Review of Silver Cloud, Tower Bridge to Reykjavik, August 4-13

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#1
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Finally getting around to posting some pictures and thoughts from this excellent cruise! Chris and I have done this North Atlantic itinerary twice previously and we really enjoy all of the stops in this part of the world. We were looking forward to revisiting some old favorites where we could do different things (London, Edinburgh, Akureyri) as well as a new stop in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, where there are some great Neolithic sites to explore.

Since our cruise embarked on Monday, we sprinted out of work on Friday, and went for a red-eye to London so we'd have most of the weekend to explore. This is our 4th visit to London, all pre-cruise, so we've hit the major tourist sites already. We've also done most of the museums that we're interested in. So this time we plan to just visit some of the parks and gardens in the surrounding areas, and a few scattered smaller sites that we haven't had time to see on past visits. Very relaxed, compared to our usual crazy style!

We arrived at LHR a little after noon, and caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington. We hadn't arranged any particular transportation prior to arrival; there are tons of trains to Central London, so we just grabbed the first one that showed up. The ticket machine near the platform was broken so we bought tickets onboard from the conductor, and because the machine was broken she sold us the tickets at the lower ticket machine price. From Paddington it was not too far a cab ride to our hotel, the Rubens at the Palace. Trying this because our favorite hotel, the 41 (a sister property next door), is running about double the price!

They had our room ready for us which was great, so we had a shower and grabbed some fresh clothes, then headed out to explore. We spent a few minutes poking around St-Clement Danes, which is now the RAF Church. London always makes the World Wars come to life for us and we felt that history here too.

By now the airplane breakfast was wearing off so we wandered down Fleet Street and stopped off at Ye Olde Chesire Cheese pub for some refreshments. English pubs operate similarly to German Biergartens in that most of the time there's no table service; you have to order and pick up at a counter, then find your own seat. This pub has been around a long time; a good place for a pint!



After that nice snack we walked to St. Etheldreda's Church- a building dating back to the 1300s that we'd tried to visit on a prior trip, but back then it foiled us because it was closed unexpectedly. This time, it was open, but there was a wedding going on! So, we only got to see a little of it because we didn't want to crash the wedding. Foiled again, but still a nice church, and we did get to see more this time! We didn't get any good pictures from the inside but here's an old one of the exterior from a prior visit - the window looks even better from inside!



After that we went to St. John's Gate where there is a museum about the Order of St. John - interesting enough but glad it was a small museum. Museums and red-eye flights often lead to sleepwalking...

From here we went back across the river to the interesting markets in Southwark; love just wandering here and seeing what's for sale. We wanted to go wine tasting in Vinopolis but neither of us had the urge for wine tasting at this point - so we took the elevator up the Oxo tower and enjoyed some nice views of the Thames instead:



After a double espresso we found some energy, and decided to go out to the Chelsea Embankement, and walk around Battersea Park. It was shaping up to be a really lovely evening, and the views of the river and the bridges were great:



Here's another shot of the two of us (well, Chris and my shadow) on the Albert Bridge - love that blue sky tonight!



After a few more miles of wandering, we finally were running out of steam so we headed back to the hotel to figure out some dinner. Their restaurant was full which was a shame; we'd eaten there a few years back and liked it - and we also had a certificate for two free drinks! So the concierge arranged for us to have our drinks in the bar, and we had a nice casual dinner there as well. It was relaxing, and very tasty. Finally, I think we've earned a good night's sleep, which we will need in order to tackle Kew Gardens tomorrow (Sunday)! And then we embark on Silver Cloud Monday!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#2
UK
6,899 Posts
Joined May 2012
Lovely review ..... it took me some time to work out you'd written this a month or so ago but once the penny dropped I was back on tune!

So glad you like London.

Chris looks lovely and I I hope you don't mind me being honest and saying that I think your punching way above your weight there as indeed am I with my wifey.

Looking forward to hearing and seeing about the rest of your trip.

Jeff
#4
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
UKCruiseJeff - sadly, you are right... Even after a red-eye, she looks fresh as a daisy while I'm showing all of the ill effects! Luckily, I can plan trips so she keeps me around.

duct tape - thanks!

Have to head in to work soon but will post one more installment first.
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#5
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Day 2, London – August 3, 2014

Another beautiful day today, and we felt a little more refreshed after a good night's sleep. The included breakfast at the Rubens was quite tasty, and soon we were off on the Tube, out to visit Kew Gardens, and Richmond. Lots of walking to be done today!

One thing we noticed here was the seemingly random collection of buildings and monuments based on other cultures – there seemed to be lots of interest in Ancient Rome, and the Orient. Here's an archway, styled on an Ancient Roman ruin, though built in 1759:



And a pagoda, from the 1700s as well. We had seen another pagoda in Battersea Park last night but this one was much taller – people were lining up to pay to climb it. We passed on that, but the view was probably pretty good today:



And here is a model of a Japanese Gate, called Chokushi-Mon, built in 19100 for for a Japanese-British exbition, then moved to Kew later:



The gardens are tranquil, with lots of water formations and places to relax while watching the waterfowl swim by:



Of course, you need to watch out for the friendly bears too!



Time to explore some of the conservatories while we are here. So many nice areas to visit here, it could take all day and then some!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#6
UK
6,899 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by jpalbny
UKCruiseJeff - sadly, you are right... Even after a red-eye, she looks fresh as a daisy while I'm showing all of the ill effects! Luckily, I can plan trips so she keeps me around.

duct tape - thanks!

Have to head in to work soon but will post one more installment first.
Just tell Chris, that if she ever gets fed up with a young fit, good looking chap like you, and hankers instead after someone older, fatter and uglier then I'm her man.

Jeff
#7
Columbus, Ohio
18,644 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Appreciate your great review, especially with all of the wonderful pictures. Love seeing the images of London. Look forward to reading and seeing much more, including about the Silver Cloud, its food, staff, etc. Keep it rolling. Excellent reporting.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 156,765 views. Nice to be hitting this high of a level for viewership. Appreciate the interest and follow-up questions/comments!!
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1227923
#8
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Terry - thanks, I'll put in what I remember about the ship when we get there tomorrow. This review will be mostly by memory so some details will be lacking, though. And I didn't take many food pictures... Sorry!

Jeff - after a few more SS cruises, she'll have one of her own...

Now, on with Kew Gardens - continued:

Kew has a number of nice conservatories, as well as formal gardens which complement the less-manicured regions nicely. The largest conservatories were the Princess of Wales Conservatory, and the Palm House (there is a Temperate House which is closed for renovation). They have put in some newer exhibits too, like a treetop walk which is about 50' off the ground – it gives you a nice overview of the place, but I didn't think to take any good pictures of it...

Here is a shot of the Temperate House, from the Treetop Walk so you have an idea of how high up it is:



And the contrast between the arid brown grass on one side, vs. the Formal Gardens on the other side of the Palm House - looks like someone needs to pay the water bill!



The Palm House is nice, but it's beastly hot under all that glass with the sun pouring in, and about 110% humidity to boot! There is a small aquarium tucked in the basement where you can go get some relief. The jet lag made the humidity harder to bear so we didn't dally in the Palm House too long.

This building is interesting! It's an Alpine House, where they keep specimens of Arctic-Alpine plants. A good preview for our Iceland expedition. They pump cool air continuously into this building at ground level, through a series of underground pipes. The hot air rises to the top where it's vented away. It felt nice here after the sweltering tropics of the Palm House.



Here are a few indoor pics from the Princess of Wales Conservatory – this place is huge, with at least 10 different zones exhibiting plants from around the world - and the occasional lizard.



But by now we're getting hungry and it's past lunchtime... We leave Kew, and join up with a nice walking/biking/running path along the Thames which will lead to Richmond, where we hear there's a pub waiting for us!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#9
Tulsa OK
7,653 Posts
Joined May 2006
Thoroughly enjoying your report so far. We love Kew Gardens, but it was a cool damp day when we visited there. I can imagine the Palm House being sweltering if the sun is out. And the Alpine House must be new since we were there or else we just missed it. Looks very nice (and cool).

Looking forward to your next installment.
#12
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
RachelG and duct tape, we enjoyed all of the parks we visited this time. Glad we finally got to see them. It helped that our weather was fantastic.

Back to the journey - after leaving Kew, the path along the Thames was pleasant, and there were some interesting buildings on the other bank. Here's the All Saints Isleworth Church, along with some folks paddling the Thames:



I don't know what this building is, but it was pretty:



At this point we're almost to Richmond (which means lunch), and my phone says we've walked more than 7 miles since we got off the tube at Kew - time for a rest! This is the Richmond Lock:



After we made it to Richmond, we managed to grab an outdoor table on the riverfront terrace at the White Cross Pub. We enjoyed some food and drinks while resting up from the long trek. It was a much shorter walk back to the Richmond Tube station, but a long ride back to London. We decided that it was early enough to try to visit the British Library, which supposedly has a great collection of historically significant works, so we changed trains and went all the way to Kings Cross-St. Pancras.

On the way to the library, we passed the St. Pancras hotel, which looks like a great place - it's a Renaissance Hotel now:



The Library was definitely worth a visit; we managed to see most of the Sir John Ritblat Gallery in the 45 minutes we had before it closed. They ran the gamut from pre-printing press manuscripts, all the way to some sheets of scrap paper that the Beatles had used to write songs. Highlights included a manuscript of Beowulf, a Gutenberg Bible, and DaVinci's notebooks. We saw another copy of the Magna Carta (we've seen the one in Salisbury Cathedral on a prior trip). This exhibit was well worth a short stop, even though no photos are allowed.

We took the Tube back to Southwark and tried for a wine tasting at Vinopolis – but it was too late to start – foiled again... To make up for it, we sat on the embankment by the Anchor Pub and enjoyed the view of the Southwark Bridge and St. Paul's – while enjoying a pint of ale along with a nice cider for Chris.



The people watching here was fun too – a constant stream of people moving every which way. Tourists, joggers, people on skates... It made us tired to watch! Not much to do now but go find some dinner.

We had received a recommendation for a Peruvian restaurant which happened to be within walking distance of our hotel, so we had our concierge get us a table. The meal was delicious. We had ceviches for a tasty appetizer, and then a bunch of small plates to follow. They had great barbecued skewers (unfortunately, they had to substitute ox hearts for the alpaca hearts that are traditional in Peru), a nice shrimp dish, and causa with crab meat topping. The quinoa salad was great too. If you want nice Peruvian food in London, we can recommend Coya; it's on the North side of Green Park.

Definitely a busy day today, and tomorrow we embark! We plan to visit Westminster Cathedral (not Westminster Abbey) tomorrow morning, then we have tickets for a ride on the London Eye before we meet up with Silver Cloud. After 4 visits to London, we have finally broken down and bought tickets to the London Eye!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#13
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
patnlcc, thanks. Soon this review will get even closer to home, when we're in Edinburgh and I try my hand at driving to Scone and Glamis...
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#14
Glasgow, Scotland
1,053 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Just remember to keep to the left! Both Scone (pronounced 'skoon' ) and Glamis (pronounced 'glams') are lovely.
#15
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Monday, 8/4 – Embarkation Day!

A relaxing morning and a leisurely breakfast today as we weren't going anywhere in a hurry, for a change. Our only plan was to visit Westminster Cathedral and it doesn't open until 9. It's so close to the hotel that we can't figure out how we've missed it on our other visits. The walk is a bit strange though because you approach through a very modern building complex that seems to be an outdoor shopping mall, with shops, restaurants, and office space, then at the end of the complex you're looking right at the cathedral:



We were pretty much the first ones in, and headed to the tower. It's an elevator ride, not stairs, and we had it all to ourselves. The view was quite nice, especially since we had it all to ourselves:



Here's Buckingham Palace Gate and St. James Park - the steel roof in the lower left belongs to the mall complex that we walked through previously:



And here's a tiny peek of our next destination, the London Eye, along with the Victoria Tower (in the Palace of Westminster ) and the Abbey. After 3 previous visits where we didn't ride, we finally broke down and bought tickets for noon today:



We then toured the interior of the Cathedral which was very interesting. It's only about 100 years old, and it's definitely a work in progress. Some of the interior is beautifully finished, and some is still being finished; the contrast between the bright tiles, marble, and mosaic artwork compared to the unfinished brick is striking. They have chapels dedicated to the different countries of Great Britain, and the whole interior is a nice modern take on an old-style cathedral. We look forward to visiting again to see how it progresses. I suspect it will be a slow process, though.

We headed back to the Rubens, packed our bags, stored them with the hotel, and checked out before taking the tube to Westminster. The bridge was a madhouse, but we pressed onward through the throngs of people, and our destination was in sight:



We had purchased the Champagne Experience today which gave us priority ticketing and entrance; once we found the desk we had our tickets in a minute or two, and we had time to see the "4D" movie first. It was nothing to write home about but the aerial views were nice. After that, time to gather our group and board the Eye!

We approached through the Fast Pass lanes, following our guide who had the Champagne - we definitely didn't want to get separated from him! We were onboard in less than 10 minutes. Let's get those corks popped! One last look before stepping on:

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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#17
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
A pre-embarkation "flight" on the London Eye:

We got into our capsule and started rising. It was a nice sunny day and the views were just getting started:



We had a great vantage point in the front of the capsule, but as there were only about 17-18 in our group there was plenty of room to move around. The champagne wasn't bad either...



We reached the top - the capsule rotates as the wheel does so that you are always level. It all moves so slowly though, and it's very smooth.



We had a fine look downriver - somewhere down there, the Silver Cloud awaits us:



After the flight came back to earth, we took the Hungerford Footbridge back across the Thames to a less-crowded Tube station:



We gathered our bags, got a cab, and we're off to embark on our journey! Can't wait to get on board!
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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#19
Albany, NY
4,389 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I was thinking eggplant but you may be right there, Jeff.

***

Embarkation and other fun:

There was some traffic along the way to the pier but eventually we made it, and the SS reps were out in full force to greet us, take our luggage, and whisk us down to the pier for the tender ride over. Before 2:00, we were on board with a cold glass of bubbly, and checking out our suite. All was present and accounted for!



We spent a minute admiring the view from our balcony - what a great place to start a cruise from! It is still odd though that we have to tender from across the river, rather than just access the Cloud via the Belfast. This shows the pier from which you tender across, with the Tower of London in the background.



After settling in we grabbed a bite upstairs, and realized it still wasn't even 3:00, and we didn't sail until 6:30... So we had time to explore one last site in London - no need to relax, as we have a sea day tomorrow. We tendered back across and ran past the Tower to the Tube station, and headed out to Regent Park. This was yet another beautifully maintained garden park that was well worth a visit:



Nice water features here as well, lots of water fowl, and a very relaxing place to walk off some of that food and wine we'd just had on board. I want this fountain in our back yard:



No time for a long visit, though, so after about an hour we headed back to the Baker Street Tube Station, passing this relatively unknown landmark along the way:



We were the last ones back on board and it turns out that we had missed the lifeboat drill. Wish they would have done it a little closer to sail away time... Oh well, that's happened before and they have had a remedial session for us.

We really enjoyed our time in London (again) and found all the parklands to be a great way to spend our time. Very beautiful, relaxing, and different from our other times here - those times were great too, but more hectic.

As sailaway time grew closer, we all gathered on the aft deck, watching the tugs line up and anticipating the Tower Bridge opening for us. We've done this sailaway once before, but that voyage departed at 4AM, so we woke up for sailaway and fell back asleep at Greenwich!

This is so much nicer - we are hoping for some great views as we sail the Thames in the evening sunlight, and this time, we're going to be able to stay awake until we hit the Thames Barrier! Here we are, getting ready to storm the Bridge - I love the alignment of this picture; it looks like the Belfast is ready to come along with us, guns blazing. Let's get this voyage underway!

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JP and Chris

Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)

Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019

Past:
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
(photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)
#20
Atlanta
5,914 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
bravo JP..wonderful posts w/beautiful pix..just read your thread now...Ida and I are now here in the Italian Dolomites..brought back many fond memories of our Cloud trip down the Thames to Iceland and back last July/August.


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