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 I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Homeowners Have Ruined It


I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined ItI Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Homeowners Have Ruined It

4 years in the past, Royal Caribbean, finest identified for big, good worth resort ships, shocked many by shopping for Silversea, identified for ultra-luxury small ship cruising. Having cruised on it earlier than the takeover, I made a decision I ought to return to see if the on-line opinions from different pre-takeover cruisers saying issues like, “Not the identical Silversea” and “Earlier than it was bought, we thought Silversea was excellent, nicely run, with scrumptious meals. Not now” have been proper or not. So, I booked myself on Silver Spirit for a two-week cruise, and that is what I discovered.

However, earlier than I get into what I discovered to be good, unhealthy, and the identical, I believed it’s price reminding you what Silversea is. Or was!

What’s Silversea?

Based by the Lefebvre household as an ultra-luxury all-inclusive cruise line, it competes with Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Crystal, and the brand new Explora Journeys. It has the largest fleet of all of the ultra-luxury traces, 12 making it virtually double the following largest.

Not like most of these, it has a traditional and expedition fleet and calls on 900 ports a yr, which is double the following greatest competitor, Seabourn.

You’ll pay round $1,300 an evening per individual of their traditional veranda suite. About the identical value as Regent and Crystal and greater than on Seabourn.

So, what did I discover they’re doing the identical, higher, and worse below the brand new possession, beginning with what hasn’t actually modified?

I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined It

Silversea – What’s The Similar?

Nicely, they’re nonetheless an ultra-luxury line with each traditional and expedition ships. And far of the senior administration from earlier than continues to be round.


One of many issues that’s the similar, but in addition modified, is the all-inclusive supply as they’ve acquired extra inclusions now as they’ve “Door-to-Door” and “Port-to-Port” fares.

The “Door-to-Door” fare moved them nearer to what Regent do. This fare features a limo switch from your own home to the airport, normally enterprise class flights, a pre-cruise resort keep, transfers from resort to the ship, all of the on-board inclusions (butler, drinks, Primary Wi-Fi, gratuities, most specialty eating, and now additionally a alternative of 1 tour per port), put up resort keep or a day room, switch to airport after which limo residence.

The “Port-to-Port” is the cruise-only fare with those self same inclusions on board.

Speaking of fares, they nonetheless supply many cruises with low solo dietary supplements, of round 20% to 25%.


They nonetheless have butlers for each suite grade not simply the very best grades, nonetheless making them totally different to the competitors.

Costume Code

It nonetheless has, in my opinion, the strictest and most complied to decorate code throughout the ultra-luxury traces.  That is the one one I felt I wanted to dress up on extra. They’ve three costume codes: informal, the place I might put on collared shirt and slacks. Sensible, the place I used to be anticipated to put on a jacket, with tie optionally available. Formal, with tuxedos or darkish go well with and tie.

I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined It


One of many issues that’s nonetheless the identical is the model of Service. And this nonetheless divides cruisers because it did earlier than.

Silversea has a extra formal, even barely aloof, and, I suppose, extra European model of service in comparison with the extra relaxed, chatty, and maybe extra American model of the others. Whereas total good service, there are some points I really feel post-takeover that I’ll come to.


By way of leisure, I discovered on my cruise that it’s largely unchanged from earlier than.

For my part, it’s nonetheless caught prior to now and really traditional cruise fayre. To be sincere I discovered it a bit bit disappointing that it was nonetheless the identical since Royal Caribbean have huge experience in leisure.

Whereas some inform me on newer ships they felt it has improved, I discovered the day by day program was a lot the identical. Trivia, Bingo, desk tennis competitions, cooking demonstrations, reside music in lounges, and manufacturing exhibits. These are the usual themed tune and dance, with for me dated themes and music. I’m mid-60s and it felt extra my mum or dad’s technology.

They did have an enrichment program that also stood out versus the competitors. On my journey they’d 4 audio system, one on vacation spot and ports, one on native South Africa politics and historical past, one on wildlife and recreation parks after which, barely unusually for the area though attention-grabbing in regards to the Lindy Chamberlain “Dingo Child” case in Australia.


I’ve left eating and meals for final within the “what’s the identical” class as a result of it overlaps with the improved and worse areas that I’ll cowl subsequent.

Previously I’ve discovered the meals on Silversea to be good and, not like some opinions and a few individuals on my journey, I really feel that they nonetheless do good meals.

Some advised me they felt the grades of meats and produce was worse maybe by shifting to make use of Royal Caribbean’s suppliers or funds cuts. I didn’t suppose that.

Nonetheless, there are a few issues round that that in all probability drove and qualify my view.

One factor I do really feel is totally different however can’t verify as I didn’t preserve them from earlier than, is I felt the gadgets and selection on the menus have been smaller than they was, regardless that nonetheless an excellent vary and selection. Even when not, they’re smaller than I had on the competitors.

All ships would not have the identical eating venues. However what I do like is that, as earlier than, Silversea have many eating venues and greater than on most competitors.

I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined It

Let Me Discuss About Included Eating First

On Silver Spirit I had Atlantide, which is the closest to a standard eating room in menu and elegance and open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Then I had Indochine, an Asian centered restaurant which operated extra as a essential eating room at night time. I didn’t should make reservations within the night for both of these.

I then had La Terrazza, which is the buffet for breakfast and lunch and within the night, turns into an Italian restaurant which requires a reservation. They nonetheless do nice Italian meals there. The buffet was and continues to be comparatively small however was beneficiant sufficient with pasta station and good desserts at lunch.

The Silversea signature grill continues to be there. This pool deck grill has a casual lunch menu, like hamburgers and so forth, however for dinner turns into the signature Scorching Rocks, the piping sizzling lava stones the place you possibly can prepare dinner your individual meals.

They then have Spaccanapoli outside pizza restaurant open a lot of the day and night. Many say it has the perfect pizza at sea. I’m undecided that’s true however it was and nonetheless is excellent. I might however didn’t have to make reservations.

In addition they had Silver Word, which is a venue which performs jazz music within the night, and a venue I cherished referred to as Arts Cafe, which is a comparatively new addition however pre-takeover. That is their espresso store, with snacks all day into the evenings.

Then Of Course I Had Room Service

I cherished that within the night, I had numerous selection included in my fare. However in addition they had some speciality eating with charges which I discover unusual for an ultra-luxury excessive fare line. Although it was the case earlier than too.

Like all ships there was the flowery La Dame, which is a Silversea signature, which you paid $40 per individual for.

In addition they had Seishin, which is open some days for lunch, however all the time for dinner, and is an Asian Japanese restaurant, which was $40 to dine there. I actually appreciated this one.

What I did like too, which is true of Silversea earlier than, is not like some competitors I used to be not restricted to how typically I might go to any of the eating places, and I went to all a number of occasions.

Which leads me on to what I believe Silversea  is doing higher earlier than some vital issues I discovered them to be doing worse.

Silversea – What’s Higher?

The primary is in eating. They launched the S.A.L.T program in 2021, which  stands for “Sea and Land Tastes”, and the idea is to make food and drinks on board extra linked to the vacation spot, which even on ultra-luxury traces will not be accomplished in a lot depth.

It contains eating experiences with native menus, with a SALT Kitchen restaurant and Bar on newer ships together with native meals and wine excursions and cooking lessons and demonstrations.

Much less good is it’s not on all ships, like Silver Spirit. The closest I acquired on my cruise was a South African chef doing a cooking demonstration of three traditional South African dishes together with historical past behind them.

I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined It


The opposite factor I discovered they’re doing higher are excursions.

First, everybody will get entry to excursions when reserving. So, they’re rewarding these of us who e book early. So, for instance, on that South African journey, I had booked approach prematurely and as quickly as I did, I might entry and e book, and I acquired all of the excursions I needed.

Second, as an alternative of assembly in a venue and being allotted a sticker and ready,  I simply might head out when able to go and somebody on the finish of the gangway allotted me then to a bus. It feels rather more refined.

Third, although not everybody agreed with me, I felt the included excursions have been good and weren’t simply primary strolling or panoramic bus excursions. So, I went on some unimaginable excursions to recreation parks, catamarans to view seals, and a 4×4 trip over dunes in Namibia. I didn’t really feel the necessity to e book the premium excursions as on different traces with included excursions.

Thus far so good, however what did I discover they’re not doing in addition to earlier than?

I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined It

Silversea – What’s Not As Good?

First, I believe for me, the largest change that I noticed is it felt extra company, it felt much less family-owned, and it’s a type of issues that’s onerous to place your finger on precisely. Which is why I believe many individuals in opinions mentioned there was “one thing off”, however they couldn’t fairly work out what.

It could be as a result of the fleet has grown since takeover, with 5 new ships coming into service at time of recording (Silver Moon, Silver Daybreak, Silver Nova, Silver Origin, and Silver Endeavour). It’s a larger operation and so doubtless the pre-takeover Silversea crew are dispersed and diluted throughout the fleet, with numerous new crew.

Additionally, versus what I bear in mind, the visibility of the senior crew was low and even when about interplay and engagement with passengers was restricted. So apart from the day by day updates or the welcome Captain’s get together, you didn’t actually see the Senior Staff energetic with passengers. In order that felt very totally different.

I additionally discovered communication and a focus to element was combined and never as slick.

A easy instance was on embarkation day for the muster drill, the tv mentioned one factor, the bulletins one other, the day by day program one thing else and we have been advised one thing else once we checked in. So, there was simply that focus to element and persistently.

One other was we had uneven climate, and so they dropped a young port name at Mossel Bay, however it wasn’t significantly nicely communicated. It was introduced after which there wasn’t any senior crew about or prepared to take questions on it.


One other factor I felt was much less good was a shift from crew giving a personalised and proactive service to a extra “ask and you’ll obtain” method.

Some examples are first, there’s a lot a butler can do and produce however in the event you don’t know what, then you definitely miss out because it was not defined or proactive. Issues like getting canapes, or particular treats, or potential to have afternoon tea served. I realised I wanted to brush up on what I might get earlier than I went, and to ask.

I additionally found after the journey that I might have had caviar on demand, however until you knew and requested it was not obvious.

I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have Ruined It

Similar In The Restaurant

The identical within the restaurant. I’d go most mornings to Atlantide for breakfast, and over the course of the 2 weeks, I largely had the identical waiter, however they couldn’t keep in mind that I appreciated decaf espresso with skimmed milk and so forth. On different ultra-luxury traces, I discovered that employees are clearly skilled and inspired to recollect and supply personalised service and there my decaf and skimmed milk arrives with out asking.

I do know these are small and choosy points however as ultra-luxury and for the fare, and because the different traces do it and I bear in mind it being the case earlier than it appears this has modified.

General, I felt that the service was good however not as sharp as earlier than.

I felt on stability that reviewers are being too harsh in considering that Silversea is being dumbed down or ruined from Royal Caribbean possession. It’s grown quick with their assets, and I got here away considering the rising pains are making some edges a bit much less sharp, however not so unhealthy that they’re ruining it. All are fixable. And I’ll go once more primarily based on what I skilled.