So we chose SilverSea after hearing from a colleague about the level of service and the overall quality of his cruise. After doing some more research, we decided to forgo having a large wedding reception in order to spend the $18,000 + to ... Read More
So we chose SilverSea after hearing from a colleague about the level of service and the overall quality of his cruise. After doing some more research, we decided to forgo having a large wedding reception in order to spend the $18,000 + to sail with SilverSea. I am going to write this according to the guide on this site. Then at the end I will add several other experiences we had during our cruise.
We chose the Silver Wind and the 14 day Mediterranean cruise from Monaco to South Hampton, England. We went back and forth between this and the Silver Muse (their newest ship) due to the locations and it being a longer trip, also flight was included in the price.
The flight out (which we upgraded to first class) was very well done and the travel to the ship was well done. The embarkation process was well managed and we made it to our cabin just fine. Shortly after that we had the mandatory muster and safety briefing. That's where the missteps began. The drill was a joke. We were told that in an emergency they wanted us to muster in a small room so we will be comfortable and still be able to experience luxury. Not what I want in an emergency, I want to be safe. There was a drill several days later where the captain accidentally left the ships mic on and was heard saying, "This is not good, or what's supposed to be happening." as well as, "What's going on?". Not what you want to hear from the captain of the ship. As a former Marine who has served on ships I told my wife that we would be better off doing our own thing than following their instructions.
The overall feel of the ship is that it's very tired. The decor is outdated, the rooms have at best 3 star hotel (the $50 a night ones) amenities. The linens were warn and overused. There was wallpaper pealing and you could hear some bolts (or some metal) rattling in the walls.
The food, which is one of the highlights SilverSea boasts was very okay. The menu doesn't change nearly the whole trip, which on a 14 day cruise and only 4 options gets old very fast. The changes they do make were so minor they were unnoticeable. We were told several times that they were unwilling to bring us food to certain areas of the ship (even though they will tell you prior that you can order food to you on call). There were no meals we had that had any "WOW" factor at all. I will say that the alcohol flowed, there were no issues there.
The entertainment and activities were, again, very okay. Not at all the caliber we would expect from a cruise-line like SilverSea claims to be. We got to meet several of the actors (most were nice, one was very cold and wouldn't even acknowledge that my wife said hello). The bartenders were un-attentive on the pool lounge (which was never busy). Being a small ship there weren't many on ship activities. We mostly hung out in our room if we weren't off shore as there wasn't much to do. The shows started late and were short. The "disco" which we asked for, lasted all of 20 min and played Barry Manilow, not exactly dance music.
The service was split. Our butler did everything he could to make us happy, as well as the one bartender we found that knew his job well. Outside of that most of the crew was pleasant, but it felt forced. There were exceptions, some of the crew that came on the (very overpriced) excursions with us and got to know us were kind. But the host/hotel staff was 1 star at best. We had several issues (room flooded, downgraded room, equipment not working in the room, etc.) and never have I ever been treated so poorly by management. More on this in a moment.
The ports were all nice, but not well planned or executed. The excursions as mentioned above were way overpriced (we booked several of the same, if not better for much cheaper), and not what were advertised. We did kayaking in Spain and were never told what to bring. The company that ran the excursion did fine, but were shocked when no one brought an SD card for the pictures they took of us with their Go-Pro. We gave them our email with the promise that they would send them to us and have still not gotten them. I paid to go to the Andalusian horse tour with the understanding that we would get a tour., and show. While we did get a show we were not able to take pictures of it, and there was NO tour whatsoever.
We were told, "No we won't do that for you" way more than any other all inclusive I have done.
The ports aren't well set up unless you spend half of your day going to the lectures. You would think there would be well researched ideas in their paper they give you the day prior so you can plan.
General feel that SilverSea already had our money and was suffering us during their voyage.
The most glaring issue was when our room flooded. I don't know if there was a lack of maintenance, or if this was from a fluke accident. Our room as well as our neighbors room flooded. The way that management handled this was similar to how a poorly ran restaurant would handle the situation. We had no notice when we got back to our room that there had been a flood, we just walked in to a wet floor. We summoned our butler who assured us that not only the issue but that we would be taken care of. This is where the glaring lack of care from upper management became painfully apparent.
We were told the issue would be resolved quickly so we went up to the pool area and waited with some of the friends we had made on-board. Two junior officers came and told me that they were working on the issue. I told them that with the smell (it was apparently a sewer line that had spilled in the room) that we would like to be moved to a different room. He was very hesitant and said he would have to check on what they could do. He then sent our butler up to us and told us that they had a downgraded room for us to stay in. We were told to grab what we needed and to move our stuff for the next day into this other room.
The room was one of the front two rooms on our same deck. The reason we booked the middle of the ship was (at our booking agents recommendation) because the front was a much harsher ride. He was absolutely correct in this explanation as I only was able to get 2 hours of sleep, and my wife who had an ear infection became sick. The only interaction we have yet had from the upper management has been a free evening to La' Champagne, and a letter saying, "Congratulations on the honeymoon, sorry for the inconvenience.", we were also given a bottle of champagne; which being as rocky of a ride the front of the ship was and the fact that my wife was ill, the last thing we wanted to do was drink. We also had champagne everywhere we went, so getting a free bottle of what we already had for free was a hollow gesture.
Since I couldn't sleep I decided to go and check our room then I went down to the library and read. Our original room had a very musty smell in it. After telling this to our butler who happened to come by the library he said that we should bring our concerns to upper management and see what they can do. I then told reception (who barely took a note) and expressed my interest in speaking with someone higher up than I had about the issue. The SAME junior officer came down and told me that they were working on it. Not an encouraging experience.
The solution they had was to spray a heavy deodorizer on the carpet. It was so strong that we had to leave the room and our balcony door open for the rest of the day and stay in the downgraded room. So we spent nearly 2 full days in a downgraded room. Not the type of treatment I would expect from a cruise line that boasts attention to guests needs and second to none service. We were simply told that whenever we wanted to we could move back into our room. No one told us that it was prepped and ready and that the smell was gone.
After I sent an email from the ship to their corporate office we were offered to upgrade to a very front of the ship Royal suite. Ignoring that this was at the front of the ship, it just showed us that they had the room free from the start of this issue and chose to downgrade us anyhow.
There were many other missteps that happened. Since we got back I have emailed with both our booking agent as well as their customer service with no response that anything would be done about our experience.
At this point I have no faith in this cruise-line and would encourage you to look at anything else.
We would not go again.
Sorry this is so long, just wanted to be thorough Read Less