Silver Muse Cruise Review by rvtse
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Asia
- Cabin Type: Silver Suite 1
Embarkation - easy and quick.
Disembarkation within Silversea's control was fine and well organised. Some confusion with the ground transport staff and which van was to take us to the airport, waited for ages (Singapore).
The ship and cabin was excellent. Butler and attendant were excellent also. Did room service breakfast once at 6am for an early excursion - butler served it right on the dot at 6am and it was laid out beautifully, food was nice and hot. Absolutely no complaints about the room (bed is on the firm side which I like), wardrobe, bathroom etc. See comments in cabin section about TV media comments. There is 24/7 wifi available for this room category - when we checked in, it automatically connected to the standard wifi but you are eligible for the premium wifi and we had to speak to reception once to get that sorted (but being at sea, I'm not sure how much faster the premium wifi was!). Laundry included with this room category. But be aware that there is only one laundrette per floor and only one washing machine/dryer in the room, I think perhaps they could have installed a few more machines.
The ship has a lot of modern artwork displayed, may not be everyone's cup of tea!
The destinations and excursions were as expected. Potential Myanmar travellers be aware - the Pagodas and Monasteries which are the highlights - do require that you remove all footwear (and including socks!) when you visit. The main Shwedagon pagoda was clean and well maintained but the other places we visited were perhaps not so clean. Bring lots of wet-wipes along!
Enrichment activities were generally good and as expected.
Overall a pretty good experience but the only issue is the dining. I was very apprehensive in the lead-up, as I had been reading all the reviews on this site so I think did not have particularly high expectations. My previous main cruise experience has been with Crystal so I am guess I am using that as my main comparison.
Walk-in everywhere during the day time. At night, Atlantide and Indochine and Spaccanapoli (pizza place) were walk in, everywhere else needed a reservation although to be honest most places were not full when we peeked in for a look so I'm sure you could walk in.
We found Atlantide to be the best and most consistent in terms of quality. There was some day to day minor variability in the menu (I think a full menu change was only once a week, as other reviewers have commented) and service was good. Atlantide ended up being our main go-to restaurant to dine, and I think the same for other diners as it got progressively busier towards the end of the cruise.
Indochine - service good but quality of food was not great, only went once.
La Terraza - menu did not change for many days. Inside tables were a bit strange, most of the tables were an oval shaped table and there were two sizes. The smaller sized table was fine for two people and the larger table was quite large, it could seat 4-6 people. There were no in-between sizes (except outside or some side booth seating). It was pretty much free-seating for breakfast and lunch. However at dinner, found it a bit irritating the maitre d' kept trying to put us (a group of three) on a small table as it was way too small. Most times we'd have to say something and request a larger table (and there definitely was availability, restaurant was not full). Breakfast buffet was also in La Terraza. A reasonable selection, you could go help yourself or also order e.g. fried eggs with staff. Hot food at the counter had to be served.
The Grill (hot rocks) - excellent. Steak quality was fantastic. Prawns were very good too. Just beware it gets a bit oily and the frying smell wafts everywhere. For daytime, they served the usual (hot dogs, burgers, salads etc). Couple of times there was also special buffets also.
Spaccanapoli - went twice. First time great. Second time not so good (pizza crust and topping not matching menu description).
La Dame and Kaiseki unfortunately did not live up to expectations in relation to food quality (service was great). We had booked La Dame twice but ended up going only once and cancelling the other booking. Nothing special and similar dishes were actually available in Atlantide! The $60 charge could be reviewed I think (I did hear other guests commenting similarly). We had booked Kaiseki but tried it out for lunch first - sushi and sashimi was not great (Silk Road on the Crystal ships were much better) and we ended up cancelling our booking.
We are not big drinkers so I cannot comment much on the bar and alcohol. The served wine was ok. I thought the wines you could purchase were priced well. Bartender at the Grill was very enthusiastic and gave great service the one night we got a drink there.
Overall everything about the ship is great except the dining, mainly lacking in food quality consistency and variety. Atlantide was generally the best. Everywhere else, some meals were great, some were a bit average. Was not happy with La Dame, Kaiseki and Indochine. I hope I'm not being overly fussy (first world problems I realise!) but given Silversea's reputation and price, I think it could be a bit better. More menu changes (more frequently) is needed. I commented to family during the cruise that on previous Crystal cruises, we actually looked forward to dinner, we wanted to see what they would serve each night (they had it displayed and you could go look in advance every day) and had confidence whereas on this ship, it was sort of "oh dear, where should we go tonight for dinner?".
On Crystal there was one main dining room and you were assigned a particular table for the whole cruise and had assigned wait staff dedicated to your table so that was also nice, you would look forward to seeing and chatting to them but you knew they were also keeping an eye out on things for the whole meal. The menu changed everyday. There were other restaurants but the quality and service in the main dining room was so good, I daresay I could have gone there every night and be a happy diner.
But on the Muse it was different. Besides the menu/food issue, there were some little issues with the service (or rather, how things were organised). You'd see the same group of staff around but one would take the order, another would be in charge of drinks, another would be in charge of the water etc. I'm not sure if that way of organisation works well because no one "oversees" the table as a whole (or at least I could not identify who was "in charge"). Service - staff were 9/10 times so enthusiastic and keen but again maybe the way things are organised could lead to confusion for them. Some previous reviewers have commented on food service being slow - we tended to dine early, we did not encounter any issues with delays in our food (but restaurant generally not particularly busy at the times we dined).
Family do not recall such issues on other Silversea ships so I hope we can still put this down to "teething issues" but the ship is more than a year old now so I hope Silver Muse can iron some of these issues out as otherwise, it is a lovely ship!
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Only two issues to be aware of:
1) as someone else has already commented - just beware the larger suites (Silver suites, Owners suite etc.) on level 9 sit directly under the Pool and the Bar/Grill area on level 10. I think this is a similar layout on other Silverseas ships - there can be a lot of noise from overhead. It didn't bother me too much but you definitely could hear noises early in the morning (scraping of chairs and lounges being put out and put away for the day?). It might wake up or keep some people up.
2) I like bringing TV shows and movies on my laptop to catch up on during cruises. The internet is too slow to stream Netflix, I would suggest downloading beforehand. In Silver suites, they use I think a Samsung 55" MU7000 4K TV and it is connected to their TV/media service via an HDMI cable (their streaming movie and TV was not bad, they had relatively new movies that have just come out on Bluray/DVD etc). But they have changed to a custom remote control so you can't change HDMI input (could not work it with a samsung TV app on the phone, as I think the TV itself is not connected to wifi). So if you are going to hook up your ipad or laptop to the TV with an HDMI cable, which you can normally easily do in hotel rooms etc, it's a bit tricky, the only way I could get it to work is to manually unplug the existing HDMI cable, plug in my own HDMI so I could watch what was on my ipad, then disconnect it and replace their HDMI once I was done. The hard part was as the TV was wall mounted inflexibly quite close to the wall (so you can't actually turn or look at the back of the TV), it took some practice trying to feel the HDMI outputs and changing the cables by feel. Suggest googling a photo of the rear of the TV so you know where the inputs are. However in the adjoining room which is a the equivalent of a Panorama suite (no verandah) the TV is boxed off inside/behind glass (TV off = mirror). I think this would be the case for all the verandah suites also. So there is no chance to connect your ipad/TV because you can't even touch the TV behind the glass.