We have become rather unhappy with Crystal Cruises for a variety of reasons so we have been searching for their replacement. SilverSea's greatest advantage over Crystal would be in the size of their all-suite accommodations. We found our suite to be impeccably clean, well maintained, stylish, and equipped with a wonderfully cheerful and helpful butler.
The weakest element in a comparison to Crystal is the entertainment. It is constrained by the physical size & layout of the stage. The shows were rather lackluster so we spent our free evenings enjoying the pianist (Alex) and guitarist/singer (Angela) in the Dolce Vita lounge.
While food quality is generally very good to excellent, we had service issues at two venues. At the poolside Grill, it was very obvious that the staff was more concerned with closing on time than in taking care of guests, even though we were seated 45 mins ahead of closing. The main dining room, Atlantide, was our biggest disappointment for dinner. It took more than two hours for our party of four to be served, and one of the two veal entrees was undercooked. Going forward, Atlantide was relegated to breakfast or lunch only.
Our favorite dining venue quickly became IndoChine once I tasted their Short Ribs. My wife loved the Pho soup so much that she had it for the three days consecutive days. I found it amusing that the Asian restaurant's Osso Buco was, IMO, superior to that of the Italian La Terrazza. We found La Terrazza best for lunch due to its large buffet offering.
La Dame was simply exquisite on every level. Well worth the extra charge. The same applies equally to Seishin Restaurant, who provided a perfect Creme Brulee. The other highlight not to be missed is their Spider Crab appetizer.
The greatest hidden treasure we discovered has to be the Arts Cafe. The food is art for both the eyes and the palate. Change the name to Arts & Eats!!
Compared to dining on Crystal, SilverSea is close, but not the clear winner.
Efficiency: SilverSea could benefit from an efficiency consultant. As an example, ship ID cards should have been designed for machine scanning/contact scanning without having to remove them from the SilverSea card case.
Summary: this jury is still out on declaring the winner. We are hoping that our next SilverSea cruise (Muse Feb 2019) will settle the argument.