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Gnoelj

SILVER SEAS VS AZAMARA, VIKING & OCEANIA

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We are looking at a cruise on the Silver Shadow.

 

However, we have never cruised with Silver Seas. Our past experience has been with Viking Ocean, Azamara and Oceania (and a few others).

 

For folks who have cruised with Silver Seas as well as with either Azamara, Oceania or Viking (or all of them), could you perhaps tell us what you think the quality  and experience is  like comparing cruising with Silver Seas , and with either or all of these three cruise lines? Would we be overwhelmed?

 

For us, what is important is the quality of meals and wines on board. For sit-down non-buffet meals, in the restaurants,  what would drive us up the wall (well, just a little bit!) would be to sit for long periods of time before the food arrives!  Food served hot is also high on our list for extra brownie points!!!

 

We realise that on board activities (especially entertainment in the theatre) on Oceania and Viking are not  really their strengths (we know some folks rave about the on-board cultural enrichment talks on Viking, but we were not too sure about). However, you tell us,  what do you think their activities are like on  Silver Seas ships compared to  ships on those 3 cruise lines?

Just for information, if we book on the Silver Shadow, it will just be one of their standard verandah. On Oceania, we usually prefer their “O” ships rather than the smaller “R” ones. Strangely enough, for Azamara, as all their ships are “R” ships, for some reason, we did not mind that at all!

 

Looking forward to hear from you with your views. We learn new things every day, that’s our motto!

 

PS: We are going to place this discussion on all the boards of the four cruise lines, to get a more balanced view from various cruisers.

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You most likely will hear tons of stuff about food but food is subjective.

 

Silversea is comparable with Seabourn and Regent. Trying to compare others is like comparing Ritz to Marriott. 

 

So it would be best for you to try it and make your own comparisions.

 

Good luck and happy cruising... 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, carefreecruise said:

You most likely will hear tons of stuff about food but food is subjective.

 

Silversea is comparable with Seabourn and Regent. Trying to compare others is like comparing Ritz to Marriott. 

 

So it would be best for you to try it and make your own comparisions.

 

Good luck and happy cruising... 

 

Is it really comparable to Regent or Seabourn? Really? That does surprise us!

The cruise fare we were looking at on Silver Shadow is way, way LOWER than what is being offered on Oceania or Viking, even after their discounts! As their fares were lower, we had thought the would be at best on level with Viking or Oceania.


We also had looked at some comments from past cruisers on  CruiseCritic

( see https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/memberreviews/getreviews.cfm?action=ship&ShipID=162)  about the Silver Shadow, out of the most recent 20, about half of that were somewhat underwhelming. That really worried us somewhat. Perhaps you could give us reassurance that half of those people commenting were not right what they wrote???!!!

 

If there were some truth in those comments, so how can that SilverSea ship be better than the high standards of Azamara, Oceania and Viking service (let alone Regent or Seabourn).? Please do tell.

Edited by Gnoelj

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I have multiple cruises on Seabourn, on Regent, and on Silversea, and I can attest that they are quite comparable.  Of course there are differences, but they are all in the top rank of cruise lines (along with Hapag Lloyd, etc.).  

 

Re. Silver Shadow.  The owners invested big bucks in renovation (in some way a reimagining) of the ship.  It came out of dry dock a few months ago and is said to sparkle with new soft furnishings, carpets, furniture, etc. 

 

Some people will find cause to grumble in heaven.  🙂

 

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58 minutes ago, Gnoelj said:

 

The cruise fare we were looking at on Silver Shadow is way, way LOWER than what is being offered on Oceania or Viking, even after their discounts!

 

Just curious...if you don't mind, which Shadow cruise is "way, way LOWER"?

 

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, rloke said:

 

Just curious...if you don't mind, which Shadow cruise is "way, way LOWER"?

 

 

There is a cruise on the Silver Shadow from Lisbon to Greenwich (London), June 25th 2020, 10 nights, including transfers, and business class flight  to Lisbon ....all for £2850 per guest ! We still have the link to that page that offers that price.

 

However, we also saw an Baltic cruise for 10 nights, on Oceania, with 6 free excursions, wifi, specialty restaurants, gratuities , economy flight , airport transfer one way and OBC for about £3,350 per guest...which is somewhat more than what SilverSeas are asking for the same number of nights, albeit to a different part of Europe, and it is a verandah "stateroom" (ok, cabin!!!).

 

We have never been on Silverseas,but when we read the relatively substantial number of not-so-glowing comments on Cruise Critic AND when we realised that they did not have a buffet restaurant for dinner, we were not too sure whether to book with SilverSeas or not. That was why we thought we'd ask those experienced Silversea cruisers!

Edited by Gnoelj

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7 minutes ago, Gnoelj said:

 

There is a cruise on the Silver Shadow from Lisbon to Greenwich (London), June 25th 2020, 10 nights, including transfers, and business class flight  to Lisbon ....all for £2850 per guest ! We still have the link to that page that offers that price.

 

However, we got an Oceania 10 nights Baltic Cruise with 6 free excursions, wifi, specialty restaurants, gratuities , economy flight , airport transfer one way and OBC for about £3,350 per guest...which is somewhat more than what SilverSeas are asking for the same number of nights, albeit to a different part of Europe, and it is a verandah.

 

You mean the Spirit then...if I were you, I would book immediately to snatch up that deal...£2850 for the veranda suite + BC flights is a scorching hot deal IMHO...😉😮

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We have cruised SS, R, O but not V or A. Without question SS matches R and is a step up from O. Our problem is we are not fans of formal nights so we woud prefer R or O. 

All comments about food as previously mentioned are subjective, but we would challenge anyone to find SIGNIFICANT differences between all the "luxury" lines.

TBH we are happy to cruise any top end line depending on itinerary.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, rloke said:

 

You mean the Spirit then...if I were you, I would book immediately to snatch up that deal...£2850 for the veranda suite + BC flights is a scorching hot deal IMHO...😉😮

 

You are probably right, it could be Silver Spirit, not Silver Shadow. But whichever it is, the accommodation is luxurious, right?

 

Business Class flights within Europe is nothing much to write home about, just the same narrow economy class seat with the middle seat put down as a "table". And of course the airport lounge, that's the nice bit.

 

However, this is what is keeping us back from booking:

 

1) No main dining room?

2) No buffet for dinner?

3) All speciality restaurants hardly change their menus?

4) Do the popular specialty restaurants get fully booked early ?

5) Very Slow food service at those restaurants ?

6) No afternoon tea service?

7) Not sure about the dress code on SilverSeas...is it very formal and do they have formal evenings? We like the Viking/Oceania/Azamara arrangement where most evenings, it is just to dress "country casual", no formal nights at all .

 

 

..... Plus Are there lack of activities to do on board and do the stage shows start very late compared to those other cruise liners (10pm or 10.30pm) ? 


That was why we wanted to ask you folks who are in the know to see whether all these concerns we read elsewhere have any substance, or are they really nothing to be concerned about? We just do not know.

 

Edited by Gnoelj

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3 minutes ago, newlondon said:

Without question SS matches R and is a step up from O. Our problem is we are not fans of formal nights so we woud prefer R or O. 

 

I share your dislike of formal nights.  They are not that frequent, and I routinely dine al fresco in Hot Rocks where dress code is always casual.  I have often worn shorts there on formal nights.  On formal nights one can dine in La Terrazza wearing informal clothing (gents: jacket but no necktie required).  And of course one can always have one’s butler bring food from the Restaurant menu to one’s suite (at least on the smaller ships, including Whisper/Shadow).

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20 minutes ago, Gnoelj said:

 

 

 

 

Just looked quickly at some reviews on CruiseCritic for the Silver Spirit, they seem to be much better than for Silver Shadow.

Wonder why is that?

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22 minutes ago, Observer said:

 

I share your dislike of formal nights.  They are not that frequent, and I routinely dine al fresco in Hot Rocks where dress code is always casual.  I have often worn shorts there on formal nights.  On formal nights one can dine in La Terrazza wearing informal clothing (gents: jacket but no necktie required).  And of course one can always have one’s butler bring food from the Restaurant menu to one’s suite (at least on the smaller ships, including Whisper/Shadow).

 

I am afraid the Butler is also one of the things that puts us off. We would rather pay NOT to have a butler than have one.

 

On one cruise in the past, we had a butler , we did not appreciate that at all. It felt a bit too pretentious.

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1 hour ago, Gnoelj said:

 

You are probably right, it could be Silver Spirit, not Silver Shadow. But whichever it is, the accommodation is luxurious, right?

 

Business Class flights within Europe is nothing much to write home about, just the same narrow economy class seat with the middle seat put down as a "table". And of course the airport lounge, that's the nice bit.

 

However, this is what is keeping us back from booking:

 

1) No main dining room?

2) No buffet for dinner?

3) All speciality restaurants hardly change their menus?

4) Do the popular specialty restaurants get fully booked early ?

5) Very Slow food service at those restaurants ?

6) No afternoon tea service?

7) Not sure about the dress code on SilverSeas...is it very formal and do they have formal evenings? We like the Viking/Oceania/Azamara arrangement where most evenings, it is just to dress "country casual", no formal nights at all .

 

 

..... Plus Are there lack of activities to do on board and do the stage shows start very late compared to those other cruise liners (10pm or 10.30pm) ? 


That was why we wanted to ask you folks who are in the know to see whether all these concerns we read elsewhere have any substance, or are they really nothing to be concerned about? We just do not know.

 

First of all, it is Silversea.  On my last Silversea cruise there was:

A main dining room

Afternoon tea with an impressive tower o treats

No dinner buffet, thank god!  Who would want that!  

The specialty dining rooms did not change their menus but offered choices that could be enjoyed on different nights.

No reason not to book the specialty restaurants early, you can easily do it on line 120 days out.  Things change daily, though and quite often you can get in last minute.

Never noticed slow service anywhere.

BTW, in room dining service is excellent.  You can be served course by course if desired.

Yes, there were formal nights with some going all out and other seasoned travelers able to comply with simple business attire or not dining in the main dining room.  

There are lectures, lessons, trivia, card room, etc.

 

Sounds like you are reluctant to deviate from your familiar lines.  All lines are different and so far in my experience, none are perfect...can’t please everyone all the time.  Good luck with your decision.

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We were on the Silver Shadow quite a few years ago. We swore we would never book another cruise on the line. I have heard very good things since RCCL purchased 80% share of the company, have built new ships, and are upgrading existing ones. We booked the new Silver Moon for January 2021. We are on Crystal right now, and are not pleased at all.

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Posted (edited)

I just returned from a cruise on the newly redone Shadow. She is quite beautiful and I did write about my experiences here on CC boards. I also posted photographs.

 

The smaller Silversea vessels still have the traditional main dining room.

The Muse and the Spirit and soon to be launched Moon do NOT have a MDR.

Instead they have several dining venues.

Some of them require reservations and some have an upcharge.

There is no course by course room service dining except on the smaller ships that have a MDR.

There is complimentary caviar available.

The room service menu is good.

Feel free to ask me any questions I will be happy to help.

 

We have now been on all of the Silversea vessels including the expedition ships.

 

Edited by spinnaker2

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2 hours ago, Gnoelj said:

 

I am afraid the Butler is also one of the things that puts us off. We would rather pay NOT to have a butler than have one.

 

On one cruise in the past, we had a butler , we did not appreciate that at all. It felt a bit too pretentious.

 

I initially felt precisely that way, and if anyone cared I believe s/he could find old posts from me to that effect.  I have warmed to the presence of the butlers and have found them useful from time to time in many wholly unexpected ways.

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Such discussions are complicated by the fact that there are significant differences among ships in the Silversea fleet.  There are expedition ships.  Ships that double as expedition and classic cruising ships.  Traditional classic ships (like Wind/Shadow/Whisper).  And the new Muse-class ships like Muse, Spirit, and soon Moon.  So, generalizing about Silversea is hazardous.

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5 hours ago, Gnoelj said:

 Not sure about the dress code on SilverSeas...is it very formal and do they have formal evenings? We like the Viking/Oceania/Azamara arrangement where most evenings, it is just to dress "country casual", no formal nights at all .

 

From Silversea's FAQs:  

 

Shipboard attire ranges from casual to formal. Casual wear is appropriate for daytime aboard ship or ashore and consists of standard sports outfits as worn at five-star resorts. Shoes should be flat or low heeled for deck activities. Evening attire falls into three categories: casual, informal and formal. On casual evenings, pants, blouses, skirts and casual dresses for ladies; open-neck shirts and slacks for gentlemen are appropriate. On informal evenings, ladies usually wear dresses or pantsuits; gentlemen wear jackets (tie optional). Appropriate formal evening wear for ladies is an evening gown or cocktail dress; gentlemen wear tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits. Tie is required.

 

On formal nights, guests may dine in La Terrazza and choose to dress informal; dresses or pantsuits for ladies, jackets for gentlemen (tie optional). This option also applies to Seishin and Stars on board Silver Spirit. Dining at The Grill is optional casual
all nights. Following dinner, all guests are free to take advantage of any or all public spaces, however, jacket is required. Sailings of 9 days or less typically feature 1 formal night, while longer voyages usually have 2-3 formal nights. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Gnojlie, It sounds like your list of dislikes has already ruled out Silversea so book with Oceania & enjoy every moment.  If you need to have a "sales job", then it probably isn't for you.

But as to pricing, could it be that Oceania, etc are over-priced rather than Silversea being under-priced?  Just a though.....

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13 hours ago, Gnoelj said:

 

There is a cruise on the Silver Shadow from Lisbon to Greenwich (London), June 25th 2020, 10 nights, including transfers, and business class flight  to Lisbon ....all for £2850 per guest ! We still have the link to that page that offers that price.

 

However, we also saw an Baltic cruise for 10 nights, on Oceania, with 6 free excursions, wifi, specialty restaurants, gratuities , economy flight , airport transfer one way and OBC for about £3,350 per guest...which is somewhat more than what SilverSeas are asking for the same number of nights, albeit to a different part of Europe, and it is a verandah "stateroom" (ok, cabin!!!).

 

We have never been on Silverseas,but when we read the relatively substantial number of not-so-glowing comments on Cruise Critic AND when we realised that they did not have a buffet restaurant for dinner, we were not too sure whether to book with SilverSeas or not. That was why we thought we'd ask those experienced Silversea cruisers!

 

I just had a look on the Silversea site to view and that cruise is coming up as £4900 for a veranda suite, so not quite sure where that £2850 price is from, but if you can still book, grab it and don't let go.

 

That cruise is on the Spirit not Shadow, which have both very recently undergone refits. I've not sailed on the Spirit (I had a booking which was cancelled because of the refit) but have been on board for Lunch when in Greenwich a couple of times and really like it. We have a booking to sail on the Spirit next year and do not hesitate in recommending. In fact, I'm hoping to come on for Lunch when she arrives in Greenwich on 5 July at the end of this cruise....

 

The one thing I will say, is it's the little things and attention to detail which always impress. Sure, things are never 100% but that can be said of all CL. In general, I've never had anything I've felt the need to complain about. Some will complain about the slightest thing, so like with all reviews, I tend to ignore the extreme moans unless they are being repeated.

 

For the price you've stated, you can't go wrong, though I can't but help thinking it's incorrect price, but hopefully you get it sorted as it's a bargain. If you remove the cost of flights, it brings it down to £240pn, which for accommodation, food, drink, port taxes and gratuities is pretty good in my book.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, les37b said:

 

I just had a look on the Silversea site to view and that cruise is coming up as £4900 for a veranda suite, so not quite sure where that £2850 price is from, but if you can still book, grab it and don't let go.

 

 

 

 

 


I hope it is allowed to say where I got this price. It is through a link via email from 

Travelzoo in the UK, which links to a Silversea"Travelzoo Exclusive Offer" booking site. There are also offers for cruises in the Caribbean, Eastern Med. and to Iceland.

 

Maybe at these prices, it might tempt you to book yet another cruise!

 

It just shows that you'd need to shop around for the best prices . Do not just grab the first ones  that come along! Of course, for those fortunate people where money is no object, different prices would not matter to them. For the rest of us, that affects our decision in making a booking.

Edited by Gnoelj

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Thank you for that, though best to edit as CC don't allow agent details (and why I didn't actually ask).... Good to know though and yes it's there as you've said. Grab it... It's a steal.

 

I certainly would be tempted to book... But already have 12 days in the Wind in August and 15 on the Moon in November... So no way I could get that time off work even if I wanted.

 

I will certainly keep my eyes open for the following year though. I do have 2 booked then also, but the Spirit one I mentioned wasn't really a stand out itinerary or price, so who knows.

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18 minutes ago, les37b said:

Thank you for that, though best to edit as CC don't allow agent details (and why I didn't actually ask).... Good to know though and yes it's there as you've said. Grab it... It's a steal.

 

 

Oh dear, how would I edit that as my 15-20mins window to edit what I typed has already lapsed ??? If anyone has any suggestions how to do it, I will edit that. I intend to abide with all rules made by CC and do not intentionally wish to break any of those rules.

Edited by Gnoelj

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It's funny as a conversation I'd had with someone in another sub forum thread only yesterday we discussed the sillyness of not being able to edit despite the intention being to amend incorrect or out of date information.  (That was a prolific 10K+ and helpful poster giving info on his home country foul of this and effectively hindered.)

 

I'd hope the moderators do appreciate no link was posted and in fact, it is Silversea themselves who are selling it direct at a lower price. No agent involved. That said, someone asked me for the agents name I used as I was getting 10% off. I posted my email address as I know agent details can't be posted and made it clear I wasn't endorsing them, but if it helps, I can give them the name by email. I found myself banned for 5 days for doing so. I'd genuinely thought I was inside the rules, but there you go. I can't say I was impressed and still not. Links to cruise line sites are perfectly ok (I think), so the SS link showing the fare you stated should be completely fine. But again, who knows! What I did I've seen countless times before. I'll live and let it go, but it has left a sour taste.

 

So will you be booking?

 

When you ring SS on that number, it shouldn't be a problem to reduce by a further £400 by getting the air fare removed. I expect you won't need once back in the UK.... And imagine the flight to Lisbon could be bought for less than £100. You would need to sort your transfer though but I expect that will be under £300 though!

 

Let us know if you booked....

 

 

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