Two Seniors with 9-10 prior cruises
With fewer than 400 passengers it never seems crowded and there are rarely any lines for anything. Landed at FLL at 1:30, on board and in cabin by 2:00. While the staff on virtually all cruise lines is courteous and helpful, I believe that of Silverseas is a notch above the rest. The lunch buffet (La Terrazza) is among the best afloat. Best dinner was at La Terrazza. Disembarkation is easy and efficient.
We boarded in a very good mood as we barely escaped the first Northeaster of the season and left a foot and a half of snow in New England.
Minor glitches from refurbishment – closet door won't stay open due to wrong doorknobs installed, missing tile, sink won't hold water, etc. Portion sizes in The Restaurant (who wants only a half cup of soup or 3 scallops, both of which were only lukewarm?). Quality of the always available beef entrees in The Restaurant is lacking. They did away with the Internet Cafe, as they did on Silver Wind.
We had to tender in 2 ports. This did not show on itinerary and could be important for some.
I would be remiss if I did not express my disappointment with what they did to La Dame. We were on the Silver Wind in January and in my review I stated that our meal in La Dame there was the best one we ever had at sea because of variety, quality, service, etc. As a result of that I had booked 2 dinners at La Dame on the Shadow. In the refurbishment the restaurant was expanded (no issues with physical changes), and the menu and approach to the entire experience were altered (many issues there).
First the variety of menu options are greatly reduced. Even worse is the "system" they have implemented for the selection and ordering process. Our waiter refused to tell us about what was available for complimentary wine or provide the wine list. The process is now that all courses should be ordered first and then wines will be discussed. A conversation with "George" the Maitre 'D (who is great) fixed that. Lalique has made a substantial investment in La Dame, and as a result there is a tendency for the staff to "push" Lalique wines.
It seemed to us that the quality of the food had dropped. The whole dinner lasted 3 hours. Which changes the categorization of the experience from leisurely to tedious. I quickly cancelled our reservation for later in the week.
Our dinner was on day 2 of the cruise. Conversations with other passengers indicated that their experiences were better as the week went on, so maybe they got their act together somewhat. Others did also observe that the changed and reduced menu was a mistake.