I had the opportunity to sail on Silversea’s Silver Spirit in July from Athens to Venice. Introduced in 2010, this ship may well represent one of the best in luxury cruising, exceeding at everything that matters: personal space, beautiful interior design, service, food, wine and choice of compelling itineraries. At 640 feet in length and a beam of 86 feet, the ship could accommodate far more than the 540 passengers it allows. Yet, Silversea capped the number of guests in favor of creating a ship with one of the highest space-to-passenger ratios in the business.
The line’s designers had the freedom to create some stellar public spaces, all with a unique Art Decor flair. Glass and polished metals accent softer fabrics and plush upholsteries in soothing colors that range from the blues, sea greens and golds of The Bar to the burled walnut, reds and browns that decorate Stars Supper Club. Hallways are wide and public spaces are so well laid out that you don’t necessarily internalize that you’re on a cruise ship right away.
Service is a hallmark of Silver Spirit, with every officer and crew member going above and beyond to make sure passengers are happy. That leads to excellent service — from the ship’s cabin stewards, who work in tandem with your butler, to the bartenders, waiters and waitresses, and the tender crew. Silversea is one of the few cruise lines that offers butler service in all of its accommodations, and these gentlemen add to the overall cruise experience. For example, upon arrival on the ship, we noticed that one piece of our luggage was torn. Our butler arranged for it to be repaired for our journey home. He also made sure that my breakfast smoothie was delivered to the suite every morning. Gestures like that were appreciated throughout the voyage.
For a ship of this size, Silver Spirit has a tremendous number of dining options and each one is unique and above average. The food in The Restaurant (the ship’s main dining room) is some of the best I’ve had at sea. The La Terrazza has both indoor and outdoor seating for buffet-style breakfast and lunches, plus menu items and an Italian menu at night. Stars Supper Club, modeled after supper clubs of the 1920s and ’30s, offers a jazzy ambience and a tasting menu that encompasses flavors from around the world. The jazz singer who works the room makes this venue an unforgettable experience.
Le Champagne, a familiar venue from the existing ships, is a true culinary experience with fine wines matching a six-course regionally inspired meal for which there is a charge. Reservations and a fee also apply to the intimate Seishin, which features a 10-course Pan-Asian sampling menu and complimentary wine. It features a large, round chef’s table as its centerpiece, and guests at surrounding tables can watch the chef sculpt fresh sushi and sashimi.
Lastly, the pool area’s Pool Grill serves up grilled meats and fresh pizzas for lunch and dinner. At dinner passengers may cook their own seafood and meats over hot volcanic rocks.
There are many opportunities to enjoy a variety of musical acts every night of the cruise. The Silver Spirit Trio — one of the standout entertainment groups on the ship — plays jazz standards each evening, usually in The Bar. Two pianists are onboard every sailing, and each plays several sets a night in different lounges, including the Panorama Lounge and The Bar. A singer/keyboardist duo also entertains, usually on the Pool Deck. Two jazz singers hold court at Stars. You’ll find a DJ hosting a late-night dance party and/or karaoke each night, usually in the Panorama Lounge.
Finally, while Silversea does not have Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics shows or large-scale Broadway revues, its performers do put on some fine shows in the single-tier Show Lounge. The Show Lounge is intimate so all seats have a good view of the stage. The Voices of Silversea, a singing group consisting of three young men and three women, sang their hearts out during several theater performances. The most popular show featured British music of the 1960s; by the end of the show, it had turned into a full-fledged sing-a-long.
Silversea cruises are one of the most all-inclusive of cruise options. Included are multiple dining venues ,24 hour room service, beverages, gratuities and round trip transportation from the pier to town in most ports of call AND on select voyages, shore excursions and internet are complimentary.
Contact me to start planning your next cruise on Silversea.