Silver Cloud Cabins
- Pro: Stands out for top-notch service (butlers for all!), spacious digs and all-inclusive rates
- Con: Soon to join Silversea's expedition fleet, the ship's now showing some signs of fray
- Bottom Line: Enjoy intimacy, pampering and off-the-path exploration via this small luxury ship
Silver Cloud Cabins
Silver Cloud, like the rest of Silversea's fleet, is an all-suite ship, with well-appointed units offering varying degrees of size and comfort. All 146 suites grant ocean views, and about 75 percent have private balconies. There are seven categories of suites ranging in size from 240 square feet to more than 1,300 square feet, touting one of the highest space-per-passenger ratios for luxury cruise accommodations industrywide.
Perhaps most distinctively, every unit, regardless of suite category, enjoys the same level of polished service, including the attention of an appointed butler (who wears tails). He's a phone call away to make dinner reservations, bring you a different type of pillow or to provide you with the specific complimentary beverages (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) that you'd like stocked in your ensuite mini-fridge and cocktail bar. Upon arrival, your butler will also offer you a choice of Bvlgari, Salvatore Ferragamo or SebaMed bath products. (Feel free to ask for samples of all three.)
Each suite features, at a minimum, a sitting area with two chairs, a table (that can be unfolded for in-room dining), a sofa and a desk; in standard suites lacking built-in partitions, this part of the suite can be separated from the sleeping area by drawing a curtain as a room divider. A vanity table with a small stool and lighted mirror is another nice feature. Even the smallest Vista Suites offer walk-in closets with a safe, plush robes and slippers, drawers, shelves and plenty of room to hang clothing for a longer journey. A couple of bedside nightstands and additional storage consoles ensure plenty of space to settle in. Silversea's suites use space so efficiently that even the smallest ones feel like they have everything you need.
The mattresses were made exclusively for Silversea, and they're outfitted with Pratesi sheets and linens. The beds can be configured as two twin beds or a queen, and passengers can select preferred pillow types from a range of options (like memory foam or buckwheat).
On the technology side of things, rooms are equipped with iPod alarm clocks, direct-dial phones and flat-screen TVs with DVD players and satellite reception. A handful of movies are screened daily, and there's also a DVD selection on loan from the ship's library. All passengers get complimentary Internet packages; Wi-Fi is available in the suites and ship-wide. Other thoughtful extras include personalized stationery, an umbrella, a hairdryer and binoculars; there's also free shoeshine service.
Silver Cloud offers two accessible suites (in the Vista category); connecting cabin options are limited to only a handful of suites, at the highest-category level. Apart from the highest-level suites, 20 units in the Vista and Veranda Suite categories also offer pull-out couches for third-person accommodation.
Though there was a soft-goods refurbishment (carpets, drapery, upholstery, linens, etc.) in November 2015, the line hasn't done any major updating to Silver Cloud since, nor does it plan to, given that the ship will be refitted and absorbed into Silversea's expedition line in August 2017. In some places, some signs of disrepair show. In our cabin, for instance, there were some stains on the couch and scratches on the furnishings that one wouldn't expect at this price point; both our phone and hairdryer went on the fritz during the course of the sailing. While our butler immediately replaced both items, it was clear that the major overhaul planned ahead is indeed in order.
Entry-level standard suites are decorated in beige and orange with wooden accents. The bathrooms are fitted with marble finishings, and nearly all suites have glass-enclosed rain showers (complete with seats), while a few have bath-shower combinations. Note that the bathrooms in these units are on the snug side, with shelves on the sides of the bathroom mirrors only offering limited storage for toiletries.
Vista Suite: The Vista Suite, with 36 units on Deck 4 (a couple more are on Deck 5), is the smallest of Silver Cloud's suites at 240 square feet, and is the only unit on the ship that does not have a balcony (though it does have a panoramic window). Eight Vista Suites accommodate up to three passengers with a pull-out sofa, while a couple are handicapped accessible. (These are the only accessible units on the ship.) Four units have a bathtub/shower combination; all others come with a rain shower only.
Veranda Suite: The next step up, Veranda, is identical to the Vista Suite (at 240 square feet), but offers a 49-square-foot teak balcony (where two seats and a table are set up), with a floor-to ceiling glass door instead of a large picture window. Fifty-six Veranda units are spread out over the forward of the ship on Decks 5, 6 and 7; a dozen of them also offer a pull-out couch for third-passenger capacity, while six units have a bathtub/shower combination.
Midship Veranda Suite: Identical to the Veranda Suite in all but location, the slightly more expensive Midship Veranda Suites are perhaps the best value on the ship, as they are well located, proposing a smoother ride in rough seas (such as the waters surrounding South Africa's Cape of Good Hope). Forty-six units are spread out over the middle of the ship on Decks 5, 6 and 7; six offer a bathtub/shower combo.
The upgraded units in the higher category of suites -- Silver Suite or higher -- additionally come with an Illy espresso machine and Bang & Olufsen audio system, expanded living areas and dining room sections, as well as larger balconies with chaise loungers and dining tables. Plus, passengers get extra perks like special welcome chocolates, afternoon canape service (on request), complimentary laundry, unlimited Internet and an invitation to dine with an officer during the sailing.
Royal, Grand and Owner's Suites tout a different design scheme than other units on the ship, with ivory and beige wallpaper, and finer furnishings and in-room artwork. They each come with connecting stateroom options to allow for two-bedroom configurations (and are the only suites on the entire ship that do connect). Their oversize bathrooms are outfitted with full-size jetted tubs and separate showers. Passengers in these accommodations additionally get complimentary dry cleaning and pressing, a dinner for two in Le Champagne and two hours of international phone calls.
Silver Suite: At the entry-level to the higher category of suites are three Silver Suite units, measuring 541 square feet (including a spacious 92-square-foot balcony), which tack on a dining area to an expanded living area, with a sectioned-off sleeping area. You'll find one each on Decks 5, 6 and 7, set at the middle of the ship. These units also have a pull-out couch to accommodate a third person. Note that the bathrooms are lacking tubs.
Royal Suite: Two Royal Suites, set on Deck 6 forward, pile on the space with an additional 200 square feet, measuring 736 square feet total, including a 126-square-foot veranda. These suites come with a pull-out couch for a third person, and can also be combined to an adjoining Veranda Suite to be booked as a massive two-bedroom, 1,031-square-feet unit.
Grand Suite: Two Grand Suites, set on Deck 7 forward, are the largest suites onboard with stunning ocean views and 1,019 square feet of space, including two verandas (one off of the bedroom and another off the spacious living/dining area). Like the Royal Suites, the units have a pull-out sofa and can connect to an adjacent Veranda Suite, adding on an extra bedroom, sitting area and veranda, and expanding the total square footage to 1,314 square feet.
Owner's Suite: Finally, the one-off Owner's Suite is available as a 587-square-foot one-bedroom unit or 827-square-foot two-bedroom unit, including a 95-square-foot teak veranda. (The second bedroom, a connecting Vista Suite, is an optional add-on.) Though smaller than the Grand Suites, it offers a roomy prime location (set midship on Deck 7, across from the spa and just a flight of stairs away from the pool); plus, it's perfect for entertaining, with an apartment-style feel, extra guest bathroom and spacious living room/dining room area.
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