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Silversea newbie - Couple of questions


Captain Noodles
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Hi everyone, I'm hoping that you might be able to help me please ? 

We have only previously cruised in the Yacht Club with MSC but are keen to try a smaller, luxury line. Trying to decide between the Crystal Symphony or the Silver Wind. Have read lots of great things about both but the new ship and better cabin have the Silver Dawn as clear favourite.

 

Just have a couple of possible concerns which I hoped to clarify before booking. 

 

Do the restaurant menus change during the cruise ? The cruise I'm looking at is 14 nights so would likely end up a bit bored should the menu remain the same for the duration. I have read loads of posts recently and I think one of them suggested the menus never change which would surprise me if true. 

 

Is Silversea considered to be more or less formal than Crystal ? Do you have to wear a jacket to all restaurants even on informal nights ? Wouldn't be an issue if required for formal nights only but a suit and tie every night might just be a bit too much for me.

 

Many thanks

Glen 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Captain Noodles said:

 

 

Do the restaurant menus change during the cruise ? The cruise I'm looking at is 14 nights so would likely end up a bit bored should the menu remain the same for the duration. I have read loads of posts recently and I think one of them suggested the menus never change which would surprise me if true. 

 

I have sailed a good deal on both Crystal and Silversea.  For various reasons, I prefer Silversea.  

 

On ships in the Muse class (which Dawn will join) there is no main restaurant (unlike Crystal with Waterside).  Instead, there is a large variety of specialty restaurants (few of which have surcharge).  So one might dine one evening in SALT, one evening in Atlantide, one evening in La Terrazza, one evening at the Grill, one evening at pizza restaurant, one evening at Silver Note, etc.  The menus in La Terrazza will change once or perhaps twice a week.  The Atlantide menu is very large, lots of choices, but it may not change during a cruise. Etc.

 

Please note:  On older/smaller ships like Wind or Shadow and Whisper with one main restaurant, the menu changes every night (though there are some constants.)  These ships have fewer specialty restaurants, though they all have the poolside Grill at night and La Terrazza

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Is Silversea considered to be more or less formal than Crystal ? Do you have to wear a jacket to all restaurants even on informal nights ? Wouldn't be an issue if required for formal nights only but a suit and tie every night might just be a bit too much for me.

 

There is no need for suit and tie every night.  I have been on long Silversea voyages where I never put on a tie.  On formal nights I often eat at The Grill or the outdoor pizza restaurant, where one can wear shorts and sport shirts even on formal nights.  La Terrazza always expects one step below the stated dress code.  So on formal nights, one can go informal (jacket no tie required).  On informal nights, one can go casual.  

 

And of course there is always room service served by your butler in your suite (bathrobes accepted.)  The room service menu is very generous.  On Crystal, butler service is available only in penthouse suites. 

Edited by Observer
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Hi, and welcome to SS!

 

Just to clarify, are you looking at Silver Wind, or Silver Dawn? You mention both names in your post but I'm guessing you mean the latter, as Silver Wind will be converted to an expedition ship soon, and will not sail again until after that conversion.

 

We have sailed on a bunch of the expedition ships and could tell you plenty, if you were considering an expedition. But since you're comparing with Crystal, I assume not?

Edited by jpalbny
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9 hours ago, jpalbny said:

Hi, and welcome to SS!

 

Just to clarify, are you looking at Silver Wind, or Silver Dawn? You mention both names in your post but I'm guessing you mean the latter, as Silver Wind will be converted to an expedition ship soon, and will not sail again until after that conversion.

 

We have sailed on a bunch of the expedition ships and could tell you plenty, if you were considering an expedition. But since you're comparing with Crystal, I assume not?

Thank you , sorry my mistake. Getting mixed up with the names ! Yes it's a transatlantic cruise on the Silver Dawn. 

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We recently started sailing on Silversea and found the posts from observer and JPAlbny (as well as others here) extremely helpful and on target in the preparation for our 2 cruises to date.  So, nothing to add, just wanted relay our experience, and add a welcome. 

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1 hour ago, Captain Noodles said:

Yes it's a transatlantic cruise on the Silver Dawn. 

 

I am a huge Silversea fan.  But there is one area in which I think Crystal trumps Silversea, and it might be relevant for a TA.  

 

The Silversea standard suites are larger than those on Crystal (and that might make a difference on a TA).  The Silversea ships are of course newer.  The dining choices on Dawn will be more plentiful than those on Crystal.  Every Silversea guest has a butler (and s/he can be very helpful). Etc. 

 

But Crystal enrichment/entertainment is IMHO better than Silversea's.  This might be relevant on a TA with lots of sea days.  I am quite happy to fill my days chatting at the bar/pool, reading, watching a movie (from a huge inventory) in the suite, getting some exercise, playing trivia, perhaps even visiting the spa.  I rarely attend lectures anymore, so Silversea is just fine for me, even on TAs.  But some people want much more activity-- lectures, classes, etc.  And here Crystal  excels.  If you feel the need/desire for such programmed activity for the multiple sea days, you might opt for Crystal.  Otherwise, I would opt for Silversea.

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19 hours ago, Observer said:

 

I am a huge Silversea fan.  But there is one area in which I think Crystal trumps Silversea, and it might be relevant for a TA.  

 

The Silversea standard suites are larger than those on Crystal (and that might make a difference on a TA).  The Silversea ships are of course newer.  The dining choices on Dawn will be more plentiful than those on Crystal.  Every Silversea guest has a butler (and s/he can be very helpful). Etc. 

 

But Crystal enrichment/entertainment is IMHO better than Silversea's.  This might be relevant on a TA with lots of sea days.  I am quite happy to fill my days chatting at the bar/pool, reading, watching a movie (from a huge inventory) in the suite, getting some exercise, playing trivia, perhaps even visiting the spa.  I rarely attend lectures anymore, so Silversea is just fine for me, even on TAs.  But some people want much more activity-- lectures, classes, etc.  And here Crystal  excels.  If you feel the need/desire for such programmed activity for the multiple sea days, you might opt for Crystal.  Otherwise, I would opt for Silversea.

We don't have much interest in lectures or classes. Like some music or a show at night and maybe some trivia during the day. Otherwise, relax with a cold drink and watch the world go by. Find just watching the sea so relaxing. Thanks again for all the great info. Very much appreciated. 

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15 hours ago, Captain Noodles said:

 maybe some trivia during the day. 

 

Then you definitely want Silversea - trivia pretty much every day at a realistic time of late afternoon (4.45  or 5 pm), altho' it is sometimes moved to morning if arriving at a port at lunchtime for a stay into the evening.

Crystal does trivia at noon (ish) and only on sea days! Ridiculous. On many itineraries, you hardly get the chance to play at all.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 6/25/2020 at 6:39 AM, jollyjones said:

 

Then you definitely want Silversea - trivia pretty much every day at a realistic time of late afternoon (4.45  or 5 pm), altho' it is sometimes moved to morning if arriving at a port at lunchtime for a stay into the evening.

Crystal does trivia at noon (ish) and only on sea days! Ridiculous. On many itineraries, you hardly get the chance to play at all.

Hi Captain Noodles ( and Jolly).  Trivia is a big thing on Silversea.  Everyday @5:00 pm.  Some people take it seriously, including me, one of my neurosis.  As for Jolly, she is the best trivia player among Silversea regulars, by far.  I miss it, having to cancel 2 cruises already.  Next up is Greece in June 2021.  I hate to say this but I have the day circled on my calendar that allows cancellation with minimum penalty.  I am in hopes that they do the 125% FFC credit again, because i have $1000 down on a South America to Florida cruise in 2022.  Damn I want to be sailing again.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another newbie! My husband and I are looking at are a very long cruise on the Silver Cloud in 2022 (great itinerary!). We never considered this line before because it is too formal for our taste. The Cloud, however, is an expedition ship. Do they still have regular formal nights with cocktail/evening dresses, tuxedos, dark suits, ties? We really don't want to be the odd ducks out who flee to the casual restaurant while everybody else genuinely enjoys dressing up to the nines. That would be ok for a short cruise, but on a long cruise we would probably feel like outsiders in polo shirts and slacks.

 

Our previous cruise experience includes Hapag-Lloyd, Ponant, Oceania, Azamara, HAL.

 

Can somebody please enlighten us?

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Floridiana said:

Another newbie! My husband and I are looking at are a very long cruise on the Silver Cloud in 2022 (great itinerary!). We never considered this line before because it is too formal for our taste. The Cloud, however, is an expedition ship. Do they still have regular formal nights with cocktail/evening dresses, tuxedos, dark suits, ties? We really don't want to be the odd ducks out who flee to the casual restaurant while everybody else genuinely enjoys dressing up to the nines. That would be ok for a short cruise, but on a long cruise we would probably feel like outsiders in polo shirts and slacks.

 

Our previous cruise experience includes Hapag-Lloyd, Ponant, Oceania, Azamara, HAL.

 

Can somebody please enlighten us?

 

 

 

 

There are still formal nights, but not quite as formal to require tuxedos etc. Most people still dress up, but as long as you are smart you should be ok.

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I think on all of the luxury cruise lines (Silversea, Seabourn, Regent, Crystal), there are generally still "formal" nights, but more men wear a dark suit (or even a sport jacket) than a tux these days. Our first trip on Silversea was two years ago, on a Cloud expedition trip to Greenland. I can't even recall if there was a designated formal night; I do know we didn't pack anything special for a formal night, and never felt out of place. In our cruises one Regent and Seabourn, which include trips over the Christmas and New Years holidays , I've never brought a tux, and have never felt out of place. (I rarely wear a tie, but I might have thrown one in for a formal night.) 

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2 hours ago, Floridiana said:

We never considered this line before because it is too formal for our taste. The Cloud, however, is an expedition ship. Do they still have regular formal nights with cocktail/evening dresses, tuxedos, dark suits, ties?

 

There are no formal nights on expedition cruises. Have a great time!

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There are generally two "informal nights" on expedition cruises: the Captain’s Welcome Aboard and Farewell Dinners. From the Silversea website: "On casual evenings, open-neck shirts, trousers and casual wear are appropriate. On the two informal evenings, women usually wear dresses or trouser suits; men wear jackets (tie optional)."

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9 hours ago, Floridiana said:

 

Thank goodness!

I am definitely going to be in the minority here.  I love formal nights.  In my life now there are very few occasions I get to play dress up, pull out my old tuxedos and dinner jackets (if they still fit) and pretend I am in days gone by, sort of James Bond in Monaco at a casino, that sort of thing.  For me its fun.  The main drawback is luggage, having to pack all the tuxedo gear, patent leather shoes, cummerbunds etc, takes away precious baggage space.  For women, its much easier, an elegant little black dress will always do.  If luggage room is a real issue, I would recommend bring a nice suit and tie which will suffice for formal nights and then you can wear the sport coat a couple of times separately and the pants a few more times with another jacket and on casual nights. A real space saver.  Regarding the restaurant dress codes, as said above, there is no dress code for expedition cruises I have been on.  In the Galapagos we would show up in hiking shorts, still wet from water landings. I have not done a cruise on the expanded expedition ships, my cruise on the Cloud got cancelled, but they might require a jacket for a night or two.  However on non-expedition cruises, except on designated casual nights, men must wear a sport coat in the MDR (main dining room)  They will turn you away, or lend you a sport coat, they have a small supply, but from experience they are very strict about it.  Outside of that, I want to get on the damn water again.  I have already cancelled 2 cruises and 2 more booked, I figure with the money I am saving I might be up for a round-the-worlder when this thing is over.  Cheers.  

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Edited by chrism23
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18 hours ago, Floridiana said:

Do they still have regular formal nights with cocktail/evening dresses, tuxedos, dark suits, ties?

 

No formal nights on SS's expedition fleet, so you needn't worry.

 

6 hours ago, chrism23 said:

I am definitely going to be in the minority here.  I love formal nights.  In my life now there are very few occasions I get to play dress up, pull out my old tuxedos and dinner jackets (if they still fit) and pretend I am in days gone by, sort of James Bond in Monaco at a casino, that sort of thing.  For me its fun.  

 

If this minority thing is true, then we're right there with you in the group.  We love them!

 

However, when making Vespers, I don't buy into Mr. Bond's "shaken, never stirred" silliness. 🙂

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17 hours ago, jpalbny said:

 

There are no formal nights on expedition cruises. Have a great time!

Correct JP, however we and a large number of other like minded guests managed informally to turn our last informal evening into a formal optional evening. It was a Cloud repositioning and a significant number of guests had joined, either not informed about the changed dress code or not believing it, and wished to dress up anyway. If it had been the Arctic or Antarctica, then that would have been a different matter.

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Thank you for responding so promptly all of you. Very kind.

 

My husband was ready to book today, but I am not ... yet. My previous experience with an expedition ship outside of Ant-/Arctic waters is very positive when it comes to high end delicious food and super service, but the entertainment was almost non existent. They had some lectures but nothing else on the sea days. Although I don't need a lot, sometimes it's nice to look forward to a local expert, maybe a local dance group, a water exercise class, interviews with the bridge and engineering officers etc.  My husband likes to play bridge.  Although I bring my kindle, I like the ship to have a library. 

 

What could we expect on the Silver Cloud with plenty of sea days? So far, one expert each for 6 segments is listed.

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40 minutes ago, Floridiana said:

Thank you for responding so promptly all of you. Very kind.

 

My husband was ready to book today, but I am not ... yet. My previous experience with an expedition ship outside of Ant-/Arctic waters is very positive when it comes to high end delicious food and super service, but the entertainment was almost non existent. They had some lectures but nothing else on the sea days. Although I don't need a lot, sometimes it's nice to look forward to a local expert, maybe a local dance group, a water exercise class, interviews with the bridge and engineering officers etc.  My husband likes to play bridge.  Although I bring my kindle, I like the ship to have a library. 

 

What could we expect on the Silver Cloud with plenty of sea days? So far, one expert each for 6 segments is listed.

We travelled from Ft Lauderdale to Lima, and there was no bridge, unless you organised it yourself, the entertainment would have been non existent but we were lucky enough to have Moss Hills on as the last CD. He was excellent, but that will sadly never happen again as the CD’s have been removed from Expedition ships. The lectures were all from the Expedition Staff and they were very good, but that was it. Sea days equal reading, drinking and eating. The Wifi was poor, the provided Pressreader didn’t work, so no newspapers and the provided movies pretty old and average. Luckily, the guests were great and the normal shipboard staff were excellent. Would we do that again on an Expedition ship, no.

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14 hours ago, chrism23 said:

I am definitely going to be in the minority here.  I love formal nights.  In my life now there are very few occasions I get to play dress up, pull out my old tuxedos and dinner jackets (if they still fit) and pretend I am in days gone by, sort of James Bond in Monaco at a casino, that sort of thing.  For me its fun.  The main drawback is luggage, having to pack all the tuxedo gear, patent leather shoes, cummerbunds etc, takes away precious baggage space.  For women, its much easier, an elegant little black dress will always do.  If luggage room is a real issue, I would recommend bring a nice suit and tie which will suffice for formal nights and then you can wear the sport coat a couple of times separately and the pants a few more times with another jacket and on casual nights. A real space saver.  Regarding the restaurant dress codes, as said above, there is no dress code for expedition cruises I have been on.  In the Galapagos we would show up in hiking shorts, still wet from water landings. I have not done a cruise on the expanded expedition ships, my cruise on the Cloud got cancelled, but they might require a jacket for a night or two.  However on non-expedition cruises, except on designated casual nights, men must wear a sport coat in the MDR (main dining room)  They will turn you away, or lend you a sport coat, they have a small supply, but from experience they are very strict about it.  Outside of that, I want to get on the damn water again.  I have already cancelled 2 cruises and 2 more booked, I figure with the money I am saving I might be up for a round-the-worlder when this thing is over.  Cheers.  

 


us too Chris, we are usually the best dressed couple on the ship. Why cruise if you can’t dress up?

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18 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Why cruise if you can’t dress up?

 

Careful dressing up in Antarctica; the leopard seals might mistake you for a very large penguin and that's the last we saw of DW and DH...

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1 hour ago, Daveywavey70 said:


Why cruise if you can’t dress up?

 

I have so many reasons! We love cruising, but dressing up to a formal level is not one of them. We always struggle to get our suitcases under the weight limit, and extra formal clothes we'll wear once or twice are an annoyance and hindrance. I have no problem wearing a sport jacket or a suit, but we're on vacation and we want to relax in casual luxury. We cruise for the scenery and the culture, the food and the drink, the passengers and the crew, the ambiance and entertainment... dressing in formal clothes wouldn't make my top 20 on the list of reasons we cruise. 🙂

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