CruiseClout score: 95.0
Silver Muse: Silversea's top-of-the-line luxury ship
When Silversea debuted in 1994, it raised the nautical bar with innovations, superior service and style that was unheard of at the time, resulting in a new definition of luxury. As the line grew, so did its imagination, which blossomed with the April 2017 launch of Silver Muse, a 596-passenger goddess of the seas that reaffirms the company’s reputation for sophistication on the high seas.
Silver Muse's fares include shipboard gratuities, all beverages — including wines and champagne — butlers in all suites and special amenities such as free Wi-Fi and more.
Who will like Silver Muse
Silver Muse appeals to discerning, well-heeled cruise passengers who want to enjoy some of the most luxurious accommodations and amenities at sea.
Where Silver Muse sails
Silver Muse sails a variety of 7- to 16-night itineraries, chiefly in the Mediterranean followed by cruises to Asia and the South Seas from fall 2018 to spring 2019.
Highlights on Silver Muse
What are the highlights on Silver Muse? Several.
Amenities: Your fare covers wines — which were greatly improved on this cruise — as well as spirits and beverages, gratuities and butler service in all cabin categories.
Service: Silversea's butler service is renowned and it didn't disappoint on our voyage. Our butler Pedro Banac went out of his way to decorate our suite for our anniversary, complete with lights, colorful candles and romantic music.
Pool: Avid swimmers that we are, Richard an I appreciated the long, glorious pool board the Muse, the longest in the ship.
Spa: We also loved the free use of the steam and sauna — both with windows to the sea — in the Spa as well as the nicely equipped fitness room.
Where we sailed & what we loved
My husband, Richard, and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on a port-intensive 13-day cruise with just two sea days. Our trip began at the Pelican Grand Resort, a Noble House property along a long stretch of beach in Ft. Lauderdale. We enjoyed a memorable al fresco dinner with fantastic food and excellent service at Ocean 2000. On our second night, we dined at nearby Shooters Waterfront, which turned out to be a hoot, filled with spring breakers, locals and tourists.
Embarkation on the Muse was a breeze, though it took our bags a while to get to our suite. We spent the first day at sea before calling at glorious ports in Barbados, Grand Turk, St. Barts, Bequia, St. John, St. Thomas, Antigua and Martinique.
Unfortunately, though we had four shore excursions (all snorkel and kayak) booked, we had to cancel them all due to illness (I caught a very bad bug). Still, we did get off the ship at each stop and strolled around assessing the damage from last fall's hurricanes. It was noticeable, but mostly things are returning to normal throughout the Caribbean.
One highlight on shore came on a Sunday in Antigua when we visited nearby St. John’s Cathedral, where we stood in the back of the church listening to a melodic choir that was so good it gave us chills. We also checked out duty-free port shops in St. Thomas and did window shopping and hit the beach in Gustavia, St. Barts.
Entertainment & activities on board
Passengers have the choice of plenty of diversions from bingo to lectures, team trivia, shuffleboard, seminars on beauty and fitness, movies and practicing golf putts.
On our sailing, there were diverting and entertaining nightly shows as well as a Death by Chocolate Latin Dance party on deck that was well received. Another highlight was the Silver Note supper club, where a talented jazz singer and equally adept pianist performed while guests ate or sat at the bar. We did the latter and thoroughly enjoyed the show.
Some options for drinking include the pool bar on deck 10, Panorama Lounge on deck 9, Dolce Vita on deck 5, Enoteca on deck 4, the bar at Atlantide, Silver Note and the Connoisseurs Corner on deck 8, which caters to cigar and cigarette smokers. If you puff, that’s the spot or you can go on the port side of the pool deck but not in your suite or on your balcony.
Dining on Silver Muse
Ten restaurants cater to 596 guests on Silver Muse; eight require reservations and two, Atlantide and Indochine, are open seating. All wines and beverages are included in your fare.
Here's my take on the main dining venues:
- Atlantide seats 184 guests and features continental and seafood dishes. Bespoke dishes such as royal crab, blue lobster and Verbena infused red snapper are showcased alongside the best steaks sourced from offshore.
- Indochine seats nearly 200 and offers Asian fusion with dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, India and more. Both of the main dining spots are attractive and fairly consistent in quality though not spectacular.
- The Grill (popularly known as Hot Rocks), a staple on the nine-ship fleet, has long been one of my favorite dining spots on any cruise ship. It’s a casual, romantic dinner spot on the pool deck with candlelight where you cook your own beef, veal, fish or even tofu on a 400-degree lava stone at your table. We ate there about four times.
- La Terrazza draws inspiration from Silversea’s Italian heritage. Interactive food stations off an olive oil cellar, mozzarella bar, seafood station and salumeria. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We found the luncheon buffet under par. But the evening offerings, especially fish dishes, were good.
- Silver Note allows guests to snack on tapas while enjoying Manhattan-style live jazz from top musicians. Tip: Book it early! We couldn't get in, except to sit at the bar and listen to the vocalist and pianist.
- The Spacanapoli outside on Deck 11 serves Italian pizza pies that passengers raved about.
A pair of dining venues that cost $60 extra per person:
- La Dame offers French fare in an elegant setting with bespoke menus created by top chefs from the Relais & Châteaux team. The menu is underpinned and enhanced with locally sourced ingredients and guests can enjoy carefully paired wines to enrich the dining experience.
- Kaiseki features balanced menus inspired by the five elements of Japanese nutritional cuisine. With teppanyaki available exclusively for evening diners, daytime menus feature a varied and balanced menu of sushi, sashimi and other raw Asian-inspired dishes. We had to skip the two pay-to-dine spots.
Much to our chagrin, you are now limited to what you can order in your suite. Before you could order direct from the evening’s dinner menu; now it’s a fixed carte. So we had dinner in our stateroom only once but we did have super breakfasts served on our balcony.
Staterooms on Silver Muse
We stayed in a Silver Suite, one of the most popular rooms on deck 11, which came in at a roomy 786 square feet. Ours was just a couple of doors down from the Tor’s Observation Library, where we stopped for before-dinner drinks, mixed by amiable and adept Rodney, every night. There are also books there to borrow.
Silver Suites are not only spacious but sport long verandas and big, beautiful bathrooms with a Jacuzzi tub, large separate marbled showers with wonderful rain showers that pummel your body, sinks with double vanities, two large flat-screen TVs, espresso makers with Illycaffè, robes, slippers, big bed, sofa, dining tables indoors and out, desk, vanity and lots of storage shelves and hanging space but few drawers.
The largest, most impressive accommodations include the super swank Owner’s Suite that comes with adjoining bedroom and an en-suite bathroom with spectacular sea views. The one bedroom version comes in at 947 to 1,055 square feet; the two bedroom model is 1,873 to 1,970 sq. ft. Royal Suites are 1,130 to 1,528 square feet.
Entry-level balcony suites (classic, superior veranda and deluxe veranda) measure 387 square feet and feature two mesh lounge chairs, two mesh ottomans and a large table you can use for meals.
Vista and Panorama suites both measure 334 square feet and sport a generous living space and luxurious marbled bathroom.
During our 13-night voyage there were two formal nights but few men donned tuxedos — most opted for suits or jackets and ties. The rest of the time was informal or casual at night. Daytime dress is always resort casual. The ship offers one, two or three formal nights per cruise depending on the length.
Silversea now offers a free basic Wi-Fi to all guests, but I recommend that you pop for an upgrade to a premium hookup — the signal is stronger and more reliable, just about as good as my high-speed service back at home. (The special premium package comes complimentary to top suite guests.)
Silver Muse has an artsy feel, especially at its new Arts Café on deck 8, which is a whimsically designed social spot that offers sweets, sandwiches, coffees and drinks. I think it was patterned from Seabourn Cruises Seabourn Square, though it doesn’t have the same fine panache.
Sometimes change is hard to adapt to and it took a while to get comfortable with the reinvented Silversea experience — MIAare the Restaurant and the Bar. And they do have some kinks to iron out, including the new reservation system. But it was definitely a dreamy experience with a very fine crew, attentive butler and two top captains (the first one left for vacation after seven days). The waiters, deck staff, barkeeps and reception desk staff were all great.
Patti Pietschmann sailed on Silver Muse as a working journalist for Cruiseable as a guest of Silversea. See Cruiseable's Ethics & disclosure policy.
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