Our cruise on the Silver Cloud from Reykjavik to Montreal and the on to New York:
Journey to Iceland: As we always try to arrive a day before we join the ship we flew from Germany to Iceland on Saturday. The flight was uneventful but I would not mention Icelandair as one of the better Airlines. Service was not too good; the plane seemed to be in desperate need of rehab.
The hotel had arranged a pick u p for us since we always arrange for our own travel arrangements. The driver brought us straight to our hotel which was the Radisson SAS 1919, which is also used by Silversea for the Pre-Cruise Nights. The room (a deluxe room) was ok, nothing special but nice. We had dinner in the restaurant that night and I have to say service was terrible. Not only was my mom covered with salad dressing when the girl cleared the table, also we had to wait forever for food and drinks.
Already on the first evening we got the news the ship would be arriving late the next day due to rough weather for several days. The next morning the message was…the ship will arrive around 6 pm. Silversea had arranged that all guests would be transferred from the Radisson Hotel to the Grand Hotel since that one is larger and there would be more space to spend the day. We decided to keep the room for the day (we had to pay another night) and wait there. A lot more relaxing. At the end the ship arrived at 5 p.m. and we drove to the harbour at 7 p.m. All the other passengers joining the ship that day had Dinner at the Grand Hotel and joined the ship at 8. Departure was delayed from 6 p.m. that day to 12:30 p.m. next day. In my opinion Silversea did handle the very complicated situation well and did the best they could do.
Embarkation: Not much to say here since we were the only ones arriving at that time. The other 94 passengers arrived one hour later and altogether there have been 120 people in-transit.
The Ship: I know many people have been disappointed that the Silver Cloud did not undergo the same extensive renovations as the Silver Wind. Speaking for myself and also for my mother - we are more then happy about it. We've seen several pictures from the Silver Wind and we don't like the changes there at all. So we were happy with what they did on the Cloud. We love the new flat screen TV's they have in the suite now (we always have a Veranda Suite). Furniture, carpets, curtains etc. looked all very good to us. Also the public rooms have been in a very good condition. Of course you will always find a few marks and scratches somewhere but there was nothing disturbing us.
The pool has been renovated too and looks really good with the new tiles. Unfortunately the weather on this cruise did not really invite us to go swimming.
The Food: For sure something you can always discuss about. With food you can never please everybody. We liked most of the food. On the last day we heard many people thanking the chef for the great food. But of course we also heard people saying we did not like this or we did not like that. And always the answer was "what would you like, could we do something else for you".
The Crew: The crew has been as always lovely and wonderful. The only thing we did not like is this butler service. We don't need it and we don't want it. I have no idea what they are doing all day because since they are there all the stewardesses have been demoted to Assistant Stewardesses and they all have to clean about 14-16 suites by themselves. And that is a lot especially because he butlers only refill the minibar, change the fruits etc. For us it would be perfect if they would go back to the old system. The guys in the bar and the restaurant have been hardworking but always friendly and everybody remembered our names and what we preferred to drink. The Captain was doing an amazing job since we had lots of problems with the weather. We had to cancel one port cause of rough sea and arrived 7 hours late in New York cause of bad weather.
Our first port was Narsarsuaq in Greenland. A small village (140 people living there) with an airport and a café. The reason for docking there has been for sure the tours to the glaciers. Since we've seen glaciers in Chile before we didn't go this time, also the tours have been fully booked. I spoke to some people afterwards and they all loved it.
After another day at sea we were supposed to anchor off L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Unfortunately rough sea did not allow that so we had to cancel this port. Lot of people have been really disappointed but there was nothing the Captain could do. Tendering would have been just too dangerous. So went on to St. John's, Newfoundland. Nice city but the weather was not nice again. So we only took a little walk and did some shopping.
Next port of call - St. Pierre, one of the islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon. We docked there on a Sunday, most of the shops were closed and the town itself was very quiet. Not really a lot to see in my opinion. From St. Pierre we sailed to Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Due to the bad weather there was again not much to do. Normally the countryside is very nice but with all that fog and rain you could not see a thing.
From Newfoundland we sailed into the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay River. Weather was again dreadful but we had the chance to see Beluga Wales, Blue Wales and Dolphins. And I have to say seeing Belugas that close to the ship has been worth the whole cruise. Reaching Quebec we finally saw the sun. Wonderful for such a beautiful city. I could spent hours just strolling through this lovely town. We walked around the Lower and Upper Ville, and discovered a few more things.
Next stop was Montreal for two days. First day the rain made Embarkation and Disembarkation not really easy for the crew but I am sure they did their best. We decided to stay on board the first day and luckily the next day the sun was out and we took the bus in town. Discovering all of Montreal …well almost all. Not really possible to see everything in one day.
Back in Quebec we decided to walk around again. Unfortunately the little place was so crowded. 4 cruise ships in town are way too much.
Gaspe, Quebec is another really small place. Many people took a scenic tour to Percé and seemed to really like it. Due to an accident of my mother, all we got to see was the hospital of Gaspé.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, we've been here a few years ago and it is really a lovely place but not when it is raining and windy. So again, only a little stroll through town and some shopping. If someone is interested in Anne of Green Gables, that is the place to go.
Sydney, Nova Scotia and Halifax, Nova Scotia, due to the bad weather, yes we still had storm, rain and freezing cold temperatures we could not see or do much there. I mean there is no reason to drive for example to Peggy's Cove if you won't be able to see the famous lighthouse or so.
Boston, yes the rain was following us. Most people had to pack anyway and it was a Sunday. Some went out shopping or for lunch but many people stayed on board.
New York we were supposed to go through the Cape Cod Canal at 6:30 pm Sunday evening. Due to rough sea and strong winds we have been delayed and went through at 2:30 at night. This caused a 7 hour delayed arrival in New York. Problems for many people that had to change their flight but providing a stunning sail in to New York for all of us. Finally the weather was great. Cold but sunny and blue skies.
The cruise was great despite the weather. Food was wonderful; the crew friendly and extremely helpful not only after my mother had the accident and was confined to a wheel chair for the rest of the cruise. The ship looks great to us. And we are looking forward to our next cruise on any of the Silversea ships.