Cruise Diary by Cruise Diva
Discover the world of cruise travel

Silver Whisper Cruise Review Make the most of your cruise vacation with information from

Get ready to cruise with cruise gear & more from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:
Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Silver Whisper
May 2003
Barcelona to Honfleur

by Brenda McCroskey

Just returned from our 2nd Silversea cruise - last was 4 years ago on the
Silver Wind & was fabulous. I was a little nervous about trying to do
it all over again, but had an absolutely incredible cruise and the
Silver Whisper is even more gorgeous - and at 30% of, we were very

Boarded in Barcelona. Shown immediately to our balcony suite - WOW!!
We booked a reg. balcony suite - the mid-ship ones are more expensive,
but we were only 2 doors away from the higher priced ones & I don't
see any reason to pay more. Suite #641 - veranda had tons of privacy
as bottom to top metal wall to the right between us & other cabin and
no one in cabin on other side. Beautiful bathrooms - all marble,
double sinks, separate shower & regular sized tub. Soft plush huge
towels. And those fabulous Bulgari eau tea vert toiletries - it's
been my fav spring/summer scent since the last cruise!

Large mirror with shelf in hall between bath & closet. Walk-in
closets even larger - full wall & double rack for hanging clothes - my
only complaint is that since there is a larger drawer built into the
floor, there is no full length hanging space for formal gowns -
almost, but about 4 inches too short. Shoe rack & 6 or 7 drawer
cabinet with safe on top. Fluffy robes & full length mirror on door.

Cabin seemed pretty similar - so well designed - comfy big bed,
bedstands with drawers on either side, built in, well-lit vanity &
stool. Sitting area with loveseat, 2 chairs & table. Built-in
fridge, desk & more shelves/drawers. TV on top on swivel platform &
bar set-up in opposite shelf. Tons of storage space.

Veranda with sliding door, 2 chairs & footrests, table.

Our cabin girls came in & introduced themselves - Ulrike & Julia -
just darling & so sweet. They were a big part of what made the cruise
so special - so friendly & out-going. Asked us about any special
requests & what we wanted bar stocked with - asked for vodka (they
asked if Absolut ok - absolutely!), Pouilly Fuisse wine, cokes & tonic
water. No problems! Also, wonderful fruit plate always filled in

Ship didn't sail till 11pm, so we got off & had another great dinner in
Barcelona. 1st day sea day - had Balinese Bliss massages in lovely
spa - got away with only buying some de-tox bath stuff! Very nice
rooms & don't feel crowded at all. Were given our own email addresses,
so spent some time in library on one of 8 computers contacting home.
Formal night & sat with ship's doctor - very interesting - caviar &
excellent poached lobster for dinner.

Casino is nice, but only other complaint is how unfriendly dealers
were. They really don't need to be so stiff & cold. Darling little
'Grappa Bar' off the casino turned out to be our hang-out.

Other guests were very friendly & fun - age group much younger than
last SS cruise - probably partially due to fares coming down.

Docked in Malaga & took the tour to Granada & the Alhambra - excellent
guides & a nice, but too long lunch afterwards (typical for Spain).
Gibraltar the next day, where I'd never been. We hired a local tour
guide to take us over the Rock & to see the monkeys, absolutely
amazing huge caves with stalactites & -mites - so beautiful & the
defense tunnels & caves - cute little town & wish we'd had a little
more time there to shop as we heard the prices were great - unlike the
rest of Europe!

Lisbon next - I hung out in the old town while hubby golfed with pro
at what he said was a great course - $350, though, which seemed rather
steep. Some other guests did it on their own for much less. Next
time! Oporto was a wonderful old town built on very steep cliffs & we
enjoyed lunch at a charming cafe by the river, then did a port winery

Next day, La Coruna, where we took the tour to Santiago de Compostela
- would go back there in a heartbeat. Darling old town with teensy
cobblestone streets & great - looking seafood restaurants. Another
excellent tour - they even made a donation to the Cathedral so that
the priests would perform a special ceremony - lighting a 6 ft tall
silver oil lamp, pulling it up to the ceiling & then pushing it so it
swung from ceiling to ceiling over our heads, controlled by 8 priests
holding the rope - truly spectacular!

Sea day, then St. Malo. We decided to do Mont St. Michel on our own
as hate the early departure times of tours. Had a terrible time
finding a taxi - even the local port agent couldn't get one for us.
Evidently all 6 were already in Mont St. Michel. After 2 1/2 hours
& total frustration - I've always wanted to go there & agent finally
told us it wasn't going to happen, found a taxi & fought over it with
a French woman & I finally just got in & the driver was more than
happy to take us there & wait 2 hours for us. Boy, was it worth it -
so glad we persevered!

Honfleur next, where we disembarked 3 days early to go to Paris. 9
nights was just perfect. Silversea staff did all kinds of amazing things for
us - consulted with the chef re: a special birthday dinner served in
the suite for us. Caviar, giant shrimp cocktail, Greek salad, broiled
lobster tails & my husband's favorite, vanilla ice cream with
chocolate sauce & Spanish peanuts. Champagne & a special Mersault
($48 additional) with dinner. They had already dropped off a
beautiful chocolate ganache flourless cake for him earlier.
Frangelico after-dinner drinks.

The galley tour was fabulous - at least 10 different stations -
caviar, proscuitto, sushi, 30 kings of cheese, unbelievable desserts -
kept going back for more. Only time we truly pigged out.

Our last night, one of our new friends, a couple from England arranged
a special dinner with the Maitre D' for 6 of us - nothing on the
regular menu, sautéed foie gras (my new addiction), roasted gambas
shrimp, a delicious layered lamb dish, special wines, salads, can't
remember dessert, but all wonderful. No problems at all arranging
that morning evidently.

We usually give shows a miss, but had 2 stand-out acts - "Space
Violins" - 2 young gorgeous Polish sisters who play everything from
bluegrass to rock on their Plexiglas electric violins. They did
their first show at the deck BBQ dinner & danced & played around the
promenade on the deck above the pool, then had a too-brief part of
another show. The other show we loved I can't remember the Italian
name, but was a cross between Cirque de Soleil, amazing ballet &
acrobatics - best show & most elegant I've ever seen on a ship.
Definitely worthy of Vegas!

Gym was big enough & excellent equipment. Took several classes - a
power pump, stretch & Pilates (only one with a charge - $10
additional, so is Yoga) to try & burn some calories.

If they didn't have the wine we wanted at a bar, they would go & get
it - was never too much to ask for anything. Only somewhat weak spot
it that this was supposed to be a wine education cruise - a class on
champagne & several expensive private tours that we didn't do. Had a
wine & cheese night on deck, but not the education/tastings I had been
hoping for.

Although no tipping policy, gave the bartender we had spent a lot of
time with & cabin girls nice tips - they were rather reluctant, but of
course kept in the end!

All in all, the best cruise ever - we are already looking at next
year's sailings to go again as soon as possible - due to children &
work, need to put some time in between sailings, but would get on
again tomorrow if I had the chance. It's so nice not to worry about
charges, tipping, drinks costs, who buys, etc. So romantic, elegant
without being stuffy & fun - was really hard to go to our hotel in
Paris & have to pay for things - $20 for 2 teas & $9 for a 7 oz bottle
of tonic (we'd brought the reminder of our 1.5 liter bottle provided
by SS with us) - yikes! The Silver Whisper is an absolutely beautiful
ship & you will be so pampered, reality is very hard to deal with!

Dk Eyewitness Travel Cruise Guide to Europe & the MediterraneanDk Eyewitness Travel Cruise Guide to Europe & the Mediterranean

Cruise Diva's comments:
The most useful guidebook I've found for multiple European ports of call

Cruise Reviews

Cruise Diary Archive

Cruise Line Profile - Silversea Cruises

Fun Facts about Silver Whisper

Illustrations Courtesy of Silversea Cruises