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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 1st cruise on Silversea and they nailed it! Top to bottom, the experience exceeded all of our expectations, and was superior to our recent Seabourn Encore cruise in NZ/Australia. The ship was stretched and fully refurbished ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise on Silversea and they nailed it! Top to bottom, the experience exceeded all of our expectations, and was superior to our recent Seabourn Encore cruise in NZ/Australia. The ship was stretched and fully refurbished last year, it looks brand new with top notch high end touches in every venue. We are very seasoned cruisers and have been on nearly all the mainstream cruiselines (Regent, Seabourn, Oceania, Celebrity, HAL, etc.) with over 60 cruises under our belt. We traveled as an adult couple in our late 40's along with our 22yr old daughter, sharing a cabin with her. We choose this cruise for two main reasons. 1. Experience a Silversea cruise 2. Itinerary to Norway where we haven't traveled before. The ship was fully refurbished and stretched last year (read about the changes on CC) and it shows with high quality touches in every venue. The ship sailed full, but we never encountered any crowded areas and the space to pax ratio is very high! This ship offers everything you could want in a smallish footprint luxury line. No sings of wear or tear anywhere. Beautiful fresh flowers are found throughout the ship, adding an upscale high end vibe to the ambience. SHIP 5 STARS The standard suite was very spacious, well laid out, included high end toiletries, stocked bar, shower & tub, balcony, and a butler. Many discussions about how to utilize a butler can be found on CC. Ours provided us with balloons/cake/decorations for our Anniversary, caviar, canapes, dining reservations, room service, a VIP dining experience on our balcony one evening with roses, and so much more. This is something Seabourn doesn't include that we truly feel sets Silversea apart from them. CABIN 5 STARS Dining options were excellent and well balance with most types of cuisine represented on the ship from Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Steakhouse, Italian, Continental, pizza, gastro pub special lunches, and so on. Some CC's threads complained about the lack of variety of choices on Silversea...I don't see how this is truly possible! With so many dining venues and new menus every 3-4 days we never felt like we repeated meals or bored of the food offered after 14 days onboard. The quality, variety, and presentation was superior to any other cruiseline we have traveled. Unlimited caviar is now included with Silversea, leveling the field with the competition. We loved Artist cafe's excellent lite bites and high quality coffee service. I could go on and on about the food, but won't bore you to tears other than to say it simply was the BEST we have experienced to date (Seabourn was well below Silversea). FOOD 5 STARS Entertainment was geared towards an older demographic, which was expected. The singers (no dancers) consisted of 2 opera performers and 4 others.The theater had excellent sight lines with no obstructed views like we experience on Seabourn. One show per evening, around 9:30pm was offered. The opera singers were excellent! A few other strong vocalists mixed with a few average. The jazz duo in Silver note delivered an authentic jazz club like atmosphere and were a hit! One knock was having no duet or soloist that sang and played an instrument. The guest entertainment consisted of a comedy magician that was excellent and another pianist (the ship already had a full time one on staff). Why repeat the same entertainment that already existed from the staff onboard? ENTERTAINMENT 4 STARS The service was absolutely without a doubt 5 star luxury level at its finest! We felt as guests and not pax for our 2 weeks onboard. They would bend over backwards for you; we felt the staff enjoyed their jobs and were happy to work onboard. A very high percentage of staff knew our names within a few days onboard, similar to what we experienced on Seabourn. Seabourn dining room service always felt chaotic and understaffed. We didn't run into this on Silversea. The vibe was much calmer, more chill, and less stressed we felt from the service staff compared to Seabourn. The cherry on top was having a butler catering to our needs no matter how big or small. He went the extra mile to give us top notch service that sets Silversea apart from the competition. SERVICE 5 STARS Ports and excursions were all excellent and have been discussed many of times on CC. We enjoyed all of our stops in Norway and loved the authenticity of Norway vs places like Alaska that felt touristy. We had a very early arrival in London and were greeted by staff taking our luggage from us and then directly to the ship. We were delighted they took us to a city center high end hotel to have breakfast and refresh before our transfer to the port. PORTS 5 STARS We rank Silversea Silver Spirit #1 out of our 60+ cruises. If you're looking for the best of the best, you have found your ship! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
In reflecting on our 11 nights aboard the Silver Spirit, I can honestly say we couldn't think of a single thing we would have liked to change. This ship and crew are the epitome of why we sail with Silversea again and again. Every ... Read More
In reflecting on our 11 nights aboard the Silver Spirit, I can honestly say we couldn't think of a single thing we would have liked to change. This ship and crew are the epitome of why we sail with Silversea again and again. Every single crew member we encountered was friendly and professional with some being old friends that we were happy to see again. I personally like the decor of the Spirit as it has a bit of the darker wood and warmth that I thought was lacking in the newer Muse. Our suite was kept immaculate for the entire voyage and all the public areas were clean and well-maintained. My daughter even commented on how the crew was painting and repairing something every day to keep it all looking fresh. The ship never felt crowded and the crew always had something planned to try and keep us busy even if we were at sea. We love the daily trivia, golf putting, and the special events such as chef's cooking demonstrations, and galley tours. The singers were very good although we didn't attend all the shows. We are late diners so many nights we were still enjoying dessert at that time. We found the food in all restaurants to be very good. The menus in Atlantide and La Terrazza did have a few changes during our voyage. Service was excellent and the wines were generally very nice as well. My glass of pre-dinner champagne only had to be requested for the first few nights and then magically appeared for the rest of the cruise. My daughter enjoyed that caviar was offered as an appetizer choice--I'm not sure I remember seeing this on any of our other voyages. Compliments to the chefs and staff as each dining experience was very good to excellent. Not to be missed...there were some seriously talented bartenders on board as well. If I had to nitpick, Silver Note was our least favorite food-wise but the jazz duo was lovely so we counted it as a win as well. The spa was beautiful and we enjoyed some services there. They were giving tours on embarkation day and some giveaways so it was a fun introduction. The gym is a bit small for this size of ship and my only comment about the fitness classes is that the yoga classes and such were only offered at 7 am but tours went out around 8:30 each day so I didn't get to go to any classes. I was disappointed as I brought my yoga gear and was ready to practice. Most of the afternoon classes where paid classes such as booty boot camp, etc. In general the excursions were very good and I was impressed with how organized they were even on the days we had to tender. Everything went quite smoothly. Embarking in Barcelona was easy but there was an actual line to board which I've never experienced before. I think flights must have come in just before we went over to board so many arrived at the same time. Mallorca- Caves of Drach was very pretty and interesting. The added on Majolica pearl factory tour was really a store to purchase jewelry with one person demonstrating how the pearls are made... no commentary. We weren't there long so not a big deal but a little underwhelming. Cadiz--Andalusian Horse show was fantastic. What gorgeous creatures and the trainers have really worked magic with them. No photos or video allowed which was a bit of a bummer but actually made everyone stop and watch the horses. Not to be missed! Lisbon--We did a city drive and river cruise on the Tagus River. The city drive was ok but our guide was my least favorite and the river cruise was not too good. Not much to see and there weren't enough seats on the top deck so those of us that sat below had dirty and scratched windows to look out of and a very limited sound system so we didn't hear much of the commentary. Cascais and Sintra--both towns were very cute and the drive up the coast and through the mountains was lovely. Our guide was exceptional and we enjoyed walking around. Maybe a bit more time especially in Sintra would have been nice as it was very crowded and we didn't have time to see the palace and finish the shops. It was quite cool when we got up there as well. Porto--LOVED this town. Wish we had more time here as there was a lot we would have loved to have seen on foot. We had a great guide who was an architect and offered much educational commentary on the buildings including the stunning port terminal where we docked. We took a bus tour and a river cruise on the Douro with its many bridges and then went to a winery to taste the port wines that the area is famous for. The river cruise was much better than the one in Lisbon and the entire visit made us want to go back to Porto. St. Malo--Went to Mont St. Michel and had our exercise for the day--up 350 steps. The guide was very knowledgable and we enjoyed the tour. I think it was probably handled as well as it could have been given that it was a Sunday and every person in France and four other countries much have been there....crazy crowded. Our only complaint was that we were given several hours of free time to shop and eat afterwards and the crowds made it impossible to shop and the food was not very good in any restaurant. We would have preferred to have been taken back to St. Malo and allowed to dine there and see the town. We were very disappointed not to have seen it but very happy to have seen Mont St. Michel...it is stunning. Guernsey--What a charming little place. We did not get to see the whole island as we opted to take the powerboat ride and just walk around the town where we docked. We did get to see puffins and seals and has a fun ride so we are not complaining but hoping to go back again and see more. Portsmouth--Home of the Royal Navy...felt very safe. Interesting tour to the town of Winchester and the beautiful cathedral. Jane Austen is buried here and the remnants of the castle nearby have some ties to Henry VIII so that was interesting. Probably a little too long in town for us though as we had nothing to do after the guide dropped us off. I think there were some pubs open and some passed the time there. Disembarkation in London was very easy. Cruise Director Roy was delightful and a wonderful addition to the Silversea family. Overall, one of the best cruises we have taken and an itinerary that we would do again given the chance. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Silver Wind is in for a full refit in twelve months time. This is probably twelve months too late. Looking tired, the ship is saved by its excellent crew. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the cruise, probably still a good 4.5 ... Read More
Silver Wind is in for a full refit in twelve months time. This is probably twelve months too late. Looking tired, the ship is saved by its excellent crew. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the cruise, probably still a good 4.5 star experience. But that is not how Silverseas is marketed. Fellow travellers were discussing looking elsewhere. Food was good but not exceptional. Furnishings slightly raggedy around the edges. Again, nothing disastorous but not the kind of attention to detail you would expect from say Four Seasons which is the type of place Silverseas clientele typically frequent. Casino crew were downright miserable, servicing a worn room with an unfathomable set of slots. Silverseas still check all the right boxes, but the fear is that the new owners are destroying the brand by their cutting of costs. Silver Wind needs sorting out and quickly. This overdue refit can only damage the brand. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We disembarked the Silver Wind in early June and generally had a very good cruise. The main attraction, certainly so far as my OH was concerned, was the sail in and out under Tower Bridge (note to destination lecturer - not ... Read More
We disembarked the Silver Wind in early June and generally had a very good cruise. The main attraction, certainly so far as my OH was concerned, was the sail in and out under Tower Bridge (note to destination lecturer - not "The" Tower Bridge, just Tower Bridge). We had a quick and easy embarkation and our suite, a classic veranda, was fine and looked in good order. We did find an item on a shelf which belonged to a previous occupant and which indicated, perhaps, not the most thorough of inspections before we arrived. It was not a major deal for us but we received a fulsome apology from 2 senior members of housekeeping staff. I dislike the bathroom on the Wind, in particular the bath/shower combination with a fixed shower screen and I gather that most, if not all, of the baths are to be removed when she is refitted next year – can't come soon enough, though I know some will miss them. The interactive TV in the suite was excellent, with Chronicles, restaurant menus, tour information and the newspaper all on-line, and a good selection of films. The hard copy of the newspaper disappeared on the 1st June but appeared on screen, so I assume the decision has been made to provide it online only, which saves a few trees and is fine with us. Connectivity for the TV and the internet, however, was frustrating, channels were often unavailable – particularly trying where there is a huge football game and the channel showing it is as dead as a Norwegian Blue . Apart from late at night and very early in the morning, it could be a dispiriting experience to try to use the internet. We had the standard, included, package only. Food we found, generally, to be good, with plenty of variety in the Restaurant. This was in contrast to our experience on the stretched Spirit last year when we found the Restaurant menu to be limited and repetitive, though there are of course many more dining options on the Spirit. With curries, pasta and local dishes offered on the Wind on various days in the Restaurant, we did not miss the alternative venues as we feared we would, though an Arts Café style area would have been welcome. Three courses and coffee were the norm at dinner, with no separate salad course or sorbet on offer and no petits fours. I am sure you could have had them as a special request. We did not need them. We also ate in La Terrazza, which was very good on the first night but rather mediocre later in the cruise to my mind, although OH enjoyed his dishes. I had rather expected a lasagne in an Italian Restaurant on an Italian ship to be sensational. I was disappointed. Hot Rocks in the evening has consistently excellent meat and fish, if you don’t mind doing your own cooking, which we rather enjoy and the best bit is that, no matter how much mess we make, someone else does the clearing up. During the day this area is the Pool Grill, where the food was adequate but where the service, on this trip, was under par. Things took ages to arrive, service was bit slapdash, i.e. tables were not properly cleaned down between guests and food dropped on the deck lay there and provided fodder for the birds. This was a coldish weather cruise, where the Grill was probably not as well used and I got the impression that staffing levels had been curtailed accordingly. Elsewhere, service was very good and charming though perhaps not quite as intuitive as on other ships. As an example, I always have expresso at breakfast and even though we very often had the same server, I always had to ask for it, it was never remembered . I could cope with this but one of the selling points of Silversea has been how quickly crew get to know passengers' preferences. The included wine was, again, generally acceptable and there was no difficulty in obtaining something other than the daily pour. Pudding wine was provided on request but was not routinely offered. The one big, and completely avoidable, problem on this voyage was the tendering process, which was lamentable. Unusually for Silversea, only one tender was in operation at tender ports, and it ran out and back on the hour and half hour. If, therefore, you missed one tender you had to wait for an hour until the next one. The difficulty was particularly acute at Gerainger where several ship tours arrived back at the quay at the same time, filling the scheduled tender to full capacity. Guests left behind were told they had to wait until the next scheduled tender, which was over an hour later. Minor mutiny ensued –can you mutiny on a quayside?-and after a lot of hoo-ing and ha-ing, the tender came back sooner than scheduled. This should never have been an issue, the ship was close to the quay so the tender journey was only a few minutes. There was absolutely no need for any hassle, the tour concierge team know how many guests are on tour and when those tours will arrive back, and so tenders should cater accordingly In Vik, we arrived at 7 am but the first tender for non-tour group guests was at 10am, the last tender back was at 11am, which left a frustratingly short time to explore the village and to walk to the famous churches there. My only other negative comment on the arrangements was that there should have been a shuttle bus into the centre of Bergen. However, perhaps my view was jaundiced by the fact that it rained on the way back to the ship and I got very wet and very, very grumpy. Entertainment- Colin Barbiere Brown was the Cruise Director and a there was a complete change round of Voices of Silversea and of at least one of the lounge musicians in London who boarded with us. Thus, the cast were putting their shows in place on the ship and so were not visible throughout the ship to engage with passengers. I did feel that we suffered somewhat from this. Colin is a polished Cruise Director, he runs a tight trivia and he performed on several occasions, with or without other musicians. It was, however, a mistake not to have some guest entertainers on board for this cruise as the performances by the Voices were to be limited and a variety of entertainment was lacking. I am aware that one does not choose a Silversea cruise for the breadth of its entertainment but some alternatives to Colin and his piano might have been welcome, excellent musician though he is. This brings me to the demographic of guests. As it was a London to London cruise, it was hardly surprising that the majority of guests were British, some 170 out of 294, I believe. A good number were older and with a degree of frailty. This meant that, in our opinion, the ship was less lively than we have experienced hitherto, especially in the evening. A couple of lumpy nights did not help, but the bars seemed to close early and I got the impression that a fair number of people didn’t get off the ship at ports. Given the average age of the guests, I suspect that some must have been surprised to be assailed by versions of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen classics from the Voices on the last night. When it got rough, the crew were excellent older guests or those with mobility issues, some of whom were helped all the way back to their suites by crew who would not let them risk walking back unaccompanied. And yes, we had a wonderful sail out of London at night but an even more spectacular sail in in the morning, accompanied in part by 50 or so hot air balloons, flying almost close enough to touch. We know that Silversea can't take the credit for that, but it was the perfect end to an enjoyable voyage. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Let me begin by saying that I have cruised many times and with many different cruise lines. This is not the worst cruise line I have ever been on (that would be Costa Cruises) but it is close. We chose this trip for the destinations. ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that I have cruised many times and with many different cruise lines. This is not the worst cruise line I have ever been on (that would be Costa Cruises) but it is close. We chose this trip for the destinations. However, we were able to only stop at one of our original destinations. The rest were canceled or changed because of weather. Since this was a small ship in the Northern Atlantic, we were really tossed about.....so much so that stomach distress bags were scattered through out the ship. We were expecting so much from this cruise line because of all the high reviews. But while the cabins were nice, the rest of the ship was just ordinary for a cruise ship. We found out later that the ship will be dry docked for a complete refurbishment in a few weeks, so that makes sense. We had gotten so sick during the first part of the cruise, then were told that we would be crossing the Northern Atlantic to our final destination in Iceland over very rough waters. They then canceled another 2 ports of call because of the rough waters and were going straight to Iceland with 2 days and nights nonstop at sea. At that point, we jumped ship and bought airline tickets to our final destination in Iceland. We missed the last 4 days on the ship.....but we have no regrets that we were able to disembark when we did. Iceland is beautiful and we enjoyed the extra days on shore rather than sick at sea. If you are thinking about this cruise line be aware that it does not do well in open waters and choose your destination accordingly. If you are looking for a smaller more intimate boutique type cruise experience, look at Azamara. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The itinerary for this cruise fit our schedule beautifully. We loved the fact that we docked in some ports in the evening, able to do a bit of exploring for/after dinner, giving it almost a river cruise atmosphere. And what ports! ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise fit our schedule beautifully. We loved the fact that we docked in some ports in the evening, able to do a bit of exploring for/after dinner, giving it almost a river cruise atmosphere. And what ports! Copenhagen, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Rouen, Honfleur, and London! Each beautiful, full of history, good shopping, and lots of cobblestones. The Wind only holds 296 passengers, giving it a very intimate feel, yet never felt crowded. There are four restaurants available for dinner, and we enjoyed each and every one at least twice! Chef even prepared a special dinner for us of dover sole one night in the main restaurant. The staff and crew are delightful. After 10 days we felt as if we were leaving our "Cheers" bar, where everyone knows your name. The Cruise Director, Colin, is a trained classical pianist who entertained us, along with the 6 Seven Seas Dancers/Singers. From opera to Broadway, they were great. We had fun! Everyone bent over backwards to make certain everything was to our satisfaction. This was our third Silver Seas cruise, and I can't wait for the next one.... Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and SilverSea customer service. The crew from the butler, restaurant server, cruise director, and ship capitan were exceptional. The food quality was very good and expertly prepared. The singers were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and SilverSea customer service. The crew from the butler, restaurant server, cruise director, and ship capitan were exceptional. The food quality was very good and expertly prepared. The singers were very talented and provided good variety. The ports were all interesting and the tours provided a wide variety of options. The ship is a older vessel, but well maintained. The ship will need to be updated in the near future. The fitness center was small and could be refreshed. The service level by the crew is the highlight of this cruise. The crew quickly remembered your name and addressed you by your name. Hamburg, Germany was a particularly interesting port and St Michael church was very beautiful. I would recommend spending extra days in Copenhagen and London. We really enjoyed the theatre in London and visiting Buckingham Palace. Copenhagen is walkable and a friendly city. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Cruising with Silversea is a no brainer, everything promised was pretty much delivered. We did notice a difference in service between the Silver Shadow and the Wind, with staff in the dining areas not as attentive, and I hope this was a ... Read More
Cruising with Silversea is a no brainer, everything promised was pretty much delivered. We did notice a difference in service between the Silver Shadow and the Wind, with staff in the dining areas not as attentive, and I hope this was a one-off. Perhaps the ship was short staffed on this cruise. Yes, as other reviewers have noted, the Wind is showing a bit of wear and tear but it didn't stop us from booking the next cruise on the same ship, especially knowing it is getting a facelift this fall. We enjoyed all the ports of call without exception and the grande finale at Tower Bridge, with champagne on the upper deck and Rule Britannia blaring from the speakers, was just marvelous...hopefully the locals didn't mind the intrusion. The enrichment lectures were informative and the cooking demonstrations were fun. Colin Brown, the cruise director, should be cloned and used on all the ships, he was excellent. Oliver at the pool bar has hospitality in his DNA, maybe he should also be cloned. The Voices of Silversea didn't disappoint, and it was nice to run into Nina again. Philip and Katherine, the butler and suite attendant, are to be commended. All in all a fabulous time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
They need to supply tea making facilities in cabin. Butler service is about 30 mins for a cuppa. Had problems with water not being hot enough for cup of tea with room service and in restaurants. Complained and they did try, but some ... Read More
They need to supply tea making facilities in cabin. Butler service is about 30 mins for a cuppa. Had problems with water not being hot enough for cup of tea with room service and in restaurants. Complained and they did try, but some were a bit smart about it. Food not always hot. Room service breakfast was often just warm or cold. Toast was cold and like concrete. Pizzas dreadful. Pub lunch was bad food was cold and tasteless tried bits left most of it then went to the buffet. Need more menu choices in the Restaurants. Only seemed to be Seafood or Meat for mains and raw meats or seafoods for starters. Soups 2 seafood and tomatoe. I can't eat ,Ost seafood but my husband enjoyed. No duck or chicken. I didn't like the Italian restaurant. The lunch buffet was best for choices. scored 8 out of 10. My main problem is with their system in handling payments. paid $1914 on travel card 10/9 and then on 12/9 they put it thru again for $1914 which is pending but showing a date of 10/9. I now have no money to spend in England it is all frozen! They say this is normal and I have to wait for my bank to clear it 5 days. Their attitude, contact you bank, I did who cancelled and told by email they would send new ones in 7 days to Aust address. No help when you are travelling. This should never have happened why would a Company take full payment then 2 days after this put through a hold for the same amount but with different reference nos and think that this was the way to do business. Was told this is their system they just didn't have any empathy at all. Very very angry and disappointed. The Australian office finally got involved and she contacted my bank and got the 2nd charged cancelled but too late as cards cancelled. They are looking into this event so am waiting to hear what went wrong. Excursions were very good a bit pricey but they all are. We had an issue with 1st private car 4 hour tour they short changed us about 30 mins but I mentioned this and they gave us extra time on the 8 hour tour on the third day to make up. The concert was wonderful. The shuttles where provided were good. The other tours were good with no more than say 35 people eg they didn't fill the buses so numbers were smaller. I wouldn't change any of the tours that we did. Ports were good choice. 3 days in St Petersburg was needed. Loved the size and no of people on board and this was the best aspect of what they offered. Ship was very elegant and pleasing, no loud rap music etc. Entertainment was pretty good. A lot of wait staff and Butlers so can't understand why food and hot water can't be hot for room service & restaurants. Attention to detail could be improved in this regard. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall we had a lovely vacation and enjoyed the ports of call...We also met some wonderful people to spend time with...Suite upgrade we paid for was well worth it and were very happy with the room layout...Our butler and his assistant ... Read More
Overall we had a lovely vacation and enjoyed the ports of call...We also met some wonderful people to spend time with...Suite upgrade we paid for was well worth it and were very happy with the room layout...Our butler and his assistant very helpful...Was expecting above and beyond when it came to quality of food but not the case...On 3 separate occasions I ordered filet mignon at various restaurants to be served medium rare and all 3 times it was overcooked...A filet mignon is supposed to be a THICK cut and they basically cut it in half lengthwise therefore it requires quicker cooking time and they couldn't achieve it, even at the difficult to get into La Dame restaurant...Thus in my opinion, (additional paid for restaurants) good, not great and certainly not worth paying for...Something should have been offered in consideration but was not even offered a glass of wine...Best restaurant on board by far was La Terrazza...Quality of food and service exceptional and maitre de and waiters/waitresses always on hand...Highly suggest breakfast there as well...We ate at all the restaurants and placed Atlantide in second but our group of friends seemed to always settle at La Terrazza due to the menu and again, quality of food...The Grill restaurant where you cook your own fish and steak is quite silly...They bring sides that get cold and you cook your main entree on a stone...Loved all the ports we visited...The Peterhof Estate in St. Petersburg was my favorite and enjoyed visiting Copenhagen and Skagen Denmark as well...Dining in both of these ports was fabulous...Local fresh fish available...The Russian ballet was a disappointment as it was NOT what was expected...Felt like we had attended a high school or slightly better show...I was hoping this was going to be one of the highlights for me as a dancer...And I had not even mentioned my disappointment to anyone who attended until others stated their feelings about it...Wine/alcohol is included but can certainly use some upgrades!...Fitness area a mess...Have to leave doors open to outside because there is no air in the rooms...They are well aware of the situation and don't seem to care...This is supposed to be a 5 star cruise!...Ship size is perfect with 600 appx. passengers...Would go again but hope my input provides additional food for thought for Silversea management to review. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We were expecting a lot from this cruise based on ratings and friends and travel agent recommendations. We previously cruised 5 times on Oceania, so can't help but to compare. First the positives, the service at the bar and ... Read More
We were expecting a lot from this cruise based on ratings and friends and travel agent recommendations. We previously cruised 5 times on Oceania, so can't help but to compare. First the positives, the service at the bar and restaurants from waiters were exceptional, staff seemed happy, relaxed, efficient and everywhere. The quality of wine and hard liquor were top class. If you do not like the wine they were serving, you just tell sommelier what you like and they will bring you a bottle that closely describes your taste. The cigar lounge was wonderful, an excellent VSOP cognac served there as well as anything you want. This part of the cruise was better than Oceania as well as a little bigger cabins, however a little dated we thought. The disappointments were numerous, first the services of a butler and a room stewart. I would call them inconsistent at best. The room stewart was changed in the middle of the cruise and the butler although always available, did not do things fast. He would relay our requests to stewart, things did not get done or we had to remind it 2 or 3 times. A simple thing as keeping water glasses in the room was problematic, one day they were there and another day they disappeared. I understand that this problem was with our cabin as other people were raving about their butler and cabin stewart. The ship itself was very nice, but compared to Oceania, not as grand. The art decorating the walls was not as nice and there were no 2 story foyer and staircases that are picture worthy. Food is definitely less impressive than Oceania. All restaurants, including the dining rooms with no reservations required had a menu that would not change, so the same thing was served day after day, after day. Oceania had a new menu at Grand dining room every day and only specialty restaurants had it the same. We also thought the the restaurants themselves were less impressive than Oceania in terms of decor and chic. So to summarize the food was not bad, just was not as good. When during the mid cruise review I mentioned that our dinner at LaDame was 3 hours long, which was a little eccessive, I got a phone call from a food and beverage manager who clearly did not give a dumb and also was approached by all restaurants manager who was a little better. Both said they will talk to the La Dame manager. The better way would have been to invite us there again to make sure that we were satisfied. Other guests did not experience such long waits, so this issue was isolated to our particular day, 2 day of a cruise. Gym and saunas were a total disappointment, small, dated and unisex. There were no lounges to relax between the steam room and a shower, in fact no lockers and hardly a place to hang a robe. This is not to say that we will not travel on Silversea again, but it is simply a matter of value, given the same, we would go back to Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The itinerary and the suite determined our choice criteria. We were disappointed in the food. While it was incredibly presented. The quality and portion size were very average or just par. The service everywhere was fantastic, as was ... Read More
The itinerary and the suite determined our choice criteria. We were disappointed in the food. While it was incredibly presented. The quality and portion size were very average or just par. The service everywhere was fantastic, as was everything but the food. They would have receptions where the alcohol was plentiful but not serve food or you would see a few trays get passed that were consumed well before they got to you. It seemed stingy and surprising given we have only been on one other luxury cruise and never experienced the food being so guarded and ordinary. The spa staff were incredibly, Had one of the best massages ever. The fitness instructor was average but certainly good enough for a cruise. Entertainment was very good but didn't start until 10 pm which after a full day sightseeing was too late so consequently we only went to 1 show. It was excellent though. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Having never been to Stockholm-St.Petersburg-Tallin-Copenhagen-Skagen ..& celebrating our 15th Anniversary, Fiona , our CruisePlus travel adviser suggested that Silversea would be the best way to celebrate and, explore new ... Read More
Having never been to Stockholm-St.Petersburg-Tallin-Copenhagen-Skagen ..& celebrating our 15th Anniversary, Fiona , our CruisePlus travel adviser suggested that Silversea would be the best way to celebrate and, explore new destinations.. We arrived in Stockholm 3 days in advance of our cruise..lots of time to explore the many sights and attractions..while sampling Swedish food and drink -SKAL ! Wonderful variety of dining options..We especially enjoyed, Atlantique, La Terrazza, Art Cafe & Silver Note. La Grill offered the opportunity to a "Do it Yourself Grill -on-the-Hot Rocks" dinner !Great food and service by a most professional , serving staff Nightly entertainment was varied. The multi-talented, 6 Silversea Voices , offered pops to opera solo/duos and ensemble shows & everything musical in between. Pleasant , relaxing vocal music was provided by resident pianist and guitarist in the Dolce Vita lounge. Our entire cruise experience was stressed -reduced due to smooth embarkation/disembarkation procedures by crew members as, well as for the various Shore Excursions.. All in all a wonderful Cruise experience .We will do again aboard Silversea! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I love Silversea and have always had great experiences, met interesting fellow passengers, and still can’t believe how fabulous the service always is. Nothing is ever too much to ask for. Silversea is known for its itineraries. On ... Read More
I love Silversea and have always had great experiences, met interesting fellow passengers, and still can’t believe how fabulous the service always is. Nothing is ever too much to ask for. Silversea is known for its itineraries. On every trip I take there is always at least one unusual port and often more than one. The food and wines have been steadily improving...from very good to exceptional. I think dinners are truly gourmet in the Main Dining room. Breakfasts are offered in both the MDR and,buffet style in the Terrasse. I prefer a cabin service breakfast or an Early Riser continental breakfast in the beautiful Panorama Lounge. Lots of excellent choices! As to solo travel, SS really tries to accommodate singles. Cocktail get togethers and singles’ tables make getting to meet other singles much easier. You just have to be open and friendly. While I do think the Wind could use a little sprucing up, she is a wonderful,intimate vessel and has a very loyal following. (She will be going into dry dock within the next three months for refurbishment.) The overwhelming concern so many of The Wind’s fans is that she will probably be taken out of the “Classic” fleet and made into an Expedition vessel. I believe there will always be a niche for small luxury shops. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A great cruise on a small vessel ------------------------------------------ In late August through mid September, Karen and I had a delightful cruise of the Baltic Sea region, touring nine stops in seven countries. Our cruise was ... Read More
A great cruise on a small vessel ------------------------------------------ In late August through mid September, Karen and I had a delightful cruise of the Baltic Sea region, touring nine stops in seven countries. Our cruise was with a high-end luxury cruise line that specializes in operating small ships with very high crew to guest ratios. We loved every minute of the trip, including the travel on the glass-smooth Baltic Sea, the exciting low fly-over of the mountainous and glacier-covered Greenland, the education of traveling through Russia and the other Baltic countries, and the warm relationships with formed with both the people native to each country and other travelers. Before we left for the trip we exchanged dollars for Euros (for Germany, Finland, and Estonia), Swedish Kronors, and Danish Kronors. We were out of luck for Rubles, but that did not pose a problem. I think they'll take anything Western there, but you probably won’t find anything you would want to buy. The Ship - The Silver Wind ----------------------------------- Wow! What else can I say about the fabulous tour of the Baltic Sea region aboard the Silver Wind, a ship of Silver Seas. Silver Seas operates a fleet of ten small ships, offering luxury cruises (“World Cruises”) with incorporated tours and also in-depth adventure cruises (“Grand Voyages”). The Silver Wind accommodated up to 294 guests in total with a crew of 222. It was built in 1995 and underwent a major refurb in 2018. It will undergo another refurb in 2020 to give the hull iceberg strength for more adventuresome cruising. Captain Fabrizio Rota welcomed us aboard. His crew were from 35 different nations worldwide. Our entire cruise (not including on land tours) was to be 1,295 nautical miles stopping at ten docks in six countries. We were staying on Deck 6 in Suite 641. Our Veranda Suite was 246 ft2, plus a 49 ft2 balcony. Our bathroom had a shower/tub and plenty of room, and we had a walk-on closet with a safe. We had always-on WiFi, 110v power, a fridge. and a great queen size bed. We had a personal butler 24 hours per day, and our butler had an assistant to back him up whenever he was not immediately available. Upon our boarding, he came to the room with our luggage and offered to unpack, and asked what we would like in the room (food, snacks, beverages, ...). We asked that we always have a cold Prosecco in the fridge. Thereafter, for the remained of the cruise, we always had a cold Prosecco. You could wake up at 3:00AM and dial the butler and ask for steak and onion rings, and within a few minutes, it would be served on a white tablecloth in our sitting room. We never did that, but we could have. We did have one meal in our room and it was just as described. The level of service was extraordinary in all aspects of the trip. The butler automatically shined our shoes and if we had laundry, it was taken care of. If we wanted to, there was even a laundry room where we could wash our stuff ourselves. Why? Click here to see what Travel & Leisure magazine had to say about service abord the Silver Wind. Flight and boarding ------------------------- We flew American Airlines Airbus A330-300 Business Class from Philadelphia direct to London Heathrow, where we then boarded a British Airways Airbus 320 to Stockholm. On the first leg, we had a sleeping compartment, which was private and configured to a full-length bed (we flew overnight). We arrived in Stockholm refreshed and ready to tour. See below (1. Stockhom) for our time in Stockholm. The next afternoon, we boarded the Silver Wind to begin the cruise. More about the ship and the amenities --------------------------------------------------- Every morning when we awoke, we had a daily “Chronicle” ship’s paper waiting in a mailbox by our door. It contained the weather, news and description of the day’s activities and tours, a detailed schedule for the day and special instructions for tours, menues, and info regarding the ship’s facilities. Click here for an example. Note that on page 3 of the Chronicles example is a day full of activities for those who wish to stay on board and not tour on land. The ship had everything one could want: multiple restaurants, including the main restaurant (The Restaurant), an exclusive high-end French restaurant (La Dame), barn-to-table Italian restaurant (La Terraza) which doubled in the mornings as a breakfast buffet, a pool-side grill (The Grill) and a bars here and there; a decent-sized heated pool with two spas, a health club; a theater where every evening there was a music or stage play, with a wide variety of venue; a medical facility; concierge and tour desks; a casino; a card room; a botique; and so on. Each day the Chronicles indicated the mode of dress for that evening in the main restaurant, either Formal, Informal, or Casual. The Grill was always Casual, and La Dame was always Formal, and La Terrazza was really what was being indicated. The first night was formal, most of the rest were Informal. I liked having to wear a suit, blazer, or tux to dinner; it lent an air of dignity and special-ness, in my opinion. If that is not your cup of tea, there is always dining available for those in informal dress. In the room, we had a balcony with deck chairs and a table, where we sat throughout the voyage sailing to enjoy the ride, the view, and the Prosecco. 1. Stockholm, Sweden - August 28-29 -------------------------------------------------- We arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 2:25PM, went through a very non-rigorous customs, collected our luggage, and taxied to our hotel. Hotel Diplomat Stockholm is a luxury hotel, located on Strandvägen in the city center of Stockholm. We found it to be in a great location, good facility, and great service. From the hotel, we walked across the street to the docks on Lake Mälaren, which at some point connects to the Baltic Sea. Stockholm is sometimes called “The Venice of the North" because of the wonderful waterways upon which it is built. We walked around the city for a while and stopped for dinner at a great cafe, Restaurant Prinsen - on Mäster Samuelsgatan, about five blocks from our hotel. We sat al fresco under their canopy, watching the georgeous people of Sweden saunter by. The were universally tall, blond, well-constructed, and beautiful. Karen even remarked that they were all “10’s”. We ate Kantarell Toast (a pesto of chanterelles over toast), Köttbullar (classic Swedish meatballs), and a Cajun salad with Rakor (salad with shrimp). Of course, we had several classes of Cuvée Madame Chardonnay to accompany. Yumm! A good start to our trip. The following morning, we left the hotel after breakfast to tour Gamla Stan, the original old town center located on the island of Stadsholmen and a couple of other smaller islets. It has a lot of cobblestone streets and little shops and some pretty important landmarks. We stopped to look at the Nobel Museum, named for Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and for whom the Nobel Prize is named. It is located in the old Stock Exchange building on a cobblestone square. We stopped for a coffee on the square to people watch. One gets to and from Gamla Stan over one of a few bridges. We walked over the Vasabron (Vasa Bridge in Swedish), named for King Gustav Vasa (1496–1560) whose statue is nearby. After our tour of the old city and a bit of downtown Stockholm (a delightful place), we taxi’d to the Silver Wind, and began boarding. It was painless, but we needed to get ID cards for the trip and to off- and on-board during the trip. Then we went to our room, met out butler, got settled, went up to the top deck for departure, and viola, we were sailing away for an overnight trip to St. Petersburn, Russia. 2. St. Petersburg, Russia - August 31 - September 1 --------------------------------------------------------------------- Who in America is not curious about life in Russia - its history, its people, its landmarks, it culture, and daily life there? Well, we got to see quite a lot of Russia in two days of touring St. Petersburg. This city was commissioned by Tsar Peter the Great to be a “window looking into Europe’, built on a hundred islands in the Neva Delta (where the Neva River meets the Gulf of Finland). It is the fourth largest city in Europe, and a very interesting one at that. We started by having to enter through Russian security. Since this was a sponsored tour, no visas were required. All other tours, for example private tours, required the complicated and expensive visas to have been acquired long before the cruise began. We boarded the bus for the tour and met our delightful tour guide, a young man named Germain (rhymes with “airman”) who was both knowledgeable and charming. As we drove from the ship to our first stop, we drove through the urban, suburban, and semi-rural landscape. We saw massive numbers of similar big, boxy, unattractive apartment buildings. Germain pointed out that most Russians live in these kind of dull apartments. Typically, an apartment my have an extended family living in just a few rooms, with space at a premium. Karen and I had seen this in other parts of Eastern Europe in places that were formerly a part of the Soviet Union. The Russians seemingly built these big, ugly apartment buildings whereever they went. We began with a tour of Peterhof Palace, Peter the Great’s rival to Versailles. An hour drive from the ship, it was built in 1714-25 and remodelled in 1745-55. Though the palace was damaged in World War II by the German advance, it has been carefully restored to its prior glory, and it is truly marvelous. Never have I seen so much gold, inside and out, on walls and statues, on dinnerware and decorations, ... everywhere. It is immense and it is a reminder of a lavish time. We left Peterhof and went into the heart of St. Petersburg, crossing some of the many bridges and driving by such great landmarks as The State Hermitage Museum. The second-largest art museum in the world, it was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. It holds the largest collection of paintings in the world. We did not tour the museum, though a number of our fellow passengers did so. We stopped at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, with its opulent interior spanning 43,000 square feet and filled with hundreds of impressive 19th century works of art. Featured are the icconostasis of white marble with gold gilding, and the Royal Gate flanked by two lapis columns and ten columns of malachite. The dome alone is guilded by ove 220 pounds of pure gold. St. Isaacs is the most opulent, overly and outlandishly ornate place I have seen, even more so than the Vatican. We stopped and toured the Spilled Blood Cathedral, one of the landmarks of the city. And then we went to the Peter and Paul Fortress, touring it and especially the Peter and Paul Cathedral. The cathedral is the highest building in the city, 404 feet high. It is topped by an angel holding a cross. It is the place where all the tsars were buried after Peter the Great died. The next day we did the “Through the Eyes of Russians” tour, which included a Metro ride, a visit to a Farmer‘s market, and a vodka tasting. Few of us understand the significant political, social, and economic changes that have happened in Russia since December, 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. I wanted to see what Russia was like today, so Karen and I opted for this tour. Our first stop was for a lunch at what seemed to be a typical Russian restaurant. We were served a lunch that was, I believe, ‘westernized” for the benefit of the tour group, but included Russian touches. The place was a little dingy, most of the staff was not unpleasant, but there was no attempt at good cheer. The went through the motions, I believe. Then on we went to the entrance to the Metro. Then things got interesting! First off, the Metro is a hundred meters under the surface. A hundred meters! As we entered the station, we were ill-prepared for what lay ahead. The Metro was began in 1941, but then Germany invaded. Work resumed after the war and it opened in 1955, linking all five stations in St. Petersburg. We got onto an escalator and rode down a steep incline for a long, long time. Just as the excalator ride ended on a little platform, we stepped forward to another escalator for another equally long ride down. When we stepped off, the station platform was simply amazing. It was perfectly clean, very ornate, and beautiful. This must be one of the best subways in the world. Our guide showed us several parts of the platform system, complete with statues, paintings, and history lessons. At one point, I nudged Karen and whispered, “See that rough looking guy in the crowd? He has been following us and I know he is either a thug or a ‘watcher’, and has military bearing.” I pointed him out to our guide, who ’fessed up that the guy was “security” the cruise hired to watch over us. I was happy that I can still spot a former Spetsnaz in a crowd. We went from St. Isaacs to a Farmers Market, an aspect of the trip I was anticipating. I wanted to see what and how product was displayed and compare what I learned to my experiences at home. Was I disappointed! We arrived at Kuznechny Food Market, where we were supposed to find friendly people and sample some of the food. Not so friendly and no samples, and the place was not particularly clean, nor did the food (meat, produce, dairy, etc) look appetizing. One the other hand, when we walked outside of the market we could clearly see the famed Soviet era Hammer and Sickle on the front of the building. We then walked over to the vodka tasting venue a few blocks away. It was a restaurant and we filled it to capacity. There was a small band playing music and singing, all in a effort to engage our tour. We all played along and had some fun doing it. We were served some canapes and several rounds of “vodka”, each flavored with different spices. I would have preferred some plain vodka and didn’t really enjoy the flavored kinds. But it was an attempt to cater to our tastes in their experience, and all in all, it was a fun time. The servers at this venue were cheerful, as well. Finally, back to the bus and the ship for one of the really good on board dinners. While driving to the ship, we passed a docked Russian submarine (see photo). As we did throughout the trip, we relaxed a bit upon return with some Prosecco, either on our balcony looking over the water, or on the upper deck with friends we met on board. Then dinner and a bottle of good wine. Then some evening entertainment - perhaps a theatrical musical in the theater. Those were done by the working crew, who doubled as entertainers, and they were very good. And at evening end, to bed. Sleeping on board was very easy... it was quiet, dark, peaceful, and smooth. 3. Tallinn, Estonia - September 2 ------------------------------------------- Tallinn, Estonia is located on the Gulf of Finland, directly across from Helsinki, Finland. Since St. Petersburg is on the Gulf of Finland as well, our overnight voyage was on that very placid body of water. Tallinn is the oldest Northern European capital city, with a rich history - much of which being occupied by a foreign dominators. Starting in 1219, the Danes first, then the Germans, Swedes, and Russians, in an uninterrupted span until the end of World War I (1919). Finally, with Russia in wreckage, Estonia declared its independence, which was then usurped by the Soviet Union just prior to World War II, who (except for three years of Nazi occupation) suppressed all forms of Estonian national pride for the next 50 years. Estonia was finally able to regain independence in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union. Finally, the Estonian Parliament charted a path to join the European Union, throwing off the years of Soviet dominance and direction. It has been an EU member since 2004 and in 2009 joined the Eurozone. We were excited to see this little gem of a city. We were driven up the hill from the ship to Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. The charm is evident everywhere. As we walked through Old Town, we passed the gate to the Estonian Parliament - so accessable. We sat on the massive wall surrounding Old Town and viewed the overall city. We toured the 19th century Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox symbol of the centuries of Russification endured by Estonia. 4. Turku, Finland - September 3 ------------------------------------------ We sailed into Turku, Finland on another beautiful day - did I mention the weather we had? We had perfect weather the whole trip: low 60’s to high 70’s, clear skies, calm seas, and sunshine. Great touring weather. I knew something special awaited us as we sailed into this, the 2011 European Capital of Culture, and Finland’s oldest town. It was founded in the 13th century and was Finland’s capital until 1809. At that point it was absorbed into the Russian Federation and the capital moved to Helsinki. It is located on the Aura River, which reaches into the Archipelago Sea. Turku is on the point of Finland where the Baltic Sea, the Archipelago Sea, and the Gulf of Bothnia meet. Just entering the city and the port was a wondrous experience. Sailing boats and ships everywhere along the Aura, the charm of Turku is immediately evident. There are ten bridges in Turku across the Aura in this city of 175,000. The city seems dominated by its large university presence and is a tech center. In 1827, 75% of the city was destroyed by a great fire, so many of the older areas were burned, which affects it history and caused it to be rebuilt at that time. It is a curious mix of old and new, and is a great place to visit and walk. Our first tour stop was at the Orthodox Cathedral. We stopped at a Loustarinmäki Handcraft Museum, which is in reality a village remaining and maintained from about 1775. The entire village is an open air museum, with all the characteristics of the original time. The streets are rough cobblestone, the buildings are well-worn wood and most structures ajoin one-another. Each of the buildings seems to house a business and a home for the owner. There is a printer, painter, tobacconist, etc. Extremely interesting. We toured the fascinating 12th century Turku Castle, the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. The structure includes the Medieval “keep” (päälinna) and Renaissance “bailey” (esilinna). The keep is a square fort with two square gateway towers with 16 foot thick walls. In the Middle Ages the castle was surrounded by a moat conjoining with the River Aura, the castle effectively lying on an island. We saw many other sights in beautiful and interesting Turku, but we had to leave and return to the ship for another great evening. 5. Västervik, Sweden - September 4 ------------------------------------------------ We were fortunate to embrace the scenic beauty of the Västervik Archipelago from a unique perspective on a local boat ride to Hasselö Island. A local fisherman was our guide on the boat ride as we rode through the archipelago. We landed on the island of Hasselö, population about 36, though it swells to about 500 in the summer. Once primarily a fishing village, it is now focused on tourism, carpentry, and services. Once we landed, we mounted a little wagon pulled by an ATV for our tour of the island. It actually was a great way to see things - we were close, in the open air, and could talk to and hear the local man driving the ATV. He talked to us about the island historically and now, and pointed out great views and local landmarks. He drove us around Hassalö and then over a little bridge to the island of Sladö, population 5. Hassalö has a small cluster of homes, and every house and dock shed on the island is painted barn red with white trim. I guess they all got together and bought the paint. Everything is well kept. When we had finished the tour of the island, we stopped at the restaurant near the dock where the boat that had brought us was docked. We were delighted to have coffee and a delicous cake that the proprietor had made, and as we ate a surprising thing happened. A local man came to our table and asked if he could sit with us and chat. He was, like (apparently) all Swedes, was very fit and handsome, with a great-looking and neatly trimmed beard. He wanted to talk about America, but as a local resident, he was perfectly happy talking about life on the island(s). His wife, a professional, recently came to the U.S. to work, and he would soon be following. He had some questions. During our charming conversation, we learned that he planned to take his hunting rifle to New York so that he could later do some hunting. We warned him about immigrating with a weapon. All in all, it was a great way to meet and learn about the local people. Once we returned to the Silver Wind and it was underway, we were - as usual - sitting on our balcony enjoying a glass of Prosecco, when we saw the red Pilot boat come alongside and the pilot jumped from our ship to the Pilot boat. It was clear that everywhere along the Baltic shores, the archipelagos required the use of local pilots. The 50,000 islands, rocks, and skerries are a navigational hazzard. 6. Rønne, Bornholm and Svaneke, Denmark - September 5 Now I have to confess: just prior to the beginning of the trip I came down with a case of pneumonia. Since it was the weekend, I went to a local clinic rather than my excellent personal doctor, and they gave me some kind of anti-biotic. A few days into the trip, I was still sick and I went to the ship’s doctor, who gave me another. I was feeling pretty weak the day we landed in Roenne, so Karen went on the tour without me. I stayed on the ship, got a massage, hot tub, sleep, and generally slummed. So I missed this particular day, and what I have here is from Karen and the guidebooks. Forgive me. I did well the remainder of the trip, I think. At least Karen didn’t leave me lying in a pool of self-pity on some rock. Back to the trip. Rønne is the largest town on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, with around 13,000 inhabitants. It is a historic and scenic town, established approximately in the year 1000. It was largely destroyed by Russian bombing of German positions during WW II, but was painstakingly rebuild in its origina tradition. It had early on established itself as a herring fishing village, but over the centuries that declined. The production of ceramics replaced fishing and remains so today. Karen opted for a tour that included Svaneke village and a tasting at the brewhouse. On the way there they was some beautiful shore and forest views, and Karen climbed a forest lookout tower to get a better view. On the way, there as a stop to see an ancient ship hull. She walked through the village and shops, and then went to the Brewhouse where many different beers were set up for tasting. Sounded deligtful to me. 7. Warnemünde (Rostock) and Kuhlungsborn, Germany - September 6 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, speak of disappointments that turn into pleasures, we learned that our tour booked for this day was cancelled due to the German Bundestag (Parliament) meeting in our expected venue for that day. We had planned to take a train to Berlin, and tour the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall, Charlotten Palace, Kurfurstendam Avenue and the Victory Column in Tiergarten Park, Gendarmenmarkt Square, an exclusive organ recital at the Berlin Cathedral, and capped off with a three-course lunch at the rooftop restaurant on the Reichstag. But, noooo, the German government had business to conduct, so the Reichstag was closed and out tour was cancelled. So, we chose instead to tour the Mecklenburg countryside and the Narrow Guage Railroad. Who knew how much we’d love that day? We docked at Warnemünde in what was formerly East Germany, sitting on the estuary of the River Warnow from which it gets its name. It is a suburb of Rostock, and is a place where many tourist ships dock. We opted for a the “Mechlenburg Countryside and Narrow Guage Rail” tour. A great choice, it turns out. There was, of course, a brief bus ride through the countryside, and then we stopped in Bad Doberan to walk around and find the “Molli”, the name of the narrow guage railroad that runs from Bad Doberan to Kuhlungsborn along the Baltic Coast. What fun. We sat on the train with some friends we made on the cruise and we all had a ball. The train was clean, interesting, open, and was almost like a Disney “Small, Small World” ride, but real. It was build in 1886, and runs around 10 kilometers. Within Bad Doberan the line runs through the street, and later along a linden tree-lined avenue. Between Heiligendamm and Kühlungsborn the tracks run parallel to the Baltic Sea beach across fields. One of my favorite stops on this entire trip was Kuhlungsborn. This quaint seaside village with a long white sandy beach on the calm Baltic coast is a very busy resort town whose existence seems to be to make tourists happy. It has a series of great small hotels and wonderful restaurants. We were treated to coffee and cake at a wonderful beachside hotel restaurant. We then walked down to the beach and were entertained by a one-man band, but the real entertainment was the beautiful white sand beaches. It was a wonderful place to be. After a while kibitzing with our friends and enjoying the ambiance, we ambled up the tree-lined lane and down the cobblestone street to view the many shops and restaurants. Were it not for the ever-expected crowds, this would be a great place to spend a summer. 8. Travemunde and Lübeck, Germany - September 7 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- We sailed into Travemunde in what was once West Germany, close to the westernmost edge of the Baltic Sea, almost directly south across the Baltic from Copenhagen. Travemunde is the part of Lübeck that contains the port, being directly on the Baltic. When referring to Lübeck, my understanding is that one is generally including Travemunde. The Hanseatic City of Lübeck (Hansestadt Lübeck) is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea and the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, and is situated at the mouth of the river Trave, giving it the name of its port Travemünde. In the 12th century, Lübeck, together with nearby Hamburg (which I have visited for business in the distant past), founded what became the powerful Hanseatic League of ports and trading towns. Unlike fellow Hanseatic Cities of Hamburg and Bremen, it lost its "Free State" status and was incorporated into the German federation. History found a sweeter side for Lübeck - it is globally known for the finest marzipan. The old town (Altstadt) of Lübeck , although considerably damaged during the Second World War, was rebuilt in its medieval times form. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city center's medieval skyline, mainly composed of seven Gothic-style church towers, is still intact. Lübeck is surrounded by parts of the old city walls with two of the original four city gates left. Most notable is the Holsten Gate (Holstentor) which was the motif on the German banknote of 50 Deutsche Mark prior to reunification, when the bills were redesigned. We had joined the cruise’s tours at every stop so far, so this day we opted to conduct our own tour of Lübeck. We started by walking off the boat along the docks into Travemunde to the bus terminal. There we boarded the bus for the brief ride into the old city of Lübeck. We got off and asked where to pick up the bus for the return trip, and we were told to go to the street by the Holtsen Gate. Okay, we had the schedule and a few Euros. No problem. We walked through parts of the old city and quickly found ourselves in front of the Lübeck Cathedral, and next to it the Niederegger Arcade & Square. Within the square, we saw the old town hall (“rathaus”) and directly behind it a brewery, with the Cathedral in the background. We sat just outside the Niederegger Arcade across the street from the famous Niederegger Marzipan store and had a cappacino and watched the passersby, just “chillin”. We went into the store, and holy cow, how much marzipan is there? We wondered through the arcade and through the square, and then deeper into the old town, where we happened upon a sign for “observation deck”. It is located in a remodeled St. Peters Church, and the deck is accessed through a combination of stairs and elevators. It gives a great view of the entire old city and across the river to the east (Lübeck old city is an island in the midst of the river). We then began our return to the ship. We walked through some of the charming streets loaded with shops (most for the tourists, I believe), and tried to find the bus stop near the Holsten Gate. We stopped several people to ask, and finally a taxi drive pointed out were we could find it. We were a little worried that we would miss it because of the amount of time and walking we expended to find it. But it turned out fine. All aboard and back to Travemunde and the ship. As we walked to the boat from the bus station in Travemunde, we the whole view was a marina on our side of the river, and working docs on the other side. Another wonderful day! Then a glass of Prosecco (what else?), shower, get presentable, a fine dinner*, followed by another fun musical in the theater. Then we had to face the final sailing sunset of our cruise. Our last night aboard. We joined our friends for a "stone grill" in the Grill, where a very hot stone is placed in front of you and you grill your order. The order can be whatever you like: steak (filet, strip, New York, ...), shrimp, lobster, lamb, and so on, or steak and shrimp or two steaks. When I say whatever, I mean whatever. That and fine wine or other beverage, including specific wines that you'd like. Very upscale all the way. 9. Copenhagen, Denmark - September 8 - 9 ---------------------------------------------------------- The magical ride aboard the Silver Wind was at an end. We had breakfast and our luggage was taken to dockside where we got a taxi and proceeded to the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel for an overnight stay. We were able to tour Copenhagen most of that day and much of the following day. The first stop was while driving to the hotel we asked the taxi driver to stop at the Little Mermaid, an ubiquitous attraction (just below). He then drove us through Amalienborg Slotsplads, the famous square which is home to the Danish royal family. Who knew that for the price of a taxi ride to the hotel, we could get a great little tour and see some sights we may have lost? There were a number of other highlights from that short ride, but our walking tour also included some of them. We checked in and began our walk through Copenhagen. Copenhagen is located on a strait, the Öresund, that connects the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and which separates Denmark from Sweden. Malmo, Sweden, is just across a narrow part of the Baltic, 26 miles east by road from Copenhagen. The city, about 1.6 million people, is located on the eastern shore of the island of Zealand, partly on the island of Amager and on a number of natural and artificial islets between the two. Our hotel sat directly on the edge of the Öresund, and gave us a spectacular view of the strait and the part of the city on the other island. As we walked we came across the spectacular Nyhavn district, a beautiful canal street lined with many shops and restaurants, and all along the canal, bow to stern, small to medium sailing vessels. Absolutely charming. We left Nyhavn (reluctantly) and walked a few block further to the Amilie Garden, where I sat and Karen wandered a bit. I was watching the new Opera house across the strait, a beautiful sight - as are the gardens. Directly opposite of the Opera view is a look into the Amilienborg square. Amalienborg. The “Slotsplads” is very impressive, with four nearly identical classical palaces (and we are told rococco interiors) around the square and King Frederick V on horseback in the center. We walked over to Amilienborg and witnessed the Queen’s guard on his march to guard her residence palace. We then walked through the square and came to Marmorkirken, the “Marble Church”, the church of King Frederick V. I sat on the steps for a while, while Karen explored. A couple sat down with me, and we began to chat. They were touring from South Africa, and we compared notes. I have to say that Copenhagen was delightful for meeting new people easily and breaking into great conversation. Karen came back and we continued to chat for a while. We decided to taxi back to the hotel (a long, long walk), and as part of the drive, we went trough Kongens Nytorv, a very large pedestrian square. Just near where Hotel D'Angleterra is located, there is a very large bicycle docking station. So many bicycles! We arrived at the Marriott and watched from our window as a fascinating water polo match was played directly in front of our window across the strait in the very cold waters. It was 60 or 65 degree weather, and the water had to be much colder, and they were in the water like it was a heated swimming pool. We asked the hotel concierge to direct us to a good restaurant within walking distance (which is very different for Europeans than it is for Americans), and they pointed us to Restaurant Karla (get Google to translate the page) on Dante Place (“Dantes Plads 1”). It is directly across from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a major art museum that holds the collection of the founder of Carlsberg Breweries. The restaurant is small, intimate, and had a very local client base. We each ordered from the prix fixe menu for a fulll-course meal, centered on herring or plaice. It was delicious 10. Iceland and Greenland Flyover ---------------------------------------------- We boarded the Icelandic Air flight home and settled into our Business Class seats. After a stop to change planes in Reykjavik, we flew to Philadelphia and home. We flewo over both Iceland and Greenland and flew low and got good views. It is ironic that Iceland is green and Greenland is icy. It had been a wonderful trip, one that I would recommend to anyone. But, as always, it was good to be home again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The minor detail on an otherwise great cruise is that the hot tubs never really get hot enough. The international standard is 103 to 105 Fahrenheit and I felt that the tubs on "Wind" were about 100 to 101 F and that difference is ... Read More
The minor detail on an otherwise great cruise is that the hot tubs never really get hot enough. The international standard is 103 to 105 Fahrenheit and I felt that the tubs on "Wind" were about 100 to 101 F and that difference is significant .... The route was a good one. Copenhagen to London. The stops along the way were well thought out and the guides were good. Cabin service was excellent and we especially enjoyed the laundry service. We did not attend any of the theatre shows but did go to the various bars. The guitar player was very good and he had the room all up and dancing. His name was Aidan. The last stop was Honfleur and we especially enjoyed the cocktail mixing class. The instructor was excellent. The trip up the Thames River will rank as one of the most memorable of the whole cruise as the song that was played as we travelled under Tower Bridge was "Hail Britannia". It was 9 PM, and a dark night so very dramatic. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted to cruise the Baltic in August 2018 and looked for the most luxurious line. To start on a positive note, the suites were beautiful, clean and spacious. TV programming, including movies was excellent. Internet was fair, but ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Baltic in August 2018 and looked for the most luxurious line. To start on a positive note, the suites were beautiful, clean and spacious. TV programming, including movies was excellent. Internet was fair, but only after purchasing the 'premium' version at some $ 150, the type of nickel-and-diming that we did not expect. Shore excursions were good, but very expensive. The cabins of most of our group members were very noisy and shaking, especially when the ship was moving. This is something we never experienced before (and we are seasoned cruise guests). This did impact our sleep negatively.. The handicapped facilities were so-so, no handrails on toilet. Food.. La Terrazza was fine, although the 'free' red wine was disappointing Spaccanapoli.. If we would come across pizza like that, we would walk away. Same for the burgers at the grill. Horrible. Indochine was fine, and so was Seishin ($ 40 per person additional) Also, frequently, restaurants were not able to seat us (we were a party of 12). At Seabourn, this never happened. Changes to menu items were usually not possible, let alone waiting staff remembering what guests liked (like, again, at Seabourn) Our cruise with Silversea was satisfactory, but not the best value for money. We will not return. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First time sailing Silver Seas. (Silver Spirit) It lived up to its billing. Almost everything was right, and when it wasn't it was appropriately addressed. Entertainment and Activities abord the ship were more (high quality talent) ... Read More
First time sailing Silver Seas. (Silver Spirit) It lived up to its billing. Almost everything was right, and when it wasn't it was appropriately addressed. Entertainment and Activities abord the ship were more (high quality talent) than anticipated. The cabins were spacious. Larger than expected. Attentive butler service and cleaning were almost "too much" but we got used to it. Felt there was way too much emphasis on premium alcohol (cruise wide) and a few fellow passengers got more "into the spirit(s)" than they might have if they were paying a la carte, but I suppose that is what you get when you are all inclusive. The "special" restaurants had such limited availability we were unable to book tables.A disappointment. Didn't realize how quickly you had to reserve (we waited two weeks after reservations opened) Food was excellent considering its such a large production The internet (and I upgraded to premium) was extremely cumbersome and slow. This was a surprising problem. I have had better service on airplanes! The Baltic itineraries/excursions (Copenhagen, Visby and Tallinn were uninspired). It seemed more like a "lead up" to St Petersburg. Guides were processional and logistics were smooth. Large complaint was on return flights. Took advantage of the Business Class upgrade. I should have been more insistint about direct flights home (Iceland Air stops in Reykjavik and doesn't have lie flat seats in business class.) Would have happily paid more and ended the cruise with more comfort. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We just returned from a very enjoyable Baltic cruise. We are not Cruise experts; this was only our second one (recently) after Alaska cruise with Crystal Serenity. We naturally compared the two lines/ships. Overall we loved both but do ... Read More
We just returned from a very enjoyable Baltic cruise. We are not Cruise experts; this was only our second one (recently) after Alaska cruise with Crystal Serenity. We naturally compared the two lines/ships. Overall we loved both but do have a few nitpicks. Cabin: SS clearly more spacious than Crystal Serenity but the the CS balcony cabin was better organized and we preferred Crystal's less firm mattress. SS walk in closet is great. Public spaces: Advantage Silver Spirit. Beautiful pastel colors and rich style. Crystal Serenity is certainly excellent in its own right, but it has some garish or frumpy spots. Entertainment: Advantage Crystal. Entertainment on the SS was enthusiastic but basic. Service: Both excellent but more uneven on Silver Spirit, ranging from the superb to the chaotic breakfast buffet at Terrazza. Butler service tops, but so is regular room service. Food: Both excellent. Favorites on the SS were Indochine, Grill and Terrazza dinner, as well as Silver Note. Atlantide was fine. Our one serious disappointment was SS's Japanese restaurant (extra $) - much of the food was unauthentic and drowning in teryaki, much better in Crystal's Nobu. I also missed my main dining room on the Crystal Serenity. Wines: advantage Crystal. The offerings on SS were fine but on CS I had some excellent Loire, Burgundy and Cote de Rone wines. You can get this on Silversea but pay extra. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Advantage Silversea. Crystal is good, Silversea is better. Silversea's policy to provide shuttles to the center of each town where it docks is perfect. Bottom line: we would be very happy to sail again one either ship/ with either cruise line!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second Silversea cruise and it was wonderful. We were always greeted warmly and the staff went above and beyond to make sure our needs were met. This ship has wonderful, large public areas so it does not feel crowded. We were ... Read More
This was our second Silversea cruise and it was wonderful. We were always greeted warmly and the staff went above and beyond to make sure our needs were met. This ship has wonderful, large public areas so it does not feel crowded. We were often greeted by name by wait staff after the first couple days and we were always greeted with a smile by any staff member we met in the corridors or public areas. The entertainers were excellent! They performed several different shows with different types of music. Each show was wonderful. Our suite was immaculate! We would go with Silversea again in a heartbeat. Our cruise began and ended with Copenhagen. We then traveled to Bergen, Songnefjord, Molde, and Geiranger. The beauty of the fjords is hard to describe. Docking was smooth as was tendering in the ports we had to tender to shore. Everything was always on time. I also can't say enough about our butler. He brought us appetizers each day at 5 without us even asking. It was difficult to say good bye to this wonderful ship and wonderful experience after 7 days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to travel and explore Norway and Denmark. This is the first cruise we have been on and wanted it to be a good experience. We chose Silversea due to their reputation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to travel and explore Norway and Denmark. This is the first cruise we have been on and wanted it to be a good experience. We chose Silversea due to their reputation and recommendations from friends whom have traveled with Silversea. The price was high compared to other cruise lines but in the end it was worth every cent. The staff was amazing and very friendly, the food was incredible. My Wife is Gluten Free and as we informed them of this up front they were very responsive and well prepared for her dietary needs. Norway was amazing and the shore excursions were well worth it. The ship rout was such that we zigged and zagged in and around the majestic islands and fjords able to see amazing scenery. The offshore weather was a bit rough and I was amazed at hos stable the ship was, so I was told due to the stabilizers that were being used. I would do it again for sure, but would choose a different cruise so to see new sights. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I was told it was a 5 Star cruise line. This ship is past due for updating which I understand will happen this November. However, I found the cabin staff poorly trained or beginners. The food menu was very shallow. Several meals did not ... Read More
I was told it was a 5 Star cruise line. This ship is past due for updating which I understand will happen this November. However, I found the cabin staff poorly trained or beginners. The food menu was very shallow. Several meals did not have anything of interest beyond a steak or hamburger. The desert offerings were very poor. With only a few nights exception, ice cream was the only interesting offer. Staff works hard to call you by name and are very friendly. Good iterinerary and shore excursions were good except one in HELSINKI (The tour that toured via sail boat was unpleasant). Quality of entertainment was good but surprised that there were several times when there were not activities on the ship for several hours while at sea. They could have bingo, "bag toss" with crew or other activities. Surprised that they upcharge for La Dame dining. First visit experienced very slow/poor service and they offered a scond visit which went well to correct the complaint. I think the new owners have some work to do in order to compete with Seabourn or Regent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Once Aboard, it took an inordinate amount of time to receive our luggage (approximately 2 hours). The suite was very small and some of the plumbing did not work: could not regulate hot and cold water in the sink, drain in the tub (2x), ... Read More
Once Aboard, it took an inordinate amount of time to receive our luggage (approximately 2 hours). The suite was very small and some of the plumbing did not work: could not regulate hot and cold water in the sink, drain in the tub (2x), then a loose faucet in the sink after the repair. Only 3 outlets in the entire cabin and 1 was already utilized by the clock. No loutlets in the bathroom except for an electric razor. For the most part the entertainkent consisted of 6 fairly talented young performers (unfortuaately one got incompacitated toward the end of the voyage). One night in the beginning, there was only a terrible movie on 2 little screens and only 4 people in the audience.. We like to dance and there was no dancing until the middle of the voyage and in the bar only.(i believe because a complaint was made by some of the passengers.) The ship missed aGdansk Poland because of Engine problems The last straw was that our "confirmed" seat assignment on Swiss Air was changed without any notification. We were fortunate to find a ticket manager to help us get better seats but not the ones we were assigned. Some of the tours were good and some substandard. For example: in St. Petersburg we were on the canal ride and sat outsided but the sound system was inaudible. Some were boring; some exxcellent. In Latvia the guide was poor. We were on Oceanic previous and was convinced by the travel agent that Silver Seas was a step up. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Several friends had taken this Baltic cruise and raves about it. Chose Silver Spirit because it could dock in downtown St Petersburg (instead of naval marine terminal out of town). Embarking in Stockholm was a breeze, but luggage ... Read More
Several friends had taken this Baltic cruise and raves about it. Chose Silver Spirit because it could dock in downtown St Petersburg (instead of naval marine terminal out of town). Embarking in Stockholm was a breeze, but luggage delivery was strange. Two bags quickly came to cabin, but a hour later two were still missing. Went looking and found both in the hall - one near our cabin, the other several cabins away. No crew doing anything with them. Dining was generally very good. However, almost every time we asked for red wine, we were handed the wine list instead of being offer complimentary house offerings. We did buy premium wines, but left with feeling wait staff was trained to push paid wine over included wines (which were often very good). A cheap touch that mared otherwise fine dining. Aside from the wine thing, the wait staff was terrific. Cabin was excellent, well-appointed, and very comfortable. Butler and cabin attendant were superb. Shore excursions were OK. I think they failed to meet extraordinarily high expectations set by things our friends had said about their trips. Glad to have seen the Hermitage, but found being in there with mobs of people too much. Literally found some rooms so packed it was hard to breathe. I guess that’s they way that place is, but it was a miserable experience. Shore excursion staff not much help - lacked options - to help us change during the cruise. Their knowledge of the excursions seemed to be limited to what was printed in the books we were given. Expected greater knowledge. If we were do this again, might be inclined to arrange shore tours on my own via A&K or some similar outside group. That said - Nadia and Daria in St. Petersburg and Andrei in Tallinn were excellent guides. Disembarking went very smoothly. I realize flipping the ship in a few hours for new passengers is an all-hands-on-deck job, I might suggest allocating a few staff to offer coffee or drinks to passengers sitting in lounges for a couple of hours between the time we had to be out of our cabins and leaving the ship. Would I go again? Not likely to repeat any cruise I’ve taken. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted a short cruise that would allow us to visit St. Petersburg at some length, and allow us to spend significant land time in the two most interesting Scandinavian cities, Stockholm and Copenhagen. This cruise was for 7 nights, ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise that would allow us to visit St. Petersburg at some length, and allow us to spend significant land time in the two most interesting Scandinavian cities, Stockholm and Copenhagen. This cruise was for 7 nights, with three of them in St. Pete. And, it departed from Stockholm and disembarked in Copenhagen. Because we are quite old, and it is painful for us to keep up with group tours, we ordered private cars through the Silversea program for that. As well, we wanted a pretty small ship. With just over 600 passages the Silver Spirit was, compared with other ocean-going cruise ships a pretty small one. Some of this was probably worth it - 8 hours in new Mercedes with driver and also good guide in St. Pete for $500. We took that for each of our three days in Russia. Some of it was a rip-off, but we were offered no other viable option, for the half-day the ship was in Finland. Just 4 hours in in new Mercedes with driver and also good guide in Helsinki for fully $700 - FOUR hours for Seven Hundred Dollars. For our Five times in ports, including a half-day in Tallin, Estonia, we had to spend an additional $2700. Given a good discount by Silversea, we paid extra to fly First Class, or Business Class, whatever the top class is called for the major carriers - about $1400 extra for each of us. That would have been Fine, EXCEPT that we had no choice as to the timing of our flights. When flying to Europe before, we we have done over 50 times, we never took a flighst that departed earlier than 9 pm, and usually significantly later, allowing for a goodly number of hours ASLEEP on the plain. This flight left just after 5 PM, allowing us to sleep for only an hour or, at most, two. Our first two days in Stockholm were compromised by this bad mandatory timing. If we ever go on Silversea again, we will NOT "take advantage" of their air programs. Read Less
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