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This was only our second cruise, the first being a Celebrity Eclipse S1 Suite cruise from Southampton to St Petersburg. This one week cruise on the Silver Shadow Veranda Suite cost £400 less than the two week cruise on Celebrity, so we expected it to be a step up, but for us it was a step down, in fact it was a step down in every respect, I can't think of one thing that was better on Silversea. The Celebrity was a much bigger ship, I think nearly ten times as many passengers, but being in a Suite means you have a dedicated dining room and lounge, so it didn't feel that way, except for the fact that there were way more facilities on the celebrity. Also, the Celebrity was very smooth even in some quite rough weather in the North Sea, whereas the Silversea rolled quite a bit in what looked like quite smooth waters. Boarding was OK, but rather drawn out and we were lucky in some respects. We used the embarkation via the train service from Anchorage Airport Station. We arrived at the airport early, which meant we got a seat in the waiting area, whereas lots of people didn't and had to stand around. It also put us in the first train carriage, which meant we were first to get off and embark the ship, once on board and in our suite we could see people still embarking the ship a long time later. The room was disappointing, smaller than the Celebrity S1 Suite and looking very old and tired. The dressing room sounds a great idea, but in practise it is cramped and takes space away from the room, wardrobes would be better. Similarly the separate shower and bath tub sounds nice, but it eats up precious space that could be better used. The bathroom lacked cupboards to put toiletries away, it all had to sit in the open or in your sponge bag. Dining was probably the biggest disappointment. Without writing a book on it, the menu choices were limited and the cooking was uniformly bland. It was just dull and we gave up on the main restaurants and for the last three nights had steak at the grill on the top deck, which was good, but boring. And you have to eat with a blanket round you at that time of year in Alaska. Service in the main was good, the face-to-face crew were friendly and helpful, in particular our butler and cabin service guy were wonderful. But the more senior level were nowhere near as friendly, they didn't interact and many stood around looking sullen. Having said that, the manager of the Grill restaurant was very nice. Even the Captain's daily announcement was dull and matter-of-fact, whereas the Celebrity Captain was cheerful and amusing and always ended with "life is beautiful." Our excursions were all privately booked apart from one Silversea and all were very enjoyable. We saw some great wildlife and wonderful views. The towns en route were fun, but were rather tourist oriented, with lots of almost identical souvenir and T-shirt shops. An hour or two in those was enough. Getting on and off in port was easy. At one stop there was no dock so we anchored out and had to use the tender which was fine. Although I noted a sign that said it was a tender for 80 and a lifeboat for 150, it was by no means full, but seemed crowded, I wouldn't have liked trying to get 150 people in it in an emergency! The route taken by the ship was often disappointing too, although parts were good and we got really close to the Hubbard Glacier. But other times the ship seemed to be taking a route out in the Pacific and the land was just a grey line on the horizon. Even the last day all at sea cruising the inside passage was mainly well away from the land with not much to see. Disembarkation was fine and again we were lucky, being among the first to disembark. They turfed everyone out of their cabins at the same time, so some people would have been sitting around for a couple of hours. Overall, disappointing sums it up. The ports we visited and the excursions we had were great and that was the main reason we went. But the Silversea experience did not live up to expectations, it was more "Holiday Inn" than "The Savoy." If we cruise again, I doubt we'd choose Silversea. The final irony was that when I got home there was a message on my answer machine to call "Jamie" from Silversea and he left his direct number. I guessed it might be in response to the rather negative feedback form I left. So, I called the number, but he wasn't there and I left a message. He never called back.

Disappointing, expected more from Silversea

Silver Shadow Cruise Review by mikesussex

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
This was only our second cruise, the first being a Celebrity Eclipse S1 Suite cruise from Southampton to St Petersburg. This one week cruise on the Silver Shadow Veranda Suite cost £400 less than the two week cruise on Celebrity, so we expected it to be a step up, but for us it was a step down, in fact it was a step down in every respect, I can't think of one thing that was better on Silversea. The Celebrity was a much bigger ship, I think nearly ten times as many passengers, but being in a Suite means you have a dedicated dining room and lounge, so it didn't feel that way, except for the fact that there were way more facilities on the celebrity. Also, the Celebrity was very smooth even in some quite rough weather in the North Sea, whereas the Silversea rolled quite a bit in what looked like quite smooth waters.

Boarding was OK, but rather drawn out and we were lucky in some respects. We used the embarkation via the train service from Anchorage Airport Station. We arrived at the airport early, which meant we got a seat in the waiting area, whereas lots of people didn't and had to stand around. It also put us in the first train carriage, which meant we were first to get off and embark the ship, once on board and in our suite we could see people still embarking the ship a long time later.

The room was disappointing, smaller than the Celebrity S1 Suite and looking very old and tired. The dressing room sounds a great idea, but in practise it is cramped and takes space away from the room, wardrobes would be better. Similarly the separate shower and bath tub sounds nice, but it eats up precious space that could be better used. The bathroom lacked cupboards to put toiletries away, it all had to sit in the open or in your sponge bag.

Dining was probably the biggest disappointment. Without writing a book on it, the menu choices were limited and the cooking was uniformly bland. It was just dull and we gave up on the main restaurants and for the last three nights had steak at the grill on the top deck, which was good, but boring. And you have to eat with a blanket round you at that time of year in Alaska.

Service in the main was good, the face-to-face crew were friendly and helpful, in particular our butler and cabin service guy were wonderful. But the more senior level were nowhere near as friendly, they didn't interact and many stood around looking sullen. Having said that, the manager of the Grill restaurant was very nice. Even the Captain's daily announcement was dull and matter-of-fact, whereas the Celebrity Captain was cheerful and amusing and always ended with "life is beautiful."

Our excursions were all privately booked apart from one Silversea and all were very enjoyable. We saw some great wildlife and wonderful views. The towns en route were fun, but were rather tourist oriented, with lots of almost identical souvenir and T-shirt shops. An hour or two in those was enough. Getting on and off in port was easy. At one stop there was no dock so we anchored out and had to use the tender which was fine. Although I noted a sign that said it was a tender for 80 and a lifeboat for 150, it was by no means full, but seemed crowded, I wouldn't have liked trying to get 150 people in it in an emergency!

The route taken by the ship was often disappointing too, although parts were good and we got really close to the Hubbard Glacier. But other times the ship seemed to be taking a route out in the Pacific and the land was just a grey line on the horizon. Even the last day all at sea cruising the inside passage was mainly well away from the land with not much to see.

Disembarkation was fine and again we were lucky, being among the first to disembark. They turfed everyone out of their cabins at the same time, so some people would have been sitting around for a couple of hours.

Overall, disappointing sums it up. The ports we visited and the excursions we had were great and that was the main reason we went. But the Silversea experience did not live up to expectations, it was more "Holiday Inn" than "The Savoy." If we cruise again, I doubt we'd choose Silversea.

The final irony was that when I got home there was a message on my answer machine to call "Jamie" from Silversea and he left his direct number. I guessed it might be in response to the rather negative feedback form I left. So, I called the number, but he wasn't there and I left a message. He never called back.
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