– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
Is it time to revisit Silversea as a true luxury cruise option? I think it just may be.
After all I have had to say that wasn’t so nice, why would I be saying this now? Silversea is listening….and doing much to improve what needs to be improved.
On Friday I flew down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to meet with Silversea’s executives at its U.S. headquarters (Monaco is its home base, but most of the operations occur here.)
With the former arrogant management gone, the present team headed by Ken Watson and Christian Sauleau is not only downright friendly, they ooze caring and enthusiasm. And that approach trickles down throughout Silversea’s offices. (An interesting side note: Everyone was quite casual; quite surprising considering Silversea operates one of the more formal cruise lines out there.)
I received the expected dog and pony show, being introduced to everyone, and spending some quality time with Ken Watson, Christian Sauleau and others. However, for the most part we discussed what Silversea is doing to get better in the one area I have been harping on: Consistency. I don’t care if you are selling hamburgers or cruises, the customer needs to know that each time he purchase one the quality is exactly the same. (We also discussed what the future may hold for Silversea.)
Silversea knows its luxury product was slipping a bit (presumably because of the financial issues it was facing and the problems associated with its former management) and that something needed to be done. With the financial issues well on its way to being a thing of the past with its stronger performance of late, Silversea has quietly set out to make sure that the quality in each department (cuisine, housekeeping, service, etc.) is the same on each ship from the Silver Cloud to the Silver Spirit.
This is being done by sending out heads of the various departments to virtually live on the ships; going from one ship to another supervising and overseeing the implementation of consistent standards and practices fleetwide. This shows a commitment that is far more invested than sending out memos and barking orders from the main office. If executed properly, it should be paying dividends in the near future.
Further, each of Silversea’s ships either have recently or will be undergoing significant refits in the near future, including the Silver Cloud who had one previously scheduled delayed due to the past fiscal issues. But now the plan is to expand the refurbishment and to be installing the very popular (if not luxurious) Hot Rocks restaurant on all of Silversea ships in the coming months.
There are also little things that, for reasons unknown, Silversea doesn’t really publicize; like mattresses that have two sides (soft and firm), so you can have your stewardess flip your mattress to the type you prefer.
The problem is, as I pointed out to Silversea, is that a number of people have had a less than wonderful experience say two or three years ago, but they don’t know what it is that Silversea is doing to make things right. Since then they may have tried other luxury lines and found the consistency they were looking for, but unless they know what Silversea is doing to improve itself the less than fond memories will continue to sway future cruise decisions. Silversea needs to get the word out. (To be sure recently the Silver Spirit has taken a good bit of the publicity; some good, some not so good. And, as we all know, timing is everything.)
So, no, this is not a warm and fuzzy article on why Silversea is the best. It is more of a wake-up call to say that now may be a great time to plan a Silversea cruise because it most definitely is working on getting better…challenging for the title of The Best. And, let’s face it, with some excellent itineraries, spiffed up ships and consistency being focused on, considering Silversea just might make some sense.
I am doing just that…and I will let you know which Silversea cruise I will be hosting soon.
Goldring Travel LLC
12177 Business Park Drive, Suite 6
Truckee, California 96161
US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)
UK: 020 8133 3450
AUS: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530-562-9232