Although we have many clients who have sailed with this particular cruise line, we recently took our very first Silversea Cruise with port stops in the beautiful “Greek Isles & Turkey” region.
Yes, these ports are fascinating and you can check them out here but today we want to tell you all about our experience onboard the majestic “Silver Spirit” ship that you can see in the picture above.
As we revelled in all Silversea had to offer we also had YOU in the forefront of our minds, so we went to work, comparing the product to the other 45 cruises we have been on, and with our investigative hats on, really paid attention to see what this product had to offer.
Below, we share this and the unique differences from mainstream cruising so you can decide if cruising on a small luxury ship like this is worth it for you…
….just fresh off this intimate ship, we think yes, but read on to decide for yourself.
About Silversea & The “Silver Spirit” Ship:
The Silver Spirit is the newest ship in the fleet and has 270 rooms onboard- making her “truly Exclusive”. This is a major plus because who wants to deal with crowds and line-ups while on a trip, right? They can ruin a vacation.
As an example, check-in was a quick/pleasurable process unlike the disappointment many guests experience waiting in line an hour or two to board larger cruise ships… and yes, this really does happen.
Stepping onboard Silversea, knowing that everything was “all inclusive” (all drinks & gratuities included) and the fact that we didn’t have to worry about how much something was going to cost was exciting because we could try everything offered onboard…
…including tea time- which Nancy is enjoying in the picture below. Believe it or not, you have to pay for this now a days on many mass market/big ship Cruises (some have even stopped offering it all together!) and at fine hotels this is easily $35-$70+ per person.
Another unique benefit– Silversea’s ships are small enough that they can glide into secluded harbours not yet bombarded with tourists and can also tie up right at the pier while others must anchor off shore.
But even so, if the city centre is further away, Silversea won’t leave you stranded. They include transportation from the ship into the local towns…
…The little things REALLY DO make a difference!
A standard size room on a mainstream cruise line can be a tiny 150-200 square feet. But on Silversea they ONLY offer suites and lucky for the guests, they offer some of the biggest standard suites among the small ship Luxury lines…
…our Suite, in the picture above, was the second smallest suite onboard at 376 square feet, and it was impressively roomy! (you can see our video of our room & videos of the various Suites here)
Amenities it included:
a large walk in closet
tons of hangers (on other cruises- we have had to pack extra in our suitcase)
lots of drawers and storage space
large bathroom with oversized tub (which we used often)
separate shower with both a rainfall and standard shower head
- Worth also mentioning, the shower was roomy & had a glass door, not those cheap cloth curtains that stick to your body like you see on the mainstream cruise lines- a pet peeve of ours.
- Our suite also had 2 TVs, one in the living room and one in the bedroom behind the mirror, you can’t see it well in this picture but it’s some impressive technology.
- The TV’s are interactive with over 150 movies for your watching pleasure so you can unwind as much as you like…
…lazy days are an encouraged practice onboard. 🙂
- Another nice feature about the suite is that there is a drapery in the centre of the room (which you can see if you look two pictures above) that separates the living room from the bedroom. You can pull the drapes together easily and give each other space if one wants to nap and the other wants to watch TV.
That said, if a 376 square feet Suite isn’t right for you- no problem, there are suites to suit every need from 312 square feet to over 1,600 square feet.
You can see our Suite videos and learn more about them here. While there, be sure to check out our videos of the gorgeous sunsets we experienced while sipping a cocktail or dining on our balcony. If you can manage it budget-wise, get a balcony, it is SO worth it!!
Here is Shawn enjoying a tasty lunch on our balcony just before we were about to get off to explore another new port!
Another highlight of sailing with Silversea is that EVERY Suite onboard comes with the services of a highly trained butler… something you don’t get on the other small ship luxury lines. If you cruise a lot you’ll know this is true, as you don’t get butler service unless you’re in one of the very top suites.
Now, you may be thinking, “a butler, really? Isn’t that a bit over the top?”
But that’s the whole point so you don’t have to go out of your way doing time consuming tedious tasks.
You are on vacation and every minute is precious!
Your butler will change or book dining reservations, provide ice, drinks and snacks, in-room dining on the patio like the picture below, and SO much more.
On embarkation day we were escorted to our suite to meet our butler Sanji who acquainted us with our Veranda Suite and offered us a refreshing glass of Champagne from the bottle he had chilling in our Suite already.
Then Sanji asked us our preferences for pillows, our favourite drinks to refill each day in our mini-fridge, what type of toiletry products we preferred from a selection on a large fancy tray he brought in to show us (see picture below) if we would like shoe shine service and what we like for H’oderves that would be delivered each day- whether it be cheese and crackers, fruit or both.
Talk about being pampered!!
We did say that you don’t need cash onboard but we did think our butler went extra miles out of his way for us- so we left him a little extra money at the end. But it is certainly not required.
The room stewards we have to mention as well because not one time was our room cleaned any differently. Nothing was missed, no inconsistencies where we had to ask for something. They truly did their job splendidly. If you have cruised at all or even stayed in a hotel, you know how your room service can be good one day and not the next.
More Dining Options!
Many times the buffet is your only option when you embark the 1st day on a mainstream/big ship but we had several choices on Silversea right from the get go. You could enjoy table service lunch as well as a buffet style, so we choose to eat alfresco while enjoying the sun & views from the ship. Wouldn’t you with this view awaiting you…
Depending on the ship you sail on in the fleet, your restaurant choices can vary, but on the Silver Spirit you are spoiled with lots of options. (only two of which you have to pay an additional fee for)
Here is an overview of them:
The Restaurant: This is the main restaurant that you can choose to dine for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and you can choose when you would like to show up between set hours each day which gives you lots of flexibility. The menu changes daily, so you can try a variety of dishes including the lobster dish below that was mouthful after mouthful of heavenly flavour, Yum! (No charge & no reservations required in here)
The Grill: Alfresco style, this restaurant is located on deck 9 next to the pool and it offers extensive pool selections from Caesar salad to burgers and fries for lunch and on deck 10 outside for dinner in the evenings it offers a fantastic slow cooking rock style venue that is not to be missed! Check out our fresh prawns cooking below. They were delicious! (No charge but reservations required in the evening):
Seishen: This is a Japanese style restaurant that offers sushi and various fish dishes. Being from Vancouver, BC we have some of the best sushi in the world so for us, it was a little disappointing. BUT if you are adventurous with food and have never had this type of food, give this 9 course dinner a try. ($40 Fee per person and reservations required).
Star Supper Club: This was our favourite! The restaurant is so inviting, there is live music- which was excellent (really good talent) and the food was a set menu of 15 mini-courses of tantalizing tastes. We couldn’t wait to see what they were going to bring out next, tasting each course we had fun fighting over who got the last bite even though there was plenty to go around! (No charge & reservations required)
Here we are enjoying a little wine together while listening to the musicians…
Le Terrezza: You can dine in this restaurant outdoors or indoor; but as you can see from the views below, the outside Terrace is spectacular so we ate here a lot! It is open daily for buffet breakfast, buffet lunch as well as Italian dining in the evenings. Tip: The Italian dinner menu changes every 3 days so you can eat here a couple times a cruise to try a variety of Italy inspired dishes. (No charge & reservations required in the evening)
Le Champagne: This restaurant has a set menu with wine pairing that includes the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to give you a cultural experience. The menu continually changes to reflect the regional flavour so you can sail with Silversea again and again to try something different each time including this melt in your mouth chocolate dessert. ($40 Fee per person and reservations required)
Room Service: We enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner in our suite and on the balcony several times as Silversea goes a few steps further making it very enjoyable for guests. For dinner, your butler will serve it to you course by course, how nice is that!. 🙂
Plus, there is an impressive menu choice for room service ranging from finger food, main course entrees and you can order dinner items from The Restaurant which is the main dining room… something a mass market cruise line does not offer and for what they do offer, you have to pay extra many times.
We should also mention how good the service was onboard, impeccable is the right word to describe it without any exaggeration. No kidding, we were spoiled rotten! There was no such thing as feeling like you were bothering anyone, or feeling ignored- quite the opposite. Your glass is always full or someone was consistently asking if they can do something further for you- just as a vacation should be! 🙂
Want to stay active while onboard?
Yoga, Pilates and stretching classes are provided free of charge each day that would typically cost hundreds of dollars on other ships if you did them all. Nancy attended them all and the instructor was very attentive & personable.
If you are looking for things to do onboard other then sweating in an exercise class, here are some ideas:
- You can relax with a book or enjoy a complimentary cocktail or tea in many areas of the ship designed for your comfort
- Be entertained at the Theatre featuring the ships talented singers & dancers
- You can try your hand in the Casino
- Go shopping onboard
- Get a tan poolside or take a swim
- Pick a spa treatments or relax in the “Thermal Suite” on a heated bed
- Borrow a book in the Library or play cards
- Or hop on one of the computers provided for guests so you can stay in touch… they even give each guest 1hr of free internet per day and unlimited for the bigger suites
5 Helpful Tips:
There are only US dollars onboard and no exchange of money available, so arrange your currency before you arrive or at the airport once you arrive.
If you try the complimentary “The Grill” restaurant for the slow cooking dinner (which we highly recommend) in our opinion the appetizers are underwhelming. If we had our time back we would have skipped the appies and enjoyed the main course and dessert only. Trust us, you won’t go hungry and will be glad you did! P.S. The apple pie a la mode was delicious!
If you are cruising on the Silver Spirit or same class ship, an evening dinner in Le Tratzerria or The Grill or your balcony have the best ocean views, so try to schedule these dining venues while the ship is in port into the late evening so it’s not windy. Then, spend the other evenings in the restaurants that don’t have patios. Smart, right? 🙂 Simply, refer to My Silversea to check the itinerary times of your sailing. If in doubt, speak to the concierges on embarkation day to see if the dinner reservations you made from home make sense.
When choosing a room it may be best to pick a higher deck if your budget allows as when you stop at the ports the anchor is quite loud and will start waking you up EARLY. Just check with Shawn about this- he will always give you the best advice.
No need to lug a case of water along with your suitcase to the ship (you see families doing this on the mainstream cruises all the time as the cost for water is expensive onboard). Silversea provides water in your suite’s fridge and on excursions.
So there you have it… you now know what it is like to take a Silversea Cruise (and if you want to see more visuals you can check out our pictures & videos of the ship here) and we are curious about what you think. Did you decide yay or nay as a potential future Cruise for you?
If you said yay and have any further questions about a sailing Shawn is a book of knowledge on the important details (as you may have figured out already) so don’t hesitate to pick his brain to help you plan your next Silversea Cruise or other Ocean Cruise, River Cruise or Tauck Land Tour.
We Appreciate You!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!