Silver Shadow Cruise Review by Jordy: Free drinks does not equal 6 stars
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Free drinks does not equal 6 stars
First thing I must say is the Vancouver Cruise Terminal is a dream to use, totally painless to board and disembark.
The sales pitch for Silversea is "6 star luxury" matched by service equal to none, it made me want to book to enjoy the next level up in cruising.
The reality is a very nice ship, slightly worn but no more than what was expected of a floating hotel that has not had a refit of late.
Getting on was easy, well organised, but once on the ship you had to find your own way to your cabin, we had a cabin on level 8, I will list below my finding and evaluation.
The size of the room was just acceptable, the balcony was adequate with good furniture, the "teak" decking looked more like a shipping pallet, and as it didn't go all the way to the edges and you had a gap/drop off, not much fun if your chair slid back or to the side, it would fall down into the gap.
The general decor was in fair condition, a little old fashioned being all reds More and gold and I mean everything from carpet, furniture to the drapes and bedspread.
The bed itself was superb but I couldn't get a pillow that was suitable for me.
The bathroom was very good, double vanity, good size bath and separate shower with a hand held spray, the only complaint was there is no ventilation/extraction in the shower cubicle.
We were in our room for at least an hour when the Butler knocked, a pleasant enough man, but his English was by any standard, poor, and we had trouble from the start understanding each other, he also could not pronounce my last name, i never did work out what he was calling me, even my partner couldn't guess it, he did try i am sure, but the butlers we have had on other ship's have never been like this.
We were given a range of bathroom amenities at the start and they were never replaced, this included the soaps, I had to ask for soap even tho they had thrown away the sliver of soap that was left, i must admit this really annoyed me, I hate using small pieces of soap.
The sheets were good, the towels were a bit hard,scratchy but did the job.
The food and dining ranged from superb to nearly inedible, the first formal night we had the lobster tail as it was the must eat special and it was rubbery and tasteless, dishes arrived warm to hot, the wait staff overall were attentive and pleasant.
The food we had around the pool at lunch times was always sensational.
The wines served during the meals was good.
The most interesting thing was i ordered waffles for breakfast one morning and when they were delivered they were cold and very chewy, that was not really a problem in itself, the real test came when i mentioned it to the woman in charge on the way out, she became defensive and was telling me that was how waffles are supposed to be, I walked out angry and annoyed with her attitude.
This person should not be doing the job Silversea has entrusted to her, I wont mention her name here.
The Matre'd was more than helpful when she approached us re our concern on service, she had been advised by the other staff member who was standing there at the time of the way we was spoken to.
If you don't book the speciality restaurants the second you get on you will miss out, as we did.
The main dining room is pleasant, but as you get seated in a different position nearly every time the staff are always different and do not get to know your likes and needs, we would prefer to have the same table every meal or at least in the same area so as to get to know the wait staff.
I would think twice re booking tours off the ship, we had booked a Glacier walk helicopter tour out of Juneau and when we arrived on the pier to go were told it had been cancelled due to the weather, we were at this point standing under clear blue skies, when i enquired why, we were told several different reasons and we ended up unable to believe anything she was saying.
Silversea had not tried to find us an alternative and did not want to help in anyway, I must add this was the trip I wanted to do the most out of all the ones we had booked.
We ended up talking to a gentleman in a booth beside where we were standing ( he was listening to the conversation and we were the second couple this had happened to) he was able to get us on a helicopter tour to walk on a glacier.
Silversea had failed fully on customer service and followup, thats why we booked through the ship to ensure a follow through, but they just didn't care and we were not the only ones that day.
The up side of this was Silversea were going to charge $980USD for this trip and we obtained the same thing for $520USD.
The entertainment ranged from absolutely terrible (abba night) they killed the songs, to amazing when they sang opera, overall fairly average, the band was very good.
The drinks were a big plus on this ship, whenever and what ever you wanted was supplied, the wines overall were good, we didn't find a need to purchase any during the cruise.
Our overall impression was a good ship to see Alaska on, mainly due to its size.
I don't feel they should advertise as a "6 star luxury ship", free drinks don't equate to 6 stars, the service and fit-out of the cabins and public spaces are no better than most cruise lines.
Some of the staff struggled with English, if Silversea are going to employ them they should ensure they can speak clearly.
To be common and compare the daily rate, Cunards "Queens Grill" offers a much better experience for the same if not less amount per day, yes the argument is all inclusive drinks, but I want more than free alcohol.
Would i recommend the ship, I have to say yes, just, but it is well and truly due for a refit and update. Less
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Cabin review: 821
The size of the room was just acceptable, the balcony was adequate with good furniture, the "teak" decking looked more like a shipping pallet, and as it didn't go all the way to the edges and you had a gap/drop off, not much fun if your chair slid back or to the side, it would fall down into the gap.The general decor was in fair condition, a little old fashioned being all reds and gold and I mean everything from carpet, furniture to the drapes and bedspread.The bed itself was superb but I couldn't get a pillow that was suitable for me.The bathroom was very good, double vanity, good size bath and separate shower with a hand held spray, the only complaint was there is no ventilation/extraction in the shower cubicle.
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