2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2013
This review is months overdo, but it had to be written. I'll try to keep this brief & to the point. Background: My husband & I were celebrating our Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. As a surprise, we sent my parents on their ... Read More
This review is months overdo, but it had to be written. I'll try to keep this brief & to the point. Background: My husband & I were celebrating our Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. As a surprise, we sent my parents on their 1st SS cruise a few years ago and they're hooked! They urged us to sail Silversea. So glad they did! They joined us on this cruise (their 3d) and celebrated our Anniversary with us!We arrived in Barbados on a rainy day. Silversea provided transport from the Terminal (effortless). Once we gave the shuttle driver our bags, we didn't see them again until we arrived in our stateroom after check-in. Embarkation: no line, no wait, no hassle! Staff met us at the gangway with umbrellas in hand. We enjoyed a 'Welcome' glass of champagne while we checked in. Our stateroom (V5, 730, mid-ship veranda) was absolutely beautiful! Marble bath with tub & shower (with glass shower door, NOT a shower curtain!). Bulgari & Ferragamo toiletries. Very comfy bed (we were happy with the standard pillows, although a pillow menu is available). The veranda was our favorite spot to relax. Large enough to enjoy coffee & breakfast each morning. Our cabin adjoined my parents' cabin. The wall separating our verandas has a door that can be opened so we were able to sip cocktails together on our verandas! Our butler, Christley Gladson, was absolutely wonderful! He was so attentive, pleasant and worked very hard to cater to our every whim! He treated us like family! Adesh, our room steward, kept our room immaculately clean and did so quickly. As quickly as he came into the stateroom, he was gone! In fact, the entire crew (with the exception of one or two) went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at home. It should be noted, that the crew are not and do not deserve to be treated like personal servants. They are hard working people, working hard to provide outstanding service to all on board. And they're doing so as a means to provide for their families. They deserve to be treated with dignity & respect. They have names; learn them & use them! Talk to them. Get to know them. And if the urge to be an demanding elitist starts to creep in, think of the Golden Rule: would we want to be treated in that manner?The ship itself is beautiful. Classy. We felt like we were on our own private yacht. The lounges were comfortable. The bartenders made great cocktails (the vodka tasting was lots of fun!) We thought the food was excellent. We really enjoyed Hot Rocks. I was disappointed that we weren't able to get into Le Champagne. Loved the Spa! I enjoyed three different spa services on 'Sea Days'. We used the gym. It was small but the equipment we typically use was there. We enjoyed a private shore excursion in Dominica. Comfortable vehicle, knowledgable tour guide. A very nice day. While in San Juan, we invited friends of ours who live there to join us on board for lunch while we were in Port. Christley set up an en suite cocktail party for us (classy!) and we enjoyed lunch at The Restaurant. Our guests had a great time! We've read the thoughts of other CC reviewers regarding dress code infractions on the part of other passengers, smoking in non-smoking areas, etc. We didn't notice anyone disregarding the smoking policy. In terms of the dress code, we really couldn't have cared less who wore what when. We were too busy enjoying ourselves to find fault with fellow passengers! We read & understood SS's dress code and packed accordingly. We're not nit-picky people. Some reviewers complained about the quality of the food, this wine or that was unavailable, etc. Really, people? What is NOT to love about this cruise? Yes, the price tag for cruising SS is steep and a certain level of service is expected (and, in this reviewer's opinion, more than met!) Frankly, if certain passenger's standards are THAT high, perhaps they'd do better to consider purchasing their own yacht. Then they can guarantee that their extremely high standards are met to the letter. We're booked to sail Silver Spirit again in December '13. We can't wait!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Our experience on this newest and largest of Silversea's ships was truly wonderful. Our Silver Suite was a luxury of space and design. Our butler made the trip very pleasant as he was always on hand, seemingly anticipating our ... Read More
Our experience on this newest and largest of Silversea's ships was truly wonderful. Our Silver Suite was a luxury of space and design. Our butler made the trip very pleasant as he was always on hand, seemingly anticipating our needs. The Silver Spirit is larger and somewhat harder to get a handle on than the Whisper/Shadow ships we had sailed on before. The Dining Room seems huge and in a way off-putting by it's size. The Bar is much larger and easy to find a spot in, that's a plus for us. All the other familiar spots are bigger and, in many ways, better. This was our first experience with Hot Rocks, the transformation of the Pool Grill at night. We really enjoyed the under the stars hot rock experience. In fact we enjoyed all our meals: four dinners in the Main Dining Room, four in La Terrazza, four at Hot Rocks, two in Le Champagne, and (of course) the Pool BBQ. Overall, a luxurious pampering experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our first trip on a "small" luxury cruise ship and I must say it is the only way to sail if you can afford it. On first viewing the ship, it looks huge, but later encounters with the mega ships showed that we were indeed ... Read More
This was our first trip on a "small" luxury cruise ship and I must say it is the only way to sail if you can afford it. On first viewing the ship, it looks huge, but later encounters with the mega ships showed that we were indeed small. This repositioning cruise across the Atlantic/Caribbean seems to not be popular as there were only 163 people on-board for embarkation, but it made for a dream cruise for those of us aboard. Like your own private yacht. Service was exemplary as there were about 2.5 crew members per passenger. The weather was mid 70's and seas were calm for the entire crossing.This was our first cruise of more than a week, and I must say it was great not having to think of repacking after 4 days. We had a silver suite room, which was absolutely huge. All suites come with a butler and ours was exemplary. He wanted to set up a cocktail party every night as all beverages and food are included in the cruise price. The ship interior is subdued compared to some other ships, but seems to fit the clientele. There are always little things that can be nit-picked, but overall the ship ranks with the best. They obviously read "commited2travels" earlier critique, as there was a Captain's Farewell Party in the lounge the last night. Not having sailed on one of the new mega ships, it was mind boggling to sit on the open deck having a leisurely dinner and watch 3 of them come into port as we were leaving. There must have been 7-9000 people disembarking at once. Don't think I'll go that way.We tried all of the 6 restaurants and they were all good. Three of them have small surcharges and are intimate dining venues. We loved the outdoor "Hot Rocks" dining area that allowed us to cook part of our own meal. Overall, the 6 people in our group felt that this was a cruise to remember and, consequently, we signed up for a future cruise on this ship. By the way, Silverseas has a policy that allows you to put down a small deposit onboard and then gives you a year to decide on another cruise with a 5% discount. If you decide not to go or have not decided within a year, they will refund your money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2012
We have completed our third fall sailing on the Silversea Spirit. The Ship and Crew make for a perfect get away from it all. In fact we are booked again this fall. The ship sails from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We ... Read More
We have completed our third fall sailing on the Silversea Spirit. The Ship and Crew make for a perfect get away from it all. In fact we are booked again this fall. The ship sails from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We always enjoy spending a couple of days ahead of the cruise in Fort Lauderdale. The shops along Los Olas make for a perfect late afternoon. We love to walk the beach and just let the ocean settle in. We stayed at the Hilton Beach Resort which is a wonderful hotel located centrally to the beach. The hotel is only 10 minutes to the port. The Silversea experience starts with check-in.....It is a quick and painless process, far different from the large ship experience. In minutes you are on board. We also love the opportunity to bring a friend abroad to show off the ship and really enjoy an afternoon on the ship. We picked the same Cabin as our first voyage, Suite 707. I just love the suite and the service. Yes I could get used to butler.....but really is just a bonus to be enjoyed on-board. The rooms are perfectly sized for a 10 or 20 day voyage. The Balcony includes two chairs and a small table and unlike many ships you can stretch your legs and really settle into a great book as the ocean goes by. We had breakfast on the Balcony on most sea days. In fact you really don't need an alarm clock, just order tea, coffee or a full breakfast ensuite.....it arrives at the appointed time, every time. We love the Hot Rocks Grill at night. In fact we eat there whenever possible. You do need to get your reservations early for the speciality restaurants, but at this place it is not a problem. Hot Rocks with excellent fish and meats is the perfect ending to a day sailing the emerald isles of the Carribbean. They have a nice two piece combo playing down below, providing smooth listening music and take requests. The Main Dining Room is excellent also. When you want a full upscale meal you can't beat this venue. One thing I like about Silversea is the smaller portions. Some ships provide quantity....Silversea focuses on quality. You can see the hand of the Executive Chef in preparing dishes that just pop, none of the bland food they often pass off as dining. I really loved the relaxing approach from the waiters and the ability to join others or dine alone. The fellow passengers are a real mix of cultures and ages. Lots of British and Americans to mix with. You really have fun with everyone. My problem is remembering everyones name. You won't find many children or teenagers on board, and frankly the result is a positive country club like atmosphere. Things to remember. Its all-inclusive which means you can relax and enjoy the premium service on board. The Fitness Center is a don't miss on the days you want to get a work out. The shore tours desk offers a wide range of tours from sailing the island of St. Bart's to just kicking it on your own with good advice on what not to miss. Islands to remember: St. Kitts, I love this understated and not overbuilt cruise ship stop. Grand Turk for ones birthday at Margaritaville is not to be missed. The beach is perfect the water is sparkling and you are only steps for the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our first Silversea cruise. The experience was everything and more than we dreamed of. The ship is immaculate and very well kept. The crew is friendly and helpful, but never intrusive. Even though there were over 500 passengers, ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise. The experience was everything and more than we dreamed of. The ship is immaculate and very well kept. The crew is friendly and helpful, but never intrusive. Even though there were over 500 passengers, we never felt crowded. The food was excellent; comparable to the finest restaurants we visit. The service, with rare exception, was outstanding, if not memorable. Our party of four had two vegetarians, a pescaterian and a meat lover. All felt the food was superb. While a number of CC people fret about the evening attire, we found the instructions provided by Silversea to be easy to follow. Virtually all passengers followed the dress code and those who didn't were fine. The atmosphere on Silversea is refined elegance and layer back. Everything was first class and we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
Over the past ten years we have cruised many times on the Silversea fleet, sailing on the Whisper, Shadow and the smaller Cloud and Wind. With the launch of the new larger Spirit in 2010 we often found ourselves in conversation with fellow ... Read More
Over the past ten years we have cruised many times on the Silversea fleet, sailing on the Whisper, Shadow and the smaller Cloud and Wind. With the launch of the new larger Spirit in 2010 we often found ourselves in conversation with fellow travellers when the question 'have you sailed on the Spirit and what is your opinion of it'? Was raised, well with varied answers we decided to try the Spirit ourselves and make our own mind up. Late October we embarked on a ten day voyage from Barcelona bound for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Initial impressions were very good, the ship makes good use of the additional space and the public areas all benefited from being that little bit larger. In particular the La Terraza restaurant benefits greatly from a larger buffet servery and outdoor terrace. Throughout the ship fixtures, fittings and furnishings all met the high standards expected from Silversea. The veranda suites are about 12" narrower than the Whisper & Shadow which is a shame, they are however longer, the balcony slightly larger and the bathroom is very much improved. The food and service was very good throughout the ship and all it's restaurants, although there was a feeling shared by others that the food fell short of sister ships. Oh dear! Who on earth purchased the cutlery? Particularly the forks! The design makes them very uncomfortable and difficult to use, a compliant shared by many fellow passengers. Maybe if you are using the forks 'American Style' as a spoon they are ok but as a fork the do not function! The Show Lounge (theatre) looks impressive however the design differs from its sister ships. The Spirit lacks the two level layout, with access from two decks and seating on two levels found on the other ships. Also the seating layout is new, gone are the tiered benches with free standing chairs and tables. They are replaced with tiered rows of twin seats, similar to those you are more likely to find in the back row of your local cinema! I think it fair to say this seating arrangement did not draw universal approval! So alas, it is no longer possible to enjoy a drink or two with same canapes as you no longer have the tables or indeed the space. Out on deck the sun loungers were excellent and easy to use. Not so the unfortunate use of a 'plastic' material used for the outside dining tables. The 'plastic' must be porous in some way, with many of the tables being disfigured with dark wine glass stains. It seemed that the surface had absorbed red wine and the stains appeared impossible to remove. Coincidently there is a similar problem with the three Jacuzzis, each of which is badly marked with what appear to be rust stains which have penetrated the plastic material surrounding the Jacuzzis making them look unclean. The actual body of the Jacuzzis also show dark markings which detract from the appearance. We were surprised to find the Captain' Welcome Reception, normally held in the Show Lounge (theatre), had been pared back to a brief 15 minute affair in the bar. An even greater surprise was the absence of the Captain's Farewell Party. "Time to Say Goodbye" In our experience this "Signature Event" has always been a highlight of the cruise -- for both crew and passengers! All in all the staff were very good indeed with many being Excellent and displaying all of the exceptional qualities we have come to expect of from Silversea crews. However ,I think it fair to say that overall the Spirit is lacking in the passion and pride so very well demonstrated on the sister ships. On board entertainment predominantly in the Show Lounge was a disappointment. The song, dance and variety shows we were expecting were replaced by a succession of 'tribute song acts' with some very poor costumes for the singers. We assumed the performers were working to performances created by their Producer but it has to be said they were pretty dire! Disembarkation did not go as smoothly as it could have done, hampered by lack of clear communication from the cruise director, with some passengers, us included, experiencing unnecessary delay and problems having our baggage properly transferred from ship to the terminal. So would we go again? Well if it was to a destination we particularly wanted to visit and other ships in the fleet were not operating there yes we would. We do however feel the Spirit -- good as it is -- still has a way to go to exude the warmth, pride and care of the Shadow and Whisper which will remain as our first choice.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2012
We are longtime fans of Silversea. We have a bit more than 500 days of sailing with the company, with 5 trips more now booked. This recent cruise included Messina in Sicily and Bonafacio in Corsica...both were very intriguing and our ... Read More
We are longtime fans of Silversea. We have a bit more than 500 days of sailing with the company, with 5 trips more now booked. This recent cruise included Messina in Sicily and Bonafacio in Corsica...both were very intriguing and our first time visits. We love the itineraries, the incredible service and the friendly, very interesting, well traveled fellow passengers. We like the rather formal dress code and hope they resist the current trend towards casual dressing. We appreciate the all inclusive policy. This takes a lot of pressure off in terms of tipping anxieties, and it makes meeting new friends very uncomplicated. The Spirit, is the largest in the Silversea fleet, and building it was a departure for the line. Most of the "Old Timers" prefer the smaller sisters, the Shadow and the Whisper, or the Cloud and the Wind. We really weren't crazy at first about the 500 passenger Spirit, but with each sailing, we have come to appreciate her more. The cabins are big and lovely..including the least expensive ones. All the bathrooms are fabulous. Best of all are the furnished open decks. Dining, reading, or just relaxing on the stern verandas is so peaceful...maybe even addictive. Of all the accolades we could give the Silversea ships it is the service on ALL the ships which is always outstanding, and is what makes the line so very special. If you are lucky enough to be able to sail on a Silver Spirit cruise, you are lucky enough! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2012
Travel to the Port: We drove over cruise morning with another couple from the West coast of Florida to the Port which was 270 miles (4 hours). We parked in a Park & Go lot just before you enter the port on the left. It was about ... Read More
Travel to the Port: We drove over cruise morning with another couple from the West coast of Florida to the Port which was 270 miles (4 hours). We parked in a Park & Go lot just before you enter the port on the left. It was about $11/day but could be less if you went on line before and printed a coupon. You park...a van goes to your car and unloads your luggage and takes you to the ship...easy and less than Port Parking. Personal Background Information: My wife and I are in our early 70s and in good health. We have cruised 15 times but always on larger ships. We felt we wanted to try a small boutique luxury ship and Silversea had good reviews. This ship can handle 450 which is much smaller than 2,000 to 3,000 monsters. It is all inclusive which means food, liquor, wine, gratuities are in your base cruise price. The only extra charge are the tours you select and shipboard Internet service. There is also a surcharge for 2 of the 5 restaurants (later). Stateroom #932:We had a mini suite with a balcony (2 chairs and 1 small table)which we rarely used because our cabin was next to the pool, pool bar and pool grill. If you could book this cabin or one nearby you will be pleased with the convenience. The service with our butler (Anil Kumar Mahla) and room attendant (Jocelyn Ochavillo) were first rate. Free washer, dryer and soap just across the hall from us. Fox and CNN was available on our 2 flat screen TVs. Remotes took a while to get used to because TVs we set in the mirrors,The bath room had a full sized tub and a separate shower (with a rainfall fixture overhead...very nice touch).Large walk in closet. We took large suitcases and still had more than enough storage. Privacy curtain between the bedroom and sitting area was handy if I wanted to read and bride wanted to sleep.Room service was available 24/7. Bride liked breakfast in cabin but I went to "The Restaurant" in the mornings to be served. Days at sea: We both took professional bridge (card) lessons in the mornings and my wife played duplicate bridge in the afternoons. Always enough lounges. Nice libraries and numerous areas to sit around and relax. Although there was only one small child on board there were many couples in their 40s, 50s and 60s which surprised us. Still, not a cruise for families with small children. Dress aboard ship: This is not a blue jeans or muscle shirt crowd Two formal nights for tuxes or coats/ties. We took tuxes but did the tie option instead. Warm weather not condusive for tuxes. Four informal nights: Coats and slacks, no ties. Four casual nights: Nice shirts and slacks, no coats. Cocktail Lounges/Bars: We were very pleased with the entertainment and piano bars. The snacks offered during cocktails usually left much to be desired. Service was exceptional everywhere on the ship. Restaurants: There were 5 which I will discuss below: 1. The "Restaurant" was the main dining room and served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations not required and food selections were regular restaurant fare. 2 LeChampagne was a reservantion, $30 surcharge. Worth a visit. Mucho fanfare! 3. La Terrazza served buffet breakfast and lunch, High Tea from 4-5 and then dinner (reservations reqd) with an Italian flair in the evenings 4. Pool bar and Grill: Shorts and bath. Pizza, burgers, etc. Easy and good. 5. Seishin (Asian) Did not use. Reservations reqd' plus surcharge. 6. Stars Supper Club Res reqd. Fancy dress. 7. Dinner on the Hot Rock: Res reqd. Outdoor dining where you are brought your partially cooked fish or steaks you finish cooking at your table. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Silver Spirit offers comfort, class and lovely cruising amenities for a wide range of ages and nationalities. The cabins are well equipped, with plenty of storage space, full size bathtubs, very comfortable beds and luxury linens and a ... Read More
Silver Spirit offers comfort, class and lovely cruising amenities for a wide range of ages and nationalities. The cabins are well equipped, with plenty of storage space, full size bathtubs, very comfortable beds and luxury linens and a nice seating area with good reading lights. The butler service is helpful and unobtrusive and the assistant cleans early and often during the day. We always had plenty of fresh towels, ice and our beverages replenished daily. The butler makes dinner reservations and handles laundry pick up and delivery.There's also a washer,dryer and iron on each deck. The Silver Spirit dining options are all good choices, with advance reservations needed for Le Champagne, Stars supper club and the Asian room with sushi chef. The main dining room offers a changing dinner menu daily and excellent service with complimentary wines matched to the foods. La Terraza has the best fresh pasta and carpaccio with hearty osso buco and fresh fish. This dining room is much larger than the three theme restaurants, but fills quickly so reserve a table. The Italian theme is part of every evening menu. The room is used for a buffet breakfast and lunch or you can dine in the MDR. The Panorama bar and adjacent outdoor seating has excellent afternoon tea service and early riser coffee, juice and pastry available from 0630 am. The friendly bartenders and servers remember your name and drink preference. Piano music is always entertaining the guests and a great jazz singer in Stars. The shows were fun and colorful with a young team of dancers and singers. The ports we visited: Key West; Santo Tomas, Guatemala for the Rio Dulce River and Livingston village by boat tour; Belize City, Belize for Mayan temples set in a national park visited by boat and Cozumel, Mexico for great snorkeling. Check in, front desk, shore excursions & departure well managed by hotel staff. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Spirit of the Caribbean For several reasons, not least a highly attractive price, we booked back-to-back cruises 5135 and 5136 on SilverSea's Silver Spirit. The itineraries were both of 9 nights duration and were part of a season ... Read More
Spirit of the Caribbean For several reasons, not least a highly attractive price, we booked back-to-back cruises 5135 and 5136 on SilverSea's Silver Spirit. The itineraries were both of 9 nights duration and were part of a season which saw the ship sailing between Barbados and Fort Lauderdale for a couple of months during November and December 2011. The Spirit has something of a mixed reputation with past passengers; some love it, whilst others won't return to her. It is the biggest and newest of the SilverSea fleet, and has a normal (not all berths in cabins where more than 2 can be accommodated) capacity of 500. This is over 100 or 200 more than the other ships in the fleet. One of the features of a SilverSea cruise is that the crew make an effort early on to learn your name and we wondered whether this would hold good on our 2 cruises, where there were 473 and 406 respectively on board. We followed our usual practice and arrived in Barbados the day prior to embarkation, in case our luggage did not keep up with us; fortunately, it did. We stayed at the Hilton Barbados (see review on Trip Advisor) and made our way to the port around 13.00. Only Emerald Princess was in port in addition to the Spirit and there was no congestion, with registration being immediate. Our cases were piled with others into a lorry and one was damaged by the time it arrived in our cabin, though fortunately, it was repaired by the ship's upholsterer. After leaving our hand cases in our cabin -- 914 -- we went for a light lunch on the open deck area of the Terrace Cafe, then did our customary ship's familiarisation tour, as we had not previously sailed on her. The condition of the Spirit was excellent. Our lifestyle preference is to have a cabin on pool deck and this influenced our choice of 914, the furthest mid-ship accommodation available for both cruises when we booked. The open deck space around the pool appeared no bigger than on the smaller ships, whilst the pool itself was arguably not as big, a potential issue on sea days when the ship is full. The pool deck attendants were always willing to find, and set up loungers on request. We invariably lunched alfresco around the pool and Bas, the chef, cooked excellent fish to order. The rum & raisin ice cream benefited from a shot of dark rum from the pool bar! The Observation Lounge proved to be an under-used bar both pre- and post-dinner. In fact, it was not unusual after dinner for us to be the only ones there. Sunny made the best pina colada on the ship by adding a shot of dark rum. We were told that the absence of toilet facilities in the lounge would be remedied during the next dry dock, with conversion of the Deck 11 laundrette being the most likely solution. The Panorama Lounge, Terrace Cafe, Theatre, Dining Room and La Champagne speciality dining venues are essentially similar to the equivalent facilities on other SilverSea ships and can thus pass without general remark. One irritant is the requirement that cooked food to order at breakfast in the Terrace Cafe must be via a waiter, rather than direct to the chef. Unique in the SilverSea fleet, the ship has a Japanese dining venue Sieshin, and what is called, the Stars Supper Club. In the latter, a set tapas menu is served to the accompaniment of a light jazz singer and pianist, the entertainers being first class. Overall, the food on board was very good. When we placed pre-orders off-menu at dinner, these were always excellent. We dislike the SilverSea practice of using vegetables purely as a garnish to a plate of meat or fish and ordered extra vegetables, well cooked, which invariably also proved popular with others at our table. Our dinner wine preferences were always accommodated from the table wines onboard. Service at all meals was virtually faultless, a marked change from our experience on Silver Shadow in March. The occasional breakfast in the dining room always found it virtually deserted but the menu choices here added variety to this meal. The main bar, unlike on other SilverSea ships, is, effectively, a corridor on Deck 5. It lacks ambiance and atmosphere at any time of the day, from light breakfast through to post-dinner and is a design error. Our cabin, 914, was a Midship Veranda. As such, it was a typical Silversea arrangement, with large balcony, seating/dining space with a writing desk and drinks/fridge facility, bedroom and walk-in wardrobe with safe. It is, however, somewhat narrower than cabins on other SilverSea ships and, most irritatingly, the dressing table is too narrow, as is the gap between this and the bed. By contrast, the bathroom has an excellent size of bath and a separate rain shower enclosure, which was brilliant. We rarely patronise the spa but it was certainly an extensive facility, though the gym was small and had only basic equipment in addition to the usual cardio-vascular machines. Interestingly, part of the spa, including a wet area (a Hammam) with heated tiled beds, were accessible only on payment of a fee, either on a daily basis, or for the duration of the cruise. Aside from the jazz entertainers already mentioned, we watched all the shows in the Theatre and considered the performers to be very good. Unusually for us, (because we are normally in the gym in the late afternoon) we participated in the late afternoon trivia quiz, though there were never more than 3 teams. Susan, the cruise director, hosted this and, as with other entertainment, conducted herself in a style appropriate to a SilverSea ship. The one area of major weakness was the Shore Concierge Desk. Clive, the manager, had been in the same position during our cruise in March on the Shadow, however on the Caribbean sailings we were extremely disappointed with both the Desk's performance and knowledge. All the staff from Clive downwards ranged from the mediocre to the plain useless. Giving just one example, it took days of emails by us to book an excursion in the pre-cruise booklet but not on the tours list onboard. The company offering the trip (on a rib boat in Grenada), had apparently been reserved by SilverSea, but the staff on board seemed oblivious to this, even when the pre-cruise excursion brochure was referred to. Fortunately our persistence paid off, and we did the trip under our own auspices with only two other passengers, who were staying on the island, but it was most annoying and upsetting for the company, which is a husband/wife operation to realise that they had no bookings at all from the Silver Spirit As we feared, the larger size of ship meant the crew did not get to know your name or your usual preferences, unlike on the smaller SilverSea ships. Surprisingly, the sole exception was no less than His Highness, the Hotel Director, and thus the most senior person onboard (after the Captain?). At the cocktail party on the second night, Paulo came over, greeted us by name and remarked that we were on board for the following cruise too. Full marks, Paulo, and the time we spent in your company during the ensuing 16 nights helped to make our cruise. Although quite a number of passengers were combining 2 cruises, most were from North America and doing round-trip Fort Lauderdale. We were only 2 of 11 doing round-trip Barbados. As is now the norm on SilverSea, the passengers were a league of nations. It was most marked in Philipsburg, (St Maarten) where we were docked along with Norwegian Dawn and P&O's Ventura, to see how it was generally possible to judge which passengers were from which ship! The weather was variable. It poured all day in Philipsburg on the day we should have been in nearby St Barts, the relocation being due to predicted poor weather for tendering ashore. Otherwise, the conditions were generally good, though getting lively as we approached and later left Fort Lauderdale. Across the 2 itineraries, only Bequia was duplicated and during our second visit there, we arranged a schooner with others on board, to visit Mustique, a private island, also part of the Grenadines. When we returned to St Martin (Marigot), on the second cruise, whereas many headed for duty-free shopping in Philipsburg across on the Dutch side of the island (St Maarten), we took the regular 25-minute ferry crossing to the British protectorate of Anguilla. This is noted for its beaches, and snorkelling was a regular feature of our port calls on these cruises. Sadly, apart from Mustique and during the boat trip in Grenada, off-the-beach snorkelling was poor because the unsettled weather was churning up the sea close to shore. On Bequia, we got a local cab $US 10 (same price as the water taxi but avoiding a wet landing) to Lower Bay beach. On Dominica, during a 2-day stay in Philipsburg, Antigua and St Lucia, we toured the island on local buses. These are typically 13-seat minibuses, which charge a Government-set fare and largely pick up and drop off as required. Generally, they will not leave their start point until full, which (for our Soufriere to Castries leg on St Lucia) took 75 minutes but might also be as quick as 5 minutes, as it was on our outward leg from Castries to Vieux Fort, in the extreme south of St Lucia. Drivers and fellow passengers were always friendly and helpful and the fares were so cheap compared to taxis or shore excursions. You also experience more of an island's character by travelling this way. Locals always helped us find where we needed to go to catch the bus we wanted. On St Kitts, we booked the highly enjoyable sugar cane train via the ship and this gave a leisurely trundle round most of the island. (Interestingly on initial research for shorexs, we had tried to book this trip independently, only to be told it had to be arranged through the ship. It would appear that many excursion and trip operators will only take bookings via hotels or cruise lines and refer independent travellers to one or other of these. From our experience the ships and hotels add on a significant mark up). The train trip only being three hours, we returned to Basseterre and got the local ferry across to nearby Nevis and went to Pinneys beach, which proved disappointing for snorkelling. Fortunately, we were the only ship in port in Bequia, Dominica, St Kitts, Grand Turk, Tortola, French St Martin and Grenada. This helped take the pressure off local resources, like taxis, notably in Tortola and Grand Turk. In both the latter we took taxis to Smugglers Cove and Pillory Beach (the latter now hosts the Bohio Dive Resort) respectively. To reach the former involves a 10-minute crawl over a pot-holed road on the other side of the island to reach the beach and taxi drivers do not like making this journey, especially if there are easier pickings from a deluge of ship passengers. The visit was well worth it and there is a Government-set fare. Beware in Anguilla. Based on another posting, we walked just over a mile to the beautiful Rendezvous Bay on the report about the hotel there. It closed 2 years ago and, what has not been demolished, is derelict. If you do go, take drinking water and enjoy the pristine sand and sheltered water. Needless to say there are no facilities there. I have never raved about the Caribbean but these 2 cruises, totalling 18 nights, provided a diverse perspective from a traveller's (a more inquisitive person than a sightseer) perspective. Visiting the West Indies on a small ship has very distinct advantages, not least that it is usually possible to "dock" as opposed to "tender", and the itinerary often includes less run of the mill "touristy" islands. We were extremely fortunate that in most of the ports we visited on these two cruises, we were the only ship. In Grand Turk, for example, if there had been another cruise ship docked at Carnival's purported $US 40 million complex, it would have ruined the visit! However a little postscript -- one of the beachside bars, the much vaunted Jacks Shack outside the complex, didn't open -- apparently because there was not "a big ship" in!! Silversea is classed as a "quiet" ship -- hurrah!! The (relatively) small Silver Spirit offered an ideal vessel from many standpoints, notably comfort and amenity. On cruise 5136, two sea days, then 6 ports and disembark, was not particularly relaxing and a sea day before Barbados would have been preferable. However disembarking on a Sunday morning (about 9.30 am) with no other cruise ships in, was a breeze, and it was incredible to see not only a deserted cruise terminal, but also Bridgetown, and our taxi to visit friends took no time at all, prior to our flight later that day. Would we cruise again with Silversea? Silly question really, already booked on the Shadow from Fremantle (WA) to Singapore next February!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Flights to Athens and home from Nice were arranged by Silverseas and went without a hitch. No sign of any demos in Athens on 30th September and we were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly while we checked in. Our butler was on ... Read More
Flights to Athens and home from Nice were arranged by Silverseas and went without a hitch. No sign of any demos in Athens on 30th September and we were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly while we checked in. Our butler was on hand to greet us as soon as we arrived at our midships veranda suite and was to prove helpful during the cruise, making sure drinks/canapes were there when required. Also booked alternative restaurants for us. This was a 7 night port intensive cruise so not much in the way of on board activites other than a ports lecturer who we found to be very knowledgeable and helpful. We took a couple of ship's tours - Mount Etna drive in Sicily and Etruscan countryside from Civitavecchia - while we did our own thing in Malta,Sorrento,and Elba. The ship's tours were fine - not too crowded on the coach and good local guides. They are too expensive though. We ate in Hot Rocks twice (very good). La Terrazza (diasappointing) Le Champagne (a bit pretentious) while the main dining room food was first class and service excellent. Because of the low ceiling, the room itself is not particularly attractive. Our suite was fine and all the public rooms had a good standard of decor and we felt that the ship was, in every way, as well looked-after as it had been on our previous cruise 12 months ago. The entertainment consisted of a singing/dancing group and they performed every evening. They were young and enthusiastic and did a pretty good job. It was a little surprising that there was no comedian or musician to take some of the entertainment load. Finally, a special mention of Fernando - the best cruise director we have come across. He was everywhere, did everything, and seemed to know every passenger's name Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2011
Despite the delay by BA in getting the luggage to Venice Silversea as expected provided everything needed including a trouble free embarkation in late afternoon and a warm welcome by my charming butler whose help was always friendly and ... Read More
Despite the delay by BA in getting the luggage to Venice Silversea as expected provided everything needed including a trouble free embarkation in late afternoon and a warm welcome by my charming butler whose help was always friendly and professional.The suite was comfortable,spacious and well appointed.The lectures were outstanding and the few activities especially on the sea day were enjoyable.The on board service was six star with always a smile,chat and efficient service of both the inclusive drinks and superb food:the dinner always had good alternatives where the ever changing gourmet menu was not chosen. Fernando was an excellent cruise director with his trivia quiz much fun and often quite difficult.The ship was spotless,well decorated and I look forward to July 2012 when I am on the Spirit again for two weeks. It is expensive especially for singles BUT it is a fantastic cruise holiday experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2011
We just cruised on the Silver Spirit from Singapore to Dubai for 15 days, stopping in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Oman and then Dubai. This is our 3rd Silversea cruise, the previous ones were on the Whisper and we were looking forward to ... Read More
We just cruised on the Silver Spirit from Singapore to Dubai for 15 days, stopping in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Oman and then Dubai. This is our 3rd Silversea cruise, the previous ones were on the Whisper and we were looking forward to seeing how the Spirit compared. The ShipWe think the Silver Spirit is a wonderful, if not perfect, ship. We felt that Silversea had captured a lot of the feel of the original ships but just scaled it all up, it felt like home. She is in wonderful condition as you'd expect from a new ship. We booked a midship veranda suite. The layout is good, splitting into a living and sleeping area and the balcony is now real usable space, you can sit out there, you could eat out there if you wanted. We loved the bathroom with a shower door which actually kept water in and a proper shower head as well as wood floor instead of freezing cold marble and tile. There was ample storage all over the room and we used quite little of it , our two fairly large suitcases fit nicely under the bed. The aircon worked well and noiselessly and in this part of the world you need it to. We particularly liked the dual TVs, built into the mirrors at the proper height, much better than the old ships where you crane your neck to see them. For techies, you have stereo/composite video, HDMI and a VGA input and they all display really well. We used a laptop and portable disk drive to catch up on 6 months of TV, lovely pictures. (we did have to get the TV tech to restart the system once, he said they have limited cooling and can overheat - after that it was fine). The suite is a little narrower than those on the older ships, not a lot, but it's noticeable. There's a real lack of power points and none near the bed so you can't plug in an alarm clock. They do provide a 5v USB power outlet which will charge an iPhone equivalent (but doesn't have enough power for an iPad). We thought that the public rooms on the ship were a little too small for the number of cabins. The theater is small and poorly laid out, bench seats instead of the much more sociable and waiter-accessible tables and chairs. La Terrazza is also pretty well stuffed with tables and really wanted to be larger, getting between the chairs to get to the buffet was sometimes an obstacle course and when in there you had to dodge wandering diners. There was a lack of shade on the pool deck with tables and chairs going further on each side than on the small ships. That led to some competition for shaded beds on sea days as the sun was brutal. The areas at the back by the Panorama lounge and on Deck 8 helped a bit but you really needed more shaded areas. Finally the observation lounge. Tucked away at the front of deck 11, down a corridor of rooms, a lot of people never even found it! A shame, it was a nice place. Food and DrinkWe thought the food on the cruise was very good, a step up from our last Silversea cruise. The menu was varied, they added in some Asian options which were welcome and (apart from one Chinese pork dish which was dreadful) well executed. Portions seemed to be smaller, but you could always ask for more and on a cruise where people eat all day, large portions probably go to waste. Ingredient quality and freshness were consistently high. There are several restaurants on the ship. La Terrazza is the Italian themed restaurant and was very popular the whole cruise and always booked, we managed to go there 3 times in 15 nights, once as a crew invite. Book early and keep asking. The Restaurant is the main dining room, it was fine, we got window tables most of the times we asked and went early, we were found interesting company to sit with and the service was brisk and efficient, we rarely waited for anything. On-deck is 'Hot Rocks', an outdoor BBQ concept restaurant, always casual, where you cook your food on a hot rock. The food was fine, the atmosphere was a little casual for our taste, we did it once. It was also very popular with the people who wanted to enjoy the outdoors and great weather and wanted something less formal. The two themed restaurants which attract a surcharge are La Champagne and Seishin. In the former no free wines are served, but you can either take the (expensive) wine pairing, or select from the chargeable wine list. I saw nobody take the pairing and the wine list had good wines at better-than-expected prices. The food was very good and we went twice. Seishin is Japanese-themed, we went once and were less-impressed. It was a good facsimile of Japanese food, but perhaps it's not possible to get the real ingredients so the sashimi had an unusual texture, red radish was used instead of daikon .. etc. The overall impression from the people who went there we talked to was that it was ok, but not stellar and I know of nobody who went twice. You can have the complimentary wines there or take a sake pairing, as a sake drinker I tried that, it wasn't bad. Stars is a supper club where they serve small morsels of food over the course of several hours. We didn't try it, the people we spoke to who did were mostly a little unhappy with the slow speed and small amounts of food. By 10pm one group we spoke to had had 3 mouthfuls each and gave up. We don't lunch a lot so we skipped most of the lunch buffets. We did however keep an eye on the menu and there was one occasion we asked the staff to keep a portion of the lunch back for dinner because we liked it better than the dinner menu. They were only too happy to oblige. We also asked for things from the restaurant or off the room service menu to be served at the pool and it was never an issue. That's Silversea for you, they try to say yes. House champagne was Drappier, we drank our fair share of it, it's fine. Generally we thought the quality of the wines was a step up from our last Silversea cruise too, everything very drinkable, some quite nice and we requested those we liked the most on later days. StaffStaff make Silversea. They are all well trained and helpful. They really honestly try to honour all your requests. I can't say much more about them except that they continue to be the basic reason we cruise Silversea. Silversea recently introduced 'all butler' service, I'm not sure we really got that much out of that. It was often easier (and less error-prone) to make reservations for the restaurants directly instead of using the overworked butler trying to deal with a corridor of guests. Ours was very nice, but calling him a butler is really more marketing than fact, he's a well-trained cabin steward. Spa/GymThe gym was just about big enough with just about enough equipment that you could find time to use it even on sea days. The spa, as has ever been the case, was professional and peaceful, but not the best value for money. The world cruisers who'd been on for a while had taken to looking up spas in the ports of call and going there. Ports of Call and ExcursionsOn a trip from Singapore to Dubai the ports of call are somewhat limited, they don't all perhaps have a proper passenger cruise terminal. However there was a constant grumble (again from the world cruisers who had been on for months) that the ship continually docked at container ports or very old run-down passenger terminals and a suggestion that Silversea was cutting costs here. We didn't take any of the ship excursions this time, they are pretty expensive. Some people seemed to get a lot out of them, some people thought them not good value for money. We'd like to cruise Silversea somewhere in the world there's more of a cruising culture to see where they dock, we'd probably get off the ship more often; we were generally more than happy to stay on when everyone else got off. EntertainmentThe entertainment didn't excite us much, we went to a show with a magician which was great, didn't watch any others. Most people seemed to give them quite good marks. The on-board lecturers were one good, one not very good at all. OverallWonderful. We totally relaxed, we had a great time, we'd have stayed on the ship another month if we could have. The Silver Spirit does feel like part of the Silversea family, it's not perfect, but the flaws are few and mostly to do with not having quite enough room in the public spaces. Food was good, wine was good and service was excellent in every way. We will definitely cruise Silversea again and thought this cruise was better than our last one and will enjoy both the larger Spirit and the smaller original sisters in future. Silversea, if you build another larger ship, please make it just a little bit larger for the same number of suites, or pack in a few less suites so the ship feels as uncrowded as the original ships do. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
First things first. We are Seabourn fanatics and have sailed on month long voyages with Seaboun. I thought I'd share my comments about Silver Spirit that we sailed on for Christmas and NYE. We started cruising on the larger, ... Read More
First things first. We are Seabourn fanatics and have sailed on month long voyages with Seaboun. I thought I'd share my comments about Silver Spirit that we sailed on for Christmas and NYE. We started cruising on the larger, bigger (low scale) lines such as Princess, P&O, NCL and RCCL we then found Seabourn and became instantly hooked. I've written a few reviews on Seabourn Legend if you want to read them. Silver Spirit was a choice that we made last year due to the heavy discounting that Seabourn could not match. It was a difficult decision to make, and we do prefer the smaller ships. On boarding, we were amazed at the quality of the inside of the ship, something that Seabourn Legend of course (due to age) hasn't got. The space per passenger was higher than we had anticipated and we were impressed by the way the ship was laid out (with the accommodation at the front, and the entertainment and dining areas at the back). Our cabins were superb, I can't fault the cabins on this ship, the only negative thing I could find, was they were narrow by the bed, potentially making it difficult to navigate to the lounge area (not a problem for me, but for an older person) We have had amazing service on Seabourn before, and we were interested in the Butler service that Silversea offered. Unfortunatley for me, this proved to be a real let down. My butler was very friendly and efficient, but couldn't see his relevance (apart to restock my bar and pick up laundry). He was always calling my name and after a while, this became annoying. My cabin steward did his job well, but he could have done the job of a butler(maybe I missed something in the 14 nights!) saying that.. they had lots of cabins to attend to, so overloading the poor room steward probably isn't a good idea! We tried "Le Champagne" and we were impressed by the level of service offered, it was a totally different dining experience, however be warned.. $200 is a lot of extra money that is really spent on wine, not food! You can dine here for an additional $30pp, plus buy a bottle from their wine list (this brings down the cost considerably.) The main dining room was always busy, we dined on table of 3 every night, with the same waiters. Our opinion of the food is that it's pretty much identical, however.. SEABOURN wins with the desserts. We found that the desserts consisted mainly of "mousse" and were not to our taste (we are European and Australian!) Coffee on board was HORRID.. Any Europeans will be disappointed! The bar service was great, again very little to distinguish between Silversea and Seabourn. Your drinks were always complimentary and replenished as and when required. To be fair, we need to travel on the newer Seabourn ships to give an accurate account of any differences. We did enjoy our cruise, and wouldn't hesitate to go back in a heartbeat. There was one negative about our cruise, my Mother and Grandmother were in a disabled cabin, and it STANK, not just a little, but enough to make you vomit at night. We made several complaints to various people, but it was never resolved whilst on board. We are not complainers AT ALL.. but this kind of spoilt the holiday for them. Silversea did compensate us post voyage after writing to them to be fair. We are booked again on Seabourn Legend in September of this year, and it will be an interesting comparison again. Any questions, please feel free to email me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
Excitement and trepidation ran through our veins before setting off to Barbados. Never having been to the Caribbean, or on a cruise before, this was a holiday of firsts. We arrived at the embarkation point very tired and distinctly hot ... Read More
Excitement and trepidation ran through our veins before setting off to Barbados. Never having been to the Caribbean, or on a cruise before, this was a holiday of firsts. We arrived at the embarkation point very tired and distinctly hot and sweaty, only to be confronted with some minor admin hitches which did not improve tempers. In retrospect it would have been much better to fly a few days before the cruise departed to give us time to get over jetlag, and to make the most of the first day on board the magnificent Silver Spirit. As it was, we arrived on boad just as the drill was being called and we had no time to shower and change, let alone sample some of the champagne in our suite! We had a mid ship verhandah and it was spacious and well appointed with some very thoughtful details in the layout. The food was always extremely good, and the choices of restaurants were more than acceptable. We did not choose to use those that had a premium attached to them as we spent all of our on board credit on shore excursions. Menus varied pleasingly, the staff were unfailingly freindly, helpful and polite. Hot Rocks was fun and very tasty, but the menu was the only one that did not change that much at all. Shore excursions were varied and we enjoyed the more active ones - river tubing etc. This was very much more active than anyone had been led to expect, and I strongly suggest that if you do it (it is great fun), you wear shoes, and don't wear anything you are not prepared to lose. White water rapids the whole way! We are not formal people and managed to avoid the formal nights by not going to the main restaurant on the two formal nights, we ate elsewhere. How can you fault a fantastic operation like the Silver Spirit, it was simply magnificent. If I had any compaints at all then they are churlish - the fact that I really do not know what to do with a butler, lovely though he was, room service would have been fine! By the end of our 9 nights we were ready to go back to the real world and step out of all the luxury. To work out whether we could still mix our own G&Ts or carry our own plates to the table etc. 5-6 course meals, champagne, endless cocktails, butlers, deluxe chocolates, uber comfy beds, private balcony, fancy toiletries, endlessly cheerful and polite crew. Goodness, I think I need to go and pick up a bag of salad and some mineral water from Morrisons and experience the joys of the surly check out staff, get back to real life again, I am exhausted from all that indulgence! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2010
Background Information: My review describes the Silver Spirit on her 14 day transatlantic voyage from Lisbon to Bridgetown, Barbados, October 2010. I flew from Sydney to Lisbon and had 4 nights at the Hotel Avenida Palace. This ... Read More
Background Information: My review describes the Silver Spirit on her 14 day transatlantic voyage from Lisbon to Bridgetown, Barbados, October 2010. I flew from Sydney to Lisbon and had 4 nights at the Hotel Avenida Palace. This hotel is stunning. The public rooms have beautiful stained glass windows and magnificent chandeliers. My single room was a good size with 2 twin beds, a decent sized bathroom and the location was excellent. Easy walk to the main squares and next door to the railway station to Sintra. If I had the opportunity in the future, I would definitely stay at the Avenida Palace. A Cruise Critic get-together had been organised at the Marriott Hotel for the night before embarkation. This function was well attended and we all had a great time getting to know each other. This set the scene for an excellent cruise. Travel To Port of Embarkation: Embarkation was quick and easy. Charlie and I checked out of the hotel and got a car to the port at around 12pm. Our luggage was taken immediately and we were shown where to check-in. From there, it was a short walk to the ship where we were welcomed onboard and had our picture taken. A number of CC friends arrived around the same time and after a short wait, we had a very nice lunch, the first of many, in The Restaurant. Ship Info: I loved the ship. My favourite place was the Panorama Lounge which has incredibly comfortable armchairs and a lovely outside area with lounges and day beds. I also loved the Bar. Our group of 10 met there every evening for drinks. The only place I didn't like was the spa/gym area. The spa, in my opinion, was way too big and the gym, way too small. The area aft with the spa was lovely but there is a $25/day charge for it. The pool area is nice however the running/walking track is very short unless you walk the whole deck and on hot sunny days was very difficult because of all the lounge chairs in the way. I don't worship the sun so I didn't use the pool area, although I had several nice lunches at the tables on the pool deck. The pool deck did get crowded particularly on the sea days. The Observation Lounge was beautiful but very under utilised. It's almost like you forget it's there and seems to be more like a private lounge for the Silver Suites. It was a lovely venue for a get-together for all the passengers who were continuing on the Barbados round trip. If I remember correctly, we had 465 passengers on board. We also had a get-together for all the CC members who had registered on the roll call. This was held in Stars and was a morning tea affair. Hotel Director, Paolo, had organised for invitations to go out the previous night and we had 28 people attend. Roll call meet and greets are a fantastic way to meet fellow passengers. Stateroom: For the first time ever, I had a balcony and I loved it. This was due to Silversea's very reasonable single supplement of 125% (which probably won't happen again at anytime soon!!). My suite, 610, was lovely. The bed and pillows were so comfortable that most mornings I didn't want to leave my bed. I loved the TV screens in the mirrors and the ability to watch a movie on demand - a choice of over 400. The bathroom was fabulous with the full length bath and rainforest shower head. The tap and basin were a little odd but once I got used to it, was fine. The balcony was fabulous, much wider than I expected and the chair and foot stool were very comfortable. I often had a Bellini and cheese platter out on my balcony. It was great. My butler was Andung/Indonesia and my cabin attendant was Dalfon/Philippines. They were both very nice. I was not asked if I wanted the unpacking service, so I unpacked myself. I had been in my room for several hours before Andung came to offer me the toiletries (I chose the Ferragamo). I really didn't need a butler, I'm such a low maintenance cruiser but he was very pleasant and always brought my breakfast on time and with a smile. After my long bus trip back from Marrakesh, Andung had drawn a bubble bath for me. When I walked into my bathroom, there were lots of little battery-operated candles and heaps of bubbles. It was a gorgeous surprise. Dining: I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I had one dud meal on the cruise and it was the Kansas beef. I asked for it rare but it came pretty much with its heart still beating - it wasn't nice at all. Everything else was yum. I had breakfast in bed every morning. We often went to the Restaurant for lunch and later in the cruise, La Terrazza, for lunch. I tried every option for dinner: The Restaurant, La Terrazza, Seishin, Le Champagne, Stars and the Hot Rocks grill which we re-named the Hot Rocks Cafe. The Restaurant: interesting menus and lots of seafood which I love. Also the lamb chops were brilliant - from Australia (of course!). Desserts (and I'm a huge dessert fan) were spectacular. La Terrazza: I had my best ever pasta dish there. It was long pasta in a cheese and pepper sauce and it was to die for. I dined at LT 3 times and each time I had this delightful meal. LT was great for lunch as well, there is a lovely al fresco area on the aft deck (bigger than the other ships) and the buffet area has plenty of room to manoeuvre and choose food. I don't normally do buffets on cruise ships because they tend to be like cafeterias but this was very orderly. Seishin: the night we dined at Seishin, it was full, no spare tables at all. I chose the degustation menu for $40 and it was huge. 8 or so courses and I thoroughly enjoyed each course. With Seishin, although I liked the food, it was a case of been there, done that so won't go again next time. Le Champagne: the theme for our night was "Flavours of the Fall" which included mushrooms of various types and truffles. Venison was the main course and I hadn't eaten it in a long time because I felt it was like eating Bambi, however, this venison was so tender that I quickly forgot all about Bambi and got stuck into it. I was glad to have tried Le Champagne but I won't do it again. Stars: Dining at Stars started at around 9pm or so. I cheated and had some dinner in my room first so wasn't all that hungry, however the little dishes of tapas were yummy and well presented. We had a table of 8 and we were fairly rowdy (in fact everywhere we dined we were rowdy). I don't remember anything about the singer - maybe I had too many Bellinis! Hot Rocks Cafe: I loved this venue. We dined here several times and each time I had the Aussie lamb chops and the Madagascar prawns. It was so much fun cooking the food on the hot stone plates. One night it was very windy but that didn't stop us having fun. A lovely afternoon tea service was held daily in La Terrazza offering all types of tea (or coffee). One afternoon there was an incredible chocolate buffet. It was delightful. Service: Lunch service was always excellent however the dinner service in The Restaurant was a little lack lustre for Silversea. I think this may have been because we always had a table of 10 and it is difficult to wait on a large table and perhaps there just isn't enough waiters. However on our last night, it took nearly 3 hours to eat. On the subject of drinks, the service in the Bar and Panorama Lounge was always excellent. All the staff members were friendly and would do their best to provide your request. Activities: Besides all the eating and drinking, trivia was my favourite activity. My team was focused and we did very well because we had a variety of nations represented: Australia, USA, Canada, Bahamas, England and Ireland. During our sea days across the Atlantic, we had trivia twice a day and I never missed it. I also got hooked on Bingo and played it every day. There were a lot of other activities like language classes, enrichment lectures, boat building (go Bernard!), fitness classes (I only did one in the whole 21 days and that was a stretch class!). I found that most of my time was spent relaxing and chatting with my new found friends. Port & Shore Excursions: I enjoyed my shore excursions in Tangier (Cap Spartel) and the full day trip to Marrakesh. Although the bus ride is long, don't miss Marrakesh. It was fascinating, especially roaming through the medina, seeing the tiny alleyways and shop fronts. The major problem there is the hawkers, they never leave you alone and are constantly in your face. One guy followed me the whole way and kept telling me he was sure I was a movie star! Very corny but it gets annoying so be prepared. I did the fire mountains tour to see the lunar and volcanic landscape in Arrecife. It was so amazing. There was a camel ride which was lots of fun as well as a visit to a winery to view the unorthodox method of grape growing on the mountainside. There was also a wine tasting. In Tenerife, I did the tour to the Orotavo Valley and Puerto De La Cruz. We had a few stops for photo opportunities and a walk around the town which was right on the water. On the way back to the ship, we stopped off at a beautiful Orchid Garden. It was in Tenerife that our dear friend Charlie was taken off the ship and to hospital. He was very ill in intensive care and I was able to get frequent updates from the Hotel Director as the ship was in constant contact with the hospital. I'm pleased to say that Charlie is doing much better now but we sure did miss him and his sense of humour. Six glorious sea days across the Atlantic, sunny, warm and calm. Next port of call was Antigua. Since I'd already been here some years ago, I didn't do an excursion. Instead, a group of us wandered around the town but came back to the ship because of a huge downpour. As we had been following Hurricane Tomas, we were unable to call into St Lucia so Dominica was the substituted port. It rained very heavily in the morning and in the afternoon I got off the ship and bought a fridge magnet. We were docked out of town because this was an unscheduled stop - I think it was one of the Royal Caribbean ships that was docked in town. Entertainment: For the first time ever on a cruise, I only went to one show and that was Aquarius. I enjoyed it immensely because I love the music from that era. I didn't make any of the other shows because we were always too late - our dining usually finished around 1030pm and then a few of us would go to the Panorama Lounge for more cocktails and dancing with the DJ playing his favourite playlists - although it got a bit boring because he played the same thing nearly every night. After reading RonMathMD's review of this cruise, I have to disagree that they were the youngest on the ship. Two in our group were in their late twenties/early thirties and were always in the Panorama Lounge each night dancing to the music. Disembarkation: I didn't leave the ship as I was doing the next cruise, round trip Barbados. Disembarkation was very sad as all my friends (except for PhilipB) had to leave. During our next 7 days, Philip and I continually talked about how much we missed them. Summary: When summing up my experience, what comes to mind is not that the gym was crap or the suites not wide enough, it was the remarkable people that I met. I want to thank all my Silver Spirit friends for their wonderful friendship during those 14 days. I will look back fondly and remember our good times. I hope that we will have the opportunity to sail again in the not too distant future. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We embarked in Barcelona at around 2pm and were in our stateroom with 15 minutes of getting on the ship. Wonderful freindly reception from quayside to cabin. The stateroom was midship veranda and beautifully laid out with ample ... Read More
We embarked in Barcelona at around 2pm and were in our stateroom with 15 minutes of getting on the ship. Wonderful freindly reception from quayside to cabin. The stateroom was midship veranda and beautifully laid out with ample storage (more than we have had on any other cruise line). Really neat ideas like the mirrors which 'secretly' housed the tvs in the bedroom and sitting area. Full size seperate shower etc etc, but I have to say that the wash basin tap was a strange choice for installation. Impossible to turn on (even when you really concentrated) without turning it the wrong way or spraying yourself and the mirror. You have to try it understand what I am saying. We were waitlisted for a Silver Suite and were moved to one after three days and sadly I have to say that although there was much more space the mod cons of the veranda suite were much better than the Silver Suite which had a very strange combination of storage and ordinary free standing tvs and DVD player. The ship was hoovered within an inch of it's life all the time we were on it. Immaculate!! Crew were friendly and helpful throughout the ship and Officers were always on show. Fernado, the Cruise Director was just brilliant, absolutely perfect for the job! The food was wonderful in all the restaurants we ate in although Stars was not as good as the rest but had great entertainment to watch as you dined. We did no excursions this time but got off at each port and explored on our own which was very relaxing. We had 6 ports of call and not another ship was in dock on the same day as ours other than on embarkation in Barcelona which made a really refreshing change from the normal 4000 to 5000+ people hitting the same destination each time you dock. We expected this cruise to be good but it turned out to be way above our expectations! We are now Silversea convertees and are looking to book another cruise with them around the Caribbean late winter/early spring. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
My wife and I have been cruising for the last 15 years and have most recently sailed with Cunard, Saga, and Regent SS. This was our first Silversea and, unlike practically all our previous cruises was very short - only 7 days and very port ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising for the last 15 years and have most recently sailed with Cunard, Saga, and Regent SS. This was our first Silversea and, unlike practically all our previous cruises was very short - only 7 days and very port intensive. We used the flight package and everything went to plan. The transfer to the ship at Lisbon was a bit slow in leaving the airport but embarkation was fast and painless. Luggage arrived in our cabin (stateroom?) very quickly. Our cabin was a midship veranda and we found it totally to our liking. Our butler took the order for in-cabin drinks - the only minor gripe is that I could not get my usual Macallan - and any replenishment of soft drinks/ mixers was spot on. All the staff on board were excellent - particularly good at remembering our name - the CD, Fernando was absolutely first class. We did not use any of the extra charge restaurants as we feel that on a ship of this class no extra charges should be applied. Our favourite dining option was Hot Rocks Grill, followed by La Terazza. The dining room was not particularly to our liking - a bit too soulless. We did not try Stars as we ran out of time! We took 2 paid for shore excursions and although they were OK, we thought they were grossly overpriced. By far the most enjoyable trip was to the local market in Marbella with the executive chef (Marcus) and his boss (David?). A group of about 12 passengers had signed up to this (free!) trip and we all enjoyed watching the chefs buying local produce and then, later in the afternoon, cooking it for us to sample. We did not take part in any of the activities as every day bar one was a sea day. We were not really aware of any "enrichment" programme other than a pretty poor port talk. We did not use the Spa at all - no time! Disembarkation was fine, although we were dumped at Nice airport even before the check-in had opened and our flights back to Edinburgh via Heathrow were good. To sum up, we really enjoyed our first Silversea experience although we prefer longer cruises with more sea days. would we cruire again on Silver Spirit? absolutely YES! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
We all look forward to our holiday and cruising is no exceptions,having cruised with RCL, Norwegian, and silver seas. Spirit was a breath of fresh air, but you do pay, was it worth it yes I think so.Boarding was quick and pleasant ... Read More
We all look forward to our holiday and cruising is no exceptions,having cruised with RCL, Norwegian, and silver seas. Spirit was a breath of fresh air, but you do pay, was it worth it yes I think so.Boarding was quick and pleasant little to efficient and the personal touch was missing. Suite was very nice with comfortable Queen bed, plenty of storage, nice bathroom with large shower for a ship, large TV. Clean. Dining well probably the best we have encountered every restaurant had top quality produce, wonderful cooked, if you are not happy with the wine being served, say white is offered and you want french red it will be changed with an apologies within two minutes, the weighting staff try very hard to please. The odd floor head waiter will avoid eye contact so as not to have to get involved with the serving or clearing of plates but a minor issue. In these instances looking back we should have been more pointed in our requirement and directed it to the head waiter. again this was not on every occasion just the odd time. This is probably the only failing on this wonderful ship, you felt you had to ask on various occasions rather than be offered. The grill is wonderful, we booked twice on the second occasion the officer in charge went out of his way to accommodate my wife in her table requirement's very considerate. On the menu Madagascan prawn's, various stakes were listed prawns when they arrived probably red sea ( cheaper ) the taste is markedly different not Madagascan. Apparently the trailer arrived late and not delivered ummm !small item but let the night down a little. Stars great dinning with piano and soft singer, this young lady who also did our Corinth canal trip was great. Could not fault the dinning anywhere apart from this one issue with the prawns. Room butler, well we got the impression he had been on the ship to long and was a bit fed up with all these guests. Didn't really go out of his way to explain or assist us. Did the basics no more no less. If you want any drinks or snacks ask, some times it can feel a little off when you are not paying, but you have, so if staff do not approach you, you approach them. This was with the butler and prawns the only criticism of silver spirit and should not be taken out of context. All excursion are very good knowledgeable staff uncrowded transport timely and relaxed. Spar OK But very noisy with some Northern states people talking around the cubicles loudly. Leaving the ship in Athens was a big let down, once you pass to the luggage hall and external handling staff, we could not find a agent ended up outside the luggage hall with no advice being harassed by taxi drivers but had transfers with silver seas, in the end we could not get back doc side to get our transport and just got a taxi, this was refunded at the hotel by the shore representative but that's not the point. big improvement required. we could have left the ship earlier and got our own taxi rather than hang around for an hour and a half. This is still a lovely cruise with, few the wrinkles ironed out and it would be perfect. 2011 Seaborne lets see how they stack up. RCL Best value cruise Silver spirit best cruise by far to date Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Once we got off the plane and were greeted by the ground staff at LAX, we knew we were on Silversea! The representative stayed with us until we collected our luggage and then put us in a taxi to take us to the pier, but not before ... Read More
Once we got off the plane and were greeted by the ground staff at LAX, we knew we were on Silversea! The representative stayed with us until we collected our luggage and then put us in a taxi to take us to the pier, but not before reminding us that the fare and the tip were all taken care of. We walked up the gangway and were enthusiastically welcomed with hot towels and champagne. One step over to reception to turn in passports and have our ID photo taken and then we were escorted to our suite. The new Spirit is beautiful. It is modern yet the colors and furnishings are muted and elegant. This is a completely different experience from the other Silversea ships and is a wonderful alternative. We were in a verandah suite and were prepared that it would be "different" from other Silversea ships. Yes, the verandah suite is narrower, the hallway is only wide enough for one person at a time and the staff is challenged to get their large serving trays through, but it is not a negative. The suite itself is roomy and the furnishings are perfectly proportioned to the room. One can't help but get a kick out of the televisions that magically appear from behind the mirrors in the sitting area as well as the sleeping area. There is tons of storage with lots of nooks and crannies. The walk-in closet seems smaller than on other Silversea vessels, but it is certainly adequate. Also in the closet is a "chest of drawers", that is wide and deep as well as a safe. The bathroom is lovely. The marble and wood floors are elegant as is the wood cabinetry. While some miss the double sinks, we love the large vessel sink (we're not in the bathroom at the same time anyway!) There is a full sized tub as well as a large shower with both a conventional hand held shower as well as a rain shower from the ceiling that is absolute heaven. The teak verandah is larger than on other Silversea ships and has two very comfortable chairs that convert to full loungers, two foot stools, and a nice sized table. The bath sheets were fluffy and the bed linens were silky. Our outstanding cabin stewardess, Gemma (the best we have had on any Silversea ship), changed the sheets every day because she didn't like that they wrinkled! We personally preferred the new Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries to the Bulgari and the former Aqua Di Parma. There have been numerous blogs and posts about the "growing pains" endured by past passengers as the Spirit gets its act together. Like anything new, sometimes you don't know what doesn't work until you use it. Unlike those who have sailed before us, we found the Spirit to be absolutely up to par with all the other ships in the fleet. The service has been outstanding, the crew amazing and positive, and the new venues different and fun. The Spirit is different from others in the fleet and how fortunate that we have another choice. We did have a service issue with our butler, but it got resolved on the second day of the cruise. Our butler was new to the ship; he embarked with us in LA. He was a disaster after our first breakfast and we knew this was not going to work. We decided to deal with it immediately, rather than give him a chance to get oriented - after all it was our vacation and we are not here to train him. After 3 incidents of poor service (although he was polite and apologetic) we called reception and left a message with Oliver who oversees all butlers. We were impressed that not more than 5 minutes after our call, Oliver was at our suite and asked if he could come in and speak with us. He wanted to hear every detail and never made an excuse. He told us our experience was unacceptable and informed us that he was going to assign a seasoned butler to take care of us for the remainder of our journey. He also told us that he would have our former butler more closely shadowed to insure he gets up to speed quickly. We were really impressed with Oliver. And our new butler, Emilia, was FANTASTIC! I must also say that every time we saw our "former" butler he still greeted us with a smile and a warm greeting every time he saw us in the corridor. Every crew member has been friendly, calling us by name and giving perfect Silversea service. It seems that they are, indeed, stretched too thin, but they are working very hard to accommodate all passengers. We have enjoyed the food and would rate it from mostly very good, some excellent, and a few misses. We tried every dining venue. The main dining room is not well designed and lacks the elegance other Silversea ships. The ceiling is also very low which gives it a more casual feel. It is difficult for the wait staff to maneuver around the dining room in very narrow paths, and gone is the carving trolley—no room. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to get the cheese trolley around after dinner so waiters often try to ask you to order cheese rather than select it. We have breakfast in our suite almost every morning and it has been very nice, but I think that has more to do with our butler than the dining room. We are not big on buffets and were only in La Terraza a couple of times for breakfast and only once for lunch. However, those experiences were very good ones. The pool grill was great for casual poolside lunches. We found La Champagne to be an extreme disappointment both in the menu and the quality of the food. However Marcello is an amazing maitre d' and his wine selections are stellar—and reasonable! La Terraza at night was outstanding on all three occasions when we dined there. The food, service, and ambience were great. We really tried to like Hot Rocks Grill! It is just awkward to have a hot, sizzling stone in front of you while eating. We liked being able to cook our entrees (we both had filet mignon and tiger prawns) and keep them warm, but our faces were steaming from the heat off the stone and we were always afraid we were going to burn ourselves! But it sure is a great concept—I just wish it worked better. Stars was great. There was plenty of food and it was creative, fun, and original. The entertainment in Stars was outstanding. Seishin was another disappointment. The sushi and sashimi were good, the rest of the dishes were poor. The lobster was in a consumE and lacked flavor and the Kobe (Wagyu) beef was a huge disappointment. This was our third time through the canal but our first time taking any of the ships excursions. We were extremely pleased with the excursion staff. They were ever-present and helpful. The pool deck was always full (the weather was great) but never felt crowded. There appeared to be room for everyone. We never had a problem getting a table at the pool for lunch either. The service at the pool was excellent and there was always someone around to check on you. All of the public rooms were very nicely furnished and comfortable. We spent time each day in the Panorama Lounge and very much enjoyed the outside sitting area there as well. Again, there was always plenty of room and there was always a friendly server nearby. We also enjoyed the Observation Lounge on deck 11. The computer center/library is indeed small, but we never found it to be a problem (I had my own laptop, so I can't say whether or not there were enough computers available.) We were in The Bar every evening before dinner and had great drinks and conversation before dinner. Sometimes it was crowded, but it was never a problem. The real problem was that we never got to dinner before 8:30 so we never made it to any of the shows! Yes, there is the early show at 6:15, but we didn't want to get dressed just to go to the show. That was just our choice. I can't speak from personal experience, but I heard that some of the guest entertainers on board were excellent, while the production shows were weak. Disembarkation was a breeze. It was well organized, unhurried, and there were lots of Silversea staff both on the ship and on the shore to assist people. This was our first time using Silversea air and transfers and we were very impressed with how the transfers were handled. There were representatives with us on the bus to the airport and they managed the luggage, and secured (and tipped) porters. In summary, we had a grand experience on the new Spirit. We think that she is a wonderful alternative and a new and different Silversea experience. In our humble opinions, they should do away with the "specialty" restaurants if they are going to continue to charge a premium ("reservation fee") - the food was not special enough to warrant an extra fee. However, we really liked having so many choices in dining. The staff is stretched a bit too thin (perhaps management will be looking at this for the future), but every crew member had the Silversea "spirit" (pun intended) and provided the kind of excellent service we expect from this line. Read Less
Silver Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 2.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates N/A 4.0

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