Our Silver Wind cruise from Las Palmas to Rio De Janeiro was our first experience with Silverseas. We were not impressed. We expected more from a "5 star" cruise line that is a Relaix Chateau member and recommended by Andrew Harper. The cruise was full and it seemed like the staff and the air conditioning could not keep up with all the passengers. The housekeeping staff was excellent but that was the only thing that excelled on this ship.
Our room, a vista suite at the front of the ship was spacious but a little worn. The housekeeper kept it spotless and even made me a little elephant made out of towels for my birthday. However, sometimes you could hear the anchor banging against the ship during agitated seas.
The laundry facilities are terrible. There aren't enough for all the passengers that want to do laundry so you end up waiting in the little hot room all day. This might be alleviated if they purchased new dryers. The dryers took up to 2 hours to dry a few socks and pieces of underwear. So, people were lined up waiting for dryers.
The shop is ridiculous. While things like shampoo seemed reasonable, a t-shirt cost $546 USD. Now, I don't care who designed this simple red cotton t-shirt, $546 is just too much. Thank God I didn't need to buy a sweat shirt!
The air conditioning was seriously lacking on this ship. While our cabin stayed fairly cool, everyone else was complaining. All common areas were warm and the work out room was almost unbearable if you actually wanted to work out.
The work out room is very small, hot, and lacking in variety of equipment. If all you need is an elliptical, bike, stepper, or treadmill you are set. Despite that Pilates was advertised, there was no equipment and the mat class was a joke. Clearly geared for oldsters. My beginning Pilates class was harder than their class. Also, the class times are terrible.
In the restaurant at dinner, the wait staff seemed short staffed. When we asked, one staff member told us that storage for certain items was on another floor and that was why it took so long to get a beer or sparkling water. I'm still not sure why it took so long to get tea. My poor beer drinking husband was hoping to have some good beers on this trip. Despite that the ship was filled to the rafters with Germans (wouldn't you stock up according knowing this?), they ran out of imported beers early on. At the end there was only Budweiser and Heinecken to choose from. Very gourmet. As a wine drinker, I didn't think their complimentary selection was very impressive (a lot of the wines were the ones I drink every day at home) but it was plentiful.
The tours were mediocre at best. We took 3 on this cruise. The Fernando de Noronha Archipelego tour was the best of the 3. The Lanzarote camel ride was ok but the Gorree Island tour was terrible. It seems like they could train a staff member to give that tour rather than paying a company. We had to sit through 3 translations of a very short speech that ended up taking up all our time on the island. What a waste. Also, the travel desk had lousy maps and very little information about what to do a the various ports. If you didn't do a little research first, you would have no idea what to do or where to go. The shuttle just dumped you off wherever the tourist trap crafts market was. In some places, this happened to be well located for the sites. However, in Ilheus, it wasn't all that close to the colonial town or the gorgeous beaches. In a beach town don't you think the shuttle should go there? We did.
The entertainment at night was mixed. The jazz pianist Judy Carmichael was excellent but some of the other entainment was amateurish at best. There wasn't much else to do on the boat. The disco music - featuring the very worst American disco was the awful. Amadeo, was just awful. The work out room had better music than the disco. A variety might have been nice - more modern stuff mixed in with the worst of American disco would have been easier to digest.
All in all, I didn't think it was worth the money.