We recently completed an expedition on Prince Albert and had accepted that we couldn't expect the same standards as we had experienced on the cruise vessels but did expect high standards on Silver Whisper. The only aspect which lived up to expectations was the standard of the cabin staff(although where the unpacking service got to is a mystery). Everything else was OK,but not up to our earlier experience on Silver Cloud.
We got off to a poor start when we arrived at Copenhagen to be find no transport to the ship. There was only one other family (admittedly a large and very disorganised American multi generational group) but we were over an hour hanging around the airport carpark until the rep found us a rather scruffy taxi to get us to the ship.The ships decor is tired and rather "brown" though very clean and spacious. The "small ship" atmosphere we had enjoyed on Silver cloud was completely missing.
Food was generally good but a bit on the mass catering side and the table appointments plain, not at all like the original stylish cutlery and glassware we remembered. We noticed that most of the cutlery was marked "Hotel Christoff" and when we inquired about the connection,the staff shrugged and made no comment.What is that all about?
The alternative restaurant were mainly unavailable when we tried to book and we wondered if some people just booked everything and cancelled on the day as there always seemed to be plenty of space but another guest said that he understood that they deliberately used only part of these restaurants to save on staff. Whatever the reason,we could'nt get a reservation in advance. Another disappointment was the barbecue evening --overcrowded and definitely without style.
Overall we felt the ship was managed as an American style "resort" (not our favourite style even when we live in USA)rather than a small luxury ship.
The final disappointment was the standard of the excursions.One in particular included a visit to a depressing Soviet style business hotel(even the guide described it a a minus 3 star) for what was described as a vodka tasting. This consisted of three flagons of warm poor quality spirit in which had respectively garlic,horseradish and cranberries added for "flavour".Noone had more than a sip and noone could eat the "hors d'oevres" mainly consisting of lard on stale bread.
Silversea is obviously into economising and we shall be looking elsewhere in the future