Fodor’s Expert Review
Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
A family atmosphere, with children’s facilities; casual dress codes; traditional set dining; pay as you go facilities and activities.Read More
From the moment you walk up the gangway, you know you’re in for an intimate luxury cruise experience.
You’re unlikely to encounter more personal, warm, or consistently above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty service than on Silversea’s ships.
Service is the name of the game on Silversea, with large suites attended to by helpful butlers. The beds are so soft you will feel like you’ve gone to heaven. There is a library full of free DVDs for anytime viewing and a small refrigerator kept stocked with your favorite wine, beer or champagne.
Dinners are the event of the day, and open seating permits you to dine when and with whom you please each evening; complimentary wine flows like water. The Maitre D’ of The Restaurant takes the initiative to seat guests arriving at dinner at shared tables or private ones depending upon your preference. Dinner is one way guests meet and get to know other passengers. The majority of guests seem glad to accept joining tables, which makes dinner a particularly social event.
Although this used to be a very formal cruise line, like all cruise lines the stiff collar has loosened a bit over the years and now the focus is on enjoying a great vacation experience. Beyond living in the lap of luxury, the destinations on the itinerary are the main focus onboard. You will experience them with the most qualified tour guides and regional experts in the world.
Beyond the designated Formal Nights, where most passengers dress to the nines, and Informal nights, where a jacket for the men (no tie required) is expected, resort casual nights are the rarest dress recommendation. But even on Formal Nights, the mood of passengers is far from formal. People are there to enjoy all the social aspects of the cruise as well as the luxury surroundings.
Although Spirit is the largest Silveresa ship yet, it is really only marginally bigger than the Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow twins. With only 150 more guests, it is still small enough to be intimate, but big enough to offer an elegant two-story show lounge and for the first time six dining venues.
Silversea is at the forefront of the ultraluxe class. The Show Lounge has the feel like that of a smaller, more intimate club. Theater-style seating is abandoned in favor of more clubby sofas and comfortable side chairs, with cocktail tables at each grouping.
Silver Spirit is the largest of the Silversea fleet. Silver Shadow and sister Silver Whisper are larger than Silversea’s original two vessels, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind. Silver Spirit still has the exceptionally generous passenger/space ratio of 66.66 (square meters per passenger), just slightly lower than the other ships’ 74.
With a maximum of 540 passengers and 376 crew, your Silver Spirit experience is all about un-crowded, comfortable surroundings, combined with outstanding service.
Your fare includes tips and all beverages throughout the ship, unless you want to upgrade from the various house-brand selection of wines.
The decor throughout the fleet does not vary much; sublimely tasteful, with rich blues, soft golds, and coppery-brown wood tones predominant in the suites. Gentle earth-toned and pastel walls have inlaid wood and marble accents. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench most public rooms with light.
The ship has a single staircase that runs the entire height of the ship. It is an elaborate sculpture of fine wood that is visually appealing as well as utile. I found the stairways my preferred choice of moving from deck to deck, though elevators are available from the Lobby area and further aft, as well as another stairwell.
From stem to stern, officers and staff beam with delight at the prospect of assisting you.
On our 17-day voyage there was the very rare blip in service in the dining room, but the norm was very impressive attention to minute detail.
Your fare includes gratuities. If you truly wish to reward some of the staff for over-the-top service, they will accept a tip, but they do not expect it!
Bring your tux. Bring your jewels, and feel like royalty. Though you’ll see numerous gowns, a good number of ladies were dressing in less splendorous styles. Ladies won’t feel out of place wearing the SBD (simple black dress or dress slacks) with dressy or sparkling tops.
Those who don’t want to dress up may dine informally in the Terrazza and then retire to a lounge for cocktails and after-dinner drinks, but will likely be turned away at the door of the entertainment lounges. On a 17-night cruise there were three formal, eight informal and only four casual nights. Daytime attire is casual.
Best For People Who Want
Top level luxury, with attentive personal service; free flowing champagne, wines and drinks included in the fare; large suites with private balconies; gourmet cuisine and imaginative itineraries, often traversing the globe, with the ability to customize your own voyages.
Deep Wedgewood blue and golden peach fabrics and carpeting, with warm caramel wood tones, predominate. There’s lots of blood-red velveteen, and lots of golden brocades as well.
With its brown leather sofas and chairs, the wood-paneled Davidoff Humidor cigar lounge is a wonderfully comfortable spot for after-dinner cigars (bring your own, or purchase some of the finest available) and cognac (complimentary of course). The breathtaking Observation Lounge, with 180 degrees of sea views, has a marble bar and is equally inviting for pre- and post-dinner drinks or morning coffee.
Decks 10 and 11 are reserved for suites. The first public areas appear on deck 9 which has the pool and hot tub as well as the Panorama Lounge overlooking the stern of the ship. By the pool are the Pool Bar and the Pool Grill. In fact, one thing you will quickly learn about every Silversea Ship is that most every room is named after its function, such as “The Restaurant.”
Deck 8 features many of the public rooms in the aft end of the ship. Spirit has the largest casino on a Silversea ship by far. There are three boutiques just outside the casino, just in case you thought you were going to walk away with your winnings. Deck 7 features La Terraza, the combination buffet area with a generous amount of al fresco seating just outside of the dining area. Next door is the Stars Supper Club, and right outside is the Library and Internet Cafe.
Deck 6 is home of the extensive Spa with a beauty salon, massage and other services, and a wonderful thermal suite with a steam rooms, a dry sauna and wonderful heated ceramic chairs. There is a large thalassotherapy pool which is one of the first on any ship to have a champagne bar just steps away. Close by is the fitness center with an aerobics room and another hot tub.
Deck 5 is the home to reception, shore tours and the future cruise consultant. Most of the public rooms mentioned above are situated atop one another in the aft end of the ship. The ship is designed so only a few staterooms are above or below any public rooms.
Casino games include roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines, and there are deck parties poolside quite often featuring cocktails, moonlight and soft ocean breezes. Traditional dances by local folkloric troupes and movies on deck are also presented here.
The main theater “Show Lounge” on deck 5 is beautiful with great sight lines and a fantastic sound system. It is very intimate even for a ship with over 500 guests. The casino is the biggest Silversea has ever had by far, with several tables games and several rows of slot machines. The panorama lounge has live music for dancing with “social ambassadors” for the ladies. For the gentlemen there is the Humidor, a fine cigar bar with accompanying brandies an scotches. Don’t forget, on Silversea all of the liquor is included in the cruise fare, unless it is a particularly rare vintage in which case there will be a reasonable surcharge.
Silversea’s newly upgraded entertainment features floorshows devised by Jean Ann Ryan, including multiple costume changes, and a talented cast. There are also featured performances, which may include opera, headline vocalists, and instrumentalists, or variety performers.
You’ll also find a multitude of enrichment lectures, with topics changing to fit the itinerary.
Along with Trivia contests, crafts classes, and the popular cooking classes with the Chef, onboard activities include bridge instruction and bridge games, and even discussion seminars with the lecturers. Silver Spirit also offers ballroom dance instructors, and male dance hosts are on hand to dance with the ladies whose husbands (like me) may never voluntarily give them a twirl on the dance floor.
Spirit has a much larger Spa than previous Silversea Ships with well-equipped fitness centers where fitness classes are offered during days at sea. Several health seminars are also offered. A fast-walking/jogging track has glorious views.
The Spa and beauty salon are operated by Steiners, the same worldwide operation present on most other cruise lines. While the services might be fine, but the the hard-sell approach of this contractor’s staff (here as on other ships) just doesn’t fit well with the service standard one finds elsewhere on the Silver Spirit. While the other departments make you feel they are there to please you, the Steiner’s people make you feel they are there to sell to you.
Christened in 2010, Silver Spirit, the largest ship in the Silversea fleet, includes all the signature features of her smaller fleetmates on a grander scale, as well as additional elements such as the expanded spa facilities and more dining options.
The stylish interiors of Silver Spirit’s public rooms reflect a 1930s art deco flavor. Although the decor is warmer and more inviting than previous Silversea ships, you’ll still find signature spaces like the Humidor, the Bar, and the indoor–outdoor La Terrazza restaurant.
With one of the most generous space-to-guest ratios in the cruise industry, Silver Spirit features an expansive 8,300-square-foot spa with a thermal suite and outdoor whirlpool; a state-of-the-art fitness complex with two aerobics studios; six places to dine; three high-end, duty-free boutiques; and the largest suites in the Silversea fleet. In addition, deck space is expansive, with plenty of teak chaise longues, two whirlpools, and a bar poolside. The resort-style pool is even heated for cooler weather.
In 2018 Royal Caribbean International purchased a large stake in Silversea Cruises, adding a new luxury option to their portfolio. Intimate ships with spacious suites, exclusive amenities, and unparalleled hospitality are the hallmarks of the line. Every suite is assigned a butler, so you can expect even the most unusual requests to be fulfilled. In addition, your all-inclusive air-and-sea fares can be customized to include not just round-trip airfare but all transfers, porterage, and deluxe pre-cruise accommodations as well.
Personalization is a Silversea maxim. Their ships offer more activities than other comparably sized luxury vessels. Take part in those that interest you, or opt instead for a good book and any number of quiet spots to read or snooze in the shade.
Silversea’s third generation of ships introduced even more luxurious features when the 36,000-ton Silver Spirit launched late in 2010 and the 40,700-ton Silver Muse entered service in 2017. Silversea’s fleet of exploration ships are the top choice for luxurious soft adventure expedition cruising, includingSilver Galapagos that sails exclusively in the Galápagos Islands.
- 8 passenger decks
- 4 specialty restaurants
- dining room
- fitness classes
- hot tubs
- steam room
- 3 bars
- dance club
- children’s program
- dry cleaning
- laundry facilities
- laundry service
- Internet terminal
- no-smoking cabins
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
What to expect on board
Staterooms & Cabins
Every suite has an ocean view, and 95% have a private teak-floor balcony. Standard suites have a seating area that can be curtained off from the bed. Marble bathrooms have double sinks and a separate glass-enclosed shower as well as a tub. All suites have generous walk-in closets. Sixteen suites have connecting doors.
In addition to much more space, top-category suites have all the standard amenities plus dining areas, separate bedrooms, and CD players. Silver suites and above have whirlpool tubs. All categories have butler service.
Standard suites have a flat-screen TV and DVD, personalized stationery, cocktail cabinet, safe, and fully stocked refrigerator. A hair dryer is provided at a vanity table. Beds are dressed with high-quality linens, duvets, or blankets, and your choice of synthetic or down pillows. Bathrooms have huge towels and plush terry bathrobes for use during the cruise as well as a choice of designer shampoos, soaps, and lotions.
Four suites are designed for wheelchair accessibility.
Food & Drink
The formal restaurant offers open seating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Le Champagne (reservation, cover charge) offers a gourmet meal and wine pairings; Sieshin Restaurant serves Kobe beef, sushi, and Asian seafood (some items with surcharge). Stars Supper Club offers trendsetting menus, and La Terrazza serves Italian cuisine. For casual meals, La Terrazza has indoor and outdoor seating for buffet-style breakfast and lunch. The outdoor Grill offers a laid-back lunch option poolside as well as an alfresco dinner, when it is called Black Rock Grill, which allows you to cook meats and seafood to your liking on preheated volcanic stones at your table. Afternoon tea is served daily. Room service arrives with crystal, china, and linens. You may order at any time from the extensive room-service menu, or the full restaurant menu during dining hours.
A multitiered show lounge is the setting for talented singers and musicians, classical concerts, magic shows, big-screen movies, and folkloric entertainers from ashore. The Bar is a predinner gathering spot and a late-night place for dancing to a live band. A pianist or other entertainers perform in the Panorama Lounge for listening and dancing. When the weather permits, concerts or movies are presented on deck.
Spa & Fitness
Mandara Spa, a division of Steiner Leisure, offers treatments including exotic massages, facials, and body wraps, teeth whitening, acupuncture, and Medi-Spa Cosmetic treatments. Also available are indoor/outdoor relaxation areas, an outdoor whirlpool, and a thermal suite furnished with heated lounge chairs and a Turkish bath. There’s a fee to use the spa’s thermal areas, but the men’s and ladies’ locker rooms have complimentary saunas and steam rooms.