Silversea Silver Whisper Reviews : Letting the Artists of Silversea Entertain
This is Hal Smith’s first cruise. He had never wanted to go on one before. Hal and his wife are from Springfield Illinois and are also cruising on Silversea’s Silver Whisper in the Baltics. If you ask him what the star attraction of the cruise has been, he will tell you that it has not been the 3 million priceless artworks in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, nor the cathedrals and historic buildings of Tallinn or Helsinki. It has been watching his daughter, Elizabeth, perform in the theatre every night. It is the reason he finally agreed to his wife’s request to try out cruising.
Hal’s daughter, Elizabeth, is one of the six strong troupe of singers that entertain guests each night in “The Viennese Lounge”, a tiered theatre at the rear of the ship on Deck 6.
Since the age of 5 years, Elizabeth Smith has been putting on shows for her family. She used to belt out songs that her parents loved so much that they had them on repeat on their CD player. Songs like “I Say A Little Prayer”, “It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To” and “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”. With her parents on-board she arranged to perform a cabaret show called “Here I Am” with those same songs. It was fabulous as it came from the heart, was authentic and warm. It was hard to tell if the Smiths or the rest of the passengers loved it more.
The next night, the 3 boys from the troupe (Vincent Ortega, Michael Valentine and Justin Reynolds) put on a show they had also created themselves to celebrate the Rat Pack and the Four Season’s “The Jersey Boys”. The passengers loved that one too.
Unlike other cruise lines I have been on, Silversea let their singers devise and put on their own shows in addition to the core shows that the cruise line has created. The head office devised shows include those covering the songs of Abba (“Fabbalicious”), a tribute to Motown (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”) and popular and contemporary opera (“HI Cs”). It is a brilliant move, as it lets the singers show their passions and strengths, and it allows them to experiment and grow as artists.
Martin Blanar, the hotel manager on the Silver Whisper, told me that Silversea decided to drop the “production style” shows that have become the standard and predictable approach on many cruise ships. They decided to offer simpler shows that focus just on incredible singers. I think it is a great move, as the shows following the old format have grown tired as they all follow a set format of charging through a series of songs, rapid costume changes and overly complex cheorography, that is not always mastered by all the performers. In recent times I have been skipping the shows. I never missed a show on-board this cruise.
The Silversea approach and respect it shows to their singers is refreshing. The ship has a small and intimate stage, and the singers focus on what they do best. Singing. There are the well rehearsed cruise line song showcases with inventive harmonies delivered with a slick energy. They are engaging and entertaining, even though it is just 6 singers on stage. But what singers! You do not miss or need any of the distractions of scenery, costumes and showy dance routines.
On the nights there is not one of the cruise line shows scheduled, the team are allowed to create their own. They are as slick as the formal production shows, and have huge energy and power. This is a brilliant idea. It means the passengers get great shows that draw on the interests and strength of the specific team on-board at the time. Not all the set shows are right for every member of the team, and so letting them shine in their own showcases is innovative – and sensible. They are trained, professional, talented and thrive on being given the creative opportunity. The stakes are high for them – as they have to ensure the show is outstanding and that the guests will love it. Silversea is taking a risk on them. They know it and have to deliver. They did.
At the end of every show the group stand at the back and thank people for coming, and then go to the bar to chat some more. You always see them around the ship meeting and chatting with guests. They even sang a 40 minute live jukebox of disco songs one night in The Bar, which was packed with guests partying away. You get to know each of them, hear their stories and how they are making their way in the entertainment industry.
I loved the artist created showcases. I think even more than the standard shows, although they were pretty slick themselves. As Silversea has so many repeat guests, as much as 60% on a cruise, it also means a flow of new things to watch. Very clever.
Read more about my Silversea Silver Whisper cruise and observations: https://www.tipsfortravellers.com/silversea and sign up for the monthly newsletter so you do not miss any updates, and to get offers and freebies using the link on the right of the page.
I travelled as a guest of Silversea on the Silver Whisper on a 7 night Baltics Cruise from Stockholm, visiting Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Copenhagen. Silversea are a privately owned, luxury all-inclusive, small ship cruise line with an Italian heritage that appeals to well-travelled, international guests.