We booked a Mediterranean cruise on Silver Wind in April 2012. I am not one to write reviews but I depend on them when planning trips. We had a couple of problems and since the cruise line was not forthcoming about this I feel an obligation to write about it. ???
This was our third Silversea cruise and we enjoy their interesting itineraries, small ship size and all inclusive policy. They make it clear that even tipping is added to the cruise price so that you don't have to deal with that once on board. Almost all of the staff on board are very pleasant and well trained especially the service people to take care of the cabins. Also factored into the price was a ship board credit of $1300. We all know that these 'gifts' are not free and are instead factored into the price that we all pay, a way for the cruise line to support some of their on board amenities. ???
More Good Things??
Itineraries on Silversea cruises are usually very interesting and this cruise was no exception. Santorini, Malta, Ibiza, Sicily, etc. The staffing (almost all that is) are wonderful. Always clean and neat, pleasant and helpful. The cabins are small but comfortable and most cabins had outdoor space. Our cabin had a balcony that comfortably fit two upright chairs and a small table. This was pre tourist season and we were able to dock in most ports. ??We also took advantage of a Silversea air fare promotion.
Coach air fare was already included in the price (from NYC worth about $1000) and we paid $2000 extra per person to upgrade to business class. The airlines quoted me $3600 for the same non stop flights making our savings on air about $600 per person. Silversea fares also include transport by bus from the airport to the ship.????
The dining room is pleasant and staff great. The food is well, just OK. We did not take this cruise for the purpose of over indulging so this was fine for us. We often ate delicious meals on shore during the day. ??There is also a small and very expensive restaurant on board that was was fully booked when we tried to make reservations very shortly after boarding. We lost interest in persuing reservations after other passengers complained about the extremely high cost ( $200 per person) for food they said was very similar in quality to the main dining room food. Different menu but same quality. ???
Cabins and Public Spaces??
Cabin decor was definitely not my style but it was well maintained. Our cabin was small but comfortable. Toiletries were very nice. Two bath robes. The bathroom was tight and had a fair amount of inexpensive wood on the front of the tub and almost the entire floor. Looked like and felt like linoleum to me but my husband thinks it was some kind of very thin wood laminate. Floor space was really tiny and a marble tile floor would have been inexpensive. I don't know what they were thinking. Using cheap wood or linoleum in the bathroom gave a downgraded feel, like staying a no frills motel. ?
?Public spaces are very nice, clean and well maintained. Theater was roomy and everyone was able to have a good seat with room to spare. Lounges very pleasant. We had cocktails before dinner in a lounge with a smoking and non smoking section. Appetizers were served butler style with our cocktails and the wait staff was great.?
On a small ship such as this entertainment is limited. Some of the shows were fun because of the music and theme. The entertainers work very hard to do a great job and were very pleasant. ??
At first we could not arrange for massages since all reasonable times were booked by email before the cruise. However, lots of prime time opened up. They were the worst massages we ever had and understood why times became available. We are very clean people and had showered immediately before the massages. My masseuse sanitized me fore she touched me. Scrubbed me down painfully hard with what felt like a wire brush and used something that felt and smelled like hand sanitizer. She used rubber gloves during this cleansing process. When we finally got started she used her fore arms instead of her hands. She had no sense of how much pressure she was applying because she was using her body weight to do the work. In the more sensitive areas around my rib cage and lower back I felt she might break my back. When I mentioned that I didn't care for the forearm technique she switched to her hands and it felt like someone was lightly petting my skin, no hand strength. At the end she rang a bell in both ears I guess to wake me. That was just weird. And if that was the reason for the bell, a good masseuse would be able to sense that I was not even relaxed.
My husband had a very similar experience with a different masseuse. Massages cost $140 per 50 minuets and tips are NOT included.???
Silver Wind seems to have a design problem. If the seas are rough starting with about 6 or 7 foot swells the anchor bangs...and I mean loud banging that happens while you are sleeping. The larger the swells and faster the speed the louder the banging. Very scary the first time we were woken up by this. It is hard to exaggerate the loudness of this banging, couldn't talk over it. We could feel the percussion. At first we thought the boat was crashing.
When we phoned the front desk we were told about the anchor problem. Then I worried that the anchor might bang a hole through the side of the ship. Guests were in the hall in their pj's and we were scared. The extremely loud banging went on all night and banged an average of every 30-45 seconds. Zero sleep. It was awful.
This happened three nights of an eleven day cruise and seemed to happen on the nights the captain picked up speed in order to make it to a far port by the morning. The first night was the worst and the next day we bought ear plugs. The second and third noisy nights weren't as loud, smaller swells, and the ear plugs helped but we still were up several times during the night.???
A strange thing about this problem is that it can be heard only in certain cabins. Primarily on the 4th and 5th floors towards the front of the ship. The people in the rooms mid ship just down the hall from us told us that they heard it but the sound was faint. Some of the crew members were bleary eyed the next day and told us their cabins were forward of ours. ??
I wondered why I did not see any posts about this before we booked and searched the internet upon our return. I found another post from a passenger on a previous SilverWind cruise that had this problem and that gentleman and his wife were able to move to another room. Our cruise was fully booked and that was not an option.
Towards the end of the cruise on the repeated urging of a staff member I went to the desk and reported the problem. At first the lady (I believe her name was Kathleen but her name might be Catherine) pretended that there was no noise problem. She had a smirk on her face and I felt that I was being mocked. There was no point in having that conversation since it was upsetting and I was sorry I didn't stick to my original plan of not complaining. Kathleen's attitude was only making me more upset.
As I walked away from Kathleen another passenger waiting on line behind me stopped me . She told me she had one of these rooms too, that she had a similar conversation with the front desk and that I should not waste my time talking with her. Silversea just doesn't care about it.
We paid over $15000 for this vacation and I think it is unconscionable for Silversea to sell us a cabin, especially at full price except for the 'special' that they offered to everyone, knowing it has such a serious flaw. I was not the only or the first person to report the problem. We lost a couple of days of our vacation due to lack of sleep the nights before.
I have taken three Silversea cruises and truly enjoy almost everything about them. I do not think that SilverWind is up to SS standards.