My partner and I, with friends, recently cruised on the Silver Spirit: we embarked in Singapore for a 14 day cruise to Hong Kong via Thailand and Viet Nam. It was a wonderful itinerary on one of our favorite ships.
After a terrific pre-cruise adventure to Cambodia to see the ancient temples and a quick one night stay in Singapore at the outrageous Marina Bay Sands Hotel, we joined the Silver Spirit: as always with Silversea, embarkation was a breeze and we were onboard drinking a welcome glass of champagne within minutes - and the suites were ready for occupancy which was a nice surprise! After a quick lunch, our bags appeared, our Butler stopped by our Suite to go over preferences, restaurant reservations were re-confirmed and we were "Good to go". Silversea does do this very well: embarkation is effortless.
This was our first cruise on the Spirit since she had her make-over and she looks great. The décor is new, bright and fresh and very similar in style to Silver Muse. Arts Café is a wonderful new addition, La Terrazza has grown in size making breakfast service much easier during the pre-tour rush hour, and the restaurants on Deck Four have been updated and look great. The Silver Spirit looks like new ship. Our Suite was wonderful: Silver Suites on the Spirit are so roomy and comfortable with every possible amenity provided - our location on Deck 10 was both quiet and convenient. The décor in all suites has also been freshened and everything looks lighter and more modern - they did a good job with the update. Thankfully, the beautiful marble bathrooms remain.
Service on the Spirit was extraordinary: while we always enjoy excellent service on SIlversea vessels, this cruise was over-the-top excellent - maybe because we knew many of the crew members or maybe because the ship was only about 80% full or maybe because this crew was terrific - it does not matter, the service was wonderful and any and all requests were happily and graciously accommodated. Our Butler (Ronaldo) was amazing, the dining room captains (especially Rajiv, Andy and Julia) were just lovely, and everyone including the front desk team went out of their way to accommodate and assist us.
The food was very good: we are still adjusting to the multiple restaurant arrangement on the "larger" Silversea ships (honestly, we loved the Main Dining Room and miss it) but we did enjoy eating at the different venues. The food and service was good throughout the ship: our evening at La Dame was memorable, La Terrazza for dinner (both inside and outside) was delightful, the steaks were great at the Grill and we love the tastes at Indochine. We enjoyed our evening at Silver Note and found the food "interesting" - the tasting menu has evolved once again and its a unique experience although not exactly to our tastes. Breakfasts and lunches at La Terrazza were wonderful with lots and lots of variety, the Grill for lunch works just fine and the Pizza onboard is delicious. Trust me, we ate well. We liked that Atlantide now has a hybrid menu - daily offerings (like the old Main Dining Room) plus standard items (the always available menu) - this increases variety. Menus at Indochine and La Terrazza changed every 3 or 4 days which is also very nice. And, caviar is back and available every night at Atlantide!
We were impressed with the Cruise Director and entertainers on this cruise - they were all sharp and worked hard. Also, they were out and about and interacting with the passengers....something that we have not seen in a while. It made for a very pleasant atmosphere onboard. Seriously, one does not select Silversea for entertainment and nightlife but this group did a great job in keeping the passengers busy and entertained. There were several shows, lectures, guest performers, etc. - perfect for the small ship atmosphere. And, the Death By Chocolate night on deck is a very nice addition and was delightful.
The itinerary was wonderful and we enjoyed all of the ports visited: Koh Samui is a beautiful resort island, Laem Chabang for Pattaya and mind-boggling Bangkok, two overnights in Ho Chi Mihn City allowed for lots of touring of this developing city and a visit to the Mekong Delta, Chan May allowed a visit to Da Nang, China Beach and Hoi An, Halong Bay was simply spectacular and Hong Kong was a wonderful conclusion to this cruise. We saw so much. There was some talk onboard about the Silver Spirit's docking location: firstly, Silversea does the best that they can......but the reality is that the Spirit is bigger that the Shadow or the Wind and therefore cannot access the inner city ports in Ho Chi Mihn City or Bangkok. With the Spirit, Laem Chabang is used for Bangkok and it is a 2 hour drive into the city, in Ho Chi Mihn City, we used Heip Phouc which is about 45 minutes from the city center (its far better than the port used by mega ships that is 3 hours from the city) and Chan May is about 45 minutes from Danang. All ports are industrial and are located in the middle of no where - its vitally important that you have tours and plans and arrangements for each port of call or you will be disappointed. As mentioned, Silversea does the best that they can (and shuttle busses were available at all ports) but the docking locations are not ideal and not attractive on this particular itinerary.
We organize our own private tours at each port: they were wonderful and we saw so much and had such a good time. Silversea had a good selection of tours available but we prefer to tour on our own at a quicker pace than offered by the ship tours.
The cruise concluded in Hong Kong with an overnight at the "old" Ocean Terminal which was ideal; we were basically docked in the middle of the exciting Hong Kong harbor with front row seats for the Sound and Light Show (dinner on the terrace of La Terrazza that evening was very special indeed) and we had the "million dollar" view of the Hong Kong skyline from our suite. It was truly spectacular. Disembarkation was easy and simple with our private car waiting for us as we exited the terminal. We spent a couple of past cruise days in Hong Kong which were wonderful (and thankfully no problems due to the current issues going on there) and did a great daytrip via Jetfoil to Macau. In all, a memorable and wonderful vacation.
Will we go again? We are already planning. The Med in the Summer and either the Muse from Bali to Sydney (December) or the Moon from Fort Lauderdale to Lima (November). We always enjoy our cruises on Silversea and can't wait to return!
Wonderful Suite: good location, very roomy, well organized. We were very very comfortable for our 14 day cruise.