Live/Silver Cloud: Norway Coast/Fjords July 1-16 Reports

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#1
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Getting ready to board the Silver Cloud this afternoon. We arrived yesterday in Copenhagen after all three of our flights arrived ahead of schedule (including through Chicago O'Hare and London Heathrow, two of the world's three busiest airports). YES, ahead of time arrivals! Not late or delayed. Our baggage arrived, also. That makes starting a cruise so much easier. Despite all of the pre-trip worries about volcanoes, British Airway strikes, weather hassles, insurances coverage, etc., it all worked well and smoothly. Bad things do sometimes happen, but in most cases, the good things will be the results. That was our good luck and fortune.

COPENHAGEN? We super loved this charming town with its great history and architecture from our late July, one day visit on our 2008 Crystal Symphony cruise. Last night was even more fun. We are staying right on the main square, overlooking their large City Hall and Tower. A large sign on this main square says "i'm lovin it". Even though the sign is for that famous American food chain, it also sums up Copenhagen very well. This is a great town to start or end a cruise as it allows more time to experience this nation that is considered the "Happiest Place in the World!".

Below are some of the visual delights at Tivoli last night. More to come on our stop at Windsor Castle enroute and what happens next on this July 1-16 Norway Coast/fjords cruise. THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio




At Tivoli, their main gate is lighted in a spectacular and welcoming manner.:




Tivoli looks so special at night with its famed building designs, water features, gardens, flowers, rides, people, entertainment, etc.:




Tivoli has a wide variety of entertainment happening each day and evening. Here we enjoyed this super energized “BIG BAND” performance, including the Duke’s famed “Night Train” sounds.:




Part of the City Hall Tower can be seen with this lake view from within Tivoli.:




Here is one of Tivoli’s most unique buildings “showing off” with its covering of spectacular lighting. Thomas Edison would be proud!




As we prepare to exit Tivoli, here is the lighted look with the trees, other decorations, etc.:

#2
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
In order to take advantage of our American Airlines’ Frequent Flyer miles, we needed to travel through Heathrow in order to reach Copenhagen. Kind of a hassle, plus the flight timing options available when booking eleven months ahead were not perfect. Problem? NO! We adapted to make things work. We had a seven-hour lay-over at Heathrow and did a short trip to nearby Windsor Castle. The result? What a spectacular castle and setting!!! My wife was worried on rain. No, I said. Had about four drops and the rains stayed away. AccuWeather has called things correctly, so far.

Below are some visual samples for what is there to enjoy at Windsor. If you’re doing a cruise connection to Northern Europe, here’s an option to consider to fill the time and enjoy some great history, art and architecture as you travel enroute. THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio



At Windsor Castle, just outside of London and near Heathrow, there is 900 years of history at the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world:




The Waterloo Room at Windsor Castle celebrates with large painting of the key players involved in defeating Napoleon.:




This Queen’s Reception room at Windsor Castle has spectacular ceilings and architectural detailing, plus nice furniture and paintings. Just like home in the State Apartments. :




St. George's Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England with many members of the Royal family buried here with the walled areas of Windsor Castle. This chapel is also the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter.:




At Windsor, the Changing of the Guard

 takes place at 11:00 daily:




This ceremony also includes a large band with the unique and expected British Royal uniforms and hats.:

#3
Sydney, Australia
1,746 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Fantastic photos Terry. I feel like I'm there with u

Can't wait to hear your take on the Silver Cloud.

Have a wonderful time.

Cheers
Jennifer
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Voyager of the Seas, New Caledonia, 8 days - February 2016 (see my review)
Silver Shadow, Fort Lauderdale return, 13 days - April 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Cruise to nowhere, 3 days - January 2014 (see my review)
Crystal Symphony, Reykjavik to Southampton, 11 days - June 2013 (see my review)
Crystal Symphony, New York to Reykjavik, 12 days - May 2013 (see my review)
Silver Shadow, Vancouver to Tokyo, 16 days - September 2012 (see my review)
Yacht La Pinta, Galapagos, 7 days - April 2012 (see my review)
Silver Cloud, Bridgetown to Los Angeles, 17 days - November 2010 (see my review)
Silver Spirit, Bridgetown to Bridgetown, 7 days - November 2010 (see my review)
Silver Spirit, Lisbon to Bridgetown, 14 days - October 2010 (see my review)
Pacific Dawn, Tahiti to Sydney, 17 days - June 2009 (see my review)
Silver Whisper, Singapore to Sydney, 16 days - December 2008 (see my review)
Superstar Gemini, Hong Kong to Singapore, 11 days - June 2008 (my review has been archived)
Norwegian Dream, Buenos Aires to Santiago, 14 days - December 2007 (my review has been archived)
Cunard Countess, Eastern Caribbean B2B, 14 days - June 1993
Sheraton, Nile River, 5 days - July 1989
M.V. Lydia, Patras to Bari, 2 days - June 1989
Helsinki to Stockholm, 1 day - July 1985
Empress of Australia, Devonport to Melbourne, 1 day - July 1973
#4
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by ging466
Fantastic photos Terry. I feel like I'm there with u Can't wait to hear your take on the Silver Cloud. Have a wonderful time.
Cheers. Jennifer
THANKS, Jennifer, for the nice comments! Lots more pictures to come. Here's one below from the new Heathrow Terminal 5 that we had a chance to better explore in London. Glad you're traveling along for this journey. And you can be dressed formal, informal or casual as you tag along. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


The new Terminal 5 at Heathrow has a unique, large roof span over this massive area that is in part a massive shopping-dining mall and, oh yea, a new 21st Century airport gateway/hub. Things worked smoothly at this facility. Nice and interesting design touches by the architect, Norman Foster.:

#6
Tulsa OK
7,653 Posts
Joined May 2006
Have a great cruise, Terry. We did this one last year on Regent Voyager and loved it. I will following along to relive it, and I will be interested in hearing about Sliversea as well.
#7
4,779 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
oops, somebody already started one! Some of the gang are here already...Mayflower, Chainsaw, Conte di Savoia and a few unnamed. Will let you know how our meet "n greet goes this evening!
#9
4,459 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by TLCOhio
... We arrived yesterday in Copenhagen ...
Thank you for such wonderful pictures. We stayed in the (rather economical) Plaza Hotel right opposite Tivoli Garden for four days (land trip to the four Scandinavian capitals) in 1999. We are planning on a Copenhagen - Norwegian Coast - Iceland voyage aboard Azamara Journey in August 2011. So we will be reading this thread with great interest!
#11
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
It’s 8 am on July 2 starting to write while out on the balcony a few notes about our first day on the Silversea Silver Cloud. Lots to share and love!

First, I’m on a balcony!!?? Since we booked over a year ago for a Vista Suite, room 427, on a cruise sold-out and wait-listed six months ago, why are we here? Here’s the short version of a long, twisting story. We got all unpacked and settled into our fourth-level room. My wife then noticed a banging, clanking sound. We called the Butler. She said she would check and call us back. I can sleep well with other “sounds”. But, my wife can’t. She’s worried. Really concerned!! It is also July 1 and her birthday. They are going to call her back. While she waits for that update on fixing this problem, I go up to the poolside Cruise Critic welcoming group, meeting the famed duct tape and posters on these boards. She introduces me to Hotel Director Giovanni Dotti. He’s very friendly and out-going, AND, most important, he’s aware that we have “PROBLEM” in our room with the noise. That’s good for him and us that the head guy over all food and room operations is aware, that quickly, of our situation. Then my wife comes walking up with a “challenge”. Do we stay where we are and have potential noise problems . . . or . . . have to get everything packed up and moved to another suite? Decisions. Decisions.

Second, moving? To make that choice much easier, they offered that the staff would load all of the things on the hangers from our closet, taking out the full drawers, changing them out to the new veranda suite, etc. It still took some time and effort to pack up our loose items that had been placed, but it worked well to make this change. We still are not totally settled, but we have a full sea day today to get those details polished up. We were lucky in getting this upgrade, plus it also helped that it was my wife’s birthday. As I understand most don’t get this lucky, but we did and won’t complain.

Third, ship first impressions? As we approached, the Silver Cloud looked LARGE for a ship holding less than 300 passengers. We were docked at the super beautiful and charming Nordre Toldbod Pier in Copenhagen. This boarding location is right next to the Gefion Springvandet fountain. We had walked past this site on our afternoon stroll back to the ship on July 26, 2008 on our earlier visit to Copenhagen. This is the Danish capital’s largest monument and was built in 1908. It is based on a Scandinavian mythical tale of the goddess Gefion who plowed the island of Zealand out of Sweden. It was donated by the Carlsberg Foundation on the occasion of the brewery’s 50-year anniversary. This boarding area also overlooks St. Albans Anglican Church that is known as the “The English Church” and was built 1885-87. It is lovely inside of it and has some unique history connecting the Royal families of Denmark and England. Later, I will get into more of the differences and details on this ship versus the larger Crystal Symphony we used to sail the Baltics in 2008. We did lunch on the back of the ship on this perfectly sunny and spectacular Copenhagen day. It has been cool in Copenhagen recently and this great weather is not normal here. We’re very fortunate, again. We were outside on the La Terrazza deck, with wine and Champagne, watching the ships go by in this harbor with blue waters, etc. We could see the new Copenhagen Opera House, various church towers, the giant Paul Allen (Microsoft founder) private yacht, etc. The canal tour boats kept passing and it was fund to wave to people from the back of our “yacht”.

Fourth, first dinner? Walking into the dining room when you want is nice compared to the fixed seating times. Not a deal-breaker, but just wonderfully comfortable after our “hassles” needing to change rooms. The staff is excellent, friendly, and knowledgeable. There are three selections for each of the three courses. The service was very smooth and timely. The food and setting was especially nice as you could see the passing of the shoreline, ships, etc., as we were starting our sailing to the first of Norway fjords. It did not get dark till after 10 pm. There was a special birthday cake for my wife with a candle, plus ice cream and staff singing. She was super pleases. Then a little walk around the pool deck and top area as the sun is setting. BEAUTIFUL!!! But, wait there is more!!! We returned to our room and there’s a large “Happy Birthday” balloon on the door. Then inside, there are more balloons, plus a cake and Champagne. Then, in the bathroom, the tub is filled with especially scented waters, rose petals, etc. My wife super loved it ALL! It’s a nice way to celebrate a birthday and the start to a great cruise with our friends and neighbors from Columbus.

Fifth, butler-staff service? This seems very nice. We met two different Butlers and they are very accommodating, super helpful. It will take more time to know in depth how all of this really, really works. We are liking it, so far.

Sixth, sleep? Got some! Seven and a half hours on the ship. Needed it!!! After only a half-hour on the trans-Atlantic flight and three hours sleep in Copenhagen, I was doing well, driving by the “energy and excitement” of starting a new adventure.

Seventh, that balcony! Would we pay that added cost difference for this midship veranda? It would not have been in our budget range, or close, for this long of a cruise up above the Arctic Circle where the temperatures will be fairly cool. BUT, right now, it is total, absolute, complete heaven!!! While my wife sleeps in the suite, I can be out here with the early-morning light, playing my tunes on my lap-top, writing this report, reading, etc. HEAVENLY is the only way to describe it. The air is not that cold. You have the sounds of the waves, watching ships pass outside. This outside space with two chairs and a table adds a great dimension to your overall living space. This could spoil us for the rest of our lives. WOW! Life is good and wonderful.

Will post pictures in a few minutes.

THANKS for the nice comments! Will explain photo secrets later. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio
#12
90,330 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Terry, great post and I am glad to hear that you are your wife are all settled. Sorry to hear about the initial problem with the room but it sounds like it had a very happy ending. Continue to enjoy.

Keith
#13
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Here are some of the ship pictures and views from the Silver Cloud while in the wonderful Copenhagen harbor. Have met lots of folks from Cruise Critic boards. Now at the pool and sending out these pictures. More to follow.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio



Here is the view as we approached the Silver Cloud at the pier with the large Gefion Springvandet Fountain in the foreground.:




This is our lunch table view of the Opera House and spiral church tower in Copenhagen’s beautiful harbor as we had lunch after boarding.:




This is the visual to our right of others enjoying this spectacular dining with the view overlooking the Gefion Springvandet Fountain and St. Albans Anglican Church.:



These are the Silver Cloud stairs and a view of the back part of this ship the new Copenhagen Opera House in the background.:




This is the view to the north in Copenhagen harbor from the Silver Cloud as we were getting ready to depart. This is the area where the Little Mermaid would be positioned, but she is in China this summer. We saw this famed, but small statute in 2008.:




The weather was wonderfully upper 60’s for breakfast on our first sea day sailing to Norway. Here’s our dining view with another cruise ship sailing south from fjord country.:

#14
Tulsa OK
7,653 Posts
Joined May 2006
Big congratulations on your balcony! You will use it more than you expect. There were several days warm enough to enjoy it on our Norway cruise last year, and I wished I had brought a pair of shorts a couple of days.
I love that docking area in Copenhagen--have walked right by that fountain and church many times.
#15
238 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Terry,

I couldn't be happier for you. I've been reading your posts with interest, and know how much you have been looking forward to this trip. Congratulations on the balcony. My husband and I find the balcony a must -- it really adds to the overall enjoyment. I'll be on the Silver Cloud on August 3, so take good care of her for me. Here's wishing you a fabulous trip.
#16
290 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Thank you for taking the time from your awesome vacation to let us "virtual vacation" with you. Your reports and photos are amazing. Windsor Castle made my day. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Noticed a little girl is on your trip as well, wonder how she likes the lap of luxury?
#17
Glasgow, Scotland
1,053 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Really enjoying your posts, Terry. Hubby and I were on the Cloud transatlantic 14 - 29 April this year. Loved it so much, we have just booked the Wind from Cape Town to Las Palmas 12 March 2011. Continue to enjoy and keep us up-to-date with your travels!! Pat in Glasgow, Scotland
#18
Sydney, Australia
1,746 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Hi Terry

More fabulous photos...I'm enjoying them immensely.

The balcony was a great birthday present for your wife, I'm sure u will get a lot of use out of it...sailing up & down the fjords. Oh I'm so jealous, your cruise is no. 1 on my bucket list

I note the little girl in the last pic...how lucky is she to be on SS at her age!

Cheers
Jennifer
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Voyager of the Seas, New Caledonia, 8 days - February 2016 (see my review)
Silver Shadow, Fort Lauderdale return, 13 days - April 2015
Celebrity Solstice, Cruise to nowhere, 3 days - January 2014 (see my review)
Crystal Symphony, Reykjavik to Southampton, 11 days - June 2013 (see my review)
Crystal Symphony, New York to Reykjavik, 12 days - May 2013 (see my review)
Silver Shadow, Vancouver to Tokyo, 16 days - September 2012 (see my review)
Yacht La Pinta, Galapagos, 7 days - April 2012 (see my review)
Silver Cloud, Bridgetown to Los Angeles, 17 days - November 2010 (see my review)
Silver Spirit, Bridgetown to Bridgetown, 7 days - November 2010 (see my review)
Silver Spirit, Lisbon to Bridgetown, 14 days - October 2010 (see my review)
Pacific Dawn, Tahiti to Sydney, 17 days - June 2009 (see my review)
Silver Whisper, Singapore to Sydney, 16 days - December 2008 (see my review)
Superstar Gemini, Hong Kong to Singapore, 11 days - June 2008 (my review has been archived)
Norwegian Dream, Buenos Aires to Santiago, 14 days - December 2007 (my review has been archived)
Cunard Countess, Eastern Caribbean B2B, 14 days - June 1993
Sheraton, Nile River, 5 days - July 1989
M.V. Lydia, Patras to Bari, 2 days - June 1989
Helsinki to Stockholm, 1 day - July 1985
Empress of Australia, Devonport to Melbourne, 1 day - July 1973
#20
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
As we sail up the Sognerfjord to Flam this morning, Friday, July 2, were are getting ready for our first port stop in Norway. Flam, with a population of about 500, is nestled deep in a tributary of the world's longest and deepest fjord. It is 128 miles long and has a maximum depth of 4,291 feet. On the question of how deep are these fjords, local say: “A mermaid could swim all the way to China.” Our chief attraction here is the 66-year-old Flam Railway. It is widely known as one of the world's best railroad journeys. It includes twenty tunnels and eight stops as it goes up the mountain. This rail lines rises from Flam’s gingerbread rail station going up 2,835 feet to Myrdal and this "Roof of Norway" rail station. Railroad website: www.flaamsbana.no/eng.

In the afternoon, we will be sailing to Gudvangen and traveling up the Naeroyfjord. This is rated as the “best of the best” and most “majestic” with its deep blue water. It is 10.5 miles long. It is Europe’s narrowest, less than 1000’ wide, and is surrounded by 5600’ tall mountains. This fjord and its surrounding area are included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2006. Most larger ships cannot travel this routing. One of the advantages to the Silver Cloud, is that it can reach these smaller ports and areas.

On our first sea day, it started with a great breakfast on the back terrace overlooking the sea. There was a very interesting 10 am presentation, with movie clips shown, detailing the tie-ins of opera and its Hollywood film uses. We hear from the speaker six more times. He joked that he is so old that he first sailed with Cunard lines in the 1800’s. Then at 11 am, Chef Douglas Hope did his cooking presentation pictured below. Lunch was by the poolside on this enjoyable, sunny day as we sailed on our way to Norway. There was World Cup action and I did my first session with the Trivia “battles”. Our team, with duct tape and Mayflower1 from these Cruise Critic boards participating, beat the others, getting 17 of those 20 hard questions correctly answered. It was the first formal dinner, with lobster as the highlight. The food and French wines were wonderful. The Chef dropped by our table, answering questions and updating on some of the challenging getting food for cruises like this around the world. Of the four main dinner options, 60% went for the lobster. Then, there was a piano performance of Chopin musical greats.

Below are some picture highlights from around the ship, as requested. More will follow.

For Meow1, the inside-the-palace pictures come out fairly well as I am experienced doing a very steady and gentle pressing of the shutter button. I also have a 10-20mm wide-angle lens that is good for these types of rooms and situations. No flash is used. It’s hand-held. Then, I use my MacBook Pro computer to “fine-tune” the pictures to brighten up, crop and improve the pictures as needed. The biggest “secret” is that I only show the “good one”. If you go to this earlier posting:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=977864
you will find many more photo tips and ideas that are shared for pictures in the Baltics, etc.

THANKS to . . . Keith, Sweetpea, Rachel, Jennifer, Oceans&Rivers, Decebal, patnlcc and Ste. Michelle for the nice comments and encouragement. Let me know any added comments, questions, etc. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio



On the Silver Cloud, here is the pool deck area as we were boarding in Copenhagen. On the first sea day with temperatures around 68F and mostly sunny, this was a popular place. They had a nice lunch buffet here, plus a full bar with large screen TV to watch World Cup soccer.:




In the Silver Cloud’s Panorama Lounge, they have great forward and high views from the windows and open front deck. Inside, afternoon “Tea” is offered. There is music as people enjoy their beverages (more than just tea) and lots of tasty treats. Below is a sampling of these food delights. Each item is smaller so the calories are less.:






Executive Chef Douglas Hope, from Canada with great experiences around the world, did a cooking demonstration preparing a lobster risotto treat paired with a nice wine from Alsace in France. This was on our first sea day. When I showed the Chef this picture, he was worried that this photo could “ruin” his image as it showed him working. Not only has the food been excellent, but he and the other staff have been very approachable, friendly and helpful.:




Here is the exercise area on the Silver Cloud. It is not large, but the views are super, looking forward at the top of the ship. There is a good range of equipment for a ship this size.:




The library on the Silver Cloud has both a nice selection of books, DVD’s and CD’s, but also a very warm and inviting style. Major newspapers from around the world are printed out each day and are available there.: