MS Silver Cloud

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MS Silver Cloud - Silversea Cruises

Silver Cloud marked the return to cruising for "V Ships" the company many long time cruisers remember from their old "Sitmar" days! These are the new incarnations of the Sitmar Ships! The original Sitmar was sold to Princess Cruises in the late 80's, the original owners, contractually prohibited from competing in the industry. With the launching of Silverseas Cruises, it is safe to assume the "non-compete" agreement, now, has lapsed. For all you declared lovers of Sitmar, who have not been able to find a "home" you are! Be prepared to dig into your wallets though, the newly incarnated Sitmar has moved up-town! No longer relying on old tonnage, this line consists of 2 newly built vessels with more on order! Designed to compete with the likes of Sea Goddess and Seabourn, the words service and pricey have come to be closely associated with the line. Conde Nast has just named Silverseas 'the best cruise line in the world", as decided by their readers, the most sophisticated travelers on the planet!

Silver Cloud was built in Italy in 1994 for Silverseas Cruises. She is 16,800 tons. 514.4 feet long. 70.6 feet wide with a 17.3 foot draft. Small by today’s standards, she carries only 315 passengers, with all births filled! Silver Cloud provides two crew members for every three passengers! She is diesel powered and registered in the Bahamas with Italian Officers and European service staff.

I saw this ship in Tenerife and in Madeira in 1997 and frankly, I was not impressed! The call in Tenerife took place after a long voyage across the Atlantic, and she showed inevitable signs of rust, the crew having no opportunity to touch up the paint during the crossing. The ship I was on, the Splendour of the Seas, making the same crossing, dropped paint crew within minutes of docking, and, by the time we departed later that afternoon, she was once again, gleaming. Not so with Silver Cloud! Her paint was not touched!

The next day, in Madeira, again, we were tied up behind Silver Cloud. Once more, no maintenance was performed on the paint covering her, increasingly, rust spotted hull. Needless to say, I didn't go running to my Travel Agent in order to book a cabin. In my mind, if routine maintenance is ignored, as was the case here, what other maintenance isn't being properly performed?? For the money asked for space on board this ship, it is reasonable to expect something close to perfection. With Silver Cloud, the flaws were obvious without even boarding! She did not earn a spot on my wish list!

Copyright © 1998 Mel Litzenberger. All Rights Reserved

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