...And Here Is What We Think of Her!
Jim and I recently spent a week aboard the Silver Muse on both the industry shakedown cruise as well as the owner’s cruise hosted by Manfredi Lefebvre. While I have been on many shakedown cruises, this one was unique in that the Muse came straight from the shipyard the day we boarded. I spent the week experiencing the ship as well as talking extensively with Silversea executives and the owner about their vision for the future of Silversea. Please have a look below to see my thoughts on the ship. Also, keep an eye out for an email from us next week with some special offers for those of you who wish to experience the Muse.
The Muse is the largest of Silversea’s fleet at 596 passengers, but she certainly didn’t feel that large. The décor is much fresher and lighter than the other ships with lots of tans and greys. It can feel a little underwhelming at first, as you are expecting a flashy new ship, but this understated style oozes elegance and quickly grows on you. The artwork throughout the ship gives her that needed splash of color and the restaurants all have very different atmospheres. I felt the design was brilliant in that the staterooms are your calm retreat, while there is plenty to stimulate the senses throughout the public areas of the ship.
Now for the Suites!
Except for the 6 Vista suites on deck 4 (of which half are handicapped accessible), every suite on the Muse has a full balcony. Frankly, I would advise clients to stay away from the Vistas unless you are a single. They are of adequate size, but the price difference between the Vista and Veranda is not significant enough to warrant missing out on the beautiful Veranda+ category rooms. As you can see in the pictures below, the décor is much different than Silversea’s current fleet. The plan is to update the existing ships to look like the Muse over the next several years.
We stayed in a 2 Bedroom Grand Suite (pictured above), which is ideal for families. There are beautiful sitting and dining areas. Our favorite spot was the large wrap around balcony.
I think the Silver Suites (pictured above) are going to be the most popular accommodation. They are brilliantly designed to maximize every bit of their 786 sq ft. I thought they felt larger than this. There are far more of these suites available on the Muse and some of them can be made into a two bedroom.
The Veranda Suites come in at a robust 387 sq ft including a 64 sq ft balcony. They are very spacious with walk in closets and a good sized sitting area. They have two flat screen TVs built into the mirrors. One in the sitting area and one in front of the bed. The decor is the same at the larger suites shown above. These are some of the best entry level suites in the industry. As you may know every Silversea accommodation comes with butler service.
Silversea has done away with the main dining room on the Muse. Instead, there are 8 separate dining venues, each with their own menus and dress codes. All of the dining is done by reservation. Personally, I love getting rid of the main dining room and having all of these dining options. The quality was very high in each restaurant and there was plenty of variety. I do foresee some issues on cruises of 3 weeks and longer, as they are not currently changing the menus in each restaurant. While you can go to each restaurant a few times and try new things, this will get repetitive after a while.
Atlantide (pictured on the right above)- I think this will be the most popular restaurant on board. It has a high seating capacity, so getting a last minute table here won’t be an issue. The menu has a wonderful selection of steaks from all over the world as well as a nice selection of seafood. I have not seen meat sourced from such a variety of places before. There is also a wonderful little bar in the restaurant that is perfect for a pre dinner cocktail!
Indochine (pictured on the left above)- This is another of the large restaurants that you will not have any trouble getting a table in on any given night. They serve Asian/Indian fare and it was wonderful. They also have a massive long table in the middle of the restaurant that I think will be a great opportunity to meet some fellow cruisers if this interests you.
La Dame (top left)-This is one of the small restaurants that has an additional $60 per person charge for dinner. La Dame provides an wonderful intimate setting and an extraordinary French meal and it is worth every extra penny in my opinion.
Kaiseki (top right)-This is the restaurant I was most excited about. It is a Teppanyaki style restaurant with some seats around the chefs cooking on the table and then tables around the outside of the restaurant. There is an additional $60 per person charge to eat here as well. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. The food was quite good, but the atmosphere was rather boring. The cooks really don’t interact with the guests and there wasn’t any flare to the food preparation. While I enjoyed my meal, I certainly would not eat dinner here twice on any cruise without some improvements to the experience.
La Terrazza (top right)- This is Silversea’s Italian restaurant and it was fantastic! The selection and quality of the pasta dishes is really top notch and the service had an Italian flare that really added to the experience. This restaurant is also on the large side, so last minute tables here also won’t be an issue.
Silver Note (top left)- This is similar to the Stars Supper Club on the other ships. Wonderful tapas-style restaurant with great entertainment. Very fun experience.
Hot Rocks- Many of you have experience Hot Rocks on Silversea’s other ships. The experience is much the same. Outdoor dining with entrees cooked on hot stones. It is a hoot!
Spaccanapoli- Casual outdoor Italian pizzeria.
La Dolce Vita- There seems to be a trend in the industry to try to combine the reception area with a lounge. I don't like it! While they do have a wonderful pianist here in the evenings, the room is simply too large and feels more like a lobby than a bar to me. I see this bar being underutilized, which may cause some overcrowding in the other venues.
Panaroma- This was my favorite bar. It had a nice cozy feel and lots of protected outdoor space.
Tor's Observation Lounge- This is a wonderful space and a great place to relax and read a book during the day. It is the only public area located forward on the ship, so it was always very quiet.
Art's Cafe- This is a very cool space showcasing wonderful art. A great place to enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the sea float by.
Pool- For my lap swimmers out there, you are going to love the size of the pool. This is the largest pool I have seen at sea! While there were plenty of places to lay out, they also had some nice lounge chairs and tables on deck. This is a really great space for those hot days.
The spa, gym and casino are all quite nice, but in the interests of keeping this to a reasonable length, I am leaving them out. They are all what you would expect on a luxury ship.
I am a huge fan of this ship! The thing that struck me most about her is how quickly you become very comfortable on board. There is plenty of space, so you never feel crowded. Except for the observations lounge, all of the common areas are located aft, which makes learning your way around very quick and easy. There is tons of protected outdoor space and the pool is enormous. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, but you feel right at home very quickly aboard the Muse. Silversea’s newest addition looks to be an overwhelming success.
Jim & Stefan Bisciglia and the Team at Specialty Cruise & Villas