Five Things to Know About Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow Cruise Ship
World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #10 Mid-size Ocean Ship
Best for: High-end cruisers who love the attentive service that comes with a more intimate ship
Sails: Africa, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing tenth in the Mid-size Ocean Ship category. The hyper-luxe 382-passenger Silver Shadow is almost identical to its sister vessel, Silver Whisper. It manages to hit the sweet spot between the intimacy of a smaller ship and the amenities of a larger one, making it an ideal home away from home during days at sea.
Related:Explore 100+ ships with the T+L Cruise Finder
The Service Is On Point
There’s a reason a Silver Shadow staff member always seems to appear the moment a passenger is in need of a beverage or directions: The guest-to-crew ratio onboard is an astonishing 1.3 to 1. But it’s not just their sheer number that sets the crew apart. It’s also their warm personalities and dedication to keeping every guest onboard happy 24/7. Case in point: the butler service enjoyed by every suite, which runs the gamut from unpacking your bags to drawing you a scented bath after an excursion.
Everything Is Included
No need to agonize over that pre-dinner cocktail order, since many wines and liquors are wrapped into the cruise rate. Also complimentary: yoga and Pilates classes at the fitness center, an hour of WiFi each day (unlimited in upper-tier suites), and gratuities.
The Restaurants Are An Event
Silver Shadow may be small, but there are plenty of options for dinner. At The Restaurant, the ship’s main dining room, evening meals are a white-tablecloth-and-fine-china, multicourse affair. The menu is a mix of traditional cruise fare and regional dishes like Indian chicken korma, and on sea days, dishes from La Collection du Monde, created by Relais & Chateaux’s grand chefs, also make an appearance. If you prefer something more intimate, make a reservation at La Terrazza, the ship’s Italian eatery, where the olive oil is from Umbria and the pasta is made fresh onboard. Or pay a cover charge to dine at Le Champagne, a Relais & Chateaux restaurant that specializes in decadent six-course wine-paired menus from different wine regions. On days you feel like dinner outdoors, make a reservation at The Grill. At night, the space is dedicated to Silversea’s signature hot-rocks dining in which guests cook up their own meal on a hot volcanic rock at their table.
There Are Plenty of Places to Relax
During warmer itineraries, the hub of the ship is the pool deck, where passengers grab burgers from the grill in between dips in the pool or stints on the orange-striped lounge chaises. But there’s plenty to do on cloudy days, too. Bibliophiles spend afternoons in the armchairs of the ship’s library, while gamblers try their hand at the slots in the casino and cigar lovers puff away in the clubby Connoisseur’s Corner. Grab a pre-dinner snack during afternoon tea in the Panorama Lounge or opt for a massage and a body wrap at the ship’s spa.
The Suites Are Spacious
When the smallest stateroom on the ship measures almost 300 square feet, you know you’ll have plenty of room to move. Silversea bills this ship as having the highest space-to-guest ratios on the sea, and about 80 percent of the cabins have verandas. If you really want to go big, book an apartment-size 1,090-square-foot Grand Suite, which has a separate living and dining room and can be connected to a Veranda Suite to make it a two bedroom. No matter where you bunk, you’ll have access to a flat-screen TV, Pratesi linens, a fridge stocked with your favorite beverages, a pillow menu, and, yes, butler service.