We boarded Silver Shadow on 17th April 2019 in Mumbai for a 9 day cruise visiting ports in India, Oman and UAE. We chose Silver Shadow as we had sailed on her in 2016 in Alaska. In 2016 the ship truly lived up to its 6 star rating in all respects. Comparing the latest trip with the 2016 trip I am sorry to say that Silversea has lost much of its reputation. The only standards that haven't changed since 2016 are the quality of the cabin staff, waiters, reception and shore concierge staff. They were all charming , helpful and a credit to the ship.
The variety of the A La Carte Menus was not as extensive and mostly repetitive. Some areas ran out of selected wines and on one occasion there was no orange juice anywhere on the ship. Wine selection was limited and the cheapest of everything was offered as the main choices.
The ship is tired and in need of attention as were the management on board. The Italian Captain made one announcement per day which was sailing information we think. I say ‘we think’ as it was impossible to understand what he was saying. There was a general air of disinterest at officer level. Apparently on 2 occasions some passengers reported seeing schools of dolphins bow riding for 20 or so minutes. A sight no-one should miss. No announcement was made by the ships staff to alert passengers to this so that all passengers could see this amazing sight.
The 'entertainment' was amateurish and awful to watch and listen to. We left within 10 minutes of arriving on each performance , hoping in vain that it would improve.
One port of call was Fujairah. The stop here seemed to be more for the convenience of Silversea than the experience for the passengers. The ship was refuelled there which took most of the day. Even some of the guides/experts stated that it was a mystery why we had stopped there as there was nothing of interest for tourists. Refuelling would seem to be the primary reason for stopping.
On leaving Fujairah we sailed to Abu Dhabi. The wind was about force 5 , sometimes gusting but with stabilisers the ship was gently rolling and nothing to concern most of the passengers. Everything carried on as normal with restaurants full etc. no restrctions about going onto deck , just wind warning notices on doors. We arrived in Abu Dhabi, went off for day excursions and returned to be told that the ship was staying there an extra day as the Captain had decided not to sail on to Doha for the comfort and safety of passengers. All passengers we spoke to were at best very disappointed, and some extremely angry with this decision as we had sailed from Fujairah in similar conditions which were not exceptional - just a mild rolling. It was exacerbated by a much smaller passenger vessel leaving the port. The weather did not seem to be of concern to their Captain. So one port and a different country was missed out on the trip..
It seems that since being taken over by Royal Caribbean, corners are being cut to the detriment of the all round experience. We and many of our fellow passenger were very disappointed with the drop in standards. In a competitive world where the choice in cruising is extensive, if I was asked by a anyone whether Silversea was a shipping line of choice I would say "not any more....overpriced and now over-rated. there are far better cruising companies to sail with. Sad but true.' Look elsewhere.
Adequate for our needs as not much time spent in cabin hence vista choice. Cabin staff excellent service