Silversea generally charges extra for shore excursions. On our Caribbean cruise, tours covered a range of interests from sightseeing tours to active excursions, such as snorkeling, kayaking and recreational options, including a sailboat ride, beach break at a resort and rum tasting. The ship's shore concierge can arrange for private cars and drivers in select ports. Prices are comparable to other lines. While we can't speak about every destination, we found the Caribbean offerings to be standard.
Where appropriate, Silversea will provide complimentary shuttle transportation from the cruise port to a downtown area. In many ports, a tourism representative will come aboard the ship or meet passengers on the pier to provide information and answer questions about sightseeing and activities. In addition, Silversea often sends a member of the entertainment team (a singer, social hostess, guest lecturer or dance host) to accompany a tour, both to assist passengers and to report back on the tour quality for the cruise line.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
Daily activities are limited on port days and increased on sea days. Team trivia is a popular daily staple, and there's often a lecture about the ports or a topic of interest. Other activities might include golf putting, pool volleyball, casino tournament, cocktail and cooking demonstrations, meetups for special interest groups (such as solo travelers) and even language lessons. On longer cruises, dance hosts are onboard to teach dance classes.
In the evening, a skilled resident pianist or trio plays in The Bar or Panorama Lounge pre- and post-dinner for either listening or dancing. If gentleman hosts are onboard, they make the rounds, asking ladies to dance. There's always an evening show -- occasionally, two. Either the six Voices of Silversea singer-dancers perform a musical revue in The Show Lounge on Deck 6, or one or two of them will do a cabaret show. They are personable and very good, although some voices mesh together better than others. More guest entertainers are onboard longer sails, such as noteworthy musical soloists or groups, comedians and magicians to vary the evening offerings.
The casino on Deck 5 is oddly located by the boutiques and not adjacent to The Bar, where you might find it would get more traffic. On our cruise, most people reported the casino as not being very lively, which might have been impacted by the particular crowd or the port-intensive nature of the sailing. The casino offers three gaming tables (two poker, one roulette) and a number of slot machines. It might feature a popular blackjack tournament on a sea day.
Additional evening activities might be a postshow dance party, Death by Chocolate deck party (with the most extravagant and delicious dessert spread), movie night or a game of Liars Club.
On port-intensive cruises, such as in the Caribbean, enrichment options are minimal. A guest lecturer might talk about what to expect in ports of call, as well as other cruise-related topics such as famous ships. On itineraries with three or more sea days, Silversea will bring on ACBL bridge instructors. Certain longer voyages will have famous or expert lecturers onboard, so check with the cruise line before booking if this kind of enrichment is important to you. On world cruises, Silver Whisper hosts a minimum of three lecturers on each segment, plus an arts and crafts instructor, in addition to bridge instructors and gentleman hosts.
The Bar is the buzziest predinner hot spot (head here for warm canapes and cool cocktails), while the Panorama Lounge often rules post-dinner, particularly late night. Knowledgeable bartenders whip up expert drinks and servers quickly remember your favorite.
The Bar (Deck 5): Just one deck up from The Restaurant, The Bar is the cocktail-hour hot spot and the place to go to meet new friends, and perhaps, decide to dine together. It's also the locale for trivia and the occasional cocktail-making lesson. A pianist or vocal guitarist provides background entertainment throughout the evening. Perch on a stool by the central bar, or sink into plush bluish-purple armchairs in softly lit, inviting seating areas.
The Show Lounge (Decks 6): Silversea's Show Lounge spans two decks, with stadium-style seating, but the only passenger entrance is from the rear and top of the theater on Deck 6. The theater is done in dark reds, and seating is a mix of club chairs and banquettes, with drink tables in between. Aisles are spacious to accommodate drinks servers who take preshow orders. Sightlines are good all round.
Connoisseur's Corner (Deck 7): The only indoor smoking venue onboard, this clubby cigar bar, with buttery leather chairs, is the place to enjoy a cigar or cigarette, perhaps with some Port or cognac. Waiters from the Panorama Bar come by to take drink orders or sell cigars if you did not bring your own.
Panorama Lounge (Deck 8): This all-purpose lounge, decorated in neutral hues, is more than just a bar. It hosts early-riser breakfast and afternoon tea, piano music or the Silver Whisper Trio before and after dinner, and the occasional black-and-white dress dance party. Wall-to-wall windows give the room its name.
Pool Bar (Deck 8): Some people do perch on the stools by the poolside bar (another good space to make new friends), although it mostly serves as a drink-making station for the wait staff who make the rounds of the Deck 8 and 9 lounge chairs, as well as The Grill's dining tables.
Tor's Observation Lounge (Deck 10): This quiet space at the top of the ship, facing forward, was remade in the image of the chic observation library on sister ship Silver Muse. Soothing soft blue armchairs and sofas blend in with cherrywood walls and a bold geometric carpet with pops of orange. The venue is part secondary library and part self-service coffee and tea station. It's a peaceful, comfortable place to read while looking out the panoramic windows.
A pool and two hot tubs dominate Deck 8 midship. They are ringed by brown-padded loungers, and some loungers for two. Additional lounge chairs and double loungers ring the area of Deck 9 that overlooks the pool. Another alfresco seating area, with blue-cushioned chairs, is behind the Panorama Lounge on Deck 8, as well as a designated smoking area. (Nonsmokers also come here if no one is puffing away to relax with a book.)
The pool area is generally serene, with plenty of lounge chairs for all. Servers come around to take drink orders, or present cool towels and fresh fruit skewers. There's a Ping-Pong table at the aft end of the pool deck and a shuffleboard court one deck up on Deck 9.
Deck 5 midship is the hub for ship services. In the main lobby, you'll find the reception and shore excursion desks, as well as the future cruise sales consultant. Just forward of the lobby are the ship's boutiques, selling jewelry, watches, fashionable clothing, perfume, sunglasses and handbags. The shops also sell toiletries and sundries that you might have forgotten to pack (these are accessible 24/7 via your butler; you'll find a lengthy item list in your suite). Watch your daily newsletter for notice of special events (such as lectures on tanzanite) or sales.
Deck 7 houses a card room that doubles as a conference room. The library and internet cafe are better positioned just forward of the Panorama Lounge. At the library, you can browse the book selection or pick up daily sudoku and crossword puzzles and a ridiculously difficult quiz, as well as news reports from around the world. (You can also download the PressReader app and read many newspapers online.) The computer center offers a handful of desktop computers for those who aren't traveling with a laptop or don't wish to use their tablets or smartphones. An IT officer can assist from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Every passenger receives complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi at standard speeds; passengers in select suites receive unlimited Wi-Fi at premium speeds. Passenger who want to upgrade their connection speed can choose from extra-fee packages.
Complimentary self-service launderettes are located on Decks 4 and 6, and are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Laundry detergent is provided. You'll find three Miele washers, three Miele dryers, an ironing board and iron, sink and flat-screen television. A medical center is on Deck 3.
Smoking is only allowed in designated public areas: In the Connoisseur's Corner cigar bar on Deck 7, on the outside deck behind the Panorama Lounge on Deck 8 and at the tables along one side of the pool deck. No smoking is permitted on suite verandas.
The small Zagara Beauty Spa on Deck 10 offers a host of treatments. The spa has four treatment rooms and skillful therapists primarily use Elemis products. Count on an array of facials (such as procollagen and antiaging), massages (including hot stone and coconut poultice), detox treatments (such as Elemis Thousand Flower Detox Wrap) and nourishing body wraps. Prices are steep; the cheapest treatments start around $159 for 50 minutes. Look for specials on port days, such as three 20-minute treatments for a discounted price. Or, score a deal by booking three appointments simultaneously, and receive a 30 percent discount on the third treatment. The most popular treatment times do fill quickly, so make your reservations before sailing or early in the cruise for optimal timing.
The Zagara Beauty Salon offers hair treatments, nail services, waxing, teeth whitening and men's grooming services (such as shaves and beard trims), performed in a real barber's chair. Kerastase products are among those used.
Men's and women's locker rooms are small yet each includes showers, toilet, lockers, steam room and a sauna. Lockers are fitted with robes, slippers and towels.
The Fitness Centre comprises two small rooms. One is a well-equipped gym with treadmills, elliptical trainers, recumbent and upright stationary bicycles, and Technogym resistance machines, most providing ocean views. There's even a SKILLMILL, a treadmill-like machine used in pro-athlete gyms that works your entire body, improving stability, speed and stamina. A mini-fridge offers bottled water and the counter features fruit and cereal bars. The second room, dubbed the aerobics room, is used as a group class studio for complimentary programs, such as basic Pilates, yoga and stretching, led by a fitness instructor, who also leads the occasional health-focused seminar. When classes or personal consults aren't held, head here for yoga mats, or free weights and weight benches. There's a barre on the mirrored wall.
The instructor also offers complimentary footprint analyses (which tend to be a product pitch for insoles). Passengers can also sign up for personal training sessions for a fee.
The jogging track on Deck 9 only circles half the ship, so you'll need to run (or walk) nine laps to make a mile. You can also join sunrise walks led by the fitness instructor here. The deck is covered with a spongy material that we assume is easy on the knees. You can also do laps on Deck 10, but signs request that you walk, not run.
Silversea cruises are not suitable for most young children, but the line does not ban them either (though it does reserve the right to restrict the total number of children onboard). The few children who sail Silversea are rarely seen or heard -- just the way passengers like it. The line does not typically offer babysitting or activities for children. However, during the winter holidays and summer months, the line will bring youth counselors onboard to plan activities when there are more children than usual onboard.