Overview of Luxury Cruise Ship
The Silversea Silver Whisper is an elegant cruise ship that really knows what it means to pamper its passengers and provide the type of service that is expected on a boutique, ultra-luxury ship.
All in all, the Silver Whisper was everything we could ask for. The accommodations are among the best at sea, the food delicious, and the service and attention to detail superb. Having sailed on the Silver Whisper several years before, my expectations for the hotel and tour services on the ship were high, and the ship and crew did not disappoint.
Overall, five factors made our cruise on the Silver Whisper a memorable one --
- Outstanding service, attention to detail, and all-inclusive pricing
- Fantastic food
- Wonderful suite accommodations
- Sleek, beautiful ship and superb on-board amenities
- Exciting, exotic itinerary
Let's take a look at each of these factors.
Tour of the Silver Whisper Cruise Ship
- Silver Whisper Overview
- Silver Whisper Service
- Breakfast on the Silver Whisper
- Lunch on the Silver Whisper
- Dinner on the Silver Whisper
- Silver Whisper All-Suite Accommodations
- Silver Whisper Common Areas
- Silver Whisper Passenger Profile
Small Luxury Ship with Exceptional Service
Service! Service! Service! I can't say enough good things about the service provided by the Silver Whisper crew. Granted, on a small ship of less than 400 passengers, it's a little easier for the wait staff and crew to get to know the passengers' desires. I wasn't surprised when our charming and delightful steward and butler were unobtrusive, efficient, and eager to fulfill our every whimsy. After all, we were on a luxury ship with a crew-to-passenger ration of 1.5 to 1. The wait staff in The Restaurant and other dining and lounge venues were equally as friendly and efficient.
Passengers on ultra-luxury ships like the Silversea Silver Whisper expect exceptional service because they are paying a higher rate per day than on a mainstream cruise ship. The crew does their best to meet or exceed those expectations. Cruising on a luxury ship like the Silver Whisper is certainly one of the most relaxing vacations you could ever ask for--there is always someone close by anticipating your questions and needs.
The attention to detail by the Silver Whisper crew included such small things as:
- a bowl of dried ginger outside the restaurant. Good for refreshing your mouth after dining or for settling your stomach if you ate too much. Mints are nice, but the ginger was special.
- our favorite wine, liquor, or soft drinks always available in the suite
- fresh flowers in our suite and throughout the ship
- bottles of complimentary water and a Silversea representative on each shore excursion.
- bottles of complimentary water near the disembarkation door at each port.
- shoes shined and elegantly wrapped and returned to the suite (without asking)
- 24-hour a day room service, including the full menu from the Restaurant at night.
- including a copy of the next day's menu in the nightly Silversea Chronicle newsletter.
- a complimentary shuttle bus at each port of call where needed.
- suitcases cleaned before disembarkation
- addressing guests by name and remembering their favorite drink
Let's take a look at the other factors making a Silver Whisper cruise a memorable one.
Breakfast on the Silver Whisper
Cruise cuisine is a favorite topic of all who love to cruise. On a luxury cruise ship like the Silversea Silver Whisper, our expectations were very high.
The Silver Whisper chefs and dining staff certainly met our expectations and more. Each night after dinner we received our Silversea Chronicle, which included the next day's schedule of activities onboard and ashore. The Silversea Chronicle also included a preview menu for lunch and dinner the next day. That meant you could dream about what you were eating the next day if you wished! Each meal included an option that was designed to appeal to all tastes. Both lunch and dinner had "wellness" options, consisting of low cholesterol, low sodium, vegetarian, and low fat cuisine. Room service was available 24 hours a day from the room service menu in the suite. All meals included a choice of several complimentary wine selections.
Breakfast on the Silver Whisper included enough dining options to suit even the earliest or latest risers. It started with coffee and continental breakfast from 6:30 am to 11:00 am in the Observation and Panorama Lounges located at opposite ends of the ship. After all, no one should have to walk far for coffee in the morning if they don't want to have room service! Alternatively, a full room service breakfast was available. We ordered coffee, tea, rolls, and fruit some mornings in our suite, and they were always delivered promptly. For those with heartier appetites, The Restaurant served a sit-down breakfast, and the La Terraza served a full buffet and cooked-to-order items like pancakes or omelets. When the weather is beautiful, many passengers ate either the breakfast buffet outside on the deck or enjoyed lighter fare at the Pool Grill.
More Information on the Silver Whisper Dining Venues
Lunch on the Silver Whisper
Where passengers chose to each lunch on the Silver Whisper was somewhat linked to whatever activity they were engaged in. Some sun-loving passengers or those who returned late from the shore ate a relaxing informal lunch at the casual Pool Grill. Others with more time and wanting a sit-down lunch found their way to The Restaurant. Most seemed to eat either inside or outside at the bountiful buffet in the La Terrazza. The buffet was casual and could be fairly quick, depending on how much you ate, enabling passengers to either meet up with their afternoon shore excursion or go back ashore for more sightseeing or shopping.
When the weather is nice, I like to eat outside at the casual Pool Grill. Sometimes, I just need a hamburger or hot dog, and the Pool Grill makes good ones.
Sometimes on port-intensive cruises, lunch is ashore. Don't worry, you can always eat a light snack from room service on the balcony to tide you over until dinner.
In addition to the regular dining options, the Silver Whisper staff often have a special luncheon treat for all the guests. While transiting the Suez Canal, we had an outdoor barbecue with a buffet including numerous salads, roasted pig, grilled lobster, prawns, chicken, steak, and lamb. It was fun and delicious! While sailing on the Silver Whisper in South America, everyone loved the sumptuous galley brunch in The Restaurant. Each cruise seems to have something special for lunch.
More Information on the Silver Whisper Dining Venues
Dinner on the Silver Whisper
Dinner was my favorite meal of the day on the Silver Whisper. We dined with new friends, sharing stories of our day or our lives. The staff was attentive, and the cuisine delightful. In The Restaurant, there were several selections of cold appetizers, hot appetizers, soup, salad, main courses, and desserts. The sorbet served before the main course and the extensive complimentary wine list added to the enjoyment. The main course choices in The Restaurant featured a variety of choices including vegetarian, beef, lamb, chicken, fish or seafood, and something a "little different" like veal, liver, lobster, or frog legs. We usually lingered over our wine or dessert, enjoying the company.
Sometimes cruisers think that small ships do not have enough dining options. However, the Silver Whisper has four other dinner options. First, the La Terrazza was transformed each evening into an Italian bistro with an alternative no-additional-cost dining experience. La Terrazza has limited seating to help maintain the intimate atmosphere and requires reservations. The Italian menus rotate each night, focusing on regional delicacies. Loving Italian food, we dined at La Terrazza several times, each time savoring the interesting differences in flavors from around Italy.
The Grill dinner is a fun outdoor dining experience. Guests choose their prime meat or seafood from the menu and then cook it on a very hot lava rock. I loved cooking one bite at a time and eating it red hot.
For those seeking the ultimate in dining, the Silver Whisper wine room, Le Champagne, was available for reservations at a fee of 30$ per person, which covers the gourmet meal and accompanying complimentary wines.
The Silver Whisper chefs also make The Restaurant full dinner menu available for room service each evening.
More Information on the Silver Whisper Dining Venues
Sleeping on the Silver Whisper
Every cabin on the Silver Whisper is a suite, and I don't think there is a bad location on this small luxury cruise ship. The Silver Whisper has 9 classes of suites ranging in size from 287 square feet to over 1,400 square feet. Each of these spacious suites from the Vista Suites to the spectacular Owner's Suite is designed to be comfortable for long sea voyages. Although the smallest Vista Suite includes plenty of room for two and a large picture window with an ocean view, the other suites all have sliding glass doors and a teak veranda.
More on the Silver Whisper Suites
Common Areas and Amenities
The Silversea Silver Whisper's decor is simple, understated, and elegant, with many interesting pieces of art tastefully displayed. The superb passenger to space ratio is clearly evident on the Silver Whisper. The luxury cruise ship has plenty of quiet areas, and there is always a padded deck chair available, even when the ship is full.
Although the Silver Whisper is a small ship, it has several quiet bars, and I love getting a drink without ever having to pull out my key card. The bars feature quiet entertainment in the evening, which is conducive to conversation with new friends. The Viennese show lounge has good evening entertainment such as the young onboard singers, magicians, or musicians on a piano, guitar, or clarinet. Passengers also enjoyed browsing the upscale shops and playing the casino when the ship was at sea in the evenings.
Daytime hours when the Silver Whisper is at sea are filled with relaxation or educational opportunities. The ship has an excellent Spa at Silversea, and the fitness center has workout equipment and classes in Pilates, yoga, aerobics, and body toning.
Silver Whisper passengers are often upscale professionals who are well-traveled and have had amazing life experiences. The guests come from around the world. I counted 18 countries represented on the passenger list of our Silver Whisper South America cruise, with only about 1/3 being from North America. People select the Silver Whisper to meet other fascinating travelers from around the world and to experience the world's most interesting destinations from a elegant, comfortable ship that quickly becomes home.
Those seeking a non-stop party atmosphere, a bustling casino, and Las Vegas-style entertainment are probably the only vacationers who might be disappointed in the Silver Whisper. Even with the all-inclusive drink policy, cruisers are not on the Silver Whisper for a "wild" time. You also will not find any party games around the pool or in the lounges. You will find time for a game of bridge with passengers from around the world and a very competitive Team Trivia game each afternoon. Ship life does not revolve around the casino or the ship's activities. Silver Whisper passengers know how to entertain themselves.
Since the Silver Whisper is a luxury ship, many of the passengers are retired and older, with more time and discretionary funds to spend on travel. However, as the baby boom generation starts to retire and spend those 401K savings, I can see many of them "moving up" to a fabulous ship like the Silver Whisper. After all, the older you get, the more you expect and the more you appreciate the superb service, accommodations, cuisine, and itineraries that the Silversea Silver Whisper has to offer.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary hotel and cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.