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Silver Cloud Berlitz Review

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Berlitz Rating:

Mature Couples/Singles
Ship Beam (ft/m):
Ship Builder:
Visentini/Mariotti (Italy)
Ship Cabins (for one person):
Ship Cabins (total):
Ship Cabins (wheelchair accessible):
Ship Cabins (with private balcony):
Ship Casino (gaming tables):
Ship Crew/Passenger Ratio:
Ship Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
Ship Elevators:
Ship Entered Service:
Apr 1994
Ship Former Names:
Ship Hot Tubs (on deck):
Ship IMO Number:
Ship Length (ft/m):
Ship Library:
Ship Onboard currency:
Ship Passenger Decks:
Ship Passenger Space Ratio:
Ship Passengers (lower beds):
Ship Propulsion:
diesel (11,700kW)/2
Ship Self-Service Launderette:
Ship Size:
Small Ship
Ship Size Range (sq ft/m):
Ship Star Rating:
Ship Swimming Pools (outdoors):
Ship Tonnage:
Ship Total Crew:
Ship Wheelchair accessibility:
An all-inclusive, upmarket small ship for mature-age cruisers

Silversea - Silver Cloud

Overview: Silver Cloudis an intimate sort of ship best suited to discerning and well-traveled couples, typically over 50, who seek a small ship with excellent food and fine European-style service in surroundings that border on the elegant. The passenger mix includes many nationalities, although the majority are North American. Children are sometimes seen aboard, although they are not really welcomed by most passengers.

The Ship: Silver Cloud has quite a handsome profile, with a sloping stern reminiscent of an Airstream trailer. The size is just about ideal for personalized cruising in a somewhat dated, but quite elegant environment. The vertical cake-layer stacking of public rooms aft and the location of accommodation forward ensures quiet cabins. There is a synthetic turf-covered (this doesn’t equate with luxury) walk-around promenade deck outdoors, and a spacious swimming pool deck with teak/aluminum deck furniture. Little Silversea touches such as cold towels, water sprays, and fresh fruit provide poolside pampering on hot days.The spacious interior is well planned, with elegant decor and fine-quality soft furnishings throughout, accented by the gentle use of brass fittings (some of substandard quality and now showing blotchy patches in several places), fine woods, and creative ceilings. In 2009, an extensive refit saw the addition of a proper observation lounge, with covered passageway to access it – so you don’t have to go outside to do so. All suites were also refreshed.There is a business center as well as an audio and hardback book library, open 24/7. An excellent amount of space per passenger means there is no hint of a line anywhere in this unhurried environment. Good documentation is provided before your cruise in a quality document wallet.An elegant, announcement-free onboard ambience prevails, and there is no pressure or hype, and an enthusiastic staff to pamper you, including a high ratio of Europeans. All drinks, gratuities, and port taxes are included, and no further tipping is necessary – though it is not prohibited. This ship is ideal for those who enjoy spacious surroundings, excellent food, and some entertainment. It would be hard not to have a good vacation aboard this ship, albeit at a fairly high price.Silversea Cruises has ‘all-inclusive’ fares, including gratuities, but charges extra for insurance. The fares do not, however, include vintage wines, or massage, or other personal services.The onboard product delivered is good, particularly the cuisine and its presentation. Shuttle buses are provided in most ports of call, and all the little extras passengers receive make a cruise an extremely pleasant experience. The surroundings are very comfortable and contemporary without being extravagant, with open-seating dining and drinks included, and cold canapés and hot hors d’oeuvres served in the bars in the pre-dinner cocktail hour, a captain’s welcome aboard, and a farewell cocktail party.Silver Cloud is an intimate sort of ship best suited to discerning and well-traveled couples, typically over 50, who seek a small ship with excellent food and fine European-style service in surroundings that border on the elegant. The passenger mix includes many nationalities, although the majority of people onboard are North American. Children sometimes travel on Silver Cloud, although they are not really welcomed by most passengers.Niggles? Some vibration is evident when bow thrusters or the anchors are used, particularly in the forward-most cabins. The self-service launderette is not large enough for longer cruises. Crew facilities are minimal, leading to a high crew turnover, which undermines service.In late 2017, Silver Cloud is due to be converted into an expedition-style ship, with an ice-class hull modification for sailing mostly in more remote areas (including Antarctica). The ship will then carry a maximum of 260 passengers (200 on Antarctic voyages).

Accommodation: There are seven price grades in this ‘all-suites’ ship. The all-outside-view suites, three-quarters of which have fine private teakwood balconies, have convertible queen-to-twin beds and are beautifully fitted out. They have large floor-to-ceiling windows, large walk-in closets, dressing table, writing desk, stocked minibar/refrigerator (no charge), and fresh flowers.The marble-floor bathrooms have a tub, fixed showerhead, single washbasin, and plenty of high-quality towels. Personalized stationery, an eight-pillow menu from soft down to memory foam, bathrobes, and Acqua di Parma bathroom products are provided.All suites have televisions and DVD players, and top-grade suites also have CD players. However, the walk-in closets don’t provide much hanging space, particularly for such items as full-length dresses, and it would be better for the door to open outward instead of inward. The drawers themselves are poorly positioned, but several other drawers and storage areas are provided in the living area.Although the cabin insulation above and below each cabin is good, the insulation between cabins is not – a privacy curtain installed between entry door and sleeping area would be most useful. Light from the passageway leaks into the cabin, so it’s hard to achieve a dark room.Top-grade suites have teak balcony furniture, while other suites do not, but all balconies have teak floors. Suites with balconies on the lowest deck can suffer from sticky salt spray when the ship is moving, so the balconies need lots of cleaning. Each evening, the stewardesses bring plates of canapés to your suite – just right for a light bite with cocktails. In the Grand, Royal, Rossellini, or Owner’s Suites, you get unobtrusive butler service from butlers certified by London’s Guild of Professional Butlers.

Cuisine/Dining: The Restaurant provides open-seating dining in elegant surroundings. It has an attractive arched gazebo center and a wavy ceiling design as its focal point, and is set with fine Eschenbach china and well-balanced Christofle silverware. Meals are served in an open seating, which means you can eat when you like within the given dining room opening times, and with whom you like.Standard table wines are included for lunch and dinner, and there is a ‘connoisseur list’ of premium wines at extra charge. All meals are prepared à la minute, with little of the pre-preparation that used to exist.La Saletta, adjacent to the main dining room, is an intimate 24-seat specialty dining salon. Dégustation menus include dishes designed for Silversea Cruises by chefs from Relais & Châteaux Gourmands, the cuisine-oriented division of Relais & Châteaux, paired with selected wines. Reservations are required, and there’s a cover charge.La Terrazza provides self-serve breakfast and lunch buffets and informal evening dining with different regional Italian dishes nightly. Both indoor and outdoor seating is at teakwood tables and chairs.There is a 24-hour in-cabin dining service. Full course-by-course dinners are available, although the balcony tables in the standard suites are rather low for dining outdoors.

Entertainment: The Showlounge hosts entertainment events and some social functions. The room spans two decks and has a sloping floor; banquette and individual seating are provided, with good sight lines.Although Silversea Cruises places more emphasis on food than entertainment, what is provided is quite tasteful and not overbearing, as aboard some larger ships. A decent array of cabaret acts does the Silversea circuit, and small colorful production shows have been re-introduced.Most of the cabaret acts provide intelligent entertainment that is generally appreciated by the well-traveled international clientele, and there’s more emphasis now on classical music ensembles. A band provides live music in the evenings in The Bar, and Panorama Lounge.

Spa/Fitness: The Spa at Silversea is quite small compared to those on other so-called luxury ships.Facilities include a separate sauna for men and women, several treatment rooms, and a beauty salon. Massage and other body-pampering treatments, facials, pedicures, and beauty salon treatments cost extra.A separate gymnasium (formerly an observation lounge), located atop the ship, provides sea views.

Berlitz Guide © Apa Publishing 2017

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