This was our first Silversea cruise, and we were very excited to "step it up" to a luxury line. The following details our experience as honestly as possible:
Embarkation: Very easy. Just walked aboard after checking in. No line whatsoever. Were greeted with a welcome champagne (Drappier in contrary to the brochure Pommery) and our carryon was taken from us after we had our photos and passports taken. We were escorted to our midship veranda suite by a friendly lady.
Suite: The midship veranda suite was very nice and perfectly adequate space for a 14-day cruise for 2. As other's have mentioned, the suite is very narrow and long, and there is an ackward makeup desk/mirror 1 foot in front of the bed which made it quite difficult to walk by while my fiancee was getting ready. The bathrooms were nice with marble and wood highlights. The bowl sink was ok and large enough for 2 to use simultaneously but the faucet did spray water everywhere if not careful. The separate shower and bathtub were nice and the water pressure was excellent in the shower. We appreciated the choice of bathroom products and tried all of them including the heavily perfumed Bulgari, the lighter Ferragamo, and the nonscented Neutragena. The walk-in closet with armoire were good storage. The bed was very comfortable and the choices of pillows were fun. We tried buckwheat for the first time and enjoyed them. The sitting area of the suite was spacious enough for 2 and the convertible coffee table with top made in-suite dining convenient. The balcony was decent size, and the outdoor furniture was nicer than most cruiselines. We had a strange loud squeak from the wall of our suite that made it very difficult to sleep while at sea, but as soon as we complained about it, it was fixed.
Butler: Our butler was very conscientious and worked hard. He occasionally missed things though esp with breakfast but always got our special requests right. For special occasions (Bday, romantic evening, etc) he did an awesome job with candles and special surprise desserts. He even had cheese and snacks waiting for us after we returned from a long shore excursion. We were especially impressed when our butler brought us a 1 liter bottle of Baileys for our room when we asked.
Service: As a whole, the service was great but not as personal as I have heard about Silversea. There were a few people who knew our names, but not many. The service in the main dining room seemed rushed and they seemed overworked. Service in the other restaurants was much better. It was nice having gratuities and alcohol included; we were not hounded by servers trying to sell drinks and we didn't feel guilty to have a drink by the pool.
Food/Wine: Food as a whole was some of the best cruiseship food we've had but it did not rival restaurant-quality food (except for Le Champagne). The food in the main dining room was always artfully presented and usually quite good but not as amazing as we were hoping for (we are foodies). Every dinner was accompanied with complimentary white and red wine most of which were quite good. We never felt the need to order from the Connoiseur's list. Le Champagne was outstanding but $400 inc wine pairing was steep. It did rival some of the Michelin 3-star restaurants we've been to. Seishin was somewhat disappointing eventhough the food was presented nicely. The sushi was ordinary in comparison to Nobu or other creative Japanese restaurants. Hot Rocks was excellent and we ate there twice. Cooking beautiful filets on 500 degree stones was fun. Stars was a great concept and the tapas were nicely done and well presented. La Terraza for dinner was excellent especially the filet course with a truffle sauce (we ate there twice). The decor in La Terraza seemed more intimate and inviting than the main dining room, and the service was better. La Terraza for lunch was decent though we prefer food cooked to order rather than buffet.
Entertainment: As a whole, the ship seemed to go to sleep just after the main 10:15 show for the evening. We did not go to the casino, and we went to the disco once (only to find 5-6 people there). The production shows were decent but not extraordinary; definitely less impressive than other cruises. The other acts (a multiinstrumentalist and a pianist) were not very good. The ship band was pretty poor as a whole. The best entertainment was a female jazz singer and her accompanying pianist. We enjoyed them very much in Stars and their one show in the main lounge.
Ship as a whole: The ship was immaculate, new, and intimate. The overall design was good except for the boutiques and casino which were hard to find. Also, the observation lounge was hard to get to. The ship was nicely decorated though art deco wasn't really our preference.
Itinerary: The itinerary was excellent, and we experienced a lot of diversity over the 14 days: western europe, Morocco, Canary Islands, 6-days of doing nothing across the Atlantic, then Antiqua, Dominica, and Barbados. St Lucia was cancelled and we were rerouted to Dominca due to hurricane damage. Weather was sunny and 70's for most of the trip except for severe rain in Antiqua.
Excursions: Ship shore excursions were better than others I've been on. They seemed to be well organized and interesting. We were able to find some more active excursions in the Caribbean including speedboating and snorkelling. Ziplining was offered but it was cancelled due to hurricane damage.
Fellow passengers: This was our only complaint- the average age (physical and mental) of the passengers. It seemed like most people were in their 70's with some in their 80's. We were the youngest couple on board BY FAR. We enjoyed the lack of screaming kids (there were NO kids on board), but we would have liked to hang out with some more energetic and fun people. There were times where we felt as though we were on a floating nursing home, but as a whole everyone dressed elegantly and seemed polished.
Would we do it again: We both enjoyed the luxury of Silversea but at our current age, I'd say NO. There are other cruiselines we'd like to try before returning to Silversea. Perhaps in 20-30 yrs, we'll be back. Who knows? :)
Good location, close to everything. Squeak was fixed.