Silver Whisper: Dubai to Athens, 4/20/08 - 5/5/08
Embarkation. It was a hot Sunday in Dubai and by mid-morning we were out of touring options, seriously jet lagged, with five hours to kill before our scheduled boarding. We hadn't purchased an early boarding permit but we decided to call the Silversea port agent to see if we could show up at the ship, pay the $100 per person fee, and proceed on board early. He said yes. By noon we were cheerfully received and directed to The Restaurant for a leisurely, delightful lunch. All the wait staff ambled over to our table to introduce themselves and welcome us aboard. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that when you board early they attempt to get you to your cabin early. By the end of lunch our cabin on deck eight was ready. We were unpacked and sipping our complimentary champagne when general boarding commenced. Under the circumstances we decided the $200 we splurged to board early was well spent. We would have spent $60pp for food and drink waiting at our hotel. For me, embarkation gets an A+.
The Ship. We were immensely impressed with the Silver Whisper. She is totally comfortable, spotless, and in top condition. Her public rooms are spacious and richly appointed without seeming the least bit stuffy and well disbursed throughout the ship so we never experienced a sense of crowding. We had 375 passengers on board but it seemed like only 75. Our standard cabin was excellent, ample space and storage, a very comfortable bed, and a large bath with double sinks and a separate tub and shower. The cabin furnishings were a bit worn, but in a homey comfortable sense. Getting about the ship was initially a bit of a challenge since some areas are accessible only by forward stairs and elevators and others by the aft stairs and elevators. But after charging down occasional dead ends, we mastered the territory and grew to love the ship's layout. For me, the ship gets an A+. She isn't new, but she wears her years oh so well!