I had not intended to lodge a critique on our cruise if the Silver Sea cruise line had acted honourably and answered some of the queries raised by our travel agent in Australia. On our return from the cruise on the Silver Shadow from Argentina to Lima Peru over Christmas 2014, we related most of the issues we had and the agent was so incensed, she wrote to Silver Sea in Australia. That was in January this year, and they haven't had the courtesy to respond. Hence this review.
Wonderful ship, some wonderful staff, destinations wonderful, but this was overshadowed by so many faults it left a bad taste in our mouths, and a resolve never to go cruising again. We purposely paid the high rates demanded by Silver Sea, believing we would have fantastic food and service. Sure the cabin was brilliant and thankfully we had a first rate butler looking after us, but apart from that, you can begin to see many compromises. I don't intend to give you chapter and verse what went wrong, and there were many things that did go wrong, but suffice to say that the food overall was very disappointing. I know my seafood, and how come I am able to produce flavourful prawns from frozen product at home, but they can't do it on the Silver Shadow. Researching other comments on various websites, one can only reach the conclusion that the company is buying cheap food and cutting back on quality to remain in the game in this highly competitive market. The ship boasts ' exquisite cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux' – we paid the extra demanded to sit in this so called top restaurant on the Silver Shadow on Christmas Day, and when the main course arrived and we couldn't get a knife into what should have been a tender rack of lamb, we just walked out, much to the horror of the staff. There was little difference in the quality of the food between this top restaurant and the other restaurants on the ship. The wine selection was supposed to be top class – it was the same as the rest of the ship. The service was awful, the food was worse.
We began to avoid even going to the restaurants on board to avoid what we called the 'dining gauntlet', of crowds of mainly Asian waiters and waitresses walking guests arm in arm to their tables and whipping the plates out of our hands at the buffet to march them and us back to our tables. It was embarrassing and totally over the top. Just leave us alone, we wanted to say at every meal. Not that the meals were worth writing home about.