My partner and I with a group of friends cruised on Silver Muse for 14 nights from Sydney to Auckland. It was a wonderful cruise that exceeded all expectations; we have been cruising with SIlversea for over 20 years and have been on each ... Read More
My partner and I with a group of friends cruised on Silver Muse for 14 nights from Sydney to Auckland. It was a wonderful cruise that exceeded all expectations; we have been cruising with SIlversea for over 20 years and have been on each of the Silversea vessels many times; this was our first time on the Muse and we absolutely loved it. We were very impressed with the new direction that Silversea is taking: everything seemed to be more modern and more upmarket (and the product was terrific in the first place.)
Lets start with the ship: its gorgeous! The layout is similar to the Spirit with certain areas expanded and improved, the décor is beautiful with a modern and elegant look, all of the rooms and spaces are accounted for with new additions such as the cute Arts Café and a supersized Lobby/Dolce Vita area, and the outdoor space has been enhanced with a pool and deck area that is longer/larger than the equivalent space on the Spirit (before it was lengthened) and an extra Jacuzzi aft. All good. We had a Deluxe Veranda Suite that was simply beautiful; the suites are (I think) slightly larger than on the Spirit but the new and very beautiful interior design makes the suites feel roomier and brighter. There was a super bathroom, good walk in closet, and lots of storage; all as expected on Silversea. Everything being new and fresh is a good thing and we enjoyed our Suite very much - simply superb!
Dining was extraordinary: the food was terrific in each of the eight restaurants. The dining and reservation issue seems to have worked out on the Muse; the system is now perfected. We had advance reservations for many evenings and everything went according to plan; on our non-reservation evenings (when we ate at Atlantide or Indochine) we never had a problem getting a table directly even around 800PM which seemed to be the peak dinner hour. The décor at the restaurants is pretty and each venue has its own design and style. The food at each Restaurant was wonderful: we ourselves were surprised that we enjoyed Indochine as much as we did. Of course, La Dame is a wonderful dining experience and our dinner at Silver Note was an adventure in dining. So much fun. We also thought that the wines being served (and there was much variety in the standard categories) were rather good; Frank, the chief sommelier who we know for years, was onboard and very gracious towards us.
The service that we received onboard was nothing short of spectacular; we knew many of the crew members and (I think) that they were genuinely happy to see us. At the restaurants, we were catered to at each and every meal regardless of venue - the head waiters and maître d's always checking and making sure that we were pleased. A big thanks to all of them, especially Giwa who made sure everything went well. Waiters, bar staff, and the pool staff were all active and engaged, knew our names by the second or third day, and looked after us. Our butler, Alan, was marvelous and took care of many details for us (including a ridiculous amount of laundry) and Sam, our cabin attendant did an outstanding job looking after of our cabin which was always spotless. Although we do not do ship shore excursions, the members of the shore excursion team were helpful and assisted us with a smile. All good.
As for entertainment and activities, its standard Silversea. The singers were lovely and had talent and we went to a few shows.....but entertainment has never been and never will be Silversea's strongest point; this is not where small ship cruise lines excel. The cruise director, lecturers, entertainers and social staff were all engaged and passengers seemed quite happy. The only odd thing was that many of the production shows were scheduled for 615PM which we found unacceptable as we don't care for early shows; scheduling the shows early left us with little to do after dinner. It was not a big deal, just strange.
As always with Silversea, embarkation was a breeze (from curbside at the port to La Terraza for Lunch in less than 30 minutes) and debarkation was even quicker with us leaving exactly at the designated time.
Our Sydney to Auckland itinerary was lovely: this is the third time that we have done this cruise over the years but Australia and New Zealand are absolutely beautiful and the ports of Burnie, Picton, Napier and Gisbonre were all new to us. And, its always wonderful to spend a few days in Sydney before embarkation. I cannot comment on the shore excursions: we make our own arrangements and tour independently with private guides so that we can set out own pace (we move more quickly than most ship operated excursions) - it works out better for us.
Our only issue was internet at sea; its frustrating and remains so on the Muse. In our technology driven world where we are all dependent on the internet for just about everything, its time for internet at sea to catch up. I understand that this is not a Silversea issue (we have had the same problem on Regent and other small ship cruise lines) but, nonetheless, reliable and fast wifi is a necessity and not a luxury in 2019.
In summary, we had a wonderful experience on Silver Muse and look forward to her sisters Silver Moon and Silver Dawn joining the fleet; as a "small-ship person" I never thought that my partner and I would like the "larger" Muse as much as we did. Also, we adapted to the multiple dining venues much more easily than we thought we would - we both always loved the ease and simplicity of the Restaurant on the smaller Silversea vessels. We cant wait to return and are already planning our next voyage with Silversea: we are deciding between the Med and Northern Europe for the summer and its probably South America next winter Read Less