with another order. Chistian continually checked on us to see if we needed anything. This incredible team kept us feeling well so we could enjoy this beautiful area of the world!!! Remember with food allergies to let the cruise company know when you book your reservation. Then when filling out the online forms, list the food allergies again. When you board the ship meet with the concierge to answer all questions. Silversea did a great job of keeping us safe. While snorkeling and kayaking, each group of about 12 had a guide and zodiac driver that watched over the group. During hikes, the guide watched over the group, giving help or suggestions to anyone who needed help. The Hikes were more strolls than hikes. We would walk for a bit and then listen to our guide. Some islands had very uneven surfaces that required caution. We saw flamingoes, turtles, iguanas and the blue footed boobie. Insects were only a problem on Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island beach. I was glad to have some insect repellent. Be advised that our flight from Quito to the Galapagos included a stop in Guayaquil. We stayed on the same plane, but it did add time. Additionally, it was a long day to get home. We were out of the cabins at 7:30 am and off to breakfast. Zodiacs transported us to the dock to waiting buses at 9:30 am. Shopping at the Baltra Airport was good for hats, t-shirts, etc. with prices comparable with Puerto Ayora. Looking back, I would have skipped shopping in Puerto Ayora and purchased gifts at the Baltra airport. We arrived in Guayaquil airport at around 4pm. We were provided with a day room at the Hotel Oro Verde, the hotel is beautiful, the city less so. We would have liked more time at the hotel and less at the airport. We were in the lobby by 7:45 for our transfer to our flight to Miami. We booked our own flight into Quito and out of Guayaquil, because we wanted control over the time of our flights, number of stops and wanted to have business class seats. We booked our transfer from Quito airport to the J.W.Mariott through the hotel. This worked well and the driver was on time and pleasant. We used Silversea for all other flights and transfers. We were pleased to have them take care of the baggage and details. At the Guayaquil airport, about an hour before our flight was to leave, the airline started doing random searches of carry on and checked bags. Your name was called, and you were asked to approach the ticket counter. For checked bags, an airline representative took you down an elevator to your suitcase where they ask you to unlock your suitcase. They did a quick search and you were asked to relock the suitcase. It was a bit unsettling at first, but it was not a big deal. Final note, this is an active cruise. There are typically 3 events during the day hikes , snorkeling trips, zodiac rides etc depending on the island. There is some time to rest but not a lot. It’s tiring but well worth it! Galapagos Islands are beautiful and worth the travel time to get there. We are so glad we went. Our hope is that our review helps others with food challenges or just someone who wants more details about the trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First cruised onboard theSilver Cloud many, many years ago and we wanted to try another Silver Sea cruise. Silver Muse had the right itinerary and well, she did not disappoint. The entire experience was excellent, the accommodations ... Read More
First cruised onboard theSilver Cloud many, many years ago and we wanted to try another Silver Sea cruise. Silver Muse had the right itinerary and well, she did not disappoint. The entire experience was excellent, the accommodations spacious and understated elegance, the service was outstanding. We had multiple dining options and all were good in their own right. Most of the staff were personable and went out of their way to accommodate our needs- we were a large group, 14 adults and a baby. The entertainment was average, but we really wanted to do a relaxed cruise so we really did not mind that. embark/disembark- at Marina Bay Cruise Center (Singapore), from luggage drop off tot he welcome champagne in the lobby of the ship was 15 minutes at most. cabin- see below dining- we tried each of the restaurants at least twice and all were excellent. The service and attention was great. My favorites were Atlantide and the outdoor grilling were you prepare your own dish on hot rocks. The buffet area for breakfast and lunch was converted into an italian-themed restaurant at night. excursions- Silversea had several excursions that were complimentary, you get to reserve this in advance before the cruise. The more personalized options, you had to pay for. Would highly recommend this cruise. looking forward to the next SS cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is in excellent condition. The cabins are very nice and very clean and the bed was comfortable. The food was excellent and high quality. Filippo Bulgarini the Maître D is very good at insuring everything is perfect. All staff ... Read More
The ship is in excellent condition. The cabins are very nice and very clean and the bed was comfortable. The food was excellent and high quality. Filippo Bulgarini the Maître D is very good at insuring everything is perfect. All staff members have a excellent attitude and really care about insuring you have all your needs and wants met. Lots of area's on the ship to relax and enjoy the beautiful views. The on board credit was very easy to use and the store on the ship had a great selection of watches and clothing. We have travelled on many cruises. This was our first cruise with Silversea and we will return very soon because the overall experience was better than advertised. The ports of call were excellent and the extended stay in some of the ports was great because you did not feel rushed. The ship arrived on time to the ports of call everyday. Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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