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31 Silversea Alaska Cruise Reviews

Chose cruise to see Alaska in luxury with excellent food. We had booked the train from Anchorage to Seward but it was only running to a few miles short of Seward so Silversea decided to transfer everyone by bus whereas we were told ... Read More
Chose cruise to see Alaska in luxury with excellent food. We had booked the train from Anchorage to Seward but it was only running to a few miles short of Seward so Silversea decided to transfer everyone by bus whereas we were told other cruise ships were collecting people by bus from the train. We were reimbursed by Silversea but it just seemed easier for Silversea to move everyone the same way! Embarkation worked well and was very quick but cabins were not available when boarded ship for at least another hour Ship was luxurious but food was disappointing especially in premium La Dame restaurant where our main course was served cold and service was below par. Our 2nd visit to La Terrezza was poor - they had run out of bread, we struggled to be served with water and wine and then main course special which was tuna which was asked to be served rare was totally over cooked (even if asked for well done) and inedible!! By this time we didn’t want the replacement which was offered Silver Note was good and singer was impressive. Shows were adequate but nothing special Management of the Spa was not good and staff were clearly incentivised on a sales commission basis for additional products. Making appointments was a time consuming and a difficult activity, and even with a confirmed appointment in writing that morning when I went for my appointment it was not in the system!!!!!! Also my wife went for a hot stones massage (also confirmed in writing) and the masseur delivered a cheaper massage and when questioned said hot stones was not booked. On completion of massage my wife went to sign bill and was not given the discount for 3 premium treatments because her last treatment wasn’t premium even though it was their error. On complaining to management it was eventually resolved but left a sour taste !! Excursions were good although quite expensive. We enjoyed Mendenhall Hike but not as strenuous as led to believe. Bear watching was good and saw bears catching salmon although guide was iffy. Sea kayak was enjoyable. Based on price of cruise we felt that Silversea should have been better but would go back to Azamara as felt everyone enjoyed themselves more and food in the speciality restaurants much better than Silver Muse. On Azamara Quest the Cruise Director was very proactive and had a great rapport with both the captain and the guests whereas on Silver Muse it all seemed rather muted and staid Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first mistake was assuming that, like Viking, Silversea cruises would be adults only. In fact, out of 580 passengers, 76 were children, about two thirds of those under 5 years old, or even babies. There are virtually no facilities for ... Read More
Our first mistake was assuming that, like Viking, Silversea cruises would be adults only. In fact, out of 580 passengers, 76 were children, about two thirds of those under 5 years old, or even babies. There are virtually no facilities for young children on the ship, so they were mostly bored and amused themselves running up and down the stairs and corridors uunsupervised. The swimming pools and hot tubs were completely taken over by the kids, even though under 12's were not supposed to use the hot tub. They also made their presence felt in the dining rooms, crying and tipping over chairs, and rather spoilt some of the excursions. We were particularly shocked when, on the first day, young children were helping themselves from the buffet using their hands. Aside from the children, there were several other things that were disappointing. The restaurant menu only changed once and then only a few items were different. We had one instance of shockingly rude service in the grill restaurant. The alternative restaurants were fully booked months ahead. We found that there were few places to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and that these were usually very crowded indeed. The room service meal we had one evening was supposed to be served course by course within 20 minutes. In fact, it took an hour to arrive and then it all came at once, except the wine, which took a further 15 minutes to arrive and the meal was only warm, not hot. The room was not always as clean as I would like and the bath supplies were not replaced except when I asked. We had been advised to have a low floor cabin for wildlife viewing, but we were over the lounge and had quite a bit of noise from the activities there, notably the bingo, quizzes and late night music. On the plus side, the cabin was amazing and the bathroom was superb. The bed linens were very luxurious, as were the toiletries and there was a choice of pillows. All the food and drink was included, and this was mostly of a very high standard. We also had a selection of fresh fruit in the cabin every day. The scenery and excursions were excellent and we were very lucky with the weather and wildlife sightings on the trips. However, overall the experience fell well below what we had expected from this luxury brand. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Disclaimer - this was our first cruise and perhaps our expectations were unrealistic. The ship was beautiful. The food and service were spotty. We enjoyed the food and experience at Silver Note, Kaiseki and Indochine. Atlantide was ... Read More
Disclaimer - this was our first cruise and perhaps our expectations were unrealistic. The ship was beautiful. The food and service were spotty. We enjoyed the food and experience at Silver Note, Kaiseki and Indochine. Atlantide was the most disappointing. The service was inconsistent (i.e. at the empty Grill at lunch it was hard to get anyone's attention for a second glass of wine and when it finally came it was not with a smile!). We couldn't get a decent steak on board. Our son ate steak at practically every restaurant and a request for 'medium' came back either blue or brown - never pink! That was a real let-down. The Hot Rocks concept was gimmicky and not worth the effort. The over-sized dentist bibs they provide did not protect our clothing from getting spattered with grease. La Dame and Terrazza both had decent food and the service was outstanding - especially the maitre d' (Rodel) in La Dame - he was a real charmer! Service is where we feel Silversea really dropped the ball. We had a large suite with a separate dining area so we decided to have breakfast in the suite each morning. It arrived cold every day and on the second day I asked our butler how many suites he serviced. He responded 14, which surprised me. I asked him what happened if everyone wants breakfast at the same time and he said he tries to get his colleagues to help. He was hardworking but rushed off his feet. It wasn't unusual for him to be paged by another suite while he was with us and he would then use our phone to call and see what his other guests needed. While 1:1 service is impossible, one man servicing 14 suites will never equate to luxury service. We felt bad for him so tried to ask for as little as possible. He was also off-duty from 12-4 and during that period no one answered his phone. We never used his service after 6pm so I'm not sure if the timing of the break is the most sensible? Silversea offers a 'dedicated butler' which I think means only that you'll always see the same face? In our experience it put too much pressure on one person and it would be much better to have a team helping each other and ultimately the guests. Echoing other reviewers, the pool area, while pretty, was not restful. It was teeming with young kids. We traveled with our mid-teens and although they fancied going for a swim or in the hot-tub the atmosphere was always off-putting. We loved the afternoon trivia, ping-pong and the kids appreciated the large selection of streaming media. This was our first time in Alaska and we were impressed by the ports and the people. We didn't do any shipboard excursions but we thoroughly enjoyed the trips we privately arranged - whale watching in Juneau, Emerald Lake/Yukon tour in Skagway, Wildlife Boat Tour in Sitka and Anan Creek Bear Tour by float plane in Ketchikan (this is a must do if you don't mind the small plane). One of the on-board highlights was the afternoon at Hubbard Glacier. Having the forward deck was a huge plus. I thought that the Captain turned the whole ship 360 at the glacier, but all it did was pivot to port and starboard a few times. We saw plenty of spectacular calving. We had fully intended to re-book Silver Origin for the Galapagos while on board but our experience just wasn't compelling enough. On our return we were offered a sizable incentive to re-book but we decided to try Celebrity Flora instead - even though it was slightly more expensive. I waited a few weeks to write this review to see how the experience settled on us, and while I wouldn't say it dissuaded us from cruising again, I don't think we'd ever revisit Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were so excited to sail with Silversea through Alaska. I must say the excursions have been great, the rooms are nice and the food very good (although no healthy options available.) Where the boat really fails is it’s amenities. The ... Read More
We were so excited to sail with Silversea through Alaska. I must say the excursions have been great, the rooms are nice and the food very good (although no healthy options available.) Where the boat really fails is it’s amenities. The gym is very poorly equipped and overcrowded (weights do not go over 20kg and it is cheap equipment.) Where it really fails is the pool. It is a very small pool that I’m sure it nice but we haven’t been able to get into it since we’ve been here. The pool is filled with kids every hour of the day. Parents are not watching, kids are sliding all over the wood and pushing each other into the pool. It’s a safety hazard and inconvenient for anyone who is looking to have a relaxing vacation, or a swim after a hot day. If you want a room and food Silversea is great. But I believe most people go on a cruise for the full experience. If so, you’re better off on a different boat. We will not be cruising with Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was only our second cruise, the first being a Celebrity Eclipse S1 Suite cruise from Southampton to St Petersburg. This one week cruise on the Silver Shadow Veranda Suite cost £400 less than the two week cruise on Celebrity, so we ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, the first being a Celebrity Eclipse S1 Suite cruise from Southampton to St Petersburg. This one week cruise on the Silver Shadow Veranda Suite cost £400 less than the two week cruise on Celebrity, so we expected it to be a step up, but for us it was a step down, in fact it was a step down in every respect, I can't think of one thing that was better on Silversea. The Celebrity was a much bigger ship, I think nearly ten times as many passengers, but being in a Suite means you have a dedicated dining room and lounge, so it didn't feel that way, except for the fact that there were way more facilities on the celebrity. Also, the Celebrity was very smooth even in some quite rough weather in the North Sea, whereas the Silversea rolled quite a bit in what looked like quite smooth waters. Boarding was OK, but rather drawn out and we were lucky in some respects. We used the embarkation via the train service from Anchorage Airport Station. We arrived at the airport early, which meant we got a seat in the waiting area, whereas lots of people didn't and had to stand around. It also put us in the first train carriage, which meant we were first to get off and embark the ship, once on board and in our suite we could see people still embarking the ship a long time later. The room was disappointing, smaller than the Celebrity S1 Suite and looking very old and tired. The dressing room sounds a great idea, but in practise it is cramped and takes space away from the room, wardrobes would be better. Similarly the separate shower and bath tub sounds nice, but it eats up precious space that could be better used. The bathroom lacked cupboards to put toiletries away, it all had to sit in the open or in your sponge bag. Dining was probably the biggest disappointment. Without writing a book on it, the menu choices were limited and the cooking was uniformly bland. It was just dull and we gave up on the main restaurants and for the last three nights had steak at the grill on the top deck, which was good, but boring. And you have to eat with a blanket round you at that time of year in Alaska. Service in the main was good, the face-to-face crew were friendly and helpful, in particular our butler and cabin service guy were wonderful. But the more senior level were nowhere near as friendly, they didn't interact and many stood around looking sullen. Having said that, the manager of the Grill restaurant was very nice. Even the Captain's daily announcement was dull and matter-of-fact, whereas the Celebrity Captain was cheerful and amusing and always ended with "life is beautiful." Our excursions were all privately booked apart from one Silversea and all were very enjoyable. We saw some great wildlife and wonderful views. The towns en route were fun, but were rather tourist oriented, with lots of almost identical souvenir and T-shirt shops. An hour or two in those was enough. Getting on and off in port was easy. At one stop there was no dock so we anchored out and had to use the tender which was fine. Although I noted a sign that said it was a tender for 80 and a lifeboat for 150, it was by no means full, but seemed crowded, I wouldn't have liked trying to get 150 people in it in an emergency! The route taken by the ship was often disappointing too, although parts were good and we got really close to the Hubbard Glacier. But other times the ship seemed to be taking a route out in the Pacific and the land was just a grey line on the horizon. Even the last day all at sea cruising the inside passage was mainly well away from the land with not much to see. Disembarkation was fine and again we were lucky, being among the first to disembark. They turfed everyone out of their cabins at the same time, so some people would have been sitting around for a couple of hours. Overall, disappointing sums it up. The ports we visited and the excursions we had were great and that was the main reason we went. But the Silversea experience did not live up to expectations, it was more "Holiday Inn" than "The Savoy." If we cruise again, I doubt we'd choose Silversea. The final irony was that when I got home there was a message on my answer machine to call "Jamie" from Silversea and he left his direct number. I guessed it might be in response to the rather negative feedback form I left. So, I called the number, but he wasn't there and I left a message. He never called back. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Silversea boasts “all your needs are being taken care of for you – sometimes before you even ask.” On two of three Silversea cruises I have taken as a Venetian Society member that promise has not been met. In the future I will ... Read More
Silversea boasts “all your needs are being taken care of for you – sometimes before you even ask.” On two of three Silversea cruises I have taken as a Venetian Society member that promise has not been met. In the future I will purchase a large suite on a different line, save money and find promises kept rather than forgotten. The definition of customer satisfaction is that expectations are met. Silversea is overpromising and underdelivering which is the recipe for customer dissatisfaction. This time, we cruised Silver Shadow Vancouver-Anchorage (Seward) AK, 7/26-8/2/2018, paying $17,800 for Silver Suite 719. For that amount of money, a comparable suite aboard Celebrity costs $7,400 less and includes virtually the same services (free premium beverage package, free gratuities, free internet and $300 on-board credit). Plus, Celebrity sails a larger ship which handles Pacific Ocean waves and headwinds with a much smoother ride, offers more dining options, vastly better entertainment and more “things to do” on board. Silver Shadow, 610 feet long, was unstable in even two-meter swells. And, aboard other lines I have sailed (Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard or Norwegian) the entertainment and dining options are vastly greater and, in the case of entertainment, clearly superior. Silversea’s entertainment was painful to watch and listen to. The Voices of Silversea were of poor quality, at one performance the entertainers even holding their written songsheets so they could remember the lyrics. The bar pianist/vocalist Ramon relied heavily on his computerized synthesizer orchestral backing and was difficult to tolerate. Background afternoon tea and bar pianist Natalia, however, was quite fine. The boarding experience was wonderful, there was almost never a line to stand in, the food was quite good, the suite spacious if tired and in need of freshening up (even though the ship was refurbished in 2017). I asked for, and consistently received, a bottle of prosecco on ice in our suite. I was also offered and asked for, but sometimes did not receive, canapes and fruit each evening. Butlers made the primary difference in passenger reaction to this cruise. First time Silversea cruisers in Suite 729 had what they described as “a fantastic butler” who was able to secure seemingly impossible reservations at La Dame (to which they invited us to come along as all La Dame tables will seat four diners), created personalized welcoming messages and towel sculptures every night and delivered service that often exceeded their expectations. He and their room steward were happy, properly solicitous and eager to please. Our butler was unable to secure La Dame reservations, delivered no special touches, was difficult to pin down with answers to questions and delivered service that always paled in comparison. Other passengers to whom I spoke indicated widely varying degrees of delight or disappointment with this "butler inconsistency" feature on this cruise. Pre-cruise reservations at specialty restaurant La Dame were impossible to get (even when we went online within 5 minutes of reservation availability time), for both us and for our traveling companions in Silver Suite 729 and for many others to whom we spoke. I called Silversea and even wrote a letter to the Head of the Miami Office, Mr. Mark Conroy, expressing frustration on this point. Both the calls and the letter went unanswered or unreturned. After all of that, the $60 per person cover charge for La Dame was poorly spent as the food in the Main Dining room was, we all agreed, superior. The service and ambiance in La Dame, however, was excellent. On board, a Silversea representative apologized to the 729 customers and offered to host a private reception in their suite (to which we were invited) but, amazingly, he failed to show up. There is a dress code in public areas (“For Gentlemen: JACKETS (TIE OPTIONAL) after 6:00pm [capitals theirs] but it is not enforced. As an example, several gentlemen would show up in La Terrazza or the Main Dining Room without required jackets—one in an untucked sports jersey with a large number 13 and the name ‘Lucky’ on the back—and a “loaner” sports jacket would be delivered to them and draped over their chair back. They were not asked to wear the jacket as if the dress code was for the gentleman’s chair rather than the gentleman himself. Silversea should decide that they should drop the dress code or enforce the dress code; one or the other. To date, I have spent 168 nights at sea during 17 cruises. There is much better value to be had on every other cruise I have taken (with the clear exception of low-cost Carnival). Our next cruise is on Cunard followed by Celebrity. I won’t miss Silversea nor do I suspect, based upon past unanswered communications, they will miss me. By the way, this “review” was written only upon post-cruise email request from Silversea; I get no delight in complaining without being asked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The help was amazing . Disappointed in the restaurants and the ship is worn and needs to be renovated. I will definitely go on another cruise with Silverseas on a different ship. We did like the size of the ship and the fact that the ratio ... Read More
The help was amazing . Disappointed in the restaurants and the ship is worn and needs to be renovated. I will definitely go on another cruise with Silverseas on a different ship. We did like the size of the ship and the fact that the ratio of help to guest. Breakfast and Lunch were fine. Dinner was an issue. The menu did not vary enough. After 3 days we were bored with dinner. The excursions were all terrific. A little pricey but well worth it. Every suite has a butler and ours went out of his way to make sure all of our needs were mwt. Our daughter and Grandson were also with us on this cruise and again there Butler was terrific, as was the person who cleaned there suite. Every evening there were little suprises left in there room. Again the help on the ship really make the cruise memorable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First the good. Can’t say enough good things about every crew member we came into contact with throughout the entie cruise. You were always greeted with a smile and they were eager to please you!. Transfer from the airport to the hotel ... Read More
First the good. Can’t say enough good things about every crew member we came into contact with throughout the entie cruise. You were always greeted with a smile and they were eager to please you!. Transfer from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the train in Anchorage was smooth and hassle free. Embarkation was a breeze. Disembarkation and transfer to the airport in Vancouver went just as smoothly and very professionally carried out. The excursions our group booked through SilverSeas were excellent and delivered as promised in the literature. Now for the disappointment. Despite all of the good things I mentioned the negatives were hard to overcome. The first major disappointment was the food. Although the breakfast buffet was good please don’t order breakfast to enjoy in your stateroom. We attempted this twice and had cold eggs and blueberry pancakes, and I don’t mean room temperature, I mean cold. Dinners in the main dining room and LaTerrazza were also a big disappointment. In Alaska I would have expected fresh salmon and halibut. Instead we got frozen red snapper. The entire menu and quality of the food was subpar. Another disappointment was the selection of bourbons which I enjoy. My only choices were Jack Daniels, Makers Mark or Jim Beam. I expected more from a “luxury cruise line”. I also believe SilverSeas should have explained its dress code better. On line it was indicated there was only one formal night and it was ‘optional’. This was an Alaskan cruise we were not cruising the French Riviera. I learned the hard way that casual to SilverSeas means a sports jacket without a tie. Luckily my excellent butler found a jacket for me to use for the five of seven nights I was required to wear a jacket. I was even told I was unable to order a cocktail in the bar without a jacket! I found this a bit extreme and I’m not talking about wearing jeans or shorts. I’m talking about long sleeve button down shirt and dress slacks. I’ve only taken one other high end cruise and that was with Regent. In my humble opinion there was no comparison. From the condition of the ship, the multitude of choices for alcohol and wines, to the quality and variety of foods offered at dinner, Regent was clearly superior and it wasn’t even close. This is only one man’s opinion and based on the large number of excellent reviews from others many would disagree with my assessment but I felt I should offer it nonetheless. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Grand daughter wanted to go to alaska. It was a last minute decision and this fit our schedule. Could not get the type of room we wanted, but the veranda room was ok. Checking in was not handled very well and room did not have a roll-away ... Read More
Grand daughter wanted to go to alaska. It was a last minute decision and this fit our schedule. Could not get the type of room we wanted, but the veranda room was ok. Checking in was not handled very well and room did not have a roll-away bed as we were told it would have. The butler and waiters were excellent. Staff at the reception desk were poor. Not very friendly and twice gave me the wrong information, once on the on board credits i had and then on disembarkation transportation. Neither issued has been resolved to my satisfaction. We have been on 21 cruises, mostly on seaborne, twice on around the world cruises. I would rate our experience on silversea shadow as not nearly as good as seaborne. Also was not able to book a reservation at la terraza during the whole trip. Started trying to make reservation right after we made the trip reservation. Again reception desk said they would try to find a way to get us in, but never heard back from them. Food and service were excellent, but the reception staff personal were terrible. Shore excursions were great. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose the cruise because a previous trip to Antarctica has been great - luxurious, such wonderful and unique landscape and plenty of wildlife (albeit emphasis on penguins). The good points of this cruise were great luxury, terrific ... Read More
We chose the cruise because a previous trip to Antarctica has been great - luxurious, such wonderful and unique landscape and plenty of wildlife (albeit emphasis on penguins). The good points of this cruise were great luxury, terrific service, wonderful food and interesting lectures - and lecturers. Put on 3 KG even without deserts... Booze flowed as freely as one could want. Great you say but wait:: The less good: 1) The weather - so much mist and fog in the morning (and we usually arrived at the next location in the early morning). I would question if this is a good time (June) to go on such a cruise. The resulted in the cancellation of several landings onshore. 2) In US waters (and others I heard) Silversea cannot use zodiacs for near shore exploration. This was only communicated to us a few weeks before the cruise. They tried to make up for this as best they could - using a large catamaran (saw good amount of sea life) - and a float plane cruise over Zodiac island (wow saw a bear in the distance...) I predict that this limitation will severly impact such cruises in the future. 3) We had to be contented with seeing ww2 ruins (instead of wildlife) on several occasions. Not turned on by that at all. 4) The wild life was VERY sparce yet the effort by the guides to lead us to where they would be was equally lacking. If there ain't much wildlife then please guide people to it instead of encouraging random walks. 5) On one walk we were given the option of joining one of three walks - yet all three had long since departed and were far in the distance. So much for a guided walk. It was'nt all bad by any means. I would say that on 4 days we saw a decent amount of wild life - and on another three days experienced very nice scenery i.e,.volcanoes. But that is out of 18 days..... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
SS needs to value and invest in sales and customer service processes. Several problems during booking/planning process which provided a negative view of SS. Co needs to realize that, especially for first time customers, their initial ... Read More
SS needs to value and invest in sales and customer service processes. Several problems during booking/planning process which provided a negative view of SS. Co needs to realize that, especially for first time customers, their initial exposure to SS is the booking,planning,customer service process and much has to happen before trip begins. Unfortunately our experience included incorrect and misleading information;multiple examples of overcharging to the point of gouging(charging double the price for hotel room,charging $200 for a transfer vs $20 cab fare,significant premiums charged on excursions,etc); lack of responsiveness(to this date my rep or supv has not responded to my last 5 emails over the period leading up to our departure); and errors in the logistical process. The lack of responsiveness is inexcusable. Also billed as all inclusive but,in our view,basic items were not included (transfers from airport to hotel,lunch on train to Seward). Not what we would expect from a premium provider. Apparently non alcoholic drinks were free but no one told us that until we were about to arrive at cruise ship. Another example of "hiding the ball". The cruise and all that went with it was fine but nothing special. Certainly below what we expected of a "premium" provider. We have travelled with other premium providers and in our opinion SS does not measure up. Butler was totally oversold. We were under the impression we would have a private butler and instead found our butler had many other rooms and could not possibly deliver what was promised(not his fault). Alaska is a beautiful location and excursions were memorable due to location. But they were nothing special to SS. We found that we could have booked the same excursions directly for half the price. Also very little detail was provided regarding the excursions. Food and service were good but premiums we were expecting weren't there. For example "Alaskan king crab legs" were offered one day on the trip during lunch and they ran out before dinner. Cabin was very nice. We paid for top floor premium suite and got what we expected. We can only hope that this was an isolated instance. We did talk to enough of our fellow travelers to determine that our experience on this trip was not isolated. Perhaps recently announced acquisition will provide capital to invest in improved staffing and training. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chose this cruise line because I was looking for a smaller ship, with fewer guests, but a more pampered, luxurious experience. Paid a lot for the nicer cabin, with butler service. Not worth the money. Butler did nothing more than a steward ... Read More
Chose this cruise line because I was looking for a smaller ship, with fewer guests, but a more pampered, luxurious experience. Paid a lot for the nicer cabin, with butler service. Not worth the money. Butler did nothing more than a steward would do. The ship itself was nice, but the staff and service was lacking. Maybe inexperienced? Waiters looked the other way when we tried to get their attention. There were items not on the menu that we didn't know about, like crab legs. They were a secret we were not privy to. With each excursion, a Silversea employee came along, but was not helpful when there were issues or questions. Outside excursion vendors did not know what was promised to Silversea guests, and many excursions were not exclusive to Silversea guests. We were put with the wrong excursion at one port. Chaotic. And not reimbursed for their mistake! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for it's small size, luxury and staff ratio to passenger. It was nice, but older, worn furniture, drapes, etc. We had a butler who was awesome, the dining was lovely, service excellent, food was good(while we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's small size, luxury and staff ratio to passenger. It was nice, but older, worn furniture, drapes, etc. We had a butler who was awesome, the dining was lovely, service excellent, food was good(while we could still taste it). Shore excursions were ok, somewhat pricey. We didn't enjoy them much because we got sick day 2 of the cruise and haven't stopped coughing or blowing our noses or sweating and having chills and body aches since......we have been home a week now, and still no change. Everyone in our party got sick. It is disappointing to spend over 5K+ per passenger (more money than we've ever spent on a cruise to celebrate a special anniversary) on a luxury cruise (just to sail, not including excursions) - and not get to enjoy it because of influenza that seems to be prevalent in Alaska on cruise ships this time of year. There was no warning, no enforcement of hand sanitizing, nothing. We are very disappointed. Buyer beware. I wish I could have a "do over" We missed 3/4 of the cruise due to illness. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Zegrahm Expeditions owns no ships of its own, so they typically charter a suitable ship from another company. This review is of the Zegrahm Expeditions July 6-20, 2017 "Wild Alaska" expedition aboard the Silverseas ship Silver ... Read More
Zegrahm Expeditions owns no ships of its own, so they typically charter a suitable ship from another company. This review is of the Zegrahm Expeditions July 6-20, 2017 "Wild Alaska" expedition aboard the Silverseas ship Silver Discoverer. The dozen or so naturalists on the trip were all contracted with Zegrahm, but the ship and the rest of the ship's staff were all Silversea employees. Most of this review will address the Silverseas part of the partnership, but later I'll touch on the Zegrahm part as well. The Silver Discoverer is a small, (120 pax), intimate and comfortable, but old (1989) ship. The crew and staff were excellent, service was mostly very good, and dining - especially dinner - was superb . . . just what you would expect on a Silverseas cruise. But the ship is getting a little long in the tooth. The cabins are clean and well-maintained, but they are modest in size - and the bathroom is downright tiny and cramped. Closets and drawer space are barely sufficient. Among the dated features is that the bed sits too low to slide a big suitcase underneath, so we had to store it in the corner of an already small cabin. Most cabins have windows or port holes, but not balconies. The Silver Discoverer is not nearly as stable as newer ships. We were often rockin' and rollin' a lot. My wife and I have been on two dozen small-ship cruises, and this is the first time she has needed to wear a patch. The common areas on board are adequate. The deck 5 lounge is bright and roomy with good viewing out the sides of the ship. It opens onto the pool deck, (the small pool was not open for business), with more excellent viewing. The main lounge on deck 4, however, is very tight for lectures, receptions, etc. Very difficult for the wait staff to take orders and serve beverages. Dinners, as mentioned above, were excellent . . . nice variety and selection, well prepared and presented, with some very good wines included with the meal. Dinner service was typically very, very good. We (in our traveling group of six) usually found ourselves at the same table each evening, so we usually had the same servers. We grew especially fond of Shawn, Marianne, Phillipe and Melvin, who also got to know us quite well and brought humor and charm to the dining experience. Dinner is also available on the pool deck - weather permitting. When you are cruising the Bering Sea, the weather is usually not conducive to alfresco dining, but we gave it a shot one evening and had a great time and a great meal. We were well bundled up and cooked our own food on "hot rocks". With calmer seas and warmer temperatures, we would have done this more often. Lunch was also available on the pool deck and proved to be a very popular option in spite of the weather. Burgers, dogs and excellent fish sandwiches were the normal fare for lunch. Breakfast and lunch were often difficult. The quality and variety of the food was good, but the buffet area was very small, extremely congested and inefficient. Lines were often long and passengers had to compete with staff trying to replenish the buffet. Food was often displayed illogically. For example, salad toppings (bacon, peppers, mushrooms, croutons, etc.) were the first items on the buffet, then, further in, you came to a lettuce bowl. So if you wanted a salad of lettuce covered with toppings, you had to backtrack the line and trip over the guests behind you. Most of the chafing dishes were small and had to be restocked often, further exacerbating the congestion. For some reason, the worst service on the cruise was at breakfast . . . even getting a cup of tea or coffee was often a challenge. The only entertainment on board was Florandy at the piano, (who was very talented at playing and singing a wide variety of familiar songs, and quite personable, too), and one night of karaoke. Here, the Zegrahm half of the partnership came into play, and the Zegrahm experience was mostly very positive. The Zegrahm naturalists were terrific. They were well educated (many PhD's) in a variety of fields such as geology, botany, marine biology, ornithology, history, etc., but they were also very personable and friendly, and brought much life and enthusiasm into what we were seeing. They all were also capable and safe Zodiac drivers, an important factor when most every day you're making a couple of wet landings in often choppy water. The itinerary took us from Nome, up to the Arctic Circle, to Provideniya, Russia, back down through the Bering Sea and up the Aleutian Islands and Katmai Peninsula to Seward. We saw several small, mostly struggling villages - including one long-abandoned Norwegian cod fishing village. We walked the often-barren tundra, which, in July, was alive with flowers. Mostly, however, we saw wildlife. We saw, up close and personal, birds galore; (including the elusive McCay's Bunting, which is found only on St. Lawrence Island); Orcas and Humpbacks cavorting in the frigid waters; seals, seal lions and sea otters; a gray wolf wandering the shoreline; and, of course, lots of brown bears. The wildlife is the primary reason we signed on to this cruise, and we weren't disappointed. There were, alas, a few things which I did NOT like about Zegrahm. I booked this (very expensive) excursion over a year in advance. The trip began with a group dinner at the Anchorage Marriott on July 6th, and we boarded the Silver Discoverer in Nome on July 7th. It wasn't until sometime in March that we learned that we were responsible for booking and paying for our own, July 7th, flight from Anchorage to Nome. In the scheme of things, this $200pp cost is pretty insignificant, but it sure felt like nickel and diming on what was promoted as an all-inclusive trip. They should have charged $200 more for the entire excursion and included the flight. You gotta have boots to navigate all the wet landings. I was on an Antarctic expedition cruise with Ponant in December 2016. We needed boots there as well, but Ponant had a large inventory of boots on board, and we each were fitted and supplied with boots for the duration of the journey. But with Zegrahm, you had to bring your boots with you. They had a vendor from whom you could buy or rent boots, but you had to pack them in your luggage and schlep them back home with you. It's tough packing for a two-three week trip as it is; two pair of boots take up a lot of room - and weight - in your luggage. I much preferred the Ponant approach. I've taken two expedition cruises in the last year, Zegrahm and Ponant. (I wrote a Cruise Critic review of my Antarctica cruise on Ponant's Le Soleal.) Both were memorable, fun and exciting, and I'm happy with each experience. Zegrahm does a great job and seems to have a very loyal base of repeat travelers, (some of our fellow passengers had traveled with Zegrahm a dozen or more times in the past). But for my next expedition cruise, I will probably lean toward Ponant. The ship is newer, more comfortable and in some ways more convenient (i.e. boots), and overall it seems to be a better value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We had received rave reviews from a relative who has sailed over 170 days on Silversea. The room was very spacious (Veranda suite) and storage excellent but the décor in the entire ship was "tired". Breakfast and lunch ... Read More
We had received rave reviews from a relative who has sailed over 170 days on Silversea. The room was very spacious (Veranda suite) and storage excellent but the décor in the entire ship was "tired". Breakfast and lunch buffets were comparable to what we had on river cruises with other lines, however nothing special. The dinners were the real disappointment. We love seafood and what we had was overcooked, the veal chewy, and nothing imaginative at all. We booked one dinner in La Terraza with the hope that it would be something extra special. My husband ordered pasta with lobster and the lobster was rubbery. My beef was ordinary and definitely not prime. I checked the wine I was served at our local store--$8.99 a bottle. Hmmm. We ordered room service for lunch one day prior to an afternoon excursion. I ordered a turkey sandwich. The bread was wrong, it was toasted and I asked for it not to be and it was ONE THIN SLICE OF TURKEY--we had definitely expected something we could share, but no time to reorder. We had hoped to book another cruise, but it will not be on Silversea! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We had previously taken two cruises with Silversea in Europe and had had very positive experiences. We took our 3 adult kids with us on the Alaskan Cruise and we were all very disappointed with the level of service and food on this ship. ... Read More
We had previously taken two cruises with Silversea in Europe and had had very positive experiences. We took our 3 adult kids with us on the Alaskan Cruise and we were all very disappointed with the level of service and food on this ship. It was not up to luxury standards. Butler service was mediocre. My son had a suitcase out on the floor the entire trip in his room and was never asked if he wanted it unpacked. My daughters ordered room service most mornings and order was never right--and their butler argued with them about their order. My husband and I went to breakfast in the main dining room and told them we had 30 min. No one was there--we ordered a minimal breakfast--30 min later we had to leave because we had still not been served. These are just a few examples of the level of service we received on this trip. Just not what you would expect from this cruise line. Additionally they had a flu outbreak on the ship and all of us got sick. My daughter was sick as we left the ship--my son the next day and the rest of us within 5 days. Just not a good experience overall. We have another cruise planned with silversea this fall (was booked before alaska) and if the level of service and food are not better--it will be our last cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This trip was a long-time bucket list goal for us. The itinerary was outstanding and exactly what we were looking for throughout our trip. However after having sailed on a comparable competing line two years before, we were very ... Read More
This trip was a long-time bucket list goal for us. The itinerary was outstanding and exactly what we were looking for throughout our trip. However after having sailed on a comparable competing line two years before, we were very disappointed with our accommodations and the line's lack of responsiveness to remedying the situation. This noise situation in our room started the second day of our cruise and continued for the remainder of it and made the time in our room annoying and was very disruptive to our sleep. The crew's lack of attention to fixing the situation was disappointing and frankly unacceptable for a line of this pricing and projected imagery. In addition, while the food generally was acceptable, it was boring in its continued repetition throughout the cruise. The only exception was Le Champagne which was excellent both for its food and its staffing, although the pricing add-on was very high for a cruise line of this fare pricing and overall projected imagery. There simply was not enough variety in any of the other restaurant venues commensurate with the pricing of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wanted to compare against Seaborn. There is really no comparison except for price and size of ship. Yes, both beat the larger ships and appeal to those who are wiling to pay for first class service. Maybe if I had not been on Seaborn, I ... Read More
Wanted to compare against Seaborn. There is really no comparison except for price and size of ship. Yes, both beat the larger ships and appeal to those who are wiling to pay for first class service. Maybe if I had not been on Seaborn, I would give a positive review, After traveling on a number of Ssaborn cruises, I was unpleasantly surprised by a number of things. 1. Food from room sevice was always cold. 2.. Staff, while professional was not happy. 3 You can only get cash of $200 per day rom the ship. 4. After being stuck in the elevator for 20. minutes between floor,offices response was that 6 people had overloaded the elevator. Wasn't ttooncened that emergency button didn't work and no apology. 5 Entertainment was limited, repetitive and I have been to better high school performances. 6. liimited hand sanitizer in public areas. Have to touch so many handrails, etc, but no concern for germs. 7. Was shocked that the ship had a staff member whose job was to push shopping on the ship and in port. This alone cheapened the experience and made me understand that Silversea does not understand its market or customer. Think a Four Seasons sign n a Holiday Inn. 8. I could not help but wonder if the Company was having financial issues, given the potion sizes, the limited food between meal times, the limited hours of the bars , etc. I could go on but my recommendation is save money and go on a bigger ship or go Seaborn for the first class experience you are looking for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is our second cruise on the Silver Shadow. My husband and I were on this same cruise 3 years ago and loved it. This year we came back with all the family (including grandparents.) What a difference do 3 years make! On our first ... Read More
This is our second cruise on the Silver Shadow. My husband and I were on this same cruise 3 years ago and loved it. This year we came back with all the family (including grandparents.) What a difference do 3 years make! On our first cruised we were very impressed by the personal attention, service, food etc.. That is why we decided to take the same cruise now with the whole family. First the ship looks old and worn out. It needs refurbishment and maintenance. One day we were dining at the Terrace and had to wait for 1 hour for our food because they had no electricity in the kitchen! The lights in the dining room kept blinking. Service has suffered, I am not sure if they have less staff or the staff is not as well trained as before. Mainly in the dining rooms at night, it´s difficult to find your waiter or your sommelier. When you order the house wine they serve very little and never offer to refill unless you ask them. When you buy the wine at the restaurant they refill your glass all the time.. The appetizers size is very very small, just one bite and you are finished. Food has also suffered we did not find it as appealing as the last time, the same for the breakfast or lunch buffet. Cabins look old, carpets dirty, drawers that do not close well. The lounge chairs in the pool area are also stained. On the positive side it´s great been in a small ship, the excursions department is great, tea time is very nice and it´s a great itinerary. Service at The Grill for dinning is great and the food is also very good. On the last night we had another waiter and what a difference he was great, always near to see if we needed anything, so maybe we just had bad luck the other 6 nights. Three weeks before I was on a cruise on The Oceania Riviera from Barcelona to Lisbon, and even though it was a cruise with 3 times more passengers, service was great, the food was excellent. Cabins were awesome as well as the common areas. I also wrote my Oceania Review. In both cruises we were on a Veranda cabin. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were interested in an Alaskan cruise that included a stop in Sitka, a place we had never visited before. We also wanted a small, luxurious ship. The Silver Shadow is a beautiful ship, but it is showing its age. It needs refurbishment ... Read More
We were interested in an Alaskan cruise that included a stop in Sitka, a place we had never visited before. We also wanted a small, luxurious ship. The Silver Shadow is a beautiful ship, but it is showing its age. It needs refurbishment badly, even though it was last refurbished in 2010. The service was outstanding, worthy of a five-star rating. The crew looked after every need and want. The really went out of their way to see to it that we were satisfied. After the first day, most knew our names. The all-inclusive cruise included all drinks, including soft drinks, wine and beer, and mixed drinks. Our butler asked what we wanted in the room's fridge, and in addition to the beer and selected soft drinks we asked for vodka. He offered two brands; we selected Stoly, and he brought a full 750 liter bottle. There was no extra charge. The food in all the venues was good, but not worthy of a five-star experience. We dined in the $40 surcharge Le Champagne, and the food was very good, but, again, not five stars. The small room was nondescript. But as an example of their superior service: On the night we dined there was a large party of heavy drinkers. One of them was extremely loud and obnoxious. He dominated the room, and made the couples at the other four tables uncomfortable. When the large group left, the remaining diners applauded spontaneously! This situation was clearly not a responsibility of the cruise line, but we received a note of apologyt the next day from the Maître D'; he said the $80 per couple charge had been removed. The entertainment was good for such a small ship; the young singers gave their all at all the shows. But the sound was so loud for the small show room that it was uncomfortable. They were not singing rock music - they were singing show tunes and opera; the amplification was too much. Overall a great cruise, excellent service, good, but not great food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was my 9th Silversea cruise but the first in Alaska. It was the final cruise of the season and the Shadow was continuing to Russia, Japan and ending in Hong Kong after our Inside Passage cruise. THE GOOD Service on board was ... Read More
This was my 9th Silversea cruise but the first in Alaska. It was the final cruise of the season and the Shadow was continuing to Russia, Japan and ending in Hong Kong after our Inside Passage cruise. THE GOOD Service on board was the same as previous cruises with a few exceptions. The staff always makes an effort to remember names, favorite drinks and provide excellent service. Overall, the complaints are more about lack of Silversea staff pre-cruise and off the ship for tours (see below). We still like the all-inclusive service on Silversea and open dining options. THE BAD We booked air, pre-hotel and transfers through Silversea. On arrival in Vancouver, we were not met at the airport and had to taxi to the hotel! This is unacceptable. There were many ground personnel awaiting passengers. There was a Silversea Crew sign with a local ground operator awaiting arrivals. When we asked him for assistance, we were told he couldn't help us and he pointed to a local volunteer to ask for assistance. The volunteer pointed us back to the Silversea Crew greeter. At no time were any Silversea personnel available at the airport to help arriving passengers. Additionally, pre-cruise, we were told that there would be a Silversea Hospitality Staff at the hotel (which was the selected Silversea Hotel - the Fairmont Waterfront). This was not the case and in fact the Silversea Welcome Letter given to us on check-in said there was not a hospitality representative and we could call a number for assistance if needed. We took one train tour during the cruise which required we walk 1/4 mile from the Shadow in rainy, cold and windy conditions to board the train. There were no umbrellas provided, no electric carts to shuttle us to the train, no protective tents on the walkway. On the return, the weather had become worse and we asked if we could get a shuttle back to the ship. We were told by the conductor to wait and he would call one. After 10 minutes standing in the rain (fortunately we had brought our own umbrellas), we finally started walking. About halfway there, the shuttle came and picked us up. EMBARKATION Our Welcome Letter said all we had to do was cross the street to board the ship. No instructions or map were given directing us to the entry at the terminal. Our luggage was picked up by hotel staff and delivered to our suite. The luggage tags provided by Silversea were impossible to figure out so we went to the bell desk to ask how to use them. He didn't know and had to find another bellman who said this was a frequent request from Silversea passengers and fortunately he knew how to attach them. It's a very bad design and Silversea should do something about that. We crossed to the port, walked all the way down past the ship and realized that we should go into the port terminal to board. There was no signage or Silversea staff to assist us outside or inside the terminal, telling us we had to take an elevator down 3 levels to the cruise boarding area! We finally found the Silversea representatives but it was very poorly organized. We were told normally there would be signage, but since the Shadow was the only cruise ship in port that was the reason. This is not acceptable! CHANGES THAT AFFECTED THE SILVERSEA EXPERIENCE No chilled champagne bucket awaiting us on arrival in the cabin. Instead, the Butler entered offering us a choice of champagne or prosecco. We asked for champagne, which was subsequently placed in our mini-fridge. There was no way we would open the bottle and consume during the trip so it remained unused. Had he opened it and placed in an ice bucket, that would have been more like what we were accustomed to in the past If passengers preferred prosecco, that could have been offered as a pre-order just like dinner reservations and tours. The Butler is an unnecessary addition. They are dressed formally but their main function is to provide room service and make reservations. We pre-booked all of our desired dinner reservations and tours. Beyond asking for bottled water, we had no other need for his services. We ordered room service breakfast and were surprised when he delivered the meals (in a more casual uniform). He was very willing and kept asking if we needed anything so we almost felt guilty about not using him! MEALS We ate dinner at La Terazza once and we were unimpressed to the point we canceled our other booking. I believe we went to one lunch buffet but it was unimpressive. We did the "hot rocks" meal on deck one night which was one of the best meals on board. The steak and prawn combination was wonderful, they had gas heaters over each table and it was a nice evening. The rest of our meals were in the Restaurant with our favorite server. We found the meals in the Restaurant to be consistently good including breakfast, lunch and dinner. We unfortunately had to cancel our reservation at Le Champagne due to my discomfort over rough seas one night. I never got ill but the rolling motion got to me despite my magic combination of ginger capsules, Bonine and wrist bands which always worked in the past. DISEMBARKATION We arrived at the Port of Seward and boarded a lovely dome train which was chartered by Silversea, to make our way to Anchorage Airport. Unfortunately it was a 4.5 hour train ride and due to the overcast, cloudy and sometimes foggy conditions, we didn't really see that much on the way. Lots of trees, rocks, streams and a brief glimpse of a glacier or two. A beverage was included but everything else was non-hosted. The guide said it was the last train trip of the season so maybe taking this cruise at the end of the season isn't such a good idea! I've done the Alaska cruise twice before on other cruise lines and it was lovely during the summer months. Our luggage was transported separately by truck and delivered to a baggage claim area at the Anchorage airport. We were told to go claim it by the TSA desk. This was another breakdown on the part of Silversea. There was a representative pointing the way to the designated area which required several escalators up and down, a few turns to get there. Once we arrived at the area it was an open room, no Silversea staff, and all the luggage was simply placed there in a free-for-all grab and go. Passengers were wandering around trying to find their bags. Anybody could have come in and taken bags, no luggage tags were checked when exiting the room. We were also told they would close at 1:00pm and the luggage would be taken to a local hotel where passengers would have to go there to claim it! We were to arrive at 12:30pm but fortunately we were a little early so we made the deadline. OUR SUITE We were in Veranda 508. It was the same as the sister ship, the Whisper on which we previously sailed. We noticed the couch in the living area needs to be replaced or repaired. The fabric was worn down on the edges. The carpet in hallways also looked worn. I think the ship is tired and needs to have a makeover. Other than that, the ship is wonderful, I love the layout and prefer being on Deck 5 where the reception/concierge and our favorite bar is located. 508 is pretty far forward so I would have liked being more amidship, and we didn't use the veranda because it was too cool and windy to enjoy it. The bathroom amenities were nice, we were offered Bulgari or two others I don't recall. No pillow menu was ever offered, which was something mentioned in promotional material. WIFI I paid $140 to have a week's access to onboard wifi so I could use my personal smartphone. I had no problems downloading email or sending text messages while on board. There were only a couple of times that there was a delay for a few minutes. I think this cost should be included in the "all inclusive" Silversea package. The onboard computer assistance was also good. I had one problem logging into the ship's internet because I couldn't remember the log-in procedure. The Butler was wonderful - he set me up initially. Then I went to the open time in the computer room and the on duty computer assistant helped me. Despite the fact I have a Droid system (a Samsung Galaxy) and everyone is more iphone familiar, the onboard computer experts knew all the systems. THE VENETIAN SOCIETY RECEPTION This was a letdown. In the past there was much fanfare and excitement when presenting the awards to a few select frequent passengers. This time it fell flat and only lasted a short time. We made an appearance but didn't stay more than a few minutes. FUTURE Since Silversea has now added "all inclusive" tours which many of the seasoned travelers don't want, with associated higher fares, I may explore some of the competitors like Seabourn or Regent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take ... Read More
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take another cruise, buy this, do this - but no one really seemed to know or care. My voyage stopped at a port Siversea had never visited before - and will not again, Nanaimo. Eleven hours and there was nothing to do. Why did the ship only stay a half day in key ports like Sitka or Juneau, where we could have had more outings, or weather permitting, any at all. And three of the four restaurants required reservations. There wasn't a day I wasn't on a waiting list. And it wasn't just meals, excursions, the over-priced spa - all had limited or no availability except when you really didn't want them, like a meal time! Then there was the Internet, which they charged you $150 to use and rarely worked. Even the printer in the computer room was out of order for practically the entire trip. Finally, the food. Sure it was plentiful and, on occasion, very good. But I was in Alaska and never was offered King Crab Legs, King Salmon, oysters or other Pacific shellfish. In fact the only shellfish I had was Maine lobster tails. I called Silversea Customer Relations twice this week to discuss. Both times I got a recording, and neither person called me back. Well, I won't be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This 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
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
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
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