On our first Silver Sea cruise aboard Silver Shadow on September 7, 2017 (Anchorage to Tokyo), we encountered a plethora of stupid mistakes and errors, starting with the initial booking with the Fort Lauderdale office. Not only did we receive a confirmation booking in someone else’s name which was followed by the sales rep requiring us to produce a doctor’s letter (Fit to Travel) from husband’s doctor in 48 hours or our booking would be cancelled. We jumped through hoops, obtained the document, scanned and emailed to Special Services. The Special Services Manager quickly responded to us that this was totally unnecessary, as we had provided all the proper medical information on the original booking!
Secondly we were stopped from boarding the train from Anchorage to Seward due to administrative mistakes by both front office and the ship. We were told we were being singled out because we did not have Japanese Visas (we are American citizens). The manager at the train station could not understand the requirement and could not get anyone from the ship to answer his phone calls. Finally, everyone else was processed with stateroom keys to board, we were allowed to board the train without stateroom keys. The manager alerted us we might be refused entry to the ship, in which case, they would return our passports and we would return to Anchorage on the train. Needless to say, it was a miserable 4-hour rain ride, as we were upset, confused and feeling stigmatized by the events. Turns out, no one representing Silver Sea in at Port of Seward knew what to do with us. Obviously without stateroom keys, we could not board. Asked to produce our passports, we replied, “You have them”. After much delay, someone located our stateroom keys in the boarding area. No explanation forthcoming from anyone. My husband was ready to abort this trip and come home.
At the gangway, expressing my dissatisfaction to Hotel Manager at the Port of Seward, I was told to contact the Finance Manager the next day. I asked to have this person contact me immediately! We were fed up with mistakes and errors. What else could go wrong?
We received apologies for the “lack of communication” between Anchorage & the ship regarding our passports, as the processing from the home office had obliterated my passport data from the booking paperwork! We were victims again of the incompetent who handled our booking in the front office, and compounded by the manner in which this was escalated.
All that was needed in Anchorage was confirmation of a USA Passport – not to be denied passage, or threatened to be returned to Anchorage.
If not sufficient rationale to be disturbed by petty events caused by incompetence, we were again accosted by the reception staff on board Silver Sea via voice message, informing us they did not have our Russian landing cards, when in fact I had prepared them the same day we received them, personally delivered the cards to reception with the added information to look at our passports (in their possession) because we have valid Russian Visa (in case they wanted to include that data in the box provided on the form). I returned the call, being irritated by never ending cascade of stupidity and incompetence. The first receptionist did not seem to know what I was calling for….and put another person on the phone. I expressed my frustration at their incompetence and repeated all the conversation confirming delivery of the landing forms plus the fact of the Russian Visa. This person had the nerve to inform me I didn’t need the landing cards if we possessed Russian Visa! So why did I receive the landing cards in the first place if this is the case?
More apologies forthcoming regarding “lack of communication” and “reception should not be bothering passengers” when the landing cards were already in ship’s possession. Any wonder I am fed up the compounding of errors, petty mistakes, and incompetency of Silver Sea organization & poor administrative procedures?
The aggravation seemed never ending. Apologies notwithstanding, we say, “Never Again”!
Nicely appointed & comfortable.