It was our 30th anniversary. We chose this cruise for the stated itinerary - specifically, going around Newfoundland, with 4 port stops there. We did not get this, however. We departed a day and a half late due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm ... Read More
It was our 30th anniversary. We chose this cruise for the stated itinerary - specifically, going around Newfoundland, with 4 port stops there. We did not get this, however. We departed a day and a half late due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Jose sitting offshore of New York. But, even then the storm was still offshore and the Captain sailed directly into it (making for an interesting day at sea). No one on board could answer the question about why it was okay to sail into the storm then, but it wasn't okay to sail into it when we were originally scheduled to leave. The Captain used the weather delaying the beginning of the cruise to justify poor route change decisions in the aftermath.
After we had set sail, the Captain announced that he was eliminating every Newfoundland stop, plus the St. Pierre stop, (5 total) and he was adding 3 other stops - stops that are typically on most of the other cruise itineraries. This cut down the distance to sail significantly, and those three stops, while nice places, are on every cruise on every cruise line in the Maritimes. The Captain said the decision was due to the weather, but that was simply not true. The storm was not scheduled to move into the areas we were scheduled to go (and it didn't go there). Guests all over the boat were absolutely outraged by this decision and after another day and lots of complaints, the Captain changed the itinerary again, adding back St. Pierre and St. John's, and eliminating 2 of the 3 stops he had added the day before. By our calculations, we could have still sailed around Newfoundland, if we eliminated Sydney and by eliminating just one Newfoundland port, Woody Point, we could have still had most of the Newfoundland experience. Our 12 day cruise with 9 scheduled ports ended up being a 10 1/2 day cruise that stopped in only 6 ports. When asked about getting some of our money back because of the poor schedule decisions made by the Captain, my original cruise consultant simply spouted that the fine print of the sailing contract allowed for any changes that they saw fit to make and there would be no cash back, not even a discount on a future cruise. We ended up paying $30,000 for basically the usual stops on a usual cruise that any cruise line would make (and for a lot less money). Not acceptable!
It's a shame that this cruise line is so poorly run. The ship was lovely, and just the right size. Embarkation was easy and quick. Entertainment was pretty good, with talented performers and some fun shows. The room was nice and the beds comfortable (although the furniture in our $30,000 suite was so uncomfortable is was basically unusable). The staff all over the boat was outstanding. The personal service was great. Front desk staff, while nice, were pretty uninformed about what was going on with the changes. We never saw the Captain. I figure he was hiding because everyone was so upset about the itinerary changes. My experience with the Spa was poor. They made me wait 20 minutes for a simple manicure, and there was no one there. The woman who did my manicure wasn't even a manicurist. It was the worst manicure I've ever received. I cancelled my massage appointment because of this first experience. The fitness lady left the boat in the first port and never came back. My husband went up to use the equipment and it was all pushed into the corner of the room and no one was around. I don't like that fitness "services" are basically pitches to buy something.
There were 4 restaurants on board, all but one requiring reservations. The high end La Champagne was booked 3 months prior to sailing. (The menu looked good) The Grill was basically unusable due to the cold temperatures on the pool deck (and service there was surly). The Italian restaurant, La Terraza, was great for breakfast and lunch, and mostly good for dinner with a strictly Italian menu. The main Restaurant, the default if you didn't have a reservation elsewhere, was immensely disappointing. The menu was basically only Mediterranean food. They made little, if any effort, to add any local food choices based on the itinerary. Room service was a nice perk, but the menu was pretty limited. The Bar didn't open until 6pm. Dinner service didn't begin until 7pm and then it took a minimum of 2 hours to be served - it basically took the entire evening just to have dinner.
Excursions were only so-so. They were quite expensive for what you got. We didn't get to take many, due to elimination of ports. Confusion on the part of staff for disembarkation at a couple of ports caused us to be late to one excursion, and we still paid full freight for it. When we were in Quebec City, for some reason we had to dock nowhere near the center of activity and then we had to take a bus to get into town. I figured, for as expensive as this cruise was, we could at least get better priority for a docking location.
My rating is poor because of the Captain ruining everything by taking away most of the reason for which we booked the cruise in the first place. I won't take a Silversea cruise again because of the dismissive service by the cruise line management. They won't answer our questions, but they've already sent 3 emails advertising other cruises. I wouldn't recommend anyone take Silversea, unless they don't mind going wherever the Captain feels like going instead of where the cruise was scheduled to go. My husband wrote an email to the Director of Guest Relations, Frank Sansone, and he never bothered to respond. My husband then attempted to call him. He didn't answer, and never responded. This is a shameful way to run a cruise line. Read Less