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We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the attentive service where nothing was too much trouble. This cruise was so different. 1. Cabin Comfort. Yes the Shadow is now a bit shabby and very much in need of the up and coming refurbishment but this was not the problem. From previous cruises we knew, the beds were hard. My back does not cope with hard beds so as usual at the time of (early) booking I had requested one of the egg-crate mattress toppers plus pillows from the list given. We had previously never had any problem with these requests. When we boarded this time it was ‘sorry there are only 7 mattress toppers on the ship and they are all taken.’ Huge hard pillows on our beds. Further pillows brought in - some the same, others just slabs of very firm. Pillow menu mentioned but profuse staff apologies and ‘Sorry but this is all we have’ Pillow menu not available. Previously always enjoyed and been comfortable sitting on the balcony. New Balcony chairs very high and deep - my feet could not reach the ground and the wire edge dug into the back of my legs. Staff tried hard but nothing more comfortable available than lots of padding with pillows. My back and neck suffered badly from the hard bed, the hard pillows and not being able to sit comfortably on the balcony - I could not believe I had paid so much money to endure such discomfort. 2. Cabin Air conditioning control - poor to non existent. When we arrived in our cabin at 2pm it was sweltering - the air con wasnt working. Fixed late evening by the engineer taking down part of our cabin ceiling. Control still iffy and a few days later - cabin freezing cold -again fixed late evening. Show lounge and parts of the main restaurant often freezing - apparently problems with the themostat. 3. Staff service. Nothing like our previous attentive experience. Our poor butler was rushed off his feet between two decks. Apparently there was a staff shortage and it would often take him over an hour to respond to a call - if at all. When sitting on the upper decks, there were rarely any staff around. If we wanted seat cushions or a coffee it was a case of walking down to the pool deck, and either carrying items up two decks ourselves or waiting till someone was available - by which time the coffee was cold. 4. On the positive side the food in the restaurants was as good as ever, the staff themselves as welcoming and as lovely as ever, embarkation excellent and the excursions we went on mainly ok other than the very hot, small, basic souk on a wasteland area in Oman. All our concerns might be small issues in isolation but taken overall this was not the luxury cruise experience we had previously had with Silversea. Maybe we were just unfortunate on this particular cruise. Because of our previous good experiences we already booked another three week cruise before we went on this one and have since thought long and hard about whether to continue with the booking. After apologies and reassurances from the UK Guest relations manager ie that the Silver Shadow is being refurbished and that all will be fine re our requests etc. we have reluctantly decided to go ahead. I only hope he is right.

Not a luxury cruise.

Silver Shadow Cruise Review by World Roamer

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the attentive service where nothing was too much trouble.

This cruise was so different.

1. Cabin Comfort. Yes the Shadow is now a bit shabby and very much in need of the up and coming refurbishment but this was not the problem. From previous cruises we knew, the beds were hard. My back does not cope with hard beds so as usual at the time of (early) booking I had requested one of the egg-crate mattress toppers plus pillows from the list given. We had previously never had any problem with these requests. When we boarded this time it was ‘sorry there are only 7 mattress toppers on the ship and they are all taken.’ Huge hard pillows on our beds. Further pillows brought in - some the same, others just slabs of very firm. Pillow menu mentioned but profuse staff apologies and ‘Sorry but this is all we have’ Pillow menu not available.

Previously always enjoyed and been comfortable sitting on the balcony. New Balcony chairs very high and deep - my feet could not reach the ground and the wire edge dug into the back of my legs. Staff tried hard but nothing more comfortable available than lots of padding with pillows. My back and neck suffered badly from the hard bed, the hard pillows and not being able to sit comfortably on the balcony - I could not believe I had paid so much money to endure such discomfort.

2. Cabin Air conditioning control - poor to non existent. When we arrived in our cabin at 2pm it was sweltering - the air con wasnt working. Fixed late evening by the engineer taking down part of our cabin ceiling. Control still iffy and a few days later - cabin freezing cold -again fixed late evening. Show lounge and parts of the main restaurant often freezing - apparently problems with the themostat.

3. Staff service. Nothing like our previous attentive experience. Our poor butler was rushed off his feet between two decks. Apparently there was a staff shortage and it would often take him over an hour to respond to a call - if at all. When sitting on the upper decks, there were rarely any staff around. If we wanted seat cushions or a coffee it was a case of walking down to the pool deck, and either carrying items up two decks ourselves or waiting till someone was available - by which time the coffee was cold.

4. On the positive side the food in the restaurants was as good as ever, the staff themselves as welcoming and as lovely as ever, embarkation excellent and the excursions we went on mainly ok other than the very hot, small, basic souk on a wasteland area in Oman.

All our concerns might be small issues in isolation but taken overall this was not the luxury cruise experience we had previously had with Silversea. Maybe we were just unfortunate on this particular cruise.

Because of our previous good experiences we already booked another three week cruise before we went on this one and have since thought long and hard about whether to continue with the booking. After apologies and reassurances from the UK Guest relations manager ie that the Silver Shadow is being refurbished and that all will be fine re our requests etc. we have reluctantly decided to go ahead. I only hope he is right.
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Cabin Review

Veranda Suite
Cabin V3 627
Well situated cabin in a quiet area but also close to the lift and the laundrette, My husband who is prone to sea sickness was fine in rough seas.
Good size with a great walk in wardrobe, lots of storage space and plugs for 220 and 110 voltage.
Bathroom excellent with good shower pressure, a shower which can also be hand held and again lots of storage space. Kept spotlessly clean by the lovely Katerina.
We had the twin bed configuration. Beds narrow and hard with very firm large pillows all of which I found extremely uncomfortable. As in my review above there are a few mattress toppers available which does help - if you can get hold of one.Surely a cruise of this quality should have many more available , The duvet was heavy and rustly and frequently fell off when I was restless on the hard bed and pillows. Hopefully the refurbishment will include better beds, duvets and pillows.
There are no tea/coffee making facilities in the cabin and I received a polite note on my bed one evening requesting guests not to use their own kettle - which I had brought with me. At times it was difficult to get a tea or coffee in our cabin.
The balcony is a good size and lovely but as previously mentioned, in my view the new chairs are uncomfortable for anyone under about 5’ 3”.
Deck 8 Suite Cabins