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5 Silversea Greece Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have sailed on about 40 cruises including some high end cruises on Crystal, Seaborn, Regent, and Azamura. This was our first cruise on Silversea and it compared nicely with the other luxury cruises we have been on. ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on about 40 cruises including some high end cruises on Crystal, Seaborn, Regent, and Azamura. This was our first cruise on Silversea and it compared nicely with the other luxury cruises we have been on. Embarkation was quick and easy in Istanbul. The ship was docked several blocks from the cruise terminal and we didn't notice that Silversea had a shuttle until we arrived at the ship on foot! Oh well. We needed the exercise anyway. The ship was in very good condition and all the spaces were clean and tidy. The cruise we were on was only about 60% full, so the crew to passenger ratio was about 1:1. Even though we probably had the least expensive cabin (oceanview suite) on the ship, we found it to be spacious and comfortable. Our butler offered us a selection of toiletries including Bulgari and Ferrengamo products along with a hypoallergenic selection. My wife couldn't decide so he gave us both of the designer labels. That was actually convenient because the suite had a separate full size bath tub and a large glass walled shower, so we could place one set of products in each one. We were also offered a selection of pillow which we tried, but ended up liking the original pillows best. Our butler also delivered fruit in the evening, kept our refrigerator stocked with our favorite beverages, and on several occasions, delivered excellent in room breakfast. Our room steward kept our suite spotless and was never intrusive. Dining was very good at all times and in all venues. The only thing that seemed strange to me was the lack of steak on the menu. They had plenty of other excellent offerings, but for beef they seemed to favor angus hamburgers. Entertainment was good for a small ship. One South African duo was particularly good singing standards accompanied by Piano in the Stars restaurant. The other musical groups were good, but they were duos and trios and they tended to rely too much on synthesized rhythm and drums for my taste. To me, they sounded better when they just played their instruments with out the synthesizer. All in all, we really enjoyed out first cruise on Silversea. We're ready to go again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Everything about this cruise is mediocre. This is our 6th cruise and it just didnt do it for us. If not for our room butler Rey, this cruise was a let-down. To make matters worse, we ordered steaks three times and requested medium rare, ... Read More
Everything about this cruise is mediocre. This is our 6th cruise and it just didnt do it for us. If not for our room butler Rey, this cruise was a let-down. To make matters worse, we ordered steaks three times and requested medium rare, and all three times medium to medium well arrived. (I thought maybe it will improve!) On our last evening at Le Champagne, my friend's spouse and my wife ordered the lamb chops medium rare and , you guessed it, it came medium to medium-well. The chef came out and he said for him it was medium rare! There was no pink in the meat and he said it was medium rare...??? That cruise line is in trouble if they continue to have ignorant employees in their employ like the chef at Le Champagne restaurant. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I were a bit concerned after we read some of the previous reviews for the Silver Galapagos and its cruising the Galapagos Islands. I am now very sorry we even read the reviews; not sure what those passengers expected or how ... Read More
My wife and I were a bit concerned after we read some of the previous reviews for the Silver Galapagos and its cruising the Galapagos Islands. I am now very sorry we even read the reviews; not sure what those passengers expected or how they could have possibly been dissatisfied. This is an EXPEDITION style cruise and travelers/passengers need to take this into account when establishing expectations. We have only been on three previous cruises - Princess to Alaska, Regent to the Baltic and AMA Waterways on the Rhine. All were fine, especially the Regent cruise. Our experience on the Silver Galapagos equaled or exceeded our other cruises. The service was amazing and exceeded expectations. The food was even more amazing - incredible variety, gourmet style and presentation. Needless to say the shore excursions on the Galapagos were breathtaking - the reason we went and our expectations were again exceeded. The naturalist guides and guest lecturer were very knowledgeable, professional, courteous and helpful. The cabin was great - a good size and well finished. The all-inclusive feature of Silver Sea was another reason we chose this cruise. We will not hesitate recommending this cruise and ship to friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation in Piraeus, the port for Athens, on 10 May was extremely smooth and easy. In a change from our typical “do-it-yourself” approach we actually stayed at a Silversea hotel and took their transfer ... Read More
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation in Piraeus, the port for Athens, on 10 May was extremely smooth and easy. In a change from our typical “do-it-yourself” approach we actually stayed at a Silversea hotel and took their transfer from the hotel to the port. Yes, it was a large bus but only 24 or so passengers so it was a quick and easy 45 or so minute trip. Our luggage was whisked away by waiting porters and we went into the terminal to go through security and check-in. Other than the Greek officials checking passports the rest of our processing was done by ship's staff in the terminal. The check-in entailed surrendering our passports, verifying the credit card we'd be using for ship board purchases, and getting our room key cards. No waiting for group numbers or colors to be called, we were immediately escorted to the ship where staff took our carry-on luggage from us and assisted us in boarding the ship. We were greeted by Colin Brown, the ship’s cruise director, and he recognized us from our previous cruise on the Wind. The staff with our carry-on bags waited patiently while we exchanged pleasantries and then escorted us to our cabins. Amazingly, though probably not surprising considering the size of the ship, our luggage was very quickly delivered to our cabins. Disembarkation on 28 May in Civitavecchia, the distant port for Rome, was amazingly rapid and easy. One thing we didn't like about disembarkation, and it's more of an observation than a complaint, is that Silversea asked us to leave our cabins not later than 8:30 AM so they could prepare for the on-coming passengers though our butler and cabin attendant were very patient and really didn’t pressure us. We’d had eighteen days with them and had gotten to know both of them very well. An outstanding team. As it turned out we went to one of the restaurants for a full breakfast and we were off the ship by 8:45 AM. Passing through Italian Customs and Immigration was quick and really very easy. The ship's staff, many of whom we'd gotten to know during the cruise, quickly greeted us in the terminal, helped us locate our luggage, and make connection with our transportation. Once again we used a Silversea hotel for our post-cruise stay in Rome so we were again on a partially full bus. Sadly, but efficiently, we were driven away from the terminal within 15 or 20 minutes and arrived at our hotel some hour and 45 minutes later. Itinerary: The highlight, and main reason for booking this cruise, was the itinerary. Actually it was a combined itinerary of two 9-day cruises and our first back-to-back cruise. Fourteen ports in eighteen days, and actually three of those were overnights, was intense and exciting. We started in Athens then on to Kusadasi, Santorini, Nafplion, Katakolon, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Venice, Koper, Split, Sorrento, and finally Civitavecchia. At least for us this was a second cruise of a lifetime following our previous Mediterranean cruise that had focused more on the eastern Med. We'd be hard pressed to say we like one better than another as each had its own attraction, flavor, and interest. Excurions: Quite frankly we were on the move on this cruise. The first sixteen days were port after port, city after city, and site after site. In fact, out of eighteen days we only had one sea day and that was during the second cruise on the next to last full day. We took a mix of self-guided, ship's, and private tours. I think we did just about as well as we could have done and in retrospect I can't think of any tour we would have done any differently. It's almost impossible to list where we went and what we saw on this cruise. Overall highlights have to include a second and unrushed visit to the Acropolis in Athens, Ephesus and the terrace houses , Olympia, Venice, many sites in Rome that we didn’t get to two years ago including a private tour of the Vatican, and that's just to name a few off the top of my head. Let's just say the list of "oh my gosh's" is long and extensive and I'd ventured to say my wife's list is probably different than mine. She's building our website report, day by day, right now and eventually the whole cruise will be captured at www.klugsplace.com . Service: The service on the Wind was almost impeccable without being intrusive or overbearing, certainly the best we've had in all of our cruises. Regular or loyal Silversea cruisers are probably thinking "And you expected what?" about this time and admittedly stepping up to a luxury cruise was everything we thought it might be and maybe a bit more. Maybe it's all about expectations and I like to think we're not demanding people so it's not like we set out to come up with requests or challenges to see how well the staff performed. It is just little things like thinking we might want to eat outside the night we transitioned through the Straights of Messina. We’d failed to make reservation and were pretty much resigned to eating in the main restaurant. At lunch that day one of the head waiters came by and asked how we were doing and where were we going to eat that night. We told him the main restaurant as we’d failed to make other arrangements. He immediately said “Let me check on that”. Within an hour we had a wonderful table on the aft deck outside of the La Terrazza restaurant. Food: I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record, or sound loop for those of you who don't remember records, but the food on the Wind was excellent. Even on this small ship there are basically four dining venues. There is the main restaurant aptly named The Restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is the La Terrazza that is semi-buffet for breakfast and lunch but transforms into a full service Italian restaurant at night. There is the Pool Grill that serves a continental "wellness" breakfast, has menu lunch, and transforms into the Black Rock Grill at night. Should say here that the Black Rock Grill is actually a fun, interactive dining option where you get to cook your own dinner on this extremely hot eight or so inch square flat lava rock. Hard to explain but it's actually easy and the staff is right there to help you through the process. The final option is the Le Champagne which is the Wind's only additional charge specialty restaurant that serves only dinner in a very small and intimate setting. We ate in all the venues on the cruise with the exception of the Le Champagne this cruise. The Restaurant and Hot Rocks were fantastic but I will have to say the La Terrazza was a big disappointment this cruise. It was one of the best venues on the same ship two years ago but throughout our cruise the food was sometimes marginal and the service painfully slow. Entertainment: In a break or a change from our previous cruise on the Wind we didn’t go to many of the shows on this cruise. We did go to see Colin Brown who is not only the Cruise Director but also a very accomplished concert pianist and he performed a couple of nights during the cruise. In addition the ship had a small 4-piece band who performed nightly in the Panorama Bar and a piano player/singer who performed in The Bar, yes another aptly named venue, every night. There is a casino, and I use the term a bit loosely here as it is small with only one blackjack table, one variation of poker table, one roulette table, and maybe a dozen slot machines. Unfortunately the casino was closed totally or until late many nights as we had the overnights and many late departures. We spent much less time there and dancing versus our previous cruise and really just enjoyed the company of fellow passengers and ourselves most evenings. Passengers: I'd say the average age on this cruise was in the mid-50's to early 60's, a bit younger than what we've become used to on Holland America but not significantly different. It certainly was an international group with the majority being English speakers, probably 90% of the passengers, from United States, England, Canada, Asia, India, and Australia. I did also hear German, French, Italian, and I think Russian from a few couples. There were a few children, maybe five or six, mostly babies and none over two or three years old but the families seemed to stay pretty much to themselves and you really didn't notice them around much. Of course with such a port intensive cruise folks were off the ship almost daily so there wasn’t a lot of time confined to the ship. One observation was the interesting difference in the two 9-day cruises. Only 18 or so of us stayed on the ship for the second leg so we had a significant turnover of passengers. The nature of the overall group on the first 9-day leg was a little more party-like. Interestingly it was driven in large part by one couple who were celebrating a birthday and them, in a good hearted way most of the time, wanted everybody to enjoy themselves and help them celebrate. It wasn’t distracting but it was certainly obvious. The second group was more reserved and had more returning Silversea Venetian Society members than the first. We met great people on both legs and made what we think will be two or three lasting friendships to the point we’re presently planning to cruise next year with one of the couples. Overall Impression: This was our second cruise on Silversea after several cruises on Holland America and one Celebrity cruise. In all fairness it probably isn't fair to compare those cruise lines to Silversea. Yes, it's a cruise and a ship but the scale of operations and the resulting level of service plus the all-inclusive aspect don't lend themselves to exact comparison. It's hard to say, mainly because it's so subjective, that one is better than the other or one is worth or not worth the money. This cruise set an extraordinarily high mark from the itinerary to the service to the food. Without a doubt it was a great cruise because of the unusual and exciting itinerary so many cruises would pale in comparison. We will cruise Silversea again without hesitation and are already planning a cruise for next year with new found friends from this cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Seabourn Quest 2012 cruise vs. Silversea Spirit 2013 cruise We took the Seabourn Quest 2012 11-day cruise from Rome to Barcelona and a 2013 Silversea Spirit 7-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with ... Read More
Seabourn Quest 2012 cruise vs. Silversea Spirit 2013 cruise We took the Seabourn Quest 2012 11-day cruise from Rome to Barcelona and a 2013 Silversea Spirit 7-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with the top of the high end, and that a comparison in this league is perhaps splitting a few hairs, here is my attempt to make a head to head comparison: 1. Embarkation process: Equally flawless from arrival to completion with lunch served while suites were being prepared for early arrivals, but with some minor differences noted: when you arrive your cabin on Quest, your luggage is sitting on a mat on your bed, whereas on the Spirit your luggage is waiting at your suite’s door. However, the Spirit has a "butler” assigned to all cabins, who offered to unpack us (we declined the offer). (Butler service on the Quest is limited to the highest end suites.) One troublesome gaffe on the Spirit (which I guess could happen anywhere), is that one of pieces of our luggage did not arrive to our room, despite bearing the preprinted Spirit label with suite number on it. We immediately alerted our butler, who repeatedly assured us that the "hotel manager” was on the dock dealing with it and that most likely was delayed for additional security screenings due to containers of liquids in the piece. Then, after 90 minutes of such "assurances”, another guest graciously brought the missing luggage to our suite, advising that it was mis-delivered to his suite. It would be better if they used bar code scanner labels to know where luggage is during movement. Notwithstanding this gaffe, I give a tie vote to the embarkation process. 2. The Ship: Upon first entering the Spirit, my first impression was that (perhaps because it is older), it was dark (using dark woods), as compared to the Quest which presented a lighter and more open experience. As one descends to the lower decks on the Quest, the hallways get narrower, following the taper of the hull, consistent, however, with maintaining uniformity of suite size on all decks. Also, a significant issue to watch out for on the Quest is that some of the suites on the lower decks had portions of veranda walls in metal (instead of the usual glass), effectively serving to block some of the exterior views from those cabins. A niggling design annoyance on the Spirit was that one person could not pass another at the foot of the bed because of the narrowness created by the Spirit building in a second vanity table coming out from the wall opposite the foot of the bed. Otherwise, appointments within the suite were equal, though the Spirit had a bathtub (which the Butler or housekeeper once left with a surprise bubble bath for my wife!), whereas (I think) the Quest did not have a tub (which we do not use anyway). Due to the brighter presentation of the Quest, and the annoyance of inability of us to pass each other at the foot of the bed on the Spirit, the edge in my vote goes to the Quest. On the other hand, while we were midship, higher than middeck on both ships, the sense of any movement, docking, or dock departure was simply undetectable on the Spirit, whereas I did get seasick one night on the Quest. (That, however, may be more a function of routing on open seas, than ship.) However, this should be balanced by the fact that at the time of our booking, Silversea’s pricing for virtually the same 2013 cruise offered by Seabourn (not on Quest), was much more aggressive, which can serve to assuage petty annoyances! (Seabourn’s substantially higher pricing at the time may have reflected it having sold out of the mid-range suites, and the fact that Silversea was running a sale at the time of our booking.) Finally, we experienced some substantial vibration in suites on the aft end of the Spirit that we never experienced anywhere else on the Spirit, so I would book mid or forward on Spirit. 3. Food: Food on cruises is a very big deal to me, so my commentary is perhaps skewed in relation to other factors. The food is excellent on both ships. Now for the whining: The (outdoor buffet) breakfasts on the Quest are deeper in variety, such as interesting daily specials made to order. And one more niggling point about breakfast: it is almost a sacrilege to me for the Spirit to have such wonderful servings of smoked salmon, with cream cheese and capers, and yet no bagels upon which to enjoy it. (I certainly respect readers’ right to deemed me "spoiled”, or to not even know what a bagel and lox is; suffice it to say, the Quest had bagels to go with the smoked salmon, which I enjoyed at many breakfasts.) At (outdoor buffet) lunch, this issue got deeper on the Spirit. There was plenty of good food, but simply not at the depth of quality and selection (and expense to the ship) as on the Quest. For instance, on the Quest, the chef continuously put out individual chilled glass bowl servings of plump shrimp cocktail. Nothing like that on the Spirit. There was more selection of high line food on the Quest’s outdoor lunch buffet, and fellow gourmands (who sailed both cruise lines) concurred with me that there appeared to be relative economizing on the Spirit’s outdoor lunch buffet. (Of course, perhaps over the last year, Seabourn performed some belt tightening of which I would be unaware (no pun intended)). Dinners on both ships’ restaurants were equally excellent, though the standing menu filet mignons on the Spirit were so thin that they appeared to curl up a bit in cooking. The Spirit had more restaurants (+-6 vs. +-4), but two of them on the Spirit were extra charge restaurants, in comparison to there being (I think) no surcharge-restaurants on the Quest. 4. The staff: equally excellent, well-selected, well-trained, and held to " and infused with -- the highest standards of gracious hospitality. Some staff on each ship recalled what alcoholic beverage I had the previous day and automatically brought it over to me the next day " all to the credit of both cruise lines. The Butler on the Spirit, in each case on his own, took my shoes out one night during dinner to be shined, another afternoon had tea sandwiches in our suite upon our return, and on another day had strawberries with chocolate sauce and bubbly on ice awaiting our return to the ship (as though we needed more food!). (That said, as happens anywhere, there are some minor exceptions: the maître d’ at the Italian restaurant on the Spirit needs to be retrained to pick his head up from looking down, and respond to greetings; and a tour director on the Quest shouted at a staffer in the presence of my wife.) Edge to the Quest for the minor luxuries of more staff taking the trouble to learn our names and preferences, which added personalization; though some folks may prefer the feature of the Butler on the Spirit, who was extremely gracious, but whom we really didn’t use since everything generally was executed well, thus not needing his help, though all his special treats were indeed nice. 5. Excursions. Pricey, but well-executed on both ships. (We were advised that Seabourn dropped one tour operator about whom several guests complained.) Dinner at Ephesus, Turkey (illuminated) library ruins (Quest, included), or nighttime concert there (Spirit $179 p/p), is a life-experience not to be missed. 6. Enrichment: Winner is Seabourn; it had pre-port arrival briefings by both a local expert, as well as by a Phd who explained the geopolitical considerations of the port into which we were next to dock. This provided input both practical and intellectual. In contrast, the Spirit had a speaker talking about her book of interesting places to see in the world " none of which had a thing to do with the ship’s itinerary, and there were no other speakers providing local briefings on the Spirit (though both ships maintain local expert-desks for answers to questions / suggestions.) Finally, during such briefings, the Seabourn briefing room / auditorium had servers serving drinks, together with a place to put the drink. The Spirit, had no servers (though you could find a bar on the opposite end of the same deck and bring your drink back to the auditorium where, alas, the drink holders (it that is what they were) were too small to hold a drink glass. Sniff! 7. The bottom line: assuming rough parity in price, I would go "Seabourn” again, because weighing unequally the factors that mean more to me, it is worth a bit of a premium, but not a price gouge. All-in, we are indeed privileged and happy to be on either ship line.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
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