Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Silversea Silver Spirit - A Short Video, Some Details and Some Thoughts

Ralph Grizzle, the Avid Cruiser, has created a short video of the new Silver Spirit as she is on her sea trials. I thought it might be of interest to you:



For those of you panicked that the ship will not be finished in time, know that the shipyard has a history of completing on time or early and that much of what needs to be installed is waiting in warehouses. Much gets done to make the ship look "done"; especially in the final weeks (not months). The soft goods are up to Silversea and I have previously reported on same.

I am holding out before commenting on the interiors any further. I am not seeing anything that makes me terribly excited so far. For example, the pool area is actually quite ordinary. (I haven't seen stacking three whirlpools so close together before, so maybe there is a concept there that hasn't been explained or developed, but that is about it for something of note that I see.)

Similarly, the spa is reported to be a mere 6,000+ square feet. That seems quite small when considering it is to service 540 luxury guests. By comparison the new Seabourn Odyssey's spa is 11,400 square feet and services about 20% fewer guests (450).

Most importantly to me, the essence of luxury cruising is the staff and crew. Other than Silversea announcing that every suite will have a butler (though what that butler substantively does in addition to what is normally provided...other than allowing you to see another uniform...hasn't been disclosed), Silversea has not advised how it plans on servicing 25-35% more guests than it does on its other ships or what it is doing to assure the staff on the Silver Spirit is fully trained and won't deplete the top staff on its other ships. (By contrast Seabourn made a big deal of its Seabourn Academy for its new staff...and it has, well and truly, paid off with consistently great service on all of its ships.) Silversea, if there is a program in place to assure great service, please let us know.