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Silver Wind loud banging anchor

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We booked a Mediterranean cruise on Silver Wind in April 2012. I am not one to write reviews but I depend on them when planning trips. We had a couple of problems and since the cruise line was not forthcoming about this I feel an obligation to write about it.


The Good

This was our third Silversea cruise and we enjoy their interesting itineraries, small ship size and all inclusive policy. They make it clear that even tipping is added to the cruise price so that you don't have to deal with that once on board. Almost all of the staff on board are very pleasant and well trained especially the service people to take care of the cabins. Also factored into the price was a ship board credit of $1300. We all know that these 'gifts' are not free and are instead factored into the price that we all pay, a way for the cruise line to support some of their on board amenities.


More Good Things

Itineraries on Silversea cruises are usually very interesting and this cruise was no exception. Santorini, Malta, Ibiza, Sicily, etc. The staffing (almost all that is) are wonderful. Always clean and neat, pleasant and helpful. The cabins are small but comfortable and most cabins had outdoor space. Our cabin had a balcony that comfortably fit two upright chairs and a small table. This was pre tourist season and we were able to dock in most ports.

We also took advantage of a Silversea air fare promotion. Coach air fare was already included in the price (from NYC worth about $1000) and we paid $2000 extra per person to upgrade to business class. The airlines quoted me $3600 for the same exact non stop flights making our savings on air about $600 per person. Silversea fares also include transport by bus from the airport to the ship.



Dinning

The dining room is pleasant and staff great. The food is OK, sometimes good but most of the time it was just OK. We did not take this cruise for the purpose of over indulging so this was fine for us. We often ate on shore during the day and enjoyed some tasty meals in local restaurants. Especially extraordinary was the food in Italy.

There is also a small and very expensive restaurant on board that was was fully booked when we tried to make reservations very shortly after boarding. We thought we would check back in a day or two but lost interest after other passengers complained about the extremely high cost ( $200 per person) for food they said was very similar in quality to the main dining room food. Different menu but same quality. One side of this small dining room is open to the large regular dining room. Looking in from the main dining room it seemed quiet, pleasant and intimate.


Cabins and Public Spaces

Decor was not my style but it was well maintained. Our cabin was small but comfortable. Toiletries were very nice. Two bath robes. The bathroom was tight and had a fair amount of inexpensive wood stuck on the front of the tub and almost the entire tiny floor. Looked like and felt like linoleum to me but my husband thinks it was some kind of wood laminate. Floor space was really tiny and a marble tile floor would have been inexpensive and is a much needed upgrade. Using cheap wood or linoleum in the bathroom gave the room a very downgraded feel, like staying a very low end hotel. Didn't feel good under bare feet either. I never saw this before on a 5 or 6 star ship.

Public spaces are very nice, clean and well maintained. Theater was roomy and everyone was able to have a good seat with room to spare. Lounges very pleasant. We had cocktails before dinner in a lounge with a smoking and non smoking section. Appetizers were served butler style with our cocktails and the wait staff was great.


Entertainment

On a small ship such as this entertainment is limited. Some of the shows were fun because of the music and theme. The entertainers who work very hard to do a great job and were very pleasant.


Spa

At first we could not arrange for massages since all reasonable times were booked by email before the cruise. However, lots of prime time opened up and we booked two deep tissue massages each. They were the worst massages we ever had and understood why times became available. We are very clean people and had showered immediately before the massages. My masseuse sanitized me fore she touched me. Scrubbed me down painfully hard with what felt like a wire brush (she said to stimulate my skin so I absorb the massage oil better) and used something that felt and smelled like hand sanitizer. When we finally got started she used her fore arms instead of her hands. She had no sense of how much pressure she was applying because she was using her body weight to do the work. In the more sensitive areas around my rib cage and lower back I felt actual pain, like being jabbed in the ribs with an elbow. When I mentioned that I didn't care for the forearm technique she switched to her hands and it felt like someone was lightly petting my skin and every once in a while she would dig hard in a sensitive spot. Couldn't relax because I never knew when the next jab was coming. At the end she rang a bell in both ears I guess to wake me. That was just weird. And if that was the reason for the bell, a good masseuse would be able to sense that I was not even relaxed. My husband had a very similar experience with a different masseuse. We immediately cancelled our second appointments, the ones that we had just made . Lucky for us there was enough time. They require advanced notice on cancellations or they charge anyway and they carefully counted the days before accepting our cancellations. Massages cost $140 per 50 minuets and tips are NOT included.


The Bad

Silver Wind seems to have a design problem. If the seas are rough starting with about 6 foot tall swells or higher the anchor bangs...and I mean loud banging while you are sleeping. The larger the swells and faster the speed the louder the banging. Very scary the first time you are woken up by this. Imagine an iron pendulum that weighs tens of thousands of pounds swinging from a heavy chain and banging into the steal hull outside your cabin. We could feel the percussion. At first we thought the boat was crashing. When we phoned the front desk we were told of the anchor problem. Then I worried that the anchor might bang a hole through the side of the ship. Guests were in the hall in their pj's and we were scared. The extremely loud banging went on all night and banged an average of every 30-45 seconds. Zero sleep. It was awful. This happened three nights of an eleven day cruise and seemed to happen on the nights the captain picked up speed in order to make it to a far port by the morning. The first night was the worst and the next day we bought ear plugs. The second and third noisy nights weren't as loud, smaller swells, and the ear plugs helped but we still were up several times during the night, every time there was a larger swell.


A strange thing about this problem is that it can be heard only in certain cabins. Primarily on the 4th and 5th floors towards the front of the ship. The people in the rooms mid ship just down the hall from us told us that they did not hear the banging or heard it but the sound was faint. Some of the crew members were bleary eyed the next day and when we mentioned the banging. They heard the banging too since their bunks are in the front of the ship and they hadn't gotten any sleep either. Long day for them.

I read another post about other passengers on SilverWind that had this problem and that gentleman and his wife were able to move to another room. Our cruise was fully booked and that was not an option. There is little doubt that EVERYONE on the staff knows about this anchor banging. Towards the end of the cruise on the repeated urging of a staff member I went to the desk and reported the problem. At first the lady (I believe her name was Kathleen but her name might be Catherine) pretended that there was no noise problem. She had a smirk on her face and I felt that I was being mocked. There was no point and I was sorry I didn't stick to my original plan of not complaining. Kathleen's attitude was only making me more upset. The cruise was almost over and another passenger waiting on line stopped me as I left the desk. She told me she had one of these rooms too, that she had a similar conversation with the front desk and that I should not waste my time talking with her. We both wondered how could Silversea and their staff can be so dishonest. They charge full price for those defective cabins and it is awful to have your trip ruined by something like this. Sleepless nights, tired days.

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