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Just off the Spirit ... A few thoughts ...

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Just off a 10 day Nordic Highlights cruise on the Spirit (Copenhagen to Stockholm via Denmark/Finland/Sweden).

 

We were last on the Spirit three years ago (or thereabouts). In short, the upgrades to the ship were awesome. They did a really nice job with the facilities. The public areas look great. The cabins are beautiful. (Cabin bathrooms are the same ...) We also found the staff to be friendlier than the past. We've always been happy with Silversea service, but this time found them to be more personal and conversational.

 

While there have been lots of reviews of the updated/upgraded restaurants and food ... here's my thoughts.

 

Not a big fan of the changes. The fact that they don't change the main restaurant (Atlantide) menu daily is a big disappointment. Limits choices. I think they think that since they have added restaurants they don't need the variety.

 

Indochine was enjoyable. The lobster and shaken beef entrees were our favorites. Side of noodles pretty good too. For dessert, the creme brûlée was amazing - and we are very snobby about creme brûlée.

 

La Terrazza was as good as always. Duck ragout continues to be a favorite. They don't change the menu every 7 days as they have in the past.

 

Grill is the grill. No changes. Still our least favorite.

 

La Dame is the new specialty restaurant .... Couldn't get it ... booked full each night.

 

Seishin was also popular. Went for lunch one day and it was just ok. Guess they likely have better options at dinner - but to pay $40 for that would be a likely disappointment.

 

The best addition was the pizza on deck 10. Spana-Something. Really, really good pizza. Thin crust, fresh ingredients. Great service. A nice addition for either lunch or afternoon snack. Had dinner there one night after a long tour. They only offer pizza and a calzone - and ice cream. Would be nice if they could add a salad - but to be fair, they would get you one from the grill or room service if you requested it.

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Thanks for sharing your experience! We’d like to get back on the Spirit someday to see the changes.

 

Glad to hear Seishen was only $40 for dinner. It was $60 on the Muse last November and this June. We never dined there at night because of the reviews and cost.

 

 

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Thank you for your review.

 

We sailed Spirit in 2016 so it was nice to hear about the changes.

 

Keith

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We were on the same cruise and it was interesting to see the changes to the Spirit as she was the first SS ship we sailed on. Still cannot beleive the weather on this itinerary (which we loved) and also the lack of mosquitos having packed everything we coluld to avoid getting bitten by them (we have Swedish and Finnish friends who had warned us about them). Hopefully the places we visited have had some rain now, they certainly needed it.

 

With regards to your review, La Dame is actually not a new speciality restaurant, it is a renamed La Champagne and from what we could see the menu has stayed pretty much the same since we started saiing with SS in May 2012. We no longer eat here as have had some bad meals (lamb that couldnt be cut and the lobster in a pea soup in May on the Muse which had replaces the lobster thermadore I think).

 

The menu on the grill, both and lunch and dinner, has been expanded from previous sailings and now reflects that of the Muse, more choices and at lunch along with a daily fish special there is also a spit roast special. There evening menu has been expanded to mirror that of the Muse and also now inludes a Butchers Special which offers items not elsewhere on the menu.

 

It was also nice to see to have a some buffet lunches offerings on this cruise on the pool deck.

 

Seishin on the spirit is not the same as Kaseiki on the Muse. Seishin does not offer the teppanyaki in the evening that Kaseiki offers in the evening (they couldnt retro fit the extractors apparently). The lunch and dinner menus are different offerings and having eaten in both in the last 4 months we personally feel they were worth the additional cost.

 

You also forgot to mention the Arts Cafe, where the range of lighter alternatives has been expanded over that on the Muse. Great to get a healthy start to the day with a yogurt and granola pot (at least you can start off the day feeling that you are eating well before it all going downhill).

 

In our opinion Breakfast/Lunch at La Terrazza has taken a turn for the worse and is a shambles. The area where items are servied seems to be smaller and gone were the central serving areas where fruits, meats etc used to be and now everybody lines up to get to get items from the serving positions. The queue was always snaking into the resteraunt and after the first day having breakfast there we quickly learnt to order items from our waiter

(omelettes, toast etc.). In the evening as it is table service it is back to its normal high standard.

 

Agree with the offering in Spaccanapoli, lovely pizza but no sides at all offered. Pizza can be ordered if you are on the pool grill so is another option for lunch there.

 

And finally the ice cream station located next to Spaccanapoli on deck 10 is well worth a visit if you like ice cream or sorbets.

 

We have mixed feelings on the refurbishment, the new lighter wood down the hallways reminded us of the stick on false bricks that used to be put on houes here in the UK and although making the corridors lighter as soon as you went to the forward elevators you were back to the dark wood again. We also thought the 'beach' area (SS terminology not ours) where they have expanded the pool section but not the pool iteself would be great if you had a toddler who wanted to spalsh about in water but couldnt see the attraction for the normal demographic SS attracts.

 

We are booked on the Whisper for her first cruise after her dry dock it will be interesting to see if they has Musified her as well. Fingers crossed it all goes well with the dry dock and we have a trouble free sailing.

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Thanks for the updates on the Spirit.

We board in 28 days.

I am looking forward to it!

Did anyone see Frederick the bar tender?

 

 

 

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Thanks for the updates and your opinions. We board in 11 days.

 

Happy Sailing

Neilio

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I continue to find it abhorrent that Silversea is the only luxury line that charges these outrageous fees to dine in their specialty restaurants. Every other luxury line include at least two meals if not all meals in alternative restaurants.

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We looked for Frederick too while on our cruise in June. Someone said he is currently on The Muse. ☹

 

 

Thanks for the updates on the Spirit.

We board in 28 days.

I am looking forward to it!

Did anyone see Frederick the bar tender?

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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I continue to find it abhorrent that Silversea is the only luxury line that charges these outrageous fees to dine in their specialty restaurants. Every other luxury line include at least two meals if not all meals in alternative restaurants.

 

I think the fees are designed to control demand in the "speciality restaurants." They are simply not large enough to accommodate everyone on a seven or perhaps even ten night cruise. There are of course several "alternative restaurants" (depending on the ship) to which there is unlimited access without charge. Silversea is not unique in charging for speciality dining. Crystal, for example, assesses a charge for the Vintage Room restaurant.

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I think the fees are designed to control demand in the "speciality restaurants." They are simply not large enough to accommodate everyone on a seven or perhaps even ten night cruise. There are of course several "alternative restaurants" (depending on the ship) to which there is unlimited access without charge. Silversea is not unique in charging for speciality dining. Crystal, for example, assesses a charge for the Vintage Room restaurant.

 

We would love to try SS and keep hoping that they will go to all inclusive and get rid of extra charges for their dining rooms. When they do we will book.

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I think the fees are designed to control demand in the "speciality restaurants." They are simply not large enough to accommodate everyone on a seven or perhaps even ten night cruise. There are of course several "alternative restaurants" (depending on the ship) to which there is unlimited access without charge. Silversea is not unique in charging for speciality dining. Crystal, for example, assesses a charge for the Vintage Room restaurant.

 

This is exactly correct. The fees are not to make money but to control capacity in these limited seating restaurants. Notice that La Terrazo or the Grill do not have a fee for this very reason.

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I have no problem with this policy in fact I like it better than lines that use your type of room to determine access. If they included these I guess the cruise price would change and because of the size of the restaurant some would feel they are paying for something they can't get. In this case they just can't please everyone.

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This is exactly correct. The fees are not to make money but to control capacity in these limited seating restaurants. Notice that La Terrazo or the Grill do not have a fee for this very reason.

 

 

In that case they are clearly not charging enough because it has failed to reduce demand to meet the available capacity.

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I think the fees are designed to control demand in the "speciality restaurants." They are simply not large enough to accommodate everyone on a seven or perhaps even ten night cruise. There are of course several "alternative restaurants" (depending on the ship) to which there is unlimited access without charge. Silversea is not unique in charging for speciality dining. Crystal, for example, assesses a charge for the Vintage Room restaurant.

Why is there more demand for specialty restaurants on SS than others lines? Seabourn doesn't charge for the TK Grill or Earth and Fire. Regent doesn't charge for its restaurants etc. Even Oceania doesn't charge and they all manager to accommodate all their passengers who are just as eager to dine at the specialty restaurants as those on SS. If space is the issue SS should have built larger spaces to accommodate their guests. And they shouldn't keep raising the prices either.

 

As for the Vintage Room on Crystal that is not a restaurant. It's a private dinner for twelve people who book the room in advance. And for their money they are served far superior wines to accompany the special menus created with the chef.

 

Silversea offers the same menus in their specialty restaurants day in, day out, week in week out cruise in, cruise out. Why? Because it saves on the cost of having to purchase lots of different ingredients.

 

Sorry, but a luxury line has no business charging for these meals. But then a luxury line should not arbitrarily add $1 a day pp to your account without telling you to support the owner's wife's charity.

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Henry you are absolutely correct. The Vintage Room on Crystal Vessels is not in any means a restaurant. It is indeed a private dinner. It is meant for small groups as you note who have the room for the entire evening.

 

Keith

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What is also annoying is that despite people desperate to get into these venues and being turned away, all of the tables are never used. We ate 3 times in Seishin and once in la Dame and not once where all the tables used despite many being turned away.

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Henry you are absolutely correct. The Vintage Room on Crystal Vessels is not in any means a restaurant. It is indeed a private dinner. It is meant for small groups as you note who have the room for the entire evening.

 

Keith

 

What is your definition of a restaurant? Of private?

 

How is it that the Vintage Room "is not in any means a restaurant"?

 

I understand that on some evenings The Vintage Room is booked by a group of guests and is thus private for a group of friends. On many other evenings, however, it is open to any guest who signs up for an additional fee.

 

I have dined in both The Vintage Room and La Dame (and its nominal predecessor) and I think they offer similar experiences, though there are more choices in dishes at La Dame. However, I prefer La Dame where one can sit at separate tables and is not required to sit at a large long table, often with strangers.

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But then a luxury line should not arbitrarily add $1 a day pp to your account without telling you to support the owner's wife's charity.

 

I agree that the charity charge is unfortunate. However, it is simply not the case that guests are not informed. Notices of the charge and information about the charity are provided in every suite on every cruise, and guests are encouraged to visit Reception to have the charge removed if they like. I make that visit!

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What is your definition of a restaurant? Of private?

 

How is it that the Vintage Room "is not in any means a restaurant"?

 

I understand that on some evenings The Vintage Room is booked by a group of guests and is thus private for a group of friends. On many other evenings, however, it is open to any guest who signs up for an additional fee.

 

I have dined in both The Vintage Room and La Dame (and its nominal predecessor) and I think they offer similar experiences, though there are more choices in dishes at La Dame. However, I prefer La Dame where one can sit at separate tables and is not required to sit at a large long table, often with strangers.

 

It is totally different.

 

It is not a dining room. It is always a group whether people sign up to be joined as a group, arrange an exclusive vintage room or a couple times a year a featured chef.

 

I am very familiar with La Dame and its predecessor and it is totally different with several tables, choice of cuisine, food and wine served at different times.

 

Vintage Room is one table, serving 10 to 14 people at once, not billed as a specialty restaurant or a restaurant.

 

Keith

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I agree that the charity charge is unfortunate. However, it is simply not the case that guests are not informed. Notices of the charge and information about the charity are provided in every suite on every cruise, and guests are encouraged to visit Reception to have the charge removed if they like. I make that visit!

 

 

And what if you don't happen to read the notice?

What the notice SHOULD say is that IF YOU WANT you can choose to allow the charge by notifying SS, not the other way around.

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We have read about La Reserve on Oceania's Riviera and Marina. Similar concept?

Keith can answer this far better than I but La Reserve on Oceania is an ongoing offering which any passenger can reserve in advance. There are several menus from which to choose. And it is a very nice product. The Vintage Room on Crystal is more like a charter yacht. You have to book in advance and it is limited to the people who have booked it or been invited by he/she who did book it. No other passengers can attend. That is why it is not a restaurant.

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Henry is correct about the Vintage Room. You can either reserve it for an entire group (exclusive Vintage Room and have from one person to the number that can fit in the room 10 to 12 depending on ship), or sign up to attend a celebrity chef event (a few times each year) or sign up for a Vintage Room where you are randomly grouped with others and that is not held every night just a couple of times per cruise. It is not a restaurant.

 

 

I am not a supporter of the way the charity charge is done. Even in the best of circumstances it is awkward. I think that if Silversea wants to make a donation to the charity they should do it on their own based on taking an amount out of their profits. I suspect most companies make charitable donations and do just that.

 

 

Keith

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am not a supporter of the way the charity charge is done. Even in the best of circumstances it is awkward. I think that if Silversea wants to make a donation to the charity they should do it on their own based on taking an amount out of their profits. I suspect most companies make charitable donations and do just that.

 

 

Keith

 

I dislike it too and believe it’s wrong. I Donate plenty to Charity myself but Charity of my own choice usually. The thought of requesting for it to be removed mortifies means I think it’s unfair.

 

I Wonder if SS match the donations from their guests?

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We were on the same cruise as Flydc and Sequay, although we never met them. We've written a lengthy review of the cruise, which we rated as three stars; but it hasn't yet been posted by CC. Maybe in the next day or two.

 

We are quite surprised by their comments on several of the restaurants. If there were pool deck buffets, we might have enjoyed them - but communication was so poor that we never heard about them. As for the pizza restaurant, Scaccanapoli, I guess the other two were lucky, while we were unlucky. We came into the restaurant a bit after 3:30 (so the grill was closed), and said "we're very hungry: how long will it take?" They said 10 minutes, and didn't mention that they had ice cream. (We found that out on the next to last day of the cruise, when Joan ordered ice cream at the grill and they went up to Spaccanapoli to get it.) After 20 minutes, we asked "where's the pizza", and were told that a large group had ordered just before us. We looked around a pillar, and saw a group of 11 people eating pizza. Why didn't they tell us either about the group or about the ice cream? We finally got the order after 35 minutes, and it was incorrect. The pizza margarita was burned, and they brought a ham pizza when we had ordered mushroom. Inedible for us! In short, other than food allergy foul-ups (which we also had on this cruise), Spaccanapoli was quite possibly the worst food experience, both in service and food, we've ever had on a cruise ship. We did not try it a second time.

 

While I'm happy that other people had good experiences at Spaccanapoli, our awful experience shouldn't have happened on a luxury cruise ship.

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Spaccanapoli implies (as Silversea clearly states) a Neapolitan pizza.

 

The pizza should therefore take a few seconds to assemble and between 60 to 90 seconds at 900f+ to bake. It should be possible to read an order, bake it and plate it within 2 or 3 minutes.

 

Assuming they can cook at least six at time it really shouldn’t take more than around five minutes or so to plate the first six and another few minutes for the last batch, because they will be assembled whilst the first batch are in the oven. Your pizza should have been with you in the 10 minutes or so - give or take - and it implies a lack of trained staff. Somewhat confirmed by the inability to deliver what was ordered.

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Our experience of Spaccanoploi was atrocious. We went to the grill at 3.00 after returning from an excursion looking for food. We were told they had finished so we had to go downstairs for lunch. We went “downstairs” and couldn’t find anywhere so we went back asking did they serve afternoon tea anywhere. We were sent to the panorama lounge that don’t serve afternoon tea. We went back to the grill a third time and we were told to go upstairs and order a Pizza which we did. When it arrived it was absolutely inedible it was dry and brittle on the outside and collapsing and full of water in the middle. It was absolutely pitiful. This was all in the first few days after the stretch but the crew had no idea about what was served where and when and made no effort to find out, just kept sending us on a wild goose chase. Very very very poor food, very very poor service and certainly not what we were expecting.

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It is remarkable how many mention the inability to simply serve what has been ordered. On the Whisper trip we recently completed we had 14 room service breakfasts between us. Not one was exactly as ordered.

 

When I wanted a bagel, I got a muffin. If I then did the obvious and order a muffin , I got a pastry instead. If I ordered 3 rashers of bacon I was “rashoned” to one. If we ordered poached eggs we got hard boiled eggs. For mushrooms I got tomatoes. If we ordered some cold plates as well as hot breakfast they decided which we could have - but not both. I ordered two hash browns and got one. So next day I ordered one for mymwife as well. VOILA -two. My wife yearned for a banana ... it never arrived - she got melon insead. It almost felt like it was a sport and done on purpose.

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Sorry we didn’t get to meet up Joandjoe, the night of the meet and mingle we had a dinner reservation ashore so could make it.

 

Agree the buffet on the pool deck at lunch time wasn’t in the daily chronicles, possibly because they are weather dependant. We like sitting out for lunch, and following the shambles queuing in La Terrazza tended to head for the pool deck if on board so found out about the buffets that way. The dessert buffet one evening was in the chronicle I seem to remember.

 

The ice cream is served next to where the pizzas are cooked on deck 10. There is a dedicated member of staff who will serve you if you go there or you can ask your waiter for the flavours available and they will get it for you. Having done a galley tour we know all is made onboard as they have a very expensive ice cream machine onboard.

 

If anybody else wants to know what food offerings are available on the Spirit the review here on cruise critic is very comprehensive.

 

Would also agree with UKCruiseJeff that if ordering breakfast room service it is a lottery. You are also lucky if it is more than Luke warm.

 

I also still find it hard to believe that if you order toast in La Terraza and don’t order butter separately you get dry toast, unfortunately I am not Elwood Blues and like butter with my toast.

 

Reading posts on cruise critic regarding Silversea, no matter what the topic somehow the charity donation gets bought up. I do wonder if people actually read the letter that comes to the cabin, or look up the charity and see what they do. Personally we don’t mind donating to a charity set up to support palliative care , and also donate to the crew welfare fund when we are onboard. Perhaps if the charity wasn’t named in memory of Mr Lefebvre’s sister Marruza people wouldn’t have such an objection.

 

The option not to pay is clearly mentioned, and if it is such a problem for people who have cruised with Silversea before why not say upon check in you don’t want it added to your account?

 

Will await the angry replies.

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Reading posts on cruise critic regarding Silversea, no matter what the topic somehow the charity donation gets bought up. I do wonder if people actually read the letter that comes to the cabin, or look up the charity and see what they do. Personally we don’t mind donating to a charity set up to support palliative care , and also donate to the crew welfare fund when we are onboard. Perhaps if the charity wasn’t named in memory of Mr Lefebvre’s sister Marruza people wouldn’t have such an objection.

 

The option not to pay is clearly mentioned, and if it is such a problem for people who have cruised with Silversea before why not say upon check in you don’t want it added to your account?

 

Will await the angry replies.

 

No angry reply here -- thank you for saying what I have been thinking. That charity is definitely a favorite for bashing, regardless of how off-topic it is. Like you, I think supporting palliative care is a good use of a buck a day for me, but even if I didn't, I would find the easy-to-use opt-out form a fine solution. And then I wouldn't think of it again until the next opt-out form arrived. The never-ending complaints sure sound to me like they are really about something else, using the guise of a charity opt-out as a means to keep the negativity fresh.

 

For contrast, the SS opt-out form is far better than my having to tell the supermarket checker I don't want to add an extra dollar for charity every time I get groceries. For the record, I do not add an extra dollar for "the Jimmy Fund" when I get groceries, and I hate being asked every danged time. That is far more intrusive and constantly in-my-face than SS's palliative care charity easy opt-out form ever will be. It certainly isn't an abomination warranting such outrage.

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The charity isn’t a favourite for bashing - it is the method of collection for it which I think is being complained of.

 

As Dave hinted, I think the reaction would have been more muted if the owner matched all contributions from his own pocket, but decent people I think do feel uncomfortable about asking for it’s removal and therefore feel either somewhat coerced if they notice it, or deceived if they feel they might have otherwise missed it having noticed it by chance.

 

An alternative which would be much more beneficial is if Silversea incentivated the completion of satisfaction surveys with a contribution for each survey completed. This method increases participation and is a great way of raising cash for pet charities.

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My point was, no matter what the topic somebody always seems to take the opportunity to post about the charity and so the thread moves off in another direction.

 

If somebody is so agreived about the charity or it’s way of collecting why not start a thread about it and use that to discuss the charity and leave other threads discussing the topic they were originally started for.

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My point was, no matter what the topic somebody always seems to take the opportunity to post about the charity and so the thread moves off in another direction.

 

If somebody is so agreived about the charity or it’s way of collecting why not start a thread about it and use that to discuss the charity and leave other threads discussing the topic they were originally started for.

 

But you expressed a detailed opinion about it, but then complain it is off topic. :)

 

I do wonder if people actually read the letter that comes to the cabin, or look up the charity and see what they do. Personally we don’t mind donating to a charity set up to support palliative care , and also donate to the crew welfare fund when we are onboard. Perhaps if the charity wasn’t named in memory of Mr Lefebvre’s sister Marruza people wouldn’t have such an objection.

 

The option not to pay is clearly mentioned, and if it is such a problem for people who have cruised with Silversea before why not say upon check in you don’t want it added to your account?

 

Will await the angry replies.

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Actuially post 15 in this thread starts the discussion on the charity, and I dont think its off topic, just that perhaps it shouild have its own thread so other topics dont get sidelined.

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I have been confused about the charity topic whenever it comes up. A dollar a day for palliative care is a concern when we are spending many thousands for a cruise? I understand that it is the choice issue, but really...if this can make a sick and suffering person’s life one tiny bit easier I’m okay with that. If you don’t agree then tell them.

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My point was, no matter what the topic somebody always seems to take the opportunity to post about the charity and so the thread moves off in another direction.

 

If somebody is so agreived about the charity or it’s way of collecting why not start a thread about it and use that to discuss the charity and leave other threads discussing the topic they were originally started for.

 

The charity charge was only mentioned because it reveals a systemic issue with SS that they charge for things other lines do not, in this case the alternative restaurants and the charity.

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It is neither about the charity or about wealth. It is about the principle of one person saying to a complete stranger “unless you notice and tell me otherwise i am going to charge you without asking you first, an amount that I have decided for a contribution to my favourite charity.”

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As Dave hinted, I think the reaction would have been more muted if the owner matched all contributions from his own pocket, but decent people I think do feel uncomfortable about asking for it’s removal

 

This is worrisome. I guess I am not among the "decent people" because I ask for the removal on every cruise and feel no discomfort.

 

As for the owner matching contributions: Were he to do so, there would doubtless be complaints that he was bragging about his charity, that what he contributes to the charity is no one else's business, &c.

 

In any case, this may all become moot shortly if the new majority owner RC decides to pull the plug on this solicitation.

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