The new Silversea ship takes the line to a whole new level. She's the largest ship in the fleet and carries the most passengers. But she is the most innovative and most filled with facilities, offering the line's loyal followers another terrific option.
Typical Per Diems: $415+
Silver Spirit sails the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale (fall 2011, winter 2012).
Silver Spirit, the line's first new ship in nearly a decade, takes Silversea to a whole new level. At 36,000 tons, the ship is 27% bigger than Shadow and Whisper and twice the tonnage of Wind and Cloud. While the space ratio has dropped a bit from 74 to 67, it's a negligible change; at that high a ratio, the ship is at the very top portion of the cruise apex. Silversea has taken advantage of this space -- new dining options, a range of amenities not found on its other ships, a greater percentage of verandas, a vastly expanded spa and casino, and new lounges. As for any worries about service levels being different, with 376 crewmembers, the ratio of guest to crew is 1.4 to 1, virtually identical to the rest of the fleet.
Of the 270 outside suites, 258 have private verandas (about 95%). All suites have butlers who provide a wide range of services, from packing and unpacking, to getting one's luggage cleaned, making spa and restaurant reservations, and helping to choose one of the eight options from the Pillow Butler -- and, of course, providing endless amounts of Drappier champagne.
The suites range in size from 312 square feet for the 12 insides to 1,292 square feet for the two Owner's Suites (this includes a veranda measuring 190 square feet). These two suites can also be combined with the room next door, adding another bedroom and veranda totaling 190 square feet. Grand Suites and Silver Suites (a total of 32) are either 990 or 742 square feet (including veranda). Grand and Owner's suites have their own libraries.
The rest of the rooms are all the same, with location and deck determining whether they are in the Midship Veranda Suite or Veranda Suite category, measuring 376 square feet (including veranda). All of them have a considerable amount of closet and drawer space as well as plenty of horizontal counters for miscellaneous items. If there's a weakness, it's that there are not enough 110V electrical outlets.
All suites, regardless of category, can be personalized via a series of scents created by renowned Italian perfumer Laura Tonatto. They have sitting areas, twin or queen-size beds, marbled bathrooms and vanities, full-size bathtubs, separate showers, walk-in closets, personal safes, vanity tables with hair dryers, writing desks, and direct-dial phones. One of the best design features on this or any of the new ships is the way the TVs are placed behind the mirrors; when they are not on, they are hidden from view, creating a very classy, uninterrupted feeling. There are even iPod docking stations.
Luxury touches abound, from duvets to a choice of Ferragamo or Bulgari bathroom amenities, stocked refrigerators, personalized stationery, complimentary movie channels, and, naturally, fresh fruit and flowers.
Italian architect Giacomo Mortola has used the Spirit's larger space to present a 1930s Art Deco-inspired series of public rooms with a touch of old-world, Victorian elegance thrown in as well. Many of the rooms would be right at home on the classic ocean liners of the past, or in the Chrysler Building or Empire State Building, or the many classic hotels of Europe. One of the most popular rooms is the Bar, located right next to the reception area; it's an ideal meeting, drinking, and relaxing spot anytime of day or night. In keeping with the line's heritage, it serves Italian coffees, of course. The Bar is a dividing line of sorts; the forward portion of each deck has suites, the aft portions have the restaurants, lounges, spa, casino and the rest. It helps to create a vertical world and makes sure that there are no long walks from the front to back of the ship. The only exception is the Observation Lounge, on Deck 11, which is forward, offering views ahead. By contrast, the Panorama Lounge on Deck 9 covers where the ship has been with views out over the aft of the ship (outside seating is available). The casino and boutiques are much expanded compared to earlier ships, providing ample opportunity for on-board spending.
Pool Fitness & Spa Facilities
Compared to earlier Silversea ships, the spa run by Steiner is absolutely massive; it's 8,300 square feet, indoors/outdoors with separate relaxing areas, and has nine treatment rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a beauty salon, workout area, gym, whirlpool, sauna, and steam rooms (although not much in the way of luxe amenities). The changing rooms are coed, which some passengers may find uncomfortable. The pool area is bigger than on other Silversea ships and has lots of wicker furniture with comfy cushions for lounging around. For those not-so-fitness-or-pool-area-inclined, the aft sitting areas on Decks 7 and 9 are sure to please.
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.