After giving up on Crystal due to their diminution of services on board and the frenetic pace of the main dining room, we decided on Silversea. What a difference! Crystal still has the best cream soups at sea and the best enrichment speakers and lecturers, but Silversea's service is the best bar none.
I agree with other cruise critics that Shadow is a little worn and shabby, but that will be fixed at the turn of the year when she goes in for refurb in Singapore.
We noted how friendly and accommodating the staff are on board. They can take the time to chat and get to know you. Even though a waiter from the Philippines named Randy served us only once, he sort of adopted us and went out of his way to greet and chat whenever we were close to his station or we ran into him in the buffet. He gave my wife a big hug on her birthday All the staff were friendly and outgoing.
The first thing we noticed is that the cabin is much larger than we were used to on Crystal.
It has a bathroom with separate shower and tub along with two sinks. There is a walk- in closet with ample hanging space and a chest of drawers. The room has a curtain that separates the sleeping area from the seating area. Each Silversea cabin has its own room attendant and butler in tails. Jomit, our Indian butler was always available, friendly and accommodating. He really looked out for us. There was always fresh OJ and cranberry juice in the fridge along with sodas and beers etc. Room service breakfast was on time with Jomit serving us. There is a table extender in the closet they use to make an oval coffee table into a dining table. Each evening there were chocolates on the pillow. Crystal stopped that service two cruises ago when the company was sold to a Chinese conglomerate. On several occasions we had chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us after dinner. After one of our excursions got us back after the dining venues were closed for lunch, we ordered the room service four cheese pizza and it was superb. The room service menu has a filet mignon entree that you can also order in the main dining room. We did so one night and it was as good or better than that in the Peech Hotel in Jo'burg. Crystal relies on a chewy sirloin. During a mid-cruise storm when the dining areas were empty due to the rocking and rolling, Jomit got us room service food in less than 20 minutes. When we crossed the Intl Date Line, my wife lost her birthday on the 25th. Pre-cruise literature stated that the 24th would be lost. Jomit and Vincent made up for it by decorating our room with balloons, a large wreath on the bed and a card from the captain. After dinner that night we returned to the room and the divider curtain was drawn. When I opened the curtain there was a laser show, more balloons, a wall poster wishing a happy birthday and a cake shaped like a ship with chocolate sails on the tea light decorated table. We were really impressed by all of their efforts to make us feel at home on their ship.