Silver Whisper - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Silver Whisper


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 448 out of 500

Accommodation: 181 out of 200

Food: 341 out of 400

Service: 346 out of 400

Entertainment: 85 out of 100

Cruise: 344 out of 400

Overall Score: 1745 out of 2000

Silver Whisper Statistics

Size: Small Ship

Tonnage: 28,258

Lifestyle: Luxury

Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9192179

Builder: Visentini/Mariotti (Italy)

Original Cost: $150 million

Entered Service: Jul 2001

Registry: Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 610.2/186.0

Beam (ft/m): 81.8/24.8

Draft (ft/m): 19.6/6.0

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel/2

Passenger Decks: 7

Total Crew: 295

Passengers (lower beds): 388

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 72.8

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.3

Cabins (total): 194

Size Range (sq ft/m): 287.0-1,435.0/26.6-133.3

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 166

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 2

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 5

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 1

Hot Tubs (on deck): 2

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


All-inclusive cruising with space, style, and good food

Overview. This ship suits discerning, well-traveled couples who like a small ship that provides excellent food and fine European-style service in elegant, highly comfortable surroundings. Silversea Cruises promotes its Italian Heritage theme, and its many international passengers respond well to the ambience, food, and the staff, most of whom go out of their way to please.

The Ship. Silver Whisper, which Russia’s Vladimir Putin chartered in 2003 to host guests for the three-day celebrations of St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary, is the second generation of vessels in the Silversea Cruises fleet. It is sister to Silver Shadow, and is slightly larger than the line’s first two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, but with a more streamlined profile and a large, sleek single funnel.

The cruise line has ‘all-inclusive’ fares, including gratuities (although additional tips are not expected, they are not prohibited). The fares do not include vintage wines, or massage, or other personal services, but they do include many things that are at extra cost compared aboard the ships of many other cruise lines. The passenger mix includes many nationalities, although the majority of passengers are North American. Children are sometimes seen aboard, though they aren’t really welcomed by most passengers.

Only a few ships make it to a five-star Berlitz rating, but Silversea Cruises’ emphasis on quality has earned it an enviable reputation, particularly for cuisine. Shuttle buses are provided in most ports of call, and all the little extras that passengers receive make this ship an extremely pleasant experience. The surroundings are very comfortable and contemporary without being extravagant, there is open-seating dining with drinks included, cold canapés and hot hors d’oeuvres are served in the bars in the pre-dinner cocktail hour, and there’s a captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail party.

Aluminum/teak deck furniture is placed by the swimming pool, but the pool itself is quite small. The Humidor, by Davidoff, a 25-seat cigar smoking lounge, has been styled like an English smoking club. There’s a wine bar and computer learning center.

Accommodation. This ‘all-suites’ ship has eight cabin price categories. All grades have double vanities in the marble-floored bathrooms, plus tub and separate shower enclosure. Silversea-monogrammed Frette bed linen is provided in all grades, as is an eight-pillow menu from soft down to memory foam, 100 percent cotton bathrobes, a fine array of Acqua di Parma bathroom amenities, and personalized stationery. In the Grand, Royal, Rossellini, or Owner’s Suites, you get unobtrusive service from butlers certified by London’s Guild of Professional Butlers.

Vista Suites. These suites measure 287 sq ft (27 sq m) and don’t have a private balcony. Instead there is a large window, twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, sitting area, TV and video player, refrigerator, writing desk, personal safe, cocktail cabinet, dressing table with hairdryer, and walk-in closet. The bathroom is marble-clad in gentle colors, and has two washbasins, full-size tub, separate shower enclosure, and toilet.

Veranda Suites. Each of the Veranda Suites - which are really Vista Suites plus a veranda - measures 345 sq ft (32 sq m) and has convertible twin-to-queen beds. They are well fitted-out and have large floor-to-ceiling windows, large walk-in closet, dressing table, writing desk, stocked minibar/refrigerator (drinks included in the fare), and fresh flowers. The marble-clad bathrooms have two washbasins, full-size tub, separate shower enclosure, and toilet.

Silver Suites. The Silver Suites measure 701 sq ft (65 sq m). Much wider than the Vista Suites or Veranda Suites, they have a separate bedroom, an audio-visual entertainment center in both bedroom and living room, and much more living space, including a large dining area with table and four chairs. The marble-clad bathrooms have two washbasins, full-size tub, separate shower enclosure, and toilet.

Owner’s Suites. The two Owner’s Suites, each 1,208 sq ft (112 sq m), are much larger units and include an extra bathroom for guests, plus more living space. There is a 200-sq-ft (18-sq-m) veranda, two bedrooms with queen-size beds, two walk-in closets, two living rooms, two sitting areas, separate dining area, an entertainment center with flat-screen plasma television in the living room and TV/DVD player in each bedroom, telephones, refrigerators, cocktail cabinet, writing desk, and dressing tables with hairdryers. There are two marble-clad bathrooms, one with a full-size whirlpool tub and two washbasins, separate toilet, and separate shower, plus a powder room for guests. Owner’s Suites can be a one- or two-bedroom configuration.

Royal Suites. Stately accommodation can be found in two Royal Suites, measuring 1,312 sq ft (122 sq m) and 1,352 sq ft (126 sq m). These are two-bedroom suites, with two teakwood verandas, two living rooms, sitting areas, dining area, queen-size beds, an entertainment center with flat-screen plasma television in the living room and TV/DVD player in each bedroom, telephones, refrigerators, cocktail cabinet, writing desk, two closets, and dressing tables with hairdryers. There are two marble-clad bathrooms, one with a full-size whirlpool tub and two washbasins, separate toilet, and separate shower, as well as a powder room for guests. Royal Suites can be either a one- or two-bedroom configuration.

Grand Suites. There are two, one 1,286 sq ft (119 sq m) and the other, including an adjoining suite with interconnecting door, 1,435 sq ft (133 sq m). These have two bedrooms, two large walk-in closets, two living rooms, Bang & Olufsen entertainment centers, and large, forward-facing, private verandas. These are sumptuous apartments with all the comforts of home, and then some.

Disabled Suites. There are two adjacent suites for the physically disabled (535 and 537), both beside an elevator. They measure a generous 398 sq ft (37 sq m) and are well-equipped with an accessible hanging rail, and roll-in bathroom with roll-in shower unit.

Dining. The main dining room, The Restaurant, offers open-seating dining in elegant surroundings. Three grand chandeliers provide an upward focal point. Meals can also be served, course-by-course, in your suite, although the balcony tables are rather low for dining outdoors. The dining is good throughout the ship, with a choice of formal and informal areas, although the cuisine and presentation don’t quite match up to that of vessels such as the smaller Seabourn Cruise Line ships. Cristofle silverware is provided. Standard table wines are included for lunch and dinner, and there is an extra-cost ‘connoisseur list’ of premium wines.

Other dining options. As an alternative to the main restaurant, the extra-cost Le Champagne offers a more intimate, reservation-only dining spot that enables diners to dine from highly specialized dégustation menus marrying international cuisine with vintage wines selected by Relais & Châteaux sommeliers.

La Terrazza has self-serve breakfast and lunch buffets. The buffet design and set-up presents flow problems during breakfast, however, and ‘active’ stations for cooking eggs or pasta to order would help. In the evening this room serves regional Italian cuisine, and has softer lighting to create a more intimate atmosphere.

Adjacent to the café is a wine bar and a cigar-smoking room. A poolside grill provides a casual alternative daytime dining spot; in the evening it turns into The Grill, with food cooked using the Black Rock (hot stone) method.

Entertainment. The Showlounge spans two decks and has a sloping floor; both banquette and individual seating are provided, with good sight lines from almost all seats.

A decent array of cabaret acts does the Silversea circuit, most providing intelligent entertainment, and colorful production shows are back. More emphasis is placed on classical music ensembles. A band and small musical units provide music in the evenings in The Bar and the Panorama Lounge.

Spa/Fitness. The Spa at Silversea health/fitness facility, just behind the Observation Lounge, high atop the ship, includes a gymnasium, beauty salon, and separate saunas and steam rooms for men and women, plus several treatment rooms. A range of body-pampering services is offered to men and women. Massage and other treatments, facials, pedicures, and beauty salon treatments cost extra.