Once in a lifetime Expedition itinerary. Aldabra ... Zodiacs to fabulous beaches ... Drift Snorkeling from the ocean into the Aldabra Lagoon ...
Expedition crew is the only thing that kept this from becoming a very bad cruise.
Stateroom was a bit small but thoughtfully designed and we found ample space for our 4 very big bags with drone equipment and lots of camera gear.
Personal Butler from Bangladesh is a joke. He can never be reached and has at least 10 to 15 suites to attend to. He is really just part of Room Service ... or a Stateroom Attendant that is marketed as a butler. We never could reach him directly ... Only way was to go through the front desk.
Could not get a haircut or shave on board at the spa.
Ship did not have bottled water on board. You were forced to drink the on board water, which had a mineral or odd taste as it is produced using Reverse Osmosis. I complained so they made an exception to me and got bottled water at the next port of call. Dining room attendants would cover up the "Evian" Label for me to make sure that other guests were less likely to notice that I was served bottled water.
Executive Chef and staff in the main dining room are TOP CLASS. Silversea Shined here. Food prep was fantastic.
People on Deck 7, which was one of the only places to sun bathe (as near the pool on Deck 5 only 5 chairs and people eating around you) .... NO SERVICE ON DECK 7 ... No one to take your drink order ... Have to go yourself to set up a sun lounge chair ... or go down to Deck 5 to get someone to help ... No towels available without going down.
Some of the Fillipina Staff on Deck 5 were rude and very resistant to help ... Some were attentive and conscientious.
Me: "Would like a cocktail.. what do you like to make?" Them: "Anything you like" ... Me: "What do you suggest?" Bartender: "Tell me what you want I will make it." .. on and on .. and on .. it goes ... Some of the Dumbest bartenders EVER.
Certainly this is about 2 stars for service ... Never (except on a formal night) did I see anyone wearing white gloves and coming to offer something to guests on Deck 7. Misleading marketing.
Risk of becoming unhygenic ship, in my mind. No plastic liners in trash bags in the staterooms. Toilets need to be flushed multiple times because of the poor quality of the toilet. Showers are good and crew was responsive to requests so this mitigated the risks.
Many lectures on plastic use ... ridiculous ... we come to vacation to get away from radical plastic nazis and here they are on a SilverSea cruise with their propaganda and stupidity.
I enjoyed nature hikes, but don't enjoy the hysteria about a bird or a leemar or a turtle. Much prefer to listen to the sounds of nature rather than the chatter of a tour guide or a bunch of guests talking about "snowfall" in Boston.
The lectures are a good place to listen to the professional naturalists who truly were TOP CLASS.
If you see Scotti or Roddy in your SilverSea Travels, you will know how extraordinary some of their staff are.
Ships Doc is #1. Brazil food attendent is #1! We had fantastic Main Dining Room table waiter and attendent from Phillipines.
This ship is great for expeditions but, in my opinion, the service truly is far from achieving a standard consistent with the Brand SilverSea.
Small cabin but thoughtful and lots of space for things. Plastic fanatics have removed plastic liners and make it harder to be hygienic. Water fanatics have taken most of the flush out of the toilet and so you need to flush it many times.
Also, they do not provide you with bottled water .. only shipboard water .. . it is considered a "Special Request" to get EVIAN in your stateroom. Make sure you ask for it in advance of your booking. They have a Reverse Osmosis Water machine on board and fill a glass bottle with this every day. but this has a pH of less than 7.0 (slightly acidic) and, to us, a slightly off putting taste.
No REDBULL on the ship at all ... NO PERSONAL BUTLER service ... it is misleading .. you get a stateroom attendent that is responsible for at least 10 (probably 15) other staterooms and you have to contact Reception to ask for him to help with something.
However, they are good about fulfilling your special requests when you do see them.