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.
* 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
* 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.
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