First Impressions of Silversea on the Silver Spirit
My wife and I just completed a 14 day Transatlantic cruise on the Silver Spirit out of Lisbon and wanted to share briefly some of our expectations that were met and not met by Silversea. This was our first Silversea cruise and looked forward to it very keenly based on the many positive reviews we read and talking to our cruise consultant.
In summary from my first touch-point with the cruise line: 1) the website is cumbersome and tired for an upscale cruise line. In fairness it has undergone an update but still lags other. 2)Booking spa treatments before the cruise is a nice plus other lines don't offer but 3)we find it maddening that one cannot book the specialty restaurants before hand as most other lines allow. If one wants to make sure they obtain their choices they need to rush aboard and run around the ship to each restaurant and book since it is not automated but manual lists are kept 4)beverages and gratuities included in the tariff is a major plus especially on a 14 day cruise 5)embarkation was smooth but again manually performed? 6)upon boarding you can have lunch in the Restaurant or (not publicized) in La Terrazza before departure 7)Staff is attentive and by mid cruise most remember your name 8)the Butler service is spotty compared to past ones we have had 9) the ship is new obviously but somber and almost non-offensive in its color palette and uses of woods. The narrow cabins and funky sink are well documented and accurate. Storage is ample 10)The Restaurant and La Terrazza are the 2 best with no surcharge restaurants aboard. Seishin was very poor in every respect. The concept needs to be rethought. La Champagne was tried 3 times and was fine in food quality but not worth $300 with wine.
Stars was fun with its tapas concept and music but once the music started the diners were asked to be quiet while everyone listened to the "concert". Hot Rocks was intriguing as it is on the outside upper pool deck and everything is served for you to grill. Some nights can be gusty indeed and the heaters are rolled out. 11) Getting a poolside perch was not difficult during the cruise. 12)The average age of cruisers was older then we thought and certainly much older then we preferred. If I were to guess I would say in the 70's. This had a tempering effect on ALL activities on the ship. 12) By 10:00pm or so the ship save for a hearty 20 to 30 of us "goes to sleep". If this is your style this is your ship. 13)The Casino is small but adequate as we used it nightly. 14)The internet worked beautifully as I had to use it quite heavily for business 15)The shore excursions were simple and thoughtfully geared to touring for the older audience. 16) debarkation was simple and felt not rushed.
So, in conclusion if I haven't lost you yet the key question is would we cruise Silversea again and would we do it on Spirit or on one of the smaller "clubby" other Silversea ships. I honestly don't know. We purchased a refundable trip for the future and gave them a $1,000 deposit to save 5% off on a future cruise. We have 12 months to let this one sink in and regroup.