Silversea Cruises Silver Spirit Review
Silversea’s elegant boutique ship Silver Spirit coddled and indulged us on a memorable Mediterranean sojourn.
On Silver Spirit there were four dedicated bars, though drinks could also be ordered at any of the restaurants during operating hours. Most spirits and mixed drinks were complimentary and there was a decent variety of complimentary wines. During the day, the action centered on the Pool Bar and Grill (discussed on the previous page), where bartenders and waiters were charged with keeping up with the pool crowd. By sundown the emphasis shifted to several indoor bars, described below. Collectively, these didn’t seem much different from one another in decor or ambience, meaning they were fairly interchangeable, and by the end of our cruise they were dull.
The selection of complimentary wines available at both the ship’s bars and restaurants encompassed more than a dozen options. Among the bottles we liked were Tierra Vientos carmenére, Piegaia Chianti Classico, Castello di Gabiano Corte Monferrato bianco, Fanti Rosso di Montalcino rojo, and Tenuta Sant’Antonio Fontana soave. Other wines were available if not always close at hand, but waiters were happy to offer alternatives on the rare occasion we wanted something different. There was also a good selection of premium wines, available at a surcharge that appeared to be not much more than retail pricing. This included such items as Louis Roederer Cristal, Penfolds Grange, Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, etc., as well as more moderate priced bottles. A sommelier was onboard to guide us to the right selections.
Bartenders had a good handle on mixed drinks, whether they were on the menu or not. Standard spirits encompassed most of the top mainstream labels—Bushmills, Jameson, Glenfiddich, Grey Goose, Ketel One, Absolut, Stolichnaya, Bacardi, Mount Gay, Jose Cuervo Especial, Bailey’s, etc. The short list of beer options included Becks, Boddingtons, Stella, and Leffe. There were espresso machines located at all drinking and dining venues, and we had good cappuccinos, made with Lavazza coffee. Brewed coffee, on the other hand, ranged from poor to middling, ship-wide.
Paper napkins were never used for drinks—only linen, embossed with the Silversea logo (classy, even when joined by plastic glasses at pool).
Serving as the axis of the ship, The Bar was located between the lobby and the Show Lounge on Deck 5. Most guests passed through daily, making it a good spot for socializing and people watching. In the mornings there was a small continental breakfast buffet setup—sliced fruit, pastries, juice, tea and brewed coffee—but it was a bit dark for hanging out in by day. There were some activities held here, such as beginner language lessons (Spanish, Italian), and in the evening light piano or other easy listening music would be played.
The Panorama Lounge
Located on Deck 9, the Panorama Lounge was perhaps the liveliest of Silver Spirit’s indoor bars. The multi-function room extended onto an aft deck with couches—a good spot for sunset or sail-away (note that smoking is permitted on the port side). A few activities were held inside daily, including team trivia, bingo, and coffee chats with the performers on board. At 11 p.m. the DJ would start spinning, though the dance floor didn’t get much of a workout on our cruise. Each morning there was a small continental breakfast buffet setup, and bouillon and crackers were served here from 11 a.m, to noon each day.
The Observation Lounge
Yet another very quiet spot for drinks and socializing. On our cruise, this bar was somewhat hidden away and little used. Owing to its location on Deck 11, forward of the uppermost Silver Suites, it almost felt like the space was reserved for them. There was a radar screen, binoculars and reference books, and the view (from above the bridge) was sometimes nice.
Since the venue went unused during the day, it could be a good place to curl up with a book, but a tired soundtrack replayed endlessly during our voyage. Violins oozed saccharine renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “The Way We Were.” It encouraged us to get out our knitting.
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