Having looked at some of the reviews for Silver Cloud I was worried - talk of it needing complete refurbishment and not having a good range of wine and drinks to choose from and even some real criticism about the food.
We therefore boarded with trepidation - immediately we were met by friendly and competent staff, welcomed with a glass of champagne our cases taken from us and we were escorted to our cabin.
Our butler introduced herself and asked about our choice of bathroom toiletries and what drinks we would like in our room fridge. The room was spotlessly clean and although it could maybe do with an updating we had plenty of room - furnishings were smart and comfortable - the bed was also extremely comfortable. Good to see that the ship is going in for refurbishment later this year.
Three restaurants to choose from - one needing a booking fee of $30 but was quite select with real fine dining - a great experience and well worth the additional cost. Other two restaurants were super - no being given a set time to dine and told you are to share your table with potential people you might not get along with - booked a table as you would any other restaurant.
Food was superb - from breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with a good selection of wines - you could select from the extensive wine list but there is really no need. In fact no wonder people say that they put weight on you really could eat and drink as much as you liked - that said no-one seemed to abuse this.
Entertainment every evening - a good range of artistes providing very good floor shows. Lots to do on board and many things organised. Panorama lounge providing a leisurely place to sit and read and while away the hours - great afternoon tea with the super much under rated Mario playing the piano - what talent.
The cruise itinerary was good apart from possibly Russia - spent several days at sea going to and from Murmansk and Archangel - but both places were very disappointing - although they did make us realise how fortunate we are - such poverty.
Weather was not marvellous and this spoilt photo opportunities but obviously the cruise line cannot influence this. Never had better service anywhere. Would highly recommend.
Easy transfer to and from the airport - well managed and timely.
Vista Suite - no balcony although for our trip to Norway where the weather was cold it wsa not necessary - we had a full window.
Ship is currently being refurbished so furnishings will be updated - this was needed as some of the furniture was a little dated.
King size bed - really comfortable and clean.
Good sitting area with comfortable settee and chairs with a good size table.
Walk in wardrobe and dressing area with full length hanging rail and plenty of drawers for clothes. Safe is available in wardrobe with own code etc.
Good size bathroom with shower over the bath although I think most rooms after the refurbishment will be walk in showers - will have to select if you want a bath. Good choice of toiletries and clean towels twice daily.
Television had good access to news channels and could borrow DVDs from the library to watch in your room. Fridge for drinks - this was replenished daily.
Only one plug socket though - not sure if this will be amended with the refurbishment.