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142 Silversea Alaska Cruise Reviews

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
We decided to take a cruise to celebrate our silver anniversary. Good friends of ours always cruise on Crystal so we tried them first. I was put in touch with a travel agent in Las Vegas who never followed up with me on a request I ha, ... Read More
We decided to take a cruise to celebrate our silver anniversary. Good friends of ours always cruise on Crystal so we tried them first. I was put in touch with a travel agent in Las Vegas who never followed up with me on a request I ha, even though I kept checking back with her. We wanted something that was first class. Everything I read about this line was very good. And they were very responsive when I contacted them. They are extremely organized. The train ride to Seward was delightful and our luggage was waiting for us I our suite upon our arrival. We were also escorted to our suite and there we met our butler, a delightful young man. We enjoyed dinner in The Restaurant with the waiter we had the first night such that we made a point of sitting in his section every night! The staff everywhere was so friendly and courteous. The food was excellent. We enjoyed the variety of courses offered for dinner and we really enjoyed breakfast in our suite every morning. There were different lectures to attend, a cooking demo by the executive chef, movies, music and dancing, a casino and the excursions were great! No disappointments on this cruise. It exceeded our expectations!! 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
Having been on 8 Seabourn Cruises in the past, and taking the Silversea's Shadow on a 7 day Alaskan cruise we did have some trepidation. Although the physical sizes of the ships (Shadow and Odyssey class) dimensionally are similar; ... Read More
Having been on 8 Seabourn Cruises in the past, and taking the Silversea's Shadow on a 7 day Alaskan cruise we did have some trepidation. Although the physical sizes of the ships (Shadow and Odyssey class) dimensionally are similar; it is the employees that make the difference. The Silversea's employees did not disappoint us. Although this is a review on the "Shadow" I will continue to compare and contrast since the cliental for Silversea's and Seabourn are from the same socio-economic background, and the differences that exist will help you determine which company suits your interests best. Although, itinerary and price may play a role in making a decision. For us; Seabourn does not have any Alaska cruise. Major Differences: Silverseas provides a butler for your suite that takes care of arranging reservations, excursion bookings and upon return from daily tours greets you and offers to get wine, canapés and cheese to enjoy on the cabin veranda. Excursion departures are better organized on the Shadow. Granted the main show room on the shadow is much larger then the Seablourn ships; so the cruise director was able to identify specific seating areas for the various tours. This created a much more orderly disembarkation when using the tender's. The food quality on the shadow was exceptional, however Seabourn does have a more diverse menu and more offerings. Seabourn additionally publishes the next day's menu themes which made the dining options easier to make. Dining on the Shadow is more casual, whereas on Seabourn each every night a crew member, performer and etc. is "hosting" a table each and every night. This does not happen on the Shadow; which we actually liked. So if you are expecting to dine at the Captains table on Silverseas, it isn't going to happen! The ships are very similar in layout and public spaces. Considereing that the Seabourn ships are newer the public spaces are more efficiently utilized based on the changing demographics. The Shadow still has some very nice touches. In conclusion, you will not be disappointed in taking a Silverseas cruise on the Shadow especially if you like a more laid back and casual trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Overall the experience with this cruise line was exceptional, except for the last day. This is by definition 'You Get What You Pay For'! Every day was filled with delightful experiences, from visual to sensual. The food was well ... Read More
Overall the experience with this cruise line was exceptional, except for the last day. This is by definition 'You Get What You Pay For'! Every day was filled with delightful experiences, from visual to sensual. The food was well prepared and delicious! The decor, bedding, services and amenities all plush, of the finest available and plentiful! Each day offered well thought out menus, great entertainment and plentiful refreshments. What was particularly gleaned from this trip was how casual the attire has become. We found no need to bring anything more than a cocktail dress and a dark suit to formal night, anything more and we would have been the ones standing out. Semi-formal started with dressy casual for the ladies and a dinner jacket for men. Jeans were not an uncommon sight. This surprised me. I could not have been more relieved to know I had packed a few pairs for the second half of our journey, post cruise. I was quick to break them out and found myself wearing them often to fell comfortable amongst the other passengers wearing the same. Of course, there was no tolerance for anything less than a nice pair jeans. There were even a few passengers who wore short shorts and were not asked to change. I will most definitely pack differently our next cruise and hope this helps others before they take theirs. On our last day we had to walk in the rain for a distance, unprotected to get to the train. How unfortuante they chose not to protect us on our last experience with this cruise line as we departed, having such exceptional experiences all the other days with courtesy umbrellas at every port - why not this one? How easy would it have been to keep us dry one last time and finish what they started - something they might consider for the next time. Until then, cheers! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We went on this magical cruise this month on Silver Shadow (Silversea) in Alaska. The occasion was to travel as a family for the first time and it worked perfectly for all ages - 10 to 71! We were very lucky to have quite a few other kids ... Read More
We went on this magical cruise this month on Silver Shadow (Silversea) in Alaska. The occasion was to travel as a family for the first time and it worked perfectly for all ages - 10 to 71! We were very lucky to have quite a few other kids on the ship so our only child found friends and had a fabulous time. Some guests did have an issue with all the kids having lunch all together at the pool one day but I think this was the only nuisance caused out of 10 days… I say not bad! The suites are very well laid out. We had one suite with 2 bedroom and an adjoining suite so we could all meet in the lounge of the first suite for drink and a few meals. The breakfast is not worth taking in the cabin, the rest was fine. The variety of restaurants is really great, you can have a hot dog at the pool or a fine dining dinner at the restaurant called "Le Champagne". Frankly "Le Champagne" was nothing better than the other restaurants apart from better ingredients (but sadly not the taste) and the service… although it is to be said the waiters are amazing all round. You might have to ask twice for your order at the pool but the other restaurants are very well ran. Chef is South African which might explain why there was fruits/sugar in most dishes (… and my husband is South African so I have the right to complain here!) The spa seems to be very nice, I only went for a sheylac manicure, but some members of my family enjoyed a few treatments. Another South Africa running the show very efficiently! The gym was only busy once, luckily the weather was great on that day so we could exercise outside. There is a gym supervisor apparently, I did see him but he is totally unintrusive, if you want help you can always approach him I think. The shops were not very great, but at least we could buy the strict necessities we had forgotten. Jewelry or shop display never changed in 10 days… maybe something to consider? Casino was fun! The shows were bad to excellent! The opera show was really outstanding which surprised us quite a lot after the mediocrity of the ABBA show! Cruise manager is forever present with his team all around the ship. We booked our excursions before getting on the ship and would recommend most of them, it is very well organized. The only few we would like to see disappear is the "bear sanctuary" in Sitka, it was really horrible to see bears enclosed in dirty spaces with plastic bits all around them, we would not like to support such establishments. We sadly could not complete de White Pass train in Skagway because there was some stones of the railway, and found Skagway a waste of time with touristy shops, nothing else. One big complain is the coffee. They serve ILLY which should be quite nice, but they water it down completely for breakfast and in the rooms you can only do espressos… or water it down… terrible, we could not wait to get back to shore to find a descent place for coffee, which in america can also be challenging! Other details for new cruisers : You will probably get sensitive to movement, but I found it was actually more difficult to adapt to the lack of movement back on ground - and I am very sensitive to movement. I was lucky to need no pills at all and used the bracelets once only… not sure it worked. You will be able to connect most time during the cruise, however at times it is very slow and cuts off. Telephonic communications only when you are close to ports. Dressing for Alaska is exactly what is mentioned by other critics - layers but do have a warm coat, gloves and hats if you want to go on the glaziers. We also had days where people were sunbathing at the pool so expect all weather! On the ship you need to dress rather smartly, there are 2 very formal evening and we saw some verrrrry casual attires on the casual nights, so it all depends on your style! Be very careful when you leave the ship if you have your own arrangements you HAVE to make sure you understand the very complicated way the luggage is taken out of the ship. We completely misunderstood because it was not communicated very well and almost missed our flight because we had to wait for our luggage. Luckily the excursion team went out of their way to sort us out in time. We are already planning our next trip, as our parents are on their third Silversea cruise and want to see more! We are just too happy to join them again!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have now been on three big boats (once as a couple and twice with our 3 kids) and one much smaller boat (100 passengers) and this was definitely our favorite. Enough scale to have choice for activities and a good spa/infrastructure but ... Read More
We have now been on three big boats (once as a couple and twice with our 3 kids) and one much smaller boat (100 passengers) and this was definitely our favorite. Enough scale to have choice for activities and a good spa/infrastructure but not so large that you felt lost or annoyed when you had to move around the ship. We found the food well sized (so more european portions) and very tasty. While the service was better in the La Champagne restaurant, the food was not that much better than the main dining room. Breakfast in La Terraza was a bit of a scrum and may have been a bit understaffed. We ended up preferring getting food ashore (Juneau has a great crepe place) or in our room (though if you have more than a couple people, odds are something will be cold). The coffee machines onboard are on the fancy side and take a few tries to get right--illy instead of nespresso. Also if you ask for something from your butler, be prepared for a big bottle--we wanted some gin and amaretto and ended up with big bottles we barely made a dent in. We never felt the need to scramble to beat the rush though we also werent going to the shows at night that gave us more flexibility. Post dinner, we didnt love the options as both the bar and panorama lounge were on the loud side--harder to sit and talk and have a drink. Though we couldve gotten a drink and walked to our cabin. Max, the somelier, was excellent and make good recommendations when we didnt want to stick with the perfectly nice house wines. As for onboard activities, afternoon putting and trivia were our favorites. The spa was very nice and we had a few good treatments there. Its a smaller ship so its not like there are 5 things going on at all times. If you are active, the fitness center is small (maybe 6-8 machines) and the jogging track is not long (with the weather many times you wouldnt want to be out on it). Also for those gamblers, there is only poker, blackjack, slots and roulette. No craps, sadly. They also had really interesting art on board, all of which was for sale. For excursions, get online right away when booking opens up and get what you want. We did Ketchikan--bear adventure; we saw one bear after float planing out to Prince of Wales island. Juneau--mendenhall glacier in helicopter; awesome but if there are varied climbing abilities the guides will have to guide to the lowest ability in your group so you can get a variety of experiences Skagway--ziplining; had never done and really liked it; lots of other things here too like a gold train. If you have already ziplined I think you can pass. At Ketchikan people we know saw bears from the zipline so that wouldve been the perfect double. Sitka--boat cruise/raptor center/bears; it was a full day but we saw a ton of wildlife on the boat (a bear onshore, whales, otters up close) and then the wild birds at the raptor center and great bears at the Fortress of the Bear Seward--train to Anchorage; This four hour ride was FANTASTIC. Great scenery, nice amenities. But the seats are all set up as groups of 4 so bear that in mind. We had one table to ourselves and my wife was in the other table with two other guests. not a big deal just passing along the info We also tacked on a few days at Winterlake Lodge which is a couple hundred miles north of Anchorage. Very rustic but amazing food and all about activities--fishing, hiking, boating. But they turn the generator off at 11 and it isnt the most modern of accommodations (perfectly fine but just so you dont expect the Mandarin...other than the food which blows any Mandarin away!) Other notes for travelers: We only had 2 outlets in our room (US style and both were 2 pronged); bring a two pronged extension cord if you have a lot of devices to charge Buy the full cruise wifi package if email is important to you; will be waaayyy cheaper than roaming charges and even if you remember to turn off roaming and turn it back on in port, you will be better off. I found it fast enough for normal corporate emails and 1-2MB attachments routinely   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This cruise is NO WHERE near Crystal or Oceania, both of which I have been on. Here's why: -Ship is small which can be a great thing, but not in this case. I would not classify this as a "luxury" ship. While it's not ... Read More
This cruise is NO WHERE near Crystal or Oceania, both of which I have been on. Here's why: -Ship is small which can be a great thing, but not in this case. I would not classify this as a "luxury" ship. While it's not junk, it's easily a step or two down from "luxury". -Not nearly enough to do. The daily activity lists need help, especially on cruising days. -Food was very average. I had a couple good dinners in the dining room. Breakfast buffet: I found mold on some of the cheese. Some of the rolls had an interesting texture. A lot of the buffet tastes like things have been sitting in the freezer for a long while, then thawed out and popped in a microwave. Their Italian restaurant and poolside grill were fair at best. And believe it or not, the room service was actually some of the best food, yet much of it you could not find on any other menu on the ship. -Service was good, but a bit over-bearing. At times I thought to myself, can't they just let me breathe? BUT, better that than no service at all. The gym of course is extremely small, but very poorly organized. For example, treadmills face blank walls with no TVs so bring your headphones. -The head restaurant manager loves (using) his power, the way he orders servers around right in front of guests. This guy actually sent me away because I didn't have a jacket on (I forgot it was semi-formal night). Now, I had no problem going and grabbing it, but the way he looked at me and sent me away was rude. If I had forgotten to pack my jacket, he would not have sat me with my nice slacks and button down! They are unaccommodating towards guests in general when it comes to the restaurants. (This ship has no business having any semi-formal nights anyway). DO NOT take this line. For just about the same money, you can take Crystal or Oceania which is SO MUCH better in every aspect possible.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
With 77 other guests and 98 crew members we sailed on board m/v Silver Discoverer to Russia via the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. This was Silversea Expedition’s first voyage to Far Eastern Russia where we would visit Siberia’s ... Read More
With 77 other guests and 98 crew members we sailed on board m/v Silver Discoverer to Russia via the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. This was Silversea Expedition’s first voyage to Far Eastern Russia where we would visit Siberia’s Chuckchi people. It’s no surprise that small ships have small cabins but we were surprised this wasn’t an issue. With full days of off-ship adventures, dining, and socializing we did little but sleep in our cabin which was slightly smaller than average cruise-ship size. Our bed was exceptionally comfortable. The close-fitting bathroom was nicely appointed and functioned well. With his five-course dinner menus, Chef immediately sank our plan to become thin on this trip. Superb food emerged from his small galley relentlessly, day after day. Service in the handsome and unpretentious dining room was flawless. The same was true everywhere on Silver Discoverer. On our way to Russia, we enjoyed a magical week exploring various bays, inlets, beaches and tundra meadows where wildlife was plentiful and up-close, very close. How often does one quietly observe brown bears from 10 yards, or encounter 1,000 nesting guillemots, rafts of sea otters and breaching whales in one afternoon? A multi-national team of 12 Expedition Leaders made these explorations exciting as well as meaningful by sharing their considerable expertise in biology, botany, climatology, geology, history, marine biology, oceanography, ornithology, photography, and taxonomy. These busy congenial men and women drove Zodiacs, oversaw landings, conducted briefings, gave lectures, and then dinned with guests. Silver Discoverer is a rugged little ship which sailed smoothly, even across some rough patches in the Bering Sea near Russia where we docked at Provideniya early on day 8-of-12. Russian Immigration cleared us quickly but officials with important-looking hats would not allow us to disembark there or anywhere else. We do not know why. Eighteen hours later we headed back to Alaska. As with Humpty Dumpty’s great fall, our shattered itinerary couldn’t be put together again, no matter how hard anyone tried. After a technical stop at Nome to re-enter the USA, Silversea hastily arranged Zodiac landings at two Inupiat Eskimo towns and gave us a half-day tour of Nome. We gave up two expedition days: one day docked at Provideniya studying our shoe laces, and one day docked at Nome. In the end, we were thanked for being “gracious” and that was that.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
First thing I must say is the Vancouver Cruise Terminal is a dream to use, totally painless to board and disembark. The sales pitch for Silversea is "6 star luxury" matched by service equal to none, it made me want to book to ... Read More
First thing I must say is the Vancouver Cruise Terminal is a dream to use, totally painless to board and disembark. The sales pitch for Silversea is "6 star luxury" matched by service equal to none, it made me want to book to enjoy the next level up in cruising. The reality is a very nice ship, slightly worn but no more than what was expected of a floating hotel that has not had a refit of late. Getting on was easy, well organised, but once on the ship you had to find your own way to your cabin, we had a cabin on level 8, I will list below my finding and evaluation. The size of the room was just acceptable, the balcony was adequate with good furniture, the "teak" decking looked more like a shipping pallet, and as it didn't go all the way to the edges and you had a gap/drop off, not much fun if your chair slid back or to the side, it would fall down into the gap. The general decor was in fair condition, a little old fashioned being all reds and gold and I mean everything from carpet, furniture to the drapes and bedspread. The bed itself was superb but I couldn't get a pillow that was suitable for me. The bathroom was very good, double vanity, good size bath and separate shower with a hand held spray, the only complaint was there is no ventilation/extraction in the shower cubicle. We were in our room for at least an hour when the Butler knocked, a pleasant enough man, but his English was by any standard, poor, and we had trouble from the start understanding each other, he also could not pronounce my last name, i never did work out what he was calling me, even my partner couldn't guess it, he did try i am sure, but the butlers we have had on other ship's have never been like this. We were given a range of bathroom amenities at the start and they were never replaced, this included the soaps, I had to ask for soap even tho they had thrown away the sliver of soap that was left, i must admit this really annoyed me, I hate using small pieces of soap. The sheets were good, the towels were a bit hard,scratchy but did the job. The food and dining ranged from superb to nearly inedible, the first formal night we had the lobster tail as it was the must eat special and it was rubbery and tasteless, dishes arrived warm to hot, the wait staff overall were attentive and pleasant. The food we had around the pool at lunch times was always sensational. The wines served during the meals was good. The most interesting thing was i ordered waffles for breakfast one morning and when they were delivered they were cold and very chewy, that was not really a problem in itself, the real test came when i mentioned it to the woman in charge on the way out, she became defensive and was telling me that was how waffles are supposed to be, I walked out angry and annoyed with her attitude. This person should not be doing the job Silversea has entrusted to her, I wont mention her name here. The Matre'd was more than helpful when she approached us re our concern on service, she had been advised by the other staff member who was standing there at the time of the way we was spoken to. If you don't book the speciality restaurants the second you get on you will miss out, as we did. The main dining room is pleasant, but as you get seated in a different position nearly every time the staff are always different and do not get to know your likes and needs, we would prefer to have the same table every meal or at least in the same area so as to get to know the wait staff. I would think twice re booking tours off the ship, we had booked a Glacier walk helicopter tour out of Juneau and when we arrived on the pier to go were told it had been cancelled due to the weather, we were at this point standing under clear blue skies, when i enquired why, we were told several different reasons and we ended up unable to believe anything she was saying. Silversea had not tried to find us an alternative and did not want to help in anyway, I must add this was the trip I wanted to do the most out of all the ones we had booked. We ended up talking to a gentleman in a booth beside where we were standing ( he was listening to the conversation and we were the second couple this had happened to) he was able to get us on a helicopter tour to walk on a glacier. Silversea had failed fully on customer service and followup, thats why we booked through the ship to ensure a follow through, but they just didn't care and we were not the only ones that day. The up side of this was Silversea were going to charge $980USD for this trip and we obtained the same thing for $520USD. The entertainment ranged from absolutely terrible (abba night) they killed the songs, to amazing when they sang opera, overall fairly average, the band was very good. The drinks were a big plus on this ship, whenever and what ever you wanted was supplied, the wines overall were good, we didn't find a need to purchase any during the cruise. Our overall impression was a good ship to see Alaska on, mainly due to its size. I don't feel they should advertise as a "6 star luxury ship", free drinks don't equate to 6 stars, the service and fit-out of the cabins and public spaces are no better than most cruise lines. Some of the staff struggled with English, if Silversea are going to employ them they should ensure they can speak clearly. To be common and compare the daily rate, Cunards "Queens Grill" offers a much better experience for the same if not less amount per day, yes the argument is all inclusive drinks, but I want more than free alcohol. Would i recommend the ship, I have to say yes, just, but it is well and truly due for a refit and update.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Having read several negative reviews of Silver Shadow on this site, I approached the ship with some apprehension. Upon boarding, a process that took about 5 minutes, I soon discovered the Shadow to be the fine ship I remembered from my ... Read More
Having read several negative reviews of Silver Shadow on this site, I approached the ship with some apprehension. Upon boarding, a process that took about 5 minutes, I soon discovered the Shadow to be the fine ship I remembered from my first Alaskan cruise on her 8 years ago. Our suite was in spotless condition and everything was in perfect working order. It looked as if the carpet had been installed about a week ago. I know that is not the case, but it looked that good. The public spaces were for the most part also in excellent condition, with only a few areas starting to show some wear; certainly nothing to cause concern there. The service we had experienced on prior Silversea sailings was evident throughout our voyage. Within a couple of days it seemed that much of the staff knew our names. The smiling faces and pleasant greetings added to the overall experience. We ate in all four restaurants and each has its own charm. We especially like the Grill (formerly Hot Rocks) when the weather is cooperative and La Terrazza when it’s not. This was more of a La Terrazza cruise. Le Champagne has never disappointed us and this time was no exception. I used MySilversea.com to make restaurant reservations, spa appointments and reserve shore excursions. The system was pretty easy to use and it worked perfectly. All our plans were confirmed once we boarded. An Alaskan cruise is always subject to the weather and for the most part ours was not very good. Yet we saw the Mendenhall Glacier and, due to our Captain’s diligent navigation, had a very wonderful time seeing the Sawyer Glacier. As our cruise came to an end we were absolutely delighted that we had been on this voyage, one that had truly exceeded our expectations..   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I wanted to write a quick review of our recent sail aboard the Silver Shadow: We are a couple who are 46 & 50 yrs old. We were one of the younger people on the ship who were not part of bigger family reunions. Our 3 kids were at ... Read More
I wanted to write a quick review of our recent sail aboard the Silver Shadow: We are a couple who are 46 & 50 yrs old. We were one of the younger people on the ship who were not part of bigger family reunions. Our 3 kids were at summer camp. :) Everyone we met on the ship was so nice and we had a great time meeting people from all over the world. The Silver Shadow was amazing! The ship was in great shape. The cabins were very roomy and had plenty of space for all of our belongings and purchases. The staff was so nice and helpful. The food was so good that we each gained 5+ pounds...It was so good we really don't care! We were treated so wonderfully that we do feel it deserved 5*'s. We ate at all the restaurants - happy with everything. We are big foodies so I promise it was all delicious. I especially loved the High Tea. The alcoholic drinks that were served on board were equally good. We liked the wine pairing with dinner too. Always offering whatever we wished. We are not big drinkers generally so this was a big exception for us. Wherever we turned, we were offered more. So Amazing! The 2nd night (Formal Night) we ordered souffle. It was so good that we requested to have it another night. The ship was terrific and did it. As long as we gave them 24 hours notice, the chef's would prepare what ever we requested. The entertainment was nice. The singers were very talented. Getting on and off the ship was super easy and very quick. Port & Shore excursions were very well organized. The 2 we went on were well done and we were quite happy. Had a great time at the casino too. The staff was so nice and friendly. Really enjoyed the blackjack tournament too! We brought candies from home and gave them to the butler & housekeeper at the beginning of the voyage. We also brought extra to give to other staff that had gone out of their way for us. One reception staff member called 4 bars/restaurants in a tiny port ( only 2000 people lived in this town) to find a place for us to watch a televised world cup game. The bar opened at 8am just for us and others from the ship! So great. We also tipped the butler/housekeeper on leaving the ship. They worked so hard to make our holiday special. Feedback to the ship: These are small things that are not reflected in the overall review but are good to take note of. 1) The type tea served can be improved. It was a different type/style than what was served during the 4pm High Tea and that was so much better. (bag vs. steeped leaves) Also, It would be nice if soy milk can be provided on the observation deck. (Just put a box in the refrigerator - instead of having to make a trip for each request) Also, if you decide to keep the bags, include more than one at the table/room service so guests can have it heartier if they prefer. 2) It would be nice for at least one restaurant to be open from 10am-12pm/2:00-4:00pm. During those times we could get room service but that is not always what we wanted. From the review above you can see how we weren't missing any meals! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We chose Silversea because of timing and ship size. We had never sailed them before. We do not like large ships and do like luxurious cruising. We were VERY happy with our choice as the ship never felt crowded and we were certainly ... Read More
We chose Silversea because of timing and ship size. We had never sailed them before. We do not like large ships and do like luxurious cruising. We were VERY happy with our choice as the ship never felt crowded and we were certainly pampered. We did include a few nights pre-cruise in Anchorage and so our transfer to the train was arranged by Silversea. Their representative in Anchorage was a bit chatty and not as organized as we had expected, but all worked out okay. The departure day buffet breakfast was lousy and not a good reflection on a luxury cruise line. Embarkation was a breeze! We were bussed to the airport train terminal, boarded our train and were seated at a table of 4 for the 4 hour train ride to Seward. we enjoyed the opportunity to meet other people who would be on the ship with us. Once in Seward, we were on the ship in minutes and our luggage was already in our cabin. Our butler and cabin steward were fantastic and couldn't do enough for us. All of the staff on the ship was extremely pleasant and helpful. There was always something to do on the ship and we had no problem keeping busy. The dining selections were very elegant. We especially enjoyed the main dining room and the La Terrazza Italian Venue. Had the weather been warmer, we would have been able to enjoy meals outside on the aft deck. Now....for the negatives: Another reviewer mentioned that the ship needed some refurbishment and I would agree. It wasn't awful, but I think she looked dated, dreary and worn in some areas. Most disappointing was the Deck 10 forward salon. It was a lovely space to view the vistas ahead, but the windows were hazy and it smelled of mildew. The line offers a "personal shopper." Perhaps if we were very wealthy, we might appreciate such a service, but we found his "in-your-face" style off-putting and avoided him like the plague. There is an upcharged French restaurant on the ship called Le Champagne. We enjoyed our meal, but the space appeared to be an afterthought; an oversized closet. Sadly, it was located right next to the humidor and smoking lounge, so the smell of cigars was very pervasive during this "elegant" meal. Food elsewhere was good, but not fantastic. I did have occasion to use the spa and while my massage was lovely, the high-pressure attempt afterwards to get me to purchase their products detracted from the relaxing experience. Also, their excursion desk is not manned all day...only for short periods morning and night. We seemed to always miss the person who should have been there. We would definitely recommend scheduling your shore excursions and dining reservations online before your cruise. Overall, we would sail Silversea again if the itinerary met our needs. But, it won't be our first choice as the value didn't really match the cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
First, the website list didn't list Tokyo for embarkation. This. our second cruise on Silversea Shadow, was a reposition with fascinating ports of call: embarking from Tokyo, then to Hokkaido, Kamchatka, the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak ... Read More
First, the website list didn't list Tokyo for embarkation. This. our second cruise on Silversea Shadow, was a reposition with fascinating ports of call: embarking from Tokyo, then to Hokkaido, Kamchatka, the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak and Homer, AK. Like many of the folks we met aboard, we viewed this as an adventure, not a primarily a luxury cruise. Even Tokyo is visited by relatively few cruise ships, because a bridge over its harbor is too low for the behemoth ships that are more common now. So our embarkation was an event, with the Tokyo Youth Orchestra playing and waving to see us off. The Shadow is a small ship, able to conveniently dock at all but a few of our ports. The two ports in Hokkaido, Hakodate and Kushiro, see very few cruise ships: In Hakodate, high school students in uniform were posted on nearly every corner to practice their English and help the gaijin. It was charming. In smaller Kushiro, banners welcomed us and local families brought their kids to the dock to wave us goodbye. The downside of a small ship is high seas: in the North Pacific, swells in the teens had a lot of passengers seasick or queasy, but that's part of the deal in such cruises. We were lucky in the equally ominous Bering Sea above the Aleutians (think "Deadiest Catch"), with relatively calm seas as the captain stuck close to the islands. The other risk in small ports is the quality of shore tours. We had fine tours in all of the ports except Kamchatka, where Russian officials swarmed aboard and gave us a slow, hostile debarkation. They hilariously examined our passports as though we might be spying on their submarine port, and were equally suspicious as we reboarded. Our trip to the base of a local volcano was aboard old military trucks semi-converted to buses. Want to pee? Go behind the bus in the snow. The vehicles were unequal to the wet snow on the slopes, with much time spent getting stuck vehicles out of the slush. Our time on the volcano was short, with a hurried meal including reindeer meatballs and local vodka. We were 90 minutes late getting to the ship, which was fine because the Russian refueler was six hours late. We left port at 4 a.m. instead of the scheduled 6 p.m. In retrospect, though, it's the best dinner-table story of the trip, and Silversea gave us a refund of half the cost of the excursion. The stop in Dutch Harbor, Alaska--actually setting foot in the Aleutians--was short but satisfying, especially for WWII buffs. Dutch Harbor suffered the only U.S. bombing by Japan, and the Aleutians in general were hard-fought for control of sea lanes. Silversea kept up its usual high level of service, and the meals were fine considering the long time without a large port for reprovisioning. There was some repetition, but enough variety and freshness to make us feel pampered, given the locale. The multi-course meals with relatively small portions were a boon to the sedentary--a taste of everything without gluttony. The speakers were expert and engaging--among the high points of the trip. We pay a lower price for a repositioning cruise, and on this one we certainly got our money's worth--crossing the North Pacific to ports seldom seen, in good company with deluxe accommodations.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I've recently returned from a spectacular cruise on the Silver Shadow. This was my first time sailing on Silversea and I can say with certainty that it won't be my last. It was an amazing experience from start to finish. It was a ... Read More
I've recently returned from a spectacular cruise on the Silver Shadow. This was my first time sailing on Silversea and I can say with certainty that it won't be my last. It was an amazing experience from start to finish. It was a complete departure from mainstream cruising and I'd recommend it to anyone. We started our journey in Anchorage. There is a train reserved exclusively for Silversea passengers and the train station is at the Anchorage airport. The train is included in your fare (usually $80 per person) and this is also where you receive your suite key and drop your luggage with the cruise staff. The train ride takes approximately 4 very scenic hours and ends right at the ship. You simply walk from the train, through security, and up the gangway to the ship. It couldn't have been easier. And when I arrived at my suite, my luggage was waiting for me. I thought this was near impossible because I couldn't figure out how they got my luggage from the train to my room before I got there. I found out later that they bus everyone's luggage to the ship and it arrives before the passengers so it's there for you when you arrive. This is just a very small example of the unbelievable service I received on Silver Shadow. The ship itself is very comfortable. Understated elegance is exactly the term for Silver Shadow. The bar is conveniently called The Bar and the restaurant is called The Restaurant. I thought this was clever as opposed to the dramatic names other cruise lines give their bars and restaurants. The specialty restaurant was called Le Champagne, however, and was truly an experience to be had. Our cabin (they call all cabins suites) was amazing. The bathroom was enormous for a cruise ship. It was nearly all marble. The vanity had two sinks and there was a separate tub and shower. The water pressure was amazing and the bath amenities were Bulgari. It was very civilized. We had a walk in closet along with a nice balcony and good balcony furniture. Our butler was amazing as was our room attendant. We wanted for nothing the entire cruise. All drinks and tips are included unless you wanted to buy a premium bottle of wine or champagne. I have to say that the wine being served was very good so I felt no need to buy a bottle. There is no showing your cruise card or signing any receipts. Again, very civilized. I found myself joining in on activities I wouldn't dream of doing on larger cruise ships for fear of too many people and waiting on lines. On Silver Shadow I went to the evening show each night and never feared I would get a good seat even if I showed up at showtime. There was enough room for everyone and every seat was good. Trivia every day in the Bar was a great time and a nice chance to form bonds with your fellow travelers. The food was good to excellent in The Restaurant. I've had just as good in Blu on Celebrity's Solstice class so I can't say it was the best I've had on a ship. Le Champagne was truly excellent, but I've had just as good in Celebrity's Murano specialty restaurant. The ship is uncrowded so there was never a "dinner rush" no matter what time you went to dine. One day for lunch I went to dine solo and I was the only person in the restaurant. It was an odd feeling to say the least, but I loved the service. Twelve waiters for one patron. As you can imagine, I was well taken care of that meal. Silversea has an outdoor pool deck restaurant where you cook your food on a hot lava rock brought to your table. It's a little gimmicky, but it was nice to eat outside. Disembarking is usually a bad to terrible experience on most cruise lines. Not Silversea! They had a full sit down breakfast and instead of trying to rush you out, the waiters were coming around trying to bring refills on coffee and suggesting a nice cappuccino to top off the breakfast. Amazing! This was my 49th cruise and I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to try Silversea. I have to admit that the price deterred me for years, but I thought I should try it once and see if it was really worth the cost. It's well worth the cost. Overall an amazing experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We had only 1 week that everyone was available, and Silver Sea Shadow was the only sailing available. We booked 5 Terrace Suites because there were no partitions between the cabin verandas, and we could all walk back and forth to other ... Read More
We had only 1 week that everyone was available, and Silver Sea Shadow was the only sailing available. We booked 5 Terrace Suites because there were no partitions between the cabin verandas, and we could all walk back and forth to other rooms, as well as be together outside to view the scenery. We didn't expect any children activities, but they were made available because there were so many families on board during that week in late August. Our 3 children did not participate- they were too involved in being with family, and taking excursions. The service on board was excellent, the food in both dining rooms was wonderful, and when the kids discovered room service they were delighted. The scenery is magnificent and beyond description. Even the children were captivated! We took some ship tours and booked some ourselves. The ship tours were in Ketchikan to see the bears picking salmon out of the river below the observation deck, ziplining, streetcar and White Pass RR in Skagway and Seaplane in Juneau. The ship excursions are nice size - not large groups of people in huge buses like some cruises offer and those who went were happy. Tours we booked ourselves were kayaking in Sitka through Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures (info@kayaksitka.com) and the highlight of the trip, Helicopter to top of glacier, dog sledding where everyone got a chance to stand with the driver of the team of 14 dogs, playing with the dogs, and a second stop lower on the glacier to walk around and see the blue ice and crevaces up close (through http://www.coastalhelicopters.com/dog_sled_tours.html.) Both of these places spoke to me multiple times on the phone and were extremely patient and helpful. They were the best private excursions we have ever taken. The trip home was an endurance contest - we hadn't realized that we would have to disembark at 7:30 am, take a 4 hr train ride to the airport in Anchorage (ships can't get into Anchorage, and Seward has no airport!), followed by 2 flights to get home (no direct, non stop flights from Anchorage to the east coast of US). If I had it to do again, I might take the cruise in the opposite direction, making the trip home less exhausting. Only disadvantage would be that terrace cabins are only on starboard side, and you would not face land on a southern trip - you really want to be on the land side of the ship. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We are now looking for another family vacation, but have set the bar too high with this trip and nothing could ever match up to the scenery and excursions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Starting with the positive: All the people who work on the ship are hardworking and helpful, they really aim to please. The ship itself is fine - middle of the road in terms of new/old. Things are in basically good shape. The excursions in ... Read More
Starting with the positive: All the people who work on the ship are hardworking and helpful, they really aim to please. The ship itself is fine - middle of the road in terms of new/old. Things are in basically good shape. The excursions in Alaska ranged from the terrific to the mediocre, and the ship's activity desk (staffed by an overwhelmed ONE person) was not much help at all. So, it is up to you to do extra reading BEFORE YOU GET ON BOARD (or better still, before you book the trip) to see which of the options works best for you. Note that you can do the same excursions if you book them on your own. They will be cheaper and just as good (we did not realize this until it was too late, so we overpaid since we did everything through the ship's offered excursions). If you select well, you can experience some amazing things. Stay away from long boat rides or whale watching. Active choices are better, and those that include something unusual (float plane to remote area, helicopter to glacier) are better options. Negative: The food is simply awful. At times, inedible. Every restaurant was just plain bad. The grill on the deck was edible, thank goodness, but not great. And get a load of the tortilla chips and salsa they serve before the meal: we were 8 at the table and there was a total of 22 chips (yes 22) on the platter for all of us to share. Breakfast buffet reminded me of a college cafeteria back in the 80's (newer college cafeterias beat out the ship's by far). Desserts were tasteless and awful. Heard of losing weight on a cruise? We all did. In addition, one member of our group got food poisoning (hamburger on the deck for lunch - avoid at all costs) and spent the night vomiting (ship doctor was rude and inept - after receiving a call that the patient might be having a heart attack, she showed up about 10 minutes later with a small doctor bag - no defibrillator, not even a blood pressure cuff - if this had been a heart attack, the man would have been dead. Good lesson to note: do not have a heart attack on this boat - you will surely not receive lifesaving care.) The activities on board were pathetic. Shows were comedies (but were not meant to be funny). Ship director was a bit of a prig, even during his direction of daily trivia contest. Diamond advisor guy was as snooty and brusque as can be - his demeanor was totally off-putting and surely discouraged sales among my group. All in all, I would stick with oceania. Steer clear of silver shadow. The staff really tries - the butlers, waiters, etc. But all the rest is mediocre to just plain bad. Cruise elsewhere.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
First of all I disclose that I am a Seaboard fan. If Seaboard offered trips to Alaska we would have certainly booked with them. Anyway - this might be an opportunity to experience Silverseas - a chance to impress us. They didn't! ... Read More
First of all I disclose that I am a Seaboard fan. If Seaboard offered trips to Alaska we would have certainly booked with them. Anyway - this might be an opportunity to experience Silverseas - a chance to impress us. They didn't! It's very hard not to make comparisons but a natural thing to happen. We embarked Silver Shadow at lunch time on day one - went straight to the pool deck for a snack. First impressions are important - the staff were OK but seemed disengaged. The small prawn cocktail looked and tasted tired - perfunctory - no bread offered. The small desert tasted dull and uninteresting - no garnish in sight. Couple this 'average' first lunch with the fact the staff uniforms looked tatty (the main server had a large tear in the seam of his pants) - this was not a good start! Our cabin on 5th deck was OK - much the same layout and size of Seaboard Quest. We met our Butler - he was pleasant and attentive - brought us a bottle of liqueur for our room promptly. Unfortunately over the next two days there was a problem with an electrical outlet in our cabin which kept malfunctioning - the Butler was a useful resource - in the end the electrician had to be called - more than three times!! (very frustrating). The showers are excellent - a good pressure - better than Seaboard. The restaurant booking system is not one we are familiar with - those in the know had already queued up on the first day to secure their preferred bookings in La Terrazzo and Le Champagne and The Grill. We found this an inconvenient system - most evenings we went to the main restaurant just because it was the easiest thing to do. The restaurant is staffed 90% by Pilipino/Indian males - in frequent visits we saw only 3 females serving food. Surely a gender balance is preferable? Some language problems did occur. The food was 'average' to 'good' - never really impressive. The flow of wine was good. Seabourn excel in their main restaurant - the special atmosphere here was lacking in the main restaurant. The Bar was relaxing and comfortable - one server (Peter) was outstanding - very attentive - but this was the exception. The canapes offered were unappealing - we preferred the warm nuts. Cocktails were good - Peter eventually remembered that I like a straw in my Mandarin Cosmopolitan. The mood music in the Bar was 'average'. Le Champagne Restaurant: A nice atmosphere - the food being served here was excellent - Seabourn main restaurant standard. La Terrazzo: If the food here is supposed to be authentic Italian then why was the Veal Escolope so unexciting? The service again is perfunctory - the staff don't even interact much with each other. The tours offered by Silver Shadow in Canada and Alaska are excellent, if a little expensive - a good range of activities suiting all levels of fitness. The gym is spacious and well equipped and it was nice to see that group fitness classes were available. Seabourn's gyms seem much smaller. Entertainment: Formulaic 6 person all round singers. They were acceptable, not outstanding. One male member was clearly uncomfortable - especially dressed for the Abba tribute in his white dungarees and platform shoes. This six-some seemed to prefer the Opera/light classical night - we did too. Unfortunately we missed the Cruise Director's pre-dinner entertainment. Other entertainment: The enrichment program and lectures were interesting - we attending some, but not all - Dr Wolffe's history lectures were entertaining and educational. Nice bloke. Why include a "Personal Shopper" on this trip??? He was pompous and elite - should get a real job! Conclusion: We would avoid booking Silverseas over Seabourn in the future - on this occasion they fell short of the mark in every respect. We were unprepared for the large numbers of children on this trip - although they were well behaved - kids always lower the level of sophistication in the bars and restaurants. Question?: Is Silver Shadow the first liner to welcome a "Service Dog" on board? Not that I am against this - especially since "Poochie" was such a lovely dog (Yorkshire Terrier). Silver Shadow = 6 Seabourn Quest = 9.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We spent two nights at the Rosedale on Robson Hotel in Vancouver before embarking on the Silver Shadow. The hotel, and our visit to Vancouver, were both outstanding. This hotel has 21 floors, and our suite was on the 20th floor, so we had ... Read More
We spent two nights at the Rosedale on Robson Hotel in Vancouver before embarking on the Silver Shadow. The hotel, and our visit to Vancouver, were both outstanding. This hotel has 21 floors, and our suite was on the 20th floor, so we had great views. The location was great and the staff was very helpful. The hotel is in Yaletown, a trendy area with numerous bars and restaurants. Vancouver is a wonderful city. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. Silversea and Seabourn are remarkably similar. Both are small ships, luxury, all inclusive, almost all suites with balconies and with outstanding service due to high crew to passengers ratios. The Silver Shadow had 348 passengers, the Seabourn Quest had 450. Positives: Embarkation was slow getting through US customs, but after that, very smooth. Departure was scheduled for 6PM. We went right on the ship at 1:30PM, had lunch and our suite was ready by 2:30PM. Our cruise was 7-day in the Inside Passage, Vancouver to Seward, with port stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka. We were blessed by remarkable weather throughout the 7 days. Never really had to wear a jacket or sweater. The Silver Shadow is very similar in layout to the Seabourn Quest, including the suites with balconies. Our "butler", Roland, gave us excellent service, seemed always available and was proactive in anticipating our needs. Silversea did a much better job (versus Seabourn) promoting their activities and the activities were better. At the welcoming cocktail party the first night, Silversea trotted out all the entertainers, lecturers and department heads. As a result, we enjoyed the entertainers' shows at night and Professor Wolf's lecturers on Alaska history. Negatives: In pre-cruise customer service, Silversea's agents were not friendly, short with us and insisted that we go through the booking agency. Seabourn representatives were friendly and helpful. Silversea allowed smoking and we saw smoking, including cigars, in several public areas Seabourn was very restrictive on smoking. Regarding the restaurants, twice in La Terrazza, once at breakfast and once at lunch, we were seated just before the "last seating" time, only to find half the buffet taken down. If they post a "last seating" time, it should be for the full buffet, not just half. The pool grill on Seabourn offered a full buffet every day, or you could order from the menu. The Silversea pool grill offered only a limited menu. Finally, like Seabourn, Silversea promotes "all inclusive" but charges extra for their gourmet restaurant, Le Champagne; and they charge extra for caviar. "All inclusive" should mean just that. Seabourn required reservations for their "gourmet" restaurant, but did not charge and did not charge for caviar. Our two excursions, the floatplane ride out of Ketchikan to the Misty Fjords and a 33-ft. catamaran ride out of Juneau for close up whale watching, were both outstanding. We booked the excursions direct rather than through the cruise line, taking advantage of the reviews on the TripAdvisor website. Price was about the same, but we were insured of having the best companies. The cruise ended at 7AM in Seward, and Silversea had a train take us to the Anchorage airport. The train ride, 3.5 hours, was pleasant and very scenic. The whole process was smooth and well organized. We found Silversea and Seabourn to be about even in embarkation, disembarkation, suite accomodations, facilities, ship layout, overall service and quality of food & wine. Both are excellent, and we would recommend either cruise line and will probably take both in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This is a review of the Silver Shadow cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver. It will also be a bit of a comparison of this cruise with Regent Seven Seas, simply because that is the line we have cruised most often and comparisons just happen ... Read More
This is a review of the Silver Shadow cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver. It will also be a bit of a comparison of this cruise with Regent Seven Seas, simply because that is the line we have cruised most often and comparisons just happen naturally. I'll post this as a review as well, but it seemed like a good idea to post it here for those planning. A bit about us, we are in our early 40s and this is our 7th cruise but our first with Silverseas. As I look back over this now it is quite long, and I apologize for my verbosity! We started it just making notes while on the cruise, and it has really taken on a life of its own!Pre-cruise: We spent a couple of days in Denali park doing it on our own. We were there during the short shoulder season when the park road is only open to mile 29. You can either take the Teklanika tour on a bus or you can drive to the same point in your own car. We did it on our own. The road is very well maintained and nice and wide so you can stop as you please and there is always room for others to go around you. Embarkation: The embarkation process started a bit rough as we were continually referred to as crew and were kept waiting in our cab with the meter running while they moved the gangway. Moving of the gangway would be a frequent activity every time we went to board. Fellow passengers; many of the people aboard had done the previous cruise from Asia. Several of them commented that it was nice to have some young people aboard as the previous cruise was all old people. We thought it was hilarious that they kept saying that. We found the age range to be a bit younger than it has been on most of our Regent cruises. Everyone, regardless of age, was a lot of fun! The ship. The finishings on the ship were all very nice and the ship did not appear old or worn to us. We really liked the double vanities in the bathroom of our suite. The large closet was nice as well, but I would have liked more drawers in the stateroom. My husband noted that the cabin layout and color scheme on all ships is very similar and it would be exciting to have someone deviate from that plan. I know others have commented that the ship looks warn and tired, but we were quite impressed with her appearance. We liked the smaller size of this ship, but felt some of the areas should be better used. The observation lounge in particular is really wasted space. If there was a bartender there and if the seating was changed to a comfortable layout, this would have been our favorite space. There needs to be a forward lounge with cocktail service. The library and computer room take up far too much space considering how little they are used. This space should be combined with the card room and add a coffee cafe with snacks. This is one area that RSSC really nailed. The coffee connection, I think it is called, is basically a library, game room, computer area with a full fledged barrista and snacks always available. There are meal "blind spots" that we often ran into. If we worked out before eating in the morning or just woke up late, we had a hard time finding breakfast. The same was true for late afternoon snack. We haven't had this on any other cruise. The coffee cafe with snacks would have alleviated this problem. The Internet connection was horrible. Silverseas either needs to invest in a proper set up for Internet, or stop offering it all together. Service. The service was very good. Every single member of the crew and staff were always smiling and happy and really did make you feel like it was their pleasure to assist you. Our butler wasn't a superstar, but we never really use our butlers anyway. But the staff in the lounges and dining rooms was excellent! We felt that the service on the Shadow far exceeded the service on Regent. Food. This is where Silverseas fell short. The food was quite bad. The menus were more often than not unappealing. When we went to the alternate dining options it was because there was nothing interesting on the main restaurant menu. Many times all of the choices were odd. I like Indian food, quite a bit actually. By there seemed to be an Indian dish on every menu. Seriously! Considering there might only be 4 entree choices, having one ALWAYS be Indian seemed bizarre. On most of our cruises there has been a focus on regional cuisine. We assumed we would be eating fabulous seafood every day in Alaska. Not so much. The first couple of days the chefs special was "fresh Alaskan rockfish", every day after that it was "rockfish". Did someone over order or is the chef just that lazy? More than one night we ate in the room because the room service menu was more appealing than the dinner menu.It would be nice if there was a green salad offered every day on the dinner menu. The salad special offered at lunch was normally pretty good and my go to option. The desserts weren't great as a general rule. There was a chocolate croissant bread pudding that was quite good one day. That is a great use of stale bread! The bread was always stale and though bread was always brought to the table, you had to ask for butter. The food was universally under seasoned. The buffet in la terraza was unimpressive as well. The food on Regent is MUCH better. We are both foodies and consider fine dining a favorite part of our travels. We would really hesitate to book another Silverseas cruise based on food alone. We loved just about every other aspect of the cruise, but food is huge for us. And Silverseas just does not deliver an adequate product on this point. The personal shopping experience. The 'personal shopper' onboard, was very nice. But the shopping maps put into your chronicle everyday listing the same partner stores and nothing else was very off putting. It seems cheap and pushy Iike a used car salesman. And the lectures on how to buy a diamond are, quite simply, insulting to guests. It is as if Silverseas is assuming their customers don't know how to shop. "You booked a cruise with us, so you must be stupid with money". The cruise director, Mike, was very good. Excellent. We knew that the CD on our last Regent cruise was awful and that was part of why the cruise was so boring. But seeing how the evening entertainment in the lounges would change around based on how people responded showed that Mike was really doing his job. And now I understand what a great CD is and how it can really enhance a cruise experience. The entertainers were very talented, but the shows were a bit one dimensional. We felt the singers on SS were better singers than those on RSSC. But the inclusion of the Cirque shows and professional ballroom dancers on our last RSSC cruises made the entertainment experience of the shows alone on RSSC superior. The overall entertainment experience (being entertained in the lounges etc.) on Silverseas was better. It was annoying that tea time and bingo occurred at the same time and in separate places. We like to attend both. Many days there was nothing else we were interested in all day, and then everything happened at the same time. If bingo and trivia are going to occur in a lounge other than the one where tea is being held, then that lounge should be open and bar service should be provided. Bingo and trivia happened in the bar, but when it was closed for business. The captain, Alessandro Zanello, was fabulous. I never understood why people on CC ask who is the captain on board. But after having this captain plow through TONS of ice to get us up close and personal with glaciers, I get it. Attire. All of our cruise documents listed us as having two formal nights. But once we boarded (with formal attire for two nights) we discovered there would only be one formal night. It is inexcusable that this was changed on board since we had all already schlepped our formal wear to Alaska. My husband was one of the few people wearing a tux on formal night. I saw no long gowns, very few cocktail dresses and mostly rather casual pantsuits on women. I am not one of the people whose enjoyment of an evening is based in what others around me wear. But I wanted to include our experience of the attire so that others who might use this review to pack can get an idea of what you will actually see onboard. The dress codes were not really adhered to and I never saw anyone turned away from any lounge or restaurant. RSSC may have a more relaxed dress code, but I have seen people asked to leave a lounge at precisely 6 PM because of being in shorts on RSSC. I saw people wearing sweats at the captains farewell party on Silverseas. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, so who cares. But for those that prefer a more formal cruise, RSSC may be for you.Random observations: The wine served onboard was inexpensive, but good. The bars were well equipped but many of the bartenders were not educated in making classic cocktails. The gym needs more elliptical trainers. The one they had was always in use and there were always unused treadmills. A range of smaller hand weights would be nice as well. There were a lot of one particular weight, and then a jump to something quite a bit heavier. I saw many people looking for something in between. They need bottled water in the gym, the small cups for the dispenser don't fit in the machine cup holders. The announcements that we were in port each morning were annoying and unnecessary. If you have a tour booked, be a big boy and wake up and go on your tour. I'm on vacation, be quiet and let me sleep in if I wish. A brief note on the itinerary. It was snowing like mad when we arrived in Alaska and we questioned if the highways would be open in time for us to drive to Denali (there were travel advisories all along the route). But we had nothing but sunny skies for most of the trip. Phenomenal weather! We started in Anchorage which was a nice place to fly into.College fjord: fabulous! We assumed because it was white out conditions when we arrived in Anchorage a few days earlier that everything would be frozen and we wouldn't get very far into the fjord. But the captain got us right up close to Harvard Glacier. Valdez: this is a throw away stop. Not worth getting off the ship. Hubbard glacier: Another great day and again the captain got us right up there. This was a bit exciting as a large ship had gotten in ahead of us and gotten "stuck" a bit. How they got in there is amazing. Juneau: we did a independent whale watching trip! We have done whale watching all over the world and this was one of our best trips. Tons of whales and so close! Skagway: We rented a car and drove to Emerald lake. It was a gorgeous drive and sort of exciting driving into Canada. It is a very pretty drive but there aren't really many spots worth stopping at to shop or eat on the way. Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenery. Sitka: Gorgeous! Beautiful flowers, adorable town, gorgeous homes on these lovely little islands. Of course, we were there on a sunny day, so that didn't hurt. We went to the Fortress of the Bear and were surprised how much we enjoyed it. Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier. WOW! This was really amazing. Such a tight little channel the captain just threaded like a needle. And of course there was some more amazing glacier viewing at the end. Ketchikan: Cute and interesting little town. We tried to walk to the rain forest for a hike. We couldn't get there, but certainly got our hike in trying to get there! Vancouver: We spent a couple of days here. Lovely town, great seafood, extremely nice people. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
My cruise started in Anchorage. Boarding ship was seamless and since I happened to be the only person boarding at that moment, I was escorted aboard by one of the ship's officers. Lunch was in progress so I opted for the restaurant - ... Read More
My cruise started in Anchorage. Boarding ship was seamless and since I happened to be the only person boarding at that moment, I was escorted aboard by one of the ship's officers. Lunch was in progress so I opted for the restaurant - which on embarkation day is always less crowded because some people are not aware it's open. A gathering was held for solo travelers the first evening - there were 8 of us. For the remainder of the cruise, I was always well taken care of and seated with others for meals. My butler was very cordial and competent. He chatted the first day and he made note of my preferences which were adhered to the remainder of the cruise The food and service were excellent. I was amazed that so many of the crew and staff knew me by name almost from the first day. I celebrated my birthday during this cruise. My cabin was decorated with balloons and a Happy Birthday banner and later that evening when I returned to my suite, there was a very tasty chocolate cake with a note signed by the Master of the Shadow wishing me a wonderful day. Since we were a smaller ship we were able to get much closer to the glaciers to witness some awesome scenery. The Cruise Director narrated the glacier excursions which was informative. The other tours arranged by the ship were all well organized and always on time. This was my 4th cruise with Silversea and I must say, it was every bit as nice as the others. It really surpassed my expectations. Disembarkation went like clockwork. I arrived at the Vancouver airport with a couple of hours to spare. I'm already thinking about another Alaska cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Silversea gets a high rating so we expected a lot, but the company and "Shadow" fell short. Our cabin number was unavailable until we embarked.We found the ship deck plans quite confusing for such a small vessel but that is very ... Read More
Silversea gets a high rating so we expected a lot, but the company and "Shadow" fell short. Our cabin number was unavailable until we embarked.We found the ship deck plans quite confusing for such a small vessel but that is very common at sea! From the embarkation moment the trip was rather dull with few geographical announcements and the ship keeping well back from the glacier.Despite a refurb the ship, inside and out, looks drab and blandly decorated.The mirrors in the cabin giving us multiple reflections of ourselves sitting. The TV was set rather high up.Our veranda door so stiff to slide, it was a strain injury waiting to happen.The balcony furniture poor.Most open deck furniture is new and pleasant and rugs and cushions were good. The cabin bathroom was very good and cloths storage adequate.The ship is very clean and butler service was there but the "frock" coat uniform looked ridiculous, and his service very limited. Dress code for passengers was listed as casual, or informal,even on cocktail party nights, but passengers wanted to dress up and often did.Prosecco wine is used whenever possible and I always requested the Champagne (when I had a choice), as I did for our cabin fridge.Wine at meals was varied and well served and bar service good. Staff are plentiful but English comprehension is not always there with so many from the Philippines and India etc. The ships officers and management kept well out of the way except for the cocktail introduction party. From the first embarkation buffet lunch to the last meal the food was very average despite being well served.I preferred the room service experience. Take the Italian (booking required) La Terrazza dinner "Italian authentic cuisine", remember this line is Italian owned, we thought the food poor and tables are not turned over so the chance to eat at Terrazza, The Grill (outdoors) and Le Champagne for dinner, all needing a reservation, are quite limited.As the food was so ordinary we preferred "The Restaurant" main space dining which is attractive enough as a space. Lectures, entertainment and TV and newspapers were good. Baggage handling was very good. The train journey from Seward to Anchorage was a star turn.Not so spacious if facing 2 unknown others, but very well organised and on a good day stunningly beautiful. So for us the decor and cooking did not please and we would not choose Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The Good Having cruised with other operators, the on-board experience at Silver Seas is well worth the extra cost and, aboard the Silver Shadow, it is well worth springing for a Silver Suite. These suites are spacious and luxurious ... Read More
The Good Having cruised with other operators, the on-board experience at Silver Seas is well worth the extra cost and, aboard the Silver Shadow, it is well worth springing for a Silver Suite. These suites are spacious and luxurious without being excessive and are clean and well-maintained despite both cleaning and maintenance being unobtrusive. They have very large balconies which means that leaving your suite to roam around the ship is entirely optional. Wonderful food and service in the main Dining Room, slightly less so in La Terrazza. The sommeliers in both restaurants were extremely knowledgeable and helpful - aided immensely by a "Connoisseur's Wine List" of excellent wines at liquor store prices with no discernable mark-up. This more than made up for the unimpressive "free" wines. The enrichment lectures were fascinating and well-presented. The smaller ship and use of an Ice Pilot enabled spine-tingling proximity to the Hubbard and Sawyer Glaciers. The Bad Two of our four excursions were cancelled and the other two misrepresented to a greater or lesser degree. The cancellations were weather-related and beyond Silver Seas control but the third-party vendor confided that cancellations happen "the whole time". Since there are no second chances nor alternatives available, some disclosure around this point would have been useful. The Ultimate Alaskan Adventure SIT-H was a genuinely good excursion, which we would take again. There was no need to make up nonsense about traveling at 50mph in ocean waves and visiting sea caves. Our guide just laughed when we brought this up. At the Bear Country Wildlife Adventure KTN-E, the first thing they tell you is that the less noise you make, the better your chance of bear sightings. The point is moot, though, because you have zip-liners (literally) screaming overhead and a guide prattling on loudly and incessantly about everything but wildlife. The Ugly Embarkation is akin to being admitted to jail. You are corralled in an prefab, searched, photographed and have your passport confiscated for the duration of your stay. (Do they even get to do that in jail?) Then they discover that dozens of the photos that they took are (in some unexplained way) unacceptable and they launch a campaign of harassment against the relevant passengers. The bumbling Inspector Clouseau nature of this campaign afforded some light amusement but, really, how funny is it to spend a couple of grand a night to be treated like a criminal? Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Just finished our cruise from Vancouver to Seward and overall we had a very good experience. The good parts of the ship are the amount of people on the cruise which is very low. Additionally, we never had to wait for anything and dining ... Read More
Just finished our cruise from Vancouver to Seward and overall we had a very good experience. The good parts of the ship are the amount of people on the cruise which is very low. Additionally, we never had to wait for anything and dining was nice as we weren't required to sit with strangers. At times during the day the ship felt like a ghost town which from my perspective I loved as the boat was nice and quiet. The service was spectacular and specifically the butler service was amazing. I also enjoyed the smoke free nature especially on the balconies. Although given that we are in Alaska it was even colder than anticipated so we were not able to utilize the balcony as often as we would've liked, but the scenery outside of our cabin was fantastic. As far as the negatives, first is just the overall value. Given how much one spends for the cruise I didn't expect any negatives so I'm a little disappointed at several items. First, the food was terrible. I've been on several other ships before and this was by far the worst. Second, one of our excursions was cancelled the night before we were to leave as there wasn't enough people signed up for it. While I understand that happens, a similar excursion was available the day they cancelled it and we could've gone on that one. Third, I am still fighting about my bill as I was charged $100 for 2 DVDs that I was watching the night before we disembarked. I dropped them off at reception where I was told they would take care of it. 2 weeks later and I'm still fighting. As far as items that Silversea couldn't control would be the amount of wave action on the days at sea were pretty significant so much so that I was sick. I've never experienced that on a larger boat. Also, it was cold just about the entire time. The wind whipping off the ocean made the balcony virtually useless. The excursions were extraordinarily expenses. Lastly, the shower temperature fluctuated between scolding to freezing in a matter of seconds without touching anything. I'm on the fence as to whether I would go on Silver Sea again solely because of the value aspect and the fact you spend so much money, but most of what I look for is a nice cabin, service and a quiet ship so that part suited me well. The biggest downer though is the quality of the food and the menu became very monotonous. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We just completed the Alaska - Inside Passage, Vancouver to Seward trip, our first on Silverseas, and "hats off" to Silverseas and the crew of Silver Shadow. We absolutely enjoyed every moment. Our cabin (Veranda Suite - Deck ... Read More
We just completed the Alaska - Inside Passage, Vancouver to Seward trip, our first on Silverseas, and "hats off" to Silverseas and the crew of Silver Shadow. We absolutely enjoyed every moment. Our cabin (Veranda Suite - Deck 8) was comfortable, spacious and well appointed. The staff was attentive, caring and seemed genuinely eager to please. The food - WOW - great variety, quality and presentation...Excellent! We dined in all of the restaurants and enjoyed every meal. While the breakfast choices in the restaurants were great, we particularly enjoyed the in-room breakfast - very special. The entertainment was enjoyable and the guest speakers were informative, plus we never felt crowded or rushed. Admittedly, we were a bit nervous and skeptical about some of the marketing hype as well as the cost/value of "luxury, all-inclusive" cruises such as this. However, we couldn't be more satisfied with the end result. Plus - the little things - like: once our cabin Butler (as well as the poolside bartender) learned that I enjoyed the Alaskan craft beer, they both made sure there was always some on hand for me, plus a fresh bottle of Cabernet in our cabin every day. On our anniversary evening we came back from dinner to find our room decorated in balloons, with chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy. Simply put - no regrets. We will definitely do this again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
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