Best For People Who Want
Free-flowing champagne; "best of the best" luxury; implacably
attentive personal service; cabins with private balconies; a choice
of dining venues; imaginative itineraries; everything included.
Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Bargain shopping; Children's facilities, casual dress, extensive
sports; children's and spa facilities.
Small enough to be intimate, big enough to offer an elegant
two-story show lounge and three dining venues, these ships are in
the very forefront of the ultraluxe class, la crème de la
crème de la crème, so to speak.
You're very unlikely to encounter warmer, more consistently
above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty service than on these ships,
whose staves seemingly delight in exceeding your most extravagant
Make no mistake -- this is a very formal cruise experience.
Expect no fewer than five courses at every meal other than
breakfast. Lady passengers slip into long sequined gowns at the
most negligible provocation.
Silver Whisper, and her sister Silver Shadow, are larger than
Silversea's original two vessels, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, and
offer extremely high space-per-passenger ratio of 74. The small
boutiques offer predictably expensive sunglasses and clothing and
The production shows are a cut above those you'll see on
comparable luxury vessels. You're also apt to be able to attend
lectures on and performances of opera. Silversea prides itself on
its innovative itineraries, and passengers are generally delighted
with their shore excursions.
Single, open-seating dining permits you to dine when and with
whom you please each evening, and complimentary wine flows like
water. Your fare includes tipping and all beverages throughout the
Several new programs intended to emphasize the line's Italian
heritage debuted in 2005. Silversea's in-suite bath amenities are
now furnished by the Italian fragrance house Acqua di Parma.
Paintings by noted Italian artists are proudly featured throughout.
Italian luxury brand Loro Piana opened shops aboard each ship
offering accessories, gifts and made-to-measure products. But not
all is from the land of Leonardo, Galileo, and Verdi; the first
Viking Cooking School at sea, held in the new Viking culinary
theatres, offers cooking classes led by the unmistakably Gallic
firm of Relais & Chateaux.
Moving from one public room to another, or to the dining room,
you'll do lots of ascending and descending, but on a ship this
size, that isn't a terrible imposition. Deep Wedgwood blue and
golden peach fabrics and carpeting, with warm caramel wood tones,
predominate. There's lots of blood-red velveteen, and lots of
golden brocades as well.
With its brown leather sofas and chairs, the wood-paneled
Humidor cigar lounge is a wonderfully comfortable spot for
after-dinner cigars ($12 to $47 each) and cognac. The breathtaking
Observation Lounge, with 180 degrees of sea views, has a marble bar
and is equally inviting for both pre- and post-dinner drinks or
The Panorama Lounge, with floor-to-ceiling windows, serves at
night as a piano bar. Pre-dinner concerts and lectures are also
staged here, and high tea served as well. Two adjacent rooms house
the ship's Internet center (whose computers are nearly always
spoken for), and a lending library for book and free videos,
respectively. A nice touch: Silversea sends you a dedicated
on-board e-mail address before you set sail.
A combo performs nightly in The Bar, adjacent to the main
lounge, which is bigger than you'd expect on ships this size. Enjoy
Las Vegas-style floor shows, comedians and guest lecturers in this
elegant space. There's a small casino.
The tiny shopping arcade includes Silversea's LJ boutique, which
replaced the original Bulgari outlet, and offers a variety of
upscale merchandise bearing several esteemed logos. Besides the
usual pricey casual wear, the main boutique has designer jewelry.
Sometimes merchandise from the cruising region is offered for sale
It simply isn't as good in the main dining room as on other very
pricey luxury lines. Indeed, you're apt to see a scandalously large
number of fellow diners sending their meals back to the kitchen in
exasperation. Oddly, that which room service delivers is somehow
always exemplary; it's as though it's produced in a separate
You can dine formally in the main restaurant, slightly less
formally in the Terrace Cafeacute; or Le Champagne, or order room
service. With its large picture windows and tables for two, four,
six and 10, the main restaurant offers dining to the accompaniment
of a live trio playing romantic oldies. Guests are encouraged to
take a spin around the small dance floor. There are plenty of
tables for two from which to watch them doing so.
The Terrace Cafe, popular for casual breakfast and luncheon
buffets, at night becomes the alternative Italian restaurant La
Terrazza, at which reservations are mandatory. On formal nights, La
Terrazza serves as the dining room for those choosing to dress
informally. Its windows are even bigger than those in the main
restaurant. Reservations are required for the theme meals offered
most nights, which might include a Spanish-style lobster and shrimp
soup and a Moroccan tagine stew with sea bass and raisin
The usual matching of wine to cuisine is reversed at the
intimate (only 24 seats), intensely chi-chi Le Champagne, where
it's actually the food that's designed with the wine in mind. Le
Champagne is open for dinner only; reservations are fervently
recommended. Surprisingly, incongruously, there's a small
additional charge for wine.
One may also dine in-suite, ordering course-by-course from the
luncheon and dinner menu - splendid news indeed for those who find
onerous the idea of dressing for dinner after a busy day in port.
Suites without a separate dining room have a portable table for
this purpose. The Terrace serves breakfast and lunch buffets, while
The Restaurant offers a five-course luncheon menu. Weather
permitting, the Pool Grille operates from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00
From stem to stern, both officers and staff beam with delight at
the prospect of assisting you.
Your fare includes gratuities.
Silversea's newly upgraded entertainment features lavish
floorshows devised by Jean Ann Ryan. There are also operatic
performances and lectures about opera.
These ships staterooms are uniformly large, comfortable and very
well-equipped; a wood-paneled vanity with TV/VCR and mini-fridge,
walk-in closets, and marble bathrooms are all standard, as too are
new down duvets and Hilden America linens. Honestly, what's left to
be desired? Roughly 80 percent have private verandas, with glass
instead of metal partitions. Bathrooms, more elegant than any at
sea, with the possible exception of those aboard Regent's Seven
Seas Navigator and Voyager, have separate shower and tub, plus
his-and-hers sinks. The minimum-category Vista cabins (no balcony)
measure 287 sq. ft., while the standard balcony staterooms,
Veranda, are 345 sq. ft. Both are more than adequate even for a
Your best bet, though, may well be the 701-sq. ft. Silver Suite,
which offers a large living room with dining area, a generously
proportioned bedroom, and large balcony. Or if you're even more
intent on splurging, there are the 1,286-sq. ft. Grand Suite
(cabins 801, 802 have the best configurations in this category).
You enter a huge living room that would be right at home in a
penthouse in Trump Tower via a marble foyer (with guest bathroom).
There's a bar, of course, a gigantic flat-screen TV, a dining area
and huge balcony. The walk-in closet is bigger than many lines'
The occupants of the largest Silversea suites - the Grand,
Royal, Rossellini and Owner's Suites -- enjoy the ministrations of
butlers certified by the Guild of Professional English Butlers,
which trains the British Royal Family's servants. Your butler will
do everything from unpacking your suitcase to arranging a private
car at the next port, from drawing a bath to planning an in-suite
The ships have a small but well-equipped fitness center, a
beauty salon and massage facilities (for which make your
appointments as you board). classes are offered during days at sea.
A fast-walking/jogging track has glorious views. One of the best
massages you can enjoy at sea is offered here.
As on many (far too many, if you ask us!) new ships, some decks
are covered with hideous AstroTurf, where once there might have
been teak. However, teak is a hardwood and can present a fire
hazard on an open deck.
Bring your tux. Bring your jewels. Some women pour themselves
into sequins even on informal nights. Those who don't want to dress
up may dine informally in the Terrace Cafe and then retire to a
designated lounge for cocktails and after-dinner drinks, but will
be turned away at the door of the entertainment lounges. On a
ten-night cruise, there are three formal, four informal and three
casual nights. Daytime attire is casual.