We chose the Muse because we have liked SilverSea based on our previous experiences and we like long transoceanic voyages. So we chose the 16 day UK to Montreal.
We were extremely disappointed. Our disappointments went well beyond the expected teething issues with a new ship and transplanted crew.
SILVER SEA has obviously worked hard to CUT COSTS in the RESTAURANTS and the ACCOMMODATIONS.
1) All the restaurants REQUIRE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER. It is nearly impossible to get a restaurant you want when you want it, even if you book months in advance. You are stuck with your advance bookings for the duration of your voyage. The preferable restaurants are fully booked all the time.
2) There is NO WALK IN DINNER RESTAURANT on the ship. Every restaurant is a reservation only "theme restaurant," a concept by some "restaurant consultant" who obviously knows little about high end cruising and what high end customers want and expect.
3) The RESTAURANT MENUS ARE FIXED and are VERY LIMITED. Each restaurant has a fixed menu of few items and the menu DOES NOT VARRY day to day. For 16 days we looked at the same food choices. UGH. And if you do not enjoy Asian or "pay extra" you are stuck with Italian or the limited Atlantide menu.
4) The lack of RESERVATION FLEXIBILITY means you cannot change your reservations mid-cruise to include new fiends or acquaintances.
5) The food was often POORLY PREPARED. I had a tuna steak, ordered MR, it was served brown on the outside and still frozen in the middle. The lettuce at the La Terrace buffet for lunch was freshly showered every single day, but not dried.
6) We had to accept a dinner reservation twice at the outdoor GRILL. Outdoor on the pool deck is fine in the Caribbean, but the North Atlantic in September? No. Windy and so cold we needed two hot stone cookers to cook our meal. Yes, they did serve blankets, but most guests gave up for room service.
7) ROOM SERVICE was slow and cold. We quickly gave up on that option.
8) STORAGE SPACE IS ABYSMAL. In the Silver Suite on the older ships we were used to storage space and shelves galore. Muse has NO storage to speak of. The refrigerator cabinet top is completely occupied with the coffee maker etc. There are two small sofa tables and a desk. The desk has two small drawers and the top is largely occupied by the various cruise materials. The vanity is small and without real storage. The hair dryer was stored in the trash can. The "dinning table" and chairs are fine.
9) Our Silver Suite had a big closet, but NO BUREAU, anywhere. The large closet had some closely spaced shelves located below counter level. The only way to access them was to bend way over and struggle to see what was on them. Accessing therm was nearly impossible. There were NO clothing drawers.
10) The furnishings were sparse and not suited to purpose. The big "comfy chairs" for relaxing and reading had no arms and were so uncomfortable that they were useless. Sitting and reading in them was impossible. The sofa (a pull out for a 3rd guest) was so deep that throw pillows were necessary to sit back, uncomfortably.
11) While I cannot point to any specific complaint my sense was that the ship is understaffed. Service in the restaurants was often slow and usually sparse in the lounge areas.
12) The overall operational attitude of the ship is illustrated by this example. The forward 11th deck lounge was teeming with people as we sailed from one port. I went to the bar and asked for a drink. The bar tender told me "no, it is not six o'clock yet." The clock above the bar displayed 5:58.
The concept for the design and use of the restaurants and public spaces is poor for the purpose of the ship. The staff is well intentioned, if sparse. I was particularly impressed by the Sommelier and his team.
Silver Sea can solve some of the problems with this ship over time, but her basic design will limit resolving most of them absent a total rework. She looks good but does not live up to the hyped brochures or the SS reputation. Silver Sea fumbled with this ship and the concepts supporting it.