Itinerary and the reputation of SilverSea were our reasons for choosing this cruise. The itinerary was all we hoped for; the older ship and its management less so, based on flooded cabins.
Embarkation in Hong Kong and debarkation in Tokyo were handled very well: easy, lots of direction and help, punctual.
Our suite was sizable, with a walk-in closet that was very welcome. Staff service at all venues, and our butler, were outstanding. The food was good, though not as good as Oceania. Entertainment was good, but limited; the cruise director did double duty as a singer/comedian, and was actually not bad. One good lecturer, one mediocre. We noticed immediately, however, that the ship was in need of work: e.g., the deck railings were in serious need of varnish. Later we learned this ship is due to be "retired" next year, which may explain possible deferred maintenance.
The problem arose on day 10 of the 16 day cruise, when we encountered high winds and heavy seas. That can happen. But this older ship was simply not "ship shape." Dozens of staterooms--our deck 5 starboard was the worst hit--were flooded by wind-swept rain and ocean spray that leaked through the veranda door seals, soaking the carpets (and some clothing and under-bed suitcases). That continued for at least 12 hours, with no solution offered to stop the leaks and no official communications from the captain.
Inconceivably, very little, and nothing effective, was done over the remaining five days of the cruise as the soaked cabins became uninhabitable from the smell alone. We were offered downgraded accommodations (no balcony), but had to insist on getting some help moving. Even that cabin had a leaking window. No announcements by the captain, no meetings with ship officers, no remedial plans presented and no offers of help.
Silversea, after several weeks, finally offered us (but apparently not others), a very modest and restricted credit toward a future cruise, hardly proportionate to the number of days we had no use of our suite. Amazing, and disappointing, for a high-end cruise line. My ratings below are for the first 10 days, before the ship and its crew were tested by stormy weather. For the last week of this cruise, most of these ratings would have been negative. I can only hope those sailing on the Silver Shadow this year enjoy good weather, and that at least the Deck 5 suites have been stripped and refurbished while in port.