Silversea - Silver Spirit

Silversea - Silver Spirit review - Sept ‘22

If you have never cruised before but enjoy understated luxury or, if you have cruised before but haven’t traded up yet to experience the smaller ships then this review will be of interest to you.

Our general manager decided to cruise with Silversea cruises in Sept ‘22 she departed from Istanbul on Silver Spirit for 9 nights and returned via Athens. Here’s how the trip went.

Istanbul – I’d heard so much about Istanbul that I decided to kick off our trip with a 2-night pre-cruise stay in this bustling east meets west city! Turkish Airlines have regular flights directly from Dublin offering both economy and business class seats with an excellent service on board. Free movies and entertainment, a hearty full hot meal is served with complimentary wine and soft drinks.

This is a big bustling and noisy city with a population of 15.5 million so traffic is chaotic, but everyone seems to get where they need to be. It’s hot, busy and vast so be prepared, decide what you want to see and get set for walking with comfortable shoes.

I chose the Pera Palace hotel located in the Pera region of the city (also known as the Beyoglu) where old meets new and very Turkish, giving you an authentic feel of the city. The hotel is within a 2 minute walking distance from the pedestrianised shopping street of Istiklal Avenue and it’s also close to the metro. The hotel is one of the oldest in the city, having been built in 1892 to facilitate in hosting the wealthy passengers from the Orient Express, it has its own museum with interesting photos and artefacts of the previous owners. Many famous people have passed through the splendour of this hotel. Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, and Agatha Christie. Her favourite room was 411 and you can guess what novel she may have been inspired by! The opulent lounge oozes charm and an old world feel, many of the items around the hotel are unique and with well-preserved antiques. But this hotel is not stuffy and there is a relaxed air about the place and attentive staff.  High Tea is served with grace and with a meticulous attention to detail every day at 3pm and there is a delightful outdoor terrace to enjoy a drink away from the bustle of the city. You can expect and a spa, dining room, lounge and stylish coffee shop. The Pera Palace offers something different if you are visiting Istanbul and really gives you a sense of the city and times gone by. There are numerous individual room types to choose from at different price points, we stayed in a Golden Horn room with a balcony and rooftop views over the city and a view of the busy Bosporous.

We found 2 nights to be sufficient for us, we visited the Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar. The Bazaar, worth a visit has over 3,000 shops with a range of traditional crafts and crammed full of fake designer goods from China, everything is negotiated and haggled for here which is part of the fun. (the opening shots of James Bonds’ Skyfall were filmed here!) after taking in the obligatory sights, we simply wandered!

Our concierge recommended a 2.5 hr yacht cruise on the Bosphorus, and this proved to be a great decision as we glided along, on a sunny day with our drinks and snacks whilst observing the magnificent buildings and the activity on this famous river with its oil tankers, speed boats and pleasure crafts that splits the 2 continents of Europe and Asia

There are too many restaurants to recommend, and the city is simply crammed with choices and with a huge variety of cuisine on offer but you could try- Banyan, St. Regis Brasserie and/or Maiden’s Tower

There is a brand-new stylish cruise port in Istanbul (just on the outskirts of the city) built to facilitate the various departing cruise lines or for those on cruise ship day visits, expect designer shops, loads of lovely outdoor restaurants (unlike most cruise ports!) so, if you are simply passing through Istanbul en route to a cruise this might be a good choice to stay for a night – I wish we had decided to stop here for lunch before boarding our Silversea cruise as the restaurants have a great views of the river and the cruise ships. There is a very simple boarding process in a spanking new terminal with your taxi delivering you practically to the door of the ship. We were required to have an antigen test with 48 hours of boarding – we did this in Istanbul for €35pp with results within 30 minutes.

Silversea Cruise

I wanted to depart and return to different ports, and I also wanted to revisit Greece after a long absence and mixed memories of island hopping in my youth! So, with that in mind we chose a 9-night cruise in September/October ‘22 we started in Istanbul and finished in Athens

The ship – Silver Spirit

I really want to focus on the service, experience, and facilities of the ship as Silversea have multiple itinerary options to suit your requirements and the quality on board is replicated regardless of the itinerary you select (more on the fleet below) For this cruise we travelled on Silver Spirit – and what a beauty she is!

Silver Spirit was completely refurbished in 2018 and looks spanking new- she has a crew of 411 and holds 608 guests with 11 decks, 8 restaurants, swimming pool, and large sun terrace, 3 hot tubs, spa, fitness centre, casino, shop, and various lounges. She will be sailing at various ports of call in 2023 including the Far East and then returns to the MED in April.  She is a perfect size to get into smaller ports unlike some of the monster ships holding between 3,500/6,000 guests and yet Silver Spirit still boasts ample facilities and amenities onboard, the overall ambience is calm and without queues or jostling and yet still large enough not to be bumping into the same people. For me she was the perfect fit.


Your luggage is whisked away from you upon arrival at the ship and delivered straight to your suite. You receive a personalised silver credit/key card that you use to embark and disembark the ship, and this also opens the door to your suite. Once aboard you are introduced to your personal butler and suite attendant and a chilled bottle of champagne awaits you! The fantastic team assigned to us was the lovely Lavinia and Kapul. Their service is discreet, unobtrusive, and extremely professional - unpack your suitcase? No problem madam. Every single item of clothing was unpacked and hung neatly in your suite whilst we relaxed and enjoyed a glass of bubbly. If you have a favourite tipple, this appears by magic and gets topped up as required, extra towels, coffee and cookies, glass of champagne or dinner in your suite together with a 24 hour on call room service all delivered within minutes. Turndown service every night, and your suite is completely refreshed whilst you are at dinner. We only saw our suite attendant on arrival and departure, and we have no idea how he slipped in and out of our suite without us noticing. Lavinia our butler, impeccably dressed was always around and discretely checking on how our day was going and if there was anything needed. You could be forgiven for thinking this might make you feel awkward somehow, but it doesn’t, its lovely!

Your stateroom

As you would imagine there are a range of various grades of suites starting with a Vista Suite right up to an Owners Suite with rates to match. The suites on board the whole fleet are amazing and the largest at sea. Our suite (veranda, with balcony, deck 6) had a large queen size bed with Egyptian cotton sheets and comfy pillows. 2 fluffy bathrobes and slippers. There is great lighting throughout, both overhead and ambient lamps. Another nice touch and very important if your companion likes to stay up later than you, or if you fancy a snooze during the day - is a heavy pull over curtain to separate the bedroom from the living space which has a 2-seater couch and easy chair and writing desk. The bathroom has a full walk-in rain shower (some have bath) as well as a handheld shower. There is a walk-in wardrobe and a safe. These suites are softly furnished with muted colour pallets, quiet and comfortable and a delight to get back to. They have more personal and storage space than I have seen with any other cruise line. Bathroom products are Italian Bvlgari. You will find a flat screen TV with movies, news updates and various shows. With the veranda suites (recommended) there is also a full walk out balcony a table and chairs and cozy blankets for chilly nights. The tone is muted greys, cream and pale lemon, very restful. There is a self-service laundrette on board each deck with an iron and tumble dryer

Life onboard

With Silversea the experience is all inclusive, so you sign and pay for simply nothing on board – yes, absolutely nothing! No tipping, no checking your on-board account to see what you’re running up, no scouring the drinks prices, or worrying if you should order another cappuccino and panicking as to your sky rocketing Wi-Fi bill.. Your cocktails, aperitifs, wines, whiskies and digestifs are all included. Different wines are served in the various dining options on board but if you find a favourite take a snap on your phone and show it to the wine waiters and they will bring you a bottle regardless of where you are on the ship. You do pay a small supplement for the exquisite speciality dining options on board $30-$60 per head but the value is phenomenal for the quality received, wines in these restaurants are paired with the food by the on-board super sommelier, (Karolina) so you can’t go wrong but, if you have an extra special wine request there may be a charge. These intimate dining options only seat 20-30 covers so you need to make a reservation. Friendly Michael is the ever-present food and beverage manager on Silver Spirit and he circles the ship day and night checking in on the guests to ensure that the dining is up to scratch and that any reservations, special occasions or desires are met and any questions answered.

Depending on your itinerary there are lectures on board – on our trip covering Turkey and Greece we enjoyed the company of 2 experts, one delivered fascinating information into the ports of call and their historical significance together with their personal tips for your visit. The 2nd expert was a former MI5 officer who gave interesting insights into espionage tactics and strategy during the Cold War

If you wish to try your luck in the casino or if you purchase anything from the shop or book treatments in the spa these are charged to your suite. Wi-Fi is free you simply log on once aboard and work away! Can be a bit slow sometimes but, go with it you are on holidays!



If you like great food, diverse culinary experiences served in wonderful surroundings with a top-notch quality then Silversea is right for you. The food is really first-class and excellent regardless of where you may choose to eat. SilverSpirit has 9 dining options – that’s nine! separate, beautiful spaces to munch through. Each location offers something different and its difficult to get around them all – Experience the casual outdoor restaurants, pool side with first class pizza from the oven to the steak cooked on lava stones under the stars and sparkly lights. Move to the Arts Café with its indoor and outdoor terrace at the aft of the ship for tasty canapes and speciality coffees. There are 2 main and beautifully appointed restaurants one has a European theme and the other an Indian with a twist. Homemade pasta and authentic tastes of Italy from the romantic La Terraza. The speciality restaurants include a seafood focus in Silver Note which becomes a blues/jazz club after dark or the tiny Asian Seishin with only 18 covers offering amazing flavours from Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam a truly unique experience. Then, if you like French cuisine, La Dame is waiting for you, beautiful and quintessentially French with a fusion of tradition and modernity, with delicious French wines in an intimate and sophisticated setting with only 20 covers  


There is a decent sized fitness area for all guests to use with weights and both rowing and step machines, stationary bikes, and an outdoor workout area. The resident fitness instructor runs bootcamps and classes daily for stretching/yoga/Pilates. Personal fitness assessment/plans can be arranged by request(fee applies)

The Spa

A tranquil space the Zagara Spa has plenty of treatment rooms. Everything is offered here from teeth whitening/pedicures/massages and body wraps. Can be a little bit pricy but 1 treatment won’t hurt to kick start the holiday!! There is a hairdresser, sauna and steam room

The Entertainment

If you are used to the giant ships with their myriad of lounges, shows, and full-on entertainment programmes you might find life on board more relaxed with Silversea. There is the obligatory theatre but with just over 600 guests on board its more intimate than massive. There are different shows every evening from the entertainers on board as well as more club style in the lounges with smoochy jazz and soul singers and in other lounges after dinner music on piano and/or guitar  

The Chronicle/Excursions

Delivered every evening to your suite with the next day’s update, what’s on and where, information on the ports of call, the expected weather conditions and happenings on the ship. It’s like a timetable that you can use whenever suits to match your requirements. There is a daily list of excursion programmes and these are all outlined, I didn’t expect there to be so much choice and variety as these are all included in the price with Silversea. Trips with other cruise lines aren’t included and can be expensive and add up after a couple of trips. There are between 4/6 different well thought out excursions for each port of call with different interest levels to suit everyone. Depending on your itinerary you will find archaeological and historical tours, scenic bus/walking tours, wine tasting and immersive experiences etc. Ranging from 2 hours right up to 6 hours. We particularly loved Ephesus in Turkey and the hot springs in Santorini – The guides are local, hand-picked, and excellent. Each trip is graded based on the level of activity and/or effort required. There are other excursion trips that you can purchase as additional charge, but these are centred around private drivers/minibus private designed tours. The ones that Silversea offer are more than adequate and without charge! ( you can book these prior to travel or on board)

This is a cruise line that prides itself on service, sophisticated elegance but yet remains understated and not stuffy or posh. The staff understand their brand and match that requirement throughout with wide happy smiles all day long.

When I reflect on our trip there was so much, we didn’t get to do or see and yet we felt busy most of the time. I felt the ship matched exactly what we wanted, the suite was so comfortable, the food absolutely wonderful, the service throughout is second to none. We returned fully rejuvenated and relaxed and ready to plan our next trip - Oh! And the ports of call amazing, waking up to a different place every day, with no stress and no unpacking - simply a superb way to travel

Talk to our cruise experts today to find out more about your SILVERSEA CRUISE – you won’t be disappointed I promise!


Sharon’s itinerary

Depart Istanbul – day at sea – Kusadasi (Ephesus) – Patmos – Rhodes (overnight) – Crete – Nefpoli – Santorini – Athens -

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Sharon Harney - 21 December 2022

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