5 Silversea Silver Shadow Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transpacific

We chose this cruise because we had been on Silversea twice before and enjoyed the complete luxury as well as the intimacy of a small ship. We had never been to either Alaska nor Japan so we thought that it would be a great experience. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on Silversea twice before and enjoyed the complete luxury as well as the intimacy of a small ship. We had never been to either Alaska nor Japan so we thought that it would be a great experience. Knowing that there would be several sea days we thought that we would play bridge on those days ( or read). What was a real treat for us was the enrichment lecturers; each of them was very well prepared and so elevant to our cruise. The first lecturer was a professor of Migration economics who lectured about each destination in great detail before we arrived there. He went into detail about the history as well as the economy and demographics of our destinations. The second lecturer was a professor of the theater. Each sea day he would discuss a different show about East meets West. He went from the Mikado to South Pacific to The King and I and Miss Saigon. In each of these he discussed how the show portrayed the West meeting Eastern cultures. As an added treat on the last sea day he discussed Hamilton in detail. As always on a Silversea cruise the food was fantastic (as were the bar selections). While we could have dined alone at each meal we chose to sit with others each night at dinner, thereby meeting many others all of whom we thoroughly enjoyed dining with. I do have some problems with a few foods but the Maitre D' took care that each of our waiters were aware of my food allergies and I never hhad problems The ambience on the Silvershadow makes you think of the Italian influence on Silversea. This was especially evident in the bar which makes one think of an intimate European living room. Here we would enjoy cocktails and canapés as well as lovely piano playing each night before dinner. Our suite was lovely ( and very well located mid ship). As on all Silversea ships we were served by a butler as well as a steward. Needless to say, we wanted for nothing. The ports were interesting, especially the Japanese Northern most islands, which we would never have visited but for this cruise. The island of Hakodate is well known for its fantastic sushi but which we enjoyed. However, a real treat were the peoples themselves. Our first port, Kushiro, is a tiny port on the bottom of the island. Here the people went out of their way to treat us to a cultural show with Japanese dance, music and origami. As we sailed away those of us on port side were treated to Japanese music and dancing. ( We also had this at another Japanese port, Aomori. All in all, we could not rave about this cruise enough My only complaint is that my husband has mobility issues and there were very few shore excursions that he could do. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
On our first Silver Sea cruise aboard Silver Shadow on September 7, 2017 (Anchorage to Tokyo), we encountered a plethora of stupid mistakes and errors, starting with the initial booking with the Fort Lauderdale office. Not only did we ... Read More
On our first Silver Sea cruise aboard Silver Shadow on September 7, 2017 (Anchorage to Tokyo), we encountered a plethora of stupid mistakes and errors, starting with the initial booking with the Fort Lauderdale office. Not only did we receive a confirmation booking in someone else’s name which was followed by the sales rep requiring us to produce a doctor’s letter (Fit to Travel) from husband’s doctor in 48 hours or our booking would be cancelled. We jumped through hoops, obtained the document, scanned and emailed to Special Services. The Special Services Manager quickly responded to us that this was totally unnecessary, as we had provided all the proper medical information on the original booking! Secondly we were stopped from boarding the train from Anchorage to Seward due to administrative mistakes by both front office and the ship. We were told we were being singled out because we did not have Japanese Visas (we are American citizens). The manager at the train station could not understand the requirement and could not get anyone from the ship to answer his phone calls. Finally, everyone else was processed with stateroom keys to board, we were allowed to board the train without stateroom keys. The manager alerted us we might be refused entry to the ship, in which case, they would return our passports and we would return to Anchorage on the train. Needless to say, it was a miserable 4-hour rain ride, as we were upset, confused and feeling stigmatized by the events. Turns out, no one representing Silver Sea in at Port of Seward knew what to do with us. Obviously without stateroom keys, we could not board. Asked to produce our passports, we replied, “You have them”. After much delay, someone located our stateroom keys in the boarding area. No explanation forthcoming from anyone. My husband was ready to abort this trip and come home. At the gangway, expressing my dissatisfaction to Hotel Manager at the Port of Seward, I was told to contact the Finance Manager the next day. I asked to have this person contact me immediately! We were fed up with mistakes and errors. What else could go wrong? We received apologies for the “lack of communication” between Anchorage & the ship regarding our passports, as the processing from the home office had obliterated my passport data from the booking paperwork! We were victims again of the incompetent who handled our booking in the front office, and compounded by the manner in which this was escalated. All that was needed in Anchorage was confirmation of a USA Passport – not to be denied passage, or threatened to be returned to Anchorage. If not sufficient rationale to be disturbed by petty events caused by incompetence, we were again accosted by the reception staff on board Silver Sea via voice message, informing us they did not have our Russian landing cards, when in fact I had prepared them the same day we received them, personally delivered the cards to reception with the added information to look at our passports (in their possession) because we have valid Russian Visa (in case they wanted to include that data in the box provided on the form). I returned the call, being irritated by never ending cascade of stupidity and incompetence. The first receptionist did not seem to know what I was calling for….and put another person on the phone. I expressed my frustration at their incompetence and repeated all the conversation confirming delivery of the landing forms plus the fact of the Russian Visa. This person had the nerve to inform me I didn’t need the landing cards if we possessed Russian Visa! So why did I receive the landing cards in the first place if this is the case? More apologies forthcoming regarding “lack of communication” and “reception should not be bothering passengers” when the landing cards were already in ship’s possession. Any wonder I am fed up the compounding of errors, petty mistakes, and incompetency of Silver Sea organization & poor administrative procedures? The aggravation seemed never ending. Apologies notwithstanding, we say, “Never Again”! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
After a pretty dismal ride on the Silver Cloud on one of its last cruises prior to refit, it was a pleasure to be on board the Shadow where most things 'worked'. The staterooms are still a little dated, think Italian hotel about ... Read More
After a pretty dismal ride on the Silver Cloud on one of its last cruises prior to refit, it was a pleasure to be on board the Shadow where most things 'worked'. The staterooms are still a little dated, think Italian hotel about 1992, but bathrooms have been smartly updated, and the ship was definitely comfortable with only 302 guests on board - it was a cruise with a low single supplement so not all the cabins were two to a room, in fact a lot of the passenger suites were occupied by staff and entertainers, including several on higher decks which seemed a bit cheeky when there might have been an opportunity to upgrade some paying customers? Anyhow, being on a lower deck - 4 or 5 - was the best deal on this voyage as we hit Typhoon (Tropical Storm) Talim on our northerly approach to Japan and this really threw the boat around for 24 hours, right down to the classic image of waiters, tables and glassware sliding across the floor of the dining room while the waves washed the windows. Food is always a highlight, and the relentless adherence to an 'Italianate' menu means a lot of repetitions and some slightly bizarre combinations - but even on a long overwater voyage from Alaska to Japan we had some excellent meat, fish and fresh fruits and salads in good condition. Entertainment is as bad as ever, a hoary old working-mens' club comedian was the Cruise Director who never learned a passenger's name, and the usual rag-tag collection of singers (two operatic, two musical theatre, two who can't dance) that it's never possible to weld into a 'company' or direct in a cohesive show. One good female lecturer from Alaska itslef, and two old bores. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the less-traveled itinerary--the opportunity to see a few places the typical passenger wouldn't see, especially Dutch Harbor/Unalaska and Kamchatska. The length (14 days) was also attractive to us, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the less-traveled itinerary--the opportunity to see a few places the typical passenger wouldn't see, especially Dutch Harbor/Unalaska and Kamchatska. The length (14 days) was also attractive to us, and Silversea does a great job of providing excellent activities for the days at sea. I took bridge lessons and sharpened my game playing with other very experienced players. The bridge director was delightful and worked very hard to make sure the classes and games were worthwhile and organized. I would miss this if it wasn't provided on other longer cruises with multiple days at sea. I was so pleased to find dance instructors and having the opportunity to refresh my skills in the classes and then have several evenings to partner with the instructors on the dance floor. They were terrific hosts for the singles on the ship as well. Again, a must for longer cruises and I know the single passengers were very happy to have these two gracious gentlemen to accompany them in the evening and at events. Love the formal evenings! My husband loves putting on his tux and we plan ahead for those evenings with special attire and enjoy meeting the captain and crew and getting to know other passengers on the ship. With a few exceptions, everyone seemed to enjoy dressing for the occasions and brought their best elegant manners with them! The salon services are excellent. The manicurist was very professional and did an excellent job. The salon is beautifully appointed and very relaxing. The gym has the typical equipment and I was happy to see an exercise room designed into the facility (we had to use the observation deck on the Wind). The trainer on board was knowledgeable and I am sure her classes were well received. If I had my wish, I would love it if it were possible to provide a Pilates Reformed on board. The class she offered in Pilates was really a combo yoga/pilates and did not provide the pilates experience I get the most positive results from. The trainer on the Wind (even without the reformer) did have a more traditional pilates floor exercise class that was more demanding and met my needs. The food and beverage services were of the highest quality, both the servers and the food and drink. The wines were superb and free-flowing. You do feel as if the staff cannot do enough for you and if you don't see what you want, or exactly how you would like it, they do everything they can to accommodate your requests. The portions are "right-sized" so you can try every course if you wish, without feeling too quilty! I had dessert every night! Le Champagne is a special experience, which we enjoyed twice on this cruise. It truly is a delight, and the staff was so welcoming and genuinely seemed to love what they do! It is very nice to have multiple options for dinner every night, and we love La Terrazza as well. Love the Singers of Silversea! We knew one of the performers from a previous voyage, and he remembered us right away. He continues to grow and now leads the troupe and we were so happy for him. We like the variety of the talent in the group, especially the opera. Please keep this variety--we love the opera night, and the evenings when the individual performers have the opportunity to showcase their particular genres. The speakers were quite well-received, but we were only able to hear one session as they generally were a little early for us, or conflicted with bridge or dance! My husband loved the cooking classes. He would love to have a tour of the kitchen if possible. We did that on the Seabourn cruises and enjoyed seeing how they manage what they do for 400 people 24 hours a day! There were plenty of excursion opportunities and we had something to do at each port. It was too bad the weather didn't allow us to go to Kushiro, as I am sure we would have enjoyed seeing that area of Japan. However, the other two were very nice. That being said, it was disappointing that the all-day excursion to Lake Towada did not go as planned. The initinerary was too ambitious, and it would have been impossible to do and see all that was described in the flyer. The tour guide and driver were very knowledgeable and gracious, but they couldn't change the weather. The traditional lunch at the hotel was amazing and everyone seemed to enjoy it very much, however, I don't think the hotel was quite ready for such a large group and seemed a bit nervous and harried/confused. They did refund our fees in total, however, I felt it would have been acceptable and more than fair if they just gave back a portion as we did have a wonderful bus ride and opportunity to see a beautiful part of the island and have a really well-prepared meal and still get back to the ship on time. The sushi experience in Hakodate was amazing--the highlight of the entire excursion experiences we had. The owner or manager on duty during our visit was an amazing host and made our sushi experience memorable. Our visit to the dacha was unique and gave us the chance to meet a local person and understand firsthand her life and a bit of the real day-to-day culture, not just a show/museum/restaurant, but her home/her homemade treats/gardens and to get to know from her personal perspective what it is like to be a typical Russian citizen. The ship was always immaculate and well-appointed and it was the same for our cabin. It was perfect every time we returned to our room. The butler and service staff couldn't do enough for us. Our highlight is the packing of our bags at the end of the voyage. It is a special amenity that I don't think one can find on any cruise line but Silversea. It is one of the big reasons why we returned for our second voyage and we will enjoy it next year when we take our trip from Venice to Athens. We did not travel with our children (although given that they are in their 30s it would have been a delight, not just for us, but for the other passengers, I am sure) but we chose the small ships (Seabourn and Silversea) very the very fact that it is not appealing to most young families. We do love kids, and if a family brought their younger children, that would be fine. That being said, there really isn't much for them to do, unless it is an itinerary that is in a warm climate so they can be outdoors in the pool or running around the deck/playing outdoor activities. Our overall experience was terrific and we certainly look forward to next September when we arrive in Venice for our cruise to Athens. Many thanks to everyone that works so hard to make each trip memorable. Special Note: We were unable to go into port at Kushiro due to stormy conditions that required the Captain to take measures to ensure we were safe and as far away from the serious part of the storm as possible. We had a rocky 36 hours or so, but I commend him and his crew for ensuring our safety, keeping us well-informed, and even providing a cold but delicious lunch in the restaurant for those of us who were able (and willing) to move about the ship. By the time lunch was being served, the seas appeared to be calming down, and by dinner, regular meal services had resumed. The entire crew did everything in their power to make sure we were safe, well and cared for, to every extent possible. Well done! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my first cruise and I loved it. My suite (all cabins are suites) was nicer - and at least as large - as most hotel rooms I stay in. I had a veranda, but other than the veranda itself, even the smallest cabin on the ship is the ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I loved it. My suite (all cabins are suites) was nicer - and at least as large - as most hotel rooms I stay in. I had a veranda, but other than the veranda itself, even the smallest cabin on the ship is the same size. No "inside" cabins. Very nice. This cruise had "Gentleman Hosts," who among other things, organized a cocktail party each evening for the solo cruisers, of which I was one. This was a very nice touch by Silversea. There were 8 or 10 of us "solos", and we had a cocktail party each evening and then the Gentleman Hosts would escort us down to The Restaurant for dinner. It wasn't mandatory, but we never had to eat alone. Silversea's social game is very strong. I reserved several evenings in Le Champagne, the hoity-toity extra-cost restaurant, but after my first night I canceled the rest of my nights. Why? Because the pace was very, very slow. i'm sure it took at least 3.5 hours for dinner, and if you're eating alone it is too slow. Perhaps if I'd brought a book. This is going to sound trite, but team trivia was a major event every single day at 4:45. It was so major an event that some folks would not go on certain excursions because they would return after 4:45. I give the cruise director Kirk Detweiler the credit for this event being so popular. Enrichment - we had Kathy freaking Alexander doing enrichment: Astronaut, Space Station resident, NOAA head, incredible. Service - the crew is there to make your voyage the best you can have. That's all there is to it. Any crewmember will do any thing you ask. The second time they see you they will know your name, and if you've given any preferences to any other crewmember, they'll know about that, too. Excursions - generally excellent, although we did find it amusing that they did send us to a French restaurant for lunch in Kushiro, Japan. Children - no, I saw two children and only saw them once on the entire trip. Would I go again? I've already booked the E->W version of this in September (my birthday and retirement day.) Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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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