My wife and I have been on 10+ cruises with Royal Caribbean and P&O with the children and nearly always had a good time - this was to be our first cruise without the children so we wanted to pick an "upmarket, no children, fine dining" cruise line for a change. The Silversea advertising is full of pictures of glamourous, beautiful people, all in their 40s, with little mention of children so we thought we'd give it a try. We have just got back from easily the worst holiday of our lives. My feedback form on the ship ran to two pages of small writing, but in the interests of brevity, here are the highlights:
1. Silver Cloud is old and tired, creaky, needing a lick of paint in places. It is a small ship, with very limited facilities (5 seats in the library where you can read the only copy of a newspaper on board), a bridge room, a 2 table casino and a cafe that was never open when I wanted a coffee and a cookie (and no cookies when it was open).
2. At 49 years old we were the youngest on board by about ten years, and the average age was mid 60s. Vaste majority on board had mobility issues. The UK and Europe Silversea advertising makes no mention of a focus on pensioners, but the US advertising which we saw on board talks about "Silversea Senior Cruises" - wish we'd known. We had to wait 15 minutes to board the ship while we waited for crew members to help an elderly gentleman disembark down a very steep and moving gangway - the poor guy - any other ship we've been on would have found a way of getting him on at sea level or used the gantries. And the Cruise Director (David) telling us all to "wrap up warm as it is a little chilly, maybe an extra cardigan" and to "hold on tight to handrails" wore a bit thin after a while.
However the TV - pathetic limited choice of channels, no movies on demand, none of the library of shows and films you'd get in any budget hotel these days. We were advised to borrow DVDs from their library - we did, but the DVD player didnt work and needed fixing, and then several of the disks were so scratched the film froze half way through. Air con just about worked, but only had to cope with 12-18 degrees C, so not too demanding. Bathroom was fine, shower OK but we also had the brown water syndrome other people have posted about. Lighting was weak too.