Over a year and half in planning with another couple, we booked the Australian Wilds & Beyond (OCY200303-17), going from Sydney to Singapore on Crystal Serenity through our travel agent. We opted to book our own airfare to Sydney and home from Singapore using frequent flyer miles. And since we were going all this way, we decided to go to Sydney 5 days early to explore a city we had always wanted to visit. We also planned our return trip home out of the ending point Singapore, but 3 days after disembarkation. Trip began Feb 25, 2020 and was to end on March 23. On Tuesday, Feb 25th, we boarded our flight to Sydney and arrived there on Thursday, Feb 27th (Feb 26th in the US). Once we cleared customs and obtained our luggage, we received a phone call from our travel agent advising us that he had just gotten word that Crystal had cancelled the cruise completely. We were all tired and had prepaid transportation and hotel accommodations in Sydney, so we gathered our things and proceeded to our hotel. After relaxing for a bit, we regrouped and worked with our travel agent to rebook us on another cruise that was available leaving Sydney. We found several to choose from but fortunately we settled on the Silversea Muse going to New Zealand. Due to the current situation in the world, they had several cancellations and had some space available. Since the window was so short, there was no time to provide us paperwork for luggage and checkin. Our hotel however was a starting point for many of their booked passengers, and they had several representatives there to assist. The ladies were able to provide us the information we needed for the ship, and also some shopping advice for the few days we had left in Sydney. We also found out when the first bus was leaving on embarkation day so we scheduled a car to pick us up and deliver us to the terminal before they arrived. We were greeted warmly by the staff at the terminal and they were so helpful with our luggage even though we had no tags. We filled out the required health paperwork, had our temperatures taken and checked in within minutes. Before we knew it they were welcoming us onboard and we found that our suite was already ready and available and our butler, Rodney, was there to greet us. The suite was beautiful and the service impeccable. We really loved the daily laundry and dry cleaning same day service, out by 9am and returned by 5pm that same day, and hung in the closet. Rodney also took our shoes and polished them and returned same day. We had special requests for canapés and he handled that too along with stocking our favorite bottle of wine. We like coffee in bed every morning before we start getting ready, and it was delivered like clockwork every morning before we arose. After getting ready and going to breakfast, our room was cleaned and ready when we returned. We were always greeted by name, I think they get our pictures and study them so they can address us, first class service. We were truly impressed when on the first day we went to the excursion seminar and was greeted by the excursion desk manager by name as we approached the venue, having never seen her before, and she continued to delight us through the cruise, accommodating all of our needs, especially since we were so last minute with our booking and many of the excursions were full. The same is true for the restaurants as many were already booked fully but the manager gave up his table to accommodate us on formal night. The cruise director, Nolan, was amazing, keeping everyone entertained in daily trivia, doing standup in the theatre and singing, very talented and his team of performers were very talented as well. Our bartender, Oliver, in the La Dolce Vita lounge was a gem, having our drinks prepared the moment he saw us arrive so we didn’t even have to order from a waiter. I have to say that the service provided on the Muse was the best I have ever had on a cruise ship, and not just these people, but the whole crew. The wait staff, the maid service, the butler, the restaurant managers, the sommeliers, the performers, the spa professionals, reception desk, the excursion desk, all of them were so caring and wanted to make our experience the best, and they managed to do that and then some. We will definitely cruise with SilverSea again, hopefully sooner than later.
Great size room with full walk in closet with drawers and safe, bath had full tub and separate shower, the bed was one of the most comfortable we have experienced (tend to have back aches from sleeping in other beds and experienced none with these), the sitting area was large with sofa, chair and table, and curtains could be pulled to close off if someone wanted to stay up late to watch tv or read, the two TVs were built into the wall panels in front of the bed and in front of the sofa and easily controlled by the same remote, the veranda was large with two chairs, small table and both chairs had separate foot rests so you could relax in the sunshine, their was also a small refrigerator that was kept stocked with our favorite wine and water.
We toured Sydney on our own and with a private tour guide prior to boarding the ship
We opted to stay on board as we had heard there was no much to do or see in this small town.
Sunshine and brisk temps for our arrival, but it was spectacular, all viewed from the ship, no excursions
We did the tour on our own taking the provided transportation into town and walking around. Amazing to see the devastation still evident from the major earthquakes they experienced a few years ago.
Since we don’t like Sauvignon Blanc, we opted to skip the wine tours available and just took a walk into the small port town, then returned to the ship and spent the afternoon sunning by the pool