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Gnoelj

SILVER SEAS VS AZAMARA, VIKING & OCEANIA

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22 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.

 

... SilverSeas are asking for the same number of nights, albeit to a different part of Europe, and it is a verandah "stateroom" (ok, cabin!!!).

 

It is the Spirit. The lowest price on the SS website is £4200 with flights but in a Vista suite (no veranda). If you can get a veranda at the price quoted that would be the bargain of the year! 

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6 hours ago, Gnoelj said:

 

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.

Hi, the only way to have a post removed (or edited after the time is up) is to email one of the moderators and ask

them to do it.

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23 minutes ago, Tothesunset said:

It is the Spirit. The lowest price on the SS website is £4200 with flights but in a Vista suite (no veranda). If you can get a veranda at the price quoted that would be the bargain of the year! 

 

That was my thoughts too... (Though your next one is better!)

 

Check your emails...

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Gnoelj we were concerned a bit about the butler & how he/she would impact our first cruise, but after two SS cruises I want to assure you: (1) the butler is there for your benefit, & of course you can take or leave him or her, and (2) if you choose to pass on their services, I think you might miss out.  Right or wrong, our butler on each cruise became sort of our confidante.  If we were confused about something, we'd discuss it with our butler.  If we were exhausted from an excursion (happened once!), we'd reach out to our butler and our options for dinner, in cabin or out, were explained with a smile.  Hope you book with SS and we will watch for your posts if you do!

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It’s still Silversea not Silver Seas.

There is really just a division of duties between the butler and the cabin steward with the latter being the one to do the cleaning and the butler handling everything else.  Really no different than the arrangement when staying in a suite on other lines.

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21 hours ago, les37b said:

 

 

Let us know if you booked....

 

 


OK, will let you know if we booked.

 

There are so many attractive offers on different cruise lines it is hard to choose. 

 

We read one article that advised to get really good deals, one should book really EARLY However, with all the special LATE deals at specially low fares, we are not sure so that the early booking advice should always be adhered to.

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On 1/9/2020 at 6:58 PM, 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.

 

We felt like that about a 'butler' and to be honest, we didn't really use ours for anything different to a standard cabin steward/ess. I don't really know what the difference is.....maybe ours had a really easy trip!!

 

We've only been on SS expedition cruises and I've loved them all! There haven't been any really formal nights on those but, if there were, I'd just go to Hot Rocks or La Terrazza. We've also been on Regent and think the two lines are very comparable and we don't dress up on those either. The food has been great on both.  I've got my eye on a Crystal expedition but the price is WAY higher than SS so I don't think it's going to happen.

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We were very unimpressed with the the thought of a Butler initially. Our first SS Cruise we thanked him for his introduction, explained we’re very low maintenance and told him we’d see him at the end of the week. That is pretty much how it panned out. Second time our Butler was extremely pro-active and a superb addition. Thoughtful touches like arranging Champagne and Caviar on the verandah when returning from excursions and coming to see if we would like our clothes and boots cleaning after a very mucky ATV trip that he knew we’d taken. Not in your face but there for the things that you didn’t yet realise you needed. I Wouldn’t worry about it but keep an open mind and see how it works out. 

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2 hours ago, Mocamps said:

I don't really know what the difference is.....maybe ours had a really easy trip.


IMHO, the differences are quite stark.  The Butler is there to care for you, including all of your F&B needs, whereas the Steward is there to care for the suite, including all cleaning requirements you may have.

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On 1/9/2020 at 4:26 PM, Gourmet Gal said:

Just wondering, do they all have afternoon tea, still?

I was on Muse this summer, and afternoon tea was not on the schedule. However, the Arts Café changes their food offerings four times a day (so I was told) and in the afternoon offered scones and other tea accompaniments.

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On 1/9/2020 at 1:58 PM, 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 believe Silversea is the only luxury cruise line offering butler service in all suites, not just the largest.

If you think a butler is pretentious, why are you even considering Silversea?There are other lines where it is not available. I am booked on Spirit this summer and eagerly awaiting my return to one of my favorite cruise lines.

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3 hours ago, Mahogany said:

I believe Silversea is the only luxury cruise line offering butler service in all suites, not just the largest.

If you think a butler is pretentious, why are you even considering Silversea?There are other lines where it is not available. I am booked on Spirit this summer and eagerly awaiting my return to one of my favorite cruise lines.

 

We were considering Silversea because of the attractive special fare offered,.....BUT....after reading/learning that they send their butler to service ALL their suites, and they do not give customers a choice not to have them, that was a big turn off for us.

 

Yes, we still think "Butlers" on cruise ships are pretentious and waste of resources and money (are they actually trained and certified by the British Butler Institute, or similar, or are they just ex cabin stewards given a Butler costume and put up the pecking order?). However, if you like and appreciate them, that's your prerogative, it's just not everyone's cup of tea.

 

 

Edited by Gnoelj

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23 minutes ago, Gnoelj said:

 

We were considering Silversea because of the attractive special fare offered,.....BUT....after reading/learning that they send their butler to service ALL their suites, and they do not give customers a choice not to have them, that was a big turn off for us.

 

Yes, we still think "Butlers" on cruise ships are pretentious and waste of resources and money (are they actually trained and certified by the British Butler Institute, or similar, or are they just ex cabin stewards given a Butler costume and put up the pecking order?). However, if you like and appreciate them, that's your prerogative, it's just not everyone's cup of tea.

 

 

If one is a purist then I am sure the SS butlers would not be up to snuff.  But really, they are unobtrusive and there to be helpful to the extent that you desire.  But of course you can just dismiss them and tell them right away that you prefer not to have to subject yourself to their assistance unless called upon.  Don’t call me, I’ll call you and all that.

 

The idea of paid help really seems to be sticking in your craw so perhaps SS really is not for you.

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S

1 hour ago, Gourmet Gal said:

If one is a purist then I am sure the SS butlers would not be up to snuff.  But really, they are unobtrusive and there to be helpful to the extent that you desire.  But of course you can just dismiss them and tell them right away that you prefer not to have to subject yourself to their assistance unless called upon.  Don’t call me, I’ll call you and all that.

 

The idea of paid help really seems to be sticking in your craw so perhaps SS really is not for you.

 

No offence intended but if you don't mind, we can think and decide for ourselves which cruise line we wish to book with or whether SS is for us or not . You do not need to tell us that, thank you.

 

We came on here because we just wanted to find out some facts and confirm some information  that is all.

 

Anyway, we think we have learn enough now. Thanks to everyone for all for your time and assistance.

Edited by Gnoelj

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On 1/9/2020 at 12:54 PM, Gnoelj said:

Would we be overwhelmed?

 

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.

 

However, you tell us, what do you think their activities are like on  Silver Seas ships compared to  ships on those 3 cruise lines?

 

 

1) Based on how you prefaced your following questions, yes, I believe you would be overwhelmed by Silversea as compared to Azamara, Oceania or Viking.


2) Food is not immediately served so guests may enjoy the company of who they have chosen to dine with.  So, be prepared to be driven up a wall.

 

3) Activities will be similar.

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22 minutes ago, QueSeraSera said:

Well DW, I feel the same.  😒  IMO after tonight's shared bottle of fine NZ wine, @Gourmet Gal was just trying to help.


The op has been reassured several times that you can tell the Butler that you don’t need them so I don’t understand the problem. 
I Think that Gourmet Gals assessment was quite correct, from what the op says I don’t believe they would enjoy the Silversea experience, especially considering the lack of an evening buffet. 

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10 hours ago, Daveywavey70 said:


The op has been reassured several times that you can tell the Butler that you don’t need them so I don’t understand the problem. 
I Think that Gourmet Gals assessment was quite correct, from what the op says I don’t believe they would enjoy the Silversea experience, especially considering the lack of an evening buffet. 

 

Personally I didn't have a problem being asked if we wanted a cocktail and snacks brought to us when we arrived back from a trip. I've always found it something good. I'd never really thought it obtrusive since I could always say no or just go get them myself (and often did - for a refill! lol) Thing is, it's a selling point that Silversea are proud to promote that they offer and I just chalk it up to another attention to detail to enjoy. I'm sure that more than makes up for no gratuities necessary that cheaper lines charge. They get you one way or another........ and as for drink package prices! Sheesh.... NCL want $118 per day each. Brings things into perspective!

 

I'll take my free butler and drinks any day of the week. 

 

Horses for courses. We all like and expect different things for our money. Some like caviar at dinner, some like buffets. I guess we chose accordingly (even though I'd not want the caviar either... but happy enough for those you are able to enjoy.)

 

 

 

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Hi, Just chiming in----I also think Gourmet Gal was just trying to help and the reply to her? WOW!  We know folks can

make their own decisions...…..no need for the snarky response.:classic_sad:

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18 hours ago, Gnoelj said:

 

We were considering Silversea because of the attractive special fare offered,.....BUT....after reading/learning that they send their butler to service ALL their suites, and they do not give customers a choice not to have them, that was a big turn off for us.

 

Yes, we still think "Butlers" on cruise ships are pretentious and waste of resources and money (are they actually trained and certified by the British Butler Institute, or similar, or are they just ex cabin stewards given a Butler costume and put up the pecking order?). However, if you like and appreciate them, that's your prerogative, it's just not everyone's cup of tea.

 

 

Butler school is in India.

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1 hour ago, Mahogany said:

Butler school is in India.


For the most part that’s true.  On our last cruise we had the lovely Yi.  Yi is Chinese and I believe she said she went to a butler school run by one of the 5-star hotel chains.  

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People have commented on special things the butler will do, but I do not believe there has been sufficient attention to routine/unpretentious functions, such as:

  • Refreshing drinking water supply and ice
  • Replacing fresh fruit if requested
  • Supplying an endless supply of pretzels and M&Ms
  • Serving room service meals if they are ordered when he/she is on duty

 I understand that some of these functions are provided on other lines by suite attendants who are also cleaning the suites.

 

I think there is a happy separation between food/drink handling/serving and cleaning toilets.

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If the op or anyone else is still interested, we have sailed on Oceania(both the O and the R ships which should be similar to Azamara ) , Viking and Silverseas. We enjoyed all of them, each having their pluses and minuses, but all cruise lines we would travel with again if the itinerary was interesting and the price was right. 

 
So here is my opinion of Silverseas Shadow, versus  Viking and Oceania .
 
Note: Shadow is an older ship that had not been recently refurbished, larger than the Wind, but smaller than the muse and Spirit. Although Oceania and Vikings overall decor  and furnishings were newer and fresher than Silverseas , I had no issues and now that it has been refurbished , it’s probably even nicer. 
 
- ROOMS: comfort of the rooms with walk in closet and bathrooms with separate tub and shower and 2 sinks . We had a vista suite, we did not need  a balcony which would have added >$1000 pp, not worth it to me, but maybe worth to others. Believe had a DVD, but thought the TV offerings were decent. Compared to the other lines, I think I preferred the Silverseas over Oceania and Viking . More storage than Viking deluxe Veranda , but bathroom shower and bathroom storage on Viking was a slight plus over Silverseas. Compared to  Oceania, storage in room was comparable, but the walk in closet on SS was much better than the sliding door closet next to bed on Oceania (and Viking) . Bathrooms, preferred O ships  to R since had separate bath and shower, but preferred SS  bath storage and design. 
 
Didn’t really use the Butler, but was nice to have if you needed something. 
 
We think on the refurbished Whisper , the room may be  even be nicer than the Shadow which had not yet been updated, but believe it is now. The 2 are sister ships. 
 
-Size of ship was equivalent to R ships, but much fewer passengers which gave it the advantage over both Oceania and Viking. 
 
-more inclusions than Oceania , but similar to Viking. Free unlimited Wi-Fi (I assume that is still included, believe Viking included ) , free laundry machines on each floor  (Viking inclusion) , included drinks(Viking only wine and beer w/ lunch and dinner) , and included gratuities. Some of these SS inclusions can add up on these other lines, so was nice to know we didn’t have to worry about that added cost.
 
-FOOD
All of the lines have comparable food, which is to say is very good. . I don’t recall a bad meal on Silverseas or Oceania, although there were some hit and misses on Viking and I would rank Viking last of the three. Nevertheless if you enjoyed the food on these other lines, you will enjoy Silverseas . 
 
Overall , Oceania had more choices for dinner venues than the other two which gives it a step above the others. Definitely preferred their dinner buffet to Viking, and wished Silverseas had a  dinner buffet since there  are nights you just want something quick after a long day of sightseeing. It was not a deal breaker , but would have been nice. 
 
So the lack of included dinner venues was the one area that Silverseas lacked compared to the others. Having only the MDR , Italian , and casual outdoor grill (, which is only good if weather is nice and if you like grilled protein and not much else).
 
The plus for SS over the others is that  you can make as many dinner reservations in advance for the 2 specialty restaurants. I believe every category of room has the same reservation timeline , which is an advantage over Viking and Oceania which limit the amount of reservations as well as the sign up period, which is a disadvantage for those in lower level rooms   .
 
ATTIRE-
 
 The formal nights I thought would be a problem, but you do have an option to make reservations at the other  dining venues that don’t require formal dress. I actually like to dress nicely on the cruise versus at home. The more “formal”  environment on SS just means more guests  will dress nicely on non formal nights versus Viking which seemed to be more accepting of very casual attire in MDR, which frankly disappointed . Oceania seemed to have the perfect mix.
 
As stated,  you can’t go wrong with SS if you like the other lines. 
 
Good luck and safe travels . 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sent from my iPad
Edited by bobolz

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I chimed in earlier & I still do not believe the OP is seriously interested in booking a Silversea cruise.  However, when making comparisons in pricing, it's important to remember that the regular verandah cabins on Oceania aren't really comparable to standard Silversea verandah cabins in size or amenities. You must book a PH on Oceania for a true comparison.  I assume it's the same on Azamara. We've not sailed on Viking but have been on the Regatta a couple of times & the bathroom was claustrophobic & the curtain, yes an actual shower curtain, took on a life of its own!   Almost comical & the whole bathroom was a deal breaker for ever traveling in a regular verandah again. (Don't their PH's come equipped with  butler service also?)  Maybe they've modernized the bathrooms now?  Or maybe it doesn't bother others.  The food & specialty restaurants were very good & appreciated the no extra charge for them.  Everyone has their own priorities. 

 

Bob, I think you probably put in an extra word in your above excellent review.  I suspect you meant to say that the Shadow is an older ship that has been recently refurbished ( or maybe you meant to say "now" instead of "not?")  

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