For us, Hong Kong is always worth a visit and starting a cruise there seemed a good idea. Departing from the Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong was a fantastic and unforgettable experience. The itinerary of this cruise through the South China Sea was very attractive. Manila, Coron, Porto Princessa, Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Brunei and Singapore. Only Manila we found disappointing, despite its beautiful location; but all the other landfalls were amazing and worth the visit. The Silver Shadow could use some renovation, but the crew makes up for this in providing an outstanding service. Butler service couldn't be better and the food in the different restaurants was really good. The french food and beverage manager, Nicolas Longin, was very much present and it showed. We both are vegetarian and had no problems finding something delicious. One advantage of the Shadow being an older ship, its bathrooms still have two sinks and handy single lever mixers for comfortable control over dosing and tempering the water. The furniture in the suites look worn and the old flat tv's should be replaced; for us personally, this is not a problem, as we always turn the tv off. We rate this cruise excellent for its crew, the food and most importantly for the small number of passengers. This is getting more difficult, even Silver Sea ships get bigger; more and bigger doesn't sound better to us. We prefer and love the smaller vessels with fewer passengers.
Manila Bay with the surrounding mountains is beautiful. Manila we found disappointing; too much poverty. The old city of Intramuros we found in a poor condition. Not worth the visit.
Busy and tropical. Not as clean as we had remembered (1974), too many people now smoke in the streets; that was a big surprise. Singapore has changed a lot. Sky scrapers where before had been the sea; too modern and abstract in our opinion. We prefer Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Dubai f.e.