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Sept 13th Silver Cloud Stockholm review


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We often travel as a family (mum, dad and currently 11yog and 15yob) and have travelled extensively thru Europe and Asia, Mr Waldo thru the US (although we did the West Coast in 2003 as a family). We mostly stay at 5 star hotels such as Four Seasons, or iconic hotels (eg grande bretagne in Athens) Living in Oz our choices of cruises from home are limited and most require a long flight to get to a starting port. This has been a determining factor on finally taking the plunge.

We had one cruise last year on Star Flyer (sailing thru the greek islands was particularly appealing) and whilst we had an enjoyable time it lacked in the area of food and space in the cabins. We enjoyed the port intensive cruising which gave us a chance to sightsee without packing up and moving every three days or so. we also tend to travel for extended periods (this one was a 7 weeker) so being moved from place to place overnight is ideal.


Our planning began late last year as we had an event in Romania and wished to follow it up with a family trip thru some of eastern europe and Scandinavia. We had come very close to booking the Med in 2005 on SS and I went to their website and much to my joy a cruise that fitted the bill perfectly (finishing in London for our connections home) was found.



I wont go into any detail about the 4 and a bit weeks leading up to the cruise.


Our departure port was Stockholm and as we were unable to secure The Grand Hotel (fly cruise packages are not available from Oz and we wanted only 2 nights) we stayed in the First Reisen, this was supposedly a five star hotel with seaview rooms (yes we watched the ship come into port early in the morning from our room window) but it left a lot to be desired when it came to service. We had the hotel ring a taxi and explained we needed a large one as there were four of us and luggage. The vehicle that arrived 20 mins later was only just large enough (the kids and i did the five minute trip to the port nursing a suitcase) and arrived just before 2.45pm.

Due to SS regulations (we had midship veranda and vista) we had been split into a mum/daughter and dad/son combo. This was only in theory and it did create some issues with room access on the odd occasion.

We had security screening and had our names checked against the passenger list (few heartrending moments as the boys had had their suite changed a few weeks before and the allocation could not be found). Given a bottle of water and joined the very short boarding queue. We all boarded about 2 minutes later.


We went thru the standard photo and check in procedure and were shown to our respective suites. The boy's attendant met them immediately and we explained the situation and from then on it was understood that we were up the hallway should we be needed.


Our suite (the girls) had everything as requested including apple juice, san pell mineral water and the two bottles of alcohol we requested. Life boat drill as per normal although there were a large number of new pax and the panorama lounge was filled to overlowing with a large percentage of people crowding around in standing areas. given that in a real emergency the whole ship would be there this is really no cause for complaint.



A most ofyou are aware there is some degree of children should not be on SS and i was very aware of this on boarding. The children had been well schooled that not all Pax would be happy to see them. The staff greeted them warmly.

At this pojnt we noticed no other children on the cruise and this did not bother my two. We set off as a group to explore and set rules for the usage of public areas.

Rather than a a day by day blow I will outline the various aspects of our trip.


Spa Bookings:

made on line and within 15 mins of the times I had requested. Services were excellent although i felt a little intimidated by the nail artist. The massuese was fantastic and friendly.



Food was of a consistenly high standard although towards the end of the cruise I was looking for a little more variation. We ate in the Restaurant each night with the exception of the first formal night when we went to La Terrazza. Our meals came at well spaced intervals despite an apology for the meal being so slow (the table beside us had complained loudly). We did not have an opportunity to dine at la terazza again. merely because there was nothing wrong with the Restaurant and not booking left the kids with flexibility. On two nights they were pretty tired and chose to have room service from the standard menu. Both said the meal was good and hot. We had the opportunity to dine as a couple on one night and join other people as well. We mostly dined as a foursome but did join a table checking first about kid acceptabilty beforehand.


We breakfasted each morning on the rear deck of la terazza. My daughter is not a morning person and asked was it possible to hve peach and banana milkshake. I thought this was a bit beyond request (she often has this for breakfast at home). Ten minutes later not one but two milkshakes appeared and di so each morning from there on in.


Lunch was intially on the pool deck but we moved to La terraza (mostly)after a few days and to our usual outside table becuase of the variety of food readily available and the great view in most ports. We were treated to the galley brunch on our second full day.


We did not get to dine at La salleta as none of the food styles really made us interested.



I was amazed that for a free flow ship there were so few people who (at least in public) had overindulged. From what we drank we noticed the wines available as standard were good but not outstanding. As we prefer pommery to perrier jouet we soon learned to ask for our champagne by name rather than generically.


Ports:The ports were great and by and large the great weather helped. with only one ordinary overcast day (Oslo meant the boys flightseeing was cancelled). The local tourist officer that came aboard at most destinations was ideal for us as we like to be independent. I hate being rushed from one site to the next and like to plan my day with a loose and flexible framework. The availability of a bottle of water as you left the ship was a godsend (sometimes finding a bottle of water in a foreign city is harder than first thought).




The children soon discovered the joys of trivia and we joined in as a family. Most afternoons the children progressed to golf and collected as many prize points as they could. We are now the proud owners of 4 bookmarks, 2 waterbottle holders (wish we had them before the ports!),and 2 glass coasters.



We did 2 organised tours.

Cycling in Visby which we much enjoyed. this could have been done by ourselves but the guide made it a little more interesting and this resulted in enforced rest breaks during the ride.

Tower by night..my only complaint having been to the tower by day on a previous trip some of the oooooh factor was lost. The yeoman was excellent and the abilty to see everything close up....NO touching!!! rather than by conveyor belt was good. Turning off the lights did add a bit of wow factor as did the opprotunity to sit on the various"king's and queens chairs.


The lectures

I am pleased to say my daughter attended all of them and enjoyed them thoroughly with the exception of the day at sea where she was drugged to the eyeballs as we had a rough night at sea she fell asleep. Prof. Augelli was interesting to listen to. The professor's wife adopted the children and we dined with them one night. I know my 11yo enjoyed haing a surrogate grandma!


To get an 11yo to 4 lectures on topics such as religion, vikings and the language of Europe means they must have been informative.


The children...

I can only assume based on the number of compliments we received ranging from their ability to entertain themselves, to mix with adults and the way they were dressed that no issues arose. They are eagerly looking forward to another SS cruise but this will need to wait some time as our school holidays mostly align with transoceanic and i do not feel this type of cruise would be what we would be looking for.


My daughter personalised her cabin by making and then pinning some paper eyes to the curtains and arranging the robe ties as smiley mouths. The room attendants rewarded her with a beautifully folded towel in the shape of an elephant complete with my sons bow tie. She was quite disappointed she could not bring it home!


If anyone on board had any negative comments they did not address them to me and if anyone on the this board was sailing with us please feel free to contradict my view of how the children behaved.




It leaves me now to discuss the few negatives:

1. London weather. it poured as we went under tower bridge!!!

2. A lost booking for friends who were supposed to join us in London which was eventually sorted but not without some angst from Mr Waldo.

3. A cold cup of coffee one morning and finally


A gentleman who would eat breakfast inside each morning and then come to stand in front of our table to smoke when he had finished our meal. The same gentleman also apparently smoked on his balcony much to the annoyance of his neighbours.


We will watch the SS website carefully to see what develops for 2008 as something may fit with our timing. We will sail again with SS sometime in the future..with or without kids.

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Thanks for the review, Mrs. Waldo. I enjoyed reading it.


Interesting to have the perspective of parents who had two children with them. Yours sound very well behaved, and I'd bet that fellow pax would have to work hard to be annoyed by them.


How did you enjoy your dinner at La Terazza? Would you be kind enough to describe the courses a bit?



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Silver pearl,


Thanks for the compliments on the kids...



Unfortunately luggage restrictions and heathrow disaster stopped me bringing home more of the sample menus etc (checked out of london at 110kg with an actual allowance of 90). As the only night we ate in la terrazza was the captains welcome aboard it was a lobster night.


My daughter had the lobster ravioli soup to start (ravioli presented nicely in the bowl and then the soup poured over at table as it should be). She said it was delicious and would have liked more. This was apparently followed by lobster with some type of pesto. (After 7 weeks of restaurant meals it starts to become confusing what we had when)


We had a lobster spaghetti ( lobster slightly overcooked) in a tomato based sauce as our main course. I think I had a very nice pannacotta for dessert.


We had a pinot grigio (cant remember the label) to accompany.


Most nights the menu's in the restaurant were exactly the same as the preview. The only exception being the removal of a Chocolate and porcini mushroom Risotto (it was supposed to be a Katrina Markoff cruise but she fell ill and left the ship).


a few dishes really stood out as being very good....

Beef Tenderloin with Jalapeno and cilantro dressing...really tender

Agnello al Forno (herb crusted lamb)...probably the best main course i had on board.


The lobster on the formal night out of amsterdam was also exceptionally good...i didn't order it as i had expected it to have been frozen but Mr Waldo said it was superb. i also found out they supposedly ship the lobster in live and keep them that way for the evening...no wonder they tasted good!


On the subject of wine the Australian white was a mid shelf penfolds reserve chardonnay (not something we would choose at home). Speaking with a few others we felt that he wines were based around well known regional producers at that price level(eg mondavi , etc)



we didn't manage any evening shows. The time difference was about 12 hours out from home so i was a bit reluctant to start staying up late and risking not waking in the mornings. we did see a puppet show by ray solaire which was quite entertaining and clever.


i'm not sure what it was about the nail artist. it took me quite a while to feel comfortable with her (perhaps it was becuase my nails were suffering from suitcase moving;) )



Something i didn't add in my review was the laundry. I got most of the clothes laundered but my son, bless his heart, washed a load of his and his sisters underwear, tshirts and his sweatshirt. There were three machines and they had dryers attatached to the top. The problem with this was twofold.

People would put a load in expecting a dryer to be ready when the load finished 25-30mins (dryers took around 40-60 mins if left uniterrupted). They would then get irritated with people who had loads in the machine one lady just removed a load from the dryer even though it was still damp and put hers in.

The second problem was that people would open the dryer to check if it was available, shut the door and not press the reset button. This left the load of washing not drying so it took nearly 4 hours for my son's load to dry. Each time one of us went back the dryer would be off but the clothes almost as wet as the previous check. i became a lurker at about the 3 hour mark and this was how I discovered what was happening.


The solution to this would be to add a further dryer or two (even if it was at the expense of a wash machine). This aside having a laundry and especially and iron is certainly a godsend when travelling with a family (the handwashing of underwear in bathroom vanities had also taken its toll on my nails!)



thank you, it's hard not to write what has already been written before.

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"we did see a puppet show by ray solaire which was quite entertaining and clever."


Wow! He did the same show (titled Black Magic Theatre) when we sailed on the Silver Cloud, June 1994. He was our cruise director.


Thank you for the review. It was interesting to read about the Silver Cloud after all these years. There were young teens on our cruise. Really nice kids and I remember one 13-year-old signed up for three shore excursions in one day. Such stamina!

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