Silver Shadow far exceeded expectations. I was greeted by my butler immediately upon arrival, suitcase delivered promptly. After contemplating the food offerings for three weeks, I can say that the quality was excellent altho' Italian desserts were not as rich as some I have had. The moderate serving sizes of the various courses were inspiring and indirectly pointed out the massive portions expected in most American restaurants. I liked the moderate portions. Eating as an indoor sport does not interest me.
I dined on two occasions at La Terrazza for an Italian evening meal and I would not try it again. At one point, a small dish of pasta was presented and, when I tried to use a fork and spoon to eat it, I could easily lift up the entire mass with my fork. Evidently I'm not that big a fan of "gourmet" Italian food. But the offerings in The Restaurant (the MDR) were quite good each evening and all of us quite enjoyed the artwork of the pastry chef on the plates as dessert was served. Quite imaginative and well-rendered to lend an elegant touch to a meal.
My suite was lovely - quite large and usable, lots of storage space, no wear-and-tear visible throughout the suite. There were minor nicks in the light-wood desk-top which were caused by pax slamming down their ice buckets down on it. The large bathroom had dual sinks, a separate bathtub and shower.
I do take off points for lighting over the couch - if Gideon, my brilliant butler, hadn't come up with the solution of a floor lamp, I would have been unable to read my Kindle which is an important part of my daily shipboard life. Having said this, I would point out that this problem with lighting was immediately resolved by Gideon who also kept me supplied with a daily variety of fresh fruits which I enjoyed in my suite in lieu of afternoon tea.
My Vista suite had a large picture window which fulfilled my desire to view the ocean and local ports. I don't feel that I need a balcony in my cruises as I am rarely in a warm part of the globe. Terrace suites, one level up from mine, share a balcony which is not acceptable to me. My Vista suite was 287 sq.ft. and perfect for this solo traveler. I appreciatedthe severely-limited smoking areas.
The artwork throughout the ship lent an air of luxury and elegance to the experience. The fact that all of it was for sale deducted nothing from the effect.
I didn't attend the entertainments other than one - George Sakellariou is a world-class acoustic guitarist, well known in those circles. I never missed his performances. He was selected by Steve Jobs some years ago to perform for a family reunion and George has played all over the world. Did not see other entertainers.
In all cases, the waiters were good, many were excellent, and they made outstanding suggestions for my dining pleasure. Ariston was a key player for me in the MDR with good menu suggestions and topnotch service. I enjoyed speaking various languages with the crew. I was so warmly welcomed onboard that my joke is I felt like ship's pet. The hospitality and genuinely positive response of the hotel waitstaff to this solo traveler made this voyage outstanding and memorable.
I did not attend onboard activities; I made it up as I went along. No trivia, no bridge, no "Italian as a second language," few Enrichment Lecturers altho' I watched several of them on my flatscreen, in-cabin TV. I had to quickly bone up on one lecturer as he and I wound up dining together every night for the week in Alaska that he was onboard.
The manager in the Internet Caf, Ian, patiently taught me about the good and the bad of new softwares, laptops, choices. It is wonderful to have that kind of expertise available. I was constantly asking questions about a future purchase of a laptop and softwares. On my last night, Ian helped me use the online check-ins and print out my boarding passes. His cheery attitude and welcoming manner were appreciated.
The few public rooms I used were well-appointed and luxurious. In the 3 weeks I was onboard Shadow, I never had afternoon tea nor did I use the Fitness Center.
I have been on cruises as an adult since 1979 and, since Royal Viking pulled up its gangway, I have been searching for an equivalent luxury-ship experience. After this Silver Shadow Vancouver-to-Incheon voyage, I have come home to Silversea. It is now the official cruise line for Saga Ruby.
I would not hesitate to repeat this itinerary because 12 out of 21 days were sea days and that was the main appeal for me. I've been, seen, and done enough in the cruising world that I have little interest in finding a new, exciting itinerary. I embrace the exceptional level of service onboard Silversea and will watch for cruises on her and her sister ship, Whisper.
Silversea positions itself as a small, elegant luxury cruise line. For me, that is a perfect description.