This was our second voyage on Silversea, the first was last September on Shadow doing the inside passage in Alaska. While we immensely enjoyed that trip we thought the ship was a bit tired and the weather (clearly not under Silversea control) was not very accommodating. This trip was to celebrate my retirement and our wedding anniversary. We embarked at Monte Carlo after spending two nights at the Fairmont Hotel there, a completely satisfactory hotel. We opted for early embarkation and took a taxi to the ship around 12 Noon. We were met at the gangway by a young man who escorted us to the reception area on the fifth level of Whisper. In moments we had our pictures taken and our silver key cards issued. Our cabin was ready and our escort took us there directly. We found everything in perfect order -- from the welcoming chilled champagne to the specific liquors we had ordered on our pre-boarding information form. We had a Silver Suite on Shadow and, while the Veranda Suite was just fine, we missed the extra space provided by a Silver Suite. We went to lunch in the dining room, where there were a few other early boarders, and had a delightful lunch. This was the first of many excellent dining experiences. My wife went back into Monte Carlo for some last minute shopping and I explored the ship. I recalled that some areas on the sister ship, Silver Shadow, were a bit worn. Not so on Whisper. There was not a torn or faded carpet or piece of upholstery to be found.
By the time my wife returned the luggage had arrived and we unpacked. I also set out to make reservations for dinner at La Terraza one evening and at Le Champagne for the evening of our anniversary. These could both be booked at La Terraza after 3 PM. I also asked to be put on the waitlist for a second evening at La Terraza. It turned out that did not develop but we were not disappointed to eat the other five evenings in The Restaurant. I do find the reservation process for the two alternate restaurants a bit odd, but I knew it worked this way from Shadow and went along with their system. The meals in each of the dining rooms were excellent. Le Champagne was way over the top and a real special treat for our anniversary. The wait staff through out were most friendly and charming and, much to our delight, Leanne who had been our favorite waitress on Shadow was on this cruise and we sat in her area each evening in The Restaurant. For lunch we alternated between the buffet in The Terrace (odd how the name changes for the breakfast and lunch buffets) and eating by the pool. Great hamburgers, there. Each evening we began with drinks in the bar or, our preference when it was open, The Panorama Lounge on deck 8.
Shore excursions were a mixed experience. We did a lovely tour of Rapallo and Santa Margherita. The weather turned nasty for our drive on the Amalfi Coast. Pisa was interesting and well worth the drive. And we loved the guides who took us to the ruins at Pompeii. The weather the last two nights at sea was very rough with high seas and much tossing and turning (both the ship and yours truly). And then we were at the port near Rome, where we left Silver Whisper for a few nights in the city of Rome -- which we arranged on our own. Disembarkation was smooth as silk. All in all, a wonderful cruise on a most lovely vessel.