Silversea Cruises Silver Spirit Review
Silversea’s elegant boutique ship Silver Spirit coddled and indulged us on a memorable Mediterranean sojourn.
Silver Spirit does not have a dedicated area for kids. We were told a counselor is usually brought aboard in summer months, when more families are likely to be sailing.
There were about a dozen kids on our cruise—aged 8 to upper teens—and unfortunately neither the crew nor the parents (one of whom was accompanied by a nanny) paid a lot of attention to general unruliness that emerged at times. At certain times, this group dominated the ship’s one and only pool, and another time had a raucous game of shuffleboard going above La Terrazza. It wasn’t the atmosphere Silversea guests expect, though a couple doing back-to-back sailings on Silver Spirit said the cruise immediately preceding ours was kid-free and had a more subdued ambience.
The retail stores aboard Silver Spirit offered a slightly more upscale lineup from what we see on most ship. Most of it was focused around The Boutiques where we found women’s clothing by Joseph Ribkoff, men’s wear from Chopard and Polo, and handbags from Harrods. Silversea logo merchandise included sweaters, mugs, and luggage, and there were T-shirts and trinkets from destinations we were visiting, with a few previous port destinations heavily discounted. In fact, there were good sales on a number of out-of-season items.
A few dozen perfumes and colognes were offered, including most of the name brands—Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Issey Miyake, Tom Ford, Prada, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss, along with skin care products from Estee Lauder, etc. A small section was devoted to personal items such as deodorant, basic medicines, toothpaste, razors, etc., along with a few items like Toblerone and other chocolates.
There was also an H Stern gold jewelry collection, including a number of very handsome pieces.
We were a little surprised that, for a European cruise line with possibly a majority European clientele on our voyage, announcements over Silver Spirit’s p.a. system were made exclusively in English. But there were relatively few announcements made at all: some ship activities were highlighted, others were ignored. For the most part, this was great—we appreciated not being bombarded with plugs for shopping events, casino tournaments, or spa specials. Further, our cabin “mailbox” was not littered with sales pitches for jewelry, art auctions, the spa, etc. Not one of these landed in our room during the entire cruise.
The ship’s daily Chronicles newsletter arrived in our cabin the evening prior during turndown and sufficiently highlighted the activities offered on the ship, along with a few highlights abut the each day’s port of call, supplied by Fodor’s Travel.
In addition to WiFi throughout the ship, an Internet Café was located in the Library, on Deck 7. There were 7 PCs, and an IT concierge was available for a few hours in the morning and evening each day. The basic pay-as-you-go rate for Internet access was a relatively reasonable .50/minute, while and packages brought down price (starting at 100 minutes for $45).
There was no official dress code during daytime, but swimsuits were considered “appropriate” only for the pool area, and guests were asked not to walk barefoot, shirtless or in bathrobes in the public areas of the ship. Caps and hats were not allowed in restaurants. “Long-length” shorts were allowed in public area during the day.
There were three different dress codes for the evening, designated in the ship’s daily Chronicles newsletter. Casual meant dresses or blouses and pants for women; sports shirts and slacks for men. Informal indicated dresses or pantsuits for women; jackets for men, with ties optional. Formal designated evening gowns, cocktail dresses or dress pantsuits for women; tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits for men. However, on Formal night, this dress code was enforced only in the Restaurant or Le Champagne; Informal wear was considered okay in the other restaurants on this evening.
On our 7-day cruise, there were 3 Casual nights, 3 Informal, and 1 Formal. On the Formal night we were gently reminded to dress up when showing our face in a bar a few minutes after the 6 p.m. cutoff time for daytime wear.
Full laundry, dry cleaning, pressing and alteration services were available—for a fee—with complimentary self-service laundry rooms located next to the forward stairwell on decks 5 through 11.
General Health & Safety
Hand sanitizers were present all most restaurant entrances, but there was no major push to use them.
The passenger safety drill following embarkation was more involved than most we’ve experienced. Names were checked off as we arrived at the muster station, and passengers were requested to bring life jackets from their cabin to the drill. We were then walked single-file to lifeboat stations with our hand on a shoulder of the guest in front. While it made sense to familiarize us with the location of our lifeboat, the process seemed a little seat-of-the-pants—somehow, it did not reassure us about how things might transpire in the event of a real emergency.
Although carry-on bags were scanned during embarkation, there was no scan required when re-boarding ship at any of the ports we visited for out small camera bag or laptop (in a sleeve). Our passports were held at the front desk immediately after boarding until disembarkation.
The Medical Centre was located on Deck 3. It was generally open for consultations for one hour in the morning and another in the late afternoon. The staff doctor and nurse were available 24 hours as needed.
Silversea says most public areas of Silver Spirit are designated as smoke-free, but we found somewhat lax enforcement. The line says cigarette smoking was allowed in designated areas on open decks 9 and 10. Silversea’s policy does not directly address whether cigarette smoking is allowed in cabins (it’s not permitted on verandas), which may be why our room smelled of old cigarettes when we first boarded.
Silversea builds gratuities into their cruise fares, except for spa services. The line says “No additional gratuities are necessary,” although we suspect some guests chose to leave an additional tip for their room attendant and perhaps bartenders or waiters.
The Venetian Society, Silversea’s frequent-cruiser program, offers benefits starting after the first completed cruise. This includes a $250 onboard credit for introducing a new cruiser to Silversea, a private party, ship visitation privileges, and a 5 percent discount on select cruises.
After 100 days sailed with Silversea, and additional 5 percent discount is offered on future cruises, along with complimentary laundry service (excluding dry cleaning and pressing). After 250 days, there’s an additional 10 percent discount on future cruise bookings, and after 350 days, Silversea awards a complimentary 7-day cruise in a Veranda Suite.
Despite Silversea’s European veneer, Silver Spirit’s currency was U.S. dollars.
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