Asia for the first time, first class

Silver Shadow Cruise Review to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

4.8 out of 5
Silver Shadow

11 Night Asia Southbound (Hong Kong To Singapore)

Sail Date: April 03, 2018

Ship: Silver Shadow

Cabin Type: Oceanview

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 7 months ago

Review Summary

For first time travelers to Asia, this was an excellent way to see the highlights of what the key cities and less traveled spots (Borneo) have to offer. Beautiful classic cities blended with incredible unique nature, quiet natural scenary from coastal to rain forest. I would highly recommend this trip, it was 1/2 luxury cruise and 1/2 expedition. Perfect blend for us.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was flawless, we got to the port, were greeted and ushered into a room with one other couple, and were on board in less than 10 minutes.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The main dining room was really great, we also enjoyed La Terrassa for both lunch and dinner. The Grill was by far my favorite, casual, simple grilled food, sitting out on the deck, and the side were awesome. Servers at all venues were fantastic.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Lecture series was thought provoking and very appropriate to our itinerary, plus the speaker was a terrific gentleman, probably one of the best experiences we've had.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The accoustic guitarist was very good, we tried to catch him each day. The classical pianist was very nice. My husband enjoyed the stage shows (just not my thing).

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Staff was AMAZING! This is the first cruise I've been on that they knew us by name, greeted us as old friends, maintained eye contact, it was great. Before each port, one of our servers would come up and ask what we had planned, and was gracious to offer tips or suggestions. Our housekeeper actually got us off the ship a bit early at his homeport so we could start our day earlier. Just a super experience with the staff.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship was really perfect, I think because it's small there isn't as much wear and tear, but it always looked like a classy old-school cruise where you wanted to be more dressed up.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The room is one of the largest we've had on any cruise, come on ... walk-in closet!!! We had plenty of room, plenty of storage, and made for such a nice experience to have our morning room service delivered without any shuffling around. Definitely luxury vacation.

Ship Tip

If your room is on the bottom deck, you will have to go upstairs to get to the other side of the ship, it's a bit cut off

Ports Of Call

Hong Kong

5 out of 5
Big crazy city but with plenty of great sites, nature, culture, and oh the food. We did a private walking tour that took us to the must see sites, as well as the must sees but are rarely on a tour. The locals market, the food (including locals asking to have their pictures taken with us!), the gardens, temples, historical sites, wwII, views of some of the amazing murals, drinks with an amazing view, just too much to list but it was an amazing 8 hours, and included a list of things to do on our own the next day.

Manila, Philippines

5 out of 5
Another huge city, lots of people, crazy traffic. We booked a private tour with YOLO to get out in the countryside. Wow, it was fantastic, customized to our likes, with two of the sweetest guys in the Philippines. We learned so much about the Philippines, the people, the history, and the food. Speed boat thru Lake Taal, jeepney ride up to the Palace in the Sky, buffet lunch, market visit to see all the beautiful produce (taste the pineapples, seriously!!!), and the local favorite coconut pie. The day ended in the old walled city, walking thru the cathedral, and seeing the damage inflicted during WWII. At the drop off in the port, I honestly felt like we were leaving dear friends. The people of the Philippines are real treasures.

Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines

5 out of 5
This is a low key port, but visually beautiful. We took the ship excursion out to the rocks and snorkeling. I believe we ended up with about 300 pictures, excellent pictures of the area. Nice relaxing day.

Puerto Princesa, Philippines

4 out of 5
Puerto Princesa is the gateway to the Unesco subterranean river. We took the ship excursion to that, with a couple of hiccups, but it was nice, well worth seeing.

Sandakan, Malaysia

5 out of 5
Highlight!!! We booked a private tour and had one of the best tour guides of all times. Tan was a funny, sweet, and really amazing man. We got to see the baby orangutans playing, and then went out to the jungle with the hoards of people at feeding time for the "teenagers", also got to see some creepy poisionous bugs that he moved to safety. From there, we went to see the Proboscis monkeys, and en route seen many birds, water monitor, water buffalo, and silver leaf languar with babies. After a great Malaysian lunch, we headed over to see the sun bears, and both the pig tail and long tail macaques. From there, we had a city tour of Sandakan, and a visit to the Buddhist temple on the hill, overlooking the cruiseport and our ship! It was a great day, great fellowship and really made our visit to Malaysia special.

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

4 out of 5
We arrived in Kota in the afternoon and had an evening river cruise looking for wildlife a few hours north. It was a nice trip, but paled by comparison to the day before. Our guide was really great, he was the pro guide for the "Birds of Malaysia" book. His eye for spotting wildlife was amazing.

Muara, Brunei

3 out of 5
Brunei is an unusual place, we did a city tour, water village visit, and a wildlife river cruise.

Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia

5 out of 5
We opted for the ships' excursion to the Orangutan preserve and a water village visit. We had an amazing experience at the preserve, as Ritchie showed up! Also, a momma and her baby arrived for food, we actually stayed a little longer there to enjoy watching them. Half of our group had already started the walk back and missed seeing the baby. It was so worth the trip

Singapore

5 out of 5
Private tour so we could make the most of our day in Singapore. Jon was fantastic, we got to see the Jurong bird park, the Unesco Orchid garden, Gardens by the Bay, several historic sites, walking tour of Kampong Glam, Little India, hawker station, and Chili crab!!!! We returned to the ship exhausted and not looking forward to our 6am flight the next morning.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Our wake up call was prompt, and we were escorted off the ship and to our airport transfer. As we were walking thru the port, some of the staff were returning to the ship and yelling & waving to us. It was honestly the best cruise experience with the staff that we've had. The crew is certainly happy, well trained, and like what they do, as we were treated like sailing companions instead of just more customers.
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