Silver Shadow Cruise Review by twinklles
- Sail Date: October 2019
- Destination: Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Owner's Suite 1
This was Silver Shadow's last cruise before its refurbishment. So, it still had the u-shaped bar which I prefer (see pictures if you are unfamiliar). I hope they don't pull it out during the drydock. Even though it was the final cruise, we did not note any major deficits.
We were generally very happy with this cruise. We had the best butler we have ever had. At this point we know how we want our room stocked (we make a list of our needs before the butler introduces himself).
One need I have is San Pellegrino. We asked once and were thereafter never without three bottles.
He even brought a new bottle of Bourbon we he noticed that my first bottle was getting low.
Coincidentally, it turned out that a guy I had worked with years ago was on the same cruise. We became reacquainted, and my wife and I thought it would be nice to host a little cocktail party. Our butler did a magnificent job of organizing it: Caviar, other canopies, champaign.
We turned planning our dinners over to the butler. Every day, I simply asked him where and when we were eating, and he told us. I don't know if that fell into his job description, but it worked well for us. That solved my frustration with the Silversea reservation process (which basically is, set your alarm for midnight on the day online reservations open--months before your cruise--or you will miss the window of opportunity).
I am in the process of adjusting my expectations of cruise ship luxury dining experiences, from what I expect at a land-based restaurant. Here is an example of what I mean. We frequent a fine dining Italian restaurant near our home. (For level setting purposes, fine dining means we expect to spend about $250 on dinner.)
Last time we visited our local restaurant, I told the waiter that I wanted one of the veal dishes, but that I was craving some fettuccini Alfredo. The waiter's response, "I will make that happen." I got veal with a side of fettuccini Alfredo. Rather than bore you with a transcript of the same exchange on Silversea, suffice it that I have finally accepted that such personalized service cannot be expected on a cruise ship.
But there were some minor lapses that fell below Silversea standards. One night at dinner the waiter didn't bother clearing our table before thrusting the dessert menu into our hands. Thirty seconds later he was standing there asking for my dessert order. I hadn't even glanced at the menu.
Silversea offers its own sparkling water, which is fine for me, except that on this cruise, it was consistently flat. So, I started asking for San Pellegrino. I had to remind every waiter, every time I needed a refill what I was drinking.
One amenity that Silversea offers in its Owner’s Suites is free laundry service. (The other three, Seabourn, Crystal, and Regent don't seem to include that.) We only bring carry-ons (yes that is correct, an 11-night cruise, and 5 extra nights with only two carry-ons--if you want to know how that is done, message me). Free laundry service makes that easier.
Nonetheless, we have decided we should not become married to Silversea without at least having a baseline. So, we have booked a Seabourn cruise for next March. Seabourn does not include laundry service with their Wintergarden Suites. We have guesstimated that paying for laundry will add $300 to the cost of the cruise.
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