We flew into Singapore from our home in Manila, and being cheapskates we took the MRT (light railway system) directly from the airport to the cruise terminal which is incorporated inside a busy shopping mall. We were a couple of hours too early for boarding, so it was a relief to discover that we could nevertheless check in our bags. Even at this early stage we began to experience was was soon to become the norm..the wonderful personalized service of Silversea. While already being escorted from the information desk to the check-in area another Silversea representative came rushing over to welcome us with a warm handshake, and stayed chatting with us during the baggage check-in process, which, given that we were the only passengers at that time, took no more than 3 minutes. We returned 2 hours later, and following a 5 minute wait were through security and on into the lounge where were were offered champagne and canapEs before receiving the access cards for our suite.
I would just like to mention in passing, two irksome episodes during our boarding experience. My Filipino partner was asked at pre-boarding if he was crew, and again when we boarded a security officer asked if he was a travel agent. You may read into this what you will!
Our balcony suite was nicely furnished and the queen sized bed almost too comfortable to be true. The luxurious marbled bathroom complete with a full range of Bulgari products was the icing on the cake. The balcony furniture, consisting of a small table and 2 mesh chairs looked a little cheap, however, this was not an issue since we hardly used this area. Having said that, when we did use the balcony we were bothered by a pipe smoker from the deck below. Too bad also about the noise of the anchor dropping when docking early morning at each port of call.
We ate from the buffet breakfast each morning and apart form the wonderful array of food on offer, it was a joy not to have to stand in line for anything. With the exception of one day, we chose to skip lunch, preferring to save ourselves for the luscious afternoon tea. For dinner we ate twice in the much lauded Le Terrazzo restaurant. Great for an intimate meal, though unfortunately one evening was somewhat spoiled by a large and noisy golfing group. To his credit, the maitre'd warned us in advance, and our experience the following night more than compensated. The service in Le Terrazzo and The Restaurant was above reproach. I will give special mention to Devish, and Skulk, but this in no way detracts from the service of all the other waiting staff we came into contact with. On our first night, having mentioned to the wine waitress that I was a non-drinker, she offered to make up a special non alcoholic cocktail for me. To my delight, and without any prompting, she proffered a 'surprise' drink to me each and every evening. In general, we had no complaints about the food, but neither were we ever overwhelmed. The ship itself and the overall service were 6-stars but, similar to previous postings, I would not rate the food as such.
On the subject of the overall service I cannot say enough. From the moment we stepped out from our suite in the morning we were greeted by each and every member of staff most of whom addressed us by our names. This surely is the key to making every guest feel special.
The entertainment was for me typical cruise fare, and for the most part was entertaining, though I did feel that Helga the cruise director tried too hard on occasions. (How many encores can you bleed from an audience?)
We did not partake in any of the tours, since I consider the organized tours of any cruise line to be overpriced. (cheapskates). We did however venture out on our own, and frankly, with the exception of Penang, we found the other ports of call to be dull and uninteresting.
Having previously read the passenger profile for Silversea, I was a little apprehensive, fearing that we would be spending a lot of the time alone. However we were to be proved wrong since we made many friends of all ages and backgrounds.
This was our first cruise on a smaller ship, and with the exception perhaps of Celebrity, I will never venture on a large ship again following our experience with Silversea.