We embarked in Barbados--Silversea works hard to get you to the ship from the airport and onto the ship, but check-in at the dock was tedious--unorganized. Reception on board was smiley-face friendly, but not much else. Cold towels (good) and warm champagne--glasses half filled (bad) and you had to look for a server. Most arrivals hadn't eaten all day and there was nothing to snack on, and I finally grabbed someone and asked them to show me to our room...which was ready--noting that liquor I asked for in my room was there--very good. The ship was clean as a whistle--and the staff otherwise quite accommodating, or certainly willing to be accommodating. This was a 9-day cruise that stopped at six islands and returned to Ft. Lauderdale. Ports were fine--no issues, even though my wife and I stayed on board for two islands we'd been to previously. Also, the on-board pool is salt water--a very pleasant surprise--clean as a whistle. All ships should consider converting to salt water
Now, don't go by the company's website hype and photos. At 61, take my word, I was in the young crowd, and don't believe for a minute that these are executive type travelers...80% on this ship (at only 2/3 full) were retirees--great folks, but this ship/cruise did not offer a chance to hob-nob with fellow business folks--65% American and the rest Canadians, Brits and Europeans. There were three children on board with one being totally obnoxious and mostly un-managed. I'm beggin' you if you go on this cruise line--please dont take kids on this cruise line--there is nothing for them to do and everyone else is on board to get away from kids.
Our cabin was simply great--comfortable bed with our butler just about as good as it gets. The cabin was spanking clean everyday...we even told our room steward not to change the sheets everyday--it was just that clean. Good for Silversea. Food, unfortunately, was average at best with a less than suburban steak house quality steak in the main restaurant (yuk). The whole food thing on Silver Spirit needs to be re-worked, in my opinion. The specialty restaurants were okay--booze selection was top drawer, but you had to ask for it--wines above average all around. The breakfast buffet--our choice for all nine days, was well run with excellent food and health food choices.
Hats off to the bartenders throughout--all very good--all very accommodating, with a special nod to Wilma and Bass in the Reception Lounge and Rex at poolside. The captain and the crew were very standoffish. Even though language barriers were evident, the captain made no attempt to respond to my several friendly "hellos" and gestures other than with grunts. This is the first cruise I've ever taken with no dialogue with any of the staff/crew. We we're in a very upscale cabin--yet no captain's dinner, no reception--no nothing. On our very similar Windstar cruise (Wind Surf) two years earlier, everyone gets to know everyone, and the captain and his crew were totally interactive--not so on the Silver Spirit.
Entertainment was okay--about what you'd expect for a small ship--but a very nice show lounge. The poolside "horse races" with the talent staff to earn on-board cruise points just may have been the most annoying thing I've ever witnessed on board a ship---they need to lose it...nobody cared, except the screaming kid. Lastly, the crap about not tipping from management just means most people don't, which is a shame. As expensive as this cruise was, my wife and I tipped our butler, our room steward and several of the bartenders. The tips were greatly appreciated...these folks are just working stiffs like we all once were-- looking to make a living...please take care of them as well. Good cruising to you--we'll probably go back, just not sure where or when.