1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Silversea Cruises
  4. Silversea Cruises Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this trip for the itinerary, but I overpaid for a worn out ship. The ship rolled a lot in the rough waters. There were no stabilizers. We paid for one of the best cabins but it looked like a Hilton from the nineteen nineties. ... Read More
I chose this trip for the itinerary, but I overpaid for a worn out ship. The ship rolled a lot in the rough waters. There were no stabilizers. We paid for one of the best cabins but it looked like a Hilton from the nineteen nineties. The common areas were also dated and worn with seat cushions with little effective padding left. The ships systems were unreliable: the toilets stopped working on each of the first two nights; the air conditioning was erratic and we were not able to effectively control it with our thermostat; the TV system was also unreliable and would just stop and we had to restart it or get someone to reboot it. Several of the Zodiacs were old and would "caterpillar" at cruising speed. Both Papua and Indonesian New Guinea were spectacular and I would highly recommend the destination if you can find a different ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I was very interested in taking a Silversea Expedition cruise because I am an adventure traveler from way back. My travel adventures have included mountain climbing, rafting, backpacking, bicycling, canoeing and more. When I am traveling ... Read More
I was very interested in taking a Silversea Expedition cruise because I am an adventure traveler from way back. My travel adventures have included mountain climbing, rafting, backpacking, bicycling, canoeing and more. When I am traveling the world, I want to see or do something that is unique and different. Silversea Expeditions is a different type of cruising that takes guests on an adventure not to be forgotten. This cruise hit all the right buttons for me. A Silversea expedition cruise offers guests access to the world's most remote destinations while traveling aboard the world's most luxurious expedition ships. Guests enjoy all of Silversea's signature indulgences: all ocean view suites, butler services, superb dining and culinary excellence, open bar and a staff that is passionate about service and caring. There is no difference in the level of service between a Silversea traditional cruise and an expedition cruise. Dining aboard the Discoverer was a food-lovers delight. When chefs are preparing meals for less than 100 guests, they have got the time to amp up the WOW factor. A formal dinner was available every evening in the dining room. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. When I am in my morning mood, prefer to have my breakfast served to me, and the staff indulged my service preference every morning with out hesitation. I come back with the advice that an expedition cruise is for the curious traveler who delights in visiting the most remote regions of the world in the company of a team of expert naturalists, geologists, biologists and historians. One day you will be boarding a Zodiac for a snorkeling trip to a reef and the next day attending a Kava Ceremony in a remote village. Silversea will immerse you immediately in your destination. Silversea's complimentary activities bring guests to see unique flora and fauna with the insight and passion of your expert guides who are always at hand. Some of this may sound strenuous, but only as much as you want it to be. If you can play a round of golf, climb a flight of stairs, laugh and smile if you get a little wet or dirty, then you have what it takes to enjoy an expedition cruise. You will be traveling with a group of people who enjoy meeting new friends and sharing a walk to a remote village, beach or glacier. A typical day usually begins with a briefing before dinner on the previous day. Your expedition leader will tell you what excursions and activities are planned for the next day. A show of hands is the tool used to know how many guests would like to do what - it is that casual. Your expedition leaders may also talk about the geology, biology or history of your destination. Very often, couples will split up to do different activities and this is one reason expedition cruising is good for single travelers. Friendships form along common interests on expedition cruises, and the activities (like getting on a Zodiac with grace) act as an icebreaker between travelers. Destinations will be very unique at times. We visited Palmerston Atoll in the Cook Islands during our trip. There are only 63 people living on Palmerston and they represent the descendants of one Englishman, William Marsters, and his three wives. Cargo ships visit Palmerston once in a while, but we were the first visitors to have arrived in the past year. School was cancelled for the day so the children would get to meet the unusual guests from the Silver Discoverer. We were treated to music, food and a tour of the island. We all left there in true amazement of meeting these very special islanders. The Silver Discoverer is a small ship about the length of a football field. She holds up to 120 guests and her shallow draft allows the ship to navigate close to shore. Activities usually begin from the fleet of Zodiacs that are boarded at the rear of the ship with relative ease. All suites are ocean-view and some have balconies. As is true with all small ships, the motion of the ocean is evident at most times, and on rare and delightful moments, a light mist from breaking waves can be felt when up on deck. If you are like me, this is an awesome advantage since I love being on the ocean. Life onboard is laid back and casual. Deck shoes and comfortable clothes would be about all one needs to have a good time. Guests onboard are happy that dressing up means elegant casual clothes. Evening entertainment is an after dinner drink while talking with new friends in the piano bar or by the pool enjoying the breeze, the ocean and gazing at the stars. Being young at heart is the only age restriction with adult guests of all ages on our sailing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I have taken luxury cruises on Cunard, etc. This had the right amount of pampering from our butler and the staff on board without feeling too stuffy. The activities bring out more adventuresome folks of all ages. We enjoyed the ... Read More
I have taken luxury cruises on Cunard, etc. This had the right amount of pampering from our butler and the staff on board without feeling too stuffy. The activities bring out more adventuresome folks of all ages. We enjoyed the zodiac rides to some rare destinations. We were the first visitors from Palmerston Island in 2015. The small ship helped us become friends with our fellow travelers right away. The food was varied and seemed to try to address everyone's tastes. Staff would do their best to answer any food requests at anytime of the day. Our butler was helpful above and beyond. If you want a pampered experience and some activities mega-ships can't offer as well as meeting a friendly, different group of cruisers, I would recommend this ship. We did experience some bad weather which made the ship a little rocky so be forewarned if you are prone to sea sickness. I would travel on this ship or another Silversea adventure cruise in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Wow. This was a tremendous cruise on a spectacular ship that gives THE BEST in quality and service. It's a small ship, 540 guests and 375 crew. The ships décor is " understated Elegance "- tasteful not tinsel. Very ... Read More
Wow. This was a tremendous cruise on a spectacular ship that gives THE BEST in quality and service. It's a small ship, 540 guests and 375 crew. The ships décor is " understated Elegance "- tasteful not tinsel. Very spacious suites at over 300 sf with a 65 sf verandah. Lovely sitting area with built in flat screen Tv. Fully stocked Bar fridge plus your personal Bar as well. King sized bed with choice of both pillows and mattress. Another built in flat screen TV. Full walk in closet with 6 drawer dresser and lots of hanging space. The spacious bathroom has a walk in rain shower. There is also a separate 6' tub and a generous vanity with the best of toiletries. There are 6 wonderful dining venues offering a wide selection of excellent cuisine and open seat dining. There is entertainment every night in the Show Lounge . In addition, the Silversea Trio plays in the lounge during cocktail hour and the beautiful Ester and Chantelle sing each night at Stars. They have a wonderful Library , where every morning the print off the various newspapers from around the world . Being from Toronto it was great to catch up reading the Globe and Mail. Another fabulous feature is the self serve laundry on every floor which features free washer, dryer, soap, ironing board etc. Brilliant! Staff is incredible! Special thanks to Atanu Chowdhury, our Butler and John Mark , our Suite Attendant ,who looked after us so well. Also Rob, Mark and Kenneth at the Lobby Bar and Miguel and John, our poolside waiters. There are just too many people to thank for making this such a wonderful journey. What an amazingly positive and enthusiastic crew. Here's the most amazing thing. we met many people during our 12 nights and we could not believe how many were on there 3rd or 4th Silversea cruise. I think that sums it up. We're hooked and can't wait for our next Silversea experience.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
My wife and I have cruised 20+ times on various lines - twice before on Silver Spirit. Our TA organised BA flights to LAX and 1 night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. We had transfers arranged and arrived at LA cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 20+ times on various lines - twice before on Silver Spirit. Our TA organised BA flights to LAX and 1 night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. We had transfers arranged and arrived at LA cruise terminal about 12.30 and were checked in and on board by 12.35! After lunch in La Terrazza we were advised that the cabins were ready about 2.30 and luggage arrived soon after. All very painless. We were in a V6 cabin on deck 8 and apart from being too narrow between the bed and the vanity table,it was fine. While we do not really make much use of the butler service, Mark was anxious to please and did everything we wanted. Nearly all the staff remembered our names from day2 and were all very pleasant and helpful. We did ship excursions at Rangiroa, Tahiti and Bora Bora - nothing particularly great and, as usual, somewhat overpriced.The guest lecturers were rather a mixed bag but mostly interesting. Overall, we enjoyed the food on board. We were rarely in the Main Dining Room - not because of the food but because it was almost always nearly empty and there was little "buzz". La Terrazza and The Grill (Hot Rocks) were much more popular. We had one meal in Le Champagne which was fine but we did not particularly feel like rushing back there. We did not eat in Seishin - it appeared to be empty most of the time. It is probably worth mentioning that the ship was only slightly more than half full and this accounts for the empty spaces. Rather to our surprise, the entertainment was much better than expected - the singers performed most nights and put on some excellent shows. Overall, we had a most enjoyable cruise to places we had not seen before. It was a disappointment not being able to land in Raratonga but as there were lots of tender islands, perhaps we were lucky it was only one! The flight home from Auckland (via Sydney) with Qantas was long but comfortable - New Zealand is about as far away as it is possible to get from Scotland - 24 hours flying time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
We have just returned from a lovely cruise aboard the silver shadow. The ship wasn't full and only 278 people on board so we were were very spoilt. Service was brilliant and the food was excellent, accomodation was very comfortable ... Read More
We have just returned from a lovely cruise aboard the silver shadow. The ship wasn't full and only 278 people on board so we were were very spoilt. Service was brilliant and the food was excellent, accomodation was very comfortable and our suite spacious. It's so much nicer having everything included but still having fantastic service. The entertainment was lacking in the lounges and we feel that the singing duo were not suited to the ship, although they were friendly and very nice it wasnt what you would choose to go and listen to each evening and the only other lounge entertainment was quite average. There was no piano playing no one singing melodies or playing a guitar and we met quite a few people who agreed with us. There was hardly a time when anyone danced in the lounges and we know from previous cruises how many people like to dance. The silver shadow entertainers in the theatre though were excellent and entertained us a few times and had us dancing on the deck one night but something is definitely missing in the lounges and pool area and even in the dining room. The pool grill was fabulous, we love the concept of the stone grill and cook our meat and prawns ourselves, the food was delicious and la terrazza is a must especially when overnighting in a port. The few things we didn't like was the organization of the shuttles they had going into the towns, they had no representative in the town where the pick up and drop off was and in one port our shuttle ran out of fuel after being 45 min later than scheduled and it took over an hour for them to organize another shuttle. Another time the shuttles stopped completely for lunch and we didn't see the small print in the chronicle that said limited shuttles during a certain time but there weren't limited they were non existent. Also no water at some stops only ice tea and we were never offered a cool towel at the tenders as we have been accustomed to on other cruise liners. My biggest gripe was not only is smoking allowed on the small outside deck on la terraza where you have breakfast lunch and dinner and I mean small, smoking tables are next to non smoking but we had a chap continuously puffing a cigar which hung over the whole dining area so when he was around we had to sit inside as there was no escape from the stench. This we found disgusting and unacceptable. Dismembarkation and embarkation were both easy and a pleasure compared to a lot of other cruise liners, we still got breakfast in our suite and only disembarked at 9.30, we weren't hearded off as the big liners like to do. Overall we will cruise with them again and only hope they change their smoking policies. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Embarkation The Silver Spirit was docked at the main cruise terminal at Port San Pedro and was the only ship there. Check in and emigration was swift and painless. Reception sign in, photo taking and credit card hand over were all ... Read More
Embarkation The Silver Spirit was docked at the main cruise terminal at Port San Pedro and was the only ship there. Check in and emigration was swift and painless. Reception sign in, photo taking and credit card hand over were all completed with a minimum of fuss, and as it was just after midday, no queues. The ship Generally the ship is in good condition. There are however signs of wear if you look closely. The rattan style chairs at the back of the Panorama have worn arms where the rattan has broken. If one looked closely at the chairs in the restaurants it is possible to see where they have been banged and chipped. This was more obvious in the suite, where both the glass topped table and the desk had very obvious marks in the wood. The carpet in the suite was obviously worn in one or two places. Interestingly the Spirit had a dry dock for a couple of weeks towards the end of 2012, but to be honest I could see no sign that anything had been done to the interior. The 'splashy' sinks are still there, and has been said elsewhere all the odd design failings are still in place. The public areas were kept very clean, but again if you look closely they are all showing slight signs of wear. Guests & Staff For the leg from Los Angeles to Papeete we had around 400 guests on board. In Papeete 23 left and about an additional 80 got on, leaving us with just over 450. As we had a number of solo guests this left very few empty suites. Guests were a good cosmopolitan mix, a large number of Brits (120+), some other Europeans, a few Australians, some Canadians and more than 50% from the US. Most guests were over 60, a handful of others ranging from mid 20's to 40', and there was one Italian family with an 18 month old toddler on board. The only poor behavior observed was from a lack of understanding (or possibly arrogance) by the father of the toddler. He had the child in the pool, although it was not toilet trained and unfortunately the staff were too scared to intervene. Only when the Hotel Director was made aware of the situation did it stop. On more than one occasion the child was brought into the main bar where Trivia was being played and had a screaming fit, again with a total lack of interest from the father. The father was also the only person onboard ship who chose not to conform to the dress code. There were two Gentlemen Hosts on this voyage and they worked quite hard. They were not only available for dancing in the afternoon and evening but seemed to have been roped into a number of day time activities by the CD. There were also two International Hostesses onboard, but they did not seem to much apart from escorting people in and out of the theatre in the evening. Pool Deck It is worth noting that when the weather is warm and the ship was at sea the pool deck becomes very crowded. It is only slightly larger than those on the Shadow or Whisper and put more than 300 people in the sun and it really shows. The sun beds were even extended to the back of the Panorama. MDR Ate here most evenings and generally the food was very good. The Executive Chef Jerome Foussier set a high standard across the board. Did not have any bad meals, but occasionally had something on a cold plate, this was resolved by always asking for a hot plate for my main. Had a couple of Indonesian meals and a really memorable Indian meal one evening. Marcelo the Brazilian MD ran a very tight and well controlled room. Cosmin was the head sommelier, and apart from running out of one red that I liked always made sure that there were plenty of alternatives to the wine of the day. One of the other junior sommeliers did try and sell me something from the Connoisseurs list, but he was easy to ignore. Generally the wines onboard were good, the NZ SB Dashwood was available, although it was running out towards the end of 31 days. There were two French SB's and one Chilean SB. The 'La Flor' Cab Sav was plentiful. For the chardonnay lovers The Crusher was available, and there was a reasonably nice Chablis. La Terrazza Ate breakfast here most days. It was the usual buffet style, plenty of fresh fruit and there were always strawberries available. There was fresh mango and papaya after our calls in French Polynesia and on some days raspberries and blackberries were at the serving section. On the other days there were always some available via your waiter. Service was always very good. Ate lunch here some days, especially if it was nice enough to sit outside. The food was generally good. Only ate twice in the evening, once outside and once inside. For the first time on Silversea I had a subpar duck ragout. The main reason for avoiding La Terrazza for dinner was the ever present Italian toddler whose parents had a dedicated table for all meals, and who occasionally let rip in the evenings. Pool Grill On a number of days the grill was supplemented at lunch by an extended BBQ, with some excellent food provided. The fresh water Madagascan prawns were delicious. Hot Rocks was never closed, even when it was cold and windy outside, and there was always someone there by 6:59 waiting to get fed. When we ate there we had excellent food and service, and we just love the hot rocks. On the leg to Papeete there was a night when it seemed that everyone wished to eat outside and they managed to cope with 115 covers. Again the staff did an excellent job. Le Champagne Had dinner here once and although the menu has not changed now for over a year the food and service was very good. The lobster was good and the souffle outstanding. Seishin Since our last trip on the Spirit Seishin now opens for lunch. There is sashimi, a wide selection of sushi and a hot fish basket. This became my favorite place for a light lunch. We also ate the full menu on a couple of evenings and particularly enjoyed the Wagyu beef. Stars Supper Club. The first time we ate here I though the menu was a little odd, but on subsequent dinners, there had been a change and the menu worked very well. I thought Mikka Brown was a little tired and didn't quite hit the spots this time. Bars The main bar was run in an amazingly efficient fashion by Chester, well supported by his assistant Vishkal. Rommel & Bass ran the Panorama and Zack the Pool bar. We never used the bar in the Casino, which is now really no longer viable without the smokers and I never got to the Observation Lounge when the bar there was open. The main bar was very busy before dinner but most people ended up in the Panorama after the shows. Bulter and assistant Both were excellent, Wilson was from Goa and left the same day we did and his English was very good, and way much better than some. Henny our lovely assistant was on the Shadow with us last year. Enrichement Apart from the cooking demonstrations we did not attend any of the lectures. We watched some of them on the TV on repeat. The lecturers themselves were nice, but it's not really our cup of tea. I thought Corey Sandler does a very good job and is well worth having onboard. We had sailed with Herb Keyser before and to be honest its time they get someone younger. Bridge The bridge lecturer, George King was outstanding, and he was an excellent teacher. At times he had 40+ people attending his sessions and most sea days we had 9 or 10 tables for the afternoon duplicate sessions. His lovely wife Sally was always there to help and fill in. Silversea should certainly use them more often. Trivia Trivia was very well attended, pretty competitive and well run by the CD, Kirk Detweiller. It was held in the main bar with somewhere around 100 guests participating. Entertainment I thought the Artists of Silversea were the weakest of the groups we had seen so far. This might have been due to their coming to the end of their contract or possibly the way they were used by the CD. They were not particularly sociable. One of the things that was missing were early evening single or duo shows in the Panorama, probably down to the fact that less than half of the guests would be able to get in. Once again shows started off at 10:15 and after grumbles from the 'oldies' eventually ended up at 9:45, which made it hard to get there for most of the show. Cooking As this was an L'Ecole des Chefs voyage we had David Bilsland onboard. There were a number morning cooking demonstrations, all of which were excellent. David ran 3 cook and learn lunches in Stars, again they were excellent and the food memorable. David also ran a market visit in Papeete which was a lot of fun. Ports & Tours The highlights of the trip were Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Christmas and Fanning Islands and a side trip from Maui to Lanai. Generally the shipboard tours were well run and provided reasonable value for money. The only port where the weather was bad was the day we arrived in Hilo, and it absolutely threw it down for most of the day. Luckily we took the Volcano Park tour and avoided most of the bad weather. The next day the ship visited Kona on the other side of the Island and it was sunny all day. The ship stayed overnight in Papeete but the overnight in Bora Bora was cancelled (before we embarked). This was a shame for the crew as they have very few chances to get off in the evenings. There was also a late stop in Honolulu to enable a deck BBQ. Both the visits to Kiribati caused problems. The ports are tender only and in Christmas Island the two tenders were restricted to about 50 pax each as the lagoon was fairly shallow, with about ½ a meter clearance below the bottom of the tender at one point. This lead to very long queues and waits of more than 2 hours to get off. A large number of guests gave up and did not bother to get off. The main criticism was that no one from the ship appeared to have considered this being a problem in advance and it was very poorly handled. The next day at Fanning Island was worse, the regular morning rain squall blew up and made visibility poor enough to suspend the tender service. The Captain then decided that as we were running into bad weather later that day to cancel the service completely, and we left 3 hours early and with glorious sunshine bathing the island. Weather It turned out to be colder than expected, and although it was the rainy season in the South Pacific we were pretty lucky about missing most of the rain. We had two rough days after leaving Fanning Island, swells up to 4 meters and 50-60mph winds, and for part of one day the lifts were all stopped. We also had a further couple of rough days after leaving Maui and it was mostly unseasonably cold for the 5 days back to LA. One point that those booking Silver Suites should consider is that when the weather is rough every time the ship hits a swell the bump travels all the way to the top of the front of the ship. Some people complained that they got no real sleep on the rough nights. Wildlife We saw very few birds anywhere away from the Islands, but we did see large numbers of whales around Maui. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
In 2009 I posted a review of the Silver Cloud which caused quite a stir. Essentially I said that it was presumptuous on the part of Silversea to associate themselves with Relais & Chateaux property because their food was poor, and ... Read More
In 2009 I posted a review of the Silver Cloud which caused quite a stir. Essentially I said that it was presumptuous on the part of Silversea to associate themselves with Relais & Chateaux property because their food was poor, and worse, they were cutting corners while trying to maintain a veneer of quality. What I did not reveal in the review, but did in subsequent blogs,is that I am a partner in a Relais & Chateaux property and that I am acutely aware of their accreditation standards. In that review I was also very clear that the service on the Silver Cloud was superb, and that the experience of cruising on Silversea was supported by their service. For this reason, we embarked again on the Silver Spirit to cross the Pacific. The Spirit is a beautiful ship. Nautical architects could argue endlessly over the preferred location of the public areas, but the fact remains that the areas flow very well. Quiet spots are found all day long ( including the pool area) and the dining rooms ( reserved or not) were always comfortably full but never crowded. The midship veranda cabins, however, were another story. They comprise the great majority of the suites on the ship and they are absurdly narrow, almost claustrophobic despite their stated square feet. And the shame is that had they sacrificed a couple of cabins per deck to enlarge each remaining cabin, the Spirit would have set the standard of luxury cruising because the "bones" of the cabin are great. The bathroom is spacious, with an excellent shower. The veranda is finally usable ( ie. meals for two), and the TV system works very well. Associated with the cabins is the butler service. This was introduced shortly after our last cruise, and while I was skeptical at the time, I am now firmly convinced that it is an expensive effort which delivers far less satisfaction than offering better quality wines. Although courteous, our butler had nothing to do other than serve breakfast in tails, and leave some canapes before cocktails! Seriously, why demote the cabin steward in favour of a butler, who at great expense, delivers no appreciable difference in service? The food on the ship covered the gamut, from excellent to indifferent. La Terrazza finally returned to its trattoria roots and served some very good fresh pasta, and more importantly, they changed their menus from time to time. Their breakfast buffet was an efficient way to get people fed, but it was not imaginative nor was it refined. The advantage was that you could eat on the aft deck, which food aside, was worth the effort. The Main Restaurant was consistently good, but to be clear, no meal was at the standard of a Relais & Chateaux property in France, Italy, or for that matter, in the US. The Champagne, on the other hand, was excellent and well worth the $ 30 supplement. The same could be said of Seishin. The chef spent 14 years in Japan, and the attention to detail was evident. The dishes were refined , beautifully presented and very good indeed. Now for the rest. Running a cruise ship line is a business like any other. Tradeoffs are inevitable, but great care must be taken to not devalue the brand you have built. In Silversea's case they must balance their " all inclusive" mantra with superb service, and I strongly believe that they have the skewed it in the wrong direction. The service has gone " over the top" ( ie butlers) and the mainstay of food and wine have suffered. The fish is still frozen ( why offer a frozen branzino?) and the wines are deplorable. For example, the featured red wine at the Terrazza is Col di Sasso by Banfi, a $6.00 wine at US distributors. Why, particularly when you are paying approximately $ 900/day for a full pension? In my opinion, this equation needs to addressed quickly before the brand is damaged. My comments may suggest that we had a bad time. On the contrary, we had a great cruise, and will probably choose Silversea again, but I am concerned that the company believes that instead of leading the industry in quality and service, they are merely measuring what they have versus the competition and matching it. This is not a formula for success. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2010
First time Silversea cruisers here, who were attracted by the itinerary, which included the Marquesas islands, and the opportunity to try a cruise line in the "luxury market". Generally we cruise with Princess, Celebrity or Royal ... Read More
First time Silversea cruisers here, who were attracted by the itinerary, which included the Marquesas islands, and the opportunity to try a cruise line in the "luxury market". Generally we cruise with Princess, Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. I see these reviews as a great resource for consumers to share information frankly and give honest opinions. This was my 20th cruise. First, the pluses. Embarkation and disembarkation are incredibly easy, due to the small size of the ship. The cabins are spacious and the bathrooms are comfortable. The are very few people in any of the public areas; in fact, the atmosphere on board was remarkably quiet and "still", almost to a fault. There is lots of alcohol being poured on this ship. it's all-inclusive and the crew is very liberal with it. When the cabin attendant asked us what kinds of spirits we would like, we were shocked when she brought a fifth of each. We were expecting the little mini bottles! The purser's desk staff were very nice, as was the crew as a whole. In fact, we learned that they are required to memorize every guest's name and are actually tested on this. Considering there were 300 or so passengers, that is no small task. The brochures are very beautiful and no doubt expensive to produce. Now, the minuses. The food on board, which SS refers to as "cuisine" in all their literature, was just not anything special. The breads were not very good and there was not much of a selection of pastries at breakfast. They would only bring pastries around once, unlike on other cruise lines. Also, they weren't very good about coming around with coffee refills and the coffee and soups were often just lukewarm. Broccoli was the most common vegetable, but it was old broccoli that had turned yellow and was starting to go to seed. In general, the food was blandly spiced and there were not many different types of vegetables or salads. I think they are catering to the pre-baby boomer generations, but I think they really need to modernize their menu offerings. The ship was very small and did not handle the rough seas of the Pacific well. Our cabin was very noisy at night due the constant creaking in the walls and ceiling caused by the rough seas. Sleeping was made difficult. SS to its credit did do some things to the cabin to help with the noise situation. The ship experience is quite formal and proper, too much so for my taste. Some of the women passengers would stare other women up and down if they felt they were not dressed up to SS standards. The cabin butlers actually wear coats with tails and the women working in the office positions are required to wear skirts, heels and panty hose. The men have to wear jackets or more most nights. I felt I was in some 1950's time warp. The was almost nothing to do on board except read or gather in the bar and drink with the rest of the passengers. The two stores on board were extremely expensive and honestly about the size of large walk-in closets. I never saw anyone ever buy anything. The ship transfers to local hotels were also grossly overpriced. We paid a taxi $25 to get to our hotel in Papeete. I think SS wanted something close to $200 for a private car to take you to the same hotel. The maitre'd was very attentive to return passengers but not so nice to the first-timers. The shore excursions were not well-organized and I thought did not live up to the marketing descriptions,and were over-priced. For example, we did the "luxury catamaran" excursion in Moorea, but there was nothing luxurious about this catamaran. It was just a plain, ordinary catamaran. The entertainment on board was virtually non-existent. The lecturers on board were mildly interesting but nothing special. One guy actually gave an entire lecture on the history of grog in the Navy. Considering how much drinking was going on, I thought the topic was appropriate. Generally, though, the seas days were very long days for us, due to the lack of virtually anything to do other than read,and you can only read so much in one day. Yes, they have a fitness center. I used it once but it was so small I felt like I was exercising in a closet. On most sea days the weather was to bad to sit around the pool. There was not much diversity in the passenger demographic. They were overwhelmingly white, wealthy,conservative and in their 70s and 80s. I actually had one man in the dining room pester me over dinner about whether I was a "liberal", even though I told him I have a rule about not talking politics or religion with strangers. I met a few other passengers who struck me as rather full of themselves, and an equal number who were nice. It is just that everything is magnified in such a small ship with virtually nowhere to go. I think Silversea appeals to many people who want an "exclusive" experience. Many passengers referred to other cruise lines disparagingly as "mass market". I think they are willing to pay a steep premium to be sheltered form the "masses". But I didn't find some of them to be that easy to talk to or fun to be with. It was kind of a clubby feeling on board. In general, I think Silversea puts its money in things like brochures that are easy to write but don't really cost that much, as opposed to more costly things like refurbishing the ship, which is badly needed. Even the balcony furniture was disappointing considering how much we paid for this cruise. I was suspicious when reading the brochures, lots of flowery copy which the reality just does not live up to. Same thing with the menu descriptions. Putting everything in French doesn't make what is essentially average food taste any better. I'm convinced that much of the food, particularly the fish, was not fresh but previously frozen and reheated. Would I go on Silversea again? No, which is sad to say considering how much we paid. The atmosphere is too stiff and formal for a relaxing vacation, and they don't deliver what I consider good value for the money. I posted similar comments in one of the boards and received a very negative reaction from the Silversea fan club (which could be made up of Silversea employees for all we know, since on the Internet anyone can pretend to be anybody). If you criticize this company, they will criticize you personally or question your motives, so be careful what you say. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
The long wait was over, we are in a car heading for the port of San Pedro to join Silversea's, "Silver Shadow" for a 26 day cruise to French Polynesia and Hawaii. The anticipation and long thread on CC attested to the many ... Read More
The long wait was over, we are in a car heading for the port of San Pedro to join Silversea's, "Silver Shadow" for a 26 day cruise to French Polynesia and Hawaii. The anticipation and long thread on CC attested to the many questions we and other floaters had about this "all inclusive" luxury voyage. The embarkation time on our documents showed 3PM but it was Super Bowl Sunday! Would they let us board early so I could enjoy the game? We arrived at 1:30PM, our luggage was taken as soon as the trunk was opened and as the walk to the security and check-in area was rather long, a wheel chair was offered and gratefully accepted, as the male member of this pair does have a mobility problem. Slam, bam thank you mam and we were deposited on the gangway to be greeted by a smiling CD, Susan Wood who, in a beautiful North of England accent welcomed us aboard. I immediately recognized the accent as being from Newcastle on Tyne, the home town that I had departed 60 years previously. What a great way to commence this journey. We were escorted to our suite; a mid-ship veranda on deck 8, by a charming young lady who, with a wide smile, took our carry-on's and led the way. Her smile was to be seen on the faces of all the crew for the entire Silversea experience. We were directed to the Terrace restaurant where we were greeted by the head waiter who led us to our table and the sumptuous buffet, which again, the quality of which was to be equaled every day of the voyage. The quality and range of the offerings was the equal of what we have experienced on other luxury cruise lines. There was always a waiter to carry your plate from the buffet back to your table. (An excellent service as, carrying your plate as the vessel bounced over large swells during the cruise was a great challenge even to the most agile.) By the time lunch was completed we returned to our suite where our luggage had been deposited. Our butler, Kumar, a native of Madras, India, introduced himself and assisted us in unpacking , hanging our clothes,supplying the pants hangers that were not in the closet and stowing our suitcases under the bed. Our suite was just as advertised and described in many CC reviews. The Super Bowl was broadcast on the ample flat panel TV, interrupted by us setting up our living space. We found the bed and its furnishings very comfortable. The refrigerator was stocked as ordered, the live white orchid lasted throughout the cruise! An internet connection was quickly established and the quality and speed were very satisfactory - we Used Skype throughout the voyage with great results. Our first impression of the ship was that it was in good condition but the furnishings, carpets etc., were in need of replacement. The passengers were in the majority, mature and, as we later found out, from many parts of the world. They were just as described in SS brochures, "well traveled and sophisticated." Our first dinner aboard was with a couple who we met by accident some time before the cruise. The meal was excellent but we observed that the menu was not as extensive as we had been accustomed to on the other lines upon which we had sailed. It was not until a few days later that we learned that, providing it was ordered from the HW or MD, with 24 hours notice, the kitchen could deliver almost any item desired, eg, Dover Sole, Escargot, rib steak etc. We ate on most nights in the MDR with fellow passengers we had met and invited to dine with us. Our dining companions on many nights were the guest lecturers who provided us with many hours of enjoyment and great conversation,we also ate with some CC members we had met on the thread. Service was very good on the majority of nights with the dining room staff very cognoscente of each diner's preferences. Unfortunately our dinner companions of the first night received tragic family news the first night out and in their case, they were most impressed with the services delivered to them by a compassionate SS crew. They had to fly back to Los Angeles from a very remote island in the Marquesas, all the arrangements were made for them by the shore excursions team. In our estimations this was a giant plus for the SS team. Coincidentally, some friends of long standing were aboard and we enjoyed several dinners with them. It's a small cruising world!!! Other dining venues are the Terazza, with an Italian menu and ambiance, the Champagne restaurant with an eclectic menu with wine degustation and the delicious bar-b-que on deck. We ate at the Terazza 3 or 4 times and really enjoyed the finely prepared dishes and the pampered service. We had several reservations at the pool deck bar-b-que but, due to inclement weather were able to keep but one. Dining under the stars of Honolulu on some of the finest and well prepared food on the 7 Seas was a special treat. Overall we enjoyed the taste, preparation and presentation of the food aboard SS. Very comparable to previous experiences on similar lines. The quality of service was exceptional with smiling and seemingly very happy and satisfied crew members. We were told that the turnover of staff on SS was only 5% that is remarkable. Kudos to SS for providing for their Jewish passengers each Sabbath, a venue and tradition Challah and wine for their celebration. The itinerary was, as previously mentioned, to French Polynesia and Hawaii. We had visited most of the ports previously, with the exception of the Marquesas islands, the most remote islands on the globe, We had looked forward to a tour on Nuku Hiva but canceled when we saw slides at the shore excursion presentation of people sitting on the flat beds of pickup trucks. Actually the tours were in double cab trucks that we could have handled. At the second stop in the Marquesas we really enjoyed a visit to the Gaugin Center. This visit was made possible using the shuttle transportation laid on by SS; a service not usually provided by the majority of lines. For visits to the other islands in French Polynesia, Raritonga, Moorea, Tahiti and Bora Bora we had arranged via the internet for tours by private cars and SUV's. All these operators showed up in a timely manner and we thoroughly enjoyed our day's out at a much lesser cost than if the same tours had been booked through the cruise line. The actual cruise we made was a btb of two voyages from LA to Papeete and return from there to LA. On the homebound course we stopped at Christmas Island in Kiribati. In our opinion a "nothing island" which could have easily been bypassed en route to the Hawaiian Islands and another stop there would have enhanced the itinerary. Our visit to Lahaina, Maui, HI was a great introduction to our 50th state to the many European passengers who looked forward to its balmy breezes and spectacular sightseeing opportunities. They were unanimous in their great desire to visit Honolulu and especially to see Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, as we approached the city the tsunami warning issued for the Pacific Ocean region that day was called and we had to put off from the island together with many ships that were tied up in the port and had to leave in anticipation of the approaching wave. Fortunately the alert was a non-event and at 3:30PM the Shadow, at full speed, headed for the harbor. Alas, the security force at Honolulu had, because of the alert, not been working that day. The result, despite a verbal confrontation with officials at dockside by the captain and other SS officers, there was to be no one allowed ashore that day. Of course there was a very disappointed group of SS floaters on the Shadow that day despite the fact that, "they had survived the Tsunami !!" During the course of the cruise we suffered very inclement weather on the ocean between ports of call. Heavy seas and strong winds, as strong as75KMPH, rocked and rolled the vessel which in our opinion, did not handle the seas as well as similarly sized ships on which we have crossed the world's oceans. We only docked twice during our long, 8,800NM voyage, tendering in the other ports. A word of praise is called for for the crewmen who assisted in boarding the tenders, often in high seas, Bravo!! All passengers seemed to enjoy the "all inclusive" tariff for all bar drinks, wines, sodas, bottled waters and tips as opposed to the "nickel and dime" policy of most lines. Bar waiters were continually offering refreshments at all locations which leads us to believe that the SS policy was to give its passengers real value for money. The entertainment offered was well mixed and talented. The several changes of entertainers made during the cruise was well appreciated. Together with the permanent group of dancers and singers each evening was a different entertainment experience. We were enraptured by the Silver Shadow quartet who, under the direction of their drummer Marion, entertained each evening with great dance tempo in the beautiful Panorama lounge. A few intrepid couples did actually manage to keep their balance and dance even as the ship bucked its way through the swells. The enhancement speakers, notably Robert Macomber, an accomplished author of nautical novels on the outward leg and Rick Senat, a British movie executive with a great knowledge of the history of Warner Brothers kept their audiences enraptured with their offerings. Bravo to SS for providing us such interesting speakers. Kudos to SS for bringing on board local folk shows of exceptional quality and fantastic deck parties to please our palates and entertain us. There was a singer in the Bar but unfortunately we were unable to enjoy her apparently much appreciated performances. Why? Well, our major propblem on board was the smoke fumes which filled the Bar and the corridors on a couple of the decks. We had to close our veranda door a couple of times because of fumes from forward cabins. In our opinion, if smoke fumes mar your enjoyment of cruising then SS is not for you. Having sailed on ships with a "non-smoking in cabins or public spaces" policy and with limited smoking areas, we wonder why SS cannot get with 21st century health guidelines. For this reason alone we have to give only 4* to this line earned for outstanding cuisine, entertainment and service. Limited smoking score would be 5+. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2004
Imagine, if you can, the Ritz Hotel with propellers, blessed with all the facilities of a really good small town, and then stripped of all the traffic, litter and crime. What you are left with is the Silver Shadow. With a crew ratio of ... Read More
Imagine, if you can, the Ritz Hotel with propellers, blessed with all the facilities of a really good small town, and then stripped of all the traffic, litter and crime. What you are left with is the Silver Shadow. With a crew ratio of almost 1:1, service is the best afloat, provided by a European-trained staff. The whole experience was like being awake in a particularly vivid dream. Imagine drinking comp. champagne in the hot tub as Saigon emerges from the mid day haze, or having steak, onion soup and grapes for breakfast on your balcony, washed down with steaming hot coffee as the sun rises from the sea. On Shadow, you don't have to imagine. You get to do it as often as you like. The ship is cool, soothing and restful in terms of decor, and so spacious that, at times, she feels like the Marie Celeste. The food, both in range, quality, diversity and excellence of presentation, set this line apart, a fact reflected in the price tag. Still, with a repeat occupancy of 85%-more than twice the industry average-they must be doing something right. Accommodations are simply awesome. 90% have balconies with real teak decking and good quality furniture. Bathrooms and interiors are so luxurious that dragging oneself out of them becomes a real trial of strength. Nightlife is low key, revolving mainly around exquisite dining and convivial nightcaps with a passenger list that is, in general, well heeled and suitably travelled. You cannot be over-dressed on this ship. Many people take advantage of sumptuous on board accommodations to entertain privately, and why not? An air of incredible exclusivity hovers around this ship like lingering stardust. You might as well be completely detached from reality-the latter is just an interesting optional extra. Like everything else, you can take it or leave it. It's true to say that this ship is so compelling, so easy to linger in, that some passengers can't be enticed ashore, even by some of the most alluring ports in the world. Still, when you can linger in your bathrobe over a 24/7 room service menu that-alone-would put many mass market restaurant menus to shame, why would you? One word of warning: this kind of cruising-exalted, exclusive, almost fully inclusive-will absolutely spoil you for anything else. After all, once you've had a Rolls-Royce, you don't downgrade to a Skoda. And yes, that really is the difference. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise