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cshim

Silver Shadow or Silver Spirit?

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Hi all,

 

It will be possibly our first time on Silversea. We've cruised on many cruise lines including our last one in the MSC Yacht Club.

 

We have two options for cruises but are unsure which ship would be better? We are considering a verandah siute on the Shadow but can only stretch to a Vista suite on the Spirit (even this is more expensive than a verandah on the Shadow). I know the Spirit is more modern but what would you recommend?

 

Thanks

 

Chris

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Not knowing what you like, it's impossible to answer you properly. Dates and itineraries would be useful??

 

I choose my cruises mostly based on dates and itinerary, then price, then ship. That said, the Spirit is by far my favorite in the fleet because of the much greater choice of dining options.

 

Vista versus Verandah pros and cons depend to some extent on the itinerary - on some cruises the verandah isn't much benefit. The cabins, apart from the verandah, are the same. There are few Vista suites on the Spirit but there's nothing wrong with being down on deck 4, you'd be in a quite select group down there. If you could wangle a Guaranty booking, I'd have thought the chances of a move up to Verandah would be quite high - I've never done it but what do other seasoned SS cruisers think?

 

PS Which Shadow booking are you looking at? There's a dry dock in Nov,  SS are screwing around with the schedules, I've just had my Nov 21st Shadow TA cancelled by SS. Could be why she's cheaper than the Spirit?

Edited by jollyjones

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Thanks for your quick reply.

 

I was looking at the Silver Shadow cruise from Venice to Athens on 10 October 2019 and Silver Spirit Monte Carlo to Venice on 8 October 2019.

 

I also believe they no longer do full afternoon tea or course by course dining in your suite now? Is that correct?

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My Nov 21st TA on the Shadow cancelled. Big pain, and the compensation offered is close to insulting. This cruise was scheduled over the Thanksgiving Holiday and the fallout with family and friends is causing major ramifications...at least for me.

I’d love to hear how others are dealing with this situation. Are you taking SS’s offers? Does anyone know when the Shadow will return to the line up? Anyone know what will be targeted during the Drydock? 

 

As to which ship I would  ordinarily choose; I prefer the Shadow because it is smaller, still, for now,  has one Main Diningroom, has a big comfortable Theater, and a cozy main bar. Friends have given the newly stretched and refurbished Spirit enthusiastic thumbs up. I care most about the itineraries and how they fit into my yearly plans/obligations. I’m certain that you’ll enjoy either choice.

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6 hours ago, cshim said:

We have two options for cruises but are unsure which ship would be better? We are considering a verandah siute on the Shadow but can only stretch to a Vista suite on the Spirit (even this is more expensive than a verandah on the Shadow). I know the Spirit is more modern but what would you recommend?

Chris,

 

I agree with Jolly, it's practically impossible to recommend a specific ship when we don't know you.  Although both are Med voyages, they are radically different in both destination types and especially feel as a 10-day voyage tends to be a bit more relaxed than the hustle-n-bustle of a 7-day voyage.  Therefore, to help you make the best decision, I would suggest asking yourself two questions if itinerary differences are not important to you:

 

1) How is important is privacy?

2) How important is food and dining venue variety?

 

Since it is exceptionally easy to get, and be, outside on any Silversea classic ship, privacy will determine whether you'll be satisfied with spending most of your time outside with other passengers (Vista), or by yourself (Verandah).

 

Dining variety will determine how satisfied you'll be with Shadow's 4 venues (La Dame has a $60/pp fee) vs. Spirit's 8 venues (Seishin has a $40/pp fee and La Dame has a $60/pp fee) .

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Of course, itinerary should be a major factor in your decision. The Shadow is an older ship but the service is excellent. The biggest difference to me is the dining situation. On the Spirit you have to make advance reservations for each night in whatever restaurant you may want months in advance. This is not a luxury experience imo and it makes it much harder to have dinner with are found friends. Also you cannot order from the restaurant menu in your suite, you are limited to the limited room service menu. On the Shadow, even though you need to reserve La Terrazza and La Grande Dame in advance too there is the main  Restaurant where you can wander in at will with whomever you want. I much prefer this system. Still this is a nice problem to have.

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1 hour ago, wripro said:

 On the Spirit you have to make advance reservations for each night in whatever restaurant you may want months in advance. 

Not actually true. 

Atlantide and Indochine are open seating, no reservations required.

La Terrazza still asks for reservations but since it is much bigger after the stretch, it is usually easy to get a table without a reservation. This tends also to be true of Hot Rocks but not reliably so.

Spaccanapoli and Arts Cafe are always casual, no reservations required.  

The for-fee restaurants do need reservations but IMO your cruise experience won't be diminished if you don't go to them, they're a waste of money and the venues are small, dark and claustrophobic.

I don't do afternoon tea or in-suite dining so I can't help you there. Also ditto for Silver Note, I always forget about it because it doesn't appeal to me.

 

Back to the Shadow/Spirit choice:

I wouldn't book the Shadow 10 Oct, it's too short at 7 days and it's only one cruise away from a dry dock, could be prep work going on.

The Spirit 10 day is, of course, more expensive (but isn't the per diem less than for the Shadow?), but if you like the itinerary I think that'd be my choice. Work out how you'd get to Monte Carlo though.

And I gotta disagree with Stumble (sorry, Stumble!) - Vista or Verandah doesn't make any difference to me how much time I spend in or out of my cabin. With the forward elevator on both ships it's quick and easy to get to the Pool Deck from most cabins.

 

To Pash:

Very annoying about the Nov 21 TA, I was staying on for the 7 day FLL-SJU leg too, but I just cancelled it all in disgust. I took a 5% discount on a 2020 booking but the amount is pathetic.  I knew there was a risk of this happening so when I bought my flights I built in a contingency plan which I've put into motion - I will miss being on a cruise but will have a satisfactory alternative trip.

 

 

Edited by jollyjones

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9 hours ago, jollyjones said:

 

Vista versus Verandah pros and cons depend to some extent on the itinerary - on some cruises the verandah isn't much benefit. The cabins, apart from the verandah, are the same. There are few Vista suites on the Spirit but there's nothing wrong with being down on deck 4, you'd be in a quite select group down there. If you could wangle a Guaranty booking, I'd have thought the chances of a move up to Verandah would be quite high - I've never done it but what do other seasoned SS cruisers think?

 

My experience suggests you are right about GTY bookings, jollyjones. My bookings for Muse and Spirit both have been bumped up to Verandahs well in advance of both trips. I booked panorama gty, just a small step up from Vista in cost. Of course, it is important to note that I would be perfectly happy in a panorama, so the upgrade is truly icing on the cake. I’ve not tried a Vista gty, but given how few Vista suites there are on Spirit and Muse, upgrades do seem likely.

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All other things being equal (which I realize is not the situation here now that more detail has been provided, but still gonna say)....Spirit....hands down!

 

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20 hours ago, jollyjones said:

And I gotta disagree with Stumble (sorry, Stumble!) - Vista or Verandah doesn't make any difference to me how much time I spend in or out of my cabin. With the forward elevator on both ships it's quick and easy to get to the Pool Deck from most cabins.

No worries... differing POV's are the spice of life!

The point I was trying to make, poorly I might add, was if one prefers to spend time outside on a frequent basis by themselves, then a Verandah is a better choice than a Vista as you have all the privacy your heart desires on your own balcony.  I agree with you, it is very, very easy to get outside onto the pool deck in any of the Silversea ships.

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You are right jollyjones. I misspoke. Atlantide and Indochine are open seating. The problem is the menus never change whereas on the Shadow every night brings new menus in the main restaurant.

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We never had dinner in Atlantide so I can’t comment on that. We loved Seishin so much we ate there 3 nights of 7. La Dame we ate once but cancelled our second reservation due to being deeply offended by the Lobster in pea soup main course offering. The experience and the rest of the meal was great though. Indochine we enjoyed but the soup was very spicy. Pool Grill was an experience and served a purpose as we had an early Dinner and tendered back to Portofino for an evening drink on the square which as magical. La Terrazza was a bit disorganised but plan it for an evening when you can sit outside with a magical view. We were Hugely disappointed that we couldn’t try Silver Note as it remained unfinished until the end of the cruise. There are so many dining options on the Spirit I’m not sure why people get so hung up on the menu not changing, try different places! I also don’t understand when people are spending £10k on a cruise they begrudge $40 or $60 extra for the speciality restaurants. We did have lots of problems on the cruise due to it being untested and straight out of dry dock but we found that the food was a saving grace. 

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I begrudge the extra money for specialty restaurants because a luxury  cruise line that advertises itself all inclusive should be inclusive of all food and drink (except, of course, premium wines. I get that.)  And if I'm spending 10K GBP on a cruise as  Davewavey70 suggests Silversea should not be so petty as to try to extract more money out of me for any meal. By that logic if I spend all that money on a cruise and they decide to charge me $15 for every martini or eliminate tips I shouldn't begrudge them that either.

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I would say Shadow, as the dining on Spirit with the never changing menus in each restaurant was a deal breaker.   La Terrazza on Spirit also looks like a buffet restaurant vs the Shadow where its much nicer.  

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I Agree completely wripro it does come across as petty and penny pinching and detracts from the whole mantra of “Ultra Luxury” but I’d rather pay that bit extra to eat where I want. An element of it is supply. If la dame etc had no surcharge you would never be able to get in there as it would be full 120 days ahead, so without wishing to defend SS on this, I can see why they do it. 

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7 hours ago, wripro said:

I begrudge the extra money for specialty restaurants because a luxury  cruise line that advertises itself all inclusive should be inclusive of all food and drink (except, of course, premium wines. I get that.)

I understand why SS does it (like Daveywavey says; supply {based solely on the size of the venue}), but I agree with you and find the specialty restaurant dining charges irritating.  I haven't met anyone yet who thinks Kaiseki is worth the $60 | £45 per person cover charge.

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We did Stumbles. We ate there 3 times on the 7 night nightmare shake down cruise and didn’t begrudge a penny. I’m not sure if our experience was typical but the food was absolutely exquisite and the service superb. But apart from the intamacy of the venue, quality wise, we found Indochine amazing too, whilst the quality of food was comparable, the venue wasn’t. Being in the industry I can see why they impose this surcharge and can imagine the free for all that would follow if there were no charge. Part of the charm of an intimate venue is just that. 

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53 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

We ate there 3 times on the 7 night nightmare shake down cruise and didn’t begrudge a penny.

Cool!  I'm glad to finally know someone that felt the food was worth the extra cost.  Thx Davey!

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No probs Stumbles. Just to clarify my clumsy wording earlier, the meal was no better quality than Indochine but we were happy to pay the premium for the ambiance of the smaller venue. We aren’t overly keen on cavernous restaurants, always feels a little school refectory to us. We happily paid the premium mainly to enjoy the smaller venue.

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16 hours ago, wripro said:

I begrudge the extra money for specialty restaurants because a luxury  cruise line that advertises itself all inclusive should be inclusive of all food and drink (except, of course, premium wines. I get that.)  And if I'm spending 10K GBP on a cruise as  Davewavey70 suggests Silversea should not be so petty as to try to extract more money out of me for any meal. 

 

Whilst I part agree with you, would you feel more aggrieved if it was included but you found it was pre booked before you had the chance to reserve and missed out all together?

 

Thing is, you know prior to booking this charge exists and if it offends so much, make a decision not to go ahead and book something else, which I suspect is what you've done for some time now?

 

I'm not quite sure where you were going with your martini charges and tips. Gratuities are included in that you don't have an extra bill added to your bill like most other lines do. Drinks are included and you won't be charged $15 per Martini. However if you want to drink $200 bottles of wine each night, it's not unreasonable to expect to pay a premium and not point out "but it's all inclusive". 

 

It's not like these details aren't made clear to everyone online and in brochures.

 

Should excursions be included too?

 

If they increased the cruise price by $120 to cover a booking you are allowed to make to let you eat once in each per cruise without charge, would that be a better way of covering these extra costs?

 

Personally, I'm happy enough not to pay an extra  premium for things I can choose to add or not to add. It's a reason I'd probably never sail Regent because the excursions are not free really and add considerable cost which personally, I'd prefer to take control of.

 

Edit: I just read your comment on the Regent / SS comparison thread, which basically says the same as I have above. I just see these "speciality" restaurants as an extension of that frame of mind. I don't like Japanese food, so I'm glad they haven't loaded my fare to cater for it to be included. I honestly don't see this to be any different to the excursion "all inclusive" costs on Regent.

 

Edited by les37b

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I may have missed this one somewhere along the line but ...... we were looking at a cruise on Silver Spirit and when looking at the deck plan it seems to change in April 2020?

We are on the Shadow later this year so taking one in 2020 seems a good a way as any to compare the two ships 😀

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3 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

I may have missed this one somewhere along the line but ...... we were looking at a cruise on Silver Spirit and when looking at the deck plan it seems to change in April 2020?

We are on the Shadow later this year so taking one in 2020 seems a good a way as any to compare the two ships 😀

Not quite sure what you mean?

The Spirit deck plan changed a lot last year after the stretch but SS isn't showing different deckplans for next year - what were you looking at?

 

PS I hope you're not on any of the Shadow bookings cancelled or affected by the dry dock in November.

Edited by jollyjones

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4 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

I may have missed this one somewhere along the line but ...... we were looking at a cruise on Silver Spirit and when looking at the deck plan it seems to change in April 2020?

 

 

I noticed this too, a few days ago. I have to admit I didn't look closely to see what the differences are in the pre-April 2020 change and post-April 2020 change. As I'm sailing her from 15 Mar to 10 April, I'm more than a little curious about the extent of the alterations and when exactly they will be made. Hmmmm.

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20 hours ago, Daveywavey70 said:

I Agree completely wripro it does come across as petty and penny pinching and detracts from the whole mantra of “Ultra Luxury” but I’d rather pay that bit extra to eat where I want. An element of it is supply. If la dame etc had no surcharge you would never be able to get in there as it would be full 120 days ahead, so without wishing to defend SS on this, I can see why they do it. 

Seabourn has no problem accommodating everyone in the TK Grill with no extra charge. It too is a small venue with limited seating. Everyone gets one reservation per cruise which they can make online beforehand and if there is availability they can make extra reservations onboard. I believe this is a way for SS to grab extra bucks formats clientele and nothing more, not a desire to make La Dame available to everyone. And personally I think if they can't accommodate everyone without an extra charge they shouldn't have the restaurant on board.

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I am glad someone else saw the 2020 deck plan change .... personally I couldn’t see anything jumping out at me in respect of change.

As for the DD .... yes ... they cancelled the one after ours. Theoretically we shouln’t be affected unless they start with on board pre dd preparations.

The annual drydock obviously caught their marine superintendents by surprise 😳

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