Silver Whisper—Luxurious All-Inclusive Cruising

Visiting the Mediterranean in style

I recently visited Greece, the Greek Islands, and other Mediterranean ports on the Silversea Silver Whisper cruise ship. There are many ways to visit these destinations, but none so luxurious as being a passenger on the Silversea Silver Whisper cruise ship.

Silver Sea

This all-inclusive vacation was as close to being totally all-inclusive as you could want. From the time I arrived at the airport, I didn't have to reach for my wallet. For example, gratuities were absolutely not accepted, nor expected. Charges on the ship were limited to spa services, hair cuts or hairdressings, some shore excursions (although transportation between ports and downtown areas was complimentary), and special wines which very few passengers order because the complimentary wine list is extensive and includes some excellent vintages. Port charges were also included in the fare.

I live in Fort Lauderdale, a city that plays host to most of the world's finest ships. I have sailed on mega ships that hold more than 2,000 passengers to smaller ships that hold 700 guests, but I have never had a more luxurious experience than on the Silver Whisper.

And there are many reasons. First and foremost is the size of the ship. The ship holds a maximum of 388 guests. It is easy to find your way to the dining room, pool deck, exercise facilities, theater, etc. There were many times on a cruise that it took me several days to find my way to the dining room and other facilities. I would go up and down on the wrong elevators or up and down stairways and hallways that didn't go through to the place I was going before I finally learned where all the facilities were. On the Silver Whisper, I was fully orientated my first day.

Silver Sea

The size of the ship didn't diminish the offerings at sea. I found just as much, if not more to do on the Silver Whisper. I enjoyed working out in the exercise room, trying my luck in the casino, taking treatments in the spa, watching the nightly stage shows, dancing to the music of a live band, reading books, magazines, and newspapers from a well-stocked library, swimming in the pool, jogging or just walking on the jogging track, brushing up on my golf game with on-board professional golf instructors, attending culinary demonstrations and learning some professional secrets from renowned chefs, and, of course, loving the abundance of gourmet food and the many places to enjoy it.

This is a yacht-like atmosphere, with wonderful furnishings and appointments, excellent cuisine, fine wines and spirits, and excellent service.

Silver Sea

And, my room was great! On the Silver Whisper, all accommodations are ocean-view suites, most with private verandas. I selected a veranda suite. The veranda alone had a beautiful teak floor, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, and patio furniture. My suite had a sitting area, television with satellite reception and VCR, refrigerator, cocktail cabinet, writing desk, personal safe, walk-in closet (my first ever on a cruise ship), marbled bathroom with double vanity, full-sized bathtub and separate shower. These are big luxuries for a cruise ship! For example, the usual cruise ship bathroom is crowded, cramped and usually has only a shower with a curtain, and if you turn around too fast, you could bump into the toilet or the sink. I'm not kidding!

I was pleased to learn that every suite on the Silver Whisper has Internet capabilities. I also enjoyed current financial news with the ship's 24-hour in-suite Bloomberg Television and a daily printed market report.

Silver Sea

Another criticism I have of most of the other cruise lines I have sailed on is what I call the first seating, second seating dilemma. Early seating is usually around 6 p.m. and late seating is at 8 p.m. At times, you may be at a port until 6 p.m. and if you have early seating, you may miss dinner. Or maybe you selected early seating and you aren't hungry at 6 p.m. On the Silver Whisper, I could eat whenever I wanted, even in my room, if I didn't feel like going to the dining room. What a pleasure it was when I came in bushed from a day of sightseeing in Corfu, and a waiter brought my dinner to my room. I was served course-by-course in the order and with the timing requested. I felt like a king and that my ship had indeed arrived.

I also liked the open-seating arrangement on the ship. Unlike traditional ships, there are no assigned table partners. I ate with whomever I pleased. This may not sound like a big deal, but it certainly is if you happen to be at a table with guests who are annoying. That can't happen on any Silversea ship because they don't assign seats for guests, a very big plus in my book.

I enjoyed dinner in "The Restaurant" and having lunch in The Terrace Café and breakfast in either The Terrace Café or in my suite. The Terrace Café is a second restaurant and is very different from the typical buffet or "Lido" area found on most cruise ships. The Terrace Café is a buffet-style restaurant with fine linens and silverware and waiters always in attendance so much so that you really don't think of it as a typical buffet but more like being served in an upscale restaurant.

I started my trip in Athens where the hotel was included in the price, and not just any hotel, the plush Athenaeum Inter-Continental, with a view of the Acropolis and the famous Parthenon. It was my home for a day before the ship set sail.

After I boarded the Silver Whisper and left Athens, I visited many beautiful and interesting ports. For example, when the ship reached Katakolon, Greece, I visited Olympia, the original home of the Olympic games. It was fun walking through the areas where the athletes trained more than 2,000 years ago, and standing in the Olympic Stadium where the athletes competed. And, of course, visiting the famous landmarks in Venice and riding in a gondola down the grand canal was a thrill. I can't think of a more luxurious way to visit the many great ports in the Mediterranean, than on the Silversea Silver Whisper.


Call 1-800-722-9955 or visit the cruise line's website