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roadmaster

Oceania to Silver Seas??

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Hi, we are not seasoned cruisers but enjoyed 10 days on the Regatta in 2017 through Alaska.

We are now looking at Northern Europe on either the Nautica (after the June 2020) refit or the Silver Wind (prior to the November refit).

I was hoping to get some comments on the difference we could expect from both companies. 

With Oceania there is enough on board credit to take care of the drinks we would consume on the 32 day trip. 

Silver Seas is apparently all inclusive and much the same price but only 24 days. 

For the money involved we would like to think we are spoiling ourselves and would expect a pretty smart ship, service and food.

I am concerned that the Silver Wind may just be a bit tired at the moment and could be disappointing especially coming all the way from Australia for the cruise.

On both cruises we are looking at the A2 veranda on Nautica and the basic veranda on the Silver Wind.

Appreciate your comments

Cheers 

 

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Choice is matter of personal taste.  

We rate the Silversea "vibe" and this makes it our cruise line of choice.

Sharp (snap!!) service is not SS.. It's like driving an Alpha or a Ferrari… imperfect but enchanting.. 🙂

Until you also have a range of experiences under your belt you cannot  really know.

As a generalisation , Aussies tend to enjoy the more European spin of the SS way..you may not….

 

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There's also a question of size.

I've twice sailed the Regatta and have just disembarked from my third Wind cruise this year.

There's half the pax on the Wind and the service is much more personalised.

The Wind cabins are bigger I think, and the bathrooms, while small for Silversea, beat the Regatta hands down.

Food is a very personal issue, what I enjoy may not thrill you, but SS food is generally pretty good.

And I really don't care if it's a 'pretty smart ship'; so long as it's comfy and everything works then I'm happy so I may not be the best person to advise you. All I can say is, with over 300 days on Silversea, I would go back to Oceania if there was an unmissable itinerary, but I prefer SS, it's the onboard 'atmosphere', I think.

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I can't comment on Oceana as I've never sailed, but of the Wind, I'd rather think of the "old tired" comments you see as a reference of character. Obviously the extra 8 days effectively means in reality the cost is 25% more pro rata . though I'd struggle with 24 days let alone 32. (I'm not referring to the enjoyment factor..... but the need for a larger set of clothing! lol)

 

I would also suggest taking into account all aspects of the itinerary when making that choice.

 

And I agree with JJ reference to the ship being very personalised which is definitely something we appreciate.

 

Which cruise was it you were looking at? Might it be the 1st August sailing?

 

.

Edited by les37b

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Thanks for the replies.

The Silversea cruise is 24 days, London to London from July 20 next year.

The Nautica cruise 22nd July Dublin - Southampton 32 days.

Will have to decide on one of them.

Cheers

 

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I'll jump in though our O experience is somewhat dated. We did 5 cruises on O between 2006-2008, and hit each of the 3 ships that they had at that time (Insignia, Regatta, Nautica).

 

At that point in our cruising lives we had done a bunch of mass market sailings to the Caribbean and Alaska, nothing special, and O was a huge step up. The food was really great. The specialty restaurants, all included, even better. The staff and service - also quite excellent. At that point we'd never done an all-inclusive trip so paying extra for wine didn't really faze us; it was the norm. We usually booked balcony suites on the 8th floor but on a few occasions we got last-minute upgrade offers for the Owner's Suites on the back of the boat which were simply awesome. Lots of great memories from those trips.

 

In 2009 we took Prince Albert II to Antarctica and have sailed on SS ever since. We've now sailed over 100 days on ONLY the small ships - Cloud, Wind, and PAII (now Explorer). We have two more booked on Cloud Expedition. Clearly we like something about SS. But what? 

 

The SS ships are indeed smaller but they don't feel too small. The small O ships with 600-some pax are hardly too big, but the Cloud and Wind feel even more intimate. The service is great, and the dining options are even better. The food is different. On O, it was more familiar stuff, done very well. On SS I find many more things that I've not heard of, but it's extremely rare that I have a meal that I don't enjoy. And the breadth of dining options, even on a small ship like Cloud/Wind, are impressive. 

 

It seems like every weeks someone is on these boards asking if the Wind is "tired" and lamenting whether they should cruise on the Wind. There was just a big thread about this same question a few weeks ago. In the end, this is a personal preference. The Wind is not a new ship and this cannot be avoided. Do I look old and tired compared to how I looked 30 years ago? Probably. Does the Wind look as new as she did 30 years ago? Of course not.

 

If you absolutely have to cruise on a new ship, and it will ruin your vacation if something looks old, then the Wind is not for you. Personally, we love her character and we're not in any hurry to move up to one of the bigger and newer SS ships. Your experience may vary, but you are right to expect great service and very enjoyable food. You will not find a new ship.

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3 hours ago, roadmaster said:

Sorry bout that, sorry also you didn’t have anything more to say....

Don’t worry, that’s about all he has to offer.

 

I’m assuming the Wind cruise will start and leave from Tower Bridge, if so the sail out/sail in is one of life’s joys and not to be missed.

 

The Nautica is one of the R ships, built 2000, and whilst we haven’t sailed on that one we have travelled on some of its sister ships. The public spaces are significantly smaller than the Wind, the cabins are small and the bathrooms tiny in comparison. If the ships are full the Nautica will feel crowded.

 

Its a tough choice. Please let us know what you decide.

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Excellent points, Silver.

 

Nautica is hardly a spring chicken; I'd forgotten that. Oceania redid the R-ships when the line started up, so they looked fairly spiffy when we sailed them. But they are not much younger than the Wind at this point. They are still 20-year-old ships.

 

I meant to say something about the Tower Bridge sail-in and sail-away but forgot to add it to my post. That is just so much more impressive than docking in Southampton. We have docked in Southampton once and Dover once. There is just no comparison; the Tower Bridge docking is a great experience all around. And I say that, having done this three times now, I'd do it again any time. That difference alone might sell the SS itinerary for me.

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We've been on the Regatta 3x & thought jp's thoughts were spot on regarding the differences.  It's been many years since our experiences with O but I thought they did a fine job with food - especially the specialty restaurants.  The bathroom comparison is really NO comparison at all.  Even though the verandah suites are (mostly) tub shower combos on the Wind, you can actually turn around in them unlike the claustrophobic O shower with a curtain that seems to have a life of its own.  (Maybe that has changed since we were last on?)  The Wind is certainly not glitzy but there is a certain dignity & familiar feel to it that is very welcoming. I've looked at a couple of itineraries on Oceania but usually when you figure out that in order to get the same size suite with a non-claustrophobic bathroom, you have to get at least a PH & then add tips & alcohol,  the cost is very comparable.  So then you just have to go with your gut feeling about which you think you would enjoy more.  I suppose if this is the biggest & most consequential decisions we'll have to make, then our lives are truly charmed.

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Roadmaster,

 

Even though you say your OBC will cover your alcohol for the cruise don't forget about gratuities which can add up during a 32 day cruise. And Oceania excursions are notoriously expensive imo. PLUS in my experience Oceania is the one line that tends to omit ports or shorten time in ports more than any other line I know. Use,s they always blame the weather or things beyond their control but all cruise lines are subject to the same events and others do not cancel ports as frequently.

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Thanks everyone for the comments.

just to add.....Nautica will be refurbished in June 2020 so this will be the first trip out but won’t alter the size of the bathrooms of course. That was not an issue on Regatta for us but we knew nothing different apart from the Radiance and a P&O cruise years ago.

We have a huge OBC so even with drink surcharges (10% )  I think it will be tough spending it. Of course the gratuities are included with Oceania (Australia agents have priced it in the fare)......and Silversea?

It is a pain leaving from Dublin and even more embarking from Southampton as we want to road trip Scotland either prior or after,

The itinerary on O is very appealing going right over the top of USSR.

We have always planned our own shore excursions as we realise the O tours are especially outlandish.

Our ages are young 70/73 when we sail....how does this fit in with the general ship age.

Less than 300 pax....guess there is enough activity or do you make your own on sea days. 

We really would love to sail with Silversea and wonder if it could be a better option after the refit in November.....

Nowornever......you are right, we feel very privileged to being able to make this decision.

Edited by roadmaster

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Although I would never consider Oceania, the advantage of their cruise is the visit to the Solovetsky Islands, though this region is really more suited to expedition ships with zodiacs and 100 pax.  

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We had been Oceania regulars, but had recently travelled on the SS Shadow for Asia and enjoyed it. The Shadow at the time had not been through a substantial  refresh( so probably similar to the Wind, but Shadow is a larger ship similar in size to the Regatta (R ship)    , but frankly I didn’t really notice any significant  “tiredness” except a few areas of the ship that required some  cosmetic  maintenance ( mostly in areas that were not traversed much) . In general the state rooms and public areas were clean and comfortable. As stated above, the stateroom bathrooms were much nicer and larger than the Oceania R ships with both bath and shower. We had a vista suite ( no balcony) , but had a walk in closet that I loved and was clearly more spacious and convenient than the  closet on Oceania. I assume the Wind also has the walk in closet .

 

the only negatives for SS compared to Oceania , was the limited restaurant options on SS, especially if heading into colder climates. There is only the Main restaurant, La terrazzo (which is the buffet for breakfast and  lunch ) but is a sit down,  reservation only Italian restaurant at night, and the casual outdoor , The Grill,  which is not ideal in cold weather (although they will provide blankets) , but in milder climates it’s nice to sit outside. However,  for dinner it has a very limited menu. The other option is La Dame which is reservation only , prixe fixed, gourmet restaurant. (Cost $60pp ?). So not having a casual buffet option at night was one thing we missed about Oceania , but we managed. On a 24 day cruise, I may have found this to be more of a problem. The food is comparable to Oceania .

 

The other thing that is different is the dress code is much more formal than Oceania . In fact you have formal nights (and on a 24+ day cruise) you will have more than 3. Formal means men must wear suits and ties ( or at least jackets and ties) . Coming from Oceania that took some getting used to. If you enjoy dressing up , than maybe this will not be an issue for you. 

 

The fact that that you have to get from Southampton back to London after disembarking from Oceania (which I believe is almost a  1 1/2 to 2 hour journey ) versus disembarking at Tower bridge would lean me more to Silverseas. 

 

Also gratuities, Wi-Fi,  and self service laundry  are included on SS. The self service laundry is on all floors and there are 3 wash, 3 dryers on each floor. Versus I think the R ships only have 1 floor with a laundry.  On a long journey like yours , this may be worth considering. 

 

So  all in all  silverseas is a good alternative to Oceania , so it’s just a matter of how you feel about the above comments. 

 

Enjoy your journey 

 

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I have to admit that we have only sailed Silversea one time and it was a few years ago.  My comment is why not look at Seabourn?  I'm not sure what they have sailing at the time and itinerary of your choice--but that are a fabulous cruise line in terms of the ships, service, food, signature activities, etc.  

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We have sailed Seabourn and O and much prefer Silversea. There is a relaxed atmosphere that surrounds upon check in and stays to disembarkation that can only be experienced-not explained. We have no complaints with either O or Seabourn but just plain prefer SS. oh btw-- the bathrooms are much nicer on SS and so are the cabins in general.

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We have sailed Oceania 3 times, and have another booked.  We have over 100 days on Silversea.  We like the included drinks on Silversea, and excursions included on the expedition ships.  The food on Oceania is probably mostly better, with the exception of our recent Silversea voyage on Cloud where the food was outstanding. Basic suites are nicer on Silversea, but we upgrade way much on Oceania.

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Thanks all for your opinions which have at least given us a huge boost in confidence with the Silver Wind. We are at least have the desire to cruise with them, whether it’s next year will remain with our decision with the choice of itineraries.

99% of you, all seem to be really nice folk....hopefully just like us and we are sure we could fit into that wonderful way of cruising.

We will certainly consider all your thoughts and hope to catch you somewhere in the world.

Cheers

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On 7/19/2019 at 1:17 PM, roadmaster said:

Thanks for the replies.

The Silversea cruise is 24 days, London to London from July 20 next year.

The Nautica cruise 22nd July Dublin - Southampton 32 days.

Will have to decide on one of them.

Cheers

 

 

If it was me, I can safely say, I would pick Silver Wind option. This is a bit of an odd one in the pricing shown by SS. Looking on the UK and Aus site it would seem the combined price for the B2B cruise is not only dearer booking as one voyage, its also without the air fare promotion or VS savings. I think I'm right in saying, you would also be eligible for a further saving for booking B2B and also not needing two lots of return fares, you can also cash in on taking the cash instead of the air promotion (but keeping the one you can use.) Now being a first time cruiser to SS, the VS saving of 5% isn't applicable until you've sailed..... but if you have a VS friend sailing who could sponsor you, you'd get that 5% saving too.

 

If you are considering, I can give you my details to pass on that VS saving...... and I'd also benefit with $200 OBC (but wold happy to do so even without that reward from SS)...... The above is certainly worth enquiring for and if the B2B discount, air fare save cash, free inclusive flight and hotel missing from the 24 day voyage listing) and VS 5% saving gets your booking, then welcome on board..... 

 

silvesea@mail.co.uk will get me if you're considering.

 

PS...... This was my recording of SilverWind taken 12 hours ago!.... 

 

 

 

Edited by les37b

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Might as well chime in...  Have been on 10 "O" cruises and 3 "SS". 

Nautica is our favorite O ship.  There have been little issues with the R ships after the major overhauls - so I would rest easy on that.

 

Pluses -- for SS are bigger cabins especially in the veranda category.  The O cabins are very tight as well as the baths.

Size -- the Wind has a more open feel.  Service SS in general has better.  But Nautica seems to attract the same staff contract after contract.

 

Food.  Have to give the edge to Oceania.  More venues plus you can have a quick casual dinner in the Terrace in the evening.  For us it is important especially on a port intensive cruise.

 

For me it would a toss up -- price difference and itinary for us are always keys.

 

 

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On 7/20/2019 at 12:01 AM, Fletcher said:

Although I would never consider Oceania, the advantage of their cruise is the visit to the Solovetsky Islands, though this region is really more suited to expedition ships with zodiacs and 100 pax.  

 

And the Oceania people just let out a deep sigh of relief 

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Don’t know about formal nights on O but if you have a strong opinion about it be aware that formal nights are alive and well on SS. 

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14 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Don’t know about formal nights on O but if you have a strong opinion about it be aware that formal nights are alive and well on SS. 

Yes, but formal nights are far from what they used to be. Jacket and tie (or even jacket with not) is more than acceptable whereas it used to be tuxedo or dark suit. 

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1 hour ago, wripro said:

Yes, but formal nights are far from what they used to be. Jacket and tie (or even jacket with not) is more than acceptable whereas it used to be tuxedo or dark suit. 

 

And on classic ships one can avoid formality altogether by dining at The Grill (or the pizza restaurant on Spirit/Muse), where dress is always casual.

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