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25 Silversea Asia Cruise Reviews

After cruising extensively on Oceania I thought I would try Silversea. Oceania discourages children so it came as a shock to discover there were nearly 60 children on the Silversea cruise (10% of the passengers). Instead of being a ... Read More
After cruising extensively on Oceania I thought I would try Silversea. Oceania discourages children so it came as a shock to discover there were nearly 60 children on the Silversea cruise (10% of the passengers). Instead of being a sophisticated adult experience, the cruise was more like a school outing. Kids running around everywhere and a cacophony of high pitch screaming from the forest of high chairs in the dining room. That was a pity because other aspects of the cruise were very good. The ship and cabin were tastefully decorated, although sound proofing between cabins could have been better. Staff were wonderful and very willing to accommodate special requests. Food was good even thouhg the dessert menu was the same every night. Shore excursions were well organized and reasonably priced. One negative, the ship had the worst WiFi I have ever experienced on a a cruise ship. Silversea needs to decide if it wants to be a family cruise line or an adult cruise line. If they decide on the latter, I would cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our third trip on Silversea in an Owner's Suite. We did Alaska--Anchorage to Vancouver on this cruise. Silver Muse was only about a year old. We found the decor to be comparable to Silversea standards, but modernized. We ... Read More
This was our third trip on Silversea in an Owner's Suite. We did Alaska--Anchorage to Vancouver on this cruise. Silver Muse was only about a year old. We found the decor to be comparable to Silversea standards, but modernized. We prefer the older, warmer decor, but recognize that Silversea must keep up with the times. Compare my pictures of Silver Muse with my pictures of Silver Shadow (we were on the final voyage of Silver Shadow before its makeover). As you probably know, Royal Caribbean bought Silversea a year ago. It may be starting to show. 1. There have always been binoculars in Owner's Suites in the past. Now eliminated. 2. Service in the restaurants on Silver Muse has deteriorated compared to our prior experience. There were inordinately long waits between courses. And it wasn't just us. We had recommended Silversea to an informal group of 15, and everybody had similar experiences. Our next to last night took the cake. We were in one of their specialty restaurants (Silver Note). Our reservation was for 8:00, and we arrived at that time. At 9:50, we had only been served an appetizer. We had waited an hour following our appetizer, and still had not been served our main course. That is when we walked out. Perhaps, they have reduced the wait staff to the point that service does not meet their prior standards. Or, perhaps, because of the expansion of the fleet, they have been forced to promote staff before they were ready. 3. They have installed Royal Caribbean's Cellular at Sea system on the Silversea cruise ships (I don’t recall that on my prior Silversea cruises). Having spent my career in the wireless industry, let me assure you that there is no bigger rip-off than Cellular at Sea. You can easily spend far more on Cellular at Sea, than the cost of your cruise. We worried that despite blocking our phones from connecting to Cellular at Sea, that we would unintentionally unblock it, and incur thousands of dollars in charges (thousands of dollars is not hyperbolic). 4. Restaurant reservations have been impossibly frustrating for me on Silversea. At the beginning of this cruise it occurred to me that I should probably make reservations for our next cruise, even though it was still 50 days away. Here is what I got: 11 not available, and 14 waitlisted. I was unable to make a single reservation--not one. I advised my cruise consultant that for future bookings he must set his alarm clock for midnight on the day reservations open and call me so that I don't miss the window of opportunity. (In fairness, our butler was able to make reservation for all the restaurants during our next cruise.) 5. Silversea is remodeling their owner's suites and eliminating the convenient U-shaped bars. They are putting in little cabinets that simply are not as nice or convenient for me. While there were some disappointments with restaurant service, I trust that management will focus on correcting those deficits. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the sailing because the timing and itinerary were just what we were looking for. The issues started just after we booked the cruise through the Silversea Florida Office. The thing to bear in mind is that this is supposed to be a ... Read More
We chose the sailing because the timing and itinerary were just what we were looking for. The issues started just after we booked the cruise through the Silversea Florida Office. The thing to bear in mind is that this is supposed to be a luxury cruise and you are paying top dollar. The booking/ administration was awful and had no idea of life outside Florida. Questions went unanswered for weeks, escalation to management helped, but slowly, promises were not kept. Flights routings were stupid - the first plan was to fly us 4 hours East to Toronto, to fly us 5 hours West to Vancouver (rather than just the one hour to Vancouver), before flying to the Far East. Then they rescheduled our early February flight at the last minute giving us a very tight transfer in the middle of a deep freeze/ snow storm. We were told they wanted to cut down on our wait time in Vancouver - a better plan would have been to ask us! In my opinion, they had just no idea. The Shipboard credit was not provided and had to be requested from the ship. In all fairness, we travelled with a friend from England who did not have any issues with their admiistartion. Planning the ports looked odd. We stayed 2 days in Sianoukville, described as a cross between a rubbish dump and a building site, but only a few hours in Ha Long Bay, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Once we were on the ship, the ship's company could not have been better, service was excellent from top to bottom - particularly all the bar staff. We could not fault the cabin staff, just excellent. The line is Italian, so food was slanted to haute cuisine, which was fine, we had some beautiful dishes. The lunch on the Pool deck delivered a really, really good burger, just light on the salads, though I suppose I could have asked for double portions. The evening entertainment was not as good as we have previously enjoyed. There was a lot of opera/ American songbook shows, some of the arrangements were not my cup of tea The bar and pool staff plus the waiters were a joy. I doubt we will cruise with Silversea again - Regent provide a much better administrative experience and a nicer ship Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We arrived at the Singapore transfers from the hotel to the ship a bit chaotic but eventually got on board,we stayed in a silver suite which is lovely and the ship is also tastefuly decorated. The food is poor the speciality restaurants ... Read More
We arrived at the Singapore transfers from the hotel to the ship a bit chaotic but eventually got on board,we stayed in a silver suite which is lovely and the ship is also tastefuly decorated. The food is poor the speciality restaurants I wouldn’t bother with , in room dining is also shocking ,hot rocks and the pizza bar are very good.we found that the food was always Luke warm at best ,indochine is neither Thai or Indian it’s a bit of a poor attempt at both . The staff in general are what you would expect but the reception staff are rude ,don’t book a message during a show as you won’t enjoy the experience far too much second hand noise fighting with the zen music. We spent 3 days in port in Yangon surrounded by lorries and containers with a large cargo ship just off the aft spewing out black smoke the excursions were a nightmare due to travelling distances really couldn’t recommend this itinerary . Overall not worth the money loads of room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Pros: 1. Butler that looks after your needs 2. They clean the cabins twice a day so you always feel your room is fresh 3. You can get room service anytime if you are hungry 4. Cabins are good size Cons: 1. There is ... Read More
Pros: 1. Butler that looks after your needs 2. They clean the cabins twice a day so you always feel your room is fresh 3. You can get room service anytime if you are hungry 4. Cabins are good size Cons: 1. There is limited choices of deserts/ candy 2. Not much entertainment offered to guests. We tried to play bingo and it took only 15 min from the start to finish. 3. The gym is very small. 10 people make it really crowded 4. Our booking agent never told us that we have free shore excursions with silver sea that come with our package. We discovered it accidently 2 days before the end of the cruise. 5. I had a problem to log in to the internet. I went to the reception desk and asked for help. The girl at the reception took my phone and erased the full history and website data from my phone! The internet connection has nothing to do with website data so i really dont know why did she do such a horrible thing. I was devastated as i kept very important information there that i was collecting for over 1year and its all gone now. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Every meal was a challenge Relais & Chateau should be embarrassed. The bagels and croissants at breakfast were worse than the lowest grade . Maybe you could find similar at the Dollar Store. The pancakes in la Terasse were served ... Read More
Every meal was a challenge Relais & Chateau should be embarrassed. The bagels and croissants at breakfast were worse than the lowest grade . Maybe you could find similar at the Dollar Store. The pancakes in la Terasse were served with fake maple syrup. Room service had small bottles of real maple syrup, but the pancakes were like rubber and thick. The waffles were also 3/4 of an inch thick and tough! It was like a comedy..You could have thrown the pancakes like a frisbee. The vacuumed packed individual portions of various fishes had been left in the brine solution so long they were inedible. Even the dining room manager who finally tasted it agreed. The lamb chops were so tough it was like sawing wood. This was true even in Le Dame. The smoked salmon was of poor quality.All fish except the Dover Sole was either extremely salty or mushy.. The texture was completely missing or both. One lunch there was a beautiful whole salmon cooked with the skin on. When it was cut the insides were just like a very wet sponge or mush! The gnocchi was fine if made fresh by the chef to order, but what was served to everyone was a pasty , glob. The bread sticks were not crisp. The only good food on the ship was in the movie on the television. The meat also seemed to be pre seasoned in a vacuum pack. It was impossible to read the labels on these prepackaged portions since they were de boxed down below the kitchen.. The staff was wonderful and responsive....but they had no quality ingredients to work with!!!!!! The itinerary was the inducement, but we had to charter a helicopter for $1900.00 to go to Corregidor because the ship could not dock in time to connect toa boat that makes the trip from Manilla. This was just poor planning not an accident. The ship was supposed to have arranged a special schedule with the boat. They did not inform us of the problem until the day before the scheduled tour. The orangutan visit at Sabah was a disappointment. It was a very poor zoo with 400 onlookers in a limited space. At the very least the ship ought to go there in the afternoon when it is not so crowded. On the other hand the orangutan viewing at Sarawak was much better, The whole operation was more professional and geared to preservation of this endangered species. There were more animals in a more natural habitat and many fewer tourists. The thermostat in the room has no control..You have to turn it to heat to get it to cool. It has no fan control. They finally opened the ceiling and closed off the vent that blew like wind in the ceiling over the head of the bed. The shower also had no control over temperature. It changed every 30 seconds unpredictably hotter or colder. Could never get the doors to the veranda to open without two people pulling on it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This being our fifth silver sea cruise, we can say without a doubt that.Silver sea cruises are not the high-quality they used to beIn terms of the quality of the ship, the staff and the food. We will not be taking any more Silversea ... Read More
This being our fifth silver sea cruise, we can say without a doubt that.Silver sea cruises are not the high-quality they used to beIn terms of the quality of the ship, the staff and the food. We will not be taking any more Silversea cruises and will instead move to Seaborn and Crystal yachts. We were so excited to see the cherry blossom‘s bloom in Japan and nature complied and then some. The ports at which we stopped were interesting but the crew new little or nothing about them and the local guides used were very difficult to understand. The food was about what you would get on a lower end Princess or Royal Caribbean type ship. It is no longer fine dining. The wine selection was very poor, even the premium for purchase wines. The quality of the meats were terrible as was the fish. Almost everything on board was frozen. It is a far cry from the Crystal ship and the Seaborn cruises which are top notch. Many of the other guests we met on board felt exactly the same way and none of us booked another cruise with Silversea like we would normally have done in the past.Given the prices for a Silversea cruises are about the same as Crystal and Seaborn, we see no reason to sale any longer with silver see because they seem to have lower their standards and perhaps far looking for a different clientele rather than the luxury customer.Frankly, we all felt taken advantage of because this particular cruise is only available once a year and we paid dearly for it without getting quality service, accommodations or food. The toilets on the ship didn’t flush most of the time and there was little or no outdoor space. The cleanliness of the rooms was also poor. The rooms were very very tiny as were the showers. This is not a ship or cruise line I recommend any longer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We always choose our ship by ports. This cruise went to the Philippines, Borneo and Brunei were we had not been. Windstar went at a similar route for more ports for less money, but we prefer a veranda. I was surprised by the limited ... Read More
We always choose our ship by ports. This cruise went to the Philippines, Borneo and Brunei were we had not been. Windstar went at a similar route for more ports for less money, but we prefer a veranda. I was surprised by the limited dining menu and also that the specialty restaurant was booked several weeks before departure. Two nights in a row I had fish that was not fresh. Thank heaven for the option of the room service menu on several evenings. Why would you choose excursions 3 days in a row to visit water villages? Brunei would have been more interesting if the river boat had gone 5 minutes further beyond the water village to view the worlds largest palace. Having been on over 30 luxury cruises, we found this one to be very disorganized and often conflicting information. The embarkation and leaving the ship each day was more tedious than I have encountered in years. Given relatively calm seas, I thought that the ship was rocky. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Some feedback on the cruise experience on Silversea Silver Shadow, and our comparison experience with Seabourn & Regent. We arrived back mid-March from our 19 nights on Silversea’s Silver Shadow, Singapore to Hong Kong via ... Read More
Some feedback on the cruise experience on Silversea Silver Shadow, and our comparison experience with Seabourn & Regent. We arrived back mid-March from our 19 nights on Silversea’s Silver Shadow, Singapore to Hong Kong via Vietnam, then back to Singapore via Manilla, Borneo & Brunei. This was actually 2 back to back cruises that we merged into 1 cruise. We chose the Silversea cruise because: • The travel dates suited our calendar, and Seabourn had nothing that suited our calendar • The destinations of Vietnam, Borneo & Brunei were places not visited before • The pricing with Business Class airfares included made it look like good value when factored in. • Some excursions were added free of charge • Our expectation was that Silversea had a similar standard to Seabourn & Regent. In the last 3 years we have sailed around the Mediterranean for 10 days on Regent, 21 days on Seabourn in South America to Antarctica (Quest), and 35 days Athens to Singapore (Seabourn Soujourn). We had very high expectations of Silversea, since we expected little difference between the 3 cruise lines. I will assume that the cruise standard set by Silver Shadow is typical of other Silversea ships: Embarkation/Registration check-in: Bags were mishandled. (I reported this to Silversea management). I decided to check-in my backpack containing my camera equipment & computer, rather than carry it onto the ship. A glasses case and electrical plug were damaged, as the bag (backpack) was either dropped or thrown to the ground. My wife’s bag did not arrive at our suite. Several hours later we went to a lost baggage area, and retrieved the bag. The bag was there, and labelled with her name, and they had not looked properly. Silver Shadow Ship. Stepping on board was like stepping back in time. Dated and worn, it took 48 hours to get used to it mentally. The only refurbishment was apparently some new carpet in 2017 somewhere in the common area that was not obvious. A smaller ship than either the Seabourn Quest or Regent Mariner, in all 3 ships you never feel crowded, as good space to passenger ratio. Silver Shadow is overly formal in presentation, old fashioned, furniture is chunky and occupies a lot of space. The Silver Shadow has a design issue, in that there is no informal area where you can get a coffee or pastry at any time, and have a casual chat with others. Many people commented on this. If you wanted afternoon tea you have to wait until exactly 4 pm in the formal Panorama lounge on Deck 8. I note that the new Silver Muse has an “Arts Café”, so I assume that Silversea has noted the demand, and incorporated into their new ship design. The small forward observation deck lounge on deck was rarely used. The gym was OK for me, as I used it 16 of the 19 days. On the first leg of the trip there were major problems with the air conditioning, as it was very cold in most common areas. That appeared to be corrected in Hong Kong. Cabin service: Twice daily cabin servicing we cannot fault. For us, the Silversea personal butler service is overrated. I did have my shoes cleaned once. The butler gets involved with and overseas the room cleaning process, and will deliver room service if ordered, and set up the special room service tray table. He did his job very well. Our time spent with the butler was mostly in the corridor where he would ask us about our day, and whether we needed anything done. Many people onboard were over 70 years old, and possibly are a lot more demanding, and need help, but that was not us. Shows & Entertainment: The Silver Shadow had a cast of 6 singers, from ages say 25 to 35. Just above average, they did everything, each with their own skills where they could do their own show, but often all together they did not harmonise very well. Shows get repeated after 2 weeks, so we often didn’t bother going to many shows on the second leg of the trip. Unlike Regent & Seabourn there were no special guests, so for us Silversea have restricted their entertainment budget. Food: The food was the big (biggest) disappointment, probably given my high expectation. There were a few very good meals, but mostly average, and a few very bad. Pasta with lobster was pasta with a thumbnail sized bit of lobster. Pasta with shrimp was pasta with a single very small prawn. Meat was typically overcooked. We were tipped off by one of the staff that if you want steak, order the fillet mignon, and ask to be cooked no more than medium rare. That tip was very good. I learnt to ask for it cooked rare, it work well. I did ask for duck one night; cooked rare, and was served it well done and tough. I could not eat it. I did ask for rare venison one night, and it was a very good dish as medallions; but venison on another night in La Terazza was served as a stew, and was overcooked and tough. The rabbit on another night was a disaster. So a lot of inconsistency. Bread quality was a letdown: no warm bread or garlic bread offered. Yogurt on breakfast buffet was terrible. For room service one night I asked for garlic bread with my meal, and I was told they could not do it. How I missed the Seabourn bread sticks, or the warm bread offerings from Regent. Although we only have done 1 Regent cruise, we rated its food just better than Seabourn, in the restaurant areas (not pool deck). Silversea had nothing memorable to take away with regards to food. We did have some meals at La Terrazza, but found it overrated, and preferred the restaurant on Deck 4, with better food and service, plus no booking required. Pool deck Patio Grill area for lunch: No pizza---- on Seabourn their pool deck pizza was very enjoyable. Regent pool deck lunch was very average, as basically American only food. On occasions some of the food was good, especially when offering Asian food when we were off the coast of Vietnam. Pool deck Patio Grill area for dinner: A different concept, where you cook your own dinner on a hot stone (they call it Hot Rock). My wife did not like the concept, I didn’t mind, as I am fussy about how I like meat cooked. I did enjoy mixing meat and prawns. Wine: Wine was OK, but below the standard of Regent and Seabourn Beer was below standard, as very little choice. Typically, either Becks or Heineken. On Seabourn there was plenty of choice e.g German Warsteiner Dinner Bookings: Dinner bookings are required for La Terazza restaurant (deck 7), Pool deck dinner, and La Dame (6 tables only, and you pay US$60 per head). Why La Terazza requires booking is a bit strange, as it is overrated and often not full. We cancelled our last La Terazza dinner booking, and went to the Level 4 restaurant instead, as we preferred it there, with in our opinion better food and service. Having to book dining before you leave on the cruise is difficult, as you don’t know how you’ll feel when the time arrives, as you may be too tired and just want room service. On Seabourn, their Restaurant 2 is free, and food just as good as La Dame. Shore Excursions: We chose mainly basic excursions, and these were generally Ok. Organisation getting off and on the ship was done well, as you’d expect when you have only around 350 passengers on board. Future tour lectures prior to tours were done well. Food & Beverage Service: Again, service was good overall, but variable and inconsistent. Sometimes you would be offered parmesan cheese on pasta, sometimes not. Once both my wife and I ordered an omelette for breakfast, with ham and other fillings. Both came without ham. Once we had room service and a bottle of Cab sav was ordered. We were delivered a bottle of Malbec. Usually we would be offered a wine with dinner; often they incorrectly described the grapes varieties in the wine. We believe this is an issue with training, and they do not set high enough standards. On the pool deck it depended on where you sat… some places over serviced and some places under serviced. On 1 instance people sat down next to us on the pool deck for lunch, then gave up waiting after 15 minutes, as no-one attended to them. Inclusiveness & Special Events. Seabourn had special events where they go beyond the call of duty. For example, a day at Sir Bani Yas island, where they offloaded a huge amount of seafood and meat for arguably the best bbq I’ve ever had, then top it off delivering caviar & champagne to us on the beach. Or a pool deck dinner where different nationalities presented food from their own home countries. Or a meet your neighbour designated 30 minutes near the start of the tour with a neighbour “meet-and-greet” with champagne and hors d’oeuvres and various staff. I get the impression that Silversea are just going the minimum effort to get by, whereas Seabourn try to make it special. Guest Lecturer: Excellent. Well presented, knowledgeable & pertinent. Summary: Overall, if I rate Seabourn a 9, Regent an 8 , then Silversea would be a 6-7, in terms of the overall experience. Silversea tries to be formal and give a good experience, but their execution is lacking in quality and consistency. They boast the highest guess to passenger ratio, but it doesn’t translate into better service. The Silver Shadow needs refurbishment, which will no doubt happen in time, or sold off. If I was to travel with Silversea again, I suspect it would only be on the Silver Muse. However, I still have reservations about the Silversea food & beverage quality and service, which I expected to be much higher. I would have to look carefully at Silver Muse customer feedback. In July we are doing an Alaskan trip in July with Scenic, which incorporates 7 days on the large Star Princess, and in November 11 nights to Vanuatu on the huge Explorer of the Seas. It will be interesting noting the experience of small ship vs large ship. Our next small-ship cruise is on a Ponant expedition cruises in May 2019, then possibly also wilh Seabourn, as our preference, most likely also in 2019. Given the competition for getting people’s money the cruise lines need to be on the ball, and maintain or improve standards. It is not just good enough to have sweeteners like air fares or free excursions thrown in but cut corners elsewhere. I get the feeling Silversea rely heavily on discounts for locking in future holidays whilst onboard, as that was pushed very heavily whilst on the cruise. Most people on board appeared to be repeat customers, and due to loyalty will continue travelling on Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were expecting an amazing expedition cruise to many new locations for us and Silversea in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Unfortunately the local governments would not allow us to use the Zodiaks in many places which either cancelled ... Read More
We were expecting an amazing expedition cruise to many new locations for us and Silversea in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Unfortunately the local governments would not allow us to use the Zodiaks in many places which either cancelled sites or required us to use local tenders. Silversea had to make many changes throughout the voyage and the first half we ended up on way to many busses for too long and not seeing any nature or great sites. SS recognized that this was not what people expected and refunded 50% of our cruise fare plus $2K per person cruise credit. I felt they really understood are issues and fairly compensated us without having to ask. The second half of the cruise in Cambodia and Vietnam was really fun and overall we had a great time mostly thanks to the wonderful people we met on the cruise. This was our 3rd expedition cruise on Silversea and 5th overall Silversea cruise. Im not sure I would want to go on an expedition cruise in Asia again with all of the beauracracy, especially not the first one to new destinations. We absolutely loved our expedition cruise on SS to Antarctica and Galapagos. The ship itself was our least favorite of the expedition ships. The explorer was much better layed out with more storage in the rooms, a real bar which is missing and the dining room in the explorer with panoramic windows is to die for. I found the food hit or miss on this cruise while every other SS voyage has been outstanding. The service was awesome as usual. I know others on the ship were really disappointed by the issues but we did end up enjoying the cruise even if it was significantly different than expected. We will definitely do another expedition cruise on Silversea but probably not sail on the discoverer again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Decided to go on this very exciting sounding expedition cruise. It offered places that had not been visited before (that was part of the problem) opportunities to swim and snorkel and visit remote islands and some interesting Indian ... Read More
Decided to go on this very exciting sounding expedition cruise. It offered places that had not been visited before (that was part of the problem) opportunities to swim and snorkel and visit remote islands and some interesting Indian ports. This was a round trip from Male to Colombo. However before the cruise had even started the route was changed, so instead of a round trip we zigzagged the Arabian Sea three times each at around a five hundred mile sailing between places that were quite close. The explanation was due to India not allowing entry into their territorial waters. The changes did have a huge impact on the quality time we were due to be on remote islands. Anyway as we had no choice we had to go along with the changes. Silversea were very cagey about the route change and offered no real explanation. When arriving in Male there was no one to meet us. NowMale is a very small and somewhat messy airport. After waiting for a Silversea rep to arrive, a helpful airport greeter phoned someone and told us that a rep would arrive soon. We waited for four hours for this to happen. After a bit of a rush we were taken to a boat with our luggage. The boat was difficult to get into because there were no ramps etc and no one to help you jump down the concrete quay side into the rocky boat. Taken to another quayside, hauled ourselves off the boat and waited about an hour before a Zodiac arrived to take us out to the Discoverer. Not an easy embarkation. On board safely and had lunch. Cabin really good. A little small but OK. First night we met the expedition team and had a good dinner to get ready for our first day at sea and the Maldives for swimming and snorkelling. Good morning then back to the ship. The next day was visiting a Maldivian inhabited island. After that the changes started to take place with a 500 mile+ trip across the sea to Cochi. On arrival in Cochi we were introduced to the very burocratic Indian Immigrantion Service. Wasted a lot of time going through this and with lots of Indian officials on board. Had two days in Cochi which was interesting and enjoyed a typical Indian banquet complete with local dancing.after this it was off to Beypore. Taken to a boat yard and a coir factory. Whilst in Cochi and Beypore there were lots of very long coach trips. Some of which were taken at very busy times of the days, thus making us late for certain activities. No free time to shop etc. Some interesting little streets with bazaars that would have been nice to visit and spend a few rupees. Not so. Not on the itinerary.Then back on board ship for another 500mile+ trip across the sea to Lakshadweep Islands. More immigration to go through. Whilst at the islands we had very long Zodiac rides to shore, and the Zodiac drivers were not the most considerate people. It appeared that they all wanted to outdo each other which led to very fast and bumpy and uncomfortable rides. If you were at the front your spine crunch so much that it would have been possible that you finished the holiday a few inches shorter due to a crunched spine. After that another 500mile+ ride across the sea to Vilanjam. This being the last of the 500mile+ journeys across the sea because of the original changes to the itinerary where we had to go to Cochi first in place of Minicoy. All because of Indian Immigrants, or so we were told. Another coach trip to a wooden palace. Again no time to explore the shops . Then another long trip to Galle. Not a particularly interesting place, where we had an awful supposedly high tea at the Rampart hotel. In fact it was a buffet of almost inedible cakes and big sandwiches. No time here for shopping. Back to the ship and off to Colombo where we disembarked. Had a whole day here due to flights etc. It was Sri Lanka ‘s Independence Day celebrations. Again no opportunities to shop. However it was a good opportunity to see the very very long Independence parade. This must be the first holiday ever taken when I did not spend a rupee. No time allowed. This is the first time that Silversea has done this cruise and I guess it will be the last. We were all used as an experiment and no one from Silversea had any experience or knowledge of most of the places on the itinerary. It was a case of suck it and see, resulting in a lot of wasted time, the so called planning was done on the hoof and in a bit of a rush. From what information I gleaned from the crew it was due to London, not having done their homework and really thoroughly investigating the places we were supposed to visit in the original itinerary and the rules of Indian Immigration. So the passengers had to endure three extra very long sea journeys. The captain and his crew were not happy about this either. This was not a slick Silversea Cruise. Lots of hanging around, total lack of ability for the team leader to plan due to lack of thorough planning and investigations by the people who dream up the cruise routes. The Discoverer is due to be decommissioned early 2019 and it will be replaced with a larger ship. The whole point of the smaller ships is that those who use them love the expedition type cruise. Almost no one on board enjoyed big ship cruises . So this might be the end of the road with my relationship with Silversea and small ship cruises. Others expressed this as well. The meals on board were excellent. Small but very tasteful dishes. The crew were all very helpful and did all they could to please the client. Hot Rocks is always a good evening as was the special Blue Moon evening meal on deck. The video of the cruise is very expensive #100us. It all depends on the expertise of the photographer. There were no views of activities on board, lots of views of local people. Did buy it but it is a very expensive reminder of the cruise . Silversea please do not discard your small ships. Many people love them and the places they visit Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We wanted to go between Singapore and Hong Kong on the southern route, having 'done' the northern on other lines. We were only interested in a true luxury cruise and while we read Silversea's blurb on "ultra ... Read More
We wanted to go between Singapore and Hong Kong on the southern route, having 'done' the northern on other lines. We were only interested in a true luxury cruise and while we read Silversea's blurb on "ultra luxury" we thought that perhaps half was true and the other half publicity hype, but it would be better than average. Wrong!!! It was 3/4 hype and 1/4 reality, so of the three lines on the route, this was the poorest - and the most expensive.. First the good bits. ALL the restaurant and housekeeping staff - with one minor exception, a sour-faced girl behind the food counter in the Terrace, - were great and as Silversea have a wonderful no tipping policy, they are not doing it for immediate reward. The food was edible but a bit boring, but edible is a plus. The so-called 'La Dame' restaurant, (with a $60 entry fee) was ok, but FAR from Haute Cuisine. The other issue with La Dame was that they had changed the name of the restaurant and failed to change the signs. Silversea boast of their tie to Relais et Chateaux, but why? R et C are just a glorified hotel booking agency, they own no hotels, no restaurants and while a great booking system are nothing to do with "good food". The restaurants in the R et C guide have all paid to be in there and as such R & C cannot be impartial. The main restaurant is in the bowels of the earth on deck 4 and we only visited it once when we were invited to a staff table. The food in the terrace on deck 7 was fair but very boring. They had a different "fish of the day", but as they cooked every fish the same way, it was hard to identify them. Room service was fine, but did not live up to the hype with all courses brought together as most lines do, so all except the first course was cold and any ice cream melted. The wine list was good and very drinkable wine was included at every meal, except breakfast of course; this was very definite plus!. The Captain was not a native English speaker and coupled with a dreadful sound system, his broadcasts were mainly unintelligible. Even worse was the Australian tour person who described each coming port. It soon became a competition to see how many times she described each place using the exact same words and the exact same flat tone. We were promised "Opera" selections as entertainment by the singers. They started off well with La Traviata and Don Giovanni but soon went back into pop type music, but at least it was Italian pop. Knowing the issue of poor shows, we take a selection of opera and ballet DVD's, but the TV sound was so bad that even this was not an easy escape for us.. We had two lecturers aboard, one was wonderful being an ex-BBC newsreader, but the other while being a clear expert had poor presentational skills, but there were so few 'talks' that even a poorly presented one was better than nothing. Silversea seem to forget that most people who can afford their prices are OLD or VERY OLD and tours or excursions that require lots if walking should be balanced by ones that have little strenuous activity. There were 4 hour private car trips available at a couple of places, but at eye-watering prices, for the other places we simply stayed on the boat. While we were in one of the most expensive suites, it was not a good choice as being right at the front, any poor seas were magnified in pitch by the length of the boat turning about its centre of mass - a silver suite in the midship section would have been more comfortable- and a lot cheaper. All-in-all, it was not a great experience and one we will not be repeating! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My husband and I choose this cruise because we liked our previous 5 cruises with Silversea and we liked the itinerary which included seeing Orangutans and because it was sailing between two of our favorite cities. We love the Shadow, ... Read More
My husband and I choose this cruise because we liked our previous 5 cruises with Silversea and we liked the itinerary which included seeing Orangutans and because it was sailing between two of our favorite cities. We love the Shadow, especially it's size, but it needed to go into dry dock even before we sailed on it 10/16, and, now the ship really requires a major overhaul. The sofa in our cabin was frayed and lumpy. All the deck chairs and tables need replacing. Public rooms need updating. All wood needed a good varnishing, not just the touch up being done. And the library is a disgrace - old books, nothing newer than 2015-16. Service in the dining rooms, particularly at breakfast, has slipped noticeably in the last 15 months as has the quality of the food. Entertainment, except for the night the cruise director performed, bordered on pathetic. That being said we still enjoyed the cruise but unless a future itinerary is outstanding and different we wouldn't sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise based on past experiences with Silversea but also because the timing happened to fit perfectly with our desire to take time out. This cruise was our fourth with Silversea after 2 in the Mediterranean in 2012, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on past experiences with Silversea but also because the timing happened to fit perfectly with our desire to take time out. This cruise was our fourth with Silversea after 2 in the Mediterranean in 2012, and one in 2016 also on Silver Shadow in Asia, This voyage provided several disappointments and we felt a lowering of standards. We boarded the ship in Singapore, as we did the end of October last year, and this time the first day was far from smooth. Singapore’s immigration system was very slow and our luggage, picked up from the Silversea arranged hotel 6 hours earlier, was finally delivered to the cabin at 4.20 pm. Then the captain announced our 6 pm sailing would be delayed by two hours waiting for 2 very important people – but whomever they may have been is a mystery as no further details were offered. The next day we were at sea, but in our cabin 703 we noted very brown water from the taps. Despite purging all taps for a long period the problem improved but was not eliminated. That the ship, and not just our cabin, had a problem was confirmed when a note arrived in the cabin that the water supply would be cut off to all cabins for several hours the next day. The cut off was followed by more purging of brown water from the taps and then followed by another day or two of gradually improving water clarity. That however was not the end of the problem when a few more days later another note was left in the cabin to confirm that the water was again being disconnected from all cabins on the 29th for another three hours. More purging and brownish water followed and continued. The ship then cruised outside of the Barrier Reef to dump grey water, (with permission from authorities). The brown water situation that never totally cleared made us wonder how room staff were able to properly clean bathrooms or more importantly room glassware. To what extent we also wondered was the same off colour water used in other areas of the ship, for example in the galleys. There was a coughing virus that ran rampant through the ship during the cruise and we wondered if the brown water was complicit to a lack of hygiene and thereby the source of the problem. We both caught the virus and are still suffering from it some two weeks after the cruise. The cabin had a well used look, but was comfortable, except that the air conditioning system did not work effectively and cabin temperature was very difficult if not impossible to regulate. The cruise tours and port stops were disappointing sometimes. Several days at sea followed by a few hours ashore suggested a possible lack of planning. On the first point of call it was understandable that the Jakarta’s tours recognized the city’s high traffic problem, but to spend US$109 pp DJKT-d, with the “highlight” a 20 minute tour of the puppet museum followed by being left to one’s own devices for over an hour of the 4.5 hour tour in the square with no seating, left a sour taste. In a very cramped coach we began our tour with a drive to Sunda Kelapa harbor to see the old ships. Next stop was the Engels bridge and a walk to Fatahillah square for a 20 minute tour of the Puppet Museum. Then we were left free for private visits to other museums around the square or refreshments. After an hour of self entertainment, highlighted by the number of young locals who wanted to interview us or take selfies with us, we walked to the coach to return to the ship. Our next and most aggravating problem were dining options. On Monday 27th November, we tried on the telephone to book a table at Terraza for 2 at 7 30 pm that night. We were offered EARLIEST BOOKING 8:30 pm on December 2nd. The new dinner arrangements were a major disappointment to us and will be a factor in our future cruise choices. We are unclear why the company has decided it needs to now show daily in very small print in its circular Chronicles that both Terraza and Grill have a limitation of only 60 guests for the dinner service due to a restricted capacity of the galleys. That information is in extra fine print next to asterisks in the Chronicles paper that is easily missed and by virtue of the print size it can hardly be something Silversea are proud of. Both restaurants have been designed with a seating capacity well in excess of these numbers, around 150 in Terraza we understand, but the low limit led to, for us, this unexpected early bookout. The freedom of dining choice we have enjoyed on past Silversea cruises no longer existed. Effectively unless very advance bookings are made a guest is compelled to always dine at the Restaurant or in the suite. Then to change an early on line booking to include new shipmates becomes another major headache. We feel it unlikely that the physical capacity of the ship’s galleys have changed since the ship launch, or even on the Shadow since last November when we were last on it. The one obvious conclusion as a guest that makes sense of this new limitation is that there are now less staff in the galleys. Whether that lack of staff is because of lack of availability of staff or a decision to cut staff numbers as a cost cutting exercise, either answer also means an adverse change in the crew to passenger ratio and a lowering of passenger options. If the answer is other than staff reductions, we do not see how running two restaurants at less than half capacity at Dinner enhances the Silversea Experience. A comment about the inequality of the dress code. On an informal night, men are not required to wear a tie but must wear a jacket. On the same night a woman can enter the restaurant wearing slacks and a short sleeved top, blouse or tee style, and no jacket. A man in slacks and a short sleeved shirt without the jacket would be refused entry and we saw it happen. Simply illogical. Another interesting pointer to the potential staff number reduction was the fact that the observation lounge was not staffed during the day unlike previously so no tea coffee service available to order there. Coffee was available in the Panorama lounge, but it was just that. Coffee to order but no pastries or biscuits to choose as we have seen on other “luxury” ships. Maybe this was a simple cost cutting affair. Entertainment on board is also below par. Firstly the in room TV is woefully poor in these days of HD TV and entertainment systems on aircraft. The ship had had some rewiring done since our last voyage with the captain’s announcements being delivered to an always open extra speaker in the room instead of only being available on a not always on TV Channel 1 last year. The TV map of the vicinity of the ship as it cruises displays a low resolution picture that is to all intents and purposes illegible. Then there are four old movies recycled on the TV over the whole 18 days which are totally inadequate. Airliners have hundreds of movies screened to a seat in these hi tech days, and it should not so dissimilar on the Silversea Ships. The Silver Shadows offering of a DVD library is old tech, time consuming, requires record keeping that should have been jettisoned years back. Live shows mostly started at 10 pm which we found poorly timed especially when an early morning start for a tour is required. There were a couple of pre-dinner shows that to us make more sense except maybe on an under 25s aimed ship, which the Silversea are not. Only 1 free Internet hour per person was given on a standard slow connection with an option of a US$29 per day faster service is a miserly offering given the cost of the cruise. The option was the public computer, one only for the entire ship. That fact possibly recognizes the probability most people have their own device for internet access but then to charge so much per day for a reasonable connection is not fair on a ship at such a high cost level. On the positive side we commend the very high standard of food and drink served by a superb crew. We emphasized this point in the usual opinion sheet questionnaire on board the ship. However on that form we also specifically stated that we would make a more detailed and sometimes critical report by email to their Sydney office. That detailed report containing much of we provide here was emailed on 14 December 2017. We were contacted by the company a few days later and promised a reply which we will post here when received. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Far east cruise offers wonderful ports of call. Previously we had travelled with Silversea to Antarctica and had a 5 STAR experience. This was the main draw for our choosing Silversea once again. Unfortunately, the Silver Shadow is in ... Read More
Far east cruise offers wonderful ports of call. Previously we had travelled with Silversea to Antarctica and had a 5 STAR experience. This was the main draw for our choosing Silversea once again. Unfortunately, the Silver Shadow is in desperate need of a trip to dry dock. She is showing her age. Extremely challenging to control stateroom's temperature. Either too hot or too cold were the options. This was a complaint heard throughout the ship on this cruise. Carpeting is showing much wear, walls are scratched, but these cosmetic issues are visual only. There are not enough electrical outlets in the staterooms. NO USB Charging ports whatsoever. If you are travelling, bring along a massive extension cord that allows for multiple plugs. Service by the room staff was impeccable. Fabulous butler and maid. Food was a disappointment. Utterly unable to order decaf coffee in the morning and have it arrive before finishing half of breakfast, A DAILY Occurance. Most disappointing was totally skipping a port. Danang did have some rain and Vietnam did have some limitations on accessing it's port due to APEC meeting. BUT this was on the books for months . No excuse for not having a plan other than floating at sea for and extra 36 hours. Really, overall a nice trip. Just I can't say this was a 5 or even a four star experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This ship is in serious need of a refreshment. It is very tired and worn. The art work looks like something from a second hand shop and is drab and dull. The food was mediocre at best. The La Dame restaurant was a total waste. The ... Read More
This ship is in serious need of a refreshment. It is very tired and worn. The art work looks like something from a second hand shop and is drab and dull. The food was mediocre at best. The La Dame restaurant was a total waste. The tours on the two back to back cruises we took (Hong Kong to Singapore and Singapore to Sydney) were not well vetted and the itinerary on the second cruise was poorly chosen. No overnights in the major ports and stops at very small remote towns. We will not sail on Silver Sea again as most of the guests on our cruise that we socialized with. The Italian influence here is so out of touch with what people want. The formal nights inflicted on the guests is so ridiculous, only a few people wanted to dress in their kilts or high school dinner jackets. There should be an alternative besides dining in you room. People are on vacation so don't be so worried about shorts in common areas after 6 PM! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our fifth cruise with Silversea and our second on The Shadow. We chose a Malaysia/Philippines itinerary which generally was very good. However some towns were 30 to 45 minutes ride from the port with not much of interest when we ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Silversea and our second on The Shadow. We chose a Malaysia/Philippines itinerary which generally was very good. However some towns were 30 to 45 minutes ride from the port with not much of interest when we got there. The biggest disappointment was the food. I had to send several main meals back as being either raw or under cooked. At other times the food was generally dry and over cooked. The ships on board information expressed caution when going ashore to avoid raw or under cooked food. We did not need to go ashore to get that ! Our Australian companions complained to the Hotel Director after which there was a slight improvement for a while. Steaks appeared to have been part pre cooked before hand and came to the table dry, juiceless and over seasoned. We have noticed that each return cruise with Silversea the standard has dropped every time. Cutbacks are obvious and less choice given. Due to the above and the general tired condition of the Ship we would class her as a 4 star cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Wanted to see Asia for the first time, we were on this phone two months after it was launched in, South America. I can remember the services being some of the best I've ever had told my friends it was just like eating at a fine ... Read More
Wanted to see Asia for the first time, we were on this phone two months after it was launched in, South America. I can remember the services being some of the best I've ever had told my friends it was just like eating at a fine restaurant we're staying at a luxury hotel, those things have change drastically, most restaurants were hard to get into if not impossible, waitstaff varied from being Very good to not knowing what they were doing at all. My wife and I will continue to search for ship that meets our expectations. Suggestions would be that the Service is improved through better training of the people in charge of the guests, you should do away with the reservations on the restaurants, many restaurants were not filled to capacity, and the excuse was we did not have enough waitstaff to appropriately serve the extra tables , therefore we did not Seat them, Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We recently completed a 14 day cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. The itinerarywas great as it took us to Vietnam, Thailand and terminated in Singapore. Before booking this cruise I specifically asked if the ship had been refurbished ... Read More
We recently completed a 14 day cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. The itinerarywas great as it took us to Vietnam, Thailand and terminated in Singapore. Before booking this cruise I specifically asked if the ship had been refurbished and was assured that indeed it had been. However, Silversea uses this word differently than most people on our cruise as the dated decor was the common unifying topic amongst the guests. It was extremely disappointing as the interior is in serious need of modernization; the color scheme, the upholstery, the furnishings and the carpet all need work. The attention to detail that used to distinguish Silversea appears to have disappeared. Gone is the champagne waiting in your suite when you arrive, the orchid is left in it's plastic container and stuffed into a too small ceramic pot so balances precariously. The food on board was equivalent to mediocre hotel banquet fare. A number of the included shore excursions were not worth the time. A visit to the Artist Village in Ho Chi Minh City was so bad that one bus load from the ship convinced their tour guide to return them to the ship ahead of schedule, while others from the ship called taxis to take them back to the ship rather than waiting for the tour to be over. I understand the guests who took the Ko Samui Jeep Tour had an equally unsatisfactory experience as well. Not sure I'm going to rush back to Silversea but instead will try some of it's competitors as it appears Silversea has lost it's way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Having done two prior cruises with Silversea it was an easy decision to book a suite (deck 7**) from Vancouver to Tokyo via Alaska and Russia, believing it would be a great adventure, and it really was (mostly), but the inability to ... Read More
Having done two prior cruises with Silversea it was an easy decision to book a suite (deck 7**) from Vancouver to Tokyo via Alaska and Russia, believing it would be a great adventure, and it really was (mostly), but the inability to disembark for a day at Petrapavlovsk (rough weather) meant we were at sea for seven and a half days - far too long, but no fault of Silversea. The suite was spacious and appropriately appointed, but was tired and dated, and much in need of refurbishment. The sea state from Dutch Harbour to Kushiro was mostly rough to very rough, only abating as were neared Japan, generally making it a difficult to move around the ship. This meant there were long periods confined to the suite, revealing just how uncomfortable the couch and chairs really were. Compounding the physical discomfort, the flat screen LCD TV had very poor picture and sound quality, even though the choice of satellite channels was mostly news channels such as MSNBC, FOX, SKY and BBC broadcasting world events ad nausem. Fortunately the library had a good selection of fact and fiction. The food and service in all restaurants was excellent. The menu selection was varied with smaller portions, giving one the opportunity to savour everything on offer without overeating. The wine selections were also varied and of good quality. The musical entertainment was rather ordinary, not a patch on previous cruises on Silver Wind in 2008. For those who might be Blues Brothers fans, I would liken the entertainment to "Merv and the Magic Tones". In a word, boring. Fortunately the day/s were saved by the enrichment lectures, brilliantly presented by by Rick Senat and Phillip Hurst. The staff and crew onboard all deserve a special mention, but I must heap praise on Albert our butler, always there when needed and nothing was too much, Jess our maid with a smile that brought sunshine into our day, and the young maitre'd at Champagne whose service was above and beyond, and in my estimation, will go far in the hospitality industry. The ports in Alaska all seemed to be far flung outposts of civilisation, but the experience was marred by the proliferation of jewelry outlets that detracted from the character, heritage and history of the destination. I was unimpressed by the overt display of art and artworks for sale on board, but my strongest criticism is the trashy sandlemaker's stall on Deck 8. This is the sort of stuff you'd see at a Sunday market or a Country fair, and is totally out of place on a so-called luxury cruise ship. I should also note the overt marketing of jewely through the on board shop, with ambush points (AKA buying opportunities?) strategically positioned near various social activities. Would I cruise Silversea again? No. I mark down the tired state of the cabin, the amateurish entertainment, and the upselling inappropriate for a luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our fourth Silversea cruise and we would list this trip as our least favourite. Silversea did a fantastic job of taking care of us but after two expedition cruises - the Arctic and the Galapagos - we found ourselves missing all of ... Read More
This was our fourth Silversea cruise and we would list this trip as our least favourite. Silversea did a fantastic job of taking care of us but after two expedition cruises - the Arctic and the Galapagos - we found ourselves missing all of the activities involved with the expedition experience. Sure we could take a tour to a mall or a beach but these options didn't interest us. The one kayaking trip on the cruise was cancelled as we were the only people interested in it. This was our error as we really should have done a better job of researching the ports before booking. The food was very good in all locations although dining outside at Le Terraza and Hot Rocks were our favourites. The service on the ship was always first rate, I loved the California Chardonnays and the champagne and our butler was always available when we needed anything. Unfortunately my hubby picked up a virus a few days into the trip and he suffered with it for most of the cruise. The ship doctor took great care of him and saw him each day until he started feeling better. My only real complaint during our time onboard was the saving of lounge chairs. Daily we would see people come up to the deck and put their personal belongings on "their" chairs and then disappear for a few hours. Silversea asked people not to do this but more and more people did as the cruise continued on. I found myself taking people's belongings off chairs when I couldn't find a shady place to sit and then I would get glared at upon their return. This made me feel very uncomfortable and after a while, I just gave in and sat over by the Panorama lounge in the smoking section. Not ideal and it left a bad taste in my mouth. At the end of the day I would sail Silverseas again but we will stick to the Expedition ships going forward. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I will begin by echoing previous reviewers and say that the Shadow really needs attention. It is past time for refurbishment in most areas. This review, however is mostly a comparison of small ship cruising versus larger ship cruising. ... Read More
I will begin by echoing previous reviewers and say that the Shadow really needs attention. It is past time for refurbishment in most areas. This review, however is mostly a comparison of small ship cruising versus larger ship cruising. For those of you considering a cruise on an upscale small cruise line like Silversea, this review might interest you. There are many things to be said in favor of a smaller ship, ease of embarkation, everything onboard is closer, and excellent cabin service to name a few. Our cabin was spacious and the butler and her assistant were suburb. Our pre and post cruise hotel accommodations at the Shangri La hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore were outstanding. The choice of excursions was good and mostly the excursion experience was enjoyable with the exception of being taken to a "jewelry factory" in Hong Kong that was mostly a captive selling opportunity, making everyone feel like sheep being led to slaughter. What we did not enjoy about the cruise when compared to our 10 or so previous cruises was the limited choices of dining and entertainment. There was no place on the ship, as with every other ship on which we have sailed, that you could simply go and have a meal in the evening other than room service. All the dining choices which were somewhat casual in the daytime became something else at night. Even the buffet at lunch time required your being seated, going through the whole wine or not thing, having glasses and silverware removed and replaced and dealing with a person standing outside the actual buffet area wanting to carry your plate back to the table for you. To some this might sound like excellent service, to others like my wife and me it seemed overly intrusive, having to say no thank I can carry my own every time you wanted to go back for a cookie. In the evening at any of the dining venues we tried, we never had a meal in less than 2 hours, not counting a pre dinner cocktail which was never offered by the waiter, or coffee after dessert. (If you wanted a drink before dinner you had to ask for it, unlike wine which was always offered). Sometimes after rising early to exercise and doing excursions all day, it would be nice to just go and have a quick casual meal, without making a 2 hour production of it. If this is the case with you, then the Shadow is not the ship for you. Also regarding the food, I could not say that the food was not good, but what I can say is that Silversea goes out of their way to make their meal choices, for my taste, needlessly complicated. One evenings entrée choices in the main restaurant were duck and rabbit. Most entrees which might start out sounding like a regular entrée came with some kind of sauce or topping with ingredients most people had never heard of. I am not strictly a meat and potatoes kind of a guy, but (you would find polenta strips instead of potatoes with most choices), again, if you wanted a steak or chicken or a burger, it was room service for you. All other cruises which we have been on had a restaurant menu which included a selection of "we have these items every night" along with the changing menu choices for the night. Not Silversea. If you want one of the "we always have" items, it again would be from the room service menu. Our enrichment lectures were first rate, but the entertainment was mostly not available. There was a quartet on some nights and a dance music DJ on other nights. Unlike other cruises which had 2 show times or real entertainment, the quartet and DJ started at 10pm. Anyway, if you are looking for a cruise with many dining choices, some casual some not, where you can eat a meal without having it be a grand dining experience whether you want that or not, and you want shops, casinos, lounges with entertainment and real production type main entertainment shows at a reasonable time, choose a larger ship, and get all those things for far less money. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We are regular cruisers and recently took an 11 day cruise with Silversea from Singapore to Hong Kong, taking in ports in Thailand and Vietnam. This is our fourth cruise with Silversea. We have always enjoyed the 6 star style of cruising. ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and recently took an 11 day cruise with Silversea from Singapore to Hong Kong, taking in ports in Thailand and Vietnam. This is our fourth cruise with Silversea. We have always enjoyed the 6 star style of cruising. On the plus side, everything was very consistent with previous cruises, which starts from the moment you get dropped off at the port, in this case, the new Cruise Terminal in Singapore. The Silversea staff are there to make the checkin process as seamless as possible and you couldn't help contrast the process for the Silversea passengers versus those joining the large cruise liner also docked and going through their boarding process. On board, the staff are amazing and cannot do enough for you. We had a terrific Butler (Heri) and he was very attentive and followed through on any requests we made. We really love the configuration of Silver Shadow, a ship that we had travelled on previously about three years ago from Anchorage, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada. We had sailed on a Princess Cruise prior to that cruise and you could notice the step up in class, the ship was sparkling and very stylish. The service levels, the quality of the food, the wine selection that never stops coming and the people generally. Everything seems to happen seamlessly under the surface. The cruise director (David) was very personable and seemed to always be around and made a real effort to get to know the passengers and be very informative about all aspects of the cruise. Now, we are going to contrast that experience, with some aspects of the latest cruise, which to our way of thinking are dragging down the Silversea brand. The first and most striking is the ship. Silver Shadow is looking tired and this is obvious everywhere. The carpets, the furniture throughout the ship, look very much in need of a refurbishment. In our suite, the sofa had threads and fibres coming away from the material, the desk was seriously chipped and scratched, the coffee table the same. The mirrors in the bathroom are degrading around the edges. The tapware had lost it chrome look and really needs replacement. The balcony had splotches of white paint on the ground, timber flooring and chairs and the small coffee table looked like it was ready for firewood. In the Casino bar, the counter tops are chipped and scratched. In the main bar, the chairs look faded, as does the carpet. The gym is adequately equipped, although having only one cross trainer is a big deficiency. They need at least two. The big issue with the gym is the air flow. I assume there is air conditioning, but it is thoroughly inadequate in the warmer temperature, like we experienced during the cruise. If you get a few people in there at the same time, there is no air. They need to install some wall fans to circulate the air. The day we arrived in our suite, there were two towelling robes hanging in the closet. Both robes were quite damp. On two occasions, the clean towels left in our bathroom were also damp (i.e. about the dampness level as if they had been used once). I was in the pool and noticed all this crime on the floor of the pool. I wasn't sure what it was until I moved it with my foot. It was just dirt from one end of the pool to the other. These are not examples of the Silversea standard we are accustomed to. The cruise director was Moss Hill. I understand he is brand new, so we will give him some leeway, but there was not the level of engagement with the passengers as with the previous cruise directors we have travelled with (David on Silver Shadow and Mike on Silver Spirit). What was most concerning to us is that when I talked with the onboard management, they agreed about the condition of the ship, but openly admitted that there was no update in the planning. We think that is unacceptable for a six star luxury cruise product. We recently travelled on Silver Spirit, which is a newer ship, but apart from the condition (which is much better), it is fresher, smarter and more up to date. For example, Silver Spirit has two TV's in the same size verandah suite, neatly incorporated into the mirrors. It also has a wide selection of movies available for accessing from the menu screen. On Silver Shadow, there is an old DVD player in the suite and a common library where you can borrow movies, but when we looked, there appeared to be nothing new added to the library in the past three years. They do have three channels which seem to show a more current movie in a repeating loop, if it happens to be what you want to watch, when it is showing. A couple of comments on Silversea generally, when you are paying top dollar to go on these six star cruises, where it is largely "all inclusive", we can't understand why they insist on charging for use of the internet. Is it just to generate extra revenue, surely not. We travel a great deal and in the higher end hotels for example, it is more commonplace these days that internet access is complimentary. We understand this is the case with Seabourn, the nearest competitor to Silversea. Having to buy minutes and logging on and off in a hurry to preserve those minutes is cumbersome and outdated. Lastly, a new practice that has started on Silversea is that when you come on board, you need to nominate up front which restaurant bookings you want (other than the main restaurant), i.e La Terrazza, Le Champagne and other specialty restaurants when available on the ship. We really find it hard to determine weeks in advance, what restaurant you want to dine at on a given night and how many people would be dining. You tend to meet people on cruises and dine together. How do you know how to include them up front. Plus, from the last experience on Silver Spirit, it seemed that most of the restaurants were panic booked up front and then bookings released during the cruise, so in the end, you could book on the day and still get in. I don't think that process works. Finally, we think that Silversea needs to broaden their offerings in on shore activities. They tend to be all sightseeing and this can get old once you have done it a few times during the cruise. They need to add some activities. Appeal to perhaps some of the younger guests. For example, when we docked in Chan May, it is a very remote port with nothing in the immediate area. We enjoy golf and had privately researched a Nick Faldo designed golf course only 15 minutes from the port. So I arranged with the club for a game of golf. They picked us up, we had a great game of golf at Laguna Lang Co Golf Club and returned to the ship in the afternoon before the sail away with plenty of time to spare. Several of the guests who saw us with our golf clubs commented that they wished they had have known about the golf option and would have preferred that to the Silversea sight seeing offerings. We hope these comments are viewed as constructive and fair. Silversea is an amazing cruise product, with great itineraries, exceptional food and wine and most importantly, incredible people and service. But our most recent sailing has been a quite disappointing due to the matters we indicated above. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Over the years, we have cruised for over 240 nights on all of the 5 Silversea ships combined with the exception of the Explorer-type ships. It is very sad to report that the last two cruises, back-to-back (25 days aboard), that we just ... Read More
Over the years, we have cruised for over 240 nights on all of the 5 Silversea ships combined with the exception of the Explorer-type ships. It is very sad to report that the last two cruises, back-to-back (25 days aboard), that we just finished: voyage 3404 from Singapore to Singapore (14 days) continuing on voyage 3405 from Singapore to Hong Kong (11 days) were really a disappointment especially when it came to the overall condition of the ship and especially the cabins. We last cruised on the Shadow in September/October 2013, from Vancouver to Shanghai (27 days) and the Shadow needed big time "TLC" then; we were told at the time that it was going to go in dry dock for a refurbishing before the end of 2013. Fast forward to this year's cruises and to our surprise when we boarded in Singapore we did not see any changes or updates in the public areas. When we checked into our suite, it looked dated to say the least and really needed work, the desk area looked like a mad child had taken a hammer and made nicks on its surface, the letter area on it was scratched and worn, the sofa and arm chair in the suite had threads coming out as if a cat with long nails had used them for scratching pad and the straight chair in front of the desk swayed like a rocking chair. The bathroom hardware was so worn that the chrome had worn was almost off. The black granite counter top was so worn out that it was white in some areas although the original color was black. The shelf underneath the two sinks was sagging and a someone had placed a large screw to hold it, but it had been so long that the screw had eaten through the wood and one had to be careful not to scratch ones hand when using the shelf. I could go on but I hope that by now the reader gets the idea of the condition of the suite. Silversea usually gives you a mid-cruise questionnaire asking you to return it to the Hotel Director, in this case it was Martin Blanar, I did write a lengthy review pointing out the things that I saw wrong and expressing my disappointment. Normally, once the questionnaires are submitted the Hotel Director normally sends a reply addressing the concerns, this time, we got a call from the front office requesting a face-to-face meeting with the Hotel Director and the Stephen, Guest Service Manager. I did go to the meeting and they basically told me, after apologizing profusely, that they kind of agree with me and that very little had been done during the dry dock to the ship and that they did not know of any plans to update the Shadow, and it was out of their control, at least they were honest. The next day when we were out the straight chair was changed and I noticed that the screw in the sagging shelf had been repaired. One of my big peeves is the fact that walking into a suite at any of the Silversea ships should have the same feeling as I was walking into a room at a Four Seasons, Ritz, Shangri-La, Peninsula or similar 5 star hotels. The suite should not feel like you are walking into run down Holiday Inn, especially for the premium prices that we pay to sail aboard a Silversea ships and the hype of their advertising. I do not know who bestows all the awards that Silversea gets but I am positive that these people have not sailed aboard the Shadow lately. Why do we pay so much money for these cruises and still have to buy blocks of time for the Internet, and be mindful of not over using them and making sure that we sign off correctly. Many times the sign on and signing off is so slow (I know because of satellites) that we have to go to the IT Concierge and when we complain and in most cases he gives you the time back without any fuss. It was announced during our cruise that Silversea was launching another Explorer-type ship, I feel that instead of expanding they should use the money to retrofit the existing ships, the company seems to be getting too greedy and it going to hurt them in the long run. I could go on but I don't want to lose the reader so I would just mention the latest "improvement" to the travel experience, it is the booklet that Silversea now sends with the ticket before we leave. It is personalized and it tells you all about the shore tours you have reserved, and it also gives you a partial description of the tour and it instructs you to go to the Silversea website for further information, unfortunately the company takes the tour information down one week before the departure so one is in la la land. When I asked the Tour Desk about the information they told me that they had no written information they could give me since Fort Lauderdale did not print the little booklet we used to get listing all the tours. Also, they used to send us two "leatherette" baggage tags, those were eliminated, I guess Silversea needs to save money. The booklet also tells you that now you can make reservations in the specialty restaurants up to 180 days prior to the sailing date. Who knows a few months before what kind of dinner one wants to have on a particular evening, I thought that one of the "big" pluses that Silversea advertises is that one could eat in any restaurant wherever one wanted, only La Terrazza, Le Champagne and pool Grill needed reservations, but normally you could get one a day ahead and in many cases the same day, I guess that we need to plan ahead from now or take our chances. I guess you probably wonder why we keep coming back to Silversea, and it is the wonderful crew and the service they give you. It never ceases to amaze me how they remember you, your name, and in many instances what your preferences are. The crew goes out of their way to make sure that all your requests regardless of how minute or odd may be, are taken care of. I hope someone at Silversea reads these reviews and wakes up.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have taken many cruises over the years, with our most recent an excellent Adriatic journey on the Seabourn Odyssey in July. We were eager to try Silversea and thought that this 8 day China itinerary would provide an interesting, ... Read More
We have taken many cruises over the years, with our most recent an excellent Adriatic journey on the Seabourn Odyssey in July. We were eager to try Silversea and thought that this 8 day China itinerary would provide an interesting, comfortable way to see new ports. Unfortunately, we found almost everything about this experience a notch below both Seabourn and our expectations. Our check in set the tone for the week, with nobody available to escort us to our room. We stood at the front desk while the receptionist had to speak very sharply to someone to find assistance. We were uncomfortable and offered to see our way up ourselves, but help did eventually surface. The butler (more on that later) came by later for a very perfunctory tour of the room. Our only request that day was for him to remove the welcome fruit, half of which was rotting. SUITE We were in a Silver Suite, which was as expected. The bed was comfortable, the room quiet and the temperature easy to control. A lot of the room is wasted space, with a large hallway leading to the sitting area. The bedroom is just a bed cordoned off by a glass door and curtain, so I am not sure if the extra cost is worth it. The sitting room furniture was upright and small, with two chairs (one of which was missing for two days until our request for a replacement was finally honored) and a small love seat. We found the seating uncomfortable and, oddly, some of the less expensive cabins have more appealing furnishings. There is also a table and four chairs plus a nice balcony. ROOM ATTENDANTS/BUTLER I reserve my strongest criticism for the butler system, which is poorly defined and implemented. My observation is that the butler spends about 90% of his/her time doing room service orders, which means he is bustling around the ship with trays, not in view at all. They are dressed in formal wear which looks silly and adds an unnecessary pomp. Our butler came by the first day and spent maybe two minutes with us. At no time did he explain the range of what he could do for us. For example, we were never offered wine or alcohol for our room (though I know we should have been), he never mentioned unpacking, shining shoes, etc. He only explained room service and laundry and told us to page him when we needed something. Well, we needed a chair that was missing in our room and we asked him for it one afternoon (note: the room should have been prepared properly from the get go). The following day, we heard nothing so we paged him again and didn't hear back. We were about to ask at the front desk, when we ran into him in the hall and asked yet again. Knowing we were unhappy, he then turned from being totally absent from our sphere to being a pest. Random things started to happen, like shoes disappearing to be shined, a bath drawn unnecessarily and back issues of another guest's magazines left in the cabin. I contrast this with Seabourn where our cabin attendant was always around and added tremendous warmth and professionalism to our experience. I will also note that the lovely woman who cleaned our cabin, very well indeed, seemed to have a horrendous work load. If this butler system is to work, I suggest that Silversea standardize the initial contact with guests to learn of their preferences and to also let guests know what is possible. Until then, every guest is going to have a different experience. FOOD The dinners in the dining room were just dreadful from our menu selection/taste perspective. Lots of smoked duck, stilton, foie gras, gelees, etc. - heavy and odd combinations. We are easy to please, but tended to pick "always available" choices, which were bland but edible. We ate at La Terrazza for one dinner and had an extraordinary pasta followed by tuna that couldn't be cut with a steak knife, so we hit both extremes. Breakfast and lunch buffets at La Terrazza were fine, but nothing special. I do appreciate that the Dining Room was open (though lightly used) for both breakfast and lunch, which was not true on Seabourn. Tea was our favorite food event of the day. We missed having a dedicated coffee bar, but there were always a few places on board to get tea or coffee throughout the day. The service was generally good across the board, with many lovely members of the wait staff. There were two formal nights on our sailing and, for some reason, the second one was held on an evening that we were in port until 9 PM. Since we had 3 sea days, this seemed like a poor choice, so we opted for room service rather than rushing around after a day in town. SPA The spa was smallish but serviceable. We only waited for the recumbent bike once. We had massages in the spa which were good and, happily, had no hawking for Elemis products during the treatment. It must be noted that we booked these massages a month before sailing online with Silversea and these reservations did NOT make it to the ship. I showed the spa attendant the confirmations, but we were out of luck. Apparently, this slip up has occurred before. In our case, we were able to rebook for less desired times but it is really sloppy. My advice, even if you think you have an appointment, check first thing on board to be certain. ACTIVITIES We don't expect much from small ships in terms of events, but the options on this sailing were beyond dull. There was a lot of bridge and random things like Intermediate Italian lessons that just aren't universally interesting. We played BINGO once and, with 5 other people, it felt more pathetic than fun. There was a minor diplomat who made a few lectures that we enjoyed but absolutely nothing else. Since we ended up with 3 sea days, it would have been nice to have a movie in the day or some other attempts to fill the time. We only went to two shows - a classical pianist who was excellent, but both performances were very similar. There is an excellent library. Wireless was available, with various packages, the cheapest rate being 25 cents/minute. Service was spotty, but to be expected in China. ITINERARY In a word, awful. Things started well, with Shanghai a wonderful port. The second stop, Jiangyin, was fine, but certainly not a highlight of China. From there, things took a turn for the worse, as we were advised that we would not be going to Nanjing, as it was too crowded and the Chinese Authorities could not guarantee a safe berth. That meant missing a great port plus adding another sea day in very rough conditions. Things go wrong, and we understand that, but this might have been self inflicted, as Silversea chose to run this itinerary during the Chinese National Holiday week, one of the busiest times of the year. We ended up with three sea days in a row. One was titled "cruise the Yangtze," which was really nothing but another sea day as there was nothing to see. At the next stop, Xiamen, the city of 3 million had an additional 1.5 million visitors on the day we stopped. I cannot adequately describe the crowding and crush of humanity. It was impossible to even walk in this port. We ended in Hong Kong, where we were told we could leave the ship at approx. 6 PM and that we did not need our passports, which the ship still had. At 6 PM, with dozens of us milling around waiting to get off, we were told that we did have to wait for passports after all, keeping us on the ship until after 7 PM. Some of this could be caused by local authorities, but Silversea calls at Hong Kong frequently and should have the drill down by now. DEPARTURE We did not get our wake up call, which was requested at reception the night before, again a sloppy touch. We were told to call for help with our baggage on departure morning, since we had a private transfer. Nobody came for 15 minutes, so we started to leave on our own, but fortunately, the butler and another crew member offered to help. One staff member was stationed at the desk when we left the ship and she didn't even make eye contact, let alone wish us a farewell. FEEDBACK/FINAL THOUGHTS On our Seabourn cruise, we were impressed that a survey was done mid cruise, to be used to make adjustments in real time. On Silversea, nobody seemed a bit concerned and the cruise rating form we received to complete was mostly a series of checking boxes. If they truly want feedback, space should be left in all categories for people to comment, rather than just a generic empty space at the end. We plan to stick to Seabourn going forward...... Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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