We were interested in an Alaskan cruise that included a stop in Sitka, a place we had never visited before. We also wanted a small, luxurious ship.
The Silver Shadow is a beautiful ship, but it is showing its age. It needs refurbishment badly, even though it was last refurbished in 2010.
The service was outstanding, worthy of a five-star rating. The crew looked after every need and want. The really went out of their way to see to it that we were satisfied. After the first day, most knew our names.
The all-inclusive cruise included all drinks, including soft drinks, wine and beer, and mixed drinks. Our butler asked what we wanted in the room's fridge, and in addition to the beer and selected soft drinks we asked for vodka. He offered two brands; we selected Stoly, and he brought a full 750 liter bottle. There was no extra charge.
The food in all the venues was good, but not worthy of a five-star experience. We dined in the $40 surcharge Le Champagne, and the food was very good, but, again, not five stars. The small room was nondescript. But as an example of their superior service: On the night we dined there was a large party of heavy drinkers. One of them was extremely loud and obnoxious. He dominated the room, and made the couples at the other four tables uncomfortable. When the large group left, the remaining diners applauded spontaneously!
This situation was clearly not a responsibility of the cruise line, but we received a note of apologyt the next day from the Maître D'; he said the $80 per couple charge had been removed.
The entertainment was good for such a small ship; the young singers gave their all at all the shows. But the sound was so loud for the small show room that it was uncomfortable. They were not singing rock music - they were singing show tunes and opera; the amplification was too much.
Overall a great cruise, excellent service, good, but not great food.