This was our 26th Silversea Cruise, over 300 days, first time on the Muse. Since it was the Muse's maiden crossing, we considered it part of the "shakedown" process.
Spent two nights in Southampton before sailing. Chilly, windy, rainy. Found a good pub/restaurant, the Duke of Wellington, best fishn'n'chips I've had. Visited Stonehenge, but it was very crowded, windy and rainy, so elected to go to the ubiquitous gift shop. Plus, admission is up there in price.
Boarding was easy on sailing day. Since suites were not available until 2pm, we were able to have lunch in Atlantide or Terrazza. There were a couple of friends on board whom we had met on an earlier cruise, so that helped pass the time. Found our Silver suite easily, two of 3 suitcases arrived quickly, and we had a sense of how to unpack, i.e. whose stuff went where, etc. It seemed that there were fewer drawers in the closet area. more shelves. The entire suite was larger than on the Spirit, but seemed to have less drawer space. It will be interesting figuring out where a third person's stuff is going to go, since we will be on the Muse again in December, with one of our sons accompanying...he gets the couch.
Suite bathroom was adequate. Loved the large shower. "Rainfall" shower head was stationary, i.e. we couldn't position it to direct the water flow. First two nights was difficult getting hot water, took a long time to get it even warm, if at all. After that there was plenty of hot. The shower leaked water under the shower door frame if the movement of the ship made the water in the pan flow away from the drain. That got fixed quickly, the gaps beneath the shower door frame were sealed. I had an iPod with me, so playing our own music on the Bose player in the suite was easy. The rest was as expected; we would have liked to use the verandah more, but the weather was not conducive, except for a day or two in Canadian/St. Pierre waters.
The ship color scheme is lighter than on the Spirit, including the carpeting. The carpeting could be problematic in that it will show stains more easily. Plus, it was starting to "pill" in our suite, and it looked like a couple of seams were about to give way. The lighter colors give more of a sense of spaciousness. We felt there was an overabundance of plastic, not a lot of wood trim.
Dining: food was overall excellent, service inconsistent at times (almost seemed like we were forgotten, depending on the restaurant). Bar service was the usual. We were victims of the restaurant-dictated dress code (which I understand is reverting back to a ship-wide dress code: much better!). Atlantide was formal, as was La Dame. The rest of the restaurants' attire were informal or casual. Quite a mix of attire in the evenings. We did see some shorts in the evening as well. Not many tuxes in Atlantide that we could see, although I had my own, La Dame seemed more formal than Atlantide, as did the service. Spaccanapoli (pizza restaurant) had very good pizza. You could get a "custom-made" one, there were lots of ingredients. The pool grille at lunch was overall so-so. The Reuben sandwich on the menu was undercooked and not all that tasty OR attractive: the cheese wasn't even melted, even after I sent mine back. Hot Rocks, which we usually visited on embarkation night, was good, more menu selections. But cold and rainy, and no infrared heaters (luckily they provided blankets, but still....). We went to Silver Note once. The menu was confusing, service spotty. Entertainment so-so. One night we had a "campfire" dinner with our friends in our suite. Dinner order was confined to the room service menu, which was adequate, but not what any of us expected. On other ships, dinner is available in your suite course by course via the main restaurant menu, but not so on Muse, since there was no main restaurant. The forward observation lounge on Deck 11 was underused most of the time. No coffee in the morning, had to go to the Arts Cafe on deck 8 for coffee and snacks. Woefully inadequate seating for as popular a place as it was, but what to expect when the Arts Cafe was the only place to get a coffee before 9 am, when the pool bar opened (but just the bar, no food)? Speaking of the bar, the main "bar" is the Dolce Vita, very spacious, large enough for a lot of passengers. Bar service at times seemed non-existent. If you weren't in the bar-staff's line of sight, you got passed over.
We did not attend any of the musical shows (usually were too late from dinner). The magician was good, and we got a lot out of the enrichment lectures about ocean liners, the development of the cruise industry, and cruising now and in the future. Didn't attend any of the port talks, but they were available on TV. Seating in the the show lounge was not comfortable. The couches were fine; you had to share the drink table with the people in the single chairs in front of you, IF they were willing to share. The single chairs were narrow and hard.
Ports: First one out of Southampton was Falmouth. We did a shore excursion, "Coastal Trek and Pub Lunch". It was about a 4-mile walk on a mostly narrow up-and-down trail, somewhat treacherous from the rain. Even in dry weather it would be treacherous. A lot was along a cliff: if you fell over the side, onto the ricks and into the water you'd go. Far longer and more strenuous than the description led us to believe. The pub was the Witch Ball. We had a separate eating area, seemed jammed in like sardines. Not enough "loo" space. Women were using the gents'. If you were a fitbit user, this trek (and it truly was a trek) gave you plenty of steps. Overall pricey. We didn't go ashore at the Ireland ports.
At St.John's, Newfoundland, we went on our own, walked to the Castle Hill area. At St. Pierre we were tied up at the pier...EZ off and on. Caught the shuttle bus from the ship to the "downtown". Colorful buildings, vibrant streets (from kids and traffic). We did plenty of walking around town, two of us walked back to the ship. Very picturesque. We did another shore excursion at Sydney, Nova Scotia: Cape Breton fiddle concert. Was really fun. We even square danced. Then went to a little place for lunch "in town". My wife had poutine, just for once, and I had pizza...which was much better than the poutine. Charlottetown, PEI was the best as far as we were concerned. Weather was gorgeous, there was a farmers' market in town, there were plenty of shops to visit and restaurants serving mussels and other seafood. And good beer. Great walk. We had to skip Gaspe because of speed restrictions on ships due to right whale migration. We didn't see any right whales, probably not being in the right place at the right time. We were also canceled out of a Gaspe shore excursion, a walk through a forest. After our Falmouth experience, we weren't too disappointed. So we spent an extra day "at sea" on the way to Saguenay, PQ. Sailed into the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay River. Very scenic. Big problem, however, was that the river guide's narration was only able to be heard in the hallways and some of the public rooms and on the decks. Not on the verandahs, as advertised. So we really didn't get much more out of it than seeing the land go by. Luckily the weather was good enough that we could venture out onto the (quiet) verandah from time to time. Saguenay had the best pierside tourist greeting service we have ever seen. Most everyone was bilingual and we were indeed warmly greeted as we got off the ship. We did a little "hike" of our own on some of the city streets. Since the tide was out, we were able to get down to the beach by the pier easily. The pedestrian area on both sides of the pier was more like an esplanade. At Quebec City, we had a private tour that was pre-arranged. Learned a lot, saw a lot. Would recommend.