At the top of the short list of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, Silversea Cruises 28,258 gross ton Silver Shadow entered service in 2000. The Silver Shadow carries 382 guests and boasts a 74 space-to-guest ratio, one of the highest in the cruise industry. That figure is attained by dividing the ship’s gross tonnage by its lower berth capacity. Silver Shadow’s hull was constructed by the Francesco Visentini Shipyard near Trieste and towed to Genoa’s T. Mariotti Yard, where it was completed and fitted out. The Silver Shadow is 610 feet long, 81.8 feet wide and has a draft of 19.6 feet. The ship has a top cruising speed of 21 knots and is manned by a staff and crew of 295. One of seven small-to-mid-sized ships in the Silversea fleet, the Silver Shadow has a nearly identical twin in the 2001-built Silver Whisper. Silversea’s ships are deployed on worldwide cruising and visit unique, culturally rich destinations. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a glass of champagne. Cruising with Silversea is all-inclusive with butler service, alcohol and soft drinks, specialty coffees and gratuities are covered in the fare. Silver Shadow has seven passenger decks beginning at the top with Deck 10, which has an open terrace overlooking the bow. Deck 10 continues aft to a shuffleboard court with a view over the midships pool area. Seen from the vantage of aft Deck 10, the teak-lined pool area has a large, heated saltwater pool, two Jacuzzis, a quartet of cushioned cabanas and plenty of open sunning space. At night, the pool area is transformed into an elegant al fresco dining venue called the Hot Rocks Grill. On balmy nights, it is a particularly popular venue for a cocktail or relaxing conversation under the stars. Deck 9 encircles the pool area and the ship’s stern where there is a golf driving range. Nine times around the jogging track equals one mile. Here is another view of the freshly scrubbed pool area from Deck 9, showing the popular Pool Bar on the starboard side. Accessed by the Panorama Lounge on aft Deck 8, there is a teak terrace with a view over the stern. Silver Shadow has finite sheltered promenades on either side of Deck 5. The 55-seat Observation Lounge tops the ship on forward Deck 10 with a crescent of forward-facing windows. This lounge also has a small library with reference books detailing many of the places the ship visits. Specialty coffees, tea and pastries are served by a friendly barista in the Observation Lounge each morning between 6:30 and 11:00. The Fitness Center, which features a gym with cardio equipment, weight machines and some free weights, is located aft of the Observation Lounge on Deck 10. An aerobics and stretching room is directly across from the gym. The Spa At Silversea is adjacent to the Fitness Center on Deck 10. The forward portion of the Spa At Silversea houses a fully equipped Beauty Salon. There are men’s (shown) and women’s changing areas in the Spa At Silversea, each with its own sauna and steam room. This is the traditional men’s sauna on board the Silver Shadow. Several treatment rooms in the Spa at Silversea offer a wide range of massages, skin therapies and acupuncture. Most of the spacious Silver Shadow’s public spaces, which were designed by the acclaimed Oslo-based architects Yran and Storbraaten, are light and airy, including the midships stairtower. There is a library with books, newspapers and DVDs as well as computers with internet access on starboard Deck 8. A small Internet Cafe featuring six computer stations is adjacent to the Library on Deck 8. In addition to serving as a cabaret-style showroom at night with live music and dancing, the 170-seat Panorama Lounge on aft Deck 8 is used for continental breakfast from 6:30 to 11:00 AM and Bouillon from 11:00 AM to noon. The Panorama Lounge is also the elegant setting for Silver Shadow’s lavish afternoon tea. As a string quartet plays, guests are served cookies, scones and cakes as well as sandwiches and a selection of teas that are freshly brewed from leaves. Panorama Lounge tea service comes with individual teapots and timers to make sure each brew is steeped to perfection. A 22-seat Card Room begins a small suite of public spaces on aft Deck 7. It can be adjoined with the Conference Room to accommodate up to 58 guests. A Conference Room seating 36 guests is adjacent to the Card Room. Cigar and cognac aficionados have their own dedicated haven in the 20-seat Connoisseur’s Club on aft Deck 7. The two-deck Athenian Lounge is the Silver Shadow’s dedicated showroom on aft Decks 6 and 5. The space is elegantly terraced and accommodates 356 guests with unencumbered sightlines. On either side of the proscenium in the lower portion of the Athenian Lounge, there are beautifully rendered marble mosaics depicting ancient Greek life. Entertainment in the Athenian Lounge can range from guest lecturers, musicians and comedians to the Artists of Silversea, the shipboard company that performs musicals such as the Abba tribute “Fabbalicious.”. The Lampadina or Casino Bar is an intimate nook on midships Deck 5, just forward of the Casino. The Casino has a selection of roulette, Black Jack and Poker tables as well as slot machines. Across from the Casino on the starboard side of Deck 5, there is a boutique selling souvenirs, clothing and sundries. Silver Shadow has its own H. Stern jewelry shop next to the Boutique on Deck 5. Reception and Shore Excursion Desks are located in a marble-lined elliptically shaped lobby on midships Deck 5. At the far aft end of Deck 5, the Bar accommodates 109 guests. Doors on either side lead directly into the Athenian Lounge, making the Bar a perfect pre-and-post show watering hole. There are three self-service launderettes on the Silver Shadow, which are especially handy on the ship’s long voyages. Use of machines and detergent is complimentary. Silver Shadow’s elegant Restaurant has full-length windows on each side, three large Murano glass chandeliers and can accommodate 424 guests — the ship’s entire passenger compliment and then some. Open-seating a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here. Located on aft Deck 7 with a view over the stern, the Terrace seats 226 guests for breakfast and lunch with a selection of a la carte items and a large buffet. At night, it becomes a reservations-required, non-tariff Italian eatery called La Terrazza with limited seating for 70 guests. Fresh pasta is made daily in the Terrace, including this spicy penne arrabbiata. While Silversea’s cuisine has a largely Italian slant, in the Terrace, there are plenty of popular alternatives, such as a daily selection of hand-crafted sushi. The Terrace has a dedicated pizza menu with thin-crust pizzas, such as this pizza margherita. Located on Deck 8 on the port side of the pool, the Grill is open for burger fare and pizza lunch between 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Here is a chicken-breast sandwich served with grilled onions and a side of hot fries in the Grill. At night, the Grill is transformed into an elegant, reservations-required al fresco eatery with “hot-rock” dining. Entrées at the Hot Rock Grill include various steak cuts and fish, including this salmon, cooked at the guest’s discretion with lemon and butter. One night per cruise, a gala Dinner on Deck buffet is offered by the pool. Le Champagne is the Silver Shadow’s extra-tariff ($25 cover per person), reservations-required restaurant on aft Deck 7. Sponsored by Les Relais & Chateaux, it features pairings from an exclusive wine list for an additional fee. The Gold Leaf Risotto appetizer in Le Champagne features a shaving of genuine, edible gold leaf. Gourmet-style dining in Le Champagne features entrées like this lamb shank. Desserts, such as this Grand Marnier soufflé, are ordered well in advance and prepared from scratch in Le Champagne. Full-service dining is also available en suite on the Silver Shadow. There are nine categories of accommodation aboard Silver Shadow. At the top of the tier are two 919-square-foot owner’s suites. This is the living room of an owner’s suite, with a sitting area featuring an entertainment center, a dining nook and a private bar. Owner’s Suite bedrooms can be configured with two twin beds or a king. All suites feature a writing desk, dressing table with hair dryer, choice of pillow, mini-bar fridge, TV with DVD player, personal safe, 110 or 220 electric current, direct-dial phone and Wi-Fi service. Owner’s Suites have a long, teak-lined balcony with a dining nook and two sets of cushioned lounge chairs. This is the walk-in closet in an Owner’s Suite. All suites feature plush robes and complimentary slippers. This is the master bathroom in an Owner’s Suite. All suites feature a marble bathroom with telephone, a double-basin vanity, bath and separate shower. Owner’s and Grand Suites also have a separate guest powder room. IIly espresso machines are available in Royal, Grand and Owner’s Suites. Four Grand Suites, the second highest category, are located at the forward/starboard end of the ship and measure between 941- and 1090 square-feet. This is the living-room area of Suite 601. This is the private bar in Grand Suite 601. Spacious Grand Suite bedrooms featured curved and slanted ceilings as well as windows that overlook the bow. This is the balcony of a Grand Suite. Two Royal Suites are located on the forward/port side of the ship and are similar to but slightly smaller than the Grand Suites, measuring between 967 and 1007 square-feet. This is the bedroom of Royal Suite 602. Thirteen Silver Suites measure 653 to 701-square-feet and are located on midships Deck 7. This is the bedroom of a Silver Suite. And this is a Silver Suite balcony. Even Silver Suites have exceedingly large closets. There are two handicap-accessible suites on the Silver Shadow with modified doorways, ramps and extra space for wheelchairs. Handicap-access suites have specially equipped bathrooms with “roll-in” showers and no tubs. This is a closet in a handicap-access suite. Nine Terrace Suites on Deck 5 share a large, teak-lined balcony. Identical in interior layout to the Terrace Suites, 128 Veranda Suites measure 287-square-feet and feature their own private balconies. This is a balcony on a Veranda Suite. Here is a typical walk-in closet in either a Vista, Terrace or Veranda Suite. This is a standard bathroom in a typical Vista, Terrace or Veranda Suite. Located at the bottom of the ship on Deck 4, 26 Vista suites are basically identical to Veranda and Terrace Suites but feature a picture window in lieu of balcony access. All suites are equipped with a choice of Acqua di Parma, Bvlgari and Neutrogena amenities. Silver Shadow has butler service in each suite. Butlers provide a range of services from arranging shore excursions and specialty restaurant reservations to polishing shoes, setting up private parties and unpacking guests luggage.