Silver Muse Ship Review Sydney January 2019 luxury

Any Cruise, Anywhere, Any Time

Silver Muse

Reviewed by: Richard Boyce
Date: 7 January 2019
Cruise line and ship: Silversea Cruises – Silver Muse
Capacity: 596 passengers
Year built: 2017
Size of the ship: 40,791 GRT
Where the ship cruises: Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Currency onboard: USD

Embarkation / Disembarkation: As you would expect – with a maximum of 596 guests for a ship large enough to carry more than double this – there are really no queues. We were welcomed by a small band and a glass of Pomery Champagne though there was barely time to enjoy it as we were straight onto the ship. Disembarkation was straightforward as well.

Main features / highlights: The ship is remarkably easy to navigate with suites being situated forward on most decks, and most public rooms being aft. An exception to this is the Observation Library on Deck 11 situated far forward giving spectacular views over the bow. There is a small bar here and both traditional and cocktail style seating in blues and greys.

Most suited to: 40+ year old passengers looking for a sophisticated and uncomplicated experience. Silversea’s cruises will appeal to passengers who appreciate not having to watch the bank account with virtually everything included. Another feature is Silversea visits more ports than virtually any other cruise line on the planet, with over 1000 destinations visited as opposed to the average 300 odd for most cruise lines. This means that if you are really looking to explore, or more importantly, see well known ports without the queues and crowds then this is the cruise line for you.

Atmosphere: There is a noticeable lack of glitz. This is luxury on a subdued level. You aren’t bombarded with polished brass or shining lights – this is more about comfortable surroundings allowing you to relax. The artworks are well chosen and somewhat discreet – not art for the sake of showing off or filling a wall space.

Encounters with staff: All staff were, as you would expect, smiling, efficient and courteous. It should be mentioned that there are 400 crew for an average of 550 passengers so don’t expect to wait long for anything. The crew are quick to recognise your preferences and favourites.

Staterooms: We didn’t get to inspect any as such but there were a few open doors where we less than discretely poked our heads in. What you notice immediately regardless of grade is the space.

On Deck 4 are 6 Vista Suites offering a large window, of which three are for guests with a mobility challenge. Cleverly all of these are inter-connecting with the adjacent suite for those wishing to travel with family or a carer. Additionally there are four Panorama Suites up on Deck 10 being the same size but on a higher deck and midship.

The Veranda Suites are a standard size and layout, being graded according to location (forward or midship) and deck. At 36 square metres including a 6m² balcony they are nearly double the industry standard in size.

Four suite categories are above this being the 34 Silver Suites at 73m² including 12m² balcony, the two Royal Suites at 105m² including a 12m² balcony, four Grand Suites at 146m² including a gigantic 53m² balcony and finally the four Owners Suites 98m² including a 12m² balcony. It should be noted that the Royal and Grand Suites all face forward but they do have a side facing balcony area providing a little more shelter from wind. Both these grades can also be interconnected with the adjacent Veranda Suite to provide a larger two bedroom configuration. All Suites at this level offer a separate shower and bath.

The decoration in all suites feature the finest fabrics and linens being light, airy and unfussy. There is a general feeling of being in a luxurious sanctuary rather than your standard cabin – there’s a noticeable amount of space with furniture even allowing you to dine in room if one of the multiple dining venues don’t temp you away.

Inclusions: All meals in all venues are included, though you will need to make reservations in advance for the smaller venues. This can be done in advance within 120 days of sailing or of course onboard when you wish.

All beverages are included except for vintages or truly top shelf labels. There is a collection of some 90 odd wines available complimentary including Australian labels which is a nice touch. For those who don’t drink alcohol your coffees and teas are also included as well as bottles of water. The luxury here is being able to relax, enjoy and NOT think about just what that cocktail cost you in Australian dollars.

Australians are also not fond of tipping which is a good thing here as gratuities are included.

Shore tours, beauty treatments, some gym activities and shop purchases are at your own expense.

Silversea is the only cruise line in the world to include butler service in every category of suite. For those of us who don’t have one at home you may wonder what difference this makes? Rather than your cabin attendant who you often will rarely see (rightly so), your Butler sees to things you may not immediately think of like shining your shoes, seeing to an urgent request for canapés for that impromptu in-suite cocktail party or essentially any little thing you can’t be bothered moving for.

Self-service laundry: Yes and on every deck. Complimentary washing powder is provided too which is a nice touch.

Dining: Like most ships of this calibre there are multiple dining options throughout the ship. What could be considered the main dining room on Deck 4 is actually split into two being the Atlantide and Indochine Restaurants serving traditional and Asian cuisine respectively. Each room is decorated differently with many tables for two. A notable feature in Indochine is a long raised bench table for larger groups or those wanting to perhaps meet fellow guests.

Just behind the two large dining rooms are two smaller rooms being Kaiseki – a Tepinyaki Bar and La Dame – a dark, moody and decidedly elegant space serving the finest French cuisine.

On Deck 7 there is another small dining venue – Silver Note. This venue benefits from large windows though in reality this is an evening venue for tapas-style dishes complemented by a small jazz or blues band. There’s even a small dance floor for those with the wish and the talent. Behind this venue is La Terazza. Forget what you know or expect about the onboard buffet as its more a fine dining venue than anything else.  There is a section of food stations serving dishes reflecting the company’s Italian heritage with antipasti, a mozzarella bar, seafood and an extensive à la carte menu.

One deck up on Deck 8 is the intimate Arts Cafe. With colourful comfy furniture and a café / deli-bar – the floor to ceiling aft-facing windows don’t show off the only pleasing view, with a curated art installation also providing both decoration and entertainment. In the evening this area becomes a cocktail lounge.

There are two poolside venues – the first on Deck 10 and directly poolside is the Pool Grill. During the day there is a rotisserie and gourmet salad bar where you can build your own burgers. In the evening this venue changes to offering hot rock cooking where you are provided with a heated granite stone at your table. You then cook your own meat, fish or vegetables to your own taste – such fun!

Finally on Deck 11 overlooking the pool is Spaccanapoli serving the finest pizzas from Naples. Again forget what you have seen elsewhere – this is authentic to the core, evidenced by the dough and ingredients, all served within simple surroundings coupled with a lovely view of the pool. Passengers with suites in this area may need to hold themselves back. Yum!

Entertainment: Yes there are production shows in the one show area – the Venetian Lounge located Deck 5 aft – but there’s much more to enjoy than the usual covers and feathers show. There are lectures provided by actual experts on the ports you are visiting as well as current topics, history, art etc. Silversea attracts an international passenger list so topics and activities are geared to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Family facilities: There are no childrens’ facilities or rooms as such however children are welcome from 6 months onwards. If your child is happy to be somewhat self sufficient then the whole family should find this a relaxing cruise experience.

Activities: On Deck 5 is the Dolce Vita lounge – a large space that also serves as the guest relations and shore tour desk though these are discretely positioned in corners of the room at one end, with a bar at the other. This space is large, airy in tans and browns and is the central hub of the ship. Part gathering place part lounge bar it’s the place to meet and relax or join in on formal night gatherings and parties. Quizzes and games are also held here.

Spa: Deck 6 aft is devoted to the gym, spa and salon. Everything here is as you would expect but the stand out is really the Thermal Suite with its outdoor private spa deck which can be hired for private use. The spa could easily take four to six people but it seems even more perfect for a couples afternoon with a glass and pool of bubbles as you sail from port. Devine!

Smokers: For those who want to have a cigarette or fine cigar, Connoisseur’s Corner located aft on Deck 8 is the place for you to relax and enjoy a cognac or Whisky and puff away to your hearts content without the withering glances of your fellow passengers. Starboard side of Pool Deck is also available though I’d suggest being observant and respectful of fellow passengers – this isn’t a huge ship and non-smokers won’t be far away!

Insider Tips: Unlike some luxury cruise lines, Silversea has formal nights for those who love the glamour of it all. For those who would rather not bring the steamer trunks full of gowns there is no obligation to join in with several areas of the ship being reserved for less dressy guests to enjoy and not feel as though they are being excluded. It’s YOUR holiday after all.

For those who may feel a luxury cruise is stuffy and full of snobby people – nothing could be further from the truth. This is a ship for everyone and the passengers I encountered were mostly well travelled and very un-stuffy with a primary interest in exploring in comfortable surroundings. I’m fairly certain there’s nothing about this ship you will find disappointing.

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Silver Muse

Reviewed by: Richard Boyce
Date: 7 January 2019
Cruise line and ship: Silversea Cruises – Silver Muse
Capacity: 596 passengers
Year built: 2017
Size of the ship: 40,791 GRT
Where the ship cruises: Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Currency onboard: USD

Embarkation / Disembarkation: As you would expect – with a maximum of 596 guests for a ship large enough to carry more than double this – there are really no queues. We were welcomed by a small band and a glass of Pomery Champagne though there was barely time to enjoy it as we were straight onto the ship. Disembarkation was straightforward as well.

Main features / highlights: The ship is remarkably easy to navigate with suites being situated forward on most decks, and most public rooms being aft. An exception to this is the Observation Library on Deck 11 situated far forward giving spectacular views over the bow. There is a small bar here and both traditional and cocktail style seating in blues and greys.

Most suited to: 40+ year old passengers looking for a sophisticated and uncomplicated experience. Silversea’s cruises will appeal to passengers who appreciate not having to watch the bank account with virtually everything included. Another feature is Silversea visits more ports than virtually any other cruise line on the planet, with over 1000 destinations visited as opposed to the average 300 odd for most cruise lines. This means that if you are really looking to explore, or more importantly, see well known ports without the queues and crowds then this is the cruise line for you.

Atmosphere: There is a noticeable lack of glitz. This is luxury on a subdued level. You aren’t bombarded with polished brass or shining lights – this is more about comfortable surroundings allowing you to relax. The artworks are well chosen and somewhat discreet – not art for the sake of showing off or filling a wall space.

Encounters with staff: All staff were, as you would expect, smiling, efficient and courteous. It should be mentioned that there are 400 crew for an average of 550 passengers so don’t expect to wait long for anything. The crew are quick to recognise your preferences and favourites.

Staterooms: We didn’t get to inspect any as such but there were a few open doors where we less than discretely poked our heads in. What you notice immediately regardless of grade is the space.

On Deck 4 are 6 Vista Suites offering a large window, of which three are for guests with a mobility challenge. Cleverly all of these are inter-connecting with the adjacent suite for those wishing to travel with family or a carer. Additionally there are four Panorama Suites up on Deck 10 being the same size but on a higher deck and midship.

The Veranda Suites are a standard size and layout, being graded according to location (forward or midship) and deck. At 36 square metres including a 6m² balcony they are nearly double the industry standard in size.

Four suite categories are above this being the 34 Silver Suites at 73m² including 12m² balcony, the two Royal Suites at 105m² including a 12m² balcony, four Grand Suites at 146m² including a gigantic 53m² balcony and finally the four Owners Suites 98m² including a 12m² balcony. It should be noted that the Royal and Grand Suites all face forward but they do have a side facing balcony area providing a little more shelter from wind. Both these grades can also be interconnected with the adjacent Veranda Suite to provide a larger two bedroom configuration. All Suites at this level offer a separate shower and bath.

The decoration in all suites feature the finest fabrics and linens being light, airy and unfussy. There is a general feeling of being in a luxurious sanctuary rather than your standard cabin – there’s a noticeable amount of space with furniture even allowing you to dine in room if one of the multiple dining venues don’t temp you away.

Inclusions: All meals in all venues are included, though you will need to make reservations in advance for the smaller venues. This can be done in advance within 120 days of sailing or of course onboard when you wish.

All beverages are included except for vintages or truly top shelf labels. There is a collection of some 90 odd wines available complimentary including Australian labels which is a nice touch. For those who don’t drink alcohol your coffees and teas are also included as well as bottles of water. The luxury here is being able to relax, enjoy and NOT think about just what that cocktail cost you in Australian dollars.

Australians are also not fond of tipping which is a good thing here as gratuities are included.

Shore tours, beauty treatments, some gym activities and shop purchases are at your own expense.

Silversea is the only cruise line in the world to include butler service in every category of suite. For those of us who don’t have one at home you may wonder what difference this makes? Rather than your cabin attendant who you often will rarely see (rightly so), your Butler sees to things you may not immediately think of like shining your shoes, seeing to an urgent request for canapés for that impromptu in-suite cocktail party or essentially any little thing you can’t be bothered moving for.

Self-service laundry: Yes and on every deck. Complimentary washing powder is provided too which is a nice touch.

Dining: Like most ships of this calibre there are multiple dining options throughout the ship. What could be considered the main dining room on Deck 4 is actually split into two being the Atlantide and Indochine Restaurants serving traditional and Asian cuisine respectively. Each room is decorated differently with many tables for two. A notable feature in Indochine is a long raised bench table for larger groups or those wanting to perhaps meet fellow guests.

Just behind the two large dining rooms are two smaller rooms being Kaiseki – a Tepinyaki Bar and La Dame – a dark, moody and decidedly elegant space serving the finest French cuisine.

On Deck 7 there is another small dining venue – Silver Note. This venue benefits from large windows though in reality this is an evening venue for tapas-style dishes complemented by a small jazz or blues band. There’s even a small dance floor for those with the wish and the talent. Behind this venue is La Terazza. Forget what you know or expect about the onboard buffet as its more a fine dining venue than anything else.  There is a section of food stations serving dishes reflecting the company’s Italian heritage with antipasti, a mozzarella bar, seafood and an extensive à la carte menu.

One deck up on Deck 8 is the intimate Arts Cafe. With colourful comfy furniture and a café / deli-bar – the floor to ceiling aft-facing windows don’t show off the only pleasing view, with a curated art installation also providing both decoration and entertainment. In the evening this area becomes a cocktail lounge.

There are two poolside venues – the first on Deck 10 and directly poolside is the Pool Grill. During the day there is a rotisserie and gourmet salad bar where you can build your own burgers. In the evening this venue changes to offering hot rock cooking where you are provided with a heated granite stone at your table. You then cook your own meat, fish or vegetables to your own taste – such fun!

Finally on Deck 11 overlooking the pool is Spaccanapoli serving the finest pizzas from Naples. Again forget what you have seen elsewhere – this is authentic to the core, evidenced by the dough and ingredients, all served within simple surroundings coupled with a lovely view of the pool. Passengers with suites in this area may need to hold themselves back. Yum!

Entertainment: Yes there are production shows in the one show area – the Venetian Lounge located Deck 5 aft – but there’s much more to enjoy than the usual covers and feathers show. There are lectures provided by actual experts on the ports you are visiting as well as current topics, history, art etc. Silversea attracts an international passenger list so topics and activities are geared to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Family facilities: There are no childrens’ facilities or rooms as such however children are welcome from 6 months onwards. If your child is happy to be somewhat self sufficient then the whole family should find this a relaxing cruise experience.

Activities: On Deck 5 is the Dolce Vita lounge – a large space that also serves as the guest relations and shore tour desk though these are discretely positioned in corners of the room at one end, with a bar at the other. This space is large, airy in tans and browns and is the central hub of the ship. Part gathering place part lounge bar it’s the place to meet and relax or join in on formal night gatherings and parties. Quizzes and games are also held here.

Spa: Deck 6 aft is devoted to the gym, spa and salon. Everything here is as you would expect but the stand out is really the Thermal Suite with its outdoor private spa deck which can be hired for private use. The spa could easily take four to six people but it seems even more perfect for a couples afternoon with a glass and pool of bubbles as you sail from port. Devine!

Smokers: For those who want to have a cigarette or fine cigar, Connoisseur’s Corner located aft on Deck 8 is the place for you to relax and enjoy a cognac or Whisky and puff away to your hearts content without the withering glances of your fellow passengers. Starboard side of Pool Deck is also available though I’d suggest being observant and respectful of fellow passengers – this isn’t a huge ship and non-smokers won’t be far away!

Insider Tips: Unlike some luxury cruise lines, Silversea has formal nights for those who love the glamour of it all. For those who would rather not bring the steamer trunks full of gowns there is no obligation to join in with several areas of the ship being reserved for less dressy guests to enjoy and not feel as though they are being excluded. It’s YOUR holiday after all.

For those who may feel a luxury cruise is stuffy and full of snobby people – nothing could be further from the truth. This is a ship for everyone and the passengers I encountered were mostly well travelled and very un-stuffy with a primary interest in exploring in comfortable surroundings. I’m fairly certain there’s nothing about this ship you will find disappointing.

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