Silversea Cruises Silver Spirit Review
Silversea’s elegant boutique ship Silver Spirit coddled and indulged us on a memorable Mediterranean sojourn.
The Spa at Silversea, Beauty Salon
A good percentage of Silver Spirit’s real estate is devoted to this elegant, 8,300-square-foot facility specializing in coddling treatments. Managed by Steiner Leisure, an outfit that handles spa services on most cruise lines, the facility is colored in cream tones, with stone tiles, marble and wood accents. Shared facilities included a sauna and steam room, and there were changing rooms for men and women with lockers and showers.
Among the treatments on offer were stone, Thai herbal poultice, bamboo, deep tissue and Swedish massage; 50-minute treatments started at $132, and a couples massage was $242. Other therapies included Ionithermie cellulite reduction, seaweed massage, a nourish wrap and massage, etc. There is a Thermal Suite, with heated ceramic tile loungers and an exterior deck with a whirlpool; a daily pass was $25 (or $99 for the week). And somewhat rare on cruise ships was Silver Spirit’s private Turkish hammam chamber; a traditional 25-minute full-body salt or sugar scrub was available for $69.
The roster of services at the salon included hair treatments (style, coloring), nails and waxing, teeth whitening and various facials; the 50-minute facials started at $129.
The Fitness Centre
We found the gym on Silver Spirit to be fairly modest, even for a modest sized ship. There was current LifeFitness cardio equipment, but just three treadmills, three elliptical trainers, and only one bike, a recumbent model; headphones were supplied. There was a selection of weight machines and free weights. But the overall room was small enough that, with just four or five people using it, the space felt crowded.
Personal training was available, including one-on-one pilates/yoga ($100 for 60 minutes) or fat burning sessions ($80 for 40 minutes), and a separate room was used for the various free classes offered. These included yoga (two sessions in one week), stretching (four), Ab Attack (three), fat burning (three) and core strengthening (two). For anyone interested it fitness, it was worth picking up the schedule at the start of the cruise to plan out a routine.
There’s just one swimming pool and three whirlpools on Silver Spirit, all on Deck 9, midship. Though it’s an attractive area, and not exactly a small pool by cruise ship standards, the size and the number of loungers was inadequate for a luxury product, or for the number of guests crowding the area on sea days. A group of kids commandeered the pool at a couple points, their parents oblivious to how their play was impacting other guests; the crew acted powerless to intervene.
The pool area didn’t offer a lot of shade—even the whirlpools were topless. We also found it curious that no music, live or otherwise, was played around the pool during the day. This wasn’t really an issue for us (we find most cruise pools have excessive music, and we like our iPod), but it meant—again—that ambience was largely dictated by the guests. There were no activities set in this area, except for one sea day when a pool volleyball tournament was organized. Meal and drink service was offered through the day by the Pool Bar and Grill.
Outside the gym and pool, there were limited recreational opportunities. There was a Ping Pong table at the top of the stairwell on Deck 10, and jogging was permitted on Deck 10 aft, around the funnel—10 laps equaled a mile. Jogging and power walking was not permitted on Deck 10 around the pool area.
The outdoor walkway on Deck 5 was mostly narrow and did not circuit the ship; there were no loungers provided for sitting on this deck, so few guests were seen out here. Deck 10, however, was the main sun deck above the pool area. Deck 12 served as an Observation Deck, a good place for enjoying scenic passage.
Shows & Entertainment
Silver Spirit had one venue for stage performances, the Show Lounge. Seating sloped gently down toward the main stage, which was flanked by a pair of small ancillary stages. It was a comfortable venue (especially considering the modest size of Silver Spirit), holding about 320 guests in love seats for two; there were no obstructed sightlines. Nice touch: Latecomers were guided to their seats by ushers with flashlights.
We saw two of the shows performed here, but we weren’t terribly impressed. Both were one-off performances, and they started at 10:15 p.m.—late for some guests. One was a Motown review (what a groundbreaking concept!). But the vocal mix smothered us with too much reverb and echo over a tame music track. Silver Spirit’s five singers were classically trained and a couple of them just couldn’t pull off the Motown sound. This meant the interpretation was very white—and we don’t mean Barry White. At least the song selection reached a little deeper into the Motown catalog than the usual cruise ship reviews. There was little to no costuming, but we’re not complaining.
Another night the singers put on a show of what we’d call “p’Opera.” While it was a good showcase for these beautiful voices, they were needlessly, shrilly over-amplified. And while we don’t object to a collection of opera’s most obvious greatest hits, inserting Lennon/McCartney’s “Yesterday” midway through was an abrupt 180 we didn’t need (it may have worked for the Three Tenors, but it broke the mood for us).
Year-old movies were shown in the Show Lounge on a couple evenings. The venue offered decent presentation, though the soundtrack seemed to be mono pumped through the surround speakers.
There was plenty of other live entertainment on the ship on the daily schedule. This included a jazz duo that appeared poolside on most nights, a pianist who turned the Bar into a cozy cocktail lounge, followed by a trio that performed light dance music well into the evening.
With a somewhat small crowd of gamblers on board, The Casino was not exactly the hoppingest part of the ship. Large enough to hold several dozen slot machines and a half-dozen table games, the room was curiously easy to overlook. There were times when the facility was open and no customers were present. Although the slot machines generally opened soon after we left each port, the tables did not open until after dinner (9:30 p.m. or later). Minimums at tables were generally in the $5 to $10 range.
Like The Bar immediately next door, the Lobby on Deck 5 was heavily trafficked through the day and evening. The front desk was located here, along with the shore excursion desk and the future cruise consultant. On Deck 7 we found the small Library, intermingled with the Internet Café. There was a small selection of books, but good titles, along with guidebooks that covered most of the destinations we were visiting on the cruise. Along with a number of major foreign newspapers, we found printouts of USA Today and International Herald Tribune here. Oddly, the New York Times and Wall St. Journal were either not printed or someone made off them each morning.
A Conference Room was available on Deck 5, seating 10 around an oval table, along with a Card Room with various board games for play. The Connoisseur’s Corner was a surprisingly large room dedicated to the ship’s contingent of cigar smokers. Vintage and high-end cognac, whiskey, port and grappa were available for purchase, along with cigars.
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