Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 448 out of 500
Accommodation: 181 out of 200
Food: 341 out of 400
Service: 346 out of 400
Entertainment: 85 out of 100
Cruise: 343 out of 400
Overall Score: 1744 out of 2000
Silver Shadow Statistics
Size: Small Ship
Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9192167
Builder: Visentini/Mariotti (Italy)
Original Cost: $150 million
Entered Service: Sep 2000
Length (ft/m): 610.2/186.0
Beam (ft/m): 81.8/24.8
Draft (ft/m): 19.6/6.0
Passenger Decks: 7
Total Crew: 295
Passengers (lower beds): 388
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 72.8
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.3
Cabins (total): 194
Size Range (sq ft/m): 287.0-1,435.0/26.6-133.3
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 166
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 2
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 1
Hot Tubs (on deck): 2
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
An all-inclusive premium ship for mature-age cruisers
Overview. This ship is best suited to discerning, well-traveled couples, typically over 50, who seek a small ship with excellent food that approaches gourmet standards, and fine service in surroundings bordering on the elegant and luxurious.
The Ship. Silver Shadow is one of the second generation of vessels in the Silversea Cruises fleet. It is slightly larger than the first two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, with a more streamlined forward profile and large, sleek single funnel. However, the stern section is not particularly handsome. There is a generous amount of open deck and sunbathing space, and aluminum/teak deck furniture is provided.
The company’s many international passengers react well to the ambience, food, service, and the helpful staff. The cruise line has ‘all-inclusive’ fares, including gratuities and many things that cost extra aboard many rivals’ ships, but the fares don’t include vintage wines, massage, or other personal services.
Although the ship shows signs of wear, the onboard product is very good, particularly the cuisine and its presentation. Shuttle buses are provided in most ports of call, and all the little extras that passengers receive make this an extremely pleasant experience, in surroundings that are comfortable and contemporary without being extravagant, with open-seating dining and drinks included, cold canapés and hot hors d’oeuvres served in the bars in the pre-dinner cocktail hour, a captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail party.
The swimming pool is surprisingly small, as is the fitness room, although it was expanded in 2007. The Humidor by Davidoff, the cigar lounge, has 25 seats and the style of an English smoking club. There is a Champagne bar and a four-terminal computer center (Wi-Fi costs extra).
Personalized Voyages enable you choose the port of embarkation and disembarkation and the length of cruise you want (minimum five days). While this adds flexibility, the onboard programming is already set, so you may be joining and leaving in the middle of a ‘normal’ cruise.
Accommodation. There are eight price grades in this all-suites ship. All suites have double vanities in the marble-floored bathrooms, which also have a tub and separate shower enclosure. All grades receive Silversea monogrammed Frette bed linen, an eight-pillow menu (from soft down to memory foam), 100 percent cotton bathrobes, a range of Acqua di Parma bathroom amenities, and personalized stationery. Stay in the Grand, Royal, Rossellini, or Owner’s Suites and you get unobtrusive service from butlers certified by London’s Guild of Professional Butlers.
Vista Suites. These 287-sq-ft (27-sq-m) suites don’t have a private balcony. Instead there’s a large window, twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, sitting area, TV set and video player, refrigerator, writing desk, personal safe, cocktail cabinet, dressing table with hairdryer, and walk-in closet. The bathroom is marble-clad in gentle colors, and has two washbasins, a full-size tub, separate shower enclosure, and toilet.
Veranda Suites. Each of these suites (really Vista Suites plus a veranda) measures 345 sq ft (33 sq m) and has convertible twin-to-queen beds. They are well fitted-out with just about everything you would need, including large floor-to-ceiling windows, large walk-in closet, dressing table, writing desk, stocked minibar/refrigerator with all drinks are included in the fare, and fresh flowers. The marble-clad bathrooms have two washbasins, full-size tub, separate shower enclosure, and toilet.
Silver Suites. These measure 701 sq ft (65 sq m). These are much wider than the Vista Suites or Veranda Suites and have a separate bedroom, an entertainment center with CD player, TV/video player in both bedroom and living room, and much more living space that includes a large dining area with table and four chairs. The marble-clad bathrooms have two washbasins, full size tub, separate shower enclosure, and toilet.
Owner’s Suites. These two suites, each measuring 1,208 sq ft (112 sq m), are much larger and include an extra powder room/toilet for guests, as well as more living space. There is a 200-sq-ft (18-sq-m) veranda, two bedrooms with queen-size beds, two walk-in closets, two living rooms, two sitting areas, separate dining area, an entertainment center with flat-screen plasma television in the living room and a TV set/video player player in each bedroom, telephones, refrigerators, cocktail cabinet, writing desk, and dressing tables with hairdryers. There are two marble-clad bathrooms, one with a full-size whirlpool tub and two washbasins, separate toilet, and separate shower, as well as a powder room for guests. Owner’s Suites can be configured as one or two bedrooms.
Royal Suites. Stately accommodation can be found in two Royal Suites measuring either 1,312 sq ft (122 sq m) or 1,352 sq ft (126 sq m). These are two-bedroom suites, with two teakwood verandas, two living rooms, sitting areas, dining area, queen-size beds, an entertainment center with flat-screen plasma television in the living room and a TV/video player player in each bedroom, telephones, refrigerators, cocktail cabinet, writing desk, two closets, and dressing tables with hairdryers. There are two marble-clad bathrooms, one with a full-size whirlpool tub and two washbasins, separate toilet, and separate shower, as well as a powder room for guests. Royal Suites can be either a one- or two-bedroom configuration.
Grand Suites. There are two of these, one measuring 1,286 sq ft (119 sq m), and the other (including an adjoining suite with interconnecting door) 1,435 sq ft (133 sq m). These have two bedrooms, two large walk-in closets, two living rooms, Bang & Olufsen entertainment centers, and large, forward-facing, private verandas. These really are sumptuous apartments that have all the comforts of home, and then some.
Disabled Suites. There are two suites for the physically disabled (535 and 537), both adjacent to an elevator and next to each other. Measuring a generous 398 sq ft (37 sq m), they are well equipped with an accessible hanging rail, and roll-in bathroom with roll-in shower unit.
Dining. The main dining room, The Restaurant, has open seating in elegant surroundings. Three grand chandeliers provide an upward focal point. Meals can also be served, course-by-course, in your suite, although the balcony tables are rather low for dining outdoors. The cuisine is very good, with a choice of formal and informal areas. Standard table wines are included for lunch and dinner, with an extra-cost ‘connoisseur list’ of premium wines. Once each cruise, there’s a Galley Brunch when the galley is transformed into a large ‘chef’s kitchen.’
Other dining options. For something special, Le Champagne is a more intimate extra-cost venue that allows diners to sample highly specialized dégustation menus marrying international cuisine with vintage wines selection by Relais & Châteaux sommeliers. Reservations are needed, and the wines also cost extra.
For more informal meals, La Terrazza provides self-serve breakfast and lunch buffets; outdoor seating is at teakwood tables and chairs. The buffet design and set-up presents flow problems during breakfast, and ‘active’ stations for cooking eggs or pasta to order would help.
Adjacent to La Terazza is a wine bar and a cigar smoking room. A poolside grill provides a casual alternative daytime bistro-style eatery, for grilled and fast-food items, and becomes The Grill for evening dining, with food cooked on hot stones.
Entertainment. The Showlounge, the venue for entertainment and some social functions, spans two decks and has a sloping floor; both banquette and individual seating are provided, with good sight lines from almost all seats.
Although Silversea Cruises places more emphasis on food than entertainment, what is provided is quite tasteful. A decent array of cabaret acts does the Silversea circuit, and small, colorful production shows have been reintroduced. More emphasis is placed on classical music ensembles. There is a band, and several small musical units for live music in the evenings in The Bar, and the Panorama Lounge.
Spa/Fitness. The Spa at Silversea health/fitness facility, just behind the Observation Lounge, high atop the ship, had a complete makeover in 2007. It includes a gymnasium, beauty salon, and separate saunas and steam rooms for men and women, plus several personal treatment rooms.