This was our second cruise on Silver Cloud. Boarding in New York was delayed due to the ship encountering bad weather but we were well looked after by the ground crew with drinks, nibbles and $US100 to make us feel better. The ship's crew did a magnificent job of turning the ship around in a very short time and we were boarded very quickly and efficiently. Was actually a bonus as we sailed out of New York after dark and was quite splendid to see the city lit up.
We had a mid Veranda cabin on deck 7, which as ever was spotlessly clean and tidy. Only complaint was that the 'double' bed did not have a double top over the two single beds and there was a ridge down the middle.
The ship was in excellent condition with the staff constantly cleaning and painting.
The food was as good as you could ever want and Saletta restaurant an absolute delight with the fantastic staff making it an experience to remember with the wine and food matching. The Italian restaurant was again staffed by exceptional personnel but perhaps a little more change in the menu would have been nice although the food could not be faulted and we dined there often. The main dining room was always excellent and the Maitre D was only too happy to organise any dish you had a craving for. The special Indian menus we were lucky to experience a few times, were probably the best Indian food I have ever eaten and I don't particularly like it, but it was great and the Chef, who was actually the pastry chef I understand, deserves to be cooking Indian food all the time. David the executive chef for part of our cruise really did add to our food knowledge with his sessions and ran his kitchen like a true master. He also had a great singing voice which was enjoyed by all who were lucky enough to hear him.
The staff in all the restaurants were beautifully trained, attentive and very personable. Sonya the Wine specialist kept us entertained and educated with her wine tastings, we did not miss any of them, she was excellent and always recommended an extra good wine whenever we were having a special dinner. She never gave us a wine we didn't really enjoy. Sadly the quality of the wines served at meals has diminished a little, but then times are tough.
Judy as ever was an excellent Cruise Director but sadly she left us after the Amazon where she did a wonderful job of commenting through the narrows, we did miss her and wondered how anyone could replace her. Glenn Younger came on board and did things quite differently and bought a new perspective to the cruise. She has such a bright bubbly personality, we all loved her too. She started a few different forms of entertainment and even gave us acting lessons which was so much fun but was sad most of our fellow passengers did not realise just how funny it was once you stopped feeling like an absolute idiot and got into her little skits, do hope she keeps this going when she is on the ships.
The butler service was still getting ironed out and once the passengers can communicate directly with their butler life will go much more smoothly. Carlos the Hotel Manager did an excellent job, always there to smooth any little difficulties over and did so much to make us all comfortable and very happy. Our esteemed Captain gave us a wonderful gift of a sightsee along the beaches of Rio, a memory to treasure and he was a superb host to us all.
The enrichment lectures were great, Chris the Marine Biologist gave wonderful talks on the marine life of the area and did hold us all spellbound. Wish he was with us to see the pink dolphins up the Amazon.
John Harrison the Amazonian explorer had us enchanted with stories of his adventures together with his delightful wife Heather. We did not miss any of his talks and still giggle about his experiences he shared with us. Being on a small ship makes it easy to talk to these lecturers and we gained so much from a casual chat at the bar or over a meal with them. Do hope we are lucky enough to cruise with them again.
Pete Neighbours the clarinetist was the very best of the entertainment a great performer and also a delightful fellow traveller. We asked him for some CD's and we do enjoy listening to his mellow music.
We did three cruises back to back from New York to Bermuda, down through the Caribbean, up the Amazon and down to Rio. What a trip. Hot, yes, fascinating, yes, fun, too much of it but the staff more than anything else really made this a trip to remember, particularly the night they decorated our suite -these two oldies were on their honeymoon.
We really are professional tourists and have cruised on many ships but we always come back to Silverseas as they are simply the very best.