We are normally Regent travelers, but because of family circumstances we asked our travel concierge to get us on a 10-12 day Fall Foliage cruise on a premium cruise line in a specific date window. We had a choice of Seabourn or Silversea. We selected Silver Sea because of dates, smaller ship size, and their prior reputation. What a mistake. We'll NEVER sail on Silver Sea again. We so wanted a luxury experience but for $24K (without airfare) we were severely disappointed. Even the Silver Sea loyalists aboard said it wasn't close to what they experienced before being acquired by Royal Caribbean in 2020. Details matter, and starting with the boarding process it was clear that Silver Sea was no longer capable of delivering an ultra-luxury experience.
Having booked the Silver Sea private transfer from Quebec City Airport to the ship, and selected an intended boarding time of 12:30 on the My Silversea portal, we were surprised to find no one waiting for us in arrivals. After waiting 15 minutes we e-mailed our travel concierge. There was a Princess cruise assembling to board their bus and one of their staff came and gave us a taxi voucher. On arrival at the cruise terminal, we saw the ship but no presence of Silver Sea signs or staff. Finally a port authority official helped us get thru the secured terminal to a hallway where we sat under guard on metal chairs with about 15-20 other Silver Sea passengers waiting for the boarding process to begin in an hour at 2:00. Really? Then once processed and issued our boarding cards/room keys we boarded to be greeted with champaign. Ok, normal. Then instructions by an officer that a late lunch was now being served in La Terraza until the cabins were open at 4:00. But the doors to La Terraza were closed and locked and a crewman suggested waiting in the Observation Lounge until the restaurant was ready for us. That was our welcome aboard to the formerly great Silver Sea line.
The excursions at the initial 4 ports in Canada were all booked and we were waitlisted. (We did book the cruise late, but zero?) I asked if they could arrange for me to hire for a car and driver to sightsee. No. Could they suggest some phone numbers where I could book my own car and driver? No. It was just as well because we watched multiple yellow school busses form in the ports for the luxury excursions, with sometimes a motor coach or two in the mix. Yellow School Busses!!! After a weather-related itinerary change, we were added to a 5 hour excursion-- in a yellow school bus ride of 1.5 hours--to a town largely closed for the season. Unlike Regent (or the stories of Viking, Seabourne, or Azmira travelers) there was no grab and go food, bag lunch, or locally hosted private buffet. Even the school bus driver apologized for bringing us to a venue largely closed up. On return to the ship, there was no provision for restaurant food service, but we found 2 unappealing cellophane wrapped sandwiches waiting in our cabin with a note. That's Silver Sea's idea of luxury travel. We instead ordered wonderful hamburgers and a bottle of wine from room service that were delivered promptly.
Ok, standard. But the formica cabin countertop was blistered and had gouges in it. The TV didn't work for 2 days.There was a ratty and shop worn folio used to display the next days papers on our beds after turn down. The Wi_Fi was totally inadequate and even the Cruise Director made jokes about it to the laughter and derision of passengers in the lounge. We were never offered bottles of our preferred liquor for our suite (as is common elsewhere.)