The Silver Wind, one of a fleet of six small luxury ships of Silversea Cruises, had a major makeover in late 2008, and the ship emerged from her month in dry dock with more than just new soft goods and furnishings. Silversea added a new Observation Lounge forward on deck 9 and moved and enlarged the spa and fitness center. The cruise line also shuffled some of the accommodations, changing some smaller suites into larger ones and adding a new owner's suite.
Although the end result looks almost brand new, past cruisers of the Silver Wind will still find elegant spaces, large suites, delightful cuisine, and excellent service.
Silver Wind - Overview of the Silversea Silver Wind Cruise Ship
The exterior of the Silver Wind is all white, with the Silversea name emblazoned on the funnel. The 17,000-ton ship has nine decks and carries 298 passengers and 197 crew, providing an excellent passenger to crew ratio. This ship is all about exciting cruise itineraries and exceptional service delivered in the atmosphere of an elegant boutique hotel.
I sailed on the Silver Wind on a wonderful voyage from Cape Town along the coast of Africa northward to Tanzania. On this cruise, we marveled at wild animals, explored previously unknown (to me) cities, and enjoyed the company of interesting cruise mates. These memories were captured while enjoying the elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere of this excellent small ship the Silver Wind.
Silver Wind Common Areas - Around the Ship on the Silversea Silver Wind
In late 2008, the Silver Wind added new carpeting or flooring, drapes, wall coverings, and furnishings throughout the public areas of the ship while still keeping the integrity of the previous decor in place.
The biggest change in the common areas is a new Observation Lounge forward on deck 9 in the space previously occupied by the fitness center. The spa moved to deck 9, and is located next to the new fitness center. With the spa, fitness center, and Observation Lounge now all on deck 9, the Silver Wind also added elevator access to this deck.
The outdoor areas of the ship were also updated with new tile for the swimming pool and new custom-made deck furniture.
All of these new amenities enhanced an already beautiful cruise ship.
Silver Wind Dining and Cuisine
All of the dining options on the Silver Wind are excellent, and the small ship also features fun meals on most cruises, including a galley brunch, Restaurant brunch, and outdoor barbecue.
The Restaurant has open seating dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Wines are included with meals, the presentation is lovely, and the portion sizes appropriate.
La Terrazza on deck 7 features buffet breakfast and lunch, but is changed into an intimate Italian restaurant in the evenings. No cost reservations are required for La Terrazza, and each menu features a different region of Italy.
Elegant Le Champagne is perfect for a gourmet experience, the Pool Grill fun for a light meal, and the Silver Wind room service is among the best I've seen.
Silver Wind Lounges and Bars
Since drinks and wine are included in the Silver Wind fare, enjoying a drink with cruise friends in one of the lounges does not involve quibbling over who is picking up the tab. In the evenings, most Silver Wind passengers gather in the Panorama Lounge on deck 8 or The Bar on deck 5 for a quiet drink and live music. Trying new drinks is almost as much fun as trying new food dishes!
Like the dining and other public areas on the Silver Wind, the lounges got a makeover in 2008. In addition to new carpeting, wall coverings, and draperies, a new Observation Lounge was added on deck 9. During our Africa cruise on the Silver Wind, many guests enjoyed the views or a good book from the comfortable seating in this quiet space.
Silver Wind Suites - Accommodations on the Silversea Silver Wind
All accommodations on the Silver Wind are outside suites, and almost all have a private balcony. Even the standard (i.e. lowest priced) balconied-suites are luxurious and come equipped with many in-suite amenities.
The suites and baths were significantly refitted during the 2008 renovations. My favorite new feature is a small, but important one; the two sets of new drapes completely block out all light. I also love the new furnishings and really appreciate having both a desk and a dressing table. The light at the dressing table is good for make-up application, and the large magnifying mirror is very useful. WiFi is available in the Silver Wind suites, and the cabin has enough plug-ins that I didn't even need my power strip.
Silver Wind Wrap-up
The Silver Wind cruise experience we enjoyed was just as expected -- terrific! The renovations on this small luxury ship have enhanced the suites and public areas. Small ships like the Silver Wind may not have all the various entertainment and dining options available on mega-ships, but they do provide exceptional service, cuisine, and accommodations; fascinating itineraries; and relaxing days (and nights) at sea.
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.