2 Silversea Silver Spirit Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

I love photography and choose my destinations based upon the best opportunities to practice my hobby. Having recently lost my husband I needed an easy way to travel to a variety of locations on my own. Silversea was offering a ... Read More
I love photography and choose my destinations based upon the best opportunities to practice my hobby. Having recently lost my husband I needed an easy way to travel to a variety of locations on my own. Silversea was offering a sensational single supplement and I always wanted to visit Rome and Barcelona, so it was the perfect solution. I was a little worried I would stick out like a sore thumb. At the last minute a friend decided to join me, so I wasn't alone after all. During the cruise there were so many friendly people I realized that it would have been fine even on my own. My main reason for going was to see the two cities, Rome and Barcelona. Neither of them were included in the tours from the ship, so I opted to stay three nights at either end. On the recommendation of a friend who is a travel agent, we booked the Rose Garden Palace in Rome and the Majestic in Barcelona, both excellent choices. In both cities we did the Hop-on/Hop-off busses, which were extremely helpful in getting an overview of both cities. Of course, we have only barely scratched the surface of all the places we visited. I especially fell in love with Barcelona. Back home now, I have plans to stay there for a month as soon as I retire. This is my third cruise. The previous two were with my husband, also on small luxury, all inclusive lines: Renaissance (before they went out of business), Athens to Istanbul and Regent, Sydney to Auckland. How does Silversea compare? I'll break it down: Embarkation was extremely fast. We did arrive at the ship quite early so we missed the crowd. Disembarkation took longer. They called luggage tag colors by groups and we were one of the last groups called. Decor: It was a little too "brown" and traditional for my taste. I am drawn more to a cleaner, more modern look. But it was really very nice overall. Food: We started out with lunch on the pool deck waiting for our room on the first day and had to send our food back. My "steak" was raw (I asked for med rare) and when they brought it back it was well done. My roommate's meatball sliders had a really odd taste to them and she didn't eat them. I was a little worried by that first experience, but it definitely improved as dinner that night was sensational at Seishin. Dinners at the Supper Club and La Terazza were not as good. But we ate twice at Hot Rocks and loved it! The food on Regent was better. Tours: We only did the included tours, which mainly consisted of a bus racing through the countryside with a nonstop narration by the tour guide. Many people I talked to said there was too much talking. It because exhausting over a several hour bus ride. They really should stop once in a while to let us enjoy the scenery, instead of plying us with the minutiae of historical facts. As a photographer I found it frustrating because we were driving so fast it's amazing I got any photos at all. There were very few stops along the way for photos. In Monaco, my roommate got nauseated because of all the twists and turns in the hills. Once at our destinations I didn't join the group, I wandered around on my own to take pictures. Service: Exemplary. Our butler, Kerley, was willing to do anything and helped us to get reservations at Hot Rocks when they were full. She cleaned the outside of our luggage the day before disembarcation. She served us breakfast in our room every morning. She kept asking us to use her for anything. When we asked for vodka and wine in our room she made sure it was stocked with whatever we asked. Tips were included in the package, but we gave her an envelope on the last day. She was trying to refuse, but we insisted. Everyone else on the ship was very nice and helpful. Passengers: At first I was worried I would be surrounded by "rich" people, lol, which I am not. At our hotel in Rome we met two women, a mother and grown daughter traveling together, who were also coming on our same cruise. We hit it off right away and all the other passengers we met were extremely friendly and just like us. Entertainment: We were too tired at night to go to any of the productions except one: a lone singer who was really bad. In fact, we were embarrassed because our eyes kept falling shut. We decided if we came back we'd sit in the back so we could slip out, but that opportunity didn't arise. Would I recommend the cruise to others? It depends on who I am talking to. I didn't recommend it to my younger brother and his wife because I felt it was too quiet and almost deserted much of the time. Even I would have liked it to be a bit more lively. There were many empty chairs at the pool area and other common areas were almost deserted. The theater was less than 1/4 full. It definitely would appeal more to the older crowd. That said, we did have an absolutely wonderful time and will enjoy reliving the trip through my photos. I posted these on another thread, but if you with to see a condensed version of them, they are here: https://goo.gl/photos/tuZNEK5FGxHZLQy77 Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Flights to Athens and home from Nice were arranged by Silverseas and went without a hitch. No sign of any demos in Athens on 30th September and we were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly while we checked in. Our butler was on ... Read More
Flights to Athens and home from Nice were arranged by Silverseas and went without a hitch. No sign of any demos in Athens on 30th September and we were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly while we checked in. Our butler was on hand to greet us as soon as we arrived at our midships veranda suite and was to prove helpful during the cruise, making sure drinks/canapes were there when required. Also booked alternative restaurants for us. This was a 7 night port intensive cruise so not much in the way of on board activites other than a ports lecturer who we found to be very knowledgeable and helpful. We took a couple of ship's tours - Mount Etna drive in Sicily and Etruscan countryside from Civitavecchia - while we did our own thing in Malta,Sorrento,and Elba. The ship's tours were fine - not too crowded on the coach and good local guides. They are too expensive though. We ate in Hot Rocks twice (very good). La Terrazza (diasappointing) Le Champagne (a bit pretentious) while the main dining room food was first class and service excellent. Because of the low ceiling, the room itself is not particularly attractive. Our suite was fine and all the public rooms had a good standard of decor and we felt that the ship was, in every way, as well looked-after as it had been on our previous cruise 12 months ago. The entertainment consisted of a singing/dancing group and they performed every evening. They were young and enthusiastic and did a pretty good job. It was a little surprising that there was no comedian or musician to take some of the entertainment load. Finally, a special mention of Fernando - the best cruise director we have come across. He was everywhere, did everything, and seemed to know every passenger's name Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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