Silver Shadow Vancouver to Tokyo Aug 31 to Sep 22 2107

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#1
Canberra, Australia
1 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
I must compliment all the staff from the Captain down for a well run ship which lived up to the Silverseas reputation. The service staff in all the facilities on board were superb even in the face of adversity when we encountered some rough weather off Hokkaido for about 16 hours. That they had everything back to normal in short order reflects their extraordinary efforts and priority to see to the comfort of the guests.
The Shadow was in good fettle and one could find it hard to criticise any aspect of the voyage apart from two aspects of Silverseas corporate management; one the internet system and two, contributions to the owner's cancer charity.
First the internet. Guests could either pay for access to the net with reasonable speed for about $30 per day or choose the offer of 'One hour free access' per day. The last one was a sham. You could log on for about five minutes, send/receive a few pre-typed emails and the system would then advise your hour is up! The 'free hour' is the time taken to receive/send your emails (I suspect at a much reduced speed). Not good business sense. The net is now integrated into our society to such an extent that free access is available in all good hotels, department stores, trains, and in some cities within the confines of the central business district. Other lines such as Regent and Crystal (from November 2107) have free access for all guests on board. Silverseas should get their act together and as a six star line, build the cost of free net access into the cost structure of their fares. If not, they risk losing business as to expect guests to pay about US$600 for net access on a 20 day voyage does not accord with the image they market of 'all inclusive' cruising.
Second the owner's charity. The line owner can ASK guests if they wish to donate to his charity established in memory of his sister but I consider it unethical to AUTOMATICALLY bill guests $1 A DAY ! It should be an OPT IN system rather than an OPT OUT as currently organised. They send a letter around with a card which guests must complete and return to the Concierge desk IF YOU DO NOT wish to contribute! I spoke to many guests who had not read the letter and understood the implication that they would be AUTOMATICALLY be donating! I raised this issue after a cruise on the Wind last year also.
Other than those two aspects, from the big picture aspect, it was a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise.
#2
Somewhere On Earth
2,006 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Silversea should buy more bandwidth, increase the price of cruises slightly to cover it... and give everyone 'unlimited' high speed internet access (or the best that can be done at sea).
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#3
367 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Bill B
Silversea should buy more bandwidth, increase the price of cruises slightly to cover it... and give everyone 'unlimited' high speed internet access (or the best that can be done at sea).
I respectfully disagree. When on holiday, I refuse to access the internet: my choice. I understand others desire/need to do so, but I do not want my fares increased to others can have faster internet. If you want it, pay for it and leave my wallet out of it.
#4
United Kingdom
1,982 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by nfcu
I respectfully disagree. When on holiday, I refuse to access the internet: my choice. I understand others desire/need to do so, but I do not want my fares increased to others can have faster internet. If you want it, pay for it and leave my wallet out of it.
I expect many people who don't drink might say the same thing to those guzzling their champers and cocktails.

That's the thing about all inclusive. Some things you will use, some you won't, but its all available to use if you wish.
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#5
CA, USA
13,880 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Perhaps when they advertise "all inclusive" they should tell you upfront that they are "including" a daily charge for the owner's wife's charity. This abhorrent situation has been discussed here on CC many times and the practice continues, the owners oblivious to the rights of their passengers. A stop at the Pursers desk to have the charge removed should be the first thing when boarding. Who I donate to is my choice, not theirs.
#6
United Kingdom
1,982 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by wripro
Perhaps when they advertise "all inclusive" they should tell you upfront that they are "including" a daily charge for the owner's wife's charity. This abhorrent situation has been discussed here on CC many times and the practice continues, the owners oblivious to the rights of their passengers. A stop at the Pursers desk to have the charge removed should be the first thing when boarding. Who I donate to is my choice, not theirs.
I have let it go a couple of times including ias recently as March.... mostly because I got such a good deal. Completely agree with you on that though. Making guest "feel embarrassed" to request it removed is very wrong IMHO.
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#7
Europe
376 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Thank you for the helpful comments, Pilot 43, very useful, especially as we are due to have our first SS cruise on Shadow in a few months time. Good to know you were happy. I agree that as a 6*line, SS needs to do something about the internet situation - as does Seabourn. Both lines are dragging their feet here. At least let the 'free' hour be a genuine one.
#8
Somewhere On Earth
2,006 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Pilot 43
You could log on for about five minutes, send/receive a few pre-typed emails and the system would then advise your hour is up! The 'free hour' is the time taken to receive/send your emails (I suspect at a much reduced speed).
I don't understand this. How can the system use an hour to receive/send emails if one is logged on for only five minutes?
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#9
Florida
546 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Oh, boy! One of my favorite subjects; the so called Charity Charge.
Step one, immediately upon boarding, register your credit card, step 2, have your picture taken, step 3, donate to The Crew Fund, step 4, ask to have your name(s) taken OFF the Charity list. No one at Reception will bat an eye and you will not be asked again.
#10
Atlanta
5,915 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
CruisinPashmina, thanks for sharing your cruise style with us--a keeper.

We sail both Regent and Silversea about at least once per year and find Silversea free one hour/pp (vs Regent's free unlimited) internet policy more useful.

On the Silver Wind in this July, quickly learned how to husband wife's and my one hour to post here on the Silversea cruise critic board often (words/pix--hundreds of posts on our 2017 Silver Wind Norway thread).

Conversely, Regent's free internet is useless during peak hours on board (9am-9pm) as many of (700 pax x2 devices) device (tablet, laptop, phone) are on the available bandwidth. Thus, making our free internet almost useless during this time. Trying to download pictures using the Tapatalk app during the day is very, very slow/difficult.

When on board Regent's Voyager for nearly six weeks early this year, learned best time to have bandwidth/internet available for posting on cruise critic/checking personal emails was between 5-6am and 10-11pm otherwise your device is almost a paperweight.
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#11
Ohio
1,009 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by WesW
CruisinPashmina, thanks for sharing your cruise style with us--a keeper.

We sail both Regent and Silversea about at least once per year and find Silversea free one hour/pp (vs Regent's free unlimited) internet policy more useful.

On the Silver Wind in this July, quickly learned how to husband wife's and my one hour to post here on the Silversea cruise critic board often (words/pix--hundreds of posts on our 2017 Silver Wind Norway thread).

Conversely, Regent's free internet is useless during peak hours on board (9am-9pm) as many of (700 pax x2 devices) device (tablet, laptop, phone) are on the available bandwidth. Thus, making our free internet almost useless during this time. Trying to download pictures using the Tapatalk app during the day is very, very slow/difficult.

When on board Regent's Voyager for nearly six weeks early this year, learned best time to have bandwidth/internet available for posting on cruise critic/checking personal emails was between 5-6am and 10-11pm otherwise your device is almost a paperweight.
Wes, I wanted to avoid bringing a laptop for only 20 days on Spirit. Are the computers onboard OK? Will they be available after 10pm?
#12
Philadelphia, PA
30 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by WesW
CruisinPashmina, thanks for sharing your cruise style with us--a keeper.

We sail both Regent and Silversea about at least once per year and find Silversea free one hour/pp (vs Regent's free unlimited) internet policy more useful.

On the Silver Wind in this July, quickly learned how to husband wife's and my one hour to post here on the Silversea cruise critic board often (words/pix--hundreds of posts on our 2017 Silver Wind Norway thread).

Conversely, Regent's free internet is useless during peak hours on board (9am-9pm) as many of (700 pax x2 devices) device (tablet, laptop, phone) are on the available bandwidth. Thus, making our free internet almost useless during this time. Trying to download pictures using the Tapatalk app during the day is very, very slow/difficult.

When on board Regent's Voyager for nearly six weeks early this year, learned best time to have bandwidth/internet available for posting on cruise critic/checking personal emails was between 5-6am and 10-11pm otherwise your device is almost a paperweight.
I agree with this assessment. Another great time for better bandwidth on Regent is when multiple excursions overlap. I thought premium Internet was ok but not great on Silversea. Oddly enough, I thought Seabourn had the best Internet bandwidth although it was quite expensive. I recall it being more than double what Silversea premium is, but that is also from 2013 so things could be different now.
#13
90,143 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Travel2Learn
Wes, I wanted to avoid bringing a laptop for only 20 days on Spirit. Are the computers onboard OK? Will they be available after 10pm?
Linda, I am not Wes but the computer room is open 24 hours each day.

Only downside was that the tech person was only there 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

I brought my own computer on the Spirit but used the one in the computer room a couple of times and it was fine.

Keith
#14
90,143 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I wanted to comment about the speeds.

When we sailed the Shadow in Alaska I thought at the time that the speed of the internet on Shadow was the fastest we had experienced up until that time on a cruise ship. The only challenge was that in our room we had to keep the door ajar to get a solid connection. We also had very good internet connectivity on the Silversea Spirit including speed. Just my 2 cents but I think the speed on this specific sailing (or lack of) might be attributable to either a technical issue (ship or with satellite service) and/or where you are sailing. Itinerary has a lot to do with performance.

Cruise lines like hotels are aways of competition so with Crystal rolling out unlimited internet this month Silversea might be more apt to do this sooner rather then later. Interestingly some land based hotels still charge and more often then not in places such as the USA the luxury hotels charge whereas the more moderate ones don't. Go figure.

I continue to think it is inappropriate to automatically be charged for a charity. While there is away to opt out the takes time and is a little awkward. I think it should be the reverse. If you want to contribute you fill out a form.

Keith