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34 Silversea Alaska Cruise Reviews

A group of 18 friends gathered for an Alaska interior trip followed by the 7 day southbound cruise. The interior part of the trip was an incredible opportunity to see animals up close in a carefully managed national park. As this is a ... Read More
A group of 18 friends gathered for an Alaska interior trip followed by the 7 day southbound cruise. The interior part of the trip was an incredible opportunity to see animals up close in a carefully managed national park. As this is a cruise review, i will focus on the ship portion but highly recommend the pre-cruise adventure. Room: We were in veranda room 908, adjoining with 906. The room was incredible - appointed with luxury linens, toiletries, decor etc. as you might expect The size of the room was great considering 3 ladies were sharing the room. The bedding was firm (i prefer plush) and slightly more narrow than a normal twin. The sofa turned into a twin bed and was made each night by the butler. The walk in closet provided plenty of room for our overpacking and offered 6 drawers and a safe. The long counter in the living area had 3 more drawers so everyone had a place to store things, along with a nightstand with drawer and cubby. The bathroom featured a handheld shower as well as rainfall showerhead. We always had hot water and water pressure. The marble bathroom also included a full sized tub, which we did not use. There were shelves in the bathroom above and below the sink. Our butler kept our Bulgari products well supplied. As shower gel was provided, they also had the "scrubby puffs" for best lather. We were able to put 2 large pieces of luggage under each "twin bed" although luggage racks were also kept under the beds. Our room was quiet and we got our exercise since the activities were usually on the opposite end of the ship. When docking, we did feel and hear the engines but it was not something that bothered us. The butler kept us stocked with champagne and kept the refrigerator full. He kept us supplied with water and even distilled water. The clock in the room was marked as having wireless charging but i did not find that to work with the iphone. I brought a small extension cord with multiple outlets for charging our appliances, apple watches, etc. and would recommend the same if you like to charge everything at once Dining: While we did have grilled lobster and caviar, 3 times, in Atlantide, we really did not enjoy the food nor its timing. Dinner hours began at 7 pm. Breakfast was unavailable after 10 am and Lunch stopped at 2 pm or sooner. Since i have cruised major lines over the years, i noted the missing "all day buffet" from other ships. We had to plan around the hours that the food would be available. This was not a deal breaker but is worth noting if you are not a planner. Food taste was nothing noteworthy as i would have expected but i am a foodie. We enjoyed La Terrazza twice for dinner (and many times for buffet breakfast and buffet lunch which was great) , Indochine was one interesting but not to the taste of our large group. Our waiter suggested serving multiple items family style (and we ordered extra short ribs which were incredible) and this was a great way to try the unusual menu. the Arts Cafe served great capuccino and lattes with little snacks all day. Spanicapolo (sp) had delicious pizza and the Grill served hot lava rocks for you to cook your own steak. We tried that one night in the rain and were surprised by how nice it was but the side items were lacking and got cold while you cooked your steak. Service: The ship has mastered service. The ratio of staff to guest was amazing. My wine glass was never empty, cocktails were always offered and service was prompt. We really enjoyed being taken care up so well. Everyone seems to enjoy the job. Spa: i had two services reserved before boarding and learned about a 3 service package on board. I added acupuncture to my massage and facial and got 3 services for $495. The individual facial and massage were $229 each and included the gratuity although i left extra. They tried to sell me something in every service but i was able to resist. This is my least favorite part of the spa experience. There are no showers that i saw but lockers are provided in a small changing room. We had amazing weather until Sitka and actually did not do our excursion and it was too late to cancel. Lots of end of summer bargains in the shops in ports, especially Ketchikan. The group really enjoyed the excursions with lots of adventures in helicopters, with dog mushers and glacier hikes. There was always plenty to do in port. Onboard, we enjoyed the last show - a Queen tribute and played (free) bingo and trivia in Dolce Vita every day at 4pm. We had great service while playing. Overall: this was my 1st luxury cruise of 15 cruises. I would probably not do it again but will look at upgrading to a suite on the major lines for a similar price. The ship was small and never seemed crowded despite the large group we had. I loved the size of this ship and it is one reason to return to Silversea. I was spoiled by the service but the food just did not wow me. I am happy to answer any questions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I travelled with family and they recommended this cruise line having sailed with them before. The ship is smaller than what I have previously cruised on so I was concerned about motion - turned out to be a non-issue (not sure if it was ... Read More
I travelled with family and they recommended this cruise line having sailed with them before. The ship is smaller than what I have previously cruised on so I was concerned about motion - turned out to be a non-issue (not sure if it was just the ship or the calmer waters we sailed mostly in Alaska). We were traveling with my senior citizen mother so the smaller ship was a great size for her to easily navigate. Although the ship was at capacity we never felt crowded, never waited in any line, and service was impeccable. Cabin was spacious (Verandah Suite Deck 8) and we had 3 in the room with no issues. Bathroom was very spacious and the shower was wonderful with great water pressure. Loved the towels and bath amenities. Our butler was excellent, and it was a nice service. We booked tours in all our ports independent of the ship so I cannot comment on this aspect. Entertainment was basic and we did not do much during the day other than bingo while at sea, which was fun. The evening entertainment was just OK. The best show was the tribute to Queen. Casino is small but not overly crowded. One table each for blackjack, poker and roulette and there were some slot machines. The ship was beautiful and well kept, service outstanding as I mentioned. A few blips to be aware of: 1. Embarkation timing could be seriously improved. We arrived in Anchorage the day before the sailing and took the scenic railway to the ship with the cruise line the next day. Our bus to the train did not depart until 1230pm, so the morning was quiet and sort of boring with not much we could do. The train ride was pleasant, scenery was beautiful, but the ride was long and we arrived at the boat close to 6pm. We were on the last car of the train so last to exit and get on board. As soon as we got on board it was muster drill time, we did not even have time to walk around the ship and get acclimated. After muster we had to get ready for dinner and felt very rushed to unpack and get organized. Rather than keep us in Anchorage, it would have been better to have us depart and arrive at the ship an hour or so earlier to allow passengers to get their bearings. I know most passengers arrive on the train so it gives the crew max time to prepare the ship, but there should be a happier medium. 2. Remember to bring converters. The USB ports did not work and there were not enough USA outlets. There were no converters available to us when we asked our butler and we did not read that converters were recommended to bring- our fault for not asking I guess. 3. Restaurants were overall pretty good. Some blips in service and food quality during dinners in both Atlantide and La Terrazza. I thought the food was good but I think I expected better given the luxury level of the line- it was not much better than I have experienced on other 'less luxurious' ships. What was nice - service was outstanding all over the ship, maitre d's addressed you by name within 24 hours of being onboard, staff was friendly everywhere, and the available wine and any beverage you want anytime were certainly nice! So overall we had a wonderful cruise on the Muse and for our Alaska trip but I am not sure I would book again with them at this time. I reserve the right to reconsider my comment though if I cruise again and see significant advantages to Silver Sea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 9th Silversea cruise all previous being on Spirit and Shadow, so we were keen to sample the Muse. We stayed in Fairmont Waterfront pre cruise, and exceptional hotel, top tip, choose a harbour view Gold floor room. It was ... Read More
This was our 9th Silversea cruise all previous being on Spirit and Shadow, so we were keen to sample the Muse. We stayed in Fairmont Waterfront pre cruise, and exceptional hotel, top tip, choose a harbour view Gold floor room. It was a mixed experience on the Muse. The new Musification decor and the ship did not disappoint, a stunning ship and much improved over the older ships. The crew as always were superb, always friendly professional and a delight. However, we for sure noticed a slipping of previous standards. The main points we noticed, all small, but it's the small detail that counts: This was an Alaskan cruise, with the spotlight on scenery and wildlife, previous Silversea cruises always had binoculars in every cabin, wow, not any more, when I asked the reply from the Cruise Consultant was, it cost to much as guests steal them, a lowering of standards. I was surprised to see on the open forward deck, Zodiacs and Kayaks tied down, very unsightly. It became clear during the cruise that this cruise was partially an Expedition cruise, unfortunately this was not made clear in any pre cruise matterial. One day of the cruise was modified, without any pre cruise notice, to facilitate the expedition element as the ship moored for 12 hrs in Rudyard Bay, yes lovely scenery but after 12 hrs looking it became tiresome, it was all for the Expedition and tours using Zodiacs and Kayaks. Dining in the La Terrazza restaurant was very disappointing, the changes have created a more open cafe concept, very noisey taking away its previous charm. Top tip, try it once but dine in Atlantide, Silver Note or La Dame, these are all very good. We noticed the service was not as before, standards from Silversea are dropping, these points are small but important, to me all drink measures are smaller, canape are meager, one other guest called it the "Meega Muse" Also lacking was the old Silversea luxury of a waiter taking ladys by the arm to escort to table. Sliding standards. And what happened to the luxury touch of your butler giving you a choice of toiletries for your cabin. Sliding standards. If you have this option, take the Juneau Silver King Lodge tour, amazing wildlife and lunch. To summarise; Yes Silversea are exceptional and I would certainly cruise with them again and recommend them. However, the new Musification is missing something, I'm not sure what but they seem to have just taken there eye off the ball, and are cutting back on small luxury items, but I would suggest that it's just those small luxury touches that have made Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I was on a cruise that happened to be the cruise that a couple of insurance companies seemed to have bought large room blocks to give as prizes to their best sales people. I was very disappointed in the overall "party atmosphere" ... Read More
I was on a cruise that happened to be the cruise that a couple of insurance companies seemed to have bought large room blocks to give as prizes to their best sales people. I was very disappointed in the overall "party atmosphere" of the people who received the free cruises from the insurance companies. I chose SilverSea to not have to be confronted with loud, uproarious crowds; therefore, I spent lots of time in my cabin. I understand that the staff on the Silver Shadow did all they could do to lessen the impact of this group on the rest of us. Other than this little problem that there is no way you could have foreseen, my cruise was AMAZING. Maybe a possible solution would be to not allow large room blocks by insurance companies. I would think you could sell out the ship without allowing these poorly behaved guests. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wanted to see Alaska and stay over night in Alaska. I now have slept overnight in all 50 states. The cruise over all was very good. Room was outstanding; food and service was very good. Outside of ship needs better maintenence i.e. ... Read More
I wanted to see Alaska and stay over night in Alaska. I now have slept overnight in all 50 states. The cruise over all was very good. Room was outstanding; food and service was very good. Outside of ship needs better maintenence i.e. rusting, flaking paint and corrosion Ports of call were great, once you got by the jewerly hucksters. The embarkation procedure both coming and going is poor. We had to be out of our room at 8:30 AM and we were not allowed off the ship untill 9:30 AM. When we got on the ship we had to stand in line for 30 minuets to check-in after a 1/4 mile walk to get to the ship. They should have triple the people for check-in and not make you leave your room until five minuets before you can exit ship. The airfare was set-up by Silverseas and they were really bad flights, going a 7 hr. on American with no food. Coming a 4hr. layover in Salt Lake City to clear customs which actually occured in Vancover BC. Unless Silverseas offered me a tremedous discount I would not use them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
A 7 day cruise was the ticket to see the ports of Alaska. The glacier portion was not possible due to 1 1/2 days of rough seas and weather. The rest of the week the weather was more than fine and the excursions were perfect. Service was ... Read More
A 7 day cruise was the ticket to see the ports of Alaska. The glacier portion was not possible due to 1 1/2 days of rough seas and weather. The rest of the week the weather was more than fine and the excursions were perfect. Service was alaways prompt and courtious. The menus at all the restauants were very limited and the food portions small. The Restaurant had the best food and would accommodate changes . Rafael, our server at every meal was the best. Excursions were with great partners and were on time and very professional. Barmen waiters etc., were always on hand to assist you with any want or need. Pool area was nice and well cared for. Public areas were also well kept and staffed. The windows did leak in the observation lounge during the first day storms. All in all Siverseas did a good job, but not a "high luxury" voyage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We traveled with another couple and although we all have cruised before, never on a high-end ship such as Silver Seas. Personally, I enjoyed the itimacy of a smaller crowd. Crew was thoughtful, attentive and courteous the entire trip. ... Read More
We traveled with another couple and although we all have cruised before, never on a high-end ship such as Silver Seas. Personally, I enjoyed the itimacy of a smaller crowd. Crew was thoughtful, attentive and courteous the entire trip. Food was excellent, except for The Grill, where the service was a bit slow and food was sometimes luke warm (especially, side dishes). However, in all restaurants we dined at, food was delicious! I had trouble with my room key card not opening my door and had to have a replacement key made-up on a daily basis. The embarkation process went smoothly as well as disembarkation, although we needed a van after disembarking, but one was not readily available. The pros have definitely outweighted the cons on this voyage, but due to the cost, I would probably think twice before travelling on such a high-end ship, but that is not to say that I would rule it out due to the cost. As previously stated, I enjoyed the smaller amount of guests and the food and service was superb! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our 28th Silversea cruise, part 2 of back-to-back Alaska cruises. We chose this for the itinerary, sailing dates, company of friends. Ten years ago, we did a similar cruise round-trip San Francisco. This time, completely ... Read More
This was our 28th Silversea cruise, part 2 of back-to-back Alaska cruises. We chose this for the itinerary, sailing dates, company of friends. Ten years ago, we did a similar cruise round-trip San Francisco. This time, completely different crowd, families, not at all like the cruise in 2008, nor even the cruise the previous week. It was noisy, kids running up and down the corridors, no such thing as "indoor voices". A very loud group of 8 adults completely wrecked the ambiance of of La Dame (guest relations made good on that one). Dress code? What dress code? But not all negative: Best service and food we have ever experienced on a Silversea Cruise. We've never seen the staff so friendly and engaging. Granted, our last two cruises were on the Muse and one was the maiden crossing, like part of the shakedown. So maybe it was the ship, the experience of the staff, the size, itinerary...who knows? Except for the above issues, a most excellent experience. We have 4 Silversea cruises booked and paid for over the next year. We didn't do any shore excursions, preferring to wander around the ports. There were some large cruisers docked at some, but not all, of the ports; they carried 2100-3200 people or more, made for some crowdedness at certain ports.Walked to the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka, and shuttled to the SeaLife Aquarium in Seward, walking back. Both hikes worth it. Ketchikan bills itself as the salmon capital of the world. Ketchikan is replete with salmon retailers, but the creek walk is very pretty and entertaining, particularly if you like to browse. Skagway...not enough time at the port to take a Yukon-White Pass RR excursion unless it was Silversea's, so you had to buy from the ship at with the usual markup. Fun place to walk around though. In Juneau on the northbound trip, it rained all day, but we were docked right downtown. On the way back, it was sunny, but we were docked about a mile away from where we were previously. Shuttles were helpful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise for the smaller size of the ship. We really enjoyed the cruise. The staff are excellent! You feel pampered. I gave four stars overall as we found the food to be generally very good but not always consistent. The La ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the smaller size of the ship. We really enjoyed the cruise. The staff are excellent! You feel pampered. I gave four stars overall as we found the food to be generally very good but not always consistent. The La Dame restaurant was excellent. You need to call on the first day possible to get in. I did not like the fact that all the restaurants booked out early. I thought there should have been a more equitable system. Overall liked the boat very much and Alaska is beautiful. The scenery was gorgeous from our balcony. The ports of call are pretty. Sometimes wished there was a little more time at each. The Hubbard glacier is a highlight. We were lucky to have good weather all the way. I would recommend this cruise to others. It seemed like mostly seniors on board but some young people as well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We went to Alaska and wanted a small, high quality cruise line. Silverseas did not disappoint. Service was impeccable. Ship was immaculate. Medallion suite was great. Excursions were fantastic. However, the decor and condition of the ... Read More
We went to Alaska and wanted a small, high quality cruise line. Silverseas did not disappoint. Service was impeccable. Ship was immaculate. Medallion suite was great. Excursions were fantastic. However, the decor and condition of the ship is tired and outdated. For the price we paid this was disappointing but not really surprising as we had read the reviews and seen the pictures. The butler was incredibly kind and accommodating. Anything we wanted or asked for was delivered in a timely manner. We had breakfast in our suite everyday and it was delicious and a relaxing way to start the day while enjoying the views out the windows. Excursions are a must to see the countryside and experience the wild beauty that is Alaska, Our favorites were the helicopter ride to the glacier, the whale watch, the fishing trip and the float plane. The towns along the way are small and touristy... Small and hokey shops but very nice people. The attractions are really seen during the excursions and while the ship is cruising. Would try Silverseas again, but only on a new ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We love the scenery of Alaska and thoroughly enjoyed the ports. Saw so many whales on Juneau whale excursion, Discovering Alaska's whales. Fantastic experience. Lumberjack show in Ketchikan is very entertaining and a little corny, ... Read More
We love the scenery of Alaska and thoroughly enjoyed the ports. Saw so many whales on Juneau whale excursion, Discovering Alaska's whales. Fantastic experience. Lumberjack show in Ketchikan is very entertaining and a little corny, but worth the price. We were disappointed our first night that we couldn't eat at two of the three restaurants on board because we needed reservations even before we boarded. We never ate at one of them for dinner because it was always booked. The outside grill has the best food, but it was booked unless it was so cold and some cancelled. That did occur and it was very cold, but the food was good. We had a hard time having hot food just in general on the ship. The breakfast buffet food was mildly warm and the only cooked to order food was eggs if you didn't want the buffet's scrambled eggs. Each cabin has a butler assigned, but we're still unclear what the butler's job is as when we asked for towels, he said he'd have someone bring them. The maid was great and the cabin was cleaned twice a day. The entertainment was repetitive with singers who did opera nearly every night. The best entertainer was Charlie, the guitarist, he was great and personable and open to requests. If you want an A+ cruise, try seabourn. Silversea is very nice, but seabourn has all the right touches. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We liked our cruise very much. We traveled with a group of 20! I want to thank Peter John our cruise contact for answering all our questions, making arrangements, and herding our group with ease. He was so very grand to work with. I think ... Read More
We liked our cruise very much. We traveled with a group of 20! I want to thank Peter John our cruise contact for answering all our questions, making arrangements, and herding our group with ease. He was so very grand to work with. I think from our group, everyone was happy with the cabins to be sure, and the staff was truly amazing to us. We felt welcomed and special. My only comment that could have been better was the evening dinning. We all loved the pool side dinning, and breakfast buffet...lovely, but the dinners in the main dinning room was not up to par. I would suggest a simpler bill of fare done well than the fussy menu offered. I needed to brush up on my Italian to understand what I was ordering. The portions were perfect to be able to sample some of each course, but the main offering was often not done well. It was nice to know that ordering from the state room menu was offered. The deserts and soups were amazing! Every waitstaff was on point and delightful. Most of us were not on board for the food, but for glorious Alaska. In this regard, there was no disappointment! All of our different excursions were shared and absolutely enjoyed. I personally would not have missed the float plane and crab fest for anything...it took my breath away! It still gives me chills to remember it. The train trip to the Yukon was wonderful...breathtaking views. The Hubbard glacier will forever be a highlight for all of us. We were all so amazed to not only see it but to HEAR it. Wow! We all were lucky enough to see all the animals on the list: whales, otters, seals, killer whales, dolphins, BEARS!! Oh my! (I missed the moose). This trip was on my bucket list, and as 20 of us decided to go together, others as well. It will forever be a wonderful memory to have for the rest of our days. Thank you so much!!! Best wishes from 'the 20' from Florida. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose Silver Seas because my husband and I wanted to visit Alaska on a small high end ship. We are not big cruisers and love high end hotels, but we knew this was the best way to see Alaska. The service and staff were excellent. The ... Read More
We chose Silver Seas because my husband and I wanted to visit Alaska on a small high end ship. We are not big cruisers and love high end hotels, but we knew this was the best way to see Alaska. The service and staff were excellent. The mix of passengers was varied and we met many people in our age group (50-60) but there were families with mostly older children and seniors as well and it felt very comfortable. The ship was very nice but we were just little underwhelmed with the accommodations. We had just spent 3 days in Vancouver, prior to our departure, at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and were spoiled by the contemporary elegance of the hotel and the fabulous food in Vancouver. The food on the ship was very good in the two main restaurants (The Restaurant and La Terrazza) and we also dined in La Champagne one night, which was wonderful. I loved that the portions were small (but you could have as much as you wanted) and my wine glass was never empty. There was an upcharge for certain bottles iof wine if you wanted to but what they served was very drinkable. All the liquor was top shelf at no additional charge. We did not like the lunch buffet at all and never went to the breakfast buffet. It felt like totally different chef or kitchen. The poolside restaurant was fine, nothing special but not bad . That being said we give very high marks to the shore excursions and the staff that managed them. It was a little overwhelming to chose among so many activities. We wanted outdoor adventures and we got it. All were handled by enthusiastic young tour guides. The beauty of the glacial landscape, animal life and activities were why we went and they did not disappoint. The onboard entertainment was disappointing. Because it was a small ship, there were limited activities even though the cruise director was upbeat. The shows were cast with very talented young singers who gave it their all but the acts felt old. The one lecture a day, about Alaska, was boring. We did enjoyed the casino after dinner, both winning ( which brought us back each night )and losing. Could have used more to do on at sea days but there were only two so we were fine and enjoyed the spa and the gym. It was also nice to have a run around the deck weather permitting, as the views could be gorgeous. Any more than that at sea and the lack of exciting on ship activities would have been a problem. I would do it again to travel to places where it made sense to cruise and use this experience to guide me as to the what I would look for going forward. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Friends who have sailed on Silversea before mentioned they were thinking of going to Alaska and since we have always wanted to go, we decided to join them. The ship is nice, the crew is excellent, the food is pretty good. The ... Read More
Friends who have sailed on Silversea before mentioned they were thinking of going to Alaska and since we have always wanted to go, we decided to join them. The ship is nice, the crew is excellent, the food is pretty good. The entertainment is more or less and the port are all tourist traps but what can you expect, nothing much to see there. All in all it was a good cruise. I would recommend it to people that want to do some adventurous things, which we did not. All trips outside of the ship, excursions, etc. are extra, nothing is included, so you end up adding a bit to your bill. Internet in regular cabins, anything below a Medallion suite, is free only one hour per day and in general the connection was excellent. The shore excursions are ok, the best one was the one to the Iditarod summer camp. Was told that the helicopter ride to the glacier and then dog sledding was amazing. Most ports are full of jewelery shops and tourist shops (t-shirts, etc.). Sitka was the nicest town on the itinerary I would say. We saw a fun lumberjack show in Ketchikan. Took the tour to White Pass mountain but would not recommend it. A long drive, very beautiful scenery but don't know if it is worth it. It was very cold everywhere we stopped. We stopped at Hubbard Glacier for about an hour or two, and that was all we saw of glaciers, some others passing by. I was expecting something more, maybe because I have been to the glaciers in Argentina which are spectacular and you can get very close to them. All in all a good experience and I would recommend it to someone that loves nature and hiking, etc. There were lectures everyday about the town where we would be stopping. There are games to play like trivia, name that tune, bridge. The food was good, very good at the french restaurant, good at the italian one. Surprisingly, the pasta was always overcooked and the break and cold cuts were low quality. Bread never crispy, no prosciutto. I say surprisingly because the captain in Italian! The room good sized, lots of space for everything. Ours was 823, great location. The casino so so, not many people there. Our butler was great but we did not really ask him for much. Good, small, gym and great spa. The value for money is good because the service is excellent. Not enough hand sanitizers around. There is no place to go have a snack in between meals, just the coffee bar (only coffee or tea) in the Panorama lounge. The bars are not open a lot of the time. Somehow too many different bars/lounges so it always feel a little empty and quiet. There were LOTS of children and a couple of babies, which I was not expecting. Also, the dress code is not enforced at all. I saw guys wearing caps in the restaurant and jeans and tshirts also to dinner in the italian restaurant. Also walking barefoot . Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our family of 12 (ages18-80) were on Silver shadow last week-only my mother has been on Silversea so it was her choice. We were all on deck 6 in Veranda rooms which were very nice. We absolutely loved Rodney our butler!! One of us had a ... Read More
Our family of 12 (ages18-80) were on Silver shadow last week-only my mother has been on Silversea so it was her choice. We were all on deck 6 in Veranda rooms which were very nice. We absolutely loved Rodney our butler!! One of us had a birthday during cruise and he brought balloons and a banner that day and offered her a cake at dinner! The first night there were rough seas and 8/12 were seasick-some getting sick some just queasy-one had to get a shot from doctor. Rodney said 3/4 of ship was sick! We tried the magic pills but didn't really work- they ran out of armbands too- they didn't seem very prepared for the bad weather We played team trivia daily which was the only activity for our group- there was ping pong and golf putting. We ate at La Terrazza 3 nights and the Grille 3 nights and Le Champagne 1 night- overall the food was not what we had expected since Mom said it was a VERY nice ship and someone just mentioned all proteins were frozen There wasn't much variety on the menus. The casino was a popular spot for our group- lots of winning at blackjack! We loved all of our excursions- Ocean rafting-Sitka and fishing -Sitka, Whale watching -Juneau, fishing- Skagway , sea kayaking-Haines and White pas train- Skagway and floatplane in Ketchikan.Overall we had a great time but will research the food better next time-pretty $$ to serve frozen food!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have over 120 days sailing on Silversea ships because we like the amazing food, fabulous service, terrific excursions, attention to requested details, the choice of wines & champagnes available at no extra charge & the ... Read More
We have over 120 days sailing on Silversea ships because we like the amazing food, fabulous service, terrific excursions, attention to requested details, the choice of wines & champagnes available at no extra charge & the delightful Verandah suites with Butler service, separate showers & tubs & over all luxuriousness that Silversea has to offer. However, this is our first cruise on the Silver Shadow, twin to the Silver Whisper, & sadly, she is really beginning to look shabby. I know the ship went in for a re-fit one year ago, but just replacing the carpet in the suites & re-doing the restaurants & the public lounges is not enough!!!!! The beautiful honey colored woods in the suites are scuffed & looking old & poorly maintained with some burn marks(no smoking allowed)& the new carpeting was put down so badly that it is coming up already around the wooden fixed furniture and there are tear marks that have been repaired very sloppily. I wish I could tell you how disappointed we are after having done a one week Alaskan cruise on this ship. We have 2 more cruises booked on the Silver Whisper, which I know will be in better shape because the World Cruise is on that ship in 2018, but all the ships should be up to the same standard of excellence that we have gotten used to with Silversea, not just the newer ones or the bigger ones!!!!! The entertainment, whenever they put on a production, was good, but the productions were too few and far between & on July 4th, in an American port, with mostly American passengers, the ship did nothing to celebrate our Independence Day. Without American passengers, no cruise line could survive, but to ignore July 4th completely, was insulting!!!!! The ports in Alaska are very small & filled with tourist shops & Diamond/Tanzanite jewelry stores, just like you find all over the Caribbean. Very disappointing, but not Silversea's fault. The excursions were very well done & fun & very interesting with lots of history & fabulous scenery, but that is all. The museum in Anchorage was wonderful to see and tour, but had I not been told about it beforehand, I never would have known that it existed. As to the glassed domed train ride from Anchorage to Seward------FORGET IT!!!!! It is crowded, uncomfortable, the food is worse than awful & it took 6 hours to go 125 miles, when we could have had a choice to go in a luxury motor coach for 2 1/2 hrs & reach the ship by 2-3p.m. instead of 6:15p.m.--totally outrageous!!!!! Never again!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The best food, actually was in the regular dining room and not the specialty restaurants, though La Terrazz was good.I guess I expected more of a selection and more of a gourmet experience. And the bars were ho-hum. It sounds silly, ... Read More
The best food, actually was in the regular dining room and not the specialty restaurants, though La Terrazz was good.I guess I expected more of a selection and more of a gourmet experience. And the bars were ho-hum. It sounds silly, but the EGGS the ship had were fabulous. They had these divine yolks of a deep orange color with an exquisite flavor. Once I discovered those eggs I couldn't wait for breakfast each day. And the coffee, which I am so fussy about was wonderful. It's the little things like this that make me happy. It was worth it to me, too, knowing when I booked an on shore excursion I would be connected with the ship by bus, etc., in a timely fashion to fit the ships schedule. I was travelling alone to Alaska for my first time and I needn't have worried about a thing. The method of luggage transfer was flawless and made clear and easy. Internet not so good, but who cares? I was on vacation. I loved my butler who took very good care of me.. I liked the idea that the ship was not so huge and did not have many small children on it. I love children but not everywhere. I did not think much at all of the plank cooked dinner in the freezing cold and so cold they tried to offer me a new plank as mine was quickly cold. The best food, actually was in the regular dining room and not the specialty restaurants, though La Terrazz was good.I guess I expected more. Honestly I loved the excursions in each port. I liked the ones they selected for their quality and the arranged Silversea transport for them, as well as the flawless baggage methods the ship had arranged, as well as the courteous and gracious transport connecting me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The ship is beautiful, perfectly maintained. The crew waits on you hand and foot. Nothing is ever crowded, nor do you have to wait for anything. We are big foodies, however, and therefore suffered disappointment. The menu ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, perfectly maintained. The crew waits on you hand and foot. Nothing is ever crowded, nor do you have to wait for anything. We are big foodies, however, and therefore suffered disappointment. The menu descriptions were fabulous, the presentation was gorgeous. The only thing missing was taste. We did not hear others complain, so maybe we're just spoiled, We took advantage of two ship-arranged tours and did the rest on our own: 1) Mendenhall Glacier can be done with a bus from Juneau. Should have been our choice as we didn't need so much time there. It's well worth seeing. MT. Robert's Tram was crowded, lovely view, but not necessary. 2) The steam train into the Klondike region in Skagway was fun and interesting, with some beautiful views. I would recommend taking the bus one way as the photo ops were better. My husband liked this tour more than I did. If you're in Sitka, call Paul Davis at Gallant Adventures. We arranged this on our own and saw at least 30 whales and experienced at least 6-7 bubble-nettings. He also found us sea otters, black-tailed deer, eagles and more. Very knowledgeable and gives a great tour. Seeing the Hubbard Glacier from the ship was terrific. They got us up close as it was a beautiful day. Nick Sepsaes (so), the man who gave daily enrichment talks, was such a highlight. Learned so much from him and looked forward daily to his presentations. Alaska is truly The Last Frontier. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose Silversea because of the reputation and a smaller ship in addition to the cuisine. The cruise mostly met our expectation. We normally go on riverboats as a more intimate and less stress experience. The 90 day dinner reservations ... Read More
We chose Silversea because of the reputation and a smaller ship in addition to the cuisine. The cruise mostly met our expectation. We normally go on riverboats as a more intimate and less stress experience. The 90 day dinner reservations and 60 day shore excursion deadline were stressful and the "concierge" service was non existent!! I could not reach anyone by phone or email to ask questions. With regards to the cruise-it generally met our expectations except for the main dining room which was a cut below the other dining venues. Our shore experiences in general were good with the exception of Skagway-the Hummer driver just started working 1 month ago and was mostly clueless about the rich history. He did listen to us and took some memorable photos to us! The French restaurant on the last day was somewhat disappointing and I was under the impression that wine would be pared with the food-it would definitely have added to to dining experience. Also I has to commend the enrichment speaker who was excellent and the ability to watch his lecture on TV the next day was very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We flew in to Anchorage AK and stayed one night at Captain Cook's - then we took the train ride from Anchorage to Seward. This was a delightful experience! Upon leaving Anchorage, we saw an adult moose with a baby moose. We were ... Read More
We flew in to Anchorage AK and stayed one night at Captain Cook's - then we took the train ride from Anchorage to Seward. This was a delightful experience! Upon leaving Anchorage, we saw an adult moose with a baby moose. We were served drinks and lunch (this is a 5 hour train ride) and saw beautiful, breathtaking Alaskan countryside (including glaciers). This was a fun way to start our adventure. When we arrived to the ship, we checked in and were shown to our spacious suite (where our luggage was waiting for us). A bottle of champagne was on ice as well as a plentiful platter of fruit. Within the hour we were called to MUSTER (safety procedures). Staff was quick and efficient! Next was dinner in LA Terrazza! Delicious and WHAT A VIEW! Hubbard Glacier the next day was just sensational. We ate at La Champagne that night and honestly, were unimpressed. It's a tiny restaurant (seats 22, I believe) and all was quiet and intimate til a group of 10 came in. Regardless, the food is just not that great. The next night we ate at The Restaurant, while the food is average, the atmosphere at La Terrazza is so much better (along with the variety of foods). My advice- make reservations every night at La Terrazza - you can always cancel later- because once the cruise starts, it is HELL getting reservations. Rarely does anyone cancel their reservations at La Terrazza. The pool restaurant really wasn't an option as it was cold and rainy and very windy during our cruise. At La Terrazza, breakfast and lunch are over the top buffets! I'm not a buffet type person, but this is a deliciously extravagant buffet. Do it once and you will be hooked. Sitka was beautiful! While in Juneau, a lot of the excursions were cancelled because of weather (our helicopter ride to the dog sled camp was cancelled) so we had massages at the spa! They were wonderful! The next day in Skagway we were able to book a helicopter ride to another dog sled camp! My advice on this is as soon as one excursion is cancelled, immediately try and book another one ASAP! TEMSCO Helicopters in Skagway even added and extra flight early in the morning to accommodate! The excursion coordinator was instrumental in getting us re-booked immediately. I would have been very disappointed if I had not been able to do this particular excursion. The next day we were in Ketchikan AK and it was an adorable town. We took a float plane here and it too, was a wonderful experience. The next day was spent at sea, sailing the INSIDE PASSAGE. When we arrived in Vancouver, disembarking was seamless. Once again, your luggage is waiting for you in a very organized area. I can't say enough good things about our butler (Neo) and his protege (Raj). They took care of every single need we had and some we didn't even know we needed. We chose this cruise line and time of year because we don't enjoy being around unruly children and would rather spend our time enjoying beautiful scenery in a quieter atmosphere. This cruise absolutely exceeded our expectations! Food and drinks were delicious and the staff makes everything so easy. This was our first Silver Seas Cruise and it was mainly without any hiccups. I would HIGHLY recommend seeing Alaska this way! We really insist on staying in 5 star hotels when traveling and Silver Seas is the only way to do that in Alaska! Plus, I really liked unpacking only once! We learned from experience that seasoned cruisers book their dinner reservations for La Terrazza every night in advance. The kitchen is very small and they can serve only a limited amount of people each night. It is an older crowd, but that's exactly what we wanted. I only hope I can be as active as some of these people when I reach that age! They were an inspiration! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our previous experience with cruising has been with Cunard in both Princess and Queens Grill suites. We wanted to try a small ship to see if it suited us better. We are younger than the average passengers at 47 and 38, we don’t mind ... Read More
Our previous experience with cruising has been with Cunard in both Princess and Queens Grill suites. We wanted to try a small ship to see if it suited us better. We are younger than the average passengers at 47 and 38, we don’t mind that but some folks would be put off as the median age is about 65 going up to 80+. We looked at Regent, Seabourn but ultimately decided on Silversea as we liked the itinerary the best and had heard equally good things about all of them. I have read most of the recent reviews of this ship and they vary wildly. I have come to the conclusion that three types of people write reviews on this forum, those who love or hate the ship and those who have sailed before and noticed that it was not as good as it had been. No matter what ship you go on these days, all lines are cutting costs and trying to extract as much money out of each passenger as possible, it is sad but it is the nature of the industry. There is obviously a lot of choice in the market and people for the most part tend to stick with the brand they like. Itinerary: 7 Day cruise from Seward Alaska to Vancouver, stopping in Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Pre-cruise: We booked with Silversea direct and were offered $400 onboard spend as an incentive. As Alaska is a very popular and time limited season we booked early to make sure we got the dates we wanted. The most common complaint we heard onboard was about not being able to get reservations at the specialty restaurants. We knew this from reading other reviews, so make sure that at 90 days before the cruise we logged in and got the reservations we wanted. We spend 3 days in Vancouver before flying to Anchorage and did not book with Silversea for accommodation as they prices they were charging were breathtaking. This is not unique to Silversea, we found this to be true on Cunard. In Anchorage we booked The Lakefront hotel for one night which is 10 minutes drive from the airport and they have a free shuttle to the airport 24 hours a day as well as a shuttle into town during the day. We did not go into town as our flight was late. We returned to the airport with our bags to the airport train station. We were met my Silversea reps and they quickly dispatched our luggage to a waiting truck that would go ahead of the train so that your bags are waiting in your suite upon arrival. Nice touch! The train ride was 4.5 hours and went through some breathtakingly beautiful coastal and inland areas including 2 glaciers. Food onboard was ok, but you did have to pay. If you can plan ahead take your own food. Soft drinks were included. We we arrived in Seward and it was just a short stroll (less than one city block) to the ship. We were released from the train one train car at a time and all of us boarded in less than an hour. Once onboard the process was very smooth and we were individually escorted to our suits by our cabin attendant. (again a nice touch). Our suite was 814 toward the front of the ship and was spacious. For those who are familiar with Cunard it is a similar size to a Princess Suite however the balcony is compact. There is a separate bath and shower, both very good sized and two sinks and a large mirror. Very nice sized walk in closet. The suite was always impeccably clean and our butler and cabin attendant made sure all of our needs were met. They will stock your fridge with whatever beer/wine/champagne/soft drinks of your choosing and they are always replenished without asking. Fresh fruit was not automatically provided but we requested it and it was replenished daily. They also have a choice of pillows, we opted for firm pillows. The ship: Comments posted on this forum in the last few years would lead one to believe the ship is falling apart and in need of refurbishment. While I would agree she needs updating, everything is spotlessly clean and nothing is threadbare or falling apart. The ship is well maintained. I understand the entire Silversea fleet is due for extensive refurbishment in the next few years. As a small ship everything is easily accessible and we tried all of the restaurants save for Hot Rocks as the night we had our booking the weather was too windy. We did not attend any lectures or shows as we don’t really like musical reviews and quite frankly the quality of cruise ship entertainment is just not to our liking. The bar and panorama lounge were both well used and served good drinks and the bar tenders quickly learn your favourites and after a day or so you don’t even have to ask for a drink. Canapés were always offered between 6-8PM. The Panorama lounge has many functions, it is used throughout the day for lectures and afternoon tea is served daily from 4-5 and was excellent and in the evening a lounge bar. In the front of the ship is the Observation lounge which serves coffee 24 hours a day. I think they could make much more of this space and at least have a small bar. In the evenings there was either the ships pianist or a jazz quartet in The Bar and Panorama Lounge which were both good. The pool bar is always open during the day and had a nice selection of burgers and lots of other options. Service in the bars was always excellent and the staff were never far away if you needed anything. While it varies from one cruise to another the current Champagne on board is Heidsieck Monopol Blue top and Pommery both served abundantly and always topped up. The wines on board were also very good, but if you don’t like what they are serving always ask for other choices of which there were many. Restaurants: “The Restaurant” is the main dining venue and serves an a le cart menu for breakfast lunch and dinner. The food quality is very good and varies from night to night. We had quite a lot of seafood including, Scallops, Alaskan Salmon and Alaskan King Crab legs. The service is good but lacks polish and feels a bit uncoordinated and does not flow, as it should, but once the order is taken it improves as courses were delivered smoothly from then on. While not encouraged you can request off menu items with the head waiter with 24 hours notice. Some reviewers have said the portions are small, however there are 6 courses available and you can always ask for a double portion if you feel it is not enough. I would describe the portions as european sized which suits us fine. La Champagne was very nice but somehow the service there did not flow well and we felt it was not living up to its reputation. Food quality was without fault but the waiters seemed to be running off their feet and it was not as slick as I would have liked given that we paid $40 each for the privilege. They no longer offer the wine pairing so you could choose from the ships fairly good selection of included wines or order from the wine list which we found to be fairly reasonable compared to other ships. Unlike other reviews there were never any empty tables. La Terraza we liked a lot and the pasta dishes were to die for. We had gnocchi one night that was the best we have ever eaten. We actually had booked this restaurant twice was we love Italian food and were not let down. This space also offers a buffet breakfast and lunch which we found to have good choices but also offered made to order eggs and toast. Quality and choice were very good. At lunch they also offer hand made thin crust pizza to order. Nice touches also include really good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the table. Unfortunately the stop in Sitka was cancelled due to a huge storm and the captain said it was unsafe to stop and while we were of course disappointed this could not be avoided. We did have to go through some rough seas skirting the storm and compared to larger ships such as Queen Mary 2 you really feel the movement on a smaller ship. The other stops were great and we booked an excursion in each port. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze and the tour companies were always waiting on the pier to greet you, we found this to be very slick. I will echo a complaint that I have read on other reviews and that is of the emphasis on flogging you stuff. We would have liked to have seen less presentations based on shopping and naff art and more information on the actual ports themselves. Our verdict is that we really enjoyed being on a small ship and because of that met loads of people and felt the service while good should have been seamless. Silversea is not cheap and there are newer ships with similar inclusions that may have suited us better but not offer this itinerary. We loved not having to constantly sign bills and just enjoy our selves and the staff seemed genuinely happier than on Cunard. Many of them have worked for Silversea for many years and seem to like their jobs and it shows. We will certainly consider Silversea in future but it really depends more on the itinerary but if there is a match we would not hesitate to choose Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose silver seas because it was smaller and we believed that we would be able to get to locations that bigger ships could not. The trip began badly with jewelry hawker lecturing us on the train about not asking stupid questions and ... Read More
We chose silver seas because it was smaller and we believed that we would be able to get to locations that bigger ships could not. The trip began badly with jewelry hawker lecturing us on the train about not asking stupid questions and not asking our butler to get us dinner reservations (though it lists that as one of the butler's tasks in our brochure). truly, i felt like a child being disciplined. and i was angry. However, after that, the experience was good. The cabins are luxurious, the service excellent. i especially liked the entertainment, including the voices and the quartet. I really looked forward to their shows and was impressed with their talent and their ability to perform various shows. I attended lectures and the chefs presentation and enjoyed it all. The food was excellent. We enjoyed hot rocks, especially, but visited all of the restaurants and thought all were good. The highlight for us was cruising the hubbard glacier and the sail on the inside passage. Our butler was a wonderful help. He took care of us and 13 other rooms; we thought it was implied that he would be all ours ---- but we wouldn't have known what to do with him had that been the case. Stunning scenery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
THE CRUISE: Seven days in August 2015 from Seward, Alaska, to Vancouver, British Columbia, on the Silversea Silver Shadow. The 28,000-ton ship was launched in 2000 and refurbished in 2011. Considered a premium or super-premium small ... Read More
THE CRUISE: Seven days in August 2015 from Seward, Alaska, to Vancouver, British Columbia, on the Silversea Silver Shadow. The 28,000-ton ship was launched in 2000 and refurbished in 2011. Considered a premium or super-premium small ship, it carries a maximum of 382 passengers with a crew of around 300. PRE-DEPARTURE AND EMBARKATION: After three days at the Hilton in Anchorage, we took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward, a trip that is included in the cruise at no extra charge. Silversea reserves the entire train for cruise passengers. The cruise itself is all-inclusive, including drinks, tips and port fees, but on the train portion there's only a welcome glass of complimentary champagne; you have to pay for any other food or drink you purchase. We did buy light snacks and drinks, including a cute "Moose Mary," an Alaskan version of the Bloody Mary. The train boards at the Alaska Railroad depot at the Anchorage airport, not at the station in downtown Anchorage, so four of us took a taxi from the Anchorage Hilton to the airport station. The fare for four was around $20 plus tip, much cheaper than the $39 per-person Silversea charges if you use their transfer service. The Anchorage airport train station is right at the airport terminal area. It's functional rather than attractive, whereas the airport itself is an attractive small airport with lots of local flavor and local art. You turn over your luggage to a Silversea rep at the Anchorage Hilton, and it's transported by truck to the ship in Seward, so you don't have to schlepp it on the train. I was impressed by the railcars on this Alaska Railroad route. They are fairly new "vista cars" with lots of glass so everyone has a great view. You sit at tables for four, as in a railroad dining car. Some years ago we had taken the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Denali, which was a great trip, too, but at that time the railcars weren't nearly as nice as these. This train had diesel engines front and rear, and the railway bed seemed to be in good condition, so it was an easy ride. The scenery coming out of Anchorage isn't noteworthy, but as you go farther south it gets better and better. You pass several glaciers and many snow-covered mountains in the Chugach National Forest. The trip takes nearly five hours, but it's so comfortable and the scenery so beautiful time passes quickly. We were among the first to disembark the train at Seward. You don’t get to see much of Seward, but we had been there before. It was a short walk to where the Silver Shadow was docked. Embarkation on the ship was extremely easy, especially as we were at the head of the line. By the time we went to our cabin, our luggage was in our stateroom, having been brought down from Anchorage. All in all, this is a great way to start a cruise. THE SHIP: To cut to the chase, I was less than impressed with the Silver Shadow. Although the ship is just 15 years old and was refurbished in 2011, it feels a bit outdated. Ceilings are low, public spaces are fairly small, and I kept making negative mental comparisons with the glitzy (albeit large) new ships from Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and other lines. To add insult to injury, as a Proper Motor Car fan I resent that the ship borrows the name of the most popular motorcar in the history of Rolls-Royce. The Silver Shadow, built from 1965 to early 1980, was the first “modern” Rolls-Royce and sold better than any other Rolls before or since. Although this is a small ship, with a capacity of fewer than 400 passengers, there is plenty of space. The space-to-passenger ratio, at 74, is better than almost any other cruise ship. Still, for some reason I found it difficult to find that private nook or favorite corner in a bar that I usually find on other cruises. Nearly all the art work on display, including at least three pieces by Bob Dylan, was for sale, with prices ranging from $2,750 for one of the Dylan paintings, to the mid five figures for a Picasso sketch or Impressionist print. It all seemed a bit commercial, compared with the art collections you find on some ships. SERVICE: In a word, the service in all areas was excellent. Waiters and waitresses, who rotated among the different bars and restaurants on board, quickly learned to recognize you and often called us by name. I don’t think we ever saw a staff member who wasn’t smiling and friendly. Silversea clearly is proud of its level of service, and it does a great job. The crew-to-passenger ratio is a high 1.3 to 1. STATEROOM: We had one of the “suites” with only a window, not a veranda open to the sea. About 85% of the cabins on the ship do have verandas. As it turned out, we didn’t miss the veranda as much as we thought we would, as it was often quite chilly, and we probably would not have had breakfast on the veranda. There was also not as much to see on the Alaska itinerary as I thought there would be. There was only one whale spotted, and we missed it. The couple we were traveling with did see a large pod of porpoises. Our cabin was quite large, about 287 square feet. We had a comfortable queen bed, a walk-in closet and a lovely large bathroom with both tub and separate shower, plus two washbasins in a granite top. There was plenty of storage. We had a small fridge, and our butler kept us supplied with ice. The TV, though a flat screen model, seemed fairly old, and we found the DVD player difficult to use. Although some of the wood surfaces in the room showed a little wear, overall the suite (though that’s stretching the definition) was very nice. We had no complaints. FOOD: The food in the main restaurant, simply called The Restaurant, was always good, though rarely great. Since we usually had breakfast in our stateroom and lunch at the grill beside the pool, we experienced the main restaurant mainly for dinner. Portions tended to be small, but if you were hungry you could have multiple courses – a good choice of appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, entrees and desserts. Wine (included, of course) was of acceptable quality and served generously. I would say that most of the dishes in the main restaurant had an Italian bias, or at least a European style. The Silversea is Italian-owned, and the captain is Italian, although the staff came from about 35 different countries. The only other restaurant, besides the poolside grill, that we tried was La Terrazza, the Italian restaurant. Our dinner here, which required advance reservations but had no upcharge, was the best of the cruise. We tried to get reservations for another night but were only waitlisted and did not make the cut. One night we had reservations for the “hot rocks” restaurant by the pool, where you cook your own meats and fish on heated lava rocks, but that night was cold and rainy, and we were strongly encouraged not to eat there. We were never able to get reservations at La Champagne, the top-end restaurant on the ship and the only one that required an upcharge ($40 per person) even though we began trying to get reservations about three months before sailing. The odd thing about the specialty restaurants on the Silver Shadow was that while it was difficult to get reservations, there seemed to always be plenty of empty tables. This was explained by staffers who said that the kitchen could handle only a limited number of diners. In my opinion, the least appealing thing about the restaurants was that they did not serve many local Alaskan or Pacific Northwest dishes, such as oysters, clams, chowders or even local fish such as salmon. One night, lobster was on the menu, but I never saw oysters on the half shell or clam chowder at the main restaurant, and salmon was only occasionally served. DRINK: Silversea is an “all-inclusive” line, where most drinks and wines are included. Upon request, your cabin “butler” (really, just a steward) will stock your suite with the wines and liquor of your choice. We had friends in for cocktails one night, so we asked for a bottle of vodka (Grey Goose), a bottle of gin (some new British brand the line was trying out, and I can’t recall the name) and a bottle of bourbon (Jim Beam and Jack Daniels were the only choices). Liquor came in liter bottles, so we ended the cruise with the bottles still mostly full. Our cabin fridge was stocked with tonic water and some other mixers, along with a couple of cans of Stella Artois beer. In the restaurants and bars, moderate-quality wines were poured generously, and most drinks, even some premium brands, were included at no extra charge. There were a few expensive single-malt Scotches and cognacs and expensive wines that did have an upcharge. Although there was a considerable choice of drinks available, I would not say the ship had a “creative cocktail” menu. The cocktails were mostly versions of old-fashioned drinks, rather than the kind of drinks you find in hipper restaurants and bars these days. On the positive side, it’s great not to have to show your card to get a drink, or sign for it, or tip the server. PASSENGER MIX: Although Silversea has a reputation for having a mostly older (60 to 70 and over) clientele, we found that on this short Alaska cruise the passenger mix was fairly varied. There were quite a few passengers in their 40s, a few probably in their 30s, and some children. The vast majority of passengers were from the U.S., with some from Europe (primarily from Italy) and a few from Canada and Britain. DRESS: While Silversea cruises normally are a bit dressier than most, on the short Alaska cruises there were no required formal nights. However, one night formal dress (tuxedos or dark suits for men, cocktail dresses for women) was encouraged but not strictly required, and coats and ties for men predominated. The rest of the nights were either informal (jackets for men, but ties not required) or casual (collared shirts for men). Shorts and jeans were not supposed to be worn in public areas after 6 p.m., but we saw a few guys in jeans at dinner. PORTS: The Silver Shadow stopped at Sitka (the only port where we had to tender in), Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Frankly, we were disappointed in the ports, not that there were any other real choices. The small towns of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan have been taken over by the cruise ship lines. Diamonds International and other typical cruise port shops line the main streets. When I last visited Juneau, in the 1990s, Alaska’s capital, was a friendly, low-key town with an authentic Alaskan feel. Now it looks like part of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas has been imported to the Southwestern coast of Alaska. It’s a shame when these small towns allow the cruise ship companies to take over the towns. One wonders what these places look like from late September to early May when the cruise ships don’t visit. Are the jewelry and tee-shirt shops boarded up? We did enjoy a close-up view on a clear day of the Hubbard Glacier, and parts of the Inland Passage near Vancouver were beautiful, with the ship passing by islands close by. We were disappointed that we did not see much wildlife. We saw much more – whales, sea lions, seals and all kinds of birds including many eagles – on a day cruise tour we took some years ago from Seward. ENTERTAINMENT: This was one of the weakest parts of the cruise. Except for a couple of small ensembles playing in two bars, the only entertainment in the main theater, besides movies, were shows put on by a group called The Voices of Silversea. This six-person group, three men and three women, were talented, but the same group night after night was not what we expected. Couldn’t Silversea bring on a magician or another band or singing group for just a night or two? There was a small casino, which we only visited briefly, and a few exclusive shops on one deck. Perhaps it’s the kind of person this line attracts – older and more sedate, though there were some younger people and even families with children on this cruise – or perhaps it’s the outdoorsy Alaskan itinerary, but most of the time the bars (there were really just two main bars on the ship) were nearly empty, and by 11 pm or so they were virtually deserted. Only a handful of passengers ever danced. EXCURSIONS: We did not use any of the Silversea excursions, as we found them extremely expensive, even more so than on other ships. We either went into town at port stops and walked around, or took taxis. I’m sure that some of the official excursions were very good, but we couldn’t afford the hundreds or even thousands of dollars per person that were charged. TIPPING: Officially, your cruise price on Silversea includes gratuities, along with drinks and port fees. We never saw any effort by Silversea staff to get tips. We did give our butler and housekeeping person extra gratuities, and I know some other passengers did as well, but overall I think the no-tipping policy on Silversea is real. DISEMBARKATION: It was a breeze. We waited briefly for our group to be called and to meet up with our friends, but it took just a few minutes to get off the ship and into a taxi in Vancouver. I’m not sure why, but we didn’t even have to go through Canadian customs or immigration. We simply picked up our luggage and walked out. (We had to turn in our passports when boarding the ship, and I guess that somehow Canadian customs handled screening beforehand.) Anyway, it was great. BOTTOM LINE: We enjoyed this cruise, despite the disappointment in the ports and in the ship’s entertainment, and not being wowed by the food. We did love not having to tip every time we asked for a drink or have to sign a chit or present a card. The cruise staff was great, and service was always top-notch. But based on this short, seven-day Alaska cruise, are we likely to become Silversea regulars? I don’t think so. Depending on the ship, the itinerary and the price, we might some day consider another Silversea cruise, but I think this will be our one and only Silversea experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was lovely with a "large" bathroom with two sinks, a tub and a shower. The beds were extremely comfortable. Butler service brought us drinks each night. The food was very good - ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was lovely with a "large" bathroom with two sinks, a tub and a shower. The beds were extremely comfortable. Butler service brought us drinks each night. The food was very good - nothing exceptional but excellent quality and a variety of choices. Our favorite was the grill where we ate twice. Outdoor near the pool - served meats and seafood that were grilled on a hot stone at your table. We didn't have enough information on ports and how long they were there. In one instance our tour was out all day and we missed Skagway town completely because of it. Most tours were fine except the one to White Pass railroad (which was lovely) but we stopped at Jewel Garden for lunch and a tour which was a waste of our time. Poor quality and no way to get back to the ship. Other tours were great including Sea Otter and Wildlife in Sitka, Bear Sanctuary in Ketcheckan. Only real complaint was paying for wi-fi. I'm spending $10,000 and they couldn't provide it? Free liquor and wine but no free wi-fi. That was ridiculous. Men needed jackets two nights...very few dressed very formal. Even saw folks without jackets. For Alaska, it should be more casual. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We chose Silversea because of timing and ship size. We had never sailed them before. We do not like large ships and do like luxurious cruising. We were VERY happy with our choice as the ship never felt crowded and we were certainly ... Read More
We chose Silversea because of timing and ship size. We had never sailed them before. We do not like large ships and do like luxurious cruising. We were VERY happy with our choice as the ship never felt crowded and we were certainly pampered. We did include a few nights pre-cruise in Anchorage and so our transfer to the train was arranged by Silversea. Their representative in Anchorage was a bit chatty and not as organized as we had expected, but all worked out okay. The departure day buffet breakfast was lousy and not a good reflection on a luxury cruise line. Embarkation was a breeze! We were bussed to the airport train terminal, boarded our train and were seated at a table of 4 for the 4 hour train ride to Seward. we enjoyed the opportunity to meet other people who would be on the ship with us. Once in Seward, we were on the ship in minutes and our luggage was already in our cabin. Our butler and cabin steward were fantastic and couldn't do enough for us. All of the staff on the ship was extremely pleasant and helpful. There was always something to do on the ship and we had no problem keeping busy. The dining selections were very elegant. We especially enjoyed the main dining room and the La Terrazza Italian Venue. Had the weather been warmer, we would have been able to enjoy meals outside on the aft deck. Now....for the negatives: Another reviewer mentioned that the ship needed some refurbishment and I would agree. It wasn't awful, but I think she looked dated, dreary and worn in some areas. Most disappointing was the Deck 10 forward salon. It was a lovely space to view the vistas ahead, but the windows were hazy and it smelled of mildew. The line offers a "personal shopper." Perhaps if we were very wealthy, we might appreciate such a service, but we found his "in-your-face" style off-putting and avoided him like the plague. There is an upcharged French restaurant on the ship called Le Champagne. We enjoyed our meal, but the space appeared to be an afterthought; an oversized closet. Sadly, it was located right next to the humidor and smoking lounge, so the smell of cigars was very pervasive during this "elegant" meal. Food elsewhere was good, but not fantastic. I did have occasion to use the spa and while my massage was lovely, the high-pressure attempt afterwards to get me to purchase their products detracted from the relaxing experience. Also, their excursion desk is not manned all day...only for short periods morning and night. We seemed to always miss the person who should have been there. We would definitely recommend scheduling your shore excursions and dining reservations online before your cruise. Overall, we would sail Silversea again if the itinerary met our needs. But, it won't be our first choice as the value didn't really match the cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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