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13 Silversea Vancouver Cruise Reviews

Silversea boasts “all your needs are being taken care of for you – sometimes before you even ask.” On two of three Silversea cruises I have taken as a Venetian Society member that promise has not been met. In the future I will ... Read More
Silversea boasts “all your needs are being taken care of for you – sometimes before you even ask.” On two of three Silversea cruises I have taken as a Venetian Society member that promise has not been met. In the future I will purchase a large suite on a different line, save money and find promises kept rather than forgotten. The definition of customer satisfaction is that expectations are met. Silversea is overpromising and underdelivering which is the recipe for customer dissatisfaction. This time, we cruised Silver Shadow Vancouver-Anchorage (Seward) AK, 7/26-8/2/2018, paying $17,800 for Silver Suite 719. For that amount of money, a comparable suite aboard Celebrity costs $7,400 less and includes virtually the same services (free premium beverage package, free gratuities, free internet and $300 on-board credit). Plus, Celebrity sails a larger ship which handles Pacific Ocean waves and headwinds with a much smoother ride, offers more dining options, vastly better entertainment and more “things to do” on board. Silver Shadow, 610 feet long, was unstable in even two-meter swells. And, aboard other lines I have sailed (Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard or Norwegian) the entertainment and dining options are vastly greater and, in the case of entertainment, clearly superior. Silversea’s entertainment was painful to watch and listen to. The Voices of Silversea were of poor quality, at one performance the entertainers even holding their written songsheets so they could remember the lyrics. The bar pianist/vocalist Ramon relied heavily on his computerized synthesizer orchestral backing and was difficult to tolerate. Background afternoon tea and bar pianist Natalia, however, was quite fine. The boarding experience was wonderful, there was almost never a line to stand in, the food was quite good, the suite spacious if tired and in need of freshening up (even though the ship was refurbished in 2017). I asked for, and consistently received, a bottle of prosecco on ice in our suite. I was also offered and asked for, but sometimes did not receive, canapes and fruit each evening. Butlers made the primary difference in passenger reaction to this cruise. First time Silversea cruisers in Suite 729 had what they described as “a fantastic butler” who was able to secure seemingly impossible reservations at La Dame (to which they invited us to come along as all La Dame tables will seat four diners), created personalized welcoming messages and towel sculptures every night and delivered service that often exceeded their expectations. He and their room steward were happy, properly solicitous and eager to please. Our butler was unable to secure La Dame reservations, delivered no special touches, was difficult to pin down with answers to questions and delivered service that always paled in comparison. Other passengers to whom I spoke indicated widely varying degrees of delight or disappointment with this "butler inconsistency" feature on this cruise. Pre-cruise reservations at specialty restaurant La Dame were impossible to get (even when we went online within 5 minutes of reservation availability time), for both us and for our traveling companions in Silver Suite 729 and for many others to whom we spoke. I called Silversea and even wrote a letter to the Head of the Miami Office, Mr. Mark Conroy, expressing frustration on this point. Both the calls and the letter went unanswered or unreturned. After all of that, the $60 per person cover charge for La Dame was poorly spent as the food in the Main Dining room was, we all agreed, superior. The service and ambiance in La Dame, however, was excellent. On board, a Silversea representative apologized to the 729 customers and offered to host a private reception in their suite (to which we were invited) but, amazingly, he failed to show up. There is a dress code in public areas (“For Gentlemen: JACKETS (TIE OPTIONAL) after 6:00pm [capitals theirs] but it is not enforced. As an example, several gentlemen would show up in La Terrazza or the Main Dining Room without required jackets—one in an untucked sports jersey with a large number 13 and the name ‘Lucky’ on the back—and a “loaner” sports jacket would be delivered to them and draped over their chair back. They were not asked to wear the jacket as if the dress code was for the gentleman’s chair rather than the gentleman himself. Silversea should decide that they should drop the dress code or enforce the dress code; one or the other. To date, I have spent 168 nights at sea during 17 cruises. There is much better value to be had on every other cruise I have taken (with the clear exception of low-cost Carnival). Our next cruise is on Cunard followed by Celebrity. I won’t miss Silversea nor do I suspect, based upon past unanswered communications, they will miss me. By the way, this “review” was written only upon post-cruise email request from Silversea; I get no delight in complaining without being asked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had previously taken two cruises with Silversea in Europe and had had very positive experiences. We took our 3 adult kids with us on the Alaskan Cruise and we were all very disappointed with the level of service and food on this ship. ... Read More
We had previously taken two cruises with Silversea in Europe and had had very positive experiences. We took our 3 adult kids with us on the Alaskan Cruise and we were all very disappointed with the level of service and food on this ship. It was not up to luxury standards. Butler service was mediocre. My son had a suitcase out on the floor the entire trip in his room and was never asked if he wanted it unpacked. My daughters ordered room service most mornings and order was never right--and their butler argued with them about their order. My husband and I went to breakfast in the main dining room and told them we had 30 min. No one was there--we ordered a minimal breakfast--30 min later we had to leave because we had still not been served. These are just a few examples of the level of service we received on this trip. Just not what you would expect from this cruise line. Additionally they had a flu outbreak on the ship and all of us got sick. My daughter was sick as we left the ship--my son the next day and the rest of us within 5 days. Just not a good experience overall. We have another cruise planned with silversea this fall (was booked before alaska) and if the level of service and food are not better--it will be our last cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This trip was a long-time bucket list goal for us. The itinerary was outstanding and exactly what we were looking for throughout our trip. However after having sailed on a comparable competing line two years before, we were very ... Read More
This trip was a long-time bucket list goal for us. The itinerary was outstanding and exactly what we were looking for throughout our trip. However after having sailed on a comparable competing line two years before, we were very disappointed with our accommodations and the line's lack of responsiveness to remedying the situation. This noise situation in our room started the second day of our cruise and continued for the remainder of it and made the time in our room annoying and was very disruptive to our sleep. The crew's lack of attention to fixing the situation was disappointing and frankly unacceptable for a line of this pricing and projected imagery. In addition, while the food generally was acceptable, it was boring in its continued repetition throughout the cruise. The only exception was Le Champagne which was excellent both for its food and its staffing, although the pricing add-on was very high for a cruise line of this fare pricing and overall projected imagery. There simply was not enough variety in any of the other restaurant venues commensurate with the pricing of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is our second cruise on the Silver Shadow. My husband and I were on this same cruise 3 years ago and loved it. This year we came back with all the family (including grandparents.) What a difference do 3 years make! On our first ... Read More
This is our second cruise on the Silver Shadow. My husband and I were on this same cruise 3 years ago and loved it. This year we came back with all the family (including grandparents.) What a difference do 3 years make! On our first cruised we were very impressed by the personal attention, service, food etc.. That is why we decided to take the same cruise now with the whole family. First the ship looks old and worn out. It needs refurbishment and maintenance. One day we were dining at the Terrace and had to wait for 1 hour for our food because they had no electricity in the kitchen! The lights in the dining room kept blinking. Service has suffered, I am not sure if they have less staff or the staff is not as well trained as before. Mainly in the dining rooms at night, it´s difficult to find your waiter or your sommelier. When you order the house wine they serve very little and never offer to refill unless you ask them. When you buy the wine at the restaurant they refill your glass all the time.. The appetizers size is very very small, just one bite and you are finished. Food has also suffered we did not find it as appealing as the last time, the same for the breakfast or lunch buffet. Cabins look old, carpets dirty, drawers that do not close well. The lounge chairs in the pool area are also stained. On the positive side it´s great been in a small ship, the excursions department is great, tea time is very nice and it´s a great itinerary. Service at The Grill for dinning is great and the food is also very good. On the last night we had another waiter and what a difference he was great, always near to see if we needed anything, so maybe we just had bad luck the other 6 nights. Three weeks before I was on a cruise on The Oceania Riviera from Barcelona to Lisbon, and even though it was a cruise with 3 times more passengers, service was great, the food was excellent. Cabins were awesome as well as the common areas. I also wrote my Oceania Review. In both cruises we were on a Veranda cabin. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were interested in an Alaskan cruise that included a stop in Sitka, a place we had never visited before. We also wanted a small, luxurious ship. The Silver Shadow is a beautiful ship, but it is showing its age. It needs refurbishment ... Read More
We were interested in an Alaskan cruise that included a stop in Sitka, a place we had never visited before. We also wanted a small, luxurious ship. The Silver Shadow is a beautiful ship, but it is showing its age. It needs refurbishment badly, even though it was last refurbished in 2010. The service was outstanding, worthy of a five-star rating. The crew looked after every need and want. The really went out of their way to see to it that we were satisfied. After the first day, most knew our names. The all-inclusive cruise included all drinks, including soft drinks, wine and beer, and mixed drinks. Our butler asked what we wanted in the room's fridge, and in addition to the beer and selected soft drinks we asked for vodka. He offered two brands; we selected Stoly, and he brought a full 750 liter bottle. There was no extra charge. The food in all the venues was good, but not worthy of a five-star experience. We dined in the $40 surcharge Le Champagne, and the food was very good, but, again, not five stars. The small room was nondescript. But as an example of their superior service: On the night we dined there was a large party of heavy drinkers. One of them was extremely loud and obnoxious. He dominated the room, and made the couples at the other four tables uncomfortable. When the large group left, the remaining diners applauded spontaneously! This situation was clearly not a responsibility of the cruise line, but we received a note of apologyt the next day from the Maître D'; he said the $80 per couple charge had been removed. The entertainment was good for such a small ship; the young singers gave their all at all the shows. But the sound was so loud for the small show room that it was uncomfortable. They were not singing rock music - they were singing show tunes and opera; the amplification was too much. Overall a great cruise, excellent service, good, but not great food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was my 9th Silversea cruise but the first in Alaska. It was the final cruise of the season and the Shadow was continuing to Russia, Japan and ending in Hong Kong after our Inside Passage cruise. THE GOOD Service on board was ... Read More
This was my 9th Silversea cruise but the first in Alaska. It was the final cruise of the season and the Shadow was continuing to Russia, Japan and ending in Hong Kong after our Inside Passage cruise. THE GOOD Service on board was the same as previous cruises with a few exceptions. The staff always makes an effort to remember names, favorite drinks and provide excellent service. Overall, the complaints are more about lack of Silversea staff pre-cruise and off the ship for tours (see below). We still like the all-inclusive service on Silversea and open dining options. THE BAD We booked air, pre-hotel and transfers through Silversea. On arrival in Vancouver, we were not met at the airport and had to taxi to the hotel! This is unacceptable. There were many ground personnel awaiting passengers. There was a Silversea Crew sign with a local ground operator awaiting arrivals. When we asked him for assistance, we were told he couldn't help us and he pointed to a local volunteer to ask for assistance. The volunteer pointed us back to the Silversea Crew greeter. At no time were any Silversea personnel available at the airport to help arriving passengers. Additionally, pre-cruise, we were told that there would be a Silversea Hospitality Staff at the hotel (which was the selected Silversea Hotel - the Fairmont Waterfront). This was not the case and in fact the Silversea Welcome Letter given to us on check-in said there was not a hospitality representative and we could call a number for assistance if needed. We took one train tour during the cruise which required we walk 1/4 mile from the Shadow in rainy, cold and windy conditions to board the train. There were no umbrellas provided, no electric carts to shuttle us to the train, no protective tents on the walkway. On the return, the weather had become worse and we asked if we could get a shuttle back to the ship. We were told by the conductor to wait and he would call one. After 10 minutes standing in the rain (fortunately we had brought our own umbrellas), we finally started walking. About halfway there, the shuttle came and picked us up. EMBARKATION Our Welcome Letter said all we had to do was cross the street to board the ship. No instructions or map were given directing us to the entry at the terminal. Our luggage was picked up by hotel staff and delivered to our suite. The luggage tags provided by Silversea were impossible to figure out so we went to the bell desk to ask how to use them. He didn't know and had to find another bellman who said this was a frequent request from Silversea passengers and fortunately he knew how to attach them. It's a very bad design and Silversea should do something about that. We crossed to the port, walked all the way down past the ship and realized that we should go into the port terminal to board. There was no signage or Silversea staff to assist us outside or inside the terminal, telling us we had to take an elevator down 3 levels to the cruise boarding area! We finally found the Silversea representatives but it was very poorly organized. We were told normally there would be signage, but since the Shadow was the only cruise ship in port that was the reason. This is not acceptable! CHANGES THAT AFFECTED THE SILVERSEA EXPERIENCE No chilled champagne bucket awaiting us on arrival in the cabin. Instead, the Butler entered offering us a choice of champagne or prosecco. We asked for champagne, which was subsequently placed in our mini-fridge. There was no way we would open the bottle and consume during the trip so it remained unused. Had he opened it and placed in an ice bucket, that would have been more like what we were accustomed to in the past If passengers preferred prosecco, that could have been offered as a pre-order just like dinner reservations and tours. The Butler is an unnecessary addition. They are dressed formally but their main function is to provide room service and make reservations. We pre-booked all of our desired dinner reservations and tours. Beyond asking for bottled water, we had no other need for his services. We ordered room service breakfast and were surprised when he delivered the meals (in a more casual uniform). He was very willing and kept asking if we needed anything so we almost felt guilty about not using him! MEALS We ate dinner at La Terazza once and we were unimpressed to the point we canceled our other booking. I believe we went to one lunch buffet but it was unimpressive. We did the "hot rocks" meal on deck one night which was one of the best meals on board. The steak and prawn combination was wonderful, they had gas heaters over each table and it was a nice evening. The rest of our meals were in the Restaurant with our favorite server. We found the meals in the Restaurant to be consistently good including breakfast, lunch and dinner. We unfortunately had to cancel our reservation at Le Champagne due to my discomfort over rough seas one night. I never got ill but the rolling motion got to me despite my magic combination of ginger capsules, Bonine and wrist bands which always worked in the past. DISEMBARKATION We arrived at the Port of Seward and boarded a lovely dome train which was chartered by Silversea, to make our way to Anchorage Airport. Unfortunately it was a 4.5 hour train ride and due to the overcast, cloudy and sometimes foggy conditions, we didn't really see that much on the way. Lots of trees, rocks, streams and a brief glimpse of a glacier or two. A beverage was included but everything else was non-hosted. The guide said it was the last train trip of the season so maybe taking this cruise at the end of the season isn't such a good idea! I've done the Alaska cruise twice before on other cruise lines and it was lovely during the summer months. Our luggage was transported separately by truck and delivered to a baggage claim area at the Anchorage airport. We were told to go claim it by the TSA desk. This was another breakdown on the part of Silversea. There was a representative pointing the way to the designated area which required several escalators up and down, a few turns to get there. Once we arrived at the area it was an open room, no Silversea staff, and all the luggage was simply placed there in a free-for-all grab and go. Passengers were wandering around trying to find their bags. Anybody could have come in and taken bags, no luggage tags were checked when exiting the room. We were also told they would close at 1:00pm and the luggage would be taken to a local hotel where passengers would have to go there to claim it! We were to arrive at 12:30pm but fortunately we were a little early so we made the deadline. OUR SUITE We were in Veranda 508. It was the same as the sister ship, the Whisper on which we previously sailed. We noticed the couch in the living area needs to be replaced or repaired. The fabric was worn down on the edges. The carpet in hallways also looked worn. I think the ship is tired and needs to have a makeover. Other than that, the ship is wonderful, I love the layout and prefer being on Deck 5 where the reception/concierge and our favorite bar is located. 508 is pretty far forward so I would have liked being more amidship, and we didn't use the veranda because it was too cool and windy to enjoy it. The bathroom amenities were nice, we were offered Bulgari or two others I don't recall. No pillow menu was ever offered, which was something mentioned in promotional material. WIFI I paid $140 to have a week's access to onboard wifi so I could use my personal smartphone. I had no problems downloading email or sending text messages while on board. There were only a couple of times that there was a delay for a few minutes. I think this cost should be included in the "all inclusive" Silversea package. The onboard computer assistance was also good. I had one problem logging into the ship's internet because I couldn't remember the log-in procedure. The Butler was wonderful - he set me up initially. Then I went to the open time in the computer room and the on duty computer assistant helped me. Despite the fact I have a Droid system (a Samsung Galaxy) and everyone is more iphone familiar, the onboard computer experts knew all the systems. THE VENETIAN SOCIETY RECEPTION This was a letdown. In the past there was much fanfare and excitement when presenting the awards to a few select frequent passengers. This time it fell flat and only lasted a short time. We made an appearance but didn't stay more than a few minutes. FUTURE Since Silversea has now added "all inclusive" tours which many of the seasoned travelers don't want, with associated higher fares, I may explore some of the competitors like Seabourn or Regent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take ... Read More
What a disappointment. Sure, the ship was nice and there were plenty of people smiling at you offering drinks endlessly, but from the moment you got on the ship, it was a sales pitch, when it should have been more about sails. Take another cruise, buy this, do this - but no one really seemed to know or care. My voyage stopped at a port Siversea had never visited before - and will not again, Nanaimo. Eleven hours and there was nothing to do. Why did the ship only stay a half day in key ports like Sitka or Juneau, where we could have had more outings, or weather permitting, any at all. And three of the four restaurants required reservations. There wasn't a day I wasn't on a waiting list. And it wasn't just meals, excursions, the over-priced spa - all had limited or no availability except when you really didn't want them, like a meal time! Then there was the Internet, which they charged you $150 to use and rarely worked. Even the printer in the computer room was out of order for practically the entire trip. Finally, the food. Sure it was plentiful and, on occasion, very good. But I was in Alaska and never was offered King Crab Legs, King Salmon, oysters or other Pacific shellfish. In fact the only shellfish I had was Maine lobster tails. I called Silversea Customer Relations twice this week to discuss. Both times I got a recording, and neither person called me back. Well, I won't be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
First thing I must say is the Vancouver Cruise Terminal is a dream to use, totally painless to board and disembark. The sales pitch for Silversea is "6 star luxury" matched by service equal to none, it made me want to book to ... Read More
First thing I must say is the Vancouver Cruise Terminal is a dream to use, totally painless to board and disembark. The sales pitch for Silversea is "6 star luxury" matched by service equal to none, it made me want to book to enjoy the next level up in cruising. The reality is a very nice ship, slightly worn but no more than what was expected of a floating hotel that has not had a refit of late. Getting on was easy, well organised, but once on the ship you had to find your own way to your cabin, we had a cabin on level 8, I will list below my finding and evaluation. The size of the room was just acceptable, the balcony was adequate with good furniture, the "teak" decking looked more like a shipping pallet, and as it didn't go all the way to the edges and you had a gap/drop off, not much fun if your chair slid back or to the side, it would fall down into the gap. The general decor was in fair condition, a little old fashioned being all reds and gold and I mean everything from carpet, furniture to the drapes and bedspread. The bed itself was superb but I couldn't get a pillow that was suitable for me. The bathroom was very good, double vanity, good size bath and separate shower with a hand held spray, the only complaint was there is no ventilation/extraction in the shower cubicle. We were in our room for at least an hour when the Butler knocked, a pleasant enough man, but his English was by any standard, poor, and we had trouble from the start understanding each other, he also could not pronounce my last name, i never did work out what he was calling me, even my partner couldn't guess it, he did try i am sure, but the butlers we have had on other ship's have never been like this. We were given a range of bathroom amenities at the start and they were never replaced, this included the soaps, I had to ask for soap even tho they had thrown away the sliver of soap that was left, i must admit this really annoyed me, I hate using small pieces of soap. The sheets were good, the towels were a bit hard,scratchy but did the job. The food and dining ranged from superb to nearly inedible, the first formal night we had the lobster tail as it was the must eat special and it was rubbery and tasteless, dishes arrived warm to hot, the wait staff overall were attentive and pleasant. The food we had around the pool at lunch times was always sensational. The wines served during the meals was good. The most interesting thing was i ordered waffles for breakfast one morning and when they were delivered they were cold and very chewy, that was not really a problem in itself, the real test came when i mentioned it to the woman in charge on the way out, she became defensive and was telling me that was how waffles are supposed to be, I walked out angry and annoyed with her attitude. This person should not be doing the job Silversea has entrusted to her, I wont mention her name here. The Matre'd was more than helpful when she approached us re our concern on service, she had been advised by the other staff member who was standing there at the time of the way we was spoken to. If you don't book the speciality restaurants the second you get on you will miss out, as we did. The main dining room is pleasant, but as you get seated in a different position nearly every time the staff are always different and do not get to know your likes and needs, we would prefer to have the same table every meal or at least in the same area so as to get to know the wait staff. I would think twice re booking tours off the ship, we had booked a Glacier walk helicopter tour out of Juneau and when we arrived on the pier to go were told it had been cancelled due to the weather, we were at this point standing under clear blue skies, when i enquired why, we were told several different reasons and we ended up unable to believe anything she was saying. Silversea had not tried to find us an alternative and did not want to help in anyway, I must add this was the trip I wanted to do the most out of all the ones we had booked. We ended up talking to a gentleman in a booth beside where we were standing ( he was listening to the conversation and we were the second couple this had happened to) he was able to get us on a helicopter tour to walk on a glacier. Silversea had failed fully on customer service and followup, thats why we booked through the ship to ensure a follow through, but they just didn't care and we were not the only ones that day. The up side of this was Silversea were going to charge $980USD for this trip and we obtained the same thing for $520USD. The entertainment ranged from absolutely terrible (abba night) they killed the songs, to amazing when they sang opera, overall fairly average, the band was very good. The drinks were a big plus on this ship, whenever and what ever you wanted was supplied, the wines overall were good, we didn't find a need to purchase any during the cruise. Our overall impression was a good ship to see Alaska on, mainly due to its size. I don't feel they should advertise as a "6 star luxury ship", free drinks don't equate to 6 stars, the service and fit-out of the cabins and public spaces are no better than most cruise lines. Some of the staff struggled with English, if Silversea are going to employ them they should ensure they can speak clearly. To be common and compare the daily rate, Cunards "Queens Grill" offers a much better experience for the same if not less amount per day, yes the argument is all inclusive drinks, but I want more than free alcohol. Would i recommend the ship, I have to say yes, just, but it is well and truly due for a refit and update.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
First of all I disclose that I am a Seaboard fan. If Seaboard offered trips to Alaska we would have certainly booked with them. Anyway - this might be an opportunity to experience Silverseas - a chance to impress us. They didn't! ... Read More
First of all I disclose that I am a Seaboard fan. If Seaboard offered trips to Alaska we would have certainly booked with them. Anyway - this might be an opportunity to experience Silverseas - a chance to impress us. They didn't! It's very hard not to make comparisons but a natural thing to happen. We embarked Silver Shadow at lunch time on day one - went straight to the pool deck for a snack. First impressions are important - the staff were OK but seemed disengaged. The small prawn cocktail looked and tasted tired - perfunctory - no bread offered. The small desert tasted dull and uninteresting - no garnish in sight. Couple this 'average' first lunch with the fact the staff uniforms looked tatty (the main server had a large tear in the seam of his pants) - this was not a good start! Our cabin on 5th deck was OK - much the same layout and size of Seaboard Quest. We met our Butler - he was pleasant and attentive - brought us a bottle of liqueur for our room promptly. Unfortunately over the next two days there was a problem with an electrical outlet in our cabin which kept malfunctioning - the Butler was a useful resource - in the end the electrician had to be called - more than three times!! (very frustrating). The showers are excellent - a good pressure - better than Seaboard. The restaurant booking system is not one we are familiar with - those in the know had already queued up on the first day to secure their preferred bookings in La Terrazzo and Le Champagne and The Grill. We found this an inconvenient system - most evenings we went to the main restaurant just because it was the easiest thing to do. The restaurant is staffed 90% by Pilipino/Indian males - in frequent visits we saw only 3 females serving food. Surely a gender balance is preferable? Some language problems did occur. The food was 'average' to 'good' - never really impressive. The flow of wine was good. Seabourn excel in their main restaurant - the special atmosphere here was lacking in the main restaurant. The Bar was relaxing and comfortable - one server (Peter) was outstanding - very attentive - but this was the exception. The canapes offered were unappealing - we preferred the warm nuts. Cocktails were good - Peter eventually remembered that I like a straw in my Mandarin Cosmopolitan. The mood music in the Bar was 'average'. Le Champagne Restaurant: A nice atmosphere - the food being served here was excellent - Seabourn main restaurant standard. La Terrazzo: If the food here is supposed to be authentic Italian then why was the Veal Escolope so unexciting? The service again is perfunctory - the staff don't even interact much with each other. The tours offered by Silver Shadow in Canada and Alaska are excellent, if a little expensive - a good range of activities suiting all levels of fitness. The gym is spacious and well equipped and it was nice to see that group fitness classes were available. Seabourn's gyms seem much smaller. Entertainment: Formulaic 6 person all round singers. They were acceptable, not outstanding. One male member was clearly uncomfortable - especially dressed for the Abba tribute in his white dungarees and platform shoes. This six-some seemed to prefer the Opera/light classical night - we did too. Unfortunately we missed the Cruise Director's pre-dinner entertainment. Other entertainment: The enrichment program and lectures were interesting - we attending some, but not all - Dr Wolffe's history lectures were entertaining and educational. Nice bloke. Why include a "Personal Shopper" on this trip??? He was pompous and elite - should get a real job! Conclusion: We would avoid booking Silverseas over Seabourn in the future - on this occasion they fell short of the mark in every respect. We were unprepared for the large numbers of children on this trip - although they were well behaved - kids always lower the level of sophistication in the bars and restaurants. Question?: Is Silver Shadow the first liner to welcome a "Service Dog" on board? Not that I am against this - especially since "Poochie" was such a lovely dog (Yorkshire Terrier). Silver Shadow = 6 Seabourn Quest = 9.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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
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
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
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