First, this would be a 4 star review if on Princess or RCCL for 70% less fare. At over $3,000 US per day for a seven day trip, expectations were not even close to met:
The ship itself was in good shape, but our shower had a strong smell of raw sewage and there was no hot water for the first two days.
The main recurring theme for the cruise was: PLEASE DON'T BOTHER THE CREW.
The advertised butler service is generally unavailable. He wasn't there to greet us or to show us the cabin. There is no way to contact the butler other than through a pager which frequently goes unanswered. We found out the paging system was broken two days into the cruise, but even after it was fixed we still couldn't get any assistance most of the times we called. It's a one-way system. When the butler doesn't call you back, you have to call the reception desk and the people there make it clear you are not supposed to call More
them. One time they transferred us to an East Indian gentleman with a think accent who tried to provide phone support in lieu of the butler service. It was like calling tech support for your PC. Without listening to anything we had to say, he kept saying "please", "thank you", and "the butler will call you back". I'm not sure if he was even on the ship, but this is the level of service I expect when I call about a $50 appliance that is years out of warranty. Putting a tuxedo on an untrained person with no experience in the service industry and calling him a butler doesn't add any value in my book. Even at the end of the cruise he hadn't figured out what we liked or disliked.
At breakfast, we asked the server standing behind the buffet table next to an empty frying pan to cook the eggs he was serving a bit more, and he refused, instructing us to instead "tell your waiter". Half the time we would finish our meal before we could find a waiter to relay the request. You get what you get.
The few times we contacted the shore excursion desk, they always knew less than what little we did about any topic we might ask them about. It was like talking to a fellow confused passenger, and they seemed genuinely bothered to talk with us, even on the excursions we purchased directly from SilverSea.
The level of English spoken at the reception desk was horrendous for a luxury cruise that solicits English speaking customers. We would try to communicate the same thing three or four different ways and then usually give up and walk over to try and communicate in person with gestures.
Not all of the crew was bad - Fernando the cruise director and the security staff made us feel welcome, and there were numerous occasions where crew members went out of their way to help out, but the steady feeling that you're bothering the staff really ruins the vacation.
I don't know if it's the increased size of the boat, or SilverSea has just gone down hill, but the level of service was nothing like what we received on the Wind or the Cloud. I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend three times the cost of a lesser cruise for the experience we received. I don't think we'll be back any time soon. Less
Silver Spirit Cruises to the Western Mediterranean