The 540-guest luxury ship is significantly larger than her seven smaller sister ships, but Silversea has managed to seamlessly deliver the same high level of service and excellence on this ship that past cruisers have grown to expect from the cruise line.
Let's take a tour of the Silver Spirit.
Bars, Lounges, and Entertainment Venues
When first boarding, the Silver Spirit seems much larger than her sister ships. However, many of the areas on the ship have a familiar feel of casual elegance and comfort. And, although the public rooms were larger, they were still much more intimate and quiet than those seen on large cruise ships.
Many of the common areas even have the same names as venues on the other Silversea ships such as The Bar, Observation Lounge, and Panorama Lounge. The rooms are just larger. The Bar is still on the same deck as the Theatre but has been moved to a mid-ship position next to the reception area. The Observation Lounge is forward on deck 11, but still has the telescope, resource materials, board games, and digital display map. The Panorama Lounge is aft on deck 9 and features piano music, tea in the afternoon, and an excellent outdoor seating area.
One new lounge has been added to the Silver Spirit. It is the Stars Supper Club, a small room on deck 7 next to the library/Internet center. Stars serves a light sampler dinner but also has a jazzy singer and her accompanist who give the room the feel of a small jazz lounge or dance club.
The Theatre has a main stage flanked by two smaller stages. These smaller stages are used by the production singers and dancers and for holding extra screens for slides and videos. Each evening in the Theatre, the Silver Spirit either had a production show, a guest artist (singer or musician), or a movie. In the daytime, the Silver Spirit Theatre was well used by the educational and destination speakers. In addition, there were cooking demonstrations and some ever-popular bingo in the Theatre.
The Casino and the boutiques are located on deck 8 aft. Laws allow both to only be open when the ship is at sea. Connoisseur's Corner, a cigar and cognac bar, is also conveniently located on deck 8.
The Silver Spirit has its library and Internet center combined on deck 7 near La Terraza. For a mid-sized ship, the library is quite extensive. One of the most popular features in the library is the daily newspapers from around the world that are printed and left in the library for passengers to read. For example, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times are available, as are popular newspapers from other cities.
Spa and Fitness Center
The Spa at Silversea offers guests the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate with a variety of spa treatments such as massages, body wraps, and facials. The Spa also has a full-service beauty salon. Like many cruise ships, the best (i.e. least expensive) time to visit a spa is when the ship is in port since "spa specials" are offered at those times. The Spa staff also had numerous free seminars on our cruises. These included such topics as acupuncture, skin care, puffy eyes, and cellulite.
The fitness center, which is located next to the spa, has sea views and all the latest equipment. This gym is often very busy, especially on sea days. The personal trainer runs two or three free classes a day in the aerobics room. These include yoga, Pilates, body conditioning, and stretching. The fitness center also had free wellness seminars on such topics as "burn fat faster" and "eat more to weigh less".
With all the delicious food and drink served on the Silver Spirit, I think all of us needed to visit the spa and fitness center on deck 6!
Pool Deck and Outdoor Seating
The Silver Spirit pool deck and other outdoor deck areas are filled with delightfully comfortable seating and lounge chairs. Finding an empty chair is never a problem, and the staff circulates the pool area taking drink orders and offering icy washcloths to cool off the warm passengers. The pool area is nice and quiet, despite its size. The Silver Spirit has only one pool and three whirlpools, but this seemed to be plenty on our cruise, especially since children are a rarity on Silversea ships.
Dining and Cuisine
Dining on the Silver Spirit is a real highlight. The ship has seven dining venues and extensive room service, all of which are appealing in their own way. Complimentary wine is included at all restaurants except Le Champagne, and the ship also has a connoisseur's wine list.
The Pool Grill is the most casual, serving a Wellness breakfast on the pool deck, followed by grilled foods for lunch. The Pool Grill is open until mid-afternoon, so those who return to the ship late from ashore can still have a nice lunch.
La Terraza serves a delicious buffet breakfast and lunch. The fresh mangoes are some of the best. The outdoor seating area is much larger than on the other ships. For dinner, La Terraza is an Italian restaurant, with an excellent menu that changes periodically.
The Restaurant is the large, main dining room that serves open seating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meals are quite elegant, and the food is diverse. The daily menu for both lunch and dinner is included in the "Silversea Chronicles", the daily newspaper. Each dinner features appetizers, intermezzo, sorbet, entrees, and desserts.
The Grill is a new type of "hot rock" restaurant for the cruise industry. Guests cook their own grilled meat, fish, or shellfish on very hot lava rocks. The restaurant overlooks the pool from a covered seating area on deck 10.
The supper club on the Silver Spirit is named Stars. It serves light bites of a variety of food served over five courses. Each morsel is about two or three bites, so by the time you've tried about fifteen different dishes, it's plenty for dinner! Those who are hearty eaters can sample a whole bowl of pasta before dessert, so there's no fear of leaving the table hungry. Although Stars is advertised as a supper club, the show doesn't start until 10 pm, so many diners have finished dinner before the live entertainment starts.
Seishin is the Silver Spirit Asian restaurant. This restaurant has an extra surcharge, but it's well worth it for those who love fine Asian food that is superbly prepared and served. Seishin has four different pricing structures. The first is a choice of one of two sampler menus, which are four courses and include complimentary wines. The second is the standard 8-course menu with complimentary wines. The third choice is the standard 8-course menu and sake, and the fourth choice is the standard 8-course menu and premium wines.
Le Champagne is the Silver Spirit's gourmet restaurant, which specializes in food and wine pairings. Silversea has partnered with Relais & Chateaux to develop the menus for Le Champagne. Le Champagne has an extra surcharge.
All of the cabins on the Silver Spirit are suites. These suites are among the largest at sea. The best example I can give to demonstrate the size of the suites is that they all have walk-in closets and a separate shower and tub. In addition, all of the suites on the Silver Spirit have butler service. Most of the butlers cover about a dozen cabins, but the extra service makes you feel pampered and spoiled.
Many cruise ships seem to have drapes that don't meet in the middle or are too narrow, allowing in light in the morning. These are extra wide and heavy enough to block the sun.
Passengers on large ships often complain about the quality and/or lack of toiletries and cabin amenities. Silver Spirit passengers need not worry. Silversea uses premium toiletries in its baths, and guests have their choice of pillow types.
The five levels of suites on the Silver Spirit are:
- Owner's Suites: 1,292 square feet (one bedroom) or 1,668 square feet (two bedrooms) including a 190 square foot veranda. The Silver Spirit has two Owner's Suites. Both are found mid-ship on deck 8.
- Grand Suites: 990 square feet (one bedroom, including a 125 square foot veranda) or 1,302 square feet (two bedrooms, including a 190 square foot veranda). The six grand suites are forward on decks 7, 8, and 9.
- Silver Suites: 742 square feet including a 118 square foot veranda. The Silver Suites are on decks 10 and 11.
- Veranda Suites: 376 square feet including a 65 square foot veranda. The veranda suites are on decks 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The veranda suites that are mid-ship are higher priced because of their central location.
- Vista Suites: 312 square feet. The Vista Suites are identical to the Veranda Suites, but they do not have a veranda. They are found on deck 4.
Wrap Up and Conclusion
The Silver Spirit has been a great addition to the Silversea fleet. Those who have sailed with Silversea before should love the ship--the cruise line has kept or enhanced the "good stuff" while adding features that will appeal to travelers who love luxury and expect the best. The size of the Silver Spirit is attractive to new guests who prefer larger ships.
When it was first launched, the larger Silver Spirit caused some trepidation from frequent Silversea cruisers; after all, when you've got a great product, why change it? However, the Silver Spirit has added more dining and entertainment venues, while retaining the small-ship ambiance and exceptional service of the other Silversea ships. It's different, but it's terrific. And, even now, she's as lovely as the day she was launched.
More Silversea Cruise Ship Profiles
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.