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24 Silversea Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because Bridge at Sea was holding a bridge event, the bridge was fine- the ship was a huge disappointment. The interior spaces are old and tired, wear and stains on every surface. The room was tiny, we knew that, but ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Bridge at Sea was holding a bridge event, the bridge was fine- the ship was a huge disappointment. The interior spaces are old and tired, wear and stains on every surface. The room was tiny, we knew that, but we didn't know that the beds weren't full sized, the brochure said "queen-sized", instead they were shorter and narrower than standard beds. Nice quality linens, though. The much touted butler introduced himself the first day and asked if we needed anything. My wife asked for an extra washcloth each day and bar soap (shower gel was provided but we like bar soap), we got two extra washcloths and two bars of soap on the last day (TIP DAY!). That was the total of our interactions with our superspecial personal butler. Dishes from room service breakfast were cleared away during dinner. In a tiny cabin, having the dirty dishes around all day was both disgusting and inconvenient. Room service food was uniformly cold. In the restaurant, they had lobster on the menu every night. Folks, in Ohio we call crustaceans this size "crawdads" and they were always shrouded in a gloppy cheese sauce or gravy mix. "Lobster Thermidor" was the same cheese sauce AND gravy mix with a mushroom. La Dama, specialty restaurant for a $120 upcharge, was adjacent to the smoking room and the nauseating odor permeated the room. We are unsure what the specialty was, the food was the same as the regular restaurant. La Terraza, the Italian grill, was, obviously, Italian. On Silversea, Italian means that everything has a large dollop of Parmesan cheese and cilantro cooked in, we prefer to add Parmesan or cilantro to taste, asking for a dish without Parmesan and cilantro we were told everything was prepared in advance and it wasn't possible. They did make fresh pasta for every dish but it wasn't very appetizing unless you liked it to the chef's taste. One time, they had pasta with onions and garlic (and Parmesan and cilantro) and they made it fresh for my wife - plain pasta in olive oil, no onions or garlic. The Small Ship Experience - while heavily touted as an advantage of premium lines, we never stopped at a port that didn't have a 2,500+ passenger ship from a popularly priced cruise line and the large ships get the dock while we had to tender. Most the ports were 1/2 days and tendering took a big chunk of time. Summary - I wouldn't go on Silversea again, if the trip was free Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The idea was to see a new part of the world which we did. And to learn about the climate, people and history. Firstly, we sorta enjoyed the cruise. It was what it was and we had few expectations about the itinerary. But we saw very ... Read More
The idea was to see a new part of the world which we did. And to learn about the climate, people and history. Firstly, we sorta enjoyed the cruise. It was what it was and we had few expectations about the itinerary. But we saw very little wildlife so that was disappointing eg one polar bear from a long way off and some whales. 16 days is a long time to be bored. The best part was the Cloud’s food and service in the MDR. The food was fine enough in the Terrazza but rushed and sometimes very slow, unprofessional service marred the experience. It was also noisy for us so we almost always has breakfast and lunch in the MDR under the watchful gaze of MD Gilbert and AMD Gustavo. Also right up there was the set of lecturers, each well prepared and knowledgeable. However, this was a very expensive cruise. The ship was always very cold inside, the bath ran rusty, the drain plug slow, and many of our neighbors slammed their cabin doors. We also witnessed 3 cabin floods, as discussed in the last review. Who needs that? We are experienced cruisers and we expect a certain amount of quality. The jeans and tees at dinner casual dress and manners of some passengers was surprising and I joked readily that Gilbert’s team looked misplaced here. Maybe on a classic ship? Yes, more consistent sophistication. That’s the answer! We will not go on another Silversea expedition. We were very spoiled on the Seabourn Quest’s Antarctic cruise of Dec., 2017. We can wait for the itinerary to do something exotic on the Seabourn Venture. We will try the Muse soon and I hope it lives up to my expectations. For a classic cruise, the ship must bear up or no more Silversea, I am afraid. Happy and healthy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was very displeased with the cruise we boarded on April 2 from Singapore to Mumbai. To our dismay upon boarding the ship was old and tired as many of the staff were. When we checked into our room I had to summon housekeeping to change ... Read More
I was very displeased with the cruise we boarded on April 2 from Singapore to Mumbai. To our dismay upon boarding the ship was old and tired as many of the staff were. When we checked into our room I had to summon housekeeping to change the bathmat as it was frayed and extremely tired as some of the towels.The only saving grace was that the room was a decent size. The food was not first class as its reputation. La Dame was supposed to be their top of the line restaurant which charged $60. pp extra. Definitely not worth it. Stated in their literature is that premium wines are included. This is false as the Chardonnay served was the cheapest reserve of Wente, Morning Fog, when Riva Ranch is only a few dollars more. On several occasions the raspberries at the morning buffet were moldy. The avocado was shockingly served to us when it was overripe and black. Regular yogurt was at the buffet when Greek style was available but we had to ask for it. Why are there items available but not on the menu? This is not what I expected for the money spent. I have sailed on many other high-end ships and this did not measure up. Furthermore, I have received no email regarding my negative comments that I painstakingly wrote before leaving the ship. 4 of our group were so dissatisfied they left the ship after only a few days on board. And to add insult to injury, my travel partner and I had jewelry stolen from our room. When I reported this to the customer relations dept. (Dionel Castillo), the answer was very unsatisfactory. Needless to say, I am not left with a fond memory and doubt that I will return on Silversea as there are many other cruise ships that are a dream like Oceania, Crystal, Viking and Regent who offer much superior service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ... Read More
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ratings and we wanted a slightly larger ship with very experienced naturalists. While the ship holds about 100 people, I think we only had about 85 on board and it never felt crowded. Silver Seas has this down pat! From the moment you arrive at the airport, it is well organized and orchestrated. You never felt rushed or like you were part of a herd. Each experience was personalized and the staff and crew were very polite, respectful and helpful. Each day, you wake up early and head out for excursions. Most days, there were options to choose from. Each excursion started in a zodiac and you headed out to explore an island, snorkel, kayak or visit a small town. Each zodiac had a guide who lead you through the excursion and ensured each guest got the most out of it. The animals are a highlight of the whole trip. They are not afraid of people and you get a very up close (but not too close) experience with sea lions, birds, iguanas, fish and so much more. The ship itself was very nice. Rooms were spacious (for a cruise ship) and well appointed. Your personal butler ensured you had everything you needed and was quick to respond to any special request. Every time we left the room, they came in and cleaned and straightened it up. The ship wasn't new but well kept up. There was only one restaurant and the Grill on board. We had breakfast at the restaurant buffet each morning and chose to have lunch in the Grill on the deck of floor 5. We alternated between the Grill and main restaurant for dinner. The food was very good in both. I do think they could expand the Grill dinner menu beyond on the hot rocks as it was fun the first night and then got a little old. The restaurant food was all excellent and what I would expect at a fine dining establishment. Our fellow travelers were generally 40-60'ish years old and liked a very active vacation. There is little time to rest during the week. You could choose to skip excursions but then why go on this trip? It was action packed and crazy busy but exactly what we expected. There was only 1 child on our trip and about 10 teenagers who seemed to really enjoy it. Most people were part of bigger (6-12 people) groups which included families, siblings, multi generational, friends, etc. One word of warning which Silver Seas is clear about - this is not a trip for anyone that is mobility challenged. The ship isn't set up for it and the excursions all require you to go up and down steep steps on a rocking ship to the zodiac and often disembark in to the ocean and walk ashore to hike on a rugged trail. There is no entertainment on the ship other than a small piano bar for pre-dinner cocktails while watching the sunset. Most people were in their cabins by 10pm resting up for another big day of excursions. Overall, this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip although we may go back again one day and see the Western part of the archipelago. Also, we chose March as the seas were warmer for snorkeling although the air temperature was very warm too. It is the rainy season, but we didn't see even a drop of rainy and it was sunny each day. Can't recommend this trip on the Silver Galapagos highly enough! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
As a semi-surprise birthday trip my husband 'planned' this trip to the Galapagos Islands since it was a dream trip of mine for many decades. We had cruised with Silversea before so we knew traveling with them would be an added ... Read More
As a semi-surprise birthday trip my husband 'planned' this trip to the Galapagos Islands since it was a dream trip of mine for many decades. We had cruised with Silversea before so we knew traveling with them would be an added bonus! The other guests were delightful and since the ship has only 100 passengers, we got to know most of them! The crew was friendly, knowledgeable and fun, too! The guides are from the Galapagos Islands National Park Guide Service and they rotate around the cruise ships - I don't know how we got all the best guides but we did! :) Knowledgeable and fun. The day trips were always informative and interesting. The animals steal the show and rightfully so! We could go on and on about the sea lions and the boobie birds, other birds, iguanas, other flora and fauna - which vary from island to island. So much to take in! Wonderful trip!!!!! This cruise had no formal nights - which was nice since we had a lot of other items to pack for the expedition cruise. Bonus: We loved having wet suits and snorkeling gear provided for us -- no need to pack that!! (We swam with sea lions and sharks! And saw amazing schools of fish, starfish, rays, etc!!!!!) It is a busy day each day as they try to make the most of your trip and everything is so top notch. We did sit out one activity on one day as there was just too much going on and we needed a bit of a break. With that said - some of the island hikes were way to slow paced. You DO always need to be mindful of your footing - it's just the roughness of the islands - rocks and boulders and such. You need the proper shoes for you own best outcome! (They also provided walking sticks for those who needed them!) But we are used to hiking and moving about more. We DID appreciate they took into account everyone's abilities and I do think that might have been part of the issue. We did enjoy many times, the ability to just stand and enjoy the animals and scenery--that's why we came! The tortoises were show stoppers!!!! Loved seeing them in their natural habitat and at the preserve! The food was great! We loved the local food sourcing!!! The chef made sure there was different offerings and all were tasty! The piano man - Alfred- was fun. The butlers marvelous....great folks all around! Pre-cruise and post-cruise hotels they booked were EXCELLENT!!!!!!!! This was an added bonus - so many times the pre and post cruise parts are nice but these were EXCELLENT, especially our hotel in Guayaquil. We appreciated the half-day room. The amenities were really over the top! If you are wondering if you should go the answer is easy; it's: YES!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Dining service has slipped, evening entertainment in lounge is not very entertaining for a late night crowd. Butler service, Rommel and his assistant Vipen, were exceptional. No binoculars in room and no lectures on board ship prior to ... Read More
Dining service has slipped, evening entertainment in lounge is not very entertaining for a late night crowd. Butler service, Rommel and his assistant Vipen, were exceptional. No binoculars in room and no lectures on board ship prior to ports. Also not much communication regarding visa help for next cruise to Oman. I personally asked the chief accountant to keep me updated with what became a difficult process. He NEVER communicated until the visa was completed. The ship IT guy tried to help me switch the online application but he could not figure out how to shrink my passport photo tonfit the application. They got it done but it was very stressful and it took four working days after they told me it was usually done in one to three. Would not have been an issue if the. Communication would have been there. Great restaurants to select from and food was very good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We went with a wine group which selected the Silver Muse as its ship for the cruise. It is a new ship, having launched in 2017. Overall, the ship is very nice. It is a smaller ship about 600 passengers. Much has been made of the 8 ... Read More
We went with a wine group which selected the Silver Muse as its ship for the cruise. It is a new ship, having launched in 2017. Overall, the ship is very nice. It is a smaller ship about 600 passengers. Much has been made of the 8 restaurants on board. What we found out is that if you want to go to a restaurant that requires reservations (Atlantide and Indochine are the only "walk in" restaurants on board), make your reservations as soon as you book your cruise. We were able to get only 2 reservations; the others were already booked solid. Fortunately, the wine group had reservations in most restaurants. Therefore, we ate in all restaurants but Kaiseki. That having been said, our favorite restaurant was Atlantide, followed closedly by Hot Rocks, also known as The Grill. Atlantide had great Chilean sea bass and a nice atmosphere. At Hot Rocks/The Grill, they heat stones to 450 degrees F for 20 hours. You select what meat or seafood you want to cook. Then they put the hot stone slabs in front of you, and you cook your own food. Frankly, the filets we cooked there were the best beef we had on the cruise. Despite the claimed excellence of La Dame, we were less than impressed. The steaks were overcooked. Silver Note was enjoyable, especially with the pianist and the singer, but the menu is limited. LaTerraza had mediocre food and spotty service at night. La Terraza is the buffet at breakfast and lunch. Sometimes we were invisible at a breakfast table and practically had to tackle someone to order coffee, tea or an omelette. Being on Deck 8 was good because of Cafe d'Arts, aka the coffee bar. We could walk down the hall and get coffee, tea, cappuccino, etc as well as snacks beginning early in the morning; the only thing is that it doesn't stay open late. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed the bartenders on Deck 10, the pool deck. Some of the servers were lackadaisacal in waiting on people at tables along the sides. One outstanding exception was Egbert (yes, that is his name). He went out of his way when we got back late from a shore excursion. He went up to Spaccanapoli to order and to get our pizza, as well as to serve us drinks. He was the only waiter we encountered who deserved a tip. We didn't check out the entertainment that much. The night we did go was all right, but nothing outstanding. Our butler Kiran was outstanding. Our room steward was good but virtually invisible. Room service was good. If you can't get into a restaurant, order room service. Overall, the staff was friendly and cheerful. There were various activities onboard. Since we had no sea days, however, we did not participate much except for trivia, which was fun. The shore excursions were good. We took the ships excursions in Rominj,Corfu, Santorini, Nafplion and Rhodes. We had a private excursion in Dubrovnik. The history and architecture were outstanding, and some had amazing views. Be prepared to walk a lot. Many people enjoyed the excursion to Corinth, although we did not personally go. If you plan to go to popular tourist spots such as Dubrovnik and the Greek isles, do not go during July and August if you can possibly avoid it. Not only is it hot, there are seemingly a million people in those places. Even going in October was crowded when 4,000 "of our closest friends" got off a monster Holland America for tours. On Santorini if you plan on taking the tram down, wait until the hordes from Holland America or some other behemoth ship leave before standing in line to go down. We were in line for over an hour because of people from the Holland America ship. Of course, you can also walk down 500+ steps to the shore, but you have to avoid donkeys and their droppings. Or you can ride a donkey down, although some said that it was more difficult going down than going up. We enjoyed some of the tropical drinks from the bar on the pool deck. Unfortunately, none of the bartenders were proficient in making drinks such as a martini or a vodka gimlet, which was surprising considering the luxury line offering. The outside decks on the aft of the ship were nice. The chairs outside the smoking lounge on deck 8 were especially comfortable. If it isn't too cold or breezy, dining outside at La Terraza for breakfast and lunch is pleasant. One night, however, while we sat outside on deck 9, water poured down from the deck above onto me. It had been raining that day. A design flaw in the ship apparently directed the water onto my chair because it was under the awning, not under the metal part of the deck above. Never have experienced anything like that before on any ship. The ship offers a free laundry room on each deck. The bad news is that there is only 1 washer and 1 dryer per deck. The really bad news is that the laundry room on our deck was so small that if someone opened the door while you are bending down to put something into the dryer, you can get hit in the head. The room was positively tiny. Given the spaciousness of other parts of the ship, that room could have been make larger. Apparently, some other laundry rooms were not that tiny, however. The lounges were well appointed and comfortable. There were only a few children on board. I would not consider it a ship that would have a lot of activities for children. There was a shuffleboard area and ping pong/table tennis upon request. There are a number of lounges in various parts of the ship, although the ones around the pool are at a premium. There is a walking track on deck 11. The gym was small but modern. Due to constant shore excursions, we did not use the gym, though. The spa looked nice, but again we did not use it. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, but it was not a flawless experience. For a new ship, we found the water temperature issue incomprehensible. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The minor detail on an otherwise great cruise is that the hot tubs never really get hot enough. The international standard is 103 to 105 Fahrenheit and I felt that the tubs on "Wind" were about 100 to 101 F and that difference is ... Read More
The minor detail on an otherwise great cruise is that the hot tubs never really get hot enough. The international standard is 103 to 105 Fahrenheit and I felt that the tubs on "Wind" were about 100 to 101 F and that difference is significant .... The route was a good one. Copenhagen to London. The stops along the way were well thought out and the guides were good. Cabin service was excellent and we especially enjoyed the laundry service. We did not attend any of the theatre shows but did go to the various bars. The guitar player was very good and he had the room all up and dancing. His name was Aidan. The last stop was Honfleur and we especially enjoyed the cocktail mixing class. The instructor was excellent. The trip up the Thames River will rank as one of the most memorable of the whole cruise as the song that was played as we travelled under Tower Bridge was "Hail Britannia". It was 9 PM, and a dark night so very dramatic. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted to try an upscale line and were very impressed by the Silversea experience. Service, food and overall ship was excellent. We were very satisfied. The itinerary was great, especially since we enjoyed perfect weather for the whole ... Read More
We wanted to try an upscale line and were very impressed by the Silversea experience. Service, food and overall ship was excellent. We were very satisfied. The itinerary was great, especially since we enjoyed perfect weather for the whole cruise. We did a couple shore excursions and really enjoyed them, whale watching in Juneau with Gastineau Guiding was especially wonderful. We also took the train in Skagway which was very fun and had amazing scenery. Our cabin on level 8 was spacious, well organized and always perfectly cleaned. We were very comfortable and enjoyed the excellent cabin service, even the late night pizza and Prosecco room service! We enjoyed all the restaurants onboard. We loved the Hot Rocks Grill, that was a delicious and very fun experience. They even had fleece blankets to keep us all cozy as we dined under the stars. We tried the La Dame restaurant and were blown away by the delicious, beautiful and perfectly served dinner, what a special experience! La Terraza was a great alternative a couple nights to the also wonderful main dining room. You just can't go wrong anywhere you eat! We enjoyed the speaker onboard and learned a lot about Alaska and the sites we were seeing. Also the singers and dancers onboard were very entertaining and put on a couple of really great shows. We were onboard with several other couples and it was just a fabulous trip, very enjoyable and highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We started this trip in Guayaquil where a Silversea representative waited for us at the airport and took us to Oro Verde Hotel (very good, very close to the city main attraction (malecon)) a day before the embarkation. From Guayaquil we ... Read More
We started this trip in Guayaquil where a Silversea representative waited for us at the airport and took us to Oro Verde Hotel (very good, very close to the city main attraction (malecon)) a day before the embarkation. From Guayaquil we flew with Latam to San Cristobal (1h and 25min). As a lot of flights arrived at same time, immigration took almost one hour. From airport was a 5 minutes bus ride to the pier where we got the zodiac to the ship with our carry-on. Soon after our luggage arrived at our cabin which was a veranda suite. We loved that we got it as we spend a lot of time in the Veranda while sailing from one spot to other as well as we could dry our clothes and shoes easily. There are plenty of open air space in the ship that you can rest between meals and landings. There are also in-door space like piano bar and library should you want to be in the air conditioning. July is the dry season and temperature was really good. Food was great at all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We had breakfast every day at the Restaurant as well as dinner except for one evening that we tried the Grill where we had all our lunches. Lunch was superb at the Grill, but dinner at the lava rock was a disappointing, we never got back. Some disappointing issues: shower has half door which makes bathroom wet everywhere. Bathroom is really small. Disembarkation was not very good. In the night before some items from our cabin were changed to the new guest to come in the following day, which confused us. On Saturday morning we had to leave our cabin at 7:30, but transfer to the airport was at 9:30, so we stayed at the piano bar for 2 hours waiting. Silversea provided exhibition of some films during this period, but in the end, the toilets were miserable with a 100 guests using it during 2 hours. We were transferred to the airport and our flight was schedule for about 1 PM. A long waiting time. I noticed that guests from Celebrity had a meal waiting for them at the airport. Great trip! We loved it and strongly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It seemed very streamlined for the experiences we wanted. We were able to have everything organized for us & all we had to do was show up! Extremely knowledgeable staff and first class all the way from pre-cruise hotel in Quito to ... Read More
It seemed very streamlined for the experiences we wanted. We were able to have everything organized for us & all we had to do was show up! Extremely knowledgeable staff and first class all the way from pre-cruise hotel in Quito to getting to the lovely cruise ship made it a great experience. The places we visited & expeditions we went on gave a wonderful overview of the Galapagos. We would probably have missed many of the highlights if we tried to do on our own. The small size ship made it much more personal.The very experienced guides really made the difference in it being a far superior experience than we could have even hoped for. The open air grill restaurant was where everyone wanted to be so at lunch there were never enough tables and people tried to go early to get tables but sometimes you just got back from excursions & by the time you got there the tables were all taken up. The alternative was to eat in downstairs restaurant but the outside environment was much more desired. So, only suggestion would be more space in open air grill restaurant. And, perhaps some more outdoor relaxing areas. The one area outside the piano bar with 4 lounge couches was very coveted, also. For the number of passengers there needed to be a little more deck relaxing areas. The indoor areas were plentiful but I think a lot of people on a cruise want to be outside looking at the ocean. Also, the fresh air areas were tainted quite often with smell of paint & varnish. I realize maintenance must be difficult to schedule but when paying for a cruise & hoping for nice fresh ocean air, it is a little disappointing to smell varnish & paint instead of fresh air. Those couple of minor annoyances did not detract enough from the overall phenomenal experience to not want to do it again. It was the best experience ever getting to see the unique wildlife up close & personal & to get to learn so much at same time. The guides were ALL so very knowledgeable & very personable. There were so many amazing things we were privileged to see & experience that we will absolutely recommend this cruise to others and we will want to experience another Silversea cruise in our future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Anyone who has been following Silver Shadow's reviews on Cruise Critic, must have had second thoughts . The complaints escalated and the stars dropped. Having just returned from one of the finest cruising experiences I have ever ... Read More
Anyone who has been following Silver Shadow's reviews on Cruise Critic, must have had second thoughts . The complaints escalated and the stars dropped. Having just returned from one of the finest cruising experiences I have ever enjoyed, I must protest! I will grant you that what others see as old fashioned and in need of a makeover, I see as a patina, a graceful lady who takes very good care of herself. I never once suffered a bed that wasn't anything but pure comfort. The upholstery was out of date? Good grief, is that why you took the cruise ? For the upholstery? I'd strongly recommend buying pashminas at your first port of call. I am quite sure that in addition to all the myriad services the Butler provides you, he has likely been trained as a draper who will artfully cover the offensive sofa with the same kind of panache he brings to your breakfasts in bed or the bath he'll draw you at the end of a long day ashore. The service on Silver Sea is simply heaven on earth. Every single crewmember is at your beck and call whenever you need anything. The ship is so well staffed that you never have to wait for a single thing. And the fact that every single drink, every glass of wine, every soft drink and water is at your beck and call and all included in one fare is just another reason to love Silver Shadown There's enough variety in the various restaurants that the pickiest eaters can find favorites like superb pasta in La Terrazza, and stone-grilled meats at Grill by the Pool that are excellent. Pastries and desserts are particularly good everywhere aboard ship. The dining experiences are as varied as you mood. Opt for formal breakfast service in the Dining Room or catch the morning breezes on the deck outside La Terrazza. The intimate size of the ship lacks for nothing but makes it possible to meet its truly international passenger complement is dozens of ways. The line attracts some wonderful travellers from all over the world. Aboard ship and ashore conversations start easily, common interests forge friendships. My nine day itinerary from Singapore to Vietnam to Hong Kong was an education in and of itself. Two superb experts, one on the Vietnam War the other on Photography and Sea Eploration were a highlight of the trip. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
A cruise aboard a luxury ship is a first. Everything went fine and beyond all expectations. Two things that we have appreciated especially was the quality of the conference room and accompanying services during the outstanding ... Read More
A cruise aboard a luxury ship is a first. Everything went fine and beyond all expectations. Two things that we have appreciated especially was the quality of the conference room and accompanying services during the outstanding presentations and daily wrap-ups and the room service available for food at night (since we don’t drink alcohol or wine at all, we really appreciate being able to dine quietly at night [butler service being perfect]). The buffet style for breakfast and lunch was also very good. One more thing that was well managed was the mandatory fire and evacuation exercises at the beginning of the cruise. The instructions given to reach the muster station were clear and the training in how to put on our life saving jackets correctly were comprehensive. Altogether, you seem to take our safety seriously. We choosed this cruise because of its expedition features. We made 7 interesting visits in Antarctica despite some harsh weather. The expedition team was beyond dreams for the scientific people that we are. Some employees directly in contact with us were outstanding: Antidya (Butler), Robert Lamond (Head, Dining room), Maria Ladron (Head Receptionist) and above all Luke Kenny (Expedition leader) and all his crew of qualified scientists that made the expeditions and conferences of the highest quality level and way beyond our expectations. Of course, the captain Maggi Ettlin merits all our respect for her countenance and resolute decision making process. However, we must notice that the decision taken to strand the crew at Port Lockroy because of the risk to damage the zodiacs while retrieving them inside the boat (at least, we were told it was the rationale) costed us one day of exploration. Two little flaws: Communication with the passengers while eight members of the expedition team were stranded on Port Lockroy was poor. The captain or someone in charge should have reassured us and explained more clearly what was going on. When we arrived at Buenos Aires airport coming from Ushuaia on the 25th, the transit was not comfortable. We felt rushed by your attendant to cover the distance that we had to walk within the airport while carrying our luggage. Moreover, the bus picking point was quite far. So the ride was not comfortable, especially for our cruise fellow older companions. You can be assured that we really have enjoyed our cruise and we thank you for your constant efforts to make us comfortable during this trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This is a great way to see the Galapagos. As I said to the Silversea rep from whom I bought the cruise, "Where else can you act like you are in your 20's during the day's activities and go back to being 70+ when back at the ... Read More
This is a great way to see the Galapagos. As I said to the Silversea rep from whom I bought the cruise, "Where else can you act like you are in your 20's during the day's activities and go back to being 70+ when back at the ship?". Caution, however: You do have to be willing to be physically taxed. Getting on to and off the ship is not for disabled, crippled or otherwise challenged individuals, because the very nature of having to get into and out of Zodiacs, which are small bobbly vessels. Staff make doing this as safe and easy as possible, but they are what they are. We were well taken care of, mostly personally, and always well from the time we got out of baggage claim in Guayaquil until the moment we passed through security on our way home. Silversea reps were all uniformly friendly, helpful and efficient. The ship's crew and hotel staff, and the guiding staff as well, were all highly professional and certainly more than willing to go the extra step to making everyone welcome, cared for, happy - and safe - the whole time. The itinerary and daily expedition parts of the cruise were extremely well planned and executed. There was something interesting and new at virtually every stop and several of the guides (Martin, Ernesto, Marco) are absolutely first class. They are intelligent, impart information without fluff or padding, know their stuff thoroughly and guide extremely well. (They also have a pretty good handle on herding cats without letting frustrations show.) On stops, passengers are broken down into Zodiac/guide groups of 14-14 and we always tried to make sure we were with one of these three. (Our experience with one or two of the other guides was indifferent, suggesting they have a bit to learn yet.) Food and drink service was uniformly good, often superior to excellent. Staff get to know you quickly, what you drink and how you like to be treated. And they do so with warmth and aplomb. A few are clearly still learning their trade and sometimes a bit hesitant or flustered, but all are willing and rapidly becoming able. Food also was very good. The breakfast spread is varied, plenteous and more than enough to satisfy anyone's tastes and appetite. Ditto for lunch on the patio and dinner in the dining room, with menus changing daily. You also have the option of reserving a place in The Grill for dinner in the evening, where the menu is a bit more limited, but beautifully served in a great outdoor atmosphere. Roberto, our waiter there was super: Knowledgeable, efficient, always friendly and extremely personable. What else can I say? If I had know that there were two different itineraries, I would have booked for two cruises back to back (i.e., two weeks). It is that good an experience. This is the best way to see the Galapagos for people who like to do things and are also old enough to want to enjoy the experience without hardship or dealing with third-world "adventure" when the day is done. Age doesn't necessarily matter: It is, however, for people who are reasonably fit and adventuresome. If you are relatively young and really fit, you will have a tremendous time snorkelling and kayaking. [One night I had a bit of a stomach upset, and this was mentioned on other days by one or two other people we met. I don't know whether this was just my older body reacting to the desalinated water supply aboard. But it was nowhere near enough to slow me down the next day.] Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Silversea holds themselves out as an ULTRA LUXURY cruise line but is far from that. The staff is non responsive and the ship is out dated. Furthermore, the dining experience was awful, not unless you like waiters SWEAT pouring down ... Read More
Silversea holds themselves out as an ULTRA LUXURY cruise line but is far from that. The staff is non responsive and the ship is out dated. Furthermore, the dining experience was awful, not unless you like waiters SWEAT pouring down from your plates on your meals. This was because the Restaurants Air Conditioning system was malfunctioning for the entire cruise. Almost every passenger that I met was complaining but the ship's staff just kept making excuses and tried to poo poo the situation. Even the ships water system had to be shut down for many hours because of mechanical failure. I have attempted to speak with Silversea corporate office about this horrific experience but they would NOT return any of my phone calls when we returned. I would stay away as far as possible from Silversea - they are even close to how they advertise themselves and they wont even return phone calls to discuss the disaster!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise and company because of (1) It's a place we have wanted to visit for many years and (2) we had sailed with Silversea before on Silver Whisper 2016 in the Baltic. Of course there was the problem of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise and company because of (1) It's a place we have wanted to visit for many years and (2) we had sailed with Silversea before on Silver Whisper 2016 in the Baltic. Of course there was the problem of the ship's fuel pump breaking down and the curtailment/cancellation of her first voyage after her USD40m refit. Problems can happen to anyone at anytime. Silver Cloud had steamed all the way from Malta to the South Atlantic before her fuel pump problem - and we understand a few other cabin problems. But that is in the past and having just returned from her other 'first' Antarctic cruise we both felt we had received more than 'just' value for money. Our stateroom (622) was large and comfortable - with the now almost obligatory balcony. Handy for taking some photographs from, but not the ideal place to sit when the average temperature is only between -1C and +1C. Our room attendant (Joshua) kept the room smart, clean and tidy. Only quibble would be that the laundry didn't keep pace with the facecloth supply. Not a major problem as do have our own! We ate mainly in the main Dining Room and mostly had a table with a great view outside. Each time we had the same waiter (Renaldo) who couldn't do enough to keep us happy and well fed. Three nights we ate in La Terrazza - the Italian themed restaurant and the food and service there were second to non. We found all the staff there to be friendly and welcoming (especially Francesco who is from Portugal though and not Italy!). Breakfast was in L Terrazza as was our Lunch option. The self service buffets were excellent in choice and quality. Though sometimes the service got a bit too 'fussy' - I can carry a plate from the buffet to a table some, oh lets say 2mtrs away. Though it became a game for me to see if I could get to the table before being 'interrupted' by one of the many attentive waiters. They mostly won though! Being an all inclusive voyage the bars were comfortable to sit in and have a Cosmo (or four...) watching the sea outside the bar - though we had to keep opening the blinds as the ever attentive Marta kept them closed - no doubt some official reason or other. Shore excursions were by zodiac to beaches to visit Penguins - lots and lots ... and lots of Penguins. Cute and adorable they maybe but the smell... I don't know how David Attenborough stands it. Remember what goes in the Penguin (Krill) also has to come out! If you want an expedition to the Antarctic then Silver Cloud (Expedition) is THE ship to travel on. She is small enough to get into the remotest places and large enough to be a stable platform in bad sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Pluses: - Well organized and executed excursions which fortunately led to lifetime memories such as snorkeling in the midst of a penguin feeding frenzy, watching a dozen wild dolphins leap in unison several times ahead of the ship, ... Read More
Pluses: - Well organized and executed excursions which fortunately led to lifetime memories such as snorkeling in the midst of a penguin feeding frenzy, watching a dozen wild dolphins leap in unison several times ahead of the ship, swimming with sea lions and manta rays, standing inches from three foot long iguanas, and other priceless interactions with unafraid animals. - quality of meals was quite good, especially dinners which were five course meals with innovative and subtle takes on South American fusion and more conventional dishes. Lunch at the Grill, a beautiful outside terrace, featured grilled lobster and fresh fish and excellent salad bar, Ecuadorian soups and stews, and top quality desserts - naturalist guides and service generally, from the butlers to waiters to massage therapist and piano bar musician, were uniformly friendly and highly competent. Likeable and knowledgeable. Israel was an excellent expedition leader and a couple of the naturalists, Ernesto and Juan Carlos, each had decades of guide experience. Minuses: - our veranda suite was too cold, and it wasn’t until repeated tries and five days into the seven day cruise that the engineer was able to fix the air conditioning - the lunch ended at 130 but the dinner didn’t start until 730 pm. Very sparse food other than a bare bones room service menu was available until dinner, which meant many were tired and hungry at the end of long days. And the late dinner meant going to bed too soon (excursions began as early as 7 am) - given that water temperature was in the mid to high 60s F, the cruise should have provided full wetsuits, not shorty wetsuits, to all customers. We brought our own full wetsuits (3 mm and 5 mm thickness) and were so glad we did as the four snorkeling trips would have been miserable without that. Overall, my wife and I rated the cruise a solid A, with A plus for the animal sightings, A for the personnel, A for the food, and B plus for the accommodations and dinner time problems noted. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was chosen because it was convenient with bridge and hosts. Bridge was fair to poor and not enough players. The teacher was uninteresting. Food was best of over 50 cruises. La Terazza, the Italian restarant could hold ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because it was convenient with bridge and hosts. Bridge was fair to poor and not enough players. The teacher was uninteresting. Food was best of over 50 cruises. La Terazza, the Italian restarant could hold its own in N.Y. or Italy with great food and super service, as well as a wide variety of wines. Crew was excellent, accomodating and very pleasant except for poor customer relations officer. Outstanding cruise director. entertainment fair at best (except cruise directors show - wonderful). All was musically themed and mostly boring. The 2 enrichment lectures were very good Construction on pool deck entire trip was very disturbing. We should have been given an opportunity to change voyages in advance. The money did not make it right. Excellent gentleman host. food service and bar service terrific. Choices of alcoholic beverages especially wine was top notch and included. I have booked 2 more on Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Well, it was an expedition cruise, not a floating buffet. We stayed for 2 weeks and enjoyed every moment (except the air transfers). The emphasis is on the wildlife tours via zodiacs (similar to the SilverSea Arctic & Antarctic ... Read More
Well, it was an expedition cruise, not a floating buffet. We stayed for 2 weeks and enjoyed every moment (except the air transfers). The emphasis is on the wildlife tours via zodiacs (similar to the SilverSea Arctic & Antarctic trips). Be ready to get dirty, sweaty, wet, cold and tired. The boat was divided into 2 groups and the first group generally set out by 7:30am. We were generally all back on the boat by noon and the afternoon trip was generally around 3pm. So there was time for a nap. The snorkeling was very cold (60-70F) and viz was generally less than 30 feet. But underwater we saw way too many sea turtles and just enough sea lions. Only 1 VERY fast penguin. If you have your own wetsuit and mask bring them. The full foot fins were fine. The zodiac landings are tightly controlled by the park service and very regimented. Please stay on the path. We started to get tired of hearing the guides yelling at stupid tourists to stay on the path. The paths are well marked. You can see everything from the paths. There is no need to leave the paths. You WILL have to contend with wildlife obstructing the paths. Please stay on the paths. We loved the food, although I heard a few complaints from people that hated sea food. Half the menu was seafood. Breakfast was a buffet that had enough selection for a person to go about 4 days without a repeat and they changed one or two things each day: example: orange juice every day along with a different second juice each day (guava, pineapple, blackberry,...). Egg station with omelettes made to order and the topping selection gradually changed each day. We always ate lunch on the outside grill. There was a chalkboard with a pasta, a pizza and 2 seafood choices that all changed daily, although I think there were repeats during the week as I had grilled prawns and grilled lobster a handful of times. There was also an Ecuadorian ceviche of the day along with a soup of the day and a special chefs station Ecuadorian dish (salted snapper, crackling pig, ...). They also provided a house made spicy hot sauce - Yum. But do not despair, if you hate real food we also noticed some cheese burgers being delivered. For supper we did a mix of the restaurant and the hot rocks grill. Like other Silversea ships the restaurant menu is different every day. The hot rocks grill menu was always the same: filet mignon, strip loin, prawns (except on wed, thur, fri they had Ecuadorian steak & prawns which is the same steak & prawns excepted they were marinated ahead of time). They provided blanket wraps for those who felt cold. If you like your protein rare, then go to the grill. In the restaurant they would only take an order for medium or well done steak (although after begging for rare, my medium steak was rare-ish). At the grill your steak and prawns are sizzling raw as they arrive. You can choose how well to cook them. The restaurant (& grill) features a different pair of wine (1 white & 1 red) each day but you can ignore this and ask for any wine on-board. The wines were all Chilean or Argentinian. The sparkling wine was Chilean with a premium wine being available in room on request. The sparkling wine from the bar was cheap and cheerful. The pisco sours were very good. After a few days the bar staff anticipated your orders. The air transfers to and from the boat sucked. I felt like cattle. This is consistent with our experience in the Antarctic and Arctic. A weak link in the experience. On our flight to the boast the lady seated beside me (I was was separated from my partner) complained that she was not sitting in first class as she was willing to pay. I pointed out that the majority of the plane was most likely willing. On our next trip we plan to go early and stay late at the port in order to avoid the cattle experience. The boat had outdoor viewing areas at the bow on decks 4 & 5. The smoking area was deck 4 stern outside the lounge. The grill area on deck 5 was about 2/3 covered. The one (surprise) difference from our other trips was the lack of self serve laundry facilities. So be prepared to pay or wash your stinky socks in your sink... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Zegrahm Expeditions owns no ships of its own, so they typically charter a suitable ship from another company. This review is of the Zegrahm Expeditions July 6-20, 2017 "Wild Alaska" expedition aboard the Silverseas ship Silver ... Read More
Zegrahm Expeditions owns no ships of its own, so they typically charter a suitable ship from another company. This review is of the Zegrahm Expeditions July 6-20, 2017 "Wild Alaska" expedition aboard the Silverseas ship Silver Discoverer. The dozen or so naturalists on the trip were all contracted with Zegrahm, but the ship and the rest of the ship's staff were all Silversea employees. Most of this review will address the Silverseas part of the partnership, but later I'll touch on the Zegrahm part as well. The Silver Discoverer is a small, (120 pax), intimate and comfortable, but old (1989) ship. The crew and staff were excellent, service was mostly very good, and dining - especially dinner - was superb . . . just what you would expect on a Silverseas cruise. But the ship is getting a little long in the tooth. The cabins are clean and well-maintained, but they are modest in size - and the bathroom is downright tiny and cramped. Closets and drawer space are barely sufficient. Among the dated features is that the bed sits too low to slide a big suitcase underneath, so we had to store it in the corner of an already small cabin. Most cabins have windows or port holes, but not balconies. The Silver Discoverer is not nearly as stable as newer ships. We were often rockin' and rollin' a lot. My wife and I have been on two dozen small-ship cruises, and this is the first time she has needed to wear a patch. The common areas on board are adequate. The deck 5 lounge is bright and roomy with good viewing out the sides of the ship. It opens onto the pool deck, (the small pool was not open for business), with more excellent viewing. The main lounge on deck 4, however, is very tight for lectures, receptions, etc. Very difficult for the wait staff to take orders and serve beverages. Dinners, as mentioned above, were excellent . . . nice variety and selection, well prepared and presented, with some very good wines included with the meal. Dinner service was typically very, very good. We (in our traveling group of six) usually found ourselves at the same table each evening, so we usually had the same servers. We grew especially fond of Shawn, Marianne, Phillipe and Melvin, who also got to know us quite well and brought humor and charm to the dining experience. Dinner is also available on the pool deck - weather permitting. When you are cruising the Bering Sea, the weather is usually not conducive to alfresco dining, but we gave it a shot one evening and had a great time and a great meal. We were well bundled up and cooked our own food on "hot rocks". With calmer seas and warmer temperatures, we would have done this more often. Lunch was also available on the pool deck and proved to be a very popular option in spite of the weather. Burgers, dogs and excellent fish sandwiches were the normal fare for lunch. Breakfast and lunch were often difficult. The quality and variety of the food was good, but the buffet area was very small, extremely congested and inefficient. Lines were often long and passengers had to compete with staff trying to replenish the buffet. Food was often displayed illogically. For example, salad toppings (bacon, peppers, mushrooms, croutons, etc.) were the first items on the buffet, then, further in, you came to a lettuce bowl. So if you wanted a salad of lettuce covered with toppings, you had to backtrack the line and trip over the guests behind you. Most of the chafing dishes were small and had to be restocked often, further exacerbating the congestion. For some reason, the worst service on the cruise was at breakfast . . . even getting a cup of tea or coffee was often a challenge. The only entertainment on board was Florandy at the piano, (who was very talented at playing and singing a wide variety of familiar songs, and quite personable, too), and one night of karaoke. Here, the Zegrahm half of the partnership came into play, and the Zegrahm experience was mostly very positive. The Zegrahm naturalists were terrific. They were well educated (many PhD's) in a variety of fields such as geology, botany, marine biology, ornithology, history, etc., but they were also very personable and friendly, and brought much life and enthusiasm into what we were seeing. They all were also capable and safe Zodiac drivers, an important factor when most every day you're making a couple of wet landings in often choppy water. The itinerary took us from Nome, up to the Arctic Circle, to Provideniya, Russia, back down through the Bering Sea and up the Aleutian Islands and Katmai Peninsula to Seward. We saw several small, mostly struggling villages - including one long-abandoned Norwegian cod fishing village. We walked the often-barren tundra, which, in July, was alive with flowers. Mostly, however, we saw wildlife. We saw, up close and personal, birds galore; (including the elusive McCay's Bunting, which is found only on St. Lawrence Island); Orcas and Humpbacks cavorting in the frigid waters; seals, seal lions and sea otters; a gray wolf wandering the shoreline; and, of course, lots of brown bears. The wildlife is the primary reason we signed on to this cruise, and we weren't disappointed. There were, alas, a few things which I did NOT like about Zegrahm. I booked this (very expensive) excursion over a year in advance. The trip began with a group dinner at the Anchorage Marriott on July 6th, and we boarded the Silver Discoverer in Nome on July 7th. It wasn't until sometime in March that we learned that we were responsible for booking and paying for our own, July 7th, flight from Anchorage to Nome. In the scheme of things, this $200pp cost is pretty insignificant, but it sure felt like nickel and diming on what was promoted as an all-inclusive trip. They should have charged $200 more for the entire excursion and included the flight. You gotta have boots to navigate all the wet landings. I was on an Antarctic expedition cruise with Ponant in December 2016. We needed boots there as well, but Ponant had a large inventory of boots on board, and we each were fitted and supplied with boots for the duration of the journey. But with Zegrahm, you had to bring your boots with you. They had a vendor from whom you could buy or rent boots, but you had to pack them in your luggage and schlep them back home with you. It's tough packing for a two-three week trip as it is; two pair of boots take up a lot of room - and weight - in your luggage. I much preferred the Ponant approach. I've taken two expedition cruises in the last year, Zegrahm and Ponant. (I wrote a Cruise Critic review of my Antarctica cruise on Ponant's Le Soleal.) Both were memorable, fun and exciting, and I'm happy with each experience. Zegrahm does a great job and seems to have a very loyal base of repeat travelers, (some of our fellow passengers had traveled with Zegrahm a dozen or more times in the past). But for my next expedition cruise, I will probably lean toward Ponant. The ship is newer, more comfortable and in some ways more convenient (i.e. boots), and overall it seems to be a better value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My second Spirit cruise to the Monaco Monte Carlo GP. The trip to and from race was efficient. The Ballet school gives a good view of the race circuit. I love the Spirit and the crew. The only disappointing and extremely annoying aspect ... Read More
My second Spirit cruise to the Monaco Monte Carlo GP. The trip to and from race was efficient. The Ballet school gives a good view of the race circuit. I love the Spirit and the crew. The only disappointing and extremely annoying aspect was the internet service. I purchased the premium service at app $30/day and the service was spotty, disconnected from the internet many, many times /session. I have travelled on the Spirit many times and this was by far the worst and most expensive internet service yet. The crew is, as always, excellent. Food menu is predictable but adequate. Chef always available to provide meals of choice. Italian restaurant ( La Terrazza) menu changes every 3 days. As I have been on board so many times, the entertainment show themes stay the same, the performers change every 4 months. I have my favourite wines but the head sommelier always offers alternatives. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Since many friends have taken these cruises other places, we decided to trust their opinion. We were not disappointed. Everything was extremely well organized. There were quite a few naturalists who were very specialized especially ... Read More
Since many friends have taken these cruises other places, we decided to trust their opinion. We were not disappointed. Everything was extremely well organized. There were quite a few naturalists who were very specialized especially a gentleman named Martin. He was extremely knowledgeable about birds and foliage. The food on the ship was excellent and very accommodating. I would suggest a bimini on the Grill deck so that more folks could be undercover. The cabins were adequate for two. I would suggest more accessibility to clothes drying without laundry facilities. When we had to rinse our clothing there wasn't;t a place for drying. It was not a strenuous trip but one would have to be in good shape to hike 2 hours and not mind getting up and about at 6:30 AM. The heat would build and hiking started early for that reason. I would go again but I feel that we have seen everything offered since it was so well designed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This is a Silversea "Expeditions" cruise, so a smaller ship and not quite the same level of luxury as the bigger Silversea ships. But a fabulous cruise with two "ports" most days, one early morning for 3 hours or so, ... Read More
This is a Silversea "Expeditions" cruise, so a smaller ship and not quite the same level of luxury as the bigger Silversea ships. But a fabulous cruise with two "ports" most days, one early morning for 3 hours or so, then beck on the ship for lunch while they sail for a second port for the afternoon adventure. No actual ports; every island is reached by Zodiac. So 12 stops on the Galapagos North Central itinerary ranging from the newer, more primitive, mostly lava islands in the northwest to the more developed, almost tropical islands in the southeast. You get up close and personal with everything: blue-and red-footed boobies, albatross, tortoises, sea lions (everywhere!), hawks, pelicans, iguanas, lizards, crabs, owls, etc. We checked off 51 different birds, animals, and fish on the sheets they provided. Best of all was that May was mating season for all the birds and we watched mating elaborate rituals from literally a few feet away. Lots of great snorkeling and kayaking if you were so inclined. All equipment provided. Open seating lunch and dinner had 3 or 4 choices in the main dining room and 5 or 6 more at the outside grill. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is a cruise with two very contrasting levels of experience. Firstly (on the plus side) the organisation of the wildlife watching daily tours is excellent, led by a first rate team of guides / naturalists who keep you fully informed ... Read More
This is a cruise with two very contrasting levels of experience. Firstly (on the plus side) the organisation of the wildlife watching daily tours is excellent, led by a first rate team of guides / naturalists who keep you fully informed and efficiently man the zodiac boats that take you ashore. They sensibly split snorkelers from non-snorkelers and this part of the experience has been thought through very well and could not be bettered. But, on the minus side, the food falls far short of what you would expect from comparable 6 star lines such as Seabourn and Regent. Although they pre-warn you that it is an ‘expedition ship’ and that it won’t have the full range of comforts etc of other Silversea vessels, nothing prepares you for canteen style deserts that are completely inedible, a poor quality airport style breakfast with greasy eggs ; basic bread rolls that most supermarkets would not dare to offer their customers. Cabins are OK but the whole ship has a ’tired’ feel about it and does not appear particularly clean in some areas. Whatever ingredients are being used there is no excuse for the limited cooking and presentation skills on offer; corners are cut everywhere with the food with (for example) tasteless “sub sandwiches” turning up on the lunch menu as one of the options. Dinner is better as you can cook your own seafood / steak on hot lava stones at the table in the grill room on deck, but it’s the overall cruise experience that you are left with (given the premium prices being charged) that makes you think Silversea are overplaying the ‘expedition ship’ card. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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