It was much trepidation that we booked this Silverseas cruise in the Arctic.
Marketing and brochures were fantastic.
We arrived in Tromso. Tried boarding the ship, but first hurdle was a harbour security officer who overstepped the boundaries by telling us to stand back. No Silverseas person in sight. Not the greatest start.
We walked up the gangway. First impressions were terrible. It smelt terrible, felt like a car ferry, smelt of damp, very worn features. cables dangled on a wall, pen had to be found at check in.
Yes - it is an old ship, BUT we paid an enormous amount. It was sold as a top end product, but it wasn't. We knew the ship is old, but this was bad ... we had no idea what we let ourselves in for.
Arrived at our "view" cabin. Windows not just dirty, but filthy. Butler did not arrive for hours. Lots of apologies when she did arrive.
POORLY maintained: sand in the Jacuzzi (in the Arctic?), lots of broken light bulbs, very blunt décor inside, lots of rust everywhere
Bland, uninspired. REALLY cheap products such as cold cuts. They were like dried up carpet glue. On another occasion Foie Gras was served. Well, it was green foie gras.
We were in the Arctic, but NO glacier ice for cocktails until we asked. So it was available for one evening only. Very bad, not an experience of a life-time.
Crew & Staff:
Never saw the captain, except at the cocktail party. No social engagement with scientists at times other than the landings. Noticed head chef starting drinking at one of the bars from before noon on several occasions. Could hardly believe it.
Too many birds, far too many birds. Also some purple sprouting grass. However, we had one excellent encounter with a polar bear. Luck.
There was a "riot" on the ship, because we did not see a lot. The captain decided to go back into the ice. It was too late, especially since we arrived at the permanent ice at around 1 am in the morning. No announcements. Only the lucky one's who stayed up late saw it.
There wasn't any. Terrible public spaces. Best area was the smokers room. Table cloth were never straight or ironed. Just felt unloved.
DISASTER - we anchored in the bay, a German cruise ship was docked. Our luggage was winged over the side in a net into zodiacs. We disembarked in our travel cloth via Zodiac. Not classy or comfortable at all.
Maitre d' was a star and so was head bar tender
UTTERLY overpriced, very poorly maintained ship interior ... an unloved product that is not worth the money Silverseas is asking for.
Raised our complaints with the hotel manager, but he did not have an answer. However, he promised us preferential seats on the Silverseas charter flight back to Oslo. At check in no one knew about. How bad is this?
We like Seabourn, oh my god - it could not be further away from Seabourn despite the price tag.
Top Tip: AVOID SILVERSEAS - Book somewhere else, it ain't worth it. Just terrible in every way. You were warned.
Just dark and depressingly awful.