This article was written by a Cruisemates guest about her experience sailing on the Silver Cloud, a ship in the Silverseas fleet.
I've sailed Silver Cloud and Silversea several times and each time I disembarked believing it was THE perfect cruise ship. While not a true ship review (and, therefore, I didn't specify ONE sailing), there might be a place for it on Cruisemates.com:
CLOUD NINE Is Silversea's Silver Cloud the "Perfect" Cruise Ship?
I've cruised upscale and budget, small ships and huge, all-inclusive and a la carte on voyages that ranged from weekend getaways to two-week voyages. During those sailings I found relaxation, adventure, knowledge and excitement, but only recently did I find perfection.
Blasphemy, you might say. But think back to your cruise experiences. Remember the airport transfer that never was? How about the forgetful waiter and the scary malfunctioning vacuum toilet? And, of course, there's always that sobering final statement, often reflecting a balance that exceeds the price of the actual sailing. (How could you have spent $80 on bottled water for pete's sake?)
It was with full knowledge of these little shipboard hiccups that my husband and I boarded Silversea Cruises' 16,800 grt, 296 passenger Silver Cloud. With fares far above most other cruise lines, we were anxious to see if you really did get what you pay for.
The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is that you do.
From a civilized embarkation with not a crowd nor queue in sight, to a disembarkation that permits full room service breakfast and a leisurely end to the perfect sailing, the Silver Cloud experience triggered in me a desire to play the state lottery with a renewed fervor.
Accommodations aboard Silver Cloud are spacious and comfortable. Wood paneled and accented in brass, our 295 square foot suite featured a Queen bed with a "menu" of pillows, TV/DVD, and a refrigerator stocked with our choice of complimentary soft drinks, wines, spirits and beer. The Italian marble bathroom included a full tub and separate shower and featured a choice of high-end Bulgari amenities not, heaven forbid, pump dispensers filled with brand X mystery liquid.
All four ships of the Silversea fleet are "all inclusive." With the exception of shore excursions and spa treatments, passage covers beverages (including champagne, spirits, wine, bottled water and soft drinks), tipping, fitness classes, special events like wine tastings, shuttle service to the center of town at each port and alternative dining venues.
And of course, passage covers all meals -- honest. Aboard Silver Cloud, there's none of this surcharge nonsense or paying extra for ice cream or sushi. And what meals! Don't think shipboard dining. Think fare equal to or better than that exquisite restaurant you splurged on in San Francisco or New York.
Silversea sweats the details. No shredded paper cocktail napkin beneath my Reidl crystal martini glass on this ship. Instead, there's an embroidered linen one, folded crisply into quarters. I do not frantically seek an unoccupied deck chair aboard Silver Cloud, but choose one of many in any location I prefer. My suite's fruit basket seems to be evaluated and is replenished each day with more and more of the grapes that I favor. I'm not besieged by deck stewards offering overpriced libations in souvenir glasses, but when thirst strikes and I lift my eyes, someone is there for my order, delivering it swiftly and returning to retrieve my glass as soon as it's been emptied.
Aboard Silver Cloud, I'm not "madam," but Ms. Cuervo. And while my husband -- who doesn't share my last name -- is "Mr. Cuervo," we are both delighted by the mistake. At last! We've found a trace of human error aboard a ship that in every other area achieves total perfection.