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

12 Silversea Dubai Cruise Reviews

This was our first SS cruise and our only prior experience of an ‘all inclusive’ cruise (in terms of alcohol & gratuities included) was our initial cruise on Paul Gaugin (PG), which we thoroughly enjoyed. In a way the Shadow ... Read More
This was our first SS cruise and our only prior experience of an ‘all inclusive’ cruise (in terms of alcohol & gratuities included) was our initial cruise on Paul Gaugin (PG), which we thoroughly enjoyed. In a way the Shadow reminded us of our PG experience in terms of excellent service, friendly crew, very good food and non-contemporary decor, but still very comfortable. They’re not majorly dissimilar in max pax numbers although PG’s style, entertainment and dress code befits its laid-back tropical itineraries. Anyway, we thought the Shadow service was generally excellent. Going on excursions was made so much more relaxed with the provision of water and beach towels before the gangway and cold facecloths and drinks waiting on return (unless near departure time). Our butler, Ray, room attendant, Orly and other crew were so helpful and pro-active. Joe, the maître d' at La Terrazza was always welcoming and Marlon and Marven were our favourite wait-staff. We enjoyed Peter’s (the head barman) cocktail lessons and all the destination lecturers were excellent and provided enlightening pre-excursion background information. Our voyage was immeasurably enhanced by Kirk, the CD who was outstanding and seemed to have unlimited energy. His show “The Boat is Rockin!” was arguably the best of all the performances in the show lounge. The solo performance shows by Julie, Laura & Ines from the Voices of Silversea were also very good. Given the size of the Shadow, the entertainment options met our expectations. I had wondered whether I would be bored with so many sea days, but there was more than enough in the daily program to keep one engaged. The gym was adequate and certainly far larger than that on the PG; a dual pulley functional station and a larger fit-ball would have been nice though. Pilates and yoga classes were available, but my wife preferred to perform to her own standard. Food: Overall, very good. I wouldn’t rate it as excellent because there were a couple of dishes we felt were ‘meh’ (eg. seafood bisque in MDR and tomato bisque room service), but the majority was flavoursome, range was quite wide and we liked what some might describe as ‘modest’ portion sizes, but we felt were just right with aiding the completion of a three course dinner. For us, the various menu choices were extensive enough such that in our 15 day voyage we found that by rotating through the various dining venue options (including room service, but excluding La Dame), we still found items we would have liked to have ordered but couldn’t fit in. Lobster, if that’s your desire, seemed to be on the menu every night in the MDR. Caviar as well, but I only noticed it printed in the 1st formal night menu and after that it seemed to be on request. Other standouts included the stellar Arabian-themed lunch in the MDR and the ‘pop-up’ cooked to order lunchtime stalls in La Terrazza. We also thought the meat available at the Grill was some of the most tender beef we’ve had, but the Chateaubriand in the MDR was slightly even more so. I was bemused though as to why there wasn’t any Italian beer available given SS’s heritage and how they could also run out of Gin several days before disembarking! Excursions: we did a mix of private and SS tours. To us, some of the SS tours were reasonable value for money and some less so. However, all 3 SS tours that we did do were well organised, coaches were only half-full for comfort, were accompanied by SS staff and the guides were good to very good. During this itinerary, the only port that didn’t hold much interest was Sur. Otherwise, this itinerary was great in that we managed to visit Petra and Luxor, although 2 nights in each port and stops in Israel would be better, but you can’t have everything! One area for improvement: The disembarkation process in Safaga could be improved with better foot-traffic management. Cabins: no significant complaints. If we had the choice we would have chosen a mid-ship location rather than so far forward (a bit pitchy at times). However, it wasn’t so bad we needed to take Stugeron or the like. We loved the spacious bathroom with twin basins and separate bath & shower stall and we felt spoilt with twice daily cleaning. The bed was most conducive to sleep (Ray said the beds were replaced not so long ago). So, was it a case of the dry dock later this year couldn’t come soon enough or a case of ageing gracefully? We would lean more towards the later. One could focus on the places with some fading varnishing on the hand rails, or cracked/bubbling paintwork or worn carpet (the carpet in the public areas could certainly do with a good steam clean, but I suspect unlikely before the refurbishment later this year), however, our focus was more on enjoying what the cruise had on offer. The ship is quite functional (they managed to fix the freezing conditions in the show lounge towards the end of the voyage – in the meantime it was a case of BYO jacket). The refurbishment planned for later this year sounds wonderful and should make the Shadow a more attractive choice in the “luxury” cruise marketplace. If you haven’t cruised with SS before then for the Shadow at least, our experience was that the service was excellent, food was overall very good, the entertainment/activities appropriate for this ship size and hardware was functional. However, if you’ve previously cruised on the Muse/stretched-Whisper or other recently built luxury ships then I can understand one might be underwhelmed by the Shadow’s décor, but I think a CC Shadow board poster summed it up best in a SS thread I read early last year; “The decor on the older ships is very Italian...think of a special hotel on The Grand Canal in Venice” (but I might add without Italian beer available…….). So, would we cruise with SS again? The answer is “yes” although a 4.5/5 score would be our rating (but not an available choice). Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the ... Read More
We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the attentive service where nothing was too much trouble. This cruise was so different. 1. Cabin Comfort. Yes the Shadow is now a bit shabby and very much in need of the up and coming refurbishment but this was not the problem. From previous cruises we knew, the beds were hard. My back does not cope with hard beds so as usual at the time of (early) booking I had requested one of the egg-crate mattress toppers plus pillows from the list given. We had previously never had any problem with these requests. When we boarded this time it was ‘sorry there are only 7 mattress toppers on the ship and they are all taken.’ Huge hard pillows on our beds. Further pillows brought in - some the same, others just slabs of very firm. Pillow menu mentioned but profuse staff apologies and ‘Sorry but this is all we have’ Pillow menu not available. Previously always enjoyed and been comfortable sitting on the balcony. New Balcony chairs very high and deep - my feet could not reach the ground and the wire edge dug into the back of my legs. Staff tried hard but nothing more comfortable available than lots of padding with pillows. My back and neck suffered badly from the hard bed, the hard pillows and not being able to sit comfortably on the balcony - I could not believe I had paid so much money to endure such discomfort. 2. Cabin Air conditioning control - poor to non existent. When we arrived in our cabin at 2pm it was sweltering - the air con wasnt working. Fixed late evening by the engineer taking down part of our cabin ceiling. Control still iffy and a few days later - cabin freezing cold -again fixed late evening. Show lounge and parts of the main restaurant often freezing - apparently problems with the themostat. 3. Staff service. Nothing like our previous attentive experience. Our poor butler was rushed off his feet between two decks. Apparently there was a staff shortage and it would often take him over an hour to respond to a call - if at all. When sitting on the upper decks, there were rarely any staff around. If we wanted seat cushions or a coffee it was a case of walking down to the pool deck, and either carrying items up two decks ourselves or waiting till someone was available - by which time the coffee was cold. 4. On the positive side the food in the restaurants was as good as ever, the staff themselves as welcoming and as lovely as ever, embarkation excellent and the excursions we went on mainly ok other than the very hot, small, basic souk on a wasteland area in Oman. All our concerns might be small issues in isolation but taken overall this was not the luxury cruise experience we had previously had with Silversea. Maybe we were just unfortunate on this particular cruise. Because of our previous good experiences we already booked another three week cruise before we went on this one and have since thought long and hard about whether to continue with the booking. After apologies and reassurances from the UK Guest relations manager ie that the Silver Shadow is being refurbished and that all will be fine re our requests etc. we have reluctantly decided to go ahead. I only hope he is right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and Sil Seas reputation. We went to Abu Dhabi where were were looking forward to seeing the new Louvre; t it was closed on Monday when we arrived!!! Why weren't we told so that we could ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and Sil Seas reputation. We went to Abu Dhabi where were were looking forward to seeing the new Louvre; t it was closed on Monday when we arrived!!! Why weren't we told so that we could have gone there from Dubai where we had two days to spend? Two of the five Gulf States were not worth a visit. BTW, Silver Seas should have specified just how "long sleeves' and "appropriate attire" were defined by the mosques. Several women were not allowed in, and I managed to buy long wrap just in time. The food on board was poor!!! The breads were stale, un-warmed and the same old same old every single night. Same old desserts at night as well. Service poor on deck 4 restaurant; we came in at 8 and ended up being 20 minutes late for the ten pm show. Voices of Silver Seas were good only with soloists or duets. Hypnotist was an insult!!! Lectures were uneven: the Indian father and daughter, especially the former, were difficult to understand (accent). Maldives where we landed was a dump. Disembarking took two hours; checking into Seychelles another three. Too late to do anything there. We should have spent several days visiting the beaches and the Botanical Gardens and skipped the Maldives and two of the Emirates. Drill inadequate; our room with hundreds others sent to the theatre instead of muster station. What if theatre was on fire or flooded??? Exercise balls in gym filthy; no elastic stretch bands in sight. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the ... Read More
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the staff were amazing. We ate in most restuarants my favourite been the main dining room and Hot rocks which is up on the pool deck - gorgeous when you are in port to dine up here. The suite was gorgeous lots of space and very nice furnished with a great dressing room area for your clothes and shoes so it keeps your suite tidy. The butler and room attendant looked after us very well and kept our bar and toiletries stocked up. I would bring the butler home if I could. The beauty of Silversea after the lovely ships, staff and food is the size of the ships you sail right into the ports and some destinations you actually over night in which is lovely to do. However if you don't over night they seem to spend a lot longer in port than other cruise ships and the fact you sail right into the port with out getting on the tender boats is a big plus. We did some of the ships excursions which were excellent in Cochin we went on the River Boat and in the Maldives we did the beach visit to a resort - for such a wonderful destination we really needed more time. In Mumbai we took the private car trip with guide which we enjoyed as we could determine how long we were going to stop. Guests onboard are a mix so you find you are not dominated by any nation and a real nice European feel onboard the ship. Entertainment - there is a show each evening and the performs sing extremely well - we liked sitting in the bar and listening to the piano player or the Jazz bar was just excellent. Also enjoy going up to the DJ and sitting on the terrace listening to the music after dinner. Totally recommend for people who like the nicer things in life and enjoy real quality. Not much activities for children so you don't find children onboard really. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize ... Read More
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize thus the new passengers had to find other new passengers in order to have a good time. This segment from Dubai to Athens had fewer new passengers due to the possible danger passing Yemen and other countries in the news but the tours to Luxor, Petra and Gisa were very worthwhile and Silversea takes precautions and has never had a threatening incident. The familiar crew on the Whisper helped make the trip more enjoyable. On the next segment from Athens to Monte Carlo, it was reported that 160 new passengers would board so I'm sure they outnumbered the tired world cruisers but we have cruised the Mediterranean many times and had seen many portsand we departed the Whisper in Athens. The food was wonderful in all dining venues and tasted better than I had remembered. The evening entertainment was professional and entertaining, Day lectures were educational and worthwhile and included a travel professional who highlighted the upcoming tours with a visual presentation describing history and cultural advice and additional sights. On days at sea, two speakers entertained passengers, one on British spies during World War 1 and two The other speaker told us his fascinating experience in Africa with camels. He actually rode by camel across the Gobi desert. Also on the British experience in Africa. The swimming pool was active with sun worshippers throughout the day as well as the hot tubs. Underwater exercises took place at 2 pm followed by water volleyball at 3. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This cruise was chosen mainly for the destination and the ports visited on the way. We usually travel on Seabourn but this itinerary suited our travels to Africa. Boarding at Dubai was a breeze. We found out shortly thereafter that there ... Read More
This cruise was chosen mainly for the destination and the ports visited on the way. We usually travel on Seabourn but this itinerary suited our travels to Africa. Boarding at Dubai was a breeze. We found out shortly thereafter that there were only 140 passengers on board, less than half full. Some of my impressions of the cruise will obviously take this into account. The staff on board were extremely friendly and competent with a few very minor exceptions. The ship is getting on in years and despite ongoing maintenance it still has some weak points, the most noticeable is the room to room noise. Cabin size is OK, though the bathroom is very small. Choice of dining venues is good, but overall my wife and I were very disappointed with the food. Some of this emanates from the purchased ingredients but we both thought the preparation of the dished served was not good. I don't think it unreasonable to expect good food to be served on a luxury cruise line. Dishes such as quail and veal were overlooked and almost inedible. During a galley tour it was noted that salads were being pre-plated at 4pm for the evening dinner, does this happen in an on shore restaurant? The quality of the pastries and scones was also poor. On a positive note there was a good choice of wines on the free list and it was not difficult to find a wine that we liked, though sometimes we had to ask a few questions. Would we return to Silversea? Probably not unless the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
On the recommendation of our cruise travel operator, we chose to visit the Middle East on the Silver Wind , hoping for an informative and fun adventure. Having enjoyed several cruises on other upmarket cruise lines, we were sorely ... Read More
On the recommendation of our cruise travel operator, we chose to visit the Middle East on the Silver Wind , hoping for an informative and fun adventure. Having enjoyed several cruises on other upmarket cruise lines, we were sorely disappointed by this experience. The royal suite was always dark, there being only small windows and no sliders to patio. The furnishings badly needed a revamp and the bathroom had no surface to place toiletries. Every evening at dusk we were admonished if we had not pulled down all our tatty blinds so the bridge was not distracted by our lights. The tiny balcony was rendered useless in the evenings as we stumbled in the dark. We enjoy information by expert lecturers on the regions we are visiting and this was poorly managed. The ship provided shuttle buses in most ports, but there was so little to see in each port, unless you particularly like shopping malls and building sites, that we often never alighted the bus, but went straight back to the ship. Booked tours were overpriced for a drive about, city overview and mosque after mosque. Entertainment was excrutiatingly embarassing, very amateurish. Most nights we avoided it. The main dining room and Italian restuarant served a good variety of dishes and were accommodating for the one vegetarian among us. The big dissapointment occured on New Years Eve, a time to dress up, dine and dance . The main dining room would not accommodate a table for two so we had to dine at the Italian venue. Here a set menu gave no vegetarian options, though this was swiftly sorted out. After dinner, we repaired to the main diningroom, where the dancing and champagne was in full swing, hoping to join in the fun till midnight. We were rudely turned away like gatecrashers and went back to our cabin to see in the New Year like naughty children sent to bed. Altogether too many negatives on this cruise line in comparrison to others we have taken. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We booked 3 back-to-back cruises from Dubai to Capetown, and, in spite of concern that it would be too long a time on the ship, it was just the opposite. We easily settled into a routine and the days flew by. TheVista is the smallest of ... Read More
We booked 3 back-to-back cruises from Dubai to Capetown, and, in spite of concern that it would be too long a time on the ship, it was just the opposite. We easily settled into a routine and the days flew by. TheVista is the smallest of the accommodations, it was roomy enough and we never felt cramped. While we didn't have a veranda, there was always deck space available on decks 8 and 9. The first cruise was designated an "Ecole du Chef" with Chef David Bilsland. This provided a focus with cooking demonstrations, market visits, a special luncheon and a knife skills class. The demonstrations were very well done and we came home with some wonderful recipes. Food throughout the cruise was consistently excellent with Chef Ramon very visible and accessible and very amenable to preparing special requests. While most of our meals were in the Restaurant, we also dined in La Terrazza and on deck with Hot Rocks, all of which were enjoyable. We were impressed with the quality of the complimentary wines which have improved markedly in recent years. We enjoyed the new entertainment concept and saw each of the shows 3 times without getting tired of them. Each cruise, the shows seemed to get better as the entertainers had more experience with being on the ship and with each other. The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the chefs outdid themselves with menus for Christmas and New Years. Our only complaint, which was also expected, was the children onboard for the Xmas cruise, who were not always well-behaved. The ports were interesting and not places that would otherwise be easy to get to. We chose to do the combined cruises because of the time in the Seychelles which we appreciated. One comment to the previous post regarding this cruise: the drapes were drawn as a safety precaution as we traveled through some areas frequented by pirates. The captain and crew took security very seriously as was explained at the beginning of each cruise, and that is why there were limits on veranda use and lighting after dark. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and we were actually sorry to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Silver Wind is a small ship whose Tardis like properties make it feel far from small. The cabins are spacious if not cavernous, and it misses few of the traditional cruise ship facilities despite its meagre 17,400 tons. It doesn't ... Read More
Silver Wind is a small ship whose Tardis like properties make it feel far from small. The cabins are spacious if not cavernous, and it misses few of the traditional cruise ship facilities despite its meagre 17,400 tons. It doesn't provide the stylish drop-down stern and marina of some boutique competitors, nor romantic double chaise longue - if you are so inclined, however as the majority of passengers were retired if not exactly octogenarians these facilities might be interpreted as somewhat superfluous if not dangerous! The ship aspires to traditional excellence in a relaxed / Italian (via Miami) style - with a 'Country Club' atmosphere. The open-sitting dining is conducive to meeting new friends and I have never been with friendlier, nor more generally open passengers. Similarly the crew were largely dedicated and highly attentive, if a little too numerous at times. Unfortunately there were occasions, for example at embarkation, when it was necessary to ask for help and supervision might be a weakness. There were other times when I felt the ship was over-staffed and the crew were looking for things to do - most noticeably breakfast in the main dining room as when I visited the number of other passengers fluctuated between eight and none! There was, however, an overly motivated and very thorough future sales co-ordinator! The product is good if not perfect and there are clear areas of weakness. However, whilst I have cruised many times I have still yet to sail on a perfect ship. This ship similarly fails to achieve perfection and I agree with the 2009 Berlitz rating of 4 Star Plus - and indeed with most of the narrative. One disembarking passenger much experienced of cruising remarked whilst they awaited their airport transfer that their cruise had been good, very good, but they were not certain it had been good enough to justify a return visit. The line seems to be conscious of what its competitors provide and are keen to provide similar, even if it is not always appropriate to the ship. All cabins have Butlers, and whilst they were all charming and delightful I am not sure what their duties involved, except perhaps serving in-cabin breakfasts, cleaning the exterior of suitcases prior to passengers re-packing them, and greeting passengers by name as they walk to their cabins. They do not pack and un-pack for passengers - a fact that I found reassuring. It is, however, the crew's determination to greet passengers by name and to know things about them that I found unnerving at times and somewhat reminiscent of Big Brother. As I surfaced from my cabin the first morning disorientated from a long flight I was greeted by name by a member of the crew that I had not previously met - who wished me an 'Excellent morning' and enquired if my Mother (who had a cabin elsewhere on the ship and I am sure they had not previously met either - or any reason to know we were travelling together) was comfortably settled. It seems the crew are issued with pictures and possibly even short biographies of passengers and required to learn them. I find this form of forced familiarity unwelcome and intrusive. The sip was built in 1995 and last re-furbished in 2008. It is generally in very good condition with a good level of ongoing maintenance. For example and marks left of the hull from mooring are quickly painted over. It is difficult to find fault with the maintenance except perhaps for the caulking. I question why the slightly older Silver Cloud has still not been similarly refurbished and wonder whether this indicative of a limited future. There is an excellent amount of space per passenger even during this full cruise and with the exception of one tea-time, no hint of a queue or over-crowding anywhere. Indeed in the evening it can be difficult to find co-passengers in some parts of the ship. The shore excursions I took were well thought out and reasonably priced and a real strength. However, I don't know if this is representative of the line's other excursions, or merely the nor, for the geographic area. Prior to the cruise I was frightened by pre-cruise literature that included the option to take some remarkable, if extremely highly priced excursions. I assumed all excursions would be in this price league and was relieved by the reality. The excursion office were also extremely helpful with alternative arrangements that we could make for ourselves and their service was supplemented by visiting local tourist representatives - a delightfully useful service for those who like to go off and explore on their own. The food is OK if not exactly sparkling. Breakfast was excellent wherever taken, lunch was good, except for the pool-side service and dinner even less so - especially the deserts. The ingredient spend was quite good, although gallons of good caviar was certainly not flowing (unless you paid for it) and it seemed to lack a certain sparkle. I enjoyed the informal lunch in La Terrazza, where a traditional buffet was supplemented with pasta cooked to order and even pizzas cooked to order. Dinner wasn't bad and indeed I preferred dinner in the alternative zero cost La Terrazza to the main dining room. In the latter I felt the food lacked sparkle and the crockery a strange choice, especially the coffee cups which were a long way removed from demitasse and more serviceable for sturdy on-deck service. There was, however, a good mix of choices with an additional range of staples and very reasonable accompanying wines (or whatever else you might want to drink) gratis and a good wine list if you wanted connoisseur wines. There was similarly a connoisseur restaurant, but I failed to try this. The ship was certainly very generous with free alcohol, but the novelty of it for me had faded by the end of the cruise. I was surprised to see how large the delightful tiered show-room was. It was used for talks, films and unfortunately the inevitable dance shows. I have never really enjoyed the shows of most ships, but the dancers here really hit a new low. They were lovely people who at times assisted as hosts and were lovely to talk to, but for me dancing and entertaining was not their skill - nor do I think this type of show appropriate to the ambience of the ship. Personally I would have preferred more intelligent entertainment or Western band / Jazz pianist. There were some good musicians on the ship, but they were not Western and were perhaps thus handicapped in their rappour. For children there was little entertainment except a reasonable video library and whilst the line indicated it would try to accommodate children I question what they can achieve - and whether this enthusiasm for children would be shared by the other passengers. There is a choice of local television channels, international news channels, ship sourced enrichment shows and ship shown films. I generally found everything that was ship sourced to be of little interest and was grateful for the international news and in-cabin DVD player - although I did seem to have seen most of the DVDs in the library. The ship was very comfortable and followed a seemingly well planned itinerary. It is, however, not cheap - especially at peak times - and the jury is still out as to whether I will return. The crew (largely Philippino and Indian) try hard to provide a good service, but there is a cultural gap and I suggest the ship should work harder at projecting its own image, rather than what seemed to be forever looking over their shoulder at what their competitors delivered and replicating it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I have skimmed the prior review of this cruise and by odd coincidence, my daughters and I had staterooms that were nearly adjacent to that of the reviewer. We have very different observations. Be that as it may, I chose the Silverseas ... Read More
I have skimmed the prior review of this cruise and by odd coincidence, my daughters and I had staterooms that were nearly adjacent to that of the reviewer. We have very different observations. Be that as it may, I chose the Silverseas line because I had been on most itineraries that Seabourne travels. I also was attracted by the low single supplement fee charged for a second suite. As mentioned, I traveled with my daughters are college students. The elder is a senior at Cornell University Hotel School and is a very exacting critic. Plus we are from San Francisco and have ample opportunity for fine dining, albeit modern Californian cuisine. We were impressed by the warmth and attentiveness of the service. The staff was alert and personal, but not fawning. We found the menu to be at the level of a five star hotel. In short if a passenger seeks the service and cuisine of the Ritz Carleton Hotels, then they will have a similar experience with Silverseas. The prior reviewer stated that the ship was overstaffed at times. He or she must understand that the kitchen provides punctual room service from the dining room and breakfast buffet. Wait staff must linger to fulfill various orders as most passengers prefer breakfast en suite. At any rate, I would state that the service and cuisine were excellent. The lines sommalier found great unknown wines and champagne that compared to far better known wine labels. I am very particular. I think that there were a few weak spots. The ship was recently refurbished and is pristine; however, the interior design is awful. The carpeting, "artwork," upholstery fabrics, wallcoverings, etc, evoke a 1980's midprice Hilton. What were they thinking of??? It is no more expensive to have good taste and look at some "cool" traditional interior design. Go to the W Hotel. Also, I would have liked more depth in the ship's library or TV station regarding our destinations. It would be nice to have videos and researched reports about where we were going. The dance shows were indescribably, excructiatintly, terrible. The pianist was very good. Some one at Silverseas needs to hire an entertainment consultant. To sum up, we were positively impressed by Silverseas. The pluses were great service and food, a low single supplement fee, and a creative itinerary. The negatives were banal interior design, shallow research, and awful live shows. All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised versus Seabourne. Hastily, AGW Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Silver Whisper: Dubai to Athens, 4/20/08 - 5/5/08 Embarkation. It was a hot Sunday in Dubai and by mid-morning we were out of touring options, seriously jet lagged, with five hours to kill before our scheduled boarding. We hadn't ... Read More
Silver Whisper: Dubai to Athens, 4/20/08 - 5/5/08 Embarkation. It was a hot Sunday in Dubai and by mid-morning we were out of touring options, seriously jet lagged, with five hours to kill before our scheduled boarding. We hadn't purchased an early boarding permit but we decided to call the Silversea port agent to see if we could show up at the ship, pay the $100 per person fee, and proceed on board early. He said yes. By noon we were cheerfully received and directed to The Restaurant for a leisurely, delightful lunch. All the wait staff ambled over to our table to introduce themselves and welcome us aboard. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that when you board early they attempt to get you to your cabin early. By the end of lunch our cabin on deck eight was ready. We were unpacked and sipping our complimentary champagne when general boarding commenced. Under the circumstances we decided the $200 we splurged to board early was well spent. We would have spent $60pp for food and drink waiting at our hotel. For me, embarkation gets an A+. The Ship. We were immensely impressed with the Silver Whisper. She is totally comfortable, spotless, and in top condition. Her public rooms are spacious and richly appointed without seeming the least bit stuffy and well disbursed throughout the ship so we never experienced a sense of crowding. We had 375 passengers on board but it seemed like only 75. Our standard cabin was excellent, ample space and storage, a very comfortable bed, and a large bath with double sinks and a separate tub and shower. The cabin furnishings were a bit worn, but in a homey comfortable sense. Getting about the ship was initially a bit of a challenge since some areas are accessible only by forward stairs and elevators and others by the aft stairs and elevators. But after charging down occasional dead ends, we mastered the territory and grew to love the ship's layout. For me, the ship gets an A+. She isn't new, but she wears her years oh so well! Service. I have never experienced service of this quality. When we boarded early, the staff at Reception all but cheered. The waiters in The Restaurant were warm, welcoming, totally genuine and determined (successfully) to remember our names from that moment forward. Our cabin attendants treated us like visiting VIPs. They were simply perfection throughout the cruise. We found our cabin a bit warm when we moved in and inquired about the air conditioning. An engineer was quickly dispatched and determined, cheerfully, it was fine. The next morning, returning from breakfast, we encountered three teams of attendants working the cabins on our deck eight. They all knew us. They all stopped what they were doing to ask about our air conditioning. (It was fine.) This wasn't an accident. This was Silversea's commitment to passenger service at work. Wow! That evening, I walked into the Panorama Lounge after the show and ordered a cognac. This was our second night on the ship. My cognac was delivered in thirty seconds. My response: "That was fast!" My waitress casually responded: "The bartender saw you walk in." Business as usual!!!! That quality of service continued throughout our journey. In my opinion, A++. How could it get better? Ports of Call. We usually decline ship's tours when we cruise to avoid Jake Snake from Serpent, Idaho who inevitably finds his way on to our bus. But given this itinerary, we decided to make this cruise an exception. We stuck with the ship's tours and we're glad we did. Jake found us only once, on our four-hour tour of Fujairah. (He snuck on the bus as a Brazilian in drag.) The tours were generally quite well done. We were highly impressed seeing the Whisper's Tour Desk personnel not only present but actively involved in all the tours. They were friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to please. Best Tour Desk we have experienced by far! Dubai was, for me, a good place to get over jet lag, once. It's a massive desert construction zone with a flicker of native culture apparent if you look hard for it. We did a fascinating desert safari trip that was a gas—an hour of navigating desert sand dunes in a Range Rover with its tires partially deflated followed by dinner and belly dancing under the stars in a "native encampment." Our evening in the desert ended with an unplanned moment of magic. We were the first of about fifty Range Rovers to leave the encampment. As we drove in darkness across the sands a herd of several dozen camels appeared in our headlights, their ghost-like images a majestic and unforgettable sight. The camels proceeded calmly toward and around us on their way back to camp. (Daytime versions of the desert safari were offered as shore tours in Fujairah and Sharm El-Sheikh.) If you have unlimited amounts of money to squander, Dubai is ready and able to help you do it. If you like shopping for mostly familiar consumer goods in giant awesome ultra lavish shopping malls, you will find bliss in Dubai. If you like lounging on a beach or poolside, dozens of impressive five star properties are at your disposal in Dubai with many more on the way. For us, a day on the Ho Ho bus and an evening in the desert was enough. Our first two ports of call were half-day stops, Fujairah, U.A.E, and Salalah, Oman. Both are beach resorts serving, largely, citizens of nearby nations. The ship's tours we took gave us a nice overview of what little there was to see. The busses were only half full and the guides pretty good. Some folks were disappointed but I didn't expect much and thought our four hours on shore was time well spent. It was like turning down a new road on a car trip just to see where it went. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was another matter entirely. It was an exotic, dramatic, highly memorable travel experience. Our sense of anticipation began several months before the cruise when Silversea alerted us to the fact that all women must wear an abaya in order the leave the ship. Several days before our arrival in Jeddah, the Tour Director gave us a thirty minute briefing (some would call it a rant) on the Jeddah stop. Not only did he reiterate dress requirements, he cited a laundry list of "stipulations" that would apply to all of us while in Saudi waters—all alcohol would be confiscated and placed under lock and key in the hold; strict manifests would be maintained for each tour bus; a variety of documents would need to be completed for each passenger for presentation to Saudi authorities upon arrival; our on shore tour the travel guides might not measure up to the standards we expect from Silversea since we would be only the third cruise ship to call at Jeddah; any infractions discovered by Saudi authorities, particularly the religious police, would prompt severe penalties, (The Cloud, which had visited Jeddah about three weeks ahead of us, received a $10,000 fine and was threatened with impoundment because a half bottle of wine was discovered in a crew cabin.), the Saudis were oh so difficult to deal with, and on it went. By the time we boarded our busses in Jeddah we were as excited and apprehensive as our mother hen Tour Director. The guide on our bus wasn't much but was better than we had been lead to expect and somewhat of a jovial chap. His surprise of the morning: he informed all the abaya clad ladies "we Saudis aren't all that formal. Don't bother to cover your hair." Our first stop was the Qomosani House. To say this was a modest facility would be drowning it in praise. Then we were treated to a brief walk through the fascinating streets of old Jeddah, Al-Balad, to see some of the remaining early architecture. Next we proceeded on foot to the grand souk for more than an hour of independent shopping and people watching. I loved every minute of it. We then boarded the bus and drove along the Corniche, the new, modern waterfront of Jeddah stretching for many miles. It is punctuated with dozens of huge pieces of quite striking modern sculpture, a source of justifiable pride for the Saudis. From this point, those who booked a half-day trip were taken to the local fish market and then back to the ship. Unfortunately, the moment the half-day folks pulled up to the fish market the mid-day call to prayer began. They spent thirty minutes cooling their heels in the parking lot while the Saudis tended to Allah. The delay caused them to miss lunch back on the ship. Understandably, they were an unhappy lot. Meanwhile, we had booked a full day tour so we were taken to a modern elegant Lebanese restaurant in a fancy neighborhood close to the Corniche for a dining experience I will never forget. Teams of young waiters descended upon us serving eighteen separate entrEes family style at tables of eight. It took two hours for us to devour this magnificent feast. The problem was the first entrEe was excellent and all that followed kept getting better. We departed the restaurant the happiest of sated campers. Then on to a most surprising and incongruous stop. We were taken to a fashion design studio, a women's studio in a land where women show only their hands and eyes in public. What a hoot watching dudes in dish-dashes touting sexy lingerie and related items of high fashion. Not a Saudi woman in site unless you count manikins! Go figure! Then we proceeded on to the Abdul Raouf Khalil's Museum. This magnificent facility is a beautiful and meticulously restored private mansion. It contains three stories of brilliantly presented art and artifacts of Saudi culture and history. I am not a museum person but I wanted much more time here. Our Tour Director said Silversea is considering this museum as a future "special Silversea event" site. They couldn't do better. We were then hustled off to the local fish market which, at four in the afternoon, was well past its prime and then back to the ship. The Jeddah stop, in my opinion, was worth all the angst Silversea experienced in offering it to us. It was timely, truly unique, and exceptionally well done particularly in light of the "special circumstances" the Saudis currently impose on visiting cruise ships. I am sure Silversea will tweak the half-day itinerary to correct blatant deficiencies and all future visitors to Jeddah will be in for a treat.. We got our booze back at about 7:00 p.m., the moment we departed Saudi waters. Nirvana! Our overnight to Luxor was quite well done. It's a three hour bus ride each way in a scheduled caravan with armed escort and an armed "minder" who catches up on his sleep on each bus. When you reach the Nile valley, about an hour before arriving at Luxor, you are treated to views of the Egypt that has existed for five thousand years. Fascinating. The temples of Karnak and Luxor are awesome, along with Petra the focal point of the cruise. No one was disappointed. Our hotel was the five-star Sonesta. It should have been called the Construction Zone since they were in the process of adding three new floors to the top of it. It was ok for one night, great setting right on the Nile. We were offered three beautiful, lavish but flavorless buffet meals. I found the Valley of the Kings to be annoying because of the crowds. Seeing one magnificent tomb was enough for me. Our guide, a university professor of antiquities from Cairo who was flown in by Silversea exclusively for this tour, was simply sensational. His commentary in excellent English perfectly embellished the sights and sounds of Egypt. I've never experienced better. We drove to Luxor thinking this would be our first and last visit to Egypt. We drove back to the ship determined to return. In our opinion, Petra is equal to all the superlatives applied to it. We will visit it again so we can enjoy it in the early morning before the crowds arrive and again in the evening twilight. Our tour was well done and the drive to Petra much more interesting than I had anticipated. Sharm el-Sheikh is a popular, tried and true resort stop, beautiful beaches with world class diving opportunities. We skipped a ship's tour here and had a good time simply walking the beach. The final highlight of our cruise was the Suez Canal passage. It was great fun rising early to view scores of ships waiting to take their place in our northbound caravan. I had planned to do a video piece entitled "Images on the Suez Canal." Unfortunately, I discovered while really interesting images are there to see they are few and far between since the canal is nothing more than a lengthy ditch cut through the desert. The world will have to wait for a more patient videographer to produce "Images." The ports and tours get an A. Entertainment. I've always assumed the larger the ship the better the entertainment. The Whisper reminded me not necessarily so. I was totally pleased by the entertainment offered on board. During the first half of the cruise we were entertained by a magician, an excellent Irish flautist, an equally excellent singer-impressionist as well as our Cruise Director Simon Heath, a respectable singer himself. On the second half of the cruise, Simon was joined by a pair of versatile pianists, a superb vocalist and an excellent violinist. The Silver Whisper Quartet played daily on the Pool Deck at lunch, before and after dinner in The Bar, and ably backed up several of the entertainers. They were versatile and most enjoyable. And our lounge lizard was also a solid performer. We weren't offered a production show but I didn't expect it or miss it. One of the highlights of this cruise was our Enrichment Lecturer, Dr. Richard Atkins. A retired academic and brilliant speaker, his presentations on Islam, Saudi Arabia, "The Curse of Oil," our Greek and Roman cultural heritage and the Suez Canal perfectly enhanced our tour experiences. His lectures were very well attended and enthusiastically received. Best lecturer I've experienced on a cruise ship! Our Guest Chef, Jeffrey Bates, was, to me, a disappointment. His presentations were a mix of thirty minutes of tedious patter with fifteen minutes of cooking demonstration. I probably expect too much since I regularly watch the stars do this stuff really well on the Food Channel. I loved the fact that his demonstrations ended with a stream of waiters passing out a taster plate to everyone in the audience. Overall, the entertainment and enhancement package gets yet another A. The Dining Experience. I regret I must rate the dining experience on Whisper only a B. When it was good it was very good indeed. And it was frequently very good. On our first formal night, dinner was perfection: caviar, assiette of artichokes, fresh lobster, and a magnificent chocolate plate. The chef was bolder with flavoring than most ship chef's we've experienced, with outstanding results. But the galley produced far too many failures for a luxury cruise. Here are a few examples. One night, three at our table were served beautifully plated empty mussel shells. On another night, two at our table were served souffles that were so undercooked they were runny on the bottom. On another night, one person was served an ice cream dessert that was so melted the ice cream had lost its shape. I ordered a medium rare sirloin steak. It was tasteless and served at nearly room temperature and well done. The Spanakopita was all filo dough, almost no filling. At our last dinner, I was served risotto that was flavorless because it had been rushed. You can't rush risotto. And three folks at our table ordered the pork tenderloin and ate only one bite. Furthermore, the wait staff were consistently superb but frequently too rushed. During one lunch we noticed our wonderful Bulgarian waitress literally running in order to keep up. That shouldn't happen. That afternoon there was one sommelier serving the entire dining room. She fell woefully behind. The sommeliers on Whisper are instructed to fill your wine glass no more than a third full. That's ok by me. But the policy requires the sommeliers to make frequent table visits in order to keep up. Our wine glasses remained empty much of the time because the sommelier had no hope of keeping up. Unacceptable! We met lots of Silversea regulars on this cruise. All with the exception of one English couple agreed the galley had problems and assured us this was an exception to the rule. The delightful English couple thought the galley was doing just fine. Disembarkation. The marvelous crew of Whisper made leaving the ship as painless as possible. The luggage was promptly transferred to the Athens terminal. They then hovered around the gangway offering to carry anything we had in our hands. I was more than able to handle my camera. Crew members stood every few hundred feet lining the route to our luggage. Everyone was off the ship by nine. Another A for the Whisper. This was our first Silversea cruise. We loved every bit of it and plan to book another Silversea cruise in the near future. We are Regent regulars and found Silversea to be a worthy competitor indeed. The larger Regent ships offer a few more entertainment and dining options than Whisper, but less of the sense of intimacy we enjoyed on Whisper. While Regent service is excellent, we found the service on Silversea even better. This was most noticeable at the Reception and Tour Desks. The dining experience on Regent is consistently excellent. That wasn't the case on Whisper but Silversea regulars aboard convinced us to give Silversea another try and that we will! Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
This was our 2nd Silversea's cruise, the first being on the Shadow in the summer of 2006 which did not meet our expectations. Now onto the Whisper, although an identical ship the whole package was just so, so fantastic and why so much ... Read More
This was our 2nd Silversea's cruise, the first being on the Shadow in the summer of 2006 which did not meet our expectations. Now onto the Whisper, although an identical ship the whole package was just so, so fantastic and why so much better than the Shadow my wife and I will never know.I would like to add that all reviews are " In our opinion "and would like to trust that all future cruisers with Silversea's might expect the same,we do hope so. Our short cruise was an 8 day from Dubai to Mumbai which included an overnight on the ship in Dubai and Mumbai, call at 2 ports in Oman and 1 in the U.A.E.. We made our own air arrangements with British Airways and stayed for 1 night pre cruise in Le Meridian airport hotel in Dubai.This hotel avoids the traffic of the beach hotels is of a fine quality with some excellent places to eat, we choose the " Seafood Market " which was superb. My wife and I paid the extra $100 pp early embarkation fee which was well worth the cost as you have to vacate the hotel by noon. Greeted with a glass of champagne and told our suite would be ready around 1.30 pm we boarded at 10.30 am, no problem ,we made our way to a bar and within 15 minutes we are informed that our suite was ready and shown to our room. Our suite was spotless and well maintained during our cruise, after leaving Dubai the bar was stocked with our choices of spirits and beer with no complaints in this department. We opted for a basic veranda suite which was very spacious with a walk in closet, separate bath and shower and a "his"and "hers" double wash basins.All in all the suite would be fine for a much longer cruise. The ship on our cruise was about 95% full with a passenger list of 365 and a crew count of 297 by anyones' standards that is a good ratio for the guests. The service in every area was superb,faultless and gracious with many crew members addressing you by name, knowing your preferences in food and drink and treating you with great respect. With the exception of one bland white fish dish,the food was bordering on gourmet.Where ever you ate it was an un hurried service and the food was delivered with excellence.You can order off of the menu with a little notice and this proved to me to had had one of the best Beef Tatares I have ever tasted. You can find out about all of the ships facilities on the web or brochures so there is little need for me to go on. In the U.K.Silversea Cruises are one of travels best kept secrets, this is a real shame as this Six Star product with the weak $$$$ is good value for British clients.I have worked out that if you do a like for like cruise matching cabin size and are a moderate social drinker with the big lines such as Celebrity then a cruise on the four ships of Silverseas' is much better value. On board there are no trashy "Art Auctions" no " Inch of Gold " no "Snowball Bingo" just a fantastic feeling of being spoilt,why not. I just hope that the company can keep it up with the expansion plans with the much larger new build due in 2009, fingers crossed. The only small downside is the lack of quality entertainment, the 4 piece band were awful and seem to be where ever you were, not really a problem. From this review it may look like a work for Silverseas', I do not but wish I did because I could increase their U.K. market but a hugh amount. Please feel free to Mail me if you have any further questions about the product,it was and is industry leading. Chris Willett Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click