My wife and I were aboard the Silver Whisper (cruise 4723) departing Southampton, England on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, and arriving in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Friday, September 8, 2017. It was our second Silversea cruise having earlier ... Read More
My wife and I were aboard the Silver Whisper (cruise 4723) departing Southampton, England on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, and arriving in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Friday, September 8, 2017. It was our second Silversea cruise having earlier gone to Antarctica, etc, aboard the Silver Explorer.
The Silver Whisper rides very well. The engines are quiet and even in North Atlantic 12-15 seas, the roll was negligible. Many times, you had the feeling we had to be in port only to open the curtains to see we were still moving.
The public areas are all well designed and well kept. The dining rooms are large and comfortable. It's nice that guests can dine alone or in groups at any meal at any time. The maitre d's and wait staff are polished and friendly. The food - at all venues and in room service - was excellent, always brought at the right temperature, and sensibly portioned. First-rate. The "house coffee" at breakfast was not the best, leading many guests to order cappucinos/americano. The buffet area (lunch & dinner) could be larger. Le Champagne, the posh restaurant, is headed by an excellent maitre d' and staff and they serve a wonderful meal but the nearly windowless room doesn't have much of an appeal.
The Panorama Lounge is a nice space and could certainly offer more in the way of a light breakfast. The Observation Lounge is rather lifeless. A better chair arrangement, tiered somehow, would offer better views. The Bar - for obvious reasons - is probably the livliest space on the ship. Excellent pianists & singers in the bar. The Grill by the pool, weather permitting, is casual and has a great lunch menu and a fun grill at night.
Our cabin/suite on deck 6 was excellent, with a large sitting area, a rather stiff sofa (sleeper) and a private balcony. There is a very good walk-in closet. The bathroom had both a full tub and separate walk-in shower. Excellent towels and toiletries. My problems with the room were limited to the wi-fi which was unreliable and slow. Admittedly, we took the free, daily hour but the wifi experience did not meet Silversea standards. The in-room television needs a sports channel that carries American sports. The "map channel" that charts the ship's course uses maps of such a scale that they are almost useless.
We will not see our 65th birthdays again and yet we were among the youngest guests on this cruise. Perhaps a 17-day cruise during back-to-school weeks isn't one likely to attract younger people, but you can disregard the brochures and ship promotional material, this cruise skewed old. The entertainment was poorly chosen. A guest violinist was excellent. The house trio and the ship's two pianists were first rate - otherwise there was too much "show tune" fanfare indifferently lit but earnestly performed. Given the guests, how many people were up for the late-night karaoke and disco nights. Get real.
The cruise itinerary was well-planned - Cornwall-Ireland-Reykyavik and "sunny, Southern Greenland" were wonderful. The last week, however, was a slog. It is always subject to weather adjustments but we felt that our Canada changes were mishandled by Silversea. It was too rough for the tenders at L'Anse aux Meadows, so that stop was cancelled. But that came after we had already been told our visit to the Gaspe (three days out) was being cancelled because of some slowdown mandated to avoid the numerous right whales in the area. So, all we got was a forgettable day in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. The people were nice but, how can I say this, there is NOTHING to do or see in Corner Brook other than the ever-belching stacks of a paper plant. Some people took bus tours looking down on islands they had just sailed past. And it was raining and it was Canadian Labor Day - everything was closed. Some creative thinking at Silversea (skip Corner Brook and go to Gaspe?) would have helped. HQ could have found a better alternative than napkin folding competitions in the Panorama Lounge.
I give the Silver Whisper ship an A. The food and drink, dining and suite staff an A. I give the larger cruise experience a B.
As for "the ratings" below, it is really unfair to have to things like enrichment, excursion and entertainment overall. The offerings on Silversea were all above average but "very good" seems too strong. Read Less