Silversea is flirting with perfection with the Silver Muse and its crew. We just completed a 13 day cruise from Dublin to Barcelona with stops also in Portugal. This was our 5th cruise with them. This went off seamlessly without a ... Read More
Silversea is flirting with perfection with the Silver Muse and its crew. We just completed a 13 day cruise from Dublin to Barcelona with stops also in Portugal. This was our 5th cruise with them. This went off seamlessly without a hitch. I can’t imagine any other cruise line handling logistics better than they do. Pre and post cruise hotels, transportation, embarkation, and disembarkation were all handled seamlessy, every car, every driver was there when the were supposed to be. I can get used to going from hotel to airports in Mecrcedes limos. Anyhow.
The star of this show is the Muse, Silversea’s new 600 passengere ship. It is absolutely gorgeous. Its interior is not showy at all, all muted tones, a palette of tans, greys and brown, creating a calm serene vibe. I was apprehensive about this trip because it was a bigger ship than the other Silvesea ships we have sailed, the Whisper, Shadow and Wind which were all 300 passengers ships. I was worried that the bigger number could play havoc with the client focused attention to detail the Silversea is noted for. The opposite was true. I think they have assembled their A-Team for the Muse. They crew paid more attention to detail than on the smaller ships. The 600 passenger ship is the future for Silversea while also going smaller with expedition ships for 100 to 200 passengers. They just took the Spirit and cut it in half adding space bringing it up to 600 passengers. The message here for Silversea regulars is not to fear they have lost their focus with the larger ships. They make it work.
They also read these reviews and respond if needed, as they did by abandoning their reservations only policy for its 8 restaurants, after there was an outcry in Cruise Critic reviews, which was absolutely the right decision. A few words about the restaurants. The two larger dining rooms are Atlantide and Indochine. Atlantide is what Silversea regulars with know simply as the Restaurant. In this case it is posher, more elegant than its equivalent on the smaller ships. They nail it, the best food I have had on Silversea. The menu features steaks that are all identified as to source and type-grass fed or prime, from France, Argentina etc. The rest of the menu is what Silversea clients expect, they kill a lot of lobsters for example. The menu does not change every night as on their other ships but that is no big deal. Their other large restaurant is Indochine, which is a mélange of Thai, Indian, Chinese and just about every thing else under the sun. Dishes like lobster pad thai, Malabar chicken which is a jazzed up version of the familiar chicken tikka masala, the even do a good Pho. Unfortunately the passengers do not seem to be responding to this change of pace. There is less demand here than in Atlantide which is a shame, because its an elegant room, sort of art-decoiswith great food.
Also on offer is the usual La Dame, the Relais and Chateux restaurant which is reservations only, with a surcharge of $60 pp. This is the best iteration, by far, of the three we have tried on the other ships. Worth the money. A tip is to make your reservations as early as possible because it tends to sell out. The other reservations only restaurant is Kaiseki, which unfortunately doesn’t work. It bears to close of a resemblance to a Benihana with the chef chopping and cooking food on a big grill. I think they have already abandoned this concept, reverting to the Seishin concept found on the Silver Spirit, which was superb.
They do have a problems with La Terrazza which is they Italian restaurant found on every none-expedition ship. In the morning La Terarazza is the breakfast buffet. The waiters will take orders for different types of eggs, pancakes, waffles and toasts. The problem is that the waiters after bringing your waiter after bringing you your coffee and water, then use Ipad like device to place special orders. These orders go to a central source and then delivered by, it seems, any other waiter available. This results in confusion because no one is really responsible for your table, and orders seemingly get lost frequently in transition, which happened to us a few times.
A similar problem exists with the evening version of it, which is reservation only but without a surcharge. One night our order got completely lost and after a 45 minute wait, and several complaints the food finally came out but cold. They also don’t change their change their menu. This is a shame because on other ships La Terrazza is a highlight because of its fresh pasta and other Italian dishes reflective of Silversea’s Italian ownership. On the Muse this needs some improvement.
Also on offer is the Grill, their hot rocks concept found on all the other ships, which is an outdoor restaurant with tables aside the pool where the guests cook their food on super heated rocks. Personally I don’t like to work for my dinner. Other people seem not to mind it. It too is reservation only and without a surcharge. Above it on the deck overlooking the pool is Spaccanapoli a causal pizza only place that nails the Italian heritage thing by cooking great pizza.
There is another restaurant, the Silver Note, a jazzy supper club kind of place which we didn’t try so no comment. All in all the quality of Atlantide, Indochine and La Dame make for the best food in their fleet.
Then there was a problem which turned into a real treat and reflects the crews attention to detail and service. We were in a deluxe veranda, midship on deck 8. On the first night we heard a grating noise that was not the usual creaking of a ship. We complained to our butler, and there was an immediate response from the crew, who tried to find the problem. They ended up concluding is was in the duct work in the ceiling on the suite below which they couldn't get to while it was occupied. This resulted in a visit from the Hotel Director, who offered to put us in an Owners Suite. Sure we said. The butlers transferred every article in our room while we were at dinner even folding and hanging our clothes. So we ended up in a suite bigger than most one bedroom apartments in Manhattan. It had a dining table for eight, another dining table for four on the expansive veranda. I would never book a suite like this unless we were doing an extended grand tour of weeks not days.
There is one other problem I would like to point out. I did say they read these things. Please lose the lunch part of full day tours. On an excursion to Granada to see the El Alhambra, which has to be on everyone’s bucket list, we stopped for lunch, which turned out to be a 4 or 5 course meal that lasted 2 ½ hours. As if people on the cruise aren’t getting enough food. I would rather spend the time visiting the sights. For those who must have lunch they could provide a box lunch with beverages. We have had similar problems on other excursions, including a disaster at beach club lunch that had a heavy metal cover band and a few hundred people from somewhere else drunk as hell dancing on the beach to horrid covers of bands like Metallica and AC/DC. This was in Cozumel while on the Silverwind. They ended up refunding the cost of the excursion everyone. This again due to need the see to include lunch on all day excursions. Lose the format, please.
All in all our experience on the Muse far exceeded our expectations. Except for the few minor glitches I mentioned, this cruise was nearly perfect. I can’t imagine anyone, including Silversea’s major competition, Regent, Seabourne and Crystal doing it any better. Read Less