Silver Dawn is the latest ship to join the Silversea fleet, and our Cruise & Stay Expert Joseph was lucky enough to be invited on board. We asked him to highlight some of his favourite features of the six-star ship – and here’s what he said.


Normally I’m only interested in the biggest ships with the most bells and whistles. So, when the opportunity to go on Silver Dawn came up, I was a little apprehensive. I knew I absolutely had to try a smaller, beautiful six-star cruise but had a few reservations.

I thought I would get bored on a smaller ship as there would be less to see and do, and I also thought that the cruise would have good service but would never live up to what my work friends were telling me. One last reservation was the spaces would feel closed in and lack the grand scale I was used to on other cruise ships.

I was wrong about every preconceived notion that I held before the cruise. Here’s why.

Service with a smile

Silver Dawn 6* Service

I embarked Silver Dawn in the normal fashion, but with no queues! I was already starting to see the benefit of the small ship, less people to get on and off the cruise. When stepping aboard Silver Dawn, I was amazed at how nice every crew member was. Don’t get me wrong, the crew have been lovely on every cruise I’ve ever been on, but on Silver Dawn everyone had a beaming smile. This put me at ease and really made me feel that I was going to be in fantastic hands for my sailing. I was also handed a eucalyptus towel as I embarked!

Stunning suites

Silver Dawn Suite

My jaw dropped as soon as I entered my suite on deck eight. I was greeted by a large, luxurious space. The bathroom had a separate shower and bath which is rare for other cruise lines unless you book a top suite. There was a separate walk-in wardrobe with all the space you need for your resort wear. The bed was expansive along with the seating area, where a bottle of champagne waited for me.

Exceptional butler service

Tarik rang the doorbell on my suite and came in to introduce himself. He went through all the amenities I would be treated to in my suite. He asked if the mini bar was okay. I joked that I’m a Diet Coke addict, but everything was great.

When I came back to the suite at the end of the night, the whole fridge was full of Diet Coke! This is when I started to see the service and difference from other cruise experiences. He picked up on my joke and made a change I would like.

This was just one of the many things Tarik did for me during my cruise. My evening shoes were polished and I had a bit of mud on my trainers, which had been cleaned when I got back. My sunglasses were cleaned each evening. My suitcase was cleaned and put in the wardrobe. Every night all my personal belongings were squared up and tidied and my iPad screen was cleaned.

The most impressive to me was my skincare. In the rush of getting unpacked, I’d dumped my skincare on the side of the sink, in no order. When I came back that night, each step was in the order it should be used. This again impressed me so much because of the care and attention that had been given.

Silversea OTIUM

In-suite Otium spa experience

I thought I would try one of the in-suite Otium experiences, there are four on offer. The pillow menu is where you can pick what type of pillow suits you – these can also be scented if you wish. The comfort food experience allows you to pick from a range of in-suite dining options and enjoy a movie. The balcony experience offers different treats depending on the climate, all brought to you on your balcony.

Finally, the bathing experience, which is the one I opted for. Your butler will offer a selection of bespoke bath salts – you pick your favourite, and the butler will come and run your bath. I went for the amber salts. Soft classical music is played with macarons waiting by the bath. Flameless candles dimly lit the bathroom and I also asked for some champagne and caviar for the ultimate luxury treat.

Again, Tarik surprised me by having the champagne placed by the bath, another example of Silversea’s outstanding service. At every step, Tarik and others did little things without me asking.

Exquisite drinks and dining

Silver Dawn 6* Food

I went to the Atlantide Restaurant on the first evening, which was one of the many dining experiences on board. This is where I was told I could have caviar at any given moment and all I had to do was ask. So, I asked! Everyone on the table had a caviar starter.

Then came out the main event, the best steak I’ve ever eaten. Now, I’ve been to some top steak restaurants in major cities around the world and this topped them all. Words honestly can’t describe it, just wow. For anyone reading who would prefer fish or plant-based meals, there were plenty of options.

We ended the night in the S.A.L.T. bar. A small venue next to Atlantide. I would describe it as an intimate speakeasy kind of bar. They have locally inspired cocktails that will change depending on the location the ship is docked. Our waitress called Monica came over and walked us through the menu. She then spent some time asking me what flavours and spirits I liked, information she used to craft the most amazing cocktail. I was so in love with this venue that I came back each night.

Exceptional excursions

Silversea S.A.L.T

I enjoyed a number of great excursions while on board Silver Dawn. In the Algarve, Silversea booked me on a S.A.L.T. excursion, which are designed to bring you authentic, local experiences. The tour provided us with local history on all subjects, but especially the local food.

I also went on a tour of Lagos. A local tour guide took us through this beautiful town and shared all her knowledge. One thing to note with these tours and everything on board is that I never felt rushed, not once. They waited for you to arrive, no stress to get back to the tour bus and the guides were very relaxed about timings. I’ve often found a disconnect when getting on a shore excursion, meaning that the service onboard doesn’t match the tour. This is not the case with Silversea.

What further can I say about Silver Dawn?

It’s a beautiful ship with the most incredible service. The food is beyond anything I have ever experienced at sea or on land. Along with these factors, they offer unique onboard programs with S.A.L.T. and Otium that can’t be experienced anywhere else.

All of this together creates an unforgettable voyage that will stay with you forever!

Experience Silver Dawn for yourself by taking a look at these itineraries.