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Aurora cruise ship review

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Silver Cloud Facts & Figures

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Only fools will climb endless city walls in the midday sun. I keep thinking we must be out of our minds to crawl up the ancient stone walls that surround the beautiful old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia in the heat of the day. But, the views of the red tiled roofs below us are breathtaking, and are definitely worth the excruciating workout. It is hard to believe that 86% of this city was ruined in the Serb war only ten years ago. With UNESCO funding, the whole old center has now been lovingly restored, and there is nothing that reminds of the turbulent past.

Silver Cloud is already safely docked in the port of Dubrovnik when I wake up and open the balcony door. We enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Terrace Cafe, and today's speciality (Swedish pancakes with Nutella) quickly becomes one of my favorite dishes. By 10.30 am we are sitting in a comfortable airconditioned motorcoach for the 15-minute courtesy transfer to the massive city walls that surrond the old town of Dubrovnik. We are dropped at the Pile Gate, built in 1537, and follow the ribbon of people into the old town. 

The city walls of Dubrovnik are amongst the most beautiful and best kept in Europe. They are up to 18 feet thick, 90 feet high, more than a mile long and they completely encircle the old town. I can highly recommend walking the ramparts. Not only are the views simply breathtaking, but it is from up here that you can almost touch the vibrancy of this lively city with its many terraces, trendy nightclubs and restaurants.  Croatia is HOT these days, and it is in Dubrovnik's many pedestrianized squares and alleys  that this is most apparent.

After our exhaustive climb along a mile of city walls, we find a nice shady terrace and order a Diet Coke or two before setting off exploring the old town from street level. Dubrovnik is immaculately kept, and its main thoroughfare, the magnificent Stradun, is a prime example of beautiful Mediterranean architecture, with its many century-old buildings, its old stone facades and fountains. It is in a shady back alley that we sit down at a rambling old little restaurant and order a light lunch. After all, we do have to get rid of the local currency, the Kuna, before we leave Dubrovnik today, as all the other ports are in "Euro"-country. After thoroughly exploring the sights and sounds of Dubrovnik, we take the shuttle bus back to Silver Cloud and head for the pool deck. The rest of the afternoon we enjoy the good  life again with many newfound friends. We take a swim, bask in the sun, and chat the day away.

Another perfect day comes to a perfect end when we sip champagne on the balcony, while our ship makes a detour right after leaving port. The First Officer announces that he will bring the ship close into Dubrovnik, so we will see the city's defence line even better. Dinner in The Restaurant is once again a highlight of the evening, and Margaret Scoggins, our multi-talented Social Hostess, is entertaining us after dinner with a special One Woman Show in the Venetian Lounge.  At eleven we run into the Bar, where our Gin & Bitter Lemons are already waiting for us. We stay up until the wee hours, talking to guests and staff members alike.

 
   

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

First published on October 6, 2002

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