Though much more expensive than the traditional large cruise lines, we chose Silversea. We cruised on the Silver Shadow to Alaska. We had ~350 passengers and 300 crew. From the moment we checked in at the port, we were waited on for all of our needs before we even knew we had a need. Pure luxury all the way! As we took our first step on the ship, hot towels were handed to us along with champagne on a silver platter. Without asking our carry-on bags were quickly taken by crew members as they walked side by side with us all the way to our cabin.
Champagne on ice was waiting for us in our room. Our butler was there within a couple of minutes to greet us and introduce himself. He described everyting in the room, took our beverage orders, stored our large suitcases during the entire cruise, etc.
The food was devine! Everything was fresh even at the buffet. Portions at dinner and lunch were small, but just right. I had fish every night for dinner and it was always cooked perfectly and fresh. I personnally loved the italian restaurant, La Terrazza.
The crew knew our names after the day. Regardless of where we were, either at the restaurants, shops, bars, etc., the crew always referred to us by our last name. It's amazing how they can remember everyone's name so quickly.
The personalization is phenominal! On the second night, the bartendar from the first night saw us in the theater and brought over drinks that we had the night before. The maitre'd sat us in the restaurant in our favorite spot without us even asking. The butler surprised me with a delicious tiramisu birthday cake in our cabin. We also had pre-dinner cocktails delivered daily by our butler at 6:00 PM and he was never late.
You have everything on this ship that a large cruiseline has, but smaller. They have a casino, shops, dancing in the evenings, theater, restaurant choices, fitness room, etc. The best thing is that it's so intimate that there are rarely ever any lines and no kids! Also, there are no paper products. Everything is linen napkins, cloth towels, glassware, china, etc. Even at the pool bar, no paper products are used.
The only improvement they can possibly make on the ship is the carpet needs to be replaced. Also, this cruiseline are for those who are a little older and affluent. At 40, we were one of the youngest passengers, but we easily fit in.
We are already looking at booking another Silversea cruise possibly next year. We can't go back to the large cruiselines after such an incredible and wonderful experience. We highly recommend them.