Travelcat2 Posted September 30, 2013 #1 Share Posted September 30, 2013 We returned this afternoon from our two week sailing on the Silver Shadow (Vancouver to Tokyo). Although we are Regent customers, this was our third Silversea cruise and we really enjoyed it. First I would like to mention what is referred to by many on board as "the incident". As most of you know, after the unsatisfactory CDC rating in June, they were inspected again and received a "97" (and probably deserved a 100). The Food and Beverage Manager called me the second day on board to ask what I thought about the CNN report regarding the CDC rating. The only reason I can imagine that I would receive a personal phone call is the statement I posted prior to the cruise on CC. I posted that if I were concerned about the food, quality, or sanitation, I would contact the F&B Manager. Although I could see that the ship was immaculate, it was nice to hear reassurances from someone "in the know". Since the June inspection, galley tours and galley lunches have been discontinued. They may resume if they find a safe way to do them. Not having sailed Silversea much, it was difficult to determine what procedures were new and which were not. For instance, all hot foods are served to the guests. I seem to recall being able to help myself on previous cruises. There are crew members available to assist guests in getting desserts, pouring milk on cereal, etc. Now for the review - starting with the "not so good" so I can get on a positive note. 1. We are used to having butlers and understand that they are off duty in the afternoon and that there is a back-up system to serve guests during this time. Since this was a very port intensive cruise, we were on the ship most of the time. On three occasions, we called the butler and are still waiting for a response. This is an area that needs improvement. Note: Our butler was delightful and deserved his break! 2. Hot Rocks. When we arrived for dinner, the non-smoking section was almost full (with not one person sitting in the smoking section). We were placed at a table far away from any heater and was very dark because a light bulb was burned out. It was quite cold so we asked if we could sit in the smoking section. We learned that the heaters were an issue there as well. There were four heaters that could heat maybe four tables -- if they are moved close together. 3. Le Champagne was the biggest disappointment we had on board. I understand that food is subjective, however, I think we all agree that it should be served hot. The "soup"(?) will remain in my memory as the most unique I have had. The mushroom soup has a wonderful taste but is the consistency of custard. Although the server warned us about this, he had no way of knowing that on top of the consistency issue, it was barely warm. I wonder why they serve a dish that requires a warning? There was also an understaffing issue. We were a table of six. This required 3 servers to do the countdown to uncovering the plate. If this was done once -- perhaps at the beginning of the meal, it would be lovely. When our entrée was served, the server was running around to find a third person to uncover the plates. He had to go into The Restaurant to find someone (while our food was getting cold). Very disappointing. The good and the wonderful: Kirk, our Cruise Director was the best!! He really connects with the guests and makes each and every one feel special. He is energetic, talented and just a wonderful person. When he performed his show on the last night, he had passengers dancing by their seats in the theater, holding hands and singing. He received an immediate standing ovation and ended by running up the stairs. I was fortunate enough to see him as I was leaving the theater (a tiny bit late for our reservation) and was able to give him a hug and tell him how marvelous the show was. Okay -- the ship is in need of refurbishment (that will happen in two months during wet dock) but it still is a wonderful ship -- the most comfortable we have sailed. The fact that there were only 293 people on board (and the same number of crew) enabled us to get to know one another very quickly. The food was amazing. Despite the issue in Hot Rocks, the filet mignon, shrimp and baked potato were cooked to perfection (okay -- I cooked my own filet and shrimp but they did a great baked potato:-) Food in La Terrazza and The Restaurant was also excellent. We were in an area with a lot of fish and it was prepared perfectly (especially the halibut). Due to the wonderful service of the Food and Beverage Manager and his staff, we were invited back to Le Champagne. There were more servers and the meal was considerably improved (no -- didn't order the mushroom custard again). The soup (lobster bisque) was hot as was the rest of the meal. Speaking of service, this was equal to the best service we have had at sea. I ran out of room on the final questionnaire writing down names of "special" crew members. IMO, they are all special! Jet lag seems to be getting to me right now. I did want to post my thoughts about this very enjoyable cruise. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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