There it was, the Silver Cloud, docked at the Civitavecchia Port in Rome, gleaming under the sun which was just shining through the disappearing dark clouds. It had rained earlier in the day and puddles of water were visible on the ground. This is my second voyage with the Silversea Cruises and I was looking forward to another memorable experience. Last November, my 10-day voyage took me from Rome to Naples and Trapani In Italy, Valletta in Malta, Tunisia, Cartagena and Malaga in Spain, and finally Funchal in Portugal.
The Silver Cloud is one of the smaller cruises among the fleet of Silversea Cruises. With a maximum capacity for 296 guests and 222 crew members, what you get is undivided attention from the diligent crew.
The Silver Could gleaming under the morning sun
The on-boarding process was very quick and efficient. Once on board of the luxurious Silver Cloud, my partner and I were served champagne and ushered to the Restaurant on deck 4 for a delectable 4-course set lunch.
The Restaurant is the main dining hall in Silver Cloud. Decorated in a warm colour palette of peach, beige and brown, the Restaurant is a place to enjoy your meal without having to hurry through each course. One gets to truly appreciate the food, wine and ambience when dining in this posh dining room.
The Restaurant on Silver Cloud
The service at the Restaurant is impeccable. We were greeted by name when we arrived at the Restaurant and were showed our seats next to the window. When the crew, Diana, came over to our table to take our lunch order with her tablet, she was mindful that I do not select any dish that contains shellfish. It then dawned upon me that all the guests’ dietary requests are stored in the tablet so that the service crew are aware that each guest’s unique needs.
Exquisite food at The Restaurant
After lunch, we were ready to check into our Veranda Suite. Although the 27m2 Veranda Suite on Silver Cloud is slightly smaller than its sister Silver Spirit, it is still a comfortable size. The suite is fully equipped with all the things that you can possibly need for a cruise holiday. There is a sitting room, a walk-in wardrobe, two twin beds, a flat-screen TV, a luxurious bathroom, a complimentary and well-stocked mini bar, and a veranda.
Veranda Suite on Silver Cloud
You see, the Silversea Cruise, is no ordinary cruise. The Silversea Cruise is targeted at the discerning and sophisticated travellers. All the amenities are top of the line. The luxurious Pratesi bed linens and a selection of Bvlgari, Salvatore Ferragamo or Seba Med toiletries, there is no compromise in providing the Silver Cloud guests with a lavish cruise experience.
Spend lots of time in this lavish bathroom when I had my motion sickness
Instead of holing up in the suite, I decided to explore the 157-metre cruise. Severin, the personal trainer on board, was kind enough to show me around the sport facilities. Located at the top deck of the cruise bow is a small but well-equipped gym fitted with cardio and weights machines. For those who prefer run outdoor, there is a tracking track that covers the whole of deck 9, the top deck.
The small but comprehensive gym on Silver Cloud
One level down at deck 8 is the swimming pool, two jacuzzis, the Pool Bar and Grill, and the Panorama Lounge. It was a great experience lazing at the pool bar over a glass of gin tonic as Silver Cloud set sail into the picturesque sunset.
Pool Deck on Silver Cloud
Other than the main dining hall, there are three other restaurants on board of the Silver Cloud – Le Champagne, Pool Bar & Grill and La Terrazza. Food and drinks are all inclusive in the cruise package with the exception of Le Champagne which requires an additional reservation fee of US$40 fee per person. Otherwise, everything is all paid for. And also, there are some nights when guests are expected to dress in formal attire in order to dine at any of the restaurants.
Le Champagne is a fine dining restaurant that indulges the guests with top notched French cuisine. It is a small restaurant with limited seats and serves dinner only. It is definitely not an experience to be missed and I strongly recommend that you should at least try once when travelling with the Silver Cloud. The food is exquisite and the ingredients are of top quality.
Exquisite fare at Le Champagne
If you are game for risks after a delectable dinner, there is a casino where you can try your luck at the slot machines or table games. For those who prefer light entertainment, there is The Bar where guests can mingle over complimentary drinks and live music.
The Bar on Silver Cloud
Every night at the turndown service, the chambermaid will place a copy of the in-house daily newsletter, The Chronicles, in the suite. This concise newsletter provides the most comprehensive information on the next port of call. It covers historical details, land tours, and the attractions that guests might be interested in. The Chronicles also provides a list of programmes for those guests who prefer to stay on the cruise.
Enjoying a cocktail at The Bar
For a person (like me) who doesn’t do his homework before his holidays, it is great to have someone like Corey Sandler, a very knowledge Destination Consultant on board. Every day without fail, Corey will provide an informative lecture on all you need to know about the next port of call. His lecture is delivered either through a pre-recorded TV programme or delivered live at the Show Lounge.
The Show Lounge on board of Silver Cloud
The Show Lounge is also the venue where a group of young talented singers from the United Kingdom put up a nightly musical performance. These charming individuals have a wide repertoire of songs from classical to pop.
A group of talented artistes from UK performing classical favourites to pop hits
For a night owl like me, breakfast is always a rush affair. While I try to make time for an unhurried breakfast at The Restaurant, there were occasions when I just needed to have a quick but filling breakfast. That was when I headed to La Terrazza, the Italian restaurant on board. La Terrazza serves an international buffet spread during breakfast and lunch, and a full Italian meal during dinner. Even though it is a buffet, there is no compromise in terms of the food quality and service is still immaculate. And it is the only restaurant where you get to dine al-fresco in the morning.
La Terrazza on Silver Cloud
The al-fresco area of La Terrazza
On those days, when the cruise is en route to another destination, one can explore the many on-board facilities. The Spa is a delightful option for those who enjoy a good pampering, let it be a manicure or massage. Although the spa may not be as decadent as those I’ve visited on land, it is reasonably well designed and comfortable. There are steam room and sauna in the changing room. Not lavishly decorated but decent enough to do the job. One thing for sure, the size of the treatment room is comparable to some of the hotel spas.
Silversea Cruises even arranged for some musicians to welcome our arrival at Tunisia
Lunch at the Pool Bar and Grill is a leisurely affair especially with the sea breeze. The food is more casual with the common options such as burgers and pizzas. In the night, the Pool Bar and Grill is converted to The Grill – an al-fresco eatery where guests get to cook their own dinner on a preheated volcanic rock. I love cooking my own steak exactly to my liking. Of course it helps when the main ingredients such as steak, lamb, salmon, fish and prawns are very fresh.
Cooking my own steak at The Grill with outdoor heater to keep myself warm
Since the Silver Cloud is a small fleet, it is more sensitive to the sea conditions and waves. And I hated those days when the cruise had to be at sea for the entire day. Nothing prepares me for the motion sickness. I saw many older passengers enjoying themselves at the pool deck. But I was so seasick that I had to literally tucked myself in bed the entire day without any food or drink. It was because I threw up every time I ate. I couldn’t hold any liquid or solid food in my stomach, including the motion sickness pills. Thank goodness, I had a great butler, Bronwin, who brought me lots of ginger candy to help alleviate my motion sickness. Despite that, my only consolation then was the gorgeous Pratesi bed linen that I wrapped myself with.
With my attentive butler, Mr Bronwin
And how can I forget my butler, Bronwin, who has this uncanny resemblance to the current US President, Mr Barack Obama. Bronwin is no doubt the most observant and meticulous butler that I ever know. He remembered my partner’s and my preferences and never failed to ensure all things were done to our liking such as having more orange juice in our mini bar and only do the turndown service after 9pm. He is very proactive and detailed. Frankly, we didn’t even have to tell him anything.
With Silver Cloud in the background
Of course, there were many other crew members who went all the way to make our trip an unforgettable one. Esther from housekeeping and Ray at the front desk were excellent and their smiles never failed to brighten the day.
Despite the dreadful motion sickness, I will not hesitate to return to Silversea Cruises. But I will be more prepared.
Silver Cloud – Silversea Cruises