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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I are retired hoteliers/ restaurateurs from the UK so are not always the easiest to please as we tend to have too many opinions regarding hospitality! But having read some other very negative reviews from earlier recent ... Read More
My wife and I are retired hoteliers/ restaurateurs from the UK so are not always the easiest to please as we tend to have too many opinions regarding hospitality! But having read some other very negative reviews from earlier recent cruisers on Silver Wind we were concerned that we could be embarking on a nightmare experience. However having cruised the same ship previously a few years ago in South Africa we couldn’t readily equate these to our own positive memories . So we feel obliged to try to convey our own feelings regarding our voyage which bore little resemblance to some of these previously negative rantings. Yes that previous cruise was a warm weather one four years ago, but in a notoriously rough Indian Ocean (even in Summer) and this was to be mainly in November in northern Canada and the North Atlantic so we always knew it was going to be a cold and potentially rough trip, but you know that before you book and we couldn’t really understand how others had clearly failed to factor that into their own planning and were then blaming Silversea and expressing surprise at rough seas and missing ports. Surely these were always situations likely to happen so please don’t moan about the elements and blame the cruise line as there is clearly nothing that Silversea or indeed any other cruise lines can do about the weather! On boarding in Montreal all went as smoothly and seamlessly as normal with Silversea, and of course, no queues. We were pleased to be greeted in reception by a number of familiar personnel including Bar Manager, Newton, who we had met on previous cruises. Also Cruise Director, Colin Brown, who as someone else stated should be cloned, as he really is one of the best that we have encountered and this was our third cruise with him in charge. He looks after all the entertainment and enrichment programmes. These included two enrichment lecturers and a superb group of Voices of Silversea who were basically six professional singers, two operatic and four more general but all with their own individual talents. Additionally there was an onboard pianist and a Silversea trio who provided background entertainment throughout the ship. Two guest entertainers, a magician and a guitarist also came on board for a few days at different times to bolster the offering as this was a 16 day cruise. We felt they were both a bit underwhelming but that is probably because the Voices on this voyage were so good. Additionally Colin, who is a classically trained concert pianist, arranged a number of piano concerts in conjunction with the two opera singers and also performed some amazing classical duets with the onboard pianist, Olga, who was also outstanding. The crew in general were of the usual high Silversea standards. As ever mostly smiling and welcoming. Though I have to say that some of the restaurant staff (only a few to be fair) were not quite as friendly as we have experienced on other Silversea Cruises where they normally get your name quickly and address you by it from very early on, which is always impressive. Ever since the introduction of their iPad booking system a few years ago this standard seems to have fallen away somewhat unless they remind themselves by looking at your picture and name which they now get by entering your suite number into the iPad system. Maybe they were a bit tired after some seven weeks of cruising since they left London, most of which had been under some pretty appalling weather conditions! Our Suite Butler, Parveen from India, however, did an excellent job of looking after us throughout the voyage and was always on hand to attend to our every need, and our suite attendant Christine, from the Philippines, kept our suite immaculate throughout the voyage. Reception and Shore concierge staff were also very friendly and helpful and a great improvement on some we have experienced on other voyages. The hotel manager however was rarely seen by us out and about the ship and maybe that reflected on some of the staff performance? Captain Arma and the navigation bridge officers did a great job. They were all frequently seen around the ship and also kept us extremely well informed about weather conditions etc and, most memorably, carefully plotted a safe way around a huge storm that brewed up over the Gulf of St Lawrence by hugging the coast of Prince Edward Island and going very slowly for a couple of days to avoid the worst of the weather and keeping the ship as stable as possible. He kept all the passengers and crew fully informed at all times and despite a bit of rocking and rolling one evening the ship remained amazingly smooth, despite the gale blowing outside, and we never noticed any passengers confining themselves to their cabins with all the restaurants operating as busily as ever! He only once had to come onto the tannoy at 11pm on one evening to suggest that it was not a good idea to still be walking around the ship anymore! But it was reassuring that he was still on the bridge so late in the evening and in fact most everyone had gone to bed anyway and we actually had probably our best nights sleep so far being gently (or not) rocked into slumber. By the morning everything had calmed down and in the end that was really the only properly bumpy bit of this cruise. The storm did indeed mean us missing two ports of call but the first only for safety reasons as we had arrived and anchored, but it was a tender port and the Captain wasn’t convinced he could get everyone safely back to the ship, and the second because the local coastguard had closed the fairly narrow access channel…so the Captain had no option anyway. Talking to some of the crew it appeared that the ship had endured some pretty appalling weather all the way from London across to Iceland and then over to Canada for approx 7 weeks on the previous four or five cruises so, despite us being the last cruise out of the north for the winter, we actually probably had the best weather....so who knows? Just guess anyone should bear this more in mind if you choose such an itinerary in any year! Yes apparently the ship had had some sort of mechanical issue in Montreal a couple of cruises before our one that delayed departure by two or three days but to be fair to Silversea everyone on that one was reimbursed a third of their fare for that incident. Yes the ship is twenty three years old now and showing a bit of age externally but that will be sorted out when it dry docks shortly. The interior however was as clean and smart as ever with the public areas having been spruced up last year. Apparently the staterooms will be getting a “Muse-ification” refurbishment update during the upcoming dry dock in December. The suite bedrooms (or at least our one) actually seemed in pretty decent shape decor wise despite previous critical comments made on other CC Silver Wind reviews, though the TV system could certainly do with an update which is apparently happening with a more modern system being installed. For some reason it appears the update will not include the bathrooms which doesn’t make a lot of sense as the bathrooms are probably the weakest thing on Wind being rather on the small side with a rather small in length bath (not great if you are reasonably tall). However it does have an excellent power shower in addition to a hand shower, but it is one that you have to climb into the bath to use so not the easiest perhaps for some less mobile guests. We have also travelled twice on Silver Spirit in the past couple of years and have always particularly enjoyed that ship but mainly due to its larger size and thus the greater choice of dining options. Having said that Wind is half the size of Spirit and you benefit from a very cosy clubby atmosphere on board. We were on Wind for 16 days this time and didn’t really get bored with the Menus as they changed pretty much daily (every few days for La Terrazza) and the pool deck hot rocks grill, which we also love, was pretty much out as an option (even though it was still available with rugs and heat lamps) given the very cold weather in Canada and the northeast US. We actually got the chance to do a shipboard visit to see the newly stretched version of Silver Spirit when it came into Montreal a few days prior to our cruise on Wind and we really liked the updated decor and new restaurants that have now brought Spirit very much up to Muse standards. Anyway all in all it was an enjoyable and interesting cruise on Silver Wind and I would suggest others should quite simply ignore some of the earlier terrible reviews posted on cruise critic which in our mind really seem to have stemmed from experiencing some dreadfully bad weather rather than the ship itself! We would certainly be very happy to cruise on this ship again and can reassure others to go for it if they might be having any doubts. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Celebrating a birthday and an anniversary. We knew that Silversea would enable a trouble free voyage. Our Butler and Maid decorated our suite for the birthday/anniversary celbration with clever towel art and balloons. Our fridge was ... Read More
Celebrating a birthday and an anniversary. We knew that Silversea would enable a trouble free voyage. Our Butler and Maid decorated our suite for the birthday/anniversary celbration with clever towel art and balloons. Our fridge was constantly restocked with our favorite beverages. Our every need was cared for (including some seasickness tablets on the occasion that they were needed. The food was simply amazing with the specialty restaurant La Dame serving on eof the best meals we have ever enjoyed. While we did not take part in the entertainment at night (being early to bed folks) we did enjoy the lectures. And the Bingo. And the Trivia contests. The dining options enabled us to enjoy what we wanted when we wanted it. And when the (free) WiFi went out on deck 4 and 5 we were presented with a $300 credit. A really fine gesture for a porblem that was not foreseeable. What can I say? It is Silversea.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our fifth Silversea cruise, our second on the Muse but our first repositioning voyage. As always, we flew to our embarkation city the day beforehand and had a fun 24 hours in Athens. We didn’t feel it necessary to book our ... Read More
This was our fifth Silversea cruise, our second on the Muse but our first repositioning voyage. As always, we flew to our embarkation city the day beforehand and had a fun 24 hours in Athens. We didn’t feel it necessary to book our accommodation through Silversea as it’s a major European city with good transport links. When you just need a relatively central location, a comfortable bed and a good shower, why pay over the odds? Silversea waived the “deviation fee” on this occasion so we booked a simple hotel 10 minutes on the metro from the Acropolis. We enjoyed exploring the city on the Sunday and spent Monday morning in the magnificent Acropolis Museum before taking an inexpensive taxi to Piraeus and boarding the ship with minimum fuss. We were sat outside La Terrazza having lunch within 15 minutes. We previously sailed on the Muse on her inaugural voyage in April 2017 and had a great time, despite the dining chaos complained of by some. It definitely felt like a home-coming, with some familiar faces amongst the crew and we easily slipped into the warm embrace of luxury provided onboard. The ship looked good and well-kept. For us, the public spaces achieve the balance between muted luxury and comfort - we are not interested in being surrounded by “bling”. Our suite, although on a lower deck than we have previously sailed on, was in all other respects exactly the same and very convenient for the “big beige lounge” (the Dolce Vita) and Team Trivia every afternoon. Over the course of the cruise, we ate in all the restaurants with the exception of La Dame. This was a conscious choice on our part as on our previous voyage we didn’t feel La Dame merited the extra charge when the food in Atlantide is particularly good. We dined in Kaiseki to celebrate a birthday and the chefs and staff gave us a memorable evening. We also enjoyed the sushi and sashimi for lunch at Kaiseki, which sometimes provided a quieter alternative to the buffet or the pool deck. The food at all restaurants ranged from very good to excellent. It was pleasing to see that the menu at Silver Note (previously our lest favourite option) had improved. The flavours at Indochine were spot-on and the bar there was one of the nicest on the ship. Not all guests appreciate Asian fusion, but it was heartening to see the Indochine dining room busier than previously. Where we had previously sailed on port-intensive itineraries with relatively few sea days, we had to make an adjustment on this cruise where it was roughly half port and half sea days. This was made easier with plenty to keep us busy. There were three guest lecturers on board, two of whom - Mark Elowitz and Tom Jones - were particularly popular. Team Trivia became increasingly popular as the cruise progressed. Cruise Director Vikki conducted matters with elan and confidence. We used the gym regularly and my husband attended a number of classes with the fitness instructor, who he rated highly. The jogging track was busy with walkers and runners first thing in the morning. We had a bridge tour, various cooking demonstrations in different parts of the snip, a galley tour and many other diversions. The Voices of Silversea did a really good job on this voyage and all the various musicians worked hard to support each other and devise new combinations of musical entertainment to offer guests. Charlie the guitarist was a particular star. In addition, there were two other artists brought in for different parts of the cruise - a singer/pianist and a flamenco guitarist. Both were very skilled. We took a number of excursions in the ports we visited. The desert jeep safari in Sharm El Sheikh was more fun and interesting than we had originally expected. The landscapes through which we drove were remarkable and the visit to the Bedouin camp was enlivened by both a whirling dervish and a belly dancer. The full day excursion to Petra was tiring but very well worth it. Again, the desert landscape we passed through to get there was quite spectacular. Everybody will say that there isn’t enough time to do more than skim the surface in Petra and I think that is true. Once we had passed through the Siq, we left the tour group behind and wandered on our own. There was enough flexibility in the lunch arrangements for us to maximise the time in the old city and just grab something quick back at the Movenpick Hotel. After all, there didn’t see a lot of point in going all that way to spend half of it sitting in the dining room of a hotel, however nice. In Safaga, we took the overnight excursion to Luxor. This gave us the best chance to see as much as we could in the time available. For us, the Valley of the Kings was the highlight and more time there rather than at a couple of the photo stops on the way back to Luxor would have been welcome. The evening buffet dinner at the Sonesta Hotel on the banks of the Nile was very relaxed and enjoyable. Having sailed through Pirate Alley and reached Salalah, we cancelled the excursion we had booked and took a taxi with another couple. This gave us the chance to see what the city had to offer at our own pace. It’s not a big place but there are still points of interest - the vegetable and fish markets were amazing. It always surprises us when we hear and read complaints of poor service on Silversea. We have never experienced anything less than exemplary service and this cruise was no different. Our butler and room attendant were efficient and friendly and did a beautiful job of decorating the suite for my husband’s birthday. The staff definitely deserved the applause at the crew parade on our penultimate evening on board. Disembarkation at Muscat was a little slower than on previous occasions, but that was more to do with the local immigration officials than with Silversea staff. All the arrangements for our transfers within Muscat went smoothly. We are looking forward to our next Silversea cruise - we have an open booking and are still pondering which itinerary to try next. Based on our previous experience, we are confident that Silversea will deliver the cruise we want. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we had been on Silversea twice before and enjoyed the complete luxury as well as the intimacy of a small ship. We had never been to either Alaska nor Japan so we thought that it would be a great experience. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on Silversea twice before and enjoyed the complete luxury as well as the intimacy of a small ship. We had never been to either Alaska nor Japan so we thought that it would be a great experience. Knowing that there would be several sea days we thought that we would play bridge on those days ( or read). What was a real treat for us was the enrichment lecturers; each of them was very well prepared and so elevant to our cruise. The first lecturer was a professor of Migration economics who lectured about each destination in great detail before we arrived there. He went into detail about the history as well as the economy and demographics of our destinations. The second lecturer was a professor of the theater. Each sea day he would discuss a different show about East meets West. He went from the Mikado to South Pacific to The King and I and Miss Saigon. In each of these he discussed how the show portrayed the West meeting Eastern cultures. As an added treat on the last sea day he discussed Hamilton in detail. As always on a Silversea cruise the food was fantastic (as were the bar selections). While we could have dined alone at each meal we chose to sit with others each night at dinner, thereby meeting many others all of whom we thoroughly enjoyed dining with. I do have some problems with a few foods but the Maitre D' took care that each of our waiters were aware of my food allergies and I never hhad problems The ambience on the Silvershadow makes you think of the Italian influence on Silversea. This was especially evident in the bar which makes one think of an intimate European living room. Here we would enjoy cocktails and canapés as well as lovely piano playing each night before dinner. Our suite was lovely ( and very well located mid ship). As on all Silversea ships we were served by a butler as well as a steward. Needless to say, we wanted for nothing. The ports were interesting, especially the Japanese Northern most islands, which we would never have visited but for this cruise. The island of Hakodate is well known for its fantastic sushi but which we enjoyed. However, a real treat were the peoples themselves. Our first port, Kushiro, is a tiny port on the bottom of the island. Here the people went out of their way to treat us to a cultural show with Japanese dance, music and origami. As we sailed away those of us on port side were treated to Japanese music and dancing. ( We also had this at another Japanese port, Aomori. All in all, we could not rave about this cruise enough My only complaint is that my husband has mobility issues and there were very few shore excursions that he could do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We were nervous about first cruise on Silversea cruise because, although many positive reviews, there were many negative comments. One was the food. We loved the menu in Atlantide which changed frequently; Indochine excellent; La ... Read More
We were nervous about first cruise on Silversea cruise because, although many positive reviews, there were many negative comments. One was the food. We loved the menu in Atlantide which changed frequently; Indochine excellent; La Terrazza was good but not as excellent as main restaurants. Another was wine. Their selection of included wines was excellent and if you prefered one they would go get it. Service: unlike some comments we were served quickly and competently. The wait staff and wine stewards bent over backwards to make us happy. Maybe the Transatlantic cruise has a higher ratio of crew to passengers, but we were overwhelmed with the quality of Silversea on this cruise. Entertainment has been also been rated poorly. The Silversea Singers were 6 young and very talented singers who included opera singers and jazz singers and all could dance. They put on a charming and highly entertaining show evry night. Cruise director Moss is excellent and if he is on your cruise you will be assured of a fun time! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The itinerary was the key. Start in London, finish in New York: Perfect! I will say however, the North Atlantic is not for everyone. Cool temperatures and a sea that has a mind of it's own. But, knowing that in advance is helpful ... Read More
The itinerary was the key. Start in London, finish in New York: Perfect! I will say however, the North Atlantic is not for everyone. Cool temperatures and a sea that has a mind of it's own. But, knowing that in advance is helpful so, be prepared. We loved the cruise just the way it was. The itinerary was excellent, considering the geography and that this was essentially a re-positioning voyage. We got to see a lot of Canada that we've not seen before including Halifax NS which was charming. Would have been nice to spend a bit more time in Boston and Newport, RI This ship has been recently refurbished and lengthened. The refurbishment was par excel-lance, the suites were very well appointed and up to date. The public spaces were fabulous and encouraged congeniality and friendship. The lengthening? Not so much, since it put more passengers aboard which I can do without. (Prefer the Wind and Cloud) On Silversea there is a 'no-tipping' environment but in the past (this is our 8th Silversea cruise) there was always some people who deserved extra consideration for going the extra mile. On this trip, the service was outstanding on EVERY level and honestly, with the exception of the bartender, Albert, I couldn't distinguish enough to single out any others. The one advantage of the lengthening is the added variety in the dining options. There's something for everyone and the food was uniformly outstanding. It seems that the standard beverage offering has been cut back, the wine list needs some tweaking and there was no deviation from the standard liquor offering despite an advance request. It didn't used to be that way but, it was all good anyway. If you are thinking about bringing young ones, this isn't the cruise line for you. There was a lot of gray hair aboard, including mine. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
After 7 years this was my first cruise on Silversea again. Food was outstanding, crew fantastic. I did not try Le Champagne. Food in La Terrazza, main dining room and Pool grill was just great. We had to cancel on port cause of bad ... Read More
After 7 years this was my first cruise on Silversea again. Food was outstanding, crew fantastic. I did not try Le Champagne. Food in La Terrazza, main dining room and Pool grill was just great. We had to cancel on port cause of bad weather but I think it was a wise decision cause of safety reasons. Yes the ship does need some refurbishment but it is still a beautiful ship. The crew was absolutely fantastic. I never heard anyone saying no to a request or a question. The few shore excursions I've attended have been really good. Especially the trip to the Railway and Floating Market outside of Bangkok. My cabin was great as always and my butler and room attendant did everything they could to make my stay another memorable one. I loved it so much I will be back on the Shadow in February 2018 cruising again South East Asia. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Wanted to see Ireland and eastern Canada and this did both. The crossing was nice, 4 sea days in a row. A couple so-so ports like Sydney Canada (try and avoid) and western Canada is much more beautiful but still very nice. Loved the ... Read More
Wanted to see Ireland and eastern Canada and this did both. The crossing was nice, 4 sea days in a row. A couple so-so ports like Sydney Canada (try and avoid) and western Canada is much more beautiful but still very nice. Loved the French island of St Pierre. My comment to take or leave; the food is great in all the restaurants but they have raised the premium restaurants (La Dame and Keiseke) to $60 per person. For that you get nothing better than in the others. Food not better, service definitely not better, wine not better...what's the point for $120 extra. Try them if you like. Premium restaurant Champagne was $40 each a year and a half ago and you got a glass of Dom Perignan when you sat down. Not sure what their thinking is. You can get lobster and fois gras in other restaurants so...? Never went to a show, 10 minutes with an OK singer, so cannot comment on those activities. Could use more games on sea days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the less-traveled itinerary--the opportunity to see a few places the typical passenger wouldn't see, especially Dutch Harbor/Unalaska and Kamchatska. The length (14 days) was also attractive to us, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the less-traveled itinerary--the opportunity to see a few places the typical passenger wouldn't see, especially Dutch Harbor/Unalaska and Kamchatska. The length (14 days) was also attractive to us, and Silversea does a great job of providing excellent activities for the days at sea. I took bridge lessons and sharpened my game playing with other very experienced players. The bridge director was delightful and worked very hard to make sure the classes and games were worthwhile and organized. I would miss this if it wasn't provided on other longer cruises with multiple days at sea. I was so pleased to find dance instructors and having the opportunity to refresh my skills in the classes and then have several evenings to partner with the instructors on the dance floor. They were terrific hosts for the singles on the ship as well. Again, a must for longer cruises and I know the single passengers were very happy to have these two gracious gentlemen to accompany them in the evening and at events. Love the formal evenings! My husband loves putting on his tux and we plan ahead for those evenings with special attire and enjoy meeting the captain and crew and getting to know other passengers on the ship. With a few exceptions, everyone seemed to enjoy dressing for the occasions and brought their best elegant manners with them! The salon services are excellent. The manicurist was very professional and did an excellent job. The salon is beautifully appointed and very relaxing. The gym has the typical equipment and I was happy to see an exercise room designed into the facility (we had to use the observation deck on the Wind). The trainer on board was knowledgeable and I am sure her classes were well received. If I had my wish, I would love it if it were possible to provide a Pilates Reformed on board. The class she offered in Pilates was really a combo yoga/pilates and did not provide the pilates experience I get the most positive results from. The trainer on the Wind (even without the reformer) did have a more traditional pilates floor exercise class that was more demanding and met my needs. The food and beverage services were of the highest quality, both the servers and the food and drink. The wines were superb and free-flowing. You do feel as if the staff cannot do enough for you and if you don't see what you want, or exactly how you would like it, they do everything they can to accommodate your requests. The portions are "right-sized" so you can try every course if you wish, without feeling too quilty! I had dessert every night! Le Champagne is a special experience, which we enjoyed twice on this cruise. It truly is a delight, and the staff was so welcoming and genuinely seemed to love what they do! It is very nice to have multiple options for dinner every night, and we love La Terrazza as well. Love the Singers of Silversea! We knew one of the performers from a previous voyage, and he remembered us right away. He continues to grow and now leads the troupe and we were so happy for him. We like the variety of the talent in the group, especially the opera. Please keep this variety--we love the opera night, and the evenings when the individual performers have the opportunity to showcase their particular genres. The speakers were quite well-received, but we were only able to hear one session as they generally were a little early for us, or conflicted with bridge or dance! My husband loved the cooking classes. He would love to have a tour of the kitchen if possible. We did that on the Seabourn cruises and enjoyed seeing how they manage what they do for 400 people 24 hours a day! There were plenty of excursion opportunities and we had something to do at each port. It was too bad the weather didn't allow us to go to Kushiro, as I am sure we would have enjoyed seeing that area of Japan. However, the other two were very nice. That being said, it was disappointing that the all-day excursion to Lake Towada did not go as planned. The initinerary was too ambitious, and it would have been impossible to do and see all that was described in the flyer. The tour guide and driver were very knowledgeable and gracious, but they couldn't change the weather. The traditional lunch at the hotel was amazing and everyone seemed to enjoy it very much, however, I don't think the hotel was quite ready for such a large group and seemed a bit nervous and harried/confused. They did refund our fees in total, however, I felt it would have been acceptable and more than fair if they just gave back a portion as we did have a wonderful bus ride and opportunity to see a beautiful part of the island and have a really well-prepared meal and still get back to the ship on time. The sushi experience in Hakodate was amazing--the highlight of the entire excursion experiences we had. The owner or manager on duty during our visit was an amazing host and made our sushi experience memorable. Our visit to the dacha was unique and gave us the chance to meet a local person and understand firsthand her life and a bit of the real day-to-day culture, not just a show/museum/restaurant, but her home/her homemade treats/gardens and to get to know from her personal perspective what it is like to be a typical Russian citizen. The ship was always immaculate and well-appointed and it was the same for our cabin. It was perfect every time we returned to our room. The butler and service staff couldn't do enough for us. Our highlight is the packing of our bags at the end of the voyage. It is a special amenity that I don't think one can find on any cruise line but Silversea. It is one of the big reasons why we returned for our second voyage and we will enjoy it next year when we take our trip from Venice to Athens. We did not travel with our children (although given that they are in their 30s it would have been a delight, not just for us, but for the other passengers, I am sure) but we chose the small ships (Seabourn and Silversea) very the very fact that it is not appealing to most young families. We do love kids, and if a family brought their younger children, that would be fine. That being said, there really isn't much for them to do, unless it is an itinerary that is in a warm climate so they can be outdoors in the pool or running around the deck/playing outdoor activities. Our overall experience was terrific and we certainly look forward to next September when we arrive in Venice for our cruise to Athens. Many thanks to everyone that works so hard to make each trip memorable. Special Note: We were unable to go into port at Kushiro due to stormy conditions that required the Captain to take measures to ensure we were safe and as far away from the serious part of the storm as possible. We had a rocky 36 hours or so, but I commend him and his crew for ensuring our safety, keeping us well-informed, and even providing a cold but delicious lunch in the restaurant for those of us who were able (and willing) to move about the ship. By the time lunch was being served, the seas appeared to be calming down, and by dinner, regular meal services had resumed. The entire crew did everything in their power to make sure we were safe, well and cared for, to every extent possible. Well done! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
It is our third cruise with Silversea and we very much enjoyed the cruise, as on the previous opportunities. The cabines are spacious, with varanda. The service is the best point of the cruise: butler, room attendant, attendants at ... Read More
It is our third cruise with Silversea and we very much enjoyed the cruise, as on the previous opportunities. The cabines are spacious, with varanda. The service is the best point of the cruise: butler, room attendant, attendants at the restaurants and pool. Shows are top: the dancers from Bolshoi offered an incredible experience. The six young people (dancers , singers ) should also be congratulated for their fantastic performance. The food and wine were perfect. Excursions were well organized, but passengers sould get more detailed information on the timing and difficulties (foreseen time before first stop with the bus, more precise expected difficulties, and not only "moderate amount of walking"). Should be remembered that people may not speak English. We understand that English is the world wide language, but at least on TV, there might be Spanish,French, Italian channel and not only six (!) English and one German speaking channel. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was my first cruise and I loved it. My suite (all cabins are suites) was nicer - and at least as large - as most hotel rooms I stay in. I had a veranda, but other than the veranda itself, even the smallest cabin on the ship is the ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I loved it. My suite (all cabins are suites) was nicer - and at least as large - as most hotel rooms I stay in. I had a veranda, but other than the veranda itself, even the smallest cabin on the ship is the same size. No "inside" cabins. Very nice. This cruise had "Gentleman Hosts," who among other things, organized a cocktail party each evening for the solo cruisers, of which I was one. This was a very nice touch by Silversea. There were 8 or 10 of us "solos", and we had a cocktail party each evening and then the Gentleman Hosts would escort us down to The Restaurant for dinner. It wasn't mandatory, but we never had to eat alone. Silversea's social game is very strong. I reserved several evenings in Le Champagne, the hoity-toity extra-cost restaurant, but after my first night I canceled the rest of my nights. Why? Because the pace was very, very slow. i'm sure it took at least 3.5 hours for dinner, and if you're eating alone it is too slow. Perhaps if I'd brought a book. This is going to sound trite, but team trivia was a major event every single day at 4:45. It was so major an event that some folks would not go on certain excursions because they would return after 4:45. I give the cruise director Kirk Detweiler the credit for this event being so popular. Enrichment - we had Kathy freaking Alexander doing enrichment: Astronaut, Space Station resident, NOAA head, incredible. Service - the crew is there to make your voyage the best you can have. That's all there is to it. Any crewmember will do any thing you ask. The second time they see you they will know your name, and if you've given any preferences to any other crewmember, they'll know about that, too. Excursions - generally excellent, although we did find it amusing that they did send us to a French restaurant for lunch in Kushiro, Japan. Children - no, I saw two children and only saw them once on the entire trip. Would I go again? I've already booked the E->W version of this in September (my birthday and retirement day.) Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose the ship based on the itinerary and past experience with Silver Sea. The food and service on board were fantastic. There is a great variety of restaurants and activities. The entertainers were exceptional. I didn't care ... Read More
I chose the ship based on the itinerary and past experience with Silver Sea. The food and service on board were fantastic. There is a great variety of restaurants and activities. The entertainers were exceptional. I didn't care for the violinist or flautist. It would have been nicer to have a comedian or magician or something along those lines. Most of the people slept through the concert. The Silver Sea entertainers are fantastic. Stefano the singer should be on Broadway. His voice is amazing. The DJ did an outstanding job of keeping the dancing going late in the Panorama Lounge. I enjoyed dining in La Terrazza very much. More time in Lisbon would have been good and because of weather we missed Horta. We did enjoy an overnight in Punta Delgada which was nice for all of us. The staff is very conscientious and they go out of their way to remember your preferences. It's amazing they meet so many people but still remember faces from past cruises. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First solo cruise. Ship had 4 people assigned toi make us happy. THey did! The staff was great. The psgs friendly and kbid and outgoing. The CC gatherings were terrific. The food ranged from good to excellent. Now for the rest. ... Read More
First solo cruise. Ship had 4 people assigned toi make us happy. THey did! The staff was great. The psgs friendly and kbid and outgoing. The CC gatherings were terrific. The food ranged from good to excellent. Now for the rest. Entertainment fair at best. Future cruise person-Pathetic. Ship itself in average condition and could be laid out better. Rooms were spacious and well kept. tips included. The highs of great crew and excellent service outweighed any shortcomings. The bonus was the wonderful passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation went smooth and easy. The included wines were good. The extra cost restaraunt was excellent even though the menu did not vary, there were enough listings under the 6 courses that I ate 3 times and never exhausted the menu. I heartily recommend it. Lastly, although I did not book on this account, it was a bridge cruise. The director and the instructor were both better than any I have had in over 50 cruises Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband wanted a repositioning cruise and I didn't want to be at sea more than two days at a time. Given that we decided to cruise less than 90 days before departure this was the best option. We'd never sailed on SilverSea ... Read More
My husband wanted a repositioning cruise and I didn't want to be at sea more than two days at a time. Given that we decided to cruise less than 90 days before departure this was the best option. We'd never sailed on SilverSea but friends have and loved it. Embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest we've experienced. The ship is lovely and the veranda suite, very comfortable and well-designed. Our crossing was rough seas and we were at the front on an upper deck. We recommend midship on decks 5-7 for a less rocky ride. The crew is superb. The dining staff, reception, cruise director's assistants always greeted us by name. The bar keepers remembered our preferred beverages. All crew members were cheerful, always greeted us good morning, afternoon, evening. They were courteous to one another and seemed to enjoy working together. I cannot praise them enough. Our butler and cabin steward were creative in suggesting ways to be of service and they were charming, gracious men. The food was very good. We dined at least twice in every venue for dinner and lunch, and the food is very good. The dining service is exceptional. We did tire of the menus after several days, although we did try many different items. We thought they should have more menu changes every few days. Do not miss tea in the lounge. The scones with clotted cream were even better than what we had on the Cornwall shore excursion. The rest of the tea munchies were excellent but go for the scones, although not daily as they are very rich. Frank, the sommelier, was very helpful about the wines, as well as eager to share his commendable views of the offerings. Regina, shore excursions manager, was knowledgeable about the mobility requirements of each excursion and was very patient in answering questions. Each local guide was excellent and enthusiastic, well versed in what would be of interest to his guests. We had a good overview of each destination during the excursions. That said, if doing this over, I might book private guides to see more in less time. The small boat photo excursion in Greenland was spectacular and our favorite of them all--getting close to so many and such varied ice bergs--was extraordinary. Because we booked the cruise so close to departure, we were wait listed on several excursions and dinner reservations but always cleared. Vicki, the cruise director, has a delightful personality and is immensely talented. Her assistants, Helen and Luisa, are treasures. Vicki's "Ship Happens" was creative, personal, perfect. The Riverdancers were terrific, as were the lovely young women Celtic singers. The enrichment by Bill Miller and Nikki were very polished, informative, and fun. The crew performance one evening was great fun and Oliver, head bartender, and Romeo, butler, were terrific. Oliver is a natural comedian. Cruise consultant Nancy has a lovely voice and personality. Unexpectedly, the other passengers were down-to-earth, sometimes quirky, generally fun and interesting people very interested in experiences on shore. The couples all clearly enjoyed being together and took great care of each other. The crew was very safety conscious, important given the rough seas. They spa and fitness center were closed when seas were too rough, and I had full confidence in the tenders crew when we went ashore in rough seas. We don't like dressing up but crew was easy about making us comfortable and we made sure to meet minimum expectations, which wasn't a chore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
Departed Tokyo on 7 May, ticket clearly marked Tokyo, but I am sure I was not the only person who went to Yokohama overnight pre-cruise. The fault of too much confidence due to too many cruises, I even went to the Yokohama Terminal, but it ... Read More
Departed Tokyo on 7 May, ticket clearly marked Tokyo, but I am sure I was not the only person who went to Yokohama overnight pre-cruise. The fault of too much confidence due to too many cruises, I even went to the Yokohama Terminal, but it was about 1 1/2 hours by train and taxi to reach Harumi Terminal Tokyo. Yes, a smaller ship can berth in Tokyo but this terminal is less convenient than Yokohama. It is far away from what you want to see in Tokyo and there is lack of public transportation at the pier. Ship departs to brass band fanfares....almost 200 persons took part for our ship's farewell, this ship was quite full, but perhaps just 300 guests. Rough full sea day to reach Kushiro the third day. This port is perhaps conveniently en route but otherwise one of the worst ports to visit. The facilities include only two markets, interesting only if you are interested in seafood and raw fish. Gala Welcome Dinner on sea day was good with foie gras and lobster. The afternoon tea was great and classy. Two sea days before Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. The sea was surprisingly calm in this northerly region and the ship's excellent cuisine and services helped make very comfortable restful days. Le Champagne now increases cover charge to $40 but still worth it. For this you can order multiple courses of caviar, foie gras, scallop, and lobster and it is a must for me whenever I cruise on Silversea. One excellent point on this ship is that they deliver menu of the next day each night, so you know in advance when to do the Le Champagne dinner, or the Italian dinner, or stone grill, as an alternative. Petropavlovsk turned out to be an excellent port of call. I took a morning excursion for local sights and saw interesting things of Russian cultural interest, and on return I opted to end at the town centre, where I caught the ship's free shuttle bus back to the ship. The city centre's supermarket was interesting though it is not convenient to make a desired purchase of a giant Kemchatka crab to take home. Two more sea days to cross the pacific but it actually is three whole days as we gain a day at the International Date Line, but it is a pity that on arrival at Dutch Harbor we were unable to visit as heavy fog rendered a zero-visibility situation and the pilot cannot join the ship. The ship reached the port areas before 6am and tried to call the pilot for hours in vain. There is no choice but to abandon this call as it appeared, but when we sailed another sea day till early afternoon the weather was sunny and clear. So it is four sea days, but sea days are to be enjoyed and are expected on a reposition cruise, on a 5-star ship. Though it was a pity missing Dutch Harbor. Add one more sea days to finally reach Kodiak Island in the USA. The centre of town is only a 20 minute walk but ship still provides free shuttle bus. We had a whole day at this 'nothing to see' small town, but there is something to see in the afternoon excursion of the Russian heritage tour. Next morning we were at Homer, Alaska, which is interesting. I took a morning excursion and see much of this interesting town connected by road to Anchorage with a 4-hour drive. On return I also explored the 'Spit' area which is a long strip of land along harbour offering interesting local shops and restaurants to explore, with a really beautiful scenic backdrop of yacht harbour and snowy mountains. To me this unspoilt town is the most interesting place to visit in Alaska, above all touristy inner-passage ports. This is a very relaxing trip on a truly first class cruise of impeccably service that you feel welcome almost every moment. The more traditional dining suits me best, even in comparison with other Silversea ships. Interesting that there is difference between this ship and Silver Spirit in cuisine. On arrival at Seward we were offered free scenic railway transportation either to airport or to a town hospitality centre in Anchorage Captain Cook Hotel. This is a great gesture of Silversea and a real treat. My last trip between Seward and Anchorage was by road, but the train ride in a special coach chartered by Silversea was a surprising highlight, much better than by road. It took longer because we went up a 1000-ft mountain range before descending, passing through snow clad landscape, with glaciers virtually hanging outside the window, It was a highlight 4 hours by any standard. All in all, a very satisfactory cruise despite the loss of Dutch Harbor, and for this region the sea condition was surprisingly smooth. I may even opt to return one day, probably also on Silversea, but this is not for port-incentive minded passengers. For me, the ship, a good one, is the destination. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first Silversea cruise. We have done many others to include Seabourn, Paul Gaugin, Windstar, as well as the larger ships. Altogether probably 20-25 cruises total. The Spirit is a vey clean, well maintained, and ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise. We have done many others to include Seabourn, Paul Gaugin, Windstar, as well as the larger ships. Altogether probably 20-25 cruises total. The Spirit is a vey clean, well maintained, and comfortable ship. About the right size in my opinion, but then, it was probably 60% capacity for the crossing. The suite was quite nice with the common comment of the closeness between the bed and vanity being probably my only negative. Butler did all we asked which was not a lot of extra personal service. Some may wish for more, but we felt his level of service was about right. Our cabin stewardess was remarkably efficient and generally did as well, or better, than we have experienced on other lines. Port comments are minimal on a transatlantic. We spent 1 1/2 days at Hamilton Burmuda, and were scheduled to spend 6-7 hours in Horta, Azores. Due to rough seas toward The Azores, the Captain made the call to stay south towards somewhat calmer seas. I personally felt it was the right call. As he said in his daily briefing, "the ship would be OK, but probably not the passengers". Some have remarked disappointment at not substituting another port. If you think about it, there are not too many options in the middle of the Atlantic, in a storm, where you can get a port on a days notice and still make your destination on time. I guess that's why he makes the decision rather than discussing it amongst the passengers. Comfort and safety of crew, passengers and equipment are his priority. As for value for the money spent? Excellent service, very good food, excellent bar service with mid-upper shelf liquor, seas as smooth as possible, and good communication between ships officers and passengers is about all I expect so I gave it a 5 star rating. These are subjective at best, but I never really expect five star experience for 2 star price. The dining room was always excellent with reasonably good wine poured in ample quantity no matter what your capacity. The food was very well prepared and offered a reasonable variety with the menu rotation very tolerable. We ate in Le Champagne once and it was exquisite. It should be with an $80 surcharge per couple. We ate in the pool grill for the Hot Rock menu. I liked it but my wife was disappointed to a degree. The Italian restaurant was very good in my opinion. The service level at the less formal venue during breakfast and lunch was almost too much. I can carry my own plate to my table but it was nearly impossible to get by the wait staff waiting to help out. As usual on a cruise, the issue is self control with food as opposed to the quality. There were some things I thought were better on some cruise lines but for the most part all was well. The breakfast and lunches were pretty repetitive unless you asked for something special, then, it was "no problem". Embarkation was probably as seamless as we have experienced. Disembarkation was as well. Would I go on another Silversea cruise? Yes, but probably would look at overall cost, itinerary, and convenience to make my decision. Cost is a factor for us and Silversea is not inexpensive. Worth the money? Probably if service is an issue. My last comment concerns the final destination port, Lisbon, Portugal. We booked an apartment in Lisbon for 5 nights following our cruise. My only regret is that it could have been much longer. We loved Lisbon and will try and go back. Lots to see and do in a short period of time. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We sailed from Ushuaia to Cape Town via Falklands, South Georgia and Tristan da Cunha. The ship was less than half full, probably because there are many sea days and it is basically a re-positioning cruise but with such a difference. ... Read More
We sailed from Ushuaia to Cape Town via Falklands, South Georgia and Tristan da Cunha. The ship was less than half full, probably because there are many sea days and it is basically a re-positioning cruise but with such a difference. The sea days were so worth while for the amazing sights and experiences we had. First the ship - yes she is a little tired but spotlessly clean and well cared for given the fact she is an expedition ship and spends much of her time in a pretty hostile environment. The cabins (state rooms) are variable in size but even the small ones are well appointed with comfortable beds, choice of pillows and small but perfectly formed bathrooms with lovely toiletries. The expedition staff were just wonderful, so knowledgeable and informative sharing that knowledge in the most entertaining and user friendly manner. Every sea day offered a couple of lectures on topical subjects and usually a trivia quiz with afternoon tea. OK so no all singing/all dancing entertainment but gently amusing and a great way to while away the days. The days we did landings were full on. We had three days on Falklands, four on South Georgia, one on Tristan da Cunha and one on Nightingale Island. We had pretty good weather but one or two rough days when the logistics of getting us on shore were really quite challenging but the expedition staff ensured it was achieved safely and happily for all concerned. We saw so much wildlife, whales, seals, penguins, penguins, penguins, dolphins and so many different birds. We were able to visit Tristan da Cunha which is a very tough landing for expeditions due to the very limited landing facilities so it has to be a zodiac arrival which so far out in the South Atlantic can be very difficult due to the rough seas and we were apparently the first [expedition] ship to get its passengers on to land for just about a year. The restaurant and food were well up to standard with the management of the restaurant, under Anna's ovesight, first rate with such attentive dining room attendants. Our butler, Romeo, was a gem. He looked after us so well, I wish I could have brought him home. The transfer from Buenos Aires is a bit tedious but no worse than that and it is part of the build up to a great adventure. My advice to anyone considering a trip to the South Atlantic is go, go now and go on Silver Explorer. Read all about it so you know what to expect and there is nothing to disappoint you and your expectations can be realised and then visit the wonderful islands of Falklands, South Georgia and whereever else (including Antartica) Silversea can offer you - an elegant gentle lifestyle on board and on shore exciting adventures which it would be hard to surpass. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
The New York sail away was wonderful with sunny skies and warm temperatures. From one side we could watch the passing of the Statue of Liberty and from the other the new dome for the World Trade Center.Suite very comfortable and ... Read More
The New York sail away was wonderful with sunny skies and warm temperatures. From one side we could watch the passing of the Statue of Liberty and from the other the new dome for the World Trade Center.Suite very comfortable and immaculate. Butler all we hoped for (did our packing and unpacking which was great). Butler did not speak clear English and it was necessary to have a few words/sentences interpreted for me as i am hearing impaired. Details on ship and ambiance all we had hoped for. Food was for the most part five star. Public rooms enjoyable and we had plenty of time to relax and read. The elevators seemed always available and never crowded. Shore excursions were well planned and interesting. We had never been to NewFoundland before and found both ports to be beautiful. We had to miss one port in Ireland due to weather and stayed an extra day in Cobh where we had been before on another land trip. Traveling by ship to a place we had visited on driving was as if we saw many new places and some familiar but had fun there. Entertainment was attended twice and both were pleasant and well directed, planned, etc.This was our first Silver sea cruise. We liked this itinerary and the pricing was good. We would be happy to take another Silver Sea trip if the details, itinerary and timing would be to our liking. (We agreed another line is a bit more to our liking but SS is a close match). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Having so much enjoyed the transatlantic crossing last year I decided to repeat the cruise this year. Although we again started in Lisbon and finished in Barbados, Silversea were sufficiently prescient to include 4 different ports of call ... Read More
Having so much enjoyed the transatlantic crossing last year I decided to repeat the cruise this year. Although we again started in Lisbon and finished in Barbados, Silversea were sufficiently prescient to include 4 different ports of call out of the 7 visited (Madeira, La Gomera, St Lucia and Les Saintes). I made my own flight arrangements (Business Class to Lisbon and BA First home from Barbados)and was able to use my BA Miles which worked out considerably cheaper than the Silversea Business Air add-on. Embarkation at Lisbon could not have been easier or more efficient. I had travelled from the airport by taxi for a mere 18 Euros! As last year we were blessed with good weather from the start. Also the seas were calm for the whole crossing. Of the six days at sea the first and last were brilliant, with rather more cloud (and the occasional tropical shower) on the middle four days. On the first morning at sea, en route to Madeira, I organised a CC get together in the Panorama Lounge for those who had posted on our pre-cruise 'thread'. This was well attended with 15 of us showing up and then keeping in touch throughout the cruise. A very nice congenial group. My cabin was excellent (midship verandah cabin on deck 5) - very quiet and wonderfully spacious for single occupancy. I can imagine that two people might find it a bit of a squeeze because of the oft-mentioned narrowness of the entrance. My steward and stewardess were excellent and could not do enough for me although my wants were small. Just early morning tea which arrived every day at 8am thanks to the delightful Jerry who then opened the curtains and allowed me to 'come to life'. I am not an early riser so cannot comment on those who were pounding the decks at 5am! Housekeeping in the cabin and throughout the ship is excellent. My cabin was kept spotlessly clean and Jerry even took my shoes without being asked, polished them, and returned them wrapped in tissue paper. Such luxury! Throughout the whole ship cleaning and polishing seemed to be a constant occupation for crew members. The public washrooms were kept vigilantly clean. Full marks! Fellow passengers were very civilised and pleasant. There were a few passengers I knew from last year with whom it was good to catch up again. Several crew members were also on board again and all seemed somehow to remember me. Quite an achievement when you think of the numbers of passengers who pass through in the course of a year. The service in all departments was efficient and courteous. The only problems arising are at breakfast and lunch in La Terrazza and in the Dining Room in the evening if these venues are full. The staff then seem stretched (but still charming despite appearing slightly over-worked!). My daily routine did not vary greatly. Breakfast was always in La Terrazza which is mainly self-service unless you wish to order eggs (which I did on two days only and my single Egg Benedict was perfectly cooked and presented on both occasions). The buffet selection does not vary and it was disappointing to see that the big bowl of mixed berries has now disappeared and berries are now only available on request. This was one of a few 'economies' which Silversea seem to have implemented. The others included no butter or marmalade on the table (again, on request only). Lunch I enjoyed every day except one on the Lido deck, by the pool. I just want a simple light lunch and the caesar salads and toasted sandwiches were perfect. Service was excellent. I often do not bother with Tea, but the offering in La Terrazza at 4pm was so good that I could not resist. Proper leaf tea correctly served and delicious finger sandwiches and pastries. I dined either in the Main Dining Room ('MDR') or La Terrazza, always with friends although one night I took 'pot-luck' in the MDR on a table for 8 and it was fine. Service in the MDR tends to be leisurely, particularly if the room is full and I detect a slight disconnect between the waiting staff and the galley. The food in the MDR is somewhat bland and unexciting but I am not a great 'foodie' and if the company and conversation are sparkling (which they usually were) then I tend to be less bothered about the food. Sometimes requests for side orders (necessary because there are never enough vegetables with the plated main courses) were forgotten either by the waiting staff or the galley and a quick return trip to the galley had to be made. There is no doubt that the best plan is to order off-menu a meal ahead. As a result I had perfect rack of lamb one evening (which never appeared on the menu throughout the cruise) and on another evening a friend and I had grilled dover sole (on the bone) which was the best I have ever tasted. On another evening 6 of us had pre-ordered (the day before to give time for preparation) roast goose. It was absolute perfection. They must have cooked two geese for us because between us there were 3 legs and 3 thighs! That evening the chef even devised for us (without being asked) special first and second courses (fois gras pate and a seafood risotto). So things can be done. It just needs a polite request and a 'thank you' afterwards! Out of three dinners in La Terrazza two were exceptionally good and one mediocre. So, on balance, quite acceptable. The wine poured at meals were generally quite good, though on several evenings I requested an alternative which was never a problem. There was a very good NZ sauvignon blanc, an excellent Australian shiraz (until we drank it all!) and some good Californian and French reds. For entertainment I enjoyed our daily game of 'trivia' in the afternoon in the Panorama Lounge. It was great fun as none of our team took things too seriously. This was run by the excellent Cruise Director, Susan Wood. She is charming, efficient, highly visible and very friendly. I liked her very much. Before and after dinner in the Panorama Lounge the pianist/singer Amadeo was excellent. A couple of evenings we went into 'Stars' after dinner to hear Angela and her accompanist. Lovely renditions of Gershwin, Cole Porter, etc. I just wish that diners who have finished eating but who are showing no sign of taking any interest in the show would move on after dinner to another bar. We has to 'shush' them more than once. I am not keen on 'production' shows but did go one evening to the Theatre to listen to John Bowles, a talented singer, and on another evening to listen to a different 'John' who did a rather amusing (was it supposed to be?) Liberace impersonation! Only one port of call was new to me (having done a number of crossings in the past) - La Gomera in the Canary Islands. I took a Silversea extended half-day tour which was excellent. The island is very dramatic and quite unspoilt. At other ports I either stayed on board or 'did my own thing'. At Barbados disembarkation was efficient and I took another extended half day tour which ended at the airport where our luggage awaited. All very civilised and well planned. Then to the BA Lounge and ferried to the plane a few minutes before departure. I slept most of the way home. Lovely. This was just what I needed - a relaxing holiday with little to do apart from read during the day and have sociable, pleasant evenings. Not for me the 7 day cruises with a different port every day. I like cruising to be what it used to be. Leisurely and relaxed. Full marks (almost!) to Silversea for managing to fulfil my expectations once again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2011
The Muster Drill Given the Costa Concordia tragedy, I will open with a few comments on the importance of the muster drill. As a former holder of a US Coast Guard Masters License I have observed these drills with a critical eye. In ... Read More
The Muster Drill Given the Costa Concordia tragedy, I will open with a few comments on the importance of the muster drill. As a former holder of a US Coast Guard Masters License I have observed these drills with a critical eye. In recent years I have cruised on Crystal, Oceania and Silversea and all ships had full muster drills prior to departure. Having only been aboard only a few hours, the muster drill gives the passenger the opportunity to locate their life jackets, get familiar with them and become knowledgeable with the location and procedures of the life-boat stations. A critical aspect of the drill is that the crew station themselves on the stairways and hallways to give directions to the passengers. Since everyone is wearing a life jacket, the crew ware brightly colored hats which distinguish them from the passengers. The crew on Crystal and Silversea took their duties seriously and were easily identifiable by their hats. On Oceania the crew were more casual about wearing their caps and often grouped together chatting. On our trans-Atlantic on the Whisper last spring the crew was superb in performing their responsibilities, but once on deck the muster officer in charge did not wear easily identifiable clothing or headgear. With his uniform covered by his life jacket he looked like any other passenger. I spoke with him latter and he felt that his hand-held radio on his belt ( where I have my cell phone ) distinguished him from the passengers. In a crisis environment the passengers would not have known which individual was in command. The ships officers need to be required to be easily identifiable, and if they object, the cruise lines should have them replaced. How to accommodate a passenger One of the guests on our passage was a delightful gentleman in the 80's who was confined to a wheel chair -- he need water/aerobic therapy and apparently had pre-determined that the depth of the pool would accommodate his requirements. Alas the pool was about 6" too deep -- but the ship engineers would lower it daily for his swim. Now that's taking care of a passenger! Bravo !! In contrast was the pool of the Shadow during our Alaska cruises in the Spring of 2010. The pool was seldom heated and was treated with chemicals which would quickly cause a skin rash. After complaints -- the Shadow's engineers found the answer to its passengers concerns -- they closed the pool. Dining on the Whisper We had a most enjoyable food experience with the exception the Le Champagne. The food and service in the Main Dining room was superb. The wait staff quick learned our names and special requests. The house wines were mostly adequate and the wine servers would offer alternatives if requested. There seemed to be an emphasis on South American wineries ( perhaps because of their price value ). With the exception of the breakfast fruit bowl ( mostly water melon with few berries) the La Terrassa was most enjoyable. They feature Italian cuisine and it never disappointed. The Hot Rocks was better than we anticipated and would repeat. Le Champagne To be disappointed one had to dine at the Le Champagne. The room has the charm of a morgue -- no carpet, white table coverings and the room is surrounded by glass doors of the wine coolers. We did a better job with the decoration of our high school gym for the senior prom. The restaurant features rotating menu each day and being aficionados of classical French cuisine, we choose the French experience "The Best of Burgundy" featuring escargot and Chateaubriand. Oh my! The escargots were not the classical bourguignon but instead were in a crusted pastry much like a chicken Kiev. Uggh. Chateaubriand was again not the classical French receipt which was originally created for Rene de Chateaubriand the French ambassador for Louis XVIII. Instead of being sliced was served Texas style -- a single chunk roasted meat on the dinner plate. The staff also missed an opportunity for a dining presentation where French table side service would be a special treat. The food was a disappointment and not worth the premium. The word spread quickly on the quality and lack of value of Le Champagne and on a typical night they had 8 or less diners. If the cruise had offered "ships credits" they probably could have filled the restaurant as they could actually being paying the guest to dine! Public Spaces The typical cruise ship is designed for dining/entertaining, sleeping and typically in port during the day. Only when one takes a multi-day passage ( trans Atlantic) to discover the inadequacy of the public seating areas. The library had only two chairs which were suitable for reading. The best chairs (largest and most comfortable) were in the smoker's lounge! Otherwise the only other comfortable seating was in the observation lounge next to the spa. The bar lounges and entertainment venues featured low back club style seating which was not where one would want to spend a day reading at sea. Perhaps the Whisper is better ship for port to port cruising than ocean passages. Bottom Line: With the short comings mentioned, the Whisper and its staff provided the ambiance and superior service for a most enjoyable cruise. We will return. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2010
Background Information: My review describes the Silver Spirit on her 14 day transatlantic voyage from Lisbon to Bridgetown, Barbados, October 2010. I flew from Sydney to Lisbon and had 4 nights at the Hotel Avenida Palace. This ... Read More
Background Information: My review describes the Silver Spirit on her 14 day transatlantic voyage from Lisbon to Bridgetown, Barbados, October 2010. I flew from Sydney to Lisbon and had 4 nights at the Hotel Avenida Palace. This hotel is stunning. The public rooms have beautiful stained glass windows and magnificent chandeliers. My single room was a good size with 2 twin beds, a decent sized bathroom and the location was excellent. Easy walk to the main squares and next door to the railway station to Sintra. If I had the opportunity in the future, I would definitely stay at the Avenida Palace. A Cruise Critic get-together had been organised at the Marriott Hotel for the night before embarkation. This function was well attended and we all had a great time getting to know each other. This set the scene for an excellent cruise. Travel To Port of Embarkation: Embarkation was quick and easy. Charlie and I checked out of the hotel and got a car to the port at around 12pm. Our luggage was taken immediately and we were shown where to check-in. From there, it was a short walk to the ship where we were welcomed onboard and had our picture taken. A number of CC friends arrived around the same time and after a short wait, we had a very nice lunch, the first of many, in The Restaurant. Ship Info: I loved the ship. My favourite place was the Panorama Lounge which has incredibly comfortable armchairs and a lovely outside area with lounges and day beds. I also loved the Bar. Our group of 10 met there every evening for drinks. The only place I didn't like was the spa/gym area. The spa, in my opinion, was way too big and the gym, way too small. The area aft with the spa was lovely but there is a $25/day charge for it. The pool area is nice however the running/walking track is very short unless you walk the whole deck and on hot sunny days was very difficult because of all the lounge chairs in the way. I don't worship the sun so I didn't use the pool area, although I had several nice lunches at the tables on the pool deck. The pool deck did get crowded particularly on the sea days. The Observation Lounge was beautiful but very under utilised. It's almost like you forget it's there and seems to be more like a private lounge for the Silver Suites. It was a lovely venue for a get-together for all the passengers who were continuing on the Barbados round trip. If I remember correctly, we had 465 passengers on board. We also had a get-together for all the CC members who had registered on the roll call. This was held in Stars and was a morning tea affair. Hotel Director, Paolo, had organised for invitations to go out the previous night and we had 28 people attend. Roll call meet and greets are a fantastic way to meet fellow passengers. Stateroom: For the first time ever, I had a balcony and I loved it. This was due to Silversea's very reasonable single supplement of 125% (which probably won't happen again at anytime soon!!). My suite, 610, was lovely. The bed and pillows were so comfortable that most mornings I didn't want to leave my bed. I loved the TV screens in the mirrors and the ability to watch a movie on demand - a choice of over 400. The bathroom was fabulous with the full length bath and rainforest shower head. The tap and basin were a little odd but once I got used to it, was fine. The balcony was fabulous, much wider than I expected and the chair and foot stool were very comfortable. I often had a Bellini and cheese platter out on my balcony. It was great. My butler was Andung/Indonesia and my cabin attendant was Dalfon/Philippines. They were both very nice. I was not asked if I wanted the unpacking service, so I unpacked myself. I had been in my room for several hours before Andung came to offer me the toiletries (I chose the Ferragamo). I really didn't need a butler, I'm such a low maintenance cruiser but he was very pleasant and always brought my breakfast on time and with a smile. After my long bus trip back from Marrakesh, Andung had drawn a bubble bath for me. When I walked into my bathroom, there were lots of little battery-operated candles and heaps of bubbles. It was a gorgeous surprise. Dining: I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I had one dud meal on the cruise and it was the Kansas beef. I asked for it rare but it came pretty much with its heart still beating - it wasn't nice at all. Everything else was yum. I had breakfast in bed every morning. We often went to the Restaurant for lunch and later in the cruise, La Terrazza, for lunch. I tried every option for dinner: The Restaurant, La Terrazza, Seishin, Le Champagne, Stars and the Hot Rocks grill which we re-named the Hot Rocks Cafe. The Restaurant: interesting menus and lots of seafood which I love. Also the lamb chops were brilliant - from Australia (of course!). Desserts (and I'm a huge dessert fan) were spectacular. La Terrazza: I had my best ever pasta dish there. It was long pasta in a cheese and pepper sauce and it was to die for. I dined at LT 3 times and each time I had this delightful meal. LT was great for lunch as well, there is a lovely al fresco area on the aft deck (bigger than the other ships) and the buffet area has plenty of room to manoeuvre and choose food. I don't normally do buffets on cruise ships because they tend to be like cafeterias but this was very orderly. Seishin: the night we dined at Seishin, it was full, no spare tables at all. I chose the degustation menu for $40 and it was huge. 8 or so courses and I thoroughly enjoyed each course. With Seishin, although I liked the food, it was a case of been there, done that so won't go again next time. Le Champagne: the theme for our night was "Flavours of the Fall" which included mushrooms of various types and truffles. Venison was the main course and I hadn't eaten it in a long time because I felt it was like eating Bambi, however, this venison was so tender that I quickly forgot all about Bambi and got stuck into it. I was glad to have tried Le Champagne but I won't do it again. Stars: Dining at Stars started at around 9pm or so. I cheated and had some dinner in my room first so wasn't all that hungry, however the little dishes of tapas were yummy and well presented. We had a table of 8 and we were fairly rowdy (in fact everywhere we dined we were rowdy). I don't remember anything about the singer - maybe I had too many Bellinis! Hot Rocks Cafe: I loved this venue. We dined here several times and each time I had the Aussie lamb chops and the Madagascar prawns. It was so much fun cooking the food on the hot stone plates. One night it was very windy but that didn't stop us having fun. A lovely afternoon tea service was held daily in La Terrazza offering all types of tea (or coffee). One afternoon there was an incredible chocolate buffet. It was delightful. Service: Lunch service was always excellent however the dinner service in The Restaurant was a little lack lustre for Silversea. I think this may have been because we always had a table of 10 and it is difficult to wait on a large table and perhaps there just isn't enough waiters. However on our last night, it took nearly 3 hours to eat. On the subject of drinks, the service in the Bar and Panorama Lounge was always excellent. All the staff members were friendly and would do their best to provide your request. Activities: Besides all the eating and drinking, trivia was my favourite activity. My team was focused and we did very well because we had a variety of nations represented: Australia, USA, Canada, Bahamas, England and Ireland. During our sea days across the Atlantic, we had trivia twice a day and I never missed it. I also got hooked on Bingo and played it every day. There were a lot of other activities like language classes, enrichment lectures, boat building (go Bernard!), fitness classes (I only did one in the whole 21 days and that was a stretch class!). I found that most of my time was spent relaxing and chatting with my new found friends. Port & Shore Excursions: I enjoyed my shore excursions in Tangier (Cap Spartel) and the full day trip to Marrakesh. Although the bus ride is long, don't miss Marrakesh. It was fascinating, especially roaming through the medina, seeing the tiny alleyways and shop fronts. The major problem there is the hawkers, they never leave you alone and are constantly in your face. One guy followed me the whole way and kept telling me he was sure I was a movie star! Very corny but it gets annoying so be prepared. I did the fire mountains tour to see the lunar and volcanic landscape in Arrecife. It was so amazing. There was a camel ride which was lots of fun as well as a visit to a winery to view the unorthodox method of grape growing on the mountainside. There was also a wine tasting. In Tenerife, I did the tour to the Orotavo Valley and Puerto De La Cruz. We had a few stops for photo opportunities and a walk around the town which was right on the water. On the way back to the ship, we stopped off at a beautiful Orchid Garden. It was in Tenerife that our dear friend Charlie was taken off the ship and to hospital. He was very ill in intensive care and I was able to get frequent updates from the Hotel Director as the ship was in constant contact with the hospital. I'm pleased to say that Charlie is doing much better now but we sure did miss him and his sense of humour. Six glorious sea days across the Atlantic, sunny, warm and calm. Next port of call was Antigua. Since I'd already been here some years ago, I didn't do an excursion. Instead, a group of us wandered around the town but came back to the ship because of a huge downpour. As we had been following Hurricane Tomas, we were unable to call into St Lucia so Dominica was the substituted port. It rained very heavily in the morning and in the afternoon I got off the ship and bought a fridge magnet. We were docked out of town because this was an unscheduled stop - I think it was one of the Royal Caribbean ships that was docked in town. Entertainment: For the first time ever on a cruise, I only went to one show and that was Aquarius. I enjoyed it immensely because I love the music from that era. I didn't make any of the other shows because we were always too late - our dining usually finished around 1030pm and then a few of us would go to the Panorama Lounge for more cocktails and dancing with the DJ playing his favourite playlists - although it got a bit boring because he played the same thing nearly every night. After reading RonMathMD's review of this cruise, I have to disagree that they were the youngest on the ship. Two in our group were in their late twenties/early thirties and were always in the Panorama Lounge each night dancing to the music. Disembarkation: I didn't leave the ship as I was doing the next cruise, round trip Barbados. Disembarkation was very sad as all my friends (except for PhilipB) had to leave. During our next 7 days, Philip and I continually talked about how much we missed them. Summary: When summing up my experience, what comes to mind is not that the gym was crap or the suites not wide enough, it was the remarkable people that I met. I want to thank all my Silver Spirit friends for their wonderful friendship during those 14 days. I will look back fondly and remember our good times. I hope that we will have the opportunity to sail again in the not too distant future. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Background: Having travelled on the Whisper in the spring this year we wished to see just how well the dry dock refit had worked out. More of that later. This was a 12 day transatlantic crossing, departing Southampton and heading to ... Read More
Background: Having travelled on the Whisper in the spring this year we wished to see just how well the dry dock refit had worked out. More of that later. This was a 12 day transatlantic crossing, departing Southampton and heading to New York via Fowey (UK), Waterford (Irish Republic), St John (Newfoundland, Canada), Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada)and Newport (Rhode Island, US). Best of all, 4 full days at sea between Waterford and St John. The ship had approximately 270 odd guests, so about 75% full. Ship's Company: Master - Captain Cataldo Destefano Hotel Director - Norman Rafelson Cruise Director - Don Fluke Guest Relations Manager - Saskia Harm Shore Concierge Manager - Scott Kinney Executive Chef - Lionel Lavergne Restaurant Manager - Ali Yilmazturk Guest Entertainers - Michael Victor, Judy Carmichael Guest Lecturers - Corey Sandler, Alastair Bruce, Thomson Smillie Bridge Instructors - Chris & Tammy Moll Internatioanl Hostesses - Carla & Soraia Singers & Dancers - Sophie, Charlotte, Brandon, Gemma, Cameron, Irina & Alex Embarkation: Very straightforward, arrived at the Southampton Cruise Terminal at about 12:45, no one else there. In fact the Whisper was the only cruise ship in port. Checked in by the lovely Charlotte and on the ship in less than 5 minutes. Photos taken at reception and told that our suite would be ready at 14:00. Decided to go and check and found it was ready, so took possession and went for lunch. Look and feel: The Whisper now looks spic and span and has more of a feel of how she would have been when first entering service. All the soft furnishings in the suites have been renewed, the mattresses were changed, all the carpeting was changed throughout the ship, restaurant chairs recovered & re-varnished. The furniture on the pool deck has been renewed and a set of banquettes added between the two spa pools and the back of the pool deck. The furniture at the back of the Panorama lounge is new. Both these are cane based tables and chairs with deep cushions and are more comfortable than the wooden ones they replaced. A fixed awning has been attached over the section between the bar and grill on the pool deck, to provide additional cover for the pool grill in the evening. A further fixed awning is now above the outside section of the Terrazza, providing cover, but meaning that you cannot sit outside for either breakfast or lunch and be in direct sunshine. I happen to prefer the back of the Terrazza the way it was, but I suspect opinions will be mixed. One addition in the suites is an alarm clock/Ipod dock and speaker. The dance floor in the Panorama has been completely cleaned (to remove the horrible deep black marks made by the flamenco dancers earlier this year) and the band stand has been moved across the room. Entering the Panorama its now on the left side. This leaves the area by the bar free for serving. Seems to work ok. The only oddity that we noticed was the pattern on the carpet on decks 5, 6 and 7 in the main public areas, it had a large wavy design, and when the ship was moving I suspect that looking at will make any slightly nauseous person feel somewhat worse. All in all the refit worked well (and it was needed). Staff in general: Much more like the SS service of old, with some returning from the Spirit, and those who were new earlier this year now up to speed. Bar staff were superb, especially Oliver in the Grappa, Edourdo (?sp) in the Main Bar, and the Pool bar guy. The waiting staff were very good all round, with Ali Yilmazturk absolutely outstanding. Food: The Restaurant: Did not use for breakfast. Had lunch on the Galley Lunch day (too much food as ever, but well done) and once for a special occasion which was excellent. Dinner was generally good to very good. The menu is still missing the old SS wow factor, but we ate well most evenings, exceptionally well on a couple of occasions and I only had to send one meal back. (a big improvement over the previous cruise) La Terrazza: Ate breakfast most days and the food selection was good, plenty of fresh fruit (although the mangoes were not ripe), and the service was excellent. It was never crowded, mainly because the ship was not full. Also ate lunch here most days, generally good to pretty good, the freshly made pasta was always excellent. Service again very good. Avoided for dinner as we do not like or agree with the change away from regional Italian dinners. The current menu is too samey. La Champagne: Have never eaten here, nor seen any reason too yet. We live in London and can eat at Michelin starred restaurants when we please and I have not yet seen a menu in La Champagne that lives up to that standard. Shouldn't put anyone else off though, just our opinion. Pool Grill: Occasionally had fresh fish for lunch, which was always good, and ate here one evening with the Hot Rocks concept. It was a cold evening, but we had a good time, the rocks worked well and the food and service were excellent. I do not think that there were ever more than 6 to 8 people here in the evenings on this cruise, mainly because of the weather. It will work much better in balmier climes. Wines: Generally an ok selection, with some gems. Firstly they ran out of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and also had no new world Chardonnay, which annoyed quite a few people. But there were other SB's, from Chile and France, there was some old world Chardonnay, there were two Reislings from Alsace, one a very good Hugel, and there was a pretty good selection of reds, including some Barberra. The head sommelier, Lukas, was pretty knowledgeable, and were his wine waiters, and always ready to help with something else if you did not like the days choice. I admit that the provisioning could have been better, and they could have found a more oaky Chardonnay from the paid list for those disgruntled aficionados, but there was plenty of choice if you looked and especially if you took the time to have a conversation with the sommelier. Overall Food & Wine: It is obvious that the budget has continued to be trimmed, apparent in food choices and the level and range of wines, but it is still pretty good. Not quite 5* but it does reach 4 and 1/2*'s. Entertainment: The cruise director, Don Fluke, was clearly barking. His Trivia questions and general trivia handling were weird to say the least. Other than that he was pretty professional. The singers and dancers were very, very good, especially when they were under pressure to perform on a stage that was moving with a 6' swell. Two shows were cancelled and moved because of poor conditions and those guests who complained about this really had no appreciation of how difficult or dangerous the conditions were. This was exacerbated by there only being one guest entertainer on board for the crossing instead of the published two. Never did find out what happened to the other one. The two guest entertainers, one a tenor and the other a pianist were both good and generally up to the usual SS standard. Each did two shows. The bar duo were good without being obtrusive and the SS band were perfectly ok. Enrichment: The guest lecturers were all very good, but Alistair Bruce, the voice of Sky News for Royal and major occasions, was outstanding. The bridge lecturers, Chris and Tammy Moll, were also very good. They were extremely professional and rather nice people too. Other Guests: A good mixture from the UK, US, Australia and a few Europeans. Happy to dress up and enter into the SS spirit. At least 175 Venetian Society guests, including a couple with 1,000 days - wow. They got flowers and a gift, having probably paid for a large chunk of the ship. Some smokers, two pony tails, one an aging hippy. Two British ladies of indeterminate years, who just happened to monopolise the two gentlemen hosts. Ports: All the ports were well worth visiting, especially those on the North American seaboard, but I do not intend to review them here. Shore Excursions: Did not use any, the desk staff were good, and I believe most people enjoyed the ones taken. Generally they are expensive, but they do look after you well. Disembarkation: Ran rather late, about an hour or so, but this was mostly due to US Customs. Once cleared, everything was speeded up and the whole process functioned well. No complaints really. Gripes: The lack of NZ Sauvignon Blanc mentioned above. This is popular, especially with the Brits and its just poor provisioning not to get it right. The Charity charge and wrist bands. This is just SS being particularly bone headed and stupid. The lack of ship's tenders in Newport. This was forced on SS by US Customs crawling all over the ship and crew for hours, apparently this was the first time in 4 years that the Whisper had been in a US port. The port tender, the good ship Amazing Grace, was used, however the schedules got messed up, and instead of a half hourly service there were waits in excess of an hour. Not handled well by the crew, but partly out of their hands. On arrival into New York some fool (probably Don Fluke) played Sinatra's New York, New York on the open decks (no problem), but also through the internal pa system at high volume and at 06:30. Those that had tried to lie in were not amused. Overall: A good cruise and itinerary and nice to see the Whisper back up to speed with the normal SS service. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
We just returned from 15 spectacular days aboard Silver Shadow. Everything was in top shape. We embarked at San Pedro, CA, essentially the cruise terminal for Los Angeles. We had chosen early embarkation since we had to vacate the hotel at ... Read More
We just returned from 15 spectacular days aboard Silver Shadow. Everything was in top shape. We embarked at San Pedro, CA, essentially the cruise terminal for Los Angeles. We had chosen early embarkation since we had to vacate the hotel at Noon anyway. Arrived at Shadow about 12:30 and our cabin, a Silver Suite, was ready. And it was lovely. Clearly showing the recent renovation, it had new carpeting and drapes, as well as upholstery and new flat screen TV's. We enjoy the extra space a Silver Suite provides, and on a long cruise such as this one, especially with most days being sea days, it is well worth the extra expense. We had dinner twice in La Terrazza and twice in Le Champagne. The other nights we ate in the Dining Room. All the meals were quite good. The new arrangement, apparently an experiment, in Terrazza has a guest chef presenting their cuisine. The chef for this cruise was Suzanne Tracht from California and, frankly, her cuisine is nothing special. On the second night we dined there, they also had the Terrazza favorites side by side with the guest chef's concoctions and that was a welcome change. Le Champagne is intimate and worth the extra cost, but just barely. The Dining Room food was creative and well presented, and our waiters - Sabi and Dennis were outstanding. We ate in their area each evening we dined in that venue. Breakfast and lunch we usually had at The Terrace cafe (the name for La Terrazza during the day) and that buffet was well done. Also ate at poolside several times and had the world's best hamburgers there. Because this cruise was a re-positioning cruise and the highlight was transiting the Panama Canal, port stops and shore excursions were nothing special with stops in Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, Guatemala and Colombia. Again, nothing to write home about, but that was not the point of the cruise. The transit through the Canal was fascinating, accompanied by expert commentary and cooperative weather. There was quite a bit of entertainment, including dancing productions that were quite well done. And on the farewell evening, when the Captain indicated that he knew folks would be back on Silversea and he introduced the crew - about a hundred of every occupation on board paraded in to a rousing standing ovation. He's right; the essence of Silversea is its remarkable crew members. That's what has kept us coming back for this our third cruise on Silversea. They get it right, down to the smallest detail. Read Less
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