We have wanted to try a luxury cruise for sometime. We have cruised about 15x on various lines including Princess, Carnival, Celebrity, MSC and Royal Caribbean. Here are some things to consider if you are used to standard cruise lines and debating on higher cost of luxury. Pros for us are fewer people, no crowds, food is amazing! There are 4 different dining venues and 2 specialty ($40 & $60pp). Regular dining room, Asian style, tapas style and our favorite cooking on a hot lava stone. Food was so good we did not do specialty restaurants. Room service has an extensive menu, available any time and Butler sets up linen table setting. You can get “room service” any where on ship when other venues are not open, like between breakfast and lunch. All inclusive is a plus. We have added drink packages on to previous cruises but it is very nice not having to sign every time you get a drink. Room is stocked with what ever you want, wine, beer and liquor. We asked for vodka and they brought a full size bottle! When we drink our bottle of wine it was replaced with another one.
There is a butler and he was great but besides making sure our fridge was stocked I am not sure this was a big difference than a cabin steward. Maybe we just did not ask for much. They will shine your shoes, make dinner reservations... The cabins are fantastic, major pro! We typically do balconies or mini suites. All cabins are suites. Bottom ones are window, then floor to ceiling window, next are balconies. We had a deluxe veranda, booked last minute so not much choice. Lots of room, bathrooms are the best we have had. Great shower with rain head and hand held.
The cons (for us) are the ship is reallly quiet, very few activities or entertainment. We do not go to shows in the theater but if you do know you will not find that here. We do enjoy a band playing in a lounge and music pool side. There are limited bars and they are not really set up for socializing around the bar. The main lounge has a small bar off to the side and the couches and chairs. There was a solo guitar player, really not much in terms of lively entertaininment. We would have loved an upscale bar with views to relax at in the evening and chat with other guests, A nice martini bar with mixologists would fit well on this ship.
There is not main/grand staircase or center bar/entertainment area like you find on other ships. MSC has very attractive boats and I am fond of the rich wood look in lounges on Princess. Celebrity has some attractive areas as well. I am not a fan of goudi look of Carnival. The decks and public areas are very nice on SilverSpirit but could use a bit more elegance in lounges. Rich woods or maybe crystal lights, just something. The carpeting in hallways needs to be replaced, many stains and dirty looking, the walls are tile and I found them unattractive for a luxury ship. This may seem picky but when paying a much higher price your expectations do go up. The gym is super small, so if you work out you may be disappointed. I did a yoga class that was on a small out door deck, 6 of us barely fit. One day it rained so another fitness class was done inside in weight room area. There were 7 of us and barely had space to move, not to mention how warm it got in that little room. The instructor mentioned the week prior no one showed for a single class so I think 7 was a mass crowd.
We were in port until 10pm or later but most shops close early so not a lot of things to do after dark. The casino can only open when at sea so it was open very late and the size was like an arcade. We are not big gamblers so this did not matter to us.
You just have to think about what matters to you most. Overall the service, cabin, food and small number of passengers were a major plus! We had a very good vacation but most likely will not book again with SilverSeas. It was too quiet for us and not sure the high price tag was worth it. We would love to find a higher end option with more areas of entertainment and mingling.