5 Silversea Silver Shadow First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was lovely with a "large" bathroom with two sinks, a tub and a shower. The beds were extremely comfortable. Butler service brought us drinks each night. The food was very good - ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was lovely with a "large" bathroom with two sinks, a tub and a shower. The beds were extremely comfortable. Butler service brought us drinks each night. The food was very good - nothing exceptional but excellent quality and a variety of choices. Our favorite was the grill where we ate twice. Outdoor near the pool - served meats and seafood that were grilled on a hot stone at your table. We didn't have enough information on ports and how long they were there. In one instance our tour was out all day and we missed Skagway town completely because of it. Most tours were fine except the one to White Pass railroad (which was lovely) but we stopped at Jewel Garden for lunch and a tour which was a waste of our time. Poor quality and no way to get back to the ship. Other tours were great including Sea Otter and Wildlife in Sitka, Bear Sanctuary in Ketcheckan. Only real complaint was paying for wi-fi. I'm spending $10,000 and they couldn't provide it? Free liquor and wine but no free wi-fi. That was ridiculous. Men needed jackets two nights...very few dressed very formal. Even saw folks without jackets. For Alaska, it should be more casual. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take ... Read More
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take another cruise, buy this, do this - but no one really seemed to know or care. My voyage stopped at a port Siversea had never visited before - and will not again, Nanaimo. Eleven hours and there was nothing to do. Why did the ship only stay a half day in key ports like Sitka or Juneau, where we could have had more outings, or weather permitting, any at all. And three of the four restaurants required reservations. There wasn't a day I wasn't on a waiting list. And it wasn't just meals, excursions, the over-priced spa - all had limited or no availability except when you really didn't want them, like a meal time! Then there was the Internet, which they charged you $150 to use and rarely worked. Even the printer in the computer room was out of order for practically the entire trip. Finally, the food. Sure it was plentiful and, on occasion, very good. But I was in Alaska and never was offered King Crab Legs, King Salmon, oysters or other Pacific shellfish. In fact the only shellfish I had was Maine lobster tails. I called Silversea Customer Relations twice this week to discuss. Both times I got a recording, and neither person called me back. Well, I won't be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise and we had heard horror stories of crowded ships, mediocre food, congested boarding, tiny staterooms, lack of storage, etc. Therefore imagine our surprise when we stepped on to the Silver Shadow for the first time ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had heard horror stories of crowded ships, mediocre food, congested boarding, tiny staterooms, lack of storage, etc. Therefore imagine our surprise when we stepped on to the Silver Shadow for the first time and entered our very spacious suite (not even close to being the most expensive one available)! First of all -- from the very beginning this was a wonderful experience. All passengers met in Anchorage for a 4.5 hour train ride to Seward, where we boarded the ship. The check-in process was very smooth -- with staff waiting for us with champagne! We entered our cabin (Terrace Suite 533) to discover our luggage waiting for us and our butler for the week offering to unpack for us! Our cabin was VERY spacious. We had a queen-sized bed and a separate sitting area with a loveseat, small table, and arm chair. There was also a built-in desk and separate vanity. The bathroom had a shower stall, soaking tub, and double-sinks -- all in a beautiful dark marble. The walk-in closet had plenty of hanging space and a built-in dresser with lots of available drawers. Leading from our sitting area was a door that took you out to our shared veranda. We really liked the location of our cabin. We were steps away from the registration/concierge area, as well as from the casino and private casino bar (our favorite place to hang out in the evenings -- we had the bar to ourselves!). Food was very good. My only criticism was for the buffet breakfast each morning in the onboard restaurant, La Terrazza. The eggs were always runny. Other than that, everything was wonderful. Service was impeccable. The wait staff was very attentive and our wine glasses rarely went unfilled. We ate dinner one night at the Pool Grill, two nights at La Terazza, and the rest of the time in the main restaurant. The portions were perfect and the menu choices each night were lovely. We are not dessert eaters, but the desserts were delightful and perfectly sized (small bites). We loved that. We had arranged our own excursions (which were awesome) but we never had any problems disembarking or re-entering the ship. We attended a few of the on-board lectures, which were very interesting. The presenters were very accessible throughout the cruise, which was also a nice touch. We never felt crowded on the ship. Even the day that we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier, we were able to watch it from our shared veranda. There was no one out there except us. Finally a word about our butler. He was WONDERFUL! He was incredibly attentive and so helpful. He brought us coffee each morning and afternoon tea. One of our travel days was my birthday and while we were at breakfast they decorated our cabin with balloons and a "Happy Birthday" banner. That evening when we returned to our cabin we had champagne and a special piece of birthday cake waiting for us. In addition, our butler had drawn me a hot bath with rose petals! All of this was included. This was an amazing cruise. I would never hesitate to sail again with SilverSeas. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
First time Silversea cruisers here, who were attracted by the itinerary, which included the Marquesas islands, and the opportunity to try a cruise line in the "luxury market". Generally we cruise with Princess, Celebrity or Royal ... Read More
First time Silversea cruisers here, who were attracted by the itinerary, which included the Marquesas islands, and the opportunity to try a cruise line in the "luxury market". Generally we cruise with Princess, Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. I see these reviews as a great resource for consumers to share information frankly and give honest opinions. This was my 20th cruise. First, the pluses. Embarkation and disembarkation are incredibly easy, due to the small size of the ship. The cabins are spacious and the bathrooms are comfortable. The are very few people in any of the public areas; in fact, the atmosphere on board was remarkably quiet and "still", almost to a fault. There is lots of alcohol being poured on this ship. it's all-inclusive and the crew is very liberal with it. When the cabin attendant asked us what kinds of spirits we would like, we were shocked when she brought a fifth of each. We were expecting the little mini bottles! The purser's desk staff were very nice, as was the crew as a whole. In fact, we learned that they are required to memorize every guest's name and are actually tested on this. Considering there were 300 or so passengers, that is no small task. The brochures are very beautiful and no doubt expensive to produce. Now, the minuses. The food on board, which SS refers to as "cuisine" in all their literature, was just not anything special. The breads were not very good and there was not much of a selection of pastries at breakfast. They would only bring pastries around once, unlike on other cruise lines. Also, they weren't very good about coming around with coffee refills and the coffee and soups were often just lukewarm. Broccoli was the most common vegetable, but it was old broccoli that had turned yellow and was starting to go to seed. In general, the food was blandly spiced and there were not many different types of vegetables or salads. I think they are catering to the pre-baby boomer generations, but I think they really need to modernize their menu offerings. The ship was very small and did not handle the rough seas of the Pacific well. Our cabin was very noisy at night due the constant creaking in the walls and ceiling caused by the rough seas. Sleeping was made difficult. SS to its credit did do some things to the cabin to help with the noise situation. The ship experience is quite formal and proper, too much so for my taste. Some of the women passengers would stare other women up and down if they felt they were not dressed up to SS standards. The cabin butlers actually wear coats with tails and the women working in the office positions are required to wear skirts, heels and panty hose. The men have to wear jackets or more most nights. I felt I was in some 1950's time warp. The was almost nothing to do on board except read or gather in the bar and drink with the rest of the passengers. The two stores on board were extremely expensive and honestly about the size of large walk-in closets. I never saw anyone ever buy anything. The ship transfers to local hotels were also grossly overpriced. We paid a taxi $25 to get to our hotel in Papeete. I think SS wanted something close to $200 for a private car to take you to the same hotel. The maitre'd was very attentive to return passengers but not so nice to the first-timers. The shore excursions were not well-organized and I thought did not live up to the marketing descriptions,and were over-priced. For example, we did the "luxury catamaran" excursion in Moorea, but there was nothing luxurious about this catamaran. It was just a plain, ordinary catamaran. The entertainment on board was virtually non-existent. The lecturers on board were mildly interesting but nothing special. One guy actually gave an entire lecture on the history of grog in the Navy. Considering how much drinking was going on, I thought the topic was appropriate. Generally, though, the seas days were very long days for us, due to the lack of virtually anything to do other than read,and you can only read so much in one day. Yes, they have a fitness center. I used it once but it was so small I felt like I was exercising in a closet. On most sea days the weather was to bad to sit around the pool. There was not much diversity in the passenger demographic. They were overwhelmingly white, wealthy,conservative and in their 70s and 80s. I actually had one man in the dining room pester me over dinner about whether I was a "liberal", even though I told him I have a rule about not talking politics or religion with strangers. I met a few other passengers who struck me as rather full of themselves, and an equal number who were nice. It is just that everything is magnified in such a small ship with virtually nowhere to go. I think Silversea appeals to many people who want an "exclusive" experience. Many passengers referred to other cruise lines disparagingly as "mass market". I think they are willing to pay a steep premium to be sheltered form the "masses". But I didn't find some of them to be that easy to talk to or fun to be with. It was kind of a clubby feeling on board. In general, I think Silversea puts its money in things like brochures that are easy to write but don't really cost that much, as opposed to more costly things like refurbishing the ship, which is badly needed. Even the balcony furniture was disappointing considering how much we paid for this cruise. I was suspicious when reading the brochures, lots of flowery copy which the reality just does not live up to. Same thing with the menu descriptions. Putting everything in French doesn't make what is essentially average food taste any better. I'm convinced that much of the food, particularly the fish, was not fresh but previously frozen and reheated. Would I go on Silversea again? No, which is sad to say considering how much we paid. The atmosphere is too stiff and formal for a relaxing vacation, and they don't deliver what I consider good value for the money. I posted similar comments in one of the boards and received a very negative reaction from the Silversea fan club (which could be made up of Silversea employees for all we know, since on the Internet anyone can pretend to be anybody). If you criticize this company, they will criticize you personally or question your motives, so be careful what you say. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
We had signed up for our first cruise ever, Ft Lauderdale to Barbados, on the Silver Shadow months before sailing and had no idea what to expect. In an effort to learn as much as possible we did a lot of reading and surfing the net where ... Read More
We had signed up for our first cruise ever, Ft Lauderdale to Barbados, on the Silver Shadow months before sailing and had no idea what to expect. In an effort to learn as much as possible we did a lot of reading and surfing the net where we read reviews of the Silver Shadow. "Down hill from there" and "no Ritz on the sea" gave us some mild apprehension prior to departure and certainly had our antenna up for the negatives that were reported. While we were first timers on the sea (not counting a Greek Isles cruise back in college) we are not unfamiliar with luxury or first class service which I am happy to report the Silver Shadow met and exceeded. We met numerous other passengers who have sailed every luxury line out there and some who had as many as 500 days of voyages under their belts. They were all unanimous in their praise of the food, staff and quality of the Silversea's ships. Both embarking and disembarking were as easy as it could possibly be. We took the advice of embarking one hour after the prescribed time and walked right into our first of many glasses of champagne and caviar. It was up hill from there! While we had two excellent meals in La Terrazza (the Italian flare) restaurant we found the most enjoyable meal experiences in the main dinning room for lunch and dinner. We were not interested in night clubs or entertainment so our group closed the dinner room down every evening and every night was better than the previous. I would highly recommend breakfast in La Terrazza. As the ship usually moors stern end towards town you are sitting on the 9th deck looking down into some exotic port. I ordered Eggs Benedict every morning and loved them. I would agree whole heatedly that more information on the islands (pots of call) for non-tour participants would help. The tour desk was putting out 8X10 copies of the island map on one side and the main town on the other. But it would have been nice to know that renting scooters on St. Kitts was not for the faint of heart and conversely everyone should rent and enjoy a scooter on Isle de Saint. I came to realize that much of this adventure was a live and learn experience. That would explain why some of the seasoned vets would take up a position by the pool while many of us ran around islands and counted the minutes until we could return to our oasis, The Silver Shadow. We never had trouble finding deck loungers and never waited in a single line for any meal or activity. The one price covers all was a wonderful experience as it makes for a very relaxing cruise experience. Put your wallet in the in-room safe and forget it. No tipping or getting nickel and dimmed every time you turn around. A business associate recently cruised on another line. He was presented with a welcome drink and several minutes later a bill to sign. I could go on for pages but suffice it to say all 8 in our group had a fabulous experience and can't wait to go again and that trip will be with Silversea. I would very respectfully suggest that if anyone had a less than satisfactory experience on Siversea they should lease their own private yacht because I don't see how cruising could get any better. nolagolfer Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Silver Shadow Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.5
Family 2.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 5.0 3.9

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