April 5, 2010
THE PUBLIC AREAS | are very diverse. Outside it’s like being in South Beach, with very contemporary furnishings, artwork and the pool. The tables settings around the pool incorporate Chilewich placemats on brown rattan. Not your average ship. It’s really a game changer. But then you go inside, and your public areas are mostly deco. Having been raised as a little kid in South Beach, the two do actually go together – 1950s meets 2010s.
THE SUITES | (they’re all suites) are large. They start at 376 square feet with a veranda of 65 square feet included). The feel of these is neither deco or South Beach, but rather pleasant contemporary. It’s a look that appeals to a wide variety of tastes (see next week’s blog on the food at the Four Seasons Punta Mita – it’s similar). But the bathrooms are spectacular and they took a bit more artistic license here. See my Flickr photo album for pix.
I was invited by Silversea Cruises to attend an inauguration ceremony for Silver Spirit – their newest ship. So off to Los Angeles and port of San Pedro I went at the beginning of the month. The event began at 4PM and ended the next morning, so it was just like a mini-cruise. Cocktails, dinner, dancing, jazz – the whole package.
I’m rather picky about cruise ships, as you know, having working for both Royal Viking Line and more recently Seabourn Cruise Line. I’d also like to think my mom raised a classy guy so I think I’m a good judge of what’s good and what’s not good. And as I tell my clients all the time, it’s even more about the service. What’s a beautiful room or awesome lobby if the overall experience isn’t up to snuff?
The revamped Seabourn Pride & Spirit 10 years ago, with cheesy frescoes in the former classy reception area was not good. The South Beach look and feel of Silver Spirit’s deck, on the other hand, is good. And so are their restaurants, their clubs, their suites (it’s all suites) and their bathrooms, each with a full tub, shower and dazzling sinks.
THE RESTAURANTS AND CLUBS | For a ship at only 36k GRT and carrying 540 guests, the number of restaurants, grills and clubs (6) is impressive. And there’s a theater big enough for full stage productions to boot. The design beyond the main restaurant is very modern and classic. The Japanese venue is tres chic (see the window photo above) and the supper club is nice and cozy, and fittingly deco. And the night we were onboard, the entertainer was sultry and mesmerizing. Could have listened to her for hours. On the other hand, the stage production needed to be restaged. Enough said.
SERVICE | It all comes back to service. But let’s be fair – a brand new, deal changing ship really helps. Silversea has a phenomenal reputation for service, and one almost never receives a complaint. On their sailings last summer to Alaska to San Francisco we heard rave after rave. That said, growing pains are inevitable, and the service wasn’t perfect. I’d give it an 8 of 10. And I heard the same thing about Seabourn Odyssey earlier this year. I’m quite hopefully the learning curve will be short.
CRUISING AND VOYAGER CLUB | Of course my one-two solution for learning more about Silver Spirit is to 1) call me and 2) have me book you on a cruise. And remember, you have complimentary membership in Voyager Club, our host and amenities program aboard most luxury cruises aboard Silversea, Crystal, Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas.
For more photos, visit my photo site.
Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys. Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA and abroad, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler and management of study abroad groups. Business services include high-touch reservations, exclusive hotel and airline offers. His relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful business or leisure trip.
If you’d like to learn more about Silversea, other luxury cruises, or anything else about luxury travel, please contact me in San Francisco’s Financial District via phone at 415.248.5079 or email: josh [at] joshfriedmantravel [dot] com.
April 5, 2010