Now having spent over a week on Silversea’s Silver Endeavour, and two sea days before reaching Newfoundland, Canada, this is a good time to discuss the ship itself, as well as Silversea’s service and cuisine.
But before I do that I need to give props to our very popular stowaway: A Peregrine Falcon I don’t think it was terribly happy, but found places to rest in between flying about the upper decks of the ship. I don’t think it hunted any of the birds flying around the ship or even our other stowaway, a tiny snow bunting. It will fly off once within sight of land.
It is a bit of biology and history that is worthy of mentioning. It is a great example of how species can jump from one area of the world to another by way of ships. Some, like the Peregrine Falcon – the world’s fastest animal, reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour when diving after prey – are naturally found in both locations. But others, like the now ubiquitous Norwegian rat were not, but have taken over with some terrible environmental impact.
Overall, the ship is beautiful and extremely well-appointed. Money apparently was no object when its former owner designed and built her. There really isn’t anything I can think of that this ship doesn’t have! Or should I say didn’t have, as Silversea offloaded the helicopter and submarine, converting the spaces to better uses, as discussed below. (Submarines and helicopters sound cool, but both are expensive to maintain, require support staff which limits expedition team size…and subs have very low guest satisfaction and helicopters, due to environmental impacts – known and unknown – are in disfavor. Neither are profitable operations.)
But the thing that makes Silversea what it is is the staff and crew: Among the best of the best! That is not something I say lightly.
Yes, they knew my name (Mr. Eric) almost immediately and everywhere. Yes, they take my dish to my table when dining at The Grill or Arts Café. Yes, they are polished in both appearance and stature. Yes, the staff clearly treats each guest as the guest prefers – casual, formal, in the background, or engaging – and they do it with polish; not stumbling…even the newer staff. There is an eagerness in each person’s eyes that just makes you have even more confidence in Silversea.
As you also know, for me the “little things” matter the most.
You get the idea. No frustrations. No compromises. No understanding that things aren’t the same post-Covid. It is truly impressive.
The suites range from Veranda Suites (all pretty much the same other than location) such as the Deluxe Veranda Suite I am staying in on Deck 6.
There is a ton of storage, a walk-in closet with an automatic light (close the pocket door so it doesn’t blind you if you get up in the night), a huge desk and a very large vanity, a large bathroom with a separate toilet room (and sink!),
more than enough outlets and USB ports, a charging station for your phone, an tablet with the My Silversea cruise app, and more. (The only issue you might have is that there are no bathtubs, but honestly fewer guests want them, no less require them.)
The television system is fantastic as it has literally everything you can think of easily available, from daily activities, to port information, to navigation maps, to many good movies and television stations, to daily menus, and more. And, it literally interfaces with the Silversea My Cruise webpage that lives on your smartphone and the tablet in your suite. So, you get reminders of your spa appointments, dinner reservations, etc. anywhere you look. Note: If you prefer a paper copy of The Chronicles, it will be provided daily.
The internet is also top-notch. Up north internet can be dodgy, but it has performed well overall. Yes, there can be times when it is a bit slow – like when everyone is uploading photos – but I have been able to work efficiently almost anytime I want…or should I say “need”. One issue has been that some security settings have limited some of us from accessing our office computers and access to sites like YouTube and TikTok is limited.
So what are the other suites like?
The Master Suites are by far my favorite on the ship. They, along with the Signature Suites, were recently installed where the former helicopter hanger was located. There is a definite consistency with the new Silver Nova with a bright, floor-to-ceiling, open floor plan. There is a large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and a huge private balcony. Expedition or not, the Master Suites are the way to go if you can swing it!
The Signature Suites are spacious and have a bathroom with two sinks and larger shower and a very large enclosed balcony.
You may have noticed that I have not placed the Owner’s Suite at the top of the list. To be honest, it isn’t my favorite. I think it suffers from the former owner’s focus on including everything regardless of the space, so it feels a bit cramped and, of course, it is on the bow so more subject to movement. Part of the crowding is that the suite can be converted into a two-bedroom suite with the second bedroom having its own, small, bathroom and there is a need to have comfortable seating for everyone.
Rounding out the suites is the Silver Suite. It is not quite as spacious as what you will find on the classic fleet as it is really one large room with a television elevator sort of separating the living area from the bed. But does have a full dining room table and a large sectional sofa
The public areas include the five (5) dining venues:
The more classic The Restaurant is a beautiful space and definitely the only “classic” dining venue for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While dress is relaxed on expedition, the cuisine is definitely more classically formal…and well prepared.
The smaller version of the classic fleet’s Italian La Terrazza (The Terrace), here called Il Terrazzino (The Small Terrace) because it is much smaller. But in this instance, I think it is much better! With only a few tables, some in the hallway leading to The Restaurant giving it sort of an al fresco feel near the windows, it is cozy and, to be honest, I much prefer the presentations than I recently had on the Silver Muse. Dinner only.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the pasta on Silver Endeavour is excellent. It is fresh, tasty, and perfectly cooked every time.
The Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a truly unique space with soaring glass walls and ceiling with some dining tables located on a balcony above.
There is a “disappearing” swimming pool in the center of the space and a hot tub off to the side (both are available for use in the afternoons, but it is rarely – if ever – used). I think they will be truly disappearing in the future, as additional seating would be nice, and the pool is just weird and uncomfortable. (Another expedition company had a similar facility and removed the pool.)
There is a very good buffet breakfast and lunch, including everything from salads to sushi to stir fry or some other daily specialty dish. There are also daily specials and a standard fare menu appropriate for all meals, with the dinner menu changing from time to time. Note that there is no hot stone cooking.
I do have to unfortunately report that while the cuisine is really good, the hamburgers are not. No photos because its not worth it. I’m not sure why Silversea struggles with this simple thing but excels with most everything else.
La Dame, the signature and more formal and extra cost French restaurant, is also available. I have not dined there as, for me personally, it doesn’t have the flair and formality of the ones on the classic fleet and the menu is just too heavy for me after a hike or long zodiac cruise.
Finally, there is the Arts Café. It is unlike the expected one as it is more of an open informal dining venue with table and chairs rather than a cozy spot. I assume this is because the former owner has a very large guest contingent that loved bridge tournaments, so there are many round tables for four. I don’t know, but I would think over time this space will be modified. However, it is pleasant nonetheless. The ever-changing buffet throughout the day is quite good with a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, and sweets along with a full bar.
All lectures and Recaps & Briefings are held in the Explorer Lounge on Deck Four forward. It is a very comfortable space with a wide variety of seating and a full-service bar. Other than a few necessary support poles, sightlines are quite good and the large screens make for easy viewing.
The Observation Lounge on Deck 9 forward is a bit of a misnomer because, curiously, there is superstructure that blocks your view out forward. Strange and frustrating. However, this is your later evening entertainment venue with live music, a good size dance floor and a full bar. Again, lots of seating in a variety of ways.
One of my favorite spaces is the Connoisseur Corner cigar lounge, which has been my after-dinner venue on most evenings.
There is also a wonderful Study that spans both port and starboard locations on Deck 9. It is where the Expedition Team gathers, but there are some beautiful quiet spaces as well.
Other spaces include a large Laundry
Fitness Center and Spa
And one of the nicest and most functional Mud Rooms I have been in, including personal boot warmers! You will note there are small lockers (for life vests and shoes) only. Each suite has a closet specifically for hanging your parka in with warm air and a drip pan, so you can get fully ready in your suite. Perfect!
Out on deck, I prefer Deck 6 forward which has a great view out, a small hot tub (which has either been empty or frustratingly filled with two loud large guests when open). Deck 10 is where the expedition team hangs out looking for wildlife and where you can walk a few laps if you aren’t getting your fill on hikes. Note: You can only access Deck 10 by way of stairs; no elevator.
I do have to mention that Silver Endeavour does have a couple of issues.
First, the suites are a bit noisy when there are any sort of seas – at least on Deck 6. Originally, I was in Suite 662 aft. It sounded like someone was walking above me in the middle of the night. Clearly, that wasn’t it, as there are suites above. It was just observational; not a complaint or even a bother…But in true Silversea fashion the next day I was moved to Suite 632 midship. No more “walking”, but the panels creak consistently. Again, not a complaint – we are on a ship – but an observation for those who might be sensitive to noise.
I must, however, note that I was seamlessly moved with literally everything…right down to my cigars and computer cables…put in exactly the same place. Seriously, Silversea had nailed it on the service side of things!
Second, the ship is a bit subject to rolling. Granted we have been sailing with the swell coming across our beam more than not, but the ship feels more cruise ship like rather than expedition. That might be an overall benefit for those who like a Cadillac rather than a Jaguar ride.
Third, and you know I’m looking for things because there aren’t many, I do wish there were bed skirts. I don’t like seeing my luggage under the bed. Kinda ruins the mood.
There are a couple of quirky things that I think the staff deserve to have changed. The reception desk is inside Arts Cafe and is fully exposed. And the Future Sales Desk is a tiny desk across from it. Neither is very Silversea-like. Little stuff to be sure, but worthy of being addressed in the future.
As I may have mentioned, there are hints that some modifications, in addition to the ones already installed, are coming. I think those are going to focus on making the ship feel more Silversea.