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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Silver Whisper
May 2003
Barcelona to Amsterdam

from A.N. Lijkendijk & R. van Meeuwen

After trying several cruise lines, from Royal Caribbean to Seabourn, we wanted to try the acclaimed 6 star service of Silversea. This turned out to be the most terrible cruise experience ever and had nothing of a 6 star service at all.


Upon embarkation, we were told our suite access cards weren’t there. We had to report to Reception. We entered the vessel and were offered a drop of welcome champagne. This was literally a drop, since the glass wasn’t even half full. Reception didn’t seem to know anything about our access cards. After a 15 minute investigation, we were told that we had to move to another suite. No reasons at all were given. We ended up in our “new” suite, but naturally our luggage ended up in the booked suite (since you put your suite number on the luggage tags before embarkation). It took 45 minutes and a lot of frustration before we actually could start to unpack.


Our suite was nicely appointed. The bathrooms are lovely with just anything one could ask for. The suite set-up was poor. Upon reserving the cruise we clearly informed Silversea we would be two men and asked for a 2-man set up (a set of 2 larger bathrobes, slippers, etc). This request was not granted. The set up was for a man and a women. Besides that, the bathrobes both contained stains. So did the balcony chairs, of which one was broken as well. The in-suite table also was broken and could not be lifted up, making it impossible to have any proper dinner or meal over there.


Upon booking, we requested our on-board credits, which we were entitled to (Singapore Airlines frequent flyer and Relais and Chateaux). This was confirmed by Silversea’s reservations department. Once onboard only the Singapore Airlines credit was granted. It took us four major discussions and finally a hefty talk with the hotel manager to achieve our goal.


All in all, a terrible start for a cruise line that claims to be 6 star and would go above and beyond. The ship itself is beautiful. The public rooms are appointed nicely and luxurious. The main dining room is large enough to seat everyone at the same time and service is efficient. Quality of the food is not so good and absolutely not up to 6 star. We even got raw food items twice. The wine advice by the sommeliers is poor and they seem to just pour what is selected by upper management. The Maitre d' was informed of our experiences and asked us if he could do a special meal for us one evening. We agreed and he did ask about our likes and dislikes. Since one of us is allergic to seafood we clearly mentioned that. On the evening of the so called “special and personal dinner” none of the waiters seemed to know about this. We had to ask for the Maitre d' in person and than we were told the menu. We were shocked. As an appetizer they had shrimps!


The food in the verandah café was mostly lukewarm or even cold. Refill of items was poor and sometimes even not at all.


With the ship only half full, service still was so-so and staff sometimes seemed to have no time at all. The exception was the main dining room.


The men’s toilet on the sundeck was broken and stayed like that for the entire cruise, even after reporting it to the hotel manager.


Once home, we put our experiences on paper and sent them to Silversea. It took finally 2 months and a threat with legal action to get at least a reply at all. This was not satisfactory, since all details were washed and wiped away


All-in-all this was a very negative cruise experience. We absolutely do understand that sometimes things can go wrong and 100% perfection doesn’t exists, but a 6 star product should be able to also satisfy, at the end, the customers for which everything seems to go wrong. We do not recommend this cruise line to any one. Staff is very, very, very arrogant and the head office even more. They think and feel they’re the best and don’t hesitate to show you this at any moment of the day.


If you think you’re going to experience 6 star service with Silversea, you will be extremely disappointed.


A.N. Lijkendijk & R. van Meeuwen

Dk Eyewitness Travel Cruise Guide to Europe & the MediterraneanDk Eyewitness Travel Cruise Guide to Europe & the Mediterranean

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