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ivyleaguegent

Crystal vs Silversea

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Good afternoon,

 

Has anyone sailed on Silversea lately?  Your comparison of the two cruise lines at this time would be much appreciated.  I have been on both but not recently on Silversea.  My recollection is that the only item (for me) that militates in favor of Silversea is the cabin size.

 

Thank you!!

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Try doing a search. There are probably fifty threads comparing the two lines.

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Posted (edited)

Most of the 50 threads will be old, so I think it’s a good question. I also note the original poster is new to cruise critic so how about an insightful response? 

 

I can’t comment on Crystal but I have been on three Silversea cruises, on the Muse and Spirit. I have found the service and food to be very good to excellent. We’re not big on the evening entertainment on any cruise so I can’t really comment on that, although the lecturers were very good on a transatlantic cruise last year. It can be more formal than  Crystal from what I understand. Some of the Silversea experience will depend on the ship since the sizes vary considerably.  All are smaller than Crystal unless you sail on the Crystal yacht. While some have taken issue with the specialty restaurants on Silversea, we have found reservations and availability to be very good,  it certainly not with 100% success of getting the day and time we wanted. Crystal also has a reservation system for specialty restaurants too. 

 

I hope others can can weigh in with recent experience too.

 

@ivyleaguegent, what’s important to you on a cruise?

Edited by CruiserFromMaine
Typo

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5 hours ago, wripro said:

Try doing a search. There are probably fifty threads comparing the two lines.

 

Really? - over 50 you say....should be easy to find them then.....

 

I did do a search - over the last 12 months I can’t find one thread in the Crystal forums focussed on comparing the two lines 

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/search/?&q=Silversea&type=forums_topic&page=1&nodes=17&search_and_or=or&start_after=year&sortby=relevancy

 

So maybe we should just focus on helping them out with some informed opinions

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6 hours ago, wripro said:

Try doing a search. There are probably fifty threads comparing the two lines.

Good to see post 3&4 with a classy response to a legitimate question 

 

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5 minutes ago, truck driver said:

Good to see post 3&4 with a classy response to a legitimate question 

 

Oops post 4 & 5 

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Our most recent Silversea cruise was on the Spirit last Fall. We are frequent Crystal cruisers. We enjoy them both, but were very surprised that the menus on Silversea did not change in any of the restaurants during that 12 day cruise. It took an effort to find something new to try. Maybe this has been corrected. We just prefer Crystal for a better experience in food, excursion quality, and entertainment. 

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13 hours ago, ivyleaguegent said:

Good afternoon,

 

Has anyone sailed on Silversea lately?  Your comparison of the two cruise lines at this time would be much appreciated.  I have been on both but not recently on Silversea.  My recollection is that the only item (for me) that militates in favor of Silversea is the cabin size.

 

Thank you!!

We've only sailed Silversea twice and the last time was 2016 on the spirit.

 

Let me suggest that rather than do a comparison that you post on the Silversea board noting when your last cruise was with them and which ship and ask specifically about changes since you last changed.  For example, let's say when you last sailed there was one show each evening and one enrichment lecturer.  You could just simply ask has that changed and if so what were the specific changes.  You could do this for each topic.

 

Speaking for myself there were two areas that we enjoyed on our sailing and you hit on one of them.  The suites are a nice size.  The second area was the intimacy of a couple of the specialty restaurants and the service in those restaurants.

 

For us though we never found too much to do.  On that last cruise in 2016  we spent more time in our room than on any other cruise we have taken across all cruise ships and cruise lines.  In fact, for contrast when we were on board Crystal Serenity for 130+ days this year I would say I watched a total of two maybe three movies in our suite.  On our last cruise on SIlversea which I believe was 8 days we watched four or five movies because there wasn't much of interest for us to do on the ship.

 

Again, my suggestion is for those areas that are important to you that you ask specific questions on the Silversea board about them and if there is a ship you have in mind I would list the ship.  As you know Silversea has ships from different years that are very different in size and that means what they can offer does vary by class of ship.

 

Keith

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Sea days were very boring on Silversea - I really was looking forward to the daily trivia in the early evening.

The wine list is cheaper on SS and is very European especially good choice in Champagnes and Italy, however as there is - aside of the speciality resturants - only one sommelier , sometimes the waiters threated the special bottles like "soda's" :

too much wine in the glasses.  

Despite friendly service on SS , bartenders on Crystal are a lot better. Lectures were very boring on SS.

The basic cabins on the Wind are extremely small , the same for the bathroom.

 

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Ivyleaguegent,

I have sailed on Silversea  only once, last February on the Spirit, but would like to make some comments that may be relevant to Crystal cruisers.

 

Are the evening entertainment shows important to you?  If so, you may be disappointed in SS.  On the cruise that I was on, the entertainment cast consisted of 6 singers, no dancers, (although the singers did make attempts at dancing, there was no serious attempts at choreography. )  No costumes, scenery, no live orchestra.  Rudimentary lighting, sound system.  No specialty acts.  Very few people in the audience.  I realize that some people couldn't care less about the evening shows, but for those that do, they should realize that in this respect there is a world of difference between SS and Crystal

 

On the plus side, I found the variety of dining  options on SS to be a strong suit. There were 2 dining venues on the Spirit that to me are quite unique in that they are small intimate settings, about 8 tables, with gracious, attentive service.  Yes, they incur an extra charge, but in the big scheme of cruise prices, to me this is not a biggie.

 

Also, there are butlers (I think), in all cabin categories, if that is important to you (it isn't to me)

 

To me, the bottom line is that both lines offer a fine luxury product.

 

Whatever you decide, wishing you a wonderful cruise.

 

 

 

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I should clarify my earlier post. We have not been on Crystal ocean, but we were on the Crystal Mozart on the Danube this summer. The service was very nice, as were the excursions, but it’s a much different experience in general on a river cruise. (We are booked on the Serenity in January for the first leg of the world cruise and are very much looking forward to it!)

 

Following up up on the trivia—we’re not trivia fans but trivia was more midday and was quite well attended on our cruises. I think that may be part of the difference in ship size on SS. Some are around 600 pax, others half that. I haven’t been on the smaller ones but the experience has to be different than on the Spirit and Muse. 

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4 hours ago, CruiserFromMaine said:

I should clarify my earlier post. We have not been on Crystal ocean, but we were on the Crystal Mozart on the Danube this summer. The service was very nice, as were the excursions, but it’s a much different experience in general on a river cruise. (We are booked on the Serenity in January for the first leg of the world cruise and are very much looking forward to it!)

 

Following up up on the trivia—we’re not trivia fans but trivia was more midday and was quite well attended on our cruises. I think that may be part of the difference in ship size on SS. Some are around 600 pax, others half that. I haven’t been on the smaller ones but the experience has to be different than on the Spirit and Muse. 

Having sailed on Mozart in May, Serenity many times, and Spirit once I can tell you that the experience on Serenity will be very different than that of Spirit.  In the end you will have to decide which one you prefer.

 

Team Trivia on the World Cruise is very popular.  It will be held at 12:05 PM following the talk from the bridge by the Captain at Noon.  It will be held at Palm Court.  It will be hosted by the World Cruise Hostess along with the Pianist from the Crystal Cove.

 

You should find lots of consistencies with Mozart in terms of service and cuisine.  There will be many more choices in dining than on Mozart but the common theme will be attention to detail.  

 

You will also find lots more enrichment and entertainment than on Silversea.  Again you will have to decide what works best for you.  I know what works best for us.  😀

 

Keith

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A very interesting discussion here. I did 4 cruises on Crystal and two on SS.

The first SS was on a expeditionship and was very good. Of course entertainment is almost non excinstant but this is not a problem because I was very tired each night.

the second was on S Shadow and I did not like it at all. First I was sent away from the MDR on an informal evening while I wasnt wearing a dinner jacket. But if you are old enough they dont sent you away. Second the food in the MDR was often luke warm. Entertaiment was below level.

Overall, Crysta wins everything except the size of the standard cabins

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I am afraid Silversea - together with Cunard and Saga - still does have the most "old fashionned" dress code.

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Posted (edited)

I have sailed many nights on both Crystal and Silversea.  Neither is a hardship!  🙂  And the ships differ from one to another (even Symphony to Serenity).   I do not sail to be entertained, and I see nothing wrong with spending a sea day reading or looking out at the ocean.  Silversea clearly offers less onboard diversion (classes, lectures, etc) and less showy evening entertainment.  Though Silversea is adding Arts Cafes to new and remodeled ships, the Bistro on Crystal is great and some Silversea ships (e.g., Whisper) lack any such feature.

 

To my mind, some Silversea advantages are:

 

  • Larger suites (even at entry level)
  • Butler service for all suites.  Butlers can be useful in unexpected ways
  • Smaller ships than Crystal thus a bit more intimacy
  • The Grill/Hot Rocks, a nice al fresco dinner venue where one can grill one's own meat/fish on very hot lava rocks
  • Venues (other than pool deck) where one can have a drink or coffee outdoors while watching ship's wake
  • Free unlimited laundry after 100 nights and 5% discount.  10% discount after 250 nights.  Other perks that I think are better than Crystal.
  • Inclusion of port fees, taxes in advertised fare.  Silversea doesn't hide/add on these fees.
  • Much more generous cancellation policy than Crystal with less onerous penalties.
  • More attention to solo travelers.  A reception for solos on first or second night of cruise, and a nightly cocktail get-together for solos, generally hosted by International (multi-lingual) Host (or should I say "Hostess"?  It's generally a woman.)

But, to repeat, neither is hardship! 🙂 

Edited by Observer

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On 8/28/2019 at 2:09 PM, johanc said:

l. First I was sent away from the MDR on an informal evening while I wasnt wearing a dinner jacket.

 

I assume that you are speaking of a sport jacket at dinnertime and not a formal dinner jacket.  Informal on Silversea (which is the most common dress code) means a jacket and collared shirt for gents (but no need for necktie).  There are venues on Silversea ships where one can dine in shorts even on formal nights (outdoors at The Grill) or without necktie (La Terrazza).

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Ice cream.....Ben & Jerrys versus San Bernadino.   That's an easy choice.

A generally professional crew versus a bunch of Filipinos working 8 month contracts being supervised by European amateurs on four month contracts.    Reminders of plantation life in USA.

 

The Cove has always had talented pianist while I'm on board.  Nothing even close to be found on a SS ship.

My day count on Crystal is probably 20% of time spent with SS.  Yet, rapport with staff on Crystal is way beyond SS staff.

Food.....I trust Crystal is serving a quality product with better ingredients.   No faith at all in the SS F & B department.  That includes how/where they store food and mixing liquor supply.  They've failed inspections on both fronts.  And yes, they still mix liquor bottles.

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1 hour ago, saminina said:

Ice cream.....Ben & Jerrys versus San Bernadino.   That's an easy choice.

A generally professional crew versus a bunch of Filipinos working 8 month contracts being supervised by European amateurs on four month contracts.    Reminders of plantation life in US

 

Wow, that's a bit harsh. But I haven't sailed either line yet, so what do I know? I've never heard of San Bernadino ice cream, so I have no idea which you like better. I have to admit I'm surprised that they serve Ben & Jerry's on Crystal, since I'm used to ice cream made on the ship (Celebrity) and gelato made on the ship (Azamara). I'm sure I'll be fine with Ben & Jerry's on our upcoming cruise. (I LOVE ice cream!!)

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My fault.......it's San Bernardo ice cream.   I believe Carnival Cruise Line to be their largest customer.    Ben & Jerry's is much better.

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2 hours ago, late2cruisin said:

 

Wow, that's a bit harsh. But I haven't sailed either line yet, so what do I know? I've never heard of San Bernadino ice cream, so I have no idea which you like better. I have to admit I'm surprised that they serve Ben & Jerry's on Crystal, since I'm used to ice cream made on the ship (Celebrity) and gelato made on the ship (Azamara). I'm sure I'll be fine with Ben & Jerry's on our upcoming cruise. (I LOVE ice cream!!)

It might be hard to tell but the poster meant most or all of this as a complement to Crystal although I would say the language was a bit tough on SS.

 

As to Ben & Jerry's Crystal used to serve Dreyer's Ice Cream but several years ago rolled out Ben & Jerry's.  

Like most things when it comes to food everyone has their views on each and every item.

 

On the Crystal River Cruise vessels they make their own ice cream.  😎

 

Keith

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Yes, Ben & Jerry's is definitely a step up from Dreyer's ( although I wouldn't refuse that either. As I said, I LOVE ice cream)

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5 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

It might be hard to tell but the poster meant most or all of this as a complement to Crystal although I would say the language was a bit tough on SS.

 

As to Ben & Jerry's Crystal used to serve Dreyer's Ice Cream but several years ago rolled out Ben & Jerry's.  

Like most things when it comes to food everyone has their views on each and every item.

 

On the Crystal River Cruise vessels they make their own ice cream.  😎

 

Keith

Keith, Crystal makes their own ice cream on the river vessels?  Please elaborate.   How many flavors?  How would you compare the ice cream with that on the Serenity? 

 

Thanks, Dwight

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8 minutes ago, History&Wine said:

Keith, Crystal makes their own ice cream on the river vessels?  Please elaborate.   How many flavors?  How would you compare the ice cream with that on the Serenity? 

 

Thanks, Dwight

Not Keith but here is a picture of the ice cream on the Mozart. It was amazing! They had 8 flavors.IMG_0327.thumb.jpg.e17b3bd4e7538d3429362bd0d60f763a.jpgIMG_0326.thumb.jpg.49a66b0567789640f705fb4a311b8d64.jpg

IMG_0325.jpg

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10 hours ago, saminina said:

Ice cream.....Ben & Jerrys versus San Bernadino.   That's an easy choice.

A generally professional crew versus a bunch of Filipinos working 8 month contracts being supervised by European amateurs on four month contracts.    Reminders of plantation life in USA.

 

The Cove has always had talented pianist while I'm on board.  Nothing even close to be found on a SS ship.

My day count on Crystal is probably 20% of time spent with SS.  Yet, rapport with staff on Crystal is way beyond SS staff.

Food.....I trust Crystal is serving a quality product with better ingredients.   No faith at all in the SS F & B department.  That includes how/where they store food and mixing liquor supply.  They've failed inspections on both fronts.  And yes, they still mix liquor bottles.

Are you sure of your facts: "a bunch" of Filipinos, 8 month  contracts, European (officers, I assume you mean) 4 month. And I assume you don't remember plantation life in USA. Harsh?! That's an understatement. I've sailed both lines, but on my next Silversea (next week actually), I will sure be checking out the kitchen (since I guess you did) for food storage and the bar for mixing bottles. I don't "trust "Crystal any more than I trust Seabourn, my preferred line, but as they say, everything on Cruise Critic is IMHO.

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