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75 Silversea Vancouver Cruise Reviews

Having read several negative reviews of Silver Shadow on this site, I approached the ship with some apprehension. Upon boarding, a process that took about 5 minutes, I soon discovered the Shadow to be the fine ship I remembered from my ... Read More
Having read several negative reviews of Silver Shadow on this site, I approached the ship with some apprehension. Upon boarding, a process that took about 5 minutes, I soon discovered the Shadow to be the fine ship I remembered from my first Alaskan cruise on her 8 years ago. Our suite was in spotless condition and everything was in perfect working order. It looked as if the carpet had been installed about a week ago. I know that is not the case, but it looked that good. The public spaces were for the most part also in excellent condition, with only a few areas starting to show some wear; certainly nothing to cause concern there. The service we had experienced on prior Silversea sailings was evident throughout our voyage. Within a couple of days it seemed that much of the staff knew our names. The smiling faces and pleasant greetings added to the overall experience. We ate in all four restaurants and each has its own charm. We especially like the Grill (formerly Hot Rocks) when the weather is cooperative and La Terrazza when it’s not. This was more of a La Terrazza cruise. Le Champagne has never disappointed us and this time was no exception. I used MySilversea.com to make restaurant reservations, spa appointments and reserve shore excursions. The system was pretty easy to use and it worked perfectly. All our plans were confirmed once we boarded. An Alaskan cruise is always subject to the weather and for the most part ours was not very good. Yet we saw the Mendenhall Glacier and, due to our Captain’s diligent navigation, had a very wonderful time seeing the Sawyer Glacier. As our cruise came to an end we were absolutely delighted that we had been on this voyage, one that had truly exceeded our expectations..   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I wanted to write a quick review of our recent sail aboard the Silver Shadow: We are a couple who are 46 & 50 yrs old. We were one of the younger people on the ship who were not part of bigger family reunions. Our 3 kids were at ... Read More
I wanted to write a quick review of our recent sail aboard the Silver Shadow: We are a couple who are 46 & 50 yrs old. We were one of the younger people on the ship who were not part of bigger family reunions. Our 3 kids were at summer camp. :) Everyone we met on the ship was so nice and we had a great time meeting people from all over the world. The Silver Shadow was amazing! The ship was in great shape. The cabins were very roomy and had plenty of space for all of our belongings and purchases. The staff was so nice and helpful. The food was so good that we each gained 5+ pounds...It was so good we really don't care! We were treated so wonderfully that we do feel it deserved 5*'s. We ate at all the restaurants - happy with everything. We are big foodies so I promise it was all delicious. I especially loved the High Tea. The alcoholic drinks that were served on board were equally good. We liked the wine pairing with dinner too. Always offering whatever we wished. We are not big drinkers generally so this was a big exception for us. Wherever we turned, we were offered more. So Amazing! The 2nd night (Formal Night) we ordered souffle. It was so good that we requested to have it another night. The ship was terrific and did it. As long as we gave them 24 hours notice, the chef's would prepare what ever we requested. The entertainment was nice. The singers were very talented. Getting on and off the ship was super easy and very quick. Port & Shore excursions were very well organized. The 2 we went on were well done and we were quite happy. Had a great time at the casino too. The staff was so nice and friendly. Really enjoyed the blackjack tournament too! We brought candies from home and gave them to the butler & housekeeper at the beginning of the voyage. We also brought extra to give to other staff that had gone out of their way for us. One reception staff member called 4 bars/restaurants in a tiny port ( only 2000 people lived in this town) to find a place for us to watch a televised world cup game. The bar opened at 8am just for us and others from the ship! So great. We also tipped the butler/housekeeper on leaving the ship. They worked so hard to make our holiday special. Feedback to the ship: These are small things that are not reflected in the overall review but are good to take note of. 1) The type tea served can be improved. It was a different type/style than what was served during the 4pm High Tea and that was so much better. (bag vs. steeped leaves) Also, It would be nice if soy milk can be provided on the observation deck. (Just put a box in the refrigerator - instead of having to make a trip for each request) Also, if you decide to keep the bags, include more than one at the table/room service so guests can have it heartier if they prefer. 2) It would be nice for at least one restaurant to be open from 10am-12pm/2:00-4:00pm. During those times we could get room service but that is not always what we wanted. From the review above you can see how we weren't missing any meals! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We were first time Silversea cruisers, chosen firstly for the itinerary and second to experience 6 star cruising. Overall we had a pleasant 16 day cruise though honestly we are more comfortable on large cruise ships. Really enjoyed the ... Read More
We were first time Silversea cruisers, chosen firstly for the itinerary and second to experience 6 star cruising. Overall we had a pleasant 16 day cruise though honestly we are more comfortable on large cruise ships. Really enjoyed the food and service in The Restaurant and had one very nice meal at La Terrazzo one evening, other than this found breakfast and lunch on the ship fairly average, particularly after 16 days. This is of course just our opinion based on the fact that this was a 6 Star cruise line and we had expected something more? We found a little piece of heaven in the Panorama Lounge early each morning with a wonderful young barista, Paul, who made a splendid cappuccino and long black (or espresso) for us, and we completed breakfast with lovely fresh muffins and pastries and a plate of freshly sliced tropical fruits. Silver Shadow has by far the finest coffee we have ever had on board a cruise ship! We thoroughly enjoyed the excursions we went on though felt truly embarrassed for those people at Petropavlovsk who hadn't been advised by anyone from that scarves or head coverings are required for women to enter Russian orthodox churches. We felt this was the ships duty to let people know this as we had learnt from a previous cruise to St Petersburg - all local customs were spoken about prior to disembarking for an excursion. Really enjoyed the wine and food lectures - these gentlemen tried particularly hard to bring us information that related to the ports that we were travelling to or had just departed from.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
First cruise with Silverseas on the Silver Shadow, a pleasant enough cruise blessed with generally good weather at almost all the ports of call. Here is a list of things that Silverseas gained points for, things that were a little ‘so ... Read More
First cruise with Silverseas on the Silver Shadow, a pleasant enough cruise blessed with generally good weather at almost all the ports of call. Here is a list of things that Silverseas gained points for, things that were a little ‘so so’ and things it lost points for, including the likely deal breaker for us taking another Silverseas cruise! Merit points for; Cabin/Suite - Our Silver Suite accommodation was very nice, had all the things required and the butler service is a nice touch. Having the included laundry service was also very good. Crew  Almost universally genuinely friendly and helpful. The duo in the bar were great and even learnt a song on request! The poor girls in the Casino did not seem to get that much custom, so they were happy to spend time teaching me to play blackjack! Pool grill hot rock dining  This was quite fun, sadly the colder weather closed the pool grill on quite a few evenings, but when available it was by far the best food on the ship for both lunch and the evening ‘hot rock’ dining (see later comments re the food in main restaurants). Fellow passengers  We met some delightful and interesting people on board and encountered very few crashing bores that we had to avoid. Not something a cruise line has any control over of course, but meeting fellow passengers is very much part of the overall cruise experience and this trip scored top marks on this front. What was ‘so so’; Range of activities There were a good range of enrichment lectures and food/wine demonstrations, but apart from that if you are not into Trivia (which we are not) then there really was not much else on offer for the several sea days. Demerit points for; Food  The catering in the main dining room and the Italian al a carte restaurant were very much hit and miss. Some things were great and others were just plain dull. We eventually learnt to avoid the daily roast offering as it was usually well below standard. On a few occasions dishes had to be sent back as they were cold. We have done some previous cruising on smaller expedition style ships (not SiIverseas) and one trip on a larger Celebrity ship, frankly the food was not quite as good as any of our previous cruises. Just to be clear, the food was not bad to the point that you would complain, it was just not that outstanding. I should also add that despite the generally positive attitude of the staff, service in the main dining room could also be a little hit and miss. Big time demerit points (and likely future Silverseas cruise deal breaker); The extremely poor ‘all inclusive’ wine selection. This was by far and away the biggest disappointment, so much so that we may well not book with SIlverseas again for this one reason. The selection of wine offered as part of the normal ‘all inclusive’ selection was quite dire. Now I should add that we only drink white wine and Champagne, and the bubbly on offer (Monopole) was perfectly acceptable. But the white wines offered were a rather dull selection of old fashioned mostly French offerings, not one Australian or New Zealand wine to be found. The only ‘new world’ white on offer the the included selection was a Chilean Sauv Blanc that tasted like you could have probably happily driven your car on it. We are absolutely not wine snobs, but the selection really was very disappointing, we could not find one white wine that we really liked and so wound up drinking very little of the wines offered. We did speak to the head Sommelier and we were able to establish that they did have one of our favourite NZ Sauv Blancs on board, but it was $40 a bottle from the ‘Premium’ selection, and for some reason it did not even appear on the premium wine list! So we wound up spending quite a few extra bucks on bottles of that. Overall, I am forced to conclude that the ‘all inclusive’ model really does not work, or at least as currently implemented by Silverseas it does not work. I would rather have paid a little less for a ‘non all inclusive’ package and then have selected what wines I wanted. As it is we paid for an inferior all inclusive style product and then were effectively forced to pay again to avoid a pretty dire selection of wines. Unless Silverseas can demonstrate an improvement on this point then it’s fairly unlikely we will be booking with them again, which is a real shame as we otherwise quite enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My husband and I had never been interested in cruising but after a 10 Day river cruise in Burma last year, we decided to try an ocean cruise and having been recommended and settled on Silver Seas, we were not disappointed. Here are the ... Read More
My husband and I had never been interested in cruising but after a 10 Day river cruise in Burma last year, we decided to try an ocean cruise and having been recommended and settled on Silver Seas, we were not disappointed. Here are the things we loved, embarkation was seamless, our cabin was spacious and well appointed and Gertha our Cabin Cleaner was a delight and very thorough, the restaurants had a good ambience, the staff were absolutely professional and the choice and quality of dishes was good, the complementary wines were fine, although the dessert wines were woeful, we did indulge in copious quantities of Cloudy Bay ($40.00 a bottle extra) when a fellow cruiser discovered that it was on board, in room dining was good too, but sometimes delivered lukewarm! The entertainment on board was great, from the accomplished pianist in the bar to the nightly shows and the lectures in between. Tammy's efforts in trying to teach us Bridge were greatly appreciated and our lack of progress was in no way a reflection of Tammy's teaching skills. We loved the camaraderie and rivalry particularly over the table tennis and trivia, go Egg Heads... It can't be easy but Dirk handled the entertainment with aplomb and we thoroughly enjoyed the last show. Things that could have been done better...when we arrived on board, I was expecting to be asked to choose which bathroom amenities we wanted, how and with what we wanted the refrigerator stocked with and whether I wanted our butler to unpack our clothes (not that we did) but it didn't happen and I felt a little let down (having said that we did have to leave the ship soon after embarkation to pick up something and that could well have interfered with the process?). I made a mistake in not booking onshore excursions which, after talking to those that did, I will be doing next time but the two that we did belatedly book, were great and seamless. The fitness centre was small but very well equipped and Tomaz was a great Pilates / Yoga instructor and ran a rigorous fitness class. I unexpectedly enjoyed the prescribed dress codes which I had been dreading; our fellow cruisers were largely delightful and engaging. All in all this was a wonderful holiday which my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed, so much so, that we have booked another for next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We had only 1 week that everyone was available, and Silver Sea Shadow was the only sailing available. We booked 5 Terrace Suites because there were no partitions between the cabin verandas, and we could all walk back and forth to other ... Read More
We had only 1 week that everyone was available, and Silver Sea Shadow was the only sailing available. We booked 5 Terrace Suites because there were no partitions between the cabin verandas, and we could all walk back and forth to other rooms, as well as be together outside to view the scenery. We didn't expect any children activities, but they were made available because there were so many families on board during that week in late August. Our 3 children did not participate- they were too involved in being with family, and taking excursions. The service on board was excellent, the food in both dining rooms was wonderful, and when the kids discovered room service they were delighted. The scenery is magnificent and beyond description. Even the children were captivated! We took some ship tours and booked some ourselves. The ship tours were in Ketchikan to see the bears picking salmon out of the river below the observation deck, ziplining, streetcar and White Pass RR in Skagway and Seaplane in Juneau. The ship excursions are nice size - not large groups of people in huge buses like some cruises offer and those who went were happy. Tours we booked ourselves were kayaking in Sitka through Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures (info@kayaksitka.com) and the highlight of the trip, Helicopter to top of glacier, dog sledding where everyone got a chance to stand with the driver of the team of 14 dogs, playing with the dogs, and a second stop lower on the glacier to walk around and see the blue ice and crevaces up close (through http://www.coastalhelicopters.com/dog_sled_tours.html.) Both of these places spoke to me multiple times on the phone and were extremely patient and helpful. They were the best private excursions we have ever taken. The trip home was an endurance contest - we hadn't realized that we would have to disembark at 7:30 am, take a 4 hr train ride to the airport in Anchorage (ships can't get into Anchorage, and Seward has no airport!), followed by 2 flights to get home (no direct, non stop flights from Anchorage to the east coast of US). If I had it to do again, I might take the cruise in the opposite direction, making the trip home less exhausting. Only disadvantage would be that terrace cabins are only on starboard side, and you would not face land on a southern trip - you really want to be on the land side of the ship. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We are now looking for another family vacation, but have set the bar too high with this trip and nothing could ever match up to the scenery and excursions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
First of all I disclose that I am a Seaboard fan. If Seaboard offered trips to Alaska we would have certainly booked with them. Anyway - this might be an opportunity to experience Silverseas - a chance to impress us. They didn't! ... Read More
First of all I disclose that I am a Seaboard fan. If Seaboard offered trips to Alaska we would have certainly booked with them. Anyway - this might be an opportunity to experience Silverseas - a chance to impress us. They didn't! It's very hard not to make comparisons but a natural thing to happen. We embarked Silver Shadow at lunch time on day one - went straight to the pool deck for a snack. First impressions are important - the staff were OK but seemed disengaged. The small prawn cocktail looked and tasted tired - perfunctory - no bread offered. The small desert tasted dull and uninteresting - no garnish in sight. Couple this 'average' first lunch with the fact the staff uniforms looked tatty (the main server had a large tear in the seam of his pants) - this was not a good start! Our cabin on 5th deck was OK - much the same layout and size of Seaboard Quest. We met our Butler - he was pleasant and attentive - brought us a bottle of liqueur for our room promptly. Unfortunately over the next two days there was a problem with an electrical outlet in our cabin which kept malfunctioning - the Butler was a useful resource - in the end the electrician had to be called - more than three times!! (very frustrating). The showers are excellent - a good pressure - better than Seaboard. The restaurant booking system is not one we are familiar with - those in the know had already queued up on the first day to secure their preferred bookings in La Terrazzo and Le Champagne and The Grill. We found this an inconvenient system - most evenings we went to the main restaurant just because it was the easiest thing to do. The restaurant is staffed 90% by Pilipino/Indian males - in frequent visits we saw only 3 females serving food. Surely a gender balance is preferable? Some language problems did occur. The food was 'average' to 'good' - never really impressive. The flow of wine was good. Seabourn excel in their main restaurant - the special atmosphere here was lacking in the main restaurant. The Bar was relaxing and comfortable - one server (Peter) was outstanding - very attentive - but this was the exception. The canapes offered were unappealing - we preferred the warm nuts. Cocktails were good - Peter eventually remembered that I like a straw in my Mandarin Cosmopolitan. The mood music in the Bar was 'average'. Le Champagne Restaurant: A nice atmosphere - the food being served here was excellent - Seabourn main restaurant standard. La Terrazzo: If the food here is supposed to be authentic Italian then why was the Veal Escolope so unexciting? The service again is perfunctory - the staff don't even interact much with each other. The tours offered by Silver Shadow in Canada and Alaska are excellent, if a little expensive - a good range of activities suiting all levels of fitness. The gym is spacious and well equipped and it was nice to see that group fitness classes were available. Seabourn's gyms seem much smaller. Entertainment: Formulaic 6 person all round singers. They were acceptable, not outstanding. One male member was clearly uncomfortable - especially dressed for the Abba tribute in his white dungarees and platform shoes. This six-some seemed to prefer the Opera/light classical night - we did too. Unfortunately we missed the Cruise Director's pre-dinner entertainment. Other entertainment: The enrichment program and lectures were interesting - we attending some, but not all - Dr Wolffe's history lectures were entertaining and educational. Nice bloke. Why include a "Personal Shopper" on this trip??? He was pompous and elite - should get a real job! Conclusion: We would avoid booking Silverseas over Seabourn in the future - on this occasion they fell short of the mark in every respect. We were unprepared for the large numbers of children on this trip - although they were well behaved - kids always lower the level of sophistication in the bars and restaurants. Question?: Is Silver Shadow the first liner to welcome a "Service Dog" on board? Not that I am against this - especially since "Poochie" was such a lovely dog (Yorkshire Terrier). Silver Shadow = 6 Seabourn Quest = 9.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We spent two nights at the Rosedale on Robson Hotel in Vancouver before embarking on the Silver Shadow. The hotel, and our visit to Vancouver, were both outstanding. This hotel has 21 floors, and our suite was on the 20th floor, so we had ... Read More
We spent two nights at the Rosedale on Robson Hotel in Vancouver before embarking on the Silver Shadow. The hotel, and our visit to Vancouver, were both outstanding. This hotel has 21 floors, and our suite was on the 20th floor, so we had great views. The location was great and the staff was very helpful. The hotel is in Yaletown, a trendy area with numerous bars and restaurants. Vancouver is a wonderful city. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. Silversea and Seabourn are remarkably similar. Both are small ships, luxury, all inclusive, almost all suites with balconies and with outstanding service due to high crew to passengers ratios. The Silver Shadow had 348 passengers, the Seabourn Quest had 450. Positives: Embarkation was slow getting through US customs, but after that, very smooth. Departure was scheduled for 6PM. We went right on the ship at 1:30PM, had lunch and our suite was ready by 2:30PM. Our cruise was 7-day in the Inside Passage, Vancouver to Seward, with port stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka. We were blessed by remarkable weather throughout the 7 days. Never really had to wear a jacket or sweater. The Silver Shadow is very similar in layout to the Seabourn Quest, including the suites with balconies. Our "butler", Roland, gave us excellent service, seemed always available and was proactive in anticipating our needs. Silversea did a much better job (versus Seabourn) promoting their activities and the activities were better. At the welcoming cocktail party the first night, Silversea trotted out all the entertainers, lecturers and department heads. As a result, we enjoyed the entertainers' shows at night and Professor Wolf's lecturers on Alaska history. Negatives: In pre-cruise customer service, Silversea's agents were not friendly, short with us and insisted that we go through the booking agency. Seabourn representatives were friendly and helpful. Silversea allowed smoking and we saw smoking, including cigars, in several public areas Seabourn was very restrictive on smoking. Regarding the restaurants, twice in La Terrazza, once at breakfast and once at lunch, we were seated just before the "last seating" time, only to find half the buffet taken down. If they post a "last seating" time, it should be for the full buffet, not just half. The pool grill on Seabourn offered a full buffet every day, or you could order from the menu. The Silversea pool grill offered only a limited menu. Finally, like Seabourn, Silversea promotes "all inclusive" but charges extra for their gourmet restaurant, Le Champagne; and they charge extra for caviar. "All inclusive" should mean just that. Seabourn required reservations for their "gourmet" restaurant, but did not charge and did not charge for caviar. Our two excursions, the floatplane ride out of Ketchikan to the Misty Fjords and a 33-ft. catamaran ride out of Juneau for close up whale watching, were both outstanding. We booked the excursions direct rather than through the cruise line, taking advantage of the reviews on the TripAdvisor website. Price was about the same, but we were insured of having the best companies. The cruise ended at 7AM in Seward, and Silversea had a train take us to the Anchorage airport. The train ride, 3.5 hours, was pleasant and very scenic. The whole process was smooth and well organized. We found Silversea and Seabourn to be about even in embarkation, disembarkation, suite accomodations, facilities, ship layout, overall service and quality of food & wine. Both are excellent, and we would recommend either cruise line and will probably take both in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Silversea gets a high rating so we expected a lot, but the company and "Shadow" fell short. Our cabin number was unavailable until we embarked.We found the ship deck plans quite confusing for such a small vessel but that is very ... Read More
Silversea gets a high rating so we expected a lot, but the company and "Shadow" fell short. Our cabin number was unavailable until we embarked.We found the ship deck plans quite confusing for such a small vessel but that is very common at sea! From the embarkation moment the trip was rather dull with few geographical announcements and the ship keeping well back from the glacier.Despite a refurb the ship, inside and out, looks drab and blandly decorated.The mirrors in the cabin giving us multiple reflections of ourselves sitting. The TV was set rather high up.Our veranda door so stiff to slide, it was a strain injury waiting to happen.The balcony furniture poor.Most open deck furniture is new and pleasant and rugs and cushions were good. The cabin bathroom was very good and cloths storage adequate.The ship is very clean and butler service was there but the "frock" coat uniform looked ridiculous, and his service very limited. Dress code for passengers was listed as casual, or informal,even on cocktail party nights, but passengers wanted to dress up and often did.Prosecco wine is used whenever possible and I always requested the Champagne (when I had a choice), as I did for our cabin fridge.Wine at meals was varied and well served and bar service good. Staff are plentiful but English comprehension is not always there with so many from the Philippines and India etc. The ships officers and management kept well out of the way except for the cocktail introduction party. From the first embarkation buffet lunch to the last meal the food was very average despite being well served.I preferred the room service experience. Take the Italian (booking required) La Terrazza dinner "Italian authentic cuisine", remember this line is Italian owned, we thought the food poor and tables are not turned over so the chance to eat at Terrazza, The Grill (outdoors) and Le Champagne for dinner, all needing a reservation, are quite limited.As the food was so ordinary we preferred "The Restaurant" main space dining which is attractive enough as a space. Lectures, entertainment and TV and newspapers were good. Baggage handling was very good. The train journey from Seward to Anchorage was a star turn.Not so spacious if facing 2 unknown others, but very well organised and on a good day stunningly beautiful. So for us the decor and cooking did not please and we would not choose Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I sailed on the Silver Shadow from Vancouver to Tokyo in September 2012. The ship was not full - 189 passengers to Kodiak, then 139 to Tokyo. Ship The ship looked great and I really liked it's size. I had an issue with the air ... Read More
I sailed on the Silver Shadow from Vancouver to Tokyo in September 2012. The ship was not full - 189 passengers to Kodiak, then 139 to Tokyo. Ship The ship looked great and I really liked it's size. I had an issue with the air conditioning especially in the Athenian Lounge. It was so cold during lectures that many of us had to use blankets. I mentioned this in my mid-cruise comments and although I received a prompt letter from the HD, it didn't seem to get any better. There were also two occasions where a strong smell of sewage pervaded the ship. Not sure what happened but they opened a lot of doors to let the fresh (very cold) air in to get rid of the smell. Suite Terrace 533. It was a very good location and very quiet but was wasted due to the cold weather. I think I went out on it four times during the whole trip but on one of those occasions, in Petropavlovsk, I saw a seal swim right up to the ship and it was barking at us! That was special. The Restaurant MDR - I ate lunch and dinner here on many occasions. The service was excellent (should be with the ship half full). I particularly enjoyed the soups. Just a note, if you like your veggies, you need to order them as a side dish. La Terrazza Buffet at lunchtime and I always enjoyed the freshly made quiche of the day m,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. I like being able to serve myself plenty of salad and there were some lovely seafood salads as well. I also had a seafood pizza freshly made for me. I had one dinner at LT and whilst I enjoyed it, the pasta was a little bit firm and I preferred the pasta that was served in the MDR. Le Champagne In a word, wow...I was the only diner there so what service! It was a spectacular meal and well worth the additional $30. I'm not a wine drinker but I was able to have my cocktails during this meal. I really like the new system here, i.e. you order off the menu. They have done away with the 'themes'. Hot Rocks It was too cold for me to eat at this venue, although I did see some very hardy souls under blankets. Pool Grill I had one meal here and it was on the last sea day before Tokyo. The weather had warmed up a bit. Service was good. Room Service I ate breakfast in my room every morning. I had granola, yoghurt, mango and mixed berries every morning. And what was really good, we didn't run out. On previous cruises, these items have always run - too popular I guess. Food is so subjective but I was surprised when a passenger told me she hated the food because it was so bland. I don't know what she expected but I certainly didn't find it so. Butler Allan from the Philippines was very attentive and on this cruise I used him more than I normally would have. I also bumped into my butler from my Cloud cruise in 2010 and it turned out that he and Allan were roommates on the Shadow. It was really lovely to see Ray again and we had a nice chat about the Panama Canal. I got the hang of using the butler on this trip and really liked having him look after me. I now like the whole butler concept. Patricia, my room cleaner, has worked with SS for 12 years, 9 of those on the Silver Shadow. SS must be doing something right for their crew. Enrichment There were two Professors that spoke about whales and glaciers. I found them interesting but Dr Herb, he's been on SS before and I'm not a big fan. I liked a couple of his lectures, but he was always trying to canvas his book and I found it annoying. At one lecture, he spoke about the life and music of Judy Garland but at the start, he sang 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'...it made me cringe, I didn't want to hear him sing it. I really enjoyed Hyperion Knight's shows. He was another entertainer that I'd seen on a previous cruise. I never miss Liars' Club and it didn't disappoint. Some of Jimmy Kovel's (CD) explanations were hilarious. The cooking demonstrations were interesting and entertaining especially when one of the chefs was trying to cook 'healthy' and the other cooked up a lemon butter sauce with what looked like a kilo of butter. I played Bingo and even won a few. I would have liked more Bingo but it was only played on sea days. I only play Bingo on cruises and I always enjoy it. Trivia I actually was a part of two trivia teams. My first team left in Kodiak so I had to join another and my new team was great. We won three nights running and Mr & Mrs Silver Spectre from Cruise Critic were excellent participants. It was a pleasure meeting them. Jimmy Kovel did a fantastic job, giving little hints that really mixed up the play. He gave a great new spin to trivia that I haven't encountered before and you really needed to be on your toes to get the hints. Kudos to Jimmy. Ports & Excursions Ketchikan - I did the Misty Fjords by floatplane. This was fabulous and we managed to have the sun shining for awhile. Juneau - I did the Tracey Arm fjord and glacier by boat. This was great although very cold but I saw lots of icebergs and saw the glacier calve...excellent! I'm glad I did this excursion because the ship had a problem and missed the fjord altogether. Skagway - I did the White Pass Railway and Mushers Dog Camp. The railway is very scenic. Now the Dog Camp - well if you are expecting to see blue eyed Siberian Husky dogs then you are sadly mistaken and they tell you this on the bus on the way to the camp. These dogs are the sled dogs that run in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest and they are bitsa dogs bred for endurance - they are called Alaskan Huskies - so I guess that's where the confusion is. They are extremely hardy and gorgeous but they aren't the Huskies that some of us were expecting. The dog sled ride was also a bit lame. The 'sled' is like a large golf cart and the dogs pull it around a loop...probably 10 minutes if that. Seeing and petting the puppies was lovely. Kodiak - I had to cancel my walk in the Fort Abercrombie park so I got the shuttle bus into town and wandered around myself. Petropavlovsk - I did the ATV volcano trip. This was great, although extremely bumpy, because the weather was perfect and it was a really pretty port surrounded by lots of active volcanoes (29 of them to be precise). Hakodate - I did the highlights tour because this was the only tour on offer due to low numbers. Hakodate was a very pretty city and the view from the top of the mountain was spectacular. Tokyo - I did the city tour and transfer to Narita. This would have been great but it was raining too heavily to do any sightseeing and most of us stayed on the bus. SS provided shuttles in Kodiak and Hakodate as the ship was a fair way from town. All of the other ports were walking distance if you wanted to pop into town on your own. Petropavlovsk was a tender port but only took 10 minutes (if that). I found the weather very cold in Alaska, especially Kodiak. The Bering Sea crossing was brutal at times for me. Not being able to get on deck and four days of 75kph winds started to get to me. One night I nearly fell out of my chair whilst typing on my computer. Some people thought this was mild, I'm just not a good sailor. Many people on the message boards have said that SS has lost its edge. I did not find this although I did notice a few little things that have changed. No welcome champagne, no fruit bowl, no next day's menu in The Chronicles - although I rectified this by requesting it at Reception. Caraffes of water in the bar fridge instead of bottled water. The silver cardboard breakfast menu is now on photocopy paper and alas, the passenger list is no more. Of course, you need to opt out of the charity charge, but that's easy to do. This was cruise number 5 on Silversea and I've booked another for next year. I enjoyed the cruise and was happy with the level of service that I received. If anyone would like further information or copies of The Restaurant's menus, please email me at gingiepoo@hotmail.com. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Embarkation Having been through Vancouver before and faced major queues for emigration, we were pleasantly surprised to be the only ship in port and upon arriving at US emigration found 6 bored operatives who almost fought over our ... Read More
Embarkation Having been through Vancouver before and faced major queues for emigration, we were pleasantly surprised to be the only ship in port and upon arriving at US emigration found 6 bored operatives who almost fought over our custom. The process was extremely quick and very polite. This was probably the nicest US emigration experienced in nearly 40 years. We met Natalie, newly promoted from receptionist to Guest Relations Manager as we got on the Shadow, and it's always a nice surprise to see an old face in a new job. Reception sign in, photo taking and credit card hand over were all completed with a minimum of fuss, and as it was just after midday, no queues. The Ship The Shadow is still a great ship, the interior is still in pretty good nick, and it was nice to see the new pool furniture that had been installed since our last visit. The repair to the bow was more obvious from the outside, and really looked like a quick patch up job, but from the top of deck 9 it looked better, if a little obvious. The decking was in good shape, the jogging track also. The interior furnishings were not showing any age and our suite was also in good shape. Guests & Staff On the run up to Kodiak (which Silversea sold as an optional 6 day cruise) there were an additional 48 guests on board. After Kodiak we had 143, which included some 7/8 guest lecturers, bridge directors and chefs, and about 260 staff, so about 40 light from a full complement. Guests were a good cosmopolitan mix, 20+ Aussies, quite a few Brits, some other Europeans, some Canadians and less than half were from the US. Unfortunately the removal of the Passenger Lists makes this very difficult to establish these days. As usual there were some healthy & active guests in their 80's. I think there were 23 singles, most of whom were female. Most guests were over 50, a couple of late teens were travelling with families, but there were no children on board. Only saw one instance of poor behavior, one of the Kodiak 48 got rather drunk, lost money in the Casino and was last seen banging the bar in the Lampadina. Rod (the barman) saw him safely to his suite and he was next seen at dinner the following evening, still nursing a hangover. MDR Ate here most evenings and apart from the galley lunch did not venture in during the day. Generally the food was very good. The Executive Chef Ricardo Dotti seemed to set a fairly high standard across the board. Had one bad meal when my steak came well done (ordered med rare) and when it reappeared some 15 minutes later was still well done and I had lost all my vegetables. It was easier to leave it, although no one came to check to see what had gone wrong. It was just a bad night. I had met the head sommelier, Carolina, before and made sure that we drank what we wanted, and unlike some others I never had any problem with the house wines. It did help to have a chat with her on the first day and also to her main assistant. Plenty of choice with the wines, for instance 2 NZ SB's, two French SB's and one Chilean SB. Some nice Syrah and Cab Sav's. One point worth noting, there were only two sommeliers onboard, I think one of the 40 staff who had been relocated was the other one, and this meant it was tough for them to cover all 4 dining areas in the evening. Occasionally they struggled, and I'm aware that it annoyed some guests. La Terazza Ate breakfast here most days. It was the usual buffet style, plenty of fresh fruit and there were always strawberries available. Service was always good. Most days I ate lunch here as well, mainly for the Sashimi, and on this cruise the sashimi salmon was the best I had for a long time. The other food was generally good. The day after leaving Vancouver they served approximately 350 fresh local oysters which had all gone by the end of lunch and were very good. Only ate once in the evening and apart from the excellent duck ragout the food is not special anymore. Pool Grill Ate here a couple of times at lunch, but for most of the trip it was either too cold or too wet to be outside. Came back late one day from a port (at about 3:50) and the chef cooked me an exquisite piece of Halibut. This was real service with a smile. On another occasion, and with a different chef, I had the surliest service on the ship. This was an Indian chef who had just been moved from the main galley and it was obvious that no one had told him how to react with guests. Due to the inclement weather we only ate outside on the first and last nights. On both occasions we had excellent food and service, and we just love the hot rocks. Some hardier souls ate here more often, provided it was not closed. Le Champagne Gave it a miss on this trip, but did have lunch with David Bilsland on one of his cook and learn days, see below. In suite dinning / Room Service Have never felt the need. Afternoon Tea in the Panorama Always a delight to have a nice cup of tea, not so sure about the array of extra food, although most guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Bars The main bar was run in an amazingly efficient fashion by Chester, supported by the lovely Welma. After asking for a particular pre dinner cocktail on the first night, it would be ready most evenings by the time Chester had spotted me walking to the bar. Smoking was still allowed on the right-hand side of the bar, but caused no problems at all. Rod ran the Lampadina, which was much underused. Francis ran the Panorama and Marylin the Pool bar. Bulter and assistant Both were very sweet and did all we asked, but seemed worried that we had very little call on their time. Enrichement Apart from the cooking demonstrations we did not attend any of the lectures. We watched some of them on the TV on repeat. The lecturers themselves were nice, but it's not really our cup of tea. Bridge The bridge lecturers, Tony & Dee Hoffman were outstanding, and he was a wonderful teacher. I was impressed that he had all his own audio/visual equipment for his lessons. Some guests thought he was the best bridge teacher they had ever met. The afternoon duplicate sessions were well run and tabulated (by hand) extremely quickly. Silversea should certainly use them more often. Trivia Trivia was well attended, pretty competitive and very well run by the CD, Jimmy Kovel. He certainly introduced some new twists. Jimmy is actually a very good CD. Other stuff Bingo also existed, a mileage pool ran most days. There was putting with the SS Artistes, but no shuffleboard, table tennis and the weather was too nasty for water volleyball. There was a liars club one evening which was great fun, and a couple of name that tune evenings. Entertainment The Artists of Silversea put on a number of shows, now all based around singing, and ranging from classical to relatively modern. The best show, if a little short, was the British Invasion. It would normally be held on deck with a BBQ, but this type of crossing and the cold meant it was in the theatre. All three female and three male artists were very good, and very approachable outside of the shows. What was amazing was that one of the male artists had arrived on the ship at Vancouver and without any prior run throughs. He had to learn everything on the ship from the bottom up, and you would never have known. He was a true professional. One niggle here was that Jimmy sometimes put the shows on at 9:45 instead of 10pm, which made it hard to get there for the start. Supposedly this was because of the constant time changes forward and the age demographic of the guests. We were not amused. Cooking As this was an L'Ecole des chefs voyage we had David Bilsland onboard along with an American/Chinese chef named Ying Chang Compestine, who was very into green tea cooking. In addition to the standard Ready Steady Cook show there were four or five other morning cooking demonstrations, all of which were excellent. David ran 3 cook and learn lunches in Le Champagne, again they were excellent and the food memorable. David also ran a market visit in Hakodate which was a lot of fun. We thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the voyage. Ports & Tours The Shadow mostly docked very close to the centre of the port town, and when it was further out, as in Hakodate a free shuttle was provided. We walked in Ketchikan, Juneau (went up the Mount Roberts ropeway which was fun if rather wet), Skagway and in Kodiak. In Kodiak the only disappointment was the Russian Orthodox Church was closed at its normal afternoon opening time. It had been opened in the morning for a ships tour and I think we just lucked out. Apart from Kodiak there were at least 2 and sometimes 5 other large cruise ships in port, and this meant all the points of interest were crowded. In Petropavlovsk we did the ATV Volcano trip, which was awesome, and included 15kms up and then back down a dry river bed. They also provided an excellent typical local lunch along with local beer and vodka. In Hakodate we did the market visit and then went up the cable car to the observatory. There were wonderful views of both sides of Hakodate. The town itself was a joy to visit, along with the English speaking schoolgirls who were waiting for us by the shuttle stop at the main station, and who came and did multiple renditions of the local Cuttlefish dance on the dock as we sailed away. Tokyo was disembarkation day, which went very smoothly, but unfortunately it was teeming it down which rather made the day a very damp squib. Weather As expected it was cold once we had left Canada and even colder going across the Bering Sea. Things looked up when we got to Russia. The sea was also rough for two days in the middle of the crossing, and on some days it was pretty windy (>50mph). A number of days were wet and we also had a morning of fog. Wildlife We didn't go on any trips specifically to see wildlife, but did see a number of whale sightings from the ship whilst in Alaska, saw some seals and an otter, and also saw a pod of killer whales between Russia and Japan. General Comments The removal of the Guest/Passenger List is a real drawback, and even if it happened because of privacy complaints (as was alluded to), this could be covered better in the Guest Info form that we all complete or with a check once onboard. It looks like SS decided to ditch it because it saved both paper and time. People should complain until we get it restored. Because of an engine problem we did not sail past Tracey Arm, so saw no glaciers. Not a huge problem but a bit of a shame. It was often cold in the theatre in the mornings and on a couple of days it was freezing. People were wrapped up in blankets. When asked if the A/C had failed the response was no, but that the engineers never came up to the public areas so had no understanding of the temperature. Believe that one if you will. There was a smell of drains on the 4th deck quite often, near the rear lift, and on one day in the Bering Sea it was across decks 4, 5 and 6. Someone very cleverly had opened the side doors on deck 5 near reception and it was blowing a gale through the middle of the ship. The smell was better than the arctic wind though. There were no Gentlemen Hosts on this voyage, and with at least 20 single women onboard, almost no one to dance with. This was a serious oversight, and it's interesting that the 2013 voyage is listed with Gentlemen Hosts. The slow erosion of the "benchmark in ultra-luxury cruising" continues and unfortunately it is not the Captain & crew that are causing this, but the bean counters in the offices who rarely get on the ships and see what really matters to Silversea's guests. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Just finished our cruise from Vancouver to Seward and overall we had a very good experience. The good parts of the ship are the amount of people on the cruise which is very low. Additionally, we never had to wait for anything and dining ... Read More
Just finished our cruise from Vancouver to Seward and overall we had a very good experience. The good parts of the ship are the amount of people on the cruise which is very low. Additionally, we never had to wait for anything and dining was nice as we weren't required to sit with strangers. At times during the day the ship felt like a ghost town which from my perspective I loved as the boat was nice and quiet. The service was spectacular and specifically the butler service was amazing. I also enjoyed the smoke free nature especially on the balconies. Although given that we are in Alaska it was even colder than anticipated so we were not able to utilize the balcony as often as we would've liked, but the scenery outside of our cabin was fantastic. As far as the negatives, first is just the overall value. Given how much one spends for the cruise I didn't expect any negatives so I'm a little disappointed at several items. First, the food was terrible. I've been on several other ships before and this was by far the worst. Second, one of our excursions was cancelled the night before we were to leave as there wasn't enough people signed up for it. While I understand that happens, a similar excursion was available the day they cancelled it and we could've gone on that one. Third, I am still fighting about my bill as I was charged $100 for 2 DVDs that I was watching the night before we disembarked. I dropped them off at reception where I was told they would take care of it. 2 weeks later and I'm still fighting. As far as items that Silversea couldn't control would be the amount of wave action on the days at sea were pretty significant so much so that I was sick. I've never experienced that on a larger boat. Also, it was cold just about the entire time. The wind whipping off the ocean made the balcony virtually useless. The excursions were extraordinarily expenses. Lastly, the shower temperature fluctuated between scolding to freezing in a matter of seconds without touching anything. I'm on the fence as to whether I would go on Silver Sea again solely because of the value aspect and the fact you spend so much money, but most of what I look for is a nice cabin, service and a quiet ship so that part suited me well. The biggest downer though is the quality of the food and the menu became very monotonous. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We just completed the Alaska - Inside Passage, Vancouver to Seward trip, our first on Silverseas, and "hats off" to Silverseas and the crew of Silver Shadow. We absolutely enjoyed every moment. Our cabin (Veranda Suite - Deck ... Read More
We just completed the Alaska - Inside Passage, Vancouver to Seward trip, our first on Silverseas, and "hats off" to Silverseas and the crew of Silver Shadow. We absolutely enjoyed every moment. Our cabin (Veranda Suite - Deck 8) was comfortable, spacious and well appointed. The staff was attentive, caring and seemed genuinely eager to please. The food - WOW - great variety, quality and presentation...Excellent! We dined in all of the restaurants and enjoyed every meal. While the breakfast choices in the restaurants were great, we particularly enjoyed the in-room breakfast - very special. The entertainment was enjoyable and the guest speakers were informative, plus we never felt crowded or rushed. Admittedly, we were a bit nervous and skeptical about some of the marketing hype as well as the cost/value of "luxury, all-inclusive" cruises such as this. However, we couldn't be more satisfied with the end result. Plus - the little things - like: once our cabin Butler (as well as the poolside bartender) learned that I enjoyed the Alaskan craft beer, they both made sure there was always some on hand for me, plus a fresh bottle of Cabernet in our cabin every day. On our anniversary evening we came back from dinner to find our room decorated in balloons, with chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy. Simply put - no regrets. We will definitely do this again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Silver Shadow far exceeded expectations. I was greeted by my butler immediately upon arrival, suitcase delivered promptly. After contemplating the food offerings for three weeks, I can say that the quality was excellent altho' Italian ... Read More
Silver Shadow far exceeded expectations. I was greeted by my butler immediately upon arrival, suitcase delivered promptly. After contemplating the food offerings for three weeks, I can say that the quality was excellent altho' Italian desserts were not as rich as some I have had. The moderate serving sizes of the various courses were inspiring and indirectly pointed out the massive portions expected in most American restaurants. I liked the moderate portions. Eating as an indoor sport does not interest me. I dined on two occasions at La Terrazza for an Italian evening meal and I would not try it again. At one point, a small dish of pasta was presented and, when I tried to use a fork and spoon to eat it, I could easily lift up the entire mass with my fork. Evidently I'm not that big a fan of "gourmet" Italian food. But the offerings in The Restaurant (the MDR) were quite good each evening and all of us quite enjoyed the artwork of the pastry chef on the plates as dessert was served. Quite imaginative and well-rendered to lend an elegant touch to a meal. My suite was lovely - quite large and usable, lots of storage space, no wear-and-tear visible throughout the suite. There were minor nicks in the light-wood desk-top which were caused by pax slamming down their ice buckets down on it. The large bathroom had dual sinks, a separate bathtub and shower. I do take off points for lighting over the couch - if Gideon, my brilliant butler, hadn't come up with the solution of a floor lamp, I would have been unable to read my Kindle which is an important part of my daily shipboard life. Having said this, I would point out that this problem with lighting was immediately resolved by Gideon who also kept me supplied with a daily variety of fresh fruits which I enjoyed in my suite in lieu of afternoon tea. My Vista suite had a large picture window which fulfilled my desire to view the ocean and local ports. I don't feel that I need a balcony in my cruises as I am rarely in a warm part of the globe. Terrace suites, one level up from mine, share a balcony which is not acceptable to me. My Vista suite was 287 sq.ft. and perfect for this solo traveler. I appreciatedthe severely-limited smoking areas. The artwork throughout the ship lent an air of luxury and elegance to the experience. The fact that all of it was for sale deducted nothing from the effect. I didn't attend the entertainments other than one - George Sakellariou is a world-class acoustic guitarist, well known in those circles. I never missed his performances. He was selected by Steve Jobs some years ago to perform for a family reunion and George has played all over the world. Did not see other entertainers. In all cases, the waiters were good, many were excellent, and they made outstanding suggestions for my dining pleasure. Ariston was a key player for me in the MDR with good menu suggestions and topnotch service. I enjoyed speaking various languages with the crew. I was so warmly welcomed onboard that my joke is I felt like ship's pet. The hospitality and genuinely positive response of the hotel waitstaff to this solo traveler made this voyage outstanding and memorable. I did not attend onboard activities; I made it up as I went along. No trivia, no bridge, no "Italian as a second language," few Enrichment Lecturers altho' I watched several of them on my flatscreen, in-cabin TV. I had to quickly bone up on one lecturer as he and I wound up dining together every night for the week in Alaska that he was onboard. The manager in the Internet Caf, Ian, patiently taught me about the good and the bad of new softwares, laptops, choices. It is wonderful to have that kind of expertise available. I was constantly asking questions about a future purchase of a laptop and softwares. On my last night, Ian helped me use the online check-ins and print out my boarding passes. His cheery attitude and welcoming manner were appreciated. The few public rooms I used were well-appointed and luxurious. In the 3 weeks I was onboard Shadow, I never had afternoon tea nor did I use the Fitness Center. I have been on cruises as an adult since 1979 and, since Royal Viking pulled up its gangway, I have been searching for an equivalent luxury-ship experience. After this Silver Shadow Vancouver-to-Incheon voyage, I have come home to Silversea. It is now the official cruise line for Saga Ruby. I would not hesitate to repeat this itinerary because 12 out of 21 days were sea days and that was the main appeal for me. I've been, seen, and done enough in the cruising world that I have little interest in finding a new, exciting itinerary. I embrace the exceptional level of service onboard Silversea and will watch for cruises on her and her sister ship, Whisper. Silversea positions itself as a small, elegant luxury cruise line. For me, that is a perfect description. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Ship Silver Shadow still beautiful inside and out and nice to be on. It handles the seas very well. All well, except for the expensive art on all the walls of the public areas for sale all over the ship 24/7. Even outside the bathrooms. ... Read More
Ship Silver Shadow still beautiful inside and out and nice to be on. It handles the seas very well. All well, except for the expensive art on all the walls of the public areas for sale all over the ship 24/7. Even outside the bathrooms. I am talking about art, and ceramics too, with posted prices up to $100,000 per item and most in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. Not too many people were buying at these prices.!! We and the people we were traveling with found this so in our face and just so arrogant. Like living in a fancy New York art gallery, but we feel not appropriate for a ship at sea that we would want to be on. A real negative. Interesting for one day and then a bore. Stateroom stateroom spacious, updated and very nicely appointed. Flat screen TV. One of few ships at sea with two basins in the bathroom. Excursions good but expensive excursions and scenery of Alaska hard to beat. Lots of whale, eagle and sea otter sitings. Excellent lecturers on wild life and history of Alaska. Dining Dining has become so second rate. Once known for setting the standard for food and service at sea certainly from the cruises we've had with them before, the Silver Shadow, and Silversea if our experience is representative, has dropped the ball on both. The Italian speciality restaurant is anything but special. The Main dining room and the buffet restaurant have serious cooking and menu selection problems. Particularly bad was the breakfasts, with the kitchen and wait staff constantly getting things wrong. The buffet was generous but only OK in the variety and quality of the food items served. Not what we experienced before on Silversea or on other lines. Included wines and liquors a plus. Afternoon Teas not so extraordinary anymore. Ports Ports OK if you like shopping,, but gateways to the good excursions. Disembarkation Smooth. Well organized Entertainment Terrible. A well meaning company of young but inexperienced and semi talented performers performing boring shows. Summary Last time for this cruise line. Although some nice features, with the prices we paid, the food and service just not up to what we are used to. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having previously cruised with Silversea on three occasions (about 50 days) we cruised to Alaska on the last cruise for 2010. While some aspects of the cruise were up to previous standards, most aspects were disappointing and some were ... Read More
Having previously cruised with Silversea on three occasions (about 50 days) we cruised to Alaska on the last cruise for 2010. While some aspects of the cruise were up to previous standards, most aspects were disappointing and some were totally unacceptable. Out Veranda Mid-Ship cabin showed strong signs of being "tired". The carpet was dirty with large stains and would have been unacceptable in a third class hotel. Part of the problem is that they have reduced the cabin servicing staff and included a butler that provided no value. Generally the professional standard of the staff was much lower than in the past. Many staff seemed subdued and some sullen. One crew member confided that the whole crew were sick of going back and forward to Alaska with cruises after cruise and no rest. We also had problems with staff having difficulty with English. La Terassa restaurant was still good, but now rationed. The Head Waiter in the main dining room lacked any charm and was very poor compared with the Head Waiters in the past. On one day dolphins swam with the ship for over 30 minutes, but nearly all the passengers missed this because there was no announcement. Communications generally was poor. At the end of the cruise we found that we had been billed for three excursions we did not take. The shore excursion staff were terrible and on three separate occasions in effect called us liars by saying they could prove we took the excursions. Eventually they admitted they had made a mistake, but would not say how the mistake had happened and did not apologies. It was obvious that the Reception Staff had no confidence in the unprofessional and incompetent shore excursion staff. Other than the cruise director the entertainment was very poor. Apparently the entertainers had been on the ship for 6 months and this was their last cruise. They acted as if all they wanted to do was to get off the ship. Silversea says that it aims to exceed our expectations. On this cruise they fell far short of our expectations based on our previous experience. As invited to, we wrote at length to the President in Florida outlining both positives and negatives and asking for a response. Now over a month later we have received no acknowledgement or response. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Our first Silversea cruise, and we were impressed with the ship, staff and service; dining was pretty good too, especially in La Terrazza which is so popular, tables are rationed. However, a huge disappointment on this cruise along ... Read More
Our first Silversea cruise, and we were impressed with the ship, staff and service; dining was pretty good too, especially in La Terrazza which is so popular, tables are rationed. However, a huge disappointment on this cruise along Canada's Inside Passage and three Alaska ports, was the absence of a naturalist or wildlife expert. I'd guess that most people on board were there for the scenery and wildlife rather than evening entertainment. The otherwise excellent cruise director seemed to focus largely on the latter. The only onboard lectures were historical and social in content, when what everybody wanted to know was what they would see tomorrow! It didn't help when the captain mentioned that he'd seen some whales earlier in the morning - we'd have loved to share the experience. The cruise cried out for talks every evening so that passengers would know what to look out for and where they were most likely to see it. Only other criticism was the butler service, which was intrusive and slightly superior - anything other than relaxing. Friends on the same deck had a wonderful butler, so it's just the luck of the draw. A major compensation was the art collection - an astonishing museum-quality collection featuring Picasso, Chagall, Miro, Modigliani and others: jawdropping stuff. Art dealer and expert Michael Judge gave wonderful art tours every afternoon to provide fascinating insights into these exceptional works of art. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
My husband and I are avid luxury travelers. We prefer five star hotels, first class travel, etc. We had been on previous cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. This was a milestone birthday for me (the big 40) and I wanted a different ... Read More
My husband and I are avid luxury travelers. We prefer five star hotels, first class travel, etc. We had been on previous cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. This was a milestone birthday for me (the big 40) and I wanted a different type of cruise to celebrate. I found Silversea on cruise travel sites and did some researching. They are on Conde Nast Top Lists for small luxury cruises. Though much more expensive than the traditional large cruise lines, we chose Silversea. We cruised on the Silver Shadow to Alaska. We had ~350 passengers and 300 crew. From the moment we checked in at the port, we were waited on for all of our needs before we even knew we had a need. Pure luxury all the way! As we took our first step on the ship, hot towels were handed to us along with champagne on a silver platter. Without asking our carry-on bags were quickly taken by crew members as they walked side by side with us all the way to our cabin. Champagne on ice was waiting for us in our room. Our butler was there within a couple of minutes to greet us and introduce himself. He described everyting in the room, took our beverage orders, stored our large suitcases during the entire cruise, etc. The food was devine! Everything was fresh even at the buffet. Portions at dinner and lunch were small, but just right. I had fish every night for dinner and it was always cooked perfectly and fresh. I personnally loved the italian restaurant, La Terrazza. The crew knew our names after the day. Regardless of where we were, either at the restaurants, shops, bars, etc., the crew always referred to us by our last name. It's amazing how they can remember everyone's name so quickly. The personalization is phenominal! On the second night, the bartendar from the first night saw us in the theater and brought over drinks that we had the night before. The maitre'd sat us in the restaurant in our favorite spot without us even asking. The butler surprised me with a delicious tiramisu birthday cake in our cabin. We also had pre-dinner cocktails delivered daily by our butler at 6:00 PM and he was never late. You have everything on this ship that a large cruiseline has, but smaller. They have a casino, shops, dancing in the evenings, theater, restaurant choices, fitness room, etc. The best thing is that it's so intimate that there are rarely ever any lines and no kids! Also, there are no paper products. Everything is linen napkins, cloth towels, glassware, china, etc. Even at the pool bar, no paper products are used. The only improvement they can possibly make on the ship is the carpet needs to be replaced. Also, this cruiseline are for those who are a little older and affluent. At 40, we were one of the youngest passengers, but we easily fit in. We are already looking at booking another Silversea cruise possibly next year. We can't go back to the large cruiselines after such an incredible and wonderful experience. We highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We can sum up our Silversea experience in two words: totally disappointing. Silversea started us off on the wrong foot at the start when they stated early boarding carried a $100 each "fee". As we had shelled out $19,000USD for ... Read More
We can sum up our Silversea experience in two words: totally disappointing. Silversea started us off on the wrong foot at the start when they stated early boarding carried a $100 each "fee". As we had shelled out $19,000USD for a "Grand Suite" accomodation, we felt this additional charge was way over the top. Having had a stroke and not looking forward to a further delay in boarding, we complained to their Fort Lauderdale HQ. After a few calls, their office waived this "fee", adding that if we were members of their "Venetian Society" this waving was one of their "perks". So much for an "even playing field". We learned later that this fee was to discourage an "early luncheon" with accompanying wine and/or spirits. Our stateroom 701 was incredibly large and comfortable; Silversea was going on a roll! The closet was very large, with ample space for shoes, slippers etc. The bedroom was bright and roomy with a well lit vanity. It sported large screen TV. An ample, but not large balcony with two tables and four chairs completed the area. Two bathrooms, the main with double basins (one with a crack) a fully jetted tub and a smallish shower completed the room. The stateroom was the largest I have ever seen on a cruse ship. We have always chosen S class, and Owners suites, not to brag but due to my limited mobility. Comfortable arm chairs and a chaise-lounge along with a well equipped stand up bar completed the suite. The dining experience was just that.Unless you read the daily instructions, you could easily be too early or too late for lunch. The menu was out of the wild imagination of the chef. Example: Carpaccio served with fresh arugula, basil, celery walnuts and parmesan shavings (appetiser) sardinian clam soup with arugula and sun-dried tomatoes, grilled sea bass with smoked eel, celeriac cream infusion(entree) Five days into the cruise they offered salmon, chicken and a steak. My stomach had long started to act up by this time. We were told that several staterooms on our deck had the same problems with the richness of the food. My partner, at breakfast, after mentioning to the maitre d' that our morning coffee did not arrive set the stage for a very embarrassing situation for us. We had no sooner started our meal when our butler was paraded to our table along with the Food and Beverage manager. He proceeded to demand an apology from the poor butler. I don't know who was more upset by this childish behavior by the manager, the butler or my table. Thank goodness the little room was nearly empty; we, the butler and I were totally embarrassed. The butler was on time after this. The first night out we were serenaded by two screaming children one deck below. The TV in the next stateroom was annoying. Silversea has a very loose attitude about smoking. They request there be no smoking on the balconies. The only time we didn't smell second hand smoke was when we were moving. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
Paid for early embarkation, which I hear is now not necessary, they will allow it without additional payment. It was worth it to get on early, avoid crowds, get unpacked and organized early. Good service by crew helping us on board, ... Read More
Paid for early embarkation, which I hear is now not necessary, they will allow it without additional payment. It was worth it to get on early, avoid crowds, get unpacked and organized early. Good service by crew helping us on board, showing us to suite, showing us around ship. First trip on Silver Seas and it was a good way to get acquainted with ship before everyone was on board. Had the unfortunate experience of rain the entire trip. This caused rough seas, so Sitka, first stop had to be bypassed. It was a tender off, and this was impossible in rough seas. Second stop Juneau. Low clouds and rain. All flying excursions cancelled. I had a photo safari and hiking to Mendenhal glacier along with whale watching in Auke Bay planned. Got off ship for 9:30 a.m. Whale watching only to be told on pier, that maintainence on Whale Watching ship had to have repairs, our excursion was postponed until 2:30 p.m. No advance announcement to save us rushing to get eat breakfast early and get ready. Also meant afternoon private excursion had to be cancelled. Skagway hiking was cancelled as well as all flying excursions due to weather. That evening, announcement was made that captain was being removed from ship, he was not well and was being flown to Juneau for hospitalization. We had a temporary captain. Next day scheduled to see Dawes Glacier, after great anticipation of seeing much talked about glacier and calving and waiting on deck in cold windy weather to get good viewing position for 2 hours, announcement told us, couldn't see glacier because of too much ice in fjord. Next night announcement came over telling us good news and bad news. Good news, "Captain returning to ship in Wrangell. Bad news, leaving port 2 hours later than planned, one of ships engines needed repair. Shore excursion in Victoria of City Tour, advertised as 2 1/2 hour tour turned out to be 1 hr. 15 minutes. Many disappoints. Can't count on weather, but soooo many things on one cruise seems unusual. Dining room service was not the best. Had to ask for things many times. Main course served, but acoompaniments served much later, i.e., potatoes, vegetables came 10-15 minutes. Had to ask many times for them. Or they were forgotten completely. Menu was a little too esoteric for my taste; i.e., squid, venison, etc. I would have enjoyed a little more recognizable main dishes. I do not eat red meat and there were many nights, where all 3 main courses were meat. Since there were about 3 main course items each night, and they almost always were unusual items, I ordered salmon almost every night. That was not on the menu, but they had it. Breakfast, as an example, couldn't get eggs and toast and coffee at the same time, no matter how many days we asked for them to be served together. Seems the servers need a little more training Naturalist on board, Ian Denten, was fabulous in preparing us for areas we were headed for, he was enthusiastic, knowledgable, loved his subject, and was a wealth of knowledge. Only problem: We got all hyped up for what we were going to see, and then couldn't see it due to cancellations. Ship had many public areas for viewing the landscape, reading, etc., I do agree with others, the ship is tired and needs redecorting. Many stained carpets in common areas, not as luxerious as I had been led to believe. Also, too many smoking areas, expecially near the Terraza restaurant on 7th floor. The smoke permeates the entire hall way around the dining room. Also, Trivial pursuit, bingo, etc., are held in same room as smoking. They should be someone else as smoke clings to the areas where it is allowed. Smoking is a problem, because there are still smokers among us, however, for those of us who do not want to inhale someone else's smoke, we were faced with it in many common areas. Those are my comments. In spight of the above, I had a good time, met some nice people, and enjoyed a relaxing 9 days. But the ship is not as luxerious as I was led to believe. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
First, there is a constant hum and vibration from the generators/engines that goes on 24/7. It is ever-present and if you like quiet, you will not find it aboard ship, not anywhere. We have a silver suite, compact and pleasant at ... Read More
First, there is a constant hum and vibration from the generators/engines that goes on 24/7. It is ever-present and if you like quiet, you will not find it aboard ship, not anywhere. We have a silver suite, compact and pleasant at about 700 sq. ft including the bedroom, sitting area, bathroom and narrow deck that holds 2 lounge chairs and 2 small tables. While the insulation between the suite and the hallways - and within the suite itself (meaning you don't hear noise from the bathroom if you are in the bedroom with the connecting doors shut) is quite good, still simply being on the ship is noisy. The rooms - and indeed the ship itself - while having pr as being incredibly luxurious - really is only akin to a new upscale Marriott or Hyatt hotel. While immaculate, it is just not real luxury across the board. Yes, there is a live orchid plant in the sitting area. Yes, there are flat screen tv's, a small refrigerator, and a gift box of godiva chocolates and nice amenities in the bathroom. However, we only have a queen sized bed, not a large California King, which is what you would expect for two people, especially in a suite. The mattress is somewhat soft/not the best - and there are only 2 small, flat standard sized sleeping pillows. The shower in the bathroom is unbelievably tiny. The tub is decent, but again, not really suitable for two. The closet, however, is a nice size and has plenty of drawers and hanging space. Now the food - mediocre at best. Slightly better than an Olive Garden in quality - and slightly less than a Cheesecake Factory, even at their best restaurant La Terraza. There is plenty of food and room service is available 24 hours (only takes maybe 20 minutes to get it delivered) but frankly, it is simply not great. While people rave about how fabulous the food is, it is more like a Zagat rating of 20 out of a possible 30 - and most certainly not a Zagat rating of 27-30. You would never award even one Michelin Star to this food. My guess is, the people who have given it such rave reviews are happier with the free flow of alcohol and not gourmet diners on a regular basis. Service is pleasant on board ship, but again, not to the standard of a truly upscale hotel or restaurant. The waiters and staff are all smiling, but many speak very little English. I had to ask four separate times at dinner to get butter with our breadsticks, and to have my iced tea glass refilled. My pasta was undercooked and could have been served in a hospital cafeteria, and my companion's fish entree was ordinary. Breakfast souffle of artichoke could have been served on an airplane as far as tastelessness went. Croissants were small and somewhat tough. Tea was lukewarm. We have been lucky and been on very calm seas. I took bonine prior to departing, just in case, and it made me quite sleepy. I have been chewing some ginger candy, and all seems to be well. Silverseas MAY indeed be the premier cruise line (as well as Seabourne) yet they cannot compare to on-land accommodations or dining, such as Andrew Harper awards boutique hotels, Relais & Chateaux properties or Rosewood Resorts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
This was our second time to Alaska. We went with the Regent Navigator before. Ship: The ship needs a major refirb., cheap look tiles in the public bathrooms, old carpets in many places, 2 star look spa entrance and 1 star quality gym, ... Read More
This was our second time to Alaska. We went with the Regent Navigator before. Ship: The ship needs a major refirb., cheap look tiles in the public bathrooms, old carpets in many places, 2 star look spa entrance and 1 star quality gym, stairways are not wide enought to pass each other even my size (5.9", 155#), laudry room in the deck 4 was removed but still showing in the floor map. Arts and decor are superb. Cabin: Overall very nice, Bulgary toiletties shines (compared to Regent's cheap toilettries), 2 vanities, spacious enought walk-in closet with plenty of hangers, choice of pillows, crisp linens, but towels are not 6 star quality, they are too thin and not soft, the shower door in the bathroom have too much space from the wall to block water splashes when taking a shower, no onscreen account check from your tv screen and need more tv channels. Food: Menu selections were poor compared to Regent and Crystal, pretty good quality but not a real high quality, best bakeries (compared to Regent and Crystal), coffee is not hot, and the inclusive wines were very cheap quality overall. Dining flexiblity is very bad, we wanted to eat at their specialty restaurant La Terraza more than once but we couldn't eat there again even if there are many empty tables every night. I asked to the head waiter in the main dining room whether I can order from the La Terraza menu since I don't like any of them from their dining room menu but he said I can't. I ended up with their everyday flexible menu "Spagetti with pasta sauce" for a couple of times. Service: I was frustrated to ask more coffee or more soft drink to refill all the time (it seems like nobody is checking your emply coffee cup or a beverage glass) but overall very good. They are willing to serve and pleasant (except one head waiter with shaved head who was extremly curt and unfriendly). Cabin stewardess and her assistant were very efficient and nice. Silver Shadow didn't meet our expectations. We have sailed with Regent (Voyager, Navigator and Paul Gauguin) and Crystal (Serenity and Symphony) before and we will sail with them again especially with Crystal. We may give it a try with their new ship the Silver Spirit but not with the Silver Shadow again unless they have a major refurbishment and improve overall quality. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
With high expectations my wife and I booked a cruise on the much acclaimed Silver Shadow. Pre cruise -- We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which was very pleasant. On June 30th I awoke to see the Silver Shadow dock at ... Read More
With high expectations my wife and I booked a cruise on the much acclaimed Silver Shadow. Pre cruise -- We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which was very pleasant. On June 30th I awoke to see the Silver Shadow dock at Canada place. Embarkation -- Was very smooth and our bags were in our suite on arrival. The stewardess greeted us and asked what drinks we would like for our bar. These drinks did not arrive for over 24 hours after a call to reception. After examination the suite was filthy, there was more than a few days dust, previous cruiser's pill packets and grey hair everywhere. Another call to reception rectified this. We had pre booked our tours online and were told that the tickets would be in our suite, not so. At the tour desk they had no record of this and advised me that I had not booked any tours. I then had to prove that I had by going onto the internet and printing the conformation. Only after doing this we were given our requested tours. Is this six star service? The ship in general was shabby, over due for a major refirb, ash trays remained dirty for hours if not overnight. There were finger marks on lifts and doors. We have travelled on much cleaner mainline cruise ships. Although Silversea boasts a high crew passenger ratio this was not evident on our trip. We never got any service at the pool area and waited 15 mins in the bar for service. When the officers made a rare appearance, again not what we had expected. Food was great, beyond expectations. We managed to get into La Terazza restaurant only once and were waited listed for the rest of the cruise. After speaking to fellow passengers I was told that they had crossed the Maitre d's hand with a couple of hundred dollars when they then managed to eat there for the rest of the cruise!!!!!. The inclusive wine selection was good. On one occasion my wife asked for a glass of Chablis and was told that an American Chardonnay was the same, I don't think so. Vibes from fellow passengers were that the standards have fallen since their previous Silversea cruises. On the last evening I was horrified to see the crew kicking passengers' luggage down the stairwells. After awful disembarkation our bags were both damaged, wonder why?. This cruise was meant to be a dream holiday for my wife and I it was way below what we have experienced on main line cruise ships. We would like to try another 6 star cruise but Silversea will have to improve somewhat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
My husband and I joined the Silver Shadow this past June. It was our first time on the Shadow, but certainly not our first cruise with Silversa and in Alaska. At first we were a bit concerned with the weather, but what can one do about ... Read More
My husband and I joined the Silver Shadow this past June. It was our first time on the Shadow, but certainly not our first cruise with Silversa and in Alaska. At first we were a bit concerned with the weather, but what can one do about that. The food was as always fantastic. Although there were several crew members going above and beyond, we could not help but notice a slight decline in over all service in the dinning rooms. We also did not care for the Cruise director, Ron Goodman. He did not come across as either friendly, helpful, or sincere. The Concierge was very nice as was the International Hostess and Maitre d' along with several others as I mentioned above. We were also disappointed in the entertainment. We had heard through the "sea grapevine" that one of the production cast members broke their leg and, therefore, was unable to do their shows to their best. The other entertainment, with the exception of the tenor, John D. Smitherson, was about average. John, however, had a wonderful two shows and was a pleasure to talk with off the stage. Luckily the weather changed for the better as our cruise progressed and as a whole we enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
Silver Shadow review: Alaska Dates: 24JUN-3JUL Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Haines, Wrangell, Sitka, Metlakatla, Vancouver If you're one for nature and scenery then Alaska is for you. The sights of the Sawyer Glacier up close, ... Read More
Silver Shadow review: Alaska Dates: 24JUN-3JUL Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Haines, Wrangell, Sitka, Metlakatla, Vancouver If you're one for nature and scenery then Alaska is for you. The sights of the Sawyer Glacier up close, the snowcapped mountains, the whales, the bears, the bald eagles are truly spectacular. SilverSea even goes to the length of providing binoculars in each suite. I cruised through the tranquillity of the Misty Fjords. I must say that as spectacularly beautiful as Alaska is...for me, nine days of this was a bit repetitive. Cabin: Vista (439) This stateroom is a mid-ship, no balcony cabin. It was our thinking that I wouldn't get much use of a balcony on an Alaskan cruise. For our particular trip I think I was right. Having said that, the cruise that went the week before encountered temperatures in the mid- to high 80s (F) with blazing sun. On our cruise the temp maxed out at about 72 and that was rare. The cabin was spacious and comfortable. The bathroom had dual sinks, a separate bath and shower. Bulgari amenities were nice and were replaced twice during the cruise. There is a walk-in closet with a safe. The safe worked intermittently. The refrigerator was well stocked and I was asked what two spirits I'd like brought to us. Oddly enough, when the spirits were brought to the stateroom it was obvious that one had been opened already. It was returned and replaced after a lengthy conversation with room service. They didn't understand why I might not want an already opened bottle. Food: There really wasn't a bad meal to be had aboard the Silver Shadow. The food actually ranged from very good to outstanding. The food in the ship's main dining room "The Restaurant" was superbly prepared. On most of our previous cruises I would elect to order something 'off the menu', (i.e. not on the menu...where the meal is specially prepared for us) however the food was so good on the ship that I didn't choose this option. The ship offers two alternate dining venues: La Champagne, The Terrace Cafe. Both La Champagne and The Terrace Cafe require reservations but there is no supplemental charge to dine in either restaurant. There are, however no complimentary wines offered in La Champagne. Wines in La Champagne must be purchased from the premium wine list. La Champagne offers a menu with few choices. Not quite a set menu but given that it's a very small room the options are limited. The menu does change every 2 or three days in La Champagne. The ambiance was that of an intimate restaurant. The food was very, very good. The Terrace Cafe is located adjacent to La Champagne but is a much larger room. This venue offers different themes each night. I went for the Mediterranean evening. Here you can choose between the complimentary wines and the premium wine list. Again, the food was deliciously prepared. Service: There seems to be a dichotomy in service aboard the Silver Shadow. Certainly the service throughout the ship was impeccable and efficient yet, strangely it was impersonal. Service wasn't too friendly. I think that only one staff member ever inquired as to what our names were or what I liked/disliked. That one staff member was the Cruise Consultant and needed the info to book our next SilverSea cruise. This is a marked difference from Seabourn, Radisson or even Queens Grill on Cunard. Embarkation: This was very poor. We were given our key cards on the pier and then were told to board the ship. Once we were in the lobby there was neither guidance nor assistance. There was a crowd of people at both the reception desk and the shore excursion desk but I didn't know why. I couldn't believe that we were to just make our own way to the stateroom, (primarily because on other high-end lines you're escorted), so I asked a staff member. It was then that we were told that I needed to go to the reception desk or shore excursion desk to have our photograph taken for security. Embarkation really seemed disorganized. Disembarkation: This was similarly disorganized. People were given color-coded tags that indicated when and in what order they would disembark the ship. For example, passengers with earlier flights would disembark prior to people with later flights. When it came time to disembark, the order that the colors were paged was wrong which had many people concerned. The later flight people disembarked before the passengers with earlier flights. The Ship: The dEcor of the ship is very attractive, very light, and not at all glitzy. She's an easy, very comfortable vessel to get around with the design of all staterooms forward and most public rooms aft. The Observation Lounge overlooks the bow and was packed while I cruised the Misty Fjords and the Sawyer Glacier. This lounge is really for relaxing. It offers coffee, tea but isn't really a bar setting. The more social locations on the ship were the "Panorama Lounge" and "The Bar". It is in these lounges that people would congregate for their cocktails and conversation. One caveat for you ship lovers. If you're looking for a nautical experience you won't find it on this ship. The Silver Shadow is more of a floating Ritz-Carlton and less a seafaring vessel. Shore Excursions: I didn't opt for any of the ship's offerings so can't comment on that. I arranged our own excursions and enjoyed them quite a bit. These included two floatplane adventures (Ketchikan and Sitka) and a two-hour ground tour of Sitka. Ship's entertainment: The ship had three entertainers on board...a singer, a magician/comedian, and a banjo player. I only saw a snippet of the comedian/magician. He was fine. Other passengers commented on how good the singer was. Why I took this cruise: Well, I had business in Portland on the 22JUN and saw a good deal on this cruise that was leaving just 2 days later from nearby Vancouver so I booked and sailed. Overall impressions: I will be back on SilverSea in November for a South America cruise. I enjoyed this cruise and the SilverSea experience. I personally would give Seabourn the edge on service but SilverSea's ships are more modern. . Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
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