Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Next trip, same ship, new dining companions

The reception desk makes it easy to check in, check out on Silver II.
The reception desk makes it easy to check in, check out on Silver II.

ABOARD THE AMADEUS SILVER II – Same ship. Same stateroom. Same crew. Different passengers. My second cruise aboard the Amadeus Silver II feels as though I am coming home.

Although they could have made me check out from one cruise and check into the next one, the Silver II crew was very gracious. They told me to leave all my things in my cabin – my clothing still hanging in the closet – disembark and embark back to the same stateroom. Originally, I had been scheduled to be in another room so this made the whole process much easier.

Flying from Indianapolis to Europe is just too much of a hassle to do it for a five-day cruise. So I added on the following six-day cruise with Amras Cruises. I would advise Americans to do that as well. My first cruise went so quickly that I felt I was just getting acquainted with the ship when it was time to leave. If you are going to pay to fly to Europe, you might as well make the cruise at least a week or longer.

A large buffet in the Restaurant serves delicious choices for breakfast and lunch.
A large buffet in the Restaurant serves delicious choices for breakfast and lunch.

Now I have a leisurely six days stretching before me and I already have the head start of knowing my way around the ship and around many parts of Germany and France where we will be docking.

As I said on my previous cruise, seating for meals is assigned. If you are with a group, you can certainly arrange to be seated together. For this cruise, I was assigned by hotel director Adras Moszar to sit with five dining companions at a big round table. Adras said that table was picked for me because all the people at it speak English. The majority of the passengers speak German and all public announcements are made in both English and German.

What a pleasure. I couldn’t have picked better new friends. I will now be dining with Gilda from Australia, her grown son Tim, his friend John, Gilda’s friend Natalie from Paris, and Gilda’s cruise friend Dama from New Zealand. Dama and Gilda became acquainted on a previous cruise and didn’t realize until they began emailing that they both are sailing on this cruise.

A special table has been reserved for Amras Cruises passengers.
A special table has been reserved for Amras Cruises passengers.

We have had so much fun already and the cruise is just beginning. Dining companions can certainly add greatly to a cruise – or detract from it. How lucky I am to have this group with which to share meals and adventures.

Launched in 2015, the Silver II has four decks with 84 cabins and can carry 168 passengers. As a nod to her Amadeus heritage, the decks are named Mozart, Strauss and Haydn. I am on Mozart in stateroom 320.

My second cruise has 93 passengers, most of whom are German. The average age on the cruise is probably 60 but there are four young men on this cruise with their parents. There are no children.

Dining Choices on the Silver II

Great attention to detail is paid to all dishes on the Silver II.
Great attention to detail is paid to all dishes on the Silver II.

My new dining group has a nice large table by a window and I already know that food on the Silver II is abundant and delicious. It is considered international cuisine. In this blog, I thought I’d tell you a little more about the dining room, called simply the Restaurant, and how things are done on the Silver II.

For breakfast, we can order from the menu for items such as cooked eggs, omelets, oatmeal and blueberry pancakes. We also can help ourselves to the large buffet in the center of the dining room. The breakfast buffet has cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, crispy and less done bacon, hash brown potatoes, miso soup, sausages, cheese, tomatoes, fruit, smoked salmon and other things I’m sure I forgot.

One of the nice extras on the buffet is that all the hot food is in large silver chafing dishes with hinged covers. To make it easier to get whatever we want in the chafing dish, the lid stays open once we open it. When we are finished serving ourselves, we simply gently touch the lid and it slowly closes.

Certainly makes it much more convenient than having to totally remove a lid from a warming dish and look for a place to put the lid when we are serving ourselves. Or to have to hold onto the lid with one hand while we serve ourselves with the other because the lid will plop down.  It’s little things like this that I have discovered on the Silver II to make the cruise even more enjoyable.

Another table has bunches of breads, pastries, muffins, croissants and other sweets for breakfast. A third table has a generous supply of various juices and water. Of course, servers also will offer us coffee, water and juice as soon as we sit down.

A lighter breakfast is served at the same time in the Panorama Bar. A 24-hour coffee, tea and hot chocolate station is available in the Amadeus Club.

Large chafing dishes keep dining choices warm for breakfast and lunch.
Large chafing dishes keep dining choices warm for breakfast and lunch.

Lunch and Dinner Menus                                                 

For lunch, we can eat in the Restaurant or have lighter fare in the Panorama Bar. Lunch also has a menu to order entrees and desserts. We can help ourselves to appetizers, soup and salad from the buffet. In the middle of the big oblong buffet – hidden from our sight – are steps leading down to the kitchen. Freshly prepared dishes are brought up the stairs from the kitchen and arranged on the buffet for servers to bring to our tables.

Lunch and dinner menus always feature three entrees – fish, meat and vegetarian. For example, the lunch menu today offered an entrée choice of Franconia white wine chicken with silver onions and Vichy carrots; or breaded filet of plaice fish with tartar sauce and potato salad; or spaghetti with tofu Bolognese.

The menu dessert choice for lunch today was Black Forest cake or cinnamon crème brulee. If you are having difficulty choosing a dessert, do what my dinner companion Dama did – order them both. Also remember there is that huge buffet which is meal enough without ordering from the menu but I always order an entrée and a dessert.

Afternoon tea is served at 4 p.m. in the Panorama Bar with a huge buffet of fresh pastries and some sandwiches. Pianist Slavi from Bulgaria provides lovely background music for the tea. In the evening he teams with singer Silvyia for entertaining music programs.

This is only part of the breads and pastries offered for breakfast.
This is only part of the breads and pastries offered for breakfast.

Dinner aboard the Silver II is served only in the Restaurant and is from a menu. Along with soup and salad choices, our dinner menu last night offered entrée choices of beef roulade filled with sundried tomatoes, plus red wine sauce, buttered broccoli and salted potatoes; or pan fried filet of St. Pete’s fish with saffron sauce, braised fennel and jasmine rice; or fried vegetables in tempura dough with sweet and sour sauce.

Dinner dessert was either tiramisu or chocolate mousse, plus there is a huge cheese and fresh fruit selection from a serving table. Sometimes, my dinner companions and I will get dessert and then finish the meal with some of that tasty international cheese.

The ship doesn’t offer room service. But if passengers are still hungry, the Silver II always has cookies somewhere and a late night snack at 10:30 in the Panorama Bar. I can’t tell you what is served at the late night snack because I have never gone to it. Not hungry at all.

Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch

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