I am still stunned from the level of service I received while aboard the Silver Cloud. I have sailed on Princess, RCCL, and various ferry type vessels in the Med, but have always wanted to experience a "luxury" cruise. Well, all I can say is, there is no turning back. Silversea Cruises far surpassed my expectations and then some.
The public rooms are a bit dated but still beautifully appointed. I heard this ship was going to be refurbished sometime next year. I would say it probably needs it but in no way did the older furnishings detract from the overall experience.
The food was incomparable, as were the selection of wines. I dined in Le Champagne, La Terrazza, the Dining Room, the Galley Lunch, experienced Dining Under the Stars, and the BBQ on deck. ALL superb. I actually gained 5 pounds, something I never do when cruising as I have never found the food to be all that great to begin with (RCCL and Princess). Plus, I'm not a typical over-eater, which I have to say, was one of the things I loved about the demographic on this ship. Very few overweight guests were on board. I never saw someone balancing a huge plate of bacon like I've seen on the mass market lines. That in and of itself was refreshing! =)
The fact the staff called me by name whenever I was served was incredibly engaging! Even passing me in the hallway, they would greet me by name. Amazing.
The Butler Service is quite a nice touch, most especially when bringing me my morning coffee, laying out a damask cloth and setting the table perfectly. He was always very unobtrusive, polite, and very efficient. I really loved this touch.
Turn down was always a pleasant surprise each evening. From my menu with my name delivered to my cabin after I dined in Le Champagne, to the different chocolates, I couldn't wait to return to my cabin each night, kick off my shoes, undress and wrap myself in the soft Silversea robes provided, and read the Chronicles for the next day. Also having a large bottle of water every night by the bed was marvelous for me. I drink a lot of water and its the first thing I reach for in the morning. Nice not to have to "pay" for a bottle of water.
The walk in closet is to die for. I'm a clothes horse and love traveling with many clothing and shoe selections. It was great having a plethora of hangers and more than enough drawer space. I didn't even use up half the drawers that were in the cabin.
Loved the ports of call, St. Barts especially. Two we had to tender in to, and there were many elderly people with canes and the seas were pretty rough. The care with which the crew helped these people in and out of the tenders was perfection. One night, a man with a cane, getting up from his chair, fell over and the Captain himself was on his feet in a flash, helping the man back to his feet, and personally caring for him until the man felt well enough to be escorted back to his cabin. Again, the service was just beyond belief.
The gym instructor was terrific. I work out daily and her yoga and pilates classes were excellent. The gym is very small but I loved it. Intimate, enough equipment to get a good workout, and a knowledgable attendant who answered questions intelligently. This was a surprise to find such a good instructor on a ship that caters to an older demographic. I saw her working out elderly people every morning with great care to their individual needs. She made quite the impression on this work-out-a-holic!
The entertainment was a disconnect however. Lovely dancers, adequate singers, but the shows themselves were not of the caliber of the service I experienced. They had a concert pianist on (I forget his name as it was rather quirky), but I found his playing to recorded music a bit off putting. I only saw his first show however and he did get a standing ovation. The guest lecturers were interesting. There was also a cooking demonstration in the theater that was rather fun. The on deck BBQ performance was probably the most energetic show of all the shows they performed. There was a "First Timers" event I attended but it was just another cocktail party. Nothing special, although I did feel like it was a bit 'sales pitchy' to me.
I am hooked on Silversea Cruises and can't wait to experience all the ships. Of course, I won't be able to cruise as often as I have in the past due to their price point but all I can say is, Silversea Cruises is totally worth the cost. I can't wait to return.