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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, ... Read More
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, they are not smiling and it looks like we disturb them - the butler of our room was not proactive and the few request we made got poor reception - a lot of small details were not addressed properly: the public restrooms around the pool were dirty and hand soap as well as hand towels were missing, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon no towels were available around the pool, some of the cushion of chairs around nd the pool were dirty - the quality of food at the restaurant on deck4 was inconsistent at lunch as well as dinner time; it was very far from the quality of the meals served by Oceania and even by Princess - except for the speciality restaurant such as the Italian and the French relais&châteaux restaurant ( but we have to pay an additional 60$us for this one) where the meal were very tasty, the other restaurants meals suffer lack of nice presentation and or lack of flavors especially the fish and sea food plates that tasted barely nothing - unlike all other cruise lines that we experimented, there was no special of the day breakfast offered at breakfast time: the breakfast menu was always the same and was identical at the in room service Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted to explore South Africa. Cruise enabled us to see a good deal of this country. We were guided by the knowledge and wisdom of an outstanding lecturer, Rob Prescot and the kind and informative interraction with Ira Feldman.. ... Read More
Wanted to explore South Africa. Cruise enabled us to see a good deal of this country. We were guided by the knowledge and wisdom of an outstanding lecturer, Rob Prescot and the kind and informative interraction with Ira Feldman.. The ship staff was very professional. Excellent service without being overly solicitous. The dining experience was overall outstanding. Top cuisine choices from Japanese to French to Italian and to general cuisine. The entertainment under direction of Adam was outstanding. The young voices were first class. At least two singers were worthy of the Opera staage. The selection and presentation was very professional. The Silver suite was very spacious and the hotel services provided by Al and Niki were excellent. The ports of call were determined by the cruise itinerary and not the very best. Two days in Richards Bay was too much. Too bad you could not find a place to dock closer to Plettenberg Bay and George which is the heart of the Garden route. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise when it was shortened from 18 to 12 days, ending in Lima rather than Valparaiso, which became an optional 5 day extension. We knew that there would be 5 days at sea, and assumed that those days would essentially be ... Read More
We chose this cruise when it was shortened from 18 to 12 days, ending in Lima rather than Valparaiso, which became an optional 5 day extension. We knew that there would be 5 days at sea, and assumed that those days would essentially be like staying at a 5 star hotel, and they were in some ways. There were 4 ports of call, but we will return to this. The cabin was beautifully appointed as was the entire ship. One could dine in any of the 6 restaurants, with 2 having a surcharge. All but one were excellent and commensurate with a ship of this caliber, with the exception of La Terraza, which served breakfast and lunch, but became an Italian venue for dinner - clearly inferior on all levels, with poor timing (forever) and average food. As for entertainment and activities, fair at best - clearly subpar. On prior voyages with Silversea, there were activities on the deck - pilates, yoga, etc. Here they were relegated to an interior stretching room and limited to 8, which filled immediately. Lectures were in a dark theater at 3 pm rather than in the Panorama lounge, a large space that could accommodate large numbers, with windows as well as a darker corner for slides. Earlier cruises had one night of Dinner Under The Stars, a wonderful buffet on deck - not here. I think that you get the message. The main pool deck even lacked background music - there was one afternoon with live music as background . As mentioned the service was excellent. Last but not least, the ports were fair. Cozumel, where we arrived on a Friday, along with four five thousand person boats. A tour that we bought from the cruise line was SO horrible that the cruise line refunded the cost of the 12 hour debacle. The other ports were fine.................clearly more thought and vetting needs to be done with the subcontractors.................so that's it. I certainly will research the passenger population as well as the ports for the next voyage. I hope that the "kinks" will be ironed out, as the line becomes more familiar with the ship............. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise for many years and we went with good friends. It was generally enjoyable but certainly not outstanding. The cabins were comfortable and the staff well trained and invariably pleasant and helpful. There are ... Read More
This was our first cruise for many years and we went with good friends. It was generally enjoyable but certainly not outstanding. The cabins were comfortable and the staff well trained and invariably pleasant and helpful. There are many restaurants on the Silver Muse. Food is fresh and plentiful but not particularly exciting and at La Dame, where passengers have to pay extra to dine, I could discern no appreciable improvement in the standard of cooking. However, the pizzas were good, but the ice cream disappointing. The pasta ( it's an Italian ship) was quite good but, again, not exceptional. Generally , the desserts ( and I love dessert) were fairly generic - looked beautiful but did not taste as good as they looked. To my delight, but a sad comment on the quality of the food, I did not put on an ounce during this trip. Cocktails were good and wine was plentiful, but not what I would describe as premium. We had a very ordinary red from the special wine list ( charged extra). At sea days were spent in various activities. I was annoyed that the Spanish lessons and Bridge lessons were on at the same time. Lectures from guest lecturers were generally of a good standard, relevant and interesting. The shows mostly began at 10pm which was a bit late for us and those we did go to were not impressive. The shore excursions were marred by guides who generally did not know their subjects in any depth and whose limited English made it difficult for them to make the most of interesting sites. The description of the excursions did not match the reality - for example, on one, we were told we would see how tequila was made and visit a chocolate factory - we were , in fact, taken to sales venues and given a short talk about the production of tequila and chocolate and then encouraged to purchase these items. On other excursions, more detail would have been a welcome aid to decision making about whether to go or not. We hired a car, driver and guide in Lima and this was a terrific excursion. The guide was well informed and helpful and was able to show us most of the sights we had nominated as interesting and found a local restaurant for lunch where we were able to sample typical local dishes - the food was interesting, tasty and inexpensive - and the guide had lunch with us and chatted throughout, giving us a snapshot of life in Lima and the surrounds. I would definitely organize a private tour again in preference to going on organized excursions. The experience was not bad enough for us not to consider travelling with Silversea again, but our expectations will be more in line with reality next time, and we will have learned from experience how to maximise our enjoyment of the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Cruise from Fort Lauderdale through Panama Canal and down to Santiago, Chile. Great travelling through Panama Canal for first time. Friendly efficient crew. Service always fast and courteous. Good food with wide range of restaurants, some ... Read More
Cruise from Fort Lauderdale through Panama Canal and down to Santiago, Chile. Great travelling through Panama Canal for first time. Friendly efficient crew. Service always fast and courteous. Good food with wide range of restaurants, some require booking, others open seating. Menus changed after about a week. Some dishes indicative of areas we visited. We went to La Dame (signature restaurant) extra US$60 each - excellent, but once was enough. We had no trouble regarding attire for dinner, but heard some guests had been sent back to get jackets. Cabin spacious (1010 Silver suite), well presented and maintained. Evening Shows (singers, dancers) were at 10 pm at start of cruise. When offered at 6:15 much better attendance. Daily Chronicles arrived about 6pm at night detailing activities for next day. Not much to do on "At Sea" days. In addition to guest lecture (1 or 2) there were small groups to learn bridge or Spanish. TV's around decks showed position of all Silversea vessels. Would have liked to have more details of our vessels progress - more detailed map with current position, weather, distances to next port etc. Ports - mostly commercial so need shuttle to port entrance and not enough visited on this cruise (long distances). Excursions - all extra charge and not much offered. This may be partly due to it being developing countries. Cozumel -drive around island. Belize - Laminai Temple with Mayan ruins worth doing but involved over an hour each way in open top motor boats. Roatan Island - good snorkelling, but beach (Big French Key) was pretty basic - set up for daily visitors - beach lounges and lunch. Manta, Ecuador - visit to Wildlife Park was basic. Many tours seemed geared to sell local products. Lima - hired private car for all day excursion - this was worth while as visited sites we wanted. In Arica, northern Chile we just wandered around town, museum, pleasant visit. Disembarked at Valparaiso and did tour to Casablanca Valley wineries before drop off at airport about 4pm. Some had long wait till flight. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
For those who are familiar with Silversea and are wondering about the new ship, I will review a few details, mostly good, some not so much, in the latter part (skip the first paragraph), but I would like to start by making one thing clear ... Read More
For those who are familiar with Silversea and are wondering about the new ship, I will review a few details, mostly good, some not so much, in the latter part (skip the first paragraph), but I would like to start by making one thing clear for the uninitiated: by far the main reason one chooses this line and pays a significant multiple of the regular cruise line prices is the clientele. It can cut both ways, depending on one's preference, so I will try to explain for those who might be wondering what they would be paying extra for and what the experience might look like without passing any judgment whether this is the right place for you. For client selection, the steep price is coupled with a very conservative dress code - there are very few "casual" days (and even that does not mean shorts, flip-flops, tank tops, etc), and "informal" means jacket for gents that is required on most days, plus 2-3 formals (tux or business suit) per 10-15 days. Even on informal days many passengers wore suits and ties... The company actually had to reverse an initial more casual policy because of customer demand (https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=8009). Both factors yield not only a well-heeled, but also a rather sophisticated international crowd. It is like a club of old money plus newly minted members who can fit in on multiple criteria besides money. Let me share two overheard conversations to illustrate. "Our daughter came out and married young..." If you are wondering whether this refers to the person being gay, you are mistaken. The reference is to a debutante, and if you don't know what it means, maybe this is not a place for you. The other example was a story by an amazed physician whose hedge fund manager patient showed him how he can change the illumination color on top of a NY skyscraper visible from his penthouse with his cell phone, because he owned the building. Getting the drift? A Boston Brahmin would be a typical guest. The wardrobes, watches and jewelry just reinforced the obvious, and quite frankly surprised us a bit - we usually do not bring tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff to the ship, especially because typically we have a land portion before/after the sailing - kind of silly to haul it to Machu Picchu! This might not be everyone's cup of tea (no extended pinky if you are consuming it!), but we had a very good feeling, because despite the obvious wealth, people did not seem overtly pretentious, were certainly not intrusive, and maybe the dress policy weeded out potentially annoying nouveau riche (?). We do not socialize a lot on cruises, but all guest interactions were polite, pleasant and sometimes even interesting. OK, call me elitist, guilty as charged! Now more tangible characteristics starting with those that truly distinguish Silversea. The most extraordinary experience is the butler service. Our butler Rahul not only fulfilled every request in the most professional manner, but he anticipated certain needs and proactively addressed them. No wonder, because the butlers on Silversea are trained in the same school whose alumni work at the Buckingham Palace, and I believe that the Head Butler actually did work there. There are other nice service touches, such as a pool guy coming by and cleaning glasses (as in sunglasses and reading glasses). A rather amazing experience was acupuncture by Shiroto-sensei in the spa. Quite "simple": she ameliorated long-standing health problems for both of us, and we also saw a written testimonial by a customer that verges on a medical miracle! It is hard to overestimate how big of a difference such an individual can make for the trip as a whole. Overall, the food was quite good with a great variety and IMHO it surpasses our previous cruise experiences incl. Silversea. It is probably impossible to create a Michelin-level dining on a ship, but most of the restaurants are just a notch below with the emphasis on excellent ingredients and fresh preparation. La Terazza is probably the best choice, as it serves a classic Italian repertoire (being an Italian company probably helps) without any compromise, and it is more spacious with better views than all the restaurants on Deck 4. For atmosphere, Silver Note with a fantastic music duo is the best, but the food is kind of lackluster there - limited selection with some real flops, like the crudo sampler that was, well kind of a joke (miniscule portions, I'd say sub-gram range, of fish crumbs placed in tiny wells that seem to be more geared towards escargot, and then half of the wells essentially empty with a few specks of the same spice...?). Our best routine then evolved into a dinner in La Terazza, followed by a few steps to the bar seating in Silver Note at 9am to enjoy the music. Atlantide is very solid (meat/steaks are quite good), the Indochine is OK, while I would not recommend the Kaiseki if you know the real Japanese food. Did not try La Dame, if I want a really haute cuisine, I'd go to Jean Georges. At the pool deck, Spaccanapoli has the best true Italian pizza, and I'd do the Grill for dinner once max. The selection of complimentary wines is quite good and satisfies even a discerning oenophile, while the cocktails are expertly made with premium spirits. OK, now some question marks and complaints. The first one is very subjective and has to do with the ship's interior design. It is all "man-made" materials, fake plastic wood, faux leather, etc., which did not appeal to us. The hotel director explained that these are the new ship building safety codes (everything must be fire resistant). I don't know, but some of the other ships that we have sailed in the past seem to have more natural materials, or at least they were better fakes. Did not care much about the art, either. If confused or in doubt, go to Sotheby's and get yourself a few 17th century maybe not so famous Dutch guys, and/or lesser known Impressionists for $20-50K a piece. Finally, the "atrium" is an architectural miss. I understand that one cannot have a typical soaring atrium of the big ship variety, but here is an idea: staircase made of transparent material...!? It's a quirky side-bar, but I could not resist mentioning it (see attached photo): the hallway carpets have a dizzying pattern that seems designed to induce/enhance sea-sickness? The biggest weakness was the land concierge. They were essentially focused only on packaged excursions, which we generally abhor and rarely take. I thought that aggressive excursion peddling is a sole MO of cheap cruise lines...? Even the "lectures" on ports of call were 100% regurgitation of the excursions - what a waste! On our previous cruise there were tons of useful port information and a knowledgeable concierge (in some cases even dedicated local ones for specific ports) with all sorts of hints. Here close to zero, to the level of embarrassment. Our first two ports of call were Cozumel and Belize, where probably the #1 activity one can think of would be scuba diving. We were told that that there were no excursions with scuba diving, because they always had to cancel them in the past due to a lack of interest, and that there were only snorkeling trips. OK, we hate excursions anyway, although in our experience almost every boat going out can, and in many cases does combine scuba diving and snorkeling. More importantly, why can't the concierge just book us with a scuba shop? Instead, after 3 visits to the desk, I finally got a list of scuba shops from the internet in Cozumel for me to check. Excuse me, I can google myself...! Then upon my insistence, they tried to book something, but neither of these shops had the right start time (either too early or too late). It also turned out that these shops were quite far from the dock (nobody had a clue about the layout of the port, distances, etc.). When we disembarked, just outside the port entrance, there was one scuba shop after another, I simply walked in and in 30min I was on a boat heading to a reef... Wouldn't a concierge actually know this by just visiting the port once, let alone do some research or have a local contact? To add insult to injury, when we actually did book an official excursion (diving with sharks in Honduras), one of the staff had no idea what was required (like filling out a card with equipment needs, etc.). To be fair, most of the negative experience was with one staff member and another one was much better. Besides the brilliant experience with Shiroto-sensei with acupuncture described above, the spa has glitches, some of which could easily be avoided. Very often the front desk is empty, which is explained with a sign noting that all personnel are busy with clients. Besides the inconvenience of not being able to schedule anything, the real problem is that one can get keys to the gym lockers only at the front desk... Furthermore, most people book treatments on sea days. When I was booking and asked for appointments on sea days, the lady did not know when the sea days were, and it took her 5min to find out!? I also think that the gym size, and even worse for the sauna (max 2 people with one shower???), are not adequate for 500 passengers. Entertainment is OK, but uneven. The piano players Natasa and Milan and the duo in Silver Note are world-class, as was the Uruguayan guitar player in the main theatre, but others not so much. One can understand that a mid-size ship cannot mount a big production, but recruiting more solo top artists should be in the realm of possibility. All in all, I see that I have assembled a long kvetching list, which reflects my desire to point out things that can be fixed (does Silversea read these reviews? They asked me to fill this out, so hopefully yes). However, overall this is a memorable experience and I would recommend Silversea to anyone who is interested in this type of a cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Restaurants were good with exception of the French one. We had a poor waiter that night so service was not good. Ship was small and services limited . Butler service was a nice touch. Suite was nice. Salon was inadequate for pedicures ... Read More
Restaurants were good with exception of the French one. We had a poor waiter that night so service was not good. Ship was small and services limited . Butler service was a nice touch. Suite was nice. Salon was inadequate for pedicures and manicures, except the personal trainer was very good. . Pool seating was limited. Sailing was a little rough. Entertainment was not good as it was the same every night. I would select a larger ship for next cruise. Excursions were nice. The ship needs updating as it was worn. Our housekeeping was very good. A lot of the crew were very polite and helpful. Boarding and disembarkment were easy. I noticed that the early mornings were not easy for finding coffee as the area was half staffed or they would be out of cups etc. For the costs of the trip, we were disappointed in what we received. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We recently sailed on the 12/30/17 voyage on Silver Galapagos. Our itinerary started in Baltra and ended in San Cristobal. What an amazing trip we had! This was our first Silversea experience and third cruise. I will never again go on a ... Read More
We recently sailed on the 12/30/17 voyage on Silver Galapagos. Our itinerary started in Baltra and ended in San Cristobal. What an amazing trip we had! This was our first Silversea experience and third cruise. I will never again go on a mega-ship and we are already trying to figure out how we can sail on Silversea again. This is absolutely the best way to see the Galapagos. We were a multi-generational family traveling together... my 72 yr old father, husband and myself (mid 40's) and two teen daughters ages 14 and 16. I was worried that the ship would be a mostly older crowd but I was very surprised with how young the group was. They said the Christmas and New Years sailings often have younger guests and this was definitely true. Out of the 100 guests, I would say 25 of them were under the age of 20 yrs old. There were many families with multi-generations like ourselves that were traveling together. If you are even considering this ship with parents, grandparents, kids, this is the place to do it! So much to do for everyone of all ages. We really got to know almost all the guests and became great friends at the end of the week. I will try to review as much information as possible because if you are like I was, I was scouring the internet for any information I could find on this cruise and Galapagos in general. Transfers: We flew 4 days early to spend time in Quito and it's surroundings. Glad we did this. We were able to see the city and also make a few excursions. There's tons to do in Quito and beyond if you have the time. We stayed at the JW Marriott all 4 nights. It was a very nice, large hotel, no complaints whatsoever. Breakfast was included which was appreciated. They also have a nice fitness area and gorgeous pool. A Silversea rep was at the airport to take us to the hotel and again at the hotel on the day of embarkation, to take us back to the airport. Once at the airport, it was a LAN flight for all guests. We touched down in Guayaguil for 30 mins to refuel and then onto Baltra. Altogether, the flight was around 2-2.5 hrs. Transfers were just fine, don't let the other reviews scare you. By the way, on LAN, you have to press the Call button to request anything to eat or drink and you do have to pay for it. Just a heads up on that. On the way home, we flew from San Cristobal to Guayaguil where we had a day room at Hotel Oros Verde. This was a 5 star hotel, wish we could've stayed the night here but only used the room for a nap and shower before our midnight flight back to Miami. As you can imagine, that was no fun at all. Embarkation: Once we were through customs (quick process), we were loaded onto buses to take us to a pier and then onto zodiacs from there to the boat. We were quickly shown to our cabins, it was a very easy process. From there, we were able to enjoy lunch while we waited for our luggage to be delivered. It was all very easy. Cabin: We had Explorer Suites on the second floor, Suites 248 and 250. The rooms were very nice and I felt quite large, especially considering our kids were in their own cabin (unlike other cruises we've done where we are crammed into one suite). They aren't overly luxurious but very well appointed. The bathroom had a nice rainfall shower. TV had tons of movies and even live TV if you have time for that. Mini bar was fully stocked and was always replenished by the butler. Although I was fine with this category of cabin, I felt being on the Deck 2 was quite loud. You could hear much of the ships mechanics and this did disturb our sleep almost nightly, especially, when ship was anchoring. I'm not sure what all the noises were but it was loud. Also, it would be nice to have a balcony if just for the sake of drying all your wet things. Our bathing suits never dried, neither did our water shoes. If you can afford it, I would upgrade to something nicer. This did not detract from our cruise experience as we are not fussy people but just want to put the information out there. Ship: The ship was beautifully appointed. They just had a dry dock in Sept 2017 so everything was refreshed and looked new. The piano bar is a nice spot to hang out in the afternoon or before dinner and play some cards with the family or your new friends. There is a nice fitness center which I only used once. I never used the spa but I heard from other guests that their massage was wonderful. I do wish they had more outdoor sun loungers. There's only a few sun beds to relax... on Deck 6 by the jacuzzi and on deck 4 outside of the piano lounge. These were almost always full. Since we didn't have a balcony we would often seek out these sun beds in the afternoon but rarely had luck in scoring one. Restaurants: There are two restaurants to eat at for both lunch and dinner: The Grill and The Restaurant (yes, that is the creative name they gave it). We would always eat lunch at the Grill which was outside so you could enjoy the lovely sea breeze and views. The piano player also would entertain here every lunch. Mostly we would eat dinner at the Restaurant which was fine dining and 5 courses. A couple of nights we ate al fresco at the Grill. In the evening, this has a different menu and features meat served to you raw that you cook on a hot stone. It's pretty cool and the kids loved it. Seafood was also served here as well. It gets a little cool, so bring a sweater but they do provide blankets as well. Quality of food at both restaurants is excellent. We only heard other people saying the same thing. There's tons of variety and I never felt it got competitive. If you like alcohol, you will also be happy on this ship! The bartenders were amazing and served the best drinks. They had quite an extensive cocktail menu that we enjoyed sampling from. They also had great coffee/tea service available 24 hours in the piano lounge. You will not be wanting for anything. I think I gained 5 pounds but it was so worth it. Entertainment: The only real form of entertainment is the piano player in the piano bar every evening. He was amazing and he would get out a microphone and keyboard if you ask and you can do Karaoke. We did this several nights and we had a blast. We celebrated New Years Eve on the ship and Silverseas put on a great party! The piano lounge was decorated with party hats, noisemakers, confetti, balloons, etc. Drinks were flowing all night and of course, a champagne toast at midnight. As tired as we were, we never thought we would make it to midnight. Some people went to bed but quite a few people stayed up and it was quite the party! So much fun. Excursions: As you now know, this is an Expedition Cruise which = BUSY. There is not much time for downtime. I was worried about my teenagers and the early morning excursions. This was a little brutal on them but they survived just fine. Just know that you can be flexible and not go on every single excursion offered. Every night at 7pm, everyone convenes in the Explorer room for a rundown on the next day's itinerary and offerings. There are things to pick and choose from. For instance, you can choose to go on a nature hike or a zodiac tour of the coastline. Or you could sign up for kayaking or deep sea snorkeling. Every day is different but most days, the first excursion was at 7:30am. They gave us a reprieve on New Years Day and started at 8:30am but a lot of people chose to sleep in that day. After the first excursion, you come back for the boat and sometimes there's a second excursion around 10:30am. Lunch is after that and usually, there's a couple hours after lunch that you can take a nap, read a book, or just relax until a third excursion around 3:30 or 4pm. Again, you can pick and choose what you want to do. I think we only skipped one morning and one afternoon excursion. We were pretty full-on but I heard many other guests choose to skip much more than that. It's totally up to you. One thing about the activity level, yes this is a busy ship but I would say you are NOT expending much energy. For instance, most of the nature hikes were LONG but SLOOOWW. We would go 2 miles but it would take us 2.5 hours to do this. That's because the Naturalist Guides would stop every 10 feet to explain something about a bird or animal. It's all interesting but after a while, there's only so much you can learn about birds. One day, they offered a speed hike and tons of people including my family jumped on that because we were actually able to get in a little exercise and not go at the pace of a snail. I think older folks may like this slow pace but it seemed to drive younger folks a little nuts. I'm not complaining as I still enjoyed the entire experience but I'm just putting it out there for you to be aware. Every day, they offer a snorkeling activity of some kind. Please, always snorkel if you have the chance!!! We always had the best time and saw the most amazing things under water. The water is COLD! Be ware of this. Shortie wetsuit, mask and fins are provided. You will want to wear the wetsuit every time, it does help. I would always wear my long sleeved rashguard underneath and that helped too. No need to bring your own wetsuit, mask/snorkel. I read others did this but it's one more thing to pack. A few times, I would almost chicken out to snorkel because of the cold, but once I jumped in, it wasn't so bad. It was really worth it. By the end of the day, no matter what you choose to do, you will be exhausted. We would still head to the piano lounge after dinner for drinks and karaoke but we would try to be in bed by 10:30pm. I think we were the exception as most people would go to bed around 9pm. Staff/Service: We had the best service by everyone on board. You get to know the staff members and they anticipate your needs/requests. Service in all the restaurants and bar were excellent. Our butler was the best! Our daughter celebrated her 16th birthday onboard. We asked if he could do something special for her so as a surprise, when we got back from our morning excursion, her cabin was decorated with balloons galore, confetti, and a delicious cake. She absolutely loved it and it truly made her birthday special. There are around 6-8 Naturalist Guides that live onboard and take you on excursions... these folks were all wonderfully knowledgeable and patient. You could tell their passion for the Galapagos is genuine. What to pack: If you are like me, you cannot figure out what to pack! I am here to help you, folks. Keep in mind, I sailed in December which is the start of the warm season but it was in no way "hot". If the sun is out (we only had full sun for probably 3 days, other days were cloudy), it can be warm and shorts and t-shirt are good for daytime walks. If it's a cloudy day, light capris/pants would suffice with a t-shirt. Bring a light long sleeve just in case but it really was very temperate at around 78 degrees every day. Rain coat is necessary. We had two days where we encountered a little rain. On boat, have a light jacket for eating lunch or dinner at the the outdoor Grill. Also, it gets cool in the evenings so again, long pants or sweater are appropriate. You do not need to bring anything fancy. Sundresses, skirts for the ladies or even pants/blouse. Men, pants and button down dress shirt. No sport coat needed. My teens wore jeans the two nights we ate at the outdoor Grill but jeans are not allowed in the Restaurant. I brought 3 pairs of shoes (so proud of myself): water shoes (Keens), athletic shoes, and sandals for evening. For water shoes, any kind of water shoe is fine. I read you needed closed toed but that's not really necessary. The only time you wear water shoes is for wet landings, and honestly, you can even go barefoot. My kids would do this several times. My keens were fine (honestly, I'm not a fan as rocks get inside them) but the rest of my family had water-type sneakers bought on Amazon for $19. Hiking shoes are not necessary!! Remember, how I mentioned a 2 mile hike took around 2.5 hours? Yup, hiking shoes not needed for that. Most of the trails are a little rocky but flat. Sometimes, you have to climb a bit to get to the flat trail but hiking shoes would be overkill. My kids wore their Nike sneakers and I had my Merrill running shoes. Pack two bathing suits as one will be wet (ours were always wet). Rashguards come in handy to keep you warm and protect from sun. My husband and I each bought those wide-brimmed dorky hats with the chin strap ($8.99 on Amazon) and I was glad to have it. We wore baseball hats sometimes, but those big hats on more sun exposed days. We didn't even go through one full bottle of sunscreen so I don't know what we did wrong. We didn't get burned either but still, be careful with that sun. Another thing I just remembered, backpacks and water bottles are given to you for you to use throughout the cruise as well as bring home with you. Most everyone used these on their daily excursions. Photography/Videography: One thing to know is that there is an onboard Photographer/Videographer. Ours was Jorge and he was amazing! He would be out on every excursion, photographing wildlife and also people. At the end of the cruise, you get to see the video he's put together and you would be nuts not to buy it. At $150 it wasn't cheap but there was no way, we were passing it up. It's so professionally done, it's like watching a National Geographic documentary but you are the star. Absolutely, amazing quality and much better than any photos you will take (at least I'm speaking for my own photography skills). Overall, although this was an incredibly expensive trip for us, it was truly once in a lifetime and so worth every penny. I cannot stop thinking about it since our return home. I'm sure we will be reminiscing for years to come about our amazing Galapagos adventure and dreaming about when we can return to Silverseas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I will be upfront from the start ... I didn't think value for this cruise was good. The dining and room crews were very good. The overall management left me feeling quite disappointed. The cruise was not for me starting with the ... Read More
I will be upfront from the start ... I didn't think value for this cruise was good. The dining and room crews were very good. The overall management left me feeling quite disappointed. The cruise was not for me starting with the first day. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the pre cruise information and thus wasn't fully aware of the dress code. With that being said, I could not get dinner anywhere on the ship with shorts on other than my room. I wasn't dressed sloppy, simply had khaki shorts and a polo on and was told the only place I could eat was my room. Not even by the pool. I had been traveling ALL day from the US to Barbados ( a Caribbean Island by the way) and can't get a hamburger on the ship in shorts other than my room ... come on ... that's taking the whole upscale cruise experience a little too seriously. Two of our excursions were canceled. The dive vendor in Aruba was unprepared for the divers and needed to go back to their shop to get more equipment. They didn't want to provide me transport to my hotel after the cruise - the only reason I needed transport was because they couldn't get us flights out on the day the ship returned. The entertainment was the same people every night - good - but the same five singers. The food was over rated and the fine dining restaurants were not as good as the main restaurant. The itinerary was poor, arriving at night in each port and with limited port time in Bonaire, which probably was one of the nicest islands. I would not recommend ... I know many will disagree however. I do like the size of the vessel but would recommend Regency Seven Seas over Silverseas. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Looking for a cruise that could accommodate 3 of us in a suite with the dates that worked for everyone was our goal and this cruise met our requirements. The accommodations were great! The butler and maid we had were also over the ... Read More
Looking for a cruise that could accommodate 3 of us in a suite with the dates that worked for everyone was our goal and this cruise met our requirements. The accommodations were great! The butler and maid we had were also over the top in service. The food was better than expected. Wine was good but very frustrating to know what the options included. Many of the staff in the restaurants had little to no wine knowledge to understand what we were looking for and the main sommelier was rude to us and well as others. We noted this in detail on our on board survey that we completed. The true descriptions of some of the excursions were misleading as well. Especially the excursion in Barbados, where we pretty much sat on a small, cramped bus for almost four hours. We were under the impression that we would be getting off the bus more to take photos, etc. Read Less
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