My wife and I like small ships rather than the large cruise ships because they are more intimate and feature the ports of call as the selling point versus the large floating hotel concept. We also focus on which ports the cruise will call on rather than the time of year or size of boat. This cruise was the second time on Silver Whisper, a Baltic Sea cruise being the first time. On this cruise we liked its origination port of Monte Carlo and conclusion in Lisbon. Portugal is a very interesting country to visit and we will go back. We also thought most of the ports would be very interesting, or provide access to exceptional Spanish cities. As we found out, Malaga and Cadiz allowed us to visit Granada and Seville, both the gems of Andalusia. Most of the tours were very good although on whole we thought Seabourn's tours are better. One tour to Granada was wait listed so we opted to use our travel agent to set up a private tour. Otherwise the ship's tours of Seville and Barcelona were excellent! Once you come back for a second cruise you become a member in their Venetian Society, and they hosted a remarkable excursion one evening in Barcelona that was very good!
We normally try to book the larger Silver Suites which are similar in configuration to the Seabourn suites. Our suite, however, was better than the Seabourn suites by being wider and more spacious. We especially like their hot rock feature on the Pool deck, which we enjoy immensely! The October time frame was nice from a temperature perspective, but the captain skipped two ports due to high winds/seas so there is a trade off for booking at end of the season. Crew was very nice and the butler element is a nice touch not present on Seabourn. On previous trip in Baltic Sea we hit all of the restaurants, but this time, due to the presence of a wine tour group, most of the evenings were already booked. As such we were unable to compare with previous dining experience. We generally do not go to the Restaurant on deck 4. All in all a cruise that was very memorable!