1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Silversea Cruises
  4. Silversea Cruises Cruise Reviews

27 Silversea Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm ... Read More
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm came in that night and we had to miss 3 or 4 of the next ports. It was an expedition cruise and this is to be expected. The ship has been updated beautifully - great showers in the bathrooms, even with seats. Deluxe cabins are very comfortable. Public areas attractive and as comfortable as when I first sailed her in 2002. Terrific. The reception, butler/housekeeping staff, bar and dining room staff are as wonderful as Silversea has always produced. They’re great. On this cruise their line let them down. The expedition staff, not so much! As a now solo traveller (widowed) I commend Silversea for making solo travellers comfortable and included in their voyages. There were plumbing/sewage issues from boarding time onwards which affected a number of decks and many passengers. The cruise was brought into Reykjavik a day early (which it seems to have done on other cruises, I see). Disappointingly, Silversea has not responded to my comments and complaints. Very disappointing for a formerly very loyal Silversea cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful 11 night cruise on the Spirit. We had not sailed Siversea in 10 years and will definitely be returning. Our past experience with this line had not been very positive and we switched to Seabourn ... Read More
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful 11 night cruise on the Spirit. We had not sailed Siversea in 10 years and will definitely be returning. Our past experience with this line had not been very positive and we switched to Seabourn but decided to try again based on the itinerary and timing near our anniversary. We embarked in Barcelona, it was qiuick and efficient but not as wrm as Seabourn. Our first impression of the ship was “dated”- perhaps it was the color scheme but the furniture style reminded me of an assisted living facility. We then reviewed the buffet in La Terrazza but opted to have lunch in the Atlantide restaurant where we enjoyed a tasty Mahi and drank a french chardonnay. The room was less frenetic than La Terrazza and the service excellent.We finished lunch and went to our Deluxe veranda suite on the 8th floor and found our luggage had been delivered-always good to get the unpacking squared away. Once again we had the impression that the suite had a bit of a dated feel to it but the space was similar to the Seabourn line and felt familiar. The shower was larger and the tub deeper but there was only a single sink.the ame/nities were very similar and we were very happy to have a jewelry box in the safe for our items. Our butler showed up shortly after and took care of several requests including a mattress topper for the bed which was on the firm side. After unpacking and attending the muster drill we showered, dressed for dinner and went to the Panorama lounge for a predinner cocktail. The ambience is different than the Observation bar on Seabourn and both have positives. We always enjoyed a seat at the beautiful bar on Seabourn where we could enjoy the bartender’s company as well as conversation with other passengers. The bar area on Silversea is small and not a focal point of the room so we chose to sit in the comfy chairs.The Silversea lounge was just that- very comfortable chairs and a very nice dance floor. I loved having a cocktail list on the Spirit and the drinks were well crafted and presented. Our reservation the first evening was in La Dame because we could only waitlist this venue for the rest of the cruise when we tried to book our reservations back in Feb. The dinner was just perfect- excellent food with delicious options and very attentive service - the only negative was that many of the tables were set so closely together that we felt as if we were joining others rather than dining as a twosome. The other restaurants on the ship were similar with many of the tables for two placed very closely together which could be positive or negative depending upon one’s table-mates. A couple next to us was forced to engage in political banter with two people on their other side told us after the other couple departed that they did not enjoy the discussion. All of the dining rooms seem to fill up each evening and everyone seemed to make an effort to dress nicely which added a touch of elegance. On Seabourn there were fewer jackets and almost no ties. We dined in La Terrazza most mornings and the selections for breakfast were quite varied and the food delivered hot and very quickly which we appreciated when we had an early excursion. We also enjoyed room service a few mornings and one evening when we were too tired too move! and our butler brought the tray-the presentation was lovely, the orders correct, and the food hot. The food in Seishin and Indoshine were nice options and we enjoyed the ambience of each restaurant. The only dinner we did not enjoy was in La Terrazza- service was on point but the food just wasn’t appealing- we only tried it once. The Arts cafe was another plus-it offered all day snacking items and we loved the option of bringing some things to the room-particularly as it was right down the hall. Our suite was very accessible to the elevators, the lauderette (which I used once,) the Arts Cafe and the pool. The only negative was the sound of furniture scraping across the deck above us- not a gigantic nuisance but I would probably go for deck 7 instead of 8. The ship’s excursions were very interesting and not overly crowded- there was always space on the bus to move around. Overall I would say that Silversea had better food and service and we really enjoyed having the services of a butler. Seabourn has prettier and more up to date venues and better entertainment. We liked the glamour of dressing for dinner on Silversea but did not like the surcharges for some of the restaurants. The welcome on Seabourn is more vibrant while Silversea is more subdued. Many of the guests on Silversea have sailed numerous times with the line and we are pleased to say that we shall be repeatIng with another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Because we loved the itinerary and to celebrate my 75th birthday. However, what we had planned for and looked forward to for a year, ended in a distressing and devastating experience, cut short by stormy seas and ports not on the ... Read More
Because we loved the itinerary and to celebrate my 75th birthday. However, what we had planned for and looked forward to for a year, ended in a distressing and devastating experience, cut short by stormy seas and ports not on the itinerary we had chosen, but rather selected by the captain due to inability to go to any of the ports on the schedule. Of the seven selected and scheduled ports, the ship went to only one of those. Aside from the tremendous disappointment of not being able to visit the places we had hoped to see, the discomfort of being on a ship in such stormy and rocky waters made for a most unpleasant and frightening experience. Unhappily, the Captain never gave advance information, but chose to announce it the evening before. Shortly after leaving our embarkation port of Tower Bridge the Captain announced because of severe weather ahead we would not be going to our first port but directly to our second port, Cork. And we did not go to any other of the scheduled ports. On the second day at sea, after having to forego our first port of call, the Captain announced we would not be going to the original destination. The weather and sea was severely stormy and I became deathly seasick, requiring the services of the ship's doctor. He came to our suite as I was not able to get out of bed. I was given an injection and was unable to leave the suite for the rest of the afternoon and evening. On the fifth day of the cruise the Captain again announced we would not be able to go to any of the next several ports, but would have to be on stormy waters for 36 hours heading directly to the final destination of Reykjavik. It was at this point I knew I could not endure that kind of sickness and misery. My husband was able to arrange a flight home from Glasgow at an additional cost of $2000 and extreme stress and agitation that caused. While this ship and Silversea Cruise Lines touts themselves as a luxury line with the utmost in comfort, care and luxury, we found the ship to be in a very distressed state and in need of refurbishing and cleaning. The thermostat in our suite never worked correctly, causing great discomfort of either being too hot or too cold. The water temperature in the shower would go from comfortable to scalding without any change being initiated. The towels and bathmats were thin and frayed and in desperate need of replacing. The drapes on the windows did not close properly, allowing a bright slit of sun to enter the room long before one would necessarily want to be awakened. And one of the more annoying issues for us began the very first evening. We were on the 7th floor, and the pool area was on the floor above us. Starting at 10:30pm and ending at midnight, or as early as 5am, the crew would be putting tables and chairs or chaise lounges away and would scrape them on the floor. Though we reported this problem immediately at least 5 times, it never ceased. This experience has put me off of cruising entirely. My husband, in particular, loves to cruise. It should be a wonderful way to enjoy the company of new friends and seeing fun and exciting places. That is not what happened and I would greatly urge anyone considering sailing on this cruise line to be aware of the lack of attention to the safety and concern for the guests and lack of caring and thoughtfulness expressed to their disappointment and distress. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were celebrating a special birthday for my wife. We loved the itinerary and made plans with dear friends for the celebration. Before we reached to first evening at sea the captain announced that we were passing our first port because of ... Read More
We were celebrating a special birthday for my wife. We loved the itinerary and made plans with dear friends for the celebration. Before we reached to first evening at sea the captain announced that we were passing our first port because of stormy weather and proceeding to our second scheduled port. The weather was so severe that day and night that my wife became extremely seasick, was nauseous, vomiting for hours. I was able to get the doctor to our cabin, he gave her an injection, and so went the first full sea day. After we spent the day at Cork the captain again announced a change of destinations wherein we missed the next 3 ports, again severe weather, and instead went to ports we have previously visited on other trips. We then proceeded to Glasgow, again not a scheduled port, to spend the night and next day. Before dinner in Glasgow the captain again announced that because of a severe storm we wound not to to the next 3 ports, but set off to Reykjavik which would entail 36 hours through stormy seas, to which my wife said she could not take that again. We disembarked in Glasgow and I was able to arrange air travel home. How does Silversea Cruise Lines and the captain of the ship account for putting the guests through the danger and discomfort of taking us to sea knowing what lay ahead? Should we not have been advised before embarkation of rough seas and given a chance to cancel our plans? Is money the driving force and more important then the guests comfort and safety? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked a cruise from London to Iceland to visit the west coast of Ireland and NW Scotland in September 2018. What they DON'T tell you is that 7/10 destinations require tenders to get you ashore. That is impossible in the constant ... Read More
We booked a cruise from London to Iceland to visit the west coast of Ireland and NW Scotland in September 2018. What they DON'T tell you is that 7/10 destinations require tenders to get you ashore. That is impossible in the constant rough weather we experienced and we ended up going to Dublin,Belfast and Glasgow, where we got off the ship and came home. Of course Silver Sea can't guarantee weather but the online web site and the details of the cruise offered should state where tenders are used to go ashore. If I had known that I would have realized the risk and not booked the cruise. It is a shame because the itinerary sounded wonderful and the small ship, with only 220 passengers and 240 crew, sounded like just what we wanted. Leaving by passing under Tower Bridge was spectacular. The service was excellent. Crew were always friendly and in the restaurants always knew us by name. We had our own butler which sounded grand but we rarely needed his services. We were somewhat surprised to find that most passengers were like us, are in our mid seventies. It would have been nice to be with more younger people. What a pity it was all ruined by not being able to visit 7/10 ports promised. My advice is to ask what weather conditions can be expected on your cruise at that time of the year ( or check yourself) and most important-- ask if tenders are used to take you ashore. If they are, be prepared for major disruption to your itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
After a series of Alaska cruises on the Silver Shadow this year my wife and I decided to try something different: a 14 day cruise around the British Isles. We were attracted by the ports (including Belfast, where I grew up; and Dublin, ... Read More
After a series of Alaska cruises on the Silver Shadow this year my wife and I decided to try something different: a 14 day cruise around the British Isles. We were attracted by the ports (including Belfast, where I grew up; and Dublin, where we met and got married). For an added bonus the cruise started and ended at Tower Bridge in London (where the Silver Wind tied up alongside HMS Belfast). Due to nature of the location at Tower Bridge embarkation and disembarkation was slightly more complicated than on other cruises we have taken as you have to take a water shuttle across the Thames to a pier near The Tower of London - but in both directions it all went smoothly. For the first three destinations (Cork, Dublin and Belfast) where the ship docked was both out of the way and not exactly the prettiest (think working docks) but in each case there was a quick and easy shuttle service into the center of town. For Tobermory and Ullapool we were tendered ashore. For Lerwick, Kirkwall and Edinburgh we again docked but the locations were more scenic (we docked beside the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith/Edinburgh). One of the highlights of the whole cruise was definitely our departure from London at 5:00 PM - traffic stopped, Tower Bridge opened and we were pulled through (backwards!). The return (at 5:00 AM) was also magical though with a lot fewer witnesses. The weather was much better than what we had expected - we only had one morning in which the seas could be described as 'moderate' the rest of the time was remarkably calm (we arrived in Kirkwall to seas that were like glass). We only signed up for one excursion (we prefer exploring on our own). The excursion we did on Orkney was fun (Highland Park Distillery) and informative (St. Magnus Cathedral and the Italian Chapel). The onboard dining was mostly up to the usual Silver Sea standards - the one exception was La Terrazza which we both felt was not up to the same high quality we had grown used to on the Silver Shadow. We had never tried "Hot Rocks" before but this time we did (as we sailed down the Thames) and it was a lovely experience as we watched the ever changing scenary pass us by. The only onboard activity we participated in was Team Trivial - which we really enjoyed. Does the Silver Wind show her age Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After 3 consecutive cruises on Regent, I was recommended Silversea because it was good and very smoking friendly. It really is very smoking friendly. The booking was a breeze with Mr Andrew Ironstone making my life easy. Best ever. ... Read More
After 3 consecutive cruises on Regent, I was recommended Silversea because it was good and very smoking friendly. It really is very smoking friendly. The booking was a breeze with Mr Andrew Ironstone making my life easy. Best ever. The ship is OK, I especially like the architecture having all the cabins in the front and venues in the back of the ship. It is very smart and makes the cabins very quiet. It was the quietest cabin I ever had in a cruise. The cabin was OK with good size and a nice bathroom. Nothing special. The butler service was poor. The entertainment was very limited. The bar staff was great but you could not find the beverages you like in all bars. Some had a very limited selections. The thing I liked the most were the napkins. They come in a roll like toilet paper but the texture is like linen and they are indestructible, very impressing and nice. The food was disgusting, a great deception after cruising with Regent which has great food. We tried the two Asian restaurants and it was really disgusting. The main restaurant has the same menu every night and the food is average, no fixed menu on the left and new dishes on the right of the menu every night, always the same food. We talked to our new cruise friends who tried other options and they told us it was the same bad quality, not worth the effort or the money. Breakfast had a reasonable selection but the service was horrible. It was like watching the 3 stooges. Lots of waiters running in every direction but none stopping to ask me what I wanted to drink. There is an option called Arts Cafe but the ice machine was broken, or that is the excuse and to get a glass of water can take up to 15 minutes. The best thing on breakfast are hand washing machines which are really cool. Lunch is the worst ever. The restaurant closes at 13:30 and you are left with the pool bar which serves horrible food. The hot dog which I thought was a safe option, takes like 30 minutes and is terrible. You can always order pizza which is faster than the hot dog. Are we paying 2000 a night to eat junk food? The dress code is very strict. Some old people wanted to use the smoking they bought for their granddaughter wedding. They had 2 formal nights, 2 casual nights and the rest was informal which is formal without a tie. If you don't follow, "No food for you tonight". It was really disgusting seeing a handicapped man wearing a vest, being sent back to get a jacket in order to be fed. Most of the ports were excellent and we had lunch on shore which satisfied our needs and left us ready for a light fare for diner. Average great lunch on the ports of $150 / person. There were no sea days but some ports had all aboard at 11:30 am or 13:30 pm which left no time for lunch putting us to the punishment of having lunch on board. The best part about the food was that being so bad, we did not gain any weight at all. Final question: would I go back? I don't want to close the door and if they had a great itinerary like the one we cruised, maybe. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Everything from start to finish was a wonderful experience. This 12 day cruise from Lisbon to Greenwich terrific. The ship was small and Intimate just over 600 passengers and elegantly decorated. Just the perfect size so that we felt ... Read More
Everything from start to finish was a wonderful experience. This 12 day cruise from Lisbon to Greenwich terrific. The ship was small and Intimate just over 600 passengers and elegantly decorated. Just the perfect size so that we felt pampered. The ship size allowed it to cruise down the Gironde right into Bordeaux and down the Thames into Greenwich. The Classic Veranda Suite was large and had a living/sitting area with a veranda deck. The bathroom had a separate stall shower and a separate tub. There was a spacious walk in closet with a dresser as well as drawers in the living area. The service from our attentive butler,housekeeper,reception desk,waiters and customer service rep was impeccable. The excursion guides were certified, knowledgeable and sometimes historians. They were always good humored and extremely personable. Restaurant food was very good and service was excellent. However, the menus could have been changed for a bit of variation during the cruise. This cruise line did a fantastic job. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Excellent itinerary that included many remote islands; some, like St. Kilda, Lunga and Fair Isle are rarely visited by cruise ships. The food and service staff were both very good in The Restaurant and La Terrazza. We enjoyed one ... Read More
Excellent itinerary that included many remote islands; some, like St. Kilda, Lunga and Fair Isle are rarely visited by cruise ships. The food and service staff were both very good in The Restaurant and La Terrazza. We enjoyed one dinner in La Dame; food was excellent, the service was good and the more intimate ambience was appreciated. However, the surcharge of US$60 per person seems excessive, in my opinion. Silver Cloud's size is ideal for an expedition type cruise. Silversea did an excellent job with the recent renovation of the ship. The ship's interior decor is very tasteful, complimented by a superb collection of black and white photographs taken on early expeditions to the Antarctic, such as the one led by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1914. The tasteful interior decor extends into the cabins, where warm wood trim compliments the neutral wall colours and the photographic prints from the Antarctic. Our Deluxe Veranda cabin was well fitted out. Our bed was extremely comfortable as were the pillows. Compared to other ships that we have cruised on, our Cabin #526 was the quietest one that we have ever slept in at sea. Our 'Butler' Chokhoni was first class and she was ready to attend to all of our requests, always with a pleasant smile ! Without asking on our part, she even gave our shoes a polish ! This attention to detail was much appreciated ! The Expedition team, superbly led by Tim Amm, was well prepared and their lectures were informative and entertaining. Overall, I would say that the on board lectures were of better quality than any that I have heard aboard other ships, including the much touted ones by Adventure Canada. Getting in and out of the zodiacs was made easy and safe by a very dedicated crew who were always ready to assist passengers. These able crew members ensured that no one was injured, even during some challenging sea conditions. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending Silver Cloud Expedition, but with one caveat. Her tenders are in my opinion unseaworthy and and unfit for duty on the high seas. How Silversea can have these so-called ancient "lifeboats" aboard the Silver Cloud is beyond me. Why were they not replaced during Silver Cloud's recent US$45 million refit ? I have cruised on various expeditions to the high Arctic, Galapagos and Cape Horn, plus cruises on Oceania, Regent and Seabourn. I have never experienced such inadequate tenders on any ship ! If the Captain of the Silver Cloud ever had to order "abandon ship", it would become a calamity, unless the seas were flat calm. Silver Cloud's tenders each have a bow door that leaks water, plus two entry portals on each side, covered by tacky canvas covers. These entry portals, being very close to the waterline, would be breached by the first wave of water hitting the side of the tender. Sea water would eventually swamp the interior of the tender. Imagining 150 people stuffed into each of Silver Cloud's two tenders is unthinkable, especially in locations such as the Antarctic, crossing Drake Passage or mid-Atlantic ! In general, cruise lines tend to provide tenders with minimal seaworthiness. The ones on Silver Cloud are the worst of an already low standard set for life boats. Now that Royal Caribbean has bought out Silversea, perhaps they will pay close attention and replace the inadequate tenders aboard Silver Cloud ? Despite the issue with the tenders, we would have no hesitation in doing another cruise aboard Silver Cloud - she is such a comfortable ship with a very fine crew ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as our good friends wanted to take this trip - it had been recommended to them by others - but they backed out. We knew nothing about cruises, having never been on one - except the perception that you had either the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our good friends wanted to take this trip - it had been recommended to them by others - but they backed out. We knew nothing about cruises, having never been on one - except the perception that you had either the choice of: 1. Travelling with 10 million children dressed up as characters from movies; 2. Travelling with the equivalent of a floating frat party; or 3. Spending a considerable amount of time makking sure you were dressed 'suitably' for your fellow passengers. We both needed a break, it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we decided to take a chance. After all, we both loved the cities of embarcation and departure -Dublin and Barcelona - if the ship experience was bad, we could stay in our cabin, have room service and read and watch movies. The ship experience was amazing! We arrived by cab at the port, our suitcases were collected, we immediately went aboard and fifteen minutes later we were sitting outside, waiting for wine and fire-baked pizzas. We bacame so relaxed over the next few days that one time we got on the elevator and after about 90 seconds, we looked at each other noting that neither of us needed to push a floor button. Our cabin was lovely. Each day a bottle of champagne magically appeared in our mini-fridge and my husband's shirts were perfectly starched and pressed. Mark, our butler, could not have been kinder or more thoughtful. He and Jeanette, our housekeeper, made the trip in our cabin the type of experience everyone wants. They were super. (A side story: One night, we encountered a little rougher waters and my husband needed to leave dinner at Indochine before dessert. Our waiter offered to have my dessert brought to our cabin. I was delighted and we left. When we reached our cabin, we turned on the television to watch the news...the next thing I knew, I was awake and my dessert was on the dining table in our cabin. My husband had fallen asleep, too - he didn't know what happened. We found out the next day that Mark had brought my dessert and when we didn't answer our doorbell, he quietly placed my tray on the table and left. I asked him if we were snoring - and he assured me it wasn't very loud...) We pretty quickly settled into a relaxing routine. We arrived at Atlantide (the main dining restaurant - in addition to Indochine) each morning as they opened. Great service, charming servers and delicious offerings from an expansive menu. We went to La Terranova once for breakfast, but buffets aren't our favorites - so we stayed with Atlantide for the remainder of our trip. After breakfast we found comfy chairs in the Venetian Lounge and read for several hours. We were always asked if we wanted a beverage and their tea 'menu' was unbelievable. Oh, no...it was time for lunch. Where did the morning go? (Tip: Use the stairs as much as you can to help manage the delicious meals.) Between lunches and dinners, we tried every restaurant. Our dinners at Indochine were delicious, but the service at Atlantide was more consistent; same story at LaTerranova. We ate at La Dame on our anniversary and it was worth the surcharge. While delicious, I'm not so sure I would say the same for the Japanese grill. The poolside Grill is super for lunch if the weather is nice. I wasn't so crazy about the 'hot rocks' for dinner, though. The woodfired pizzas were super and I could visit the gelato bar three times a day if I didn't care about weighing more than my clothes could cover. We visited the fitness center almost every day and it was never busy. Immaculately maintained - it was compact, but met our needs. I had a massage at the beginning of the trip. The massage was excellent, but I canceled a second as I felt pressured to buy more services. I hope this comment reaches management. We often went to the Silver Note after dinner for a night cap while we listened to the jazz duo. They were great and Danielle, the bartender made us a delicious drink - hazelnut liquor and lemon juice. She was a doll. That was the only entertainment we experienced - we go to bed early. We met many lovely people on the ship and no one looked askance at what I wore to dinner. I should finish, by saying we enjoyed our trip so much - we have signed up for six more voyages with Silverseas in the next 16 months. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We reserved this cruise over a year in advance based on the itinerary; we had not visited any of the ports listed. There was a new stop every day between Lisbon and London, including two days in Bordeaux and London and a visit to Omaha ... Read More
We reserved this cruise over a year in advance based on the itinerary; we had not visited any of the ports listed. There was a new stop every day between Lisbon and London, including two days in Bordeaux and London and a visit to Omaha Beach. As an expedition cruise, all of the tours, and there were many to choose from, were included. This, and the fact that it was all-inclusive, was enough to sign me up. After that, however, it only got better and better and exceeded our expectations. A person was waiting at the airport for our private car transfer to the hotel (Lisbon Sofitel), which we booked (through Silversea) for a one-day pre-stay. At the hotel, a dedicated hospitality desk was available from 9 to 6 to handle all our questions, advise walking tours, restaurants and sites. On sail day, a luxury bus took us the 20 minute ride to pier and check in at Lisbon was quick. Although it was a our first time in Lisbon, we were never left to feel lost or easy tourist marks. (This was true of the all of the ports we visited). The ship was recently refitted and has furniture and appointments generally similar to the new Silver Muse. Style is subdued and elegant and lacks the Las-Vegas-Disney style glitz so distracting on the 3,000 passenger ships we have previously sailed. Although I knew this was an "expedition" cruise, I did not know until later that it was a "culinary" expedition cruise, with lectures on food, wine and cooking demonstrations. that does not say it all, however, as they also offered highly entertaining talks on military history, medieval cultural history, plants and animals. The tours offered reflected these particular interests. All of the tour guides were local and highly well informed. The passengers ran from about 50 to 80 years of age. I was particularly impressed by the care and attention given by all of the expedition staff on the tours. A crew member was always available to make sure no one got lost and everyone got back to the ship on time. Many ports had courtesy desks set up so that you could strike out on your own. Although Silversea does attract an older crowd (there were no children aboard), many of the tours required an admirable level of fitness, including several walks of several miles over various terrain and bike rides of several miles, and the passengers were more than up to this. They go in all weathers! By evening, passengers were happy to spend a few hours enjoying the evening meal, or a cocktail in the two lounges with pianists/vocalists. We did not miss the absence of broadway song and dance shows, which we usually skip anyway. The level of service was outstanding; you only had to catch the eye of the steward for the merest moment for them to be rushing to your side. Yet, it was not intrusive. Each cabin has a butler as well as a steward for cleaning. In our case, the butler handled in-room dining and assisted with clothing care and was generally always available nearby. About 30% of the passengers were US, the rest were Brits, Aussies and a smattering of others. All communications are in English. A red and white wine is selected every evening for dinner; they are of medium quality but usually locally significant. The cocktails are uniformly imaginative and superb. Although I have no interest in an Antarctic cruise (which is more than 50% of their expedition business), I would definitely sail with Silversea again on another type of expedition cruise. The one thing I would change next time is to make my own flight arrangements. Silversea offered a good price for the flights to and from Europe, but there was an upcharge if you did not want to fly back immediately after the cruise (ie, if you want to stay a day or more in the place of debarkation). It has nothing to do with the day of week on which you were leaving; it was just the mere change of departure date. Further, although you pay for the flights at the same time as the rest of cruise (which could be more than a year in advance), they do not actually "buy" the flight and assign the seats until shortly before you leave. Therefore, whereas you should get a choice of seats months in advance, you get whatever is left only 4 to 6 weeks before you fly. In our case, this meant that we were relegated to the last boarding group and were told we could not bring hand luggage onto the plane because there was no more room. This caused quite a bit of consternation at the outset of the trip. The last thing you want is to be kneeling on the floor at the departure gate trying to move valuables and medication from one bag to another two minutes before boarding.. I suggest that you price the flights before you make your cruise commitment.and see if you want to do your own flights and transfers. One last tip: Silversea has a "My Silversea" link on their website which allows you to review and reserve all tours, specialty dinners and spa services in advance. I did all my reservations on line and was not disappointed once. Many of the tours booked up on the ship and there was only a waitlist. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We just returned from a 12 night cruise on the silver spirit.....we were so disappointed in the service we remembered from 3 years ago. We sitting down for breakfast we would request 2 orange juice, 2 waters and 2 black coffees.......in ... Read More
We just returned from a 12 night cruise on the silver spirit.....we were so disappointed in the service we remembered from 3 years ago. We sitting down for breakfast we would request 2 orange juice, 2 waters and 2 black coffees.......in all 11 days of eating breakfast we were never able to get all three without having to continually ask again and again, We mentioned this to the maitre d and he wrote it down in his little book.......the evening that put us over the edge was the next to the last night....we went to dinner at 8.....had wine and ordered off he regular menu.....when nothing arrived after one hour, I went to the maitre d and very quickly our appetizers arrived....cold....then the soup.....cold". At that point we had been sitting for nearly 90 minutes,....we did something we have NEVER done......we walked out and went to the hotel manager. He asked why we had never complained before and was flabbergasted and said we would hear from him (never did) and did offer us room service. That same afternoon we had gone to afternoon Tea..we were seated by the hostess, sat for 20 minutes, before WEnhadmto request a pot of tea.....none of this is acceptable at this level of cruising. Our last meal was fine,ordered coffee and desert.....desert was finished and we never received our coffee.....we walked out and the waiter came running after us telling us he would have it sent to the room!!!! We have been very fortunate and have traveled on every cruise line except Crystal,........this was, by far, the worst service we have ever experienced...I would tell anyone thinking of cruising with Silver Seas to rethink your decision! As additional note, embarkation should have warned us of things to come. At airport ,there was no porter to help us with our luggage till we got into terminal, at which time they said why didn't we let their guys do it, and we asked,what guys! On arrival at ship ,we had no help finding luggage off bus, then no one was there to assist us or even elderly cruisers up the gangplank,which went from dock to 5th deck..some people, like us, carried substantial hand luggage. Interestingly, they were there on debarking to help us down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We very much enjoyed this cruise, met some lovely people and saw some very interesting places. Ship and standard of service was, as usual, very good and, overall, all staff were excellent. While we were pleased overall, there were some ... Read More
We very much enjoyed this cruise, met some lovely people and saw some very interesting places. Ship and standard of service was, as usual, very good and, overall, all staff were excellent. While we were pleased overall, there were some disappointing aspects. Over some 15 years, we've been on a number of Silversea cruises. Previous cruises were on their smaller ships. We wanted to try one of their larger ships, so chose the Spirit, and selected the Rouen-Lisbon cruise as they were new destinations for us. The ship (and number of passengers) is larger, about a third larger, than Whisper/Shadow. Our cabin was large, larger than other Silversea ships we've been on, but not so you'd notice it, with all the usual, good facilities. On our previous cruise, we had an instance of soiled linen. Unfortunately, this happened again. On our first night we found the bed sheet had not been properly washed. It was replaced immediately and sincere apologies were made by senior officials, but it should not have happened. In comparison to the Whisper/Shadow, the layout of the ship is similar, with a couple of extra small, specialist restaurants. As expected, other areas were larger, though, again, not so you'd notice. In comparison to the smaller ships, the larger number of passengers is only apparent (or a problem) when embarking/disembarking. Our embarkation was not as smooth as on previous cruises, where we were well-greeted and offered champagne. Ours may have been affected by a safety drill just before, but should have been as welcoming nonetheless. You could have all your meals in your cabin, but mostly we went to the various restaurants. We also enjoy the 'open dining' on Silversea. There are two principal, larger restaurants - the Main Restaurant and the Terrazzo (each providing breakfast, lunch and dinner) and three other, smaller dinner venues - Le Champagne, Stars and a sushi-type. For breakfast and lunch we always used the Terrazzo (cafeteria-type service), which was very good. For dinner at the Main Restaurant you may elect to sit with others (seldom a bad move, in our experience) or alone. (In former times, ladies were escorted to the tables - no longer an option.) At the Terrazzo, we always booked a table. Likewise, you need to book for the other restaurants. We had very good meals at the larger restaurants. Our meals at the Stars and Le Champagne were not so good. The Stars was a multi-dish, tasting menu approach - too many dishes in our view. Le Champagne is billed as a Relais&Chateau venue. Having dined at many R&C establishments, I'd question Le Champagne's status. We were given very good advice on wines, but came away questioning the food. My wife and I had the same meat dish, though differently cooked, but were given each other's plate. Alas we did not notice this at first. Our soufflés were almost flat affairs. (We noticed other diners also had flat soufflés.) I raised these issues with the maitre d', who thanked us for our feedback(!). Silversea ships operate a dress-code: formal, informal, casual. Alas, we saw several examples where this was not being observed by passengers - changing times? Again, over the years, we've noted the improvements in Silversea entertainments. This cruise included a troupe of able singers and some very good opera singers. We did not find the change to the evening entertainment in the Panorama lounge to our liking, however. Previous cruises usually had a relaxed, piano-singer arrangement, but this cruise had a full-on DJ/disco affair. Again, changing times? We've always found staff on Silversea ships to be extremely helpful, attentive and courteous. This was certainly the case on the Spirit. Each port, except 'Le Verdon (Bordeaux)', was very interesting. The weather, as always, had a bearing, but only one port, St Jean de Luz, was missed, as proving too rough for tendering. As it turned out, that miss allowed very useful extra time in Bilbao. Over the years, we've found the Silversea shore excursions to be not good value, each usually including both some good and some questionable aspects, e.g. overly long coach journey or wholly unnecessary item/venue included. So this time, we elected just to explore the ports visited by ourselves, using shuttle bus arrangements usually laid on. This generally worked well, with all ports providing good sightseeing opportunities. We only came unstuck at Bordeaux. I expected we would be able to shuttle bus into Bordeaux, but I had not appreciated we would be berthed at Le Verdon, which is many, many miles away from Bordeaux and one could only get there by pre-booked excursion. Pre-cruise homework is therefore worthwhile! Notwithstanding the issues of concern, we would choose Silversea again. Level of service is very good and staff very friendly. We are, however, tempted to opt for the Whisper or Shadow, feeling their slightly lower number of passengers offers something lost in this larger ship. It's difficult to be specific, but, over the years of cruising with Silversea, we feel the standard of 'luxury' they purport to offer has slipped somewhat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The opportunity to try Silversea was one not to miss, so we joined Silver Whisper in Southampton for what turned out to be a superb mini cruise. Embarkation was speedy, though a little badly organised, check in being are reception desk ... Read More
The opportunity to try Silversea was one not to miss, so we joined Silver Whisper in Southampton for what turned out to be a superb mini cruise. Embarkation was speedy, though a little badly organised, check in being are reception desk with only 2 staff members on duty . A small serve of champagne was offered, and we were advised that lunch was being served, and that our suite was not yet ready. We enjoyed a delightful lunch in the very pleasant terrace cafe, served with a choice of wines. At the promised time we were shown to our Vista suite, which was lovely, spacious, comfortable and well appointed with comfortable sofa and armchair, a rise and fall table decent size desk and a cocktail cabinet. Our butler, the charming Kanwar , introduced himself and told us of the suite's features, offering a choice of quality toiletries and advising us of the pillow menu.It was slightly disappointing to note that our preferred pure down pillows were not on offer. He asked for our preferences to stock the minibar, bringing a bottle of champagne and choice of beers and soft drinks.The twin sink marble bathroom was a delight, roomy and with a decent, deep full size tub. The separate shower was simple to operate and had amazingly good water pressure. We explored the ships modest features, finding a lovely pool deck surrounded by sun beds and a few round Balinese style beds at one end. Above was a jogging track with blue Astro turf decking, but we were glad to note that all other decks had teak decking which was in the process of being renovated. There were bars tucked into corners, staffed by cheerful bar staff and a team of servers who circulated constantly ready to serve guest whatever they wished. We particularly admired the large observation lounge and found a large central bar with every kind of drink on offer. There was a little used humidor room, a pleasant well stocked library and spa and beauty therapy specialist facilities tucked to one end of a higher deck. We tried to sample each dining venue on our short cruise, booking beforehand where possible. On our first evening we chose the main dining room which proved a delight, with excellent service and a very good menu. We thoroughly enjoyed an evening in La Terrazza serving delicious freshly made pasta dishes and a wide range of Italian influenced dishes. The casual Grill , with a hot stone cooking menu was great fun, especially on a warm evening , with quality cuts of meat , huge prawns and lots of tempting accompaniments. It was a joy each evening to be offered choices of well chosen wines, and preferred alternatives were always available . On our final night we dined in the delightful Le Champagne, a Relais etChateaux restaurant, a wonderful fine dining experience, with a set, multi course French menu which we'd wisely pre-booked beforehand. This was the only restaurant with a charge, a modest $40 cover charge, worth every cent. We'd anticipated limited entertainment, as the ship is small, and were delighted to enjoy the fine group of young singers who all had really good voices, and when the ship was docked in Hamburg we were delighted to be entertained by two wonderful ballet dancers from the Ballet de Paris and Ballet de Roma . Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Friends had traveled with Silversea and we knew of its good reputation. What attracted us, though, was a wonderful Lisbon-Rouen itinerary. We do not plan to return to Silversea due to spotty service. Examples: A change in Lisbon port was ... Read More
Friends had traveled with Silversea and we knew of its good reputation. What attracted us, though, was a wonderful Lisbon-Rouen itinerary. We do not plan to return to Silversea due to spotty service. Examples: A change in Lisbon port was not communicated to passengers, who had to "dash" by taxi from the north port to the south port, without a prompt written apology or the gesture of a shipboard credit. There were logistical snafus at other times, especially at disembarkation, and some of the tours were in larger groups than we typically experience on luxury lines. In the food realm, it could be good or poor. One evening at La Terrazza, our party of four was seated at 7:30 pm, received main courses after 9 pm, and our dessert order had not been taken at 10:30 pm. Another evening, I received the wrong entree. At a lunch, I got my salad but my husband did not get his. In our experience, the service does not compare to Regent, SeaDeam Yacht Club, Windstar, or Azamara. (Our butler and steward were, however, wonderful.) It wasn't all bad: We met some wonderful people and enjoyed the ports. But while the Italian line touts its “comfortable, warm and welcoming environment,” we think Silversea consistently delivered on just one out of three: The ship and cabin are well-appointed and comfortable. Beware: Silversea automatically includes an eleven-euro charge per person for the family charity, Maruzza. If you don’t notice or don’t take the time to complain on disembarkation day, you make an unauthorized “gift.” This is not the sign of a customer-centric line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
From the moment we arrived until the final day we were treated special every day. From the butler to the bar tenders and all employees we encountered knowing our names after just 2 days on the cruise. Dining was always good with lots of ... Read More
From the moment we arrived until the final day we were treated special every day. From the butler to the bar tenders and all employees we encountered knowing our names after just 2 days on the cruise. Dining was always good with lots of options. The smallness of the ship made our adventure even more special. Excursions were very interesting and choices were good. My only concern was that there was not enough time to shop in the ports, by the time we got off the excursions the ship was set to sail. Entertainment was good the only thing I would suggest is that it started a little late for most passengers. I think a nine o clock starting would be better than the ten o clock times, As this was an older crowd the time seemed to be to late from the attendance I saw when we arrived. I would sail again with Silver Seas as I liked the entire experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Arrived at the Wharf to find out the ship was still in drydock in another country and wouldn't be ready for 2+ days. Not only did we lose this time, two ports were eliminated and time cut short in three ports. The cabins were like ... Read More
Arrived at the Wharf to find out the ship was still in drydock in another country and wouldn't be ready for 2+ days. Not only did we lose this time, two ports were eliminated and time cut short in three ports. The cabins were like a building site with coke and beer bottles, razor blades, screws and nails on the floor, bathrooms flooded, no TV movies and faulty aircon. After complaints 50% of the fare was refunded. The fait accompli was on arrival in Honfleur when people had been told there would be plenty of taxis to find out there are only two in the town so many of us were left standing for two hours till a bus was hired and we were charged a bus fare for transport. Certainly no six star luxury cruise. Save your money and go on any of the other many reputable cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Overall I planned this cruise a year in advance and it was definitely worth the wait. There have been a lot of negative Silversea reviews lately and I want to say I was not disappointed. I continue to be very impressed with Silversea ... Read More
Overall I planned this cruise a year in advance and it was definitely worth the wait. There have been a lot of negative Silversea reviews lately and I want to say I was not disappointed. I continue to be very impressed with Silversea and their brand of service. There were some minor issues (Wi-Fi and Self Service Laundry) but overall I was very satisfied with the service and overall appearance of the ship. Yes there are a few things that need fixing and the Silver Wind is scheduled for some updates later this year. Pre Cruise The Silversea website is not the best in the world but it does provide ample opportunity to book dinners and excursions well in advance. I was disappointed that many excursions were completely booked soon after they were open for bookings. I had hoped Silversea would add additional excursions before the cruise but they did not. It appears additional outings were offered once on board but there was no notification. In retrospect we should have inquired once on board so we will mark that as a lesson learned. Onboarding Onboarding was unique as the ship was anchored next to the HMS Belfast in the river Thames! You had to take a tender to the Belfast, get an additional ticket to board and then walk across its deck to board. There was no issue and it was an interesting experience. As always we were greeted warmly, offered champagne and made the way to a traditional lunch at La Terraza. We were able to sit outside and enjoy all the activity on the river and the Tower Bridge. That was the best spot for lunch in London on that day! The Restaurants The restaurants were all as expected. Service was always prompt and courteous. The wait staff remembered names (or used the iPads) to personally address you. My favorite is Hot Rocks at the Pool Grille. The Grille was always very empty due to the cold weather during the trip but the staff provides blankets as needed. Perhaps the update will include heaters. Le Champaign did not appear to be very popular. I am not sure if this is due to the fact the menu never changes and choices become limited. The two nights we ate there coincidentally had the exact same people dining. The pool menu dropped the shrimp cocktail from the menu which I found somewhat curious as it is still available on the room service menu. The Entertainment One of the items I believe needs improvement is the entertainment. The talent of the Voices of Silversea was still good but after several cruises the shows are highly repetitive. The one new show a salute to James Bond 007 was probably the worst. Daily trivia was also a highlight and a great opportunity to meet other passengers. The Excursions Due to the ports this was a very Excursion intense cruise. We did an excursion every day except for the two sea days. There were two negatives as the excursion to Vestmanna Sea Cliffs in the Faroe Islands appeared to be over booked and very crowded. The other was the excursion to the Húsavík Diamond Circle where the ship provided a lunch basket with one tiny half sandwich. As usual a Silversea’s representative accompanied the tour groups in addition to the tour guide provided locally. I always find this to be a very nice touch. Overall Review It never ceases to amaze me how many loyal returning travelers are always on the Silversea cruises. There are passengers with more than 100 to 400 days. It is hard to find “first timers” or moderate cruisers like myself. We meet some very nice people on the cruise who are always willing to share their experiences. I will note that not many are Cruise Critic followers. I started a roll call for this cruise and no one joined. On the positive side I will definitely cruise with Silversea in the future when finances and itineraries are in line. I enjoy the small ship and personal service. The cruise director on the Silver Wind, Colin Brown has amazing wit and engages in conversation every time you see him which is often. The biggest negative is the Wi-Fi. You get the equivalent one hour per person per day which is cumulative. The connectivity is somewhat slow. I try to remember a few years ago there was none and not be over critical. I also understand you are at sea so it is satellite. What I do not understand is the complex login. Once you register you have to go to the login page click Internet, click Internet again, and then click Returning User, and then enter First name, Last name, Cabin number and Password then Connect EVERY time you login. This is a cumbersome process. Why not just create a User Name and Password instead of rekeying so much information each time? Depending on the time of day the service is slow. Hopefully this will improve in the future. My second gripe is the self-service Laundry. My fellow passengers I met in the laundry and I all agree it is designed for you not to use and rather pay for the laundry service! The three machines are not self-explanatory or easy to use as well as SLOW. Once you have 100 days you get free laundry. Next time Silversea wins and I will pay to have my laundry done! Finally if you are considering Silversea, do not believe all the negative reviews you should have a wonderful experience! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary through Scotland, St Kilda, Orkneys, Shetlands though 24 hour daylight cruising in Norway was a fabulous bonus. For me the hikes, the bird life (they set you down right in middle of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary through Scotland, St Kilda, Orkneys, Shetlands though 24 hour daylight cruising in Norway was a fabulous bonus. For me the hikes, the bird life (they set you down right in middle of thousands of puffins and razor bills and guillemots etc. ) the scenery were the highlights. They really make an effort to get you ashore even in difficult weather. We were the only ship that arrived in St Kilda, the others cancelled because of the easterly winds, then they manoevred the ship to broadside the weather so we could use the zodiacs on the lee side.They knew how important a landing was to everyone. They have the loading and unloading of the zodiacs down to a science. Even the most unsteady should feel perfectly comfortable. Then when we really could not make the Lofotens Islands due to conditions they hastily organized an interesting visit to Narvik. The on board historian did a great job getting up to speed with the new location, getting the fliers printed etc. So very very accommodating. Another time we had to skip an afternoon visit due to weather, but they were able to replace that with a hike up to a glacier after dinner. So at 10:30 pm all those still sober set off on a hike up to a glacier in the midnight sun. About those on board experts. There are "ologists' for everything - geologists, biologists, archeologists, ornithologists. Almost too many of them. They dominate the cruise. When you are ashore it's a little like a school outing with the "ologists" there counting everyone, one at the front, one at back making sure no-one goes missing. They certainly add to experience, but occasionally you just want to break free. The on board ship facilities are few. There are two small hot tubs on the aft deck. But in 11 days I only saw them used 3 or 4 times. Food is excellent. The chef tries to buy produce from local markets. So when the ships docks somewhere he is off to the local fish market to see what they have. He is always out greeting guests at dinner, very accessible, talking of what he been able to acquire.There is one bar that is pretty lively after dinner. If you want serene cruising, off the beaten path locations, history hiking watching wildlife this is the way to go. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
With many SilverSea negatives in the forums ,and the memories of the Silver Discoverer hotel dept shortcomings still fresh ; our recent Silver Explorer cruise provides a timely opportunity to review. We found the ship and it's ... Read More
With many SilverSea negatives in the forums ,and the memories of the Silver Discoverer hotel dept shortcomings still fresh ; our recent Silver Explorer cruise provides a timely opportunity to review. We found the ship and it's crew to be right on top of their game and we enjoyed this cruise very much. The British Isles Itinerary was selected for convenience and timing rather than for the content, however it was an interesting and informative cruise. It was almost a regular style cruise with less adventure and many bus rides , although the Zodiacs were , for many, an adventure in themselves! The explorer is a lovely ship , and I continue to rail at the renaming..she will always be the PAII in my mind. A ship of lovely lines with an impeccable pedigree and a great capacity for rough water and sea ice. We last sailed on the ship in 2009 and I wondered how she would be after many many years of heavy use. We were pleased to find the the ship, overall, in very good order , clean and well maintained but also showing signs of a long life of adventure Our midships cabin was generally in good condition but was showing evidence of heavy use, our mattress was well overdue for replacement. For this voyage we found the hotel department right on top of their game , the food was good, the wine was also mostly good and all the hotel staff without exception were very friendly and efficient. They were so good and so much fun that we were sorry to leave them. The expedition team , beefed up with German speakers for a very large German language guest contingent, were competent if not quite up to some of the stellar teams we have found on other cruises. Most importantly the whole cruise ran smoothly , pleasantly, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. All is forgiven Silversea..we shall return…... Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We did the Baltic and on to Southampton on Whisper and enjoyed our first experience with Silversea, although the food was all very Italian based, which can become tiresome. We found Seabourn to have a greater selection on their menus and ... Read More
We did the Baltic and on to Southampton on Whisper and enjoyed our first experience with Silversea, although the food was all very Italian based, which can become tiresome. We found Seabourn to have a greater selection on their menus and wines were also a little better class. Having also completed over 70 days cruising with Seabourn the comparison was interesting to say the least. Port excursions are expensive on any 6 star vessel and we were introduced to private tours, by meeting fellow passengers on line prior to departure through Cruise Critic. We enjoyed smaller tours groups and very informative Guides through TJ Tours in St Petersburg. The butler surprised us by unpacking our suitcases which we didn't have done with Seabourn. Entertainment was a little better on Seabourn, but with a number of days on (some staff do 4 to 6 months on without a break) i can understand that doing the same routine over and over can become a strain. The suites on ships are very similar and the service of a very good standard, with Seabourn just pipping Silversea in this regards. Eating on deck was definitely the best meal with the steak and prawns the highlight )one of the best cooked steaks i have ever had, and the prawns were huge. Found that there was not a lot of action after the show finished around 10 or 11 at night. Overall i would class Seabourn a little ahead at this point, but still a very enjoyable cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
For those of you who cruise alot (like us) let's break it down. THE SHIP and PORTS OF CALL: We liked the smaller ship with just about 350 passengers. The ship had more interesting ports of call because of its smaller size and the ... Read More
For those of you who cruise alot (like us) let's break it down. THE SHIP and PORTS OF CALL: We liked the smaller ship with just about 350 passengers. The ship had more interesting ports of call because of its smaller size and the shuttle bus service always dropped you in the center of town if you like exploring on your own. Don't bother with the tours in the smaller ports because you can walk them easily. In Belfast and Dublin we did the hop-on hop-off buses they were cheaper and hit all the same places with the advantages of being able to get off and explore certain stops including some where there was free access to castles. From where the shuttle dropped us in Edinburgh (overnighter) we just walked all over the new and the old city...do the old city first and if you want to see the castle you better get there early as the lines are very long and will eat up your day. We liked butler services better on Celebrity (Concierge and Aqua levels) Silverseas butlers have too many cabins (averaging about 14) and hence slower to respond. Also smaller ship, smaller amenities like not being able to make restaurant or shore reservations easily as they were only open a limited number of hours. Entertainment was good but not like on larger ships with more broadway type performances (spoiled by Celebrity), on the other hand alot has to be said for an all-inclusive fare BRAVO eat and drink to your delight and no gratuities for anything. We like the 12 days so much when we found out it was headed to St. Petersburg, Russia we extended our cruise for another 7 nights. As a result we had to switch rooms. Everyone including the cruise consultant, staff handling our flights and the entire Silverseas staff was very helpful and they did all the heavy lifting. After three weeks on the ship we liked decks 5 through 8 for convenience if we had to pick a cabin in the future; our first room was mid ship veranda great location, our second room was 933 and we would recommend avoiding that and 833 as they are noisier...next to exit/outside areas. We did love the free laundry room setup. Fellow passengers were very different on the two trips one group more sedate while on the second leg of the trip more party folks which turned the only nightclub into a disco instead of mixing up the music for all the passengers to enjoy. Still nice folks on both cruises if you want to meet new people at dinner time. Although we did find that folks on river cruises we had taken were overall more interesting and diverse. The FOOD: La Terrazza for all meals was great. The poolside staff was really efficient and friendly, at night it turned into a dinner restaurant The Grill where you cook your own food, both fun and delicious...especially the prawns and steaks. For both make your dinner reservations early in the cruise. Room service became our go to place for breakfast and late night dining, we found it was faster than the Restaurant and just as good. Still we did like the open dining concept in the Restaurant as we did not have to rush to make it "on time" and we could request a table for 2, 4 or 6 on nights we wanted to mingle. Le Champagne restaurant was OK but not worth the hype. In summary regarding dining we like the food, variety of menus, hours of food service, and desserts (my weakness) on Celebrity and Uniworld better. Bottom line regarding Silverseas ..great ports of call, only paying once was fantastic for all the services it included especially wines, cocktails, special coffees and afternoon high tea. We would do it again if the pricing was competitive with Uniworld and Celebrity's Conciege level, which it probably would be given all the one price inclusive packaging. Glad our friends turned us on to a new experience in cruising we will definitely return to Silverseas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I want to state right up front that we have to take part of the blame for our dissatisfaction with the cruise. We booked the itinerary. Silver Explorer was our favorite ship, but her capabilities were totally wasted on this fully ... Read More
I want to state right up front that we have to take part of the blame for our dissatisfaction with the cruise. We booked the itinerary. Silver Explorer was our favorite ship, but her capabilities were totally wasted on this fully mainstream sailing. I understand the economics of having the ship "earn her keep" when sailing between main expedition regions like the Arctic and Antarctic, but surely she could be better deployed than on this type of cruise.Accepting that (with very few exceptions) the itinerary was even more boring than we could have feared. I will, therefore, evaluate the cruise as a mainsteam cruise with very limited shore options and mostly Zodiac landings. Taken on that basis, it was still below average (even more so for a luxury cruise) and not a good value for money.Pre-cruise and post-cruise: We booked 3 nights in London (Apex City of London Hotel) before sailing and 2 nights in Edinburgh (Apex City Hotel)after the cruise. Very good values and extremely well located. When in Edinburgh again we will try the Apex International Hotel. It is a few doors down from the City and has more facilities.The ship: I would say she could use a facelift. The hull paint is faded and there is really evident discoloration (rust?) below the waterline. Looking at the public rooms, there are just so many layers of paint you can put on. Soft furnishings and carpet probably have been refreshed since our last sailing (6/10), but everything else looks the same.Cabin: Well located and quiet, the problem was the overall condition. I think this area had some flooding from the problem in Antarctic this past season. The ceiling has some peeling paint that flaked off to the touch. We reported it and it was addressed (except for a full repaint they probably could not accomplish at sea). My question is why was the problem even present? We saw it within 2 minutes onf coming into the cabin.Other issues: 1) Window dingy and fogged (broken seal?)and plastic sill cracked and poorly caulked; 2) beaten up coffee table (looked like someone had taken a knife to the edge); 3) under sink door pull loose and just spun when I tried to tighten it by hand; 4) lens for light in the shower had been painted over and then scraped to allow light through; 5)the sink stopper mechanism was disengaged so the sink drain could not be opened. This may seem like nitpicking, but this is not acceptable on a luxury line. Had this been a real expedition sailing, I have to admit it would not have made such an impression.The heating/cooling and other systems worked very well. The bed was comfortable and the storage space was more than adequate.Expedition Staff: This staff was definitely not of the caliber we had in the Arctic. They were not nearly as engaged with the passengers and much more stand-offish. We had an Expedition Leader, Robin West, and an Assistant Expedition Leader, Yarda Versloot-West (his wife) who, coincidentally are moving to Seabourn (along with another staff member)for the Antarctic season (permanently?). I know these folks have contracts that come to an end, but I found it interesting to see Robin as the "Face" for the new Seabourn expedition effort. We also had a Botanist (he would quiz us on plants that were seen on excursions we might not have been on) , a bird expert, and a fish expert (why??). All in all, the recaps and preps for the next day were very weak since here was not a lot to cover. The photographer/videographer was young, appeared inexperienced, and produced the worst voyage video I have ever seen.I would be remiss, however, if I did not mention that there were some stars on the staff - an incredible Military Historian (Gordon), a wonderful Medieval Historian (Imogen - Gordon's wife), and an incredible wildlife photographer, Sue Flood. Gordon and Imogen were invaluable in making the highlights of the trip - the Normandy beaches and Many St Michel come alive. Sue was charming, enthusiastic, and her short lecture on photography was excellent. Unfortunately here talents were squandered by under-use on this trip. Instead we were saddled with the ship's photographer (see above).It will be a while before we consider the Silver Explorer again - an only then if it is for a true expedition. The ship was Food: Always subjective. My complaint is not with the quality of ingredients but in the preparation and temperature control. How are bacon and ham on the buffet in the morning cold? How is a caramelized onion and mushroom tart served at or below room temperature? Fresh fish was the best choice, but often the other three members on our group had to go off the menu for steak or a chicken breast to find something that appealed at dinner. The pastas were lackluster and that is really disappointing. I will say desserts at lunch were better than last time. All in all, average to good is the best I can rate it.Service: On the whole, very good. Our butler, Lorenzo, was excellent as was the cabin attendant, Dipan. I am still not sure why we need to have a butler and cabin attendant. Bar service and dining room service was quite good. The assistant restaurant manager was terrific, but the restaurant manager on this cruise, Debbie, was awful. She rudely butted in while a server at the carving station at lunch was going back to get another turkey to slice since he was out of white meat. She did not want him to go get it because there was dark meat there and gave my girlfriend a hard time. With that type of attitude, she should not be employed in a service industry, especially as a manager.Competency of the bar staff to make drinks was variable. For instance, how good a Pina Colada was depended entirely on who made it. Also, the wincne service was a little disappointing. On the last night, we ordered an expensive dessert wine. The wine staff came back twice to verify he order before the Sommelier (after a total of 10-15 minutes) came over to apologize and told me the last bottle had been sold during the cruise. Why was it still on the wine list?This cruise was not a good value for money and I cannot recommend it. It will be a while before we consider the Silver Explorer again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I recently returned from an amazing foodie experience that included tasting ports in Portugal, tapas and seafood in Galicia, oysters in Brittany, Calvados in Normandy, grand Cru wine in Bordeaux and regional cheeses, fish, sausages, ... Read More
I recently returned from an amazing foodie experience that included tasting ports in Portugal, tapas and seafood in Galicia, oysters in Brittany, Calvados in Normandy, grand Cru wine in Bordeaux and regional cheeses, fish, sausages, pastries and wine all along the way. This was offered on the Silver Explorer, an expedition ship better known for penguin sightings in Antarctica and walrus and seal viewing in the Arctic. The cruise line's culinary trainer, Chef David Bilsland, the director of culinary development, Chef Rudi Scholdis, the Silversea wine ambassador, Lawrence D'Almeida and historian Imogene Corrigen gave Almost daily lectures, demonstrations and tastings. The chefs led tours of local markets and bought fresh fish, shellfish and regional specialities back to the ship for us to taste. Several times the chefs cooked in the center of the dining room, preparing paella, bouillabaisse, mussels marinara and Breton galettes. We felt totally spoiled by all the extra emphasis on food and wine in addition to the normally excellent Silversea dining experience. The Silversa team was joined by Tom Badcock, a cheese educator and expert who teaches at London's Cordon Bleu school. Tom purchased local cheeses at several ports and held well attended tastings four or five days. Eileen Crane, CEO and winemaker at Napa's Domaine Carneros spoke to us about sparkling wines as we tasted several examples. A group of her wine club members were on board enjoying it all. Food and travel writer, Sharon Hudgins, from Dallas, also gave interesting food related talks on sea days. The service is friendly, many staff people know you by name after a day or two, they are well trained and seem to go the extra step for their guests. This ship is small, we were only 110 passengers with a crew of 120. The maximum is 134 guests. There are not as many public rooms or dining options such as offered on their larger ships, but the decor, atmosphere and service is equally fine, as is the food and beverage offered. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We spent 1 1/2 days in Tromso on our own prior to embarking. The Arctic Church and the cable car to top of mountain to overlook all of Tromso and surrounds are musts! From embarkation to debarkation, this was a terrific trip. ... Read More
We spent 1 1/2 days in Tromso on our own prior to embarking. The Arctic Church and the cable car to top of mountain to overlook all of Tromso and surrounds are musts! From embarkation to debarkation, this was a terrific trip. LOVED the small size of ship. Our cabin #311, low & midships gave us a smooth ride (except for one rolling night when everyone was bouncing!) The staff/crew were great! Rueben kept us ship-shape in the cabin. Dinesh, our butler, couldn't do enough for us, especially when BOTH of us were sick with flu AND seasick at the same time--ugh. The ship's Dr. was a blessing. They all looked after us like family. ALL of the staff & crew, DenDen, Bobby, Dominic, Shane, EVERYONE were so friendly, knew our names, treated us like royalty. The food? FANTASTIC! Pretty much anything you could possibly want/need or imagine, it was there or you had only to ask. I would echo another reviewers comments on the ships boutique. Skip the fragrances, watches, etc. Have more clothing sizes (purchased a fleece jacket first day and wore it almost EVERY DAY, after realizing what I had brought wouldn't be warm enough). The Expedition Staff was superb! Colleen Batey, our archaeologist and Viking expert gave wonderful lectures and on-site explanations. You could almost hear the whispers and footsteps of the Vikings. And who could forget Aiello? Every member of this team was first rate. The itinerary initially drew us to this trip, taking us to spots we would never have managed/considered on our own in Norway, Scotland, UK & Ireland and we were not disappointed in any regard. We would happily cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click