This is my review on the additional 7 days on the Silver Spirit, Bridgetown to Bridgetown.
Since I have already covered most topics in my 14 days transatlantic review, here are a few little extras.
The first night of this cruise was an overnighter in Bridgetown and something went really wrong in the dining room that night.
At dinner, the waiter dumped bread rolls on our plates without asking what we required then abandoned us. There was no sign of any wine, and after 20 minutes PhilipB asked the deputy Maitre D’ to intervene. Wine was produced and the waiter came and said "Are you ready to order"!! Service was slow and we couldn't wait to get out.
The following morning we noticed the untidy state of the pool deck. Sun loungers were left with uncleared towels, empty glasses were everywhere. It looked a mess. PhilipB had a word with the Pool Grill Manager whose response was "It's not my job, it's the Bar Manager's job". So PhilipB tracked her down and within minutes staff were deployed and order was restored. We felt that it should not require a passenger to get things organised!
Following this and the dinner fiasco, PhilipB went to see the Hotel Director, Paolo, to discuss the problems. Paolo was very receptive and we noticed that from then on he had obviously briefed his staff to manage things in a much more "hands-on" way. The poor service was the only hiccup in 21 days cruising.
Also, there were children on this cruise. On the first evening, two were running around in the restaurant and I thought eek! but I didn’t see them again so was rather pleased about that.
I dined with the Staff Captain at LT on formal night with 2 other couples. He was so boring, I had to excuse myself feigning a headache.
We had dinner with the Hotel Director, Paolo, towards the end of the cruise. He was a charismatic host and we all had a very enjoyable meal.
My team was awesome, we managed to win 3 days running - we were definitely the champs!
Port & Shore Excursions:
In Barbados, I decided to go “swimming with the turtles”. We got on a catamaran (not at all luxurious) and sailed up the west coast to where Sandy Lane is located. There we swam with ‘the’ turtle. I had much higher expectations of this excursion and was a little disappointed when only one turtle turned up. Later on, when I was back on the boat another turtle turned up but not for long. We also had a very average buffet lunch on board.
The other excursion that I did was on Dominica. This was the aerial rainforest tram. DebbieH103 was also on this trip. We started off in a very old bus and we were packed in like sardines (very unlike Silversea). On the way up the mountain, the bus broke down and we had to wait about 20 mins for another van to pick us up. Once we got there, the excursion was enjoyable. The tram was like a cable car across the top of the rainforest. When we got to the end, there was a track with quite a lot of steps and a rickety suspension bridge over a river and waterfall, we then got back in the tram and came down to where the van was parked where we had a choice of rum punch and tea/coffee.
I was disappointed with my shore excursions in the Caribbean. I had read about the turtles and all the waterfalls and I didn’t feel that the excursions lived up to their hype. As a result, I cancelled the others that I had booked on the other islands.
The itinerary was rescheduled a fair bit. We went to St Kitts earlier than planned and then St Barts was cancelled because it was too rough for the tenders. We ended up tendered in Marigot Bay in St Marten due to 5 large ships docked in Phillipsburg. The tender ride was 20 minutes each way so I couldn’t be bothered getting off. We got to Bequia as planned and it was another tender.
During the first 14 days, I requested this charge to be removed from my account and it was. However, I noticed that another charge had been added for my additional 7 days on board so I had to go back to reception again to have it removed. I think that if you are doing a B2B cruise, you should not have to remove “two” charges.
We docked in Bridgetown and I left the ship at 10am. It was all very orderly until I got outside and was waiting for a taxi. P&O Azure was in port too and there were people everywhere. It was incredibly hot, humid and chaotic. I got in a queue for what turned out to be a van, dropping people off all over the place. Anyway I got to my hotel, Fawlty Towers (that’s another story!) on the beach in Worthing and all was good.
The feeling on this cruise was totally different to my Transatlantic. There seemed to be a lot of groups with many people knowing each other already. The fact that it was so port intensive didn’t really give you the opportunity to make new friends quickly. However I was able to meet two CC people, DebbieH103 and Flag Fan which was great.
I loved the ship and would not hesitate to spend another 21 days on her.