4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
Silversea fosters an upscale, yet casual atmosphere with roomy public spaces that provide larger-than-average spaces for passengers. Expect stellar service and no waiting in line for meals or activities. Extraordinary dining experiences are offered on all Silversea vessels, with wine generously poured at meals. The all-inclusive policy, which covers gratuities and unlimited beverages -- wine, liquor, beer and soft drinks (except truly premium brands) -- is appealing.
There are lecturers on virtually all cruises, offering insights into the lives and cultures of the people of the destinations visited. There are sometimes a bridge instructor and a golf pro who offers lessons at the practice nets on each ship. But, partly as a function of size and relatively low passenger capacity, there are few major educational opportunities on Silversea vessels. Each has a well-stocked library, a Steiner-managed spa and fitness center.
Meals are served open seating in the main dining room, with lunch available between noon and 1:30 p.m. and dinner at any time between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Alternative evening dining is available in La Terrazza at 7 p.m. (reservations required) and in the small, upscale (even by Silversea standards) Le Champagne -- again, reservations only -- between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. La Terrazza is free; to eat in Le Champagne, there's a $200/$30 charge, depending on the dining option you choose. (Yes, that's $200 for a multicourse degustation menu that includes wine pairings.)
As there are no organized children's programs, the ships are inappropriate for most families with young kids.
Silversea passengers are affluent and then some. They are heavily skewed to professional types, and they're generally -- as on most small luxury cruise ships -- somewhat older than those found on larger, mainstream ships.
In terms of nationality, usually about 50 percent are from North America, with the other half coming from all over the world (predominately the U.K., Europe and Australia). Many passengers are retirees with the leisure and the resources to make Silversea their cruise line of choice.
Perhaps because they have the space for more facilities (an expanded spa, a cigar bar, a wine bar and a computer center, not to mention a bigger, better-equipped show lounge), Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper attract a somewhat younger crowd, but it's still not a line for the 20- and 30-something set.