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11 Silversea Alaska Cruise Reviews

We were sadly disappointed from the start when the Muse "broke" and we we didn't depart until a day later than scheduled. We had already spent two days in Vancouver exploring the city, so the offer of a "free ... Read More
We were sadly disappointed from the start when the Muse "broke" and we we didn't depart until a day later than scheduled. We had already spent two days in Vancouver exploring the city, so the offer of a "free excursion" to see the city was of no interest. We had already seen everything offered! We're still waiting to hear the details of the "15% credit of our cruise cost for a future cruise." After three phone calls and two emails there has been no response. We then missed our Ketchikan stop, and spent almost 2 days at sea. Given this was the last Alaska cruise of the season it was apparent most of the staff was burned out and "just going through the motions" required of their jobs. Food was good, but not great, and for the cost of the cruise our expectations were much higher. Decor was benign and boring, and the "artwork" of stacked hairdryers painted gold in the grand stairway was just weird! Our butler was nice, but forgetful. The room steward was great. The restaurant reservation system was odd, as the restaurants that were "booked" were often only half (or less) than full at peak hours. Were they just saving on costs? Entertainment and food was repetitive, and got boring even though it was only a 7 day cruise. On a high note, the cabin (deluxe veranda) was nice, bed comfortable, and balcony clean, but the wifi was TERRIBLE! I need to work while on vacation, and the lack of connectivity made this close to impossible. This is only my third cruise, but the last with SilverSea. Oceania was MUCH nicer, food better, and cost less. True, the alcohol wasn't included, but I couldn't drink the price difference if I tried. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cruise started with the check in for the private train from Anchorage to Seward. The train departs from the rail station adjacent to the airport and our bags were quickly taken but then we were left to find our own coffee etc. in the ... Read More
Our cruise started with the check in for the private train from Anchorage to Seward. The train departs from the rail station adjacent to the airport and our bags were quickly taken but then we were left to find our own coffee etc. in the airport until it was time to board the train. The waiting area for Silversea passengers was way too small, nowhere near enough seats for all the cruise passengers and many people were left standing for a long time. No beverages or snacks in this area at all. Once aboard the train we had 4 seats with table for just the two of us. Others were 4 at a table. The train was comfortable, carriage hostess very good, food OK but we had to pay for that. The journey was nearly 4 1/2 hours and it seemed a long time, despite some nice scenery on the way. We were fortunate to disembark quickly from the train and get checked-in on the ship and into our cabin speedily. However others were in a long queue and some only just got into their cabins as the safety drill was starting. Our first meal in the main Restaurant was very disappointing. Our salmon was very bland and flavourless, the worst salmon meal we had on our five week vacation. Unfortunately we found this to be a theme. The menu choices were very limited, cooking quite poor and the bland flavours a theme. Buffet breakfasts in Terraza restaurant were OK but if you wanted eggs these had to be ordered from the table waiter and took at least 5 minutes to arrive, so not really a full buffet. Lots of waiters eager to carry your plate to your table, some may like this but it seemed silly when the table was just a few paces away. We found that most meals we ate in different restaurants on the ship served food which was not very hot. We were surprised to be offered just one red and one white wine at mealtimes. Usually these were acceptable but on one occasion my husband said he did not like the white wine offered. He asked for the previous day's wine and this was brought to him. However the head Sommelier then came to our table as asked my husband 'How do you know that you don't like this wine if you haven't tried it'. Now that may well be true but is this really the way to speak to a fare paying passenger on an expensive cruise line? The Grill or Hot Rocks (why two names for the same restaurant) served excellent food. Staff so much friendlier than all other restaurants. However this was an Alaska cruise and evening were very cool. I did not expect to have to eat dinner with a sweater and thick coat on just to get a good meal. I was looking forward to trying the afternoon tea. This would have been nice but the cakes were 7 different types of chocolate cake and a few sandwiches. No scones and jam or other savouries. Our Verandah cabin was OK but rather small with the TV shelf sticking out which I kept bumping my head on when placing items on the shelf below, and pinch point with chair to desk opposite coffee table so not possible to walk through to sofa/verandah when chair occupied. We booked most of our excursions privately but did one through Silversea which was OK but not excellent. It was troubling that we arrived at one port where tenders were required and the Captain announced that the first three tenders would be for Silversea excursion passengers only. We had arranged to meet our private tour company as soon as possible for a seaplane trip and they were waiting for us. We went down to the excursion concierge to explain and she said yes, just go down talk to the staff and get on the first tender. We did and they were charming and said plenty of room do come aboard. Thank you Captain for worrying us. We felt that most staff were charming and helpful. However the very senior staff seemed less friendly and cheerful. On several days when we had shore excursions we had breakfast in our cabin. This was not very good at all. On each occasion the toast was burned on one side and uncooked on the other and cold. The fried eggs were very cold and on a cold plate. Fruit selection the same every time and not very good. All the cabin staff were excellent. Cheerful, helpful and eager to please. Other passengers we talked to who had cruised with Silversea previously noted that there was a deterioration in both food and wine quality and choices. We were really disappointed with Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
There were several factors leading to our disappointment. First, the ship is showing its age. It is clean but is definitely not what one would expect from a luxury cruise. The style was dated and the appointments, chairs sofas and ... Read More
There were several factors leading to our disappointment. First, the ship is showing its age. It is clean but is definitely not what one would expect from a luxury cruise. The style was dated and the appointments, chairs sofas and flooring were well worn. Second, the front desk customer service was very disappointing. We requested a room upgrade at check in and we were willing to pay for the upgrade. We were on a wait list to get on the cruise and had to take what was available. We were never contacted about an upgrade either positively or negatively. We spoke to a few couples later in the cruise that got updated for free! Not only did they get upgraded but we were not even offered the rooms they vacated. This is frustrating since we had the worst room on the boat. A room with a window on the fourth level as close to the bow as was possible. We had rough seas and that room was awful! We felt closed in and the bouncing was relentless. I got very sick. Third, as I said earlier we booked very late and could not get neither the restaurant reservations we requested or the better excursions. This did not add to the enjoyment of the cruise. Third, the communication was poor throughout the process. We had to call a few days prior to our leaving to ask where and when to board the ship. We also signed up for the after cruise excursion to Denali. We tried several time while on board the ship to get information about the itinerary and told it would be coming. Nothing came until one day before. It simply said to meet on the forth floor lounge at 7:15 the morning of the departure and we would be briefed. We had no idea where or when we we were staying. We could not let our family know if something went wrong. This is totally unacceptable. Fourth, we were very disappointed that once we left the boat as the various ports we had several other larger cruise ships and their thousands of people to compete with. That also included the few excursions we were able to book. People from the other ships were either part of our excursion or on the same excursion but on a different boat/car/bus. The excursions were not "luxury" but basically what everyone else had access to. That included the Denali add on at the end of the cruise. Same tour and excursions as Carnival, Regent, Princess and Disney. It did not feel in the least bit special. Fifth, the dining experience was very nice. The service and ala carte method of service gave it a very premium feel but the food simply did not deliver. The food quality was not what I expected from a luxury cruise. The wines were good the food was adequate at best. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our second trip to Alaska. Our first was with 3 children on a Celebrity Ship 10 years ago. We thought it would be fun to try a much smaller and luxurious ship with friends. The cost was significantly higher but we thought it ... Read More
This was our second trip to Alaska. Our first was with 3 children on a Celebrity Ship 10 years ago. We thought it would be fun to try a much smaller and luxurious ship with friends. The cost was significantly higher but we thought it would be worth it for the world class service and food and of course the ship itself. We were very very disappointed and I will research a lot more before we go on another cruise. The staff tried to be helpful but it was no use, any simple request seemed to be problem for some odd reason. Management is nowhere to be seem. The one striking thing to me on this trip was the absolute seriousness of the staff from the moment we boarded, you would think we were on a dangerous naval mission to the Middle East instead of a fun trip to Alaska. The food was highly disappointing on this "luxury cruise". It got very tiresome to be served potatato chips at all the bars with our glass of champaign, we really couldn't believe it. They did have something a little different the night before the end of the cruise timed perfectly for the distribution of surveys in each room. The staff seemed just plain bored all the time but they were kind and did try to please most of the time. In our opinion, this is not a staff problem, it is a management problem. Flat screen tv's are in the cabins but were simply placed in the original cabinets made for old style tv's so whats the point? they stick out terribly and are guaranteed to bump you in the head dozens of times in a week. Our fridge was only stocked when we called. The breakfast buffet was just average and the ship is very dated. The rust stains at the bottom of the pool didn't help and one closed hot tub on such a small ship is quite noticeable. The internet is completely useless, we would have been better off with walkie talkies on the ship. If this cruise had cost what a large ship charged I wouldn't even bother with this review but for $11,500 for 2 people .... this was highly unacceptable and we will never sail with SilverSea again. We should have known there would be a problem when we called in a few times before the cruise to ask a question and got rerouted several times for really simple and clear questions like "what time can we board the ship?". That call took 15 minutes and we were told 1 pm. The ship was actually boarding before 11am. I won't even go into how difficult it was to book specialty restaurants. Our contact at silver sea changed 3 times in just a few months, I should have known then we should bail. A very expensive disappointment. The beautiful observation deck has a bar for drinks or coffee/tea but it was never set up, what a waste. I am showing a photo of a beautiful day but by noon nobody had unsecured all the deck furniture so we could sit and enjoy the views. I will mention one last item and that is the slide show and presentations that constantly run on the TV. They were in fact "slides" and the presentation must have been recorded in the 70's. It's incredible at this day in age, where technology is where it is, that they are running these programs that make you feel you are in a boring science class in 1974. They would be better off transmitting current National Geographic programs or BBC wildlife programming. Anything but the tedious mind numbing choices all the passengers currently have now. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have been on 15 several cruises throughout the years. For what we paid, we thought the cabins, food and service would be over the top! Not even close, it could have been just a typical large ship cruise liner where you pay a third of ... Read More
We have been on 15 several cruises throughout the years. For what we paid, we thought the cabins, food and service would be over the top! Not even close, it could have been just a typical large ship cruise liner where you pay a third of the price. When you complain to a manager, they listen to you politely, make excuses and then do nothing. Internet was terrible. Upgrade the equipment. In this day and age, people want to be connected. Just work the price of Wifi into the cruise cost. Cabins need a good refurbishing - old and outdated. Food was very subpar. Service was very slow in all dining rooms and room service. Room service food was poor too. Need to update the fitness room. Pool deck dinner (Grill) was the best meal of the trip! Shore excursion - highly recommend dog sledding! The whole ship needs updating. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been on several cruises with Silversea and it is obvious that the company is moving downmarket. It is not anymore in the same category that Seabourn or other luxury cruises, more like massmarket cruises like P&O or carnival ... Read More
We have been on several cruises with Silversea and it is obvious that the company is moving downmarket. It is not anymore in the same category that Seabourn or other luxury cruises, more like massmarket cruises like P&O or carnival cruise. At embarkation you are now treated like cattle having to queue several times for a long time (45 minutes) to register and take the most important information like your credit card! When you complain to the Manager in the presence of the Captain, they listen to you politely, do nothing and clearly couldn't care much. Internet has never worked properly for 7 days. Cabins need a good refurbishing (table so unstable that it couldn't be used for breakfast). Accounting department at departure completely incapable to explain your bill and mixing cash and credit card. Never an invitation to visit the bridge even for "venetian member". Food very average and red wine mainly cheap italian wines. Only the service on board is competent. Excursions very variable, excellent, like Alaska by air, land and sea in Skagway, good in Junea with hovercraft to glacier or absolutely ridiculous, uncomfortable and useless trip on a "duck" in Ketchikan. SHAME ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
NOT worth the money!!!!! Not as advertised- food quality was far from excellent, Staff was rude and snobby, food was subpar, stays in port were far too short, watch out for the "diamond expert" selling jewelry at outrageous ... Read More
NOT worth the money!!!!! Not as advertised- food quality was far from excellent, Staff was rude and snobby, food was subpar, stays in port were far too short, watch out for the "diamond expert" selling jewelry at outrageous prices, praying on elderly vulnerable widows. Scandalous! Don't be mislead by their claim that this is so much better than the "Giant Commercial Lines." Silver Seas is just as commercial. Book your excursions on shore, you'll save about 20% bc Silver Seas up charges even though they probably get a referral commission on top of that - that is why the staff waits on the dock to "help you" get to your tour - they don't want you talking to the people on the docks and finding out you're being charged more on the ship, cabin electric is dangerous, it shorted out and almost electrocuted me, smoke and sparks under the bed!!! - and last but not least if you have children, beware - kids club is next to smoking lounge and the second hand smoke is horrible in Kids Club - my daughter complained of a headache after each visit to kids club, finally figured out why on the second to last evening... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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
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
We can sum up our Silversea experience in two words: totally disappointing. Silversea started us off on the wrong foot at the start when they stated early boarding carried a $100 each "fee". As we had shelled out $19,000USD for ... Read More
We can sum up our Silversea experience in two words: totally disappointing. Silversea started us off on the wrong foot at the start when they stated early boarding carried a $100 each "fee". As we had shelled out $19,000USD for a "Grand Suite" accomodation, we felt this additional charge was way over the top. Having had a stroke and not looking forward to a further delay in boarding, we complained to their Fort Lauderdale HQ. After a few calls, their office waived this "fee", adding that if we were members of their "Venetian Society" this waving was one of their "perks". So much for an "even playing field". We learned later that this fee was to discourage an "early luncheon" with accompanying wine and/or spirits. Our stateroom 701 was incredibly large and comfortable; Silversea was going on a roll! The closet was very large, with ample space for shoes, slippers etc. The bedroom was bright and roomy with a well lit vanity. It sported large screen TV. An ample, but not large balcony with two tables and four chairs completed the area. Two bathrooms, the main with double basins (one with a crack) a fully jetted tub and a smallish shower completed the room. The stateroom was the largest I have ever seen on a cruse ship. We have always chosen S class, and Owners suites, not to brag but due to my limited mobility. Comfortable arm chairs and a chaise-lounge along with a well equipped stand up bar completed the suite. The dining experience was just that.Unless you read the daily instructions, you could easily be too early or too late for lunch. The menu was out of the wild imagination of the chef. Example: Carpaccio served with fresh arugula, basil, celery walnuts and parmesan shavings (appetiser) sardinian clam soup with arugula and sun-dried tomatoes, grilled sea bass with smoked eel, celeriac cream infusion(entree) Five days into the cruise they offered salmon, chicken and a steak. My stomach had long started to act up by this time. We were told that several staterooms on our deck had the same problems with the richness of the food. My partner, at breakfast, after mentioning to the maitre d' that our morning coffee did not arrive set the stage for a very embarrassing situation for us. We had no sooner started our meal when our butler was paraded to our table along with the Food and Beverage manager. He proceeded to demand an apology from the poor butler. I don't know who was more upset by this childish behavior by the manager, the butler or my table. Thank goodness the little room was nearly empty; we, the butler and I were totally embarrassed. The butler was on time after this. The first night out we were serenaded by two screaming children one deck below. The TV in the next stateroom was annoying. Silversea has a very loose attitude about smoking. They request there be no smoking on the balconies. The only time we didn't smell second hand smoke was when we were moving. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
With high expectations my wife and I booked a cruise on the much acclaimed Silver Shadow. Pre cruise -- We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which was very pleasant. On June 30th I awoke to see the Silver Shadow dock at ... Read More
With high expectations my wife and I booked a cruise on the much acclaimed Silver Shadow. Pre cruise -- We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which was very pleasant. On June 30th I awoke to see the Silver Shadow dock at Canada place. Embarkation -- Was very smooth and our bags were in our suite on arrival. The stewardess greeted us and asked what drinks we would like for our bar. These drinks did not arrive for over 24 hours after a call to reception. After examination the suite was filthy, there was more than a few days dust, previous cruiser's pill packets and grey hair everywhere. Another call to reception rectified this. We had pre booked our tours online and were told that the tickets would be in our suite, not so. At the tour desk they had no record of this and advised me that I had not booked any tours. I then had to prove that I had by going onto the internet and printing the conformation. Only after doing this we were given our requested tours. Is this six star service? The ship in general was shabby, over due for a major refirb, ash trays remained dirty for hours if not overnight. There were finger marks on lifts and doors. We have travelled on much cleaner mainline cruise ships. Although Silversea boasts a high crew passenger ratio this was not evident on our trip. We never got any service at the pool area and waited 15 mins in the bar for service. When the officers made a rare appearance, again not what we had expected. Food was great, beyond expectations. We managed to get into La Terazza restaurant only once and were waited listed for the rest of the cruise. After speaking to fellow passengers I was told that they had crossed the Maitre d's hand with a couple of hundred dollars when they then managed to eat there for the rest of the cruise!!!!!. The inclusive wine selection was good. On one occasion my wife asked for a glass of Chablis and was told that an American Chardonnay was the same, I don't think so. Vibes from fellow passengers were that the standards have fallen since their previous Silversea cruises. On the last evening I was horrified to see the crew kicking passengers' luggage down the stairwells. After awful disembarkation our bags were both damaged, wonder why?. This cruise was meant to be a dream holiday for my wife and I it was way below what we have experienced on main line cruise ships. We would like to try another 6 star cruise but Silversea will have to improve somewhat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
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