I chose Silversea for the Cape Town 10 night round trip cruise because it was one of the very few lines that do this route - and we had previously sailed on the Silver Spirit when it was first launched and had enjoyed that experience.
We booked the Table Bay hotel for a pre cruise experience. I was promised a sea view room - but didn't get it. Not the end of the world but disappointing, we also booked 3 days of tours. The first day our guide was stood tapping her feet as we arrived at the hotel from the airport - an extra half an hour would have been considerate and just allowed me to at least wash my face after a 12 hour flight. I will say that the tours were amazing. Well organised and worth the money. Very enjoyable.
And so to the cruise ship - FIrstly I can't say enough about the helpfulness of all the staff. They have such a lovely attitude and will do anything for you whenever you ask from finding cufflinks at the last minute to offering sea sickness pills. They are really what make this ship what it is and were so friendly and cheerful. Our butler and roof attendant were first class and totally reliable, Thank you to Rupesh and Leonard.
However, this ship just isn't adequate for this route. We had rough weather a lot of the time and the sea days and nights were like being on a pirate ship. The creaking, bangs and horrendous motion made it a very unnerving experience. The ship just isn't big enough to cope with the Atlantic/Indian oceans in this area of the world and whilst Silversea can't control the weather they need to take notice of the numerous complaints regarding the experience on this ship. The cruise wasn't cheap and we love cruising - but this wasn't at all enjoyable.
In addition to that it is a tired old ship and shouldn't really be classed as 6 star. We have done cruises on the Queen Mary and more recently at least 4 cruises on Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn. They are newer and just more polished all round. There is more variety of food and cocktails for one thing and they have lovely sunbathing areas with plenty of beds.
The bed linen and towels were lovely and crisp and the bed was really comfortable. However, the toilet blocked, the hot water was brown and wasn't always hot. The air con was often stuck on cold and the tv picture was grainy. Internet access in port was non existent but was free when working.
The tours were ridiculously expensive but we did thoroughly enjoy them - the guides were good and they were well organised.
All in all a passable 4 star experience - weather excluded. But nothing more. I won't use Silversea again. We are happy to pay for 6 star but we do expect something a bit special for it. We didn't get that.
It was often cold in there due to dodgy air con but it was always clean and tidy. Leonard is a very good cabin attendant.
Toilet didn't always flush - was often embarrassing. Linen and towels were really lovely and bed was very comfortable.
TV was dodgy with films on a loop so not much variety. Walls were very thin and I could hear everything next door.... it's just a tired ship needing an extensive refurb.
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