My wife and I were very excited about our first cruise with SilverSea. We like the smaller ships and had seen that they were focusing on a high quality food experience. Combining a trip to Italy with this cruise seemed like a wise decision. However, we were disappointed with the outcome. Let me illustrate some of our experiences, both good and bad on the cruise:
Embarkation was smooth and efficient;
Our cabin was top shelf; roomy and very comfortable;
Ship was fresh with a few areas lacking but overall good;
Our assigned butler was annoying; after awhile it seemed that his interest in providing service was all driven by his interest in getting an additional gratuity; very insincere attitude;
Overall, the staff seemed disengaged; for many, they were finished with their tour of duty and were anxious to get home;
The focus on the quality food experience seemed good because many dining options were offered; much got lost in this regard since most of the dining options had limited menu choices (not necessarily an issue) until you realize these options did not change much for the entire cruise;
Excursions were good; varied options; generally, good, knowledgable guides;
Overall, the guest experience was below average;
Let me offer two separate experiences which sums up our impression of the service and onboard experience:
Prior to an excursion, I stopped at the bursar's desk to get smaller bills for tipping our guide and driver; when I asked them to "break" a $50 Euro bill, I was informed that they had no euros on board; they only dealt with American dollars; seemed very odd since we were traveling in Europe; the attitude of the staff member came across like "I really don't have the time to get this for you."
On one day when we had not pre-planned an excursion, we decided last minute to see if we could get to do one that sounded interesting; that morning, we went to the reception desk and inquired if there was space available; the person at the desk informed us that she didn't work for the cruise line but if we made a written request, someone would get back in touch; 2 hours later, we had heard nothing; went back to the desk and were told someone would be in touch; 1 hour later - nothing; went back to the desk to inquire and was told we should take the tender in to port and check with the SilverSea rep there - really?; they could not (would not) communicate to determine if space was available?; when I asked "What if there is no space?" I was told we could stay in port or take the next tender back to the ship;
I could go on but these experiences were very indicative of the overall attitude of the staff/service. If it were not for the stateroom, the rating would have been 1 Star.
We tried SilverSea and came to the conclusion that even though the room was great, we would not be return cruisers.
Very spacious; walk-in closet; bath had both tub (very important for my wife) and a separate shower; ample and roomy seating with a very nice veranda.