• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
You may also like
Dismiss
Musings on Silver Muse: Why This Luxury Cruise Ship Suits Australians
Silver Muse in Sydney

Musings on Silver Muse: Why This Luxury Cruise Ship Suits Australians

Musings on Silver Muse: Why This Luxury Cruise Ship Suits Australians
Silver Muse in Sydney

January 14, 2019

Louise Goldsbury
Contributor
By Louise Goldsbury
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(6:30 p.m. AEST) -- Luxury means different things to different people. While some love to be dazzled by glitz and glamour, others just want time to indulge in life’s simple pleasures without interruptions or irritations. Silver Muse, the latest ship from Silversea, is for the latter type of person, which makes it ideal for the laidback luxury traveller or first-time cruiser.
Generally speaking, Australians don’t want to dress formally for dinner; we want to relax outside in the fresh air with a view. Even the five-star Australian leans toward a more casual elegance, appreciating stylish décor that's not too flashy or over-the-top. We absolutely must have exceptional food, friendly service and, of course, free-flowing drinks. But not just alcohol; we also need a decent coffee, tea, healthy smoothies and fresh juices, preferably included in the fare. Dare we say we don’t all want to sail on a ship full of Aussies? We like to meet interesting people from around the world.
If this resonates with your style, the good news is Silver Muse will be based in Australia and New Zealand for four months next summer -- one of the longest stints that a luxury ship has ever spent down under.
Last week, we joined a four-night New Year’s Eve cruise from Cairns to Brisbane to sample Muse’s delights. So why should you book this 596-passenger ship?

For the easy summer departures from local ports.

It’s not often that a luxury line offers so many opportunities to sail from such convenient cities. We usually have to fly to other countries to experience the likes of Silversea. But sometimes you just want to take an easy, no-stress holiday, where the weather is nice, there’s no jet lag, no language barriers and no long flight home.
In the 2019/20 summer season, Silver Muse has 20 local options scheduled from late November until the end of March. Itineraries include:
  • New Zealand, departing from Sydney or Melbourne (including a Christmas and New Year cruise);
  • South Pacific island-hopping around New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji;
  • Sydney or Brisbane to Singapore via Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Semarang (Java), and Bali (or reverse).
Silver Muse Dolce Vita lounge

The ship is spacious, simple, relaxed.

From the welcome aboard in a large, opulent lounge to the wide open spaces and outdoor decks, Muse's spaciousness is notable. Much of the ship has a calming ambience, reflected in the simplicity of the décor and the serenity of public areas. Some of the restaurants are striking in design, but overall Silver Muse is more "ahh" than "rah-rah".
An exception is Dolce Vita (pictured above) filled with comfy leather seating and aesthetic lighting. This classy hot-spot, adjacent to the reception and shore excursions desks, is pleasant in the daytime thanks to beams of natural light pouring in the windows, and then it’s buzzing at night with live music and waiters delivering complimentary drinks. (The New Year's Eve party ended up here, too, and it was a blast.)

The pool deck is a sunny hub of hedonism.

One of the loveliest aspects of the ship is the various ways for passengers to unwind poolside. It’s quiet until the band performs at midday and then it’s peaceful again in the afternoon. Plenty of tables and chairs are positioned by the windows for alfresco dining. There are six places to get (free) food, dessert or drinks, as well as waiters providing service.
On the downside, there’s not much shade and no cabanas. While the bronzed Europeans enjoyed sunbathing all day, we noticed the sun-savvy Aussies were more likely to congregate on the couches near the hot-tubs, sit at the undercover tables or perch upon the stools at the bar.
On the upper deck overlooking the pool is Spaccanapoli, serving possibly the best pizza at sea (perhaps not so surprising as Silversea was founded by an Italian family). In the corner is a gelataria to end your feast with a refreshing gelato. Like we said, simple pleasures.
The Grill serves a wide variety of fresh, light meals. Yes, they have burgers but you can order healthier alternatives such as a tuna salad sandwich, salmon wrap or mezze plate to share. Chefs also set up stations to whip up heartier meals, saving you the trip to an indoors restaurant. At night, this area becomes Hot Rocks, where you cook your own meat or seafood on a slab of volcanic rock while dining under the stars.
Silver Muse pool at night

Dining is delicious (and mostly included in the fare).

Silver Muse has seven other foodie-friendly venues located indoors – a lot for a ship of this relatively small size. There’s no Main Dining Room but we didn’t miss it because the smaller restaurants were so good.
Breakfast is best in the buffet-style La Terrazza, where the waiters will carry your plate back to your table, either on the shaded outdoor deck with a view of the ship’s wake or inside in the air-conditioning. Hot items can also be cooked to order and brought to you. In the evening it serves superb Italian cuisine and was particularly popular in the warm Queensland climate because of the cooling sea breeze.
Silver Muse food
The hot tip is that Kaiseki is free at lunch, so you can sample the sushi and sashimi with a Japanese beer. (Although you can find some sushi and sashimi in the self-serve buffet, it's fun to watch the chefs make it.) At dinner you’ll pay US$60 per person but it comes with fancier food and the theatre of teppanyaki-style knife tricks and egg-tossing. Don't miss the lobster with soya sauce followed by tempura ice cream.
Atlantide specialises in seafood and steaks, but the dress code is formal, while the informal Indochine serves Asian fusion dishes. Both were excellent. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a table at Silver Note, an intimate supper club where a jazz band performs. We consoled ourselves with the observation that the music didn't sound very jazzy whenever we walked past (more like ‘easy listening’). This may be fine for dining but not if you’re expecting to be transported to New York. Other passengers told us the bite-size food was the best on the ship, so do book early.
Finally, don’t overlook the indoor/outdoor Arts Café for non-alcoholic beverages such as barista-made coffees and ‘detox’ waters infused with fruits, roots and vegetables. The snacks change according to the time of day, so there’s breakfast items in the morning and chocolates after dinner. A Silversea tradition, bowls of consommé are served before lunch, and then at 4 pm it’s time for afternoon tea, complete with cakes, scones, jam and clotted cream. People also gather here to chat, read from the collection of books or sit outside (pictured below).
By the way, room service is 24 hours, free of charge (except for caviar) and the extensive menu is fabulous. You can even order signature dishes from Atlantide and Indochine to enjoy on your balcony with a glass of wine.
Silver Muse deck

There are eight, yes 8, open bars.

One of Muse’s coolest and rare at-sea features is that almost every restaurant has its own small bar. Not only is this convenient, it means you can have a pre- or post-dinner drink in places where you’re not eating -- like doing a bar crawl to experience all the different atmospheres. If you prefer to drink in larger lounges, the ship has three more to choose from, plus a cigar room.
We dutifully researched the long list of complimentary cocktails to confirm the consistency of high quality. Expect all the usual suspects and dozens of versions of mojitos, margaritas, nightcaps and Silver-tinis. (Our favourite was the dark chocolate martini.) For the festive season there was also a few seasonal cocktails flavoured like gingerbread and Christmas cake.
Past passengers who previously poo-pooed the prosecco (a nod to Silversea’s Italian heritage) will be pleased to know that since Royal Caribbean took over the company, the welcome bottle in your suite has been upgraded to Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Champagne. Our minibar also contained soft drinks and Stella Artois lager, replenished daily.
Silversea suite and butler

All cabins are suites with butler service.

The accommodation is roomy and comfortable, in classic shades of brown, grey and cream, with private balconies, separate sitting areas, a desk, safe and walk-in wardrobe. Marble bathrooms are relatively large, each with a bathtub and separate shower. Guests can choose from three brands of toiletries: the heavily fragranced Bulgari, aromatic Ortiga (our fave) or pH-neutral Sebamed.
Butlers are assigned to each suite, although we had little use for ours. Wi-Fi is free but slow and limited (depending on your cabin category). For charging Australian devices, there are two USB ports and universal power points.
Television screens are in the mirror, which we found a bit gimmicky, especially as the viewing quality is unnecessarily inferior in this age of high-definition TVs. Never mind, you won’t spend much time watching movies when there is such a beautiful ship, lovely crew and fun destinations on your doorstep.
For more details, read our full ship review and Just Back From Silver Muse: Dining and Dress Code Changes.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Good Judicial News For Carnival Corporation To Resume Cruising

(12:25 p.m. EDT) -- One possible hurdle for Carnival Corporation to resume sailing in 2020 has been cleared by a federal judge.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz had indicated she would require 60 days' notice prior to any Carnival Corporation vessel entering U.S. waters. The company is currently on probation over the illegal dumping of contaminated oil waste involving Caribbean Princess in 2016. Carnival Corporation has been in an environmental compliance program since 2017.

That ruling would have dramatically affected Carnival's attempts to restart cruising from the United States following the industry's shutdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the

Alaskans Losing Most from Cruise Ban, U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Report Says

(5:50 p.m. EDT) -- A report issued by U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner Louis E. Sola concluded that, "when considered on a per capita basis, there may not be another state in the Nation paying as high a cost from passenger ships not sailing than Alaska."

The latest in a series of in-depth assessments into the impact of the cruise industry's shutdown on the U.S economy, the report notes that the cancellation of the entire Alaskan cruise season because of the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Alaskans, as many state towns are heavily dependent on cruise tourism.

"While tourism benefits all our Northwestern states, it is one of three pillars of t

Royal Caribbean Lays Out New Guidelines for Quantum of the Seas Cruise Ship Return in Singapore

(12:15 p.m. EDT) -- As Royal Caribbean gears up for a restart in Asia in December, the line has released several infographics outlining changes passengers will see on its ship in that region.

Quantum of the Seas will start sailing from Singapore on December 1, at half capacity with only passengers who live in the country and on "Ocean Getaways", or cruises to nowhere. While Royal Caribbean Group has a partial interest in TUI Cruises, a German line that has also resumed cruising, the sailing could mark the first Royal Caribbean ship to welcome back passengers worldwide; the line has canceled all U.S. sailings through November 30 and is await

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.