60 Silversea Silver Spirit Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Mediterranean

This was our first time on a Silversea cruise and for the most part we enjoyed every minute. Embarkation in Venice was very efficient and within a very short time we were in our suite. Dining experiences. Dined in Le Champagne our ... Read More
This was our first time on a Silversea cruise and for the most part we enjoyed every minute. Embarkation in Venice was very efficient and within a very short time we were in our suite. Dining experiences. Dined in Le Champagne our first night on board. The food was fine, but the party of 10 that was also there spoiled the whole evening for us. They were loud, inebriated (one gal had to help her boyfriend/husband out of the restaurant as he couldn't walk), used foul language and were totally disrespectful to the other diners. Several people at tables around us left, and those of us who were still there when the group left applauded their departure. The staff did nothing! We reported this to the reception staff and, at the least, hoped for a response from someone telling us they were sorry about our experience, but we heard nothing. Hardly worth the $80 cover fee. At the Grill I asked for drawn butter for my prawns and the waiter brought me some green butter. I asked for regular drawn butter and his reply was, "Do you realize I have to go all the way down to deck 4 to get that for you? You should have told me when you ordered the prawns you wanted butter". We got the maitre'd's attention and he had drawn butter on the table in 5 minutes. Totally unacceptable response. The Silver Spirit needs some sprucing up. The carpet is well worn on all the stairs. They actually closed off one set of stairs during our whole cruise so they could recarpet it! Ports of call were fabulous and we enjoyed most of the tours we booked. They can skip Albania in the future, it's not ready for tourists quite yet. Our tour to the Blue Eye Spring was a waste of time. The tour busses had nowhere to park so we had to walk quite a distance to and from the Spring, and once there you could hardly see the Spring for the hundreds of tourists diving and swimming in the Spring. A long way to go for nothing! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We sailed on the Silver Spirit on it's Athens to Venice seven-day cruise in August 2016. It was our first time on Silversea and we were looking forward to our cruise and it didn't disappoint! Embarkation was as easy as ... Read More
We sailed on the Silver Spirit on it's Athens to Venice seven-day cruise in August 2016. It was our first time on Silversea and we were looking forward to our cruise and it didn't disappoint! Embarkation was as easy as imaginable. We were the only two people embarking. We did get there a little early but not much. We were escorted throughout the process and even escorted to our cabin to see where it was even though cabins weren't ready yet. We had lunch on the pool deck and by 2pm the cabins were ready and our luggage had been delivered! We had a veranda suite on deck six. It was very spacious with a great walk-in closet and plenty of drawers for storage. The sitting area was spacious too. The bathroom was nice although we never used the separate tub. We did use the veranda some and that was fine. A couple of other nice treats were the binoculars in the room and the TV in the mirror. However, the sound and picture quality on the TV need updating. It wasn't HD quality and the sound was like like a radio not quite set to the station. Our butler was new but good. We had breakfast in our suite every morning and he was very punctual. We really liked the small ship feel. No crowds, no lines. Also no pesky photographers. Service was very good throughout. We also liked the all-inclusive aspect and not having to sign for drinks, etc. Having bottled water when getting off and on the ship was great. Some nice cool towels when returning after a hot day in port would've been a nice touch. We only got that at embarkation. We have had that service on other lines and were surprised not to find it with SilverSea. The food was very good to fantastic. I realize that's subjective but we like to have a great meal at a nice restaurant and Silver Spirit did well in the regard. We had dinners in Stars Supper Club, La Terrazza (twice), the Hot Rocks Grill and Le Champagne. We had dinners ashore twice. We had lunch by the pool and in the MDR a couple times. We always had breakfast in our suite. We also thought the bar service was very good, either with standard cocktails or wine or with some special orders. We were traveling with a small group so we didn't partake of the entertainment. We did find some time to play blackjack though and found the dealers and fellow players to be very good. We ended the cruise up a few bucks, so that helped! There isn't much for shopping on the ship compared to bigger ships but that was OK. They do have some sundries hidden away if you need something basic; you just have to ask in the shop. There was some confusion in getting our butler to help with a purchase of Zantac, as our documentation stated that Butlers or Reception could help with this purchase, but we ended up just getting it ourselves. Both the Butler and Reception insisted we see the doctor for this over-the-counter medication. Since we spent a good part of the time in port, the ship's shops were not open very often. The internet was typical cruise ship internet; good enough for checking email, Facebook and the news. We got an hour a day with our suite and that was enough for us. We booked our excursions through Silversea. Several were included excursions and they were good. We had a paid shore tour in Venice that was quite good and a dinner ashore in Dubrovnik at a family estate that was fabulous! On thing about this cruise, the held our passports on the ship. They said it was to assist with getting clearance in each port. We got them back in Venice. We heard they might do that so we brought color copies of our photo page with us ashore. Disembarkation was just about as easy as getting on. With such a small ship, finding our luggage was very easy. Overall a five star cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This year was my 20th cruise with Silversea on board four of the present five ships and my 11th cruise on Silver Spirit,which is the largest of the fleet-Silver Muse next year is slightly larger and launched in April.Silver Spirit has a ... Read More
This year was my 20th cruise with Silversea on board four of the present five ships and my 11th cruise on Silver Spirit,which is the largest of the fleet-Silver Muse next year is slightly larger and launched in April.Silver Spirit has a maximum of 540 guests although the two cruises back to back were not full.I travelled to Rome airport via Frankfurt from Manchester and transferred to the ship at Civitavecchia and Embarkation was quick and smooth with the issue of the essential cruise card.I boarded straight away and met my butler Rahul who took me to my suite and introduced me to the facilities.These included a variety of soaps,pillows,drinks for my cocktail cabinet and the layout of the suite,which I knew well.There is a separate shower unit in the bathroom,cloakroom,large queen bed,lounge area with settee,armchair,writing desk complete with personalised writing paper,adequate cupboard,drawer and shelf space and a safe.There is an verandah with table and two chairs where I had breakfast on the morning we were anchored off Sorrento. A safety drill took place prior to departure with all passengers introduced to their life jackets and boat stations. The first dinner was one of many in the Main Restaurant with my usual waiter Lorenz who presented me with a varied menu-I went off menu for the first night-accompanied by my choice of wines.The meals were all the very best standard and presentation. There were other restaurants on the ship,some of which were select and an extra cost.I usually had breakfasts in the La Terrazza buffet with a choice of being outside with the views of the ports of call. The ship has two regular leisure activities for which prize points were available-exchanged for items at the cruise end.These were the regular Trivia Quiz conducted by cruise director Moss Hills and the golf putting competition on the carpet.These were always fun to be involved with and I also tried the daily paper Silver Quiz again for points. Entertainment included a series of lectures on space travel and an evening presentation in the show lounge by the Six Voices of Silversea.The show I enjoyed the most was the operatic evening with some excellent singing and costumes.There was also the Silver Spirit Trio in the main bar area and this was followed by a pianist who accompanied pre dinner and after dinner drinks-the ship is fully inclusive of all drinks and gratuities. There is a swimming pool,three whirlpools and pool bar as well as a fully equipped Spa of which treatments and the thermal spa are extra,inclusive of a small whirlpool,hot seats,sauna,steam room and covered area. There is nearly one crew member to each guest and Captain Pontillo pointed out at the Reception that passengers come as guests and leave as friends.I have had the pleasure of sailing with him before.During my cruise there were four formal nights and the others were either Informal or Casual.There is a casino,upmarket boutique,large library,internet café and a helpful shore concierge. There was a good variety of ports of call including Mykonos,Kusadasi,Chania,Agios Nikolaos,Malta & Gozo,Rhodes,Trapani Sicily,Santorini,Patmos,Marmaris and Nafplion.I have visited many of the ports on previous cruises and had no need to book coach excursions available:I was happy enough to walk around the ports and visit churches and museums.The only drawback on some days was the extreme heat - sometimes up to 38deg. It was easy to make friends who came from many nationalities and of course the crew also became our friends:knowing our names within hours of boarding.It has always been a great pleasure to travel with Silversea and I already look forward to being on Silver Spirit again in June 2017.This I book on board with the cruise consultant as there are discounts for guests who have cruised for over 100 days - I have now reached nearly 200 days. Disembarkation was no trouble and transfer to Athens airport with my flight to Heathrow and onwards to Manchester:all arranged by Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Sailed on Silversea for the first time in June, 2016. LOVED everything about our experience. Embarkation was a bit disjointed for us. My husband had written the wrong cabin number on our luggage tags and so it was delivered to the ... Read More
Sailed on Silversea for the first time in June, 2016. LOVED everything about our experience. Embarkation was a bit disjointed for us. My husband had written the wrong cabin number on our luggage tags and so it was delivered to the wrong cabin, which was empty, so this took a several hours to figure out. We were concerned about our missing luggage for the first evening. The customer relations manager was wonderful and kept us updated and ultimately, was able to deliver the good news that our luggage was found. We didn't really properly meet our butler due to the luggage concern. He did meet us and introduce himself, but since the focus was on finding our luggage, the rest (choice of toiletries, pillows, other types of discussions) were missed. Again, this was likely due to my husband's error and the focus on our luggage. The cabin was perfect for us, as was the balcony. Our Butler, Vipin, was so polite and professional. He very quickly learned our preferences and helped to make our cruise just perfect for us. Our cabin was kept spotless without our even noticing. They cleaned or changed towels, turned down the bed, etc. only when we left the cabin. Not sure how they managed this, but it was wonderful. Restaurants: We loved the food on this cruise. We had breakfast and lunch at La Terrazza with beautiful views each day and never went elsewhere. The buffet choices were plenty and varied daily and the food was great. For dinner, we tried every restaurant with the exception of Stars Supper Club, which we missed. Our least favorites were the 2 speciality restaurants, Le Champagne and Seishin. They were good, but honestly we enjoyed the included restaurants more. In the future, we will skip the specialty restaurants on this cruise line. My favorite restaurant for dinner was, once again, La Terrazza. Delicious pasta, lovely setting, and even a beautiful sunset view one evening. My husband loved the hot rocks concept at the Grill and we ate there 3 times during our stay. Dinner was delicious there every time and the service always perfect. We did also eat at the Restaurant a couple of times. The food, and especially the waiters (Ali and Renato) were wonderful. The bar on deck 5 was our favorite place to spend time before dinner and the bar staff there are incredible in every way. Rex, Fred, and the 3 Ronalds are the absoulte best. They were upbeat, friendly, polite, fun, etc., etc. We could go on and on. They remembered our names and our drink preferences from the first night and were simply great people to be around. The entertainment: We only took advantage of the cooking demonstration during the sea day, and this was wonderful. The chef was great and also so nice and entertaining and the wine tasting and discussion very interesting. We never attended anything else, so we cannot comment, but we did enjoy spending time in the lounge with the piano player. The excursions were phenomenal. The ports we visited included: Rome, Sorrento, Trapani, Malta & Gozo, Chania, Santorini, Kusadasi, Mykonos, and Athens. All were wonderful and the guides all very knowledgeable and helpful. Our favorite, if we had to choose one, would be Kusadasi. The day in Ancient Ephesus was unforgettable. Disembarkation was easy, even with a labor strike in Greece. Due to the strike there were no porters available, but we never would have known it. I'm sure the crew worked extra hard to make this such a smooth and easy process. Really wonderful service. Pre and post hotel arrangements and transfers were great as well. Especially the hotel in Rome. Absolutely beautiful way to begin our trip. All in all, had a wonderful time and would be so happy for another opportunity to sail with Silversea!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We traveled with our adult children (separate cabins). We enjoyed the size of ship and the shore excursions. The ship staff was not that good at keeping track of passengers or helping those with mobility issues on the excursions. The ... Read More
We traveled with our adult children (separate cabins). We enjoyed the size of ship and the shore excursions. The ship staff was not that good at keeping track of passengers or helping those with mobility issues on the excursions. The food was good although I was expecting the quality to be higher. Service at the restaurants was generally good (not exceptional) but inconsistent. The cabin service was good. Cabins were spotless. The butler service was inconsistent. One room the butler was very good, the other adequate. All in all an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my first time cruising with Silversea. After spending 3 nights in Istanbul prior to boarding I was ready for the cruise. This was not my first time cruising solo, but it was my first time on an ocean ship vs having done a couple ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Silversea. After spending 3 nights in Istanbul prior to boarding I was ready for the cruise. This was not my first time cruising solo, but it was my first time on an ocean ship vs having done a couple of AMAwaterways river cruises. While I am up in age I don't look it or act it so I was ready to enjoy all that the Silver Spirit had to offer. The ship was small by comparison to ships I've been on, BUT I enjoyed the layout. The service was fantastic. My suit 812 had a wonderful butler and assistant who couldn't do enough for me. The suite was well laid out and had more than enough space and was very comfortable. The embarkation and disembarkation were like nothing I've ever experienced. Smooth and quick. The food was very good and you could really have whatever you wanted all you needed to do was ask. The Grill next to the pool cooking your own meat and fish was outstanding as was the wine. The main dining room was never really crowded and the food choices were outstanding. The trip included all excursions and internet which was for the most part very fast. TV had lost of movies and a good selection of American news channels only problem was we were a day ahead which took getting used too My issues were with the entertainment which as a former music industry executive I found to be way below my standards. While the singers were talented their voices were not meant for doing pop, but when they did classical selections they were outstanding. The fact that there really was no variety was sad. Why no comedy or magic? In their speciality showroom Stars the duo was outstanding except for the fact that on the nights I was there the other customers lacked in my opinion "class" because they tried to talk over the music and that was very rude. It was a class room with great food and while I understand people are on vacation and looking to have a good time trying to talk over the music should not happen period. Another issue I had was being single. While there were 52 others who were traveling solo or with friends the ship did have a singles mingle each evening and only 5 folk showed. We had a great time together and had usually enjoyed diner together with the two ship hosts who were wonderful. In closing would I sail again on Silversea and on the Silver Spirit I would. I'd also recommend this line and ship to those who like luxury. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is my 4th cruise on Silver Spirit which is probably my favourite ship of all as it has my preferred tonnage for a balance of facilities and privacy. I cruise on the same ship a year ago and again this time I am extremely happy with my ... Read More
This is my 4th cruise on Silver Spirit which is probably my favourite ship of all as it has my preferred tonnage for a balance of facilities and privacy. I cruise on the same ship a year ago and again this time I am extremely happy with my experience. They have changed quite a bit in restaurant services, now that waiters take order with a Galaxy pad, and I suppose this is good even for customers as it ensures continuous flow in the delivery of meal courses. Throughout 9 days on this trip the weather is great. We missed Mykonos this trip and spent one more night in Athens instead which I am not unhappy with, as I have been to Mykonos many times. The trouble is lack of pier facilities at Mykinos and the captain does not want to use tender in a windy condition, which maybe a good decision for comfort important to a 5-star ship. Yes, comfort is the key to travel on Silversea, as the cabin is spacious and service in housekeeping and of the butler are great as usual. Silversea restaurant and bar services are also invariably great, particularly I am recognized by many as a return cruiser. I cruise in all ships and it is interesting that 5-star ship crew always try to remember you, while on a big ship they try to pretend that they don't know you even if they do! Perhaps this is the main reason that most 5-star ships get following (4 star ships also get following due to unbelievable cheap fares off season). The design of the menu of the main restaurant on this ship has much changed, and I would say for the better. I am happier now as there is less (or almost no) Asian fusion on menu items. I find most Chinese or Japanese food on ships are actually Philippine food. The alternative restaurants Le Champagne and Stars, as well as La Terrezza all have my top marking. The Asian restaurant has great service but the food is not really Asian....I would say it is rather American Asian if you like that kind of food. But great that with the only Asian restaurant on any Silversea ship the buffet lunch always includes sashimi (and great that there can't be fusion on raw fish). Good also that the lunch menu in the main restaurant is now also enlarged and good, and now it has as many choices almost as at dinner, while some cruise ships, even 5-star, offer a kind of Hamburger/Sandwich based menu to cater for America taste. All in all, a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Once again Silversea delivered. Having booked onboard last year to do back to back cruises from Venice to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, our itinerary had been changed due to the political situation in Ukraine. Whilst this ... Read More
Once again Silversea delivered. Having booked onboard last year to do back to back cruises from Venice to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, our itinerary had been changed due to the political situation in Ukraine. Whilst this meant that we were visiting some of the same ports twice, on an port intensive cruise this gave us the chance to create our own sea days, sometimes with only a handful of other passengers on board. Sailing out of Venice late at night was magical, giving a completely different perspective of this bustling city. We took Silversea excursions in some of the ports and all were enjoyable, informative and set at the right level. However the highlight being Discovering Photography with Ivo Pervan in Trogir when my husband along with Ira Feldman from Silversea who was escorting the tour were the only people participating. Having travelled with Silversea before we were looking forward to dinning in Stars Supper Club, however unlike before when it has featured Jazz (as it advertises it does), now it has middle of the road music and seems to have lost its way. The other Restaurants however lived up to our expectations and lunch in Seshin was a nice change. On what in fact the 2nd cruise the menu on the Pool deck changed, whilst retaining some of the old favourites some interesting new offerings appeared. I cannot leave this review without mentioning Yun the acupuncturist on board. With one session he relieved a problem my husband had lived with for over 20 years and stopped the dizziness I had had for over 8 months. His approach to solving the problems we presented was methodical and thorough and we cannot recommend him enough to fellow travellers. The highlight of the cruise however was the 3 performances by 2 soloists from the Bolshoi Ballet during what should have been the Black Sea cruise. Their performances in the show Lounge were enthralling and, whilst working in a somewhat restricted area, still managed to incorporate leaps and lifts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We are in our 70's and this was a cruise with friends, back to back Barcelona/Civitavecchia/Barcelona. Embarkation was smooth but one of our cases got misplaced on debarkation causing a bit of a panic. Service was, for the most ... Read More
We are in our 70's and this was a cruise with friends, back to back Barcelona/Civitavecchia/Barcelona. Embarkation was smooth but one of our cases got misplaced on debarkation causing a bit of a panic. Service was, for the most part outstanding, including cabin steward, butler, maitre d's, waiters, bar staff, room service. All excellent. The food however was a big disappointment in the main dining room sometimes cold, not very tasty, tough meats. Pasta was usually good but over salted. Seishin (extra cost) was particularly poor, and the Italian restaurant was average. Champagne restaurant was outstanding both times we went. but you have to pay extra for that. Many people we talked to commented on the poor food and particularly Seishin. Wines were average at best, the wine we kept going back to was a Bogle Chardonnay that is about $8 in the grocery stores. One could of course pay extra for wine, but on a cruise costing $1000 per day one expects better. Wifi was abysmally slow. The decor on the ship is looking very tired and dark. Our cabin furniture was showing signs of wear and dents. Silversea is, I believe, in a cost cutting mode in an attempt to improve profitability. Good Luck with that approach. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We have only done a few ultraluxury cruises before, including with Silversea, so we are not as experienced as many on these boards and perhaps my expectations were too high. Overall we had a very nice time, with a few annoyances and ... Read More
We have only done a few ultraluxury cruises before, including with Silversea, so we are not as experienced as many on these boards and perhaps my expectations were too high. Overall we had a very nice time, with a few annoyances and disappointments. This was an anniversary cruise for us, focussed on the Monaco Grand Prix, as we are big Formula One fans (we DVR and watch all the F1 races at home) We booked 8 months ahead of time to assure we would get space and tickets to the race that were being organized by Silversea, so we would not have to worry about the hassle of getting to/from seats at the track or having to fend for ourselves at what we expected to be a very crowded event with potential for disorganization and "mob scene" we wished to avoid. We had made our own arrangement in Barcelona for four night before the cruise, as I could not get timely pre-cruise hotel information from the Silversea booking agent despite several attempts. Barcelona is awesome, we plan to go back for more days. EMBARCATION: flawless, no lines even though it was just 1.5 hours before latest check-in time, painless passport check, pleasant and welcoming staff starting right at the port when the cab dropped us. SHIP: The Spirit was clean, smooth and comfortable everywhere and everything seemed to work. Public areas were uncrowded and low stress. The African themed art hanging in some of the hallways was, to me, pretty ugly and uninspired, but other than that the decor was tasteful and elegant. I have a back and muscle problem so the soft and comfortable dining chairs in all the indoor and outdoor venues were especially appreciated. SUITE and SUITE SERVICE: Our 365 sq-ft (counting veranda) V5 suite was and remained immaculate through the cruise. Our butler Jerry and his cleaning helper Larry (really) introduced themselves almost immediately, and they efficiently filled and refilled our unusual mini-fridge stocking requests. My towel gluttony request for always having six bath towels on hand was honored. The bed was nice and soft, the bathtub and separate shower and bath toiletries (there is a choice, I chose Bulgari) were perfect. The retractable clothesline over the tub was welcome for small items, though we also used daily laundry service regularly and our clothes were only lost (and then quickly found) once. The veranda lounge chairs were ergonomically just right for positioning my difficult back and legs. We used room service for appetizers a few times and it was prompt, food was tasty. In addition, after a particularly long excursion, the butler surprized us with an unexpected array of appetizers as well, anticipating we'd be tired and hungry. Internet wi-fi was slow and expensive as it always is on cruises, but way better than on our last SS cruises (Alaska, South America). For $250 we got the 1000 minute package and the speed was fast enough to get a reasonable amount of work and communication done and still have leftover minutes. DINING: surprizingly, a mixed bag. Our favorite was the Stars Supper Club, where we ate on formal night (you can be informal there) and were pleasantly surprized with sequential tasty small bites and a sultry singer. La Terrazza outdoor deck dining on the buffet food was efficient, uncrowded and reasonably tasty for breakfast and lunch, and dinner the first night was exquisite, though table service (coffee) was spotty in the mornings. The 3 dinners and 1 breakfast we had in the dining room were mostly just good enough, nothing wow like we'd had on the Silver Cloud. The gratis white and red wines poured were mostly the Silversea label which I did not care for, so we just ordered and paid extra off the Connoisseur menu. Seishin was interesting, tasty sashimi, though the waitress struggled for several minutes with the mechanics of how to open a bottle of special wine we'd ordered (after having first brought the wrong bottle). But she also noticed I was using my hand fan, because the room was hot, and immediately set off to get the AC turned up. Breakfast in the room always arrived on time and with what we ordered, though the offerings of European style "lunch meats" that were there and all over the ship were tasteless. SERVICE: Mostly good, though there was one lady at reception who did not seem to like her job and who had some attitude problems, and some of the (mostly Filipino, not uncommonly talking Tagalog to each other in public areas) wait and cleaning staff seemed tired, especially towards the end of the cruise. One annoying episode was where we'd ordered a Connoisseur wine we did not finish that we wanted to take back to our suite to store for the next day (we always bring the air removal pumping devices for this purpose). The waiter insisted on sending someone to bring the wine to our suite, rather than letting us just carry it ourselves (it really isn't that heavy!). We waited a half hour in our suite, putting off going to sleep as we anticipated a door knock, and the wine did not appear, so I got redressed and set out to track it down. No one seemed to know where it was, until finally, it appeared, late (the next night we knew better, and just carried the wine back ourselves :) ENTERTAINMENT: the only show other than in Stars we went to was opera night, where a mezzo named Victoria Morgan moved me to tears with the beauty of her voice singing Carmen, but one of the male singers was just so-so. PORT AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: -- some guides were great, some not so good, all excursions we did (except for the separately organized F1 race) were good and worth the price, with clean buses and functioning AC, and though the toilets on the buses were routinely locked, the bus driver on one excursion stopped and opened up the toilet for a desparate passenger, which was nice. SETE: all-day excursion to Carcassonne, interesting. About a one hour drive in a comfortable bus with AC, then you see a charming hillside medieval walled town. The local guide who gave a brief tour was terrible (heavy accent, plus the heavy wind this area is known for did not help), though he tried. There was time for a leisurely early lunch of cassoulet (we chose Le Jardin De Templier near the Basilica). It was nice we had enough time for a local lunch, as opposed to just a stroll to buy souvenirs, and time to tour the fortress. A Russian Orthodox choral group happened to be performing in the Basilica, lovely. CANNES: two days -- wonderful. One day we did an excursion to St. Paul de Vence and Chateau de Saint-Martin for wine tasting . Though St. Paul was cute (warning -- steep walking!), the trip to the beautiful Relais and Chateaux location of Saint-Martin alone, where excellent wines and appetizers were served on a gorgeous view patio, was worth the excursion fee. No herding, no mad rush. The only disappointment was that we could not buy the wines we'd just tasted on site. The next day we went on the Nice and Perfumerie Fragonard excursion. This was well-organized but it is a long drive, lots of traffic (included time to buy wholesale quality perfume after a tour of the production facilities). When we stopped in Nice, after some traffic, a guest asked the local guide about toilets and the guide said there were none other than going into a cafe to buy a coffee , "that is just the way things are done here." After we'd wandered around a couple minutes we found immaculate, staffed public pay toilets at the nearby Seven Continents Square (hard to miss), so I mentioned this when we got back on the bus, for the guide's future reference for guests. She defensively said, "Yes, they are there, but I did not mention this because you have to pay 50 cents!" Perhaps local excursion guides should be advised that it is likely Silversea pax would not mind paying 50 cents for a clean toilet?? :) AJACCIO: On embarkation, we were told the Clos Capitoro Wine Tasting excursion out of Ajaccio was cancelled, so we rebooked into the Walking Tour and Fesch Museum option. Then that tour was also cancelled the night before, and none of the remaining tours appealed to us so we set out walking the lovely town on our own (which actually turned out fine). The Fesch Museum is worth a visit, do not miss the Corsican art in the basement which was our favorite. MONACO, 2 days. EXCUSIONS TO NICE AND EZE -- Medieval Eze is beautiful (VERY steep to walk up to!), but unfortunately we were too early in the day, and did not have enough time to have a leisurely lunch in one of the excellent (and expensive) local dining venues. Had just enough time (45 min) for a stroll, drink, and pictures, or a quick purchase. MONACO GRAND PRIX PACKAGE -- Key issue: You will not have VIP seats or service at the race! Two nights before the race we were issued F1 package swag bags which consisted of a cheap mini-backpack with F1 programs, ear plugs, some cheap binoculars, a tiny plastic rain poncho, and our lanyards and tickets. We were given a detailed orientation RE how to get to and from the ship to the track. Access would be only to the races that day (Sunday), not Saturday's qualifying, no pit walk, no special access, just regular grandstand bleacher seats for Sunday, is what we should expect. We were told our seats would be mostly in the K2 section grandstands, "near the checkered flag" (though it turned out we could not see the checkered flag from our seats, as it was up and behind us). We'd been told at booking, and that night, that there would be a "former F1 driver" at the upcoming cocktail party, but we were still not told who it would be until we got the late night newsletter on our bed, where a wiki printout of the bio on Allan McNish awaited us. McNish had started in only 17 F1 races, so technically he was indeed a "former F1 driver" and Silversea did not lie, though his greatest fame was actually that he was a 3-time American Le Mans Series champion. Then the night before the race a special, formal cocktail party in La Terrazza, with excellent canapes and champagne and almost everyone dressed to the nines. A lot of the pax there seemed less interested in F1 than in just being where they thought they should be so they could tell people about it when they got home, but many were hardcore car buffs, and it was nice to meet fellow afficionados. This was followed by an entertaining talk given by McNish, who was a great speaker and we were happy to meet him even though we'd never heard of him RE F1 racing until this trip. Then we had a special dinner with not extra special food at La Terrazza with fellow F1 fans. Then came the actual race on Sunday: we tendered in early to allow time to walk up the hill to the track. The streets were a zoo, full of souvenir shops and tourists as well as high end boutiques, some ladies in outrageously gawdy outfits as you'd expect, but mostly just casual attire like we'd been told to wear. No drivers or celebrities viewed. Our grandstand seating (no backrests), out in the blazing sun was indeed in K2 and, as noted, we could not see the checkered flag. Toilets were few and far away dirty portable units with LONG LINES (3 stalls, one broken, for hundreds of women), so we were afraid to eat or drink anything though the drunken Aussies behind us (not SS pax) kept climbing over us in the bleachers to go get more beer. Overhead announcements were hard to hear and the display board showing driver standings had big delays. As we sat for a few hours, uncomfortable, trying to focus on the race, we longingly gazed at others in town who were luxuriating watching the race from commercial service yachts and hotels, drinking champagne and eating lunch in real chairs, (presumably with access to clean toilets), thinking that if we'd paid a few hundred dollars more (we looked it up), we could have been there instead of suffering on our bleachers. For $1500 per person, we (perhaps unrealistically) expected more, and would not do this again, as we are not interested in bragging rights for just having been there (when we got home, we then watched the race on TV:) PORTOFERRAIO -- we took the tour across the island first, and then toured Napoleon's old villa, nice views and some interesting history. Could have skipped the island tour and just toured the villa on our own. DISEMBARKATION smooth, no problems, took the bus SS had organized to the airport SUMMARY: overall an entertaining cruise, with mostly excellent service on an uncrowded ship, though we probably would have picked a different Silversea cruise (or bought our own GP tickets with better seats) if we'd known the Grand Prix experience was going to be so uncomfortable relative to the price. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Silver Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 2.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates N/A 4.0

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