This was our first time cruising with Silversea, and we were impressed by the highly organized program, comfortable ship, delicious food, and terrific crew. Our fellow passengers were almost uniformly smart, interesting, and friendly. It ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Silversea, and we were impressed by the highly organized program, comfortable ship, delicious food, and terrific crew. Our fellow passengers were almost uniformly smart, interesting, and friendly. It seemed that the majority were repeat customers with Silversea, and I was inspired by both their loyalty to the brand and how well-traveled they were.
We chose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary along the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile. The activities ranged from bird-watching from a Zodiac to long bus trips up into the Andes. Some excursions were amazing; some were a bit more elaborate and lengthy than would be ideal. The on-board experts were terrific; my husband and I really enjoyed the lectures we attended, and felt we learned a lot about wildlife, geology, botany, and archaeology. I only wished the Silversea guides had a more active role in the bus excursions, as the quality of the local guides was hit or miss. But the on-board lectures matched up well with the excursions, so we had enough information to enjoy the local trips regardless of guide quality.
This sailing was a culinary cruise, and I thought that was a great bonus. The local chefs and wine experts worked with the cruise line's culinary instructor on some entertaining cooking demos (with tastings!). A cheese expert was the dark-horse star of the show: her cheese talks and tastings were funny and illuminating. This delicious culinary focus translated to the dining room, as well. The local experts contributed to some interesting dinner menus. There were a la minute cooking options for lunch on several days, and we got to see the chefs at work during some dinners, too. Experiencing local food traditions is always a highlight of travel for me; having that experience in such a refined setting was a real treat.
Overall, I thought the food and beverage offerings were excellent. I noticed comments in other reviews about lukewarm offerings at the buffet; I experienced that at times, but I always had the option of ordering something else if food temperature mattered. I had cooked to order breakfast every day, and we ate at the outside grill for numerous lunches. The menus were so interesting and appealing, the only difficulty was deciding what not to order. Service was also top-notch--very personal and attentive (though dinners could be a bit drawn out, which I know is not to everyone's liking).
The ship is well-maintained and very comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised by how uniformly happy the crew members seemed. They did so much to make sure we had a great cruise. Thanks to all of them, and to Silversea for a memorable adventure! Read Less