Ship Review by Michael Coleman, January 2008
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Saying goodbye is never easy.
My recent departure from the ultra-luxurious Silver Shadow was a parting filled with sorrow.
Over the course of a nine-day Caribbean voyage I had been hypnotized by the ships elegant surroundings and seduced by an ambience unmatched by any cruise line afloat.
The service was enthralling and conviviality between guests enjoyable but now the dreaded witching hour had arrived. It was time to leave the vessel to return to mere mortal, land-based pursuits.
Extending ones vacation experience aboard the 382-guest ship, however, or planning the next Silversea voyage while still onboard is a pastime in itself for guests.
Some, like the affable gentleman and his wife from Wales, would not depart until long after their original itinerary had concluded. The thought of returning to land was not yet in the cards. Another couple, Silversea staples, took leave from their Swiss residence and would not return home until three months later.
A highly-engaging New York widower had already lined up a series of voyages for 2008 to all corners of the Silversea globe. And, a New Mexico businessman with ties to the White House, enjoying his first Silversea experience, may never cruise on another line again.
Such is Silversea. Loyal, well-traveled guests with a penchant for luxury come calling time and time again. And, its easy to see why.
Silver Shadow patrons enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations (most with private veranda), gourmet cuisine, personalized service, gracious hospitality and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities including complimentary drinks, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and gratuities.
Complimentary butler service is provided in the Grand, Royal, Rossellini and Owner’s suites.
Most voyages also include a complimentary shore-side event. On this trip, the line had rented an uninhabited, sun-drenched island for the day exclusively for guests. Prickly Pear, an oasis in the British Virgin Islands, served as a backdrop to an outdoor beach barbecue featuring silverware, linens, fine wine and other tasteful Silversea accoutrements. Bartenders even waded into the turquoise surf, complete with floating trays.
As one might expect from a luxury cruise, the all-encompassing culinary component is as important as the most intriguing of port calls. Silver Shadow features a host of onboard dining venues and a variety of culinary options and wine pairings to tickle anyones fancy.
Theres a main dining room, – The Restaurant – Terrace Cafe (breakfast and lunch), pool-side grille and reservations-only La Terrazza (dinner). An upscale dining room Le Champagne is the ships most intimate venue. Reservations are required.
Even room service aboard the ship is not to be missed. In-suite dining, presented course-by-course, may be the ultimate way to unwind from a busy day in port.
Add production shows, spa facilities by Steiner, a casino and a well-stocked humidor and one can empathize with guests who seek to prolong their stay.
The dilemma – to depart or not to depart – plays out daily.