Author Topic: Silversea?  (Read 2291 times)

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Offline George C Griffiths

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #15 on: Aug 03, 2023, 08:42 AM »
I'm not sure it's fair to compare the "luxury" ships with the Hebridean Princess. I too have had a tour of that vessel and all said about her is accurate. But it's not comparing like for like and is also deviating from Rob's original query about Silversea.
As regards classes of drunks and the Scottish attitude - I can tell you that in all my years of sailing (on both ocean and river cruises in various countries) with different companies and on different types of vessel since 1999 - the only signs of drunkenness I've seen were on Cunard ships and particularly (would you believe) in the Golden lion on QE2! On every other luxury inclusive cruise all I've ever seen is responsible drinking. Using myself as an example - I've noticed that when the drinks are "free" I drink less. I think this is psychological in that as it's there and available I often don't bother as much. I guess it's a bit of the "Manana" attitude kicking in. I've discussed this feeling of mine with other guests from many countries and they feel the same.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Silversea?
« Reply #16 on: Aug 03, 2023, 07:45 PM »
Luxury for me is mostly about service, and not being bothered about things I have to worry about in my daily life.  Complimentary drinks (including proper tea and coffee in bars!) is part of the luxurious experience... getting what you want, when you want it, without having to do sums in your head, or stand in a queue, or complain about something or other...  I'm not so fussed about luxurious fabrics and leathers etc, bling, or designer food.

Whats not luxury for me, was watching on board QV on Hogmanay as they prepared a Champagne Fountain with much fanfare, then the people all having to queue up to pay $17 each for a glass - plus tip - on what was an extra-expensive cruise to start with.  Most people there had expected it to be complementary, especially the non-Brits, and a ripple of shock went through the crowd when asked to cough up.  Also ordering a super-expensive cocktail as a treat, which then wasn't prepared correctly at all and was a let-down.  Thats the opposite of luxurious.  The serious vibration in the restaurant wasn't luxurious either, but thats another story...
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #17 on: Aug 03, 2023, 09:29 PM »
Quote
Also ordering a super-expensive cocktail as a treat, which then wasn't prepared correctly at all and was a let-down.   

I do sincerely hope you voiced your comments.  Im afraid these days iv joined the band wagon if it's not correct, then voice your comments, if your paying good money and its not right l just tell them. My serious pet hate is being served a pint of Coca-Cola in any place and it arrives in a beer branded glass.  There will normally follow a tirade as to whats in the Glass, which is then followd by Oh its only Coke, if im not already at roof height by this stage or i havent poured it over the server , then they get the Coca cola story and would you serve champagne in a tea cup ?  The server will granted admit what i have said is right, or maybe they just say that to shut me up.

I do think this year has been the worst, in my 24 years  iv experienced in hospitality from guests and their whims needs or whatever. Only last week two guests turned up with a booking.com reservation showing only one guest, amd having shown them 4 rooms all above what they had booked and still were not satisfied , l took them back to the front desk, refund the money and asked them to pursue their hunt for the perfect room else where , clearly we had failed. Sometimes you need to stand firm. Dig your heels in and tell the guest what they really need to be told.

Rwonders what happened
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #18 on: Aug 04, 2023, 02:40 PM »
I 100% agree with what Rob said in his first paragraph! For me it's more about the service - with any other bells and whistles taking second place. With Regent and (I'm sure) Silversea and Seabourn that's exactly what you get. Designer food seems to be the norm nowadays but I can live without it too. That said - I've found the food on Regent and Uniworld to be superior to Queens Grill on Cunard - in general. So just consider the luxurious fabrics, leathers and bling - with spacious suites - as being a bonus. As regards the service - again I've found the service on board Regent and Uniworld to be far superior and friendly.  This puzzled me at first as I thought that since the staff were not being tipped personally that they would not care as much. How wrong was I! The service and friendliness was above and beyond my expectation. On a Uniworld cruise once I wasn't feeling so good and told my waitress that I didn't think I could face alcohol with my meal. She knew that I normally drank red wine with my meal and immediately told me that they had alcohol-free red wine on board and proceeded to get it for me. And all with a smile! Don't hesitate to book Silversea Rob - or any of the others I've referred to. You definitely wont be disappointed.

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #19 on: Aug 04, 2023, 02:54 PM »
Another thing I forgot to say about Silversea is that the mini-bar is stocked with every drink of your choice - and refilled as and when! This includes the spirit of your choice. The butler will ask what you require upon checking in to your suite.

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #20 on: Sep 02, 2023, 03:29 PM »
Here is my (not so glowing!) report on Silversea when I recently sailed on a 10 day round Iceland cruise - with a one day peel-off to the Faeroe Islands.

It is reasonable that I compare my Silversea experience with that of Regent (with whom I have sailed twice) as they are both high end all-inclusive ships.
In fact I should also compare it to Uniworld river cruises as I have sailed with them many times - and they too are high end and all-inclusive.

In terms of the vessel (Silver Moon), facilities, shore excursions, fellow guests and staff - it was excellent - and much the same as Regent and Uniworld - so no grumbles on that score.
In fact there is not much more to say on that as both the Regent and Silversea vessels are near enough identical.
Silversea has more speciality dining restaurants with some at an additional cost.
The maximum number of guests is around 600 and there were approx. 580 on board - despite the vessel being not far off the size of the QE or QV.
So nowhere is ever crowded and there is loads of space everywhere - a big plus in my book!

Despite the fact that all transfers are included there was nobody to meet me at Reykjavik Airport.
After some time I asked a Viking Rep. and she very kindly made some calls - whereupon a dishevelled guy in a wacky, scruffy T shirt arrived some 30 minutes later.
I was then driven to a fairly good, but basic, hotel 10 minutes drive from the airport.
Pre and post cruise hotels were included in the price and necessary owing to the flight from/to Glasgow times.
The post cruise hotel was in Reykjavik itself and of a higher standard - but a 45 minutes drive from the airport.

The food was often below the standard I'd been expecting from Silversea.
Some examples are:

1) My eggs Benedict at breakfast one morning had a skin over the whole dish - as it had obviously been kept warm under a heat light.
This made it unappetising and I never ordered it again.

2) At dinner one night the Lobster tail was tough and tasteless - so I left it and just ate the veg.

3) I ordered cod another night and it was dry - not flaky - and turned up at the edges.
Clearly this too had been kept hot under heat lights.
I sent it back and asked for the salmon - to be cooked properly and moist - which it was!
The salmon took a while to come which was fine as it was probably being cooked properly and "to order".

4) I ordered Venison which was cooked OK but all of the veg on the plate were bordering on cold.
So I left them - which was enough to spoil my enjoyment of the Venison.
(Have you ever tasted cold mashed potato?)

5) Invariably the soups were only on the cool side of warm - but never hot.

6) On my last night I ordered what was was billed as (something like) "The Famous Faeroese Lamb".
It was tasteless in terms of tasting like lamb and only tasted of meat of some kind or another.
So I left that too as it was unappetising.
I was offered an alternative but declined as by that time I was so disappointed in general and the cruise was nearly over.

7) At the Grill restaurant the food comes on "Hot Rocks" either for cooking yourself or they'll do it for you at the table.
No problem for me either way as I've cooked on hot rocks many times over the years.
BTW - the rocks are square/oblong and flat, if you've never seen them before.
Anyway I ordered "The Butchers Rack" which comprised many different meats, fish, seafood, fish cakes and other bits and pieces - all raw.
But there was too much food and it was hanging off the rock around every side.
An attempt to get everything on to the rock caused everything to stick together as it all cooked.
Then when it came time to lift anything off to transfer to the plate it was still stuck together and fell apart into an unholy mess!
That was enough for me - I gave up and ate none of it - none at all.
I go to restaurants to EAT food, not to fight with it and especially if I'm going to lose!
The problem was that there was too much food for the rock or they should have had bigger rocks.
In my humble opinion it was a simple case of bad planning of a dish.
Nobody else around my table had that dish so I can't say how others got on with what I had.

8) Often the veggies were cold or warm but rarely hot - which makes me think that they had already been plated up for some time awaiting the guests choice of main dish to be added.

9) After only 2 or 3 days it had got to the stage that I didn't dare go to proper lunch in case I was disappointed - so just went to the Arts Cafe to have a couple of filled rolls and a cup of tea - which were delicious.

10) Underneath a salad were two biscuit looking things - quite thin - light brown in colour and approx. 3" in diameter.
I tried to cut them withe the fork I was using for my salad but nothing happened.
So I tried again using the knife - but despite "sawing" until my arm was aching I could not cut through them!
Naturally I just gave up and ate the salad only.
I don't know to this day what they were and am not sure if I particularly want to know.
Again - a disgrace.

Others around the many tables I shared had the same opinion as those of mine above.
After a while I realised that it was only the Silversea "fans" or those who had sailed many times with them who were praising Silversea and would accept any old thing as they could not see past Silversea.
All the first timers like me, or who had sailed with other lines, were more discerning.

Early on I became friendly with the staff at reception - we had many laughs together and there was an element of trust between us.
Towards the end of the cruise when I mentioned the above to them they asked if I wanted them to make a formal complaint on my behalf.
I told them I'd just let it go as Silversea would probably take no account of it since they fill up their ships every time.
The 3 staff just looked at each other in silence and nodded in agreement!

Food on every other ship I've sailed on in the past has been better/perfect - including Regent and Uniworld!
I should say at this stage - that when the food was good it was above the standard of the Queens Grill on Cunard ships.
This did not surprise me as I've held that view for a long time after years of sailing with other lines.

I dined in all of the restaurants so the above is not from just only one.

In terms of everything else - the ship, facilities, shore excursions, fellow guests and staff - it was great - and much the same as Regent - so no grumbles on that score.
There are many bars on board which are always well staffed - so no problems in getting the all-inclusive drinks.
The guest to crew ratio is approx 2:1 - about normal for the high end ships.
Entertainment, including lectures, were excellent and more or less the same as on other ships.

Having sailed on both Ocean and River Cruises since the year 1999, often 2 to 4 times per year,  and with various companies I believe I am sufficiently qualified to give an honest and valid opinion on Silversea - with whom I shall never sail again.
These are the first food complaints I've made about ANY ship - and, as I said, I've been sailing since the year 1999!

So in summary - I'd say that Silversea let themselves down on the food - and for me it will be Regent in future (Uniworld on rivers) - and given that they are all (apparently) 6 star boutique ships I think it is perfectly fair to compare.

In terms of "class" - both Silversea and Regent have dress codes but they are not as strictly adhered to as on Cunard.
A Forum member mentioned the "snob" word in connection with Silversea.
I can absolutely assure members that both Regent and Silversea are by far the most friendly and non-snobby ships I have ever sailed on - in terms of the guests.
Everyone is so friendly - to the Nth degree!
The staff/crew on both are also the most friendly and attentive I have ever experienced.
I've only ever experienced snobbishness on Cunard ships.

For me - the bottom line is Regent/Uniworld 1- Silversea 0.

Now I am looking at Ponant, Windstar and Scenic - all being high end and all-inclusive ships.

Here endeth my review!

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Silversea?
« Reply #21 on: Sep 03, 2023, 11:57 AM »
Thanks for your amusing review of Silversea George, glad you survived the experience!

Interestingly, for us on QV at Christmas, the quality and taste of the food was by far the biggest dissapointment (amongst quite a selection), although others don't seem to agree.  We found the food to almost universally to be below the standard we'd enjoy at home!  The haggis was an inedible embarassment, for instance, and we sent it back and told them as Scottish people, we were ashamed it was being served to others on new years eve.

Its possible on Silver Moon, given how small she is, that there's only one big galley?  Would explain why switching restaurant didn't alter the quality of the food!

Being able to get a drink easily is a big win - something we struggled with on QV repeatedly.

We actually saw the Silver Moon a few weeks ago from Waverley (pic attached), we thought she was a lovely looking thing (compared to the large modern ships).  And I see Silver Nova has just entered service, from Youtube she looks quite exciting and radical in some ways.

What excursions did you do?  Them being inclusive would be a large part of the appeal for me.  Do you feel overall you got good value for the entire package as a whole?

Did you try Room Service meals?  From reading reviews and watching YouTube, apparently its a step up from Cunard's equivalent, and lots of regulars dine in their rooms?

For the Hot Rocks - we've watched on Youtube.... aren't you just meant to do one or two items at a time?  https://www.youtube.com/shorts/qxNx0L8WhSo

You talk about snobbishness / brand loyalty - I think this is true for various cruise lines.  I was absolutely attacked online for criticising Cunard / QV at Christmas, even though all my criticisms were completely valid.  The view from the fanbase was we were all lucky to be sailing at all after the pandemic.  My view was different - I was paying a lot of very hard-earned money for a product, which I expected to perform as advertised, which it didn't.  I have seen similar attitudes on the Silversea sections of online discussions - passionate fans who ignore any problems (and don't try other cruise lines to compare).

I'm going to email you privately with a few more questions !
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Chris Thompson

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #22 on: Sep 03, 2023, 02:09 PM »
Quote
Also ordering a super-expensive cocktail as a treat, which then wasn't prepared correctly at all and was a let-down. 

Touched a nerve of mine here! I'm partial to a good Bloody Mary.
Really get grumpy if I'm charged $12 or more for one made with a store bought mix (Zing Zang etc) plus vodka and
nothing else, I will judge a place on this criteria.
Often go to a restaurant that makes their mix from scratch including Okra juice,
I know it sounds weird but it tastes great, and it costs $8.
 Best one I ever had was this monster creation in a place in Nashville...a meal in a glass! $25

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #23 on: Sep 03, 2023, 09:10 PM »
Quote
My view was different - I was paying a lot of very hard-earned money for a product, which I expected to perform as advertised, which it didn't.   

That is for many the crux of the matter. But then there is also brand loyalty or brand brainwashing.  I'm very loyal to BA , they have had issues, but for me, they have done me no wrong, ok l had to wait a year pre-pandemic for a refund, it was sorted in 5 mins at Heathrow. The food onboard is airline food, ok my steak , served on a slate plate , caused me no end of worry, the weight of the slate plate but it was cooked perfectly, Amtrak do their signature Burgers and steaks , how they do it lord knows but its always rated very highly, but no chips .

QE2 was far from luxury , an inside cabin on 4 deck was something else, and the meals, your catering for the masses, and if anyone saw in side a kitchen prior to a large scale dinner, they might never eat out again, Im sure there are people out there who still believe their meal is cooked to order, when a lot of the times everything is prepped or pre cooked.  A simple thing like a breakfast, a very easy meal, but doing that on an large scale in a hotel, who to say what is actually cooked fresh, heck even the scrambled eggs or poached eggs are or can be microwaved. Fried eggs are easily precooked and lumped onto a plate into the regen oven and everything comes out hot,  tattie scones the tomatoes the bacon (ask for it crispy and you can double the wait time) . In reality, the only thing that might be  fresh is the toast and now with these hotel toasters the guests do that themselves. In all my breakfasts in the restaurant on QE2 l never had hot toast
What always amazes me are the Christmas functions with turkey dinners coming out of everywhere , for a 7pm sit down meal the turkeys can be cooked the morning the day before and then your freshly cooked turkey dinner is plated up in its entirety at 8am , plates piled high on the oven rack and kept cool till cooking time, whack it in the regen oven for several minutes bring it out and serve it roasting hot. 

Of course cooking on the smaller scale will be different , a hark back to the days of silver service and your meal was created before your eyes. There can be a lot to be said for the chefs table where the diners see in to the kitchen, as long as they don't see too much all can be good.

Im with Rob, when your paying hard earned  money ( beit not much or a lot for a service) you kinda expect it to perform as advertised, and if its not then bring the matter up there and then , l tend to get chastised for making a fuss when things don't go as what they should do , But heck if lm paying £4 for a pint of Coca Cola, please do the decent thing and serve it in a plain glass, by all means serve it in a branded beer glass, but you risk my wrath, and if it doesn't go well, then expect it to be poured over you.

Now room service, the only times l really had that was on QE2 and that was for the late night BLTs , chips and glass of milk, Im sure its different if a butler is serving you from a hot trolly with hot food, I did have  a late night room service earlier this yeat at Londons Grosvenor House of Park lane , called down in the early hours had a lovely chat about what l wanted, their cheesecake and a BLT with fries and Tea , sure enough 20 mins late there is a discreet knock at the door, before the door is half opened the voice says quietly "Room service", to identify . and theres this young lad dressed like an undertaker with a great big trolly and before l can say anything, he asks "May i come in"   a lovely touch, some guests in my experience dont want you over their door with a tray and you have to navigate handing the tray over , keeping the door open and hope they dont drop it on the floor. Anyways in the young man comes wheeling this trolly , and then proceeds to set it up extending the the flaps and positioning it where it should go, We exchange some pleasantries and knowing we are on the same side we chatter about life behind hotel doors , lm enthusing about their cheesecake, they do about 30-40 a night on room service from 5pm to 1am ,  They have also included, which l always think is a lovely touch a bottle of chilled water with the hotels logo on it , its supplied complimentary.  l sign the check and press a note into his hand as a tip. and away he goes to join the rest of the team, hes helping set up The Great Room for a lunch for a 1000 . The trolly set up was very smart, a warm metal charger to keep the plate of chips warm, tea pot and pot of hot water, selection of tea pigs , sugers tomatao , mustard and mayo mini jars, domes covering the sandwich and the cheesecake, the subtle hotel logo on most things and the handles and tea spoons at 4.20 setting. All in all l was quite tickled at the set up, showed the photos l took to the ones back where i work and told them . Now thats a room service presentation.     
             
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #24 on: Sep 05, 2023, 03:15 PM »

Re the food quality on Silversea - I actually wondered about that myself Rob - that there could be only one galley.
Against that is the fact that the food always came fairly quickly which it may not have done had it travelled a long way.
So it's still a mystery to me.

As regards getting a drink easily - often (and I do mean often!) I was the only one in any of the many bars!
Yes it was probably the case that many guests were ashore on excursions - but I went on these excursions every day with a bus load of others - and still the bars were either empty or with only a few in.
So there was never a problem getting a drink.
I think that's what comes with the vessel being so "big" with only 580 guests on board.
Both Silversea and Regent pride themselves on the provision of space - and rightly so!

You ask what excursions I did - and the answer is - them all!
I'm not being flippant but it's just that they were all in obscure Icelandic and Faeroese fjords in places I've never heard of and are too difficult to pronounce!
But they were all tremendous - except for the weather.
I could copy and paste them from my documents but I doubt if they'd mean anything to anyone who is as unfamiliar with Iceland as I was.
Yes - despite my food grumbles I did feel that I got god value for money overall.
That said - as food is a very important part of a cruise for me I shall stick by my guns and not sail with Silversea again.
This sort-of goes against the grain with me as I've never been a believer in a sample of one!

I never tried room service but from talking to other guests it was apparently very good.
The only food I had in my room was the Caviar as I wanted to compare it with the Beluga Caviar I'd had a couple of times in Moscow.
It was nowhere near as good - but that was to be expected as even before I tried it I could tell what it would taste like as the eggs were small and looked watery - a bit like red Caviar.
It was from Italy - that well-known Caviar producer!
Eating Russian Black Beluga Caviar is like eating black cream - so there was no similarity.

As regards the Hot Rocks - yes - you are both right and wrong!
You can order anything from the menu to be cooked on the Rocks - but I chose the dish described as "The Butcher's Rack" - so the food delivered was a "set meal" so to speak.

I agree 100% with what you say about snobbishness.
In my original post I said that the only time I've experienced it was on Cunard.
Often I could tell that they were only "pretend" snobs who thought that was the way to behave on Cunard!
As regards Regent, Uniworld and the recent Silversea I can say that the opposite is so very true.
I have made more friends from around the world on these ships than I ever did on Cunard - simply because everyone is so friendly!
As a result of that I've been invited to visit them in their homes in their own countries and I have taken them up on that and visited already - and am still in touch with them all.
Even on the recent Silversea cruise I made 3 sets of new friends who have invited me to their countries - and others who invited me into their company often.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Silversea?
« Reply #25 on: Oct 01, 2023, 03:40 AM »
Just to mention that we're joining silversea silver whisper in a couple of hours, here in Tokyo!  Very much looking forward to ten nights on the ship exploring Japan and a wee bit of South Korea.

So far the "door to door" all inclusive arrangements have been highly impressive. The hotel they've put us up in for the night in Tokyo is just amazing, so we're off to a good start.

Loved what we saw of Tokyo over the past day, and we're having another 4 full days here when the ship brings us back.

Fascinated to see how the ship suits us.  We can see it from our hotel room and it looks absolutely tiny!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Silversea?
« Reply #26 on: Oct 01, 2023, 09:20 AM »
The cruise director on board is none other than Moss Hils.

Now who can tell me, without googling, why he's famous in the cruise world?
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Silversea?
« Reply #27 on: Oct 01, 2023, 09:32 AM »
The cruise director on board is none other than Moss Hils.

Now who can tell me, without googling, why he's famous in the cruise world?

I had no idea so had to do a google search.  What a brave man and someone you would want in your team. 

BBC article
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Silversea?
« Reply #28 on: Oct 01, 2023, 09:41 AM »
He's currently running the muster stations drill, he's taking it very seriously!

Photo attached of the ship earlier
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Silversea?
« Reply #29 on: Oct 04, 2023, 08:20 AM »
So far so good on the silver whisper.

Will review properly when I get home, but really enjoying it and the service and ship aren't far off perfection.  Mostly nice passengers, and universally excellent crew.   I think the ship is beautiful inside and out, and she seems to ride the seas in a lovely way that reminds me of QE2, even fairly heavy seas.  Another thing that reminds me of her is we're in a spacious window suite not far above the water, probably about the height of 4 or 3 deck on QE2 I think.  ... no weird juddering or vibration like certain other ships I've been on recently.
« Last Edit: Oct 04, 2023, 08:25 AM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

 

Silversea Silver Whisper Japan review

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