4 Istanbul to Mediterranean Silversea Silver Spirit Cruise Reviews

This was our third cruise in as many years on Silversea, and our first time on the Silver Spirit. Our two previous Silversea experiences were on smaller ships, where we were delighted by high level of service at every turn. On those two ... Read More
This was our third cruise in as many years on Silversea, and our first time on the Silver Spirit. Our two previous Silversea experiences were on smaller ships, where we were delighted by high level of service at every turn. On those two cruises, we felt like the staff read our minds, anticipating and meeting our needs before we asked. We couldn’t imagine a better experience on a cruise ship. With the exception of multiple service problems, our third cruise met our basic expectations. The Silver Spirit appeared to be in fine shape, well maintained, and clean. We were pleased with the selection and availability of food and beverages throughout the ship. We made restaurant reservations on line as soon as booking opened, and all were honored on board the ship. Our favorite restaurant for dinner was La Terrazza, where we always had very good food and service. The itinerary – Lisbon to Venice, with stops in Portimao, Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena, Trapani, Malta, and Corfu -- was interesting, with plenty to do and see. The only suggestion we would make would be to extend the in-port times in Trapani and Malta, which were too short. We walked around most of the ports on our own, which was extremely easy to do, and hired a driver in Trapani because we needed help squeezing everything we wanted to see into the six hours we were docked. We did not take any Silversea tours. We were astonished by the weird service problems on board, some of which we are still laughing about (after all, it was vacation!), and some of which are inexcusable for a luxury experience. For example, on our two previous Silversea cruises, we were welcomed aboard by smiling staff members and waiters offering glasses of Prosecco. This time, not a single staff member smiled at us or welcomed us on board; we had to ask a glum waiter, standing in a corner near reception and holding a tray of glasses of sparkling wine, if we might have one. The waiter did not respond, so we took glasses to drink while waiting in line at the reception desk. No one came around to collect empty glasses. After we handed over our credit card and had our pictures taken by another glum uncommunicative staff member, we headed to the main dining room, weighed down by hand luggage, to have lunch while we waited for our rooms to be available. Upon arrival at the main dining room, the person at the podium, without smiling or greeting us, simply said, Wouldn’t you be happier at the buffet? We said no, we preferred to eat in the main dining room. The person reluctantly directed a waiter to seat us, but stopped the fourth person in our party, who was wearing a fedora, telling him hats were not allowed in the dining room. Our friend said he understood and he would remove his hat as soon as he put down his hand luggage. The person at the service station glared at him and told him to put his luggage down immediately and remove his hat if he wanted to eat. It was an extraordinary start to the cruise, leaving us to wonder if we were on the right ship or if something terrible happened before we boarded. Unfortunately, the indifferent dining room service continued throughout the cruise. Each time we entered the main dining room for breakfast or lunch, a person at the podium attempted to direct us to the buffet and seated us only after we insisted we wanted to eat in the dining room. We began to feel that eating breakfast and lunch in the dining room was a tremendous imposition on the staff. Service was painfully slow and uneven; sometimes we’d be offered breakfast pastries or bread, sometimes not. Sometimes butter, salt, and pepper would appear on the table; sometimes not. Perhaps this explains why there were so few passengers in the dining room at breakfast and lunch. On three occasions, we were served coffee in cups and water in glasses with obvious lipstick marks. The cups and glasses were replaced immediately when we pointed out the problem, but those cups and glasses should never have reached the table. (Lipstick marks seemed to be a problem for housekeeping, too. When our room was available, we noticed obvious lipstick marks on the pillowcases as soon as we entered and asked to have the linen changed.) Several waiters in the dining room had problems speaking and understanding English. Typically, we had to repeat our order two or three times while pointing to the item in the menu, before the waiters appeared to understand. Even then, we were served things we hadn’t ordered and not served things we had ordered. Waiters also argued with us. One morning, when we ordered a bagel with cream cheese at breakfast, which we had successfully ordered the previous morning, the waiter insisted a bagel with cream cheese had never been available on the ship and but that we could order a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. One evening, when I told a waiter that there was no cheese in the Caesar salad I ordered, the waiter picked up my fork from my plate and dug through the salad insisting I must have overlooked cheese at the bottom of the salad. To Silversea's credit, after we reported the problems to management, we noticed improvement in the dining room service. While I hope our third Silversea experience was just a one-off thing, perhaps some combination of over-worked staff, poorly trained staff, customer-facing staff with poor English skills, and the phase of the moon, it’s often the little things that form long-lasting memories. If we take a fourth Silversea cruise, it will be on one of the smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Everything I read indicated this was the Best, for starters, the food was not as good as Carnival Cruise line, Expected much better quality for the cost of the Cruise. WIFI was free for only 1 hour total the entire cruise. Speciality ... Read More
Everything I read indicated this was the Best, for starters, the food was not as good as Carnival Cruise line, Expected much better quality for the cost of the Cruise. WIFI was free for only 1 hour total the entire cruise. Speciality Dinning was inpossible to get, even when the dinning rooms were half empty (we checked, looked in at all hours listed). Tried to book reservations on line months prior to cruise, was only able to get standby for Seishin restaurant, on nite we dined there the restaurant was not even half full, we stayed till 9:45 pm. Food was very good at the Seishin. La Terrazza restaurant was the best, again you need reservations, when denied, restaurant is not full, what's up with this? Length of time at the best ports was too short, if you take excursions, you miss the old town areas. Cabin was Great, always clean, wait staff the best, drinks were fast in comming and very good. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, water taxis in Venice, if scheduled on ship is twice as much as what is charge if you walk up to the Taxis stand. Enterainment was average, Ship was very clean and easy to get around, with only 500 guest it is very social. Not the bang for the Bucks I expected, so said many of the guest we met on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my first time cruising with Silversea. After spending 3 nights in Istanbul prior to boarding I was ready for the cruise. This was not my first time cruising solo, but it was my first time on an ocean ship vs having done a couple ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Silversea. After spending 3 nights in Istanbul prior to boarding I was ready for the cruise. This was not my first time cruising solo, but it was my first time on an ocean ship vs having done a couple of AMAwaterways river cruises. While I am up in age I don't look it or act it so I was ready to enjoy all that the Silver Spirit had to offer. The ship was small by comparison to ships I've been on, BUT I enjoyed the layout. The service was fantastic. My suit 812 had a wonderful butler and assistant who couldn't do enough for me. The suite was well laid out and had more than enough space and was very comfortable. The embarkation and disembarkation were like nothing I've ever experienced. Smooth and quick. The food was very good and you could really have whatever you wanted all you needed to do was ask. The Grill next to the pool cooking your own meat and fish was outstanding as was the wine. The main dining room was never really crowded and the food choices were outstanding. The trip included all excursions and internet which was for the most part very fast. TV had lost of movies and a good selection of American news channels only problem was we were a day ahead which took getting used too My issues were with the entertainment which as a former music industry executive I found to be way below my standards. While the singers were talented their voices were not meant for doing pop, but when they did classical selections they were outstanding. The fact that there really was no variety was sad. Why no comedy or magic? In their speciality showroom Stars the duo was outstanding except for the fact that on the nights I was there the other customers lacked in my opinion "class" because they tried to talk over the music and that was very rude. It was a class room with great food and while I understand people are on vacation and looking to have a good time trying to talk over the music should not happen period. Another issue I had was being single. While there were 52 others who were traveling solo or with friends the ship did have a singles mingle each evening and only 5 folk showed. We had a great time together and had usually enjoyed diner together with the two ship hosts who were wonderful. In closing would I sail again on Silversea and on the Silver Spirit I would. I'd also recommend this line and ship to those who like luxury. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is my 4th cruise on Silver Spirit which is probably my favourite ship of all as it has my preferred tonnage for a balance of facilities and privacy. I cruise on the same ship a year ago and again this time I am extremely happy with my ... Read More
This is my 4th cruise on Silver Spirit which is probably my favourite ship of all as it has my preferred tonnage for a balance of facilities and privacy. I cruise on the same ship a year ago and again this time I am extremely happy with my experience. They have changed quite a bit in restaurant services, now that waiters take order with a Galaxy pad, and I suppose this is good even for customers as it ensures continuous flow in the delivery of meal courses. Throughout 9 days on this trip the weather is great. We missed Mykonos this trip and spent one more night in Athens instead which I am not unhappy with, as I have been to Mykonos many times. The trouble is lack of pier facilities at Mykinos and the captain does not want to use tender in a windy condition, which maybe a good decision for comfort important to a 5-star ship. Yes, comfort is the key to travel on Silversea, as the cabin is spacious and service in housekeeping and of the butler are great as usual. Silversea restaurant and bar services are also invariably great, particularly I am recognized by many as a return cruiser. I cruise in all ships and it is interesting that 5-star ship crew always try to remember you, while on a big ship they try to pretend that they don't know you even if they do! Perhaps this is the main reason that most 5-star ships get following (4 star ships also get following due to unbelievable cheap fares off season). The design of the menu of the main restaurant on this ship has much changed, and I would say for the better. I am happier now as there is less (or almost no) Asian fusion on menu items. I find most Chinese or Japanese food on ships are actually Philippine food. The alternative restaurants Le Champagne and Stars, as well as La Terrezza all have my top marking. The Asian restaurant has great service but the food is not really Asian....I would say it is rather American Asian if you like that kind of food. But great that with the only Asian restaurant on any Silversea ship the buffet lunch always includes sashimi (and great that there can't be fusion on raw fish). Good also that the lunch menu in the main restaurant is now also enlarged and good, and now it has as many choices almost as at dinner, while some cruise ships, even 5-star, offer a kind of Hamburger/Sandwich based menu to cater for America taste. All in all, a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Silver Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 2.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates N/A 4.0

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