1 Lisbon First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

We heard about the cruise from friends that were booked on it so that was our incentive for considering it. Our main reason for booking the cruise was the itinerary and some of the shore excursions. Although having traveled extensively, we ... Read More
We heard about the cruise from friends that were booked on it so that was our incentive for considering it. Our main reason for booking the cruise was the itinerary and some of the shore excursions. Although having traveled extensively, we had never been on a cruise of any sort so we thought this might be a good time to try one. As we found out, an enjoyable advantage of cruising is not having to pack and unpack as you move to the next destination. We stopped in Paris for a couple of days before continuing to Lisbon. We also had a couple of days in Lisbon prior to embarkation. We arranged these things independently, trying to maximize our time in Europe and to avoid any possible travel snafus that would interfere with the cruise. Highlights of this cruise included a shore excursion to Santiago de Compostela; Bilbao, Spain and the Guggenheim; docking right in Bordeaux with easy access to everything; the shore excursion in Saint Malo to Le Mont Saint-Michel, the Normandy Landings outside of Honfleur, and cruising up the Thames River - under the Tower Bridge and docking next to the Belfast battleship in the city center - Awesome experience! We had looked forward to visiting Guernsey but weather prevented us from going ashore which was only accessible via tenders. We heard that this is a common occurrence for Guernsey which made us wonder why a) the itinerary doesn't state something like there is a good chance you won't be able to disembark - or x% of our stops in Guernsey don't make it to shore; or b) maybe it should not be part of the itinerary. While we did complete all other stops on our itinerary, we felt Gijon was the least interesting destination and would not mind skipping that port. We enjoyed the entertainment on the ship - an amazing group of talented people. The crew talent show was a great deal of fun too. We were disappointed in the lecturer and felt he spent too much time talking about his interests rather than preparing us to enjoy and comprehend our next destination. The staff and service were top-notch and a real highlight of our onboard time. Our butler and cabin attendant kept everything ship-shape and surprised us with little messages, drinks, or towel sculptures throughout the voyage. It seemed that all logistics were handled with precision. There were good dining options and the food was generally good. It did seem to be a bit redundant which may be due to the length of the cruise (12 days). Because this was a smaller ship, we had the opportunity to interact with many other guests and get to know them. Most of the guests were very experienced cruisers! These interactions with diverse people were highlights of the trip. As first-time cruisers, we can not compare this experience to other cruises or cruise lines. We had heard SilverSeas was a topnotch cruise line, so we expected excellence. The staff, service, and handling of logistics were indeed excellent. We had also heard that the Silver Cloud was an older ship and was due to be renovated and repurposed into an expedition ship, so we did not expect perfection. We think every effort was made to make the ship comfortable and keep up appearances. We definitely will consider cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017

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