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Cruise Ship Information

Silver Shadow is a cruise ship that entered service in 2000, and is operated by Silversea Cruises. The passenger capacity is 382 passengers, and there are 295 crew members. Her sister ship is the Silver Whisper, and both ships were built by the Mariotti Shipyard in Genoa, Italy. They both have a high space-to-passenger ratio at 74, providing more space per passenger than any other cruise ship. Space ratio is calculated by dividing a vessel's gross tonnage by its passenger capacity. The passenger-to-crew ratio is also high, at 1.31 to 1.

Atmosphere on board

The only difference between the Silver Shadow and its two predecessors, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, is its size. The line's reputation for quality and service, established with those two (which debuted in the mid 1990's), is carried on here. In shape and configuration the Silver Shadow (and its twin, Silver Whisper) is simply a bigger (by about 7,000 tons) and newer version of the first two.

Built under a cooperative agreement by two Italian shipyards (the hull was constructed at the Visentini yard near Trieste; final outfitting was done at the T. Mariotti yard in Genoa) the ship is an all-suite, all-inclusive, all-frills vessel, which carried its first guests in September 2000.

Its suites are bigger than the industry norm -- about as big, in fact, as you would expect from a ship with the Silversea logo on its stack. The ship's overall passenger space ratio -- an esoteric measurement to the layperson -- is a whopping 74. That's arrived at by dividing a vessel's gross tonnage (which, incidentally, is the volume measurement of its interior space, not literally its weight) by the lower-berth passenger capacity. That may seem complicated but, believe me: A passenger space ratio of 74 is HUGE! Its passenger to crew ratio isn't too shabby, either. Just fewer than 300 crew members means that there is one to every 1.3 passengers.

All in all, there's not much that can be said against the Silver Shadow. It was built and designed to cater to the carriage trade -- those who are rich and proud of it. And it does. If this ship were a movie, the appropriate star would be Jack Nicholson. And the title of the movie? "As Good As It Gets."

Family with Kids/Teens

While the Silver Shadow permits children onboard, there aren't any specific facilities or programs for children or teenagers.

Past Passenger Programs

Silver Shadow offers an Internet cafe, or you can use your own laptop or tablet to access the Internet via shipwide Wi-Fi. In either case, you must buy a package of minutes. You can get 100 minutes of online access for $45, 250 minutes for $85 and 1,000 minutes for $250. There's also a well-stocked library filled with DVD's, books and newspapers.

The Card Room on Deck 6 provides a great meeting place for bridge players. The shore concierge desk and passenger relations manager are also based on Deck 6.

The duty-free boutique on Deck 5 offers a nice selection of perfumes, as well as designer handbags, sportswear, costume jewelry and incidentals like memory cards for cameras and suntan lotion. For those in the market for real baubles, the H. Stern boutique offers a mesmerizing selection of diamonds and gold, including many modern pieces.

There's a self-serve Laundromat on Deck 4. The medical center on Deck 3 has regular hours, plus an onboard doctor is available at any time for emergencies.

Fitness And Spa

Silver Shadow has a sizable saltwater pool (large enough for laps) and two hot tubs on Deck 8. The deck space is more than ample for sun-lovers. On sea days, there's usually a rousing game or two of pool volleyball. Just above the pool deck on Deck 9 are a walking track and a small gym housing elliptical machines, treadmills, free weights and yoga mats. The gym provides terrific views. A variety of fitness classes is offered daily. You can also try your hand at paddle tennis, or practice putting at the onboard green.

For those who prefer pampering to pumping iron, the Spa at Silversea is a sight for sore muscles. There are a full hair salon, including nail services, and nine treatment rooms to fulfill your every rejuvenating fantasy. You may want to try a warm stone or Swedish massage, reflexology or an anti-aging facial. Each changing room has a sauna and steam bath.

Food & Dining

Dining on Silver Shadow is heavenly, with numerous options depending on your mood and cravings. The high-quality food is one reason cruisers choose Silversea over other lines.

The Restaurant is the main dining venue on Silver Shadow. Friendly, attentive waiters serve delicious multi-course gourmet meals with a Mediterranean influence. There's a standard menu that's always available, along with a lengthy list of daily chef's specials. All three meals are served a la carte. Dinner reservations aren't required; passengers may simply arrive any time between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

La Terrazza is a smaller a la carte restaurant that features scrumptious Italian cuisine in the tradition of Slow Food. The dinner menu of delights -- Pecorino pie, handmade tagliatelle, veal, tiramisu and panna cotta -- changes every three days. Each of the four courses is paired with the perfect Italian wine. This specialty restaurant (no extra cost) is a must for at least one night, but many cruisers find themselves there several times, given the intimate, quality dining experience. Reservations are required, as the capacity is limited to 50 people. La Terrazza also serves buffet breakfast and buffet lunch. You don't need reservations for these meals, and there is never a wait for a table since people come at different times.

The experience is even more exclusive at La Champagne, the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant at sea. Only 20 diners per night can enjoy an exquisite six-course meal. There's a $30 surcharge per person, plus the cost of any upgrades in the wine selections. You must reserve ahead of time.

In 2012, the Pool Bar and Grill was expanded and transformed into The Grill, which offers passengers the chance to cook their own steak and seafood on heated volcanic rocks at their table. Some passengers enjoy the novel experience of cooking their own meal, while others would prefer to leave the work to Silversea's excellent chefs.

Room service is not to be missed. Many of the main courses served in the restaurant are also featured on the room service menu, so choosing to spend the night in your cabin doesn't mean you need to forego the gourmet experience. Dinners are served in courses -- the waiters ask when you'd like them to come back -- and they're divine on starry, balmy nights in the privacy of your balcony. For other times of the day, or a midnight snack, the usual array of burgers, salads and appetizers is available. Room service breakfast is also a standout, and it's a great alternative when you want to spend a little more time in your cabin getting ready for a port call.

Entertainment

The gamut of usual shipboard activities is offered during the day, from lectures and language lessons to dance classes and bridge. The most popular pastime is the daily trivia competition.

Evening entertainment features "The Artists of Silversea," a troupe of three female and three male singers/entertainers who perform everything from Beatles hits to opera. The quality of the entertainers is fairly high for a ship of this size, and the cruise director also performs along with the group. The multi-tiered Venetian Lounge provides a pleasant setting for these evening shows or movies with unobstructed views.

The most popular spot is The Bar, a bustling art deco saloon, where folks meet and mingle easily before and after dinner. The barkeep will call you by name and remember what you drink after one visit. On many evenings, the Silver Shadow Quartet performs there; it's a great place to dance.

The pretty, well-designed and user-friendly Panorama Lounge is a great place for just sipping drinks, listening to music or simply sitting and watching the sea go by. At night, a pianist plays and sings there.

There's also a tiny casino that gets good table action, but not too much slot play.

The highlights of Silver Shadow's shore excursions are the knowledgeable guides the cruise line contracts. Excursions run the gamut from half-day city orientations to cooking classes and winery outings. A Silver Shadow staff member accompanies every shore excursion to make sure everything is running smoothly.

The shore concierge conducts briefings on ports a day or two before docking, going over the excursions provided by the line and how passengers can tour on their own. At each port, a local expert comes aboard just after docking and can provide maps, restaurant recommendations and information on taxis.

Fellow Passengers

Silverseas' generally 40-and-older passengers are well-traveled and sophisticated. The ships attract an international clientele, with the majority being American and European

Tipping

Included in your fare, though additional services provided by a butler or concierge may deserve extra consideration at your discretion.

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