We expected to cruise between glaciers, see whales and other wildlife and were highly disappointed that we didn't. Of our 7 night cruise we spent less than a half a day seeing a glacier. While it was a magnificent sight, we expected more.
Our bathtub upon check in needed to be cleaned again as it had a grimy ring around it. Not what one would expect from a quality cruise line.
We just returned from our Alaska cruise on the Silver Shadow. Nice ship (not to big) and the crew really went out of their way to ensure all our needs were met. Very much impressed with the professionalism of the staff.
Food was excellent as well. And Alaska is beautiful.
All aspects of the cruise were outstanding. Four adult children and spouses were with us. The service at every level was exceptional. At age 87 I was limited to a wheelchair and the staff were very attentive and caring. The food was marvelous. All shore arrangements worked well. (My stay was mostly on board because of my handicap.) Needless to say, the scenery was all it was said to be--spectacular.
The ship was excellent and the service was the best ever. The food however, while beautifully presented was often not hot and the beef, other than the filet, was very tough. The chef said they get all their beef from Kansas City so this issue was not a local problem.
The side trips were good, but the write ups consistently described the animals we could see they did not say that they were nocturnal and rarely seen during the day. The monkeys however were great.
All in all it was a wonderful trip and I strongly recommend 3-4 days in Singapore if you had not been there. It was really beautiful city and the botanical garden was the best ever.
Thanks to Richey for all his help in putting this together. He was the best yet.
The ship, cabin, food, and service were excellent. If they weren't cancelled due to weather, the excursions were adequate. The Hubbard Glacier was not seen due to weather. There was minimal information, no backup plan, and no consideration offered. This was a major disappointment. The same heavy seas produced a sleepless night and motion sickness. The waves breaking against the side of the ship produced a spray that extended well above deck 6. After skipping Hubbard, we wasted time by sailing slowly to Seward. The promotional material for this cruise did not include adequate climate data, sea conditions, and the risk of adverse conditions for various month the cruise is offered. The Denali extension was a disappointment. We rode through the park in the rain in a bus that has windows that only opened a few inches at the top. Photography was difficult. Passengers had to clean mud from the windows with paper towels. Wildlife was sparse and only seen at a distance. We were not allowed to leave the bus except for bathroom breaks. Although we booked a float plane tour and flight out of the park, we were force to ride out of the park on the bus. The provider chose to fly only a few people out of the park due to a shortage of planes. This was another major disappointment.
We enjoyed our cruise to Alaska though that is due to the scenery and animals Alaska offers as opposed to the experience Silversea offers. While the Shadow was renovated recently, the decor is still dated. The entertainment options are extremely limited and many passengers stated that "This cruise is boring." We could not agree more. With the cooler weather in Alaska, it's not like a Caribbean cruise where passengers are content lying in the sun by the pool. There needs to be more activities for passengers on cruise days since lying in the sun is not an option for many of the cruisers on this locale.
We were also disappointed in the service on this cruise. Silversea is a luxury cruise line and touts it's incredible service. I've had better on many cruises that do not fall into this category. The staff was unfriendly and there was a language barrier that got in the way of providing good service. Many of the staff acted as if this was one of their first cruises ever. They were inexperienced and unorganized.
Alaska is a fantastic cruise location. Definitely go there, but pick a different cruise line!
The ship was very clean and well appointed. It felt as if we were in another era of elegance and class. Wonderful art was all over the walls. The dining rooms were set with white tablecloths and crystal glasses.
Our first time with Silver Sea and we loved it so much that we booked another trip to St. Petersburg...while on board.
All of the crew and staff were so well trained! Nice job management for the attention to all details.
Luxury is the most abused word used by cruise companies; it is an attempt to mislead consumers. Silversea plays a con game because it is, based on my recent experience, very far from being a true luxury cruise line such as Seabourn, Regent or Azamara. The Silver Shadow should have received a major renovation and refurbishment some years ago. Every other passenger on our cruise who had previous experience with true luxury cruises agreed with our view that Silversea was a major disappointment in a number of ways; this was true for people from different countries. One of the first shocks was the terrible television system in cabins; more like 20 year old technology than what one gets in modern cruise ships. Much of the food was disappointing, either bland or overly salted, and with too little variety. Nearly always meats of any kind were overcooked. There was no coffee and tea bar with snacks that one could go to at any time; something that true luxury ships offer. Amazingly, there was only one computer for the whole ship that passengers could use. Like us, many others were also disappointed with the entertainment and with many of the excursions. More importantly, cabins were either very hot or cold. Even more disturbing, at least half of the passengers became sick with coughing, nasal problems and other symptoms; if there was effective government regulation of cruise ships, then the one we were on would be required to undergo a very thorough cleaning and sanitizing before beginning another itinerary.
On the plus side, the selection of wines was very good and the service was very good nearly all of the time. My advice is to dig deep for information to avoid falling for the luxury scam being marketed by Silversea and other cruise companies.
The Service of the staff far exceeded expectations. At any moment on the ship we had attentive crew meeting all needs. From offering drinks and food, to offering to push my fathers wheel chair. He preferred to stay on board as we all (4 siblings and spouses) went ashore, but we felt very confident that his private butler would attend to any need.
The Wildlife and Glacier viewing were all that we would wish for. Hubbard Glacier access was incredible and the Shadow was able to get unusually close...the photography was awesome. On an whale watching excursion we watched humpback mother and calf breach in circles around our boat...lifetime memories all around.
Only improvement would be to have a few offerings of Northwest seafood. The Salmon served was Atlantic and there seemed to be no local seafood...i.e. Northwest Salmon, Dungeness crab, etc. We are from the Northwest and would have expected it on an Alaska cruise. The portions offered were perfect, a lot of care went into presentation, the wines overall were good. I would rate the food at 4 stars but only because of lack of Northwest offerings on an Alaska cruise.
Upon trying to speak to representatives of the cruise line about the situation, first they ignored my calls, then they said that they were never contacted by me or anyone else on the cruise. Then, when I contacted the credit card company, someone emailed me to say that they don't make any decisions, but they see that a cruise credit was offered for a future cruise to a list of passengers, including me. They just continue to give the run around and have not yet attempted to make this right. This cruise was so much worse than even the cruises I took when I was in college.
The issues began right from the very beginning. We were told to get out of the Westin hotel vehicle and walk with all our large suitcases and kids for about 60 ft on rocky ground, with absolutely no staff from the cruise line to help or guide us. The only way to get to the ship was by the shuttle that was standing there. We loaded all of the suitcases and got in the shuttle, whose engine was off and no air conditioning in 90+ degree weather. After we had about 20 people on the shuttle and had been baking there, I started getting a headache and asked if we could be taken to the ship. They would not. We remained there for another 20-30 minutes until I almost passed out. When we finally arrived at the ship, the crew just said that they were getting a lot of complaints same without any attempt to improve the situation. The next day, I remained so sick with such a severe headache, I even went to the ship medical office. It took me two full days to feel better after that. Obviously it must have been overheating to embark on the cruise.
After the first excursion we took, we were all starving and excited to get back on the ship to enjoy some food. We were a big group and were told that the only place on the ship we could get food at the time was in our room. Being a large group we obviously wanted to dine together and discuss what we had seen over the day. There weren't even any appetizers we could munch on with waiting for dinner. It was exceptionally unpleasant to all split apart and go to our own rooms just to have a quick bite after an excursion. This occurred for every stop/excursion.
The main destination that we were excited to see on this voyage was Costa Rica. Not only did we book an excursion through this ship, but we also booked a private tour, which we paid for, because there are so many animal activities available there that we researched prior to the cruise. Unfortunately the weather did not allow us to stop at the port. But instead of accommodating the passengers with something in its place or additional activities of some sort, we were just stuck on the ship for all the additional days, unable to get off. During that time, the ship ran out of virtually all the fruit that we were eating including mango, papaya, berries, bananas, etc. As the days went on, they continued to run out of food
In terms of food, although the staff in the main dining room were very accommodating since my husband has a very serious food allergy, the rest of the ship was not as careful. In fact, he became very ill on 3 different occasions after eating at some of the other food places. As far as service, again you had a number of individuals who were excellent and provided excellent service, notably George and dinner staff in the main dining room and the Sommelier. But other areas were really lacking. Virtually every morning that we ate breakfast, not in the main dining room, we received the cappuccinos that we ordered upon arrival to the restaurant after we had already completed our breakfast. And twice we were told that they were unable to make cappuccinos, because they were testing something on the ship.
During our many days at sea, when we did not have a chance to get off the ship because we had missed our main port, we wanted to be a little bit active. The swimming pool was drained out one of the days and unable to be used. And the ping-pong table which was the only other activity that was available was supposedly broken and could not be fixed, in spite of having maintenance staff. So we asked if they could at least put a board up and a net so we could play some ping-pong at least. The answer was no. Since we were at a fairly active bunch of people, these multiple unexpected days at sea were excruciating.
The entertainment was really amateur compared to other ships that we have traveled on. Since our group was typically half of the people up in the disco area, by the third night of the exact same set of songs, we asked if he could play some other songs. Our kids set up a second playlist for the "Dj." So for the rest of the cruise, he would go back and forth between the two playlists. On a luxury cruise like this, any one of these issues would be unlikely, but to have all of them is really bad.
All in all, this was the worst cruise we have ever taken and we have cruised multiple lines many times. Problems can happen, but the difference is how they are handled. If you have any problem, do not expect anything whatsoever in terms of service from Silversea. No one from our group will ever travel Silversea again.
This is a very average ship, a step or two down from "luxury".
-The food is average at best. Dining room was usually good. The Poolside grill and Italian restaurant were not up to par. The buffets tasted like the food had been in the freezer for months, then thawed out and popped in the microwave.
-The ship is old, and like I stated earlier, definitely not "luxury". The activities need serious help. Not nearly enough to do, even on cruising days.
-The service is good.
For about the same price, you can take Crystal or Oceania (both of which I have sailed). Crystal and Oceania are SO MUCH nicer than this ship, so much more to do; they beat Silver Sea in every aspect possible.
We booked the airfare, hotel and cruise all through Silver Sea. The ship could have used a good cleaning. Our butler was nowhere to be found on the first day of the cruise. He stated he had 15 suites to tend to and would see us on the second day of the voyage. It took until the next evening to get another hanger. We booked excursions for most days of the cruise. I must say that the excursions were great and intimate with exceptional guides. The quality of the food was good but not as personalized as promised when we reserved the cruise. I even had a meeting scheduled with the chef. The suite was spacious with a balcony.
We would probably try another cruise line for our next vacation. We were disappointed that most of the services were not as advertised!
Sailing on the Silver Shadow in Alaska was a great experience. The food was high quality with a large range of choices. The cabin\, storage\, bathroom were spacious. The service in the dining rooms and butler service was gracious and attentive. The entertainment was excellent. Excursions were interesting and informative. The exercise facilities and other facilities were very accessible and complimented other parts of the experience.
My husband and I recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary with an Alaskan cruise on the Silver Shadow ship of the Silversea cuise line. From beginning to end, it met and exceeded all our expectations! This was our first cruise but we definitely will only book on a Silversea cruise in the future!
What a wonderful experience. Not only were the sites unbelievable but the service was simply the best. EVERYONE had a smile on their face, good moods and a "how are you today, is there anything I can help you with". The entire staff knew everyone's name going to Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even when on the deck people were sunning did the staff address everyone by their name. They were helpful and genuine. I don't care if I have to save for several years to experience that again, I will wait. Thank you all for the best experience of my life.
I recently took another cruise line and let me tell you. They were the worst, the staff obviously hated their jobs, didn't care about anyone on the ship and were just flat out rude (I won't mention the name although I would love to). Let's just say, you will NOT be disappointed with the Silver Sea Cruise line.
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