Silversea Silver Spirit Review
Let me begin by saying that when it comes to ones preference, no matter what the topic is, in the end the only opinion that matters is your very own. For example, which luxury automobile/automaker is better or more luxurious; Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes?
The answer is that it varies from person to person and possibly from vehicle to vehicle.
To me they are all luxurious and they offer many great cars to drive, but I do prefer Lexus for the entire package including reliability and service. While I prefer Lexus and have for many years that is not to say I will always prefer it over other automobile companies. Our own tastes change as we grow older plus the products change. The same is true for luxurious hotel properties including Four Season and Ritz Carlton. Which is more luxurious and which do you prefer the most? For me the answer is Ritz Carlton because my wife and I prefer the Club Floor. However, there are a few Four Seasons properties that we prefer over Ritz Carlton properties in a handful of cities. Even within a cruise line one might only prefer one specific size/class of ship. We all have different preferences. With this in mind, let me provide some feedback and thoughts about our recent Silversea experience.
This was our first time on Silver Spirit and second Silversea cruise having sailed the Shadow in August of 2009. So I won’t be reflecting on the “good old days.” On most boards there are comments about change from the “old days” and I am not aware of any cruise line that has not evolved, and where some have yearned for some of the amenities from back in the day.
Some of the changes that cruise lines have made have actually enhanced their product, while some changes were driven to reduce cost. The same is true on land with hotels. At the same time some changes are just simply driven because newer generations of cruisers desire amenities different from previous generation(s) of cruisers and just simply have different tastes, desires and preferences. All changes are not financially driven by bean counters in my humble opinion, although as I remind people Cruise Lines are in the business of making money so some change is clearly cost driven. The inability of unlimited caviar on board Silversea is clearly cost driven, and a wise decision in my humble opinion.
Since this was our first Spirit Cruise and only second Silversea cruise we are still Silversea newbies although not newbies when it comes to cruising. My first cruise was at age 12 and my wife Anne Marie and I have cruised since 1992 and have taken around 100 cruises on several cruise lines including three luxury lines.
Overall, we had a very nice time. While Crystal Cruises remains our most favorite cruise line and most favorite of the luxury cruise lines, we would sail SIlversea with the right itinerary and/or schedule that worked well for us. We would do likewise on Seabourn whom we have also sailed before. Again, this is no knock against SIlversea or Seabourn,. Rather, it is just to say that for us we prefer Crystal (its my Lexus) and it just feels more comfortable to us and yes familiarity is a factor too, but overall we just prefer the total Crystal package.
Luxury lines have a lot in common, but clearly they offer several differences. We find Silversea to bea bit more low key from our experience. People spend a little more time in their rooms because of the size of the room and also I think because of their comfort and design. But, there is certainly nothing wrong with being low key.
Like almost any product, there are some things we prefer about Silvesea, and some we prefer for Spirit over Shadow, as there are other things that we prefer about other cruise lines. I am not one who believes in cherry picking. Sometimes people will say x cruise line provides this and y doesn’t and goes on and on about that. The reality is that each cruise line does want to differentiate itself from one another (we like that) and each one decides how to spend their money and where to place more or less emphasis. I could go on with numerous differences on how x cruise line spends money in one area which y does not and how y spends money in an area that x does not. Again, cruise lines are businesses and like a business differentiation of product is key. Now, that doesn’t meant that you don’t study your competition and sometimes you do need to match them.
The Silver Spirit can carry upwards to 550 guests. We believe that size is one of the factors that determine the overall experience. Smaller ships can offer more intimate locations than cruise ships of larger sizes, and can make it easier to get from place to place within the ship and can sometimes dock where larger cruise lines can’t. At the same time, larger ships can allow for more activities to be offered and provide more options for entertainment and dining. For some, they will prefer one size only, which could be small, medium or large whereas others might like more than one choice.
In addition to my write-up I have rated the categories using stars. Five stars is my highest rating and one star is the lowest rating. Once in awhile I will add a plus (+) either because I want to highlight that it was above the overall star rating, or that I was torn between two different rating levels.
SILVER SPIRIT *****
We liked the layout of the ship and its size. Because of its size it can offer greater choices over say the Shadow, Whisper Cloud or Wind. The public rooms are well appointed, and many are very traditional. Parts of the interior were a bit dark but we are not buying the ship so this is not a problem for us.
It didn’t take us long to learn our way around the ship and it was very easy to get from venue to venue. The outdoor area where one could run or walk while not enormous was larger than expected and would be and came in handy on days when we wanted to walk around the ship. For me, it was not conducive to running once several people were sitting outside but the reality is that most passengers are not interested in running. Anyway.
All in all we thought that the ship was beautiful.
For the size of the ship it certainly offers many dining options. Certain restaurants I would rate with five stars, even one with a five stat plus and others with three or four stars depending on venue.
The Restaurant is the main dining room and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since there is open seating you will have a different wait staff depending on where you are seated and possibly even a different experience. On our first night we were seated at a two-person table in a more visible area of the dining room. The waiter had not only our table but a few large tables . The positive was that he received assistance from one of the Head Waiters and Sommelier’s who we got to meet but the down side was that the length of the time between courses became much longer than desired and that appeared to be the case as it seemed that our food was coming out at the same time of the larger tables and larger tables take longer to serve than smaller tables. We had just three courses and we were there for over two hours. We do not like to be rushed but that was a bit longer given the number of courses we had. Conversely on two other nights we were seated in a more remote section of the dining room. The downside was that none of the Head Waiters ever made it over to our table and the Sommelier only made it over once but the positive was that the waiter had our table, two other two person tables one larger table (not used one time and the other time people arrived when our meal was almost over) and even though for both these meals we had four courses, the meal took around 90 minutes which was perfect for us.
La Terrazza offers breakfast and lunch buffets and the interior tables have tablecloths and the dining room is very well appointed. At night it becomes an Italian Specialty Restaurant. For dinner, reservations are required, but no specialty restaurant fee is charged. On our first sailing on the Shadow we did not particularly care for the cuisine served at night, but on this sailing we dined there twice and enjoyed the cuisine. The daytime buffets are nice with a lot of choices. Some of the regulars have commented that some of the more unique foods are not offered now as they were in the past. We noticed that too compared to when we sailed the Shadow in 2009, but there is still a lot of choice. For lunch you could also order cooked to order pizza from a menu on the table or you could just have pizza that was already prepared and on the buffet.
Seishin. This is a Japanese Restaurant. It is available for lunch and dinner. For lunch there is no specialty restaurant fee and no reservations are taken and the lunch menu is mainly sushi and sashimi. Dinner requires reservations and there is a choice of menus. There are two menus where the specialty fee is $20.00 per person for mainly sushi and sashimi and another course. There is a several course dinner menu for $40.00 per person. It is a very intimate restaurant so it is quiet given the limited number of people who can dine there at once and it has a very nice ambience to it. We enjoyed the experience. The only down-side we saw came to the sushi and sashimi as you not select the quantity or type of sushi/sashimi you preferred,. The plus side is that with a fixed menu there were no decisions to make and we had the opportunity to try a wide range of items. The venue is beautiful and for those who like flowers there were flowers on each table.
Le Champagne is open for dinner only and offers French inspired dishes matched with finer wines than served in the other dining venues. There is a $40.00 per person specialty restaurant fee. I think this dining venue is one of the most special dining venues we have ever dined at either on land or at sea. Head Waiter Tayfun welcomed us to the restaurant and we found him to be professional, gracious with a fantastic sense of humor. The restaurant only accommodates around 24 people at mainly two person tables and each table is only used once per night. Diners arrive at various times. The menu consists of six courses. Everyone is served the same starter, which includes samplings of four different items. The following courses allow each person to select from a few choices for each course. Tayfun not only sat everyone but also worked hand in hand with the other two waiters who served each course. We began with a flute of champagne and then moved to white wine followed by red wine. Everything was amazing about this restaurant from the service to the ambience to the presentation and preparation of each course.
There is the Stars Supper Club, which opens at 8:00 PM, later than the other restaurants. It also is by reservation and offers tapas. We did not dine there.
There is the Pool Bar & Grill open for both lunch and dinner. We did not dine there either.
There is the Panorama Lounge which offers an early risers continental breakfast, bouillon later in the morning and an A la Carte Sandwich Lunch between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
There is also room service where you can order from the room service menu or you can order dinner from the restaurant during the operating hours of the restaurant. We utilized room service for all our breakfasts and for one dinner. For dinner, beyond the standard room service menu, you could order from the menu of The Restaurant during the operating hours of this restaurant. The table that they put on top of the coffee table was nice and provides more space.
ROOM ACOMMODATION ****+
We were very pleased with our suite. We just went with a Veranda Suite since this was only a seen day cruise. It was well appointed. The colors scheme reminded us of the colors in our suite in the Queens Grill on board the Queen Mary 2. I think it is in keeping of the number of people who sail Silversea from the UK. There were a lot of cabinets to store items and the closet was a decent size and just easy to find places for all of our items and to keep them very well organized. There is a separate living area, which can be used for dining, reading, watching television or just viewing the outside area. It was also very comfortable and very functional.
The verandah was a decent size. The bathroom was very functional with a separate bathtub and shower. The only down side might be the one sink. There were two flat like televisions both built into the mirror so they didn’t stick out. The interactive television system is quite nice offering a large array of movies on-demand, and the ability to see your shipboard account. It can be more of a challenge to work the remote control with the television in the living area if you have items on the desk.
We did hear from a couple of fellow guests who were sailing the Spirit for the first time who thought that the suite was too narrow making it a little tight to pass between the bed and the wall and also that the shower was a bit tight for them.
With all due respect some of that might be attributable to the size of someone. For some I can easily see where it would be more of a challenge.
Just a couple of minor items and in the scheme of things they are minor; the safe doesn’t have a handle on it making it easier to open it, the area where you have to point your remote control to work the TV is right where one would likely place their computer and although there is an outlet on the vanity desk it was too low to the desk to be able to plug in the hair dryer. There was no shoehorn. I suspect that if we asked, they would have brought me one, but we didn’t ask. I don’t think I have ever stayed in any room on land or at sea where there were not some areas that could be improved so these are just small areas that could be improved.
The TV’s themselves were great as they are built into each of two wall mirrors so they don’t take up space and they were very easy to view from bed or from couch. Once they overcome the remote control issue they will be even better.
We also appreciated some of the little touches which included; a daily newspaper placed outside the door early morning, reminder of a time change by placing a card on the bed, a daily breakfast room service menu left on the bed each evening as part of turndown service and reminder reservations for any specialty restaurants on the day of your reservation on a card that was also placed on your door early each morning.
SUITE BUTLER AND ROOM ATTENDANT*****+
I don’t often rate these personnel under a separate category but did so this time because having a butler for all suites was not in place when we sailed Silversea in 2009. At that time, Silversea only employed butlers for the largest suites. I can remember when they announced that their would be butlers that some said this was just marketing and that the butler would be in name only. Well that is not our experience and I am well aware of butlers and their capabilities having had them on four different cruise lines; Crystal, Celebrity, Cunard Queens Grill and Princess. Princess was in name only and pretty worthless and they did away with that position, which I think, was a good move.
Now, just like us all butlers are not created equally so I am basing my comments on our butler and suite attendant.
As mentioned, each room includes a Butler and a Suite Attendant. I am not sure how many rooms each of them are assigned.
We thought that the butler was outstanding and really worked hard and not only responded to our requests but also was pro-active. When we cruise we do enjoy having a butler. I know some people say they never use any of the services performed by butlers and even some say that but we come to learn that they do.
We enjoy having breakfast in our room, and the butler was great at taking care of this and yes the familiarity of what we preferred in terms of set up was nice. He also refreshed the fruit each day, along with sodas and water. Butlers will serve drinks such as wine or beer but other than the last night of the cruise we didn’t need his help with serving of alcohol related items.
I am not sure if all butlers do this but we never asked for our shoes to be polished even though this is a service that is offered on most ships with butlers. Without us asking, he did polish both my dress shoes and one pair of Anne Marie’s shoes and did a terrific job as well. Also, he told us on the final sea day before we disembarked that normally the will remove the empty pieces of luggage from underneath the bed and set them up for us for easy packing but he already noticed that ours had quite a bit of items already packed so he didn’t move them. Early on during the cruise the Butler mentioned that he would be happy to prepare a bath for us and that if we could let him know what night that way he could time this based on when we expected to return so that the bath water was still at the proper temperature by the time we got back to the room. I thought all of these were to nice items to do pro-actively.
The Suite Room Attendant also did a terrific job. We didn’t’ see her too often which to me is the perfect room attendant. Room was always made up in the morning and also turned down in the evening and all of this was very timely. Nothing was ever missed and this is just not normally the case on other cruise lines or on land at a Hotel. The room also looked very clean.
FOOD & SERVICE. ****
When it comes to food this is very subjective. We thought that the food was fine. Some of this varied by venue but again also comes down to personal taste.
There were some exceptional items, some that were good and some we didn’t care for, but we never had a bad meal and we never left a meal longing for more food. Sometimes, other factors can come into play in any restaurant ranging from who is actually preparing your meal, who is responsible for each area, how crowded the restaurant is and the choices we make.
I know there have been some criticisms of late about the food. For us, I didn’t see a major change from the first time we sailed with Silversea on the Silver Shadow. As I mentioned on that sailing there were a few more exotic items from time to time at La Tarrazza for lunch, such as one day Ostrich was a choice but I would say that most of the items were very similar at both The Restaurant for dinner and La Tarazza for lunch.
Some people commented that there is very little change on the buffet from day to day and that is true. On most cruise lines we sail the vast majority of the buffet items are indeed the same for breakfast and lunch from day to day and for that matter from year to year. With that said, I have never seen a buffet area that had so many items to build a salad and some of those items did change from day to day whether that was having fresh mushrooms one day and then fresh artichokes the next day.
If I could make one suggestion it would be to reduce the number of cold cut items that are featured on the buffet and add a few more carving stations with beef, pork and poultry and change that each day. I believe that would enhance the buffet and provide a more luxurious dining experience.
Overall, the way I rate food today on Silversea is a little better than I did in 2009, and possibly even higher because we didn’t visit La Champagne on the Silver Shadow and the Spirit is the only Silversea ship with the Japanese Restaurant and our experience for dinner at the Italian Restaurant was much better than in 2009.
If I rated the food at the restaurants in the evening for dinner individually I would rate them as follows.
The Restaurant ***. I think the selection of items is good but think that the ingredients for some of the entrees could be more innovated to make the entrees more flavorful.
Seishin ****. We thought that the food was excellent and really enjoyed how the menu was organized to give one a nice selection of cuisine to try. I would have given it five stars if the sushi/sashimi was a little more plentiful and innovative.
Le Champagne. *****+. Outstanding cuisine both in terms of its preparation but also its presentation and while several of the items are rich in ingredients, it was balanced with the size of each dish not being too large. Wonderful menu. An outstanding experience.
As to wine around the ship, I thought that the wine was good. If I were rating it, on its own I would give it three stars, which is how I rate Seabourn the last time we sailed with them. I also see the level of wine at around the same as it was in 2009; not better but not worse. I was certainly familiar with some of the wines that were served and would say it is on the lower price scale. Many of those wines I believe provide good value but nevertheless they are lower priced wine.
We didn’t order any spirits so I can’t comment on that and on the last sea day of the cruise I did ask about the availably of beer and they offer quite a number of brands.
Each night two wines were available in The Restaurant (one white or one red), but if you asked for another type of wine they could accommodate you. For example one night the choice of red wine was Zinfandel, which wouldn’t have paired well with what I had for an entrée, and so I asked for a Merlot and they were able to secure that for me. Conversely one night the white wine was a Sauvignon Blanc and we asked for a Chardonnay and they were able to secure that for us.
This is somewhat trivial but from time to time we like to have a caffeine free diet soda such as Sprite Zero or something along those lines. According to our butler this is not something that is normally carried on board the ship. He was able to secure a few cans for us possibly leftover from a special request and mid-way through the cruise he found us four more cans. He said that we could have special requested this. I hadn’t thought about needing to special order something like this and only mention it so others are aware. For eight days we survived. LOL.
We both also thought that the coffee that came with our room service breakfast was quite good and we realize that the quality of coffee at sea is a challenge given the processing of the water.
As I mentioned, I had read some recent reviews with comments by some people who didn’t care for the food. For us, that was not our experience. Again, food is subjective. Personally, with so many choices it is hard to believe that anyone couldn’t find items that they would like on any cruise line; yes even mass market one. LOL, but IMHO true.
Overall service throughout the ship was great. Of course people are human and service can vary by person even though cruise lines strive to offer consistent service. Most crew were very helpful and friendly. I wanted to give a shout out to the person in charge of La Terrazza who was very friendly and professional and just had a wonderful disposition when I asked him to check on all of our specialty restaurant reservations and who changed the first one we had to the time we thought we were to have based on the paperwork we were given when we checked in at the port.
The waiters in most of the dining rooms were very friendly and did their very best to make the experience as nice as possible. Some of the headwaiters who we met were very helpful and very positive and enthusiastic which we always like to see.
I think in La Terrazza during lunch that the waiters could be a bit more attentive coming up to the table shortly after you are seated.
There are some little things that would enhance the luxury experience from holding the seats for the guests when they are seated at the table (some waiters did this while others didn’t,), unfolding the napkin and placing them on each passenger’s lap after they are seated, and removing crumbs from the table cloth before dessert is served. . These are just little details that enhance the experience but in the scheme of things are not critical.
There are a few additional opportunities for enhancement, which are easy ones and are likely training opportunities which would be in the dining venues checking up after the course is served to see if the guest is happy with the meal and in the lounges being consistent such as asking for the names of the guests so as to learn them. Some did it well and some not at all. The other one would be yielding to the guest if the guest is passing them when they are in the corridor or even doing some activity. Again, very easy to do and just enhances the product and the overall experience. Finally, a pet peeve of mine, which is to refresh water cups during the meal.
I want to close out the category of service by giving a callout to Jose from The Bar Lounge. He quickly learned our name, our preferences for the type of wine we drink, and that my wife, Anne Marie, would also have sparkling water and his display of kindness and attention to detail. He is a wonderful member of the crew.
Finally, I want to give a callout to our Butler Probhashish who went by Probha for always going the extra miles to provide as good a service as he could and to our Suite Attendant Ester.
I rarely ever comment on this area but I thought from time to time it was lax. In a couple of cases when returning to the ship in Key West because the security officer was off doing something there was no one operating the x ray machine on two of the three times we returned to the ship, and we were told by the person who swiped our ship board account to just go through and not wait. On our return from Belize City via the tender there was no x ray machine set up. The most thorough security check was when we returned from the ship in Cozumel.
Overall we enjoyed most of what we attended but this is quite subjective. The ship can certainly offer more than any other ship in the fleet given it size. There was a decent amount of choice. There were a few receptions whose start time made it impossible for us to attend such as the Venetian reception for past cruisers, which began at 7:00 PM but conflicted with our Specialty Restaurant Reservation. Since the dinner hour does begin at 7:00 PM, maybe it would be better to start these receptions at 6:00 PM. When it comes to Entertainment/Enrichment the size of the ships do matter and cruise lines with ships the size of Silversea and Seabourn have limits at to the diversity and amount of entertainment/enrichment they can offer and how elaborate some of the entertainment offerings can be.
On a personal basis, I am not big on having an art lecturer or shopping expert on board nor am I big on some of the talks that focus on jewelry. With that said running a cruise line is a business, which wants to make money, so I assume that there is enough demand and profit from these items to warrant the resources and emphasis that Silversea and some other cruise lines place in this area. None of this was in my face so again whether I care for it or not did not impact my experiece.
To elaborate on the art work and lectures,, when we first sailed on the Silver Shadow in 2009, we went to a few of the art lectures but didn’t realize until the end of the second one when the lecturer walked us around the ship that part of the intent of all of this was to try to sell you various items on board the ship. Interestingly enough, many of those Marilyn Monroe photos that we saw on the Shadow for sale were on the Spirit. As I often say, choice is good but just not something we have an interest in and on a personal basis the pricing seems exorbitant We enjoy ove art but would never buy it on a ship because we would want a lot of time to think about it, plus I don’t quite understand the prices that many of those photos commanded. Oh well.
The positive of the art, is that many of the areas around the ship include the art that is for sale and to me it gives these areas a most attractive look. It is clear to me that enough guests purchase the art, and also make sure of the shopping expert, otherwise they would not offer these services it on board. If it was my cruise line, I wouldn’t do it, but no one asks me for my opinion. LOL.
This is another area that I normally don’t rate and in this case I am not rating the category for the ports but rather for items related to getting off the ship. I think it was very nice that the bottled water is placed right before you go through security, as are towels. I thin the opportunity for enhancement is to provide maps for each port a day or more before arrival that one can carry with them into port.
FITNESS CENTER ****
The hours of operation are 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM and it was opened when I arrived as early as 5:00 AM so I can only assume it is never locked which is fine with me. It contains a nice range of machines and weights. On our cruise the equipment was sufficient. On a cruise with an overall younger age of travelers than our cruise this might make the amount of equipment more of a challenge.
There are some opportunities to enhance the center for the guests. Out of the three elliptical machines, one would not allow connection of earphones as the connector appeared to be broken and on the second one the volume barely worked, as you could not raise the volume to a level where most people could hear it. Rather than having water available with plastic cups, I would recommend having small bottles of water that one could carry with them and place in the slots of some of the machines including elliptical and treadmills. There were no sanitizer wipes available in the one container that is left on the counter from the night before until an attendant puts them out which could be as late as 7:00 PM or later. I did speak with the manager of the spa and they corrected that but that should be a common practice all the time. These small improvements would enhance the overall experience and in the case of the sanitizers would allow for the wipe down of germs.
I saw the Fitness Director, but can never really remember seeing him visible in the workout center where all the machines are located. I know he was busy with personal training and group classes. On larger ships you’ll have two fitness directors which is a plus as one could do training while the other one is more visible in the fitness center.
The Internet worked very well. The speeds were quite good and I appreciated the one-hour of complementary minutes per person. Only suggestion is in the daily program they note that someone is at the Internet Café for one hour each day and the program noted the specific time. I would have a sign at the desk in the Internet Café noting that as well as we didn’t realize that on Embarkation Day.
The only other item was that when I tired to print my boarding passes early on the morning of disembarkation I could not make the printer work. I am pretty tech savvy and normally can figure this out on my own. As it was 4:00 AM I couldn’t call for assistance. I went to the front desk and they gladly printed out our boarding passes so no issues. The problem with the printer could easily have been a fluke.
I do realize that speed of Internet can be impacted by so many factors including the infrastructure of the ship, your own room’s location, number of users on the system and where the ship is sailing, but overall the speed was terrific for being on a cruise ship. With that said, on the last day, which was a sea day the speed slowed up from the other days.
That could have been attributable to where we were sailing or the number of users or a combination of both factors. While it was slow, it was still good for being on a cruise ship. I also think that one factor is that my perception is that the typical passenger either does not carry a computer with them or other device and again demand or lack of demand comes into play. I felt the same way on the Shadow in 2009.
LAUNDRY ROOM *
We were surprised given the size of the ship how small the laundry room was as well as how small the one washing machine and dryer was. I realize that many people come on a cruise with no plans/need to wash anything but just sharing my observation on this one. I also realize that once you sail for I believe 100 days you get complimentary laundry (not dry cleaning or pressing but laundry).
Our suite was also very clean and you could see the focus to cleanliness in all areas of the ship and by the crew. The only area that I thought lacked emphasis was not encouraging others to use the sanitizers located in certain areas of the ship. Also, I didn’t see anyone cleaning the machines in the fitness center from time to time during the daytime. If not for these two items, I would have rated cleanliness five stars.
Embarkation was smooth but clearly it can vary from port to port and also from one cruise to another. It can be perfect one time and a disaster the next time. I did like the approach at embarkation where they got us through the counter in the terminal area relatively quickly and much earlier than usual and then asked us to wait until Noon and we boarded based on when we did our check-in.
Disembarkation was very smooth as well. When they called our color tag number we proceeded to the gangway area where they gave us our passports, then another person swiped our shipboard card and we were on our way to the terminal area. Our luggage was organized very well and our two large pieces of luggage were right next to one another.
Because we had a lot of on board credit we booked a car through Silversea. We had originally planned to just take a taxi but we decided midway through the cruise to just get a car. A Silversea representative stayed with us until the car arrived. The driver actually drove the wrong way into the terminal area and before we got in the car a Sheriff was scolding him but once in the car he blamed this on the port always changing things. The good news is that he appeared to be a safe driver.
PRE-CRUISE DOCUMENTATION & ON LINE RESERVATIONS ****
I believe it was at 90 days prior to the cruise when we could book specialty restaurants and did so that day with one revision a couple of weeks prior to the cruise. The system was very easy to use. It was also very easy to provide the personal information that was requested on-line.
On the final documents, just a thought would be to print the cruise ticket on a separate piece of paper rather than having it as part of the book that comes. Since we were concerned with trying to remove the cruise ticket and tearing it we took the entire book with us but given the weight of the book would have been preferable to just leave it at home. The book itself is quite nice and of high quality and provided lots of useful information. It is one of those books that we will save.
Another opportunity is that you could reserve a time slot for 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 but the time you could be assigned might be anytime between each hour and it would be nice if you could lock-in to a specific time such as 7:00 PM, 7:15 PM, 7:30 PM, etc. If their systems doesn’t allow for that, it would be a nice enhancement.
I wasn’t sure where to list this so I have placed it under a separate category.
This is one that has been discussed from time to time on this board. They charge each passenger $8.00 for the charity that Silversea donates to and most guests who are sailing Silversea for the very first time would not catch this. I actually forgot about this from our previous Silversea cruise but noticed it on the interactive Television when I viewed our account on line. While they will remove the amount I do think that they should make adding the amount optional and if they don’t want to do that they should send a notice up to the room about this with instructions how to have it removed from ones account.
OVERALL RATING ****
As I said, while our number one go-to cruise line continues to be Crystal Cruises with the right itinerary and the right schedule we would happily sail Silversea again. Overall, I thought that overall experience was a little better than in 2009.
In the end, my belief is figure out which cruise line(s) work best for you. If a cruise line doesn’t work for you, just move forward. Read Less