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cruiseerf

Celebrity Zenith tries out Silversea......

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Silversea recently offered only a 10% single supplement on a series of cruises so we hopped onboard as Celebrity requires we pay for 2 PAX for single cabins and this was a far better deal for us, 42% less then Celebrity.  Also the dates worked perfectly and we had done several Silversea Cruises years ago before we starting enjoying Celebrity.    

 

We were on the Silverspirit in Asia, just prior to the breaking of the Cornovirus.   The ship had been recently "Stretched" to increase it's capacity to around 600+ passengers.   We are usually sailing in a Sky Suite on Celebrity and we took a mid ship Veranda Suite on Silversea.  Keep in mind that all rooms are suites onboard Silversea, the smallest of which is 300 square feet.  Beautifully appointed, great beds, Huge soft puffy towels and a stand up shower as well as a bath.  Single television, similar to Celeb Sky suite which pivots left and right.  What is nice though is Silversea has a walk in closet.  Every cabin onboard has full Butler and meal services included in your fare.  All Alcohol was also included.  Similar to a Celebrity 4 perk package.   We LOVED our cabins.   We did not love the smoking policy.....left side of the ship and outdoor public spaces....and yes, people smoked Cigars as well.  Lots of pool chairs to be had and yes, same problem with chair hogs......One in the shade, one in the sun etc.  

 

There were several restaurants to chose from for included dining....Atlantide was like the "Main Dining room", then they had an Asian restaurant next door, A Buffet Restaurant that went alacarte Italian in the evenings and an out door grill with a pizza oven outside by the pool.   There also was a jazz club spot which served food stuffs, but we did not try.   Overall we found that the food was as good as Celebrity Luminae, Murano or even the main dining room some nights.  They however offered more choice depending on our moods.   We found the Celebrity Buffet to actually be better then what was offered on Silversea.   Celebrity gives you vast options and the smaller ship really cannot compete.  Where Silversea did compete is in the occasional high end ingredients.   You could have Lobster every night if you wished,  Sushi and Sashimi were standard everyday on the lunch Buffet.  First lunch they had a Seafood extravaganza with snow crab claws and Giant King Crab legs that were delightfully sweet.  That all said, the hot dishes were sitting around, the flavours were bland and the buffet overall was boring.   Size wins with Celebrity on this one.  Also, the sushi onboard was meh and we found Sushi on 5 a far nicer "option" on Celebrity.  

 

Clientele onboard was quite old, much older then Celebrity.   Average age was probably upper 70's.  60% of our cruise were British Passengers, followed by Americans, Aussies and Canadians Germans etc. LOTS of plastic surgery was in evidence and several people had a variety of mobility issues, perhaps more evident then Celebrity as less guests?   On Silversea buffet, they carried your plates back to your table for you and this was needed for large amounts of older SS passengers.     Also, the night of the Brexit document signing, many of the British people marched around the ship with flags,  requesting British songs to be played in the lounges to sing along to....it was quite a spectacle.  It upset some other European cruisers visibly and was uncomfortable for many as it was like taking your politics on the road.....Never a good Idea.     

 

The dress code on Silversea nearly killed me.  in 14 nights we had 2 formal (Jacket and tie)....no tie=NO ENTRY, fully enforced.   9 Informal nights, jacket required, no tie, fully enforced.  3 casual nights....long pants and button down shirts etc.   I found the temperature of the ship to be warm in all public areas.....I complained but Silversea explained that as they have an older clientele, they like the ship kept warmer (hospital ship anyone?).  This was Terrible for me sweating it out in my jacket and tie.   I realized that here Celebrity wins out hands down over Silversea....the Chic nights are something for everyone.....Silversea's formailty is not for me anymore.  IMHO.  Every night in the hot jacket I kept thinking "I can't wait to get back to celebrity"....  

 

Internet is included in Everyone's fare.   I will NEVER complain about Celebrity's internet again.   Silversea's internet was an Abomination......  it took sometimes 5-7 minutes to pull up my gmail account, let alone answer emails.   I was unable to work and had to get off in two ports schlepping my laptop to a local hotel to engage in simple emails.   We were on an Asian Celebrity cruise to most of the same ports 1 year prior and had NO Problems..  Yet Silversea told us it was the "Area",  I don't know what was going on, but this "Area" on Celebrity worked just fine last year?  Very disappointing for this newly renovated ship.   You could pay to "Upgrade" your email $30 per day, however it was just as slow...really ridiculous in this day and age.

 

Bars and lounges were busy from 6PM on and dead after 9:30PM.....It's like the whole ship just goes to bed.   There are small entertainers who come onboard but no "broadway style" shows.  That said, this was quite a well heeled crowd and we felt that if this crowd wanted broadway, they would just go there and do a week in NYC.  

 

Lastly, we find Celebrity staff to be wonderful, friendly, warm and helpful on all the ships we have been on.   We feel Celebrity Cruises staff is the best asset Celebrity Cruises has!  The service was similar on Silversea however far more "Reserved".    We never felt warmth or real caring from the Silversea staff onboard (except our most excellent butler) we rarely saw officers.......The whole Silversea experience was far "Cooler" to us then the Celebrity experience.  Again, strictly our opinion.   When this cruise was ending,  we were happy to go on our way having once again experienced Silversea Cruises.   We would return if the itinerary, date or price was right.....

 

Overall, we enjoyed the positives that Silversea offers.  That said, we missed the interesting people watching, the chic dress codes, several bars to drink in, so many public rooms to choose from, we missed Celebrity!!!!   The Celebrity suite experience or even Aqua class gives us the "Small ship" in a big ship feeling and that is really the best of both worlds.  Our next 4 cruises are all on Celebrity and we very much look forward to returning.  Hope this is helpful!  Safe Sails to all!     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A very balanced review giving a good idea of the strengths and issues of the ship. Whilst we love Celebrity we like to read comparative reviews to see what the competition is like!

 

On an Eclipse cruise we met two couples who had recently sailed Silversea. One couple had loved it for the food and service level and the other had hated it describing it as being ‘dead’.

 

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Thanks for your review.  It will be interesting to see what changes take place as Silversea is integrated into RCCL.  From your excellent. balanced review I will stay with Celebrity and Azamara, especially for the time being

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Excellent review. We were on the Silver Shadow and the smoking was also a problem. I agree that much dressing up isn’t enjoyable. People should look nice IMHO, but this sounds a bit over the edge. I also heard that from a friend, but they enjoyed their trip.

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Thank you and very helpful comparison. We have been thinking about Silversea Origin for the Galapagos vs. Celebrity Flora.  Maybe we will stick with Celebrity.

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My thanks as well.  We were seriously looking at Silversa cruises.  But I'm so surprised to learn about the smoking issues.  That's a deal breaker for us as my retinologist has warned me about the dangers of second hand smoke for those of us with retinal disease, in my case macular degeneration.  Given the age demographic, you'd think Silversea would have addressed this.

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Thanks for your well rounded post.   Enjoyed hearing your perspective of your enjoyable cruise.

 

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We are cruising Silversea Shadow in April and looking forward to it. Love Celebrity, but this cruise (rome-barcelona) stops in lots of smaller ports and overnight in Malta, a wonderful port.

 

The OP said formal was coat/tie; I thought it required a suit, not 'coat' as in a blazer, and a dark suit at that. Please clarify, may help in packing.

 

Will see how it goes with a 'luxury' line. \

 

Den

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Thanks for the comparison.  The reduced single supplement would be nice, but the rest of it doesn't sound too appealing.  The smoking would drive me away.

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Thank you for the review.  I had forgotten that RCI had acquired a 2/3rd interest in Silver Seas.

 

The warm onboard conditions would really bother me, at least until I age a bit more 🙂

 

 

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Thanks for your interesting report cruiseerf.

We are loyal Celebrity cruisers, usually in standard cabins, but we took a Silversea cruise last year as it was an interesting itinerary that appealed, at a good price and I had always wanted to try the line. 

We loved the fact that once on board there were no ‘no go’ areas, no evidence of status or class, and everyone on board was treated exactly the same. Food and service was wonderful, the cabin and facilities excellent.  We loved the dressing up, interesting fellow cruisers, classy entertainment and generally feeling very special. Nothing was too much trouble.

We never stood in a queue or waited for a lift, a sun bed  or a table in the buffet or dining rooms.

 We have since gone back to our standard cabins on Celebrity and probably won’t repeat Silversea, but have very fond memories of a wonderful  cruise.

 

Edited by willma

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Thanks!  We always wonder what some of these smaller, more "inclusive" lines are like.  May try sometime, but will stick with Celebrity for now. 

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To answer your questions:  

 

We asked if RCL was going to "Buy" the last 1/3 of Silversea they do not own and nobody knows?  Those investment decisions are kept close to the vest I would assume.   

 

Regarding Captains club and Silversea's Venetian society.  The Ventian societies best benefit is free laundry after 100 nights and is cheap about their free cruises.....only offering a 7 night cruise after 350 nights sailing......Not sure how they would integrate but if they did I bet they would have many more "crossovers".  When we brought up RCL buying Silversea, many of the long time Silversea passengers claimed they already see cuts?  Not for us to say.  Sometimes the whisper causes panic......We stopped talking about it as we didn't want to "rock the boat"  Onboard sales was CLUELESS on anything Celebrity or Royal.....There is NO cross selling yet happening.  This is strange to me as many of these passengers have grandkids and great grandkids and Royal is a Great line for Kids and family trips etc.   

 

Dress code:  I squeaked in with a Jacket and Tie on formal nights.  You do not necessarily need a "Suit"  however most men were quite dressed up, actually more so then the Women on this cruise.   Many many tuxedo's also in attendance.  I hope this helps your packing.  

 

Lastly, I forgot something very nice to bring up.  They had a few singles onboard well into their 80's and the butlers would wheel them into the dining room at night for dinner and then take them back to their cabins.....a Nice personal touch I thought.    

 

As far as Galapagos, I may be wrong but I think Celebrity sold the sister of Flora to Silversea to increase their footprint....adventure travel brings in BIG $$ for these cruiselines.  Also, as you are in a national park, each cruiseline is only allowed a certain amount of "Medals" which allow the ships to sail there, so nobody has an unfair advantage and it controls pollution etc.   So there are only so many ships that can go there.....FYI.  

 

Safe sails to all.  Cheers!  

 

 

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2 hours ago, cruiseerf said:

To answer your questions:  

 

We asked if RCL was going to "Buy" the last 1/3 of Silversea they do not own and nobody knows?  Those investment decisions are kept close to the vest I would assume.   

 

Regarding Captains club and Silversea's Venetian society.  The Ventian societies best benefit is free laundry after 100 nights and is cheap about their free cruises.....only offering a 7 night cruise after 350 nights sailing......Not sure how they would integrate but if they did I bet they would have many more "crossovers".  When we brought up RCL buying Silversea, many of the long time Silversea passengers claimed they already see cuts?  Not for us to say.  Sometimes the whisper causes panic......We stopped talking about it as we didn't want to "rock the boat"  Onboard sales was CLUELESS on anything Celebrity or Royal.....There is NO cross selling yet happening.  This is strange to me as many of these passengers have grandkids and great grandkids and Royal is a Great line for Kids and family trips etc.   

 

Dress code:  I squeaked in with a Jacket and Tie on formal nights.  You do not necessarily need a "Suit"  however most men were quite dressed up, actually more so then the Women on this cruise.   Many many tuxedo's also in attendance.  I hope this helps your packing.  

 

Lastly, I forgot something very nice to bring up.  They had a few singles onboard well into their 80's and the butlers would wheel them into the dining room at night for dinner and then take them back to their cabins.....a Nice personal touch I thought.    

 

As far as Galapagos, I may be wrong but I think Celebrity sold the sister of Flora to Silversea to increase their footprint....adventure travel brings in BIG $$ for these cruiselines.  Also, as you are in a national park, each cruiseline is only allowed a certain amount of "Medals" which allow the ships to sail there, so nobody has an unfair advantage and it controls pollution etc.   So there are only so many ships that can go there.....FYI.  

 

Safe sails to all.  Cheers! 

Have you taken into consideration that non-Americans may have a different take on what line is best for children based on their experiences in sailing?

 

That most likely is the overall factor in their response.

 

Thank you for your thoughts and review...

 

bon voyage

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4 hours ago, cruiseerf said:

As far as Galapagos, I may be wrong but I think Celebrity sold the sister of Flora to Silversea to increase their footprint....adventure travel brings in BIG $$ for these cruiselines.  Also, as you are in a national park, each cruiseline is only allowed a certain amount of "Medals" which allow the ships to sail there, so nobody has an unfair advantage and it controls pollution etc.   So there are only so many ships that can go there.....FYI.  

 

Silversea's Silver Origin is a new build (100 passengers) coming into service 2020.

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13 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Silversea's Silver Origin is a new build (100 passengers) coming into service 2020.

I believe the origin was originally ordered by Celebrity and they moved the order over to Silversea.  Celebrity has the Flora....100 pasengers 5800 tons.....And Silversea will have Silver Origin 100 passengers 5800 tons....decked out in Silversea Style of course.....

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entire left side is smoking..wow! that would be a selling point for some. they should put that in the literature

 

were there towel animals at all?

 

also chair hogs is something that should not be on such an expensive ship. i think reserved chairs for all very appropriate. 

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On 2/18/2020 at 4:53 AM, cruiseerf said:

To answer your questions:  

 

We asked if RCL was going to "Buy" the last 1/3 of Silversea they do not own and nobody knows?  Those investment decisions are kept close to the vest I would assume.   

 

Regarding Captains club and Silversea's Venetian society.  The Ventian societies best benefit is free laundry after 100 nights and is cheap about their free cruises.....only offering a 7 night cruise after 350 nights sailing......Not sure how they would integrate but if they did I bet they would have many more "crossovers".  When we brought up RCL buying Silversea, many of the long time Silversea passengers claimed they already see cuts?  Not for us to say.  Sometimes the whisper causes panic......We stopped talking about it as we didn't want to "rock the boat"  Onboard sales was CLUELESS on anything Celebrity or Royal.....There is NO cross selling yet happening.  This is strange to me as many of these passengers have grandkids and great grandkids and Royal is a Great line for Kids and family trips etc.   

 

Dress code:  I squeaked in with a Jacket and Tie on formal nights.  You do not necessarily need a "Suit"  however most men were quite dressed up, actually more so then the Women on this cruise.   Many many tuxedo's also in attendance.  I hope this helps your packing.  

 

Lastly, I forgot something very nice to bring up.  They had a few singles onboard well into their 80's and the butlers would wheel them into the dining room at night for dinner and then take them back to their cabins.....a Nice personal touch I thought.    

 

As far as Galapagos, I may be wrong but I think Celebrity sold the sister of Flora to Silversea to increase their footprint....adventure travel brings in BIG $$ for these cruiselines.  Also, as you are in a national park, each cruiseline is only allowed a certain amount of "Medals" which allow the ships to sail there, so nobody has an unfair advantage and it controls pollution etc.   So there are only so many ships that can go there.....FYI.  

 

Safe sails to all.  Cheers!  

 

 

Try Crystal! More expensive, but to me worth every cent.  I'm a Crystal Loyalist.

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