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Old March 9th, 2009, 12:06 AM
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Default Silver Shadow Summary

Summary - Silver Shadow - Sailing Feb. 18- Mar. 7

It has been several years since we’d cruised one of the luxury cruise brands. Several years ago we sailed on Seabourn and Radission (now Regent) cruise lines. No doubt, as the entire cruise industry has changed a great deal in the past half decade, so to have those brands. That makes it difficult to directly compare our Silversea cruise to Seabourn and Regent.

From my memories of those cruises however, I do have to say this cruise on Silversea had a more luxurious “feel“; the fine food and presentation was better than I recall, the attention to detail was more accentuated, and the over-all Siversea team created a more social atmosphere amongst the passengers.

I also think that Silver Shadow has a nicer, and more roomy pool area than those on our other luxury cruises. It’s spacious, and comfortable, and would do on any itinerary.

Of late we’ve been cruising many more of the Mass Market and Premium brand cruise lines, like Carnival, Princess, NCL, Holland America and Celebrity. On several of those ships we were in Suite category accommodations, and we enjoyed excellent cruises on each of them.

Cruising is such a wonderful vacation, and when cruising a variety of cruise lines, we’ve had to approach each expecting to experience what each line does well, and enjoying the differences as much as the similarities, rather than constantly making comparisons. Moving between “levels” of cruise brands it’s interesting to see how flexible our personalities are. While I don’t consider myself a person who would demand luxury services at every turn we certainly adapted to it quickly. How could you not!

I also tried to make a point of observing the operations of the ship, and observe the responses and demands of the passengers in response to it. For some passengers, when nothing is considered impossible, it’s easy to demand near to the impossible, to see how close they can come. But generally the passengers on our cruise were delighted with all aspects of the food and service.

The vast majority of complaints and concerns, mine included, were minor, when viewed in the totality of the cruise.

It’s difficult to demand more when you never have to get up to fill your own cup of coffee, or when fruit skewer’s are served to your seat or sun-lounger when relaxing by the pool in the morning, or chilled towels brought around if it’s hot, followed by served sorbets in the afternoon.

It’s difficult to demand more when you choose to have a casual lunch at the pool-side grill, and service staff come to take your order and deliver your food, rather than you lining up at the grill. And it’s difficult to demand more when the grill items are cooked fresh, rather than heated from a warming tray.

Silversea is a niche cruise line. Obviously, because even if all their ships were full, they would be carrying less than 1500 passengers. Their niche is not only to provide a luxury all-inclusive cruise experience, but a very personal cruise experience as well.

In my view that’s where the value lies in a Silversea cruise. Those who normally cruise on the luxury lines will have very little to find fault with choosing a Silversea cruise. Those who have not yet sailed a luxury brand, I think will be delighted you gave it a try!

The key words in these rather tumultuous times is -- “finding value”. Today’s cruise market is offering bargains that won’t likely be matched in several years time. This is true of Silversea Cruise Line as well. If you’re in a position to take advantage you can soon be sailing one the finest lines in the world.
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