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Silver Cloud Facts & Figures

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A blast from Silver Cloud's whistle at precisely 6.00 pm. Slowly our ship is making her way out to sea, passing right through the heart of Venice. We are sitting on the balcony with a glass of Mot & Chandon, and watch the incredibly beautiful city float by like in a dream. Words fail to accurately describe the feeling when we quietly pass by St. Mark's Square. In fact, we don't speak a lot. I am still on the balcony when we reach open waters an hour later and the sun is setting in a glass-like Adriatic Sea. What a way to start a cruise - this is absolutely unforgettable...

I start the day on the balcony with a piping hot cup of Earl Grey brought in by room service. It promises to be another glorious day - decent temperatures and hardly a cloud in the sky.  Teun Wim and I first enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the open deck aft of the Terrace Caf. The offerings are of course first class - only the finest tropical fruits and freshly baked goodies will do on board. The orange juice is freshly squeezed; the bacon & eggs prepared to order. We are engaged in some breakfast conversation with a very nice couple from New York; he looks like a younger Kirk Douglas, she tries to pronounce Teun Wim's name. We can see the first Silversea Shuttle Boat leave the quay. In every port where the ship is more than 10 steps away from the city center, Silversea has thoughtfully arranged complimentary shuttle transport. And since the whole of Venice is off-limits to cars, what better way to get to St. Mark's than by private water bus!

We once again find our way through a maze of streets and alleys where there is no one in sight and the silence is almost touchable. Here, Venice is like a still-life painted by a Renaissance master, unchanged by time. In complete contrast, St. Marks is like a medieval carnival, a multi-color sea of people. We eat "gelati", order "due cappuccine" from a Big Mama at the backstreet cafe and shop for some Murano glass. And all too soon it is time to head back to the quayside and catch the shuttle boat. We have been on our feet  for five hours. It's time to sail home.

Back on board Silver Cloud we order some club sandwiches from room service and await our departure from Venice from the comfort of the balcony. Then, at precisely 6.00 pm we quietly sail away from the Stazione Marittima and make our way to the sea. This must be the most spectacular sailaway you can imagine - a feast for the eyes and tattoo'd in the brain for always.

Dinner is an elaborate affair, with waiters hovering around our table. On this, the second night of our cruise, the staff are already joking with passengers and the atmosphere is remarkably relaxed and friendly. Next, showtime in the Venetian Showlounge. Some singer that used to be in "Love Boat". He probably used to be popular, too... "Strangers in the Night?" Come on! After showtime, The Bar is transformed into a disco, and we spend quite some time getting to know guests and some of the staff. From Leslie, the Cruise Director to Philippe, the Head Sommelier - everyone seems equally friendly.

 
   

Photos and text: 2002-2011 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on October 6, 2002

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