6 Silversea Silver Galapagos Cruise Reviews

This was a fortieth wedding anniversary and we wanted the best cruise to celebrate our event. The Galapagos Islands did not disappoint and we felt privileged to have access to the islands and the wildlife. Any assessment of the ... Read More
This was a fortieth wedding anniversary and we wanted the best cruise to celebrate our event. The Galapagos Islands did not disappoint and we felt privileged to have access to the islands and the wildlife. Any assessment of the standards offered on this cruise depend on expectations and price paid. We paid £5,500 per person for seven days. And were expecting very high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food: certainly not 5*. Our cabin was good and very clean. Although the layout was strange: the seating area would have been better overlooking the sea. Our butler was very willing. We were very disappointed in the quality of food provided as we had been recommended Silverseas by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. Our food was not up to the standard we had been led to expect. The food was often overcooked which was a great shame and was often quite dull. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript. We thought the staff were friendly and helpful but were in great need of further training; they simply did not appreciate the standard of service expected by clients of a cruise of this calibre. I think Silversea should import a Swiss hotel manager and a few wait staff from the Savoy, London to train the current staff. They are simply out of their depth and it is not fair. It's worth mentioning that the safety standards on the activities we saw didn't conform to best practice in the UK, possibly due to Ecuador only staffing, so take care. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for ... Read More
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for seven days. We were expecting high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, the success of the cruise depended almost entirely on the unique natural quality of the wildlife, and the amazing access to beautiful locations. But we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food. We had been recommended Silversea by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. The food we had was often overcooked which was a great shame and often quite dull, certainly not five star. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript, and the wait staff were well meaning but poorly trained. Shame they are restricted to Ecuadorian only staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have just returned from Voyage 8440 and although the Expedition Staff on and off the Silver Galapagos were 10 out of 10, we amongst many of the guests were appalled with the quality of the food and service. The breakfast buffet was of a ... Read More
We have just returned from Voyage 8440 and although the Expedition Staff on and off the Silver Galapagos were 10 out of 10, we amongst many of the guests were appalled with the quality of the food and service. The breakfast buffet was of a very poor quality and variety. Twice I ordered eggs at breakfast and they simply were not delivered, every day the sausages, bacon and scrambled eggs on the buffet were cold, now I don't mean warm or tepid I mean stone cold. At dinner on 3 days running there was no sorbet and on two full days no vanilla ice cream. The head chef stopped by our table and I asked what the problem was with the sorbet and the ice cream and he told us that they had run out and did not have the machinery to produce them - this is frankly absurd, and pathetic for a 'head' chef. The food at dinner was most nights over cooked. On one night I order my steak rare, the first one was well done, so I asked for it as I ordered, so the waiter kindly replaced it with another one also well done, the third one was possibly medium and I frankly just accepted it and didn't bother eating it. The waiters served the rather ordinary wine haphazardly, topping up a half glass of red wine with a totally different wine for example, regularly. The layout and decor of the restaurant is very dull, repressive and refectory like. The piano lounge is just a mess, the lighting is turgid and the furniture and decor smacks of the 1970's. This ambiance, service and food was not what we were expecting from our previous trips on the Silver Explorer. Great expedition, but 3* hotel service. All in all Silversea let is down. On the positive side we came home without putting any weight on. This was not a Silversea as we had come to know it. All the trips to the Galapagos follow the same itinerary, with the same qualified guides, so why we paid a significant premium for substandard service with Silversea is in hindsight extremely disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We have travelled on Silversea ships on 5 previous cruises, and they have been just marvelous. So we chose that company again to visit the Galapagos, departing Baltra for 7 days in the West Islands. We were expecting that the same ... Read More
We have travelled on Silversea ships on 5 previous cruises, and they have been just marvelous. So we chose that company again to visit the Galapagos, departing Baltra for 7 days in the West Islands. We were expecting that the same standards of excellence would apply to this Expedition ship, even if less luxe. And the marketing materials from the company confirmed the expectation. We were mislead. Unforgivably. THE GOOD: the locale and the excellent expedition leaders, filled with enthusiasm and knowledge, fluent in English, and all guiding for many years. The islands offer a variety of terrain and wildlife, and the hiking, snorkeling, and Zodiac tours are just SO GOOD. Even a little spelunking in a lava tube. Animals and birds with no fearful reaction to people are as approachable as legend has it. It's so amazing, and worthy of everyone's bucket list. THE BAD: The ship. It's an older one, perhaps 25 years, but in poor repair. For example, the air conditioning is inadequate; the dining room was stifling, the bathrooms were a common source of passenger grumbling, and the engineering staff seems incapable of making repairs quickly, or even at all. But it does have nice layout for the Veranda suites, - although they are small, they are more attractive and efficient than the Owner's Suite, with two big faults: the shower produces so much humidity that every mirror in the cabin mists up, - even though the bathrooms were allegedly renovated, and there is so little storage that passengers were cautioned not to hang clothes from the overhead sprinklers. Really! Although they replaced the beds, they didn't include the under bed suitcase storage standard on the larger ships. THE TRULY UGLY: the FOOD and the HOTEL MANAGEMENT. If I were to buy this company today, the Chef and the Hotel Manager would be looking for a new job tomorrow. The food varied from not bad to just inedible. Scrambled eggs that make hospital food look good, waiters that simply can't deliver a complete order at the same time. The cook hasn't even mastered the fried egg. Although the restaurants (there are only two) advertised as 'open seating with no reservations required' the 5th deck grill, which offers food you cook at your table on hot rock slabs, has only enough of these it would seem to enable them to set up half the tables. The alternative, the overheated dining room. But although it's easier to find a table outdoors for lunch, the pizza is the only very good and reliable choice. I had a hamburger, - represented as ground filet, that was late, overcooked (MR is not dark grey), and stringy. Not one of the six at our table finished theirs. You can walk into the bar, and find it, and all the others, closed, - or if open, you have to summon the waiter (they have not been trained to watch for and approach a new arrival) they are willing, but untrained and unresponsive. Breakfast was discontinued at 08:25, even though early expedition passengers were returning and looking for the breakfast they missed. This is in such stark contrast to all the other voyages, where food and drink is excellent in preparation, presentation and service, and all but available 24 hours a day, - somewhere. I don't think I met a satisfied passenger. Everyone was grumbling. We felt deceived by the misrepresentation of the cruise as 5 star luxe . The Silversea Line has done itself a huge disservice launching this expansion, which is certainly not ready for prime time, before they have renovated the ship and trained the staff to the standards their brand connotes. One of our fellow passengers, - a travel agent, is vowing that she will never again sell Sliversea, - and she had previously been a big supporter. I am disappointed in the ship and food, and somewhat angry at the misrepresentation, and although we were among the most frequent travelers recognized at their Venetian Society reception, we have made our last trip with Silversea. So I am sad too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We board the Silver Galapagos on December 11. We choose Silversea over Celebrity in order to get a better level of service and better food. Transfers in Quito and Guyaquil were perfect. Quito: after breakfast at 5:30 we went for luggage ... Read More
We board the Silver Galapagos on December 11. We choose Silversea over Celebrity in order to get a better level of service and better food. Transfers in Quito and Guyaquil were perfect. Quito: after breakfast at 5:30 we went for luggage inspection in the Marriott library at 6:00 AM and it was completed after 10 minutes. If you want to lock your luggages, do it right after the inspection is completed and before they put the blue tag seal. After, it is impossible to do it. You will see your luggage only in your cabin. We didn't had any inspection for hand luggages. Departure from hotel was at 7:00. Easy transfer to airport where a rep give boarding pass. No air condition in airport and bus in Baltra. After arriving at Baltra airport we wait for about 15 minutes to board a bus. About 10 minutes after we board the zodiac to go to the Silver Galapagos. All hand luggages are put in the middle of the zodiac. If the weather is good, no problem but if you get rain, I expect that everything will get wet... All hand luggages are put in the reception area on the Silver Galapagos and will be deliver to your cabin. So better to indicate your cabin # on your hand luggages. After a brief introduction and safety in case of emergency, you go for lunch. You are not allowed to go to your room befor 1PM. First excursion is at 3PM on a lava field in Sullivan Bay. Some travellers fall during this excursion, including my friend who is in good health and fitness. The expedition leader didn't explain well the difficulty of this first excursion. Most guides on the ship are very good but they walk at the speed of the travellers who walk fast. If your fitness level is not good, it will be difficult to follow. One woman had multiple sclerosis and it was difficult for her to follow the rythm during most of the hiking or walking excursions. FOOD: although Silversea has to comply with rules of Ecuador, it is not an excuse to give their customer wine which is not drinkable, orange juice which taste water, hard bread, cheese not fresh. I found a slug alive on my lettuce. No excuse....the waiter just laugh... Safe in your cabin: with a key that you have to bring with you and be carefull not to loose it... No electronic safe ... Cabin key: old style with holes in it. No electronic card. If you loose your cabin key, they have to replace the whole door. So they ask you to leave your cabin key at reception when you leave for excursions but they don't control who take it. So anyone can grab your cabin key with the number of cabin written on it...Not safe.... Temperature control in your cabin: impossible to control the temperature in your cabin. Very hot during the day and freezing at night and when you get up in the morning. Even with a blanket, it was inconfortable. The thermostat in the cabin doesn't work anymore. It is there only to give you the impression that you have a control... It was possible to do snorkelling only on 2 occasions. One was cancel because of the wind. On the second one (Post office bay) they forgot to tell us to go at the right of the beach to get better view... On the last day you have to empty your cabin for 8 AM and the transfer by zodiac begin around 9:00. The ship is old and it is evident on many aspects. We have enjoyed the cruise and what we have see but I think that compare to the cruise we did in Antartica last year (with the company du Ponant) , we have paid a very high price for what we got. The quality we expect from a company like Silversea was not met. I don't know if it is better or the same with Celebrity but I know that the price for a balcony cabin is about 2000$ less with Celebrity... If your are not in good physical condition, you will miss many visits and sights. I think it is easier with Celebrity because their zodiac have handrails and you don't have to climb a stair outside of the ship when you return from excursions. We were at the end of the dry season and it was very hot (around 85F). I am very happy we didn't go during the hot and rainy season...   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The good part: The Galapagos expedition team was superb w excellent lectures and informative land tours. They were extremely solicitous of everyone and enthusiastic. Wildlife was amazing. There are multiple expeditions each day w varying ... Read More
The good part: The Galapagos expedition team was superb w excellent lectures and informative land tours. They were extremely solicitous of everyone and enthusiastic. Wildlife was amazing. There are multiple expeditions each day w varying levels of intensity. I learned to appreciate the very early start of the land tours given the heat of mid-day at the equator. Also good: Silversea was amazing w the travel connections and transfers to various hotels, transportation modes, and airports. They saved us hours of time and never failed to show up as promised. We were truly impressed and pleased. The not so good: I found the food bland and unappetizing after just three days. With only one port stop, there was no opportunity to escape the routine until the next to last day when we had a wonderful onshore meal. The bad: There are only limited times for meals w the evening meal in both the main dining room and the grill not served until 7:30. That was really late for us, given that we were burning the calories w all the activities. Unfortunately, the grill dining is somewhat formal in that they do dish out bar food (burgers, taco, pizza) until 7:30. Can't understand why the grill can't open at 5:30. The embarrassing: Silversea should be ashamed of putting to sea w a ship in this shape. While I found the decor okay (some have called it outdated), the air conditioning was universally bad in the cabins w everyone complaining. If you happened to be in a cabin turned toward the sun, there was no way to be comfortable. My wife thought to bring two small travel fans that lets us survive. I would never consider a Silversea cruise because of this experience. My recommendation: Don't take this cruise. I heard that the ship is due to undergo drydock repairs soon and so you might consider it then. There are other cruise ships in the area and you might try them. But go to the Galapagos. By all means, take the Machu Picchu post-cruise package. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Silver Galapagos Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 5.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3

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