In the last month we have been inviting some of our clients to write to us regarding their recent luxury cruise experiences so that we can share them on our blog. In this post, Mr I. Northcott has put together a great Silversea Cruises review based on two voyages he took with them in 2010.
Silversea Cruises – First impressions
In 2010 we enjoyed two Mediterranean cruises with Silversea, aboard the Silver Wind and Silver Spirit in March and September respectively. We chose Silversea – and these two vessels in particular – given our preference for small-ship intimacy and personable service, akin to that which we had received on the similarly-sized Seabourn ships.
The first impressions of Silversea Cruises when boarding the ship are very positive indeed; a glass of champagne is proffered and you are escorted to your suite where the butler introduces himself before giving a tour of the immediate facilities.
This high level of professionalism is further demonstrated at the emergency muster, where the ship’s staff run through an extremely comprehensive drill with the passengers. This includes being trouped (in silence, hand-on-shoulder of the person ahead) to the assigned lifeboat station…an excellent, confidence-inspiring drill and the best we have ever experienced.
Accommodation, lounges and dining
Silversea’s suites are nicely furnished to suit European tastes, with the bathrooms on Silver Wind particularly worth a mention. The beds are comfortable and the toiletries are a cut above other luxury lines of a similar size. On both our voyages we selected the lowest grade of Vista suite, which were fine for our needs since we prefer to sit on deck rather than on a balcony.
Both Silver Wind and Silver Spirit are well proportioned and stable. Where the public areas are concerned, we believe the most pleasing lounge to be the Panorama Lounge, due to its rearward facing vista. Moreover there are comfortable wooden steamer seats outside this lounge facing over the stern which offer a delightful place to stare endlessly at the passing ocean.
The Panorama Lounge offers high quality pastries and coffee in the morning and delightful afternoon tea which we would consider on a par with Cunard (and that’s pretty high praise!). Throughout the day a bar service is available from the lounge, with a willing steward to assist those inside or those on the small deck immediately outside.
One of the great things about Silversea – and this is contrary to the trend aboard some other ships – is that you are treated as an adult and allowed to have drinks served in proper glasses on deck and not have to tolerate scratched plastic…sorry to say that champagne just doesn’t taste the same when not served from a chilled crystal glass. Absolute bliss!
Other than around the pool, most upper open deck space on both Silver Wind and Silver Cloud is green astro-turf rather than proper teak, which is a bit of a shame.
Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style in La Terrazza, which is situated directly above the Panorama Lounge (watch out for the chocolate muffins at breakfast – irresistible). In the evening it converts into a wonderfully pleasant Italian restaurant which is very popular (advance reservation are required), and was a venue we very much enjoyed on several occasions during each cruise.
The main dining room is open dining with many tables for two; however, one minor gripe is that the layout is not ideal due to the close proximity of some of the tables. Whichever venue you choose, you’ll find that the dishes are well presented and always accompanied with a nice choice of complimentary wines.
Style, elegance and quality
In summary, we found that Silversea offer a very good 6-star product with just a few niggles. However, these are mute points and I am aware that it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. In any case, these minor issues only really become apparent when drawing comparisons with the other luxury cruise lines that I have sailed with.
At a time when cruise lines appear to be fixated on being floating hotels, Silversea remains fundamentally a cruise product focused on the best traditions yet with style, elegance and quality – which might be surprising to some considering that Silversea is one of the youngest of the luxury cruise lines.
What do you think of the Silversea Cruise experience? Please leave your comments below.
If you would like more information on Silversea Cruises, please call one of our Cruise Experts on 0800 008 6677. Alternatively, please take a look at our best offers for Silversea here: Silversea Cruise Deals