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Silver Cloud Facts & Figures

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When the curtain falls after showtime on this day at sea, Cruise Director Leslie climbs on stage and announces that our Captain has positioned Silver Cloud very close to the island volcano of Stromboli - as an unscheduled treat for us all to enjoy. Dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns most guests gather on the open decks to see the huge black mountain right next to our seemingly tiny ship. Stromboli looks barren, with only a few signs of human life. The sea is calm, almost too calm, and there is not a sound to be heard in the pitch black night, except the rumbling of that big volcano...

My solemn promise to sleep in today is broken when I wake up and see another brilliant day dawning outside. The pool attendants are getting the Pool Deck ready for today's sunseekers, and in the Panorama Lounge the help-yourself continental breakfast is almost untouched. Which is good, because these freshly baked chocolate croissants are to die for. We have ordered breakfast from room service on this Sunday morning, and at the exact time as stated on the order form, there is a knock on the door and in come two waiters carrying a huge pile of trays. Teun Wim frowns and asks me if I have ordered breakfast for 10 people by mistake...

The waiters set the table and leave us in peace to enjoy our piping hot omelets and freshly baked rolls. We finish it all. The weather is hot and humid, and Silver Cloud cuts through a tranquil Ionic Sea. But by the time we reach Pool Deck clouds start drifting in, and it is not long before the sun is completely obscured. Never mind, the temperature is still good, so we firmly remain poolside and watch the Italian shoreline approaching. When the water volleyball tournament is over, the sun rejoins us in full force and the Strait of Messina appears on the horizon. We venture to the Panorama Lounge for High Tea, a treasured ritual and done in the best possible taste here on Silver Cloud.  And while Cruise Director Leslie provides commentary over the PA System, a local pilot comes on board and guides our ship through the narrow waterway that divides the island of Sicily from the mainland of Italy. Mount Etna and the port of Messina loom to port side, with ferries criscrossing back and forth to the mainland to starboard.

Another formal night, but this time we will not descend to The Restaurant for dinner. Silversea provides a wonderful alternative dining experience in the Terrace Cafe. Themed differently nightly, we have opted to make reservations for tonight's Flavors of the Orient. We are not disappointed! With our newfound friends, we are welcomed by the Maitre d' and a Singapore Sling and escorted to our reserved table for five. Next, the Chef comes in and tells us what's for dinner. Soup from Thailand. Starters from Japan. Chop sticks with the Silversea logo. Carefully chosen wines. Sweet spring rolls for dessert. Wonderful!

Our five-course dinner is excellent, and a tribute to the culinary skills of the Executive Chef and his team. After the a fortune cookie or two, it is time for another production show in the Venetian Lounge. Called "Mad Dogs & Englishmen", the Walter Painter company provide a typical musical look at the British, including bowler hats and a rendition of "Phantom of the Opera". Nice, but not half as nice as the previous production show if you ask me. The night ends in its usual fashion, in The Bar in good company.


Photos and text: 2002-2011 Bart de Boer -

First published on October 6, 2002

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