For those of you who cruise alot (like us) let's break it down.
THE SHIP and PORTS OF CALL: We liked the smaller ship with just about 350 passengers. The ship had more interesting ports of call because of its smaller size and the shuttle bus service always dropped you in the center of town if you like exploring on your own. Don't bother with the tours in the smaller ports because you can walk them easily. In Belfast and Dublin we did the hop-on hop-off buses they were cheaper and hit all the same places with the advantages of being able to get off and explore certain stops including some where there was free access to castles. From where the shuttle dropped us in Edinburgh (overnighter) we just walked all over the new and the old city...do the old city first and if you want to see the castle you better get there early as the lines are very long and will eat up your day.
We liked butler services better on Celebrity (Concierge and Aqua levels) Silverseas butlers have too many cabins (averaging about 14) and hence slower to respond. Also smaller ship, smaller amenities like not being able to make restaurant or shore reservations easily as they were only open a limited number of hours. Entertainment was good but not like on larger ships with more broadway type performances (spoiled by Celebrity), on the other hand alot has to be said for an all-inclusive fare BRAVO eat and drink to your delight and no gratuities for anything.
We like the 12 days so much when we found out it was headed to St. Petersburg, Russia we extended our cruise for another 7 nights. As a result we had to switch rooms. Everyone including the cruise consultant, staff handling our flights and the entire Silverseas staff was very helpful and they did all the heavy lifting. After three weeks on the ship we liked decks 5 through 8 for convenience if we had to pick a cabin in the future; our first room was mid ship veranda great location, our second room was 933 and we would recommend avoiding that and 833 as they are noisier...next to exit/outside areas. We did love the free laundry room setup. Fellow passengers were very different on the two trips one group more sedate while on the second leg of the trip more party folks which turned the only nightclub into a disco instead of mixing up the music for all the passengers to enjoy. Still nice folks on both cruises if you want to meet new people at dinner time. Although we did find that folks on river cruises we had taken were overall more interesting and diverse.
The FOOD: La Terrazza for all meals was great. The poolside staff was really efficient and friendly, at night it turned into a dinner restaurant The Grill where you cook your own food, both fun and delicious...especially the prawns and steaks. For both make your dinner reservations early in the cruise. Room service became our go to place for breakfast and late night dining, we found it was faster than the Restaurant and just as good. Still we did like the open dining concept in the Restaurant as we did not have to rush to make it "on time" and we could request a table for 2, 4 or 6 on nights we wanted to mingle. Le Champagne restaurant was OK but not worth the hype. In summary regarding dining we like the food, variety of menus, hours of food service, and desserts (my weakness) on Celebrity and Uniworld better.
Bottom line regarding Silverseas ..great ports of call, only paying once was fantastic for all the services it included especially wines, cocktails, special coffees and afternoon high tea. We would do it again if the pricing was competitive with Uniworld and Celebrity's Conciege level, which it probably would be given all the one price inclusive packaging. Glad our friends turned us on to a new experience in cruising we will definitely return to Silverseas.
The hop-on hop-off bus gave a very interested narrative on the political and cultural strift of the times from the perspective of a resident of Belfast. They take you to the wall, point our sites of heroism and cultural diversity, and they go past some historical landmarks. Really got a feel for the struggle that once tore Ireland apart.
Amazing. Get of the ship and walk to the Little Mermaid just to say you saw it. Walk in the opposite direction along the Nyhavn canal, up the longest shopping street in Europe (so they claim) and then to Tivoli gardens. Everyone said they were amazing but it is more than that, it is awesome! It is a world famous amusement park and gardens and restaurants dating from the mid-1800's. While there is an entrance fee it is worth every penny (don't get the amusement rides unless you have kids). Plan to spend several hours just walking around and maybe grabbing a meal. We stoped at a restaurant along the Nyhavn for a meal and it was great very authentic.
Great city did the hop-on hop-off bus to get the lay of the city. The Guinness Storehouse was amazing it was like the Google campus in CA on beer. 5 floors of great exhibits and beer tasting you could even learn how to pour a "perfect pint." We then walked around the pub area and visited the famous Temple Bar, criss-crossed the bridges and still had a little time for some fo the historical buildings.
Wonderful city. The cruise ship shuttle bus drops you in town from there walk to the old city across the bridge onto the Royal Mile. If you plan to visit the castle get there early or else you will have a long line and eat up some of your day. If the line is to long stroll down the Royal Mile to the Queen's Palace of Holyroodhouse which is also interesting. Day 2 we took the hop-on hop-off bus just to fill in the historical gaps and a view (limited) of the new town. This is a must do walk about.