This particular cruise was an absolute failure in terms of delivering on any of the marketing made on their website or in their expensive shiny brochures and I do not think I will ever sail on Silversea again. Where to start? First of ... Read More
This particular cruise was an absolute failure in terms of delivering on any of the marketing made on their website or in their expensive shiny brochures and I do not think I will ever sail on Silversea again. Where to start? First of all, we are well experienced as cruisers, and as travelers, have refined palates and are all lovers of fine wines...so we did have a standard of expectations here, mostly as set by Silversea themselves on the website, in their brochures etc. We really did have the expectation that this would be a really high end cruise with superb food, wine and service.
First of all our "personalized Butler service". Our butler showed up in the suite to say hello (our wonderful service attendant was there however with his excellent smile and unfailing good nature) at least 2 hours after boarding. Informed us he had 15, yes, 15 cabins to service so was busy. Yep, busy. Over 9-10 days he delivered breakfast twice...the second time it arrived stone cold with one rock hard cardboard waffle and cold congealed eggs..and he served it to us! There was no time to get a replacement (needed to join a tour in port) but it was obvious that our order had sat around for a long time before it was picked up. There was a nice soap selection presentation and one evening a small anniversary cake delivered with balloons to our suite, something all cruises do, which was nice.
Our so called luxury mattress was just terrible to sleep on , so uncomfortable and on the day of the LAST NIGHT they informed us they were changing all the mattresses on our deck. We were NOT impressed with their ill timed announcement...they really should have saved the mattress switch for disembarkation day...because we got off this "premium" luxury cruise KNOWING that we slept badly on a mattress in need of change out. Oh, except for one night..thanks.
The suite was very nice, lots of room in the bathroom, great walk in clothes storage, lovely living room space and very nice quality towels, robe etc. Slippers we referred to as our surfboards, rather giant sized for sure. We were very pleased with the space of the suite.
I think our biggest let down was food quality and inconsistency. SO inconsistent. The sole exception to this was the morning walk through buffet, which was fresh, delicious and beautifully varied. The waiters took made to order egg orders. Desserts across all venues on the entire cruise were sub par to say the least (and just name ONE cruise line where gorgeous desserts aren't a feature. This ship offered mostly some form of a ganache pudding like filling served in some dessert form or another, or you could have creme brulee or cheesecake, hardly culinary dessert artistry. The four of us tried the ice creams and gelatos on two occasions, the ice creams had so little flavor and were more ice milk like as opposed to rich and creamy...we even mentioned our dismay over the desserts and ice creams to the Exec Chef one evening when he wandered by the Table. He informed us in a scolding tone that "they were all made from scratch fresh daily" well so much for that! Tasteless ice milk made fresh daily! I felt better right away! We found that the service stations were crazy noisy with drawers slammed, trays filled with dishes rattling etc. One night we asked for a "quiet table" and yes.....they sat us two tables from the KITCHEN DOOR...you know the one, the door that dozens of waiters run in and out of ALL NIGHT LONG. The Maitre D in the dining room was a grumpy fellow and not at interested in where you, the guest, might wish to sit...he had a plan and you got a growl from him if you asked for a table near a window, or away from the service stations etc. One morning we actually asked to have a waiter replaced he was just that bad.
The steaks onboard were just delicious...we quickly learned that while the cook it yourself hot rock venue seems like something fun....it also comes with a fair amount of grease spattering everywhere. They do give you a large bib....but the grease is all over the table, on your sleeves, in your hair and all around you. The next time we had it grilled for us and brought over....MUCH better. On so many occassions we took lunch or ate lunch around the pool and found the service lackluster, and very inattentive..I am just not sure what was wrong here...but there were lots of staff standing around the service station or milling around the bar while plates piled up, glasses went empty and no one re-visited the tables to check.
For some reason the bar staff at the pool had zero idea how to make a drink...really. They were all like first day bartenders who never made a drink in their lives. We sent back drink after drink which tasted NOTHING like what was described. Thank goodness for the lovely server, Magda who would personally take them back to the bar, and then re-make then herself for us...always perfect. How tough should that have been? This premium luxury cruise at day three started to feel like a cut rate cruise line. I know there are a lot of readers interested in the included wine service. Hope you all like Chilean wine. I asked every single occasions if there was a South African, or New Zealand or Australian wine available and always was told no...UNTIL the last two nights...lo and behold...some lovely wines from those very places magically appeared. In the meantime I racked up a few dollars buying decent wines to drink....
We did have a lovely meal in the La Dame room venue. We also asked , twice, for the sommalier to come to the table as were were wanting to purchase a very decent bottle or two of wine . The sommalier did not come although we saw him in the wine cabinets frequently, the young lady that was sent and we were told she was a sommalier, READ us the notes from the back of the two bottles we were interested in. GEE, thanks! We She also failed to decant our expensive bottle and did not replace our wine glasses when the second bottle was opened..OMG. We just gave up looking for a semblance of excellence at that point. The service however in La Dame was excellent and skilled...
Of note, there was an absolutely excellent vocal band performing live in the dance lounge nightly, well worth a late nightcap and easy listen to.
One evening (Portofino) we returned to find a note in our suite saying the La Terraza dining venue was CLOSED due to a "private event" . The 30-40 yr old folks on that private event dressed to the max in chic finery were on the shore to ship tender with us, so we thought something might be up. My point is this...Silversea actually CLOSED one of its very few dining venues to their PAYING GUESTS. During the evening. Some folks mused that perhaps it was a "charity" thing for Silversea...but if it was a fund raiser, then Silversea also had some very deep pocketed PAYING guests on board. just a chic private dinner party with a group from Portofino ...closed to paying guests. WOW...that IS really arrogant. At a minimum they should have closed a lunch venue off during the day when most of the paying passengers were ashore.
We booked three shore excusions with Silversea. We also loved the amount of time we had in port on this itinerary. First one, we were told to get on and off the bus three times, switch buses, then told to go back to the original bus...the on board "lecturer" and his wife royally buggering it up and not a Silversea staffer in site. ACK.
Second one...we visited a rest/drink stop at a scenic mountain top location which was CLOSED because the local guide did not call ahead first and that particular guide felt very strongly indeed that there should never be a moment of silence on the mic over the four hours. Not a moment. Everything you never wanted to know about her entire family, and the curious mating habits of black pigs...over and over...Good one Silversea.
We had a good time because we always have a good time. 99% of our fellow passengers were terrific interesting folks. The ports were mostly lovely, well once you go out of Marseille and Livorno, with enough time to really do something unhurried and wonderful in the locale, we took full advantage of that.
Only once did we receive a wet hand towel upon re boarding from shore...that is SUCH a little thing but so noticeably missing on a consistent basis here.
For all the reasons i have written about above....and the fact that prior to this cruise it was announced that Silversea had been sold to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line..I can only conclude that this expensive particular cruise failed to deliver on far too many cruise line basics let alone those associated with a self called "luxury" cruise. I really cannot recommend Silversea and that, is a real shame. Read Less