9 Reasons to Set Sail on Silver Whisper
This past fall my husband Humberto and I took the Silver Whisper from Silversea Cruises on what we called a “leaves, lobsters and lighthouses” cruise in New England and Canada. It was our third voyage on this ship that the line uses for its annual World Cruise – so you can tell we like it! Here are 9 reasons why:
1) The chilled flutes of bubbly you are handed as you board the ship and check in – a festive welcome!
2) As we were sailing out of New York in the evening, with the Big Apple’s dazzling skyline all lit up, we could hear on the outer decks Frank Sinatra’s mega hit, “New York, New York” –a nice touch that made the experience even more memorable.
3) She personifies what I call the “Goldilocks principle”: neither too big nor too small. Her numbers are attractive: 28,258 tons, 382 passengers, 302 crew, and that equals lots of space in understated elegant public areas with amenities of larger ships like a multi-tiered show lounge and a spa, as well as the attentive service and attention to detail of yacht-like vessels.
4) The food, glorious food! We could never say “no” to the creamy gelatos in La Terrazza (Italian restaurant), the itinerary-focused dishes like Maine lobster with saffron potatoes and vegetable vermicelli in The Restaurant (main dining room), the filet of Limousin beef Café de Paris in La Dame (alternative restaurant), the prawns, pork chops, steak and salmon in the alfresco Hot Rocks Grill, and the very civilized musical afternoon tea in the Panorama Lounge with finger sandwiches, pastries and other goodies. Yum! Yum!
5) lounges including cocktails, beers, sodas and bottled water –nice to enjoy without having to be signing checks.
RELATED: 5 Faves: The Suite Life (on Silversea Cruises)
6) Our butler, Dinesh Loham from India (every accommodation has a butler in this all-suite ship) who kept our supplies of Bvlgari, Ferragamo and SebaMed (hypoallergenic) toiletries stocked as well as our bar-set up with our favorite Pinot Grigio wine. He also spoiled us with tapas each afternoon.
Silversea Whisper Takes Luxury Seriously
7) The suites. Ours, #718, was a welcoming, comfortable and attractive home at sea with seating/dining area, marble bath, bedroom with plush bedding – so comfortable we found ourselves falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer – and a nice veranda furnished with comfortable loungers and a table and chairs. The ship has 194 ocean-view suites ranging from entry level suites measuring 287 square feet to spacious apartment-style lodgings measuring 1,435 square feet, and more than 80 percent of the accommodations have private verandas. Suite amenities include convertible twin-to-queen beds, Pratesi bed linens, walk-in wardrobe, sitting area with writing desk, dressing table with hair dryer, choice of pillows, robes and slippers, Italian marble bathroom with telephone, double basin vanity, full bath and separate shower, refrigerator and cocktail bar, flat screen television, direct-dial telephone, Wi-Fi and cellular service, personal safe, and 110/220 electric current. Owner’s, Grand and Royal Suites feature whirlpool bathtub, guest powder room, CD player & espresso machine. Silver Suites (this was our suite category) feature whirlpool bathtub, CD player & espresso machine. Medallion Suites feature a whirlpool bathtub.
8) Our port-intensive New England/Canada itinerary with multiple calls to get to know a region including such highlights as the world-class New England Aquarium and the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail with historical attractions like the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House and Statue in Boston –we toured and got around via the Old Town Trolley, with a stop convenient to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. Other port superlatives included Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s The Breakers Gilded Age mansion in Newport, R.I.; Peggy’s Cove and its lovely lighthouse out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; a lobster bake out of Rockland, Maine, and a walking tour in charming Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site followed by a very civilized tea at the castle-like Chateau Frontenac. Another beautiful part of the itinerary was scenic cruising along the Saguenay River and Fjord that offered a feast of fall colors with birches and willows resplendent in yellows.
In the dramatic Saguenay Fjord with its 1,500-ft. high cliffs, whales are often spotted – we came across a pod of right whales – and another sight awaited: a 33-foot statue of Notre Dame du Saguenay with the Madonna perched on Cape Trinity. The “Ave Maria” was played in the outer decks of the Silver Whisper as the ship passed the statue of the Virgin Mary, to honor the patroness of the fjord.
9) Enrichment that included on our cruise lectures by Dr. Lew Deitch, a semi-retired professor at the University of Arizona who spoke about the natural wonders, the history and culture of the ports of call.