Luxury not!: Silver Shadow Cruise Review by Dagger6
Overall Member Rating
It was difficult to find out specific information about the cruise ahead of time. The Silversea website is not helpful. I wanted to pre-reserve/pay in advance for a formal dinner in the Le Champagne restaurant. I eventually found a way to buy a gift of "Degustation" in advance that turned out to be the only way to do it. Still could not reserve a night until we got on board. Silversea should make this process transparent.
Travel agent polite and courteous but not very familiar with Silversea and because of her West Coast location took days instead of hours to get answers to our questions. (She could not figure out how to reserve a dinner at Le Champagne, indeed did not even know the name of the restaurant) Our "final documents" came late (9 days out) and were mixed up with another couple. This snafu followed us the entire voyage with mixed billings and room mix-ups.
Rooms were as advertised; spacious, nicely furnished and comfortable. More Nice view from the veranda was a bonus. Our steward was from India (as was most of the service staff) very nice young man but not very knowledgeable. Still he always found answers to our questions.
The ship is small, exactly what we wanted and yet we never felt crowded. We enjoyed the artwork on the ship and eagerly took in the two tours offered to explain some of the art.
Restaurants. We found the breakfast and lunch buffet in the Terrace to be the best bet. Service in the Restaurant was slow and indifferent. We had dinner twice in the Italian themed Terrace that is how we learned it is the same menu each night. Dinner was mediocre and service slow. The wine was medium priced ($10-14 retail) wines from not well-known regions such as South Africa and California Lake County. We nearly always had to ask for a second glass. Although wine was not plonk, it was definitely not luxury (or even premium). Wine on the "premium" list is well known labels but at nose bleed prices. One highlight was dinner in the formal Le Champagne. The theme for our evening was lobster with a variety of very well chosen French wines matched to each course. This dinner was Michelin 2 stars.
Our cruise had an unusually large number of disabled folks, large families, and lots of children. These groups all insisted on going through the buffet line which tended to slow it to a stop. However, the wait staff always jumped in and assisted these groups to keep the line moving and make everyone comfortable. My kudos to the staff.
Dress onboard ranged from grunge to khaki's and tennis shoes. The pre-cruise information misled me to pack for dress up and instead I should have packed my jeans and sneakers. I saw no enforcement of "dress codes" except in Le Champagne restaurant.
It's Alaska. (Rusty, run down, crude and tacky) It did not occur to me that half the cruise time would be spent parked in some port.
Expensive, controlled by Native Americans, tips expected at every turn, stop, and juncture. (I brought along a pack of small bills luckily). Alternative to excursions is to sit on ship or wander around the tacky towns. I took a "glacier" boat excursion that was scenic but I noted the small boat did not appear to be well maintained and life vests were in a locker that would never have been opened if we had trouble.
The pre-bill came night before with plenty of time to review and make adjustments. We were then told to have all checked luggage in hallway by 11p.m. and be clear of room by 0800. Then to and assembly area in a lounge where we'd be called by groups to board busses. Experience travelers ignored these directions, put luggage out in the morning, ate a leisurely breakfast and then went to the assembly area. We complied with directives and waited in assembly area for 4 hours doing nothing. Less
Cabin review: VES514
Room 514 was well located not near any noise that we could tell. Room had a T.V. for what purpose we do not know. Wifi is very expensive. ATT roaming charges also apply so could not use phones. Hair dryer can not be used in bath...so why have one? Veranda has nice view but in Alaska it's cold so we were not able to use it.