Your Silversea Butler - The Inside Story

Silversea is one of the few luxury cruise line to offer a butler service.  Do you want to know what the butler service is all about?  This is an honest view – the Inside Story.

Silversea Butler - The Inside Story

Which Cruise Lines offer a Butler Service?

At ultraluxury line Silversea Cruises, every guest has butler service in their suite.

Other cruise lines with butlers for top suites include Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Azamara, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, as well as river line Uniworld.

On  some Royal Caribbean  ships, the butler role is fulfilled by a Royal Genie, as in, “Your wish is my command.”  Seabourn – one of Silversea’s closest competitors – does not offer a butler service.

So What Can Your Butler Do For You?

Your suite will be allocated a cabin steward (cleaner) and room service is available 24 hours a day from your ‘phone, so obviously, your Silversea butler is there to offer you something else.  

They are trained to transform your cruise from a pleasant experience into an extraordinary one.  They will try to make your experience as close to perfection as it is possible to get and to make magic a reality for you.  Looking for an opportunity to surprise or delight you is what really makes them tick and brings job satisfaction.  The best butlers have a passion for their work, an eye for detail and an ability to anticipate and plan.

So – if you are new to all this, it really helps to know what exactly your butler can do for you?  If you don’t make the most of his/her services, you are definitely going to be missing out on something.  Also, a butler that is never asked to do anything is unlikely to be getting anywhere near the level of job satisfaction they would if they are given the opportunity to put a smile on your face.

Read on for a selection of things your butler might do to enhance your cruise experience.

What Our Silversea Butler Did For Us

On our first cruise with Silversea, our butler – Neeraj – enhanced our enjoyment of the holiday considerably by providing:

  1. A warm welcoming smile – always a great start!
  2. A well stocked mini bar – continually stocked with our favourite malt whisky, Tanquerey gin, tonic, Perrier  and a full ice bucket (all-inclusive).
  3. Fresh slices of lemon for G&T on request.
  4. An anniversary surprise celebration cake.
  5. Extra coat hangers, on request.
  6. A technician to rapidly sort out a water blockage in the bathroom.
  7. A security officer to open our safe when it got stuck.
  8. Breakfast in bed on a morning when we had an excursion with an early start.
  9. A copy of the Britain Today newsheet each morning.  WiFi can be slow when the ship is at sea, so this was really useful to keep in touch.
  10. A surprise chocolate Easter bunny each on Easter Sunday morning.

  11. Advice on how to use the ‘phone to contact other guests to make dinner reservations.

  12. Resetting our TV to ship’s time when the clocks changed and it got jammed.
  13. On our in suite movie night:

    • A champagne bucket and champagne aperitif, with canapés – all ready on our return from the day’s excursion.
    • A restaurant menu dinner – served course by course.
    • if we had wanted anything like popcorn etc., he said we only had to ask.
Silversea Butler Surprise Anniversary Cake
Silversea Butler - Champagne on Ice

What our Silversea Butler did for Other Guests on Board

That was quite enough for us!  Talking to other guests, there are all sorts of other things you could ask you butler to do if you wanted too:

  1. Pack/Unpack.  If you really can’t face doing it yourself, then your butler will look after all the packing/unpacking for you – sorting all the hangers the same way and folding all your clothes neatly away. 
  2. Organise laundry/dry-cleaning/ironing services for you.
  3. Help you navigate the ship and organise your time on board, making the best of gym/spa facilities etc.
  4. Advise on shore excursions/shore shuttle service – or direct you on the best person in the expedition team to help you.
  5. Make dinner reservations – and advise you on what’s available where on board each day (e.g. special buffet options).
  6. Advice on onshore dining options.
  7. Rearrange your cabin furniture – chairs/table – extra lamps if required.
  8. Help you organise an in suite party.
  9. Lend an arm if you are heading out to cocktails/dinner on your own.
  10. Clean your glasses/sunglasses.
  11. Polish your shoes.
  12. Change the brand of toiletries supplied to your suite.
  13. Change your pillows – just ask for a pillow menu.
  14. Bring you afternoon tea in your suite.
  15. Recommend library books for you and bring them to your suite.
  16. Solve problems such as finding an appropriate crew member to repair a broken luggage lock or tighten the screw in your glasses.
  17. Advise on how to obtain sea sickness  tablets/bands if required – usually via Reception or the Medical Officer.
  18. Wind up your Quiet Vox neatly for you – and set it to recharge.
Silversea Butler Afternoon Tea
Your Silversea Butler can even provide Afternoon Tea - En Suite

I have even heard that on other ships, your Silversea butler will run a bubble bath for you at exactly the right temperature so that it is there waiting for you after a day’s excursion excursion.

Silversea Butler - Afternoon Tea Menu
Afternoon Tea Menu
Silversea Butler Afternoon Tea

What Your Silversea Butler Won't Do

Silversea Butlers typically work between 7 and 11 am and 4 to 9.30 pm.  They carry a pager so they can be contacted any time, but out of hours, your call will be diverted to a colleague. providing a back-up service.

Your Silversea butler is not yours alone. Butlers typically cover the needs of 12 to 16 suites, meaning 24 or more guests, so your call may not always be answered immediately.

Your butler won’t make your bed or clean your suite; your room steward will do all  that.

Your butler will escort you to dinner, but won’t stay with you – or be your dance companion either.

Butlers don’t provide babysitting or nursing services either – you will need to make your own arrangements if you need any services of that sort.

Unfortunately, you can’t take your butler home with you either.  When you are back on the dry land of home, you will be back to sorting out your own special requests for yourself!

Your Silversea Butler - What to Expect

Your butler may be male – or female.  He/she may come from anywhere in the world including India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Eastern Europe and Italy. 

Your Silversea butler will have gone through a 108-point training program covering everything from wine presentation to how to lay a table and how to interact with guests.  The training includes both classroom instruction and role playing. 

Butler training takes between 4 and 8 weeks.  There is even a Guild of Professional English Butlers.

Before applying to work as a butler,  candidates will usually be required to have  a Hotel Management or equivalent education and at least 2 years of experience in a similar role in Food & Beverage as a waiter in either an International 5-star hotel or a luxury cruise ship. 

Hours can be long – although there are breaks in the day, contracts can be long with no/few days off.  On the other hand, travel costs, accommodation, food, medical care onboard and uniforms are usually all provided.

What You Can Do For Your Butler

On a Silversea Cruise, everything is included, so tipping is not required.  You may choose to leave a tip for exceptional service, but it is not expected.   

You can of course write a personal note of thanks at the end of you trip to show your appreciation.  Maybe the best way of saying thank you though is to give your butler a special mention in the feedback questionnaires that Silversea take very seriously.  The reward for good feedback can be anything from a much appreciated lie-in, a day off or even a promotion.

Silversea - Silver Wind Welcome Home

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