I’ve been on lots of different types of vacations- relaxing on the beach, skiing, and sightseeing- but the one type of vacation I have never been on is a cruise. I have to confess that the thought of going on a boat with thousands of people was not high on my list. So, when I was invited by Silver Seas Cruises to visit their ship, the Silver Whisper, I thought why not check it out. For years, I’ve driven down the West Side Highway gazing at these mighty vessels and wondered what an experience on them would be like. My day on the Silver Whisper was wonderful, opening my eyes up to the world of cruising.
Silver Seas Cruises, an Italian owned, Monaco based company, provides the ultimate in luxury on the high seas. The company has been voted “best luxury cruise line.” Their fleet consists of 9 different ships, each with their own flavor, amenities, and itineraries. In fact, there are over 900 destinations that their ships visit. The fleet features smaller ships ranging from 100 to 600 guests depending on the boat. The use of smaller ships provides a much more personalized, luxurious experience. The guest to staff ratio is almost always 1:1. Talk about service!! Every stateroom is a suite with its one 24-hour butler. Every suite also has a private veranda and ocean views. Food and premium alcohol are inclusive in the price (and delicious!)
Silver Seas also offers a unique cruising experience on its Expedition boats. These smaller boats (hosting 100-254 guests) provide adventure itineraries to Africa, Alaska, Antarctica, the Artic and Near East, and the Galapagos. By using smaller boats with shallow water drafts, these boats are able to reach more remote locations. They even use small zodiac boats to allow guests to disembark in these cool spots. Alaska and Galapagos are high on my list now!
The Silver Whisper is a beautiful boat. What I really loved about it though was its size. It provided so many things but wasn’t overwhelming. It hosts 382 guests and 302 staff. Silver Seas describes it as having “the amenities of a large resort but the charm of a stylish boutique hotel.” So true! The boat has the Spa at Silver Seas with four treatment rooms as well as a fitness center that has various types of exercise equipment and a space for classes. In the middle of the boat on Deck 8 is the pool with a separate hot tub. Deck 9 overlooking the pool even provides a small running track.
I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious the staterooms are. The Vista Suite offers a large cabin with a sitting room and roomy bathroom. I was amazed at the very large closets- plenty of space for a fun vacation wardrobe. The Owner's Suite located in the middle of ship is pretty amazing. The large living room and bedroom offer comfortable spacious living on the high seas. But my favorite room, however, was the Grand Suite. Located in the very front of the boat, this room is light, airy and incredibly roomy. The living room even includes a full bar. Not sure I'd want to leave this suite and its bright views but the Silver Whisper offers lots of fun, fabulous activities.
A guest doesn't need to be worried they will be bored while cruising at sea. The ship features a theater with nightly shows, The Bar with live music, The Panorama Lounge (which becomes a nightclub later in the evening), a library, The Connoisseur’s club (a cigar room), and The Casino (which has a private British bar feel and opens when the ship is cruising in international waters).
One thing I have always heard about cruises is about the plethora of food. The Silver Whisper doesn’t disappoint! There are four restaurants located on various decks. The Restaurant, on Deck 4, features contemporary food with open seating and no reservations required. My lunch was delicious in The Restaurant. The staff were incredibly accommodating and friendly especially with my special dietary requests! On Deck 7 is La Terrazza, Silver Seas signature restaurant that is featured on all of their ships. La Terrazza provides a breakfast and lunch buffet but an a la carte Italian dinner. The Grill is located around the pool deck and provides lunch and dinner. Dinner at the grill involves cooking on hot lava stones at your table- so cool! And seating around the pool at night under the stars would be pretty amazing. The final restaurant on the ship is Le Champagne. This smaller, French, fine dining experience is the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant at sea. Definitely a must for dinner one night.
The Silver Whisper offers many incredible itineraries but one itinerary really stands out. The ship offers an around the world cruise. This itinerary includes 193 days stopping in 62 ports. What a way to travel the world! On every itinerary there are also many, many shore excursions offered such as shopping, touring sights, sunning on a beach, etc. If you’d like to explore a destination you can but if you’d prefer to stay on this beautiful floating hotel that’s ok too!
Touring the Silver Seas was a wonderful, eye opening experience. All of the staff I encountered were incredibly friendly and helpful. The ship is very pretty and well taken care. I loved the size and the number of guests on this more intimate ship. I was a bit jealous of the guest boarding the Silver Whisper for a voyage to the Bahamas as I was disembarking. Considering a cruise, the Silver Seas is definitely an incredible choice. Bon Voyage!!