I have just got home from 7 days, from Lisbon to Barcelona, on the Silver Dawn. I have been very disappointed in the whole trip after seeing all the breathless comments on how good Silverseas are. They have serious lessons to learn if they are going to continue selling themselves as a 6 star cruise line.
On arrival at the port in Lisbon we found a long queue standing outside in the midday sun, but then, eventually, we got out off the sun under cover only to find that there was a really chill wind blowing through the reception area. There was no-one, no-one at all to tell people what to do, even though there were 5 or 6 porters standing around but not conversing with passengers to tell them that these porters were taking in the cases. A very bad start for what calls itself a 6 start service. A lot of passengers complained about the useless boarding staff.
I much prefer Azamara as their crews are much more efficient. On the Silver Dawn, for example, I was either given the wrong drinks [3 times] or my drinks were given to someone else [2 times]. When the bad weather near Malaga, on the 3rd day, managed to trash pretty well everything in the 7th floor restaurant there was absolutely no mention, over the public address system, by any of the senior crew to give an explanation of what had happened. As opposed to experiencing a similar event on a Princess cruise outside Corsica, when the captain got on the PA system and gave an exacting explanation, about 15 minutes after having the 4th floor restaurant loose almost every bit of crockery. People really appreciated it.
Beautiful cabins, everything was brand new as this was a maiden cruise. Plenty of soaps etc., and very good quality towels. Dressing gowns, slippers, and umbrella in changing room. There is no down, on the Silver Dawn, that the cabins are 6 star. The bathroom has a full-sized bath, and the shower has a large glass door, and the main cabin has what is effectively two rooms. Everything is very well appointed.