As Silversea Cruises’ 388-passenger Silver Shadow sailed from Port Everglades, FL, to Barbados recently, Luxury Travel Advisor was onboard to check out the refurbished spaces and soothing, lighter décor, created during a 30-day drydock in early December.
Now “dressed” in a softer color scheme and sporting new furniture, carpeting, wall coverings and fabrics, the ship, which began service in 2000, has a new sophisticated look and feel, akin to what’s on Silver Muse. Mark Conroy, Silversea’s managing director, the Americas, described the color palette changes as “lighter and soothing but not dull.”
Suite Décor Update
Silver Shadow's top suites have been totally redone down to the walls, according to Conroy, who also mentions that all suites were refreshed, and all suites' desk countertops (which were showing their wear) were replaced with marble.
Our deluxe veranda suite, No. 812, felt fresh and totally new in appearance. Overall, guests will find softer colors, fresh bedding and new “Silver Muse-like” décor from floor to ceiling. Carpets, furniture and fixtures have been refurbished or replaced, and all bathrooms have been renewed.
In addition, guest accommodations’ corridors have also been outfitted with new carpets and suite doors. We loved the corridors' carpet accents with swirling splashes of green—a nice contrast to the new hallways with light grey walls and light carpeting. (See photo at right.)
While most of the ship now features muted soft colors, a couple of spaces don’t. One is the Show Lounge, with bright orange seating for a more energetic vibe. Another is the casino.
Larger La Dame & Lalique
We dined twice in La Dame, now a larger alternative dining venue. Located on Deck 7, it has more space than in the past and can accommodate up to 40 guests for dinner. Previously, it could handle 26 to 30 guests maximum.
Conroy says all guests should now be able to dine at La Dame at least once throughout the voyage (if they so desire). Visually, another change is that handmade Lalique panels have been added to the restaurant’s walls. These crystal decorative artwork panels add a touch of class.
While the partnership with Lalique started out as simply a décor relationship, Conroy says that was expanded after Silversea learned that Lalique owns three different chateaux, as well as several Michelin-star restaurants. So, now La Dame is serving Lalique wines including an award-winning dessert wine.
New menu options based on Lalique’s input also were added to La Dame’s menu. Guests who’ve dined in the past at La Dame on Silver Shadow will likely remember it was a set menu with a few other items, but now the menu has a lot more flexibility in choices.
How did the line create more space for La Dame? Silversea moved Connoisseur’s Corner, the cigar smoking club, to Deck 8, This cigar and smoking lounge now occupies the spot where guests previously found the ship's Internet Café, which was eliminated during the refit. Since the vessel has ship-wide WiFi and guests bring their own devices to access the Internet, the line felt it wasn't needed.
In the move, Connoisseur’s Corner also gained a cozy outdoor seating area with wind "breakers" and plush patio seating so guests can savor a cognac and cigar indoors or al fresco. Also now located adjacent to the Connoisseurs Club on Deck 8 is the Casino, which is a bit smaller than prior to the renovation.
New Atrium & Arts Café
Our favorite gathering spot onboard was the new atrium/purser's desk area, which now flows nicely into the Arts Café on Deck 5. It’s elegant, yet comfortable with plenty of plush, light blue seating areas, contrasted with some brown seating near the windows and in the café area.
On one end of this space is the purser's desk and shore excursion desk area—but instead of having long, formal counters for both, the ship's new design takes a more modern approach. Now, guests can talk one-on-one with crew members at snazzy new pedestal stations (shown in the background in the photo below).
Ringing the space are the future cruise office and an interactive guest relations desk. At the opposite end of the atrium space is The Arts Cafe with much more seating, plus a large attractive circular bar. Guests can head for the bar for "light bites" and snacks throughout the day and evening. It's a great place to grab some yogurt, fresh veggies, a sandwich or yummy dessert.
Immediately behind the bar area are two boutiques, one selling jewelry, the other offering gifts, perfume, sundries and clothing.
Also newly refurbished on Silver Shadow are these spaces: La Terrazza, The Restaurant, an expanded Panorama Lounge, Zagara Beauty Spa & Fitness Center (new gym equipment and more), the Observation Library, other public spaces and all public bathrooms.
In addition, all decks were redone, the jogging track area’s artificial turf was replaced with a new, more appealing material and new outdoor furniture was added to the pool deck, suite balconies, La Terrazza and the Panorama Lounge.
While much of Silver Shadow’s revitalization mimics what’s on Silver Muse, it has one very distinctive feature: A new livery, with a hull that’s a muted silver (not a shiny silver).
“We’ll see how it’s received by guests, as well as how it holds up [to adverse weather/sea conditions],” said Conroy.” If new livery does well, the line hopes to extend to other ships in the fleet.