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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Since it was my first time in a cruiser, I find it difficult to make a comparison. Our butler Dorothy and our room service Hilda were perfect. They did their best to make us comfortable and to meet our wishes. Other crew members were ... Read More
Since it was my first time in a cruiser, I find it difficult to make a comparison. Our butler Dorothy and our room service Hilda were perfect. They did their best to make us comfortable and to meet our wishes. Other crew members were also friendly and easy to talk to. Two of the 8 restaurants onboard did not meet our expectations and we went only once in each. The other ones were excellent. In one of them we had live music with a very good singer. She performed a tasteful repertoire. Unfortunately, I attended only one of the night shows and it was not what I expected. The singer had a good voice but used a lot of playback, which I found disappointing. When he played with the Silversea Trio, then it was good. All in all, I hope to take one or more cruises with Silversea in the near future! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
First time crusier, wonderful experience! We had a group of 6 from 11-78, accommodated all our needs. Staff couldn't have been nicer! Was a little concerned about the younger passengers in our group but we spent so much time off the ... Read More
First time crusier, wonderful experience! We had a group of 6 from 11-78, accommodated all our needs. Staff couldn't have been nicer! Was a little concerned about the younger passengers in our group but we spent so much time off the ship touring the cities that they were happy to come home to a friendly staff, wonderful food and cozy rooms. We had ship credits and enjoyed the spa, wonderful massage! Our room attendant, Yesf, bent over backwards to make us feel welcome. He brought in balloons for our youngest passenger on her birthday and the ship made her a special cake that was presented at dinner, very special. Madagascar Prawns were absolutely fanatastic, most all the food was wonderful! Would highly recommend for a low-key family excursion.. We did not use the ships excursions so I will not review those but from what I heard, they were average. We used an outside company in St. Petersburg which was fabulous! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my first cruise with Silverseas and unfortunately it was not what I expected ! The ship was very " tired " and tatty in places, it is in my opinion ready for either a complete refurbishment or ready for retirement from ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Silverseas and unfortunately it was not what I expected ! The ship was very " tired " and tatty in places, it is in my opinion ready for either a complete refurbishment or ready for retirement from the fleet. Cabins are definitely in need of upgrading, carpets were in need of replacing, no tea or coffee facilities and bathrooms were cold and tired. Balcony was rusty and shabby. Service of the cabins was at best mediocre. Entertainment, Oh dear, this was one of the biggest disappointments. This did not cater for the age of the passengers on this ship at all. The 6 singers were all very pleasant but were too young and inexperienced for this cruise. No good shows, awful costumes that didn't fit and a terrible sound system did not bode well. Perry, the pianist in the lounge was excellent but that was it ! Dining, Le Champagne is not worth the extra money and to be honest the food in the main restaurant was nicer. Service in Le Restaurant was excellent and the food wonderful. Dining on the pool deck was also good and again excellent service . In short this was an enjoyable cruise but not an excellent one and definitely not worth the money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first cruise so we wanted to do it right. We picked Silversea because of friends' recommendations and extensive review of our options for a Mediterranean cruise. On balance our choice was perfect. The ship was immaculate, ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we wanted to do it right. We picked Silversea because of friends' recommendations and extensive review of our options for a Mediterranean cruise. On balance our choice was perfect. The ship was immaculate, the crew was pleasant beginning with Colin who greeted us on arrival, and lasting with our Butler, Chan. The rest of the staff was equally friendly and accommodating. We scheduled tours for every morning and although (in retrospect) probably one or two too many; it got us up and out to see the sights. The tours where well run and limited in size so you never felt like a herd of cattle. I'd say do them all if it's your first time. The food was ok -- we ate in all of the restaurants ( Le Champagne once and the Restaurant once) -- our favorite was La Terrazza on the aft deck. I say ok because after 10 days not a lot of variety. I recommend one night for Le Champagne -- small, elegant and good food. By the way the only restaurant on the ship that has a cover charge($80). Our room was a 804 -- one of 4 new rooms added on deck 8 (the only 4 on deck 8) and within 75 feet of the pool bar/restaurant. The room was Medallion level so it substantially larger with a double deck, sitting room, spacious walkin closet, and large bathroom. The furniture was nice and well placed. The BAD news -- they built these four rooms below Deck 9 which houses the SPA. Our room was directly under the weight room and we were reminded every time a person dropped a weight on floor above or our ceiling. Suffice to say, we could not get it to stop. Response from Siversea has been nonexistent. SO DO NOT reserve room# 804 should you choose the Silver Wind -- maybe the other three fine, but I can't speak for them. Would we do it again -- certainly and Silversea would be our first consideration. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was lovely with a "large" bathroom with two sinks, a tub and a shower. The beds were extremely comfortable. Butler service brought us drinks each night. The food was very good - ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was lovely with a "large" bathroom with two sinks, a tub and a shower. The beds were extremely comfortable. Butler service brought us drinks each night. The food was very good - nothing exceptional but excellent quality and a variety of choices. Our favorite was the grill where we ate twice. Outdoor near the pool - served meats and seafood that were grilled on a hot stone at your table. We didn't have enough information on ports and how long they were there. In one instance our tour was out all day and we missed Skagway town completely because of it. Most tours were fine except the one to White Pass railroad (which was lovely) but we stopped at Jewel Garden for lunch and a tour which was a waste of our time. Poor quality and no way to get back to the ship. Other tours were great including Sea Otter and Wildlife in Sitka, Bear Sanctuary in Ketcheckan. Only real complaint was paying for wi-fi. I'm spending $10,000 and they couldn't provide it? Free liquor and wine but no free wi-fi. That was ridiculous. Men needed jackets two nights...very few dressed very formal. Even saw folks without jackets. For Alaska, it should be more casual. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take ... Read More
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take another cruise, buy this, do this - but no one really seemed to know or care. My voyage stopped at a port Siversea had never visited before - and will not again, Nanaimo. Eleven hours and there was nothing to do. Why did the ship only stay a half day in key ports like Sitka or Juneau, where we could have had more outings, or weather permitting, any at all. And three of the four restaurants required reservations. There wasn't a day I wasn't on a waiting list. And it wasn't just meals, excursions, the over-priced spa - all had limited or no availability except when you really didn't want them, like a meal time! Then there was the Internet, which they charged you $150 to use and rarely worked. Even the printer in the computer room was out of order for practically the entire trip. Finally, the food. Sure it was plentiful and, on occasion, very good. But I was in Alaska and never was offered King Crab Legs, King Salmon, oysters or other Pacific shellfish. In fact the only shellfish I had was Maine lobster tails. I called Silversea Customer Relations twice this week to discuss. Both times I got a recording, and neither person called me back. Well, I won't be back. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first cruise and we had heard horror stories of crowded ships, mediocre food, congested boarding, tiny staterooms, lack of storage, etc. Therefore imagine our surprise when we stepped on to the Silver Shadow for the first time ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had heard horror stories of crowded ships, mediocre food, congested boarding, tiny staterooms, lack of storage, etc. Therefore imagine our surprise when we stepped on to the Silver Shadow for the first time and entered our very spacious suite (not even close to being the most expensive one available)! First of all -- from the very beginning this was a wonderful experience. All passengers met in Anchorage for a 4.5 hour train ride to Seward, where we boarded the ship. The check-in process was very smooth -- with staff waiting for us with champagne! We entered our cabin (Terrace Suite 533) to discover our luggage waiting for us and our butler for the week offering to unpack for us! Our cabin was VERY spacious. We had a queen-sized bed and a separate sitting area with a loveseat, small table, and arm chair. There was also a built-in desk and separate vanity. The bathroom had a shower stall, soaking tub, and double-sinks -- all in a beautiful dark marble. The walk-in closet had plenty of hanging space and a built-in dresser with lots of available drawers. Leading from our sitting area was a door that took you out to our shared veranda. We really liked the location of our cabin. We were steps away from the registration/concierge area, as well as from the casino and private casino bar (our favorite place to hang out in the evenings -- we had the bar to ourselves!). Food was very good. My only criticism was for the buffet breakfast each morning in the onboard restaurant, La Terrazza. The eggs were always runny. Other than that, everything was wonderful. Service was impeccable. The wait staff was very attentive and our wine glasses rarely went unfilled. We ate dinner one night at the Pool Grill, two nights at La Terazza, and the rest of the time in the main restaurant. The portions were perfect and the menu choices each night were lovely. We are not dessert eaters, but the desserts were delightful and perfectly sized (small bites). We loved that. We had arranged our own excursions (which were awesome) but we never had any problems disembarking or re-entering the ship. We attended a few of the on-board lectures, which were very interesting. The presenters were very accessible throughout the cruise, which was also a nice touch. We never felt crowded on the ship. Even the day that we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier, we were able to watch it from our shared veranda. There was no one out there except us. Finally a word about our butler. He was WONDERFUL! He was incredibly attentive and so helpful. He brought us coffee each morning and afternoon tea. One of our travel days was my birthday and while we were at breakfast they decorated our cabin with balloons and a "Happy Birthday" banner. That evening when we returned to our cabin we had champagne and a special piece of birthday cake waiting for us. In addition, our butler had drawn me a hot bath with rose petals! All of this was included. This was an amazing cruise. I would never hesitate to sail again with SilverSeas. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Monday Embarkation very smooth, there at 12:30, got all the paperwork completed had lunch on the pool deck ( sea bass & tuna melt) All of our dinner reservation were as per requests made on web site which was great ! Toured around ... Read More
Monday Embarkation very smooth, there at 12:30, got all the paperwork completed had lunch on the pool deck ( sea bass & tuna melt) All of our dinner reservation were as per requests made on web site which was great ! Toured around the ship and our rooms ready at 2:30 Marlon our butler showed up within minutes of entering suite Mini bar was stocked with all my requests made prior the my silversea web launch. Very nice sale away out of Barcelona Tonight was casual nite and we dinned in la terrazzo , great meal and awesome service Tuesday Room service for breakfast very well done, arrival in Sete, very overcast and threatening rain etc DW had a spa appointment this morning, so I hung around the suite and read on the balcony. SS had a first time voyagers meet and greet in the observation lounge which was well attended Had lunch in the "Restaurant" a lovely 2 hrs relaxing meal. Got ready to go ashore for walk around and it started to rain so we retired to the panorama lounge Tonight is formal night which we are looking forward to. We went to the bar for some pre dinner drinks where we meet 3 other couples and had interesting conversations which extended into dinner and we were able to get a table for 8. Great dinner with very large lobster tails! Lots of action in the panorama lounge after dinner Wednesday Arrive in Cannes this morning where we overnight. I cannot believe the yachts in the harbor !! Other than cruise ships there are about 15 yachts some have helicopters parked on them and space for 20' + runabouts inside the hull, was told that one was Tom Arnold's Breakfast in the suite once again another fabulous setup by Marlon, he really seems to enjoy his job on SS and his wife works on board as well. Lunch today was the buffet in la terrazza .. Very nice lunch great selection fresh greens for salads sushi cold meats and hot foods This is a tender port so we meet in the theatre then head out for our French wine tasting tour, where we visited two wineries, where we learned about their history an sample the wines. Tonight we go to the grill for supper, it's a neat concept, I had the salmon and wife had the filet steak, everything was good and wine was flowing. After dinner we made our way to the panorama lounge for some drinks and dancing. Thursday Late night last night, and when I stuck my head out the balcony it was pouring rain, so we just rolled over to catch some more zzz's We had planned on heading ashore to wander around but with the rain on and off we decided to stay on board and enjoy the ships amenities. Off to lunch in la terreza again. Enjoyed playing bingo and trivia this afternoon and even won some silversea bucks ! Dinner tonight is in STARS, it was fabulous, not sure how they equate the menu to STARS, but the food and service were awesome and the entertainment was great Friday Once again we enjoyed breakfast in our suite as we arrived in Ajaccio Corsica. Not much planned for today, took a short walk in town and checked out the market. Returned to the Spirit for a slow leisurely lunch in the pool deck and relaxed for the afternoon. We decided to celebrate my 50th birthday today as we have the Grand Prix Gala dinner tomorrow. We returned to our suite to get dressed for dinner and when we walked in Marlon was finishing setting to a birthday surprise for me. I almost fell over! He had set up a table by the patio door, with a birthday cake made from towels and silver ribbons, flanked by candles and a tuxedo made from napkins! All I could say was WOW! We had reservations at la champagne, so we dressed up in formal attire and headed off for dinner and it was worth every cent of the $30pp surcharge. After dinner we went to the panorama lounge for a couple of night caps and upon returning to our suite the napkin tux had been replaced by a nice chocolate cake. About 3:00 am we arrived in Monaco and we could hear the music from parties ashore ( we were sleeping with the door open) Saturday We awoke to a beautiful view of Monaco and more large yachts anchored all around us along with a couple other cruise ships. Once again breakfast in our suite, then off to tender into town. The seas were pretty rough getting on the tender, but boy are the crew ever good at it. Since it was GrandPrix weekend a lot of roads were closed off but we had made reservations at Stars-N-Bars Restaurant to have lunch and watch the qualifying from there. When we returned to the ship, there was a hot bubble bath waiting for DW. Gala dinner tonight and the pre-dinner meet and greet was in the Panorama Lounge with ex formula one driver Allen Mc Nish. I had a very enjoyable chat with him. Dinner in La Terreza followed. Sunday Tendered in to Monaco for the race. Lots of people in the streets. Seats were pretty good; we had a good view of the cars after they came out of the tunnel and around to the swimming pool. Typical MONACO grand prix, with a safety car on the first lap  It was awesome to be in Monaco for the race .. a big tick off my bucket list. We left Monaco around 11 pm under a starry sky. Monday Our last day of the cruise, and a beautiful morning as we docked in Elba, where Napoleon was exiled to. We took a SS excursion to the eastern part of the island, very narrow and windy roads in a large coach. At one of the stops we had the best cappuccino I have ever had. Sad evening as we packed up our belongings and placed them out in the hall. Tuesday Disembarking was very smooth, we gathered in the bar to await out call, where we boarded a bus into Rome. All in all it was a 6 star experience for us, and we have booked another cruise on the Spirit for December.   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: October 2013
This was our very first cruise, we could not have chosen anything better. The cruise was perfect in every way. The staff were all amazing, our every wish was catered for without fanfare. Our suite on deck 6 was spacious and comfortable. ... Read More
This was our very first cruise, we could not have chosen anything better. The cruise was perfect in every way. The staff were all amazing, our every wish was catered for without fanfare. Our suite on deck 6 was spacious and comfortable. Ship life was fun and always plenty to do. Cruise Director Fernando was one of the most amazing people we have ever met. The other passengers were varied and interesting, a few who would have been better staying at home as nothing could please them. Some passengers were obnoxious and embarassing, but the majority were very pleasant and great company. We would not hesitate in recommending Silver Whisper to any potential cruiser, the ship was beautifully comfortable and we loved being on board. The food was mostly great with a few exceptions at the breakfast buffet, but nothing major. All service by the staff was rendered with happiness, which made you want to engage with them, and we did making a trip even more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
The New York sail away was wonderful with sunny skies and warm temperatures. From one side we could watch the passing of the Statue of Liberty and from the other the new dome for the World Trade Center.Suite very comfortable and ... Read More
The New York sail away was wonderful with sunny skies and warm temperatures. From one side we could watch the passing of the Statue of Liberty and from the other the new dome for the World Trade Center.Suite very comfortable and immaculate. Butler all we hoped for (did our packing and unpacking which was great). Butler did not speak clear English and it was necessary to have a few words/sentences interpreted for me as i am hearing impaired. Details on ship and ambiance all we had hoped for. Food was for the most part five star. Public rooms enjoyable and we had plenty of time to relax and read. The elevators seemed always available and never crowded. Shore excursions were well planned and interesting. We had never been to NewFoundland before and found both ports to be beautiful. We had to miss one port in Ireland due to weather and stayed an extra day in Cobh where we had been before on another land trip. Traveling by ship to a place we had visited on driving was as if we saw many new places and some familiar but had fun there. Entertainment was attended twice and both were pleasant and well directed, planned, etc.This was our first Silver sea cruise. We liked this itinerary and the pricing was good. We would be happy to take another Silver Sea trip if the details, itinerary and timing would be to our liking. (We agreed another line is a bit more to our liking but SS is a close match). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We travelled as one of 4 couples - of the eight of us, we were the only Silversea/cruising novices. Turns out many of the passengers were returning guests, and/or planned to book again on the Silver Explorer for future expeditions. We ... Read More
We travelled as one of 4 couples - of the eight of us, we were the only Silversea/cruising novices. Turns out many of the passengers were returning guests, and/or planned to book again on the Silver Explorer for future expeditions. We had expected to be the youngest passengers (we are in our 30's) but there were several families with children, and numerous passengers of our own age. Our cabin was on the 3rd deck, so I believe it was relatively stable. Nevertheless I am sensitive to motion and was quite seasick, despite enjoying "Drake Lake". Rather than eat up at the restaurant, my butler was frequently able to arrange for me to have whatever dish I wanted served in my cabin. A much appreciated benefit of the butler service! Indeed, the 8 of us enjoyed almost all the food that was served. Given that we were 12 days at sea without fresh provisions, the range and quality of the food was excellent. I have special dietary requirements and these were catered for without apparent difficulty. For someone who was predominantly confined to the cabin, I found it fairly comfortable. All the ship's staff were very friendly and welcoming, while the expedition staff were outstanding - many had a long association with the Silver Explorer and their enthusiasm for the ship and the destination was infectious. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2011
I have written a review for this cruise on a previous occasion and it does not seem to show up. We meet at the hotel in Oslo for a flight north, there was complete chaos at the hotel with people pushing and shoving to get on the buses, not ... Read More
I have written a review for this cruise on a previous occasion and it does not seem to show up. We meet at the hotel in Oslo for a flight north, there was complete chaos at the hotel with people pushing and shoving to get on the buses, not a good start. Once on the ship we had a nice room but not cleaned properly, there were remnants of the previous cruiser left in the room (under the bed and atop the wardrobe). The ship was clean, the food was good not great. The high light was the tour by dinghy, informed guides and made sure you were well taken care of during the trip. We received our final bill asking if we wanted to contribute to an education fund for the employees, we did not but were charged anyway. The nightly entertainment was a collapsable keyboard with singer, YIKES. The cruise line told us that if we should rate them as a 5, a ding right there for asking! Not something I would repeat. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We were first time cruisers and aiming to celebrate my 60th Birthday and being together with my Partner for 25 years. We chose a Black Sea Cruise as we were looking to visit some new destinations. We wanted to do this in some style. We ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and aiming to celebrate my 60th Birthday and being together with my Partner for 25 years. We chose a Black Sea Cruise as we were looking to visit some new destinations. We wanted to do this in some style. We cruised on the Silver Wind. Expectations were high and we were not disappointed. We are a gay couple and I think we were the only gay couple on board which suited us very well. The travellers, as well as the crew, were from a wide range of nationalities. The ship takes around 270 passengers. Of these around 90 were from the US, 50 from the UK and 30 from Australia so a high proportion of English speaking guests. Part of the enjoyment was in meeting a variety of well travelled and cultured people. The ship is truly luxurious. Everything, apart from the excursions and premium drinks were included so the hospitality was both lavish and refined. The crew really went the extra mile and many made the effort to remember our names. I have worked for many years in and around the hospitality industry. Few establishments measure up to the consistently high standard of service we encountered on the Silver Wind. The ship is not glitzy but it is extremely comfortable. Cabins all have views and most have verandas. For us they were not large (around 300 sq. feet including veranda). They have small baths with shower over although the newer Silversea ships have larger bathrooms. There is butler service in all suites. This is one luxury which one could forego as we used the Butler very little. Silver Wind is a small ship but large enough not to feel crowded anywhere. Entertainment was limited: a quartet in one of the bars, a pianist in another bar, a small dancing/singing troupe and a pair of Russian magicians. However, we did not miss having any more lavish entertainment as we enjoyed a slow meal in the evening followed by a short walk to the nearest bar! The Black sea as a destination is really interesting. Highlights included visits to Yalta and Odessa in the Ukraine and Nessebur in Bulgaria. All very attractive resorts. Odessa has some stunning buildings and enormous one way streets with little traffic. At Nessebur we even encountered a smiling immigration officer and a notice which asked for feedback on the service received (a long way from its Communist past!). Highly disappointing was Sochi in Russia which was grey and unwelcoming. Constanta in Romania was also grey and less developed. Somewhere in between come Sevastopol in the Ukraine (Crimea) which has a fascinating history: charge of the Light Brigade etc) and the former hidden submarine base at Balaclava, an attractive resort nearby. Sevastopol itself is still a naval base for the Russian navy and not a place for a long holiday. Trabzon in Turkey was quite atmospheric but somewhat undeveloped as was Batumi in Georgia. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
Getting There: We had the free air from Manchester but as we had a 4 hour wait at Chicago, waiting in immigration, we missed the connecting flight. Despite appealing to both the airport personnel and American Air Express ... Read More
Getting There: We had the free air from Manchester but as we had a 4 hour wait at Chicago, waiting in immigration, we missed the connecting flight. Despite appealing to both the airport personnel and American Air Express Connection people they basically told us "hard luck" you have to stay in line. So instead of at least trying to fast track those with onward documents they ignored us. We spent the first night in Miami instead of San Juan and we could only find a Days Inn at 1.00AM.However Silversea in the form of their out of hours reps. Travel Services swiftly arranged for us to be picked up from the Airport etc. Thank you Mona Lisa Torres, you were superb.Cruise After the bad start Silversea Whisper and their staff were brilliant and quickly banished any bad feelings we may have had and Elin(staff) helped refund the missed hotel.We did anticipate a good cruise but it exceeded our expectations. The food, the cabin, the staff were first class and we have been to the odd superb hotel in our time. Our butler Danni, who seems to have been mentioned before exemplified all that Silversea are striving for. He produced tea for my wife without being asked and attended to all our needs, sometimes before we knew we needed them! Both he and indeed all the staff we met seemed genuinely pleased to do anything we wanted to make the cruise special.Excursions Just to pick out the Segway on Antigua and the River tubing in Dominica as great fun but they need care as there is the possibility of an accident and whilst serious injury is unlikely cuts and abrasions did happen.Going home This was the only minor problem as friends had been told that they were going to a hotel before the flight but when we asked the concierge she said that we were going straight to the airport. In the event we all went to the hotel but some of us would have dressed differently if we had known.One point, as we were going to Manchester via Gatwick the duty free booze we bought in Barbados was confiscated when we went through security at Gatwick to board the Manchester flight because it was not sealed at Barbados. Worth noting.Finally thank you to Phil and Helen whom we met on the cruise and whose company we very much enjoyed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
Excitement and trepidation ran through our veins before setting off to Barbados. Never having been to the Caribbean, or on a cruise before, this was a holiday of firsts. We arrived at the embarkation point very tired and distinctly hot ... Read More
Excitement and trepidation ran through our veins before setting off to Barbados. Never having been to the Caribbean, or on a cruise before, this was a holiday of firsts. We arrived at the embarkation point very tired and distinctly hot and sweaty, only to be confronted with some minor admin hitches which did not improve tempers. In retrospect it would have been much better to fly a few days before the cruise departed to give us time to get over jetlag, and to make the most of the first day on board the magnificent Silver Spirit. As it was, we arrived on boad just as the drill was being called and we had no time to shower and change, let alone sample some of the champagne in our suite! We had a mid ship verhandah and it was spacious and well appointed with some very thoughtful details in the layout. The food was always extremely good, and the choices of restaurants were more than acceptable. We did not choose to use those that had a premium attached to them as we spent all of our on board credit on shore excursions. Menus varied pleasingly, the staff were unfailingly freindly, helpful and polite. Hot Rocks was fun and very tasty, but the menu was the only one that did not change that much at all. Shore excursions were varied and we enjoyed the more active ones - river tubing etc. This was very much more active than anyone had been led to expect, and I strongly suggest that if you do it (it is great fun), you wear shoes, and don't wear anything you are not prepared to lose. White water rapids the whole way! We are not formal people and managed to avoid the formal nights by not going to the main restaurant on the two formal nights, we ate elsewhere. How can you fault a fantastic operation like the Silver Spirit, it was simply magnificent. If I had any compaints at all then they are churlish - the fact that I really do not know what to do with a butler, lovely though he was, room service would have been fine! By the end of our 9 nights we were ready to go back to the real world and step out of all the luxury. To work out whether we could still mix our own G&Ts or carry our own plates to the table etc. 5-6 course meals, champagne, endless cocktails, butlers, deluxe chocolates, uber comfy beds, private balcony, fancy toiletries, endlessly cheerful and polite crew. Goodness, I think I need to go and pick up a bag of salad and some mineral water from Morrisons and experience the joys of the surly check out staff, get back to real life again, I am exhausted from all that indulgence! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2010
First time Silversea cruisers here, who were attracted by the itinerary, which included the Marquesas islands, and the opportunity to try a cruise line in the "luxury market". Generally we cruise with Princess, Celebrity or Royal ... Read More
First time Silversea cruisers here, who were attracted by the itinerary, which included the Marquesas islands, and the opportunity to try a cruise line in the "luxury market". Generally we cruise with Princess, Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. I see these reviews as a great resource for consumers to share information frankly and give honest opinions. This was my 20th cruise. First, the pluses. Embarkation and disembarkation are incredibly easy, due to the small size of the ship. The cabins are spacious and the bathrooms are comfortable. The are very few people in any of the public areas; in fact, the atmosphere on board was remarkably quiet and "still", almost to a fault. There is lots of alcohol being poured on this ship. it's all-inclusive and the crew is very liberal with it. When the cabin attendant asked us what kinds of spirits we would like, we were shocked when she brought a fifth of each. We were expecting the little mini bottles! The purser's desk staff were very nice, as was the crew as a whole. In fact, we learned that they are required to memorize every guest's name and are actually tested on this. Considering there were 300 or so passengers, that is no small task. The brochures are very beautiful and no doubt expensive to produce. Now, the minuses. The food on board, which SS refers to as "cuisine" in all their literature, was just not anything special. The breads were not very good and there was not much of a selection of pastries at breakfast. They would only bring pastries around once, unlike on other cruise lines. Also, they weren't very good about coming around with coffee refills and the coffee and soups were often just lukewarm. Broccoli was the most common vegetable, but it was old broccoli that had turned yellow and was starting to go to seed. In general, the food was blandly spiced and there were not many different types of vegetables or salads. I think they are catering to the pre-baby boomer generations, but I think they really need to modernize their menu offerings. The ship was very small and did not handle the rough seas of the Pacific well. Our cabin was very noisy at night due the constant creaking in the walls and ceiling caused by the rough seas. Sleeping was made difficult. SS to its credit did do some things to the cabin to help with the noise situation. The ship experience is quite formal and proper, too much so for my taste. Some of the women passengers would stare other women up and down if they felt they were not dressed up to SS standards. The cabin butlers actually wear coats with tails and the women working in the office positions are required to wear skirts, heels and panty hose. The men have to wear jackets or more most nights. I felt I was in some 1950's time warp. The was almost nothing to do on board except read or gather in the bar and drink with the rest of the passengers. The two stores on board were extremely expensive and honestly about the size of large walk-in closets. I never saw anyone ever buy anything. The ship transfers to local hotels were also grossly overpriced. We paid a taxi $25 to get to our hotel in Papeete. I think SS wanted something close to $200 for a private car to take you to the same hotel. The maitre'd was very attentive to return passengers but not so nice to the first-timers. The shore excursions were not well-organized and I thought did not live up to the marketing descriptions,and were over-priced. For example, we did the "luxury catamaran" excursion in Moorea, but there was nothing luxurious about this catamaran. It was just a plain, ordinary catamaran. The entertainment on board was virtually non-existent. The lecturers on board were mildly interesting but nothing special. One guy actually gave an entire lecture on the history of grog in the Navy. Considering how much drinking was going on, I thought the topic was appropriate. Generally, though, the seas days were very long days for us, due to the lack of virtually anything to do other than read,and you can only read so much in one day. Yes, they have a fitness center. I used it once but it was so small I felt like I was exercising in a closet. On most sea days the weather was to bad to sit around the pool. There was not much diversity in the passenger demographic. They were overwhelmingly white, wealthy,conservative and in their 70s and 80s. I actually had one man in the dining room pester me over dinner about whether I was a "liberal", even though I told him I have a rule about not talking politics or religion with strangers. I met a few other passengers who struck me as rather full of themselves, and an equal number who were nice. It is just that everything is magnified in such a small ship with virtually nowhere to go. I think Silversea appeals to many people who want an "exclusive" experience. Many passengers referred to other cruise lines disparagingly as "mass market". I think they are willing to pay a steep premium to be sheltered form the "masses". But I didn't find some of them to be that easy to talk to or fun to be with. It was kind of a clubby feeling on board. In general, I think Silversea puts its money in things like brochures that are easy to write but don't really cost that much, as opposed to more costly things like refurbishing the ship, which is badly needed. Even the balcony furniture was disappointing considering how much we paid for this cruise. I was suspicious when reading the brochures, lots of flowery copy which the reality just does not live up to. Same thing with the menu descriptions. Putting everything in French doesn't make what is essentially average food taste any better. I'm convinced that much of the food, particularly the fish, was not fresh but previously frozen and reheated. Would I go on Silversea again? No, which is sad to say considering how much we paid. The atmosphere is too stiff and formal for a relaxing vacation, and they don't deliver what I consider good value for the money. I posted similar comments in one of the boards and received a very negative reaction from the Silversea fan club (which could be made up of Silversea employees for all we know, since on the Internet anyone can pretend to be anybody). If you criticize this company, they will criticize you personally or question your motives, so be careful what you say. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
As this was our first experience of cruising we have nothing to compare it with. We could only go by the descriptions given be Silversea and some reviews we had read. It was promised to be a 5 if not 6 star cruise, we are well travelled ... Read More
As this was our first experience of cruising we have nothing to compare it with. We could only go by the descriptions given be Silversea and some reviews we had read. It was promised to be a 5 if not 6 star cruise, we are well travelled and do have very high expectations and these were not met.I would say it was more like 4 star. We found the food bland and a little boring, with nothing local on the menu. The wine was very mediocre, although there was plenty of choice it was not high quality, even the Champagne had been changed to a cheaper one, which was not a good one. It was evident that a lot of cost cutting had been done. We spoke to lots of people who had been with Silversea before and they commented that they found a difference in the food and wine quality. Also that the cabin staff was now all (almost) Philippino. The service in the cabin was very poor, the butlers did not seem to understand our requests for replenishment of drinks, toiletries etc. Lots of the passengers were unhappy, in fact we met many that left the cruise early because they were so disappointed with it, also some of them were ill with food poisoning. We spoke to eight people who suffered from this and there were lots more. The Gym was closed for half of our cruise and the Observation lounge had a problem with the Air Con and did not smell very nice. The water in our bath came out of the taps a nasty brown colour so we did not use the bath and cleaned our teeth with bottled water. I would not cruise with them again, maybe our standards are too high. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2008
We had signed up for our first cruise ever, Ft Lauderdale to Barbados, on the Silver Shadow months before sailing and had no idea what to expect. In an effort to learn as much as possible we did a lot of reading and surfing the net where ... Read More
We had signed up for our first cruise ever, Ft Lauderdale to Barbados, on the Silver Shadow months before sailing and had no idea what to expect. In an effort to learn as much as possible we did a lot of reading and surfing the net where we read reviews of the Silver Shadow. "Down hill from there" and "no Ritz on the sea" gave us some mild apprehension prior to departure and certainly had our antenna up for the negatives that were reported. While we were first timers on the sea (not counting a Greek Isles cruise back in college) we are not unfamiliar with luxury or first class service which I am happy to report the Silver Shadow met and exceeded. We met numerous other passengers who have sailed every luxury line out there and some who had as many as 500 days of voyages under their belts. They were all unanimous in their praise of the food, staff and quality of the Silversea's ships. Both embarking and disembarking were as easy as it could possibly be. We took the advice of embarking one hour after the prescribed time and walked right into our first of many glasses of champagne and caviar. It was up hill from there! While we had two excellent meals in La Terrazza (the Italian flare) restaurant we found the most enjoyable meal experiences in the main dinning room for lunch and dinner. We were not interested in night clubs or entertainment so our group closed the dinner room down every evening and every night was better than the previous. I would highly recommend breakfast in La Terrazza. As the ship usually moors stern end towards town you are sitting on the 9th deck looking down into some exotic port. I ordered Eggs Benedict every morning and loved them. I would agree whole heatedly that more information on the islands (pots of call) for non-tour participants would help. The tour desk was putting out 8X10 copies of the island map on one side and the main town on the other. But it would have been nice to know that renting scooters on St. Kitts was not for the faint of heart and conversely everyone should rent and enjoy a scooter on Isle de Saint. I came to realize that much of this adventure was a live and learn experience. That would explain why some of the seasoned vets would take up a position by the pool while many of us ran around islands and counted the minutes until we could return to our oasis, The Silver Shadow. We never had trouble finding deck loungers and never waited in a single line for any meal or activity. The one price covers all was a wonderful experience as it makes for a very relaxing cruise experience. Put your wallet in the in-room safe and forget it. No tipping or getting nickel and dimmed every time you turn around. A business associate recently cruised on another line. He was presented with a welcome drink and several minutes later a bill to sign. I could go on for pages but suffice it to say all 8 in our group had a fabulous experience and can't wait to go again and that trip will be with Silversea. I would very respectfully suggest that if anyone had a less than satisfactory experience on Siversea they should lease their own private yacht because I don't see how cruising could get any better. nolagolfer Read Less
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