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Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first Silversea cruise, although we have done many cruises on other lines, including an expedition cruise to Antarctica on Ponant. We had originally booked another Ponant cruise, however it was cancelled in December due to ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise, although we have done many cruises on other lines, including an expedition cruise to Antarctica on Ponant. We had originally booked another Ponant cruise, however it was cancelled in December due to chartering of the ship, so we booked this after getting a great deal that included business class airfares from Australia. As we had previously done an expedition cruise we compared to that rather than on the larger mainstream lines. Our flight from Oslo to Tromso was delayed, so we arrived at the ship at about 3:30, on a Silversea transfer with about 20 other people. On arrival, we couldn’t get in to the gate,as security was on the gate and they had to wait for a staff member to let us in, we waited for about 10 minutes in light rain, with no cover, not exactly an ideal reception. On entering the ship check in was efficient and we were escorted to our room, a vista suite, first impressions, the room looked old and in need of a refresh, the bathroom was small with very little storage, the shower was large. Our butler introduced himself within 5 minutes, he showed us the room, but didn’t really explain how we could best use his services. We I’d ask for alcohol (although this information wasn’t forthcoming), we didn’t really warm to him, and that seemed to be the consensus of many in our area (mainly Aussies in this part of th ship), our maid was lovely and kept the room clean. We found the food to be generally very good, however I couldn’t get a poached egg cooked correctly the whole time (they always came out too raw), despite me requesting that the white was to be cooked, finally on the second last day, the maître de, organised for them to be cooked perfectly, other than that there was a few dishes we didn’t care for, but that was just personal taste. I longed for a fresh sandwich at lunch and would hav loved the option to make a sandwich if possible, the little dinner rolls just made it to difficult. I dont eat seafood or red meat, but I found something to eat most days, it would hav been nice to have chicken on the menu more regularly. We found the wines average, I finally found a white that i liked ( i prefer an oak Chardonnay) and they just didn’t have anything similar, i found most of the whites quite tart but eventually ordered the Macon Bousseir (?sp) nearly every meal. The expedition staff were great and it was very organised, getting on and off the zodiacs was easy (although not as easy as Ponant), some of the older passengers struggled though. We were disappointed that we weren’t advised about wildlife as promised, there was a pod of orca whales one night that we weren’t aware of. Would i return? It will be based on itinerary and price, I don’t think we would ever be loyal to Silversea, I just dont think they stood out as the 5 star they suggest they are. Service was good not amazing, staff were friendly, the rooms and ship looked old and a little rundown Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal ... Read More
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal follower! I can't imagine travel on any other line after the great experience that we had. We were met at Oslo and Tromso by Silverseas agents and professionally looked after till we boarded the ship. We had managed to upgrade to a Silver suite on the Silver Cloud, which is, in effect 2 cabins together, so a separate bedroom/dressing room with two shower rooms/toilets. Our butler was efficient, polite and a real gentleman, "Arun" helped to make this trip memorable. With only about 230 passengers, the voyage is made all the more enjoyable as it is possible to meet more people, who are from all over the world, and we met some very lovely people. The food was of an exceptional standard, real fine dining, and the staff on all levels were polite, friendly and knowledgeable. How they manage to remember all our names is a mystery, but they do, The Zodiac trips were well organised with a priority on safety, which is encouraging given the choppy seas at times, and also the land excursions to see the wildlife were also expertly organised, with forward parties going on shore to check out safety i.e.meaning making sure there were no Polar bears loolking for an early meal! It is the first trip we have had in many years, that we were not wanting it to end. Full credit to Silverseas and the ace team that they have working on the Silver Cloud, they made the expedition into one our our most memorable trips.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm ... Read More
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm came in that night and we had to miss 3 or 4 of the next ports. It was an expedition cruise and this is to be expected. The ship has been updated beautifully - great showers in the bathrooms, even with seats. Deluxe cabins are very comfortable. Public areas attractive and as comfortable as when I first sailed her in 2002. Terrific. The reception, butler/housekeeping staff, bar and dining room staff are as wonderful as Silversea has always produced. They’re great. On this cruise their line let them down. The expedition staff, not so much! As a now solo traveller (widowed) I commend Silversea for making solo travellers comfortable and included in their voyages. There were plumbing/sewage issues from boarding time onwards which affected a number of decks and many passengers. The cruise was brought into Reykjavik a day early (which it seems to have done on other cruises, I see). Disappointingly, Silversea has not responded to my comments and complaints. Very disappointing for a formerly very loyal Silversea cruiser. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have sailed Silversea before but chose this cruise for the itinerary and also to experience expedition cruising and find out the difference. Staff on board incl butler were great, cannot fault them , dining was also impressive , so ... Read More
We have sailed Silversea before but chose this cruise for the itinerary and also to experience expedition cruising and find out the difference. Staff on board incl butler were great, cannot fault them , dining was also impressive , so was the quality and variety of the food and wines offered. The shore excursions were not too different from a standard cruise. Only one shore activity during the 14 day expedition cruise involved some expedition like feature when we had a wonderful afternoon going ashore on the zodiacs watching a variety of seabirds nesting on the Scottish Island of Lunga. There were a lot of shore landings cancelled due to stormy weather. Enrichment lectures were generally good, although some were repetitive due to the increased requirement of additional lectures after many cancelled shore landings. Expedition staff seemed to display a lack of interest at times. Our Vista Cabin had a sewage issue on day 2. We were moved to another cabin after that. It became obvious after talking to other guests that Silver Cloud has had ongoing sewage issues. We feel that it shows that the ship is 25 years old and has had a refit to comply with expedition ship/ice class regulations, mainly the strengthening of the hull. Apart from that there were a few serious problems visible like huge cracks in the cabin doors and also cracks in the fire doors of the ship. And the sewage issue. In our opinion this ship is past its use-by-date and should not sail Arctic or Antarctic regions . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have enjoyed Silversea Expedition cruising in the past. The small number of passengers, terrific Expedition Team combined with luxury that Silversea excel at make for a wonderful cruise. We boarded via the clipper boat for Tower Pier ... Read More
We have enjoyed Silversea Expedition cruising in the past. The small number of passengers, terrific Expedition Team combined with luxury that Silversea excel at make for a wonderful cruise. We boarded via the clipper boat for Tower Pier next to the Tower of London. We were checked in efficiently and went straight to Terrazza for a buffet lunch. As the ship started to fill with other passengers, we went to our suite and the suitcases arrived soon after. The butler and room attendant combination suits us well. Available but not intrusive. The laundry service is very efficient and good. We enjoyed all our meals on board. We ate in the main dining room, La Terrazza and at the Hot Rocks on the pool deck. The crew are fantastic. Friendly and efficient. Unfortunately we missed many of our stops due to choppy seas being to unsafe for the zodiac landings. The Expedition Team laid on extra lectures and games such as ‘Name that tune’ to substitute. Moss Hills is an outstanding Social Director. After 10 days travelling up the west side of the UK, we sailed to Orkney and the Faroes and the final 4 days were spent circumnavigating Iceland. The disembarkation went smoothly apart from our non Silversea taxi going to the wrong port! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our ... Read More
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our suite was great, as were the staff and the public areas. Food ranged from good to very good, sometimes excellent. There were shortcomings. Three scheduled ports were dropped before we left because of security issues. People booking this cruise in the future need to know they may not get all the ports they paid for. Also, not all the ship excursions were well-run and supervised. And the enrichment speakers could have been better. The Ship. Built in 1994 and heavily refurbished in 2017, the Cloud looks like a real ship. It’s almost perfectly maintained. Painters were frequently seen doing touch-ups, a sign of a well-run vessel. Suites have pleasant, usable balconies, two chairs, a sofa, a coffee table and a desk, and small but utilitarian bathrooms with a shower. Storage space was okay. We asked to have one chair removed, as it crowded the room and wasn’t needed, but the staff refused. Soundproofing between rooms was inadequate. Basic wifi was free and worked well most of the time. Air conditioning was okay. We had Room 622—a perfect location. The pool area had sufficient lounges, but one of the whirlpools was too cold and sometimes closed and complaints failed to correct the situation. The captain, Vincent Taillard, and the ship officers were cordial but standoffish. The social director, Moss Hills, was delightful. And quietly famous. Years ago, with another company, he helped lead the successful abandonment of a sinking cruise ship. The Food. We’re critical people, and we mostly enjoyed the meals. A few dishes seemed too edgy. The breakfast buffet could have used more variety. And, like seemingly all cruise ships, the Cloud featured awful frozen hash-brown potato patties. A reuben sandwich at lunch was terrible. How about some simple recognizable grilled sandwiches? Overall, we had good choices and found the food at least good and sometimes excellent. I had fillet mignon four times—really good each time. Wine and cocktails flowed freely. We enjoyed every glass of wine we drank, although we realize they don’t serve $40-a-bottle wine. Room service food was good. Waiters were good. The Restaurant, where you don’t need reservations, was the best. La Terrazza, which features Italian in the evening, lacked variety. The Grill, on the outdoor deck, features a grill-your-own meat on a hot volcanic rock. We went once. Never again. I guess some people like the concept. We don’t. Why not just have a good outdoor grill/barbecue? There is a specialty French restaurant that requires a steep extra charge. The Expedition. The Cloud fell short here. Admittedly the itinerary was ambitious, including places were many ships never go, in a difficult environment. We wanted to experience the sights and culture of west Africa first-hand. We did. Every port offered a least one shore excursion covered by the ship fare. Some were great. Some were okay. Some sadly lacking. Some didn’t deliver what was promised when we reserved. Guides were sometimes poor. Supervision from the ship expedition staff was too-frequently lacking. The expedition leader, Nicki D’Souza, was not up to the task. Silversea needs to hire people from Tauck to demonstrate how to run tours. We had one great speaker—a former top assistant to Nelson Mandela. But where were the black professors, journalists or politicians from west Africa? Not on our ship. Conclusion. We’re not sure we’d book the cruise again. It’s really expensive. The missed ports and the shaky shore excursions were irritating. We could and should have gotten more for our money. But we accomplished a lot of our goals and we learned and we had fun. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia as part of the total cruise fare. And this is where things became odd. We were awakened at 1:30AM in Santiago, Chile, to join the charter flight to Ushuaia that left at around 6 in the morning. We had initially been told by Silversea's agent that because Silversea had chartered the flight, there would really be no issue with baggage. However, when we received our cruise documents, there was a baggage restriction of 50 pounds, per person. That necessitated considerable reorganization of our luggage situation as we had traveled a long way to get to the cruise and had post-cruise safari plans in Africa. The flight left after some delay and we arrived in Ushuaia only to find that we could not go directly to the ship but had to go onto a lunch somewhat out of town. This disappointed us because we were tired and might have preferred to see some of Ushuaia rather than go riding on a bus out of town to a countryside restaurant. Following the luncheon, we returned to the ship at around 2pm and boarded. Oddly enough, though, for all of the effort expended in getting us to Ushuaia very early, the ship did not depart until around 10pm. We feel this issue might have been better handled so as not to drag people out of bed at an unholy hour. We also felt that had we known of the baggage limitation and the hour of departure in advance, we might have made our own flight arrangements from Sao Paulo, our first stop in South America. Further, once on board, we came to learn that there had been a pre-cruise tour offering to Iguazu Falls. We were disappointed to learn this as we truly would have been interested in seeing the falls, having traveled all the way to South America from East Asia. On board, we elected to purchase an upgrade to the free internet provided to every passenger on the ship. This proved to be nothing but a waste of money and I would warn anyone against it. The charge was some $350.00 and the upgrade proved to be just as slow as the free service. The other negative was that we had confusion with a name on the cruise documents. We contacted Silversea's agent about this and he assured us that proper documents were on the way. The head office never managed to send the documents on time and they were not received until we returned home. One last annoyance was the daily briefing held by the expedition staff. This occurred every evening at 6pm, often after a day of going on 2 excursions. Though attendance was not mandatory, one felt compelled to go as details of the next day's activities were spelled out at that time. Perhaps this could be better managed in future. As for the positives, they are many. The food on board was excellent. Our cabin, though smaller than balcony cabins on Seabourn and Regent, was comfortable and functional. The staff on board were superb, especially our valet and the room steward. We felt that anything we needed or wanted was somehow found promptly appeared. The expeditions were excellent and we certainly appreciated the efforts that the expedition staff went through day in and day out - it is no simple matter bringing people safely ashore in isolated places, through sometimes rough surf. And the scenery on shore was spectacular, to say the least. Though two expeditions were done a day and one might have felt tired, they still were worth every minute and any effort. Shore excursions were fine but perhaps, Silversea might let people know the options available for shore excursions in advance of sailing. Would I recommend a Silversea Expedition? Definitely. But be aware of the issues I highlighted as attention to them could make for an even better experience. We did not travel with children and this type of voyage might better be best for people who are mature enough to grasp the significance of what one is experiencing. Would I go again? Yes! But mindful of the negatives that I mentioned. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were VERY happy with every part of this cruise and think Silversea went above and beyond. We had a plane delay transiting Miami and Silversea took special care of us in Santiago and again when we got to Ushuaia. I agree with other ... Read More
We were VERY happy with every part of this cruise and think Silversea went above and beyond. We had a plane delay transiting Miami and Silversea took special care of us in Santiago and again when we got to Ushuaia. I agree with other reviewers that the Expedition Staff were OUTSTANDING - even to the point of joining people for dinner to bring their love of Antarctica and share their wealth of knowledge with passengers. I totally disagree with the one reviewer who complained about the dining room staff - we were placed with the same waiter (not necessarily the same one of his tables) every night and the last night when I said "but that is not Oscar's table", the maître d said "it is tonight!" They did everything they could to make our dining experience top notch - from deboning our fish, shelling our lobster, and suggesting what to order. Captain Pontillo got us safely through the Drake Passage both ways, outrunning storms and contributing to a fairly smooth ride. Silversea stepped up and provided a free bus tour of Ushuaia and its National Park when we arrived a day early. I cannot say enough good things about this company, this ship, and their staff. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were going to Antarctica, so it really was all about the expedition. I will say without question, that part of the cruise was exceptional. The Expedition Leader was experienced, engaging, fun and educated. His team was extensive, ... Read More
We were going to Antarctica, so it really was all about the expedition. I will say without question, that part of the cruise was exceptional. The Expedition Leader was experienced, engaging, fun and educated. His team was extensive, young and enthusiastic - exceptionally well educated, anxious to engage and share information and experiences and talented in helping you to get the most out of each expedition. The crew were professional and looked out for your safety and comfort entering and exiting the Zodiacs. The lectures added to the experience and were available on the suite TV for those of us who preferred a nap or a late lunch. We got to see and do everything we had hoped to. The ship was also wonderful. Small at only 250 passengers, it is without shopping malls and cabaret shows, but offered everything needed. Well appointed and nicely decorated - easy to find your way around. The cabin had lots of room. It included a walk-in closet - a necessity for the parka, waterproof pants and many layers. The sofa and 2 armchairs were a bit cramped, but once we organized one at the desk, and the convertible table over the sofa, there was lots of room and still the ability to easily dine in the room. The balcony was a basic space - great for checking the weather, if you had enough layers or watching the passing icebergs. It was not a hospitable outdoor oasis, but given the subzero temps I wasn't planning on lounging there. The disappointment came in the staff and the food. Front desk staff were uninformed and unhelpful. They couldn't follow through on simple requests or connect you to senior staff who might be able to assist. The main dining room was table service with open seating. The host made no attempt to provide a consistent server even if tables were available or a specific area was requested. That meant even those staff working hard to establish relationships and know your preferences were at a disadvantage, and you were constantly explaining sparkling water, red wine, no coffee amongst other things. The food was unfortunately inconsistent - an amazing veal chop followed by inedible shrimp. The special South American buffet dinner included an Argentine BBQ lamb that so overcooked and a whole fish that say drying under a heat lamp. The last lunch was the 'Gala Buffet' that turned out to be everything left in the fridge and pantry. The breakfast buffet was consistently good but the al a carte breakfast was painfully slow - priority was given to cooking made to order eggs for the buffet diners. The specialty restaruants were good - Italian (well not quite authentic) had great flavours, well cooked and well served. La Dame (the Relais & Chateau) restaurant was flawless. At the end of the day, it is about value for money - this was a great cruise and I would not skimp on the expedition side of things, but check other vehicles/accommodations - they may be cheaper. Finally I must comment on the pre/post cruise transfer process. All I can say is it truly is a sh****ow! You stay a night at a hotel in Santiago for them to get you up at 2:30am to board buses to the airport to stand in line for over an hour to check in to a charter flight to wait in the boarding lounge for over 2 hours to get onto a 3 hour flight that provides you an inedible empanada imitation. This happens in reverse to get you back to Santiago - surely doing this every 10 days they could arrange hotel/ship based airline check in and luggage check - a dedicated security line and immigration line (remember it is only $$, and we certainly put out enough of it for the cruise). Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Can not fault the staff and service. Pampered and entertained throughout the trip. We took various combinations of Travacalm (scopolamine) / ondansetron tablets upon sailing from Ushuaia and noticed a number of people wearing ... Read More
Can not fault the staff and service. Pampered and entertained throughout the trip. We took various combinations of Travacalm (scopolamine) / ondansetron tablets upon sailing from Ushuaia and noticed a number of people wearing patches. Some took promethasine which we avoided because it s too sedating. The ship is big enough to cope with the swell so that the Drake passage is tolerable . No one looked unwell albeit a little sedated from the prophylactic meds and the restaurants and cocktail bars were well attended even during our crossings. Daily activities indoor and out . Informative entertaining lectures from enthusiastic research team members. At each destination , which on our expedition was twice daily, the Zodiacs were lowered extremely efficiently and guests were able to disembark within 10 mins of arrival. The days are busy and we found ourselves constantly entertained. The daily activities are planned and published in the ‘chronicle’ delivered to each cabin the night prior. The scheduled is adhered to fairly punctually. There is no time to get bored . The guests are assigned to one of six groups to be rotated to shore. On the first morning , we awaited eagerly for our turn. By the second day, we found ourselves rushing back to our cabins to get ready when our turn was called because we were busy watching others from our Verandah or the deck or enjoying a drink from the Panorama lounge or the pool deck etc. There is a lot wildlife and scenery to marvel at from the boat itself, worthy lectures to attend, cocktails, lovely meals etc so waiting for our turn to disembark was not boring!! An evening at the Grill poolside is a must. The lava stone dinner is a fantastic experience and should not be missed. The main restaurant service and the menus are terrific . From Foie gras and caviar , vegetarian delights, low Fat options, every taste is catered for. The pianist and guitarist Aidan on board were excellent . The parka provided is very warm. Now for little tips We hired boots , waterproof pants and stocks. They were in our cabin on arrival and easy to return upon conclusion of the cruise.There was an opportunity to conveniently exchange parka and equipment which didn’t fit as soon as we sailed. We were thoroughly satisfied with the hired gear . The majority of guest hired equipment too . It’s heavy and bulky to bring as luggage. Supplemental luggage in South America is US$100 a piece. LAN weighs all carry on which must be under 8kgs.The Bogs boot were warm,comfortable and the best option for walking on the snow and rocks . Stocks are a must for walking on snow covered hills . Two types of weatherproof pants are randomly given out for hire .Make sure yours has a zip at the bottom of the leg to allow room to fit over the boot. Mine had a Velcro which I found inconvenient and I wish I d exchanged for a zip . Velcro pants are harder to slide over the boot . We brought ski pants which was unnecessary. Thermal underwear and a supplemental layer of wool/fleece top and bottom is sufficient. Neck warmer/scarf, beany, sunglasses, long wooly socks . Washing machine/dryer freely available on deck 4 so we only needed x2 changes of clothes. The dress at dinner is smart casual. Most guest had travelled through summer temperature in Chile or Argentina en route to the cruise so no one had room to pack extravagant winter outfits . Casual elegance is de rigueur but in view of the harsh wind and temperatures, everyone spent most of the day in the SilverCloud Red Parka. The expedition crew numbers 28 scientist/historians/photographers who man the expedition Zodiacs . They are fun enthousiastic ,affable and entertaining. They narrate the expeditions ashore and mingle with the guests. An expedition crew may offer to join your dinner table. I highly recommend you accept the invitation to hear fascinating stories about their research,interests and experiences on the expeditions (we had an interesting Aussie chap. Stephen Kurtaim). The hotel ,bar and restaurant staff are the also joyful/helpful. We travelled as a family and had Verandah Suites on the 5th deck. I don’t think any suite has a bad view and no side of the ship is better than the other in that respect.Well appointed, comfortable and spacious with lovely Marble bathrooms. Room service is impeccable ( Thank you Maria and Lalit). My only negative comment is that the room carpet looked a bit old . We docked in Ushuaia at midday the day before disembark. Afternoon hikes/excursion were offered by the expedition team in and around town. We chose to independently walk to the historic museum/convict prison. (take Pesos or US$ or a debit card. No credit card accepted at government facilities) The boarding/ disembark process is extremely well orchestrated. Silverseas Staff are present to assist at all times including during bus transfers, flights ,hotel check ins from and to Santiago etc. It s extraordinary support ! The cruise ship and its staff are outstanding... then there s Antarctica itself. Words can’t describe it. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
As experienced cruisers we were looking for something a little different and more energetic so we tried Silver Cloud Expedition. What we got was the same old, same old only on a smaller ship. Embarkation was so-so as we were ... Read More
As experienced cruisers we were looking for something a little different and more energetic so we tried Silver Cloud Expedition. What we got was the same old, same old only on a smaller ship. Embarkation was so-so as we were uncomfortable leaving our bags in the middle of the platform unattended. After a beautiful transit through the Canal we anticipated a variety of interesting expeditions. The first day our rain forest tour at Parida Island was a 40 minute walk of which 20 minutes was spent waiting for members to catch up. The highlights were the two termite nests we saw. If we had seen any termites they would have been the only wildlife encountered. We did have to step over two muddy little streams. When we got back to the beach we found out that we had the best excursion as those who wanted to snorkel met their boat only to find out the boat had no snorkel gear. That expedition became a whale and dolphin watching ride without the whales and dolphins. Because of bad weather our next two stops were changed and we spent two days at Puntarenas. While they handled the change of schedule well there was no effort to replace the expeditions with something similar. For each of the two days we spent over four hours on buses. The first destination was a horse demonstration which was mediocre. The next was "a walk in the clouds" which was a rain forest at 5000 feet. Very interesting, lots of birds and flora. Because there was construction en route and our bus broke down on the way up we were late getting back to the ship and in danger of not making it on time. Swiss Travel, the tour operator called the police. They closed an oncoming lane for over a mile and allowed us to pass stalled traffic and make the ship on time. Everyone on the bus cheered madly. Sadly this was one of the highlights of the cruise. Very surprised that Silversea was unable (or unwilling) to come up with expedition type of options while at Puntarenas. After a nice day at sea our next stop at Isla de la Plata was a true expedition experience with zodiacs to shore and then an extensive walk on the island seeing thousands of birds including the lovable blue footed boobies. What was totally surprising was that both the Silversea expedition person and the local guide totally ignored the rules and regulations they had laid out which were similar to those in the Galapagos: don't leave the paths, no interacting with the fauna, keep a good distance between groups etc. One woman in our group approached boobies three different times with the birds responding aggressively twice and squirting excrement the third time with nothing said by the guide or expedition member. Our group of 8 spread out and ultimately we ended up with several other groups totaling about 40 people. Machala was our next destination with one of the tours through a petrified forest with over a 130 different types of birds per the brochure. Again two hours in a bus each way. In our two hour walk we saw one bird eating a snail and one squirrel so high in a tree that the only way to verify he was there was to greatly enhance the resolution of the picture I took. We fully understand that fauna come and go but to only see two living things? Seems like either Silversea didn't do their homework or the Machala tourism bureau wrote the trip description. Very unsatisfying waste of a day. Isla Lobos was another highlight of the trip as the expedition team spotted numerous whales and the Captain did a great job of positioning the ship and literally turning it in circles so that we could fully enjoy a spectacular display of humpbacks frolicking and two blue whales with their magnificent flukes. Salaverry Peru was our last stop with a short bus ride to the temples of the Moon and Sun. The latter wasn't open but the former was fascinating and an enjoyable half day but not what I'd consider an expedition experience. This turned out to be a classic cruise on a small ship. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. However, on Regent, Seabourn and Oceania their service has also been excellent so it was not a differentiator. The cabin was very cluttered and would have been far more usable if one of the chairs was removed. Everything was in very good shape and kept immaculate by our service team. The wifi was better than on any other cruise we've been on. As you can tell this cruise wasn't what we thought we were getting. The crew and senior officers were all outstanding. Silversea should not have marketed this as an expedition cruise even though Silver Cloud is an expedition ship. There was a Finnish travel agent on board with 14 of his clients who said this was the worst Silversea cruise (out of 10) that he had been on. Numerous other passengers who were more experienced than we concurred. Another passenger said Silversea is really good at the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions but hasn't figured the rest out. We'd consider sailing on Silversea again with the right itinerary but not on an expedition ship. It will be interesting to see how Silversea handles our complaint. The expedition team acknowledged the shortcomings as did the senior officers with both saying they reported this to Silversea corporate.. When we went on Seabourn sponsored tours that were awful they promptly refunded the costs. All-inclusive doesn't remove the obligation to provide the service advertised. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have cruised twice previously with Silversea on their expedition cruises (Galapagos and Bering Strait) and when a couple we met last year on the Bering Strait cruise asked us to join them on this one we did so without hesitation. ... Read More
We have cruised twice previously with Silversea on their expedition cruises (Galapagos and Bering Strait) and when a couple we met last year on the Bering Strait cruise asked us to join them on this one we did so without hesitation. What we were expecting and what we got were two entirely different things. First of all on the two previous Silversea expeditions you would pick your next day activities after a late afternoon / early evening briefing. You could always get the activity you wanted. On this trip we found out too late that we were supposed to go online and pick our activities far in advance. By the time we found this out all the interesting excursions were completely sold out and the ones that were left turned out to not that good. Like a walk around a small town with a guide who just started guiding that day. Or a bus ride around a small island with a guide who had nothing interesting to tell us. The ship is fine, reasonable food - not great but good, the staff is friendly and helpful. The entertainment could be better but was okay - we didn't come for the music. The pool area is really good for a ship this size and the jogging track makes it easy to burn off the extra calories. The butler and room attendant were friendly and efficient. We never had to ask for anything. The shore excursions (when we actually got to shore) were, in my opinion, sub par. The expedition staff was mostly invisible as we never did any real expeditions. I don't know what they were along for. The main problem, IMO, is that there are just too many people on this ship for it to function as an "expedition" ship. I would not do this cruise again. I would cruise on the Silver Cloud if it was just a traditional cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I booked this cruise believing it was going to be an active, challenging experience with the added bonus of visiting new areas that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Such as Sable Island. In anticipation we went out and ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise believing it was going to be an active, challenging experience with the added bonus of visiting new areas that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Such as Sable Island. In anticipation we went out and spent a great deal of money purchasing the recommended clothing, insulated boots, and other supplied suggested by Silversea. WHAT A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!! We feel like we were conned into a cruise run by people that were completely incompetent and inexperienced in this type of cruise. We have been on many Silversea ships and have generally been satisfied but this was outrageous. First, many significant experiences were cancelled because of "rough seas" making it impossible for the zodiacs to land. Not true. We were denied the opportunity of landing on Sable Island in perfectly acceptable seas because of the evident inexperience of the expedition staff. There were a significant number of older passengers and many had disabilities. Instead of doing what other expeditions cruise lines do, which is only allow people capable of landing in somewhat rough seas to get off the zodiac, this expedition staff decided that no-one would land. The zodiacs were turned into the equivalent of tenders and only in relatively calm waters. Other landings that could have been easily accommodated were cancelled completely for the same reason. The kayak staff were even worse than the expedition staff. At evening lectures we were warned not to kayak unless we were prepared to be clad in full body suits and were capable of both being uncomfortable for several hours and also capable of not having to use a washroom for several hours. It seemed they were doing everything possible to discourage the passengers from participating in that activity. My wife and I have kayaked in oceans before and have never been fed such negative propaganda. I suppose the kayak staff preferred not to work The demographic of Silversea ships is older. Unless they can find staff who both know what they are doing and know how to organize and run these activities for a more senior group, they should stay out of the expedition business. The ship was fine. The cabin was fine. The food was all right. The main purpose of the trip was next to non-existent. It was a complete waste of time and money. I will never sail on a Silverseas expedition cruise again. It it not worth a repeat performance. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Over many months prior to the cruise, my TA asked the same question of Silverseas central offices: “What are the charter flight departure and arrival times in and out of KEF?” Each time he asked, there was a different story. They ... Read More
Over many months prior to the cruise, my TA asked the same question of Silverseas central offices: “What are the charter flight departure and arrival times in and out of KEF?” Each time he asked, there was a different story. They varied from 7 am to 10 am to 1 pm to 2 pm departure on the first day. The arrival time in KEF on the return was given as noon, 2 pm and 6 pm. How does a person plan their international flights with such bogus information? The charter flights to and from Kangerlussuaq from KEF were a joke. They should have been scheduled 5-6 hours earlier from KEF on both days. There was nothing to be gained by arriving in Greenland so late in the day on the first day. On the debarkation day after 16 days seeing spectacular things, all 200 passengers were loaded on buses for a tundra tour and a lunch at a lake. When people are leaving on the last day of the cruise just wanting to either get home or on to their next adventure of their vacation, being dragged around on a hokey tour left the guests with a very bad last impression of SIlverseas. Having 200+ passengers sitting in a miserable Kangerlussuaq airport for hours waiting on a “charter” flight is just plain stupid. From our experiences with NatGeo/Lindblad and Ponant, this Expedition crew is the amateur hour of that class of ship. For the first two ship days, virtually no information about procedures in the mud/changing room are explained. Also, the proper procedures for entering and exiting a Zodiac for a wet landing are never explained. There were a number of guests who required assistance from the ship doctor for serious injuries during the cruise. An example of the hapless Expedition crew came at the second port, when one of the staff fell overboard on a Zodiac. It provided an unplanned demonstration of the inflatable life preserver, but it reflected the inexperience of members of the staff. During the first few days of the cruise, the Expedition staff were very difficult to identify. Everyone looks alike, even some of the guests, what with everyone wearing parkas and wet gear. Some of your younger Expedition crew were standoffish while others interfaced with the guests in an inappropriate manner or flippantly. As expected, the reception desk, hotel and food/beverage staff were nothing short of world class. They created a “Four Seasons Hotel” experience on the ocean. The cuisine and beverage quality was world class. The many, daily educational briefings were fabulous, even if some of the presenters were a little hard to understand. The ship interior was great. The exterior could use some more frequent preventative maintenance, re: paint. The smallest cabin was very roomy and the shipboard entertainment and ship information system on the TV monitor was world class. In summary, we cannot recommend Silverseas for the new expedition efforts on the Silver Cloud. The company is trying to capitalize on the superb quality reputation of Silverseas earned for many years by the ship staff. That reputation is badly tarnished by the Expedition staff management and the poor pre- & post- cruise ground planning and execution. We can recommend and continue to recommend the non-expedition ships to our well financed, retired friends. The reputation of those ships are well-sustained, despite the hapless Expedition and shoreside transportation operations. All these comments were shared with Silverseas using their comment system. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had a bucket list wish to travel to Greenland. We had been to Iceland previously and wanted to experience more of these two beautiful and remote islands. The Silver Cloud is a comfortable and sleek ship with all of the amenities of ... Read More
We had a bucket list wish to travel to Greenland. We had been to Iceland previously and wanted to experience more of these two beautiful and remote islands. The Silver Cloud is a comfortable and sleek ship with all of the amenities of the larger ships (no casino and no shows though). Awesome specialty restaurants to choose from, especially our favorite, the Grille (hot rock cooking at its' best). The crew service was outstanding in every way. Our butler and attendant were especially attentive and provided the best service we have ever received on board any ship. We enjoyed our first use of the spa services and were pleasantly surprised by how nice the service was! We also wanted to suggest that the disembarkation tour of 5 hours, was not the best use of time for us. It was too long and too confined in the rustic artic buses with all of our carry on luggage. Also, restroom facilities were very limited, which made us uncomfortable. We were really spoiled being on the ship and had a rude awakening when we disemabarked. Definitely enjoyed all aspects of the cruise until the very end and when we did our post trip hotel. We had lunch on the 5 hour tour and then our flight was delayed so much that we missed dinner completely and about 50 of us arrived at the hotel both hungry and exhausted, only to find no food available. To top it off, someone neglected to arrange for our transportation to the airport (which was included). We had to find a way on our own and it made our last day of the trip terribly stressful. Even with the end of the trip not going so well, would we do it again? Absolutely! Loved the SilverSea Silver Cloud and it's crew a lot!! Thank you for asking our opinion. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We were intrigued by the idea of a 'luxury' expedition on a 'small' ship. Unfortunately, the ship chose(despite the brochure's promise to have a maximum of 200 passengers) to embark fully booked, creating lines ... Read More
We were intrigued by the idea of a 'luxury' expedition on a 'small' ship. Unfortunately, the ship chose(despite the brochure's promise to have a maximum of 200 passengers) to embark fully booked, creating lines for everything--from dinner in the main restaurant, La Terrazza breakfasts and lunches, and boarding the zodiaks. The service was perfunctory, with some exceptions--our assistant butler was wonderful, as were many individual members of the staff. And there were some unique experiences, from the 'polar plunge' to kayaking in dry suits. The captain was welcoming and generally terrific. But the overall experience--from spending hours trying to figure out what appropriate clothing to bring(no, Silversea--not 4 pairs of gloves PLUS glove liners for a 10 day cruise; not hugely difficult-to-pack calf-length waterproof boots for what turned out to be ONE!! wet zodiac landing) to the final day--again, no details til night before,but basically a lovely almost 5 hour excursion offset by standing in way too many lines--did not in any way measure up either to my expectations or Silversea's promises. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Fabulous ship. The ship was appointed well, luxurious, clean, well serviced. The crew and management were perfect. The cuisine was remarkable. The Captain was out of the movies elegant and efficient. The expedition staff was uncaring, ... Read More
Fabulous ship. The ship was appointed well, luxurious, clean, well serviced. The crew and management were perfect. The cuisine was remarkable. The Captain was out of the movies elegant and efficient. The expedition staff was uncaring, sloppy, not friendly, poor in execution of excursions. As soon as the ship handed us off to the expedition staff, it became like we at a campground. The expedition staff is indifferent without service attitude. We had no idea which landings were wet and which were dry. As we got to the port, it was clear and the ship could have told us before we boarded. Guess they enjoy their free ride and leave the clients to their own. The last day of the cruise, we left the boat on Zodiacs and were put on a bus enclosed for one hour waiting without direction. No staff accompanied us. We had no direction. Senior citizens were left to figure out where to go on the plains of windy Greenlandon excursions. It’s a miracle no one was seriously injured although a few people fell a bit. As we left the ship, the expedition guide said, “Honestly, I have not heard back from the guide company, so I hope they come.” At lunch, a buffet was set up insufficient creating a large cafeteria line. The bathroom wait was 45 minutes. The excursions on Zodiacs to see the icebergs were brilliant and beautiful. Really unmatchable. The cruise was generally fantastic. It was hard to leave the ship. Only the expedition segment was painful and disappointing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Since my wife and I live 6 months a year on our trawler I am not a huge fan of cruise ships. Did one Royal Carib with family years ago (eh) and one 16 passenger to Galapagos which was superb. Chose Silver Cloud based on Silversea ... Read More
Since my wife and I live 6 months a year on our trawler I am not a huge fan of cruise ships. Did one Royal Carib with family years ago (eh) and one 16 passenger to Galapagos which was superb. Chose Silver Cloud based on Silversea reputation. The good: Cabin was a veranda on deck 7 and nicely appointed. The butler and cabin attendant were superb. There when you needed and nicely anticipated our needs. The food was very, very good. All the restaurants came thru although we did not eat on the grill deck due to cold temps. Overall the ship fit our needs and was in good shape except: The bad: Hot tub were both out of service for the trip. No excuse get them fixed. The really bad. Excursions were way to short and lacking ANY expedition type experience. Frankly they were quite lame. Not the guides, they were very good, but the actual excursions. Essentially in our mind the boat was too big, 240 people, although we had been told only 200 would be on the Arctic cruise. Not enough time to handle the people on and off the boat, not enough kayaks and just not enough excursions. A real disappointment. Will look into other lines for future expedition cruises. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We’ve sailed several times on SilverSea and have had mixed experiences. Our favorite expedition was Antarctica; our favorite ocean cruise was The Baltic’s where we spent 3 days in St. Petersburg. We selected the SS Arctic ... Read More
We’ve sailed several times on SilverSea and have had mixed experiences. Our favorite expedition was Antarctica; our favorite ocean cruise was The Baltic’s where we spent 3 days in St. Petersburg. We selected the SS Arctic expedition because we wanted to see Arctic wildlife and especially polar bears. We certainly knew there was no guarantee of seeing polar bears, whales, seals, foxes, etc., but we thought there would be a huge effort from the expedition leader and captain to meet our goals since that was our experience with previous expedition ships. They are known for not having a set schedule and route but rather a day by day or moment by moment agenda depending on where they have to go to meet expectations. We found this expedition full of an inexperienced expedition leader and expedition team. It was the first time in this area for all of them. There was very little effort in reaching their passengers goals and we followed a very preplanned route. We knew days in advance of exactly where we were going and there was no variance in that plan. The only expedition experience on this cruise was that you were in zodiacs vs. tenders. We saw very, very few animals and there was no effort in finding them. While they can say we saw a polar bear, it was our very first day and they said there was one on shore. Everyone rushed to see it but even with decent binoculars, most people couldn’t identify it. We were told that what looked like a rock was actually a polar bear laying down with his back towards us. Maybe it was?? I thought at that time the ship would check that off as a sighting and make no effort in finding another. Unfortunately, that proved true. We saw a couple of seals and 1 haul of walrus. We saw reindeer at a reindeer farm...could have done that in a zoo. We did see tons of birds, tons. The other very disturbing situation was that there was a 3 year old child on board. The SS website clearly states that children under 5 will absolutely not be allowed on the zodiacs. This child was on most of the zodiac outings. When we questioned the staff, they responded that they weren’t aware of their policy. Totally unacceptable ...this child endangered himself and everyone in each zodiac. While I voiced my concern, no one at SS responded. Overall, very disappointing in the lack of effort and excitement but I do think some of that is attributed to the inexperienceof the entire team. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see polar bears and we did (along with whales, walrus, seals, arctic fox, reindeer and puffins)! The wildlife and scenery surpassed expectations. Although our departure post of Kristiansund was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see polar bears and we did (along with whales, walrus, seals, arctic fox, reindeer and puffins)! The wildlife and scenery surpassed expectations. Although our departure post of Kristiansund was not easy to get to, it was a lovely Norwegian town. Embarkation was easy considering the entire passenger complement was only 200. The crew number was almost the same and each and every crew member was wonderful. There was a team of 28 young, enthusiastic scientists (botanists, zoologists, etc) aboard who manned the zodiacs, gave lectures and joined us for dinner. Although there was no "traditional" entertainment on board, the talks were just what we wanted. The casino was replaced by a stellar photography studio with a world renowned photographer. He helped us enhance our photos with instruction on camera handling and computer aided post production. SO valuable for all of us on the expedition cruise. Why else would we be on an expedition cruise except to photograph everything we encountered?! Each cabin had a butler who eagerly provided every service you could imagine. We have been on other Silversea voyages and the cabin on this small expedition ship was exactly the same as the cabin on their classic cruise ships. The room was very comfortable and well appointed with Bulgari bath products, thick bathrobes and a fully stocked mini fridge. The same high quality standards were met by the dining room(s) staff; I have some complicated dietary issues and all my needs were easily and thoroughly accommodated. The dining room options that were available were the same as on the classic cruise with identical quality in both service and offerings.The food in the breakfast and lunch buffets was just as good as in their intimate french restaurant. Of course, the highlight of the cruise was the zodiac trips to the glaciers and landing sites of Svalbard. This is what we all came for, and Silversea did not disappoint. Svalbard has encouraged responsible tourism. All ships are required to run on a strict schedule with respect to how many people are allowed ashore, how long you can stay in any area and how close you can get to the wildlife. Thus, we feel we had the perfect Arctic experience for us: luxury and adventure all in one fabulous trip. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We flew from Cleveland to Oslo, Norway where we met up with most of the other passengers. Hotel was booked downtown to let us enjoy a bit of Oslo before catching an early charter flight the next morning to Longyearbyen where we would meet ... Read More
We flew from Cleveland to Oslo, Norway where we met up with most of the other passengers. Hotel was booked downtown to let us enjoy a bit of Oslo before catching an early charter flight the next morning to Longyearbyen where we would meet the Silver Cloud. We love Level 6 on the Cloud because it is close to the Expedition Desk, the reception desk and on the same level as the auditorium where presentations and briefings are held. The Cloud originally held about 300 passengers but now takes about 200 as it was retrofitted for Expeditions which require zodiacs and kayaks.Our cabin was roomy and had a large screen TV. Unfortunately, the satellite signal in the arctic wasn't strong so often you couldn't get live TV. You could still watch movies. Everything is included on Silversea. We ate in four different restaurants and also had room service. Alcohol is free whether it be hard liquor, wine or beer.Top shelf brands. The expeditions were well planned and offered a variety of options. Most involved zodiacs with both wet and dry landings. Silversea provided personal parka, backpacks and water bottles which you take home with you at the end of the cruise. Butler and maid service are outstanding. They are always there but not under your feet.Food is high quality with choices at every meal. You can always ask for something special and if they can make it you will get it.Our Expedition Team was outstanding. Very knowledgeable, informative and approachable. You are urged to invite them to dinner. Captain Taillard was refreshing. He is outgoing and personable. He worked hard to find ice and bear for us. We ended up having g dinner with him the night that the Silver Cloud went the farthest North that any Silversea ship has gone. We have already booked our next Silversea Cruise. In all we have sailed on four of their ships. All have had high quality of service and staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our Silversea's Arctic cruise on the Silver Cloud Expedition was very good. The ship is lovely and very comfortable; expedition crew is excellent; accommodations and food very good. The service on board is attentive and excellent and ... Read More
Our Silversea's Arctic cruise on the Silver Cloud Expedition was very good. The ship is lovely and very comfortable; expedition crew is excellent; accommodations and food very good. The service on board is attentive and excellent and there are three restaurant options. Daily enrichment lectures were offered, and they were excellent and very informative. Silversea's falls down with their land arrangements. At the beginning of the tour, we were put up in a hotel in the center of Oslo. Since we had a very early flight the following morning to reach Longyearbyn, it would have made more sense to accommodate us at one of the airport hotels. Instead, we had to awake at 2:00am for a 3:00am transfer to the airport. The worst part of the trip was at the end; we docked in Kristiansund; most travel agents booked clients from Kristiansand to Oslo - a much larger and, to their understanding, a more logical city. Silversea had a record of everyone's air arrangements, but never notified anyone of the Kristiansand-Kristiansund problem until the end of the journey. We all had to scramble to make alternative arrangements; my husband and I ended up spending a night in Kristiansund, since we could not get a flight out until the next day. Unnecessary expense on new air tickets, hotel. Silversea's was of no help to us;; I cannot give them a high recommendation for their ineptitude with land arrangements. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Excellent itinerary that included many remote islands; some, like St. Kilda, Lunga and Fair Isle are rarely visited by cruise ships. The food and service staff were both very good in The Restaurant and La Terrazza. We enjoyed one ... Read More
Excellent itinerary that included many remote islands; some, like St. Kilda, Lunga and Fair Isle are rarely visited by cruise ships. The food and service staff were both very good in The Restaurant and La Terrazza. We enjoyed one dinner in La Dame; food was excellent, the service was good and the more intimate ambience was appreciated. However, the surcharge of US$60 per person seems excessive, in my opinion. Silver Cloud's size is ideal for an expedition type cruise. Silversea did an excellent job with the recent renovation of the ship. The ship's interior decor is very tasteful, complimented by a superb collection of black and white photographs taken on early expeditions to the Antarctic, such as the one led by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1914. The tasteful interior decor extends into the cabins, where warm wood trim compliments the neutral wall colours and the photographic prints from the Antarctic. Our Deluxe Veranda cabin was well fitted out. Our bed was extremely comfortable as were the pillows. Compared to other ships that we have cruised on, our Cabin #526 was the quietest one that we have ever slept in at sea. Our 'Butler' Chokhoni was first class and she was ready to attend to all of our requests, always with a pleasant smile ! Without asking on our part, she even gave our shoes a polish ! This attention to detail was much appreciated ! The Expedition team, superbly led by Tim Amm, was well prepared and their lectures were informative and entertaining. Overall, I would say that the on board lectures were of better quality than any that I have heard aboard other ships, including the much touted ones by Adventure Canada. Getting in and out of the zodiacs was made easy and safe by a very dedicated crew who were always ready to assist passengers. These able crew members ensured that no one was injured, even during some challenging sea conditions. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending Silver Cloud Expedition, but with one caveat. Her tenders are in my opinion unseaworthy and and unfit for duty on the high seas. How Silversea can have these so-called ancient "lifeboats" aboard the Silver Cloud is beyond me. Why were they not replaced during Silver Cloud's recent US$45 million refit ? I have cruised on various expeditions to the high Arctic, Galapagos and Cape Horn, plus cruises on Oceania, Regent and Seabourn. I have never experienced such inadequate tenders on any ship ! If the Captain of the Silver Cloud ever had to order "abandon ship", it would become a calamity, unless the seas were flat calm. Silver Cloud's tenders each have a bow door that leaks water, plus two entry portals on each side, covered by tacky canvas covers. These entry portals, being very close to the waterline, would be breached by the first wave of water hitting the side of the tender. Sea water would eventually swamp the interior of the tender. Imagining 150 people stuffed into each of Silver Cloud's two tenders is unthinkable, especially in locations such as the Antarctic, crossing Drake Passage or mid-Atlantic ! In general, cruise lines tend to provide tenders with minimal seaworthiness. The ones on Silver Cloud are the worst of an already low standard set for life boats. Now that Royal Caribbean has bought out Silversea, perhaps they will pay close attention and replace the inadequate tenders aboard Silver Cloud ? Despite the issue with the tenders, we would have no hesitation in doing another cruise aboard Silver Cloud - she is such a comfortable ship with a very fine crew ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We reserved this cruise over a year in advance based on the itinerary; we had not visited any of the ports listed. There was a new stop every day between Lisbon and London, including two days in Bordeaux and London and a visit to Omaha ... Read More
We reserved this cruise over a year in advance based on the itinerary; we had not visited any of the ports listed. There was a new stop every day between Lisbon and London, including two days in Bordeaux and London and a visit to Omaha Beach. As an expedition cruise, all of the tours, and there were many to choose from, were included. This, and the fact that it was all-inclusive, was enough to sign me up. After that, however, it only got better and better and exceeded our expectations. A person was waiting at the airport for our private car transfer to the hotel (Lisbon Sofitel), which we booked (through Silversea) for a one-day pre-stay. At the hotel, a dedicated hospitality desk was available from 9 to 6 to handle all our questions, advise walking tours, restaurants and sites. On sail day, a luxury bus took us the 20 minute ride to pier and check in at Lisbon was quick. Although it was a our first time in Lisbon, we were never left to feel lost or easy tourist marks. (This was true of the all of the ports we visited). The ship was recently refitted and has furniture and appointments generally similar to the new Silver Muse. Style is subdued and elegant and lacks the Las-Vegas-Disney style glitz so distracting on the 3,000 passenger ships we have previously sailed. Although I knew this was an "expedition" cruise, I did not know until later that it was a "culinary" expedition cruise, with lectures on food, wine and cooking demonstrations. that does not say it all, however, as they also offered highly entertaining talks on military history, medieval cultural history, plants and animals. The tours offered reflected these particular interests. All of the tour guides were local and highly well informed. The passengers ran from about 50 to 80 years of age. I was particularly impressed by the care and attention given by all of the expedition staff on the tours. A crew member was always available to make sure no one got lost and everyone got back to the ship on time. Many ports had courtesy desks set up so that you could strike out on your own. Although Silversea does attract an older crowd (there were no children aboard), many of the tours required an admirable level of fitness, including several walks of several miles over various terrain and bike rides of several miles, and the passengers were more than up to this. They go in all weathers! By evening, passengers were happy to spend a few hours enjoying the evening meal, or a cocktail in the two lounges with pianists/vocalists. We did not miss the absence of broadway song and dance shows, which we usually skip anyway. The level of service was outstanding; you only had to catch the eye of the steward for the merest moment for them to be rushing to your side. Yet, it was not intrusive. Each cabin has a butler as well as a steward for cleaning. In our case, the butler handled in-room dining and assisted with clothing care and was generally always available nearby. About 30% of the passengers were US, the rest were Brits, Aussies and a smattering of others. All communications are in English. A red and white wine is selected every evening for dinner; they are of medium quality but usually locally significant. The cocktails are uniformly imaginative and superb. Although I have no interest in an Antarctic cruise (which is more than 50% of their expedition business), I would definitely sail with Silversea again on another type of expedition cruise. The one thing I would change next time is to make my own flight arrangements. Silversea offered a good price for the flights to and from Europe, but there was an upcharge if you did not want to fly back immediately after the cruise (ie, if you want to stay a day or more in the place of debarkation). It has nothing to do with the day of week on which you were leaving; it was just the mere change of departure date. Further, although you pay for the flights at the same time as the rest of cruise (which could be more than a year in advance), they do not actually "buy" the flight and assign the seats until shortly before you leave. Therefore, whereas you should get a choice of seats months in advance, you get whatever is left only 4 to 6 weeks before you fly. In our case, this meant that we were relegated to the last boarding group and were told we could not bring hand luggage onto the plane because there was no more room. This caused quite a bit of consternation at the outset of the trip. The last thing you want is to be kneeling on the floor at the departure gate trying to move valuables and medication from one bag to another two minutes before boarding.. I suggest that you price the flights before you make your cruise commitment.and see if you want to do your own flights and transfers. One last tip: Silversea has a "My Silversea" link on their website which allows you to review and reserve all tours, specialty dinners and spa services in advance. I did all my reservations on line and was not disappointed once. Many of the tours booked up on the ship and there was only a waitlist. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the unusual West African ports of destination. Also, Silverseas is supposed to be a "luxury cruise." What a disappointment! From our hotel in Ghana- where they were supposed to meet the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unusual West African ports of destination. Also, Silverseas is supposed to be a "luxury cruise." What a disappointment! From our hotel in Ghana- where they were supposed to meet the passengers, throughout the cruise- one issue after another. In Ghana we were promised staff to help with getting on buses and to the port. The paperwork in our rooms wasn't correct- it even said "sample letter" on it..... total disorganization getting on the buses- we were left to our own devices. Our luggage was supposed to be picked up from our room. It never was. We heard later that passengers who trusted that to happen NEVER did see their luggage again.... on and on. The ship had problems throughout with both plumbing and AC issues. Our room was hotter than hell, literally. We moved rooms 3 times on the ship. I kept begging for them to just pick me up a fan when we were in port. Even asked the bus driver if he would just stop briefly for me to get a fan when we saw some.... nothing.... For 6 nights I suffered unable to sleep...... Doesn't seem particularly "luxury" to me. Hallways smelling like sewage, rooms without AC. We asked before booking if pirates were an issue in the areas we would be traveling. We were assured that there was no chance of pirates on the West Coast of Africa. Then, after we boarded and were out to sea, we had a letter put on our bed stating that we were in a high pirate caution area, and that we couldn't open our balcony door or curtains, and that the deck restaurant would be closed for the next 4 evenings. All of the other restaurant curtains were tightly closed, and windows and sliders to the deck were taped up with paper covering them. I felt like I was in England during the second world war bombings! They even told us that if pirates were to board the ship to come to the main lobby and lay in the middle covering our heads! For the love of Pete! This WASN'T what we signed up for! Many of the tours were disorganized. Rude tour leaders. It goes on and on and on..... We expected the excursions to have more explanation regarding the area we were going to see, some info on the demographics regarding the people, income, history, etc. We were, once again, disappointed. Days at sea were a total bore. There could have been many more activities offered than were. My husband found a shard of glass in his food one day at lunch. The food, at best, was adequate. No better than an NCL large ship would be, just FAR more expensive. They comped us a few free dinners at their upscale restaurant. I don't think this even begins to compensate for the total lack of "luxury" compared to the price of this cruise. I wrote a letter to Silverseas over 3 weeks ago. I never got any sort of response. Not even an auto-prompt type that said "thanks for your letter." I emailed again a week ago, asking if they received my original letter. Still nothing.... REALLY? I will say, their staff was amazing. They greeted you by name from the first day. They were wonderful. I'm generally very disappointed in Silverseas, and even MORE disappointed in their lack of follow up when there was a problem. I gave them time to address the issues, and make things right, but obviously, customer satisfaction is not important to them. Read Less
Silver Cloud Expedition Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.5
Entertainment 2.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 5.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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