We have 300 nights on Silversea and usually love the experience they have to offer. We are well known to the staff, whom we love. This time, we sailed for 28 nights from Lisbon to Montreal in September 2017, six months after the launch of the ship (plenty of time to work out the kinks).
Unfortunately, the Silver Muse did not provide any luxury despite the hype in the brochures and the extreme friendliness of the waiters. I had to wear ear plugs at night when the sea was even a bit rough because the ceiling creaked so loudly and the balcony door banged. The sewer-gas smell in our otherwise very nice bathroom was off-putting to say the least. It did get fixed.
There seemed to be no professional chefs on board and no one in charge of the restaurants. We've had better food and better organized service in hospital cafeterias and retirement residences. We quickly memorized the menus that never varied, and we got tired of the meals being served somewhere between room temperature and lukewarm. In the Terrazza buffet, the pasta chef was sullen, his pasta often incompletely cooked (crunchy, not al dente) and covered in stone cold sauce. They never turned on the radiant food warmers in the Terrazza, so that the scrambled eggs, home-fry potatoes, and Asian lunch dishes (clearly made from leftovers) were barely warmer than room temperature. The soup was never hot; even when I sent it back three times, they never got it hot -- I was told the Terrazza kitchen was three decks down, which is why the food got cold on the way up. The service in Terrazza was friendly but disorganized; the restaurant managers were usually in hiding or chuckling in a corner with the head waiters; the chefs never made an appearance to check on the quality of their dishes, so they had no idea of the inferior results sitting on our plates. One head waiter was outstanding; she was the only one to actually supervise and pitch in when necessary; her name is Eileen. The officers rarely ate in any of the restaurants, and now I can see why; they probably got much better fare in their officers' mess.
Atlantide, the premier complementary restaurant, served the same boring food every night: a hunk of fried fish or fried meat on a cold plate served with a few tasteless, boiled vegetables. No variation, art, creativity or skill went into any of the meals. Almost anyone can boil up a few veggies, throw a piece of meat on a grill, and then toss the lot onto a cold plate. But this was supposed to be six-star luxury. There were two nice appetizer dishes; but having the same things over and over got very frustrating and tiring.
La Dame, the $120-for-two restaurant had terrible seating (you stared at either the wall or the wine rack), indifferent service, and pretentiously described food that was not served hot and was not as tasty as we can make for ourselves at home.
The entertainers (Chantal and Esther) in the Silver Note supper club were lovely but the food was just plain weird. How can a bowl of rice mixed with quinoa, served dry and on its own, be classified as a appetizer? The tough lobster on mashed potatoes, served lukewarm, was edible but not exactly gourmet.
We love Asian food, but the Asian Indochine restaurant produced nothing tasty or authentic. Our local takeaway Thai and Indian places serve much better fare.
The Arts Cafe, run by Jason and staffed by the delightful Jhowel, Paulo, Richard, and Juan, was the dining highlight for us. Afternoon tea was served at four from proper tea pots with perfect scones along with real clotted cream and jam. Whoever made the scones really knows how to bake a scone (that person needs to teach the other bakers how to make American muffins and pancakes that are not a wet mass of partially cooked dough.)
Jimmy and Luke were the terrific cruise director and his assistant. They added greatly to our enjoyment of the cruise and we felt very lucky to have them. Jimmy does a wonderful Team-Trivia and Luke an excellent Name-that-Tune. Both are warm and welcoming to the guests on a individual basis.
Sad to say, we will never sail again on the Silver Muse. And before sailing on any Silversea ship again, we will need to find out whether all the ships have adopted the disastrous idea of the unvarying menu.
The ceiling creaked unbelievably loudly in any seas that weren't perfectly calm. I had to wear ear plugs in order to fall asleep. I had to phone the neighbours to turn down their TV, which was blaring through the walls at midnight. Otherwise, the cabin was identical to other Silversea ships, with lots of space and excellent layout.