This is my Silversea Silver Muse review, with 10 things you need to know about the line and ship.
The latest addition to the Silversea fleet is the Silver Muse. I cruised on the ship on one of the shakedown cruises days before it officially came into service. Based on this experience, I have developed a list of 10 things every potential cruiser needs to know about the ship – and cruising on it.
#1: Part of the Silversea Cruises family
Silversea Cruises was created in early 1990s out of a love of cruising by Antonio Lefebvre d’Ovidio from Italy. From small beginnings, it has grown to become a fleet of nine ships with the launch of the Silver Muse. The vision is to eventually have 12 ships. They operate in the ultra-luxury end of the cruise industry.
It is one of the last privately owned cruise lines, and the only ultra-luxury line not part of a larger corporation. Seabourn are owned by Carnival; Regent Seven Seas by Norwegian Cruise Line; Azamara by Royal Caribbean and Crystal by the Genting Corporation in Hong Kong.
The fleet is split into two: “Classic” and “Expedition”. By the end of 2017 there will be 5 five classic ships: Silver Muse, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit. They carry between 296 and 596 guests, and sail to traditional cruise destinations around the world providing a classic cruise experience.
On the other hand, the Expedition Fleet will have four ships by the end of 2017. These are specially adapted and equipped to travel to remote and exotic locations like the Arctic, Antarctica, Galápagos and Pacific. Each ship carries smaller numbers and has a large Expedition Team to educate and escort travellers as they travel around these destinations. The ships are Silver Discoverer, Silver Explorer, Silver Galápagos and Silver Cloud Expedition.
Silversea aim to visit more destinations than other ultra-luxury lines, and claim to call on at least 40% more than their closest competitor annually.
#2: Entered service in April 2017
The Silver Muse was formally named in Monte Carlo on 19 April 2017. The Godmother is the owner’s daughter Costanza.
It is the largest ship in the fleet, carrying 596 guests and 411 crew. It joins the “Classic” fleet and will sail traditional style cruises around the world, including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South America, and Asia.
This size will be the biggest that Silversea will go. The format and layout of the ship has set a new template for future ships in the line, and the owner hinted that they have options to build three similar ships. They have no plans to use bigger vessels to maintain the exclusivity, service levels and flexibility in ports they can call on. Most ultra-luxury lines are keeping their ships on the smaller end of the passenger capacity to offer an alternative to the ever-larger resort-style monoliths being added by the luxury and mass-market lines.
The Silver Muse feels like a luxury ship. Whilst it is bigger than the other Silversea ships I have sailed on, it felt intimate despite the 596-guest capacity and eight passenger decks. The ship felt like it has had money lavished on it, and there was attention to detail in all aspects of the fixtures and furniture. I have been fortunate to experience a few of the more recent entries to other ultra-luxury lines over the past 18 months, and this ship did feel plusher.
The Silversea crew is trained by the Leading Hotels of the World, and there was an attentive and caring ethos. Of course, I was experiencing the ship during its initial roll out and, no doubt, the very best of the staff were on board for the launch.
#4: All-inclusive fares
All ultra-luxury lines offer all-inclusive fares. Though you need to check what each covers, as they do have some differences. For Silversea and Silver Muse the fare includes:
- Accommodation, which are all suites with balcony.
- All meals, including 24-hour room service. In the section on dining options I cover the possibilities in more detail.
- There is choice of complimentary wines, spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks in the suite and around the ship at all times.
- Entertainment, such as the nightly shows and enrichment lectures.
- Gratuities, with the exception of those for spa and beauty salon treatments.
- Transport into town from port if the ship is not docked within easy walking distance.
The fare does not cover:
- Surcharges in the La Dame and Kaiseki restaurants.
#5: All-suite All Balcony Suites (with seven categories)
Every stateroom on the Silver Muse is a suite and has balcony access. There are no inside or ocean view only cabins. It also has the highest number of their larger suites (Silver, Royal, Grand and Owner’s) and the greatest number of connecting suites for families and friends than the rest of the fleet.
There are seven suites to choose from. In order of size and grandness they are:
- Owner’s Suite – one bedroom suite (can be made into two with use of an adjoining Verandah suite).
- Grand Suite – one bedroom suite (can be made into two with adjoining suite).
- Royal Suite – one bedroom suite (can be made into two with adjoining suite).
- Silver Suite – one bedroom suite (can be made into two with adjoining suite).
- Deluxe Verandah Suite, located midships.
- Superior Verandah Suite, located on the upper deck.
- Classic Verandah Suite, located lower and towards the bow.
The layout and size of the Verandah suites are the same but their grade is set by location on the ship, with the Deluxe in the most desirable locations.
Watch my Silver Muse ship tour, which covers all suites.
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zUj3P-OM4jM
All suites include:
- Butler service.
- Minibar stocked with your choice of drink.
- Bvlgari toiletries, or a choice of other European brands.
- Pratesi bed linens and down duvet covers.
- Pillow menu.
- Etro® brand bathrobes.
- Two state-of-the-art flat-screen HD TVs built into the mirrors.
- Sockets for every format of electric plugs, including UK, USA and USB charging sockets.
#6: Traditional cruise experience
Silversea’s Silver Muse offers a traditional approach to cruising. The ship is not designed as a resort but is more akin to staying in a quality hotel. The focus is around good dining, mixing with friends, relaxation and exercise on board. While there are a number of diversions in the form of enrichment lectures, bridge games and classes and the like, the ship focuses on delivering passengers to destinations in comfort and not in providing a resort packed full of activities and features.
Silversea have disposed of the traditional main dining room and replaced it with a range of themed restaurants. This is a great evolution, especially as (unlike many lines) most are included within the fare.
Your included dining options, which are all open-seated dining are:
- La Terrazza: Italian food, and a standard across Silversea with food stations for breakfast and lunch and à la carte menu at night.
- Atlantide: Seafood and steak bar and grill.
- Indochine: Asian food including Thai and Indian.
- Spaccanapoli: Pizza restaurant that is inspired by, and named after, the road that divides Naples in two and is renowned for its pizzerias.
- The Grill / Hot Rocks: Another Silversea classic using hot lava stones allowing guests to cook their own meat, fish or vegetables at their table. During the day this poolside venue serves casual food like burgers.
- Silver Note: Taps-style dishes while live jazz is performed.
- 24-Hour room service.
The two venues requiring an extra fee, which was $60 per person at time of writing are:
- La Dame by Relais & Châteaux: French Cuisine designed by chefs from the Relais & Châteaux team.
- Kaiseki: Japanese with Teppanyaki in evening. For lunch it serves sushi, sashimi and other raw Asian-inspired dishes.
Although relatively small, the Silver Muse does have a good range of choice if you are looking for open deck spaces to relax outdoors or places to meet with friends or for quiet time inside. These are the key facilities:
- Bars and lounges: Tor’s Observation and Library with views over the bow of the ship; Panorama Lounge which also hosts music and a DJ late into the evenings; Connoisseur’s Corner for smokers and cigar lovers; Arts Café which is new to Silversea and has eclectic artworks and light snacks and the large Atrium Lounge, where the Reception and Shore Excursion desks are situated.
- Fitness and Relaxation: There is a large pool, with running track on the upper level. The Zagara Spa and fitness centre has a barber, hairdresser, nail bar as well as the usual spa treatments. Fitness classes are held in a small studio, while there are also free weights, machines and cardio equipment.
- Entertainment is held in the Venetian Lounge. Shows are of the standard revue performed by the Silversea Singers and supplemented by guest performers on some nights.
- Other facilities include a Card Room, Boutiques, Casino and Kids’ Activity Room.
#9: Dress Code and Packing
The dress code is smarter than on some ultra-luxury lines. Instead of the “country casual” approach others use, Silver Muse has a “smart casual” approach with some formal evenings. No jeans are allowed after 6pm and on formal nights it is expected that most gentlemen will wear jackets and women be in cocktail dresses.
#10: Passenger Types
The core target for Silversea are “Baby Boomers” (travellers born post war and into the early 1960s). Most passengers will be couples aged 50s, 60s and into their 70s. They will tend to be professionals, and often retired or semi-retired. As a 58 year old traveller I personally find I fit in especially well on the line.
The line is a premium one and so people with the funds and lifestyle to afford it are attracted to it. I find Silversea travellers to be inquisitive and interested in seeing new places, but want to travel in luxury and an environment that they are feel comfortable with.
Most guests will be American, although as cruising expands there is an increasing mix of nationalities. As their cruise experience is very English-language and culturally based, expect to find British, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders well represented.
In my view this is not really a line for families and children. There are lines that offer the facilities and programs that better meet these needs in my view. I also suspect that other travellers on board are likely to be looking for a more adult environment, and will be less enthusiastic about finding families on board. However, if you travel during key school vacation times expect to find some children and multi-generational families around the ship.
The Silver Muse is a gorgeous ship and probably the nicest and plush ship I have travelled on to date. It has a well thought out layout and stunning suites. The food and choices were breathtaking and the service attentive and caring. I really liked it.
See more of my Silver Muse content (articles, videos, podcast and pictures) at http://www.tipsfortravellers.com/silversea-silver-muse/
Disclaimer: I travelled as a guest of Silversea Cruises on a shirt shakedown cruise on the Silver Muse in April 2017 from Genoa to Marseilles.
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