Wonderful but not stellar..........: Silver Shadow Cruise Review by ahimsa

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Wonderful but not stellar..........

Sail Date: June 2014
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seward
We chose Silversea because of timing and ship size. We had never sailed them before. We do not like large ships and do like luxurious cruising. We were VERY happy with our choice as the ship never felt crowded and we were certainly pampered. We did include a few nights pre-cruise in Anchorage and so our transfer to the train was arranged by Silversea. Their representative in Anchorage was a bit chatty and not as organized as we had expected, but all worked out okay. The departure day buffet breakfast was lousy and not a good reflection on a luxury cruise line.

Embarkation was a breeze! We were bussed to the airport train terminal, boarded our train and were seated at a table of 4 for the 4 hour train ride to Seward. we enjoyed the opportunity to meet other people who would be on the ship with us. Once in Seward, we were on the ship in minutes and our luggage was already in our cabin. Our butler and cabin steward were fantastic and couldn't do enough for us. All of the staff More on the ship was extremely pleasant and helpful. There was always something to do on the ship and we had no problem keeping busy. The dining selections were very elegant. We especially enjoyed the main dining room and the La Terrazza Italian Venue. Had the weather been warmer, we would have been able to enjoy meals outside on the aft deck.

Now....for the negatives: Another reviewer mentioned that the ship needed some refurbishment and I would agree. It wasn't awful, but I think she looked dated, dreary and worn in some areas. Most disappointing was the Deck 10 forward salon. It was a lovely space to view the vistas ahead, but the windows were hazy and it smelled of mildew. The line offers a "personal shopper." Perhaps if we were very wealthy, we might appreciate such a service, but we found his "in-your-face" style off-putting and avoided him like the plague. There is an upcharged French restaurant on the ship called Le Champagne. We enjoyed our meal, but the space appeared to be an afterthought; an oversized closet. Sadly, it was located right next to the humidor and smoking lounge, so the smell of cigars was very pervasive during this "elegant" meal. Food elsewhere was good, but not fantastic. I did have occasion to use the spa and while my massage was lovely, the high-pressure attempt afterwards to get me to purchase their products detracted from the relaxing experience. Also, their excursion desk is not manned all day...only for short periods morning and night. We seemed to always miss the person who should have been there. We would definitely recommend scheduling your shore excursions and dining reservations online before your cruise.

Overall, we would sail Silversea again if the itinerary met our needs. But, it won't be our first choice as the value didn't really match the cost. Less

Published 07/31/14

Cabin review: 822

Our midship veranda cabin was very nicely appointed. There were plenty of drawers and storage, a huge walk-in closet and the bathroom was very spacious with double sinks and a shower large enough for a 6'2 person. However, we did have a constant issue of the water alternating hot & cold during a shower. We reported it, but it was never resolved. The bedding was comfortable and the cabin climate was easy to regulate. Our veranda was adequate for Alaska, but might be a bit small in warmer climates. We purposely booked very early and chose a port side cabin as we knew it would afford us land rather than sea views while headed southbound. Our selection was also based on the proximity to the guest laundry room. It was a few doors away, quiet and easy to use.

Port and Shore Excursions

Lovely, bustling city with lots to do. We were supposed to do a helicopter tour to Mendenhall Glacier and a 2 hour trek, but my husband started his cold on this day and we were unable to go. We had booked privately and the company was very good about our cancellation. Unfortunately, there were 4 other larger ships in port and the city was VERY crowded. I wandered around a bit and did some shopping, but couldn't wait to get back on our tendered ship and get away from the masses.

Read 1206 Juneau Reviews

Pouring rain and cold, but nice city. Lots of shopping. We had to cancel yet another excursion do to illness. Would have been better to get away from the crowds by doing an excursion.

Read 1368 Ketchikan Reviews

Raining, but lovely picturesque town. We walked around the town as our excursion was cancelled due to lack of interest. The Sitka National Historic Park and Totem Pole exhibit (if you are interested in this) was fantastic. We didn't have enough time there and wished we had gone there first.

Read 254 Sitka Reviews

Street Car Tour

Not much to see in this town, it is very small but it's economy is based on cruise tourism. We were due to take an active excursion via Catamaran to Haines, but my husband developed a cold and wasn't feeling up to it. We ended up on the street car tour of the town which gave the history of Skagway and was really entertaining. We didn't want to join the masses wandering through the shops, so this was perfect. It was inexpensive, short (maybe 2 hours) and interesting. If you want something quick, it's perfect.

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