Itinerary Had only 7 sea days out of 37 day cruise.Ports included St Helier,Jersey,Rouen,Honfleur,France.Oostende,Antwerp,Belgium.Copenhagen,Skagen,Denmark.Alesund,Geiranger,Hellesyit,Lofoten Is,Tromso,Honningsvag(North Cape),Hammerfest,Kristiansund and Oslo, Norway.Szczecin, Poland.Warnemunde,Germany.Amsterdam,Netherlands London,Tower Bridge.Murmansk and Archangelsk,Russia. in addition to a pleasant transit of the Kiel Canal Germany.
The weather was perfect for a cruise which spent 10 days in the Arctic Circle.The Captain,Mino Pontillo told all passengers at the Welcome Cocktail Parties to pray one minute every night for good weather.It worked and the ship was christened the Lucky Ship.We encountered showers on only 3 days and they came on departure and return to England and in Rouen,France.Not bad for 37 days in the Baltic and Arctic.
Boarding and Disembarkation were excellent as it was a no fly cruise with taxi arranged to and from home accordingly.Even the notorious Tower Bridge ferry was perfect for us!
The Silver Cloud had 220 passengers on cruise 1120 and full on 1121 and 1122 although we suspected cruise 1122 had been sold off at knock down prices to fill it,There were a handful of well behaved children on each cruise.There was evidence of the abuse of smoking regulations on balconies of suites and other areas of the ship,in particular a persistent cigar smoker at the rear of the ship on deck 8.The culprits eventualy conformed after warnings from staff.Surely it is time for any smoking to be done in the Humidor with the door closed or indeed ban smoking altogether.
The Officers on the ship responsible for the excellent voyage were as follows:
Captain Mino Pontillo
Hotel Director Gianni Dotti
Cruise Director Judy Abbott..1120....Jimmy Kovel...1121/1122
Cruise Consultant Selvaggia Rimoldi
Maitre d Antonio Mendes
Executive Chef Guillermo Muro...1120....Anne-Mari Cornelius..1121/1122
Guest Relations Tim Trumpfheller.
A combination of the best chefs/maitre d on Silversea made for some exquisite dining experiences with a much greater variety than we have experienced in the last 13 years of cruising with Silversea.The officers had the support of a top quality staff wherever you were on the ship.Still not sure of the role of the Butler but after our first meeting we did not have to ask for anything in 37 days which is the highest tribute we can pay to our stewardess and the Butler.Sorry we did ask the Butler to change the faulty TV at 9.20 am and it was done by 10.30am.
Activities were limited as a result of so few sea days.Concierge team were the only area we found to criticize.Pre booked Tours on the internet but tickets not delivered to suite as stated and we had to queue in the limited hours the desk was open to collect our tickets.On past cruises the tickets were always in our suite prior to arrival.Also TV channel for Tour information was frequently out of date or we had long gone from the port being described.The tours and excursions we did were good but a little disorganised at times.
Entertainment was a mix of Lectures,Production Shows,Individual Guest Artists, Resident Pianist,Resident quartet and Ballroom Dancers.Mr Thomas Crimes was an outstanding Lecturer who provided all the information the Concierge normally provide and more with first class skills in humour and delivery of facts.The shows were adequate because both lead singers were below par but the rest of the cast were of reasonable quality particularly the ballroom dancers Anton (not duBeck !)and Olga.Olivia was a livewire around the ship socialising with clients as well as being an accomplished member of the dance troupe
The overall experience was excellent.We felt like part of the Silversea family thanks to the Officers and staff who worked extremely hard to ensure our vacation was memorable and it was.Cant wait for the next 7 cruises booked on board to come round.