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Silver Shadow Photo Tour
When I toured the Silver Shadow last year, I found her to be an exceptionally comfortable, well-built ship that launched my love affair with ultra-luxury line Silversea. At first glance, Silver Shadow doesn’t seem to be all that impressive; her modest exterior profile only hints at the luxury hidden within. For cruisers used to seeing megaships with hot tubs hanging over the side, massive promenade decks and row upon row of lifeboats suspended from them, Silver Shadow’s small, unobtrusive size might seem a little, well, dull.
But as a famous person once remarked, don’t judge a book by its cover.
In fact, Silver Shadow’s understated design is part of her intrinsic brilliance. Her sleek, yacht-like lines are graceful; her decks terraced and attractively decorated. Along her bow, the name Silver Shadow is spelled out in powerful block-style lettering; atop her funnel, the word “Silversea” lay suspended as if in mid-air.
When you step aboard Silver Shadow, you’re immediately welcomed both by the décor, and by the fantastically attentive staff. Enough good cannot be said of the crew aboard the Silver Shadow; even with my day pass clasped obviously to my sport jacket, I received a warm “hello” and “good morning” wherever I went. Crew members paused from cleaning to ask if I needed directions anywhere, and hoped I was enjoying myself.
In fact, getting around Silver Shadow couldn’t be easier: upon entering, you’re greeted by two identical spiral staircases that traverse every deck of the ship. Two additional staircases are inset into the walls opposite this atrium area, and together they could handle far more than Silver Shadow’s very human 382-guest capacity.
Her public rooms are intimate and welcoming, instantly beckoning you to sit and stay a while. It’s only after a bit of time on the ship that you realize just how smart her design is. Every public space grows on you; nothing smacks you in the face with bright colors, flashing lights or gimmicky tricks. Instead, you’re left with public spaces that are inviting during the day, and as soothing as a good drink at night.
Best of all, Silver Shadow recently received a sweeping makeover during a two-week drydock in Singapore. In those two weeks, the line accomplished an impressive amount. All suites were refurbished and refitted with brand-new carpets, headboards, curtains and even new veranda furniture. All mattresses were replaced with the incredible dual-side mattresses found aboard Silver Spirit that can be flipped to either soft or firm depending on each guest’s preference. A new memory pillow top adorns the bed when configured as a queen, and accompanies the line’s extensive pillow menu.
Guests staying in the top-level Owner’s, Grand, Royal and Silver suites will find brand-new Bang & Olufsen audio systems for their listening enjoyment. Bring your favourite tunes with you!
Like the suites, public areas have also been refreshed to reflect the elegant, rich tones present aboard Silver Spirit. So without further ado, let’s go deck-by-deck to see some of the fantastic new changes!
The beautiful hardwood floor in The Restaurant, Silver Shadow’s main dining venue, has been completely reconditioned. The room also underwent a dramatic color change, removing the dark blue upholstery to make way for alternating red and cream-colored chairs. New dark blue curtains were added to the windows, giving The Restaurant a surprisingly more open, elegant feeling.
The Main Staircase
Let’s use the main staircase to get around. Ascending from Deck 4 all the way to the pool deck, this area lets in plenty of light thanks to the skylight above.
Beautiful paintings help to offset the cream-colored walls, and make for a rather elevating experience.
Moving up to Deck 5, we arrive at the Lobby. As the main embarkation deck, locating the Purser’s Office as well as the Shore Excursion desk here makes perfect sense.
Shopping & Casino
Just off of the main Lobby, we come to another, smaller rotunda. This “intersection” contains the entrances to the ship’s boutiques and Casino, all of which are closed during port hours.
While this area hasn’t changed much from its previous incarnation, it’s easy to see the woodwork and floor have received significant attention, along with the carpeting in the passenger corridor forward of it.
My favourite area aboard the Silver Shadow, the Bar has only grown on me since I last saw it. Formerly decorated with crimson-red furniture and soft white walls, the Bar has received a complete makeover.
When I first entered, I was so struck by the changes that I actually exclaimed, “Oh, wow”, to myself. The red is gone, replaced with the dark woods and rich greens present aboard Silver Spirit’s fantastically decorated Bar. It works incredibly well aboard Silver Shadow, and instantly made me feel like I was back aboard the Spirit again. I was worried this area might have lost its warm, inviting feel; I shouldn’t have. I could have parked myself there and happily sailed away with the ship to Alaska – but I think they may have noticed.
On both the aft starboard and port portions of The Bar are frosted glass doors that lead to our next destination:
The Show Lounge
Unlike Silver Spirit, the main Show Lounge aboard Silver Shadow and her sister, Silver Whisper, is a two-story affair that spans decks 5 and 6. Like Silver Spirit, however, it contains the same warm, inviting feeling – though in a different way.
Where Silver Spirit’s theatre holds a very very Parisian theme, the Show Lounge aboard Silver Shadow has the feel of a fine English club, with large, Greek-style murals on both staircases flanking either side of the stage. It’s cozy, clubby, and perfect for enjoying a night-time show. Glass tables are present at nearly every seat – a great feature that’s rapidly disappearing from many newer megaships.
Fans of this room need not worry – it’s largely as it was last year, but with brand-new carpeting and refreshed upholstery throughout.
Aside from the upper level of the Show Lounge, the remainder of Deck 6 is dedicated to Silver Shadow’s luxurious accommodations. The staff were incredibly hard at work readying all the suites for their Alaska-bound guests, so we don’t have any photos to show you – but Silversea has some great shots and Virtual Tours on their website.
Undaunted, let’s head up to Deck 7!
Card & Games Room
Just off the main staircase lies the entrance to the Card & Games Room. A small but no doubt popular space, the room contains comfortable chairs and tables flanked by large picture windows to ensure the sea is never far from sight – even when you’re enjoying your favourite game. The room has been substantially redone since I was here last year, and it looks fantastic!
Another strong contender for my favourite public room aboard Silver Shadow is the Connoisseur’s Club. Located on the starboard side of the ship, the Connoisseur’s Club is a fantastic place to enjoy a fine after-dinner whisky, cognac or port along with a selection of the best cigars.
But you don’t have to be a smoker to enjoy this clubby room, with its leather-backed chairs and intimate atmosphere. In fact, the smell of smoke is barely distinguishable thanks to a dedicated ventilation system that is designed to pull the smell directly out of the room. Everything here is fresh and sparkles like new.
Guests looking for a superb dining experience will relish Le Champagne. As the name suggests, Champagne is the theme here, but it’s influence extends far beyond that.
One of the few things aboard a Silversea ship to sport an additional cost (which, let’s face it, is rendered moot by the generous Onboard Spending Credits offered on many voyages), Le Champagne is a fine, multi-course dining experience known as a degustation.
Each course is paired with an exquisite, rare, or vintage wine designed to complement the menu, and of course, plenty of bubbly is available as well. You might want to skip lunch! Don’t drink? Don’t worry – you can still dine here without the wine pairings for a substantially-reduced surcharge.
While this room hasn’t changed structurally, the new table settings and color scheme give this room a more welcoming appearance than its previous incarnation. It feels decidedly more open, and the red-orange upholstery adds a splash of color to this elegant room. I was also pleased to see my favourite wall of glass-etched panels sporting famous Champagne quotes was untouched!
Located all the way aft on Deck 7, La Terrazza is Silver Shadow’s casual-dining venue by day, and dedicated Italian restaurant by night.
Sporting new carpeting, window and wall treatments, La Terrazza boasts the same attractive color scheme given to The Restaurant and Le Champagne. The room also boasts brand-new dinner settings that help to enhance the elegance of this comfortable, bright room.
While there’s plenty of seating inside, with 180-degree views, there’s additional seating – and improvements – outside. Not only are the teak tables and chairs new, they’re also protected from the elements by a new awning that extends right to the aft railing. This allows guests to dine outdoors regardless of the weather conditions – a great feature when Silver Shadow is sailing the beautiful but often wet waters of Alaska.
The Panorama Lounge
Moving up one deck, we arrive at the Panorama Lounge, Silver Shadow’s aft-facing bar, lounge and nightclub all rolled into one! Sporting new furniture that more closely resembles those found in the same area aboard Silver Spirit, the newly-refreshed Panorama Lounge feels more open and airy than its previous incarnation.
It also feels brighter, thanks to alternating red-and-white chairs with wicker accents, and a bold new color scheme for the carpeting. The dance floor that is the focal point of the room has been totally reconditioned, and 180-degree windows give way to an outdoor seating area to better enjoy the magnificent views of the Pacific.
Heading forward along the spacious corridor, we come to the Library. Situated along the starboard side of the ship, the Library hasn’t changed much since its previous incarnation, though all chairs have been given a modern, updated look. Inside, passengers will still find all the expected amenities: a wide variety of books on almost every conceivable subject, internet stations, and even DVD movies and video games that can be rented out, free of charge. Freshly-printed newspapers from around the world can be read free of charge here, and guests can elect to have nearly any newspaper – in it’s entirety – printed off and delivered to their stateroom for a small fee.
The Pool Deck & Black Rock Dining
Heading forward, we leave the warmth of Silver Shadow’s public rooms for the relative coolness of her pool deck, thanks to a trademark Vancouver mid-day downpour. But the work that’s been done to the pool deck is anything but routine. New loungers have been added throughout, as well as the shaded “clamshell” chairs that have been so popular aboard Silver Spirit. Unlike that ship, however, these “clamshell” chairs sport a centre pedestal to rest drinks atop, and to assist in getting up out of them when the sun goes down!
The entire pool was retiled and reconditioned, resulting in a pool and surrounding deck area that looks brand new.
Another new feature is the addition of Silversea’s signature Black Rock Dining. Requiring reservations but free of charge, Black Rock Dining is a fantastically fun outdoor dining experience that was first introduced aboard Silver Spirit. Here’s how it works: you make your selection from one of several cuts of meat or seafood, all accompanied with the appropriate side dishes and wine pairings.
Your main course is brought to you on a black volcanic rock slab situated atop a wooden board, where it is cooked right before your eyes. You can elect to cook it yourself, or have one of the admittedly more skilled staff members help you out. It’s a lot of fun, and a must-experience dinner choice on any Silversea voyage. Our tip: no matter what you get, try the Apple Crumble for dessert – it’s to die for!
Up on Deck 9, passengers find more seating options, as well as an expanse of green astro-turf decking that won’t burn bare feet, even on a hot day. In Alaska, it serves a dual purpose: it’s very difficult to slip on this style of decking, making it ideal during inclement weather.
The forward portion of Deck 9 gives way to more luxurious passenger accommodations, so we’ll head on up to Deck 10.
The Spa at Silversea
Heading forward on Deck 10, the first thing you’ll come to is The Spa at Silversea, Silver Shadow’s all-in-one spa, salon and fitness centre. This area received a substantial yet subtle makeover that included new flooring, new tiling in the change and sauna rooms, and new wall décor in every treatment room.
I say “substantial yet subtle” because at first, you don’t realize what’s been done to the Spa. It’s only upon closer inspection that you realize the extent of the work that has been performed here, and how well it all blends in with the overall look and feel of this area.
The Observation Lounge
We close our Silver Shadow Revisited photo tour with a look at the Observation Lounge. Located all the way forward on Deck 10, this forward-facing lounge is a comfortable place to relax and take in the scenery, or simply settle into one of the deep chairs with one of the many books here. On the starboard side, a small bar area serves up coffee, juice, soda and pastries during the day – the perfect companion to a good book or lively conversation.
Change has affected this room as well. New carpeting and upholstery make the room sparkle, while new window treatments let in more of the natural light from the room’s 180-degree, floor-to-ceiling windows. A centre console offers up the Silver Shadow’s current navigation and weather statistics, and there’s even a small piano tucked away in the corner nearest the port-side entrance. On one of the large reading tables is a giant map of Alaska, allowing passengers to trace their progress as they sail north.
The Silver Shadow of 2011 is every bit as comfortable and appealing as the previous incarnation we toured last June. After having enjoyed two wonderful voyages aboard the newer Silver Spirit, I appreciated the influence that ship had on this recent refit. The new Bar area is spectacular and instantly inviting, while additions like Black Rock Dining and the enhanced pool deck are sure to be appreciated by many passengers.
But really, this refit just succeeded in making a great ship even better. If you’ve sailed aboard Silver Shadow before, you’ll have no trouble adjusting to these new enhancements, which are purely cosmetic in nature; not a single berth has been added to her occupancy, ensuring the onboard atmosphere remains spacious and welcoming.
If you haven’t sailed aboard Silver Shadow before, well…your yacht awaits.
For more information on Silver Shadow, be sure to visit the Silversea Cruises website, or check out the extensive overview on our sister-site, Avid Cruiser.
Curious to see how Silver Shadow used to look? Have a peek at our extensive photo-tour from last June and get to know this interesting, comfortable and elegant ship.
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