Silversea, a luxury travel company that has many ships with specialized layout, offers the most unique and luxurious cruises in the world, with a focus on smaller ship designs, and a focus on marketing for people with disabilities.
The first time I went aboard the Silver Moon, I was a little overwhelmed; the little ship that could was out of sight. The vessel is just shy of the size of a football field, and the interior boasts several dining areas, a full-size spa, and other comforts. But what does it take to be a Silver Moon? To start, you have to have the right connections; I was lucky enough to be invited on board.
As a frequent traveler, it comes as a surprise to discover that many of the world’s top hotels and resorts are not accessible to people with disabilities. In the United States, many buildings and public places are not accessible to people with mobility issues, with many hotels around the country not serving access ramps for roll-in showers or providing grab bars where there are none. In other parts of the world, however, there are numerous hotels and resorts that are accessible to people with disabilities. Disabilities in particular may be harder to appreciate in developing countries, as a lack of infrastructure can make it easier to find accessible accommodations.
Having your own private mini-apartment while sailing the ocean blue in a Silver Suite on Silversea Cruises’ new 596-passenger Silver Moon is like having your own private mini-apartment. Simply stated, at 786 square feet (with a private veranda), these Silver Suites provide greater room than the ship’s Deluxe Veranda Suites, which are 387 square feet (including a private veranda).
Silver Suites, on the other hand, are less expensive than higher-category suites (Owner’s, Grand, or Royal Suites). As a consequence, they’re becoming more popular among guests who want more room but don’t want the “whole shebang,” or who want to raise the ante for a special event. Silver Suites are available on every Silversea ship and usually have a separate living/dining and bedroom area, a master bath and a guest bathroom, as well as enough storage and a wide teak veranda/balcony.
Here’s an example of ultra-luxury pricing to give you a feel of the range… Owner’s Suites ($21,500), Silver Suites ($14,900), and Deluxe Veranda Suites ($10,300) double occupancy tickets for Silver Moon’s 10-day roundtrip sailing from Athens on September 6, 2021 were available at press time. Two of Silver Moon’s Silver Suites may be combined with an adjacent Panorama Suite to create a two-bedroom, 1,119-square-foot layout. That’s a total of $19,700 per individual.
The newly renamed Silver Moon offers 34 Silver Suites, one of which is wheelchair accessible, No. 931, where Travel Agent stayed. Although all Silversea ships have some accessible rooms, not all have Silver Suites.
931 is the number to enter.
This accessible Silver Suite features a little smaller living and dining space than one of the ship’s standard Silver Suites. Why? This frees up space in the master bedroom and enables for a massive master bath with a wheel-in shower. As a result, a wheelchair user may travel freely around the apartment without encountering any obstacles.
The visitor merely touches his or her room key card on a panel outside the suite door when they arrive at No. 931. As the door opens, it’s “open sesame” in a sense. It opens automatically after being gently pressed.
One passes a door to a guest half-bath as one walks down the lengthy entrance hallway (seen in the picture to the right). There’s a toilet and a sink in there, and another door inside that half bath goes to the master bath and shower.
A storage cupboard wall runs the length of the entrance corridor. One huge cabinet swings open to expose a wall of broad, deep shelves. In addition, there are two separate clothing hanging closets, each with lower bars for easier access.
Two sets of sliding glass doors—one in the dining area, the other in the living area—both with sheer or light-blocking curtains, let a lot of natural light into the main/living dining room space.
Dining Room and Desk
When it’s time to eat, visitors will find a dining table with two comfy seats (there’s plenty of space for four, so one or even two diners in wheelchairs may easily fit).
The dining room of Suite No. 931 is seen above / Photo by Susan J. Young
Next to the dining table is a big, wall-mounted flat-screen TV with a diverse entertainment/information menu. The screen is big enough to be seen from across the apartment in the living room.
A rectangular credenza sits between the dining and living rooms. When the door is opened, a mini-refrigerator, glasses, and an ice bucket are shown. This mini-fridge is supplied with the guests’ preferred water (still, sparkling, or both), as well as sodas, wine, and beer, which are made as required by the suite’s butler in glass bottles.
A delicious variety of Maison Naja gourmet nuts (see picture at right) sits atop the credenza, including large cashews with a hint of pepper and organic almonds with thyme and chili pepper. At times, they became addicting.
An illy coffee machine and numerous espresso and cappuccino pods are also housed on the credenza’s marble top. However, if travelers prefer normal American coffee most mornings, the butler can readily accommodate them.
Most mornings, our butler brought the coffee and placed it on the dining room table at 7 a.m. As a result, service continues to flow even if a visitor is still sleeping or getting ready for the day in a separate bedroom.
In Silver Suite No. 931, Silver Moon, the desk area is wheelchair accessible. / Photo by Susan J. Young
A writing desk with a marble top, a comfy chair, numerous wall sockets, a creative note holder with a convenient USB connection on the side, a make-up mirror, and more are located across from the dining table. A big mirror hangs on the wall over the desk.
Area of the Living Room
Silver Suite No. 931’s living room / Photo by Susan J. Young
When you arrive, there’s a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Champagne resting in an ice bucket on the living room table.
Now for the essentials of a living room. This room is pleasant, small, and open on one side to allow a wheelchair, in our opinion. It comprises of three main pieces of furniture: a pull-out couch, four soft orange cushions, and a grey cashmere blanket. The neighboring, easy-to-slide-into seat was one of our favorites.
For further versatility, the big coffee table may be moved to one side or even farther out in the space. Both the living room and the bedroom have temperature control panels placed on the wall.
Bathroom and Master Bedroom
The king-sized bed in the master bedroom can be divided into two twin beds if needed, and is flanked by two big end tables with lamps, outlets, and storage. On both sides of the bed, there was enough room for a wheelchair to pass.
This room also featured a personal safe and a second, wall-mounted flat-screen TV, as well as plenty of storage space (cabinetry that looked similar to that in the entry hall).
The master bath was enormous, which was appropriate given the suite’s accessibility.
Silver Moon’s Silver Suite No. 931 Master Bath / Photo by Susan J. Young
The accessible master bathroom includes a toilet, bidet, single sink (a second sink is available by utilizing the adjacent guest half-bath) and walk-in shower with a wide, extended seat, as well as numerous handrails.
The sliding doors between the bedroom and the master bath are buried in the floor, making them easy to traverse.
Extra floor drains were visible between the shower surface and the main bathroom floor, between the bathroom and the guest bath, and between the bathroom and the bedroom, according to the Travel Agent. Those drains prevent water from spilling into other parts of the suite due to the flat, wheel-in shower flooring.
The master bedroom’s nightly turndown service consists of a cream-colored leather portfolio that rolls out and is put on the bed. The next day’s program, a room service menu to fill out, postcards, and a chocolate can all be found here.
Notes and letters from the ship’s crew, such as invites to events or banquets, are also kept here.
The Veranda Is Easily Accessible
The No. 931 Silver Suite’s own teak-floored terrace is an accessible alternative / Photo by Susan J. Young
The two sets of sliding glass doors in this apartment opened to create a wheelchair-accessible area across the entrance frame. There was also a small elevation in the flooring from the entrance frame to the apartment itself. (See the image below.)
The suite’s own teak-floored porch included two big lounge chairs as well as a table and two seats outside. During the day, the housekeeper put up pillows and towels.
We inquired about the area with the butler since, given the amount of furnishings, it seemed to be too small to allow a wheelchair. Crew could simply remove one of the lounge chairs, and the table and chairs could be moved to one end of the veranda, allowing for additional deck area.
Excellent Customer Service
The guest-to-crew ratio aboard Silver Moon is almost one-to-one. Every apartment on board is serviced by a butler and a separate housekeeper. Eno and Evelyn were from the Philippines and spoke great English, so our experiences were wonderful.
If desired, the butler will assist guests with unpacking, arranging for any shore excursion changes or add-ons, refilling the minibar’s water bottles, replenishing wine bottles or sodas as needed, delivering laundry and hanging it in the closet, delivering room service, making dining reservations, and more.
Eno inquired frequently, day after day, whether he could do anything more for us in terms of one-on-one service. The service was pleasant rather than stiff, and it was customized rather than formulaic.
One pleasant detail is that the butler cleans and stores eyeglasses (both normal and sunglasses) for you, complete with a Silversea brand black cleaning cloth. In addition, the suite’s housekeeping service is excellent. The maid for the Travel Agent extensively cleaned, vacuumed, replaced towels and bathroom items, and cleaned all surfaces.
As seen from Silver Suite No. 931 on Silver Moon, the sun’s rays glitter on the sea. / Photo by Susan J. Young
Outside furnishings and sliding glass doors are also carefully cleaned so visitors may enjoy the finest views.
Evelyn also inquired if there was anything more she could bring us or if we were hungry and wanted to order room service on numerous times.
The service in this room, as well as across Silver Moon, was attentive, kind, professional, pleasant, and non-intrusive. Simply stated, it was outstanding. All of the crew members seemed to be overjoyed to be back at work.
Tip: Our sister magazine Luxury Travel Advisor has an article on the launch of Silver Moon, the new S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) culinary program, and its new venues. Executives from Silversea and its parent business, Royal Caribbean Group, spoke about the cruise industry’s rebirth during Travel Agent’s recent voyage aboard Silver Moon.
Visit www.silversea.com for additional details.
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The Silver Moon is Silversea’s newest ship, and it’s certainly a step up from its predecessor, the Silver Cloud. The ship, which has yet to complete its inaugural voyage, boasts an accessible suite, which is important to us here at scguide, because we need to be able to access all of our gear whenever we travel.. Read more about silver muse vs silver shadow and let us know what you think.
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