12th Feb 2024 | 10 nights | Silversea | Silver Wind
Silver Wind is one of the cosiest and most intimate ships afloat, with beautifully designed suites and inviting cabins and public rooms.
Silver Wind is a small ship -- it took about five minutes to work out where everything was! For me, that was one of its big selling points, as it offered a very friendly atmosphere. The all-inclusive drinks policy also does a lot to promote that friendliness, especially if you are cruising alone.
If you like to do more than sunbathe, read books or eat -- and if your perfect holiday includes a huge casino, schedules packed tight with enrichment activities, and silly pool games -- this is not the cruise for you.
Silversea has a mixture of formal, informal and smart-casual dress codes. For formal nights, women should wear cocktail dresses, evening gowns or trouser suits, men should have tuxedos or dark suits. Informal means dresses or trouser suits for the ladies, jackets for the men (ties optional). Our 11-night cruise had three formal nights, four informal nights and four smart-casual evenings.
This was definitely the weakest link for me. I admit I am not the greatest fan of cruise ship shows, but I can appreciate talent even if it's not my taste.
There were shows each evening in the theatre -- they call it the Parisian Lounge, which is appropriate because it is quite compact -- but all except one failed to impress.
The staple evening performance was the Silversea singers, who were limited by the size of the stage. The singing and dancing were amateurish; good sound and light might have helped, but that, too, was very poorly done.
We also had a rather unimpressive songs-from-the-shows male vocalist, a song-and-chat show by David Lawton (the cruise director) and violinist Beverley Davison, whose performance was the exception. She was a terrific player -- her rendition of a train was amazing -- and had a sense of humour to boot.
Daytime enrichment was provided by Alan Nazareth, a former Indian ambassador, who gave lectures on all things Indian -- including Mahatma Ghandi, the Moghuls and Indian religion and politics. His talks were well attended, and I tried a couple but found them very dry.
One of the biggest changes on Silver Wind is the spa, which has moved from Deck 7 to Deck 9. It's small, with just four treatment rooms, but there is also a salon where you can get your hair and nails done, as well as separate male and female changing areas, each with a sauna and steam room.
As is usual with Silversea, the spa is run by Steiner. Despite its small size, it offers the full range of therapies, including massages, facials, body wraps and detox programmes.
The bad news for those who like to be rubbed and scrubbed is that prices are steep -- especially for the British, now that the pound is so weak against the dollar. On the plus side, my massage was very good.
A 75-minute stone massage will set you back $210, a 100-minute lime and ginger body scrub costs $178, and a Sole Delight pedicure (where they clean up your feet and paint your nails) is a breathtaking $84. There are special offers if you book more than one treatment at once.
Through the spa, on the port side, there's a small gym with four treadmills, two cycles, two cross-trainers and some weights. The area was used but not over-worked. The fridge with free water was a welcome sight.
There is also a daily fitness schedule with yoga, Pilates and the like -- all free -- but I admit that I managed to give those a miss.
The most popular place on the ship, by day, was the pool area; once the sun went down, it was The Bar (another rather unimaginatively named room, but at least there's no doubt what goes on in there).
The Bar was always packed before dinner, busy afterwards and empty by about 11:30 p.m. with just a few stalwarts left. It's a shame because that was the time karaoke started, and there were just not enough people to make it work.
The Panorama Lounge is a comfortable place with views out the back, and there's a rather intimate observation lounge at the front of the ship with seating for just 34 people. There are a few books and games, and you can help yourself to tea and coffee. There were also two telescopes, but I could never see anything through them, so I suspect they were just for decoration.
The library is a lovely little room with a selection of books, newspapers and loads of DVD's if you fancy a quiet night in your suite. To the side is a small Internet café with six computer terminals. The ship (including the suites) is wired for Wi-Fi, which is so much more convenient if you have your own computer. Pay-as-you-go prices are 50 cents a minute, but the packages are a better value -- 100 minutes for $45, 250 minutes for $85 and 1,000 minutes for $250.
There's a small, rarely used casino -- four gaming tables and 15 slot machines -- and a couple of high-class boutiques: H Stern for jewellery and a general shop that sells all the usual logo wear, perfume, hats, bags and sunglasses -- all with designer names like Gucci, Versace and Seiko.
Deck 6 has a card room, as well as separate reception, concierge and tour desks.
The food on Silver Wind was, almost without exception, very good -- tasty (although the curries were a little weak) and served hot, which is a big plus-point for me. They even managed to make the burgers and hot dogs, served on deck, a little bit tastier.
There is one dining room on Silver Wind, rather unimaginatively called The Restaurant, open for breakfast (8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.), lunch (12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m).
Meals, including dinner, are all open-seating, meaning you can eat when you want and sit with whom you want. Ladies are escorted to their tables by waiters or the maître d', which is a nice touch.
Other options for breakfast include an early-risers buffet from 6:30 a.m. in the Panorama Lounge and coffee from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Observation Lounge. A continental breakfast is served at the pool grill from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
A breakfast buffet is available in La Terrazza between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and you can help yourself to lunch there between noon and 2 p.m. There's indoor and outdoor seating -- an awning was fixed over the outdoor area in the refit, which made it pleasant to breakfast outside on sunny mornings.
On one sea day -- I'm told this happens on all Silversea ships, when possible -- we had the Galley Lunch, when the galley is dressed up like a self-service, and you go in and help yourself and dine in the Restaurant. On my cruise, the galley was in Italian colours, and there were salads, cold meats, stir fries, sushi, curry, fish and roast beef -- a real feast that was brilliantly done.
The pool grill lunch opens from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m for burgers and hot dogs, grilled chicken, fish dishes and more. You can also help yourself to salads there.
Afternoon tea -- with dainty sandwiches, cookies and cakes, plus an array of normal and spiced teas -- is served in the Panorama Lounge from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In The Restaurant, my favourite dishes at dinner were the chicken breast with spinach and foie gras stuffing, spicy grilled chicken and bacon-wrapped pork medallions. But, my fellow diners reported favourably on the other dishes -- fish, beef and veal.
My favourite starters were the foie gras with leek terrine and assiette de canard -- a real duck fest, with smoked duck, duck pate and foie gras terrine.
Come evening, La Terrazza is transformed into a speciality Italian restaurant. You need to book a table -- numbers are limited to keep an intimate ambience -- but there is nothing extra to pay.
I ate there on two evenings and had a delicious penne pasta with artichokes, black olives and tomato; a fusilli pasta with spicy tomato sauce; and a hearty lamb stew and meatballs in tomato sauce, but there were plenty of fish dishes, veal, steak and lobster.
For something really special in the evening, book a table at Le Champagne (called La Saletta before the refit). At $200 per person, it's not cheap, but you do get some extra-special food and personal service for that price. There are usually no more than a couple of tables of diners (just my table of three when I ate there), and after the meal, your menu (with your name on it) will be waiting in your suite.
The $200 degustation menu includes the food and a different glass of wine with each course. The wine is selected by the sommelier to go with the food. There's an introduction about each bottle of wine before it is poured, and it's expensive stuff, so you really do get your money's worth.
There were five different degustation menus on my cruise -- Spanish, North American, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italian.
I chose the Burgundy one and have to say the food and presentation was faultless. The meal started with some bite-size Burgundy tasters -- meat-filled pastries and foie gras -- and was followed by snails, served with herb butter and tomato fondue, roasted Bresse chicken, a Burgundy cheese brioche and chocolate Eiffel Tower.
If you don't want a degustation menu, you can still eat in Le Champagne -- for $30 per person. For that, you get the food, but you have to pay for any wine you drink -- and you have to pick from the expensive list.
Room service is free and available 24 hours. There's a room service menu with sandwiches, burgers and pasta, but you can chose a meal from the main menu during restaurant hours.
After adding and taking away various suites during the refit, Silver Wind has been left with the same number of suites -- 143. These are a mix of oceanview, balcony and "super" suites. (Silver Wind has all-suite accommodations, so these are the very big rooms with extra amenities.) There are no inside cabins.
Cabin sizes range from 240 square feet (22 square metres) for the oceanview Vista Suites to 587 square feet (89 square metres) for the two Owner's Suites.
In between, there are Verandah Suites -- the same size as the Vista Suites, but with 50-square-foot (4.5-square-metre) balconies -- and the new Medallion Suites on Deck 8, which measure 490 square feet (45 square metres), including 125-square-foot (12-square-metre) balconies.
There is also one "original" Medallion Suite on Deck 7. This is very popular because it is so spacious -- 667 square feet (62 square metres) -- but it has no balcony.
Silver Suites are 541 square feet (50 square metres), including 92-square-foot (eight-square-metre) balconies.
There are two Royal Suites on Deck 6, measuring 736 square feet (69 square metres), including 126-square-foot (12-square-metre) balconies. There are also two Grand Suites that are 1,019 square feet (95 square metres) and include 145-square-foot (14-square-metre) balconies.
All suites have fully stocked mini-bars (drinks included in the price), flat-screen TV's and DVD players, hair dryers, marble bathrooms with showers and full-size baths, a choice of Bulgari or Acqua di Parma toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, personalised stationery and a choice of pillows. A welcome bottle of Pommery Champagne will also be waiting on arrival, along with fresh fruit and flowers.
Passengers in the top suites additionally have free butler service, free laundry (excluding dry cleaning and press-only) and an espresso machine. A complimentary newspaper -- choose from several international titles -- is delivered to each suite early in the morning. (Non-suite passengers can pay for newspapers at a price of $7.50 a day.) Canapes arrive around 5 p.m. each evening.
The top-level suites all have separate sitting and dining areas, second TV's and bathrooms with separate baths and showers. Owner's Suites have guest toilets.
I was in the new Owner's Suite and stumbled on a few irritations -- nowhere to hang towels after use, too few electric plugs in the sitting/dining room -- but, overall, it was superb. I did hear moans from other passengers that there was no news channel on the TV.
The Grand and Royal Suites have connecting doors to neighbouring Verandah Suites to provide two-bedroom configurations. The Owner's Suites have connecting doors to Vista Suites -- so no balconies -- if two bedrooms are required.
Sophisticated international travellers who enjoy unusual destinations yet want a hint of traditional formality, complete with butler service
Young families and American-centric cruisers who like to be casual all the time
Silversea caters to Baby Boomers, affluent and often retired, with the leisure and the resources to make Silversea their cruise line of choice. Silversea Expeditions also appeals to that demographic, as well as younger professionals with a desire for active cruising that includes posh cabins and stellar service alongside Zodiac expeditions, snorkelling excursions and in-port hikes. Shorter classic voyages also tend to draw younger passengers. About 60 percent of passengers onboard come from the Americas, the rest from international markets.
Yes, if you are going on a classic cruise ship; no if you're sailing on a luxury expedition cruise. The classic ships divide evenings among casual resort wear, informal attire (for men, this means a jacket, tie optional, and women wear dresses or pantsuits) and formal nights when eveningwear for women is an evening gown or cocktail dress and men wear tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits, and a tie is required. The dress code is more casual on the expedition vessels, and there are no formal nights.
Silversea cruises are fairly inclusive, with the only extras being shore excursions (except on Silversea's expedition cruises on which they're included in the cruise price), shop purchases, spa and beauty treatments, and send-out laundry. Some speciality restaurants also cost extra (and caviar on the room service menu). Cruise fares include gratuities, unlimited beverages (soft and alcoholic), internet access and round trip transportation into town in most ports. Most itineraries also include transfers to/from the ship, and some even include complimentary round trip economy airfare.
Onboard, each Silversea cruise ship has a pool and hot tubs that see a lot of action, and the spa gets a lot of use, as well. Silversea cruisers also enjoy attending lectures on the culture and history of the destinations they visit, and like to spend time in the library. Evening shows, which range from opera-themed to swing-era classics, also draw a crowd. When in port, most Silversea cruisers opt for one of the line's many shore excursion offerings. Expedition cruises bring cruisers together with experts to lead hiking, Zodiac, snorkelling, diving and other small group excursions.
At Silversea, their top priority has always been to safeguard the health and safety of their guests, crew, and the communities they visit. Partnering with leading medical experts and governmental authorities from around the world, the Royal Caribbean Group formed the Healthy Sail Panel to ensure that guests can travel in luxury with unwavering confidence. Silversea Cruises has introduced a comprehensive, multi-layered set of science-backed protocol, which, informed and approved by the Healthy Sail Panel, will help to safeguard guests.
Silversea will continue to work closely with relevant governing bodies and health authorities to evolve its health and safety procedures, as new health recommendations are issued and as the fluid situation advances.
Please note, with the uncertainty surrounding current travel regulations, this information might evolve by the time of your voyage, and it may change based on the cruising region of a particular itinerary. As well, please know that local regulations may require more stringent protocols (e.g. masks may be mandatory), in which case Silversea will comply with all local requirements and guidelines.
Silversea Vaccination Status Requirements
To embark on a Silversea vessel, all guests aged 12 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks before embarking on the vessel. Guests must bring proof of vaccination or boarding will be denied.
Testing for all
Fully Vaccinated Guests: If you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (but have not received an additional dose or booster), you must provide a negative antigen or PCR test result, administered by a verified third party (either a laboratory or pharmacy), taken no more than 2 days prior to boarding your ship.
Up to Date Vaccinated Guests: If you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you must provide a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test result, administered by a verified third party (either a laboratory or pharmacy), taken no more than 3 days prior to boarding your ship.
Health & Safety
While Silversea will facilitate entry into each port of call during each voyage, guests are responsible for complying with entry requirements for the country of embarkation, as well as the travel requirements affecting their return journeys. These regulations could include a COVID-19 test (PCR or other).
While physical distancing will no longer be required for guests, their staff and crew will continue to maintain this practice.
Thanks to the intimate size of the ships and the abundance of space enjoyed by guests, the ships can guarantee physical distancing with only minor reconfigurations to onboard public areas.
The flexible embarkation procedure will be further relaxed by the implementation of staggered check-in times at various locations on the pier. This will ensure ample space for every guest to embark in comfort and safety.
Guests wishing to go ashore will be able to experience each port either on Silversea’s shore excursions or, in destinations where permitted, independently, at their leisure - all the while respecting local health and safety requirements, if and when applicable. Please be aware that some destinations in the world still do not allow independent shore excursions. Guests venturing ashore in select ports will only be able to do so on Silversea’s verified shore excursions. Due to regulations set out by some authorities, guests will not be permitted to go ashore independently in selected destinations. If guests decide to voluntarily leave the verified shore excursion group contravening local country regulations in these specific destinations, reboarding will be denied. All shore excursions will comply with Silversea’s health and safety measures. To better prepare for your journey, please book your shore excursions through My Silversea before your voyage. You are reminded to carry your vaccination certification with you when exploring each destination, as you may be required to present proof of vaccination to access restaurants, transportation, and local attractions.
The wearing of masks during the cruise will be at each guest’s discretion, with the exception of the casino, the theatre, and during muster drills where masks remain mandatory. Masks are mandatory inside shore excursion buses and you may be required to wear them at indoor venues. Whilst Silversea recognise that the wearing of a mask is a personal choice, they strongly encourage guests to wear a mask whilst indoors aboard ship, other than when actively eating or drinking, or when in the privacy of your suite. Note that the Staff and Crew aboard all their ships will continue to wear masks for the foreseeable future.
Extensive cleaning and sanitation measures have been introduced to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness are met. These around the clock measures include constant sanitation of public and high-traffic areas. Suites will be disinfected twice daily. Departure terminals will be subject to continual disinfection on all surfaces both before and after embarkation. Where permitted, they will implement fogging to sanitise hard to reach and potentially hazardous areas.
Upon embarkation, guests will be provided with a portable sanitisation kit, which will include hospital grade hand sanitiser. Hand sanitising points will be placed in easily accessible and strategic points throughout the ship.
Enhanced Air Filtration
The highest grade of medical air filters (MERV 13 or HPA according to HVAC standards) have been installed on board. On each of the ships, the HVAC systems supply fresh, filtered air from outdoors to all areas. This continual intake of fresh air means old air is replaced, with a full total air change per hour - well above the minimum required.
Medical Facilities & Expert Response
The high-quality onboard medical care is stronger than ever, with enlarged teams of doctors and/or nurses on each ship, as well as state-of-the-art equipment enhancements. Additionally, all ships have been appointed with an Infection Control Officer. This person is responsible for ensuring that all enhanced sanitary measures are met. The multi-level COVID-19 Expert Response Plan has been developed and approved by the Healthy Sail Panel to contain an outbreak if a positive case is confirmed. These protocols include tracing methods and notification of those who may have been exposed, as well as dedicated isolation and quarantine areas.
Should authorities in a guest’s country of residence prohibit travel, or should a guest or a member of their travelling party test positive for COVID-19 within 30 days of embarkation, the guest will be able to convert their booking into a 100% Future Cruise Credit or receive a 100% refund for the total booking amount.
Safe, Timely Return Home
Silversea has developed a robust repatriation plan should any guest or crew member fall ill with COVID-19 while onboard one of their ships. They have worked closely with local authorities to ensure that immediate medical attention is provided should the need arise, and have strengthened and upgraded their telemedicine consultations. Silversea will cover COVID-19-related expenses for onboard medical and repatriation costs.
We aim to keep this page as up to date as possible. For the very latest information, and to find out more, speak to our team or click here.
Private executive transfer: Take your Silversea all-inclusive experience to new heights. Start your cruise as soon as you leave home with their chauffeur service. Taking you from home to your domestic airport and back again, this luxury service is included as part of their all-inclusive offer with all new bookings on all voyages.
* applicable for distances of up to 50 miles (80 km). For longer distances, special tariffs apply.
All-Inclusive pre/post cruise benefits: Let’s talk about extras! At Silversea, they want your travel experience to be as smooth as possible. And that starts from the moment you book your ultra-luxury cruise. The fare includes international roundtrip flights, business class upgrades in selected destinations, in-country flights (when required by the itinerary) and pre and post cruise hotel nights, according to your flights. And that’s not all! If your preferred flights aren’t available, then they’ll give you an air credit in its place. Their all-inclusive really does have it all.
Butler Service in Every Suite. Silversea offers around-the-clock, dedicated Butler service in all suites. Guests at Silversea are assured their every need is well served – with thought, surprise and charm. Breeze through embarkation and step into the warm welcome of white-gloved staff. Enjoy a glass of bubbly while being escorted to your suite. Allow them to indulge you with their undivided attention. Sounds good? That’s because it is. Better than good in fact.
Complimentary beverages everywhere. Enjoy a glass – or even a bottle – of champagne, wine, beer, or premium spirits on the house. They’ll also make sure that you’re well stocked with water, juices and soft drinks in both the public bars and your suite. Silversea's promise is to keep your mini-bar full of your favourite drinks – whether these are alcoholic beverages (including wine, spirits and mixers) or cold bottles of water for hot, sunny days! Your butler will replenish daily, but if you want a little extra, simply ask and they’ll make sure you get exactly what you want. No wish is too big or too small. Yes, really!
Gourmet Dining. Enjoy breakfast in your suite, or lunch and dinner in one of the speciality restaurants. Their gourmet dining options welcome you for an unforgettable meal. The aim is to create an extraordinary dining experience by making long lasting gastronomic memories for everyone to enjoy. The regionally inspired S.A.L.T. Bar, Kitchen and Laboratory aboard Silver Moon and Silver Dawn offer a deep-dive culinary immersion that goes beyond anything you have ever experienced aboard a cruise ship. The speciality dining options include local and international options, prepared for those who take their dining seriously. Buon appetito!
Gratuities and personalised service onboard. Setting sail on Silversea promises peace of mind from start to finish. That means no worrying about tipping the butlers or staff. Their crew to guest ratio of almost 1:1 ensures flawless service from pole to pole, but with Silversea, you never have to think about who should get a tip, how much you should give and when. It’s all included! They believe that not having to deal with tipping helps make you luxury cruise even more special and stress free. And that is worth every penny.
Shore excursions and onboard lectures. Silversea have made sure that you see the best of your itinerary, at no extra cost! Every port on every cruise enjoys at least one included shore excursion. Their team of destination architects have carefully chosen on shore adventures that will allow you to get the best out of everywhere you go, where ever you are. Onboard, the knowledgeable lecturers give great talks on the background of your favourite places. And for those who want to immerse themselves even deeper in their destination, there is a range of bespoke shore excursions and land programmes just for you!