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Cruise Review: Silver Cloud August 08

The Silversea Experience

Tuesday 5th August 2008 Copenhagen

My first glimpse of Silver Cloud was from the air. I was in an aisle seat, but being the ship spotter that I am I craned my neck over the next two seats to see not one but two Silversea ships lined up with Celebrity Summitt.

As our taxi approached the dockside we were surrounded by Silversea crew and the bags took straight from the car, through security and onto the ship. Our passports were checked on the quay side and we boarded the ship by a traditional gangway at angles to the ship. We were directed through to the bar where we were greeted with Champagne or fruit punch – no prizes for guessing which I went for! We were then directed at leisure through to the show lounge where our suite cards were issued and security photograph taken. Back through into the bar to help ourselves to a sea food buffet, and one or two more glasses of champagne. Suites were ready, but what was the rush?

When I did reach my suite, Veranda suite 509, I was not disappointed. All this space for me? To the left as I enter there is a marble bathroom, full size bath, shower above and vanity unit with plenty of storage. I have plenty of good sized bottles of Bvlgari products so no need to bring any toiletries. I don’t think I have ever seen so any towels either. Two big bath sheets, two bath towels, 3 hand towels and 2 face cloths. Next to the bathroom is my walk in wardrobe. A wardrobe that is a room in itself. Plenty of hanging space on two walls, the safe, 7 drawers and some shelving. Plenty of hangers including padded ones for my evening dresses. Two lovely velvet towelling bathrobes and slippers. Back out in the suite the dressing table is at the foot of the king size bed. There is plenty of space between the foot of the bed and dressing table to allow me to sit in comfort. It is well lit, with angled mirrors and a magnifying mirror for make up. At the far end there is a 3 seater sofa and two comfy chairs, and more than enough floor space between the dining table and writing deck. To one side of the writing desk is a tv and DVD cabinet with glass case above, and to the otherside is the bar, again with glass cabinet above. I have a full bottle of champagne on ice too so I must pop that at some point. I have a reasonably sized balcony with teak decking – none of this modern plastic matting. There are two reclining chairs and a table. Being a smaller ship, my suite on deck 5 is much closer to the sea which feels lovely and relaxing as I feel a lot more in touch with the sea than if I were on a high deck of a new superliner. Arlene, my lovely suite hostess has just called round with a silver tray full of more bathroom products for me to select from. I went for some Aqua Prima. I can see that I am going to be very pampered on here.

Time to get out of my suite and go and explore of the ship. On my deck there is a small Boutique just off the Lobby area and across the way is a fine jewellery shop, but as I had nobody with me to buy me something nice, one browse in there was enough. I had already been into The Bar which I can tell is going to be our frequent watering hole. There is a small dance floor to one side and the bar stretches across the centre of the room looking down the corridor, which rather handily is the corridor where I live so not far to stagger.

Beyond The Bar is the lower floor of the Venetian show Lounge. This is the main show lounge where the Captains Welcome party takes place, the shows and some dancing. The show lounge is well tiered with good sight lines upto the next deck.

There is a small internet café where I was able to sign up for my internet time. Nice and easy procedure (good job as im not that technically minded and I have had a few glasses of Champagne!) I think I paid $45 for 100 minutes. And internet was very fast and was in suite so I didn’t have to move my laptop from my desk all week. There was also a small conference and card room which I saw used several times for Bridge during the cruise.

Out in the Lobby it was a nice and bright and airy and there was both the main reception and Tours Desk. The Cruise Consultant and Concierge also had a desk in this area and could be found sat at their desks for most of the day. The Cruise Consultant also double up as Venetian Society Hostess.

One deck up and the Library was off the lobby. Plenty of books and table top games, as well as a selection of DVDs and CDs. Lovely club leather sofas and chairs made it a very relaxing and quiet area with lovely sea views.

Opposite was a small salon and spa area, plus a ladies and gents steam and sauna area.

One more deck up and I was more or less at the top of the ship. At the aft was the Panorama Lounge, which served a light continental breakfast, afternoon tea, and in the evening became a comfy cocktail bar. Outside was the main teak decked Pool area with Jacuzzi and pool. At the far end was the Pool bar and grill. During lunch times the pool grill was open for burgers, salads, grills, panainis etc and was waiter service and lovely set tables.

One deck up to deck 9 and I was at the top. Astro turfed deck led be from aft to forward and I found the gym with panoramic views out over the front of the ship. It was small but it had everything in there that was needed for a good work out – that was something I needed but didn’t have the time for!

Down on deck 4 at the aft was The Restaurant which was a lovely size, being neither too big or too small. It was open sitting and getting a table at anytime never appeared to be a problem. Some nights the band would play during dinner for dancing pleasure.

I ended up in the Panorama Lounge and they were serving afternoon tea so it seemed only natural that I take a seat and partake. I was immediately asked what sort of tea I would like? Then a three teir silver tray of delicate sandwiches, cakes, pastries and biscuits appeared. There was a menu so each one could be easily identified. I could have quite easily munched my way through the whole lot, and I was tempted at the offer of warm scones cream and jam, but my thought s were already turning to dinner.

Lifeboat drill is compulsory and not going wasn’t an option, not that I ever would not!. I found it odd that I was in a forward deck 5 suite and my muster station was at the aft of deck 8 in the Panorama Lounge. My muster always seems to be in the closest public room on other ships. What if there was an emergency between my suite and the muster station? Go to the closest I guess? Mmmm, but the lifeboats are all at the aft? Oh no time to worry about things like that. Another odd thing was that I had to wear my lifejacket en route to the muster. Usually you are asked to carry it. Once at muster we had to listen very carefully how to step off the side of the ship etc, before forming two lines and holding the right shoulder of the person in front walk in a chain to our lifeboats. I lost the bloke behind me, because he had an elderly lady with a walking stick behind him and she was pulling him back, so I guess he would sink in that situation?

No time for a lie down or a rest after my busy exciting day. We are meeting in The Bar at 7.30pm so I need to get my act together.

In The Bar our drinks order was taken and the table laid with a selection of nibbles, chicken tikka and dips. Hor d erves were constantly bought around on a silver platter. I had a very nice Bellini, which will be the first of many Im sure. Dining in the main restaurant is open sitting and we wandered along at 8 and were seated immediately. The restaurant manager and waiters escorted each of the ladies to the table. The menu was extensive, with the Chefs choice, healthy options, daily options, and the full menu. It was hard to know where to start but I chose a Pear & Melon Timbale, followed by Red Onion soup. Then I had the roasted fillet of Beef which was like melting velvet. I know that doesn’t make sense but I can not explain how meltingly tender it was. Red and white wines were selected to match the menu, but if you preferred any different wine or something else it was served at your request. All wines are included, or if you prefer a fine or vintage wine it is at extra charge. I had the recomended desert, but it was simply delicious. Coffee and after dinner liquers were served at the table. The service was exemplary with the somilier, and Maitre De both checking to ensure that everything was as it should be. All in all it was a lovely dining experience, with a wonderful setting in the window watching the Denmark coastline.

The evening had to finish in The Bar. Our waitress, Mira,  couldn’t have looked after us any better. How lovely to be able to have the choice of absolutely any drink that I wanted, and I had a few! The Cosmopolitans were very good, then I had a couple of Southern Comforts, followed by just a couple of Bailley. The Bar is open until whatever time you want it to be, but at just gone 2.00am I decided that big bed was calling me!

Wednesday 6th August ~ at sea

Oh the sleep in that big bed was just what I needed. Arlene had left me a choice of two pillows to try and my head just sank into them. I had ordered breakfast for 8.00am, and spot on 8 there was a gentle knock at the door. My dining table was laid with a table cloth and everything I had ordered precision placed to provide a wonderful presentation of breakfast. I had a Cappuccino, some cranberry juice, fried eggs, bacon, linked sausage and some baked beans. Ooh and I had some muffins too. What a perfectly civilised way to have breakfast, in my robe watching the sea through the balcony door.

I had a visit to the Royal Suite this morning at the front of the ship. A lovely large sitting room across the front of the ship, with a deep balcony set into the middle of the ship facing forward. A bottle of fine champagne was in its presentation box on the table, along with crystal glasswear. A music system and small selection of books were in a cabinet set into the wall. A round dining table with 4 chairs, sofa. The bedroom had a picture window and plenty of space. The dressing room also formed the corridor to a large marble bathroom with Jacuzzi bath, separate shower, marble sink etc.

The rest of the day I just chilled. It was a lovely morning and whilst I was toying with the idea of sitting out on deck, it clouded over and started to drizzle, so I went inside and had a hot chocolate. I wasn’t going to do lunch but ended up in La Terratza. The seafood lovers were in their element as there was one of those fab food displays again, but not being a great lover of fish I could choose from the other vast selection of hot and cold from the buffet. You could also order pizza, hot dogs or hamburgers. That’s what I love about this ship, you can have pretty much what you want when you want.

Tiredness had caught up with me and it was my intention to go back to the suite and watch a film, but I didn’t have the energy so instead I climbed into bed and stayed there for 3 hours – hard life this luxury cruising!

After lovely long leisurely bath and a bit of pottering about in my suite it was time for the Captains welcome Drinks. We were greeted by all the senior officers as we approached the Venetian show lounge. What a lovely cocktail party. People were dancing to the band and drinks and hor devers were  in plentiful supply. After the Captains welcome speech and introduction of all his Senior officers we retired to the bar. I think I sampled the Bellini and the Kir Royal pre dinner. Dinner again was amazing. I had to try the rib of beef tonight just to see if last nights was a fluke, but no it was equally as tender. Oooh the wild berries in Blue Curacao starter was amazing, when they said it was steeped in blue Curacao they meant it! We went to the Panorama piano bar after dinner and somebody found me a cocktail menu, big mistake as I seem to be on a mission to try them all now. The Silver Cloud was very good, the Margaritta with salt rim was amazing because the salt rim was invisible but it was there! Ooh the Appletini, that nearly blew my head off. Time to retire to The Bar for some people watching, oh and Silver Clouds of course, with a couple of southern comfort nightcaps.

Thursday 7th August – Kirkwall

What a beautiful morning again! I needed some air at about 6 so stepped out onto the balcony and the Orkney Islands were in the distance, standing up wasn’t good though so quickly got back into bed. The next thing I knew there was a Scottish piper welcoming us to Kirkwall alongside my balcony. I did something I have always wanted to do this morning. I walked out onto my balcony in white robe and slippers! Just one of those little things that I have always envied other people doing. Now I was a passenger on a posh ship, with balconies ,in my robe standing on ‘my’ balcony.

Breakfast arrived spot on time again, he even cooked my egg well done for me, and thanked me for saying ‘please’ on the breakfast menu.

Marco Polo was berthed opposite me so she was ruining my view, but I took great amusement at the passenger profile emerging down the gangway. Swan Hellenic was also in but she wasn’t in my sight line from my in suite dining table so I could pick fault with that one. It seems perfectly natural to me now to sit in my white robe eating my breakfast.

I wandered up on deck for a panoramic view of this delightful little corner of Britain. We were surrounded by lovely green rolling hills and sky was a lovely clear blue.

I took the shuttle into town and the people were so friendly. It was a very quaint little place with some lovely little shops to browse. I wandered off the main high street for a wee while, but it became a bit too like ‘Take the High Road’ listening to the locals nattering away, so got back to semi civilisation.

Back onboard I went to the Pool Grill for a burger. No need to serve yourself, simply take a seat at one of the perfectly laid tables and they come and take your order. I went for a hamburger and fries, but it might as well have been listed as a steak in a roll, because there was no processed meat in that! My cocktail of the day arrived in milliseconds, it was called a Sunstroke. I followed that with a strawberry Daiquiri because it was getting rather hot in the sun. So hot in fact that I decided to go n the Jacuzzi. Seemed only right and proper that I had a Silver Cloud champagne cocktail whilst in the Jacuzzi, so that’s what I did. Rather reluctantly I had to get out of the Jacuzzi at 2.30 as I had a spa treatment booked. I had a ‘Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow with a Hot Stones massage. Oh how chilled was I after that? It was fantastic and my skin is glowing and smells wonderful. I have spotted that the sun is still out so Im straight up on deck to soak up the rays. Who would have thought that we could have such glorious sunshine all the way up here?

No time for afternoon snoozes. Its all go on here. Pre dinner drinks up in Panorama lounge. The sun is still blasting out and the scenery as we sail away is fantastic. The trays of hot and cold hors deurves just kept on coming.

Tonight we dined in La Terratza. The amazing service just never lets up, the menu is explained to us, and recommendations are made. The sommelier is at our side to explain the wines he has chosen for us. The whole meal was just amazing, and of course at the end of the meal the sommelier is back to advise on the best after dinner liqueur to have. He selected a fine port for myself, but some were having things that even I had ever heard of!

Now don’t freak out when I tell you what I did next, but I went to a violin recital in the show lounge! Iwona Boesche is the ladys name and what a superb performance she gave. I could have listened to her for much longer and was disappointed when it ended, but she is on again in a couple of nights so that’s ok.

Time to retire to The Bar and I have a new drink tonight. Chocolate Martini – oh they are amazing. Had to have a few just to see if they were all equally as good. Melon Martini was also excellent, and the Bailey nightcaps just rounded it all off nicely.

Friday 8th August 2008 – Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Im up and off early this morning. A short shuttle ride into town and the shops are just opening, but it doesn’t take long to walk the main street and take a look at the harbour. Looking up I spotted some cannons up a hill so I took a walk up and found fortress Charlotte with fantastic views across the bay and over the rooftops.

Back at the ship I just do a spot of pottering about and made the difficult decision of where to have some lunch. I chose my suite as my dining venue, and in suite menu is vast, offering the full 4 courses plus a grill selection (including a 12oz sirloin) pasta selection, sandwiches, pizza, and a selection of sweets. I chose a simple club sandwich and a bowl of fresh tomato soup, delicious!

At 1.30 it was time for a tour. Wildlife watching from a small expedition boat. We had superb fun getting drenched by the waves and the spray, but I don’t think that was the point of the trip. The scenery was stunning, but it did all start to look the same. We saw seals, puffins, turns and gannets – oh I think im a world expert on gannets now, we saw enough of them. We stopped for a mug of tea and a ginger biscuit in a little bay surrounded by a zillion gannets flying all around us which was a bit like a scene for The Birds! The boats Captain and his mate were very enthusiastic about the wildlife and we started to wonder if he would get us back to the ship intime before it sailed. We made it by the skin of our teeth and they had put a make shift gangway out for us. No sooner were we at the top of the gangway than we slipped our lines and were away. I was frozen to the bones, despite my very sensible layers of warm clothing. I had been fine all day until we had to sit in a cave for what seemed like hours to watch an underwater camera go in search of sea creatures. I ran myself a huge bath and refilled it another twice until I could feel a bit of circulation in my body. The average temperatures in the Shetland Islands ranges from 3 in the winter to 15 in the summer, but the wind chill factor lowers that dramatically. Despite todays lovely sunshine and appearance of a mid summers day the wind was bone chilling. I dread to think what it is like in the winter? Too cold for me that’s for sure!! The Captain has announced that we are heading for a storm and a force 8, so once his is rid of the pilot he intends to go full steam ahead to try and miss the worst of it.

Pre dinner drinks in The Bar followed by dinner in the main restaurant, which of course was superb. I was advised to have a white grappa as my after dinner liqueur. Oh heaven. It was like a milky bar with a kick!

I was taken to the show again tonight. A comedian magician who was funny when he plucked a male assistant from the audience, or should I say the male from the audience  was funnier than him. But it was chilly from the air conditioning and I felt chilled to the bones again. The tiredness had taken over me and I needed my bed so badly. I managed one drink in the Bar but had to be excused and head for my bed. I don’t know if Arlene, my suite attendant was expecting me to bring someone back with me tonight but she had turned down both sides of the bed, laid a mat at each side and put the slippers waiting on the mat. I was so tired I nearly didn’t put my clothes away or take offmy makeup but I found the energy from somewhere. Ahhhh bliss, pillows and a duvet!

Saturday 9th August ~ Torshaven, Faroe Islands.

I was awake early and woke to see yet more green hills slipping past my balcony. Breakfast came at 8 so I sat and watched the scenery as I dined. The Captain had made good speed overnight and we were a few hours ahead of schedule, so we docked earlier than expected.

I turned the TV on for the first time and watched a bit of a film and a port talk – that has to be a first for me.

Captain has announced clearance early so looks like I have time to walk ashore before my tour this afternoon (yes you read that correctly, Im going on another tour this afternoon!) another lovely pleasant morning all be it a little cold in the wind. It was a strange little town but I had a potter around, walking up into town and back into the harbour overlooking the ship across the bay. The houses with grass roofs are fascinating, and apparently they use it as installation.

Back to the ship for some lunch and I chose to dine in La Terratza. I found some Shepherds pie much to the waiters amusement – he knew I was British when he saw me with that. They matched the wine too it very nicely. Then I had a delicious slice of Lemon Meringue pie, ooh I could have had a few more slices of that very easiliy.

This afternoons tour is Saskan & Kollafjordur. Our first stop was a tiny little wooden church with a grass roof at Kollafjordur– that took 30 seconds to have a look at so we were directed to the gift shop which turned out to be the local supermarket. We got some very strange looks from the locals as we all piled in from the biting wind. Did you know that they don’t have any forests on the Faroe Islands so they have to import all of their wood. They also don’t breed any pigs so they have to get their pork from Iceland and Denmark – I couldn’t quite work out why they haven’t twigged onto the idea of breeding their own?

We drove through spectacular fjords and valleys to Saskun ancient village, the views here were amazing and well worth the visit. The ancient farm at Duvugardar with turf roofs is now a national heritage museum. An interesting excursion with a very knowledgeable guide telling us all about the sheep!

Tonight we are dining in La Terrazza again, but first we have a cocktail party to attend in the Panorama Lounge. How lovely to be back in civilisation. But that’s the beauty of sailing on this lovely luxury small ship. She is small enough to get into those small little ports that the larger cruise ships cannot get to. The views of the Faroe islands as we sail away are once again stunning. We are so lucky. We are joined my most of the ships senior officers and social hosts and hostesses who are all absolutely charming and a pleasure to exchange stories with.

Dinner in La Terrazza, two table for 5 this evening as we are joined by one of the ships senior officers. We certainly had a giggle at our table, but the hours cocktail party plus the various wines helped contribute to that! Dinner of course was excellent. Everything is too such a high standard that no meal ever disappoints. Naturally it was rounded off by a little tipple of something, that was after I had made a decision over which desert to attempt from the desert trolley.

Saturday night is disco night! And a very lively night it was too. To my surprise I discovered there was much of the cocktail menu yet unexplored by myself so I sampled a few more of those. Ultimate Margarita was ….eerm strong, I never actually got around to trying my ultimate goal of an Ultimate Martini served in a bowl of ice, but oh well, there is always next time. They are very lively passengers on this cruise, and every night there have been people dancing, but the DJ is getting them all up tonight! It was very very late when I headed for my suite. Oooh I had a Bunny on my bed. He was cute. I lifted him carefully to the sofa.

Sunday 10th August 2008 ~ at Sea

Oh dear! You know that force 8 we were avoiding the other night? I think we just found it!!! I don’t think the influence of last nights alcohol intake is helping much either. My suite is doing summersaults. My breakfast arrives and I had this great idea to attempt to eat it in the hope that it helped me to settle myself? Oh bad idea, I cut into the egg and that was enough of a sight for me. I slammed the lid on it and dived for my bed, and there I stayed for hours. Several times they tried to come and collect the tray but I couldn’t even attempt to mutter ‘take the tray away for me’ they must of thought I had lost my marbles. They tried at least 3 times. Eventually I gave myself a good talking too and opened my walk in wardrobe door and threw myself in there until I came out fully dressed. I staggered along the corridor and needed a rest on the sofa, how I climbed to the outside deck I don’t know, but I am told that my face was a picture when I finally got myself onto the open deck. My plan was to throw myself onto a lounger and get

wrapped in some blankets hoping that the fresh air would have some majic healing powers. But I was rescued  and sat at a table where others were already eating. How come I was the only one that was ill? I dodnt do sea sickness, but I think the Aurora New Year storms must have scarred me for life! A waiter got me a blanket and wrapped me up, then I had a cola, aaaah that was better. Sugar!!! Time for chips and ketchup me thinks. Aaah Im better, a cocktail of the day is on order. Then a coffee, with baileys naturally. As im getting cold the maitre de suggests a glass of mulled wine. Good idea but why did he make me two? My bed is calling me again because my head is spinning!

Now what do you need when you are not feeling at your best? A champagne tour of a warm food smelling galley, round that off with a trip to the bridge in a sea with a swell and its not the best form of medicine! My concentration wasn’t at its best so it’s a good job I was familiar with bridge talks as I was able to nod in agreement in the right places.

I knew I had to get ready for dinner so it was time for a bit of mind over matter, if I didn’t think about it the sea would stop moving and my hangover would clear.? Well it sort of worked, but I have felt better. Our last pre dinner drinks in The Bar, with Mira on top form as usual. One or two last Bellini’s and SilverClouds, just for old times sake.

Dining in La Saletta was, well I don’t know the words to describe it, but it was an amazing dining experience. I was seated at the chair of my choice and yet the waiter handed me a menu addressed personally to me! How did he do that? The food , the service and the setting were simply perfect. I can only describe the meal through the photos and even they don’t even come close to doing it justice. A table full of royalty could not have been treated better and an experience that I highly recommend. This is the only restaurant to carry a cover charge, which is $30 and wine is not included. Or for $200 you can dine and have each course matched to a suitable wine.

Im sure we could have sat there all night and watched the scenery and skyline all night but we had to move on before we seized up. A drink in The Bar, but it was all catching up with me again, I didn’t even have the energy to just sit and relax. That big bed was calling me one last time and so I turned in for the night.

It was always such a pleasure to open the door to my suite. It felt like home. My own personal bit of Silversea space. A passenger list had been placed on my bed along with the daily Chronicle and all other bits of reading material, and of course my Godiva chocolates. Oh and the Menu from La Saletta is tied with pretty ribbon into a scroll and delivered to your suite, what a lovely touch. Last job of the evening is always to order my breakfast.

Monday 11th August 2008 ~ Reykjavik Iceland

There always seems to be a port creeping up alongside my balcony, but this is a sad one as its my last one. Breakfast is nice and early so I can take my time and then get ready at leisure. I am on a morning City tour of Reykjavik. This tour didn’t really do it for me. I had got used to seeing pretty scenery and green rolling hills. Now we were in a busy commercial city with lots of traffic and buildings. We drove through the sports district and too a church, or maybe it was a cathedral? Oh and we saw the house where the American President had some important meeting? Then we went to a living Museum of ald Icelanic houses and buildings, but as it was set next to a busy motorway it wasn’t really doing it for me. I was happy when we returned to the ship for luch.

The best way to see Reykjavik, in my opinion, was from the open aft deck of La Terazza with a nice glass of chilled wine sitting in the lovely warm sunshine. Lunch was delicious. I had a bacon and chicken wrap. Some jumbo coconut coated prawns and rice with mango chutney, and just a small selection of deserts as it was my last chance.

The time was fast approaching when we have to waive goodbye to Silver cloud. Our passports have been collected and our luggage all taken down the gangway for us. Even our hand luggage is taken down for us, they don’t want us to struggle. Oh I was just getting used to all that pampering and luxury, do we really have to leave?

Our transfer takes us across the lava fields to the airport, its still not the most exciting place on earth to look at. I would have liked to have gone to the Blue Lagoon, but time didn’t allow it.

Now the bit I dread, queuing up at airports, check in for flight, queue up for baggage scans, passport checks, etc then when you get to the other side we are told it’s a 15 minute walk to our gate. We heard no announcements but when we decided to go to the gate they were on final call. Only to find that when we sit on the aircraft there will be a delay. Oh I have no patience for flying!

I had the most amazing time on Silver Cloud. The Silversea luxury cruise experience was everything I thought it would be and so much more. It dispelled a lot of the myths and pre conceived ideas that I had about luxury cruising. I cant wait to do it again, I just thought it was fantastic from start to finish.

So many little things made all the difference. I was a ‘guest’ not a ‘passenger’ for one thing. I was addressed by my name and the crew that served me soon knew my name. All gratuities were included so there was no thinking about how much to tip who? No service charges were added to anything, even went I went to the spa, the price quoted was the price I signed for (unlike NCL a few weeks earlier who applied 18% service charge!) there were no fiddly bits of paper to sign every time a drink was ordered. No evening bag full of receipts at the end of the evening. I never queued once for anything, neither to embark or disembark the ship, to select food from the buffet, to go into dinner etc.

What a joy to find that there was no hard sell for anything either! I went to the spa and there was no upsell talk, no forcing products on me, no art auctions (hooray) no masses of flyers in the suite promoting a perfume sale etc. And another thing that it took me a while to notice was that there was no ships photographer! Nobody was pointing a camera at you every five minutes and then trying to charge you an over the top price for an out of focus photo – Great a ship with out art auctions and photographers was I in heaven?

Silverseas has one of the largest passenger to space ratio’s on a ship. The Shadow and the Whisper for instance are the same size as the Fred Olsen Black Watch but carries half the passengers. The fact that she had so much space was great. Nowhere was ever crowded. I cant even imagine the main sunbathing area to ever be crowded, and the fact that you get papmered whilst sunbathing would be fab wouldn’t it. Who would have thought about lying out on a cold blustery day in a force 8? But because they come and wrap you up in warm rugs, well, why not!.

I did think that being on a smaller ship with far less facilities would bother me. How wrong I was! I had everything I needed and more. I could move from A to B with ease, no pushing or shoving or rushing around. No waiting to be served. And everywhere was so comfortable.

During the daytime the ship provides all the usual onboard activities, from onboard lectures, dance classes to shuffleboard etc, and in the evening there are places to be entertained or places to chill. The insuite TV had more than enough channels, not that I ever had much time to switch it on. As well as the several film chanels there was also a good selection of DVD and CD’s in the library to choose from.

Shadow and Whisper are also the same build as the Regent Seven Seas Navigator so I would love to experience those at some point as the Navigator was a lovely ship.

Silver Cloud and Silver Wind are due a major refurbishment in the next few months with new suites being added, spa moved etc and new décor and soft furnishings. It would be great to see her in her knew décor, but I have to say that she had a charm all of her own just the way she was. It reminded me of a typical luxury late 80’s cruise ship and that’s another era of cruising that has long since disappeared.

Anyone who appreciates excellent service, good food, fine wines and fantastic surroundings with like minded people would enjoy a Silversea cruise. It is most definitely on my ‘to do list’ again, in fact Im not so sure that I can return to mainstream cruising now. I loved my suite. I can now fully appreciate why so many people like to have a nice suite. I always thought the ship was the main place to be so the accommodation was just secondary. Again how wrong I was. I didn’t have to prop myself up on the bed with my laptop on my lap, or try and put my makeup on at the dressing table without spilling eye shadow over my keyboard. I could work at the desk, apply makeup at my dressing table, dress in my walk in wardrobe, lay in the bath full of bubbles, sit on the sofa, dine at my dining table, get fresh air on my teak balcony, take a drink from my bar, have a walk around – yes a suite has floor space!

If you are about to experience your first Silversea cruise you are in for a real treat – but be warned it will spoil you! It has certainly spoilt me.

I could write forever about my Silveasea cruise. It was a dream from start to finish. An experience I will never forget and one I hope to repeat many times. Im sure there are many things that I haven’t covered, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also leave your comments below and view my silver cloud slideshow here

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GoCruise With Jane

We are a Member of ABTA (membership no. J5035) which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. All the package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the supplier fails. Other services such as hotels or flights on their own may not be protected and you should ask us what protection is available. Check our ABTA membership

For your financial protection and to reassure you of our operating standard we are full members of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) and act as agents for ATOL holders. Please be aware that GoCruise are acting solely as your booking agent, subject to which all bookings are accepted.