We chose this cruise primarily for the itiniary and except for the New Zealand ports (Auckland and Bay of Islands) everything was new to us. There is no doubt that sailing on a luxury ship like Silver Shadow through Melanesia, Micronesia and the Philippines can't get any better and Silversea did an excellent job choreographing the whole process.
This was our first Silversea experience as we've only sailed on Regent Seven Seas and Crystal. We were a little worried about Silver Shadow's size since most of our previous cruises have been on slightly large ships. We have sailed on Regent's Navigator which is comparable in size to the Shadow but Silver Shadow is much better in our opinion. Our cabin was more than adequate for twenty days and I really don't see any reason to spend more just for better location unless ship motion is a concern. We had some rough seas and I didn't get really bothered by it so I wouldn't hesitate to book a less expensive cabin since they're all pretty identical. I didn't find the bigger suites that compelling on this ship, but I understand that on Silversea's newer ships that could be worth booking, especially on a longer cruise.
Service is second to none and the whole staff went out of their way to keep us happy. Food is definitely for "foodies" but I do miss some American comfort food like Crystal used to have. There's no ice cream bar either but I suppose my waistline is grateful for that.
We had Suite 815 a Deluxe Veranda and found it to be fine and probably more expensive than we needed since its identical to 90% of the other cabins except for its location. It was especially nice to have a nice orchid which like the other plants around the ship really add to a sense of luxury. The bathroom has both a tub and shower but the shower has fiberglass finish instead of marble. Interactive TV is terrible mainly due to very high latency between pressing a remote control button and something happening, it needed a few resets during our trip. Internet was terrible except for WhatsApp which worked marvelously, including voice calls (go figure). I'm not sure if this was the new Starlink system, but if it was I'd put a halt on its deployment and stick with the old MTS.
Only good for a first impression of coastal Papua New Guinea. Lower your expectiations and become a traveller and not a tourist and you'll be fine. People are very friendly and very happy to see visitors and PNG is a huge place so don't be afraid to get out of the town and see the countryside.
Really good especially with Silversea's catering. Even the crew had shore leave and everyone had fun. Its a spectacular site and the local catering gave me some of the best pizzas I've ever had and I also had my first massage followed by a nice dip in turquoise waters.
Great private island with entertainment watching local planes come and go on a grass strip while bobbing in the warm waters. Very natural feel and even with a hundred or so guests you can find your own little private nook.
My favorite. If you get a chance to go, jump on it. This is a really hard place to visit, but once there exploring the Rock Islands and zooming through them is one of the best things I've ever done. The surprise is there is at least one high end hotel there so spending a couple of days visiting can be comfy and not just for backpackers.