In reflecting on our 11 nights aboard the Silver Spirit, I can honestly say we couldn't think of a single thing we would have liked to change. This ship and crew are the epitome of why we sail with Silversea again and again. Every single crew member we encountered was friendly and professional with some being old friends that we were happy to see again.
I personally like the decor of the Spirit as it has a bit of the darker wood and warmth that I thought was lacking in the newer Muse. Our suite was kept immaculate for the entire voyage and all the public areas were clean and well-maintained. My daughter even commented on how the crew was painting and repairing something every day to keep it all looking fresh. The ship never felt crowded and the crew always had something planned to try and keep us busy even if we were at sea. We love the daily trivia, golf putting, and the special events such as chef's cooking demonstrations, and galley tours. The singers were very good although we didn't attend all the shows. We are late diners so many nights we were still enjoying dessert at that time.
We found the food in all restaurants to be very good. The menus in Atlantide and La Terrazza did have a few changes during our voyage. Service was excellent and the wines were generally very nice as well. My glass of pre-dinner champagne only had to be requested for the first few nights and then magically appeared for the rest of the cruise. My daughter enjoyed that caviar was offered as an appetizer choice--I'm not sure I remember seeing this on any of our other voyages. Compliments to the chefs and staff as each dining experience was very good to excellent. Not to be missed...there were some seriously talented bartenders on board as well.
If I had to nitpick, Silver Note was our least favorite food-wise but the jazz duo was lovely so we counted it as a win as well.
The spa was beautiful and we enjoyed some services there. They were giving tours on embarkation day and some giveaways so it was a fun introduction. The gym is a bit small for this size of ship and my only comment about the fitness classes is that the yoga classes and such were only offered at 7 am but tours went out around 8:30 each day so I didn't get to go to any classes. I was disappointed as I brought my yoga gear and was ready to practice. Most of the afternoon classes where paid classes such as booty boot camp, etc.
In general the excursions were very good and I was impressed with how organized they were even on the days we had to tender. Everything went quite smoothly.
Embarking in Barcelona was easy but there was an actual line to board which I've never experienced before. I think flights must have come in just before we went over to board so many arrived at the same time.
Mallorca- Caves of Drach was very pretty and interesting. The added on Majolica pearl factory tour was really a store to purchase jewelry with one person demonstrating how the pearls are made... no commentary. We weren't there long so not a big deal but a little underwhelming.
Cadiz--Andalusian Horse show was fantastic. What gorgeous creatures and the trainers have really worked magic with them. No photos or video allowed which was a bit of a bummer but actually made everyone stop and watch the horses. Not to be missed!
Lisbon--We did a city drive and river cruise on the Tagus River. The city drive was ok but our guide was my least favorite and the river cruise was not too good. Not much to see and there weren't enough seats on the top deck so those of us that sat below had dirty and scratched windows to look out of and a very limited sound system so we didn't hear much of the commentary.
Cascais and Sintra--both towns were very cute and the drive up the coast and through the mountains was lovely. Our guide was exceptional and we enjoyed walking around. Maybe a bit more time especially in Sintra would have been nice as it was very crowded and we didn't have time to see the palace and finish the shops. It was quite cool when we got up there as well.
Porto--LOVED this town. Wish we had more time here as there was a lot we would have loved to have seen on foot. We had a great guide who was an architect and offered much educational commentary on the buildings including the stunning port terminal where we docked. We took a bus tour and a river cruise on the Douro with its many bridges and then went to a winery to taste the port wines that the area is famous for. The river cruise was much better than the one in Lisbon and the entire visit made us want to go back to Porto.
St. Malo--Went to Mont St. Michel and had our exercise for the day--up 350 steps. The guide was very knowledgable and we enjoyed the tour. I think it was probably handled as well as it could have been given that it was a Sunday and every person in France and four other countries much have been there....crazy crowded. Our only complaint was that we were given several hours of free time to shop and eat afterwards and the crowds made it impossible to shop and the food was not very good in any restaurant. We would have preferred to have been taken back to St. Malo and allowed to dine there and see the town. We were very disappointed not to have seen it but very happy to have seen Mont St. Michel...it is stunning.
Guernsey--What a charming little place. We did not get to see the whole island as we opted to take the powerboat ride and just walk around the town where we docked. We did get to see puffins and seals and has a fun ride so we are not complaining but hoping to go back again and see more.
Portsmouth--Home of the Royal Navy...felt very safe. Interesting tour to the town of Winchester and the beautiful cathedral. Jane Austen is buried here and the remnants of the castle nearby have some ties to Henry VIII so that was interesting. Probably a little too long in town for us though as we had nothing to do after the guide dropped us off. I think there were some pubs open and some passed the time there.
Disembarkation in London was very easy.
Cruise Director Roy was delightful and a wonderful addition to the Silversea family.
Overall, one of the best cruises we have taken and an itinerary that we would do again given the chance.
Great suite. Spacious and immaculate. The disadvantage is that you cannot access the main stairwell without traversing across the pool deck but we just went down one floor and walked through. The advantages are that you can quickly see how crowded the pool deck is, grab a drink from the bar just outside your room, and the quietness since there are no visitors from other floors using the hall. If you get seasick, this may not be the best place for you but we enjoyed the location once we got used to the tricky path we had to take to reach everything.