7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I am just off my second Silversea cruise of the year. First was Alaska from Anchorage (Seward) to Vancouver (7 days) aboard the Silver Shadow, and the latest on the Silver Spirit round trip from Fort Lauderdale (11 days). Silversea ... Read More
I am just off my second Silversea cruise of the year. First was Alaska from Anchorage (Seward) to Vancouver (7 days) aboard the Silver Shadow, and the latest on the Silver Spirit round trip from Fort Lauderdale (11 days). Silversea run nearly a flawless high end all inclusive cruise experience. I cannot imagine Seabourn, Crystal, Regent or the others in this category being any better. I am hesitant to try them out because Silverseas is so good. The Silverseas experience starts with embarkation, which is usually a nightmare on bigger cruise lines. They manage the logistics perfectly. A color coded embarkation system is used to insure there are no lines, no waiting and your luggage is in your suite when you arrive. There you are greeted by your butler. Your butler will do stuff for you then, like unpack your clothes, but you really want to do that your self. The only thing to use him for upon arrival is for him to grab you a bottle of champagne to sip on your veranda while you sail out of port. The butler will come in handy later. Your basic Veranda suite is a marvel of design, space is utilized perfectly. There is a huge walk-closet, and enough nooks, crannies, drawers, shelves to fit everything. (Tip-your suitcases fit under the bed). The bathrooms are astounding-walk in showers, a full size tub, and marble everywhere. It all works. The suite is about 375 square feet which, given its layout, can handle a trip of up to 4 weeks, without you going stir crazy. For me, a veranda is a must, sitting out there with a bottle of champagne as you enter and exit ports is an experience like few others. No complaints, they get a perfect 10. There is one major tip about booking. After deciding on a cruise book early, so you can select the exact stateroom you want. Study the ships deck plans very carefully. You want to avoid the following-cabins near elevators, cabins that are on hallways leading to various venues, particularly restaurants, these will be subject to alien noise, like other passengers talking or singing while walking down hallways. Otherwise your rooms are quiet as tombs. Another (tip) is select a cabin mid-ship not fore or aft. Cabins in the front and rear of the boat are more subject to pitch and roll. I didn’t think this would be a factor on a winter Caribbean cruise but I was way wrong. For three days we were in the midst of 8-12 waves which caused the cancellation of the entirety of one stop, the Turks and Caicos, and the cancellation of particular excursions in other ports. No trip from Tortola across to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, 30 years ago one of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in the Islands. I really wanted to see if it had been ruined by development. And no golf in Punta Cana, the sea was too rough to tender (the use of small boats to get from ship to pier if the port has no dock large enough to handle even a small cruise ship). Another factor in booking your cruise early is Silversea's has an early reservation policy for its restaurants other than the main dining room, fittingly called The Restaurant. On both my ships, there was a fancier, Relais&Chateaux room, called Le Champagne, offering multi-course menu at a surcharge of $40 per person, and La Terrazza, offering an Italian menu for no extra charge. The Silver Spirit also had a pool side restaurant called the Grill, and a Japanese restaurant called Seishin, this again for a $40 per person surcharge. La Terraza was the best, it had superb pasta, even its risottos were creamy and al dente, a feat hard to pull off in a small restaurant on land, let alone a 100+ seat restaurant on the a ship. The food at Le Champagne wasn’t much better than the Restaurant, (tip-you can order 7 courses there if that’s what you want). Seishin came in #2, it had excellent sushi and sashimi, as well as real treats like Waygu beef. On a 7 night cruise I would book La Terrazza for 3 nights. I perhaps would book Le Champagne on formal night, just to be ritzier. I wouldn’t book the Grill again at all, there you cook your own food on a hot rock. Too much work. Be advised that Silverseas has a dress code for its dining rooms. On a formal night, which I find to be a nice old school tradition, about 50% of the men wore tuxedos, the other wore dark business suits which is fine. Then they have what they call informal and casual nights. Informal means a sport coat and long pants, casual means a sport shirt and slacks. Shorts are banned after 6:00 PM. They will send you back to your room to change if you have shorts on, and will offer you a sport coat if needed on an informal night if you don’t want to make the trek back to your room to get a jacket. Some may find this stuffy, I didn’t, it adds a bit of elegance to the experience. A final word on early booking. Get trip insurance, it minimizes the risks of booking well in advance and gives considerable peace of mind. Naturally all this pampering doesn’t come cheap. It is expensive. But these days no more so than high end Caribbean resorts. Places like Cannel Bay, Jade Mountain and Dorado Beach are running $1200+ a day, and this without food and alcohol. The all-inclusive approach works well. On Silverseas the Champagne they serve, for example, is the real thing, an off label of Piper-Heidsieck called Monopole, which you can drink all day if you wish. It retails for around $40 a bottle in the US. Silverseas does not go cheap and cut corners. In the dining rooms you are served lobster, filets, rack of lambs, veal, and other high end entrees. The food is uniformly very good but not great. I had better food traveling in the Queen’s Grill class on Cunard. But as a British actor who I became acquainted with on this cruise said, he was on a 4 week leg, his bar bill on Cunard was $9000 for 4 weeks. They liked free champagne at lunch. So will you. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We have sailed in the Med numerous times and wanted to experience the Adriatic. While we planned on traveling during the summer months few ships offered great locations literally every day of the voyage. This was our first time on Silver ... Read More
We have sailed in the Med numerous times and wanted to experience the Adriatic. While we planned on traveling during the summer months few ships offered great locations literally every day of the voyage. This was our first time on Silver Sea and we were very pleased. Embarkation and disembarkation were uneventful/very smooth. Silver Spirit: The ship is luxurious and small- although there were 550 passengers and nearly same amount of staff, it always felt empty except on the pool deck. BONUS: in addition to cleaning service, the ship has irons, washer/dryer and soap on each floor at no cost. While some of the passengers were extremely rude about using them (in particular a rude Brit who took the soap scoop from one floor to another leaving them without a scoop, rather than just asking the ever-present butlers for one) it was a welcome addition since we traveled prior to the cruise and had a chance to clean some personal items. Enrichment and activities: SS includes some on-shore activities activities and they are adequate if you have never been to the ports. Clive and his staff were really accomodating- especially watching them handle "difficult" passenger who decided to just "join" tours even though they didnt have the courtesy to sign up as the rest of us did. We purchased some excursions- some better than others. Hvar, Dubrovnik, Venice, Split, Zadar, Treiste, Ravenna were lovely. Tried a day tour "Flavours of Montenegro (Kotor)", spent 5 hours in a car and 1 hour each at two RUSTIC family wineries/homes. WONDERFUL people but I cannot imagine that there aren't locations closer than two hours from the port. For $300 it was definitely not worth it. Additionally, we visited Albania- not ready for prime time. Not surprising due to the cost of this cruise, the average age is approx 65 (although there are MANY couples in their 30's, 40'sand 50's and quite a few infants and teenagers) there is NO music on the pool deck or anywhere on the ship. It was SO boring. There has to be a way to have some sort of "beachy" music. I resorted to my ipad. The people likely to complain can't hear it anyway so whats the big deal? FOOD: Every meal was delicious. Waitstaff were all wonderful. Eat at Sheishin for lunch: no charge and the meal is nice. Restaurant serves wonderful meals EVERYTIME. LaTerrazza is good but once is enough-their pesto pasta and bolognese are the best I have ever eaten. The Grill was great- ensure you try the shrimps which were fabulous. LeChampagne- while its an $80 upcharge, is perhaps one of the finest meals we have every experienced anywhere. Deon and Anastasia were certain to please. The only drawback is that there is no food served between 3:30-6pm unless you order room service. Recognize the ship is small but unless you enjoy high tea, you have to eat in your room in the afternoon if you get snacky. One evening event, "Death By Chocolate" was incredible. Make sure you ask what day it takes place. Had a wonderful head waiter, Taiphun, not told us about it, we would have surely missed it. Unfortunately, they used to have a "BBQ under the Stars" but apparently USDA (AKA US bureaucrats) shut it down. What a shame. PS: TOP SHELF liquor and nice wines included. If you don't like the wine they recommend ask for alternatives, which they will provide at no cost- Emily, the sommolier, was sweet and found us what we preferred every time. Finally, the only other areas for improvement would be more on-board events. Even a simple cooking class in the afternoon would be welcome. We went to the "Asian medical improvement" and the presenter was a no-show- too bad the ship didn't even mention it a we were sitting in the area with the sign. While the entertainment staff tried their best, it was boring. Can't believe that every night its the same plan: piano duo on pool deck, followed by the show, followed by lounge entertainment (Lou was great!), followed by the entertainment staff in the lounge...wow. We actually crashed early a few nights because we were desperate for some entertainment and the movie channel was the best we could do.... One final shout-out to the staff- they put Disney (AKA Happiest place on Earth) to shame. Too many to name but every one was wonderful. In summary, would we do it again? Absolutely! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Silversea was highly recommended by a good friend who is very experienced. I traveled alone, had a lovely veranda cabin with a roomy stateroom with a walk-in closet, bathroom with bath and shower, 2 TVs, sitting area, mini bar, 24/7 room ... Read More
Silversea was highly recommended by a good friend who is very experienced. I traveled alone, had a lovely veranda cabin with a roomy stateroom with a walk-in closet, bathroom with bath and shower, 2 TVs, sitting area, mini bar, 24/7 room service and a butler. Alcoholic beverages and gratuities are included, very civilized! There were 4 restaurants, open seating. There were 2 "formal" nights but a LBD sufficed for me. They had a nightly "solo traveler" meet-up which was very welcome for those of us alone. Several shore excursions were offered every day. The ship held 540 guests, a nice medium size. There was a library, including internet availability and lots of art pieces in the common areas. The pool/spa deck was very popular with a bar and restaurant. The staff members were unfailingly cheerful and polite and very efficient. Disembarkation and departure to airport were offered. I thought the price was a bit steep but happy to have it taken care of and not have to fend for myself. I would definitely travel with SS again, in fact they spoiled me for other lines. My cruise was on the Adriatic, Venice to Venice. The ports were in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, many ports I had never heard of. It was all new to me and I enjoyed it all. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We sailed on the Silver Spirit on it's Athens to Venice seven-day cruise in August 2016. It was our first time on Silversea and we were looking forward to our cruise and it didn't disappoint! Embarkation was as easy as ... Read More
We sailed on the Silver Spirit on it's Athens to Venice seven-day cruise in August 2016. It was our first time on Silversea and we were looking forward to our cruise and it didn't disappoint! Embarkation was as easy as imaginable. We were the only two people embarking. We did get there a little early but not much. We were escorted throughout the process and even escorted to our cabin to see where it was even though cabins weren't ready yet. We had lunch on the pool deck and by 2pm the cabins were ready and our luggage had been delivered! We had a veranda suite on deck six. It was very spacious with a great walk-in closet and plenty of drawers for storage. The sitting area was spacious too. The bathroom was nice although we never used the separate tub. We did use the veranda some and that was fine. A couple of other nice treats were the binoculars in the room and the TV in the mirror. However, the sound and picture quality on the TV need updating. It wasn't HD quality and the sound was like like a radio not quite set to the station. Our butler was new but good. We had breakfast in our suite every morning and he was very punctual. We really liked the small ship feel. No crowds, no lines. Also no pesky photographers. Service was very good throughout. We also liked the all-inclusive aspect and not having to sign for drinks, etc. Having bottled water when getting off and on the ship was great. Some nice cool towels when returning after a hot day in port would've been a nice touch. We only got that at embarkation. We have had that service on other lines and were surprised not to find it with SilverSea. The food was very good to fantastic. I realize that's subjective but we like to have a great meal at a nice restaurant and Silver Spirit did well in the regard. We had dinners in Stars Supper Club, La Terrazza (twice), the Hot Rocks Grill and Le Champagne. We had dinners ashore twice. We had lunch by the pool and in the MDR a couple times. We always had breakfast in our suite. We also thought the bar service was very good, either with standard cocktails or wine or with some special orders. We were traveling with a small group so we didn't partake of the entertainment. We did find some time to play blackjack though and found the dealers and fellow players to be very good. We ended the cruise up a few bucks, so that helped! There isn't much for shopping on the ship compared to bigger ships but that was OK. They do have some sundries hidden away if you need something basic; you just have to ask in the shop. There was some confusion in getting our butler to help with a purchase of Zantac, as our documentation stated that Butlers or Reception could help with this purchase, but we ended up just getting it ourselves. Both the Butler and Reception insisted we see the doctor for this over-the-counter medication. Since we spent a good part of the time in port, the ship's shops were not open very often. The internet was typical cruise ship internet; good enough for checking email, Facebook and the news. We got an hour a day with our suite and that was enough for us. We booked our excursions through Silversea. Several were included excursions and they were good. We had a paid shore tour in Venice that was quite good and a dinner ashore in Dubrovnik at a family estate that was fabulous! On thing about this cruise, the held our passports on the ship. They said it was to assist with getting clearance in each port. We got them back in Venice. We heard they might do that so we brought color copies of our photo page with us ashore. Disembarkation was just about as easy as getting on. With such a small ship, finding our luggage was very easy. Overall a five star cruise! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Originally chose this cruise as it left from Istanbul and having worked with ships through the Turkish straits for nmany years had always wanted to go through myself. However with the security situation this year they moved the start to ... Read More
Originally chose this cruise as it left from Istanbul and having worked with ships through the Turkish straits for nmany years had always wanted to go through myself. However with the security situation this year they moved the start to Athens which was the biggest let down of the holiday but understandable and at least they took the decision early. It proved a good decision, on the day we flew to Athens, Istanbul airport was closed dues the bombs there! Booked through 6 Star Cruises, who's transfers and the hotel booking in Athens were immaculate. Boarding was very swift, almost no one else there at that time as we came from our hotel by taxi. After lunch all luggage was happily in the room for unpacking. On this cruise we hadn't seen much point in booking excursions, just did one (on Corfu where there was limited shore time for such a large island).The excursions there were seemed very expensive and I didn't hear too much glowing praise so maybe this was a good choice. At almost every port of call we were lightered to or docked in the port so didn't need tours to have a good day out. Lightering worked very well and we never had to queue more than a couple of minutes. Food I thought was very good, better than Regent the previous year. The Japanese is really good but only worth one evening paying due the limited menu, and I would skip the French completely anther time for the main dining room as there is too much fat/cream in the food, but the (inclusive) Italian, grill, and the main dining room were excellent quality and had grreat choice on the menu. We always got good tables, quickly and service was excellent. Recommend going to the Japanese for lunch of Shasimi and Sushi at no extra charge if you don't watn to pay the extra $40 a head for dinner. For drinkers like us there were excellent wines at the table, plus cocktails in the bars, where they seemed happy to make anything even stufff not on their lists. Live entertainment was OK , the performers excellent but I have to say not really what I was into. They showed the Euros final in Paris on the big screen and the semi finals in conference rooms with bar service which was an excellent touch. The cruise director's show was best, he's a great guy and his regular trivia quizzes are good fun in the late afternoon., though the points awarded are rather mean - you need 80 for a base ball cap and the list of prizes list actually very poor!! We didn't go to many enrichment lecturers but saw them all on the ships TV and they were very good and helpful with each port. The one bad event happened to me in Koper where some mad old lady local dumped a bucket of water containing god knows what over me in the main square by the cathedral from a 3rd floor window. I went back to the ship to change, reporting the issue to the shore and ship staff and filled in and filed a report but little happened and I have no idea really if the incident was followed up by the police. Silversea did not handle this well. Liked the forward and observation lounges for cocktails before or coffee etc after dinner. Room were comfortable, plenty big enough (we were in 755), the facilities OK though these days the TV should be much larger and the fridge actually cool. The butler was a good guy, thugh we didn't use him too much, and the cabin attendant was a really nice man. All the crew seemed very friendly and happy and I thought that the ship on the whole is very well run. Public rooms good too. WORST THINGG ON SHIP - without a doubt the awfully slow wifi, so antiquated, really needs some investment,, should be so much better on such a small ship given what you are paying. First stop ashore was always a coffee bar with free wifi, always so much faster in every country. Most days could not download the Times in less than 20 mins, a pain when you are on a limited time budget for the voyage. Overall loved the ship and would use Silversea again, but would prefer say Regent for an itinerary where tours were necessary. Ports 2 July 2016 - Mykonos, Greece (lightered) Nice luxurious island, excellent for a stroll about the town and viewing the shops and the windmills. Lightering point short stroll away. 3 July 2016 - Monemvasia, Greece (lightered) Catch a (cheap) shuttle (pay) bus to/from the city gates (about 1.5 miles away) from lightering point. Too far to walk in the heat and dangerous on the narrow road. Very unique and interesting World heritage town. but to fill the full day ashore go swimming after or go back to ship for lunch and air con. 4 July 2016 - Zakinthos, Greece (lightering) Rather boring town on medium sized island. Not much to see, could easily be dropped from the cruise itinerary for somewhere more interesting like in Albania. Best plan to go swimming. Top site seems to be a 40 year old shipwreck that spoils a rather nice looking secluded white beach. Ship did a short detour on leaving so we could see this famous site. Best way to see it is that way with a Bellini in your hand! 5 July 2016 Corfu - docked Ship is docked a good way from the port exit and the town, if not doing a tour you need to take a bus or taxi. Did tour to Achillion Palace (well worth seeing, loads of history especially if you have been to Vienna and seen the other side of the links to the Austro Hungarian empire) , with a stop to see famous Mouse Island and the planes landing below you at the airport. Then onto Corfu town. Would have liked more time in the town but so hot walking around at midday a bit tough. 6 July 2016 Kotor, Montenegro - 7 July 2016 Fabulous sail in/out, get up early and sit with coffee on your balcony, you will see both sides as ship stays overnight . Ship initialy lightered but then docked at 5pm for an overnight stay. Unfortunately a thunder storm rolled in and spoiled any chances of an evening ashore. Geat waled city, wish we had seen more but the above menioned incidnt rather spoiled it for us. 7 July - Dubrovnik (lightered) Arrived after the great early sail out from Kotor and breakfast. Lightered but again strait to town, no walking at all to be in the old city. Very crowded, much better later in the pm which with a late evening sail out we happily could do. Prices very expensive though. 8 July 2016 Hvar, Croatia - (lightered) Nice island small town, not a lot to see though, best to go swimming after a look around the shops and the cathedral, or go on a tour to Split 9 July 2016 Koper, Slovenia (docked) Docked right by the city so easy walk in. Great views from bell tower. A quieter city than many of the others (maybe as it was Saturday and all locals at the beach). Worth looking around and good shops. 10 July 2016 Venice, Italy -and overnight Worth getting up v early to see the great sail in past San Marco etc. Short walk to shuttle boat from cruise docks to 2 bridges up from an Marco, very convenient start point for what ever you want to do. Having been a few times before we were happy to wander. though marvelling at the extortionate prices they try to charge (saw coffee at €10 for example). Really nice to view from ship but a port best seen in off peak season, especially in winter. 5 ships in the day we docked. Too many people. Disembark - Transfer - Flight - Venice Venice airport a dump, glad we were in a lounge, and as usual BA were late (3 hours on London-Athens leg and 1.5 hours on this return). Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband & I completely enjoyed our Silver Sea experience, everything went smoothly from beginning to end, on our 10 day cruise on Silver Spirit from Athens to Athens. We cruised the Greek Islands as well as Kusadasi, Turkey just ... Read More
My husband & I completely enjoyed our Silver Sea experience, everything went smoothly from beginning to end, on our 10 day cruise on Silver Spirit from Athens to Athens. We cruised the Greek Islands as well as Kusadasi, Turkey just prior to the airport bombing in Istanbul airport, and our experience of Ancient Ephesus and Mary's house was incredible, and not to be missed. Icha was a wonderful, amazing tour guide! It would be very sad to not be able to go to Turkey now, because of the political unrest, it was so beautiful! We absolutely enjoyed the different aspects of each of the Greek Islands and hope to go back in particular to Magical Santorini, Historical Rhodes with it's fabulous beaches, Old city and castles, as well as Mama Mia's Skiathos Island! And if you go to Thessaloniki, make sure and do your shopping there, as the prices & choices are best there. The historical Churches were amazing to see there as well. The Ship; Let me tell you about the ship, first of all this is the smallest ship we have sailed on and also our first luxury cruise. So I am writing this review from the perspective of a first time Silver Sea cruiser. I am wanting to impart information that gives you a heads up as to what to expect, particularly if this is your first time on Silver Seas. This ship did live large though, we never felt cramped. I have cruised several other cruise lines. This ship was about 2/3's full. Our cruise was a celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary and we wanted to treat ourselves. The cruise did not disappoint, we were impressed with the impeccable service all throughout ship. Truly top notch! And the tasty 5 star food. Even the breakfast Danish tasted as if it was freshly made that morning, and they were huge! Our Butler Riju and Mark our cabin cleaner were amazing in always knowing the right time to come by and they did pamper us with treats and great room service. The cruise ship is layed out quite nicely and there are many different places on the ship to hang out inside and/or outside to enjoy your drinks and canapés that the ship serves in the bar/lounge areas prior to dinner. The bartenders were fantastic and remembered what drinks we wanted and our names. Rex and Fred were outstanding! We loved meeting the Art Dealer and his wife in the bar. In the evening after 5 pm, women are expected to wear long pants or a dress, it can be casual on informal to casual nights. And men are expected to wear long pants. On Formal nights men are expected to wear jackets and a tie as well in the dining and indoor restaurants. The exception is if you eat at The Grill. The Restaurants; My favorite restaurant was La Terrazza because it was fabulous Italian food and you could eat outside which was fun during a sail away. The pasta was freshly made everyday, and the portions were small and the menu changed slightly day to day. I really appreciated all that. Our least favorites were the 2 specialty restaurants, Le Champagne and Star Supper club, not because of the food, because all the food on the ship was 5 star, but mostly because the service took so long. We sat there for 3 hours in each. I don't like to sit anywhere 3 hours straight! The wine served with all the meals were delicious choices. Someone definitely knew how to pair wine with the meals and did a great job! However, it was a very nice experience to spontaneously decide to have dinner with another couple, and not have to have an awkward moment with someone new as to who is going to pay, or how to divide up the check. Because, we all already paid for everything in advance of the trip. The Pool area: I found the pool a bit on the cold side, it could have been a degree or two warmer to be able to lounge in it. Even though Greece was having a heat wave, the pool was colder than the Greek ocean water. There were always empty lounge chairs, and so it was easy to relax by the pool. The Cabin on Deck 4: Let me tell you it is the biggest suite we have ever cruised, and we booked the least expensive regular cabin and it was huge. It has 4 separate sections. 1) First we walked in we noticed a soaking tub for 2 people, as well as a large shower ( for a cruise ship) As well as plenty of space for toiletries on the granite bathroom counter with dual sinks. Our fabulous butler brought us balloon's for my birthday, yes we celebrated my birthday on the ship as well, and we had a bath drawn for us 2 nights out of our 10 day cruise. We felt spoiled and well taken care of! We even had our sunglasses cleaned and polished with a polishing cloth that was left for us, and my husband also had his shoes shinned, and at the end of our trip our luggage was thoroughly cleaned inside and out. 2) The second section was the walk in closet space with enough hangers to hang all our clothes and plenty of spare room in the closet and a 6 drawers tall chest of drawers. There was plenty of room to change our clothes in the closet area. 3) The King bed area, also had two end tables on each side as well as a vanity at the foot of the bed with a TV in the wall area, which doubled as a mirror when the TV was off. There was plenty of cabinets in which to store things, but we didn't end up using it. 4) The fourth area had a curtain that could be drawn between the seating area with a coffee table, couch and sitting chair. It also had another TV in the wall/mirror area and another vanity area. This area also had a refrigerator that was stocked with our favorite drinks as well as fresh ice everyday. We did not spend much time in the cabin because we toured everyday, but when we did spend time in it, we loved the space! We did not book a balcony cabin, and we were told by our butler Riju that it was too warm to hang out on the balcony anyway because of the heat wave, and that we then had more floor space in our suite without it. The Passengers: There was a mix of couples and friends traveling together. Everyone was open to meeting new people, and we got to meet and know some very interesting, warm and engaging people. And it was wonderful that everyone shared tips about the various restaurants and excursions. We met a recently retired NFL coach and his lovely wife, a retired attorney. A 29 year old entrepreneur who had also brought his girlfriend and parents on the trip. And a lovely retired couple from Australia and another lovely couple from S. Africa. Excursions: Each excursion had about 22 people or less, and we never waited in any lines whatsoever, not for getting off the ship, not for dinner, and not for an elevator as you do on some of the bigger ships. Also the entertainers by night become chaperones during the day trips and alert you when the time is right to get back on the bus or to leave back for the cruise ship. It was nice to get to know them well. The Gym & Spa I did go look at it, but unlike using it on cruise ships in the past, I never felt like I had the time or the energy to use it. Our excursions were in the morning, and by the time we were done touring in the Greek heat, I was done for the day. There were no at sea days on this trip. So it was tough to make time to spa as well, just not enough time for everything. I am an eclectic cruiser, I like variety of cruise styles and ships with a preference for the much larger ships. Each cruise line has their pros and cons. And I especially appreciate the larger than life entertainment & comedy & shopping on the larger ships which was missing on this smaller luxury cruise. Shopping, Gambling & Photography on board: The boutiques on board were only open very late at night, and there wasn't much to look at in the stores, I was disappointed by that. Just few pieces of very high end jewelry and clothes. If you forget something for your trip, make sure and ask the shop keeper if she has the item you need, because the most basic things one might need are hidden from view and are behind a locked mirrored cabinet. We never saw anyone gambling in the casinos when we walked by around 10 to 10:30 pm, but we were told they do get busy very late at night. Also while cruising, I do like having our pictures taken particularly for formal nights to commemorate a special trip, but there are not any photographers on this cruise. I did miss that perk that you get on the larger ships. In Conclusion; My husband prefers the Silver Sea experience over the other cruise lines. He said he has never felt more relaxed. He loved that everything was paid for in advance and that he wasn't needing to sign for anything at all! We look forward to our next trip with Silver Seas. As far as I go, I prefer the larger ships, but will definitely be more than willing to do another Silver Sea cruise in the near future. It was an unforgettable 5 star experience, and my favorite part was meeting all the fabulous friendly people, and having the most interesting conversations with them, as well as the exquisite dining experiences! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This year was my 20th cruise with Silversea on board four of the present five ships and my 11th cruise on Silver Spirit,which is the largest of the fleet-Silver Muse next year is slightly larger and launched in April.Silver Spirit has a ... Read More
This year was my 20th cruise with Silversea on board four of the present five ships and my 11th cruise on Silver Spirit,which is the largest of the fleet-Silver Muse next year is slightly larger and launched in April.Silver Spirit has a maximum of 540 guests although the two cruises back to back were not full.I travelled to Rome airport via Frankfurt from Manchester and transferred to the ship at Civitavecchia and Embarkation was quick and smooth with the issue of the essential cruise card.I boarded straight away and met my butler Rahul who took me to my suite and introduced me to the facilities.These included a variety of soaps,pillows,drinks for my cocktail cabinet and the layout of the suite,which I knew well.There is a separate shower unit in the bathroom,cloakroom,large queen bed,lounge area with settee,armchair,writing desk complete with personalised writing paper,adequate cupboard,drawer and shelf space and a safe.There is an verandah with table and two chairs where I had breakfast on the morning we were anchored off Sorrento. A safety drill took place prior to departure with all passengers introduced to their life jackets and boat stations. The first dinner was one of many in the Main Restaurant with my usual waiter Lorenz who presented me with a varied menu-I went off menu for the first night-accompanied by my choice of wines.The meals were all the very best standard and presentation. There were other restaurants on the ship,some of which were select and an extra cost.I usually had breakfasts in the La Terrazza buffet with a choice of being outside with the views of the ports of call. The ship has two regular leisure activities for which prize points were available-exchanged for items at the cruise end.These were the regular Trivia Quiz conducted by cruise director Moss Hills and the golf putting competition on the carpet.These were always fun to be involved with and I also tried the daily paper Silver Quiz again for points. Entertainment included a series of lectures on space travel and an evening presentation in the show lounge by the Six Voices of Silversea.The show I enjoyed the most was the operatic evening with some excellent singing and costumes.There was also the Silver Spirit Trio in the main bar area and this was followed by a pianist who accompanied pre dinner and after dinner drinks-the ship is fully inclusive of all drinks and gratuities. There is a swimming pool,three whirlpools and pool bar as well as a fully equipped Spa of which treatments and the thermal spa are extra,inclusive of a small whirlpool,hot seats,sauna,steam room and covered area. There is nearly one crew member to each guest and Captain Pontillo pointed out at the Reception that passengers come as guests and leave as friends.I have had the pleasure of sailing with him before.During my cruise there were four formal nights and the others were either Informal or Casual.There is a casino,upmarket boutique,large library,internet café and a helpful shore concierge. There was a good variety of ports of call including Mykonos,Kusadasi,Chania,Agios Nikolaos,Malta & Gozo,Rhodes,Trapani Sicily,Santorini,Patmos,Marmaris and Nafplion.I have visited many of the ports on previous cruises and had no need to book coach excursions available:I was happy enough to walk around the ports and visit churches and museums.The only drawback on some days was the extreme heat - sometimes up to 38deg. It was easy to make friends who came from many nationalities and of course the crew also became our friends:knowing our names within hours of boarding.It has always been a great pleasure to travel with Silversea and I already look forward to being on Silver Spirit again in June 2017.This I book on board with the cruise consultant as there are discounts for guests who have cruised for over 100 days - I have now reached nearly 200 days. Disembarkation was no trouble and transfer to Athens airport with my flight to Heathrow and onwards to Manchester:all arranged by Silversea. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Sailed on Silversea for the first time in June, 2016. LOVED everything about our experience. Embarkation was a bit disjointed for us. My husband had written the wrong cabin number on our luggage tags and so it was delivered to the ... Read More
Sailed on Silversea for the first time in June, 2016. LOVED everything about our experience. Embarkation was a bit disjointed for us. My husband had written the wrong cabin number on our luggage tags and so it was delivered to the wrong cabin, which was empty, so this took a several hours to figure out. We were concerned about our missing luggage for the first evening. The customer relations manager was wonderful and kept us updated and ultimately, was able to deliver the good news that our luggage was found. We didn't really properly meet our butler due to the luggage concern. He did meet us and introduce himself, but since the focus was on finding our luggage, the rest (choice of toiletries, pillows, other types of discussions) were missed. Again, this was likely due to my husband's error and the focus on our luggage. The cabin was perfect for us, as was the balcony. Our Butler, Vipin, was so polite and professional. He very quickly learned our preferences and helped to make our cruise just perfect for us. Our cabin was kept spotless without our even noticing. They cleaned or changed towels, turned down the bed, etc. only when we left the cabin. Not sure how they managed this, but it was wonderful. Restaurants: We loved the food on this cruise. We had breakfast and lunch at La Terrazza with beautiful views each day and never went elsewhere. The buffet choices were plenty and varied daily and the food was great. For dinner, we tried every restaurant with the exception of Stars Supper Club, which we missed. Our least favorites were the 2 speciality restaurants, Le Champagne and Seishin. They were good, but honestly we enjoyed the included restaurants more. In the future, we will skip the specialty restaurants on this cruise line. My favorite restaurant for dinner was, once again, La Terrazza. Delicious pasta, lovely setting, and even a beautiful sunset view one evening. My husband loved the hot rocks concept at the Grill and we ate there 3 times during our stay. Dinner was delicious there every time and the service always perfect. We did also eat at the Restaurant a couple of times. The food, and especially the waiters (Ali and Renato) were wonderful. The bar on deck 5 was our favorite place to spend time before dinner and the bar staff there are incredible in every way. Rex, Fred, and the 3 Ronalds are the absoulte best. They were upbeat, friendly, polite, fun, etc., etc. We could go on and on. They remembered our names and our drink preferences from the first night and were simply great people to be around. The entertainment: We only took advantage of the cooking demonstration during the sea day, and this was wonderful. The chef was great and also so nice and entertaining and the wine tasting and discussion very interesting. We never attended anything else, so we cannot comment, but we did enjoy spending time in the lounge with the piano player. The excursions were phenomenal. The ports we visited included: Rome, Sorrento, Trapani, Malta & Gozo, Chania, Santorini, Kusadasi, Mykonos, and Athens. All were wonderful and the guides all very knowledgeable and helpful. Our favorite, if we had to choose one, would be Kusadasi. The day in Ancient Ephesus was unforgettable. Disembarkation was easy, even with a labor strike in Greece. Due to the strike there were no porters available, but we never would have known it. I'm sure the crew worked extra hard to make this such a smooth and easy process. Really wonderful service. Pre and post hotel arrangements and transfers were great as well. Especially the hotel in Rome. Absolutely beautiful way to begin our trip. All in all, had a wonderful time and would be so happy for another opportunity to sail with Silversea!!!! Read Less
52 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Silversea Silver Spirit Review ======================= SUMMARY ======== Let me begin by saying that when it comes to ones preference, no matter what the topic is, in the end the only opinion that matters is your very own. For ... Read More
Silversea Silver Spirit Review ======================= SUMMARY ======== Let me begin by saying that when it comes to ones preference, no matter what the topic is, in the end the only opinion that matters is your very own. For example, which luxury automobile/automaker is better or more luxurious; Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes? The answer is that it varies from person to person and possibly from vehicle to vehicle. To me they are all luxurious and they offer many great cars to drive, but I do prefer Lexus for the entire package including reliability and service. While I prefer Lexus and have for many years that is not to say I will always prefer it over other automobile companies. Our own tastes change as we grow older plus the products change. The same is true for luxurious hotel properties including Four Season and Ritz Carlton. Which is more luxurious and which do you prefer the most? For me the answer is Ritz Carlton because my wife and I prefer the Club Floor. However, there are a few Four Seasons properties that we prefer over Ritz Carlton properties in a handful of cities. Even within a cruise line one might only prefer one specific size/class of ship. We all have different preferences. With this in mind, let me provide some feedback and thoughts about our recent Silversea experience. This was our first time on Silver Spirit and second Silversea cruise having sailed the Shadow in August of 2009. So I won’t be reflecting on the “good old days.” On most boards there are comments about change from the “old days” and I am not aware of any cruise line that has not evolved, and where some have yearned for some of the amenities from back in the day. Some of the changes that cruise lines have made have actually enhanced their product, while some changes were driven to reduce cost. The same is true on land with hotels. At the same time some changes are just simply driven because newer generations of cruisers desire amenities different from previous generation(s) of cruisers and just simply have different tastes, desires and preferences. All changes are not financially driven by bean counters in my humble opinion, although as I remind people Cruise Lines are in the business of making money so some change is clearly cost driven. The inability of unlimited caviar on board Silversea is clearly cost driven, and a wise decision in my humble opinion. Since this was our first Spirit Cruise and only second Silversea cruise we are still Silversea newbies although not newbies when it comes to cruising. My first cruise was at age 12 and my wife Anne Marie and I have cruised since 1992 and have taken around 100 cruises on several cruise lines including three luxury lines. Overall, we had a very nice time. While Crystal Cruises remains our most favorite cruise line and most favorite of the luxury cruise lines, we would sail SIlversea with the right itinerary and/or schedule that worked well for us. We would do likewise on Seabourn whom we have also sailed before. Again, this is no knock against SIlversea or Seabourn,. Rather, it is just to say that for us we prefer Crystal (its my Lexus) and it just feels more comfortable to us and yes familiarity is a factor too, but overall we just prefer the total Crystal package. Luxury lines have a lot in common, but clearly they offer several differences. We find Silversea to bea bit more low key from our experience. People spend a little more time in their rooms because of the size of the room and also I think because of their comfort and design. But, there is certainly nothing wrong with being low key. Like almost any product, there are some things we prefer about Silvesea, and some we prefer for Spirit over Shadow, as there are other things that we prefer about other cruise lines. I am not one who believes in cherry picking. Sometimes people will say x cruise line provides this and y doesn’t and goes on and on about that. The reality is that each cruise line does want to differentiate itself from one another (we like that) and each one decides how to spend their money and where to place more or less emphasis. I could go on with numerous differences on how x cruise line spends money in one area which y does not and how y spends money in an area that x does not. Again, cruise lines are businesses and like a business differentiation of product is key. Now, that doesn’t meant that you don’t study your competition and sometimes you do need to match them. The Silver Spirit can carry upwards to 550 guests. We believe that size is one of the factors that determine the overall experience. Smaller ships can offer more intimate locations than cruise ships of larger sizes, and can make it easier to get from place to place within the ship and can sometimes dock where larger cruise lines can’t. At the same time, larger ships can allow for more activities to be offered and provide more options for entertainment and dining. For some, they will prefer one size only, which could be small, medium or large whereas others might like more than one choice. In addition to my write-up I have rated the categories using stars. Five stars is my highest rating and one star is the lowest rating. Once in awhile I will add a plus (+) either because I want to highlight that it was above the overall star rating, or that I was torn between two different rating levels. SILVER SPIRIT ***** ============ We liked the layout of the ship and its size. Because of its size it can offer greater choices over say the Shadow, Whisper Cloud or Wind. The public rooms are well appointed, and many are very traditional. Parts of the interior were a bit dark but we are not buying the ship so this is not a problem for us. It didn’t take us long to learn our way around the ship and it was very easy to get from venue to venue. The outdoor area where one could run or walk while not enormous was larger than expected and would be and came in handy on days when we wanted to walk around the ship. For me, it was not conducive to running once several people were sitting outside but the reality is that most passengers are not interested in running. Anyway. All in all we thought that the ship was beautiful. DINING **** ============== For the size of the ship it certainly offers many dining options. Certain restaurants I would rate with five stars, even one with a five stat plus and others with three or four stars depending on venue. The Restaurant is the main dining room and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since there is open seating you will have a different wait staff depending on where you are seated and possibly even a different experience. On our first night we were seated at a two-person table in a more visible area of the dining room. The waiter had not only our table but a few large tables . The positive was that he received assistance from one of the Head Waiters and Sommelier’s who we got to meet but the down side was that the length of the time between courses became much longer than desired and that appeared to be the case as it seemed that our food was coming out at the same time of the larger tables and larger tables take longer to serve than smaller tables. We had just three courses and we were there for over two hours. We do not like to be rushed but that was a bit longer given the number of courses we had. Conversely on two other nights we were seated in a more remote section of the dining room. The downside was that none of the Head Waiters ever made it over to our table and the Sommelier only made it over once but the positive was that the waiter had our table, two other two person tables one larger table (not used one time and the other time people arrived when our meal was almost over) and even though for both these meals we had four courses, the meal took around 90 minutes which was perfect for us. La Terrazza offers breakfast and lunch buffets and the interior tables have tablecloths and the dining room is very well appointed. At night it becomes an Italian Specialty Restaurant. For dinner, reservations are required, but no specialty restaurant fee is charged. On our first sailing on the Shadow we did not particularly care for the cuisine served at night, but on this sailing we dined there twice and enjoyed the cuisine. The daytime buffets are nice with a lot of choices. Some of the regulars have commented that some of the more unique foods are not offered now as they were in the past. We noticed that too compared to when we sailed the Shadow in 2009, but there is still a lot of choice. For lunch you could also order cooked to order pizza from a menu on the table or you could just have pizza that was already prepared and on the buffet. Seishin. This is a Japanese Restaurant. It is available for lunch and dinner. For lunch there is no specialty restaurant fee and no reservations are taken and the lunch menu is mainly sushi and sashimi. Dinner requires reservations and there is a choice of menus. There are two menus where the specialty fee is $20.00 per person for mainly sushi and sashimi and another course. There is a several course dinner menu for $40.00 per person. It is a very intimate restaurant so it is quiet given the limited number of people who can dine there at once and it has a very nice ambience to it. We enjoyed the experience. The only down-side we saw came to the sushi and sashimi as you not select the quantity or type of sushi/sashimi you preferred,. The plus side is that with a fixed menu there were no decisions to make and we had the opportunity to try a wide range of items. The venue is beautiful and for those who like flowers there were flowers on each table. Le Champagne is open for dinner only and offers French inspired dishes matched with finer wines than served in the other dining venues. There is a $40.00 per person specialty restaurant fee. I think this dining venue is one of the most special dining venues we have ever dined at either on land or at sea. Head Waiter Tayfun welcomed us to the restaurant and we found him to be professional, gracious with a fantastic sense of humor. The restaurant only accommodates around 24 people at mainly two person tables and each table is only used once per night. Diners arrive at various times. The menu consists of six courses. Everyone is served the same starter, which includes samplings of four different items. The following courses allow each person to select from a few choices for each course. Tayfun not only sat everyone but also worked hand in hand with the other two waiters who served each course. We began with a flute of champagne and then moved to white wine followed by red wine. Everything was amazing about this restaurant from the service to the ambience to the presentation and preparation of each course. There is the Stars Supper Club, which opens at 8:00 PM, later than the other restaurants. It also is by reservation and offers tapas. We did not dine there. There is the Pool Bar & Grill open for both lunch and dinner. We did not dine there either. There is the Panorama Lounge which offers an early risers continental breakfast, bouillon later in the morning and an A la Carte Sandwich Lunch between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. There is also room service where you can order from the room service menu or you can order dinner from the restaurant during the operating hours of the restaurant. We utilized room service for all our breakfasts and for one dinner. For dinner, beyond the standard room service menu, you could order from the menu of The Restaurant during the operating hours of this restaurant. The table that they put on top of the coffee table was nice and provides more space. ROOM ACOMMODATION ****+ =================== We were very pleased with our suite. We just went with a Veranda Suite since this was only a seen day cruise. It was well appointed. The colors scheme reminded us of the colors in our suite in the Queens Grill on board the Queen Mary 2. I think it is in keeping of the number of people who sail Silversea from the UK. There were a lot of cabinets to store items and the closet was a decent size and just easy to find places for all of our items and to keep them very well organized. There is a separate living area, which can be used for dining, reading, watching television or just viewing the outside area. It was also very comfortable and very functional. The verandah was a decent size. The bathroom was very functional with a separate bathtub and shower. The only down side might be the one sink. There were two flat like televisions both built into the mirror so they didn’t stick out. The interactive television system is quite nice offering a large array of movies on-demand, and the ability to see your shipboard account. It can be more of a challenge to work the remote control with the television in the living area if you have items on the desk. We did hear from a couple of fellow guests who were sailing the Spirit for the first time who thought that the suite was too narrow making it a little tight to pass between the bed and the wall and also that the shower was a bit tight for them. With all due respect some of that might be attributable to the size of someone. For some I can easily see where it would be more of a challenge. Just a couple of minor items and in the scheme of things they are minor; the safe doesn’t have a handle on it making it easier to open it, the area where you have to point your remote control to work the TV is right where one would likely place their computer and although there is an outlet on the vanity desk it was too low to the desk to be able to plug in the hair dryer. There was no shoehorn. I suspect that if we asked, they would have brought me one, but we didn’t ask. I don’t think I have ever stayed in any room on land or at sea where there were not some areas that could be improved so these are just small areas that could be improved. The TV’s themselves were great as they are built into each of two wall mirrors so they don’t take up space and they were very easy to view from bed or from couch. Once they overcome the remote control issue they will be even better. We also appreciated some of the little touches which included; a daily newspaper placed outside the door early morning, reminder of a time change by placing a card on the bed, a daily breakfast room service menu left on the bed each evening as part of turndown service and reminder reservations for any specialty restaurants on the day of your reservation on a card that was also placed on your door early each morning. SUITE BUTLER AND ROOM ATTENDANT*****+ I don’t often rate these personnel under a separate category but did so this time because having a butler for all suites was not in place when we sailed Silversea in 2009. At that time, Silversea only employed butlers for the largest suites. I can remember when they announced that their would be butlers that some said this was just marketing and that the butler would be in name only. Well that is not our experience and I am well aware of butlers and their capabilities having had them on four different cruise lines; Crystal, Celebrity, Cunard Queens Grill and Princess. Princess was in name only and pretty worthless and they did away with that position, which I think, was a good move. Now, just like us all butlers are not created equally so I am basing my comments on our butler and suite attendant. As mentioned, each room includes a Butler and a Suite Attendant. I am not sure how many rooms each of them are assigned. We thought that the butler was outstanding and really worked hard and not only responded to our requests but also was pro-active. When we cruise we do enjoy having a butler. I know some people say they never use any of the services performed by butlers and even some say that but we come to learn that they do. We enjoy having breakfast in our room, and the butler was great at taking care of this and yes the familiarity of what we preferred in terms of set up was nice. He also refreshed the fruit each day, along with sodas and water. Butlers will serve drinks such as wine or beer but other than the last night of the cruise we didn’t need his help with serving of alcohol related items. I am not sure if all butlers do this but we never asked for our shoes to be polished even though this is a service that is offered on most ships with butlers. Without us asking, he did polish both my dress shoes and one pair of Anne Marie’s shoes and did a terrific job as well. Also, he told us on the final sea day before we disembarked that normally the will remove the empty pieces of luggage from underneath the bed and set them up for us for easy packing but he already noticed that ours had quite a bit of items already packed so he didn’t move them. Early on during the cruise the Butler mentioned that he would be happy to prepare a bath for us and that if we could let him know what night that way he could time this based on when we expected to return so that the bath water was still at the proper temperature by the time we got back to the room. I thought all of these were to nice items to do pro-actively. The Suite Room Attendant also did a terrific job. We didn’t’ see her too often which to me is the perfect room attendant. Room was always made up in the morning and also turned down in the evening and all of this was very timely. Nothing was ever missed and this is just not normally the case on other cruise lines or on land at a Hotel. The room also looked very clean. FOOD & SERVICE. **** When it comes to food this is very subjective. We thought that the food was fine. Some of this varied by venue but again also comes down to personal taste. There were some exceptional items, some that were good and some we didn’t care for, but we never had a bad meal and we never left a meal longing for more food. Sometimes, other factors can come into play in any restaurant ranging from who is actually preparing your meal, who is responsible for each area, how crowded the restaurant is and the choices we make. I know there have been some criticisms of late about the food. For us, I didn’t see a major change from the first time we sailed with Silversea on the Silver Shadow. As I mentioned on that sailing there were a few more exotic items from time to time at La Tarrazza for lunch, such as one day Ostrich was a choice but I would say that most of the items were very similar at both The Restaurant for dinner and La Tarazza for lunch. Some people commented that there is very little change on the buffet from day to day and that is true. On most cruise lines we sail the vast majority of the buffet items are indeed the same for breakfast and lunch from day to day and for that matter from year to year. With that said, I have never seen a buffet area that had so many items to build a salad and some of those items did change from day to day whether that was having fresh mushrooms one day and then fresh artichokes the next day. If I could make one suggestion it would be to reduce the number of cold cut items that are featured on the buffet and add a few more carving stations with beef, pork and poultry and change that each day. I believe that would enhance the buffet and provide a more luxurious dining experience. Overall, the way I rate food today on Silversea is a little better than I did in 2009, and possibly even higher because we didn’t visit La Champagne on the Silver Shadow and the Spirit is the only Silversea ship with the Japanese Restaurant and our experience for dinner at the Italian Restaurant was much better than in 2009. If I rated the food at the restaurants in the evening for dinner individually I would rate them as follows. The Restaurant ***. I think the selection of items is good but think that the ingredients for some of the entrees could be more innovated to make the entrees more flavorful. Seishin ****. We thought that the food was excellent and really enjoyed how the menu was organized to give one a nice selection of cuisine to try. I would have given it five stars if the sushi/sashimi was a little more plentiful and innovative. Le Champagne. *****+. Outstanding cuisine both in terms of its preparation but also its presentation and while several of the items are rich in ingredients, it was balanced with the size of each dish not being too large. Wonderful menu. An outstanding experience. As to wine around the ship, I thought that the wine was good. If I were rating it, on its own I would give it three stars, which is how I rate Seabourn the last time we sailed with them. I also see the level of wine at around the same as it was in 2009; not better but not worse. I was certainly familiar with some of the wines that were served and would say it is on the lower price scale. Many of those wines I believe provide good value but nevertheless they are lower priced wine. We didn’t order any spirits so I can’t comment on that and on the last sea day of the cruise I did ask about the availably of beer and they offer quite a number of brands. Each night two wines were available in The Restaurant (one white or one red), but if you asked for another type of wine they could accommodate you. For example one night the choice of red wine was Zinfandel, which wouldn’t have paired well with what I had for an entrée, and so I asked for a Merlot and they were able to secure that for me. Conversely one night the white wine was a Sauvignon Blanc and we asked for a Chardonnay and they were able to secure that for us. This is somewhat trivial but from time to time we like to have a caffeine free diet soda such as Sprite Zero or something along those lines. According to our butler this is not something that is normally carried on board the ship. He was able to secure a few cans for us possibly leftover from a special request and mid-way through the cruise he found us four more cans. He said that we could have special requested this. I hadn’t thought about needing to special order something like this and only mention it so others are aware. For eight days we survived. LOL. We both also thought that the coffee that came with our room service breakfast was quite good and we realize that the quality of coffee at sea is a challenge given the processing of the water. As I mentioned, I had read some recent reviews with comments by some people who didn’t care for the food. For us, that was not our experience. Again, food is subjective. Personally, with so many choices it is hard to believe that anyone couldn’t find items that they would like on any cruise line; yes even mass market one. LOL, but IMHO true. Overall service throughout the ship was great. Of course people are human and service can vary by person even though cruise lines strive to offer consistent service. Most crew were very helpful and friendly. I wanted to give a shout out to the person in charge of La Terrazza who was very friendly and professional and just had a wonderful disposition when I asked him to check on all of our specialty restaurant reservations and who changed the first one we had to the time we thought we were to have based on the paperwork we were given when we checked in at the port. The waiters in most of the dining rooms were very friendly and did their very best to make the experience as nice as possible. Some of the headwaiters who we met were very helpful and very positive and enthusiastic which we always like to see. I think in La Terrazza during lunch that the waiters could be a bit more attentive coming up to the table shortly after you are seated. There are some little things that would enhance the luxury experience from holding the seats for the guests when they are seated at the table (some waiters did this while others didn’t,), unfolding the napkin and placing them on each passenger’s lap after they are seated, and removing crumbs from the table cloth before dessert is served. . These are just little details that enhance the experience but in the scheme of things are not critical. There are a few additional opportunities for enhancement, which are easy ones and are likely training opportunities which would be in the dining venues checking up after the course is served to see if the guest is happy with the meal and in the lounges being consistent such as asking for the names of the guests so as to learn them. Some did it well and some not at all. The other one would be yielding to the guest if the guest is passing them when they are in the corridor or even doing some activity. Again, very easy to do and just enhances the product and the overall experience. Finally, a pet peeve of mine, which is to refresh water cups during the meal. I want to close out the category of service by giving a callout to Jose from The Bar Lounge. He quickly learned our name, our preferences for the type of wine we drink, and that my wife, Anne Marie, would also have sparkling water and his display of kindness and attention to detail. He is a wonderful member of the crew. Finally, I want to give a callout to our Butler Probhashish who went by Probha for always going the extra miles to provide as good a service as he could and to our Suite Attendant Ester. SECURITY ** ======== I rarely ever comment on this area but I thought from time to time it was lax. In a couple of cases when returning to the ship in Key West because the security officer was off doing something there was no one operating the x ray machine on two of the three times we returned to the ship, and we were told by the person who swiped our ship board account to just go through and not wait. On our return from Belize City via the tender there was no x ray machine set up. The most thorough security check was when we returned from the ship in Cozumel. ENTERTAINMENT/ENRICHMENT *** ========================== Overall we enjoyed most of what we attended but this is quite subjective. The ship can certainly offer more than any other ship in the fleet given it size. There was a decent amount of choice. There were a few receptions whose start time made it impossible for us to attend such as the Venetian reception for past cruisers, which began at 7:00 PM but conflicted with our Specialty Restaurant Reservation. Since the dinner hour does begin at 7:00 PM, maybe it would be better to start these receptions at 6:00 PM. When it comes to Entertainment/Enrichment the size of the ships do matter and cruise lines with ships the size of Silversea and Seabourn have limits at to the diversity and amount of entertainment/enrichment they can offer and how elaborate some of the entertainment offerings can be. On a personal basis, I am not big on having an art lecturer or shopping expert on board nor am I big on some of the talks that focus on jewelry. With that said running a cruise line is a business, which wants to make money, so I assume that there is enough demand and profit from these items to warrant the resources and emphasis that Silversea and some other cruise lines place in this area. None of this was in my face so again whether I care for it or not did not impact my experiece. To elaborate on the art work and lectures,, when we first sailed on the Silver Shadow in 2009, we went to a few of the art lectures but didn’t realize until the end of the second one when the lecturer walked us around the ship that part of the intent of all of this was to try to sell you various items on board the ship. Interestingly enough, many of those Marilyn Monroe photos that we saw on the Shadow for sale were on the Spirit. As I often say, choice is good but just not something we have an interest in and on a personal basis the pricing seems exorbitant We enjoy ove art but would never buy it on a ship because we would want a lot of time to think about it, plus I don’t quite understand the prices that many of those photos commanded. Oh well. The positive of the art, is that many of the areas around the ship include the art that is for sale and to me it gives these areas a most attractive look. It is clear to me that enough guests purchase the art, and also make sure of the shopping expert, otherwise they would not offer these services it on board. If it was my cruise line, I wouldn’t do it, but no one asks me for my opinion. LOL. PORT STOPS**** This is another area that I normally don’t rate and in this case I am not rating the category for the ports but rather for items related to getting off the ship. I think it was very nice that the bottled water is placed right before you go through security, as are towels. I thin the opportunity for enhancement is to provide maps for each port a day or more before arrival that one can carry with them into port. FITNESS CENTER **** ============== The hours of operation are 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM and it was opened when I arrived as early as 5:00 AM so I can only assume it is never locked which is fine with me. It contains a nice range of machines and weights. On our cruise the equipment was sufficient. On a cruise with an overall younger age of travelers than our cruise this might make the amount of equipment more of a challenge. There are some opportunities to enhance the center for the guests. Out of the three elliptical machines, one would not allow connection of earphones as the connector appeared to be broken and on the second one the volume barely worked, as you could not raise the volume to a level where most people could hear it. Rather than having water available with plastic cups, I would recommend having small bottles of water that one could carry with them and place in the slots of some of the machines including elliptical and treadmills. There were no sanitizer wipes available in the one container that is left on the counter from the night before until an attendant puts them out which could be as late as 7:00 PM or later. I did speak with the manager of the spa and they corrected that but that should be a common practice all the time. These small improvements would enhance the overall experience and in the case of the sanitizers would allow for the wipe down of germs. I saw the Fitness Director, but can never really remember seeing him visible in the workout center where all the machines are located. I know he was busy with personal training and group classes. On larger ships you’ll have two fitness directors which is a plus as one could do training while the other one is more visible in the fitness center. INTERNET ***** ========= The Internet worked very well. The speeds were quite good and I appreciated the one-hour of complementary minutes per person. Only suggestion is in the daily program they note that someone is at the Internet Café for one hour each day and the program noted the specific time. I would have a sign at the desk in the Internet Café noting that as well as we didn’t realize that on Embarkation Day. The only other item was that when I tired to print my boarding passes early on the morning of disembarkation I could not make the printer work. I am pretty tech savvy and normally can figure this out on my own. As it was 4:00 AM I couldn’t call for assistance. I went to the front desk and they gladly printed out our boarding passes so no issues. The problem with the printer could easily have been a fluke. I do realize that speed of Internet can be impacted by so many factors including the infrastructure of the ship, your own room’s location, number of users on the system and where the ship is sailing, but overall the speed was terrific for being on a cruise ship. With that said, on the last day, which was a sea day the speed slowed up from the other days. That could have been attributable to where we were sailing or the number of users or a combination of both factors. While it was slow, it was still good for being on a cruise ship. I also think that one factor is that my perception is that the typical passenger either does not carry a computer with them or other device and again demand or lack of demand comes into play. I felt the same way on the Shadow in 2009. LAUNDRY ROOM * ============= We were surprised given the size of the ship how small the laundry room was as well as how small the one washing machine and dryer was. I realize that many people come on a cruise with no plans/need to wash anything but just sharing my observation on this one. I also realize that once you sail for I believe 100 days you get complimentary laundry (not dry cleaning or pressing but laundry). CLEANLINEESS ****+ ============ Our suite was also very clean and you could see the focus to cleanliness in all areas of the ship and by the crew. The only area that I thought lacked emphasis was not encouraging others to use the sanitizers located in certain areas of the ship. Also, I didn’t see anyone cleaning the machines in the fitness center from time to time during the daytime. If not for these two items, I would have rated cleanliness five stars. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION ****+ ============================ Embarkation was smooth but clearly it can vary from port to port and also from one cruise to another. It can be perfect one time and a disaster the next time. I did like the approach at embarkation where they got us through the counter in the terminal area relatively quickly and much earlier than usual and then asked us to wait until Noon and we boarded based on when we did our check-in. Disembarkation was very smooth as well. When they called our color tag number we proceeded to the gangway area where they gave us our passports, then another person swiped our shipboard card and we were on our way to the terminal area. Our luggage was organized very well and our two large pieces of luggage were right next to one another. Because we had a lot of on board credit we booked a car through Silversea. We had originally planned to just take a taxi but we decided midway through the cruise to just get a car. A Silversea representative stayed with us until the car arrived. The driver actually drove the wrong way into the terminal area and before we got in the car a Sheriff was scolding him but once in the car he blamed this on the port always changing things. The good news is that he appeared to be a safe driver. PRE-CRUISE DOCUMENTATION & ON LINE RESERVATIONS **** ============================================== I believe it was at 90 days prior to the cruise when we could book specialty restaurants and did so that day with one revision a couple of weeks prior to the cruise. The system was very easy to use. It was also very easy to provide the personal information that was requested on-line. On the final documents, just a thought would be to print the cruise ticket on a separate piece of paper rather than having it as part of the book that comes. Since we were concerned with trying to remove the cruise ticket and tearing it we took the entire book with us but given the weight of the book would have been preferable to just leave it at home. The book itself is quite nice and of high quality and provided lots of useful information. It is one of those books that we will save. Another opportunity is that you could reserve a time slot for 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 but the time you could be assigned might be anytime between each hour and it would be nice if you could lock-in to a specific time such as 7:00 PM, 7:15 PM, 7:30 PM, etc. If their systems doesn’t allow for that, it would be a nice enhancement. CHARITY DONATION* ================= I wasn’t sure where to list this so I have placed it under a separate category. This is one that has been discussed from time to time on this board. They charge each passenger $8.00 for the charity that Silversea donates to and most guests who are sailing Silversea for the very first time would not catch this. I actually forgot about this from our previous Silversea cruise but noticed it on the interactive Television when I viewed our account on line. While they will remove the amount I do think that they should make adding the amount optional and if they don’t want to do that they should send a notice up to the room about this with instructions how to have it removed from ones account. OVERALL RATING **** As I said, while our number one go-to cruise line continues to be Crystal Cruises with the right itinerary and the right schedule we would happily sail Silversea again. Overall, I thought that overall experience was a little better than in 2009. In the end, my belief is figure out which cruise line(s) work best for you. If a cruise line doesn’t work for you, just move forward. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I took our first Silversea cruise exactly a year ago: a ten-night western Caribbean cruise on the Cloud. We enjoyed it greatly, but felt that the Cloud was a bit too small (296 passenger capacity), a bit too old (1994), and a ... Read More
My wife and I took our first Silversea cruise exactly a year ago: a ten-night western Caribbean cruise on the Cloud. We enjoyed it greatly, but felt that the Cloud was a bit too small (296 passenger capacity), a bit too old (1994), and a bit too quirky (some strange public-area design elements, such as no men's room on the deck where the main restaurant and Le Champagne are located; you have to go up a flight, and then have to look all over the place to find it). So, while on that cruise, we booked this one, on Silversea's newest (2009) and largest (540 passenger capacity) ship, hoping that the ship itself would be better but without sacrificing the things we loved about the Cloud, notably the high-quality cuisine and the restaurant, bar, and housekeeping service. We weren't disappointed. The Spirit is a more modern, better-designed ship than the Cloud. I'm hardly an expert on interior design, but even I could tell that the Spirit has a brighter look to it, both in the colors chosen for the public areas and in the amount of natural light that comes through. The cabins on the Spirit are somewhat bigger than on the Cloud, and nicely furnished, with ample closet space for a cruise of this length (and probably for a longer one, too). My wife took advantage of the deep, full-length bathtub, which is separate from the relatively roomy shower. The only area in which the Spirit came up short was---oddly enough---the coffee served at breakfast. It was weak and tasteless. I say "oddly" because Silversea is an Italian-owned cruise line that supposedly uses the highly-regarded Italian coffee brand, Illy. They may be using it, but they're not using enough of it. As I say, it was weak, but the espresso (which I quickly turned to as a substitute) was perfectly good. Go figure. Otherwise, the food in all the venues was of a very high standard. Although here and there a server lacked polish, the overall dining room service standards were excellent, and a few of the servers were among the best we've had anywhere---land or sea. I should point out that fifteen of our seventeen dinners were in the main dining room, one in the Stars supper club, and one in the Terrazza Italian restarant. We enjoyed the latter two dining venues, but we liked the main dining room so much we wound up going back again and again. (And because we frequently dined with other people we met at the bar before dinner, it was much easier to eat in the no-reservation-needed main restaurant). We only had room service once, for breakfast, and it was fine. For breakfast and lunch we ate almost exclusively at the buffet in La Terrazza (for which you DON'T need a reservation at lunch or dinner). On "lesser" ships, we usually avoid buffets like the plague, but on the Spirit the buffets were inviting, appealing, and efficient (no lines). The enrichment lectures were outstanding, particularly those given by Georgetown professor and former Ambassador Andy Steigman. We saw some, but not all, of the entertainers. Of the ones we saw, the best were Pete Neighbour (world-class clarinetist, who did two wonderful shows), and Garth (pianist) and Helene (singer) who play each night in Stars. Finally, I'll mention that the gym, although decently equipped, is on the small side, and can get crowded on sea days. However, there's a fairly large outdoor area directly off the gym that has plenty of mats and can be used by anyone for stretching, yoga, etc. when the area isn't being used for classes. All-in-all, a very nice cruise. Although we're curious to see what the new Seabourn ships are like (we last sailed with them way back in 2000), Silversea remains, in our opinion, the one to beat in the luxury-cruise category. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We are a retired couple in our late 50s and choose itineraries offering a mix of ports and sea days. With this in mind we tend to judge our cruise experience by whether the ship itself offers us the mix of food, facilities and comfort we ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our late 50s and choose itineraries offering a mix of ports and sea days. With this in mind we tend to judge our cruise experience by whether the ship itself offers us the mix of food, facilities and comfort we seek rather than by ports visited. On this cruise we were accompanied by my sister-in-law and her husband who are a couple of years older and had never cruised before. Silversea offered them a 5% Venetian saving as ''Friends of the Venetian Society'' - that is they were sailing with Venetian members (us!) and profited from the Venetian saving. Having flown into Miami the previous day and stayed overnight at the Ritz-Carlton we boarded the Spirit around 1pm and, as usual, the procedure was quick and painless allowing us to take lunch in La Terrazza. This was our third cruise on the Spirit and it was gratifiying to be welcomed back on board by several crew members whom we knew from previous cruises. After lunch we were shown to our suite, 411, a Vista on deck 4 right next to, but not connecting with, suite 409 which housed the in-laws. We always choose Vista because: a. we never use the balcony; b. we're rarely in it except to sleep; c. cost. Several Silversea old-timers are not greatly enamoured of the Spirit and a scan of the reviews will illuminate their views. For us, however? Well, we rather like it because of its modernity and choice of dining venues. Compared to the Shadow and Spirit it benefits from 2 extra restaurants. In general the ship is in very good condition and only the most curmudgeonly would find signs of wear and tear about which to complain. We are not really interested in organised activities or entertainment so this reviw will skip those points except to say that if you are ever on an SS ship where Cruise Director Moss Hills gives one of his stage performances then GO! Not only is Moss an excellent Cruise Director, he is also a gifted musician, singer and all-round good chap. I think our favourite aspect of the SS experience is the crew. Without exception we found the crew accommodating, welcoming and keen to provide a good service. A few examples: 1. B-i-l and I liked to sit out on Deck 9 aft (adjacent to the panorama lounge) for a read and a smoke. Within a few seconds the panorama barman would bring us each a drink - after the first couple of days he remembered our choices and quietly made sure we never went thirsty! 2. After dinner the 4 of us would retire to the Connoisseurs' lounge - upon arrival the dedicated steward would disappear and return within a minute or so with our usual round of post-dinner drinks and coffee. 3. Our butler became intuitive to our needs to the point where he seemed to know what we wanted before we did. I could go on but you get the idea. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty: Dining Now we all 4 like our food, but we have very different tastes and requirements from one who will eat anything (and I mean anything), to one who is extremely picky. Bearing this in mind it is outstanding that SS fed us 3 times (or more) a day and satisfied each of us. We found the food to be excellent, the choice of wines suited us very well - indeed, the sommelier would often suggest something other than the chosen wine for a meal because he came to know our tastes. The one thing I might criticise is the selection of dessert wines - they have a choice of 3 free-pour dessert wines, none of which were to my taste. I know this is a very personal thing but a decent Sauternes would have been heavenly. They do, however, have a very acceptable Tokai on the wine list for $90 or so and it is, in my view, worth every cent. Main Dining Room. This is a very elegant room with a formal feel. The wait staff are very attentive without being overbearing and the Maitre d' ran a tight ship. We knew the chap from earlier cruises as we did a particular waiter so were always seated at a table covered by that waiter. For dinner one just turns up between 7 and 9.30 pm and chooses a suitably sized table (although a group of 8 or more might be well-advised to clear this with the Maitre d' earlier in the day). Food is too personal to discuss at length other than to say that at no time did we receive anything that wasn't properly prepared and presented. The quality of ingredients was very good and we found the dinner menus to be imaginative and varied. There has been criticism that ''Gourmet Burgers'' are offered on the menu. I have no problem with this as eating them is not compulsory and they are very popular. Eating breakfast or lunch in the MDR is a very elegant, if rather lonely, experience. Breakfast in particular is a very quiet time as most people seem to head for the buffet in La Terrazza. We rather like it at such times and there is someting a bit more special about having one's bowl of muesli delivered by a smiling waiter. No reservations are needed for dinner La Terrazza Slow food. Eh? Yes, slow food. I think by that they mean that the meal is taken in an unhurried fashion with time between courses to chat, sip wine and generally treat the affair as a sociable, European-style experience rather than a refuelling-as-fast-as-possible exercise. The menu has a strong Italian theme but, dare I say it, with more than a nod to the Big Country on the left of the Atlantic. It works. Again, good quality ingredients carefully prepared and served by charming wait-staff (and again, a favourite waitress from a previous cruise kept us well fed and watered). Good ambiance, too. La Terrazza serves as a breakfast and lunch venue with a very extensive buffet. A few items need to be specially ordered - pizza, eggs - but you'd need to be very fussy not to find something to eat here! Notwithstanding the buffet nature of these meals, the staff still attend table to serve drinks or respond to requests. Reservations required for dinner. Pool Grill The pool grill serves lunch very much of the hot dog and fries, light salad, pasta fashion. It does the job but could hardly be described as fine dining. They also set up a buffet style lunch here from time to time that tends to follow a theme. It's OK if that's what you like. In the evening, however, the grill becomes ''Hot Rocks'' where a superheated stone is placed in front of each diner and the food is cooked on that by the diner. The choice is between steak, giant prawns, veal, pork (or all of the above if you are gastrically commodious). Fries, onion rings etc and salads can be ordered as accompaniments. I don't like this venue yet the other 3 of our group loved it. I'd give it 2 stars, they would give it five. Shows how little I know! Stars Stars is a supper club serving a six-course menu, each course consisting of 3 very small tasters, to the accompaniment of a very talented jazz singer. Now, we love this venue and because the menu changes every 4 days we go every fourth day. Dinner starts a little later than the other venues (8.00) and the whole meal needs to be taken slowly. Those that wish to go to the show at 10.15 would be ill-advised to dine here. We never go to the shows and are quite happy spending 2 or 3 hours being overly-well provided with impeccable comestibles. Reservations needed Seishin Japanese food. Not for me. We had one lunch, the other 3 loved it, I really, really didn't. According to others we spoke to the quality of the food is very good - I guess if you like dead fish and sticky rice it probably is. That's unfair because there is quite a variety on the menu. And the setting is very cool. This venue is no charge or reservation at lunchtime but carries a $40 dollar per diner charge in the evening when reservations are needed. Champagne $40 per diner charge, reservations needed, dinner only. Didn't eat there. That was quick, wasn't it? Suite Suite 411 is fine. As much space and the same facilities as a veranda suite but without a, er, veranda. We found the furnishings and facilities to be in very good condition and the suite was maintained impeccably by our room steward. The wardrobe area is easily large enough even for OH's clothing storage requirements. And the bathroom has a seperate bath and shower. Yippee. (And 2 basins but I've never found I've needed more than one at once although it does mean that you and your partner can get it on with a bit of stereo toothbrushing.) Each suite has a butler but the butler serves several suites. Quite how he always managed to be available when we wanted him remains a mystery. From looking after the minibar to getting our tax-free smokes, making reservations, serving breakfast or whatever he never put a foot wrong. Best of all, he never called on us - on another line we had a room steward who would call every now and then to see if we needed anything. At my age I can ask and prefer to be left alone. I find the TV screens in the mirrors quite fun and once you've learned that the remote control sensor is in the grill under the mirror there are no problems with the system. The in-laws couldn't get their's to work but that was because of all the stuff arranged on the shelf in front of the grill. Stuff moved, TV worked. QED. There is an extensive selection of on-demand films for a quiet night in. Shore excursions. Always a contentious issue: pay for a ship's tour or arrange privately? We opted for ship's tours in Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala largely because we had onboard credit to use, we knew nothing about these countries and we had some security concerns (ill-founded, as it happens). On the other hand we went alone in Key West and at the 2 Mexican ports of Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas. Had we known that Acapulco is the fourth most dangerous city in the world we'd not have ambled around the place in such a blase fashion - I suppose the number of paramilitary armed police around the place should have warned us. I'm from Belfast - it was quite nostalgic! Of course, the highlight of the trip was the Panama Canal passage. This took almost all day starting at dawn and was an awesome experience made all the better by having staff on the observation deck keeping us refreshed with drinks, hors d'oeuvres and cold handtowels. I think this probably rates as one of those ''10 things to do before you die'' things. So how would I summarise this cruise? It was what we expected. SS suits us and our needs and the Spirit is our preferred SS ship (we have sailed also on the Whisper and Shadow and will be taking the Wind next year). Is it cheap? No. Is it good value? Definitely Yes. We spent the 2 nights after leaving the ship in the Beverley Hills Four Seasons and when you add in the food and drinks that was at least twice as expensive per night as the cruise and it didn't even go to another country. So could I mark down the score to less than 5 stars? Erm, in all conscience, no. But what suits one person isn't necessarily going to suit someone else. If you want big, professional shows, hideously glitzy decor, holiday camp activities, regimented dining and like standing in line for everything then you need to go elsewhere. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My wife and I have sailed on about 40 cruises including some high end cruises on Crystal, Seaborn, Regent, and Azamura. This was our first cruise on Silversea and it compared nicely with the other luxury cruises we have been on. ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on about 40 cruises including some high end cruises on Crystal, Seaborn, Regent, and Azamura. This was our first cruise on Silversea and it compared nicely with the other luxury cruises we have been on. Embarkation was quick and easy in Istanbul. The ship was docked several blocks from the cruise terminal and we didn't notice that Silversea had a shuttle until we arrived at the ship on foot! Oh well. We needed the exercise anyway. The ship was in very good condition and all the spaces were clean and tidy. The cruise we were on was only about 60% full, so the crew to passenger ratio was about 1:1. Even though we probably had the least expensive cabin (oceanview suite) on the ship, we found it to be spacious and comfortable. Our butler offered us a selection of toiletries including Bulgari and Ferrengamo products along with a hypoallergenic selection. My wife couldn't decide so he gave us both of the designer labels. That was actually convenient because the suite had a separate full size bath tub and a large glass walled shower, so we could place one set of products in each one. We were also offered a selection of pillow which we tried, but ended up liking the original pillows best. Our butler also delivered fruit in the evening, kept our refrigerator stocked with our favorite beverages, and on several occasions, delivered excellent in room breakfast. Our room steward kept our suite spotless and was never intrusive. Dining was very good at all times and in all venues. The only thing that seemed strange to me was the lack of steak on the menu. They had plenty of other excellent offerings, but for beef they seemed to favor angus hamburgers. Entertainment was good for a small ship. One South African duo was particularly good singing standards accompanied by Piano in the Stars restaurant. The other musical groups were good, but they were duos and trios and they tended to rely too much on synthesized rhythm and drums for my taste. To me, they sounded better when they just played their instruments with out the synthesizer. All in all, we really enjoyed out first cruise on Silversea. We're ready to go again! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Enjoyed every single aspect of this excellent ship and cruise. Main dining room service and choices were superb. If you liked a particular wine served days ago, waitstaff would bring it. There are 24/7 staples for unadventurous eaters. ... Read More
Enjoyed every single aspect of this excellent ship and cruise. Main dining room service and choices were superb. If you liked a particular wine served days ago, waitstaff would bring it. There are 24/7 staples for unadventurous eaters. Buffet breakfast at the Italian restaurant outside on the stern. You can also order specialties like a custom omelette from your waiter. Your butler will also serve breakfast in your room as our friends preferred. We had our butler unpack our bags and hang the clothes saving my wife her first afternoon aboard. Packing up to leave, the butler forgot one large suitcase he'd put under the bed and jammed everything into the others necessitating a repacking job. More amusing than disastrous. Your choice of beverages restocked daily in your refrigerator, included. For us it was just water, saving Silverseas money. The ship's modest size made everything readily accessible. Unexpectedly enjoyed the ship's library with many book choices and daily printed copies of major newspapers. Many quiet areas to hang out afternoons after touring especially forward on the top floor. Tours were excellent especially if ancient history is your forte. The Mercedes Benz tour busses are extremely comfortable. Ephesus was the most totally restored, but invaded by hundreds of cats demanding worship. Side trip: suggest climbing the castle hill ruins at the port in Lemnos for photos and taking a later tender back to the ship. The daily lectures about the sites are not to be missed. We did not watch the entertainment beyond the first night as they were not compelling. Others enjoyed this. We also did not try the specialty restaurants for a fee as we were more than pleased with the available choices. Our tour guide neglected to tell us to tell bathroom attendants we're with Silverseas and they waive the coin fee. Silverseas' departure and service and onsite help at the airport was efficient and needed to be with the chaos at huge Istanbul airport. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This is my 4th cruise on Silver Spirit which is probably my favourite ship of all as it has my preferred tonnage for a balance of facilities and privacy. I cruise on the same ship a year ago and again this time I am extremely happy with my ... Read More
This is my 4th cruise on Silver Spirit which is probably my favourite ship of all as it has my preferred tonnage for a balance of facilities and privacy. I cruise on the same ship a year ago and again this time I am extremely happy with my experience. They have changed quite a bit in restaurant services, now that waiters take order with a Galaxy pad, and I suppose this is good even for customers as it ensures continuous flow in the delivery of meal courses. Throughout 9 days on this trip the weather is great. We missed Mykonos this trip and spent one more night in Athens instead which I am not unhappy with, as I have been to Mykonos many times. The trouble is lack of pier facilities at Mykinos and the captain does not want to use tender in a windy condition, which maybe a good decision for comfort important to a 5-star ship. Yes, comfort is the key to travel on Silversea, as the cabin is spacious and service in housekeeping and of the butler are great as usual. Silversea restaurant and bar services are also invariably great, particularly I am recognized by many as a return cruiser. I cruise in all ships and it is interesting that 5-star ship crew always try to remember you, while on a big ship they try to pretend that they don't know you even if they do! Perhaps this is the main reason that most 5-star ships get following (4 star ships also get following due to unbelievable cheap fares off season). The design of the menu of the main restaurant on this ship has much changed, and I would say for the better. I am happier now as there is less (or almost no) Asian fusion on menu items. I find most Chinese or Japanese food on ships are actually Philippine food. The alternative restaurants Le Champagne and Stars, as well as La Terrezza all have my top marking. The Asian restaurant has great service but the food is not really Asian....I would say it is rather American Asian if you like that kind of food. But great that with the only Asian restaurant on any Silversea ship the buffet lunch always includes sashimi (and great that there can't be fusion on raw fish). Good also that the lunch menu in the main restaurant is now also enlarged and good, and now it has as many choices almost as at dinner, while some cruise ships, even 5-star, offer a kind of Hamburger/Sandwich based menu to cater for America taste. All in all, a great trip. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This Silversea Cruise was an excellent experience. The boat was top class, the staff were exceptional and the food very good. The ports of call were well organised with information of each port being provided via a nightly news letter ... Read More
This Silversea Cruise was an excellent experience. The boat was top class, the staff were exceptional and the food very good. The ports of call were well organised with information of each port being provided via a nightly news letter and/or talks explaining the facts of the next port. there were numerous activities onboard although we did not participate. There was a choice of dining by ourselves or joining some fellow cruise passengers if you wanted. A very big bonus is the fact that you do not feel like you are putting your hand in your pocket every time your wanted a drink of some food. Everything is included which provided for a relaxed and hassle free cruise. If there was one criticism if would be on leaving the ship the organisation could have been better when tranferring from ship to customs. It was a little disorganised at the coach transfer. This normally would not be an issue except it is the last point at which you touch the Silversea service, this should be equally if not more important than joining the ship. A very small thing and would certainly not change my recommendation that Silversea is a marvellous way to see the world and relax Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first Silversea cruise. We have done many others to include Seabourn, Paul Gaugin, Windstar, as well as the larger ships. Altogether probably 20-25 cruises total. The Spirit is a vey clean, well maintained, and ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise. We have done many others to include Seabourn, Paul Gaugin, Windstar, as well as the larger ships. Altogether probably 20-25 cruises total. The Spirit is a vey clean, well maintained, and comfortable ship. About the right size in my opinion, but then, it was probably 60% capacity for the crossing. The suite was quite nice with the common comment of the closeness between the bed and vanity being probably my only negative. Butler did all we asked which was not a lot of extra personal service. Some may wish for more, but we felt his level of service was about right. Our cabin stewardess was remarkably efficient and generally did as well, or better, than we have experienced on other lines. Port comments are minimal on a transatlantic. We spent 1 1/2 days at Hamilton Burmuda, and were scheduled to spend 6-7 hours in Horta, Azores. Due to rough seas toward The Azores, the Captain made the call to stay south towards somewhat calmer seas. I personally felt it was the right call. As he said in his daily briefing, "the ship would be OK, but probably not the passengers". Some have remarked disappointment at not substituting another port. If you think about it, there are not too many options in the middle of the Atlantic, in a storm, where you can get a port on a days notice and still make your destination on time. I guess that's why he makes the decision rather than discussing it amongst the passengers. Comfort and safety of crew, passengers and equipment are his priority. As for value for the money spent? Excellent service, very good food, excellent bar service with mid-upper shelf liquor, seas as smooth as possible, and good communication between ships officers and passengers is about all I expect so I gave it a 5 star rating. These are subjective at best, but I never really expect five star experience for 2 star price. The dining room was always excellent with reasonably good wine poured in ample quantity no matter what your capacity. The food was very well prepared and offered a reasonable variety with the menu rotation very tolerable. We ate in Le Champagne once and it was exquisite. It should be with an $80 surcharge per couple. We ate in the pool grill for the Hot Rock menu. I liked it but my wife was disappointed to a degree. The Italian restaurant was very good in my opinion. The service level at the less formal venue during breakfast and lunch was almost too much. I can carry my own plate to my table but it was nearly impossible to get by the wait staff waiting to help out. As usual on a cruise, the issue is self control with food as opposed to the quality. There were some things I thought were better on some cruise lines but for the most part all was well. The breakfast and lunches were pretty repetitive unless you asked for something special, then, it was "no problem". Embarkation was probably as seamless as we have experienced. Disembarkation was as well. Would I go on another Silversea cruise? Yes, but probably would look at overall cost, itinerary, and convenience to make my decision. Cost is a factor for us and Silversea is not inexpensive. Worth the money? Probably if service is an issue. My last comment concerns the final destination port, Lisbon, Portugal. We booked an apartment in Lisbon for 5 nights following our cruise. My only regret is that it could have been much longer. We loved Lisbon and will try and go back. Lots to see and do in a short period of time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Wow. This was a tremendous cruise on a spectacular ship that gives THE BEST in quality and service. It's a small ship, 540 guests and 375 crew. The ships décor is " understated Elegance "- tasteful not tinsel. Very ... Read More
Wow. This was a tremendous cruise on a spectacular ship that gives THE BEST in quality and service. It's a small ship, 540 guests and 375 crew. The ships décor is " understated Elegance "- tasteful not tinsel. Very spacious suites at over 300 sf with a 65 sf verandah. Lovely sitting area with built in flat screen Tv. Fully stocked Bar fridge plus your personal Bar as well. King sized bed with choice of both pillows and mattress. Another built in flat screen TV. Full walk in closet with 6 drawer dresser and lots of hanging space. The spacious bathroom has a walk in rain shower. There is also a separate 6' tub and a generous vanity with the best of toiletries. There are 6 wonderful dining venues offering a wide selection of excellent cuisine and open seat dining. There is entertainment every night in the Show Lounge . In addition, the Silversea Trio plays in the lounge during cocktail hour and the beautiful Ester and Chantelle sing each night at Stars. They have a wonderful Library , where every morning the print off the various newspapers from around the world . Being from Toronto it was great to catch up reading the Globe and Mail. Another fabulous feature is the self serve laundry on every floor which features free washer, dryer, soap, ironing board etc. Brilliant! Staff is incredible! Special thanks to Atanu Chowdhury, our Butler and John Mark , our Suite Attendant ,who looked after us so well. Also Rob, Mark and Kenneth at the Lobby Bar and Miguel and John, our poolside waiters. There are just too many people to thank for making this such a wonderful journey. What an amazingly positive and enthusiastic crew. Here's the most amazing thing. we met many people during our 12 nights and we could not believe how many were on there 3rd or 4th Silversea cruise. I think that sums it up. We're hooked and can't wait for our next Silversea experience.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
My wife and I have cruised 20+ times on various lines - twice before on Silver Spirit. Our TA organised BA flights to LAX and 1 night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. We had transfers arranged and arrived at LA cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 20+ times on various lines - twice before on Silver Spirit. Our TA organised BA flights to LAX and 1 night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. We had transfers arranged and arrived at LA cruise terminal about 12.30 and were checked in and on board by 12.35! After lunch in La Terrazza we were advised that the cabins were ready about 2.30 and luggage arrived soon after. All very painless. We were in a V6 cabin on deck 8 and apart from being too narrow between the bed and the vanity table,it was fine. While we do not really make much use of the butler service, Mark was anxious to please and did everything we wanted. Nearly all the staff remembered our names from day2 and were all very pleasant and helpful. We did ship excursions at Rangiroa, Tahiti and Bora Bora - nothing particularly great and, as usual, somewhat overpriced.The guest lecturers were rather a mixed bag but mostly interesting. Overall, we enjoyed the food on board. We were rarely in the Main Dining Room - not because of the food but because it was almost always nearly empty and there was little "buzz". La Terrazza and The Grill (Hot Rocks) were much more popular. We had one meal in Le Champagne which was fine but we did not particularly feel like rushing back there. We did not eat in Seishin - it appeared to be empty most of the time. It is probably worth mentioning that the ship was only slightly more than half full and this accounts for the empty spaces. Rather to our surprise, the entertainment was much better than expected - the singers performed most nights and put on some excellent shows. Overall, we had a most enjoyable cruise to places we had not seen before. It was a disappointment not being able to land in Raratonga but as there were lots of tender islands, perhaps we were lucky it was only one! The flight home from Auckland (via Sydney) with Qantas was long but comfortable - New Zealand is about as far away as it is possible to get from Scotland - 24 hours flying time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
we sailed last year on the silver whisper to the fjords of norway. that was our first time on silver seas ship. we loved it so much that we booked our next cruise while on that one. we were not disappointed. everything about the ... Read More
we sailed last year on the silver whisper to the fjords of norway. that was our first time on silver seas ship. we loved it so much that we booked our next cruise while on that one. we were not disappointed. everything about the experience was seamless. we booked 901 and 903, the grand suite and the adjoining suite for a family of 4. for us the experience of the silver seas is like being on a four seasons on water. the biggest perk of the large suite is free dry cleaning and laundry. heaven on the seas for me! check in was a breeze. we had spent two nights in venice before emarking. got on the ship at 2 and we were in our rooms within a half hour. we had the most amazing butler, catalino. nothing was impossible and he went out of his way to be accomodating to any wish. the food was similar on both cruises. we loved the japanese restaurant and champagne as well. we are not huge foodies, esp since we were traveling with two teenage boys. pizza was a huge disappointment. they must need a pizza oven to really get it right. we spent much of our time during the day off the boat. we had booked many our tours on our own. we did only silver seas sponsored tour, a cheese tasting which was terrific and well organized. croatia is beautiful, great ports, our favorite being split. diocletian's palace is not to be missed. slovenia is spectacular as well. all in all, this was another terrific cruise and we have booked for next year as well.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
My partner and I had a great time on an all too short 7 days Caribbean cruise. this was our second SilverSea and certainly the better of the two we have been on. There had apparently been turnover of staff and many of the staff on-board ... Read More
My partner and I had a great time on an all too short 7 days Caribbean cruise. this was our second SilverSea and certainly the better of the two we have been on. There had apparently been turnover of staff and many of the staff on-board came onto the ship the same day that we boarded. That created a few dips in the service, especially around the pool where we watched a number of tables waiting for service. Did we mind waiting, not at all. The drinks were flowing, the music was playing. All was good! The only day of the cruise that it rained, was the night of the deck party so it was cancelled. (Couldn't they have tried that again another night...maybe not?) So no deck party this cruise. The Cruise Critic meet and mingle was fun and Duct Tape- We love you! The Ports were nothing to write home about except for St. Baarts which was fantastic. The shows were ok, nothing great but the supper club singer was amazing! We'd go in after dinner and just listen to her. Crazy good! Food, ok, the breakfast buffet could use a little work but overall was impressed with the experience. Why why why Silversea do you have formal nights (2) in the Caribbean?? Take a page from others and drop the tuxes and go casual! Cabin stewardess and Butler were just Beyond- huge kudos to those folks! Overall- We liked it and felt it was a great experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
We've visited many Caribbean islands over the years, love the region for it vibrancy and warmth - the people sort as well as that of climate. But we'd never made it to Barbados. We had taken a three day cruise on Carnival - and ... Read More
We've visited many Caribbean islands over the years, love the region for it vibrancy and warmth - the people sort as well as that of climate. But we'd never made it to Barbados. We had taken a three day cruise on Carnival - and decided the large ships aren't our favorite. Vacation for us means getting away from it all and we just had the feeling on the big ship we were taking it all along with us. We had cruised on the late lamented Windjammer Barefoot Cruises and had a marvelous time but they departed the scene alas and we're a bit older than once we were. So when the combination of the destination (Barbados) and trying out an upscale cruise experience (my wife loves the idea of having a balcony as a refuge, a place to read, relax and get completely away from it all) presented itself with Silversea line's Silver Spirits cruise #5401, Ft Lauderdale to Barbados, we jumped on. So to speak. It had the added advantage of happening in January, raising some concerns about the possibilities of weather interfering with travel, raising costs at the far end of the cruise (we stayed a week in Barbados after our cruise) but allowing us the chance to see it all during high season. Much of our previous travel to the region has been just outside high season, generally in mid-April including sailing around the BVI with a friend in his 35 foot sailboat, a Sabreliner. We looked over cruise lines, were highly intrigued by several especially Star Clippers, loved by friends of ours, and of course Seabourne. We had a fantastic vacation in French Polynesia a few years ago and realized after the fact that probably the best way to do that for the very first time would be to book on the Paul Gauguin, a gorgeous ship (we saw it a couple times on our trip there) and given that airfare is included a terrific way to see multiple islands in addition to experiencing the marvelous experience that ship offers. So when we came across Silver Spirit's itinerary and learned more about the ship itself, we were hooked. We flew out to Ft Lauderdale a couple days early just in case - the polar incursion that pretty much crippled transportation throughout the NE USA made that precaution seem quite a good choice; a number of passengers were delayed, some joining us in Puerto Rico on the third day into the cruise, others i presume not making it at all. Having time on our hands we spent a very pleasant day visiting Ft Lauderdale's fine art museum which happily had three exhibits up, each quite different from the other two, all of very high quality. We went down and strolled along the riverfront park area and wound up watching my alma mater's basketball team play (and happily win) a game at a sports bar quite near our at the port hotel which served excellent fresh fish as well. We took a cab over to the port on launching day - January 6th - and were very pleased with the process. There was little in the way of lines the ship's capacity being just over 500 passengers and the weather, as mentioned, having intervened even with that number. (i do believe we reached at or near 500 by the time we departed Puerto Rico so it wound up being a good test of the Silver Spirit experience.) We checked in and went to our suite (as the cabins are referred to) where we met our "butler" (seems to be what stewards are called on this line and perhaps others, i wouldn't know about that) - Rowena - and Larry who would be cleaning and tidying the suite throughout the cruise. They were very personable, very welcoming, quite professional. Rowena showed us around. Larry - who seems always to be smiling happily - was smiling happily and made us feel quite at home. The suite was beautiful. Lots of wood, mirrors in both the bed and sitting areas with television pictures as rectangles "embedded" in the center of each, a desk, writing desk and lots of cabinet space in the sitting room and of course the teak veranda/balcony beyond that. The bathroom was on our left in the narrow hallway as we entered and beyond it the walk in closest with lots of space, hangers and the room safe atop a chest of drawers at the far end. Plenty of room for the clothing we brought along - and we had three suitcases given the nine night cruise and our planned week-long stay afterwards on the island. i know, over-packing, but we hadn't been quite this way before and when all is said and done i prefer to work a bit harder getting somewhere than to find i have prepared inadequately for the bulk of my time. i figure i'll learn to conserve before we do this next time. We preferred to do our own unpacking - perhaps a mistake as i could take some lessons from Rowena who packs and unpacks on a professional basis - more on that later - but it's not much to do it oneself. We stowed two of the cases at the very back of the closet - lots of room; Rowena wound up putting the third simply under the bed, an easier solution. Having a bit of time we set off to explore our floating home for a bit before the required safety drill - attendance is taken - and departure from port which we watched from the deck off the Italian restaurant - La Terrazza - where we met a couple of passengers from Ireland in the process, mother and daughter, who quickly became our friends (and added to the family feel of our trip when we would run into them and join with them for a meal or a walkabout in one port or another). Okay, hint #1: at this time passengers have the opportunity to go to i think it was the Stars supper club (deck 7) to make dinner reservations at the various restaurants. The hint is do it as some of the restaurants are smaller and more intimate and if you don't make your reservation right at the start you might not get in. This is especially true for the line's well-advertised Le Champagne restaurant which holds about 20 people. By the time we thought to try to go there, we could only get on the waiting list and never did make it in. (Although some with whom we spoke were not all that impressed with it so we didn't worry too much about that.) Restaurants: there are several - we did not make it into all but next cruise we would try to do so. Le Champagne - deck 4 - intimate, highly advertised by the Italian cruise line, an elegant approach; there is a surcharge involved to eat here. Seishin - also deck 4 - also a surcharge to eat here. We did so twice. There are three options for dinner, each beginning with an amuse buche followed by a marvelous sashimi and sushi plate, the sushi chef located in the middle of the space preparing this, the tables - 7 or 8 iirc - around the edges of the room. At lunch there is the option of getting a bento (boxed) lunch; at dinner there are two three course meals dinners at a surcharge of $20 as well as a full 9 course degustation meal at a $30 surcharge. We tried both versions, the 9 course our first visit and the 3 course meals our second visit. We had marvelous service from MaryAnn assisted by Sharlotte and, our second visit, when i asked to have the first three-course menu but substitute the main course from the second MaryAnn just smiled and assured us it would be no problem at all. Nor was it. We very much liked this restaurant. The main restaurant is, naturally, called The Restaurant. It too is located on deck 4 (the aforementioned two flanking the entrance to the Restaurant.) We found this one good; not great, but quite satisfactory. We have some food restrictions - one of the joys brought by advancing years - which limited us just a bit in our selection but service was excellent, the surroundings fine - think upscale restaurant 'most anywhere, and the food good. We enjoyed it - but chose other options for the rest of the cruise rather than repeat this one. The aforementioned La Terrazza - being the Italian venue on an Italian-run ship - was quite good. Indoor seating is good and there is also the option of outdoor seating, delightful at breakfast and lunch. Starting with dinner, i found the pasta quite good; our new friend and fellow passenger Art said the lamb rack was outstanding. The wine selection was okay - and they were quite happy to offer an alternate selection such as the Bordeaux i preferred to the offered Burgundy. They would have been happier still to provide one of the for-purchase selections the prices of which were in the range of "if you have to ask the price, don't bother with these." We demurred and did just fine with the included selection, my wife especially appreciating the whites while i explored the reds. For breakfast and lunch, the buffets in the La Terrazza venue were marvelous. Can't think of anything they might have done to have made them more appealing to us. Our Irish friends took the culinary tour offered on board and came away very impressed that they prepare all of the bread and pasta offerings from scratch every day, even the bread sticks. They certainly succeeded with those and most passengers we got to know wound up eating breakfast and lunch at La Terrazza. The Show Lounge - deck 5 - served smaller platters and our friends Art and Cindy just loved it. We planned to make it but never did; we will do so on our next cruise on this line because of the raves about it. There was entertainment - and we simply opted for a quieter dinner experience this voyage. The experience that i loved was Hot Rocks. You need reservations though there is no additional surcharge. This is on the pool deck - deck 9 - at the Pool Grill area (there is also a pool bar of course) or at tables on deck 10 which overlooks the pool at The Grill. Hot Rocks is called that for the obvious reason: you order a steak or the huge (and delectable) shrimp or a combination of both and your server brings your entrée to you already cooking - searing - on a lava stone that has been pre- and slowly-heated to 900 degrees. The stone is about three inches thick and perhaps 12 inches square. The server places the stone on its platter in front of you leaving room for your dinner plate between it and you and then turns the meat over so it starts cooking on the other side. It's up to you when you want to remove it from the stone to stop cooking it. They advertise that it's perfectly done just for you every time, an element that is completely under your personal control. As we eat simply at home - and far less often - the chance for simpler fare was very appealing and as the dinner itself was outstanding, we ate there twice including our last night on board. Your platter comes with baked potato with a range of toppings, vegetables and salad first course. Desserts here and throughout the ship were also quite good. There's even a choice of sorbets throughout the afternoon on the pool deck. If i've forgotten other venues it is only because we failed to try them. There's only so much and so often a person can eat no matter the variety of choices and the quality of the offerings. So, overall - was this the quality of Carlos' in Highland Park north of Chicago? No, not quite to that standard imo. But very good - high quality - very happy with the variety and the quality offered. And as throughout the ship with the service. i should add that the bar (called The Bar) is located on deck 5 just beyond reception and the shore concierge desks. Quite attractive and this is where we all went on debarkation day, at least those of us leaving the cruise in Barbados. Voyage 5401 actually continued on to Rio, to Buenos Aires, around the horn and up the Pacific Coast of South America - Chile, Peru - and on through the Panama Canal and back to Ft Lauderdale and Port Everglades. Our new friends Art and Cindy were among those doing the entire cruise, a total of 66 days long. Others were going on as far as Rio or Buenos Aires. When we left in Barbados, others boarded for the next segment of the cruise. It was in all a lovely thought and we continue to mentally follow Art and Cindy and the others on their adventure. The first couple days of the voyage are at sea, a portion of the cruise we found to be our favorite. The TV screens in the suite had camera options that included a camera facing ahead which was very nice entering each port, a second that included the relevant ship's environmental information including temperature, wind velocity, ship's speed, ocean depth beneath us, course, etc. along with cameras that showed various views including one of the pool area. Then there was a selection of channels including CNN, BBC, Fox, i think they had MSNBC, international sports, ESPN Caribbean (lots and lots of soccer, a bit of cricket, we did get one of the NFL playoff games - but not the other), etc. The veranda (at the outboard side of the suite) got some use; the ocean was a fine companion; the ship was stabilized of course - there was a bit of rocking that didn't feel like that at all, it was just that at times you did need to watch your balance a bit. i noticed there were always waiters at the buffet to assist by carrying one's platter to one's table, a precaution perhaps more for the rest of the diners than for the person who would actually eat the food. We used the first day to visit the boutiques and were surprised to find the prices quite reasonable there. There were sport coats - a light colored one and of course a blazer - as well as more formal wear. The blazer - light colored - was $179 and seemed of a quality that made that a reasonable price for it. The exercise room was well equipped and very nice. We didn't use the spa services - massages and such - but have no doubt as to their high quality as well. In the suite, i should mention the bathroom. There is a tub which was of a generous size and the shower was well thought out and organized, encased in a clear plastic enclosure with a tight-closing door and both a rain shower head and a hand held - whatever your preference it was easily arrangeable. Hint #2: in our suite anyway the water temperature varied between the two shower heads. If you started with the rain shower head, directly overhead, and then wanted to switch to the hand held to direct the spray while you shampooed or such, the initial spray of water would be cold for a second or two and then significantly hotter than the rain shower. It was important to turn the temperature down before switching and then adjust a bit up after a couple seconds to feel. There is a sign posted that cautions you to always test the temperature before stepping in. If you're used to hots that don't really get hot, think again - when they say "hot" on the Silver Spirit, they truly mean hot. It was a marvelous surprise to us. Combine that with amenities by Bvlgari and the suite and bathroom were quite up with our anticipation of what such ought to be on a luxury cruise. The ship's shore excursions: we signed up only for two - the Rain Forest excursion in Puerto Rico and a snorkel and scuba excursion in St Barths. (see below) A separate word - from what i've written under port reports below about St Maarten. St Martin (smallest piece of land in the world divided between two nations: the port and Phillipsburg are in Sint Maarten and are Dutch; the northern area of the island are St Martin and are French. We spent a marvelous week once in the French Village of Grand Case and highly recommend that.) Phillipsburg is a duty free port with outstanding shopping particularly for jewelry and watches. Silver Spirit carries with it a designated ship's shopper. On our cruise it was Phillip. He's a Californian and he was expert, thorough and always available. Landing in Phillipsburg (a coincidence? well, okay, but it did seem rather apt), St Maarten, we cruised the shopping area and when anyone heard the name of our ship (they ask when you enter a shop such as Diamonds International) they would say, "Oh, you're with Phillip." Quoted prices dropped significantly once it was established that you were with Phillip and he made the rounds of the shops and seemed constantly available to consult or assist anyone from the ship. Prices in port seemed quite good for expensive items. But such items are individual enough i really couldn't tell you. Phillipsburg and St John Antigua however have widespread reputations for being excellent ports for the purchase of jewelry - especially diamonds - and watches if you are into such things. Phillip was definitely one of the ship's very useful features and a number of our shipmates commented very appreciatively about him and his services. Disembarking came. You can choose your preferred disembarking time but are asked to clear your suite (the ship is nearly entirely suites with verandas) by 8:30 in the morning. Rowena assisted with the packing - in my case she did a lot more than simply assist. We all applied the provided tags to our luggage - each color corresponding with the requested disembarkation time in what appeared to be half hour intervals - in the hallway outside our door when we went to bed, retaining only what we would need for the morning and our carry-ons. In the morning we left our carryons in the room while we went and settled up at the reception desk, reclaimed our passports, had a last breakfast at La Terrazza, reclaimed our carryons and joined our friends in The Bar area to await the call for our group to disembark and reclaim our luggage at customs. Disembarkation was easy and straightforward. A bus took you - again by color designation - to where your luggage was waiting and customs was quite a simple process. i'm sure i've forgotten something but that's a whole lot already up above so a short summary. My wife had wondered how she would like it, on the ship with 500 others, upscale food and service all the time, etc. Short answer, she loved it. Silver Spirit was about her favorite vacation ever - and when that includes 14 days in French Polynesia (Tahati and all that), that's saying something. The number of people was enough that we found great companions and i hope lasting friends - and enjoyed running into friends in whatever port we happened to be - and yet small enough that we rarely felt we were in a crowd. Food was very good, breakfasts and lunches superior. The suite was more than simply comfortable - we certainly do miss it. The service was wonderful - so many going out of their way obviously their hope was to please you. Lovely experience. Would we prefer one of the line's smaller ships? (Silver Spirit is their largest - others carry up to 380 or fewer passengers) Perhaps so. We look forward to finding out one day. But this was pretty terrific - and in our case the itinerary was perfect.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
First time on Silversea; most comparable cruise we have been on was Seabourne, so that is the best comparison. We took a mid-ship veranda which was very comfortable: king bed, full-size couch, separate closet, shower and bathtub, toilet in ... Read More
First time on Silversea; most comparable cruise we have been on was Seabourne, so that is the best comparison. We took a mid-ship veranda which was very comfortable: king bed, full-size couch, separate closet, shower and bathtub, toilet in separate room. We boarded in Rio, traveling to Paraty, Santos, Puente del Este, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Silver Spirit is approximately 4 years old and accommodates 550 guests; on the trip the loading was approximately 500. Positives: * Cruise director was one of the best we had every met; made the entire trip fun. Seemed to work more than 15 hours each day. * Food was excellent across the restaurants; service was not consisten. * Veranda room was bigger than comparable room on Seabourne * Speciality restaurants Palazzo and Pool Grill (not charging additional money) were excellent and many guests gravitated there for dinners * Butler service was excellent; we were well looked after several times a day * Gym not large, but adequate; track on 10th level (10 laps = 1 mile) * Entertainment was good (a group of 6) who tried hard; most events were well attended * We traveled over SuperBowl Sunday; cruise director managed to buy the tv rights and 200+ guests had a wonderful evening on the sea watching the SuperBowl, with delicious snacks Negatives: * Dining Room service was terrible for breakfast and lunch; staff not interested in serving us. One breakfast we sat for almost 2 hours. We gave up on the Dining Room and ate in the buffet restaurant (Palazzo) instead which was excellent. * Specialty restaurants charging $30 per person per meal were not worth the additional cost, in our opinion. Food was not significantly better. * Internet was ridculously expensive. Best deal was 1000 minutes for $250 and then 250 minutes for $85. Almost twice as expensive as Seabourne. Also many complaints by passengers about difficulty to log on and log off, despite an "internet concierge." * Many private cocktail parties curtailed use of bars in the early evenings * Concierge desk rarely helpful; worst staff we encountered on the ship * Silversea wants each guest to make a contribution to a Silversea charity run by the family; you need to opt out of your contribution is automatically added to the bill * Very little notice about bridge and kichen tour; concierge refused to make a second tour despite many guest requests. As noted above, concierge more interested in creating impediments than granting requests. * Enrichment lectures were very uneven. One of the guest lecturers, a former Ambassador in South America many years ago, was not very informed and was criticized by guests. * The barbecue, which prior guests told us was a highlight, was cancelled because of a rain forecast. Seemed to us that the barbecue could have been held on another night with good weather. * Ship excursions were very expensive! Many guests traveled on their own. Ports: Many of the ports that Silver Spirit used on this trip are container ports, requiring a bus trip (provided for free) or a long walk to the actual port terminal. * Rio de Janeiro (2 days) -- so much to see; continual worries about pickpockets and personal safety in certain areas; traffic was terrible! * Paraty -- very little to do; very poor city, difficult tender. Most guests left after an hour or two to return to the ship. Another port would have been much more fun, or two days in Puente del Este! * Santos -- nice port city with good shopping and gateway to Sao Paolo * Puente del Este -- beautiful beaches, great shopping; Bevery Hills meets South Beach; friendly people * Montevideo -- interesting city with beautiful beaches, great architecture and fun shopping; friendly people * Buenos Aires (2 days) -- wonderful city which holds its own even with economic difficulties. Wonderful to spend an evening there   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
The title was chosen since the Silversea cruise could be divided into two parts from Barcelona to Funchal and then the trip to Fort Lauderdale. The Twice part is an ending comparison with the two Atlantic crossings this year, the Spring ... Read More
The title was chosen since the Silversea cruise could be divided into two parts from Barcelona to Funchal and then the trip to Fort Lauderdale. The Twice part is an ending comparison with the two Atlantic crossings this year, the Spring one on the Seabourn Pride and the Silver Spirit. The cruise started in Barcelona where we arrived the day before to see some of the sights and also get acclimated to a 6 hour change in time zones . We could have used a few more days to see the city. The embarkation went very well with one exception; the taxi took us to the wrong pier. Her mistake but she had the meter running so we paid for it. Surprising to us our cabin was ready so we left our carry-on luggage and went for our first lunch at La Terrazza. It was almost impossible for you to bring your plate to your table since the staff practically took it out of your hand. The buffet was well done and had a very good selection, especially if you like sushi. One problem occurred when I asked about the available wine. The response was we have one for white and one for red as well champagne. I asked what others were available, and the response was that if I did not like this one they would bring me something else. Most of the times this took 5 minutes to find a substitute wine. Based on recommendations from Cruise Critic, we went to make our reservations at the specialty restaurants. There were about 15 people on line but they had only 2 sample menus for each restaurant so you got about a minute to look at each one. Also it was not clear how many reservations you could make. In the end we got two at the Grill(aka Hot Rocks) and La Terrazza, and one each at Le Champagne, Seishin and Stars. We also got waitlisted for additional times at these restaurants. Our cabin was the standard veranda suite that was about 300 square feet on Deck 8. The cabin size for more than enough for 2 people and had plenty of storage space. The couch was uncomfortable, which is typical for a cruise ship. The only issues in the cabin were the shortage of electrical outlets but the two TV monitors are great. The balcony contained two adjustable chairs and a similar table. We really liked the marble and granite bathrooms, which included a full sized tub, and a separate, glass shower cubicle. The luggage cam very promptly and we met our butler and cabin attendant. We then placed our beverage order for 2 bottles of liquor that we actually used only one of them since there were plenty of places to drink. The fridge was stocked with a variety of soft drinks and water. When we told the butler what we liked for soft drinks, he filled the refrigerator with the chosen beverages. But he did fail to remove the unwanted brands, which was not a big issue but he had to replenish the requested items more often. Finally I would like to complement the cabin staff, they were always available to meet your needs and our cabin was made up quickly. We had the meet and mingle party in the Observation Deck. Silversea did a great job in hosting the event and we met a number of people that we got to know really well for the rest of the voyage. The average age of the passengers was definitely over 60, which is what we expected. Our first dinner on the ship was at La Terraza and the menu featured many great items. Unfortunately we never saw that menu again since they periodically change the menu about every three days. The food was done right with the exception of the liberal use of salt in all dishes. This was true in all restaurants and we soon learned to have them put the sauces on the side and not to season meat before we cooked it at the Grill. Again we went through the same game with the wine. I had to taste it and reject it first. Since it was an Italian restaurant, you would have thought they would offer an Italian wine as the featured wine. They did find a Chianti that was above average and we enjoyed a few more bottles later in the cruise. The second night dinner was in the main dining room (The Restaurant) and my meal was the Beef Wellington that was done perfectly. Unfortunately my spouse’s steak was very salty and over-cooked. They quickly replaced it with a Beef Wellington. In most cases when there was a problem the crew responded very well and quickly addressed the issue. At the end of the first few days I would have rated it as the best MDR on any ship. More on this issue later. My spouse used room service for breakfast on all days while I used it only sparingly. The service was prompt on all days and early on several days when the butler explained that people were specifying the same time for tours so we won (?) and got the food early. If you ordered hot items it was 50/50 chance it was not hot on arrival. We stopped ordering toast since it was always cold and hard. The bread untoasted was the best approach. I will do a quick review of our and some of our fellow passengers experiences with the other restaurants and room service. The Grill, starts with a basket of tortilla chips and guacamole dip. There is achoice of a couple of salads and then you get to cook your meat and fish on a hot slab of volcanic stone. As mentioned earlier the first time we ate at the Grill the meat was over-seasoned but the next two times we requested and got the meat with no seasoning. The meat dishes are accompanied by a small and actually the right sized baked potato and a skewer of veggies. The veggies seem to arrive cold so they spent some time on the hot rock to reheat them. There were a few choices for the desert course that were not anything special. It was consistently the best restaurant on the entire cruise. The Grill for lunch was ok but only when they had special setups. The standard burgers were ok but the sandwiches were horrible. The choices of deserts were terrible and the selection of ice cream was limited. By far the best pool side grill is on Oceania. The choices are freshly cooked and the ice cream choices are numerous. The one problem with the pool deck is that one side of the deck is reserved for smokers and you can smell the smoke even when you are a distance away. It is time to ban all smoking on ships. Le Champagne is a Relais & Châteaux restaurant but unfortunately it does not measure up to other R&C restaurants. The menu at Le Champagne changes periodically during the cruise. Le Champagne is an intimate, dark and elegant space on Deck 4 across from Seishin and next to The Restaurant. We were able to find a good Bordeaux wine to drink at the restaurant. The rack of lamb was great but the lobster was terrible. One of the courses arrived cold and it was not the salad. Several days later a group of our friends ate the restaurant and the service was terrible and they also experienced cold food. It was so bad that the cruise line refunded their guest reservation fee is US$30 per person. We cancelled our waitlists for the restaurant. With STARS, Silversea attempts to re-create the atmosphere of an art deco-inspired supper club with a singer and piano player. The menu is a set, multi-course collection of unique items in tapas-style served three at a time. There were 5 courses and also they offer an additional small plate of pasta if you want it. One of us had the pasta and the other did not need it. The staff did a great job in getting sauces for one of use separated from the entrée. This created a table full of small dishes. It was an unique experience but one we chose not to repeat since we found several items that neither of us liked. We did like the show so we came again later on another evening. SEISHIN RESTAURANT Seishin specializes in Japanese food. The Sushi preparation station is in the middle of the restaurant where you can watch the dishes being created by the Sushi chef. We elected to have the Teaser menu and since my spouse does not eat raw fish the restaurant put together a special Teaser menu for her by combining items from each Teaser menu.There was a $20 pp reservation fee for Teaser menus. Again we went only once. However the best kept secret is that Seishin offers a complimentary sushi and sashimi bar for lunch. It is GREAT for sushi and sashimi lovers. I ate there six times and always enjoyed it. What was amazing was that the restaurant was also always empty for this lunch treat. The only negative point was that they ran out of Asahi beer. This restaurant had the best service staff. Maybe since there were very few guests. This brings me to the changing point for the two cruises comment. Starting in Funchal the ship started to run out of items some that could be expected on a 16 day cruise but others were crazy. How could an Italian restaurant on a cruise ship owned by an Italian family run out of Parmesan cheese with 7 days to go. They seemed to make no effort to replenish any items at the ports of call. The food also seemed to increasingly seasoned to a very high level. The soup in La Terrazza was so salted that it was inedible. It just happened that the chef was making his rounds and when we quietly told him about the soup he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. He only wanted to hear complements and not problems. The Restaurant also became middle of the road in both quality and service. We were told we could not order an alternative wine without tasting the offered one. I tried to explain that I had already tasted that one and did not like it. I asked who told him to do this and he said the head sommelier. Since I had met the sommelier at two wine tastings I knew what the waiter told me was correct. The two wine tastings were humorous. At the first one we tasted only one wine which they were selling on their alternative menu. I think he must have heard the complaints so the next tasting had two wines one of which was available on the complementary list and the other was one they were thinking of adding to that list. I have been accused of being a “wine snob” but I found the pitch from him that their exclusive wine list was a real bargain compared to what passengers would pay at their retail stories. I challenged him on that point since he had a Bordeaux on the list for $240 that can be bought for $100 in the US. But more importantly he was selling the wine from an average year at a premium price when better years were easily available from the same Chateau. There are people that insist you should not order fine wines on ships since the motion of the ship harms the wine. In the end we were able to narrow down the list of complementary wines to two whites and four reds that were enjoyable. It was interesting that none of these wines were featured at any meal on the ship but had to be requested. Also interesting is that there were no Spanish wines on the available list even though we started in Spain and also made most of our ports in Spain. The wine from Portugal was one of better reds available. The second half of the cruise also reflected less quality in the service in the restaurants and the bar areas. Many sea days do challenge the crew but this was greater than expected lapse in service. Based on our previous cruises we did our own touring at all ports on our own. The only exception was the tour of the Alhambra from our stop in Malaga. Silver sea did a great job on this tour. We had two buses that were about half filled so it was a manageable number. The tour guide on the bus was entertaining but he tended to repeat himself constantly. The guide for the Alhambra was first rate and she really knew how to keep the group under control. Even though it was off-season it was full of tourists and tour groups. The restaurant for lunch was first rate with plenty to eat. The dessert was passable but I was not hungry after the previous courses. I think the tour could have been shortened by dropping the drive through Granada since all you saw was some buildings from the bus. Once again there are passengers who do not read the description of the amount of walking and they had limited mobility so that they should have skipped this tour. Silver sea did a good job of providing information on the ports of call but neglected to tell you where free Wi-Fi was available in the town. The ship internet rates were high but luckily we were able to use the smallest package for the days at sea between Funchal and Bermuda. By doing our homework we found places with free or low cost internet. In Barcelona our hotel was only 10 minutes from the Apple store and McDonalds worked in Valencia although you had to buy something to get the code for the internet and the bathroom. The library on the ship was first rate and also provided an area to exchange books among the passengers as well as their own books. Even on sea days it was not crowded most of the time. The Fitness Center was small and a selection of equipment that worked and other items. I found it never crowded and saw the same few people in the morning every day that I went. My spouse was totally disappointed in the Spa. She found the need to wear a bathing suit instead of just a large towel to be stupid in the steam room and sauna. On a trip with many sea days, the entertainment becomes more of a necessity than on a port heavy cruise. . We attended a few of the lectures but they were a mixed bag of presentations including a few that had technical difficulties. The entertainment was provided by six singers whose voices were above average for a cruise line. Two of the shows were very good while two of them were subpar. The worst one was the sing along to Elton John songs. They picked the wrong songs that had too many lyrics and the lyrics on the screen did not match the song. It looked like a grammar school show. The Casino was a joke; they ran two blackjack tournaments that only a couple of people showed up. The highlight of the day was team trivia with about 30% of the passengers participating. As usual too many took the game too seriously. The cruise director did a good job in controlling the group. The real disappointment was the lousy gifts for the points won at that and other games. When we pooled our points we had enough for a t-shirt. Unfortunately the size we wanted large was unavailable so we got a small for our daughter. The t-shirt was a piece of junk. It was a Hanes underwear shirt with Silversea on it. We decided to use it as a rag rather than giving it to her. This is what you got for 110 points. On another cruise line we got a great shirt with a collar for 10 points. Since drinks were included our review will include an assessment of the bars we visited. The pool bar suffered from having the smokers around it but you could get a drink easily. However there was a limited selection of beer. The bar in the Observation deck was the best one and served great drinks and nibbles. Unfortunately it was not the place to be during rough seas. The Bar was generally crowded and also the waiters brought the wrong drinks. Arrival at Fort Lauderdale was fine but slow in getting people off the ship and then a long wait at customs. Only two agents available initially and then a third one was added. There was no wait for a taxi and we got to the airport faster than people who used the cruise line transfers. In summary the cruise was very good and the best part was the people we met. We found them to be fun loving and felt very comfortable with most of them. Now for a comparison of Seabourn and Silversea for the same size of ship. Where they were equal I did not evaluate them. Cabin – about the same but you felt more closed in on the narrower Silversea room. Cabin furniture – Silversea since the balcony furniture was better and better TV size Main Dining Room – better on Seabourn but one of the best meals on Silversea Specialty restaurants – better on Silversea but you have to pay extra for two of them Pool Grill - Silversea Sushi – clear winner is Silversea, none available on Seabourn Buffet – slight edge to Silversea except conversion to dinner better on Seaborne with different themes Alcohol – generally gave you the same brands, easier selection process on wines on Seabourn Pool Deck Furniture – better on Silversea Excursions – Silversea but limited data here based on a few tours Spa – clear winner is Seabourn Entertainment – a few better shows on Silversea but more consistent good performances on Seabourn Internet – clear winner is Seabourn, 20% of the price of Silversea Fellow Passengers – very similar but edge goes to Silversea on these two cruises Crew Helpfulness – slight edge to Seabourn, Silversea crew tended to focus on frequent travelers   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This cruise was a final chance to find the right cruise line, one that was luxury but had a great group of people with a mix of ages. We had experienced large ships previously and so settled on the Silver Spirit which had a maximum of 550 ... Read More
This cruise was a final chance to find the right cruise line, one that was luxury but had a great group of people with a mix of ages. We had experienced large ships previously and so settled on the Silver Spirit which had a maximum of 550 passengers. From the time we embarked to disembarkation the staff on the ship we remarkable, the food was great, the all inclusive fare worked well. Little touches such as speciality coffee, having breakfast on the balcony, and a very attentive butler made this trip first class. All of the restaurants were good, but we found Le Champagne had quality food and good service but disappointed in the menu selections, our favourite was Seishin Restaurant which we frequented at lunchtime as well. Wine selection was reasonable and we enjoyed a number of wines we would not have chosen ourselves. The room was as advertised, large and very comfortable...the only issue being the distance between the end of the bed and the dressing table. This had been raised by other reviews but it wasn't a major problem, and we wouldn't have enjoyed a shortened bed. The smoking policy and areas were well managed, and it was not an issue for us during the cruise. Overall a great experience, and we booked on board for another back to back 18 day cruise for next year.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Embarkation The Silver Spirit was docked at the main cruise terminal at Port San Pedro and was the only ship there. Check in and emigration was swift and painless. Reception sign in, photo taking and credit card hand over were all ... Read More
Embarkation The Silver Spirit was docked at the main cruise terminal at Port San Pedro and was the only ship there. Check in and emigration was swift and painless. Reception sign in, photo taking and credit card hand over were all completed with a minimum of fuss, and as it was just after midday, no queues. The ship Generally the ship is in good condition. There are however signs of wear if you look closely. The rattan style chairs at the back of the Panorama have worn arms where the rattan has broken. If one looked closely at the chairs in the restaurants it is possible to see where they have been banged and chipped. This was more obvious in the suite, where both the glass topped table and the desk had very obvious marks in the wood. The carpet in the suite was obviously worn in one or two places. Interestingly the Spirit had a dry dock for a couple of weeks towards the end of 2012, but to be honest I could see no sign that anything had been done to the interior. The 'splashy' sinks are still there, and has been said elsewhere all the odd design failings are still in place. The public areas were kept very clean, but again if you look closely they are all showing slight signs of wear. Guests & Staff For the leg from Los Angeles to Papeete we had around 400 guests on board. In Papeete 23 left and about an additional 80 got on, leaving us with just over 450. As we had a number of solo guests this left very few empty suites. Guests were a good cosmopolitan mix, a large number of Brits (120+), some other Europeans, a few Australians, some Canadians and more than 50% from the US. Most guests were over 60, a handful of others ranging from mid 20's to 40', and there was one Italian family with an 18 month old toddler on board. The only poor behavior observed was from a lack of understanding (or possibly arrogance) by the father of the toddler. He had the child in the pool, although it was not toilet trained and unfortunately the staff were too scared to intervene. Only when the Hotel Director was made aware of the situation did it stop. On more than one occasion the child was brought into the main bar where Trivia was being played and had a screaming fit, again with a total lack of interest from the father. The father was also the only person onboard ship who chose not to conform to the dress code. There were two Gentlemen Hosts on this voyage and they worked quite hard. They were not only available for dancing in the afternoon and evening but seemed to have been roped into a number of day time activities by the CD. There were also two International Hostesses onboard, but they did not seem to much apart from escorting people in and out of the theatre in the evening. Pool Deck It is worth noting that when the weather is warm and the ship was at sea the pool deck becomes very crowded. It is only slightly larger than those on the Shadow or Whisper and put more than 300 people in the sun and it really shows. The sun beds were even extended to the back of the Panorama. MDR Ate here most evenings and generally the food was very good. The Executive Chef Jerome Foussier set a high standard across the board. Did not have any bad meals, but occasionally had something on a cold plate, this was resolved by always asking for a hot plate for my main. Had a couple of Indonesian meals and a really memorable Indian meal one evening. Marcelo the Brazilian MD ran a very tight and well controlled room. Cosmin was the head sommelier, and apart from running out of one red that I liked always made sure that there were plenty of alternatives to the wine of the day. One of the other junior sommeliers did try and sell me something from the Connoisseurs list, but he was easy to ignore. Generally the wines onboard were good, the NZ SB Dashwood was available, although it was running out towards the end of 31 days. There were two French SB's and one Chilean SB. The 'La Flor' Cab Sav was plentiful. For the chardonnay lovers The Crusher was available, and there was a reasonably nice Chablis. La Terrazza Ate breakfast here most days. It was the usual buffet style, plenty of fresh fruit and there were always strawberries available. There was fresh mango and papaya after our calls in French Polynesia and on some days raspberries and blackberries were at the serving section. On the other days there were always some available via your waiter. Service was always very good. Ate lunch here some days, especially if it was nice enough to sit outside. The food was generally good. Only ate twice in the evening, once outside and once inside. For the first time on Silversea I had a subpar duck ragout. The main reason for avoiding La Terrazza for dinner was the ever present Italian toddler whose parents had a dedicated table for all meals, and who occasionally let rip in the evenings. Pool Grill On a number of days the grill was supplemented at lunch by an extended BBQ, with some excellent food provided. The fresh water Madagascan prawns were delicious. Hot Rocks was never closed, even when it was cold and windy outside, and there was always someone there by 6:59 waiting to get fed. When we ate there we had excellent food and service, and we just love the hot rocks. On the leg to Papeete there was a night when it seemed that everyone wished to eat outside and they managed to cope with 115 covers. Again the staff did an excellent job. Le Champagne Had dinner here once and although the menu has not changed now for over a year the food and service was very good. The lobster was good and the souffle outstanding. Seishin Since our last trip on the Spirit Seishin now opens for lunch. There is sashimi, a wide selection of sushi and a hot fish basket. This became my favorite place for a light lunch. We also ate the full menu on a couple of evenings and particularly enjoyed the Wagyu beef. Stars Supper Club. The first time we ate here I though the menu was a little odd, but on subsequent dinners, there had been a change and the menu worked very well. I thought Mikka Brown was a little tired and didn't quite hit the spots this time. Bars The main bar was run in an amazingly efficient fashion by Chester, well supported by his assistant Vishkal. Rommel & Bass ran the Panorama and Zack the Pool bar. We never used the bar in the Casino, which is now really no longer viable without the smokers and I never got to the Observation Lounge when the bar there was open. The main bar was very busy before dinner but most people ended up in the Panorama after the shows. Bulter and assistant Both were excellent, Wilson was from Goa and left the same day we did and his English was very good, and way much better than some. Henny our lovely assistant was on the Shadow with us last year. Enrichement Apart from the cooking demonstrations we did not attend any of the lectures. We watched some of them on the TV on repeat. The lecturers themselves were nice, but it's not really our cup of tea. I thought Corey Sandler does a very good job and is well worth having onboard. We had sailed with Herb Keyser before and to be honest its time they get someone younger. Bridge The bridge lecturer, George King was outstanding, and he was an excellent teacher. At times he had 40+ people attending his sessions and most sea days we had 9 or 10 tables for the afternoon duplicate sessions. His lovely wife Sally was always there to help and fill in. Silversea should certainly use them more often. Trivia Trivia was very well attended, pretty competitive and well run by the CD, Kirk Detweiller. It was held in the main bar with somewhere around 100 guests participating. Entertainment I thought the Artists of Silversea were the weakest of the groups we had seen so far. This might have been due to their coming to the end of their contract or possibly the way they were used by the CD. They were not particularly sociable. One of the things that was missing were early evening single or duo shows in the Panorama, probably down to the fact that less than half of the guests would be able to get in. Once again shows started off at 10:15 and after grumbles from the 'oldies' eventually ended up at 9:45, which made it hard to get there for most of the show. Cooking As this was an L'Ecole des Chefs voyage we had David Bilsland onboard. There were a number morning cooking demonstrations, all of which were excellent. David ran 3 cook and learn lunches in Stars, again they were excellent and the food memorable. David also ran a market visit in Papeete which was a lot of fun. Ports & Tours The highlights of the trip were Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Christmas and Fanning Islands and a side trip from Maui to Lanai. Generally the shipboard tours were well run and provided reasonable value for money. The only port where the weather was bad was the day we arrived in Hilo, and it absolutely threw it down for most of the day. Luckily we took the Volcano Park tour and avoided most of the bad weather. The next day the ship visited Kona on the other side of the Island and it was sunny all day. The ship stayed overnight in Papeete but the overnight in Bora Bora was cancelled (before we embarked). This was a shame for the crew as they have very few chances to get off in the evenings. There was also a late stop in Honolulu to enable a deck BBQ. Both the visits to Kiribati caused problems. The ports are tender only and in Christmas Island the two tenders were restricted to about 50 pax each as the lagoon was fairly shallow, with about ½ a meter clearance below the bottom of the tender at one point. This lead to very long queues and waits of more than 2 hours to get off. A large number of guests gave up and did not bother to get off. The main criticism was that no one from the ship appeared to have considered this being a problem in advance and it was very poorly handled. The next day at Fanning Island was worse, the regular morning rain squall blew up and made visibility poor enough to suspend the tender service. The Captain then decided that as we were running into bad weather later that day to cancel the service completely, and we left 3 hours early and with glorious sunshine bathing the island. Weather It turned out to be colder than expected, and although it was the rainy season in the South Pacific we were pretty lucky about missing most of the rain. We had two rough days after leaving Fanning Island, swells up to 4 meters and 50-60mph winds, and for part of one day the lifts were all stopped. We also had a further couple of rough days after leaving Maui and it was mostly unseasonably cold for the 5 days back to LA. One point that those booking Silver Suites should consider is that when the weather is rough every time the ship hits a swell the bump travels all the way to the top of the front of the ship. Some people complained that they got no real sleep on the rough nights. Wildlife We saw very few birds anywhere away from the Islands, but we did see large numbers of whales around Maui. 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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