We recently had the opportunity to cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona on Silversea’s Silver Spirit. The purpose of the cruise was to see firsthand what changes have taken place since Royal Caribbean’s purchase of two thirds of the company. We have been a longtime supporter of Silversea and were a bit dubious about the changes that could happen.
What we knew prior to joining the ship was with Royal’s money Silversea was able to order 5 new luxury ships. Silver Whisper was the first ship of the fleet to be refurbished with Royal’s assistance however Royal jumped in mid-way during the job. Honestly after seeing the results and know what was originally planned and what actually happened it was amazing how much better the ship looked and the improvements to the entire vessel. We were impressed! Now they are doing the entire fleet to a higher standard. So the big question what about the onboard product with a number of charters already signed through 2021 out clients were concerned and frankly so were we.
Here is what we found: we first noticed walking onboard flowers, flower, and more flowers everywhere. There seemed to be a young lady given the task of being florist for the cruise. Great! A very happy and warm greeting. While Silversea’s crew have always been great and one step above many of their competitors there seemed to be new pep in their step. Getting to our suite we found that now every suite has a welcome bottle of champagne versus Prosecco on ice waiting for us. Also the premium caviar menu prices were reduced. More of those fresh flowers. So far so good.
Now the biggest test, how about the food? We had been told that a significant amount of money has been added to the food budget! Happily I can say it is all true. Here are a few examples of what is very noticeable:
Caviar is available all the time everywhere at no additional charge except for really premium selections.
Champagne is now served freely at all bars and meals.
Complimentary wines seemed to be a bit better with a wider selection.
A comprehensive selection of fresh fruit and berries offered for breakfast.
Larger selection at buffets.
Fresh oysters offer one day at lunch.
Crab claws on the buffet
A nice selection of market fresh fish when available.
The quality of meats seemed much better, like melt in your mouth.
Over all we can say that the F&B quality and approach has greatly improved. As it is with many things all it takes is money and it seems Royal have put their money where their mouth is.
Overall this was a great cruise. The Butler service is always great in our suite. Food and beverage service is among the best in the industry and seems to be going to a higher level.
We will continue to gladly recommend Silversea to our clients with confidence.
This report was prepared by Steve Bloss on July 1, 2019. The views expressed as solely those of the author and not necessarily those of WWTCA.