I'M LOOKING FOR A SMALL SHIP CRUISE FOR MY SLIGHTLY DISABLED WIFE AND I TO EXPLORE CENTRAL AMERICA, VISITING PORTS BETWEEN MEXICO AND CARTAGENA, COLUMBIA, THEN THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL TO PORTS ON THE PACIFIC COAST?
K. HAWKE, ANNANDALE
Silversea (silversea.com) has a 16-day Panama Canal cruise aboard the Silver Whisper from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to Los Angeles with stops in Cartagena, through the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico. With a total passenger complement of just 382, Silver Whisper is a mere minnow compared with the megaships of many rival cruise lines, yet in terms of luxury, style, amenities and dining the vessel punches well into the heavyweight league. One statistic that counts when you choose a cruise is the vessel's gross tonnage divided by its passenger capacity. Silver Whisper has a space-to-passenger ratio of 74, which is nothing less than phenomenal. Cabins are spacious and the crew-to-passenger ratio is about 0.8:1, which means a high level of personal service which should make things easier for your wife. They are far from the cheapest cruises, but Silversea ships are a great way to go. See the reviews on Cruise Critic (cruisecritic.com.au). You could also contact Cruise Express (cruiseexpress.com.au) on 1300 766 537, and Cruiseco (cruising.com.au) on 02 9492 8520.