Pre-cruise: we stayed at the Hilton Barbados, arranged through Silversea. The room was large and comfortable with a large balcony overlooking the ocean/ bay – great views. The property was very well kept, a fabulous beachfront with protected swimming area, and three pool areas. The restaurants were a bit pricey and the food just ok. The hotels location on a small peninsula provided lots of fresh air, even on very hot days. We requested a late check-out until 1:00 p.m. and there was no problem. We took a taxi from the hotel to the port – about 15 min. drive at a cost of 30 B$ ($15 American).
Check-in at the port was quick and friendly and we were being escorted, by a white gloved attendant, aboard ship within 15 min. of our arrival.
Our suite (615) was spacious and well appointed. Yes, there were small signs of an old ship (spot on the sofa) but nothing to be concerned about. There is far more storage space, with a walk-in closet, then most people would use. The living area can be separated from the sleeping area by pulling a heavy drape across an archway. The balcony is a little on the small size and I was disappointed in the furniture, which consisted of two aluminum/nylon upright chairs and a small table. I would have expected a chaise lounge and some wicker on a ship of this stature.
Our butler did not show up until one and a half hours after we boarded the ship. This was far longer than acceptable and caused us to waste time waiting for him. There was a nice bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us and this helped to pass the time. The butler and I did not get off to a great start as I felt that he was not listening to my questions or responding to my needs. Again, not the end of the world, but this is first impressions! I named my concerns to the Head Butler and finally to the Hotel Manager – more in an attempt to give feedback and not complaints (we are not complainers but we do have appropriate expectations).The remainder of the cruise provided exceptional butler service!
The food was, for the most part, a wonderful experience. We ate four dinners in the Restaurant and we were pleased with the quality of food, excellence of service and free flowing wines and champagne. The portions, while not enormous, were delicious and well presented. I am a big eater and I never felt anything but satiated at every meal. We ate once in the Terraza and were not impressed. The food was mediocre at best and the service less attentive than in the Restaurant. We decided that we would not eat there again. We ate twice in the Champagne restaurant and were thrilled by the food, wines and service. Yes, a little expensive but, a great experience if you can afford it. Our first meal was on a lobster theme and the second on a foie gras theme. The wines and champagnes accompanying both these meals were very good and plentiful.
Our breakfasts were taken in the Restaurant and were very good. Sometimes there were no more than six people in the dining room. Lunches were eaten in the Restaurant, Terraza, or poolside – all were very good. Daily “teatime” was available at 4:00 p.m. in the Panorama Lounge and was well presented and delicious.