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2 Rouen to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

We just returned from a 12 night cruise on the silver spirit.....we were so disappointed in the service we remembered from 3 years ago. We sitting down for breakfast we would request 2 orange juice, 2 waters and 2 black coffees.......in ... Read More
We just returned from a 12 night cruise on the silver spirit.....we were so disappointed in the service we remembered from 3 years ago. We sitting down for breakfast we would request 2 orange juice, 2 waters and 2 black coffees.......in all 11 days of eating breakfast we were never able to get all three without having to continually ask again and again, We mentioned this to the maitre d and he wrote it down in his little book.......the evening that put us over the edge was the next to the last night....we went to dinner at 8.....had wine and ordered off he regular menu.....when nothing arrived after one hour, I went to the maitre d and very quickly our appetizers arrived....cold....then the soup.....cold". At that point we had been sitting for nearly 90 minutes,....we did something we have NEVER done......we walked out and went to the hotel manager. He asked why we had never complained before and was flabbergasted and said we would hear from him (never did) and did offer us room service. That same afternoon we had gone to afternoon Tea..we were seated by the hostess, sat for 20 minutes, before WEnhadmto request a pot of tea.....none of this is acceptable at this level of cruising. Our last meal was fine,ordered coffee and desert.....desert was finished and we never received our coffee.....we walked out and the waiter came running after us telling us he would have it sent to the room!!!! We have been very fortunate and have traveled on every cruise line except Crystal,........this was, by far, the worst service we have ever experienced...I would tell anyone thinking of cruising with Silver Seas to rethink your decision! As additional note, embarkation should have warned us of things to come. At airport ,there was no porter to help us with our luggage till we got into terminal, at which time they said why didn't we let their guys do it, and we asked,what guys! On arrival at ship ,we had no help finding luggage off bus, then no one was there to assist us or even elderly cruisers up the gangplank,which went from dock to 5th deck..some people, like us, carried substantial hand luggage. Interestingly, they were there on debarking to help us down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We very much enjoyed this cruise, met some lovely people and saw some very interesting places. Ship and standard of service was, as usual, very good and, overall, all staff were excellent. While we were pleased overall, there were some ... Read More
We very much enjoyed this cruise, met some lovely people and saw some very interesting places. Ship and standard of service was, as usual, very good and, overall, all staff were excellent. While we were pleased overall, there were some disappointing aspects. Over some 15 years, we've been on a number of Silversea cruises. Previous cruises were on their smaller ships. We wanted to try one of their larger ships, so chose the Spirit, and selected the Rouen-Lisbon cruise as they were new destinations for us. The ship (and number of passengers) is larger, about a third larger, than Whisper/Shadow. Our cabin was large, larger than other Silversea ships we've been on, but not so you'd notice it, with all the usual, good facilities. On our previous cruise, we had an instance of soiled linen. Unfortunately, this happened again. On our first night we found the bed sheet had not been properly washed. It was replaced immediately and sincere apologies were made by senior officials, but it should not have happened. In comparison to the Whisper/Shadow, the layout of the ship is similar, with a couple of extra small, specialist restaurants. As expected, other areas were larger, though, again, not so you'd notice. In comparison to the smaller ships, the larger number of passengers is only apparent (or a problem) when embarking/disembarking. Our embarkation was not as smooth as on previous cruises, where we were well-greeted and offered champagne. Ours may have been affected by a safety drill just before, but should have been as welcoming nonetheless. You could have all your meals in your cabin, but mostly we went to the various restaurants. We also enjoy the 'open dining' on Silversea. There are two principal, larger restaurants - the Main Restaurant and the Terrazzo (each providing breakfast, lunch and dinner) and three other, smaller dinner venues - Le Champagne, Stars and a sushi-type. For breakfast and lunch we always used the Terrazzo (cafeteria-type service), which was very good. For dinner at the Main Restaurant you may elect to sit with others (seldom a bad move, in our experience) or alone. (In former times, ladies were escorted to the tables - no longer an option.) At the Terrazzo, we always booked a table. Likewise, you need to book for the other restaurants. We had very good meals at the larger restaurants. Our meals at the Stars and Le Champagne were not so good. The Stars was a multi-dish, tasting menu approach - too many dishes in our view. Le Champagne is billed as a Relais&Chateau venue. Having dined at many R&C establishments, I'd question Le Champagne's status. We were given very good advice on wines, but came away questioning the food. My wife and I had the same meat dish, though differently cooked, but were given each other's plate. Alas we did not notice this at first. Our soufflés were almost flat affairs. (We noticed other diners also had flat soufflés.) I raised these issues with the maitre d', who thanked us for our feedback(!). Silversea ships operate a dress-code: formal, informal, casual. Alas, we saw several examples where this was not being observed by passengers - changing times? Again, over the years, we've noted the improvements in Silversea entertainments. This cruise included a troupe of able singers and some very good opera singers. We did not find the change to the evening entertainment in the Panorama lounge to our liking, however. Previous cruises usually had a relaxed, piano-singer arrangement, but this cruise had a full-on DJ/disco affair. Again, changing times? We've always found staff on Silversea ships to be extremely helpful, attentive and courteous. This was certainly the case on the Spirit. Each port, except 'Le Verdon (Bordeaux)', was very interesting. The weather, as always, had a bearing, but only one port, St Jean de Luz, was missed, as proving too rough for tendering. As it turned out, that miss allowed very useful extra time in Bilbao. Over the years, we've found the Silversea shore excursions to be not good value, each usually including both some good and some questionable aspects, e.g. overly long coach journey or wholly unnecessary item/venue included. So this time, we elected just to explore the ports visited by ourselves, using shuttle bus arrangements usually laid on. This generally worked well, with all ports providing good sightseeing opportunities. We only came unstuck at Bordeaux. I expected we would be able to shuttle bus into Bordeaux, but I had not appreciated we would be berthed at Le Verdon, which is many, many miles away from Bordeaux and one could only get there by pre-booked excursion. Pre-cruise homework is therefore worthwhile! Notwithstanding the issues of concern, we would choose Silversea again. Level of service is very good and staff very friendly. We are, however, tempted to opt for the Whisper or Shadow, feeling their slightly lower number of passengers offers something lost in this larger ship. It's difficult to be specific, but, over the years of cruising with Silversea, we feel the standard of 'luxury' they purport to offer has slipped somewhat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017

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