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Seabourn vs. Silversea


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Now that Silversea has become part of RCL, there has, supposedly, been improvement in the Silversea Line. Friends say that there has been some improvement except the menu is unchanged throughout the cruise and is NOT on par with Seabourn. I'm thinking of giving Silversea a try having been disapointed 5 years ago. Has anyone heard or experienced the new Silversea and can give an impression of as opposed to Seabourn?

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I was fortunate enough to travel on both Seabourn Encore and Silver Muse last year and posted a comparison on this board recently. I found them both equally enjoyable. You can get around the unchanging menu problem on Silversea because of the number of dining venues and the "Always Available" menu. It's also possible to order off-menu when giving 24 hours notice.

 

Here is my comparison thread  - 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We gave up on Silversea too back in 2011 after a disastrous Alaska cruise on the Shadow, after eight previous sailings. Maybe 15 things really bad on the ship that we noticed,  and complained about, at the time, and thereafter to management, none of which we ever experienced before and, if alone, would have been enough to write them off.  At that point, we had witnessed a slow deterioration of Silversea quality beginning a few years earlier. Silversea had set the standards for luxury service, food and wine, when they started up in 1995 and for a dozen years thereafter. But by 2011 it was tired and not so well managed in its operations. So in 2011 we turned to Seabourn, which has been our basic home now ever since. We too have heard reports that Silversea has come back in the food and wine category, and service, and restaurant innovation with multiple choices,  as Oceania has had for years, and its new ship Muse is very nicely designed. If true, I do not attribute this to the new  RCL ownership interest as Cuddles 115 suggests, because to me RCL will do nothing if not try to drive down costs that they already see as excessive, and dumb down quality in the process that the previous private Italian ownership tried to maintain, in is own way. Of course all cruise lines today have suffered a decline in the quality of service, with many newer and bigger ships, and upstart cruise lines, coming online like Viking,  adding tremendous passenger inventory to the already crowded ocean cruise industry.  River cruising too has taken off, and growing enormously each year. Bottom line has become all the more important.  The competition for finding and keeping good, trained, and personable staff is an enormous challenge to any cruise line,  including Seabourn and Silversea. Each has suffered its own losses, whether with the administrative staff behind the walls, in the kitchens or in the bars and DRs, and ship management. All documented in various reviews on different websites by knowledgable passengers.

 

If any of you out there who are multiple old Silversea and Seabourn sailors see this dramatic improvement in Silversea,  we would be very interested in learning your views and recent experiences

Edited by brittany12
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Brittany has written an accurate response.   A good hotel manager stays with Silversea just long enough to know he does not belong.   At least two of them would be better suited as clowns in a circus.

 

SB has maintained four month contracts for most crew we come in contact.  By 2007, SS had switched to mostly Filipino crew.   Huge cost savings just in logistically placing crew.   And this crew does as they are told without question.  Like keeping food in their sleeping quarters during health inspections and (still)  mixing liquor bottles .

 

Two B2B segments on Wind during 2018 served as a refresher that I do not miss this company.   

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I agree with brittitany12. My last cruise on Silversea was in January 2012 when I moved to Seabourn. 

I would also welcome comments from frequent SS and SB sailors who have also seen an improvement in Silversea recently. 

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Yes I also abandoned Silversea after two really bad experiences .Apart from the ageing ships (Silver Shadow was in a dreadful state about 5 years ago) it was the  management style(arrogant and lacking customer focus) that really hacked me off.

If the new ownership have actually started to listen to their customers and pruned some of the dead wood I would consider them again.

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I don’t think RCL will bring down the Silversea product.   We have sailed Seabourn and enjoyed the product.   We are now on Azamara (under RCL) and are enjoying it as much as Seabourn at a lesser cost.    If they have not ruined Azamara they won’t hurt Silversea.    My only question is why they would keep two lines appealing to the same passengers.    They may want to raise the class of Silversea but Seabourn passengers would be happy with Azamara.

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3 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

I don’t think RCL will bring down the Silversea product.   We have sailed Seabourn and enjoyed the product.   We are now on Azamara (under RCL) and are enjoying it as much as Seabourn at a lesser cost.    If they have not ruined Azamara they won’t hurt Silversea.    My only question is why they would keep two lines appealing to the same passengers.    They may want to raise the class of Silversea but Seabourn passengers would be happy with Azamara.

IMHO you are comparing chalk and cheese. There is nothing on Azamara that remotely compares with Silversea. Ships are bigger (more guests) cabins (as opposed to suites) are smaller, public spaces smaller, guest to crew ratios are much lower and most of all there are some Azamara guests whom I never wish to sail with again. The obnoxious and boorish behaviour of this particular group made me ashamed to admit that they were fellow countrymen. I sincerely hope that RCL keeps the two line completely separate.

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I’m an Azamara fan (in particular we sail AZ for the Perry Golf itineraries) but I have to admit they are not comparable with SS or SB and In my opinion AZ has a real problem — because their prices are now in luxury territory but they are not a luxury product so we are looking at SB again (if they will EVER get around to posting late 2020 & 2021 itineraries!) because at that price point I expect SB level quality (beverages especially because AZ’s quality in that regard is a joke). So to me it’s a challenge with both being under the same corporate umbrella because AZ has to market itself as a different experience from SB at a different price point but the price to value proposition is declining rapidly — at $1,000+ per couple per day that is SS, SB, Crystal, Regent, not AZ.

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We’ve sailed Silversea twice, mainly for the itinerary, and regretted it both times for all the reasons posted above. But the clincher was the rude, almost hostile attitude of our fellow pax. Yes, our trips happened to be segments of world cruises where this childish Us (whole tripper) and Them (segmenter) behaviour sometimes applies and we’ve witnessed it elsewhere, but it was much worse on Silversea to the point we were intimidated into keeping well out of the way. We found the whole experience rather depressing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know Azamara is not considered to be the same class as Seabourn but our experience found them nearly equal.   We had the lowest level suite on Azmara and the Owners Suite on Seabourn.   On a cruise from Miami to Cuba, through the southern Caribbean ending in NYC, the better value was Azamara.   We missed the walk in closet and extra bathroom but nothing else.   We had unlimited Specialty Dining with no question asked reservations each evening.   On Seabourn, I was told at TK that I could only have one reservation!   Azamara included $1K onboard credit and unlimited high level beverages with excellent wines by the glass.   On Seabourn the wines were limited unless you paid extra.

On Seabourn, in 3 weeks, we were allowed one bag of laundry.   On Azamara, we received two per week.   We also had access to the Spa area,  but this was an extra charge on Seabourn.   Folks on our cruise we’re friendly, even the Brits and Aussies.     We met a couple at the chefs table, also included, who had been on our last Seabourn sailing.   They were also favorably impressed with Azmara.

From our standpoint the low level suite on this cruise compared favorably with a

high level suite on Seabourn.

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  • 1 month later...

I have sailed Silversea 4x and Seabourn 1x. I found both very similar. SS is more relaxed and funny, seabourn a bit more formal. I would join any of them in my next cruise.

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1 hour ago, Lirio said:

I have sailed Silversea 4x and Seabourn 1x. I found both very similar. SS is more relaxed and funny, seabourn a bit more formal. I would join any of them in my next cruise.

 

 

I would say the complete opposite - SB more relaxed and SS more formal.

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Me four.

 

I have sailed on Silversea only once and would sail again on the right itinerary ie Galapagos, or bigger ships. But definitely found Silversea more formal in attitude both the passengers and senior crew.

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Additionally, the current captain of Seabourn Quest was former Silver Explorer captain and he brought some officials and staff with him.

 

Considering the divergence in opinion, I concluded that I must do a new cruise with SB and SS asap! 😉 😉

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My DH and I just finished our first Silversea cruise at the end of April on Silver Muse.  She is a lovely ship and the itinerary (which is why we took our first SS cruise) was outstanding.  That being said, we found Silversea's food and crew to be a disappointment when compared to Seabourn and Regent.

 

Overall the idea of 8 restaurants with unchanging menus left us cold.  Two of those restaurants charge $60/pp to dine and 2 more are outside on the upper decks which made them unusable in the cold waters we sailed in.  That brought the number down to 4.  One of the remaining restaurants offered small plates which never sounded appetizing to us.  So we ate in 3 restaurants whose menus remained static ...with only slight changes...over the 26 days we were on board.  In addition, most of the food was pretty boring....often missing the ingredients listed on the menu (how can you serve Eggplant Pam without mozzarella?).

 

As far as the crew goes...they were charming with lovely smiles but overall a total lack of imagination.  They appeared to follow their training to the letter but if the situation called for a slight deviation from that training, the results weren't there.  As a typical example, with many tours leaving first thing in the morning in many ports, La Terrazza would be mobbed by passengers arriving at the same time.  So the waiters lined up and jumped to making sure that they carried your dishes from the buffet to your table.  Since there were a ton of people, all of the waiters 'jumped' to that activity.  Unfortunately that meant that no one was left to serve coffee to everybody seated at tables trying to finish their breakfast quickly.  Again...true to their training but not appropriate to the situation.

 

Silversea has a product that would be improved by some simple modifications to how it delivers.  Until that time we will spend our time and money with Seabourn and Regent which offer, in our opinion, a superior product.

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Totally agree with Isklaar , we have found Seabourn to be a very relaxed and informal line to cruise on , the passengers are so relaxed they're almost horizontal.  Thats a good thing !

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We have only done one SS - on Shadow, a couple of years ago. We felt misled by those who had told us that SS and Seabourn were much similar.   Seabourn is more relaxed and definitely superior except for the service - where SS staff ran them close and House champagne which was also much better on SS.  Food was not great at all and the ship was dated and in need of a makeover.  We enjoyed our cruise on SS,  but did not like it as much as Seabourn.

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  • 1 month later...

We have done 2 SS on the Whisper,1 Regent and 4 AZ cruises, 2 TA and 2 7 day. The first SS was right after 9/11 and it was our first Luxury cruise and we Loved it, the sea is the quality of the product however the send cruise we did on them a couple years later we were disappointed with the Little things they did away with such as Small bars of Bulgari bath soap from Large and the service lacked, other passengers on the cruise said the same thing. We started sailing with Azamara back when they didn’t quite know what they wanted to be, from wine with lunch and dinner only to full complimentary beverages, we Love the R class ships and the passenger size And the refurbishment and the crew Stay with Azamara from the first cruise about 10 years ago to the last one 2 years ago some of the same crew were still there And they remembered us! Plus when you sail with AZAMARA your status is equal with Celebrity and RCCL. We will be taking our first SB cruise in September and are Very excited as we have Always wanted to sail with them even on the smaller past ships!

oh and by the way you Are aware that SB is under the Dreadful Carnival umbrella right? 

🤔

Edited by BuckGood
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