My husband and I had a great expectation of Silver Sea Cruises after having them so highly recommended from our friends who had sailed with them several times.
This was our first time on Silver Sea and we were not to be disappointed. Around midday we were permitted to board the ship in Rome, and immediately our hand luggage was taken from us and replaced with a nice, full, chilled glass of champagne which we enjoyed whilst completing the check in requirements. We were immediately shown to our vista suite 431, even though this is Silver Seas minimum standard of accommodation, it is truly beautifully appointed, with a huge picture window and the crew showed you the same respect and welcome as those occupying the owners suites. All passengers were extended an invitation to the Main Dining Room where lunch was being served, this was to be our first introduction to the amazing quality of food on offer on board the Silver Wind. Afternoon tea was served in the Panorama Lounge at 4pm followed by the Lifeboat Drill before the ship set sail from Rome at 6pm.
Captain Luigi Rutigliano was the Master of the Silver Wind for our cruise. We found him to be always friendly and approachable and my husband thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Bridge. Captain Rutigliano even gave us a friendly wave from the docking deck when we left the ship in Athens 9 days later.
Even though all the alcohol is included whilst on board no one became disorderly. It was wonderful to have such a large ship with only 260 passengers on board. There were no ques for anything, tendering off the ship was an easy process with out any waiting, and it was a bonus to have no children on board.
The ship was in good condition, the crew were constantly doing minor maintenance during the cruise, and when in port they even managed to wash the windows.
We dined in La Terrazza four times for dinner, twice in Le Champagne, and the rest in the Main Dining Room. Every meal experience was like eating in a top class restaurant (eg.Raffles, Singapore). The buffet lunch at La Terrazza was also first class. There was nothing nicer than sitting on the back deck of La Terrazza enjoying lunch and a fine wine. The wines were of a good standard and plentiful. The wait staff very attentive and courteous, even asking if they could take my plate from me to my table when I had finished my selection at the buffet.
We found other passengers on board to be aged around 45-75 and friendly, from various countries including 10 fellow Australian.
The only areas where I feel Silver Sea could improve was firstly with the entertainment. Whilst we enjoyed the dancing and singing, it did become very repetitious. Also our butler did not put our requested alcohol in our suite fridge until day 3 of our cruise.
My overall review of our cruise was just wonderful, so much in fact that we have booked 2 cruises for 2012. 7 days Norwegian Coast on the Silver Whisper 2July ex Copenhagen and 16 days Baltic, Copenhagen to London 10 July,2012.
I would gladly recommend Silver Sea, their staff make your cruise a very
special experience, yes it is expensive, however I can not think of a better way to "spend the kids inheritance".