SILVER MUSE REFLECTIONS
I was one of the fortunate few to receive a invitation onto one of a handful of short stay opportunities on Muse’s ‘shakedown’ voyages. Mine commenced on the 5th April – just 3 days after she had left the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa. We travelled just 539 nautical miles from Marseille via Tarragona to Barcelona.
Silver Muse is now the largest of their nine strong fleet. She accommodates just 596 guests and has 411 crew who comprise more than 40 nationalities amongst them. Her tonnage is 40,700 which means the space ratio is very generous. Slightly better than on Silver Spirit, but interestingly less than the space offered on Silver Shadow and Whisper.
During our meeting on board which was hosted by key members of Silversea staff, including the owner Manfredi, we were informed of their marketing strategy, which I won’t go into. However, it may interest you to know that Manfredi informed us he has three more identical ships to Muse ‘on option’ and due to be delivered, at intervals, between now and 2022. A significant commitment on their part. As you are probably aware, Silver Cloud is undergoing a complete refit so she can go into Arctic/Antarctic waters. I do wonder whether perhaps ultimately Silver Wind will also join the expedition fleet – time will tell. The question was asked, but not definitive was provided.
SUITES ON BOARD
Pretty much all balcony suites – Classic, Superior and Deluxe Verandas all at 387 square feet (slightly larger than Spirit though the balcony is 1 square foot smaller). Location dictates the price differences between these three categories which are located across decks 5>9. My friend and I were allocated a Deluxe Veranda midships on Deck 8 # 856, so we had a pretty perfect location for our short two nights on board.
Being rather kept on the ‘down low’ are the 6 Vista suites on Deck 4. They are visible on the deck plan but there is no schpeel about them in the fuller suite details anywhere. Three of them are accessible suites. One of these also offers a convertible sofa (so three berth). Each of them also interconnects with another Vista Suite. The thinking behind the layout of these suites is that they’d be suited, say, to guests who need an accessible suite and perhaps, their carer (thus interconnecting). Price of these will be on request basis.
Back to the remainder of the suites – as per the Silversea template, following on from the Classic, Superior ad Deluxe Verandas we have their Silver Suites (located on Decks 9, 10 and 11). Two of the ones on Deck 9 can be configured as a Two Bedroom option – this is a new thing. Square footage being 786 and 1119 respectively for the 1 and 2 bedroom configuration.
Then we go up to the Royal, Grand and Owners suites (also each available based upon 1 or 2 bedroom configurations). Square footage measurements are, for the Royal 1 & 2 bed options being 1130/1528 (forward Deck 7), Grand 1475/1873 (forward Deck 9), Grand 1572/1970 (forward Deck 8) and lastly the Owners Suites 947-1055/1281-1389 (midships Deck 8).
There are only a small amount of interconnecting balcony suites aside from the ones mentioned above and 24 suites offering convertible sofa-beds (therefore a third berth) spread across the Classic, Superior and Deluxe categories. ALL Silver Suites have a convertible sofa bed.
Pratesi bed linens, Rubelli fabrics, Bvlgari amenities (other options available), pillow menus, your own personal butler & complimentary WIFI – all come as standard.
2 x TV’s as in-suite minimum. Ours were the contemporary style of being in mirrors. In the larger suites they were wall mounted flat screens.
The suite furnishings were in keeping with the Silversea ethos of neutral and earthy colours – sticking with the understated luxury that’s been their chosen design palette since the outset.
DINING ON BOARD
The first thing you need to note on Silver Muse is that they have dispensed with the main open seating dining room which can be found on all their other ships. It’s just a case of being informed and I do consider that this is something pretty fundamental and therefore should be mentioned to any interested parties.
Silver Muse boasts a fantastic selection of dining options which for lunch and dinner would be better pre-booked to avoid disappointment (as you would book a restaurant at home). To my knowledge there isn’t actually a restaurant on board that can accommodate a full compliment of guests. Silversea advise that reservations are definitely required in Atlantide, Kaiser and La Dame.
On Deck four there are a selection of four different dining options – La Dame (the Relais and Chateaux dining experience – US$60 pp cover charge); Kabuki (theatrical ‘performance’ of teppanyaki cuisine – US$60 pp cover charge); Atlantide (surf and turf style) and Indochine (Asian fusion).
Moving up to Deck 7 you have Silver Note (on Spirit this is called Stars Supper Club), offering Tapas style tasting menu in a great environment replicating iconic jazz clubs (‘food-ter-tainment’). Also on this deck, aft, you have La Terrazza which offers the more casual breakfast and lunch dining option with ample indoor and outdoor seating areas. In the evenings La Terrazza offers up what Silversea consider to be the finest Italian dining venue afloat in what has become their signature Italian restaurant.
If you prefer silver-service (a la carte) breakfast, you can do this in Atlantide on Deck 4.
For al-fresco dining options you have the Pool Grill menu available to you on Deck 9. In the evenings you can experience Hot Rocks dining. One deck up, on 10, you have the Spaccanapoli (previously named Regina Margherita) pizzeria. I can personally vouch for the fact this was a FAB menu and hors d’oeuvres that came with our drinks included some of THE most delicious cherry tomatoes I have ever had (my pizza was also amazing). The menu boasted use of a 26 year old aged parmigiano.
Another new characteristic to be found on Silver Muse, is the Arts Cafe, aft on Deck 8. A lovely colourful area with interesting pieces of artwork and some lovely seating (both inside and out). A place you can come and sit quietly to read, chat, meet friends. Have a coffee or a little snackette of some description (depending on the time of day). You can also have your chosen drink as a take out if you wish. I really loved the outdoor seating area in this part of the ship – a selection of lovely comfy chairs.
Of course if you prefer to dine / snack / drink in privacy there’s always All Round Dining (24 hour room service)……….
Bottom to top – Decks 4 through to 11……….
Deck 4 – covered above under Dining on Board above
Deck 5 – midship – you will find Silver Muse’s main hub. Similar to the Silver Spirit design (which received mixed feedback), you will find a large lounge area which includes the Dolce Vita Bar (live music in the evenings). Also to be found here are Reception, the Shore Excursions Desk, On board Consultants Office and another office which may have been the Cruise Director’s. I found this area to be rather too large to be a particularly atmospheric place to have a cocktail. Aft on this deck you will find L’Opera theatre. Ample seating and offering a bar service.
Deck 6 – midship thru aft location – all things spa, health and fitness. Plenty of treatment rooms, a Thermal Suite, Aerobics Studio, Fitness Centre, Beauty Salon, Steam rooms and Sauna. Also a generously sized whirlpool right at the rear looking out aft of the ship.
Deck 7 – midship thru aft location – here is where you will find La Terrazza, Silver Note and the Casino.
Deck 8 – midship thru aft location – two boutiques are found here (one of the few places you can spend money on board), along with Connoisseur’s Corner, The Arts Can and a Conference/Card Room.
Deck 9 – also midship thru aft location – The Panorama Lounge (as featured on all but two of the current fleet). Great place for relaxation, pre-dinner cocktails and for tripping the light fantastic – either to the resident band early evening, or perhaps to more contemporary DJ music later on in the evening. There is an outdoor seating area as well, outside this lounge. Also to be found in discrete locations on this deck are a Children’s Room (soft play area) and dedicated outdoor deck space.
Deck 10 – midships – pool deck with a lovely swimming pool and couple of hot tubs. There is plenty of seating here of varying styles. Aft of Deck 10 is also a more intimate and I imagine less frequented Whirlpool area. Also out on deck is the Preludio Sandals Craftsman – he will hand make to your specific measurements, Capri sandals (0900>1200 and 1500>1700). I believe the cost was around 400 per pair and I’m guessing as ship is run in USD that the cost is dollars.
Deck 11 – plenty more seating up here and forward on this deck you can find the lovely |Tor’s Observation Lounge/Library. Floor to ceiling windows offering a wonderful panoramic vista. A lovely selection of books can be found up here and this area will appeal to those seeking a quiet and reflective space to hang out in. There is also a small bar up in this lounge.
POINTS OF NOTE
As with most ships, smoking is not permitted on the balconies. However, there is an interior Connoisseur’s Corner (aft Deck 8) where you can enjoy a cigarette, smoke your favourite Cuban cigar and enjoy perhaps, a world-class Cognac. There are also designated outdoor areas where ashtrays can be found on tables.
Silversea state that with Muse they have an unrivalled space to guest ratio. This is not strictly true as on Seven Seas Explorer at 56,000 tonnes with 750 guests the space ratio is 74.66. Silver Muse is 40,700 tonnes accommodating 596 guests, which equals 68.28.
Given the addition of the discrete but nonetheless existent children’s’ area/s and the high chairs in La Terrazza it seems likely that Silversea may be intending to direct their marketing to encourage more families on board (this is my opinion I hasten to add). Their fleet is large enough now perhaps to start appealing to a wider audience.
BREAKFAST TIMES : Atlantide (A la Carte) from 8 a to 9.30 am ; La Terrazza (buffet style) from 7 am until 10 am.
LUNCH TIMES : Atlantide (A la Carte) from 12 pm until 1.30 pm ; Kaiser (A la Carte) from 12 pm until 2 pm ; La Terrazza (buffet) from 12 pm until 2 pm and The Grill from 12 pm until 3.30 pm.
DINNER TIMES : Atlantide, Indochine, Kaiseki, LaDame & La Terrazza : Tables bookable from 7 pm – last seating 9.30 pm. Silver Note tables bookable from 8 pm, last seating 11 pm. Hot Rocks from 7 pm – last seating 10 pm. Arts Cafe (light snacks) open from 6.30 am to 11 pm.
The Relais Chateaux restaurant on Deck 4 shows in the dedicated Muse brochure as Ma Dame and in main brochure/Daily Chronicles, as La Dame. Not sure which is the correct final name but am going to take a stab at La Dame as that’s used more. Perhaps they thought Ma Dame had different connotations 😉
Bar Hours : Pool Bar from 9 am ; Panorama Lounge 10 am until 8.30 pm then from 9.30 pm ; Dolce Vita from 2 pm ; Tor’s Observation Library 6 pm until 11 pm ; Atlantide Bar from 6 pm ; Silver Note from 8 pm ; Connoisseur’s Corner from 9 pm. Lastly we have the Enoteca from 6 pm (this is on Deck 4 but I have yet to find out where)!
PEOPLE OF NOTE, WHO WERE ON BOARD
Chairman – Manfredi Lefebre d’Ovidio
CEO – Roberto Martinoli
Captain – Allesandro Zanello
Culinary Director – Rudi Scholdis
CMO – Barbara Muckermann
Cruise Director – Jimmy
Hotel Director – Paulo Percivale
Lots of ‘us’: trade people and journalists from across the globe.
As with anything else in life, there will be people who love Silver Muse and those who don’t ‘take’ to her. For new to cruise guests and/or new to Silversea guests I think she will rate very highly. The unknown quantity, in my opinion, is going to be the Venetian Society members. Amongst them, as has proven itself in the Silversea fleet’s history – new ships are often received with a little hesitation and reticence with VS society members preferring what they had been previously used to. However, this quite often is followed by a gradual acceptance of and warming to, new designs, public areas etc. We can all be guilty of not being very amenable to change in our lives, and this industry is no different. The most wonderful thing to bear in mind is that Silver Muse is opening up a slightly different concept of the way the Silversea ships operate/are designed and as such they are providing a more diverse selection of cruising-styles within their expanding fleet. What wonderful choices to have and great decisions to make – which is (or will be) your favourite Silversea ship ?