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Normally, I sail with NCL, which I love, but I knew Silversea had a reputation for luxury and personal service that was supposedly unmatched by the bigger cruise lines and jumped at a chance to sail with them at a fantastic fare. I was very disappointed, as were most of my traveling companions. First, the room was lovely and the room staff (butler and stewards et al) were fabulous. No complaints there AT ALL. BUT the restaurants were poorly staffed. Wait staff either didn't knot the menu, didn't speak English well enough to understand orders, and/or didn't know how to place orders properly. And this was true at every single dining venue, large and small. The food itself was uniformly good, but not excellent. Menus at the informal restaurants were limited and boring after a couple of days. We like to dine at the formal dining room frequently for any meal, because the menus change regularly. On the first morning, when we went there, the maitre'd actually tried to wave us off, saying "you can probably get served quicker if you go upstairs to L'Terraza." And that happened every morning we went there for breakfast. We practically had to demand to be seated. Very strange. The tour staff also seemed very informal and uninformed. Some of our party signed up for various tours and had guides from the cruise ship who didn't know what the itinerary was. Two of our party went on a bus tour that ended up including 3 buses. When their bus broke down 5 minutes into the ride, their guide hopped off their bus saying "another bus will be here shortly" and got onto one of the others and left the on the side of the road! Generally, and especially those tasked with leading shore excursions, cruise personnel seemed stretched VERY thin, or were not properly trained, or were just not adequate. There was very little to be offered by way of activities on board. Granted, this was an island hopping cruise and most people left the ship every day. But cruising IS my vacation; if I want to go to Martinique, I'll fly there and stay in a hotel. So I was disappointed that there was virtually nothing offered (for free) to passengers who chose to remain onboard during ports of call. There were two "competitive" activities - trivia and golf putting - held at 5:00 and 5:30, respectively. The trivia game was led by the cruise director who kept telling individual teams what the answer was and, therefore, annoying the other teams. The putting game was help in the hallway in front of a restaurant. And, generally, the cruise staff who led these games seemed amused, and not in a nice way, that anyone would want to bother playing. Beyond that, there was a limited spa/salon offering which supposedly had in-port specials but none were ever advertised. And although there was an offer to "join" the spa, there was nothing to join - no real general spa area. There was a small, but nicely outfitted, workout room. I had a 50 minute massage that was the equivalent of a really nice back rub and my husband got a very nice, but very expensive haircut (which he needed desperately so, okay). The entertainment offerings were adequate but not anything to write home about. There were six singers who danced (notice that I didn't say singer dancers) who gave a couple of evening performances that were bigger than necessary. All were great singers and I would have been way happier to just listen to them, rather than watch them try to perform choreography that was much to large for the tiny stage they were on, and which they were ill-equipped to perform anyway. The cruise director gave a piano recital on the last full day, which was lovely but booked at dinner time, so ... not too many people there. The large social group we were traveling with hired a historian to offer lectures five times on the colonial character of the islands we traveled to and those were almost worth the price of admissions. All in all, this ship and its staff felt tatty and certainly not the upscale, luxurious experience I had expected from a line of this calibre. One last example: in San Juan, every single passenger had to embark and disembark by walking of a rusted, steep, shaky, 24-step stairway that resembled a ladder more than anything. Many passengers were elderly and used walking implements (walkers, canes, etc.) and needed significant assistance just to get on board at the beginning of the tour. Factor in the extra carry bags people normally have at the end of a cruise, and you can imagine how difficult it was getting OFF the ship at the end. Warning, warning, warning: if you are disabled, this is no port/cruise for you!!!

Not the Silversea Experience I Was Expecting

Silver Wind Cruise Review by lhdewar

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
Normally, I sail with NCL, which I love, but I knew Silversea had a reputation for luxury and personal service that was supposedly unmatched by the bigger cruise lines and jumped at a chance to sail with them at a fantastic fare. I was very disappointed, as were most of my traveling companions.

First, the room was lovely and the room staff (butler and stewards et al) were fabulous. No complaints there AT ALL.

BUT the restaurants were poorly staffed. Wait staff either didn't knot the menu, didn't speak English well enough to understand orders, and/or didn't know how to place orders properly. And this was true at every single dining venue, large and small. The food itself was uniformly good, but not excellent. Menus at the informal restaurants were limited and boring after a couple of days.

We like to dine at the formal dining room frequently for any meal, because the menus change regularly. On the first morning, when we went there, the maitre'd actually tried to wave us off, saying "you can probably get served quicker if you go upstairs to L'Terraza." And that happened every morning we went there for breakfast. We practically had to demand to be seated. Very strange.

The tour staff also seemed very informal and uninformed. Some of our party signed up for various tours and had guides from the cruise ship who didn't know what the itinerary was. Two of our party went on a bus tour that ended up including 3 buses. When their bus broke down 5 minutes into the ride, their guide hopped off their bus saying "another bus will be here shortly" and got onto one of the others and left the on the side of the road! Generally, and especially those tasked with leading shore excursions, cruise personnel seemed stretched VERY thin, or were not properly trained, or were just not adequate.

There was very little to be offered by way of activities on board. Granted, this was an island hopping cruise and most people left the ship every day. But cruising IS my vacation; if I want to go to Martinique, I'll fly there and stay in a hotel. So I was disappointed that there was virtually nothing offered (for free) to passengers who chose to remain onboard during ports of call. There were two "competitive" activities - trivia and golf putting - held at 5:00 and 5:30, respectively. The trivia game was led by the cruise director who kept telling individual teams what the answer was and, therefore, annoying the other teams. The putting game was help in the hallway in front of a restaurant. And, generally, the cruise staff who led these games seemed amused, and not in a nice way, that anyone would want to bother playing.

Beyond that, there was a limited spa/salon offering which supposedly had in-port specials but none were ever advertised. And although there was an offer to "join" the spa, there was nothing to join - no real general spa area. There was a small, but nicely outfitted, workout room. I had a 50 minute massage that was the equivalent of a really nice back rub and my husband got a very nice, but very expensive haircut (which he needed desperately so, okay).

The entertainment offerings were adequate but not anything to write home about. There were six singers who danced (notice that I didn't say singer dancers) who gave a couple of evening performances that were bigger than necessary. All were great singers and I would have been way happier to just listen to them, rather than watch them try to perform choreography that was much to large for the tiny stage they were on, and which they were ill-equipped to perform anyway. The cruise director gave a piano recital on the last full day, which was lovely but booked at dinner time, so ... not too many people there. The large social group we were traveling with hired a historian to offer lectures five times on the colonial character of the islands we traveled to and those were almost worth the price of admissions.

All in all, this ship and its staff felt tatty and certainly not the upscale, luxurious experience I had expected from a line of this calibre. One last example: in San Juan, every single passenger had to embark and disembark by walking of a rusted, steep, shaky, 24-step stairway that resembled a ladder more than anything. Many passengers were elderly and used walking implements (walkers, canes, etc.) and needed significant assistance just to get on board at the beginning of the tour. Factor in the extra carry bags people normally have at the end of a cruise, and you can imagine how difficult it was getting OFF the ship at the end. Warning, warning, warning: if you are disabled, this is no port/cruise for you!!!
lhdewar’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin VR 617
The cabin was lovely. It was similar in layout to veranda suites on larger ships but had slightly more floor space, making it much easier for two people to co-exist without always bumping into each other. The same was true of the bathroom, which I really appreciated. It wasn't THAT much bigger but the extra couple of square feet mattered in a good way. Best surprise: a walk in closet!!! So much room for clothes, shoes, and "stuff."

Our butler - Bibhuti - was wonderful. Kept us informed, stocked, and taken care of throughout. He absolutely lived up to the Silversea reputation.
Deck 7 Suite Cabins