I see SILVERSEA is getting mixed reviews. SILVERSEA advertises and charges in the ultimate luxury category but after two cruises, my experience is it is clearly not. I described our experience in a previous local post as: ... Read More
I see SILVERSEA is getting mixed reviews. SILVERSEA advertises and charges in the ultimate luxury category but after two cruises, my experience is it is clearly not. I described our experience in a previous local post as: "misrepresented in the advertisement, lack of planning very evident, mismanaged on the ship, disregard for passenger interests, and the withholding of critical information." I saw a Facebook post that asked the question if anyone else is noticing the decline in SILVERSEA after the purchase by Royal Caribbean. Yes!!
We were on the SILVER SHADOW, leaving Tokyo on Sept. 28, 2018 and arriving in Hong Kong on Oct. 14. I see on your site that others on this same horrific boat ride posted very negative reviews. Trying to outrun two super typhoons was traumatic, but the way it was managed was much worse.
We kept our local upscale West Lake Hills, TX Travel Agency apprised throughout the ordeal followed by a thorough debriefing upon return. Clients expect a travel agency to be very knowledgeable and truthful with them on recommendations. I found that our agent continued to promote SILVERSEA even knowing of serious problems. I would recommend doing your own research by reading actual customer reviews on places like Cruise Critic.
1) WITHHOLDING INFORMATION SILVERSEA HAD A DUTY TO REPORT - We purchased the SILVERSEA "REST ASSURED" Insurance plan that was advertised by the cruise line as “true peace of mind” to provide 100% cruise credit for air, hotels and cruise for cancellation up to only ONE DAY before the trip. SILVERSEA's Captain even admitted they were tracking the super typhoon headed straight for us THREE DAYS before scheduled sailing. SILVERSEA failed in its duty and their own policy to tell us or our travel agent therefore foreclosing on our opportunity to utilize the insurance and reschedule the cruise. The insurance plan they sell themselves seems to be a conflict of interest.
2) NO EVIDENCE OF REFURBISHMENT - SILVERSEA advertises that the SILVER SHADOW was refurbished in 2017, but we were on that same ship in 2016 and 2018. We saw no evidence of same. The old orange and gold colored upholstery had dirty spots that I sent a picture of to our travel agent. A chair in our cabin literally collapsed when I sat in it and I’m small. They were painting verandas during the cruise and piled the outside furniture in our cabins for painting and drying. They were cleaning hallway carpets and leaving loud fans on to dry it for hours. This maintenance work should not have been going on during a cruise passengers paid $30,000/cabin for.
3) POOR ITINERARY PLANNING - It seemed that SILVERSEA just threw the itinerary together without doing proper research. The ship arrived in Beijing on China’s ANNUAL national holiday and in Hong Kong when the port was closed to taxis because of an ANNUAL bike race. Any cruise company should know to schedule around major annual events like those. With only a one day sailing delay, those overwhelming crowds and confusion could have been avoided.
4) NO DISCLOSURE ON TYPHOON SEASON - SILVERSEA neglected to advise customers that the cruise was scheduled during the high season for typhoons in that part of the world. As soon as we got on the ship, in an all-passenger meeting, the captain told us we were responsible because we should have known. No one did and he immediately offended us all. Our supposed upscale West Lake Hills travel agent was apparently unaware or did not tell us they were recommending a cruise in an area experiencing typhoon season during the time of our cruise. As a result, passengers were subjected to two super typhoons with the Captain telling us to eat and drink as little as possible, including water.
5) APPARENT MISREPRESENTATION OF MAJOR FACTS - SILVERSEA told us there was A NEW CHINESE POLICY THAT PROHIBITED THEM FROM SAILING FROM SOUTH KOREA DIRECTLY TO CHINA which made SILVERSEA have to cancel many passengers’ top port in Seoul CAUSING THEM TO MISS THE DMZ. When I checked, both a US Senator and US Congressman reported finding NO POLICY OF THE KIND and other cruise companies confirmed there was no such policy. Other ship’s had in fact sailed from South Korea to China. Passengers speculated, and there was unverified evidence, that the excursion SILVERSEA sold us for the DMZ was not available on the day we were scheduled to be there and they were using the fabricated policy to hide that.
6) Cruise Critic has requested that I provide more on-ship experience information. Trying to outrun two super typhoons consumed most of the time, eliminated ports and excursions and impacted the on-ship experience. The positive was passengers bonded together in our fear and anger. We are aware of a number like us who have submitted claims for reimbursement. One person mentioned his claim on his Cruise Critic review. We liked the passengers from all over the world and we still keep in touch.
I would rate food, entertainment and activities on board as average or below. Since the Captain told us to cut back significantly on our food and drink intake, obviously that normal experience was diminished. Seasick pills were distributed. A further disappointment on the food was, unlike the advertisement, it did not reflect the culture we were in except for one final buffet.
The wellness director was just a snake oil saleslady trying to make an extra buck for herself. It was disgraceful and one passenger I met said she wrote on her evaluation that the person was inappropriate for the job.
Communication was confusing or lacking, causing getting on and off the ship at ports very frustrating. We almost missed an excursion because of wrong information.
The butlers were the positive point of the cruise always giving good service. Another positive was the thought-provoking and interesting political speaker and the port speaker.
Many of our ports and therefore excursions were cancelled because of the weather. The one good excursion was the Terra Cotta warriors. It is an expensive excursion but we thought worthwhile seeing.
We cannot recommend SILVERSEA because honestly, we cannot trust them.
The information above is important for people to know. I plan to continue publicizing these facts until SILVERSEA decides to do the honorable thing for passengers they have wronged." Read Less