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38 Silversea Africa Cruise Reviews

We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the ... Read More
We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the attentive service where nothing was too much trouble. This cruise was so different. 1. Cabin Comfort. Yes the Shadow is now a bit shabby and very much in need of the up and coming refurbishment but this was not the problem. From previous cruises we knew, the beds were hard. My back does not cope with hard beds so as usual at the time of (early) booking I had requested one of the egg-crate mattress toppers plus pillows from the list given. We had previously never had any problem with these requests. When we boarded this time it was ‘sorry there are only 7 mattress toppers on the ship and they are all taken.’ Huge hard pillows on our beds. Further pillows brought in - some the same, others just slabs of very firm. Pillow menu mentioned but profuse staff apologies and ‘Sorry but this is all we have’ Pillow menu not available. Previously always enjoyed and been comfortable sitting on the balcony. New Balcony chairs very high and deep - my feet could not reach the ground and the wire edge dug into the back of my legs. Staff tried hard but nothing more comfortable available than lots of padding with pillows. My back and neck suffered badly from the hard bed, the hard pillows and not being able to sit comfortably on the balcony - I could not believe I had paid so much money to endure such discomfort. 2. Cabin Air conditioning control - poor to non existent. When we arrived in our cabin at 2pm it was sweltering - the air con wasnt working. Fixed late evening by the engineer taking down part of our cabin ceiling. Control still iffy and a few days later - cabin freezing cold -again fixed late evening. Show lounge and parts of the main restaurant often freezing - apparently problems with the themostat. 3. Staff service. Nothing like our previous attentive experience. Our poor butler was rushed off his feet between two decks. Apparently there was a staff shortage and it would often take him over an hour to respond to a call - if at all. When sitting on the upper decks, there were rarely any staff around. If we wanted seat cushions or a coffee it was a case of walking down to the pool deck, and either carrying items up two decks ourselves or waiting till someone was available - by which time the coffee was cold. 4. On the positive side the food in the restaurants was as good as ever, the staff themselves as welcoming and as lovely as ever, embarkation excellent and the excursions we went on mainly ok other than the very hot, small, basic souk on a wasteland area in Oman. All our concerns might be small issues in isolation but taken overall this was not the luxury cruise experience we had previously had with Silversea. Maybe we were just unfortunate on this particular cruise. Because of our previous good experiences we already booked another three week cruise before we went on this one and have since thought long and hard about whether to continue with the booking. After apologies and reassurances from the UK Guest relations manager ie that the Silver Shadow is being refurbished and that all will be fine re our requests etc. we have reluctantly decided to go ahead. I only hope he is right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to go to Dubai and are experienced cruisers world wide. This is our 12 th cruise and it started in Mumbai. Mumbai should never be visited unless you like crazy traffic with shanties everywhere. Way way worse than the poorest ... Read More
We wanted to go to Dubai and are experienced cruisers world wide. This is our 12 th cruise and it started in Mumbai. Mumbai should never be visited unless you like crazy traffic with shanties everywhere. Way way worse than the poorest town in Mexico. The next 3 ports were literally gravel pits with commercial cranes and little access to leave the ship. At one port my wife and I barely made it back through port security. The 3 rd & 4 th port of Furjariah and Abu Dhabi were better with the last actually having easy on and off the ship access. Finally one UAE country figured how to cater to guests . Then we find out at 2 pm they cancelled our Qatar stop and have to spend another full day here. Not that much to do that one day doesn’t suffice, so we will sit by the very small pool and eat the fly invested food I guess! The staff were friendly but the food is a disaster , they don’t have .orange juice now two days in a row for breakfast! I am serious about the flies! We have a suite and have been awoken each night except last night with the cleaning crew on deck 8 around midnight. The ship is outdated and we heard is scheduled for a referb soon, can’t be soon enough. The captain has made 4 announcements and I didn’t understand a single word he said. He should not be allowed to use the PA. Besides the 4 out of 5 ports that literally are a shit hole, we paid $22,000 US and I cannot see any value. I would recommend Oceana or another line. I will not sail with these guys again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our ... Read More
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our suite was great, as were the staff and the public areas. Food ranged from good to very good, sometimes excellent. There were shortcomings. Three scheduled ports were dropped before we left because of security issues. People booking this cruise in the future need to know they may not get all the ports they paid for. Also, not all the ship excursions were well-run and supervised. And the enrichment speakers could have been better. The Ship. Built in 1994 and heavily refurbished in 2017, the Cloud looks like a real ship. It’s almost perfectly maintained. Painters were frequently seen doing touch-ups, a sign of a well-run vessel. Suites have pleasant, usable balconies, two chairs, a sofa, a coffee table and a desk, and small but utilitarian bathrooms with a shower. Storage space was okay. We asked to have one chair removed, as it crowded the room and wasn’t needed, but the staff refused. Soundproofing between rooms was inadequate. Basic wifi was free and worked well most of the time. Air conditioning was okay. We had Room 622—a perfect location. The pool area had sufficient lounges, but one of the whirlpools was too cold and sometimes closed and complaints failed to correct the situation. The captain, Vincent Taillard, and the ship officers were cordial but standoffish. The social director, Moss Hills, was delightful. And quietly famous. Years ago, with another company, he helped lead the successful abandonment of a sinking cruise ship. The Food. We’re critical people, and we mostly enjoyed the meals. A few dishes seemed too edgy. The breakfast buffet could have used more variety. And, like seemingly all cruise ships, the Cloud featured awful frozen hash-brown potato patties. A reuben sandwich at lunch was terrible. How about some simple recognizable grilled sandwiches? Overall, we had good choices and found the food at least good and sometimes excellent. I had fillet mignon four times—really good each time. Wine and cocktails flowed freely. We enjoyed every glass of wine we drank, although we realize they don’t serve $40-a-bottle wine. Room service food was good. Waiters were good. The Restaurant, where you don’t need reservations, was the best. La Terrazza, which features Italian in the evening, lacked variety. The Grill, on the outdoor deck, features a grill-your-own meat on a hot volcanic rock. We went once. Never again. I guess some people like the concept. We don’t. Why not just have a good outdoor grill/barbecue? There is a specialty French restaurant that requires a steep extra charge. The Expedition. The Cloud fell short here. Admittedly the itinerary was ambitious, including places were many ships never go, in a difficult environment. We wanted to experience the sights and culture of west Africa first-hand. We did. Every port offered a least one shore excursion covered by the ship fare. Some were great. Some were okay. Some sadly lacking. Some didn’t deliver what was promised when we reserved. Guides were sometimes poor. Supervision from the ship expedition staff was too-frequently lacking. The expedition leader, Nicki D’Souza, was not up to the task. Silversea needs to hire people from Tauck to demonstrate how to run tours. We had one great speaker—a former top assistant to Nelson Mandela. But where were the black professors, journalists or politicians from west Africa? Not on our ship. Conclusion. We’re not sure we’d book the cruise again. It’s really expensive. The missed ports and the shaky shore excursions were irritating. We could and should have gotten more for our money. But we accomplished a lot of our goals and we learned and we had fun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first Silversea cruise. We chose this cruise because of their unique destinations and excursions. Being a smaller ship was a plus too. First... the food was incredible; well seasoned, flavorful and well presented. So many ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise. We chose this cruise because of their unique destinations and excursions. Being a smaller ship was a plus too. First... the food was incredible; well seasoned, flavorful and well presented. So many choices and so many dining options that you never have to repeat yourself. Our butler was always on top of things and went the extra mile for us in locating non-alcoholic beverages for our suite or anything else we would enjoy. Our cabin was spacious, bright and airy. We never felt like we were on top of each other. The closet space was refreshingly large with ample hangars and drawers. The lectures were very interesting and there was something for everybody. Nice mix. We did not partake of many of the offered activities this time and the late night entertainment was too late night for us. We did attend the 6:15 opera and would like to see more entertainment during the matinee timeframe. Ports were fascinating and our tour guides were very knowledgeable and engaging. This was a very relaxing cruise for us where we could come away refreshed. I thoroughly appreciated the library on the 11th deck. My secret place. Professional staff from the cruise director to the room attendant. 6 stars. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the unusual West African ports of destination. Also, Silverseas is supposed to be a "luxury cruise." What a disappointment! From our hotel in Ghana- where they were supposed to meet the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unusual West African ports of destination. Also, Silverseas is supposed to be a "luxury cruise." What a disappointment! From our hotel in Ghana- where they were supposed to meet the passengers, throughout the cruise- one issue after another. In Ghana we were promised staff to help with getting on buses and to the port. The paperwork in our rooms wasn't correct- it even said "sample letter" on it..... total disorganization getting on the buses- we were left to our own devices. Our luggage was supposed to be picked up from our room. It never was. We heard later that passengers who trusted that to happen NEVER did see their luggage again.... on and on. The ship had problems throughout with both plumbing and AC issues. Our room was hotter than hell, literally. We moved rooms 3 times on the ship. I kept begging for them to just pick me up a fan when we were in port. Even asked the bus driver if he would just stop briefly for me to get a fan when we saw some.... nothing.... For 6 nights I suffered unable to sleep...... Doesn't seem particularly "luxury" to me. Hallways smelling like sewage, rooms without AC. We asked before booking if pirates were an issue in the areas we would be traveling. We were assured that there was no chance of pirates on the West Coast of Africa. Then, after we boarded and were out to sea, we had a letter put on our bed stating that we were in a high pirate caution area, and that we couldn't open our balcony door or curtains, and that the deck restaurant would be closed for the next 4 evenings. All of the other restaurant curtains were tightly closed, and windows and sliders to the deck were taped up with paper covering them. I felt like I was in England during the second world war bombings! They even told us that if pirates were to board the ship to come to the main lobby and lay in the middle covering our heads! For the love of Pete! This WASN'T what we signed up for! Many of the tours were disorganized. Rude tour leaders. It goes on and on and on..... We expected the excursions to have more explanation regarding the area we were going to see, some info on the demographics regarding the people, income, history, etc. We were, once again, disappointed. Days at sea were a total bore. There could have been many more activities offered than were. My husband found a shard of glass in his food one day at lunch. The food, at best, was adequate. No better than an NCL large ship would be, just FAR more expensive. They comped us a few free dinners at their upscale restaurant. I don't think this even begins to compensate for the total lack of "luxury" compared to the price of this cruise. I wrote a letter to Silverseas over 3 weeks ago. I never got any sort of response. Not even an auto-prompt type that said "thanks for your letter." I emailed again a week ago, asking if they received my original letter. Still nothing.... REALLY? I will say, their staff was amazing. They greeted you by name from the first day. They were wonderful. I'm generally very disappointed in Silverseas, and even MORE disappointed in their lack of follow up when there was a problem. I gave them time to address the issues, and make things right, but obviously, customer satisfaction is not important to them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have a preference for smaller ships and choose our holidays based on destinations. Because we have travelled to over 150 countries, a priority for us in choosing a cruise is whether there are any new, relatively unknown destinations on ... Read More
We have a preference for smaller ships and choose our holidays based on destinations. Because we have travelled to over 150 countries, a priority for us in choosing a cruise is whether there are any new, relatively unknown destinations on the itinerary. We chose this particular cruise because it was advertised as an expedition cruise with several new destinations for us. However, we got the impression that the Silver Cloud was having an identity crisis as it felt like it wasn't truly an expedition cruise but more like a classic cruise. Yes, there were expedition staff on board giving lectures but many of the staff were junior and relatively inexperienced. Recommendation: senior lecturers should mentor or offer 'dry runs' for the junior staff to help them develop a cadence and polish to their presentations. The size of the cabins were ideal, except that it felt cramped with the sofa and 2 chairs. Although dress code was advertised as casual on most nights, the majority of people dressed for dinner as if it were a classic style cruise. Entertainment was unexpected, but pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We've always thoroughly enjoyed our silversea cruises unfortunately not this time . From the moment we stepped onto the ship in Mahe the atmosphere felt different . Reception staff not friendly customer service sadly lacking ... Read More
We've always thoroughly enjoyed our silversea cruises unfortunately not this time . From the moment we stepped onto the ship in Mahe the atmosphere felt different . Reception staff not friendly customer service sadly lacking particularly from 2 people one male and one female who showed no interest at all in any query we made . In my mind first impressions are the most important and they certainly let the company down . Staff attitude in some areas was apathetic gave the impression they did not want to serve us , Service poor in lots of areas particularly Stars where after the food had been served the bar staff were nowhere to be seen . Face recognition sadly lacking this is something that Silverseas has excelled in there was a handful of staff that rembered us mainly because we'd sailed with them before . I have to say most of the staff were friendly and helpful unfortunately you need a few bad staff to lower the ships reputation . The food was very good with a nice choice on the menus . Very disappointing to have only one cooking demonstration . No tasting or drink offered . The Chef had nobody in attendance they all cleared off and he was left with difficulty using the cooker and no Salt and Pepper !!!! Most unimpressive . Entertainment was good We really enjoyed the singer in Stars Claudette had a good voice too . We were made aware countless times the ship was going into dry dock in March . That is no interest to us we spent a lot of money on this cruise and we expected full silversea service which was lacking in lots of ares . We had our photo taken at the Venetian society as we'd achieved 100 days which entitled us to free laundry !!! This photo was taken with the captain . We did not receive a copy of this photo until disembarkation day Adam sorted it out . Once again the reception were most unhelpful and the female hostess should have followed up who had their photo taken that night and dealt with it accordingly . I'm sorry to say that was the nature of most of the cruise . On the plus side we really enjoyed the Indian dancers and the Italian tenor not to mention Claudette and the singer in Stars .Suite was a bit tired mini bar well stocked . Free laundry was great . Butler and Room attendant helpful and pleasant . Pool area was very busy not enough sun beds put out and occupancy rules not adhered to . The Boutique was closed a lot of the time . Delightful girl working there . The merchandise needs addressing it's dowdy and old fashioned and more costume jewlellery should be available Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
After reading earlier reviews we specifically asked Silverseas Uk for reassurance that this ship was indeed up to scratch, they said yes we would receive the normal 5 star luxury cruise experience..... basically they didn't tell the ... Read More
After reading earlier reviews we specifically asked Silverseas Uk for reassurance that this ship was indeed up to scratch, they said yes we would receive the normal 5 star luxury cruise experience..... basically they didn't tell the truth as it was anything but. Our $1000 a night suite had worn out soft furnishings and a heavily stained carpet that we avoided walking on with bare feet, the public room soft furnings were also worn and drab, a bit like a care home lounge. The menu choice was restricted to items that had not run out as they reduced stock pre refit which is where the ship will spend the rest of Feb 2018 in a dry dock....they even started to dismantle the ship days before we disembarked....art was removed leaving near bare bulkheads throughout the ship. Food quality was especially poor more like a cross channel ferry than a 5 star lux ship. Entertainment was dire. Staff acted like it was the end of term...which it was for many of them. Needless to say its back to Oceania and we will never trust Silverseas again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We (just the two of us) love the size of this ship and that all the cabins are a comfortable size, though we did have a larger cabin on this particular cruise. The service was impeccable as usual and food was very good (and that is saying ... Read More
We (just the two of us) love the size of this ship and that all the cabins are a comfortable size, though we did have a larger cabin on this particular cruise. The service was impeccable as usual and food was very good (and that is saying a lot since I am a very picky eater). We always arrive a few days before our cruise since we know things can go astray (cancelled flights, delayed flights, etc) plus we enjoy resting up and exploring our departure city. We both love the all-inclusiveness of SilverSeas. There was plenty of good entertainment thru out our Cruise. Our room had so much storage space and the closet was very large for a ship. (Drawers and cabinets galore) The balcony was a nice size with a small table for eating, an adjustable lounge chair and a standard cushioned chair. The only negative was the limited movies as I do enjoy watching movies late at night. I'm glad to see this ship going into dry dock for refurbishments--It will be a great Enhancement. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Having just returned from a 12 day cruise on the Silver Spirit sailing from the Seychelles to Mumbai I have to report a faultless experience. From the moment we stepped on board, from the “nothing is too much trouble” from the ... Read More
Having just returned from a 12 day cruise on the Silver Spirit sailing from the Seychelles to Mumbai I have to report a faultless experience. From the moment we stepped on board, from the “nothing is too much trouble” from the team, from the most accommodating and genuinely nice butler Vipin and the best housekeeper Jacqui we were pampered and treated as real VIP’s. We were on deck 8 The Spa team are a delight ( go for the Thermal suite package ) if you can giving only 20 guests access to a lovely oasis of steam rooms, sauna, thermal beds, jacuzzi and private sun bathing area. The gym is well equipped although the individual treatments are expensive. The food was superb at every restaurant and Damian the restaurant manager runs a superb food and beverage operation. Our cruise was all inclusive, pre dinner cocktails in the bar in deck 5 became the 7.30pm norm ( try the Bermuda sidecars ) then to dinner in a choice of gastro delight restaurants. I advise to book a few ahead on the my Silverseas web portal you will get when you book - we opted for 2 nights in the Grill on deck 10 - steak on the stone style - 2 nights in Stars a tapas style 7 course taster menu with live singer - 1 night in the Sushi restaurant ( although we did do lunch in there a couple of times ), once in La Terraza on deck 7 and the remainder in the main restaurant on deck 4. Every meal was superb ( make sure you sign up for a galley tour with the head chef one day ). There’s as much or as little as you fancy on the entertainment side from bridge, indoor putting, afternoon quizzes, table tennis tournaments, yoga, Pilates etc - it’s there if you want it. A well stocked library and internet room ( you get 1 hour free Wi-fi a day ) even a connoisseur cigar and brandy bar plus a casino and shops. The daily chronicle let’s you know what’s on and where each day and the dress code for dinner - we had 2 formal nights with black tie, 4 informal nights with jackets and 6 casual nights trousers and shirt or polo shirt - no shorts after 6pm in public areas. There is a nightly show at 10 for an hour to an hour and a half and then your choice of disco with DJ Bart on deck 9 in the panorama lounge or jazz and swing in Stars on deck 7 until the early hours. Trips ashore are extra but are well organised again pre book once you get your log in details to your own mysilverseas account. Will we be back with Silverseas - you bet - we’re already looking for next year - we loved it - it was a total chill out for us - we are mid 50’s and still working so it was an absolute treat to just relax and be so well looked after - some retired guests found the days at Seas a little boring but a good book, a comfy sunbed and a team of friendly staff made our days at sea our favourite days. A brilliant time - thank you to all the team in Silverseas Silver Spirit Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Enjoy all inclusive smaller ships. Spirit going in for a face lift and expansion so will be even nicer ship when completed. Cabins are larger than most... dining experience at lunch is excellent... dinner choices are less appealing. ... Read More
Enjoy all inclusive smaller ships. Spirit going in for a face lift and expansion so will be even nicer ship when completed. Cabins are larger than most... dining experience at lunch is excellent... dinner choices are less appealing. Excellent entertainment. Overall service is outstanding. The ports on this itinerary were very disappointing...but sea days were excellent. Fitness center is very small and poorly laid out... equipment faces the wall...and the TV's and audio were not working. Not really a family cruise...mostly senior adults.. romantic atmosphere. Venetian Society has a couple advantages, discounts, cocktail reception... but given the fact liquor is included for the cruise ...cocktail reception isn't really a perk. As with other cruise lines, if you book another cruise while on board, there's an additional discount... which we wanted to take advantage of but we waited until the last day and the consultant on board was busy with other guests so we missed the opportunity for a 10% discount. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have sailed with you for 21 consecutive years. We have always chosen Silversea because of the quality of both staff, the ships themselves and the crew. However, this is the first year that my husband and I have noticed there was a lack ... Read More
We have sailed with you for 21 consecutive years. We have always chosen Silversea because of the quality of both staff, the ships themselves and the crew. However, this is the first year that my husband and I have noticed there was a lack of staff people, not only in the cabins, although our butler was very nice (ALBERT), but in the dining areas as well. I can understand cost cutting to make a profit, but when the quality is sacrificed, I think you begin to have faithful passengers who become dissatisfied. That being said, we have rebooked another trip for next year, but might in the future, consider another line. Another unfortunate event was that your pre cruise safari was fully booked so we did a private safari which was really the highlight of the trip for us. As for the visual, I understand that the SPIRIT was due to go into dry dock to get a bit of refurbishing, shortly after we departed, so I can excuse the "tired" look to the ship. We have a special place in our hearts for Silversea and hopefully will continue to do so. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was first part of back to back. Capetown to Mumbai. Seemed like good ports. On second leg no outside entertainment. All we had was stable of singers on board. Did have local dancers at one port. A cheap way to stick it to passengers. ... Read More
This was first part of back to back. Capetown to Mumbai. Seemed like good ports. On second leg no outside entertainment. All we had was stable of singers on board. Did have local dancers at one port. A cheap way to stick it to passengers. Main and veranda dining rooms very limited selection. The main dining room had a hamburger every night that had texture of baby food. Salad selection just about same each night mesculan. Not much, not good. All dressings lacked flavor. For an Italian owned ship pasta was pasty and bread sticks on table were soggy half the time. The gelato they served was the worst ever had including all over Italy. Seemed to be water vs. cream. Fish burnt, soup tasteless, portions bigger on our flight home then in dining room. Waiters ability to help in choices non existent due to their lack of English skills. First cruise of 30 days that I lost weight on. Plenty of alcohol. In the cabins no mid sized towels. Only bath and hand. Overall color scheme dark and old. Low ceilings in public rooms. They are going into dry dock about a year late. Limited deck chairs with shade at pool. They increased pool dining area at expense of shade for chairs. No cushions on chairs. Had trouble getting a diet 7up or sprite. Not a US ship so guess not important to them. Balcony chairs have no cushions only straps. They were not comfortable. Entertainment with their singers at times recorded music, might as well have had a CD to listen to. Using their laundry service clothes returned all wet. This is not the way to spend your time or money. There are plenty of good cruise lines that you can travel on. Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and probably many others that provide a value for the money spent. I have had over 50 cruises since 1972 this rates as the worst. NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had a pleasant and enlightening cruise on the Spirit from Cape Town to the Seychelles, with stops in southern and east Africa. We did experience some oddities and annoyances, most of them preventable by Silversea. But overall this was a ... Read More
We had a pleasant and enlightening cruise on the Spirit from Cape Town to the Seychelles, with stops in southern and east Africa. We did experience some oddities and annoyances, most of them preventable by Silversea. But overall this was a fun experience. Even the internet worked well. We found the ship well-maintained, and our suite in good condition, with traditional decor. The ship is being lengthened and is undergoing major change in drydock right now. Visiting places like Mombasa and Zanzibar was a major goal for us, and the itinerary delivered. The ports offered a fascinating look at the history, culture and beauty of Africa--just what we expected. Ship excursions were okay. We also booked several private excursions and had an excellent time. Free shuttle buses were provided in many ports. Unfortunately, they didn't always go where they should have. In one port they went to a suburban shopping mall. We had to hire a taxi to show us the center city, which was very interesting. But at another port, the shuttle went to the main center city hotel, exactly as it should have. Also unfortunately, the shore excursion desk sometimes didn't provide accurate or useful information. But you could usually count on fine food. We rated the food from good to excellent, sometimes superb. Four restaurants were available for dinner without extra charge. Three required advance reservations, which hampered your flexibility. Two of the four were odd: at one you cooked your meat on a hot stone, at the other you were served a tasting menu, with food coming in tiny cups. After trying each place, we never went back. The ship should rekindle the Lido Buffet concept, serving less formal fare throughout the day in one restaurant. Dinner in the main restaurant and the Italian restaurant was frequently wonderful. After mentioning my love of steak to the waiter one night, he told me to order filet mignon, which wasn't on the menu. He brought two of them, perfectly prepared. The lunch buffets were very good, as was room service. The breakfast buffet was adequate but didn't stand out. The dress code differed from one night to the next, which was confusing. Nor was it enforced. While several formal nights are okay, it shouldn't be necessary on most nights to wear a sport coat to a restaurant in Africa. Restaurant service was sometimes slow, but overall much of the ship staff was great. Our butler and room steward did an excellent job. The captain and the chef were delightful to talk to when we took a bridge and a galley tour. The reception desk was a pain. Its personnel should be replaced. They were rude at times. They said they could not cash a travelers check, until I showed them their cruise booklet which said they could. They refused to exchange a $20 bill for smaller bills. Whoever was in charge of the ship television system should also be replaced. Timely programming was in short supply. Worse yet, the controls on our TV were so bad we had trouble turning it on and off and moving between channels. We asked for help, but got none. Despite the various Silversea shortcomings, we had an enjoyable cruise. I've noticed strong criticism of the ship in other internet reviews. I can be pretty critical myself, but I must say some of those reviews simply don't reflect reality. We'll always remember this cruise fondly. We got what we wanted: quality experiences aboard ship and on land. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Wanted to explore South Africa. Cruise enabled us to see a good deal of this country. We were guided by the knowledge and wisdom of an outstanding lecturer, Rob Prescot and the kind and informative interraction with Ira Feldman.. ... Read More
Wanted to explore South Africa. Cruise enabled us to see a good deal of this country. We were guided by the knowledge and wisdom of an outstanding lecturer, Rob Prescot and the kind and informative interraction with Ira Feldman.. The ship staff was very professional. Excellent service without being overly solicitous. The dining experience was overall outstanding. Top cuisine choices from Japanese to French to Italian and to general cuisine. The entertainment under direction of Adam was outstanding. The young voices were first class. At least two singers were worthy of the Opera staage. The selection and presentation was very professional. The Silver suite was very spacious and the hotel services provided by Al and Niki were excellent. The ports of call were determined by the cruise itinerary and not the very best. Two days in Richards Bay was too much. Too bad you could not find a place to dock closer to Plettenberg Bay and George which is the heart of the Garden route. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, ... Read More
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, they are not smiling and it looks like we disturb them - the butler of our room was not proactive and the few request we made got poor reception - a lot of small details were not addressed properly: the public restrooms around the pool were dirty and hand soap as well as hand towels were missing, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon no towels were available around the pool, some of the cushion of chairs around nd the pool were dirty - the quality of food at the restaurant on deck4 was inconsistent at lunch as well as dinner time; it was very far from the quality of the meals served by Oceania and even by Princess - except for the speciality restaurant such as the Italian and the French relais&châteaux restaurant ( but we have to pay an additional 60$us for this one) where the meal were very tasty, the other restaurants meals suffer lack of nice presentation and or lack of flavors especially the fish and sea food plates that tasted barely nothing - unlike all other cruise lines that we experimented, there was no special of the day breakfast offered at breakfast time: the breakfast menu was always the same and was identical at the in room service Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The ship was shabby- worn out dirty carpets, grubby and dirty upholstery in the public rooms. The staff were obviously demoralised and indifferent to the passengers. The worst feature was Silver Seas arrogance in taking us to horrible ... Read More
The ship was shabby- worn out dirty carpets, grubby and dirty upholstery in the public rooms. The staff were obviously demoralised and indifferent to the passengers. The worst feature was Silver Seas arrogance in taking us to horrible ports - 2 days in Richards Bay - a coal export port in South Africa. Fine if you enjoy coal dust with your meals on deck. Second class entertainers and a Cruise Director who seemed bored and was just going through his usual patter. Dirty sun loungers on the very small and crowded sun deck. Worn out, thin and torn deck towels Grossly overpriced tours arranged by the ship. Very poor meet and greet - mainly concerned with getting a swipe of your credit card ! No meaningful meet and greet after returning from shore visits. Food - good but not exceptional for a cruse line that pretends to be at the top of the cruising league. I am not alone in this view - it represents the view on many fellow passengers that I spoke to on the cruise that left Cape Town this January. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
It WAS going to Madagascar, but plague broke out there. They didn't compromise, we didnt for instance, call in at Zanzibar as last minute port space apparently unavailable. Just awful port of call at Mozambigue (an island, desperately ... Read More
It WAS going to Madagascar, but plague broke out there. They didn't compromise, we didnt for instance, call in at Zanzibar as last minute port space apparently unavailable. Just awful port of call at Mozambigue (an island, desperately poor) and 5 sea days, ugh!!! luckily calm seas... nothing to do all day. OK for those lounging x pool but hardly any activities and those there were, very uninteresting. One of the entertainers put on CRAFT, certainly the ship didn't bother unless he had. Days at sea extremely boring. A XMAS/New Year cruise. Hardly ANY decorations and the Xmas day fare was shocking, totally inappropriate. No turkey roast, no gravy, no Xmas pudding. A horrid, horrid menu. NYE not much better. There was a big gap between finishing dinner and when the festivities started around the pool, just sat and looked at each other. A dessert spread laid out, not really interesting. No flowers on tables in dining rooms (told, Xmas decorations took up all the room, WHAT decorations were those?!!) nor attempts to Christmasise the atmosphere, sad. Worst Season on a ship ever. Some years ago, SUN Princess whopped up its Xmas cruise, decs. at all cabin doors, everywhere else, dining tables, adorning steps down to foyer, wonderful NYE's celebrations with champers pyramid, carols, great Xmas music, etc. etc. Went to so much trouble. Hand hygiene NOT attended to, a few hand squirt machines at dining entries, but no attempt to ensure passengers used them. One lecturer who stuck to his boring subjects with heavy Germanic accent, hard to discern. Didn't attend any lectures in consequence... Horrid DARK chocolates in cabin at night. Naturally shore excursions pricey but overall quite good. My butler and cabin girl were good and got what I asked for without hesitation. Other passengers weren't so lucky, complaining bitterly about their cabin staff... LOVED 3 nights Seychelles prior embarkation, helped bond with other passengers and lovely location. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I went on this cruise with my family (five adults total). We are all experienced with cruises and given that this is a luxury line, we were very surprised at the service we received and the low quality of the food and entertainment. The ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my family (five adults total). We are all experienced with cruises and given that this is a luxury line, we were very surprised at the service we received and the low quality of the food and entertainment. The food was on par with cruise lines like Carnival and Celebrity. It was edible but not particularly good, very surprising for such an expensive line. The staff also had no idea how to handle food allergies. At one point, after repeatedly telling the waiter that a member of our party was deathly allergic to shellfish, he delivered soup to that person with crab in it. Luckily, we recognized it before they ate any. The shore excursions were lacking and the staff was difficult to work with and refused to even answer questions. The excursions manager was openly hostile, which is something we have never experienced on any other cruise line. We definitely wouldn't cruise with Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We were were encouraged to continue our explorations along Africa's East Coast because of a very favorable experience with Silver Seas on the Silver Cloud, along Africa's West Coast, 2015, Accra to Capetown. As land/sea world ... Read More
We were were encouraged to continue our explorations along Africa's East Coast because of a very favorable experience with Silver Seas on the Silver Cloud, along Africa's West Coast, 2015, Accra to Capetown. As land/sea world travelers of over 50 years, our global adventures have included 93 cruises on all types of ships, from basic to luxury. Traveling has become increasingly difficult, expensive, and even dangerous. But even with lowered expectations, our voyage on the Silver Spirit was extremely disappointing. The ship is scheduled for dry-dock enlargement in Feb. 2018, and it seemed as though staff on board had already shut down. Entertainment on board was very average, gym poor, single lecturer not to my taste, shipboard activities practically non-existent. Food was uneven,- occasionally excellent and sometimes both poor and chaotic. Service often was patronizing. Madagascar was cancelled because of the plague, but Mozambique Island was a dismal substitute. Tours were overpriced, but necessary because of the danger. Certainly, overcharging for virtually everything does not automatically make for a "luxury" cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and Sil Seas reputation. We went to Abu Dhabi where were were looking forward to seeing the new Louvre; t it was closed on Monday when we arrived!!! Why weren't we told so that we could ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and Sil Seas reputation. We went to Abu Dhabi where were were looking forward to seeing the new Louvre; t it was closed on Monday when we arrived!!! Why weren't we told so that we could have gone there from Dubai where we had two days to spend? Two of the five Gulf States were not worth a visit. BTW, Silver Seas should have specified just how "long sleeves' and "appropriate attire" were defined by the mosques. Several women were not allowed in, and I managed to buy long wrap just in time. The food on board was poor!!! The breads were stale, un-warmed and the same old same old every single night. Same old desserts at night as well. Service poor on deck 4 restaurant; we came in at 8 and ended up being 20 minutes late for the ten pm show. Voices of Silver Seas were good only with soloists or duets. Hypnotist was an insult!!! Lectures were uneven: the Indian father and daughter, especially the former, were difficult to understand (accent). Maldives where we landed was a dump. Disembarking took two hours; checking into Seychelles another three. Too late to do anything there. We should have spent several days visiting the beaches and the Botanical Gardens and skipped the Maldives and two of the Emirates. Drill inadequate; our room with hundreds others sent to the theatre instead of muster station. What if theatre was on fire or flooded??? Exercise balls in gym filthy; no elastic stretch bands in sight. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the ... Read More
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the staff were amazing. We ate in most restuarants my favourite been the main dining room and Hot rocks which is up on the pool deck - gorgeous when you are in port to dine up here. The suite was gorgeous lots of space and very nice furnished with a great dressing room area for your clothes and shoes so it keeps your suite tidy. The butler and room attendant looked after us very well and kept our bar and toiletries stocked up. I would bring the butler home if I could. The beauty of Silversea after the lovely ships, staff and food is the size of the ships you sail right into the ports and some destinations you actually over night in which is lovely to do. However if you don't over night they seem to spend a lot longer in port than other cruise ships and the fact you sail right into the port with out getting on the tender boats is a big plus. We did some of the ships excursions which were excellent in Cochin we went on the River Boat and in the Maldives we did the beach visit to a resort - for such a wonderful destination we really needed more time. In Mumbai we took the private car trip with guide which we enjoyed as we could determine how long we were going to stop. Guests onboard are a mix so you find you are not dominated by any nation and a real nice European feel onboard the ship. Entertainment - there is a show each evening and the performs sing extremely well - we liked sitting in the bar and listening to the piano player or the Jazz bar was just excellent. Also enjoy going up to the DJ and sitting on the terrace listening to the music after dinner. Totally recommend for people who like the nicer things in life and enjoy real quality. Not much activities for children so you don't find children onboard really. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We travelled Barcelona to Rome in November on Silver Spirit we did this cruise to catch the last of sunshine in the med. We started in Barcelona and ended in Rome The embarkation in Barcelona was seamless a perfect start. The main ... Read More
We travelled Barcelona to Rome in November on Silver Spirit we did this cruise to catch the last of sunshine in the med. We started in Barcelona and ended in Rome The embarkation in Barcelona was seamless a perfect start. The main ports of interest were Malta (arriving by sea was majestic) and both sides of Siciily The ship we have sailed in before and were not disappointed. We had a Silver suite and were looked after so well by butler and steward. The food was excellent in main dining room and La Terazza and we loved Hot Rocks where you cook your own food on the deck, so entertaining even if if the weather is not so good! Having also recently travelled on Silver Muse who no longer have a main dining room, we prefer the dining arrangements on Silver Spirit The entertainment was really good especially a visit by Il Vollo which was turned into theatre plus gala dinner. The three singers gave a first class performance which brought the house down Will be booking another Silver Seas cruise soon Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We choose the the cruise because of the destination, Madagascar and it's lemurs. We had booked 2 previous cruises on the Discoverer. The first was for the inaugural cruise after purchase/refurbishing of the ship in 2014, to Indonesia, ... Read More
We choose the the cruise because of the destination, Madagascar and it's lemurs. We had booked 2 previous cruises on the Discoverer. The first was for the inaugural cruise after purchase/refurbishing of the ship in 2014, to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. It was cancelled shortly before sailing as the ship was not ready. Strike one. We rebooked a similar cruise for 3 months later. There were many problems with the ship and staff knowledge of the itinerary. Strike two. To their credit, SilverSea did give financial compensation in both situations. An expedition on the Explorer in the summer of 2016 was picture perfect. The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as silk. The ship looked the same with the exception of the old breakfast/lunch area had been nicely converted to a public lounge and the suite bathrooms had been remodeled. The expedition staff was outstanding and performed well. The cabin staff was excellent and the wait staff was above average. The food, however, was not up to SilverSea standards, despite having the same head chef that we had on the Explorer 7 months earlier. The wine selections were spot on. Now for the other side of the coin. Just after our return from our excursion at our first port, we were informed the power was out for the whole ship. After a couple of hours, they announced that we would all be bused to hotels for the night. Fair enough, stuff happens.The next morning we were all bused for a hastily arranged excursion. Upon returning to the ship, we were informed that a second night in a hotel was necessary. We finally sailed the next day after lunch. We had missed 2 days of ports in Madagascar, our primary reason for selecting the cruise. Throughout the cruise there were continuing problems with the plumbing in our cabin and several other cabins of our friends. The air conditioning in the cabins seemed to over preform at times and under preform at others, with no adjustment to the dial. The air conditioning in the restaurant and lounge could not handle the load when the rooms were moderately full. The expedition staff had to be reminded that they needed to have alternative activities for the large number of passengers that did not snorkel or dive on the last four days in the Seychelles. This is not a ship or itinerary for children. Teens maybe. We will sail with SilverSea again, but never again on the Discoverer. Strike three! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The ship developed a serious electrical failure on the second day in Reunion Island. We were advised that it was unsafe to remain on board - and bussed off to local hotels for the night. The next day we were told that the ship was still ... Read More
The ship developed a serious electrical failure on the second day in Reunion Island. We were advised that it was unsafe to remain on board - and bussed off to local hotels for the night. The next day we were told that the ship was still unable to sail and we would be spending a second night in Reunion hotels. Not a good start to our first experience of Silverseas explorer travel. At a briefing chaired by the Captain and Expedition Leader, it was suggested by one of the guests that maybe the ship was showing signs of age and maintenance parts were not readily available. There had been similar breakdowns recorded in 2014. Finally, we set sail after a two-day delay. This, however, had major implications to the original itinerary. We missed two full days in Madagascar – instead visiting briefly two destinations where we spent hours instead of whole days. Notwithstanding all the problems at the start of the cruise, it must be said that the staff on Discoverer were outstanding. The bar staff were particularly impressive, but I wish I could say the same for the food. No doubt the restrictions of a small galley mean you cannot compare the food to the offering on other Silverseas ships. Whilst all the trappings of ‘fine dining’ were there, I found the food only average in its appeal. Why waste the precious outside dining area around the pool (The Grill) with ‘hot rocks’ in such high temperatures night after night? Also, the lunches here were very poor – burgers and chips – and not very nice either. The Expedition Staff were very knowledgeable and were very helpful. Malcolm Turner, the birder and all-rounder was especially entertaining. Personally, I wouldn’t book a cruise on Discoverer again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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