After being totally spoiled on a luxury Paul Gauguin cruise in the South Pacific I started researching other luxury cruise lines to fulfill my second cruise of a life time to the Mediterranean. The Silversea line matched the ship size, number of passengers and itinerary I was looking for. We sailed from Istanbul to Athens in April 2013.
A lot of my review is a comparison to the Paul Gauguin experience. There are a lot of similarities between the two lines. I was not disappointed but I always expect more luxury as outlined in the brochures. I am still trying to figure out what the butler is supposed to do. Over all they are a cabin steward with a fancy title!
As stated in other reviews the ship is very dated in dÃ©cor and not as well kept as expected. The low number of passengers allows you to meet and get to know other travelers. The age group is definitely the 50+ crowd which being in that group is fine with me.
The food options are wonderful. Breakfast and Lunch are available as non-buffet at the restaurant. Made to order pizza is also a great option! Room service is also great. Definitely do not miss the â(EURO)oeblack rockâ(EURO) dining at the Grill in the evening. The specialty restaurant Le Champagne is definitely worth the extra cost for a relaxing dining experience at least once.
The cabin was very nice. I really liked the walk in closet. The cabin was always kept clean and very comfortable. The only negative was the night in port; the AC did not cool as well as it did when we were at sea.
The staff is excellent, most calling you by name, but not as much on the PG. The entertainers are very versatile and also double as companions on the ship sponsored excursions. You really feel they become fast friends as they also mingle with the passengers after the shows.
The biggest disappointment of the cruise (no fault to the ship or line) was missing the excursion to Santorini. After days of calm seas the wind was so bad the shuttles could not be safely boarded. The captain did try for over an hour but eventually the decision was made to move on to the next port. The cruise director came up with other entertainment including a great cooking demo with a chef who should also be a performer!
The most negative, and my personal opinion, is the formal nights. Being in the over 50 crowd I worked most of my career in a suit and tie and currently embrace business casual so I did not appreciate the formal or the wear a sport jacket experience! However many of the passengers really appear to like the experience.
All of the ship sponsored shore excursions we took were excellent. The guides provided very professional informative information. Definitely if on this cruise itinerary take the tour to Ephesus. A couple of the tours included a wonderful lunch. I did learn you definitely need a down day as the tours can be exhausting.
Embarking and disembarking was a painless experience. Overall the experience was wonderful and I will be sailing on the Silversea line again!