We selected Silversea based on a previous cruise, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, we were extremely disappointed in this cruise. Silversea had sold nearly one-third of the ship to an insurance company as an incentive award for successful insurance agents and brokers. As we were leaving Venice, we went to the Panorama lounge on the stern for a view of the city only to find that the lounge had been reserved for a private reception of this large group.
Either this group didn't understand the dress code or didn't care. On formal night, there were people in the theater in shorts. People were in jeans in the evening and one night a man was going up stairs in jogging shorts with no shirt. This group was much younger than the normal demographic of Silversea and it completely changed the ambiance on the ship. Rather that experiencing the luxury and elegance of Silversea, the ambiance was much more like Norwegian Cruise Line.
Because members of this group ate together (which is to be expected) restaurants at lunch were often too crowded to get a table. Furthermore, large groups at dinner tended be loud as people shouted down the table to talk to friends. The more wine they drank, the louder they got.
People who wanted to use the pool found it almost impossible as large groups would take over the pool, again creating a loud environment that made it difficult to read and relax,
None of this is a reflection on the ship, service or staff of the Silver Muse. The ship is beautiful, the wine selection is fantastic and the food is delicious. Our only complaint about the food is that the menu didn't change frequently enough. In fact, La Terazza, our favorite, didn't change the menu for the entire 10 days. On our previous cruise, the menu changed every 3 days. La Dame was solidly booked during the entire cruise and it was impossible to get a reservation.
We took two shore excursions and found both of them lacking, so we cancelled the rest of the tours we had booked and we arranged our own. We found this much more enjoyable and a much better value.
We will book again on Silversea but we will find out first if there is a large group on the ship. If Silversea continues this practice of selling to large groups, we will seek another luxury cruise line. And, of course, we are watching closely to see what will happen as a result of the Royal Caribbean aquisition.