My wife and I chose Silversea to experience another luxury cruise line after recently (Nov 21) having sailed in the Mediterranean with Seabourn. The embarkation process was smooth in Fort Lauderdale and we were soon on the ship. We boarded after 2 pm and the cabins were ready at 4 pm. Our initial impression of the Silver Dawn was that while a new ship, the interior decoration was quite traditional and less modern than we were expecting. From the beginning we experienced very polished and professional service and this theme carried throughout our cruise. We found the crew members to be friendly and helpful. Not really sure we understood or appreciated the butler concept but his service was fine to the extent we saw him/interacted with him. While the butler may be marketed as a differentiator for Silversea, we didn't really see it as such.
Our dining experience was definitely first class. We especially enjoyed the SALT Kitchen as the dining room was bright, the service was friendly and efficient and the food was very excellent. We enjoyed the fact that the first page of the menu changed daily with the destinations while the remainder of the menu always reflected a Caribbean theme. The pool level "hot rocks" evening dining was fun and a change of pace from the more formal meals. The Atlantide dining room was the more traditional cruise ship dining experience and while the service was very good, the food was a bit hit and miss. We found the same to be true for breakfast at Atlantide. La Terrazza was a real treat for us. The meal always began with assorted appetizers including cold meats and cheeses and we followed that up with a smaller portion of pasta and then a main entree. We found all the dishes to be well prepared and looked forward to eating there a second time on our seven day cruise. We had lunch twice at Kaiseki and while the sushi was fresh, tasty and well prepared, we found the ramen to be average at best. The pizza at Spaccanapoli was outstanding and we enjoyed all our selections. We would definitely recommend the pizza. The wine service at all the venues was generous and the staff was always willing to find another wine if that evening's wine was not a favorite (like finding a more robust wine than a Pinot Noir to go with a beef entree). The Arts Cafe worked for a quick coffee and pastry with enjoyable outside seating. The breakfast buffet was one of the few really crowded venues but the made to order omelettes were hot and tasty with the rest of the standard fare always available. We were not able to get reservations at La Dame or Silver Note so we cannot comment on those venues other then to say they are quite small for a 600 person ship.
We always found space at the various lounges (except the SALT Bar) and the pre-dinner music was quite relaxing and enjoyable (especially the piano music). The cocktail menus were interesting and all the drinks were well made. The SALT bar is a very small venue and was always full whenever we tried to visit.
My wife and I found our Deluxe Veranda cabin to be spacious and comfortable. We liked the layout of the seating area as it felt inviting and warm. The closet had plenty of space (drawers and hangers) for the two of us. The bathroom seemed a bit cramped as the bathtub was quite large and as a result the sink, toilet and shower were more compact than we had experienced on a recent Seabourn cruise. There was only one sink in the bathroom so not as convenient when two people are getting ready for an early morning excursion. The water pressure in the shower was great and while the shower felt a bit cramped to begin with, it really was quite nice. The furniture on the veranda was functional and comfortable. Overall we felt the cabin was very good and with another sink in the bathroom it would have risen to excellent.
Not one of our favorites. We took a general tour and while the views from the mountain were nice, we were decidedly underwhelmed by the island and its attractions. On a previous cruise, we toured neighboring St John, and we found the national park to be much prettier and more enjoyable.
We walked around the town of St John's but not much to see other than the street vendors selling fruits and vegetables which we found interesting. The tour of the island highlighted some very pretty areas of the island. Not sure this is an island we would put on our return visit list.
Very pretty island and the highlight for us was Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. If you enjoy history, this is a must see. It is a large and imposing fortress with a long history and quite amazing to explore. The views from the hill are also beautiful.
We did a cruise around the other islands that make up part of the British Virgin Islands. We also did a tour on land and enjoyed the scenery and viewpoints. Very pleasant island and scenic. We enjoyed the visit.
Old San Juan is truly amazing. We especially enjoyed the old fortresses as well as the cathedral. So much history as well as great places to eat and drink. Just wandering the streets is a treat with all the old buildings. Old San Juan exceeded our expectations and was the highlight of our cruise.