Having spent 28-days on a back to back cruise from Lisbon to Montreal, I am reflecting on a variety of mixed feelings about the Silver Muse and Silversea, in general. I tried to focus on the positive aspects of the cruise and the gratitude I feel for being able to afford to sail on Silversea for an extended period. However, there were many aspects of this cruise that just didn't meet the standard I expect on a luxury cruise (that I have also seen reflected in other reviews and thread comments).
Suite: We loved the spaciousness of our silver suite on deck 11, except for the fact that it was missing any drawers within the large closet space. With the observation lounge just down the hall and the pool deck steps away, it was a great and quiet location. We were blessed with decent weather and minimal rough seas and the ship seem to handle it very well even on deck 11. The walls are a bit thin and you can ready hear your neighbor's TV and conversations. Our butler and stewardess were great.
Entertainment and enrichment: We thoroughly enjoyed the two enrichment lecturers and destination lecturer. But, this is a big fail for Silversea. Entertainment was marginal and unsophisticated whether it was in the Venetian Lounge or other parts of the ship. Enrichment in the classic sense of the word was nonexistent. We were disappointed than on the few days that the weather cooperated and we were able to use the pool deck, there was no live muse planned (or any music for that matter) to add to the atmosphere. A pub lunch (the only special event) was held one day with "entertainment" that likened what you might find in an assisted living facility. In fact, the entire program and offerings over 28 days were so substandard, boring and bland (except for maybe trivia), we wondered what Silversea was thinking (especially for a transatlantic crossing).
Food: Our favorite restaurant for food and service was Atlantide. Second favorite was La Terazza. The least favorite was Indochine. We ate once in Kaiseki and found it good but not worth the $60 up charge. The overall quality of meats was mediocre. It certainly was not anything close to premium cuts served on Regent, Crystal, and Seabourn, of which I have sailed. Very fatty, chewy with lots of sinew, rarely cooked to order. The fish was tasteless and dry. Most food was served lukewarm or cold. Some presentations were very creative and appealing in Atlantide. But, with set restaurant menus in all venues, one readily tires of offerings.
One could special order either to their room or one of the dining rooms with 24 hours notice. But, we tried this once (ordering Veal picatta) and received nothing resembling this dish. Unlike other passengers, we weren't really troubled by the need to make reservations for dinner venues and had no problems if we wanted to change reservations.
Décor: It is always nice to sail on a new ship but I have to say that the designers really missed the mark on this one. Although I like a minimalist décor with open spaces and a touch of elegance, something was just missing. I think it is just a combination of the colors used on upholsteries, curtains, carpets, trim, plus the "awful" artwork and the cavernous space of the Dolce Vita Lounge, that just didn't suffice to create the ambience of simplicity and elegance.
Service: This is another problem on the Muse. Service was so inconsistent whether it was in the dining venues, coffee shop, excursion desk, bars, etc. It just lacked a consistent standard of customer service one expects from Silversea. It was especially noticed in the dining venues when asking for "special" items such as gluten free bread or even butter, normally taking 1/2 hour or more. We waited over 1 hour one day at the pool grill during lunch time during a non-busy period. Whatever the venue, there seems to be lots of management walking around and observing but rarely, if ever, asking the customer if everything was okay. There was just a sense of confusion and chaos among the crew who, I believe, wanted to do their best but not receiving the direction or guidance needed to deliver top notch customer service. On the first night of the sailing, we found the food and beverage directing hiding in the observation lounge during peak dinner service time. That should speak volumes.
Excursions: This was a mixed bag. Some were very good such as the Normandy/Omaha Beach excursions and others tours where the guide lost half of the group, or we were taken to a tourist trap store called "stop and play" with low quality kitsch for sale--such a waste of time.
Internet: Silversea did not disappoint here-internet connections were excellent. Since we both still work and needed to maintain a connection to our offices, there never was a time where we experience a lost connection or difficulty connecting.
Overall, Silversea really needs to get its act together on this ship in terms of the entertainment, enrichment, service and food quality. We are repeat customers so we can compare to other previous sailings. I don't know what the problem is --but it just seems to lack a "soul," as stated by another passenger. Whatever it is or isn't, we couldn't wait to disembark the ship. We also decided to cancel our January booking to South America on the Muse due to our experience. I wish I could be more positive about our 28-day adventure on the Silver Muse.
Great location, large and comfortable but lacks drawers in closet.