A pianist provides onboard entertainment, tinkling an electric keyboard at the Grill for lunch and dinner and playing piano in the Piano Bar at teatime and cocktail hour.
Expedition team members occasionally present engrossing afternoon lectures on Charles Darwin and other Galapagos-relevant material in the Explorer Lounge.
The Piano Bar might be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but it's most popular as a pre-dinner watering hole. (Plus, passengers make dinner dates with other travelers here.) After dinner, it grows quiet as many have early-morning (7:30 a.m.) Zodiac boarding calls. Still, it's a pleasant spot, all gold and brown with plush chairs and dark wood tables, a small marble bar, and couches for curling up with a book and relaxing, or deleting the I-took-too-many-iguana photos. The Piano Bar leads directly to a small outdoor lounge area with daybeds, tables and chairs.
* May require additional fees
Passengers also congregate at the outdoor Grill Bar, at four counter rattan-covered steel stools or nearby tables. It's open between noon and 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Shore excursions are expertly handled. Expedition team members are highly educated, articulate and enthusiastic, and engage well with passengers. Each Zodiac group (about 10-to-12 people) has its own expedition leader and takes routes different from others -- a splendid way to intimately experience the islands' wildlife and beauty.
The Medical Centre is on Deck 2. The doctor has hours between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
On Deck 3, the Explorer Lounge is the meeting place for pre-dinner briefings and shore excursions. The spacious room is decorated with leather sofas and chairs, and marble tables. An excellent AV system ensures all passengers hear expedition team members speak and can see the large screen where naturalists show wildlife pictures and videos. Passengers may use a lounge iMac to download and edit pictures.
The library, open 24 hours, is all rich woods, soft leather chairs and plush carpeting. Shelves are mostly filled with Galapagos books. Contemporary novels and classics, daily quiz games and crosswords, plus board games like chess, are available, too.
At the 24-hour reception/expedition desk, passengers can ask questions, request assistance and purchase basic toiletries and sundries, plus minimal Galapagos souvenirs like the blue-footed booby figurines displayed in the hallway.
The compact Fitness Centre on Deck 6 is open between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. It has huge windows and mirrored walls. Life Fitness equipment includes elliptical trainers, stationary bike, benches and a total body workout machine. The gym also stocks dumbbells, medicine balls and mats.
The Deck 6 Beauty Salon is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with after-hours appointments on request. The salon might be teeny, but service choices -- like hair hydrating masks and elaborate pedicures -- are big. Choose from five different massages in an adjacent room. Some American beauty products, like Catwalk, are used for shampoos and such; the remainder are Ecuadorian such as Amazon Aroma for massage oils and scrubs. Prices for all services are reasonable. For instance, a 25-minute hair nourishing and scalp massage is $35. A lovely aromatherapy 50-minute massage runs $85. Gratuities are included in all pricing.
Without a pool, passengers flock to the six-person Jacuzzi on Deck 6 (open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.) and happily sip sparkling wines served by butlers. (You have to call for the butler as there is no bar at the Jacuzzi.) Rattan-covered steel lounge chairs, covered with thick striped cushions, are nearby. Fresh towels are frequently replenished. (The other small outdoor seating areas are on Decks 4 and 5, and they usually fill fast.)
Multigenerational families sail during holidays and summer vacations. Silver Discoverer offers eight connecting suites plus 25 suites accommodating a third passenger. Minimum age is 6 years old.