Embarkation went smoothly. The transfer from Cape Grace Hotel to Silver Whisper was so efficient that I was onboard before official embarkation time. I sneaked down the corridor to my Vista Suite to drop off my carry-on bag then went up to the Viennese Lounge. The classic Silversea hospitality had begun.
Cape Town is a marvelous port for a 5-day visit before departing South Africa. Signal Hill, with the noon-day gun is a fine local tradition and the impressive Table Mountain looms over the harbour making the departure especially beautiful. In a stunning coincidence, Saga Ruby the ship was tied up at a wharf in Cape Town Harbor.
It is always a treat to open the door of a Silversea suite and see again the handsomely decorated large suite, even at steerage level. My requests for fresh fruit and bottled water with a full ice bucket were waiting for me thanks to my excellent butler, Reynaldo, who anticipated my needs before I knew what I wanted. For the first time in decades of cruising, early in the cruise, I woke up at 2:00am thinking I was starving. I called Room Service which promptly brought a marvelous club sandwich and chips to my suite.
A tip of the toque to the Executive Chef, Anne-Marie Cornelius. She provided exciting menus from around the world which were delicious. At dinner, my tablemates showed off their dessert plates to display the latest brilliant artistic offerings from the pastry chef. The food was consistently the best I have had onboard ships in many years with extensive choices plus the service in the MDR was excellent.
Late in the cruise, we had a BBQ grill on Pool Deck for the entire ship. A generous buffet was such fun under the stars. The evening was well-organized, the food was bountiful, the waiters ably helped us walk around the deck with plates, trays, and drinks.
On the penultimate day of the cruise, we were in the Caribbean headed to Fort Lauderdale and our "lunch" was a parade of nations spread out among three decks. This particular cruise was coming to the end of the World Cruise and passengers could choose exotic food offerings from Asia, Africa, Europe, and America - everywhere the ship had visited. The various food choices were impressive and it was quite fun to indulge in these many exotic dishes.
The only entertainment I attended was the guitar maestro, George Sakellariou, whose topnotch skills and musical offerings are always outstanding. George's performances were well-attended as word spread through the ship about his polished technical skills which produce fine bass notes and warm tones. His CDs are excellent but a live performance brings home the point that only a master guitarist can produce such excellence because, in live concerts, there are no do-overs.
I particularly appreciated the many boat drills performed by the crew. In case of emergency, the crew was well-trained to provide safety for the passengers.
The cruise director, Fernando, did a fine job. I had heard about him prior to boarding Whisper and he was as good as everyone said. It was such a treat to receive a handwritten invitation to his dinner table. All CDs are like Energizer bunnies and Fernando, with his many announcements and gift for languages, is top of the mark in his field. Begonia in Reception seems to have the ability to turn water into gold. Her social and technical skills are amazing and appreciated.
My main focus for choosing this itinerary was to sail the western coast of Africa which completes my African collection and also to enjoy living in the lap of luxury on the ship. Both goals were accomplished with full marks and Dinner in the Desert in Namibia was, indeed, an abfab experience.
My thanks to the entire staff and crew onboard Whisper. Each and all of them made this solo passenger feel comfortable and warmly welcomed onboard this luxury small ship.