Great Locations; OK ship: Silver Cloud Cruise Review by skipperh

Silver Cloud 4
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Great Locations; OK ship

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Silver Cloud is a SMALL ship, about 300 passengers. Great for really getting to know people, but perhaps a bit small otherwise - small buffets with limited options, etc. But they did well with what they had. Checkin was a breeze -- we literally walked aboard at noon, when "everyone" arrives. The entertainment group was outstanding -- a 6-person group that did songs from the 50s-80s, Beatles, Broadway, even opera! Chef cooking demonstrations ALWAYS began with a glass of pink champagne for everyone, AND the opportunity to taste ALL the "creations." Seafood was outstanding (my dining choice), and (big surprise) WONDERFUL french fries (think McDonalds) as a standard option on the dinner menu. We had fun, enjoyable tours, all booked through the ship.
It's a bit more formal than many other cruise lines -- yes, they still have the formal, informal, casual nights -- but the casual buffet dining for breakfast/lunch has you check in with a maitre-d and get seated BEFORE going More through the buffet line! This is the ONLY cruise line of 6 we've been on that has this. (Silver Whisper, which we'd cruised previously, does the same). They also serve you in the line; we prefer serving ourselves.
One big complaint we had with the buffet dining was their hours of operation. Sea days they opened at 0800 for breakfast! Tour days at 0730, even when there were early tours! Even worse -- NONE of the 3 dining facilities (pool, buffet, main dining room) opened for lunch until at least NOON (main dining room 1230)!! People with 1215 tours were out of luck unless you got room service (seriously?) or had bouillon soup in one of the bars!
You're supposed to be able to get change at the front desk, but it didn't work for us. We wanted $5s and $1s for ONE $20 bill, and at NOON on St. Kitts, the receptionist had NO $1s or $5s, and only 2 $10s (which we took); she said she couldn't call anyone and wouldn't have anything until 7 PM when the next shift came in! My husband went into town to a casino to get the cash for tips! Really? This is luxury? He noted on the way back that the Emerald Princess, docked on the same pier was handing out cool face towels to returning passengers and had a big "welcome back" sign, and the plastic potted palms; the Silverseas gangway was barren except for one staff member slumped over his podium looking bored to death.
The ship may have been understaffed, because on "big" events like the galley lunch and the Captain's Farewell, they would shut down/minimize other functions to shift the workers to the bigger events. Specifically, the buffet was shut down the day of the galley lunch; though the restaurant was open, they used a short a la carte menu. For the Captain's Farewell, the main bar was closed and the servers moved to the other venue! We'd planned to meet a couple for drinks before the show, but couldn't use it!
My personal issue -- the ship was actually soliciting charity donations to for a Silverseas executive's personal organization. Bad enough when I'm on vacation, BUT they said they were CHARGING OUR ACCOUNT $1/day/pp UNLESS we took the time out of our vacation to go to the front desk and tell them we didn't accept that!! Unbelieveable! Cost wasn't the issue; the presumption was offensive!!
Over time we've found we love smaller ships, especially those all-inclusive. Silverseas is very good, and we'll undoubtedly sail again, but given a choice, we'd take Regent ANY DAY. Less

Published 03/21/12

Cabin review: VR618 Veranda Suite

618 -- great room, balcony, storage and use of space. They managed to get 2 comfortable chairs AND a sofa, plus a small table that unfolded into a larger one into the living space area. Minor problem -- they provided a clock, but not enough space on the bedside table for it, so it was placed across the room! Also the room had only ONE usable outlet in the living space. The tub was narrow and high, so hard to get a footing, particularly in rougher waters, and didn't like the "half shower curtain" that is standard in european hotels, though it seemed to work; didn't have water on the floors. I've heard the ship is due for refurbishing, and some of this may be corrected.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Always a fun place. The Segway tour was GREAT, and unique.
Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

A beautiful island, but expensive (no surprise there!) Took the Fast N'Fun Boat tour which was really fun (and I'd do it again) BUT the potential exists for serious injury if someone has his knees locked at the wrong time (you STAND in a brace on a zodiac type-type boat). We had high waves, which prevented the full tour around the island (had to double back when we hit the Atlantic), but was lots of fun climbing the waves and becoming a bit airborn at times. However, when I was "slammed back" onto the water I did a few inadvertent deep knee bends (good exercise!). IF my knees had been locked -- well, NOT GOOD. Most people got wet, and some drenched; no one had any problems. On a calmer day, it would have been a fun speedboat ride. I liked the more "challenging" ride, but you need to be cautious (PS I'm 60 years old)

Catamaran Tour

Included snorkeling. Great fun! I'll always opt for a catamaran/snorkel on an island I've previously visited. Just a fun, leisurely way to spend an afternoon.

Scenic Railway

LOVED IT; very unique way to see the island. Strongly recommend.


Lots of fun! The crew was great, the day was sunny and breezy, the snorkel site had lots of sea turtles! Fun fun fun. And if you didn't want to snorkel, the crew ran a "dingy ferry" to the beach so you could hang out there. One minor issue -- the boat capacity was 49 and there were 47 passengers -- it worked, but was more than I'd have preferred.

A new port for us! Beautiful island. The Land/Sea tour was lots of fun with personable guides.

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