We have sailed with Silversea three times now. This time, we joined Silver Whisper in Lisbon and headed north. Our cabin was comfortable and well positioned. Generally, the food was good, though we found La Dame unexciting. The wait staff, bar staff, butlers and stateroom staff were lovely and helpful. The talks were interesting, the entertainment varied and a little patchy. Loved the jazz group. Good, though small, fitness area. Shore tours not exciting. We didn’t get to Porto in the end, but I wouldn’t have bothered with any of the ship’s tours.
I did find it odd that there were certain times of day when there was no food available. Once breakfast finished, there was not a croissant or a banana or a cookie to be found anywhere. Late breakfasters were advised to get room service, which is a set menu and takes some time to arrive. Would it be so hard to make a snack available in one of the bars? The same problem arises if you want a little something with a late night drink. I did manage to get some crisps, thanks to a sympathetic bartender. This is the first ship where I have found it impossible to eat when I wanted to eat. There seemed to be an overemphasis on the ship’s routines.
The downside of Silversea always seems to be the port shifts and skips. Last time, Silver Muse skipped Savannah altogether, and replaced Wilmington with some place I can’t even remember; there was nothing to do there but go to a shopping centre, so we didn’t bother. This time, we had quite a short cruise on Whisper, with planned stops in Porto, Bilbao, Bordeaux and Cherbourg before our promised arrival into Greenwich. Well, we missed Porto altogether, which was a bitter disappointment – especially because we had made independent tour bookings. The harbour was fogged in, so we couldn’t enter; but did we go anywhere else, or spend more time in Bilbao? No. We slowed right down and pottered into Bilbao right on time. I asked whether port fees would be refunded, and the reception staff offered to find out, but there was no reply. At lease the Muse gave us an extra day in Port Canaveral when Savannah was cancelled.
At the end of the cruise, we were due into Greenwich on the night of 25 September, disembarking 26 September. We had our regular driver booked. We attended a lecture at 4pm, which was excellent and went a little over time, so we couldn’t make out some announcements about 5pm. We discovered via an ‘update’ announcement some time later that we weren’t going to Greenwich at all ‘... is expected to arrive into Tilbury at ...’! The desk was overrun, but no one had answers. We were told that there would be a shuttle to Greenwich at 6.30am, which did not suit us. We had to rearrange our driver, and the journey cost us quite a lot more. The thing that annoyed me was the complete unconcern about the disappointment, inconvenience and costs suffered by most guests.
These are the downsides of small ships, I guess. They are more susceptible to bad weather. The other downside is that, when ports are cancelled, there is not a lot to do on sea days. We are leaning towards larger ships in future.
A good, position on a good deck, quiet. Not too far from the laundry or the fun. Plenty of space, though a few more drawers would be appreciated. We were well cared for by our butler and attendant.
We joined in Lisbon, so we spent six days here. Terrific place to visit. Lots to see and do. Friendly people. Good food and souvenirs. Also visited Sintra, which was very interesting.
Much more interesting than I expected. Great guide. Would like to have spent more time in the old quarter.
Fascinating place. Interesting building, with some art I really liked (Serra, Kiefer) and some that was a bit 'pop'. All tastes! Love the fog sculpture and the Bourgeois spider.View All 18 The Guggenheim Museum Reviews
I did not do an excursion, but my parther went to Utah Beach and was impressed. I roamed the shops and managed to buy a few lovely things in French - very pleased with myself. Note that not a lot of English is spoken here.
Interesting, pretty winery. Wine not really my taste (merlot). It rained, and there were too few toilets and no shopping time if you had to spend that time in the toilet queue...View All 45 Wine Tasting Reviews
I can't rate it. We didn't get there. But I had a lovely, interesting day of independent sightseeing planned.